Healing power of sauerkraut

Healing power of sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is essentially fermented cabbage, which contains a vast array of nutrients and a hardy strain of probiotics, and does an exceptional job of cleaning and ‘furnishing’ your gut with beneficial bacteria so that it can heal and work efficiently again.

The healing action of sauerkraut includes:

  • Treating all kinds of gastrointestinal disorders, including Candida and IBS
  • Prohibits the growth of cancer
  • Helps relieve chronic fatigue
  • Helps alleviate allergies
  • Naturally relieves constipation
  • Helps remove problematic bacteria and parasites
  • Improve skin conditions
  • Improves liver function

Add it as a side to any meal, or get creative and incorporate it into dishes where you would normally add vegetables.

Small Steps Big Results

Small Steps Big Results

Tammy Alvord June 3, 2015


The best way to improve our health is to reduce our toxic load and increase our nutrients.

Headaches, insomnia, fatigue, frequent illness, persistent pains, constipation, and digestive issues are just some of the signs that we need to reduce our toxic load.

If we first look at the things that contribute to our problem, then we can find easy ways to minimize our exposure.

Factors that contribute to our toxicity:

  • Environmental and food allergies.
  • Petrochemicals, pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, heavy metals (mercury, lead, cadmium, aluminum).
  • Medications. *Sometimes we need medications. The reality is though that most of us are over medicated. Modifying our diet and lifestyle often times provides better and safer alternatives to medications.
  • Molds and their toxins
  • Digestive toxins. Things like:  yeast, fungus and bacteria that take up residence in our digestive system and may wreak havoc on our health.
  • Stress. Negative emotional and spiritual toxins have a profound impact on our health. These include but are not limited to: anger, jealousy, loneliness, isolation, bitterness and hostility.


How do we change things in our life to make the biggest difference?


 Let’s start with the small stuff that makes a huge impact.



I can’t stress enough how important clean pure water is to our health.

70% of our body is made up of water. So it just makes sense that if we improve our quality and quantity of water we will drastically improve our health.

Natures’ solution to pollution is dilution. So I recommend that we consume half of our body weight in ounces of pure clean water each day just to maintain proper hydration and function.

Often times our tap water is not as pure as we would like.  There are lots of ways to improve the quality of our water, but getting a really good filter is a great place to start.

Another great way to reduce our toxic load

Detox our mind, heart and spirit. Often times we overlook this area of our lives, but I believe it is one of the most important aspects. I love to just be outside, working in the garden, walking in the woods, or playing in my backyard with my kids. I personally find yoga greatly rewarding. Not only does it help me to still my mind it also works up a sweat (a great way to eliminate toxins from the body), strengthens my core and so much more. Massage, meditation, deep breathing and aromatherapy are other great ways to reduce stress.  Find one that works for you!  Start today and see for yourself what a difference it can make.

When you are ready, further reduce exposure to toxins

By switching to homemade or natural/organic personal care and cleaning products. Items such as: shampoo and conditioner, lotions, toothpaste, sunscreens, make-up and perfume can be full of toxic chemicals. They have found lead in lipstick, formaldehyde in hair care products and even mercury in face cream and this is only the beginning.  Try using essential oils like tea tree and lemon to make homemade cleaning products. We can even make our own bug spray that actually works and is non-toxic. Did you know that catnip essential oil has been proven to be 10 times more effective than DEET (known carcinogen)?  The internet is full of recipes for homemade cleaners, lotions, toothpaste, deodorants and so much more.

So we’ve reduced exposure to toxins, now to increase the nutrients

This is also really simple.

Eating large amounts of foods that are as close to the way they grow in nature is a sure way to increase the amount of nutrition we are getting. One of the easiest ways is to start juicing and making green smoothies. Juicing is an excellent way to get instant nutrients and anit-oxidants while letting the digestive system take a rest.

Green smoothies consist of 60% fruit and 40% greens and little liquid. They are quick, easy, very tasty and super nutritious. Adding superfoods like: Hulled hemp seeds or maybe chia seeds on a regular basis can really increase the amount of and quality of vitamins and minerals in our diet.

