to Foster Success in Your Children

In this episode I talk to former professional football player and world renowned speaker, Bo Eason, on a very important topic.

This episode deviates from my usual themes of nutrition and health but addresses another important aspect of life. When I first heard that Bo would be speaking at an event I was attending, I wrote him off, figuring I would not learn much from an ex-football player.

I could not have been more wrong! He told a story that struck me to the core, and I realized that he and I had similar goals for our families.

He said that after he retired from playing football, he took his children to a birthday party in their city in California. He talked about how these lavish parties for five year olds always seemed to try and one-up each other and how uncomfortable he felt at them.

His son Axel, found a football in the bushes and Bo and Axel started tossing the ball back and forth. Bo noticed a group of the other dads watching him and whispering as they played.

At one point, Bo’s son dropped the ball, and he told him “Don’t let the ball touch the ground. Don’t drop the ball.”

He noticed more whispering from the other dads and eventually one of them walked over to him and said “Why did you say that to that boy?”

Bo responded, “Well, that boy is my son, and in our house, it is a rule that we don’t let the ball touch the ground.”

The conversation continued and the other dad asked Bo, “Why is this a rule in your house?”

Bo told the other dad that growing up, he and his brother got a football for Christmas one year and would toss it to each other 1,000 times per day. They realized that it was a long time until next Christmas and that they had to make the football last, so they didn’t want it to touch the ground very often so it wouldn’t wear out too quickly, so that was their rule.

The other dad asked him “Well, how did that work out for you?”

Bo responded “Pretty well I guess since my brother and I both played in the NFL.” The other dad “humpfted” and walked away.

That moment was a pivotal one for Bo, and he decided that he would not put up with mediocrity or those types of influences for his children.

Bo’s message is about story telling and fostering success in his children (and in his own life). He set his goal to play in the NFL when he was 7 years old and he accomplished it. He is now a renowned speaker and teaches storytelling to others worldwide.

In this episode, Bo mentions these books

  •  The Little Red Book of Talent
  • The Talent Code
  • The War of Art
  • Movie: The Legend of Bagger Vance

Coconut Oil Secret & Natural Remedies

My post about 101 uses for coconut oil is one of the most popular posts on I’m a huge fan of coconut oil and my family uses it for everything!

Jake Carney of joins me on this informative podcast to talk about the coconut oil secret, natural remedies and healthy fats.

Jake has an extremely popular book, The Coconut Oil Secret and you can get it at a discount by visiting this link.

In this episode, Jake and I talk about

2:03- How Jake became interested in alternative health
2:34- His big struggle that started at age 6
5:05- A tragedy in his personal life that was a catalyst for his own struggles
5:05- How his wife didn’t understand his struggle
5:15- What his doctor suggested and why he left his doctor’s office
7:35- What does everybody think?
7:54- How a surfing website helped him find answers
11:23- How got started
12:07- The free gift that had a huge impact on Jake
12:24- The site he will eventually start
13:30- When Jake started learning about natural living
15:05- How he first learned about coconut oil
16:56- What happened when he first started using coconut oil and why it made him sick
17:45- Why people looked at him strange
19:05- The drink you should never drink after noon!
21:20- An unusual use for coconut oil that I may or may not have tried
22:05- One thing you should NOT do with coconut oil
25:04- Is saturated fat bad for you?
25:50- The bad research against saturated fat
24:19- Is Saturated Fat causing heart disease?
25:36- Why coconut oil is not stored as fat and how you burn fat faster with coconut oil
28:21- Are trans fats really bad?
30:15- Why Jake doesn’t like Whole Foods
30:24- The problem with cottonseed oil and the nasty step in its manufacturing
32:10- His favorite natural remedies.
35:00- The 80/20 principle of green smoothies
36:01- The controversial part of health
40:26- Personalization

Resources We Mention

  • The Coconut Oil Secret Book
  • My coffee recipe
  • Apple Cider Vinegar- Jake’s Post & My Post
  • The Alternative

Thanks as always for listening. Just a reminder, you can get a discounted copy of The Coconut Oil Secret at this link.

