Tara's Story

Tara's Story When I turned 30 years old I weighed in at 348lbs; clothes were getting harder to find and more expensive, and my life was getting difficult to manage. When going out to eat we had to have a Read more

Pharmacy to Farmacy

Many of you may know Erin-- the fabulous Pharm D that worked in our office a few years back.  Erin is a phenomenal gal and we embarked on the journey  into natural medicine around the same time.  As we both Read more

The Sauerkraut Challenge

As many of you may know --- my 9-year-old daughter has been extremely ill for the last 4 weeks.  It is so painful to watch your child suffer from illness and not be able to do anything to fix Read more

Healing the Gut with Bone Broth

What is bone broth? What the @&*$ is bone broth and why is everyone talking about it and its medicinal benefits.  First, bone broth is simply stock!  Chicken or beef bones are usually used although you can use venison/lamb/pig etc.  Read more

Breastfeeding Tips

  Here's a different topic for today regarding breastfeeding!  We all know how important the gut microbiome is and breastfeeding is a natural, inexpensive way to help your baby's gut get all those good bacteria!  Natalie Michele the author of Read more

Avoid these banned foods

Are you eating food that's already banned in other countries but is still allowed to poison and kill Americans? Learn these pernicious ingredients and common foods through this infographic. Use the embed code to share it on your Read more

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

So I got a little wicked crazy this weekend and decided to splurge on some pizza.  We do gluten-free carry out around here sometimes, but my future son-in-law inspired me to make my own cauliflower pizza crust. He made Read more

What Happened When My Dad Went Gluten Free

It seems I am getting more and more testimonials from patients on how great they feel when they go gluten free.  I thought I would re-post this great story by one of my friend's experiences.  Comment down below with Read more

supplements

Pharmacy to Farmacy

Many of you may know Erin– the fabulous Pharm D that worked in our office a few years back.  Erin is a phenomenal gal and we embarked on the journey  into natural medicine around the same time.  As we both share a real passion for nutrition and natural remedies, I wanted to introduce you to her wealth of knowledge about essential oils.  I am using them and really loving all the benefits — so here is a little about ERIN!

How a Pharmacist Got Started With Essential Oils

Well, hello!  Allow me to introduce myself.  I am a classically trained, Western medicine pharmacist AND a natural wellness enthusiast.  “How can this be?” you may ask.  Aren’t Western medicine practitioners and natural wellness practitioners supposed to be diametrically opposed to each other?  I used to think that too.  I admit, I am a “natural” skeptic {pun intended}.  My training has taught me that if there is not a double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial to back up a claim, it is merely unsubstantiated mumbo-jumbo.  So what changed my mind?  Perhaps it was the subtle (and not so subtle) ways my body started telling me I’m not as young as I used to be.  Or, perhaps, it was the desire to keep my family healthy without the use of synthetic chemicals.  Becoming a parent certainly increased my desire to find the best and most natural ways to do things.  Whatever the reason, I developed a desire to find a better way to achieve and maintain health and wellness.  So, I went back to my old standbys: research and experience.

 

Western vs. Natural Medicine Approaches

Over the years, what I have learned, both through research and personal experience, is that while Western medicine is great at using a variety of medical and surgical interventions to keep you alive, it is not so great at keeping you from needing those interventions in the first place.  Western medicine shines in treatment more so than in prevention.  If you think of your wellness like a horizontal line, with health and vitality above the line and sickness and disease below the line, in Western medicine we wait until you have fallen way below the wellness line before we do anything.  By that point you are in trouble.  You have a disease, so we prescribe a medication or surgical intervention that helps to manage that disease.  The problem is most medications that are prescribed for chronic conditions do not provide a cure, but are used to mitigating the symptoms.  They do not get to the underlying cause, and they do not bring you back above the wellness line.  Not to mention, most medications come with a variety of toxic and adverse effects that then also have to be managed.  Does that mean that I think we should never use Western medicine approaches?  Absolutely not!  Western medicine has its place, and offers us many tools in our wellness tool belt to utilize.  However, I think we can all agree, it would be ideal if we could utilize these tools less.

