Cal-Ore Life Flight Crash; Captain Larry Mills A National Hero

It is with a broken heart I share this life-shattering experience with you. On July 29th at approximately 1 a.m. my husband, experienced Air Ambulance Pilot, Captain Larry Mills employed by Cal-Ore Life Flight, was killed in the line of duty. His medical crew Debra Kroon, Michelle Tarwater and his patient April Rodriguez were also stripped of life. May they rest in peace and be long remembered.



The Cal-Ore Life Flight crash is under investigation by the NTSB. Parts of the plane are in Washington D.C. as they try to unravel the puzzle of what happened on that fateful night. They know my husband reported smoke in the cockpit, and only seconds later, requested a fire truck. They know the plane broke up in air before it crashed to the ground in the forest.

Below I will post links to the NTSB report and other news related articles. I have created a Facebook page where I can share more of this part of my journey with you. I encourage everyone to like the page, like the posts, and encourage their friends to do the same. Their memory in our minds will become very important as the evidence unfolds. It will take a long time to discover the truth and I would appreciate your support.

Link to Cal-Ore Life Flight Crash Widow Watch Facebook Page

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The following is the words I shared about my husband, Pilot Larry Mills at the Air Medical Memorial held in Littleton, Colorado on the one year anniversary of his death.

Pilot Larry Mills was my husband. Larry, his crew Debra Kroon, Michelle Tarwater and their patient April Rodriguez were tragically killed in the early morning hours- one year ago today- July 29th, 2016.

Before I began to share our reflections, I would like to take a moment to thank the organizers of this important event- and to thank all of you- for being here today to respect the ultimate sacrifice of these heroes. To truly appreciate the valor in their actions. To continue to remember them for the remarkable human beings they were on this earth.

My husband Larry was my life-long friend and soul-mate. I adored him and always strived to be more like him. I fell in love with him the minute I met him. He was standing there so tall with his strawberry blonde hair, dazzling blue eyes and charming smile.

I could never adequately express how much love and joy he brought to my life or how crushed I am with his loss. We made many adventurous and beautiful memories together and I will forever cherish them in my heart and soul.

You know, Larry was a pilot and instructor to the core of his being. I know this not because of his over 7,000 flight hours- in much larger aircraft, or the number of times I have been his passenger. It is not because I watched him give Air Force Pilots their initial training, not because of the number of air shows we attended or worked, not even because I watched him direct rotorcraft for a test project for the Army.

No, it was because over the years I was his student for many lessons. Honestly, I discovered it was impossible to even get on the riding lawnmower without the proper briefing. I was systematically instructed on the pre-mowing checklist- to include gasoline level, oil level, properly sharpened blade and greased wheels. I received precise directions on how to work the controls, what to do in case of an emergency- and was properly supervised in order to make sure all safety gear- goggles, ear protection, boots and gloves were in place. I was then tested to ensure my knowledge as I worked through the specified procedures. Safety first! He would say with a goofy face and innocent smile with one finger pointing in the air upon any protest.

Fortunately, because of his deep concern I never experienced a serious lawn mowing accident.

In our long years together I have never known him write to anything- including love notes, in anything other than precisely sized and placed capital letters- much like the ones you would find in his logbook.

Once when sailing with my daughter and son-in-law, he was overcome with the thrill to teach and fully dressed- he unexpectedly jumped feet first into the deep, cold, lake water, and began acting in distress- while shouting out procedures on what to do in the instance of man overboard. This was my Larry.

He saw each experience, as a teachable moment, and it just made us love him more. He could fix anything, knew the ins and outs of all kinds of engines and mechanical devices and kept our cars, vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers, dryer, weed whackers and all things mechanical working. He excelled at repairing the tiniest of objects. And knew how to build almost anything and once built a mini helicopter with his brother and then flew it around the countryside for fun.

Larry was a man’s man. He was an accomplished drummer, an avid marksman, loved deep water diving, army jeeps and motorcycles, was a black belt in karate, also instructing in flying and sailing. He spent years successfully training previously untrainable dogs and loved animals of all kinds. One of his childhood friends tells a story of Larry coming upon a car accident where a pregnant mother deer had been struck. Larry quickly administered life saving CPR to the newborn doe- right along the roadside. He took it home and nursed it to health. He was a truly loving and compassionate human being, respecting all life.

For twelve years he was a volunteer firefighter, arson investigator and EMT. He understood smoke and fire- and if there were a plume in the distance as we were driving down the highway- he would begin explaining all the things he knew about the fire by the color of smoke and its other characteristics.

Being a first responder also meant he was frequently rushing out of family events to help someone- and we seldom got anywhere on time because if there was an accident, or someone broken down on the side of the road he always stopped to help. Just days before he was killed he spotted an older gentleman in distress as we waited in line at the bank. He quickly went to him, assessed him, and instructed bank management on what steps to take to get him the help he needed. He promised the man, and stayed with him until he was in good hands.

Larry was a patient, understanding, and loving father. Our daughter Chanda shared these remarks at his hometown memorial service:

My father was my role model, my protector, my confidant and most of all- my hero. One of my fondest memories of him was his reading me the Celestine Prophecies when I was 12 years old. It took many hours of bedtime reading to get through the book but the deep conversations we had and were able to share deepened our bond and helped shape my view and understanding of the world.  This is something he tried to do for everyone, to open their eyes to help them see the possibilities. I supported him in his career because I knew he found freedom in flight and gave back to every community he lived in. Whether in be in the frigid bush of Alaska, among the mountains of snow in North Dakota, or the blistery summers of Arizona, surrounded by the oceans of Hawaii, or his final resting place amongst the redwood trees in California– he found happiness with his job, love with his wife and peace with the world. The memory I will always hold closest to my heart is the day that I was able to tell him he was going to be a grandfather. He was so excited about the new life he was going to get to see grow up and teach all of the exciting skills he had up his sleeve. It was important to me that he be a part of my baby’s life. I loved him so very much and will miss him a great deal. He was he one I would call late at night to set things right- to seek advice, the one to which I shared good news is now gone. He left us as a hero, my dad, I love you. Thank you Chanda.

Our bouncing baby grandson was born five months ago. He’s cute as a button, the joy of our lives and already wooing the ladies with his full head of curly hair. We treasure him and look forward to the day when he will be old enough to be given his grandfather’s flag that was flown over the Nation’s Capitol in his honor.

Our son-in-law David recently shared these words. “Larry was like a second dad to me. Many of the things that made him special and who he was proved really inspiring to me. He was a role model in our community, continually serving and protecting- placing the needs of others above his own.  I can remember many occasions Larry helping out an elderly friend or neighbor. He taught me many lessons that will serve me well through out my life. He taught me patience. There are few people in this world that truly had the patience of a saint. Larry was one of these rarities. He knew it was okay to make mistakes and realized they were part of the learning process. He always believed in the best of people, helping them to maximize their potential. Larry was quick to laugh, slow to anger, and always ready to lend a helping hand. I will miss his wisdom, friendship and love he so freely gave. I believe his spirit will continue to live on, encouraging and supporting all those he knew. Thank you David.

Larry’s lifetime friend, Dr. K. Smith penned this beautiful story:

Larry walked up to me in the spring of our junior year in high school and said “hey, I’ve been watching you run every day and I was wondering if you would pace me so I can meet the qualifying time for the mile. I said “yea, that would be fun”. Those were the first words Larry and I ever exchanged and it was the beginning of a dear lifelong friendship. A friendship wherein we discovered that we loved playing music together, skydiving together, hang gliding together, and waiting all night to see Rush- close up to the stage together.

Oftentimes, we would stay up all night long talking about our lives and dream of what we would one day achieve together. Our dream took us many places and to many things. We built a band together- The Extremes we built a company together – Surgical Navigation, we owned a plane together – a twin Comanche- that Larry flew, taking us all over the United States- delivering the very first surgical navigation systems into hospitals— And finally we made an album together – Soul Flight, which captured the spirit of life that we shared. In living out our dream, our friendship became a true soul friendship. I miss you Larry and I love you deeply. Thank you Dr. Smith

Flight Nurse Randy Belcher shared these thoughts: I will always remember Larry as a great friend, trusted colleague and professional mentor. Larry was one of the few pilots I worked with that actually seemed to enjoy passing along information and being helpful with the inquiries. He was on top of the game and always ready to practice procedure and show me something new or different when it came to our work together. I always admired his professionalism and attention to detail.

Larry was always the guy that laughed at my stupid jokes and we appreciated one another’s quirky sense of humor and poor taste in movies. He was the person I could always talk to about almost anything at all, and even nothing at all. Larry was indeed ‘that guy’- the one that makes people wonder why the world works the way it does…. and conclude that perhaps this place was just too bad- for someone so good- to remain. They say someone isn’t ever really gone so long as they are remembered, and I can safely say that Larry will most definitely never truly be gone in the lives of many people- for a long time to come. Thank you Randy.

Chief Pilot, Herb Hess, had this to say about Larry- on his last glowing Employee Performance Review…” I have personally been contacted by co-workers expressing their confidence in Larry’s Airmanship. Larry has an extensive knowledge base, and above average experience level. He always performed his required job duties in an above average manner. He has a very positive attitude and an excellent working relationship with fellow employees. He is very diplomatic in handling conflicts at his base. Larry progressed from line pilot to base manager and company instructor. He has the potential to become management material.” Thank you Herb.

Shane Gerbert, aspiring pilot, flight service specialist and former co-worker- captures his memories with these words: “Captain Larry Mills was a lot of things to a lot of people-pilot, package handler, life saver. The person with whom you could bounce ideas off of while you loaded mail in the cold North Dakota winters. Of all the people I’ve met on the ramp, Capt. Mills remains one of the foremost people I’ve had in my mind when I think of the term “professional aviator”-no matter what the job, he’d get it done, with grace, with dignity, with a sense of humor and levity. It’s rare to find someone subject to odd hours, intense physical labor and extreme weather be so gracious day in and day out. Capt. Mills was a pilot’s pilot, one of the best aviation had to offerThank you Shane.

I would like to share a poem with you, it’s author is unknown.


You think I’ve gone, that I am dead, and life has lost its will,
But look around, I am right there, living with you still
I watch your tears, I feel your pain – I see the things you do
I weep as well, each time you cry, my soul, it lives with you

It gives such joy to hear you laugh, and do the things you do

And when you smile o’er by gone days, I smile right with you too
For we’re still one, just you and me, one mind, one soul, one being
Walking forward into life, though only you are seen

And in the stillness of the night, when the pain it really starts

Stretch out a little with your mind and draw me to your heart

For I am always right in there, always by your side

For you have been, all my life’s days, my joy, my love my pride.

And now in closing, I would like to ask all of you to stand and clasp hands together as we pay final tribute to Pilot Larry Mills. This song was recorded with his friend Kurt not far from where we stand today. Listen closely to the drums and you will hear the living, beating heartbeat of my husband.

(Song “One Spirit” from the album “Soul Flight” and the band “Wild Divine” plays here.)

Captain Larry Mills, YOU have been loved and we will NEVER forget.

Thank you.

 The following is the words I shared about my husband at his first, Brookings, Oregon Crew Memorial.

Other eulogies were filmed and shared, mine was not:

Captain Larry Mills, the pilot in this tragic accident, was my husband. Beside me is our daughter, her husband, and former crew members: Clinical Base Supervisor and Flight Nurse Cambria Hilgers, and Flight Nurses Hillary Smith, Bruce Lindholm and Aaron Downy.
 They were part of Larry’s crew for five years and love him as I do.

Larry was the love of my life, a good friend since early adulthood, my soul mate for a life time. He was not only a treasured husband and loving father, 
but was about to experience the beauty of his first grandchild. Larry was a kind and gentle man, generous to a fault, quick to smile and to offer a helping hand.

He loved quirky movies and books, sailing and karate.
 Larry loved animals and had a strong interest in solar energy.
 He was a fantastic drummer, and was once hired to work in a studio to perform on a CD. Larry was unique in his loyalty to his family, friends, co-workers and company. He loved flying, and he always said it was the only job in the world where he could Fly and do something he loved, while being in service to others.

Larry volunteered as a firefighter and EMT for over 12 years in his hometown. At various times throughout his life he taught flying, sailing, and karate. 
He was so very patient and kind, all of his students loved him.
 In fact, everyone who ever knew him loved him

And my sweet husband never had a bad word to say about anyone. Larry loved motorcycles, tanks, airplanes, jeeps, fatigues, and all things military. Because of his fair skin, if he wasn’t wearing his ball hat he would wear a wide brim hat which I always thought made him look particularly handsome.

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Once, Larry managed a race car in the pits at the Daytona 500, and was involved in the early development of a computer software bio-feedback game. He had an enormous passion for all animals, and animals of all kinds instantly loved him. He had a goofy sense of humor and was a very happy person. He was passionate about airplanes and flying
 and became a flight instructor early in his career.
 He was proud to have given several new Air Force pilots their initial training.

For several years he worked as a project manager thru an Army contract, directing formation rotorcraft flights; a test project in the service of the protection of our nation.

Captain Larry Mills perfected his craft over the skies of Alaska in a Beechcraft 1900, flying in and out of high traffic airports and remote airstrips throughout the state.

He flew mail under contract for the postal service, working midnights six nights a week with his day off at an outpost away from his family. 
He worked in everything from 20 below to 120 above temperatures, often in weather which included ice, snow & thunderstorms. Larry had several years experience as an air ambulance pilot in a King Air aircraft, flying hundreds of successful missions with his medical staff who he counted among his closest friends. He was well-respected by his former company,
 who offered him a company training pilot and lead pilot position which he excelled at.

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After Larry’s two months of initial training with Cal-Ore, we relocated our home so that Larry and I would become a part of the “Cal-Ore family”. We arrived at our new home on June 2, and this terrible tragedy happened to our family, his coworkers, a patient, his community and his company on July 29.

Most of Larry’s friends and co-workers do not know how two years ago, I became desperately ill and almost lost my life. It was Larry who waded through the struggles with me; he was willing to do anything, whatever he needed to do to help restore my health. He was there for me, working to pay my medical bills, helping me with household chores, and errands. He even learned to cook, which previously had been one of life’s mysteries to him.

A lifetime of love and marriage, is how I knew the heart and skills of my husband and soul-mate.
  I know in my heart and soul 
that in the moment of the greatest challenge of his lifetime, 
Captain Larry Mills placed his entire focus on what steps he needed to take in order to safely transport his patient and crew to their final destination.

My husband was more than just a 30 year experienced and exceptional pilot. He was a loving, giving human being. He helped save my life, and in a cruel twist of fate I am faced now faced with the loss of his.

Our daughter and I have chosen to look at our time with him as life’s precious gift. While his absence on earth leaves great chasms 
in our lives and in our hearts, he will always be with us in thought and spirit.

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I want everyone to know-my precious husband, Captain Larry Mills is a National Hero. He was a well-trained, highly respected pilot 
who was instrumental to his medical crew and saved 
untold number of lives. He is also my personal hero.

The answers we seek to this tragedy, will unfold if we all extend our patience, love, respect and gratitude 
for outstanding and exemplary service. 
My husband, Captain Larry Mills and his crew were real-life heros-
 and my hat is off to the courageous pilots, medical staff and ground crew, who continue this essential work even though their hearts are heavy.

With sincere gratitude, we would like to thank those who tirelessly searched, and to all who helped in any way, big or small throughout these last few days. Love and gratitude to The US Coast Guard, Cal Fire, Humbolt County Sheriff, California Highway Patrol, Humboldt Search and Rescue, City Ambulance, Arcata Ambulance, Green Diamond, and Arcata Fire.

Peace and love to my darling Larry-
and to his passengers Debra Kroon, Michelle Tarwater, and April. And to each and every member of their families. You will all remain in our thoughts, prayers and hearts forever.

UPDATE: Article in the Curry Coastal Pilot:


UPDATE: Article in the Del Note Triplicate:

NTSB Preliminary Report:






Home Hospital to Home Health Spa & Juice Bar; My Functional Medicine Patient Journey

When my healing journey began at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine twenty months ago I was in “crisis”. My doctor and I had our hands full trying to stop the cascade of autoimmune illness, leaky gut, insulin problems, weight and muscle loss, and the myriad of overwhelming symptoms I was grappling with.

After my first visit, I returned home to create a home hospital in effort to treat and recover from my illness. My kitchen counter was lined with innumerable supplements, my work table displayed stacks of home tests,  and my computer desk was littered with files and papers of my research I used to guide me through my illness.

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Aromatherapy diffusers and air machines were carefully placed throughout my living space. New spaces were created for Yoga and Meditation. My kitchen became a hula hoop and dance floor when I had the energy to get my lymph moving and amp up the exercise.

My kitchen and pantry were reinvented; plastics and hazardous cleaners were removed and replaced with homemade non-toxic ones. Water filtration was added plus a blender for smoothies, and later, a juicer for fresh vegetable juice. Organic Olive and Coconut Oil were in constant use.

My bathroom was overhauled with personal care products changed from toxic to organic and homemade. Epsom salts were kept in full stock. Chlorine filters were added to my shower and bath, and a dry skin brush and tongue cleaner was added.


Home Hospital was a discouraging sight. Tissue boxes, nausea bags, heating pads, Epsom salts,  castor oil, essential oils, supplements and spices…but I made it! I’m out of home hospital and into my new home health spa and juice bar! It now features an infrared sauna, hot tub without chlorine, and trusty treadmill, when weather does not permit an outdoor walk.

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If you are suffering from chronic illness, I am hoping I can be your inspiration to begin making changes in your diet, lifestyle and home environment. You too can find your way from illness to wellness. I feel great gratitude, and wish for you also, the blessings and good fortune to have these tools within your reach.

Check out my latest blog post on the infra-red sauna, be sure to check out all the links at the conclusion of the article.

Follow my healing journey from the beginning:

Join Functional Medicine Patient Community on Facebook:

More on my Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine Patient Journey


Dr. Jeffery Bland: Pleas to Retain Patient Centered Care in Functional Medicine

Dr. Jeffery Bland 

Pleas to Retain Patient Centered Care in Functional Medicine Evolution

I pay close attention to the changes that occur as the new Functional Medicine model grows and matures.  It is new to many people, different in the way that it promotes wellness instead of pharmaceuticals masking the symptoms of chronic illness. It asks the very important question “Why”. Why, is this person struggling? Why is this person exhibiting symptoms? It is the question “why” that saved my life. It is a whole new way of thinking in the medical industry. It puts patients in the seat of power. It is the patient in Functional Medicine who does 80% of the heavy lifting in the relationship. A Functional Medicine Doctor’s main role is that of a detective and educator.

Many people have worked tirelessly to bring this natural, systems biology knowledge approach to patients. It is a forward thinking, individualized, personalized, and patient centered care. My hat is off to the brilliant and dedicated people who have introduced a wellness approach that really works, and I am alive because of it. Functional Medicine an idea is born from sweat and tears, a seed of thought, encompassing the energy of many hopes and dreams, and Dr. Jeffery Bland has been there from the very beginning.

Follow my story from the beginning

Because it is a wellness approach, which has been proven to work; Functional Medicine practices are booming. Suddenly, those with an eye for commerce step in, and sometimes the new ideas and motives that arise are not as altruistic, and a few may be exclusively profit driven, or just totally lose patient focus. Progress in this field can be slowed, neutralized, or even reversed with inappropriate industry influence.

Watch Dr. Bland’s video about this issue:

 “the mission is all about fundamentally transforming health care where the patient remains at the center of the equation. Not the investment. Not the doctor. Not the insurance company. Not the pharmaceutical company…  but the patient.”

Dr. Jeffery Bland, July 15, 2016

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Close attention is warranted right now. What happens in the next few years will shape the future of Functional Medicine delivery, and could determine whether or not it flourishes, morphs into some watered down version of itself, or withers on vine from direct or sneak attacks and misinformation from rivals protecting their old money train within the existing establishment.

The IFM and Evolution of Medicine Shifts Partnership; News Release

Discerning the future of Functional Medicine is a bit tricky, but I try to stay tuned in as best as I can. So when the “original insider”, Dr. Jeffery Bland, whom many consider the father of “Functional Medicine”, voices the very same concern I have, I sit up and take notice.  You should too, as the future of Functional Medicine will determine the type of health care you receive in the future.

All of you, whether you subscribe to it’s values or not, will be influenced in your future treatment of whatever disease you encounter, by Functional Medicine.  And it will make a difference to your health, if your treatment options are limited by economics, patents, or diluted to the point of ineffectiveness.

I hope you will take a few moments to watch his video and be mindful of what Dr. Bland is saying. Check out the links at the conclusion of this article. You may feel as though it doesn’t matter one whit what the medical industry thinks of your opinion, and you may be right.  However, building a large patient community that does pay attention just might have some influence.  We won’t know unless we try.  So lets try!  Power and Good Health to Patients! We take our health into our own hands!

Join Functional Medicine Patient Community on Facebook

Dr. Jeffery Bland website

The Personalized Lifestyle Medicine Institute on Facebook (Dr. Jeffery Bland President)

On the web:

How Functional Medicine discovered the root cause of my illness

The IFM and Evolution of Medicine Shifts Partnership; news release






Functional Medicine Patient Loves The Infrared Sauna For Healing

This Functional Medicine Patient Loves The Infrared Sauna For Healing! I promised to tell you more about the suggestions for treatment from my Doctor at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, and I am excited to be able to share this news about the Infrared Sauna with you.