Please subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or Stitcher to get every episode downloaded automatically on your phone and I’d be really appreciative if you’d leave a rating or review.

Vitality & Healthy Children

In this episode of the Wellness Mama Podcast, I talk to my friend Dr. Pedram Shojai (founder of about ways to improve the future for our children and how to create vitality in our lives.

In This Episode We Discuss

1:30- The problems that future generations will face
2:04- Pedram’s new goals for future generations
3:30- The problem with conventional medicine
4:20- Why he felt trapped
4:30- The “sick care” problem
5:15- One of the flaws of the existing health care model
6:05- What inspired him to create “Vitality”
6:40- The wheel of vitality
7:00- Sleep, mindset, diet and exercise
7:50- Why kids have so much energy
10:28- Changes to make to improve health
10:45- The first stop
10:50- Breakfast: say no to cereal
11:00- Why cereal is a big deal
11:30- Why our kids are disconnected from food
12:01- How to make positive changes for your family
12:47- The flaw with our method of teaching children
13:40- The epidemic of kids not moving
14:01- The mindset for kids- how to fix it
14:25- What we have to teach our kids
14:50- Your child’s future job hasn’t even been invented yet
15:40- Victory gardens revisited
16:30- How Big Ag messed everything up
18:00- Pedram’s adventures and why his wife lost sleep
19:12- Is organic food too expensive?
19:30- Why we aren’t prioritizing health
22:28- How you are wasting energy
23:10- Subtle changes to start making
24:06- Hope for adults
25:16- Vitality screening
26:15- Hang out with me and Pedram
28:00- Advice he wishes he’d gotten earlier in life
29:01- Let your kids blossom

Resources Mentioned in This Episode

  • Dr. Pedram’s site:
  • Environmental Working Group
  • Friends of the Earth

More about Vitality

I recently got a chance to watch Vitality. Dr. Pedram talks about many of the things I’ve been talking about around health and lifestyle, succinctly said in a punchy, fun, informative, and short feature film.

What is Vitality about?

To start off, that the “sick care” model in the West is designed to make money off of illness and that’s why people are getting worse every year. Why drugs can’t actually “fix” anything…

The solution?

Pedram teaches us how to increase the vital energy in our lives so we can thrive instead of merely survive and stumble along. It breaks lifestyle down into the “wheel” of Vitality and gives a great structure for us to understand health in a simple yet powerful way. It is a sane look at an insane problem…very refreshing.

Who is this movie for?

EVERYONE. Whether you’re a physician who knows most of this already or someone who’s ailing and needs all the help they can get, Vitality’s message will move you. The country of Namibia is sharing this movie with school-aged children in order to help them thrive. There are governors of a couple US states in discussion to have this movie shown to families in need and foster children. It is endorsed by the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) and the American Academy for the Advancement of Medicine (ACAM).

Long story short- doctors love it. Teachers use it. People are raving about it…and I recommend it. The movie is available on amazon, iTunes, and various stores to buy/rent but I’ve got a gift for you.

Please subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or Stitcher to get every episode downloaded automatically on your phone and I’d be really appreciative if you’d leave a rating or review. Thanks so much for reading and listening!

Stop the Sugar Madness

Today, I’m taking a break from normal podcast interviews to step on my soapbox for a few minutes. I love doing interviews (you can check them all out here), but a recent experience reminded me of the importance of this issue and I didn’t want to wait for an interview to talk about it.

Any guesses as to what the issue is?

I’ll give you a hint- it is an addictive substance that is linked to various types of disease and is especially harmful to children who are exposed.

Nicotine? Nope.

Illicit drugs? Those too, but no.

Asbestos? Yes, but not today’s topic.

Another hint- It is molecularly similar to cocaine and harmful to the liver.

Alcohol? No.

Vegetable oils? Nope, but those are bad too.

Toxic cleaning chemicals? No, but I would recommend using natural alternatives to those as well.

Today, I’m ranting about SUGAR.