 

What if there were tools to help us stay above the wellness line?  This is where natural medicine shines.  By supporting your body to do what it was made to do in the first place, natural medicine approaches prevent much of the need for Western interventions.  Our bodies are amazing creations that were made to be healthy.  Given the right environment and the right building blocks, most of the time our bodies will be healthy.  The problem is that in today’s world we are surrounded by things that tear down our bodies instead of support them.  We eat junk, we breathe in junk, we apply junk to our skin, we don’t get enough sleep or exercise, and we are constantly STRESSED OUT!  It’s no wonder all sorts of disease rates are climbing.

 

A Better Way

What if there was a better way?  What if we gave our bodies an environment in which they could thrive and the building blocks with which to heal?  What would that look like?

  • We would put nourishing foods into our body. Not overly processed, chemical laden junk, but REAL food.  Hippocrates knew what he was talking about when he said “let thy food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food”.
  • We would stop breathing in toxins. True, you cannot always help the air quality where you live, but you can stop making it worse.  Quit smoking and get rid of the toxins in your air.  Did you know formaldehyde is just one of a number of chemicals commonly used in scented candles and air fresheners?!?  So stop “freshening” your air with toxins.
  • We would clean up our skin care products. Check out your product labels.  Do some research into the dangers of ingredients like parabens, phthalates, triclosan, artificial dyes, and many others.  Don’t be fooled, anything you put on your skin is absorbed into your body!
  • We would start moving more, resting well, and stressing less!

 

I know that seems like a pretty tall order, and no one is going to be perfect 100% of the time, but every step you take in the right direction is a step toward wellness, and that is a worthy goal!

 

Essential Oils as a Tool for Wellness

So where do essential oils come in?  For me, adding in essential oils was another step in my path toward natural wellness.  When I was first presented with the idea of using essential oils for wellness, guess what, I was skeptical of that too.  My pharmacist brain kicked into gear and wanted to dismiss the idea.  After months of pondering, I finally gave in and got my Young Living Premium Starter Kit.  And then it sat on my counter…for weeks.  Finally, my old friends, research and experience won.  I opened up those little bottles and started using them.  The more I used them, the better I felt, so I would research more, and then use them more, and then feel better, and then research, and then use them, and then…well, you get the idea.  My biggest “Ah Ha!” moment in using essential oils was when I finally realized essential oils are NOT like medicine, they are like FOOD!  The properties and constituents in essential oils that make them so amazing do their job by supporting your body to do what it was intended to do.  Just like food, they give your body the building blocks to heal and stay above the wellness line.  Just like I would not go a day without eating or drinking, there is now not a single day that goes by when I am not using my essential oils.  Yes, there are specific oils that work better for specific purposes, but so long as you have high quality, therapeutic grade essential oils, such as those provided by Young Living, just use them!  Once you understand a few common sense safety issues (like don’t put them in your eyes or ears- duh!), unlike medications that can cause serious problems if used at the wrong time in the wrong way, using Young Living Essential oils is always going to support your body in a positive way.

 

How do I Use My Young Living Essential Oils

We have been using our Young Living Essential Oils EVERY DAY for well over 2 years now!  They can be inhaled, applied topically, and most can even be ingested.  Here are just a few examples…

  • Peace and Calming, Lavender, or Cedarwood for a restful night’s sleep
  • DiGize or peppermint for digestion
  • Thieves to support our immune systems
  • Peppermint, Copaiba, or PanAway for muscles, joints, and ligaments
  • Stress Away when life gets too crazy (or just because it smells AMAZING!)
  • Lavender and Frankincense in our skin care
  • Progessence Plus, Clary Sage, or Idaho Blue Spruce for hormone balance
  • Grapefruit to support metabolism
  • Purification and Lemon in our household cleaning

If you go down our previous list about what a “better way” would look like for improving your health, literally every item on that list has been touched by Young Living Essential Oils in our home.

 

Why I Love Young Living Essential Oils

I could write another post about why, after much research, I chose Young Living for my family and why it is the only brand I recommend if you are looking for actual wellness benefits and not just pretty smells from essential oils.  I will save those many details for another post.  For now, please believe me when I say there is a HUGE difference between Young Living’s therapeutic grade essential oils and almost any other oil on the market, so, Buyer Beware!  If you would like to do a little of your own research, you can start by learning more about Young Living’s commitment to purity and quality through their unique Seed to Seal® process.  For more information and videos describing this process check it out at www.seedtoseal.com.