Another great way for us to increase our nutrients

Buy as much of our food from local farmers as possible. The moment our food is picked it begins to loose vitamins and minerals. If the food was picked before it was actually ripe, it will contain even less vitamins and minerals.  The food we buy from the supermarket has most likely been picked 2-3 weeks ago and was NOT ripe when picked. The food that our local farmer picks is usually picked that morning or with in the last couple days.  Not to mention that fully ripe, freshly picked foods also have the best flavor too.

Use cultured foods and bone broth

After years of abusing our bodies with toxic chemicals and food like substances, most of us need to repair and /or boost our digestive system with digestive enzymes and reestablish the good bacteria that helps assimilate our foods with probiotics. The best ways to repair/reboot the entire GI tract are with bone broth made form grass-fed organic animal bones and cultured foods like: kraut, kefir, kombucha, kimchi, and miso.  These foods not only help rebuild the digestive system but they also help to detoxify the liver, improve hair, nails, and skin, decrease joint pain and inflammation, and  boost your immune system just to name a few. Using probiotics and digestive enzymes also help to repair and rebuild the GI system.

By implementing these small but very beneficial steps into your lifestyle you can decrease your toxins and increase your nutrients, dramatically improving your health.

For more information visit www.foodsalive.com or www.ltthrive.com


Our Miraculous Self Healing Bodies

Our Miraculous Self Healing Bodies

By Tammy Alvord

Have you ever stopped to wonder how it is that if you scrape or cut yourself, within minutes, the body—if it is healthy—can begin reconstruction of the skin?  When our skin (the largest organ in the body) gets injured it sends a distress signal to the brain relating the injury and where. First the platelets in your blood rush to the site and clump together to form the initial plug. At the same time, dissolved proteins in the blood called clotting factor pile in to make the clot bigger and stronger. The toughest and most notable one is called fibrin. Fibrin is essentially a microscopic mesh that holds everything together like cement, giving the body the time it needs to create new skin cells to replace the damaged ones.  Once the skin underneath is healed, the body then begins to digest the fibrin to release the scab and reveal the new pink skin.

This is only one of the various ways that your body can heal itself.

Each and every one of your 100 trillion or so cells gets replaced by new cells in an ongoing regular basis to keep us at peak performance. Here’s the tricky part, in order for old cells to be replaced by new healthy cells we have to give the body what it needs.


Just what exactly does it need?

For starters it needs pure water. Our bodies are 75% water. So this one is big! Tap water and most bottled waters are not pure. They cannot filter out all the prescription drugs used by many Americans. I recommend using a RO (reverse osmosis) system for all your drinking and cooking water needs. Or using the Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher. 

Also important are exercise and deep breathing; our bodies were designed to move. This is one of the main ways we detoxify. The contractions caused during the movements push old waste materials and toxins like carbon dioxide from our tissues and cells and then let clean water  and oxygen back in. When we are stagnant, our cells get stagnant, creating a cesspool of toxins with no way out. Eventually, this leads to cell damage or accelerated aging.

Sunlight is critical for the health of our cells. Yeah I said it, we NEED sunlight. Now let’s be clear, when I say we need sunlight I do not mean that we need to sunbathe for hours every day— this is most certainly not healthy. Our bodies can only produce Vitamin D (a precursor for many enzymatic and hormone related activities essential for life) if we are exposed to the sun’s rays.   So how much is enough? Most experts believe that once your skin has turned just the slightest bit pink or just before is best. Anything more and now you are causing more damage than gaining benefits. If you have a darker skin tone you will need more sun exposure than those with a lighter complexion.

Nutritional Excellence is a key factor in the health of the body and all of its cells. Whole foods in the form they are found in nature are the very best fuel you can put into your body. Green leafy veggies (including herbs, spices, sea vegetables and algae) top the list of nutritional power that is vital for our bodies to thrive. Things like minerals, vitamins, amino acids, chlorophyll, antioxidants, fiber both insoluble and soluble, and thousands of phytonutrients all work together in perfect harmony. They contain so many different nutritional components that they are still discovering new ones all the time. No wonder our parents always said eat your greens!  Besides greens, which should be eaten three times a day, there are many other whole foods that share these amazing qualities as well as some of their very own. Fruits, root veggies, nuts, seeds, and super foods (Cocao, Maca, nutritional yeast, goji berries, chia, hemp, and flax to name a few) also shine when it comes to nutritional excellence.