My genetic predisposition of certain pathways within my liver fails to allow for detoxification. This means I have to be a little more creative in order to eliminate toxins and reach my health objectives. I am already eating plenty of delicious detox foods like cilantro, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, cabbage and garlic. Still, additional steps need to be taken to force toxins like heavy metals out of my tissues. (Be sure to check out the link below for more information on detox foods to add to your diet!) 

One of the things my Functional Medicine Doctor suggested I try was an infrared sauna. It turns out that sweating is a great detoxifier, and oddly enough, something most of us try not to do! I never was able to sweat much, and thought it was a blessing I did not have to worry about body odor. I didn’t know why, and never thought much about it.  Now, I realize that I have been unlucky enough to have a whole life-time of toxins trapped in my body.  Yuk.

My FM Doctor suggested that some places rented Infrared Sauna time by the hour, but this type of therapy was not available anywhere near me. Now, due to a recent move, I was able to find one fairly near my home.

Again I have to say; This Functional Medicine Patient LOVES the Infrared Sauna! Twice now I have sat quietly inside the wooden box for an hour. It is very warm, but I don’t really mind the heat. And it makes me sweat, which is something I have never been able to do very easily. I pop out the other side feeling completely different; completely refreshed!

After each session my muscle pain is reduced, I feel relaxed, and my skin feels glorious! (What a fantastic bonus!) I am feeling noticeably better each time, so I do believe it is helping to clear the toxins from my body. Wow! Who would have thought that it could have such an immediate benefit!

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I felt so good, in fact, I went down to the beach for some “ocean therapy”.   I walked along and marveled at the beauty and power of it all around me.  An appreciation that, I’m realizing, often is the first casualty of poor health. It’s hard to marvel, when fighting a headache, or feeling debilitated by nausea, muscle and joint pain. It was so nice to feel like a kid again- as I explored the beach and became excited by each miracle of nature.

I highly recommend the infrared sauna for Functional Wellness. If you try it, be sure to take plenty of water. Coconut water is excellent for replacing electrolytes, so enjoy some of that too! I have included many links to articles that include more detail. Take a few minutes to check them out and learn the many reasons to give an infrared sauna a try! Be sure to FB Message me and let me know how the infrared sauna helped you reach your wellness goals!

Learn more about Functional Wellness; “Like” Functional Medicine Patient Community on Facebook

Learn more about How To Avoid Toxins; Important for Functional Wellness

Follow my Healing Journey From The Beginning

Benefits of the Infrared Sauna

Benefits of the Infrared Sauna for Cancer


Even More Information about the Infrared Sauna




Frontline of Functional Medicine; Patient & Health Coach Nurtures a Healing Community



 After listening to the Functional Forum wrap-up of the recent Institute for Functional Medicine Conference, I fully recognize Health Coaches are on The Frontline of Functional Medicine.

It became clear, (as they presented findings from a recent survey) that we cannot expect our FM Doctors to intimately guide us throughout our healing process. The guidance, support, and personalized education necessary will be delivered by a team, with patients fully supported via a functionally trained Health Coach.

Watch the IFM Conference Wrap Up Here


When I first arrived at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, my Doctor told me I was “in crisis”. This was not a surprise, as I was extremely thin, weak, unable to eat, with a myriad of debilitating symptoms; clinging to functional life. I had no idea the kind of journey I would be on, or the kinds of drastic changes I would soon be making in my life in order to achieve wellness.

I was a hard-working professional, a no-nonsense, corn-fed, highly stressed-out person with poor sleep habits, a ton of baggage, and a lifetime of bad habits. I had signed my living will and was without hope when I stumbled upon Functional Medicine. I am eternally grateful for their help and credit their approach to giving me my life back.

My doctor was, and is- fantastic, as was my nutritionist, but for long periods between visits, there were many changes that I realized I needed to make, yet required more guidance on. When it came to lifestyle changes, the advice was more generalized than I needed. There just wasn’t time to go in-depth on many of these subjects. So, I began a search to learn more….

I knew I must take my health and health education into my own hands. If I was to survive, I needed to accept responsibility and take charge of my wellness. My long trudge through the traditional medical system taught me that.

Despite being challenged with the symptoms of my illness and treatment, I began learning all I could. I enrolled in school and began class, just as my doctor uncovered my severe heavy metal poisoning- the “lightening to my storm” of autoimmune disease, cognitive challenges, and mitochondrial dysfunction. This delayed my wellness- but not my educational goals.

I first sought stress management techniques, and spiritual wellness. I embraced Aromatherapy and Essential Oils, Ayurveda (the grandfather of Functional Medicine), Meditation, Deep Breathing Techniques and Yoga. I learned about self-care, nutrition, and toxins. I gained insight from interacting with, and listening to, some of the most well respected and inspirational leaders of today.

 (See important links at the conclusion of this article.)


If there is one thing I have learned, it is this: Functional Medicine Patients are the kind of people who often think “outside of the box”. We are more likely to go our own way in life, and less likely to follow the masses. We are problem solvers, but our illness is hampering our ability to solve the problems we have the life skills to do. We have developed unhealthy patterns and are too distracted to recognize them. We become set in our ways and find change difficult. We require knowledgeable guidance, a healing community, to learn and talk about- not only about the big things, but the little things that add up and make a difference. We need a Professional Friend- A Health Coach- to walk beside us on our path.

This is one reason why I write this blog, tell my story, and feel it is important to nurture a community for patients to come together to share their successes, ideas, comments, questions, and disappointments. Free resources where we learn and heal together can be a real treasure island of PATIENT POWER!


In order to help myself and others on their healing journey, I have spent many long months earning my Health Coach Certification. Not only am I a patient, I am a person who deeply understands the kinds of challenges you are facing. I am now an IPE Certified Coach.

And to further enrich my knowledge, I have enrolled, and am currently studying under a practitioner and teacher, arguably the best of the best:  Andrea Nakayama, the founder of Holistic Nutrition Lab. I look forward to working and sharing with you- from the Frontline of Functional Medicine.

Insider Tips from the IFM Conference

Are you curious as to what the Institute for Functional Medicine was teaching Doctors at this years most anticipated conference? The three important things they were discussing this year… the three things doctors will be stressing to their patients…

Get more sleep. Don’t look at blue screens before bedtime. Sleep in a dark room. Don’t drink caffeine or sugar and expect to sleep.

Exercise more. Not crazy exercise- but get your blood pumping to get your lymph system moving (it’s the only way it pumps) take walks, swim, dance, hula hoop, whatever you find fun. Just move more and stop sitting all of the time! (Sitting is the new smoking!)

Reduce stress. Let me say that again. I don’t care who you listen to on this subject,  they all say the same thing: You must find a way to reduce your stress. The best way is to spend more time in nature, practice deep breathing, meditate, color, listen to music, do a craft, sing, or play a ukulele. Don’t spend all of your time in front of the T.V., Computer, or on your phone….

Join Functional Medicine Patient Community on Facebook

Join Functional Medicine Patient Community Organization: Drop me a FB message or e-mail with your name and e-mail address to join the Community. This way you won’t miss out on a single important tip!

Follow my story from the beginning

CHECK OUT THE HOME CARE KIT FOR FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE PATIENTS- a FREE resource for anyone to discover how to make healing choices and changes in their life.

Self-care tips

Oral Care tips

How to avoid toxins tips




Natural Medicine Must Remain Available To Us All

Time To Raise Our Voice; Natural Medicine Must Remain Available To Us All

It is estimated that 20 million Americans suffer from Thyroid issues. I am one of the many. People with Thyroid issues often go undiagnosed and suffer needlessly for years, like me. Once thyroid problems are discovered by your doctor, it is Synthroid (a synthetic hormone medication) that was, and is, the standard treatment.

I never ever felt well or balanced on Synthroid; and did particularly poor on the generic versions of this medication. I would read about other natural medicine treatments like Armour Thyroid, on the internet and asked my various doctors about them, but to no avail.  Traditional medical doctors refuse to listen to their patients on this matter. Our symptoms often fall on deaf ears. They have issued the standard protocol and they have nothing else to offer.

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It wasn’t until my first visit at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, that my doctor not only agreed I should try Armour Thyroid, he believed natural medicine was a better treatment. My thyroid balance and symptoms have been alleviated. All with a natural medicine.

Imagine my horror as I read the article below on Health Nut News, spreading the alarm that my precious medicine, which I and countless thousands of others rely on for good health, is being questioned by the FDA.

Please take time to read the article and ACT! Perhaps Thyroid problems are not your issue and you don’t feel compelled to take the time to call or write.  Someday soon, it will touch someone you love, and by lending your important voice to this issue now, you could impact the future of natural medications remaining available to us.

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 I encourage you to raise your voice, Power to the Patient!

Please take ACTION:

WRITE to the addresses below and SHARE to help spread the word!


WRITE THE Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services;

Join Functional Medicine Patient Community on Facebook:

 Learn how to stay healthy and avoid toxins in your environment:

 Follow my Healing Journey from the beginning:

 My story in this Natural Awakenings Magazine Article:





The Ukulele; A Healing Instrument for Functional Medicine Patients

The Ukulele; A Healing Instrument for Functional Medicine Patients

Discovering that the Ukulele is an Instrument of healing was entirely accidental on my part. I was deep in an ocean of illness when, on a whim, I asked for a Ukulele for Christmas. I’m not sure what gave me the idea, except I was looking for something to lower my stress, serve as a distraction to my symptoms, and be smaller than a guitar, making it easier for my hands to operate.

At the time, I had a little understanding of the Vagus nerve, the value of gargling (or singing) in healing, and the benefit it would provide my brain. I did understand the value of listening to music, but it wasn’t until I began playing and singing that I would understand the importance to my healing process. (Check out the interesting links about this at the conclusion of this article.)

I came to understand not only the power of healing in playing the instrument itself, but also the healing power of community. Quite by accident, I was introduced to the amazing members of the Jerome Ukulele Orchestra in Jerome, Arizona, and the rest, as they say, is history!

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The real beauty of the Ukulele as a healing instrument is: One can be purchased for as little as thirty dollars, you can learn it for free from youtube, have fun with your friends and family, and join up with a local community for instant friends. I believe the Ukulele provides a divine healing experience. You don’t need any kind of musical background to begin to play, do not need to know how to read music, and can learn to play over two hundred songs knowing only three cords. It is a fun way to heal and is good for your heart, soul, body, and brain.

I suggested to the Functional Forum it would be advantageous to share this exciting information with Functional Medicine Doctors. They, in turn, could suggest it to their patients. Just think… Functional Medicine Patient Ukulele groups could be in our future!

Read about my evening at the Functional Forum:

I recently attended a Ukulele Festival in Palm Springs, CA. I hoped to find people who were using the Ukulele for healing purposes. I was also in hopes of finding a Uke-playing friend closer to my home. This Ukulele Festival was held at a swank hotel, with rather “snooty” service and management. (They were not at all friendly to my restricted diet. In fact, the first rude response I have ever received to my diet requests happened later in this very hotel restaurant.)

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My husband joined in and we jumped into the event with both feet, making music and friends almost immediately. Such fun! (BTW, you may wonder what the non-playing spouse could possibly do during this time…The answer is to have them sing along! Much more fun!)

It was on the second evening of the event, while sitting in a circle, poolside, I began to share a song I had learned, and the story behind it. I have never shared this story on my blog before because it happened at the height of my illness. My father had been diagnosed with colon cancer and was in Hospice care for his last days on earth. I had tried to catch a flight to see him, but became too ill on the trip to the airport, and had to turn around and go home. I was distressed, and in an effort to comfort him and say good-bye, I learned to play a song on the Ukulele that my father and I had performed together in church once when I was a child. (My dad was a guitar player and fancied himself a Hank Williams.)

Anyway, I was very ill and had lost my voice control.  I was only able to croak out a version of the tune, “I’ll Fly Away.” I would call him up on the phone, my mother, or brothers would place it by his bedside and I would talk to him, play and sing. My father, determined until the very end to live, heavily medicated on morphine, began to sing along. Next, I made videos of myself playing (and I use this term loosely!) and singing other songs he knew, so he could listen when he felt like it, and sing along. My father lived for six more weeks with a totally blocked colon.

So as we sat around the circle, and I introduced my song and story, a woman began crying. After giving her a hug, she confessed she had spent years suffering from lyme disease and had just survived cancer. I had just discovered another person using the Ukulele as a healing instrument!

Next, a Hawaiian gentleman and his wife who had driven in from L.A. told us how he was now studying to be a music therapist, due to the repeated calls he received to bring comfort to those in Hospice care.

And just minutes later a man next to me shared the story of the illness of his son and the stress it had placed on the health of his family. Later, an elderly lady joined us, Carol, who had lost the majority of her eyesight. She could not see our music, so my husband grabbed a pen, wrote larger, darker letters for her, and she began to smile and joined in with her expert playing skills! What a joy! Another had found the power of healing with the Ukulele and community!

I know the idea of playing a Ukulele sounds strange, and some people might snicker at first when you say it; but playing the Ukulele has seen resurgence in popularity, and there are groups all over the country where people meet regularly to have fun, sing, play, and perform. I suggest for accelerated healing, you consider joining me in playing the Ukulele as a healing instrument!

I would be remiss if I did not tell you about the some of the awesome people I met at the Ukulele Festival who could help you get on your way to playing the Ukulele.


Emerald Bay Guitars: These gentlemen, Chris and David Taylor, were so helpful, kind and generous. They educated me on the difference between string choices, and demonstrated how to put on a string so I would know how to change them. They put on workshops where you can build your own Ukulele. They also offer step-by-step instruction! What a fantastic way to get introduced to the instrument! I will have to put attending one of their workshops on my ‘sooner vs. later’ bucket list!


Tyde Music: These awesome wood artists build beautiful Ukuleles that are almost too pretty to play! They also build drum boxes, and we made sure to pick one up for my husband. All the love that went into making the instrument really shows, and my husband loves playing it. I shared my mission with them (promoting the Ukulele as a healing instrument), and they understood and loved the idea. If you want a beautiful Ukulele, get in touch with this awesome bunch of young entrepreneurs.

The Strum Shop: The owner Dan Elliott was the go-to man at the festival, quiet and unassuming, he was always there, working hard, helping with sound or whatever was needed. He did a magnificent job of playing an awesome and unusual stand up base at the final concert. His wife “held down the store” and I was able to visit with her several times through the event. A happy and awesome lady, she makes her own Ukulele straps and sells them through several outlets. She loves sharing the fact her straps are made in the U.S.A. I purchased one of her designs and was so pleased with it. I am a small person and usually have trouble finding a strap that will adjust to fit, but hers fit perfectly, was comfortable to wear, making playing easier.

A special thanks to fellow Uke performer and festival volunteer Alyssa, who was key in making the event an awesome experience!

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At the festival I participated in the boot camp class with Craig Chee. What an artist! Visit for online lessons and more!

I loved a class in clawhammer and picking with Arron Keim.  Be sure to check him out on youtube:

Playing the Ukulele is an awesome healing experience. Give it a try! Be sure to see all of the great links below!

My healing journey from the beginning:



Other stories of people who have found healing with a Ukulele:

Heal your brain with the Ukulele:

Learn about the healing power of music:

Learn about the vagus nerve:

Vagus nerve and healing:


Functional Forum Welcomes Functional Medicine Patient Community

Functional Forum Welcomes Functional Medicine Patient Community

Not every Functional Medicine Patient gets excited about the idea of attending a Functional Forum event. However, my approach to wellness includes learning everything humanly possible about my condition. As a patient, this knowledge makes it easier to stick with the necessary, yet difficult, changes in diet and lifestyle.

As a budding health coach, the Functional Forum (who is leading the charge in educating practitioners) consistently brings forth new information and ideas. Their broadcasts often offer me the tools and information I need to better understand how to heal myself, and offer informed leadership to the patient community.

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Why do I believe the information Functional Forum shares is essential for patients?

Though intrigued by alternative and natural healing, I wasted decades slogging through the traditional medical system. I watched my friends and family face constant illness, seeking drugs, and surgery, yet never knowing true wellness. They look to someone else to solve their health problems, believe the doctor can “do no wrong”, or make any mistake. They would never, EVER, consider it was their diet, lifestyle, or environment contributing to their health issues- and instead, wear their diagnosis like a badge of honor. They love the pill solution for every problem.

All of their tests, treatments, pharmaceuticals and surgeries- I would argue – did not, has not, and will not restore their health. 

They thought I was crazy when I signed up with the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, and told them I would be traveling to obtain good health care- and how I would be using food as my medicine. I had tried their “medical mill”. Despite their protestations and lack of support I knew if I was going to live- I would have to “step outside of the box”. I was searching for the solutions, guidance, and knowledge to heal myself.

If you are new to my story, you can follow it from the beginning:

Or, check out this article from Natural Awakenings Magazine, Lisa Marshall interviews me, Dr. Kara Fitzgerald, Dr. Mark Hyman and Dr. Jeff Bland:

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It was my search for healing solutions that first brought me to the Functional Forum, and its leaders- James Maskell, and Gabe Hoffman. I watched practically every video and listened to every podcast they produced. Each broadcast featured experts from the Functional Medicine, Integrative, Holistic and Naturopathic realm. It was (and is) the equivalent of attending a college class every time a program hits the web. I would tell you how fantastic the speakers were- but I encourage you to watch and see for yourself:

The Functional Forum is leading the charge and sounding the alarm to Doctors all across the world. The Functional Medicine systems approach works for discovering the root cause of illness. Every Doctor needs to make sure they have these skills in their “tool kit”, if they want to be a true healer and stem the “Tsunami of illness” rapidly approaching.

I had spoken with James Maskell a few months earlier about a way to bring awareness of Functional Medicine, and services to needed areas by way of a Bus. I first brought this idea to Dr. Mark Hyman and also shared it with Dr. Deepak Chopra, a colleague of James. You can read about this part of the story by visiting the links below:

When I learned the next Functional Forum event was rolling out of New York and into Boulder Colorado for a live broadcast: Gut Health: The Root of Evolved Medicine- with  Marc David, Sayer Ji, and Dr. Jill Carnahan presenting; I began packing a suitcase. (lol) I previously lived in Boulder- at a time when my husband and I were helping a friend develop the Healing Rhythms project. We had not visited our old home in more than a decade.

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This event provided a good opportunity for me to speak with James Maskell and see how the bus idea was coming along- and possibly meet my health coach teacher, author and mentor, Marc David. Best of all, this event was the perfect opportunity for me to discover how to bring the power of the Functional Medicine Patient Community together with the leaders in Functional Medicine.

Boulder is a fantastic town for a Functional Medicine Patient. Many of the restaurants feature organic farm-to-table menus. I really enjoyed being able to go out to dinner and feeling great afterwards. If you are ever in Boulder, Colorado I highly recommend a little place on the Pearl Street Mall known as ‘Shine.’

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The Functional Forum event was a delightful experience overall. I was able to meet with James Maskell and Gabe Hoffman of the Functional Forum, Sayer Ji- founder of MedGreenInfo, and both of my teachers and mentors; Marc David of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating and Andrea Nakayama of Holistic Nutrition Lab. It was glorious to be in a room of like-minded people.

The Community and I would like to offer a very special thanks to James Maskell and Gabe Hoffman of the Functional Forum. Blessings and thanks to all of the wonderful attendees who made this patient, budding health coach and Functional Medicine Patient Ambassador feel welcome.

Power to the Patients, in the Future of Medicine!

Join the Functional Medicine Patient Community:

Functional Medicine Patient Community on Facebook:

Check out the Functional Forum:

The Functional Forum was kind enough to include Functional Medicine Patient Community in the Boulder event photos on their Facebook page:

Check out the Home Care Kit for Functional Medicine Patients:






How to Avoid ToXins; Home Care Kit for Functional Medicine Patients

Learn How to Avoid ToXins; Home Care Kit for Functional Medicine Patients

For the third installment of the Functional Medicine Patient’s Home Care Kit I will be sharing important details about toxins. It is important you know where they are hiding in your food and personal care products- and learn how to reduce your exposure.

Since heavy metal poisoning is one of the issues I have been facing, I have much to say on this subject. It bugs me knowing there are over 100,000 chemicals approved for commercial use in the United States: 9,000 Food additives, 3,000 cosmetic ingredients, 1,000 active ingredients in pesticides, 3,000 pharmaceutical drugs and 82,000 industrial chemicals. These chemicals are wrecking our health.

According to contributing Doctors from Harvard, Mt. Sinai Medical Center, and the University of Wisconsin, reporting in the New England Journal of Medicine: “GM crops are now the agricultural products most heavily treated with herbicides, and two of these herbicides may pose risks of cancer.” This is just one example, and doesn’t even comment on the spray being used on the GMO seed crops, or the spray used as a ripening agent- get this, even on some organic products.

I am also dubious of the term “acceptable amounts”, since I personally suffer from toxicity from a chemical in personal care products. One of the best things we can do for ourselves is to be aware of toxins and to practice avoidance as a health measure. Think of it as your most affordable health insurance.

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I don’t want you to “freak out” on this information, my hope is that you grow with awareness and practice a good avoidance plan. There are toxins in the air, in our water, in our food, in our homes and in most products we use. There are deadly toxins most dentists introduce into our mouths, as well as well as some introduced in traditional medical tests. I personally suffer from toxins as a result of medical testing procedures- before I was a Functional Medicine patient. I am sure you have unwittingly been exposed to many of these also. (Be sure to detox!)

Below you will find links that contain important information on these toxins. Take time to go through and read this information, as it is a key component in your healing. It’s easy to practice avoidance- just by being aware.

Below, discover articles on toxins in our food and environment, plastics in our homes, mercury, mold, and other fungi and algae, toxins in our cleaning and personal care products, safe cookware, how to avoid EMF’s and how to make your own safe, organic cleaning and personal care products.