 

Ready to Stay Above the Wellness Line?

If any of this peaks your interest, I would love to tell you more.  Come check out more information or message me through www.facebook.com/EssentiallyErin or email me directly at erinruth@sbcglobal.net.  I’ll be waiting for you!

To get your own Premium Starter Kit, go to http://tinyurl.com/ErinArkins1.  The Premium Start Kit is by far the best deal to get you started on your oily journey, and by signing up through my link you will have access to member only essential oil education and FREE reference material as a gift from me.  Getting my kit was the best decision I made for my family’s health and wellness!  I am excited to help you on your journey as well!

 

Blessings and wellness to you and yours,

Erin

Posted on by Angela in Body, Green Living, Guest Blog, Nutrition, Supplements 3 Comments

The Sauerkraut Challenge

As many of you may know — my 9-year-old daughter has been extremely ill for the last 4 weeks.  It is so painful to watch your child suffer from illness and not be able to do anything to fix it.  All the mamas out there know that when our kids hurt– we hurt too and just want to make things better.

I have to express the gratitude that I have that my kids aren’t sick often and that they (Praise God) don’t have any debilitating or chronic diseases.  It took one viral syndrome that lingered to get me thinking about how unfathomable it would be to keep strength having a chronically ill child.  I have so much respect and admiration for those parents that endure this journey in life.  I can’t imagine—

Although Stanley steamer made quite a profit this past two weeks, (Emma’s room looked like a crime scene after an unfortunate projectile incident involving red Gatorade) — The rest of us have tried to stay healthy and avoid this nasty bug.

I have been eating sauerkraut for the healthy probiotic benefits daily ( about 6 forkfuls daily ) along with my Garden of Life probiotic.  I even added some Young Living Oil of Oregano that I put in gelatin capsules and take daily.  So far so good.

Another major tip is activated charcoal –you can buy that over the counter — (I get mine at Fresh Thyme)– it absorbs toxins in your body before they can harm you.  They actually use it for food poisoning and alcohol overdose in the Emergency Room.  Ancient Egyptians used it on wounds and Hindus used it to purify water.  It is said that it was used in the past to treat anthrax and epilepsy.  Common dosing says to take 2 capsules every few hours– but keep in mind that it will absorb some of the good nutrients in your body — so don’t take it at the same time as some of your other supplements .

Posted on by Angela in Body, disease, Nutrition Leave a comment

Natural Tips for Avoiding Colds

This cold and flu season is still upon us and unfortunately, many patients are still being plagued by these nasty viral symptoms.  Here are a few tips to try if you feel like you are coming down with something.

Of course–the old standby of chicken soup is helpful!  You can make some fabulous Homemade Bone Broth which will help boost your immune system!  You can also order some from THE BROTHERY.  I keep some of Chef Lance’s bone broth in the freezer just for this type of occasion.  When you feel crappy –it’s not always exciting to make your own so this hits the spot.

ELDERBERRY —is available as a supplement and research shows that it accelerates cytokine production to help regulate the immune response.  It is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C.

GARLIC— is rich in vitamin C and zinc which both support immune response.

PROBIOTICS— these gut friendly bacteria make for a robust immune system.  You can buy these as a supplement (check out my faves in the AngelaMD store) Even better, try eating some fermented foods like kefir, sauerkraut or kimchi.  I’ve heard of people taking a dose of probiotic every hour when they first start feeling ill.abb30214f90e578ef00ebef0b4841291

Zinc — this essential mineral is the most common mineral (after iron) found in the body and zinc depletion causes immune dysfunction.  So load up on that

Vitamin C/D/E— These support the production of anti-stress hormones and interferon which is an immune system protein that stimulates the production of infection fighting white blood cells.

Posted on by Angela in disease, Nutrition Leave a comment

Mama had a baby and it’s head popped off!

Benefits of Dandelion Root

 

I have recently been doing more research on herbal supplements. Dandelion is one of the top healing foods to boost antioxidants and cleanse the liver.

It’s benefits include diuretic action (which in common terms means you eliminate extra water retention).  It is high in potassium, calcium and vitamin K.   It can also help with constipation.