Did you know that the body and brain do most of the repair and damage control while you sleep? This highly complex task takes a lot of time to perform properly. Eating before bedtime causes the body to put off repair and forces it to work on digestion. Getting 7-9 hours of sleep ensures that the body and brain have the time and extra energy to neutralize or clear out excess toxins that accumulated during the day, repair damage and replenish your cells for the next day. If working properly, you should feel refreshed and new every morning.

Last but most certainly not least is a Positive Mental Outlook on life. Nutritional excellence has a major impact on the health of our emotions; they are not separate from each other.  How we process the everyday things that life throws our way has a huge impact on the health of our cells and overall health of our entire body. It can keep us sick or it can help us heal. Exercise, Yoga, meditation and prayer are excellent ways to improve your outlook on life.

Oil Pulling

Oil Pulling

By Tammy Alvord

What is it? Oil Pulling is the act of swishing approximately 1 T. of High Quality Cold Pressed oil in the mouth for 15-20 minutes (most people need to work up to 20, starting with 10 minutes instead). Swishing while taking your morning shower seems to be the most recommended way.  This in-turn kills bacteria, loosens plaque, reduces inflammation of the gums, whitens teeth, and even gives you a small dose of the phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that are contained in the cold pressed oils. When finished swishing, you either spit the oil in the toilet or the trash (NEVER down the drain as it could lead to build up and clogs in the future). Then simply brush and floss your teeth as usual.

How long has it been around? Ayurvedic Medicine has used Oil Pulling with Cold pressed Sesame oil (it was the first oil to be pressed) for thousands of years to help cleanse and detoxify the oral cavity. They also believed it would help to improve other internal problems as well, like helping to improve: skin conditions (eczema, acne and psoriasis), respiratory problems and heart, kidney and liver health.

What does it really do? It is a popular belief among dentists, doctors and scientists that your oral health is a direct reflection of the health in your entire body. Studies prove that bacteria can enter the blood stream from the oral cavity and cause major problems in the heart and other organs. It just makes sense that if you improve the health of all your dental tissues, you will no doubt improve the health throughout your entire body.

More recently other oils like Coconut, Olive, Hemp, Chia, Flax and Black Sesame have been tried; great improvements in oral health have been noticed by most, with people having periodontal disease noticing the most improvement. I believe that this is because of the great properties of these oils.  All of the oils have anti-inflammatory properties and each has numerous antioxidants. Coconut oil is antimicrobial, antiviral and whitens teeth. Flax and Black Sesame contain constituents that promote healing of soft tissues. Olive and Hemp oils contain chlorophyll which is known for its detoxifying abilities.  It would appear that rotating two or more of these oils has an even better overall effect. I haven’t even mentioned all of the minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals that will be directly adsorbed by the body as you are swishing, another great reason to try it.  The better the quality of the oil the better the results!

Where to get your oils?  Foods Alive is proud to offer the following Organic Cold Pressed oils: Black Sesame, Golden Flax, Chia and Hemp. If you’d like to try Olive oil or Coconut oil make sure to look for Organic Cold Pressed-Extra Virgin oils.

So what are you waiting on? Place an order on FoodsAlive.com and try oil pulling to improve your oral health.

How to make and use Health Boosting Bone Broth


I have found bone broth to be the number one thing you can consume for:

  • Leaky gut
  • Improve joint health
  • Boost Immune function
  • Overcome allergies and food intolerance’s


Bone broth or stock was a way our ancestors made use of every part of an animal.  Bones and marrow, skin and feet, tendons and ligaments that you can’t eat directly, can be boiled then simmered over a period of days.  This simmering causes the bones and ligaments to release healing compounds like collagen, proline, glycine, and glutamine that have the power to transform your health.

The Magic of Collagen and Gelatin

Real collagen is the source of stock’s immune-boosting properties.  You’ve probably seen this jiggling layer atop the broth in your cooling roasting pan and discarded it but think again next time–this is the good stuff.

Collagen is the protein found in connective tissue of vertebrate animals.  It’s abundant in bone, marrow, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments.  The breakdown of collagen in bone broths is what produces gelatin.