I know this is scary stuff, but well worth the investment in time it will take to wade through this material. To follow my story and other important non-toxin related information see the links at the conclusion of this article. Stay well and toxin-free my Functional Medicine Patient Friends!

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 The Truth about Roundup

Learn about toxins in your food and environment

Toxins in processed food

Dangerous toxins to avoid in your food

How to live healthy in a toxic environment

Nine steps to perfect health: Don’t eat toxins

Out of the Lab and onto our Plates

Toxins harming our Brains

How to remove some toxins from your food

Learn more about oral toxins: Store-bought mouthwash, toothpaste and fluoride toxins in our oral care products. See Oral Care; Home Care Kit for Functional Medicine Patients at


Why you should always filter your water

Why you should always avoid fluoride



How do I find organic food and products?

How do I shop for non-GMO foods?


Safest cookware options

Non-stick cookware dangers

More reasons to ditch your Teflon–pfoa

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How toxic are your cleaning supplies?

Are household cleaners harmful?

Cleaners to avoid at all cost

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What chemicals should you look out for in your personal care products?

Do you know what’s in your shampoo?

Dangers of hair dye

Ingredients found in body care products

Know this about skin care products

Dangers in your lipstick


How to make your own skin care and hair care products

Toxins in your nail polish

Do you know what is in your nail polish?

Toxins in nail polish remover

Best non-toxic nail polish options



 Natural cleaning tips

How to make your own homemade cleaners

Homemade laundry soap

Non-toxic dryer sheets

Personal care products recipes

Homemade personal care products

Non-toxic deodorant

Hair color alternatives (at the conclusion of the article)



Dangers of Plastics

Dangerous ingredients in plastic 

Dangers of aluminum foil

Plastic Alternatives

Indoor air pollution; problems and solutions

Detoxify your kitchen

Detoxify your bedroom

Dangers of cash register receipts

Dangers of plastic coffee lids



Mercury in fish

Safe fish to eat

Mercury silver fillings

(See the Oral Care link below to learn how to safely remove silver fillings)



 Signs of mold illness

The truth about Mold

How to safely remove mold

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Primary sources of toxic EMF”s

The negative effect of electromagnetic fields

Biological effects of EMF’s

Dangers of microwave ovens

How to lower your EMF exposure



Toxins from Fungi and Algae

Aflatoxins- often contaminates corn (maize) and other crops during harvest, production, processing, or storage. It is known to cause acute and chronic liver injury and liver cancer. They are considered “unavoidable” contaminants in the U.S. food supply and are especially found in corn and peanuts.

Vomitoxin (deoxynivalenol), diacetoxyscirpenol, and T-2 and HT-2 toxins affect up to twenty-five percent of the world’s grain.

Saxitoxin and neosaxitoxin- produced by several different species of marine and blue-green algae, as well as fresh water algae. When these organisms are clustered in high concentrations, they build up in filter-feeding shellfish, such as clams and oysters. Paralytic shellfish poisoning is a severe form of poisoning causing paralysis and death if left untreated.

The dangers of soy

Part one:

Self Care; Home Care Kit for Functional Medicine Patients

Part two:

Oral Care for Functional Medicine Patients

Read my interview along with Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Jeffery Bland, and Dr. Kara Fitzgerald in the Natural Awakenings Magazines January 2016 feature article:

Follow my story from the beginning


 Join Functional Medicine Patient Community

 Join Functional Medicine Patient Community on Facebook











Oral Care; Home Care Kit for Functional Medicine Patients

Oral Care; Home Care Kit for Functional Medicine Patients

As the second installment for the Home Care Kit for Functional Medicine Patients, today’s topic is everything you need to know about oral care. You’ve been led to believe that oral care isn’t directly connected to your overall health, and that standard dental procedures and products are safe. You may be asking, “Why should my doctor care as much about my mouth as my dentist? Below, through links and stories, I will answer your questions. This is critical, need to know information. It will help you greatly on your healing journey.


Oral microbiome refers to the bacteria living in our mouth. We all know we have bacteria in our mouths but up to now, we often believed eliminating mouth bacteria was smart. Now, researchers have realized how vitally important the health of your mouth is because of its impact on your gut. In fact, the health of your oral microbiome is probably just as important as the health of the bacteria in your gut!  (Don’t you dislike the word gut?)

Anyway, this is where your immune system lives, digestion begins, and for us patients, it means an important part of healing that cannot be ignored. I’ll leave it up to an expert to explain it more clearly to you. Click the link below to learn more about the oral microbiome:



Now you know how important it is to maintain good oral care, let’s talk about how to achieve a healthy mouth. Begin by throwing out any toothpaste you purchased in a typical store. Unless you bought it at a health food store, (and check your ingredients closely then too) I am sure you will discover it contains ingredients that are extremely toxic to your health.

Perhaps you have heard about how dental students discovered micro-beads underneath their gums. These little plastic balls were included in many toothpastes and skin care products as a selling point. Think about it for the full five seconds this should take, and then find any products containing “micro-beads” and throw them out.

Also, in many toothpaste products you will find FD&C blue dye number 2. The Center for Science in the Public Interest warns against it as it may be related to various behavior and learning issues, severe allergic reactions, and other health problems.

Many types (or more likely all) of the toothpaste you pick up at a discount store will be made in China, and this could be a real problem. Perhaps you may recall the road paint used to color bootleg Advil some years back, or the plastic chemical used for baby formula. Now we are hearing about plastic rice. Even assuming the ingredients listed are actually the ones inside, you may be surprised to find out what that means. In toothpaste, for instance, you will find Sodium lauryl sulfate. This is also added to many shampoos.

The American College of Toxicology says it causes irritation, skin corrosion, and canker sores. In animal experiments, it led to diarrhea, depression and death. Triclosan, which is included in toothpaste as a anti-microbial ingredient, is officially listed as a PESTICIDE and is used in over the counter hand soap and toothpaste. The Environmental Protection Agency has demanded more research on this ingredient because of its negative effects on estrogen and thyroid levels.


Though only the tip of the iceberg, this should be enough information to help you realize you need to ditch your toothpaste, and begin using healthier options. So check out the links below to learn more.


 Make your own healthy toothpaste

 Naturally heal cavities

Naturally heal gum disease


Oil pulling for oral health (I’ll include a link here; see the post on self-care for instructions)

 Tongue cleaning (I’ll include a link here; see blog post on self-care for instructions)

 You can buy a tongue scraper here



In all of my talk of toxins in toothpaste I want to make sure to mention the poison of poisons: FLOURIDE. I hope you are filtering fluoride out of your water and not using a floss or toothpaste product that contains fluoride. If you somehow still feel as though introducing a heavy metal waste product to our drinking water is wise, please check out the following link:


Sometimes, we just can’t win. Remember above how important oral microbiome is?  It now appears that using commercial mouthwash and eliminating mass numbers of bacteria in your mouth by using an alcohol-based rinse, is like “taking a flamethrower to your garden to eliminate the weeds. What grows back can be an even bigger problem.” The germs, it turns out, live under your gum line, so your mouthwash isn’t getting to the real problem anyway. But, after swigging your mouthwash, those nasty unwanted bugs begin growing back even more quickly. Meanwhile, the mucous shield that protects your teeth has been stripped away, and you have killed off any healthy bacteria that were there to help you, leaving the bad bugs a sterile field, with no competition, in which to thrive.



Be sure to use a pure healthy salt and pure water

Start with a lesser amount of salt and add a little more until you feel you have an effective rinse

Mix the salt and water together and use the same way you would a traditional mouthwash

Sip a bit of the mixture and hold it in your mouth swishing it against the gums

Swish through the rest of your mouth more vigorously

Swish the salt water in your mouth for around thirty seconds and then spit, repeat

This will freshen your mouth and help remove buildup on the teeth and gums

I enjoy using a drop of peppermint essential oil in my salt water mixture



What is a Holistic Dentist


If you have been following my story you will know that one of the root causes of my severe medical issues was Mercury, or in other words- Toxic Metal Poisoning. Poorly sealed, and then poorly removed silver fillings caused this. If your dentist is telling you silver fillings are safe in your mouth, fire him and look for a dentist who practices holistic care. I have heard experts exclaim that you should not even be inside a dentist’s office that provides silver fillings, since the mercury vapors in the air are so hazardous to your health.

Why Mercury fillings are bad

Dr. Hyman explains how to have fillings removed


Use a little peppermint essential oil on your dental floss for added benefits, or new advice suggest you use an oral irrigator:

Benefits of peppermint oil


Why use an oral irrigator



 Follow my story from the beginning

 Read my story in Natural Awakenings Magazine January 2016 feature article


Use the information in this home care kit for functional medicine patients to improve your oral health and long term wellness. If you missed the first installment of the ‘kit’ series follow the link below to get caught up:

Self Care; Home Care Kit for Functional Medicine Patients

How to Avoid Toxins; Home Care Kit for Functional Medicine Patients


 “LIKE” Functional Medicine Patient Community on Facebook

Stay well and toxin free my friends,

Your Functional Medicine Patient Ambassador and Health Coach - Trina Mills


Self Care; Home Care Kit for Functional Medicine Patients

 Self Care; Home Care Kit for Functional Medicine Patients

A Functional Medicine Doctor recently asked: “What kind of care kit can we create for our patients so they can take this lifestyle home?” I am dedicating this blog post to the first installment of a “Functional Home Care Kit”. And today’s topic is one I have personally discovered to be a very important component of healing. Self-Care.

I must admit that before I became a Functional Medicine Patient, I was totally unaware of this term or any practices it represented. I was a busy mom, student, wife, business owner, and was always making sure someone else or some other thing was taken care of. Years went by without my taking the time to do simple things for myself. My life was a constant battle with stress, and I realize now I was often starved for sleep, fat and protein deprived, dehydrated and undernourished.

If there is only one thing you can do to improve your health or healing, it’s this; take more time for yourself. Realize that you can’t take care of anyone or anything else well, until you have taken care of your own needs. You must reduce stress. Find a way to give this gift to yourself. You will find simple things can bring great pleasure and relaxation into your life. These changes can make for abundant self-healing. Practicing self-care works for me and countless others, it will help you on your road to wellness too.

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I’ve added some information and links below to get you started. Be sure to check them out and try to add something new each day. Oh, and if you aren’t familiar with my story, follow this link to learn about my Functional Medicine Journey from illness to wellness.

Read my story, learn more about Functional Medicine in this month’s Natural Awakenings Magazine feature article:

Join the Functional Medicine Patient Community

Learn how to join this Functional Medicine Patient Community Organization: (It’s free to join!)

“Like” FMPC Facebook Page for community support and important patient information:


In our busy lives self-care means giving yourself love and attention before you give it to others.  Realize how important you are and give yourself the love for your body, mind and spirit. Self- care means doing important things for you, which will improve your overall health and well-being. It is developing lifestyle practices that will feel good now and benefit you later.

As you will learn, neglecting self-care is serious, and can eventually become a physically debilitating condition. Your body and soul demands attention, and you will be robbed of a healthy future if you ignore its warning signals. The steps outlined below should be among the first lifestyle changes you make as you begin your healing journey. Remember, it is important to schedule time for yourself.

There is also a spiritual element to self-care: it involves devotion to our soul and is directing holy attention to the unique gifts we bring to the world. It all boils down to attention, connection and ritual. Healing self-care also means re-connecting with your spiritual side.

Self-care is not overly indulgent self-pampering. It is choosing habits and behaviors that balance the effects of emotional and physical stressors. This includes regular exercise, eating clean, organic real food, avoiding GMO’s and packaged foods, getting enough sleep, good oral care, giving up sugar, pursuing creative endeavors, practicing stress relieving techniques such as deep breathing, meditation or yoga, dancing, singing, playing an instrument, listening to music. It is choosing behaviors which feed your body and soul. Luckily, you don’t have to start all this at once; you can ease into them- one small change at a time.

Self-Care Explained:


 Tongue Cleaning:

Video about how to clean your tongue:

Oil Pulling:

Dry Brushing:

Coloring to Reduce Stress:


Nostril Breathing:


Self-Care Tips for Moms:

Take a Soak with Epsom Salts:




Get Out and Enjoy Nature:

Art, Music and Healing:


Everything You Need to Know About Stress and Health:

So relax, take some deep breaths. This is your chance to justify some pampering, and begin to see yourself as the awesome person you are.  It is time to realize that you have value, and you are worth the investment in time and effort that healing your mind and body will take.  Remember, as a Functional Medicine Patient 80% of the responsibility of healing is yours.

Part Two: Oral Care; Home Care Kit for Functional Medicine Patients:

Part Three: How to Avoid Toxins; Home Care Kit for Functional Medicine Patients

Enjoy the journey!

Wishing you speedy healing,

Your Functional Medicine Ambassador and Health Coach- Trina Mills






Functional Medicine Patient Community; Created by Patients for Patients

Please join together with me to grow this community ‘created by patients for patients’: The Functional Medicine Patient Community. This is your opportunity to heal, learn and grow with like-minded friends.

Most people don’t realize how Functional Medicine has moved into the mainstream. Government and Medical professionals realize there is a health care crisis happening all across the country and the current healthcare system is not working. The old-fashioned way of giving a drug to suppress symptoms, yet never actually solving the problem, is no longer sustainable. There are a growing number of people throwing money and hope at symptom suppressing/side-effect causing drugs and other ‘heroic medicine’ measures. These appear to have diminishing returns for the individual and country as a whole as it relates to disease conditions in the body.

Thank goodness, Functional Medicine has been chosen to lead the charge in resolving this crisis. Soon, people all across the country will have access to healthcare that works!

Functional Medicine is so very different for the patient. Gone will be the days when you see your doctor- attempting to describe your symptoms and distress in your seven-minute visit. The new way is to involve you in your own health care. A Functional Medicine patient is responsible for 80% of their healing, the doctor only 20%. Your Functional Medicine doctor is your guide, but you are your own healer. The Functional Medicine Model is new, evolving and changing. Soon, health coaches will be playing as an essential aid to the Functional Medicine Doctor, and group patient visits will become standard. No worries, FMPC will help you keep up with the changes.


The healing solution is much closer than many realize, and may, in fact, seem too good to be true. You already know all of this: Eating well, drinking enough water, sleeping in a natural rhythm, discovering the happiness and pleasure in your life, taking your supplements as necessary, reconnecting with the sun and the earth, joyous movement, a powerful connection with the Universe, avoiding toxins and finding a way to resolve your stress on a regular basis.  These are all things we know we either need, or should want in an ideal life, and I hope everyone is  striving towards.

Another important ingredient to good health is the healing power of community. This may seem obvious in society and religion, but what about in your personal health?  We’ve been brought up to feel that health is a private matter and not something discussed except in hushed tones and expressions of pain under our breath. That too, is an outdated model detrimental to all of our lives. We need love and community to fully heal.


Trina Mills, Patient & Founder FMPC

So..That’s where FMPC comes in. As patients on the forefront of a changing medical system, we can help to educate, support, and have a voice for our own community. We have the opportunity to shine the light on how the systems approach Functional Medicine follows- works. It will help untold numbers of people live happier, healthier lives, and possibly avoid the suffering that many of us have faced as we searched for answers to our health questions.

The domain will at present lead you directly to my QuirkyGirlz site. Here, I will build a link for information regarding the community. I will also be sharing this information on my Functional Medicine Patient Community Facebook Page.


I hope to begin on a new website dedicated specifically to the community this Summer. Until then, as we grow, learn and heal together, I would like to ask you to e-mail me at and let me know you would like to become a member of this growing community. We can do this! I can’t wait to hear from you and I am excited about this adventure we are embarking on together.

I’m working on a couple of projects I could use your help with. The first I will propose to you today: Patient Home Care Packet. This is what I would like for the membership to create together. Recently on a Functional Forum event, a question was posed by a prominent Functional Medicine Doctor suggesting that a problem they needed to solve was: “What kind of care kit can we create for our patients so they can take this lifestyle home?” I submit that who better to say what needs to go into a patient home care kit- than patients?

QUESTION: What kind of information or support would you have liked your doctor to send home with you?

Please read my outline below before submitting your suggestion. Thank you in advance for your participation. Comment on the blog below, visit Facebook and post your comments there, or e-mail me at the above address with your suggestions. I would like to incorporate them into a document created for the Functional Medicine Patient Community Website. One thing we can do is to create information to help patient’s life be easier.

Find support with people going through food and lifestyle changes just like you. Patients helping Patients. Please consider joining Functional Medicine Patients today!

**Your Functional Medicine Patient Ambassador and Health Coach, Trina Mills

This question was posed on the Functional Forum: “What kind of care kit can we create for our patients so that they can take this lifestyle home?” 

A Functional Patient Guide to Healthy Living:

Home Care Kit for Functional Medicine Patients

Self Care

Information on what self-care means and the benefits gained from its daily practice. Ten proven ways to create time for better self-care. Steps to improve self-care when raising children or working long hours.

First article in the series is now published- Self-care:

Oral Microbiome

A link with information to a local holistic dentist trained in properly removing silver fillings. Why fillings need to be properly removed. Information on oil pulling, tongue cleaning, how to use oral essential oils and why pro-biotic toothpaste may improve their health. The dangers of commercial toothpaste and mouthwashes currently available on store shelves. Recipes for homemade toothpaste and mouthwash using coconut oil, baking soda, herbs and essential oils. Important steps for good oral care. A list of safe oral care products.

Published 2nd in the series:


List of plastics, products and other toxic ingredients to remove from the home and why. How to avoid common toxins and effective ways to detox on a regular basis. List of most dangerous products to be aware of. Signs your body is giving you that you may need to detox.

Recipes for basic home personal care and home care products or links to websites who excel at this information. (Dr. Axe) List of commercially produced safe personal and home care products.

Information on the dirty dozen and why GMO’s and packaged foods are bad for you.

Published third in the series:

A website resource that would offer patients information on why a particular test is ordered by their doctor, what kind of results would be expected, in what ranges labs numbers would be expected. What numbers mean outside of this range. This resource would also be available so that an individual may look up a supplement or medication they have prescribed. What this supplement is designed to help within the body, or how it will improve their condition.

Food Basics

A video or links containing basic tips on preparing and cooking vegetables and fish. Menu ideas that are without gluten, sugar, and dairy or are most likely to be included in the standard detox diet. A list of basic tools needed in the kitchen and how to use them. Resources to learn to cook and prepare healthy food, how to create a setting for a relaxing meal. Ways to find pleasure when you are dining alone.

How to juice, how to make a smoothie.

The importance of pre and probiotic. Information about pre-biotic foods and how to make and include them in your diet. When and how much is good to include.

A list of stores local to the doctor’s patient area that sell fresh, healthy, organic food. A list of foods and when they are in season. Information on a few healthy herbs and spices and how they are used in cooking. Online resources such as Thrive, VitaCost and fresh food delivery services. Dates and addresses to local farmers markets and health food stores.

List of local restaurants who prepare organic whole foods, gluten-free menus, dairy free options. Local groups who support and practice a healthy eating lifestyle.

How to read produce stickers to ensure you are buying organic. The different terms such as “natural” and “fat-free” used on labels and what they really mean.

Seeds, why they are good for you how to use them in your diet.

Local sources for farm fresh eggs, grass raised poultry and beef, wild fish, how to obtain organic beef bones for broth, where to locate raw dairy products.

Oils & Salts

The difference in cooking oils and which oils are best used for which purpose. The importance of EFA’s in our diet. How and where to purchase the purest oils, salts and spices.


Foods that contain sugar. How flour is sugar to your body. Various forms of sugar, dangers of sugar substitutes and common names used for them on labels. How to look for hidden sugars in everyday products you may be using. Why blood sugar and steady insulin levels is so important to health.


Information to guide a patient to how much water a person should drink and reasons why they should remember how important it is to hydrate. How to obtain the purest drinking water. Distinctions in bottled water and water filtration products.


Tips on how to purchase a quality supplement, things to avoid when purchasing supplements. Supplement manufacturer recommendations.

Address Stress

A video or link to a demo on Tai Chi, Yoga, Chair Yoga, Dance, Meditation, Dry skin brushing. Coloring pages and a guided meditation app for iPhone or a link to an app or online option. Explanation of deep breathing and how it works. The benefits of Epsom salts and detox bath recipes. Links to soothing artists and music. Simple art projects to try at home. Memory games.


A list of things local patients can do to get out in nature. Example: a list of parks, zoos, outdoor mini-golf, tennis, walking or biking trails, local community events. Encourage volunteerism, a list of volunteering opportunities within the local community. The benefits of walking and exercising in nature. Ways to ground yourself. How exercise is important to the lymph system. Learning they are the pump of health to their body.


Suggestions on how to obtain a more restful sleep, how to unplug- why they should unplug from blue light. Safe use against cell phone, wi-fi etc. dangers. A list of houseplants good to have in the home to reduce indoor pollution, information about home air filtration units.

Essential Oils

Basic information on helpful applications and uses of essential oils. Information on how to locate pure essential oils.


How to use the information they may learn from a fit bit or iPhone device to help reach their health goals. What information they should share with their doctor.

Soul Food

Material resources or suggestions on how to heal relationships, forgiveness and how to discover one’s life purpose. Finding the positive in life, positive quotes, and inspirational people to learn from. (Chopra)  A list of churches and spiritual centers in their area. Drumming circles, moonlight walks and hayrides, bird watching groups, local singing and theater groups, ideas to stir connections with nature. List of groups to help a patient find a way to give back in their community while becoming more engaged in it.


The basics of growing food in the local area. Links to more resources for growing food in pots on patios to using food in your landscaping, growing various gardens in small spaces. How to grow and use fresh herbs.