Why? Because I decided to count for a week and my children were offered refined sugar in some form 21 times! The scary part is that we avoid a lot of situations where they would most logically be offered it and these were just places like the bank, the gym (!!) and friends’ houses.

All things in moderation….

A little bit won’t hurt…

It’s fuel for the brain…

All justifications for consuming sugar in some amount. The question is: should sugar ever be consumed and if so, in what amount?

I suggest that refined sugar should be avoided completely. Not so sure? Consider this:

  • 27 million+ people suffering from thyroid problems
  • 66% of the population overweight or obese
  • Rates of cancer and heart disease skyrocketing
  • estimated 95% of the population obese in next few decades
  • 1/3 of the population suffering from metabolic syndrome

Also, consider…

  • In 1700, average sugar consumption was 4 pounds per year.
  • In 1800, that number jumped to 18 pounds per year.
  • In 1900, this had more than quadrupled to 90 lbs per year.
  • Currently, Americans average one-half pound  PER DAY—translating to a whopping 180 pounds of sugar per year! (or roughly equal to a person’s bodyweight in sugar per year)

I wrote about the problems with sugar in depth here, but a paper called The Harmful Effects of Sugar on the Body and Mind explains:

Many times, so much calcium is used to neutralize the effects of sugar that the bones become osteoporotic due to the withdrawn calcium. Likewise, the teeth are affected and they lose their components until decay occurs and hastens their loss. …Refined sugar is void of all nutrients, consequently it causes the body to deplete its own stores of various vitamins, minerals and enzymes. If sugar consumption is continued, an over-acid condition results, and more minerals are needed from deep in the body to correct the imbalance. If the body is lacking the nutrients used to metabolize sugar, it will not be able to properly handle and rid itself of the poisonous residues. These wastes accumulate through the brain and nervous system, which speeds up cellular death. The bloodstream becomes over-loaded with waste products and symptoms of carbonic poisoning result.

Listen to the episode to hear more about the potential problems and how to transition away from it.

I offer this challenge to you: Drop refined sweeteners for 30 days. Stop eating breakfast cereal (two words that should never go together) if you haven’t already and focus on whole nutrient dense foods without the added ingredients. My recipe index has a lot of real food recipes to get you started.

Think it will be tough? It probably will, but most things worth doing are. If you need the support, recruit a few friends to join you and let me know in the comments how it goes.

Hormones & How to Have a Healthy Baby

Chris Kresser is a licensed acupuncturist and practitioner of integrative medicine. He researched to find his own health answers after conventional medicine wasn’t able to help his chronic disease and he now works to help others improve their health and their lives through better nutrition and lifestyle.

I’ve always been incredibly impressed by Chris’ research and work and I quote him often. I am so excited to share his research and work with you in this episode. If you are “pregnant or may become pregnant” this episode is incredibly important for you!

Natural Fertility

Chris became especially interested in fertility and hormone health when he and his wife had trouble conceiving and his research led him to unconventional answers about diet, lifestyle and stress. They went on to conceive and have a healthy (and beautiful) daughter and it is now a mission for him to help other couples do the same.

Chris created a whole course on this and I highly recommend it. You can find out more about it here.

Resources we mention

  • The Healthy Baby Code Course
  • The little known (but crucial) difference between folate and folic acid –
  • Wellness Mama on Folate vs. Folic Acid
  • Chris’ Podcast Episodes: On prebiotics-You Are What Your Bacteria Eat: The Importance of Feeding Your Microbiome and mercury in fish and liver detoxification.
  • 5 Reasons Why Concerns About Mercury in Fish Are Misguided (Chris)
  • Manage your Stress (Chris)
  • How stress wreaks havoc on your gut – and what to do about it (Chris)

Does Pregnancy Diet Matter?

Chris talks about the developmental origins hypothesis, or the idea that the diet of the mother (and father) before pregnancy and during pregnancy (for the mother) have an impact on the lifelong health of the child.