  • Gelatin (the breakdown of collagen) was one of the first functional foods, used as a medical treatment in ancient China.
  • Dr. Francis Pottenger and other world class researchers have found gelatin and collagen to have the listed benefits:
  • Gelatin helps people with food allergies and sensitivities tolerate those foods including cows milk and gluten.
  • Collagen protects and soothes the lining of the digestive tract and can aid in healing IBS, crohn’s, ulcerative colitis and acid reflux.
  • Gelatin promotes probiotic balance and growth.
  • Bone broth increases collagen reducing the appearance of wrinkles and banishing cellulite.
  • Because gelatin helps break down proteins and soothes the gut lining, it may prove useful for leaky gut syndrome and the autoimmune disorders that accompany it.
  • Gelatin provides bone-building minerals in easily absorbable ways, preventing bone loss and reducing join pain.3

Healing Amino Acids

Gelatin in bone broths contains “conditional” amino acids arginine, glycine, glutamine and proline.  These amino acids also contribute to stock’s healing properties.

Conditional amino acids are those classified as nonessential amino acids that are essential under some conditions: you don’t produce them very well if you are ill or stressed.

What do these conditional amino acids do?


  • Necessary for immune system function and wound healing
  • Needed for the production and release of growth hormone
  • Helps regenerate damaged liver cells
  • Needed for the production of sperm


  • Prevents breakdown of protein tissue like muscle
  • Used to make bile salts and glutathione
  • Helps detoxify the body of chemicals and acts as antioxidant4
  • Is a neurotransmitter that improves sleep and improves memory and performance


  • Helps regenerate cartilage and heal joints
  • Reduces cellulite and makes skin more supple
  • Helps repair leaky gut


  • Protects gut lining
  • Metabolic fuel for cells in small intestine
  • Improves metabolism and muscle building.


*Sally Fallon says that it’s important to use body parts that aren’t commonly found in the meat department of your grocery store, things like chicken feet and neck.

*You’ll also want to buy animal products that you know are pasture-fed and free of antibiotics and hormones.

Cooking Suggestions

  1. Place roasted bones** into a large stock pot or crock pot.
  2. Add 1 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to water prior to cooking. This helps to pull out important nutrients from the bones.
  3. Fill stock pot with filtered water.  Leave plenty of room for water to boil.
  4. Heat slowly. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for at least six hours.  Remove scum as it arises.
  5. Cook slow and at low heat. Chicken bones can cook for 12- 24 hours. Beef bones can cook for 24-48 hours. A low and slow cook time is necessary in order to fully extract the nutrients in and around bone.
  6. You can also add in vegetables such as onions, garlic, carrots, potatoes, mushrooms, kale, parsley, and celery for added nutrient value.

After cooking, the broth will cool and a layer of fat will harden on top.  This layer protects the broth beneath.  Discard this layer only when you are about to eat the broth.

** this is optional but adds great flavor

Bone Broth Benefits as Therapy

Remember, bone broth is rich in minerals that support the immune system and contains healing compounds like collagen, glutamine, glycine, and proline.

The collagen in bone broth will heal your gut lining and reduce intestinal inflammation.  In addition, collagen will support healthy skin and can reduce the appearance of cellulite.  Also, the glycine in bone broth can detoxify your cells from chemicals and improve brain function.


Kaayla T. Daniel, “Why Broth is Beautiful: Essential Roles for Proline, Glycine and Gelatin,” Weston A. Price Foundation.  http://www.westonaprice.org/food-features/why-broth-is-beautiful (accessed 18 June 2013).

University of Nebraska Medical Center. “Chicken Soup for a Cold”  http://www.unmc.edu/publicrelations/chickensoup_newsrelease.htm (accessed 21 October  2011).

Kaayla T. Daniel, “Taking Stock: Soup for Healing Body, Mind, Mood, and Soul,” Psychology Today http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/naughty-nutrition/201202/taking-stock-soup-healing-body-mind-mood-and-soul (accessed 20 February 2012).

Sekhar RV, Patel SG, Guthikonda AP, Reid M, Balasubramanyam A, Taffet GE, Jahoor F. Deficient synthesis of glutathione underlies oxidative stress in aging and can be corrected by dietary cysteine and glycine supplementation. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.2011;94(3):847-53

Gersten D, The 20 Amino Acids: What They Are and How They Keep You Alive and Vibrant. http://www.imagerynet.com/amino/20_amino.html (accessed 28 June 2013).