It helps detox the liver by supporting fat digestion and also helps balance blood sugar naturally which in turn can help with overall weight loss.

I found a dandelion root tea that I like to drink twice a day. The roots of the herb used to make coffees and tea. The flow flowers over the herb can make a delicious wine. The leaves are vitamin rich but slightly bitter and are often used in cooking.

Who knew that “Momma had a baby and it’s head popped off” was such a powerful supplement for our bodies?

dandelion

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Nutrition, Supplements, Whole Food 2 Comments

Turmeric as an anti-inflammatory

Turmeric is a member of the ginger family and is a common spice used in Indian curries which gives them their golden-yellow color.  It is a perennial herb native to tropical Southeast Asia .

It has long been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese traditional medicine as a “tonic and blood purifier”  There is extensive scientific research providing support for its therapeutic effects as an anti-inflammatory.  Turmeric contains the compound Curcumin which is responsible for many of its therapeutic effects.

It is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.  It has a protective effect on the liver and aids in increasing bile secretion.  It has been shown to reduce the developement of blocked arteries, and reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and psoriasis.  ( It should not be used in high doses if you are breastfeeding).

I recently contacted a great orthopedic MD that is well-respected in the field of preventative nutrition that recommends the following supplement–you can visit his site at http://yourpersonalwellnesscenter.com

Here’s the link for this curcumin supplement

http://www.europharmausa.com/products/curamin/

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Nutrition Leave a comment

What’s a probiotic?

 

 

PROBIOTICS

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What the H$%* are they and why do we need them?  I’m going to give you my own dumbed-down skinny on what they are and exactly how they can help us get healthier.

First, every organism on the planet is covered in microbes (those pesky little bacteria that live on our skin, in our guts, on our counters —etc).  Its normal!  We are supposed to be surrounded by all these little parasites exactly like we are surrounded by our leachy teenagers and our snot blowing kids —It’s natural and part of the whole  life experience.  We were all designed to have “healthy” bacteria to help us coexist in nature and that is totally cool.  Good Ole Mother Nature designed it that way and I’m convinced that she knew what she was doing!

Here are just a few of the healthy benefits that we get from these bacteria living on, around, and within us.

1.  They produce enzymes that kill bad bacteria (Eek -like the stomach flu)

2.  They produce substances that give the lining of the gut energy

3.  They boost immunity by giving us mucin (a component of mucous/snot) to help stomp out bad bacteria

4.  They down-regulate inflammation and free-radicals like crazy cousin Joe (see previous free radical post)

5.  They reduce the risk of allergy

These are all functions that the normal gut bacteria are designed to do for the human body.

These guys have so many more important functions but I fear boring you with the science of it all.  There’s a reference at the end of the post for all you science nerds like me!

Here’s the version that I dumbed down for my own little mind to digest!

1.  Our food supply has drastically changed since World War II—we are now using more corn and grain to feed our livestock.  We also used the leftover nitrogen from bomb making to fertilize our crops after the war.

2.  The US became much more industrialized after WWII and we started adding a lot of chemicals to improve the shelf life of foods

3.  This has gradually destroyed the lining of our gut (which I will better explain in another post)

4.  We now harbor bacteria in our GI tract that we aren’t use to having.  They are dysbiotic instead of symbiotic.

5.  Because we no longer harbor these “Good Bacteria” in our gut —we have increased inflammation and autoimmunity.

6.  The inflammation –now has to settle somewhere in our body if we don’t supply  it with good antioxidants as a defense mechanism.

7.  We are consuming foods that are no longer nutrient dense.  Even if we are eating healthy, our guts don’t have the correct bacteria to absorb the nutrients anymore.

So—-A first start at cleaning up The Gut– Probiotics

These are supplements with the good bacteria strains that have been killed off by our modern diet.  They do exactly what they are designed to do–help prevent disease, help absorb nutrients from food, help keep digestion regular etc.  These bad boys recolonize our Gut with the Good Bacteria.

So here is the final scoop–

If you eat a perfect diet of organic fruits, veggies, grass-fed meats and consume no processed foods—you might not need to take probiotics

But, if you are like the rest of us—you need these little buggers back in your gut to make and keep you healthy!