Support Services

Why a massage or acupuncture treatment may prove beneficial. Links to local services or businesses that serve to empower and improve the health and pleasure of patients.

Suggestions of books, websites and other videos and reading material that serve to empower patients and create opportunities for ultimate wellness. (Dr. Hyman’s, Deepak Chopra, Sara Gottfried, Dr. Wayne Dyer)

A list or link to upcoming educational, music and art events in the area. Educational programming beneficial to patients on PBS channels.


Suggestions on how to change unhealthy habits into healthy ones. Easy places to begin on the road to healthier lifestyle practices.

Health Coach

Explanation of how a health coach can help them to stay on track and achieve their wellness goals.

Patient Community for Support (blog) & Functional Medicine Patient Community; Facebook


To the Moon and Back; Love and My Functional Medicine Journey

I was listening to some mellow music tonight when a song by Willie Nelson and Dolly Patron came on, taking me back to a very dark time, just a year ago: The memory of sharing an earphone with my husband in the local hospital waiting room, my body temperature regulation so poor, lacking muscle and body fat, dressed in layers, and wrapped in multiple blankets, and still chilled to the bone.

Waiting for a test in my local hospital, before I found Functional Medicine.

Waiting for a test in my local hospital, before I found Functional Medicine.

I had put music in my ears because I could hear other patients in the nearby rooms and feel their distress like it was my own. I closed my eyes and turned up the music.

With my digestive system in shambles, I had taken another step on the treadmill of the medical mill by visiting  a G.I. doctor who ordered an ultrasound of my abdomen.

As I sat freezing and scared, the song ‘From Here To The Moon and Back’ came on my headset. I leaned over and placed one of the earplugs in my husbands ear. He hugged me as we listened to it together, and both began to cry.


It had already been a very long, scary, expensive road for us. We felt lost, desperate and clueless. My health was degrading by the day, and it seemed none of the physicians I visited took me seriously. I felt like a cow being shuffled down the chute with all the other cows. It was a most distressing feeling: not knowing what to do. We had already discussed my end of life wishes and I had begun teaching him all of the things I had always taken care of. We both believed that my time on earth was short. And this, I found, is not an easy thing to face, this knowing you’re knocking on death’s door, but not knowing why.

Thankfully, it’s all a distant memory now. I found Functional Medicine, they got to the root cause of my problem and saved my life. They did, in one year, something that many doctors with all kinds of credentials couldn’t do over many years. They discovered what was making me sick.  It feels like a miracle and that’s why I’m telling you all about it.


And so this love song that brought my husband and myself some comfort in that bleakest of environments, has now become one of my favorites.  I treasure, now, what it symbolizes to me: Love’s willingness to take a far-flung journey to the outer limits of life, and celebrate the return with a new lease on it.

For now though, I think I will just listen to that song one more time….

Follow my healing journey:


Jean Houston Helped Me On My Healing Journey

Jean Houston helped me on my healing journey.  I discovered her to be the most profound  featured speaker on my second visit to the Chopra Center this past week.  She ’blew me away’ with her thoughts and insights in two powerful lectures, each one concluding with a standing ovation. The most rewarding experience came when Jean stepped in late one night, unexpectedly giving an impromptu talk. She spoke to a small group of us who had planned to drink in every educational moment of the event; attending a late evening talk on Astrology. It had already been a long day with sunrise mediation offered at six a.m. and this session just beginning at 9:00 in the evening. But this hour of this day held the treasure box for the most astounding pearls of Jean Houston wisdom.

Even unrehearsed, Jean possesses the skills and deep knowledge to present complex issues in an understandable way.  Her presence is uplifting and her mission is for world peace. She spends much of her time teaching others what she has learned from her studies, experience, and travels around the world.


Jean Houston’s biography is stunning. She is known around the world as a visionary thinker who pioneered the Human Potential Movement. She established a Social Artistry leadership model, which she used in her work with the United Nations Development program.

She travels all around the world to teach others how to expand the possibilities in their own lives and has helped leaders of over 35 countries around the world. She also is an author of thirty books, her latest The Wizard Of Us has just been released.


Jean describes a Social Artist this way: “You are a social artist! A Social Artist is  someone who can enter into different cultures and organizations and cross the great divide of otherness by having leaky margins to other people’s ways of belief, ways of benign styles”. A Social Artist “has the knowing to enter into this. You have to lay down new brain pathways to be available to the essence of everything that is going on; orchestrating your many selves so you have the skill set and richness of “being” to be available at different times.”

A Social Artist is “one who promotes life long education, education on all levels; sensory, psychological, mythic, physical, and moral. One who also sees the trends, sees the passion for the possible that is trying to emerge in society. One who is a healer of both people and societies. Healing as evolutional, not just healing but making whole. A Social Artist can dissolve the barriers between self and others while promoting compassion and understanding.”

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Jean Houston’s father was the head comedy writer for Bob Hope for 35 years. I assume this is where she adopted her quick wit and exceptional comedic timing. Her presentations are lively and delivered with the most heart-felt intention. Jean is one intelligent woman who holds a Ph D in psychology and a ph D in religion. She served as Hillary Clinton’s Advisor when she was in the White House and helped Hillary write the book It Takes A Village .

Jean wants us all to realize how to be happy, live in harmony, and reach our full human potential.  She asks us to take our gifts and to do great things in the world like she does. Meeting Jean Houston was a big highlight of my healing journey.

Follow my journey from the beginning:

She was such a joy to be around; infused with great energy, always with a smile and witty repartee. Unlike most other well-known speakers, she was down to earth. She spent time lunching and walking with others who attended the event. She must have answered hundreds if not thousands of questions. You could see her listening intently to each one, never for lack of a most profound answer. 

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The last evening, Jean was dressed entirely in black with a brightly decorated jacket and hosted a huge mane of curly brown hair. She wore a treasured necklace each day around her neck. She spoke confidently, unapologetically, and she was bursting with an extraordinary life of wisdom and experiences, shared with many famous and highly accomplished people. I was delighted to be her student and the gratitude still overwhelms me.  She had a mischievous twinkle in her eye and at times I think she enjoyed doing small standup comedy bits. She kept everyone either giggling or in awe.

Another attendee, Tatyana Kovyarenko explains Jean this way: “Jean Houston is on Fire! Young and full of energy! I was flattered by her beautiful artistic performance and amazed by her wisdom! She is a great writer and the great teacher, who inspires. It was a great privilege to meet her.”


Jean Houston’s new book The Wizard of Us is about human transformation and social change.  Jean has this to say about the purpose of the pages. “What kind of change does it take to get you to a higher journey and a deeper life? How do we tap into higher guidance and be carried into our better part of the journey. The great capacity you have for new ways of thinking, being, knowing. How do we enter into empathy and discover that we have vast reserves of courage to do what we need to do? We can create a place of our own yearning with a possible society that is there for us all. How do we create this society We contain the magic of new possibilities; we can bring this into time and use it to transform our lives and our societies.”

Secure your copy of her new book:

Jean Houston introduces The Wizard Of Us:


 Jean Houston teaches that we need to be “running past the old cemetery of dead ideas”, that “We have been shackled for too long by philosophies, however noble, that have been limited by much narrower views of the world; and what‘s worse, there is no one that has not been patterned and prepared in these views. We have marinated in the medieval soup of our mind.”

She believes “that we are here with deep purpose to become all that we can be. I believe that we are all headed ultimately in the right direction, I believe that we have been given sufficient stress crisis complexity and consciousness to do things that are beyond our imagination, larger than our aspiration, more complex than all of our dreams. I believe in love, I believe in you, I believe in me, and I believe in this, the most potent moment in human history.”

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Jean speaks about the rising importance of women in the world, “The rise of women to full partnership with men. When you go around the world and actually see who is doing the work it becomes clear the majority of the important work is being accomplished by 70-80% women with post-menopausal zest… and nobody is writing about it, but this is what’s happening. Releasing men to finally be what they can be without being disrupted or paralyzed in the same old same old. It is a phenomenal thing.”


Jean espouses: If you want to know how to find the greater nature that is equal to the tasks and challenges of today, so a greater life can arise, you must do the following: “You agree first of all to relinquish those limited and limiting patterns of body sensory and motor patterns; emotion, volition, intelligence, and understanding of spirit that have been keeping you from becoming all that you can be. She further advises, “Stop spending years in dry dock or in the desert realm of yourself, on hold, waiting for that person to come along and call you forth.”

Jean Houston wants us to become capable of deeper being, she believes we human beings are operating at a fraction of our potential. She teaches “if you engage your deep listening you will begin moving into your potential self. A self beyond our programming of youth, society and familiarity.”


I was so impressed with listening to, and later meeting, Jean. She opened up my eyes to a whole new understanding. Jean says, “We don’t just live in the Universe, the Universe resides inside ourselves. Meditate, pray or be in nature, and everything is available to bring you home. Spend time remembering yourself.”

I am still drinking in the wisdom, filling my soul with the mystical words from a most extraordinary lady. I am living in Gratitude.



Claire Diab; Yoga and My Healing Journey

Claire Diab; Yoga and Me; Continuing My Healing Journey

I was fortunate enough to learn more about Yoga last week by attending a Chopra Center Event. Claire Diab was my instructor and at the beginning of the week. I must confess I didn’t know just how lucky I was to be learning from her. It turns out that she is an international Yoga Therapist, inspirational speaker, health, and wellness expert who has been teaching her craft around the world for more than twenty-five years.

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Claire was the consultant to Deepak Chopra when he first included Yoga in his teaching and has been creating and teaching programs for the Chopra Center ever since. She has the unique ability to teach Mind/Body Medicine, the techniques of Yoga, and Ayurveda. She helps many people include healthy lifestyle practices in their daily routines. This helps them to achieve healthier and more peaceful lives.

Ten Reasons to Practice Yoga:

I felt fortunate to attend Claire’s classes all last week. It was a joy waking up, even if I was a little stiff, knowing I would be feeling invigorated in just an hour. Claire includes breathing, relaxation, and movement in her classes. Her soothing voice and gentle guidance was reassuring for a beginner like me. After years of illness, a year fighting for healing recovery, and weeks of challenging chelation therapy, this Functional Medicine Patient learned how deeply impactful the daily practice of Yoga could be.

Follow my Healing Journey from the beginning:

I brought home Claire’s book and CD so that I may continue to learn and incorporate Yoga in my daily life. It was a joy to talk to her and I appreciated her signing my book and CD. She has a bubbly personality and openness about her you just can’t help but to embrace.  She embodies a wonderful spirit.

You can enjoy learning from Claire too. Find her programs available on her website or on Amazon

Follow Claire Diab on FB and watch for her participating in an event near you. Let’s all learn and practice Yoga together! You too will discover, the health benefits are amazing!

Article on my first Chopra Center Visit:

A Helpful link to get you started practicing Yoga:

Introduction to the Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga: Chopra Center

A Claire Diab article: 























Best of Functional Medicine Patient Journey


Scroll to discover your favorite articles. Learn more about Healing Gemstone Jewelry and the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine. Follow my Healing Journey from illness to Wellness and learn more about this emerging 21st Century Healthcare that literally saved my life. Click on the link to access the full article.


Dr. Mark Hyman, the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine and Me 




Dr. Wayne Dyer; The Day My Teacher Appeared




Jean Houston Helped Me On My Healing Journey




Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine Patient Journey




QuirkyGirlz Functional Medicine Patient Journey






Center for Functional Medicine; My Healing Journey




Functional Medicine Patient Unveils the Root Cause of Illness

Super Soul Sessions; Oprah Mother of Inspirational Leaders




The Chopra Center, Journey Into Healing; and My Healing Journey



 James Maskell Plus a Bus




Author, Nutritionist, Yoga Instructor Jane Falke and My Healing Journey




Functional Medicine Patient Meets Author, Blogger, Russ Crandall



Celebrity Chef Anna Harvouis; Anna in the Raw and the Functional Medicine Patient





Claire Diab; Yoga and My Healing Journey








































































































Super Soul Sessions & Oprah; Mother of Inspirational Leaders

I feel it was a miracle that brought about the events that lead to my attendance of the first ever Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul Sessions held at Royce Hall (UCLA) in Los Angeles. This is the gathering where it was revealed Oprah is the “Mother” of Inspirational Leaders.

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If you are not familiar with my healing journey, now is a great time to catch up and learn of the almost year-long series of events that lead up to this amazing experience. I had not been feeling my very best so I attended an event at the Chopra Center where I had a chance encounter with Dr. Wayne Dyer just twenty-four days before his passing.

My meeting with Dr. Dyer was so life-changing, I found myself distraught upon his passing, and was following all of the tributes and the people who loved him in an effort to come to terms with it all.

This is when the pages of other inspirational leaders started showing themselves on my Facebook page and I had the opportunity to “Like” Michael Beckwith’s page. I remembered him from “The Secret” which was a CD my best friend Arlene had gifted me before her passing from ovarian cancer in 2007.

The next day, as I checked into my Facebook page, Michael had posted an opportunity to enter to win tickets to a Oprah event in L.A. I am generally not one to enter contests, and therefore not likely to win, but this time I felt compelled to try.

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I followed the link Michael Beckwith shared and answered the required questions posed. One of the questions asked was what was my most inspirational quote. I selected a Dr. Wayne Dyer quote, “If you ask with kindness in your voice and in your heart “How may I serve you?” The Universe’s response will be “How may I serve you as well.”  The next question was about someone who had touched my life. This, of course, was when I shared my story of meeting Dr. Wayne Dyer and how he had touched my life, and also of my best friend Arlene who was now also on the other side.

A couple of days later, I received an e-mail asking me if I could commit to the dates and times of the event. It said if I were chosen to receive tickets they could arrive in my e-mail as little as three days before the date of the event.

I was so excited, was there really a possibility that I would be granted tickets to the Oprah event? I had once resided in Illinois and always hoped that one day I would be able to attend a taping of the Oprah show. But this event was special; it was more than a television talk show, and there must have been tens of thousands of applicants and only eighteen hundred seats. This event would include many other inspirational speakers: Brene’ Brown, Michael Bernard Beckwith, Shawn Achor, Marianne Wiliamson, Tim Storey, Iyanla Vanzant, Rob Bell, Elizabeth Gilbert, Janet Mock, Deepak Chopra and of course Oprah Winfrey! It was clear that Oprah was the Mother of Inspirational Leaders!

The next day I received the e-mail with two precious free tickets to the Oprah Super Soul Sessions event. Little did I know at the time, they were up front, row 6 where I would be able to see and hear everything so clearly. I felt touched by an Angel.

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I insisted my husband rearrange his work schedule so he could attend the event with me, and he set about doing just that; we made a hotel reservation and began packing for the journey. The timing was difficult as I was scheduled for a trip to the Cleveland Clinic to see my doctor in a couple of days but nothing could keep me away from Oprah’s Super Soul Sessions! I felt it was my destiny to be a part of it, to learn what Oprah was trying to do, and to be a soul who helped bring about the change and spread loving messages with her.

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The day quickly arrived and we packed up the car, my sweet husband in command, as we made the six-hour journey through the desert and then through busy California traffic. My heath challenges were such that I needed to manage my stress, sleep, food and time, well. I was tired upon arrival to the hotel the evening before and we made it just in time for dinner. Our stay at the hotel was comfortable, and although our dinner at the top was tasty, I had problems with it, and spent the night very ill. I woke the next day, the day of the event, still feeling puny, but there was nothing that could keep me away.

We arrived early and waited in the beautiful campus setting with many other excited attendees. We all began to share our stories of how we had arrived there and all of our excited expectations of the event.

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Oprah knows how to put on the perfect event and we were treated like Queens and Kings. She offered us snacks upon breaks, and an awesome outside luncheon. They were so wonderful, they even went to great lengths to prepare me a special meal due to my special diet considerations. This can only happen when you attend a group where people care about you, the person.

Oprah was the first to grace the stage dedicating the event to Wayne Dyer. This set the stage for the entire day, and I think we all felt his presence.  Oprah watched the speakers with us in the audience, sitting next to three of her twenty ‘daughters’, (girls from her school in Africa that are attending University here. They call her ‘mother’.) and was visibly moved along with the rest of us.

The first speakers where amazing, and just kept getting better all day.  Truly remarkable people sharing their insights and accumulated wisdom from lives spent searching for answers to life’s eternal questions. The sickness I felt from the night before fell away in a room full of positive energy and love.

I made some very special friends at Super Soul Sessions and we have stayed in touch since the event. As serendipity would have it, I lunched with Javaid M. Khan D.O. whose speciality is in allergy, asthma and clinical immunology. You can imagine- Dr. Khan and I had much to discuss while we enjoyed our delicious lunch. I recently contacted him and posed the question, “What are your lasting impressions of Super Soul Sessions?” His reply, ” It far exceeded any possible expectation that I could have had.  It was a great privilege and blessing to be in the same room as so many global thought leaders of our time.  I hope to be able to meet each and every one of these great people in the future. It was a truly amazing experience.  So invaluable. I am extremely grateful to have been a part of it and I was able to walk away with a new sense of renewal and purpose.  Since then, I have adopted a new daily spiritual practice which includes prayer, affirmations, and meditation.”

Oprah herself was beyond compare.  I sometimes wonder with big personalities, just how much is real, but with Oprah, there is no doubt.  She is the real deal; a great spirit with the means, opportunity, and skills to change the lives of a great many people for the better.  She is seizing this opportunity with humility and grace, despite being arguably one of the most influential and powerful women in the world today.

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Oprah is a real treasure for us all, backing up her words with vision, vast amounts of her own money, and total commitment, of which this session was only the opening salvo. She has asked us all to participate in this movement. Her mission, “To create a gathering of spiritual thought leaders to stimulate and inspire us to move in the direction of our truest calling – to become more of who we are.”  I think she may be one the greatest spirits I will experience in this lifetime. (I would like to add…please show Oprah greater respect when afforded the opportunity to meet with her. I was disappointed at the audience members who mobbed her and shouted while she visited with attendees.) This is a great person, deserving of great respect. If you should have the opportunity to attend future events please behave in a respectful way.

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And so, I am recommitted to my own quest.  Finding a way to bring the healing power of functional medicine to regular people like myself.  I firmly believe that a fleet of buses modified with exam rooms and staffed with new doctors and interns could finally bring knowledge and help to all of us around the country who currently have little access to great care.

Just imagine, visiting a clinic at a fairground or local hospital parking lot, where you could get lab testing and direction that could really free you from chronic illness, for good, and have it be covered by insurance. You could learn about growing food, how to use your smart phone to help both you and your doctor, learn meditation and yoga, visit a dentist trained in removing toxic silver fillings, and create events to bring community together with a goal toward wellness.

Follow the link below to learn more about how Functional Medicine is Driving Heathcare Home:


This is possible, for you, and for your loved ones.  And you can help. If you are already a patient, or would like to learn easy ways to a healthier and happy life, please consider joining my Functional Medicine Patient Community on Facebook.  Together, we have the power to change the world. Just ask Oprah!

Each of us, by being caring human beings and fulfilling our purpose can help Oprah make this a better world. Thank you Oprah, from the bottom of my heart. We are with you!

Watch the program here: 










James Maskell Plus a Bus

James Maskell, Plus a Bus is a curious title. But how else could I fully share with you the details of the exciting and productive phone conversation I enjoyed with James Maskell, founder of the Functional Forum early this morning?

I adored his deep British accent, the fact he was interested in learning more about my vision, and listened carefully as I pitched my “Roadmap for a Pop Culture Revolution”: a fleet of Functional Medicine Buses that could effectively serve communities. (May the Functional Force Fleet be With You!). We discussed many things though, so ‘hang onto your hats’ and let’s begin.


If you are not familiar with Functional Forum, it is New York’s biggest monthly meet up and interactive live web show for health professionals, (or interested patients!). Each is broadcast  on their YouTube channel.

I was thrilled to discuss the possibility of being interviewed for one of his programs and share my Functional Medicine Patient Journey with his viewers. I believe practitioners could be compelled by my story; they need to see that Functional Medicine offers them tools- not currently in their toolbox, to help patients.

Follow my story from the beginning: 

My story will directly impact patients who may not understand Functional Medicine by sharing how it works for “real patients”. Change is hard and often slow, but we can all be encouraged by witnessing what this revolutionary kind of health-care delivery system has to offer all who want to be a partner in their own health experience. Don’t worry I’ll keep you updated!

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James is a busy professional; founder and CEO of Revive Primary Care and also of the Functional Forum. It is his goal to utilize the Functional Forum vehicle to be the ‘engine that works’ to empower both patients and practitioners. This unique platform helps and encourages them to play their respective and important parts in a truly evolved medical system. His goals and mine are uniquely aligned, and I look forward to brainstorming with him to bring this idea and more into our future reality.

James Maskell can be found at the Center of the Evolution of Medicine, where summits, podcasts and other media feature the innovators and agitators who are leading the charge towards a more effective chronic disease management system. Hmm…am I an innovator or an agitator?

James shared with me how his videos cover important topics as social genomics, the brain-gut connection, mind-body medicine, and evolutionary nutrition. These experts are fantastic at explaining what Functional Medicine can do for you and your loved ones, and what the future of healthcare will look like.


I had originally contacted James in order to pitch my vision of a fleet of Functional Medicine Buses specifically designed to deliver top-notch healthcare and extraordinary community outreach. I developed a basic outline, a Roadmap, for this idea.

I believe this is a way to bring healthcare directly to underserved communities. I put together a small proposal and James responded promptly.