He talks about some amazing statistics on how birth weight and health at birth correlates to risk of heart attack and other problems. Babies with low birth weight were at increased risks for these problems, but babies born with a healthy weight and at full term had a lower risk.

We also delve in to a subject that I find fascinating: the link between the mother’s gut bacteria and the baby’s lifelong health. Research is now showing that babies culture their gut bacteria and set the blueprint for gut health during the birthing process when they come in contact with mom’s flora.

When this doesn’t happen (c-section) or when it is altered (antibiotics), it can have a lasting effect on baby. Obviously, both of these things are sometimes unavoidable, but it is important to understand the role they have when making birth choices.

Essential Foods and Nutrients

Chris talks about specific foods and nutrients that traditional cultures have included in pregnancy diets for years and that research is now showing are still important.

Foods like healthy fats, organ meats, broth, fermented foods and an abundance of vegetables all play an important role in a baby’s development in the womb and deficiencies in any of these can have drastic consequences.

Women are often told by their doctors to eat a high fiber, whole grain diet and avoid fish (especially certain types) and other foods. Chris talks about how the benefits of seafood consumption far outweigh the risks and how seafood naturally contains selenium which helps negate mercury absorption in the body.

Folic acid is considered an important nutrient during pregnancy, but we talk about how this is the synthetic form that many women are not even able to absorb, and how the natural form, Folate, is better. Some women need to take it a step further (if they have the MTHFR gene mutation which inhibits their ability to properly use folate) and take 5-MTHF, which is a methylated form.

Chris talks about resistant starch and prebiotics and how these play a role in gut health and are just as important as probiotics for a healthy gut.

Functional Diagnostic Nutrition

This week, Reed Davis of the Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Program and I talk about practical nutrition for hormone health, weight loss, bone health and much more.

Random fact: People with a lot of moles tend to live longer than people with a lesser number of moles. Also, one human hair can support 3.5 ounces. That’s about the weight of two full size candy bars, and with hundreds of thousands of hairs on the human head, makes the tale of Rapunzel much more plausible, just still fictional.

Reed is Founder of the Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® (FDN) Certification Course. He is a Clinical Advisor at BioHealth Laboratory where he helps practitioners to interpret test results and develop natural protocols that restore function instead of just treating symptoms. Reed is one of the most successful and experienced clinicians in the world, having provided functional lab assessments to over 11,000 people for hormone levels as well as adrenal, digestion, detoxification, immune system, bone density and chronic, stress-related health problems.

In this episode,we talk about

  • What the endocrine system is and how it affects the entire body.
  • What happens when part of the endocrine system like the thyroid, adrenals, hypothalamus, etc get out of whack?
  • What are some of the most common problems that happen when the endocrine system gets out of balance.
  • Why conventional treatments don’t always work for hormonal and endocrine problems and what actually does work.
  • The role stress plays in hormone balance and health.
  • Practical ways to address stress and hormone balance
  • Some warning signs to look for when hormones are out of balance

Reed also delves in to the specifics of how to help conditions like PCOS, endometriosis, and infertility with nutrition.

Reed’s advice for a healthier life? Wake up with a positive attitude. He also recommends the book “The Richest Man in Babylon” as one of his favorite books.

You can find out more about Reed and his Functional Diagnostic Nutrition training program here. He also has a program for patients called FDN self care where you can get lab tests and specific help.

Reversing Infertility & PCOS Naturally

I’ll never forget talking to a friend after she suffered a miscarriage. It was her third.

She and her husband struggled to get pregnant for years and suffered through hormone treatments, surgeries and much more.

They finally conceived and then lost their little one. Then another, and another.

She was at her breaking point. Her marriage was at a breaking point and she felt like her body was betraying her.

Her struggle was part of what led to my focus on reproductive nutrition. It didn’t make sense to me that women’s bodies should need hormones and artificial treatments to conceive.

Fertility is a sign of health, and as I discovered, infertility is usually a sign of a deeper problem that needs to be addressed. Often, artificial hormones can make things worse. Thankfully, my friend did go on to have a beautiful baby (and two more after that), but I was forever affected by her pain while she was struggling with infertility.