 

Here are the strains you want to look for in buying a probiotic

The Big 7!!!

1.  Lactobacillus Acidophillus

2.  Lactobacillus Ramnosus

3.  Lactobacillus Plantarum

4.  Lactobacillus Casei

5.  Bifidobacterium Longum

6.  Bifidobacterium Breve

7.  Saccharomyces boulardii

Probiotics can be found at your local drugstore or you can buy them HERE from Amazon

I’ll post more on benefits and the different digestive benefits of each strain –however this is your dirty little outline guide to refer to!

 

It seems to be a great idea to mix different brands of probiotic and then rotate them as well so I have added some of my new favorites to the list!

1.  Garden of Life Primal Defense Ultra Ultimate Probiotics Formula

garden of life

 

 

 

 

2.  Advance Orthomolecular Research Advanced Series Probiotic 3

ortho molecular probiotic

 

 

 

 

 

3.  Ultimate Floraultimate flora

 

 

 

 

4.  VSL #3

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You can easily purchase these thru Amazon by clicking HERE

 

For more information:  see “Probiotics:  Why You Need Them and How to Choose Them” by Yuri Elkaim, BPHE, CK, RHN

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, disease, Nutrition, Whole Food 1 Comment

What Supplements Should I Take?

Many of you have been in for your annual physical this last year and have been instructed to start the following supplements.  You also got a boatload of homework assignments and reading material about healthy eating.  (Sorry about that–I treat insomnia too!) After some trial and error, a lot of research, and some penny-pinching–these are the supplements in my medicine cabinet right now.  Please leave comments on this post on any of these you have tried and any others you would recommend.  We are all in this together!!

Blue Ice Royal

Butter oil/Fermented Cod Liver Oil Blend (add omega 3 fatty acids)

Ortho Molecular Products

Vitamin K2 with D3  (for hormonal and bone health)

For more info on Vitamin K2 –check HERE

Magnesium Glycinate (stabilize the calcium in your body)

For more info on Magnesium check HERE

Probiotics (Re-colonize your gut with good bacteria)

VSL #3

OR

For more info on probiotics check HERE

 

There you go;  I practice what I preach and take these every day.  They are expensive and when I think I can’t afford them;  I try and remember that cancer can’t be cheap!

Detox_SidebarBanner_300x300_SaveMySeat

We live in a TOXIC WORLD. How do you stay healthy? Attend The Detox Summit, a worldwide online (and free) event from August 4-11, 2014. HERE

30 reasons why our toxic world doesn’t have to dictate your health! Find out more at the Detox Summit, free and online from August 4-11. Save your seat today! YOUR SEAT HERE

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Nutrition, Supplements 3 Comments

Benefits of Gelatin

Gelatin- a virtual wonder drug!  Remember, the days when your grandmother boiled the chicken soup for close to 24 hours and you got all the warm healing properties from the bone broth?  That’s precisely where the amazing nutritional benefit came from—the collagen and gelatin that comes from the marrow of the bones.  Gelatin is a purified protein, derived from the hydrolysis of collagen.  Collagen is the organic component of the bones and skins of mammals.  Here are just a few quick reasons why gelatin is such a nutrient.

1.  Gelatin binds to H2o in the gut–this helps to improve digestion and essentially slicks up the GI tract for easy movement.

2.  Gelatin can help to reduce food intolerance by forming a protective barrier across the gut mucosa.

3.  The amino acids in gelatin help to strengthen bones and joint tissues.

4.  Gelatin helps detoxify the liver –the major detox organ of the body.0f1d1d7d25706b8d6c17a6529dae91d6

5.  Keratin found in gelatin is an essential building block for the teeth, hair and nails.

6.  Concentrated collagen found in gelatin helps give the skin a natural boost and prevents wrinkles.

7.  Last but not least, it improves sleep quality.

 

Here is an excellent tutorial on how to make a killer bone broth at home.

 For those a little less motivated —-Great Lakes has a great gelatin

Posted on by Angela in Diet, disease, Nutrition, Supplements, Whole Food Leave a comment

Herbs for Thyroid Help

So that tiny little gland just below your neck is responsible for regulating metabolic processes—The Thyroid–Did you always think that you might have an under active thyroid?  Did you realize that the range that determines thyroid activity on lab testing is huge and isn’t the most accurate measure of thyroid function?  Here are a few herbs that improve thyroid health and you can learn more HERE.