The title of my new bus proposal is “May the Functional Force Fleet be With You.”  I expanded on ideas of how this could work and James was intrigued. He thought about a bus four or five years ago, but was unable to bring the full idea to fruition. The key to successful implementation of the bus, as I see it, is the outreach to the communities in advance of arrival of the fleet. Also, the logistics of a full-blown health fair, organized much like any other fun family event. (With life long health benefits!)

With open-minded conversations like the one I explored with James Maskell I am encouraged about the future of our healthcare. I believe these amazing professionals will begin thinking more ‘outside the box’ than usual. I have a feeling it won’t be long before you will see a Functional Medicine Fleet “Roll” into your town.


I suppose I am the patient squeaky wheel…(pardon all of the puns, it’s just too much fun!). But seriously…. As a Functional Medicine Patient Ambassador, I am feeling stronger now, and up to the task of helping the patients of today and tomorrow become empowered. Together, our voices can be heard. (Now is a great time to join my Functional Medicine Patient Community Facebook Page!)

And so, this vision of a Functional Medicine bus fleet may become a reality. James has the ‘juice’ to make it happen, and already shared some ideas with me as to how it could work. Can you visualize how wonderful this would be for the future of Functional Medicine and our healthcare? He has promised to keep me in the know on the project and I will keep you updated as this exciting project “rolls on”.

Until next time, keep sending those great vibes into the Universe. You can help me help others put the “Wheels into Motion” to make this vision, a Functional Medicine Bus Fleet, become a reality.

“Functional Medicine, Driving Health Care Home”

 “May the Functional Force Fleet be With You.”





Jane Falke & My Healing Journey

Jane Falke, Author of “Eat Healthy Be Healthy At Any Age”, knows why food is both the problem and the solution to our health concerns.

It was an unexpected twist of events (as usual) when Jane and I among others shared a table for lunch during a recent event at the Chopra Center. The conference director, Amanda Ringnalda joined our group and the conversation became livelier. Amanda spent most of her time on stage acting as Master of Ceremonies among other responsibilities. It was a joy spending this quality time with her.

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It often happens at events like this, there is many people seated together who have never met. It can be a little awkward at first.  Amanda made quick work of our comfort. She asked each of us around the large round table to introduce ourselves and tell the rest of the group a little of our story.

Honestly, this group of women was quite interesting and each one had a unique story to tell. I was especially intrigued as the conversation made its way around to an attractive, poised, well-dressed, mature, woman.

She mentioned only briefly that she had authored a book on how to eat healthy, but in the excitement of the event, it seemed glossed over by the other lunch attendees. She was sitting too far away for me to be able to hold a conversation at that time, but I made a mental note, and hoped that the opportunity would arise that I would be able to talk to her about it later.

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 Meeting Author Jane Falke

Her name was Jane Falke and I quickly learned she did not waste words and always spoke directly to the point. Confident, intelligent, strong and humble were the qualities I perceived in her. Jane’s inner beauty was perfectly matched by her outer beauty. Her education as a Nutritionist, years of practicing and instructing Yoga, plus daily meditation had kept her smart, fit and attractive.

Jane was very gracious and agreed to meet with me so that I might ask her some questions. She gave me a copy of her book the evening before our interview, but the Chopra conference kept me busy.  I was still facing some health challenges and did not have the chance to read it all of the way through before I met up with her.

We agreed to meet outside under a big blue umbrella in a casual gathering place near the Chopra center. It was a beautiful day with the sun shining and a gentle breeze rustling the tall palm trees. I was thinking Jane had named her book perfectly because she was the living role model who provided the proof to her methods.

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We began chatting casually and I was touched when she spoke of how her husband’s life was unnecessarily cut short because he refused to eat a healthier diet. I could relate, as my father had recently suffered a lingering death of colon cancer and would have never considered any change to his diet. Jane shared the story of her husband never having been able to realize his dreams because of his early death. A game he had been developing would go unrealized. Both men loved meat and potatoes and did not consume many vegetables in their diet.


A Conversation with Author Jane Falke

This was one of the first questions I posed to Jane:

Why do you think it is so difficult for some people to make changes to their diet even when the evidence suggests it would be helpful to them?

Jane: “People are stuck in their food habits. If they have a life crisis, they are likely to consider some changes. However, I say, don’t wait until you have health issues to change, it may be too late then. Do it now! My goal is to educate people. If they want to make changes then I help them to do that.”

Jane had extensive experience with Type 1 Diabetes; this was a challenge she helped her daughter to face. I asked her what she thought about the epidemic of type 2 diabetes.

Jane “The problem is with the processed food. People were told to eat low fat foods and they started gaining weight and they didn’t know why. The food industry took away the fat, but added more sugar. There is no control over how much sugar can go into a packaged product. The food industry also uses chemical additives as flavorings that are addictive. Even restaurants know that if they create a dish with these chemical flavorings people will become addicted to their foods and will return again and again. People will love it, and crave it because it tastes so good. But it’s the added sugar and chemicals they are loving.”

“Growing up, nobody taught me that food was about nutrition. Now, I, and many others know that if our body is healthy, we can live our lives fully. People don’t have to die of disease. Most people aren’t connecting their lifestyle with their environment.”

Jane was encouraged to write her book because she had so many people asking her questions on her website. Unfortunately, I met Jane as she had just announced her retirement, and had taken her website down. Lucky for us, her book, full of awesome information, can still be purchased on Amazon, and is even offered in Kindle format.

Amazon Link to purchase Jane’s book “Eat Healthy Be Healthy at Any Age and to read her biography:

 Jane’s idea of retirement is not like that of most people. She is still very active in Nutrition and helping others lead a healthier lifestyle. She sits on several committees, grows her own organic food, offers educational classes, teaches detox programs, and accepts every opportunity to educate others within her community about the importance of healthy, non GMO, organic food.

I quizzed Jane on what kind of people she thought might be helped by her book.

“The kind of person who wants to feel better and experience better health. It will help people who do not want to go on medications. Reading this material will help people to see that nutrition and detoxing has a lot to do with being healthy. They will learn basic nutrition, where your vitamins come from, in a plant-based diet.”

Also the basics of protein, carbs and fats and where they come from; what are the good and bad fats; I cover phytonutrients, fiber, water and oxygen.”

I asked Jane if there was any new information that had been brought to light since the original printing of her book that people should be aware of.

Jane replied, “Nutrition is always changing because science is always learning about new things. First the experts told us butter was bad, we should eat margarine…then margarine was bad. Then we went thru the low carb thing, now science is getting into it, telling us cholesterol doesn’t matter, saturated fat doesn’t matter… Nutrition is always evolving.

Jane shared some good advice for us all…”Our food and drugs are controlled by the food industry and big pharma. We can’t expect someone else to watch over us. People need to educate themselves, and commit to changes that work for them. My book is a great educational resource and nutritional reference.”

Jane’s book is a great way to support her lifetime of work which previously was available on her website. I see it as a great resource to add among my cookbooks as it has a great many recipes too! “Eat Healthy Be Healthy At Any Age” is the perfect little handbook for anyone who wants to get started on a healthier path.

Let me just say that every minute I spent with Jane was a joy. She is a remarkable woman who will serve as a role model to me. As I restore my own health, and work my way back to full vitality I will often think of Jane Falke. She is the perfect picture of what we all could be if we get the message early, take our health seriously, and not for granted.

I will always think of Jane as a mentor, as I began my own training as a Professional Eating Psychology Coach. In the introduction of her book, Jane quotes Hippocrates; “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Jane’s book teaches everyone how healthy food can bring about great changes in heartfelt joy and vibrant health..

My life has been touched in a beneficial way by meeting this enlightened soul, and I am grateful for the experience. I will think of Author Jane Falke often, as I continue my healing journey.

Jane Falke Video:

Chopra Center from the beginning:

Chopra Center: Meeting Dr. Wayne W. Dyer:

Quirky Girl Healing Journey from the beginning:

Dr. Wayne Dyer; The Day My Teacher Appeared

Dr. Wayne Dyer; the day my teacher appeared…Universal energy perfectly aligned, orchestrating a divine meeting with Dr. Wayne Dyer. Many aspects of my life have changed since my first dances with death and the beginning of my search for help on my healing journey. However, this one profound example stands out as miraculous evidence of the power of intention.

My apologies; I interrupt our story with this important update:

I am sad to share this news with you. Dr. Dyer never had the chance to read our story as his body unexpectedly left this earth.  I was posting our story on Aug. 29th, the very evening he passed away. I am saddened by the news and feel deeply for his eight children who mourn his passing. If any man was ever ready for the other side it was Wayne Dyer. He spent most of his life teaching us how to be better souls. I met Dr. Dyer twenty-four days before his rise to Heaven. He was happy, healthy and enjoying life to its fullest. Prayers to his family, loved ones, and fans. Listening to a recent Hay House radio program Dr. Dyer shared “Since I have been ill I am presented with people who are needing something I have to give. So many sick people have shown up and I’ve been able to help them.” I was one of those people he is speaking of. He forever touched and blessed my life. Blessings be upon you Wayne Dyer as you watch us from above.


Please honor the love that is and was Dr. Wayne Dyer- continue reading our story:

“Remember the ancient saying that instructs: “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” The teachers and teachings are always there, throughout the entire span of our life. But when ego is running things, those teachers go unnoticed… As I’ve written and said many times: When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change”, – Dr. Wayne W. Dyer.

Reading his quote now, makes me feel as if I am finally on the road to my own true purpose, having myself been sent a humble, wise and noble, teacher. I also wonder retrospectively why, at the time, it seemed no one else around even noticed his presence. This internationally renowned human, a rock star in the healing community, floated around virtually unnoticed by the other customers and staff. It was a moment of pure enlightenment, just two spirits, mystically encircled by a white, glowing, brilliant bubble of light. And when I expressed my astonishment at this “chance” meeting, he corrected me by saying that I “had manifested it all myself”.

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Standing before me was not just my teacher, he was THE teacher; the man known as “the father of motivation”, internationally renowned author, counselor, speaker in the field of self-development and spiritual growth. And it turned out that he was so truly caring, kind, and generous. He shared his pearls of wisdom freely, with a wide-open and giving heart.  This meeting was mind-blowing, unexpected, and may I add, much-needed. But to understand just how intense this experience was for me, I must first take you back in time…

Step Back In Time

I had viewed Dr. Dyer’s program many times over the years on PBS. Some of his audio recordings were on my MP3 player and later my smart phone. I would often listen to his melodic, reassuring voice throughout the day as he shared his deep, profound wisdom.

(Follow my healing journey from the beginning

Meanwhile, on my last visit to Dr. Parvus at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, I was given new instructions as I prepared to finish the big portions of my treatment. We were both very pleased at the progress I had made and test results confirmed our thoughts. Still, I had a few things to work on, and Dr. Parvus ordered up a prescription (pharmaceuticals yuck!) for me. After reading the drug label warnings, (poison!) I almost didn’t follow through. But he had brought me this far and I felt I still had to trust him. Also, I think I am like most people when they feel sick; we will do just about anything to feel better.  In fact, it’s fair to say I am sick of feeling sick. My doctor and I both felt like I was leaping over the last big hurdle.

The prescription medication lasted thirty days and I felt progressively worse each day. By the end of the month, I almost felt like I had returned to square one. I looked terrible, walked slightly hunched over, and the antibiotic caused a return of my joint, muscle and other pain. So when a very dear friend of mine gifted me a ticket to the Chopra Center for an event, not only designed to help one heal, but to help maintain wellness for a lifetime, I was absolutely living in gratitude. After all… Deepak Chopra, Dr. Mark Hyman, and Dr. Wayne Dyer would be speaking at this event and I could hardly wait!

There aren’t any accidents

Unfortunately, it turned out that I had accidentally clicked on a list of all of the speakers in a series of Chopra Center events. In reality Dr. Dyer would not be speaking at the event I held a ticket to, but a later event in April 2016, in Hawaii. There was no way I could afford that trip, and lamented to my husband how much I had wanted to see Dr. Dyer. Yet, how could I be disappointed? There would still be four fantastic speakers and another huge lineup of professionals training us. It would be a healing experience and a class complete with certification, plus, it was being held at beautiful resort in Carlsbad, California.  Who could ask for anything more? I felt truly blessed to be able to attend, even though I have never participated in anything like this program before.

Also, I had spent most of last year in home hospital and hadn’t been driving much at all. I was definitely nervous about making the six-hour drive. My husband had to work, so I would be embarking on this adventure alone. This meant crossing the empty desert, climbing a mountain, and finding my own way, despite the busy California traffic. And I still had fresh memories of the sudden “attacks” of illness while driving; it was this fear I needed to overcome. I once drove from Illinois, across Canada to Anchorage, Alaska by myself, so you might be surprised to know that I was quite nervous about this trip. It took me a while to actually get in the car and leave. At least my arms and legs were stronger, I had gained weight and muscle, and they would no longer shake as I drove. Eventually I was able to reach within to rediscover my courage, and that carried me through.

I arrived, with minimal drama, several hours before check-in. I had wanted to allow myself plenty of time to stop and rest if needed. I had not encountered any problems and had not discovered anywhere else that lured me to stop. My room wasn’t ready, but I didn’t mind- it just meant I could enjoy an extra hour or two at this beautiful, relaxing location. It was a joy to slowly stroll past all of the beautiful flowers, trees, green grass, fountains…a much different landscape than my current home environment.

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My time was well spent, first enjoying a fantastic lunch under the giant umbrellas on the patio overlooking the emerald green golf course and ponds. I strolled through the small shops and watched golfers take practice swings. It was pure joy observing a father and his young sons play soccer.  The tennis players knocking about in their curious knit ‘skorts’ were entertaining.

There was still time to spare before my room was ready, so it seemed like a good idea to check out the Chopra Center. It might be possible to get a sneak peek at the set-up for the next day’s event, I reasoned.  Instead, the discovery of a small gift shop, it’s quaint blue French doors open and inviting, threw me off course and drew me in. Curiosity compelled me forward…

I slowly walked past the shelves featuring all of Deepak Chopra’s books, CD’s, and other materials. There were little semi-precious gemstones, art, and other trinkets. There was a small selection of gemstone jewelry (but frankly, I was a little surprised at the quality, convinced they needed some QuirkyGirl jewelry on the shelves!). Overall the little shop appeared dimly lit and featured only a small product offering.

And then, my gaze shifting from the objects lined on shelves against the back wall of the store, looking ahead- my mouth dropped open as my eyes widened. Dr. Wayne Dyer was standing just one foot away, directly in front of me!

The moment I met Dr. Wayne Dyer

“Wayne Dyer- as I live and breathe” I said (as if I were a Southern Belle). It was one of those moments when you thought you were saying the words to yourself only to hear them as well! Oops!  Did I really just say that out loud?!

“I’ve been following your programs on PBS for years” I gushed. “You are wonderful!” I was shocked, unprepared, my mind was spinning…was this some kind of weird dream? These types of encounters were way outside the realm of my normal experience, so I must have seemed a little silly.

Dr. Dyer sported one of my favorite “taxi-driver” hats in black leather, with a cool black tee shirt featuring white artwork. He sported a big smile and he looked and sounded just as he appeared on television. He was thinner than I remembered but looked happy and healthy as ever. His relaxed manner was reassuring, as was the many hugs he generously shared with me throughout our meeting. The date was Aug. 5th 2015, 3:20 p.m. Unusual for me, but I felt it was important that I note the date and time as this was a life changing moment…

“Hello, he said as he extended his hand, what’s your name? We shook hands and began to talk. He told me he was lodging nearby and had just stopped in for a visit; he was working his way to the Marketplace for some fresh juice. Dr. Dyer was enjoying his free time, waiting for his daughter to arrive at his hotel, and then they were both flying to Australia. I thought perhaps this was a vacation, but later discovered he was speaking in both Brisbane and Melbourne. He inquired as to why I was there, and I told him a short version of my story.

Let’s pause for a second while I mention this:  I had every intention of sprucing up either directly before or shortly after my arrival, yet the opportunity had not yet presented itself (remember, I was waiting to check into my room!).  So, let’s just say that I wasn’t looking my best…

Anyway, I shared a quick version of my personal story with Dr. Dyer and he began to tell me his. He had been suffering from Leukemia, and he shared the approach he utilized to cure himself.  He was pleased to share that he was now entirely Cancer free.

Dr. Dyer began teaching me his path to wellness

He also shared names of people for me to learn more about. I found a pen and paper and I started scribbling as fast as I could. He gave inspirational quotes, recommended books for me to read, food to ingest, and health regimes he believed made him well.

For instance, Dr. Dyer suggested I read up on Max Gerson, a controversial figure who basically believed in the power of food as Medicine as far back as 1928. Coffee enemas were an important part of this treatment. It is believed by many that this delivery system sends caffeine directly to the Vegas nerve into the liver to remove toxins. He gave me the phone number of the organic coffee supplier he used. He shared with me some excerpts of “The Beautiful Truth,” recommending it be added to my reading list.

He talked openly and happily about his personal healing experience thru “John of God”, a medium that channels doctors to heal others (all without any financial compensation). Dr. Dyer introduced Oprah Winfrey to him and she became convinced “John of God” was no fluke. (Links to articles and video below).

The story of Dr. Dyer and John of God gave me shivers. Why? In 2007 my best friend Arlene passed away from stage four ovarian Cancer. Extremely ill, and alone, she made the journey from St. Louis, MO, to Brazil for a healing experience with  “John of God”. She was receiving alternative therapies there when she left her earthly body.

Dr. Dyer was also convinced of the healing powers of fresh, organic juices. As a Functional Medicine Patient, I well understand the power of food as medicine. Also, he said a friend had been trying desperately to encourage him to try a controversial protocol that included daily coffee enemas. He refused for fairly obvious reasons, but finally, his friend couldn’t bear it any longer. He knocked on Dr. Dyer’s door, tightly clenching the coffee in his hands, insisting his good friend try the unusual protocol.

This is the kind of friend every desperately ill person needs in his or her life. I can tell you based on my experience, that it is difficult to think clearly when your body, mind, and spirit, are not well. It is a great time to think outside of the box, but every decision must also be carefully weighed for risks vs. benefits. Unfortunately this is also a time when most friends and family disappear, checking in occasionally to appear supportive.

Dr. Dyer now believes that the raw vegetable juices and coffee enemas saved his life. He said the liver becomes toxic (yes, familiar with that) and it keeps recirculating the toxins through your blood. He explained there is an anal vein that goes directly to the liver and that caffeine is the only thing that will clean the toxins in the liver out. I remembered reading recently about coffee enemas and wondered what Functional Medicine thought about this procedure (and what impact it would have on the micro biome in the gut). More research was definitely in order.

I am eternally grateful for time shared with this enlightened teacher

Dr. Dyer spent a long time teaching me. I may have tired him out a little, so at the end, I escorted him to the juice bar.  He left me with some final loving words of wisdom. He felt our paths had crossed for a reason; that there are no accidents. It was my power of intention that caused the experience to happen. He made sure I understood that I had reached a point in my healing journey where I was ready to understand the universal energy and its abundant resources available to me. I was ready and it was he, Dr. Wayne Dyer who was sent to be my teacher.

He was gentle, reassuring, fun. I had asked him if he would pose for a photo with me  to feature on my blog and he was happy to do so. We were laughing as I struggled with the “selfie”, clicking off as many shots as I could in hopes one would work. We were in a fairly dark store and I am still puzzled about the bright light that engulfed me in the photos…I did a fair amount of retouching on the photos and the next day reentered the store where we had met, took a photo in the exact area we stood and was unable to find any evidence of the light source which had showered our photograph. It was as if my iphone had been able to capture the abundant energy that was brought to my aid in this insightful and glorious meeting.

He hugged me more than six times through out our conversation. While we walked I expressed to him that I thought of him as being so very wise, sharing while I felt like a kindergartener. He said he did too, and that he was still amazed that people paid money to come and see him speak. He seemed to not quite be able to understand his fame.

A woman relaxing alone at a table sheltered from the sun by the big bright blue umbrella gasped as we walked by… “Dr. Dyer!” she shouted, mouth open, eyes wide.  Now, I didn’t feel quite so silly, she was as tongue-tied as I had been. He stopped briefly and greeted her. As we continued to walk, I turned and said to him “It must be hard for you to go anywhere.” He said, “Yes, somehow I became famous.”

I was so grateful for the time and information he shared with me. It seemed clear he was a man brought to Earth to teach us to be better humans. He has stayed true to his humble beginnings, and even through his financial success and worldwide popularity, he is still surprised at the impact he has on people. He is a real-life role model, striving to develop a deep understanding and way of being, to create a better world.

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Saying farewell to Dr. Dyer

I said goodbye and wished him a safe journey. Tears welling up in my eyes, my skinny legs weak and unreliable from the divine experience. I found my way to a bench where the call came telling me my room was ready. I looked around for one last fleeting glimpse, but he was gone, vanished, as if I had imagined the whole thing.

So unexpected, my teacher had appeared, and now I am ready… ready to heal. I had been working on healing my body; now I’m working on healing my mind and soul. After all, this is why I found myself at the Chopra Center in the first place. The event had not yet begun, but my healing journey was not waiting, the universe was helping me, guiding me with the tools and information to finally overcome my challenges.

I don’t know what it was, the energy he shared with his hugs, his encouraging words, or his certainly that our meeting was no accident. He reminded me that, “sometimes suffering is the vehicle from which we grow, that the lesson was to be found in the suffering endured within the journey”.