Today’s guest, Alisa Vitti, has been through the same struggle of hormone trouble and infertility and she also found natural solutions and managed to conceive naturally (she is set to welcome her little on in the next month!).

I was so excited to talk to Alisa because she has helped thousands of women restore hormone balance and beat infertility by teaching them how to naturally support their own bodies. In this podcast, Alisa and I talk in depth about:

  • The causes of infertility and how to overcome it
  • PCOS and natural remedies that can help
  • PMS and menstrual related problems
  • Endometriosis
  • Fibroids
  • Many other aspects of hormone health

Alisa has also written a book, The Woman Code, about achieving hormone balance naturally, and she blogs at about all things hormones. She is offering three great hormone related freebies for Wellness Mama listeners and you can get them here.

Thyroid Health & Autoimmune Disease

The thyroid is a small butterfly shaped gland in the neck that is intricately involved in body temperature, proper digestion and cognitive function and hormone health. In other words, when the thyroid isn’t happy, the body isn’t functioning properly.

I know firsthand the frustration of living with thyroid disease and how difficult it can be to get the body back in balance. I saw many doctors over a period of 7 years before finding answers and I wanted to bring my doctor on the podcast to help shed some light on thyroid disease and autoimmune disease.

Dr. Alan Christianson

Dr. Alan Christianson is a Naturopathic Doctor who specializes in natural endocrinology with a focus on thyroid health.

He read his family’s entire set of encyclopedia’s before he went to kindergarten and has always been highly intelligent.

In grade school, he struggled with epilepsy, poor coordination and obesity and after being made fun of in class one day, he resolved to get healthy. He read a lot of nutrition and health books, became interested in fitness and became the fastest runner in his class.

As a naturopathic doctor, he now helps thousands of people a year (including me) with his specialized approach to nutrition and natural medicine.

He founded Integrative Health, a practice of physicians in Arizona whose philosophy is to “Provide smart, safe, primarily natural and scientific solutions for the entire family to live in good health.”

Dr. Christianson also is a competitive unicyclist and enjoys mountain biking and rock climbing.

Thyroid Health

In this episode, we really delve into the topic of thyroid health and Dr. Christianson sheds some light on topics such as:

  • Why so many people are having trouble finding answers for thyroid problems
  • The holes in conventional testing and why “normal” lab results don’t necessarily mean there is not an issue with the thyroid
  • What Hashimoto’s disease is and how it differs from regular thyroid disease
  • Common symptoms of thyroid problems
  • Factors that must be optimized to help the thyroid get back in the balance
  • The unusual test he used to help diagnose my thyroid disorder
  • Why iodine can be harmful in some cases
  • How stress and sleep can have a bigger impact on thyroid health than food

Adrenal Health

Dr. Christianson has also done a lot of research in the area of adrenal health and he provides some unique insight on important factors to get them in balance. He is releasing a book in December about Adrenal/Thyroid health, but talks about some of the core concepts.

I found it fascinating that there are 60 animal species experiencing similar rises in rates of obesity as humans (even in situations where calories are controlled). Dr. Alan talks about his research into longevity and risk of death and how cortisol patterns were a better predictor of risk of death than common factors like smoking, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. In other words, someone with disrupted cortisol patterns would have a higher risk of dying from all causes than a smoker with heart disease.

He talks about unique factors that are not often suggested like making sure to get 30 minutes of outdoor light within an hour of rising to help regulate cortisol patterns and eating specific foods at specific times of day to support the adrenals. A favorite quote from the interview:

You couldn’t wreck your day any more than by having a lot of carbs for breakfast.

Resources we Mention

  • Dr. Christianson’s books: The Adrenal Reset Diet (upcoming), Healing Hashimotos: A Savvy Patient’s Guide, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease
  • Integrative Healthcare Practice
  • Beautiful Inside and Out: Conquering Thyroid Disease with a Healthy, Happy “Thyroid Sexy” Lifeby Gina Lee Nolin

The REAL Causes of Tooth Decay

I’ve been fascinated by oral health and it’s connection to whole-body health for a long time. I’ve looked for answers to questions like “Can teeth heal” and “What really causes tooth decay” and this podcast episode addresses those same questions.

