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The Harms of Eating Too Much Sugar are Real

Recently in my office a new patient said to me, “Everyone tells me to stay away from sugar, but no one has told me why.”  After thanking her for asking the question, I explained the damaging effects sugar has on our gut health and how this affects our overall health.  Excess sugar consumption, especially from high fructose corn syrup which we find in so many processed foods, is linked to weakened immune system, liver damage and a host of diseases, including cancer, polycystic ovarian syndrome, high blood pressure, heart disease, Alzheimers and other dementias (see for more on this).

This is why I was especially happy to see the recently released new brochure from the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) on the dangers of this toxic ingredient. The brochure lists a host of diseases caused by refined sugar, from frequent bacterial and viral infections, to cancer, depression and beyond.  Truly, the harms of too much sugar are real! Here are the statistics of just how out of control our society is with our consumption of this white devil: In 1700, the average person ate 4 pounds of sugar per year.  100 years later in 1800, each person ate 18 pounds of sugar per year.  In 1900, sugar consumption had increased 5-fold from 1800, to a whopping 90 pounds per person per year, but it hasn’t stopped.  Today, the average American eats 180 pounds of sugar each year! 

This over consumption of sugar is certainly a huge contributor to our rates of diabetes, obesity and the metabolic dis-regulations expanding numbers of Americans and folks in other industrialized nations are having on an ever-increasing basis.  Type 2 Diabetes and Diabesity are some of the more common and complicated issues over consumption of sugar contributes to today.  Having inherited the propensity for Type 2 Diabetes from my mom, I know this first hand.  After developing Diabetes myself and addressing this egregious health issue with the appropriate diet and lifestyle shifts, I can say without reservation that my life has dramatically improved!  

Who else remembers pouring cups of sugar into our baked goods as I do growing up?  Although I never felt good after consuming these ‘homemade’ treats, that didn’t stop me from eating my share (or more).  This is because of the microbial imbalances I was dealing with and that I see so many of my clients struggle with. It is now my joy to help others suffering from the inflammation and distress sugar consumption causes. Those same childhood treats have no appeal to me now and I find the taste sickeningly sweet now that I’ve done the necessary work to adjust my palate.  This can happen for you too!  Imagine simply not having the level of intense sweet cravings you have now.  I used to think it was not possible for me, which was a good indicator that I had to do some more healing work. How about you?

When we see the data I’ve listed above, usually our logical brain can easily see how overboard our intake of sugar is in a year.  For many of us with damaged gut flora, however, it’s not enough to just increase our mental awareness about why we should eat less.  We’re still ADDICTED to sugar.

One way to counterbalance your intense craving for sweets is to be sure to include plenty of healthy fats with your sweet treats.  Here's a recipe for a simple and delightful winter treat of real eggnog – so much more satisfying than what you can buy in the store! Another great step toward reclaiming your inner terrain is to incorporate healthy and delicious fermented foods into your diet.  See this series I wrote on ways to introduce ferments for beginners: Take it Slow, Give it Time, and Brine Shots! and experience deceased sugar cravings for yourself.

To clarify, the sugar intake listed above is specifically for added sugar, not sugar from fruit, honey or carbohydrate rich foods.  While our bodies do need sugar (glucose) for fuel, some folks benefit from more or less depending on a host of factors.  Considerations for variations in recommended amount of sugar intake include stress levels, activity levels, gut health, blood chemistry levels for metabolic markers, and several other factors.  A good general rule to follow for most people (especially in the USA or other industrialized cultures), is typically to minimize intake.  As you do this, watch for ways you feel better like clearer brain function (less foggy headed), more digestive ease (less gut discomfort or bowel issues), better sleep (less insomnia or waking up tired after a full nights sleep).  Really, the often times drastic health improvements from this one powerful move:

replace refined sugar consumption with naturally sweet foods, as tolerated

can be powerful for you to enter the new year feeling more like yourself and less of the overweight, frustrated version of yourself you’d like to transform. 

Happy holidays to you and email if you think you may need some help getting back on track in the new year or any time! 