I’ll end my amazing story with a Dr. Dyer quote about writing…

“One of my favorite quotes is from Michelangelo, and it says “The greater danger is not that our hopes are too high and we fail to reach them, but rather that they are too low and we do.” Authors who are focused on becoming bestsellers are very likely to be disappointed almost all the time, because your success as a writer isn’t determined by what position you hold on a bestseller list or how many books you sell. Your success is based upon being able to express yourself in writing. And if people like the idea, then they’ll get it.”

“I’m hoping you are in some small way touched by the stories I share with you…”

I can’t help but wonder where my journey will end. I’m leaving it up to the Universe, and it continues to amaze… and along the way, I’ll ponder Dr. Dyre’s words:

“Once we truly acknowledge our readiness to live a life on purpose and filled with meaning, there’s very little to do. We begin living in a different world than we experience in our ego-directed persona. As I’ve written and said many times: When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.”

“God writes the books and delivers the speeches…I don’t own any of these words. I don’t know where they’re coming from. I don’t take any credit for any of this. The essential lesson I’ve learned in life is to just be yourself. Treasure the magnificent being that you are and recognize first and foremost you’re not here as a human being only. You’re a spiritual being having a human experience. That’s who you are. That is all you need to know. Then, detach yourself from what other people think and from the outcome or how well you’re doing, how you stack up to others. Just trust it and be at peace with it.”-Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

Thanks Dr. Dyer, I appreciate, am thankful and eternally grateful for our-

“Angel Encounter”.

This quote is from his calendar and a new one was posted on his Facebook page each day. This is the last day he walked the Earth in his physical body with us. Peace be with you, Dr. Dyer, you were loved.

The Inspirational Quote from Dr. Dyer’s calendar the day of his passing.


Meeting Author Jane Falke at the Chopra Center:




Chopra Center; Journey Into Healing & My Healing Journey

The Chopra Center Journey Into Healing event proved to be life-changing, and the perfect fit for me at this stage of my healing journey. It had been a difficult month for me physically. Dr. Parvus had prescribed a medication that I was to take for thirty days. Honestly, I hate any kind of pharmaceuticals, I believe they are pure poison; this is what my body tells me when I take them anyway. I was doing well before ingestion of this toxic substance and felt like I just needed a little help getting over the hump.

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That’s when an Angel gifted me a ticket to the Journey Into Healing event at The Chopra Center in Carlsbad, CA. Never in my life, had I imagined myself sitting just feet away from Dr. Deepak Chopra. In my wildest dreams, I couldn’t have envisioned having a soulful discussion with Dr. Wayne Dyer, a chance meeting (in the gift shop) which he informed me “when you are ready your teacher will appear”, and that our meeting was “not an accident”. Let’s just say the whole experience was enlightened and I am so grateful and thankful for it.

Follow my story from the beginning

I had no idea what to expect from this kind of event as I had never attended anything quite like it before. I’m a rather skeptical person and I shy away from anything that appears too “woo-woo”, as they say. But I was excited, with an open mind, ready to learn some new ideas about healing from some amazing experts! The lineup of speakers for this event was mind-blowing, and included; Dr. Deepak Chopra, Dr. Suhas Kshirsagar, Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Shelia Patel, Dr. Tim Brieske, Dr. Daniel Vicario, Dr. Mona Saint, Roger Gabriel, Kris Carr, and Kimberly Snyder.

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Journey Into Healing was a four-day, immersive healing, educational, life-altering, series of lessons, at the beautiful LaCosta Resort, home of the renowned Chopra Center. Every day there were opportunities to learn and practice meditation and Yoga. I made sure to take advantage of these occasions. My research had indicated that these two ancient practices should be woven into my healing regime. I believe each person must learn to be their own healer, and this program was a perfect place to begin for me, or anyone seeking growth, healing, and knowledge. It was an event designed to nurture the mind, body, and soul.

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The people at the Center are loving and kind. They are great listeners, speak with soft, gentle voices and are abundantly patient teachers. Throughout the event I was surrounded by wonderful people, comfortable surroundings, and good food. Best of all, the education and information shared throughout the event was abundant. A portion of the participants were attending to receive CME credits through UC San Diego School of Medicine. I met so many wonderful attendees from all across the states, with about twenty countries being represented. 

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There’s so much to tell you about! So let’s talk about Yoga. When Dr. Dirk Parvus and my Nutritionist Brigid suggested to me that I do Yoga I….let’s say… resisted the idea. I had tried hot yoga before when I lived in Boulder, CO and it left me underwhelmed. I thought I would never fit in with the grass drinking, pony tail wearing, athletic girls, that participated in these arts. But the Chopra Center amazed me with a yoga class that was designed for everyone to be able to participate. I even tried chair yoga, which was also remarkably refreshing. Doing daily yoga did relieve some of my muscle and joint pain, and I felt this was a skill I could take home and use everyday.

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I have known about the benefits of meditation for some time, but I was never really able to relax into it. I gave up. When my Angel gifted me the ticket, I was excited for the opportunity to understand how to meditate properly. Happily, The Chopra Center was able to explain and teach meditation in a way that made for a very powerful experience.  Now I am able to use it for stress relief and incorporate it into my daily healing practices. It was a mind-blowing experience with a room full of people, meditating together. Even the skeptic in me loved it. It was clear to see the health benefits of these kinds of lifestyle practices.

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There was so much information shared at the Chopra Center. I would be doing a disservice to my awesome experience there to try to squeeze it all into this one article. Follow my healing journey (like my FB page) to receive my future articles about my Chopra Center experience. I can’t wait to tell why I love Ayurveda (the original functional medicine) and how I found Dr. Suhas Kshirsagar to be absolutely amazing, the best teacher I have ever experienced in my lifetime.

Chopra Center Journey Into Healing Event, August 2015, Carlsbad CA. I’m forever changed…

The story of my meeting with Dr. Wayne Dyer at the Chopra Center:

The story of my meeting with Author Jane Falke at the Chopra Center:

Follow my Functional Medicine Patient Journey:




Dr. Eric Topol; Smart Phones are Changing Healthcare

Today the Universe intervened, steering me toward more healing education. By accident I discovered how Dr. Eric Topol & smart phones are changing healthcare as we know it. I had planned to treat myself by viewing one of my favorite PBS programs. Sometime into my illness, I turned off my cable television in order to limit the negativity entering my household. It is now a treat for me to watch a program or movie online.

I admit, I will swoon over Call the MidWife, Downton Abbey, or Selfridges…Alas, none of my favorites were currently on video. A quick glance through the available programs and I caught a photo out of the corner of my eye… something filmed at the Aspen Ideas Festival.

My Patient Journey & Changing Healthcare

If you have been following my story you will know that I have spent the last few years very ill. Stepping out of the traditional medical system & accepting new science- saved my life.

Despite the resistance from my friends and family I was able to try a new approach to help me  achieve long-term good health. I have been relentless in my search for good information and I love sharing it with you after I consume every important detail. We must empower ourselves and take responsibility for our wellness. We can’t continue blindly wrecking our bodies and expect someone else to fix us.

We need to stop listening to those who do not have our best interest in mind. We need to use our brain and follow our hearts. Don’t be afraid to be different, speak up, and ask for the changes we need to see in our healthcare!

Follow my healing journey from the beginning: 

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Dr. Eric Topol, Aspen Ideas Festival & Why You Should Watch & Learn

This video, filmed at the Aspen Ideas Festival, is now available for free online. (see link below) The program features Dr. Eric Topol being interviewed by a presenter. The main topic covered in the program is how smart phones are changing healthcare as we know it. The title and topic of the program was “Why your smart phone will radically change your healthcare”.

Off- hand this sounds like it might be a bit of a boring discussion but this highly qualified doctor came across as truthful and bursting with knowledge about how the future of healthcare is changing with technology. These changes are “shaking up the old guard” and will eventually mean big changes for you and me. It’s a good time to start paying attention.

Dr. Eric Topol boasts a long impressive resume: Cardiologist at Scripps, Genomics Professor of Scripps Research Institute, and Chief Academic Officer for Scripps Health. He was formerly with the Cleveland Clinic where he transformed his department into the #1 Heart Care Center in the country. He is the Author of numerous books and he was named the “rock star of science” by GQ magazine. This doc has it going on!

Dr. Topol grabbed my attention and I knew I was going to like him instantly when he said “You have lived in a paternalistic world so long that you are not willing to rise above. It. We have all been treated as patients like the Rodney Dangerfields. Patients are taking more control of their healthcare. In the future patients will be presenting their doctors with a whole range of data.” Previously a doctor would expect anything handed to them from the patient as “worthless data.”

This is true. In my desperation for someone to help me when I was seriously ill, I began keeping a typed record of my weight, blood pressure, and results the doctors were finding along the way. I thought this would be helpful because it created a clear picture of my months of erratic blood pressure, weight loss and other symptoms. I thought this was important information, a valuable tool in finding solutions to my health problems. After all, I was visiting doctors across varied health care systems and specialities so each visit meant starting over. Still, my traditional medical doctors would not even glance at my document.

Real interest from a doctor comes with listening to your patient . Current traditional medical doctors do not seem to have any time allotted for discussion, or a trained listening ear. (Dr. Dirk Parvus at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine being the exception I can attest to.)

Technology is not my usual “Cup of Tea”

Dr. Topol explains, “We have the ability to construct a Google medical map for each individual utilizing physiology thru sensors, anatomy thru scans, their external features, their genome, their DNA sequence (the relevant parts of it), proteins metabolites, the micro biome.”

This is cutting edge science coupled with more extrodinary cutting edge science and a whole lot of common sense. I am all for putting power back in the hands of the patient. (Of course you know I will be asking the question upon my next visit to the Cleveland Clinic..Why isn’t this technology being utilized here? I’m guessing it’s in the works!)

These sensors can be used to quantify your environment. Dr. Troy believes we have the opportunity to “have a high definition human being and get out of population level mass medicine.” That will be one beautiful day for us all, I’ll imagine it….

While technology is not typically my “cup of tea”, I “perked up my ears” when Dr. Topol began speaking about the kinds of medical information our Smart phones will be able to assist us with in the future. He spoke about how smart phones may be utilized for labs, the physical exam, and tele-medicine counsel. He insists in the foreseeable future we will be able to UBER a doctor thru our smart phone. Yes! She’ll be making a house call. He said, “It will represent a shift where doctors will be going to the patients now.” Instead of visa-versa, which is today’s standard care. “This is a sign of the times; bottom-up medical patients will have much more power and say.”I like the sound of that, don’t you?

Early on in my health crisis I had difficulty obtaining copies of my test results. It also became difficult obtaining a referral to a higher specialty physician. Surprisingly it was not a problem with my insurance company, it was a problem with a local doctor allowing me out of their system.

They wanted to maintain control and remove all power from me as a patient by maintaining total control of my healthcare decisions and ownership of my data.

I can see where being armed with this type of information could be helpful to the patient. Also, it seems advantageous information to the health care provider. Dr. Topol addressed this later in the seminar.

Cardiograms, Blood Pressure, Skin Conditions, Depression,

Health Information & Your Smart Phone

In the video, Dr. Topol demonstrates how a Cardiogram can be taken and then interpreted through a smartphone. Smart phones are changing healthcare. He hands the host a sensor and asks him to place his thumb on it. In a matter of seconds he shows the audience how he is able to read the program host’s heart diagnostics on his smart phone.

Dr. Topol is passionate when he is sharing all of the possibilities available to the patient of the future. He explains how with the Cardiogram you get also get software interpretation of your results. It will tell you whether your heart rhythm is normal or abnormal and will create a pdf summary to send to your doctor. All this with the Smart Phone you use every day!

I was shocked when Dr. Topol shared that “Cardiograms for thirty years have been interpreted by computer in a hospital…many doctors don’t even know how to read cardiograms.”

He insists that several of the devices have been approved thru the FDA, stating the process and the information is “accurate and actionable.” He stresses how this inexpensive equipment saves patient visits to emergency rooms and urgent care clinics.

Diabetes and Your Smart Phone

Next, Dr. Topol began to explain the useful benefit to Diabetics wanting to see their glucose numbers. He holds up a small round disc sensor, perhaps a couple of inches wide. He explains how it contains a hair like needle. Because the needle is extremely thin it hurts less than a finger stick.  This round sensor is then worn on the body. Dr. Topol was testing the device to discover if he thought it offered good usability to a patient. He explained how a patient can shower and go about normal daily activities while wearing it. He was testing a sensor on his abdomen during the interview.

He began to speak of the practices that are being used today as old technology. It sounded as if he was describing the Flinstone era. (Anyone who has spent any time in the traditional medical system lately would agree that it feels like the Flinstone era.)

Dr. Topol says “Finger sticks will be out over the next few years, it is expensive, it is hard to do in public and it hurts. This is a way to get a sensor that will not be expensive, last for a couple of weeks and you don’t have to worry about finger sticks.” It has many applications, “It can be used for all kinds of lab tests.”

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I was on “the edge of my seat” as Dr. Topol continued passionately speaking. I felt somewhat shaken when he shared a recent statistic: “80% of the leading drugs that are prescribed do not work in the individual they are prescribed to. Every person who is written a prescription should get a pharmacologic genomics of that drug. Information is known for over 120 drugs; there is an FDA Genomic label but we don’t use it in medical practice today.”

O.K., did that just take your breath away? Medical professionals now know (based on your genomics which they can easily and fairly inexpensively test) before a medication is prescribed whether or not this drug will be helpful to you. And why isn’t this information available to us and integrated into our “best in the world” (as described my the main stream media) healthcare system? This is hard to digest… our medical professionals are knowingly prescribing drugs unsuited for the patient, causing death and disability…??

The AMA and FDA took away our opportunity for potentially life-saving information

Doctor’s don’t want to give up their power. The AMA (American Medical Association) and the FDA squashed the initiative put forth in Washington because a patient would obtain this information from their pharmacist instead of their doctor. These are the folks who swore to do no harm….hmmm.

Dr. Eric Topol insists despite all of the resistance from the medical community changes will happen and is the way of the future. He believes all of your genetic interactions should be stored in your mobile device. When you visit your pharmacy they can easily administer a test on the salvia for a genotype of interest . Get it? This will help you by keeping you from taking a drug that will not help or may in fact harm you. This sounds promising.

Another thing Dr. Topol shared during this fascinating interview was how “routine physicals have been around since the 1920’s and there is no proof that it offers any benefit. In fact it could cause harm because of all the tests ordered for it”. Dr. Topol described technologies of the future whereby utilizing a molecular stethoscope and one tiny drop of blood- you could find out if you have cancer risk or Ebola.

This device would have been very handy on the several occasions when I have had thirty tubes of blood removed from me in order to obtain all of the tests.

The Biggest Change of All – You Could Eventually Own Your Own Data

One in which Dr. Eric Topol calls the “biggest change of all” he considers so transformative  coming “down the pike” is one in which a patient owns their own data. Currently he declared, in 49 out of 50 states the doctor or hospital owns your data. Imagine, instead of having to fight your doctor’s office to get a copy of your blood test results, you will have the power to say to your doctor or health care provider, “Would you like to see my recent data?” How empowering is that! Dr. Topol believes this will make it easier for doctors overall but they will need to be able to “let go of the control.”

Smart Phones Make Child Care Easier for Parents

One cool device Dr. Topol demonstrated was how to check your child for an ear infection. He snapped on an attachment to his iphone that turned it into an ode-scope. This will allow you to look inside your child’s ear to discover for yourself if he/she has an ear infection. The device takes a photo, goes through a highly trusted alga rhythm and indicates if the child has an ear infection or not. It tells you if you need to then proceed to a doctor. (Or I would suggest employing a natural health care remedy based on recent alarms on overuse of antibiotics and the long term harm they cause in your body…but I’m not a medical professional and I digress.)

Dr. Topol was proud telling his audience that the alga rhythm used in these devices has been proven more accurate than doctors, and also can diagnose rashes and other skin conditions.

“Tech Titans” are now into Healthcare

Here is where the “proof was in the pudding”. Dr. Topol began to explain how “Tech Titans” are now into healthcare like never before. IBM is involved in a very large way, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple and Intel. “This time these corporations are in it for the long haul and seriously committed to resources. This makes it destined for this type of technology to take hold despite the doctor’s resistance. It is tremendous.”

Change must come from the outside, it will not come from inside the medical system. Corporations will begin the cascade because of rising healthcare costs and a consumer uprising and activism which will take longer. (Not if I have anything to say about it! How about you?)

The 4th Leading Cause of Death; Medication Errors

I’m thinking to myself, how can these highly educated medical professionals offer up such resistance to any new idea? Dr. Topol gave unfortunate statistics such as: The 4th leading cause of death is medication error and adverse events.

Think about this for just a moment. How many people place all of their trust in their medical professional without putting any of their own research behind the test and medications that are ordered. Are they aware that it is our medical profession that is the 4th largest cause of death in our Country??

To make his point more clearly, Dr. Eric Topol states that “mammograms have a 60% plus false positive rate. They lead to horrible unnecessary treatments for women, costing fourteen million dollars a year.” He spoke of PSA tests whom he said had been “thrown out” but was still in use in many medical practices because of the “emotional attachments” to the tests.

Of course, this part sounds just crazy to me because who is emotionally attached to a medical test? Not me for sure!

Smart Phones will aid those suffering from Depression

I can see ways this new technology could be helpful to the population. When speaking about depression (the number one cause of disability in this country) he said, “With a wristband we can quantify mood states, heart rate variability, facial recognition, breathing pattern, inflection of voice, tone of voice. We will have information from the autonomic nervous system, be able to track galvanic skin response, heart rate variability, vital signs like blood pressure, and more.” This device may help people to avoid the use of medicine and be used as a tool for people who are in deeper depressive states.

 Issues of Privacy & Security a big concern for everyone

Dr. Topol’s biggest area of concern regarding this new technology is probably not much different than yours or mine. He stated, “Boundaries of ownership is my biggest concern. As to the issue of privacy and security there is no safeguard for it right now. There is a technological solution to secure it for the patients, and needs legislation because we don’t have these protections, legislation needs to be enacted.

Oh no! If we have to wait for Congress to pass needed legislation this technology might be slower entering the picture than Dr. Eric Topol imagines!

 The Aspen Ideas Festival

Aspen Ideas Festival it the premier gathering place for leaders from across the globe and various disciplines. There they engage in inquisitive and deep discussion of the ideas that both shape our lives and challenge our times.

I would agree that this program on PBS was eye opening as to practices we should be aware of currently in play in our medical system, and technologies being created with the hope of assisting us in leading healthier lives.

You, your body, your state of mind, your health is worth it. Make good health your number one priority in your life and watch the beauty of life unfold.

Listening to and learning from the thought leaders on the future of health care is now my passion. I have learned how important good information and good health care is and I want to shout it to the world. Listen up before it’s too late and you find yourself in the desperate situation I was in. I want you to have the tools for a healthy, vibrant life!

Please like my Facebook page! You will be instantly updated on interesting people, places, and other important information I am learning and sharing on my healing journey.

I digress…Free Online Future of Healing Virtual Conference

This week I have been listening to experts at the Future of Healing Virtual Conference. Each day of this conference is free for 24 hours and has an outstanding line-up of professionals. (Including my hero, Dr. Mark Hyman.) Sponsored by the Institute for the Psychology of Eating this is a fantastic information packed event. It runs for twelve days so you still have time to catch some of it. I am learning so much and plan to share information from this healing conference at a later date.

Below find important links to people and more information

on topics discussed in this article:



















How to help yourself heal; tips from a Functional Medicine Patient

I have been sharing my with you for several months now. Today I will share with you some of the things I do to help myself achieve wellness. Just for fun, more photographs than words this post…

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Heal Yourself With Music

Heal yourself with music. Music is a powerful tool for the brain and body.  I love music and use it as a tool to aid in my healing. I wore (and still wear) headphones almost every waking minute.  I pump positive tunes and beautiful melodies into my mind. I listen to books on tape to gain knowledge about my illness, make quiet time to relax with stress reduction cd’s and practice meditation plus Tai-Chi. I dance whenever I have the energy. I try to sing everyday and began teaching myself to play the Ukulele.

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Art will Help you to Heal

I use art as self-therapy whenever possible. Art opens up your heart and will help you to help yourself heal. I made cards, jewelry, painted furniture and objects. I  broke out my sewing machine and did a little creative sewing.

Art is a great way to express your emotions. Find a type of art you can participate in or just enjoy. This will help you on your road to healing.

Improve your mind with the Arts;

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Great Food and Good Friends are Healing

Good, fresh food is important and eating mindfully will help you along your healing journey. If you enjoy healthy food and  great friends too you are a lucky duck. Try to get out and spend time with others who look on the bright side of life.

Get out and walk every day. I love to listen to music and take photographs while I walk. Enjoy my iPhone photos taken on my daily walks. Try it, and help yourself to heal!

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Pets Love = Healing


Taking care of pets will help you to heal. These are my kitties, Sissy and Sugar. Appearing here as the perfect Angels. There is real science about how a cat’s purr is actually healing…not kidding…look it up!

Like my Facebook page and follow my Functional Medicine story, you too can find wellness by learning “how to help yourself heal.” Contact me, I love to hear your stories, questions and comments.

NPR story on how Music is healing:

NPR article on how light exercise is good for you:


Dr. Hyman; Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine and Me

Dr. Hyman Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine and Me

Meeting Dr. Hyman was the apex of my fourth visit to the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine. As my husband and I sat in the waiting room, Dr. Mark Hyman and his crew of bustling assistants briskly emerged from the center’s back offices.

Dr. Hyman is a very tall man, slender in build (a bit pale by Arizona standards) and bursting with radiant energy. He approached us and offered his hand as I introduced my husband and myself. He was hurried, yet attentive, holding a friendly smile and direct eye contact, as we spoke.  He was sharply dressed, sporting a crisp white collar and dashing midnight black suit.