What Really Causes Tooth Decay?

Will Revak of and I talk about the relationship between food and overall health and the health of the mouth. With statistics like “98% of adults in the US have some form of oral health problem,” it is time to start looking more deeply into the relationship of diet and lifestyle to oral health.

The cultural understanding is that sugar sitting on the teeth causes tooth decay and that brushing, flossing and maintaining good oral hygiene is the key to good oral health. Turns out that the data doesn’t really support these ideas though. Consider this:

  • Women are more likely to suffer from oral health problems when pregnant and a pregnant women with oral health problems is more likely to struggle with pregnancy complications
  • Times during our lives where our oral health is affected can affect the body in other ways. For example, teething babies often exhibit symptoms like fever, rashes, diarrhea,  earaches and trouble sleeping. This indicates that what happens in the mouth can affect other parts of the body
  • Patients with certain cardiac patients have to be extremely careful getting dental work done and are often counseled to take antibiotics even for routine cleanings to prevent a life-threatening heart infection.

All of these facts points to the idea that there is a deeper cause to tooth decay and oral health problems than just what happens to the external side of the teeth. On the flip side, these points also indicate that problems in the mouth can affect the body in deeper ways.

The Research

Will points out that if we step back from our cultural assumptions about tooth decay and really evaluate the data, a much different conclusion emerges. Looking at research like:

  • The book Cure Tooth Decay
  • Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by dentist Dr. Weston A. Price
  • The work of Melvin Page
  • The studies of Drs. Mellanby
  • Dr. Steinman’s studies on blood phosphoris and dentinal fluid
  • The connection between diet and oral health

The Root Cause

The research reveals teeth are not solid as we assume. They are made up of time tubes called tubules and each front tooth alone has up to 3 miles of complex tubules running through it.

Factors like nutrient levels in the body and blood phosphorus levels affect the strength of the tubules and the body’s ability to avoid tooth decay. Foods like bone broth, organ meats, soup, butter, and fatty fish help support healthy blood phosphorus levels (and healthy teeth) while foods like sugar, supplemental calcium, beans and legumes strip blood calcium.

When we look at native populations with low rates of tooth decay, these populations had 4x the minerals in their diets and 10x the fat soluble vitamins. Both of these factors are depleted in modern diets and it makes sense that we are seeing a rise in tooth decay.

Resources we Mention

  • Cure Tooth Decay by Ramiel Nagel
  • Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Dr. Weston A. Price
  • Dr. Steinman’s study of dentinal fluid (and this)
  • Article: What is Tooth Decay and How Can We Stop It?
  • Study: Flossing lowers C-Reactive Protein Levels (CRP)
  • Article: Oral Health Affects the Health of the Whole Body (part 2)
  • Video Series: 5 Steps to a Healthy Mouth
  • Article: How to Reverse Tooth Decay Naturally

Exercise, Movement & Pelvic Floor Health

Today I’m joined by Brianne Grogan of for a great discussion about female health, pelvic floor health, and when Kegels aren’t a such a good idea.

Some resources we mention in this episode
Core Fitness for Women article
Should You Do Kegels Article
Thanks to all of you for joining me and listening to this week’s podcast episode. I’m really enjoying recording these podcasts and hope you are as well and are leaning a lot from them.

You can stay in touch with me on social media, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, @Wellnessmama. I would also really appreciate it if you would take a second and subscribe to this podcast via iTunes or Stitcher so that you’ll be notified of future episodes. Please leave an honest rating and review as well. Ratings and reviews really matter in the rankings of my podcast and I greatly appreciate every review and read each one.

Thanks, as always, for listening and for reading and for being onboard with creating a future for our children that’s healthier and happier. If you have any questions or have suggestions for future podcast guests or topics, please leave a comment below.