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Here are five herbs that are beneficial for thyroid health:

1.  Licorice -this herb maintains balance among glands and has been shown potentially inhibit growth of highly invasive thyroid cancer cells

2.  Bugle- may be effective in alleviating symptoms of hyperthyroidism

3.  Ashwaganda- this herb has antioxidant properties that help the thyroid produce hormones.  It also helps the body fight stress and has anti inflammatory effects.

4.  Flaxseed – rich in essential omega 3 fatty acids helps boost thyroid hormone production

5.  Black Walnut – considered one of the richest sources of iodine which is an essential nutrient for the thyroid

05fcecbd8b84eae588d8cc061f446864Don’t forget that this weekend THE THYROID SESSIONS begin–all of the top thyroid experts gather to give free information on everything your doctor didn’t tell you about thyroid problems!!!  (Not this doctor)  Make sure you sign up HERE considering it is Free and will give tons of need to know information.

Posted on by Angela in Diet, disease, Nutrition, Whole Food Leave a comment

Calcium Supplements—are they for the cows?

The easiest way to get your calcium!
EAT IT!

 

I am reposting this oldie but goodie with all of the questions I have gotten this last week on calcium supplements and some of the new information that has been released regarding their use.  I really feel like we should be getting our calcium from food.  Primarily=plant based food considering some of the dangers of milk and soy in today’s food supply.  Here are some of the best plant based sources of calcium.

 

Enjoy the best way to get your calcium–through your food.  Yes friends, Citracal with D is a good supplement but there really isn’t any reason why we need to take an additional manufactured supplement when there are so many great foods that contain plenty of calcium.  Edamame, oranges, beans, and kale all have great amounts of calcium and you get the benefit of all the other nutrients and antioxidants!  Remember those free radical cancer fighters?  Eat your veggies people!  Eat your veggies!

The following is from http://www.healthaliciousness.com

#1: Collard Greens (Cooked)

Calcium per 100g serving Calcium in 1 Cup Chopped
210mg 357mg
21% DV 36% DV

Click to see complete nutrition facts || More about Collard Greens

 

#2: Kale (Raw)

Calcium per 100g serving Calcium in 1 Cup
205mg 137mg
21% DV 14% DV

Click to see complete nutrition facts || More about Kale

 

#3: Turnip Greens

Calcium per 100g serving Calcium in 1 Cup Chopped
190mg 105mg
19% DV 10% DV

Click to see complete nutrition facts

 

#4: Garlic

Calcium per 100g serving Calcium in 1 Cup Calcium in 1 Clove
181mg 246mg 5mg
18% DV 25% DV 1% DV

Click to see complete nutrition facts || More about Garlic

 

#5: Arugula (Rocket)

Calcium per 100g serving Calcium in 1 Cup
160mg 32mg
16% DV 4% DV

Click to see complete nutrition facts

 

#6: Broccoli Rabe (Rapini)

Calcium per 100g serving Calcium in 1 Bunch Cooked (437 grams)
118mg 516mg
12% DV 52% DV

Click to see complete nutrition facts || More about Broccoli Rabe (Rapini)

 

#7: Mustard Greens

Calcium per 100g serving Calcium in 1 Cup Chopped
101mg 152mg
10% DV 15% DV

Click to see complete nutrition facts || More about Mustard Greens

 

#8: Sun Dried Tomatoes

Calcium per 100g serving Calcium in 1 Cup
110mg 59mg
11% DV 6% DV

Click to see complete nutrition facts

 

#9: Spinach (Raw)

Calcium per 100g serving Calcium in 1 Cup
99mg 30mg
10% DV 3% DV

Click to see complete nutrition facts || More about Spinach

 

#10: Okra

Calcium per 100g serving Calcium in 1 Cup Sliced
96mg 177mg
10% DV 18% DV

Click to see complete nutrition facts || More about Okra
Read more at http://www.healthaliciousness.com/articles/high-calcium-vegetables.php#HctdUrebgCISwMHs.99

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, disease, Nutrition, vegan, Whole Food Leave a comment