Who is Dr. Hyman? My Personal Hero!

Dr. Hyman has appeared on the New York Times bestselling author list nine times. He is Director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, the UltraWellness Center, and chairman of the board of the Institute for Functional Medicine.  He is a regular contributor on television shows; CNN, CBS This Morning, Dr. Oz Show, Katie Couric, The Today Show, and is the medical editor of the Huffington Post. Whew! Let’s just say he’s a very busy medical professional.  He is an internationally recognized leader, educator, speaker and advocate for wellness based medical care. And he is my own personal hero.

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(Follow my Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine Patient Journey from the beginning: Like my FB page to learn more.)

Dr. Hyman/Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine 

I first become familiar with Dr. Hyman and his recommendations for a healthier lifestyle as I watched his program on PBS a few years ago. I was thrilled to finally be able to thank him in person for his contribution to my understanding of food as medicine. After all, it was his program that encouraged me to give up soda (poison of poisons!), and take my first tentative steps toward healthier food choices.

It was humbling and I felt so honored to finally meet the man I had been following since the very beginning of my Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine Journey. You may recall, I was at the very end of my rope when I followed a link on his website to learn of the center’s recent opening.

At the time, it had already been a long, increasingly desperate search for someone to help me. Too many agonizing months, I visited doctor after doctor, representing many specialties within a three-hour drive of my home. I was losing weight fast, becoming sicker and weaker each day. My local physicians could not seem to even grasp the situation, let alone help me.

Through my online research, I learned it was a Functional Medicine Practitioner who possessed the knowledge and skills to understand my health problem. Unfortunately, due to the current model of healthcare, none of them were able to accept insurance. The cost incurred with the medical visits, and extraordinary lab tests made it financially impossible for me.

Cleveland Clinic is the first (and to my knowledge, only) medical system to accept health insurance for this approach to wellness. We lucky patients hope that this is just the first step toward a nationwide acceptance of this remarkable technique, opening up the possibilities of great health to everyone.

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It was only after finding the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine Dr. Hyman founded, my treatment with Dr. Dirk Parvus, my quality of life has returned.

 Dr. Hyman Works with Congress to Improve Health Care

The fact that Dr. Hyman is able to work within the highest levels of government and the healthcare system to make this kind of top-notch health care available to ordinary citizens is a blessing to us all. This type of “premium healthcare” was formerly only available to wealthy individuals. Many patients in Dr. Hyman’s personal practice are millionaires (Remember President Bill Clinton’s improvement of health after his change in diet? Thanks should go to a thoughtful birthday gift from Hillary Clinton and the genius of Dr. Mark Hyman!)

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In April 2015 Dr. Hyman traveled to Washington D.C. to work with Congressman Tim Ryan. He was introducing the bipartisan ENRICH ACT into Congress. This is important because the ENRICH ACT will establish a competitive $15 million grant program for medical schools to integrate physical activity and nutrition education into their curricula.

My visit with Dr. Hyman

Later in the day, Dr. Hyman was kind, making time in his busy schedule to visit with me. He graciously posed for a photo while we chatted about how I might best share my Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine Patient Journey. He stepped next to me for the photographs, put his arm around my shoulder and squeezed my small frame tightly against his side. (Dr. Hyman is aware that hugs are healing!)

We all chuckled as Brigid grasped the photography reins with only an iPhone for equipment. She could have been a seasoned professional photographer. She didn’t waste a second securing this once-in-a-lifetime photo. Dr. Hyman only had a few minutes to spare for our meeting as he was on his way to present a program aptly named “Fed Up – Turning the Tables on the conventional wisdom of weight gain.”

Dr. Hyman shaved time away from his very important responsibilities to meet with me. He didn’t know my story, but in his years of practice he has seen stories like mine time and time again. He knows there is a better way- and by all appearances he won’t stop until everyone else knows it too. Everyone in this country will benefit from his efforts.

I’m thankful for his dedication, I live in gratitude to the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine. It is responsible for restoring my life.

Dr. Hyman shares my blog articles on his and The Institute for Functional Medicine FB pages!

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 Great links to learn more :

The Day I Met the “Father of Inspiration” Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

Dr. Mark Hyman:


Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine opening:

Dr. Hyman’s Nine Point Plan for New Healthcare Reform:


Nutritionist Brigid Titgemeier, RDN, LD








Celebrity Chef Anna Harvouis; Anna in the Raw & the Functional Medicine Patient

Celebrity Chef Anna Harvouis; Anna in the Raw & the Functional Medicine Patient

Celebrity Chef Anna Harvouis is the founder of the amazing “Anna in the Raw” food products.  Her restaurant The Good To Go Café is a quaint and magical micro-restaurant tucked away in a corner of the downtown Cleveland IMG building on the main floor entrance. The sixteen-story office building is headquarters to a global sports and media business.  Many important Cleveland sports figures are her repeat and intensely loyal customers.


Her cheery café is alive with color and the aroma of the foods being prepared within is wonderfully intoxicating. The cooler is always lined with her fresh juices, which provide a delicious rainbow of color to the charming surroundings.

Chef Anna Harvouis is a Superstar

The minute I met Chef Anna I knew she was destined to be a “Superstar”. Her amazing energy engulfs you, her dark eyes twinkle and her smile lights up the room. I was unaware upon our first meeting that Anna was already a known personality and local Cleveland celebrity. When she begins to speak her passion about raw healthy foods becomes abundantly clear. It won’t be long before Chef Anna Harvouis and “Anna in the Raw” will become a household name.

I later discovered how she often appears on local television and has made several lively appearances on the Food Network. Knowing that I was a patient of Dr. Dirk Parvus at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, founded by Dr. Mark Hyman, she shared with us how she had recently worked with Dr. Hyman, in an educational endeavor; a partnership with the Cleveland Clinic.

(follow my Functional Medicine Patient Journey;

My nutritionist Brigid told me about Anna In The Raw and The Good To Go Cafe. Brigid became animated as she told me about how wonderful Anna was. She could not stop talking about her fresh raw juices and other delicious food offerings. Luckily Brigid next gave me the “heads up” on UBER cabs, and I was on my way to a whirlwind rendezvous with Anna and her delicious offerings.

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A Tasty Morning with Anna in the Raw

Chef Anna invited my husband and I in and seated us at a small comfortable table. The open-air quality of the little cafe had all of the warmth and charm of Grandma’s kitchen. The fresh food quickly disappeared off of the shelves as regular customers, one after another, sauntered up to the counter and ordered their favorite healthy delight.

Trying her best to ignore her aching feet and with a stringent eye on quality, Chef Anna Harvouis was busy in the kitchen as we chatted. She is clearly a beautiful, strong, business savvy, quality conscious, organized, multi-tasker. I witnessed her managing her helpers, insisting on perfection, as she steadily accomplished one task after another. All the while she kept graciously sharing her story, generously devoting her time and attention to us.

Chef Anna is passionate about her work and understands the need for healthier fast food options. As I nourished my body with her delicious and healthy fare, enjoying our conversation, I began to feel the warmth of a girlfriend’s kitchen. I could imagine how we might grow our friendship. Together we might sit under a tall green tree, the breeze gently cooling us as we sipped generous chilled glasses of iced tea, sharing stories and recipe secrets on a warm summer afternoon. Her personality was big and she filled the room with love and laughter when she spoke. I believe that she touches everyone she meets in a profound and lasting way.

Chef Anna Harvouis “loves big” and works hard

She made special time to talk to me and told me the story of how the decline in the health of her father made her begin to explore healthier recipes. The love for her father and his absence in her life was clear. Her eyes well up with tender tears, she tries to fight them back, when she speaks of him. I was deeply touched when she shared this personal part of her story with me.

Her father was a Greek immigrant born on the isle of Ikaria, known for its raw food culture and healthy residents. He was an astute businessman and owned a booming, American diet style Cleveland restaurant for years. Chef Anna learned everything she knew about the restaurant business from her father. She suspected his change to the Standard American Diet (SAD) was one of the culprits in his health decline.

Chef Anna recalled her early years spent with her grandmother in the kitchen learning about raw foods. It was this memory, and her own health challenges, that put her on the path to the dedication, responsibilities and personal sacrifice of owning her own restaurant. One with food designed to help others to achieve optimal wellness. She overcame all obstacles and was able to achieve sustained success, all due to her tireless energy, focused dedication and well-earned personal finances.

Chef Anna has set the trend in Cleveland now toward healthy eating, and has kept her business thriving for twenty years.  She is a woman who stands on her own two feet and has earned (through hard work and determination) all the praise, celebrity and rewards bestowed upon her. Great joy fills her heart knowing that she is helping many people to achieve a healthier lifestyle. Her goal is to help people find wellness with food and avoid illness in their, and their loved ones, life. Celebrity Chef Anna is a “Food Angel.”

This Functional Medicine Patient is now Addicted to Chef Anna’s Zucchini Muffins

During our visit she whipped us up the most decadent veggie omelets that melted in our mouths. The fresh, cold pressed juices were awesome combinations and her zucchini muffins were to die for…  warning, they are addictive! My husband wanted one of everything –  and she left me wanting to come back for more!

I can’t wait to get back to Cleveland to laugh and smile again with Chef Anna Harvouis. I will be filling up with some of her delicious and nutritious “Anna in the Raw” food products when I again stop by the Good to Go Café . I love knowing that I can help myself reach my goals for ultimate wellness by simply filling up on her delicious fare.

If you are in Cleveland be sure to stop by 1360 East 9th Street, Cleveland, Ohio  (216-623-7220) and meet Chef Anna for breakfast and lunch. It’s been rumored she’s opening a second location in Tremont so check back for updates to her story. Follow her on FB  and Twitter @annaintheraw
















Functional Medicine Patient Meets Russ Crandall


The Universe works in mysterious ways and the stars aligned when this Functional Medicine Patient met Russ Crandall, ( Well respected for his expertise as a chef and author, Russ regularly contributes to “Food & Wine” magazine and’s “Kitchen Daily”. He has been featured in “People Magazine,” “Mashable,” and “The Huffington Post”.


I was honored to share lunch with Russ recently, and quite by accident, at a event. We enjoyed our healthy meal on the patio of the lovely Heard Museum ( in Phoenix. The beautiful blue sky lifted everyone’s spirits and the glittering golden sun found ways to warm and heal us, despite the shade umbrella.


Russ Crandall and QuirkyGirl Functional Medicine Patient sharing lunch at the Phoenix Press Public event.


I couldn’t help feeling that Russ and I were kindred spirits; his passion is my passion. Food is medicine, and we share our stories to help people discover optimal wellness. I was not expecting to meet him. It was a curious turn of events with my own health that compelled me to attend the event where he was scheduled to speak.

I was asked by my doctor to stop taking my supplements for two weeks to secure true results during a medical test. Due to this I was not feeling well, at all, when an invitation to a blogging event named Press Public appeared in my mailbox. It sounded fun, interesting and was very affordable.

I was enthusiastic about learning new techniques to improve my blogging skills and the appearance of my site. The event date was far enough away that I purchased a ticket and used it for a wellness goal. I reached my goal and was rewarded with pearls of wisdom and knowledge from experts like Russ.



Russ Crandall is the” boy next door”. He’s extremely intelligent, quiet, reserved, polite, patient, and humble. He’s the kind of man every mother wishes her daughter would marry. Honesty, integrity and loyalty are the qualities that I perceived in him. His passion to help others find wellness and his beautiful wife and child are his inspiration.

Yet, one would never guess by meeting him casually that he has traveled down a very long road from dire illness to recovery.  Practicing the standard American diet (SAD), he had a normal life, until he suffered a stroke at 24.  Open-heart surgery was necessary next, all this because of a rare autoimmune disease that would forever change the course of his life.


As an active duty military linguist, chef, and family man, Russ appears to be burning the candles at both ends. His passion for sharing the story of food as medicine has become so popular he can hardly keep up with the additional literary and speaking offers pouring in.



His latest project, “The Safe Starch Cookbook,” is available for purchase on his website, and is a great resource for any one who is looking to change their eating lifestyle with a Paleo diet.


I am confident the Universe has a larger plan for Russ Crandall. By healing his broken heart through food as medicine, he has turned it into a “heart of gold”. I encourage you to visit his website, read his story, try his cookbook and support his mission to help heal others.

I feel blessed to have been afforded the opportunity to meet such an inspiring person. Another important lesson in life’s classroom for which I am grateful – as I continue my healing journey.

Follow my Functional Medicine Patient Journey;





Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine Patient Journey

Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine Patient Journey

This is a true tale of my Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine Patient Journey. I am a Functional Medicine Patient and self-proclaimed Ambassador for what will become the way traditional medicine will be practiced in the future. It is the new “cutting edge” of health care.

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 Dr. Mark Hyman is changing the face of health care as we know it…

I first learned about Functional Medicine from Dr. Mark Hyman while viewing the program developed around his book (The Blood Sugar Solution) on PBS during one of their fundraising events. My health had been declining for some time and it made sense to watch a series of programs Public Television was airing about how to improve your health.

Dr. Hyman presented the information in such a way that I felt like he was speaking directly to me - as if he were saying: I am giving you the information, the key, to feeling better. Is it more important for you to continue with the bad habits you have developed (at the time I had a serious soda addiction), or do you want to feel better and not end up on prescription medications with all of their side effects, cut up from surgeries, hobbling around in a nursing home as you age?

I began working on giving up soda then, and I can now say that I am free of my soda addiction. My health is greatly improved because of it. Thank you Dr. Hyman and PBS!

My Functional Medicine Patient Journey 

Being one of what I imagine might be a typical patient, I accomplished one goal and then went about my merry way – continuing to sleep poorly, eat badly, and not exercise nearly as much as I should. I kept working long hours, putting myself under a great deal of stress. With eating, I went the easy way, often falling back on packaged foods with sugar and caffeine for energy. I did not pay attention to my body. I neglected to take vitamins, and I became sicker.

I followed the typical sequences of most people and sought help from traditional medicine, working my way through successively more specialized medical doctors while becoming more and more ill. They did not listen, I felt like they did not care, and did not know how to help me.

Their typical approach was to address the symptoms, without addressing the underlying problem. I asked one doctor if eating differently would make me feel better and she said “no”. I was shocked by this answer and it made me wonder if this very credentialed doctor in Phoenix, Arizona had access to the Internet and the abundance of information from multiple sources indicating “you are what you eat”.

Meanwhile, I had written a blog post about the scary things in our food and had become increasingly concerned about GMO’s, Roundup being integrated into food seeds and sprayed on produce as a ripening agent after growing, and the amount of sugar, additives and preservatives that are added to all of our processed food, not to mention how the estrogens in plastics were effecting people all across the country at shockingly younger ages.

My GP recognized the symptoms, didn’t know what to do except refer me elsewhere

Even my local General Practitioner was aware of the problems in our food supply and how they were leading to a relatively new condition in our society called “leaky gut syndrome.” She was familiar with Dr. Chris Kresser. It was her knowledge of this condition that sent me on an Internet search for more information about this growing problem.

Even though my GP was aware of this condition she didn’t have any other answer but to refer me to a G.I. Doc, and his only suggestion was for me to get a colonoscopy in a couple of months. Each doctor I visited in Arizona sent me out the door underweight, weak, sick, and no better off.  And this after waiting months for an appointment to see them. It became very discouraging. Clearly, I was in trouble, and unable to obtain the kind of help that I needed.

My letter to Dr. Dirk Parvus; Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine

This excerpt from my letter to Dr. Dirk Parvus at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine begins my story:

“I live three hours drive from Phoenix, AZ home of the famous Mayo Clinic. When it became clear that my small town local doctors were not interested, or able, to discover why I was so sick, I called Mayo and inquired about an appointment.

They refused to see me because I had not yet received a ‘diagnosis’ of my illness. I next tried a new model program in Phoenix that sounded more like the kind of care I was looking for; The Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. I discovered upon my call to them that they did not like the fact that I was so ill, and refused me because “I lived too far away to be able to utilize all of their services.”

I was gravely ill and without options. And thus, it was a sleepless night that brought about the inexplicable personal miracle and chain of events that lead me to you and the Center for Functional Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic.”

Learning about food as medicine

It began with my looking for healthier recipes. Dr. Hyman’s words were still ringing clear in the back of my mind. I knew that if I could eat better, I could feel better. Still, I became very confused as to what I should eat, since I could hardly keep any food down at all.  I discovered a website that I thought showed promise on this front. I would “like” them, and then new information would began appearing on my Facebook page. I “liked” the Paleo Mom as she promoted her new book and her upcoming appearance on the Dr. Amy Myer Auto-Immune Summit.

After watching every second of Dr. Myer’s fantastic program and drinking in all of the incredible amounts information that was shared, it became very clear to me that if I were ever to get to the root of my health problem, I would need access to a Functional Medicine Doctor. It was such common sense; I knew it was the only way I would be able to find my way back to health.

By now, I only weighed 82 pounds, was not tolerating any food well, and did not feel like I had any more time to spare. I literally felt like I was dying and I could feel myself aging by the minute, which was evident when I looked in a mirror.

Unfortunately, it  became clear that these kinds of doctors, and the testing they used, could get expensive, and were not covered by insurance. None of them were located very near me, so distance and the cost of travel would make it even more difficult. I was losing hope that I would ever find anyone who could help me.

I wrote my living will and informed my family of my wishes

And then, one restless night, one week before Thanksgiving, I happened across this article on Dr. Hyman’s website:

I couldn’t believe my eyes! The Cleveland Clinic, renowned for their outstanding medical care, believed in Functional Medicine too!

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Toby Cosgrove; President of the Cleveland Clinic explains

Toby Cosgrove CEO and President of the Cleveland Clinic explains: “We need new ways of thinking about chronic diseases, if we are to mitigate their effects on our society. One promising new approach is called functional medicine. It’s a preventive strategy that focuses on nutrition, sleep, exercise, stress levels, relationships and family history. It looks for the roots of disease in lifestyle factors, genetics and the environment.”

“Cleveland Clinic is the first major academic medical center to embrace many of these strategies. We believe that doing so is justified by the magnitude of the disease challenge. Keep in mind that this functional medicine approach does not replace traditional medicine. It is not offered as a substitute for conventional treatments. In fact, it can enhance the effectiveness of traditional medicine by promoting healthy lifestyles and positive states of mind. And if functional medicine is indeed able to mitigate the coming crisis of chronic disease, I say more power to it.”

Thank you Toby Cosgrove, M.D. Your open mind and amazing foresight continues to demonstrate to the rest of the medical industry there is more than one approach to achieve healing. Dr. Cosgrove is a visionary who understands that for some of us, traditional medical care does not help us reach our wellness potential. Dr. Cosgrove’s acceptance of Functional Medicine meant that it was within my financial reach. It made it possible for other patients and myself to utilize insurance to help cover the costs of a top-notch Functional Medicine Physician.

Yet another excerpt from my letter to the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine explains my experience there best

“Dr. Parvus, my experience with you and your staff was warm, welcoming, and reassuring. You cared about what I had to say, encouraged questions, and listened. You strived to get to know me better so that you could help me get to the root of my problem. You gave me hope, tools and information- all designed to help me get better, just when I needed it most.

The experience I had upon my first visit with Dr. Dirk Parvus was life-changing. I have never had the pleasure of access to a physician of this high caliber of clinical skill and guidance, delivered with such genuine kindness. Dr. Parvus and his team had no idea of my year-long odyssey through the health care system.  He did not know how I faced a doctor’s anger over and over again when I refused pharmaceuticals that would only mask my symptoms, while not addressing the source of my problem.

What he could see is that I was gravely ill. Using his extensive knowledge and years of experience, he and his team literally saved my life, right then, in that first visit.

UPDATE: Dr. Dirk Parvus has resigned his position at the Cleveland Clinic and is operating a robust practice in South Florida. It’s a great reason to visit Fort Lauderdale if you are searching for an outstanding Functional Medicine Doctor. Follow this link to learn more

I’ll admit, it was still tough making the trip, and had it not been for my husband’s care and assistance along the way, I could not have made it at all.  But it was all worth it. Finally, I had hope, and had found the help that I desperately desired.

Returning home after my first visit with Dr. Parvus

It was after returning home that I put into place the medicines, vitamins, stress reduction techniques, and special diet that Dr. Parvus and his team prescribed for me. A couple of weeks of following their guidance and I began to feel better.

Again I will quote from my letter to Dr. Dirk Parvus, Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine:

“I would like to thank you, Dr. Hyman, and your team, for making Functional Medicine available to an average person like me.  My immediate future was bleak when I walked through your door, and my life has been altered because of my experience there. My hope is that this model can be echoed in systems across the country, and they be staffed with like-minded practitioners.“

I have just returned home from my second visit with Dr. Parvus, my nutritionist Brigid Titgemeier, and all the wonderful people that populate the Center. This visit confirmed with blood and other tests, what Dr. Parvus suspected with my first visit.

I greatly enjoyed my time with Brigid (learn more about Brigid at the conclusion of this article) because she is so sweet with her gentle guidance, while being so knowledgeable in her field. I learn something new from her every time we talk. I see now how her imparted knowledge is absolutely integral to my health.  She is a very important part of this incredible team.

The trip to Cleveland Ohio was much easier this time (despite the cold weather there, brrrr!!) because I feel better everyday. I am still struggling with my health- we are creatures of habit and change is hard. But I strive for perfection every day and I know that with the help of these skilled health care professionals, wellness like I have never experienced in my lifetime, is within my grasp.

I am now and forever a patient and self-proclaimed  Ambassador for Functional Medicine. I am sharing my story with you in hope that you too will discover Functional Medicine and follow your own road to ultimate wellness.

Share my story, help me to help others find their path to wellness

That is why I am sharing my story, and if you made it through this very long article, you may be interested in liking my Functional Medicine Patient Community -Facebook page and following my progress as I share it with everyone. I’m  hopeful  I will be able to help others learn about what Functional Medicine and what the awesome Cleveland Clinic can do for them.

I am a self-appointed Functional Medicine Ambassador, and if you sit next to me on a airplane or stand next to me in line, I will strike up a friendly conversation. In short order I will be sharing the story of the superior experience I am having with Dr. Dirk Parvus, his team, and the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine.

My Nutritionist Brigid

Brigid Titgemeier is a registered dietitian nutritionist. She holds a master’s of science in Public Health Nutrition from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and a bachelor’s of science in Dietetics from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

Brigid began her nutrition career at Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute. In its Center for Lifestyle Medicine, she contributed to writing and research initiatives for local and national media outlets, developed presentations and created patient educational materials. Brigid also provided corporate wellness services to clients of Cleveland Clinic’s wellness enterprise, creating nutrition strategies, and presenting on nutrition-related topics.

Brigid is a published author and co-author for dozens of health and nutrition articles for U.S. News & World Report, the Huffington Post, Cleveland Clinic Health Hub, YouBeauty, ivillage and Stack magazine. She is an asset to the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine.

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The Healing Power of Hugs

Scientists and Doctors have always known about the healing power of hugs.


This Holiday Season as you are spreading joy and cheer (while still being aware of the flu possibilities), be sure to give an abundance of hugs. You won’t need mistletoe to prompt you after you learn exactly how your body responds when hugged.

Many famous people support the healing power of hugs. Psychotherapist Virginia Satir said:  ”We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance.” Did you know that your spiritual survival required four hugs a day? How many hugs have you given away today?



Your body releases oxytocin in response to a physical touch. Oxytocin is released by your own pituitary gland. This naturally occurring hormone inside of your body has really powerful healing properties. It can boost your emotional and physical health. Four hugs a day keeps the doctor away?

Yes, there are healing powers in hugging others!

The healing power of hugs is undisputed. But did you also know that adding handholding would also increase the amazing benefits? In fact ten minutes of handholding along with just a twenty second long hug can reduce the harmful effects of stress including its impact on your heart rate and blood pressure.



People you love want you to hold their hand and hug them this Holiday Season. It will do you as much good as it does them.

Touch is a language that is universal, a way to communicate our emotions to another human being with amazing accuracy.


As you enjoy your Holiday Season, I encourage you to think of others who might be in need of a way to make their day a little more special.  So, don’t forget, hugs for all this year! Tell everyone you know about the healing power of hugs!

Want to learn more about hugs? Follow this link!



Evidence of the Power of Prayer

There is scientific evidence of the power of prayer.


This is not information about religion; it is about prayer itself, a practice that reaches across all religions, and even to those who do not believe in a deity.  “Indigenous cultures hold no separation between healing and a connection to the sacred.” Said Marilyn Schlitz, PhD. (Vice President of Research at the Institute of Noetic Sciences and Senior Scientist at the Research Institute of the California Pacific Medical Center.) “If you examine various traditions, it is only within our culture that we make this demarcation between what is the rationalist approach and what is our deep engagement with the mystery. We simply cannot ignore the mind-body connection and the implications of how it seems to gain us access to the world behind the veil (spiritual realm if you will).”

Do you pray? Has this been something you have always practiced or something that a traumatic event has guided you to do? Do you believe in the power of prayer?power-of-prayer 

A CNN poll concluded that 73% of Americans believe in the power of prayer, and research that primarily focused on the power of prayer in healing has almost doubled in the last decade. The NIH (National Institutes of Health) is now funding a study focused specifically on prayer and healing through its Frontier Medicine Initiative.

wake-up-to-the-power-of-prayerLately, my Facebook page has been filled with tragic and sad stories about people who need help and are asking for prayers. Many of my family members are suffering from health issues.


As I researched how to discover the root cause of  illness and how best to treat it from a whole body perspective, I found myself beginning to wonder if there was science behind the power of prayer.

In a Web MD article, Dr. Krucoff states: “All of these studies, all the reports, are remarkably consistent in suggesting the potential measurable health benefit associated with prayer or spiritual interventions.”

moon-power-of-prayerMy personal belief is the answer to good health cannot be found in a medical bag. In order to heal you must open yourself up to the multidimensional nature of healing. This includes body, mind, spirit and community.  There is evidence in the healing power of prayer. Knowing these new facts makes it especially important to pray for everyone you can, everyone who you know needs it. It is not only good for them, its good for you too. “All forms of prayer evoke a relaxation response that quells stress, quiets the body and promotes healing.”

There is evidence in the healing power of prayer.  Thank you for your prayers. Ask someone you know: “Please pray for me, there is evidence of the healing power of prayer.” Let’s all heal together.

Improve Your Mind With the Arts

Do you know how to improve your mind? There is an easy and fun way to keep your brain cells active. The arts contain the power to promote good health, connect communities, and stimulate your mind. It doesn’t matter if you are young or old, you can improve your life and your facilities by practicing the arts.


A symbol of healing with the arts.

It’s so easy! You can be viewing a movie, be engaged in a play, listening to music, or painting something unique.  It is in these moments that your emotions are engaged at their deepest level. Who knew that emotion was created in us for a reason? The emotion begins in our brain, but this is just the beginning of a system that promotes survival throughout your body.


The arts are best experienced in a group setting.  This allows everyone participating to share the experience and the emotions from it, together. It is the learning how to share, and the sharing of these emotions that allow people to live peacefully together, and develop deep bonds within their community. A wonderful community can be based around painting, jewelry making, dancing, singing, or theatre. Scientific research has confirmed that our brain and physical bodies are directly affected by our involvement in the arts. See, it’s true, you can improve your mind by practicing the arts!


Art is often utilized in progressive healing environments.  It will engage and calm us in any environment. It allows us to tap into our own body’s endorphins and beneficial hormones to create a stellar environment for healing.


We also now know that our brains continue to create new brain cells throughout our lifetime.   With the right nutrition, we can now fight the old perception that we only have the brain cells we were born with. Think about that for minute.  We are not just destined to become senile in time! Senility is not a natural aging function. It can be effected by our diet, social interactions, and the inclusion of art.


Veterans who are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are now using Art as therapy in certain programs. They can use art to have very real experiences and find situations within the art that trigger memories of difficult times. This allows them to talk about their experiences through the art, and deal with them in productive ways.


Self expression is a basic human need.  If you use dance as an example, you will realize that it is an early form of communication. You do not have to be an artist to enjoy or be stimulated by art. The arts are just a way of reflecting and distilling our own feelings. The art that is produced benefits the artist and the observer alike. They are healing their minds and bodies through the emotion that is created from the energy of the art.


You can improve your mind by practicing the arts!  Did you know that evidence suggests that dance programs improve dementia in patients by 75%! This is treatment for a disease that ruins lives and a cure is not available. Open up your mind and heart to the arts and you open up your heart to hope. It can change your life! Art will remind you what it is to be, and feel like a fulfilled human. The world is a perfect place when you are creating or appreciating art.

If you missed my earlier article on the healing power of gemstones used in jewelry, take a minute to check out this link. 

Please be sure to leave a comment or suggestion! I always look forward to hearing from you!




Margaret Richard Will Get You In Shape; Body Electric

Margaret Richard will get you in shape. I’m not saying that it will be easy, but you will feel like you have a friend on your side as you fight your way to fitness. Although her dance/exercise program Body Electric originally aired in 1984, I discovered Margaret in the 1990’s.  I was slim at the time but had lost my muscle tone due to prolonged illness. With Margaret’s help I was determined to heal and tone my body.


Margaret Richard working out on her PBS program, Body Electric in the 1990′s.

Now, when I say that Margaret Richard will get you in shape, you should know I do not make this statement lightly. I am not, nor have I ever been, someone who enjoyed doing exercise. I spent all of my time enjoying music and the arts. I was certainly not athletic and struggled endlessly in physical education classes in school.

But Margaret made me feel like I was working out with a girlfriend. She integrated dance into the routines so that it felt more like a night out, than a day in my living room building muscle tone. She would talk me through it, encouraging me, constantly reminding me how to keep correct form. She made it o.k. to customize the workout to my fitness level. I was hooked.

I videotaped every new episode that aired on my PBS channel and began to use the programs to customize a workout for my entire body. I purchased her more advanced videos. I continued the workouts and in the end I could get through every exercise with her and was so very proud.


This photo is of Margaret Richard later in her career.

Margaret’s workouts increased my flexibility, stamina, and strength with a 3 hour per week program. You too can practice the workout routines along with her. Embrace the pain, and reduce your unsightly and unhealthy body fat from the comforts of your own home!

Margaret never fails to put together a program that increases muscle tone and builds bone strength, while avoiding injuries and aches.  You won’t have to “gussy up”, feel intimidated by the gym, or drive anywhere to begin on your road to fitness. You will be able to work out on your own time, at your own pace, and customize the workout to your personal fitness level. Her warm smile, girlish giggle, fun routines and expertise will compel you to get off of the sofa, put in her exercise DVD and get to work. Margaret Richard will get you in shape!

And now Margaret is working on getting me back into shape again.  All ladies understand how life can get busy and we gradually fall away from our exercise routine and healthy eating habits. Time goes by and we look into the mirror or visit the doctor and realize that we have been forgetting to take care of ourselves. This is when we reach out to our good friend and exercise mentor; Margaret Richard.


A beautiful, smiling, Margaret Richard.

Margaret sums up a lifetime of exercise advice this way, “There are twelve major muscle groups and my program works each of those groups for three and a half minutes each workout. It doesn’t matter how many reps you do, what’s important is being slow and controlled and having the correct form.” Of course, Margaret makes doing the exercises look easy, but you will find them fun, challenging and body changing! 

After a lifetime career in the fitness industry Margaret know what Boomers need. “There is an urgent need in the fitness industry to provide appropriately challenging exercise programs for people in their mid years. We boomers want a fitness program that respects our vibrancy, with no negative side effects.”, Margaret shared. “Exercising during midlife, especially if you haven’t been, can pay enormous later-life benefits. Being physically fit “compresses the time” that someone is likely to spend being debilitated during old age, leaving the earlier post-retirement years free of serious illness and, at least potentially, imbued with a finer quality of life.” Who doesn’t desire that? We all want to THRIVE, no matter what our age!

Ms. Richard recommends that you begin using free weights. The key is to start with lighter ones and build up to using heavier weights. Basically, if you start making it all the way through the exercise and it begins to get easier, it’s time to add more weight!

She stresses the importance of waiting three days between workouts to exercise the same muscle group again. Margaret does remind us often that we need to additionally do a brisk thirty minute walk every day, and longer if we need to lose body fat.


Margaret Richard Exercising with a floor routine.

After all of our years of working out and sharing virtual sweat, pain and gain together, I like to feel like Margaret and I are dear friends.  This sentiment is shared by many other women on Margaret’s Facebook page.

I recently read a story about Margaret and thought it sounded just like the Mentor I adored…  She was enjoying the beach one day when she overheard an over-fifty lady comment that she was pleased she had reached an age where how she looked in a bathing suit no longer mattered. Margaret’s response to that statement was “It’s true that you can’t do much about the skin as you age-especially if you’ve got sun damage. But at least if you maintain muscle tone you’ve got something decent to drape it over.” And let’s face it, it’s not just about our appearance anymore ladies, it’s about our health, the quality, and longevity of our life.

In one of Margaret’s earlier articles she talks openly about Menopause. This is an issue many women are facing and struggling to find answers for. Even Margaret with her beautiful, fit body faced the same difficulties we do. She wrote “I sailed through my thirties and forties brimming with strength, passion, and infinite possibilities. Then, something changed. I began to experience a seismic shift in my body’s shape with my hormones waning and my body fat gaining. My once lean and muscular frame began to morph like a science experiment gone awry. I was in my early fifties and every ounce of my being oozed menopause.” Sound familiar girls?


Margaret Richard photo.

It turns out that in addition to age, our hormones are affected by our poor American diet. Margaret reached out for help and hired a nutritionist. And now we all should know that poor eating habits and processed foods are affecting our hormones, and our lack of exercise is making us plump and sick. If we want to have good health, flexibility, and balance as we age, we need to get with the program.


Get on the road to health with me! I am personally giving up all sugar,  eating more fruits and vegetables, drinking more water, and working out faithfully. And I know it’s not going to be easy. There is nothing worth having that ever is. So, are you ready to race down the road to excellent health and fitness? Would you like to embrace Margaret Richard with me and allow her to expertly guide and encourage us? 


Friends for Life

I encourage you to explore the 40 DVD’s and videos, over 500 PBS programs and book by Margaret Richard. If Body Electric is not being aired on your PBS affiliate, please contact them and request they consider broadcasting the program. I am certain that you will love her as much as I do. Margaret says, “In order to succeed, one must be able to endure the anxiety that comes with the possibility of failure. And, you have no failures if you look at a potentially negative situation as an opportunity to learn and grow.”

I love it when Margaret reminds us, “We are redefining what it means to be 40, 50, and older. I believe we will always have the opportunity for self-improvement, devoting more time to developing our bodies and our minds.” Margaret Richard will help you regain your figure, life, and vitality, no matter what your age or fitness level. 


There is nothing that I can put into words as well as my workout hero Margaret Richard. “You’re only as old as you let yourself be and never too old to enjoy the best days of your life.”

She’s now over 50 and Fabulous as always.

I can’t wait to hear your remarks! How are your travels on the road to fitness? Did Margaret Richard get you in shape too?
























How to be a Happy Person

If you have trouble feeling happy and are wondering if this emotion could ever be number one in your life, you will be pleased to know that Positive Psychology (the study of happiness) has completed the research. The jury is in, and it shows that you can create your own happiness in life. You can learn how to be a happy person!


Happiness is a joy you feel when you strive to reach your potential.

It is true that our genes and our environment can affect our happiness, but research proves that people have the ability to change their mindset. They can move away from the chains of their childhood, their current environment, and their genes.

The research into happiness suggests that before you can be happy you will need to define it for yourself. What is it that really makes you happy? If you can discover this, then you are well on your way.

I am seldom able to regularly watch television programs, but my DVR is always set for Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday.

If you haven’t taken the time to view an episode, I encourage you to check it out. Oprah interviews many different guests in order to learn how to live with a peaceful soul and find your true purpose in life.


A happy Oprah Winfrey.

This Oprah episode, seen on OWN, featured a guest named Shawn Anchor.

Shawn is the author of a recently released book “Before Happiness”.


Shawn Anchor, author.

Throughout the show he talked about how he was fundamentally a happy child, but through one of life’s experiences, he found himself in a deep, two-year depression. And during that time he was unable to be happy. He had forgotten what it was like.

Stay with me now, because I want to share with you some simple tips I learned by watching the show.

Mr. Anchor says that many people will set some goal for themselves. Their thinking is that when they reach that particular goal, they will then feel happy. But the truth is “Success is a moving target, so your definition of success always changes. And when you reach this goal, you will already be thinking about the next goal, not living in the moment, not feeling happy for all of the work and sacrifices that it took to reach your first goal.”

The elevated depression, as well as climbing suicide rates, tells researchers that people are chasing happiness in the wrong way, but they can learn how to be happy!

Many people will base their happiness on their material possessions. But through the science of Positive Psychology we know that “10% of our long-term levels of happiness are based on the external world.” How our brain processes it changes how it affects us. No kidding girls, there is research to prove it!

Here is the prescription from this episode: Begin to encourage happiness by creating a single change in your life. It doesn’t even have to be a big change, a little change will do.  This will remind you that being happy is important to you and that your happiness matters. Always remember, you deserve to learn how to be happy.


You only need to take two minutes to be on the road to happiness.

This single change in your life needs to happen for two minutes for a total of twenty-one days. Now don’t be a “Negative Nancy!” It has been proven with research that this works. For instance, just putting a smile on your face can change your brain chemistry. Think about it, put a smile on your face, and your day gets better. You see, your happiness, or lack thereof will affect everyone around you. Say hello to a stranger and make their day. Not only can you ensure that you learn how to be happy, but you will be helping complete strangers enrich their lives!

Wake up each morning and discover three things that you are grateful for. These three new things to recognize and appreciate will help to remind you to be happy for all of your blessings. “Gratitude changes your vibrational frequency in the world.”

If something meaningful has happened to you throughout your day, write it down in a journal. Every once in a while, scan back through your writings. This will help change you, and direct you to the meaning in your life. See?  You can take simple steps and learn how to be happy.

Did you know that exercise builds happiness? It is good for your mind and your body, so what is your excuse now? Don’t you want to learn how to be happy? To enjoy your life more, to be free from worry?

Take a moment to spend in silence. Sneak away to sit and enjoy the silence. Breathe. Feel grateful and clear your mind. If you can spend two minutes doing this it will actually change your brain chemistry. This is an important step when you learn how to be happy.

Some people are born happy, for others it is not so easy, but let’s be clear, you do have a choice, you can learn how to be happy. Really, you can improve your happiness. You can learn how to do it. Here are a few more tips from the program: Being more positive will make you more successful in your life. Also, intelligence only amounts to 25% of our success.

To sum it all up, you should know that happiness is a choice. It is a practice. It is easy and you can do it. So check out Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday if you get a chance. It just might change your life.

I can’t wait for your comments, please tell me, have you learned how to be happy person?





Duck Feathers, Animal Hair; Scary Additives in Your Processed Food

Would you knowingly eat duck feathers, animal hair, sawdust or sand? What would you say if I told you that you probably already are. These are scary additives in your processed food. I’m not kidding, and if you are as shocked as I am it just might change the way that you eat. It will also cause you to stop and think about what kind of beauty and household products you are purchasing.


Photo of feathers

Imagine my surprise when I happened to sit down to watch an episode of Dr. Oz while I ate my lunch. His show contained a segment that was a real eye opener. His guest was a gentleman that had spent many years working in the food industry. He presented three food additives that are found in processed food that we purchase frequently.

He warned consumers to read the product labels. Silica or Silicon Dioxide is simply powered sand. Yes, I said sand, like at the beach. (Gasp here.) This is found in your spice section. You know, those quickie powders we use to make tacos or chili? Yep, check your labels girls, you may just be feeding your family a mouthful of sand.


Did you know sand was a food additive?

This scary food additive was a real surprise to me, you will find it on your food label as cysteine or L-Cysteine. This additive is made from duck feathers and animal hair. You know that delicious loaf of bread you just purchased? Chances are this additive was used to make your bread look prettier and fluffiest. ( And we all laughed when the cat was spitting out feathers in the cartoon!) Did you know that this was one of the scary additives in your processed food?

If you love low-fat foods because you think they can help you keep a few pounds off, I hope you feel fine about eating sawdust. Yes, Cellulose is the name you will find on the label, but sawdust is what we normal folks usually call it. So, the next time you reach for Low Fat dairy products, chances are you are preparing to swallow sawdust. They think this scary food additive makes your dairy products creamier. Yummy?

Recently I read an article that talked about the horrible additive they use in skim milk so it will have better color. Today I saw an article that exposed that many fruity yogurt products will contain more sugar that a Twinkie. Who knew? Girls, I think it is time to start using our computers to read labels and try to weed out food that is unsafe to our health. This means cutting packaged foods from our diet.

milk-photoKnowledge is power. It’s time to educate each other on what products to avoid so that we can keep ourselves and our families healthy. Let’s become our own best health advocates, let’s start reading labels and finding out what those unpronounceable ingredients are. Let’s make sure that we know when duck feathers, animal hair, and scary additives are in our food.

I really look forward to your comments on this post. Do you know of other foods or beauty products that women should avoid and why?


Gem Therapy; Healing Gemstone Jewelry

Alternative Medicine is new to many people. Learn more with this article titled: Gem Therapy; Healing Gemstone Jewelry. Discover ways to enjoy healing and other benefits from a tiny piece of Mother Earth. Gemstones contain the earth’s energy and provide benefits to you when you wear them. What a better way to enhance your life than by wearing healing gemstone jewelry?


Lapis and blue glass bead, handmade necklace.

For the record, there is not any formal scientific evidence that proves that gemstones offer energy  beneficial to us as humans.

Yet history tells us that priests, monks, astrologers and others have used semi-precious stones in healing practices and ceremonies for centuries.

These stones are said to offer healing and other benefits to the wearer and are now being used in Gem Therapy,  a form of medicine that is provided by alternative practitioners.

Some practitioners follow the belief that stones will affect particular organs when directed at the body’s chakras or energy centers.

The semi-precious stones are thought to enhance a person’s physical healing as well as their mind and spirit.

Stones were formed over eons at high pressure, they embody intense concentrations of energy. We know that quartz crystals conduct and transform energy as  they are found in phones, televisions, and computers.

Each semi-precious stone provides different benefits:

Turquoise, is known for its positive healing energy, as an aid in mental functions, and is helpful with communications and expression. It is thought that wearing this stone will afford you protection.


Double strand semi-precious turquoise handmade necklace.

Lapis is thought to bring about wealth and abundance. Lapis Lazuli carries the wisdom and calm that can negate most negative influences in your life and environment. It is said if you wear this beautiful rich blue stone it will liberate you from your fears and self-imposed limitations.

To learn more about semi-precious stones and their properties follow the “Our Stones” link on the menu bar.

I would love to hear your thoughts and comments. Do you believe in the benefits of semi-precious gemstone jewelry?

Until next time,

Quirky Girl