Raw Eggnog (with an Optional Kick)


I usually do not recommend or drink much alcohol.  It is a rather toxic substance after all and can be especially difficult on your digestive system and liver.  I do know that many folks who care about their health do enjoy partaking in some alcoholic beverages, especially around the holidays.  In this delicious eggnog recipe you can easily omit the alcohol and make a batch to share with the kids or those abstaining from alcohol and still spike some for an extra special treat for those who do wish to partake.  The great news is that the quality raw eggs and dairy pack such a wallop of nutrition that this recipe is one of the best buffers you can provide your body if/when you do indulge in alcohol.  Enjoy responsibly!


  • 1 1/2 cups raw whole milk (or combination of raw milk and raw cream to yield a thicker, creamier eggnog)
  • 1 cup heavy raw whipping cream, divided into 2 equal parts
  • ¼ - ½ cup raw honey, divided into 2 equal parts 
(mild-flavored honey is preferred, use less and see how you like it since you can always add more if it’s not quite sweet enough)
  • Up to 1 cup rum*
  • Up to 1 cup whiskey (no need to use your single malt here - blended is fine!)*
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or ½ tsp vanilla powder (or more, to taste)
  • Ground nutmeg for garnishing each cup

Detailed Instructions:

With this execution, you are aiming to blend the ingredients gently and slowly to preserve fluffiness and body. A good whisk for the stirring and a high speed mixer for the egg-whites and cream helps this process immensely. For the quick instructions, skip these 10 steps and see below.  

If you want the most decadent cup of eggnog ever…follow these steps:

1. Separate eggs into yolks and whites in separate bowls.

2. Beat egg yolks with 1/2 of raw honey, set aside.

3. Beat egg whites until stiff, then mix in other 1/2 of raw honey. 4. Pour the yolks into the whites and fold together slowly and gently.

5. Stir in rum slowly*.

6. Stir in milk slowly.

7. Stir in whiskey slowly*.

8. Stir in 1/2 of cream slowly

9. Whip rest (1/2) of cream and fold it into the mixture carefully.

10. Serve at room temperature or chilled (your preference, I prefer room temperature) by ladling the eggnog into cups and sprinkle nutmeg on the top.

*For non-alcoholic eggnog, substitute a cup of milk and/or cream for each cup of alcohol removed.

Quick Instructions:

If you’re in a hurry and don’t feel like doing the extra work of beating the egg yolks and whites separately, and folding ingredients together, here’s the quick and easy version:

1. Simply blend the raw milk, eggs, honey, vanilla, and optional alcohol until smooth.  You can use a handheld mixer, a Vita-Mix, or just a regular blender.  Allow the foam to settle before serving or not – your preference. 

2. Pour the eggnog into cups and sprinkle nutmeg on the top. 

This quick method will not produce the more decadent texture as the detailed instructions above, but it will still be tasty and is super easy! 

I enjoy them both, especially when someone else agrees to clean up the kitchen after I make this beverage.  ;-) 

I hope you and your family and friends will enjoy this treat this holiday season as well!


Discover the Miracle of Life with Stella


Are you looking for a way to communicate the importance of gut health to a child in your life?  If so, I encourage you to check out Janice Condon’s Stella’s Adventures in the Incredible BioTerrain. This book translates the importance of our gut in a fun and accessible way for kids of all ages. Parents, you can inspire your children to eat ferments, take probiotics and make good food choices by introducing them to how the gut really works.  

Like Summer, author Janice Condon overcame her own digestive health challenges with the help of WAPF principles.  She was inspired by her grandchildren to educate the next generation on the importance of gut microbes with this book.  The book is fun and includes characters like Abby Acidophilus and Benny Bifidus, the King of Poo. Watch the video below to learn the Acidophilus Hula, and click here to order the book for a kid or kid at heart who could benefit from its teachings. Janice is offering a holiday special, so act now!



Recipe: Healing Bone Broth

Bone broth is one of the most important foundational foods for healing your gut and boosting your energy.  When consumed at regular therapeutic doses, this restorative food provides more sustained gut healing benefits than many of the pharmaceuticals some patients have been prescribed before they come to work with me.  In addition to strengthening the digestive tract, properly prepared bone broth (see recipe below) also benefits your veins, arteries, muscles, tendons, skin, and bones.  It boosts your immune system while providing an easily assimilated protein-rich, energy-boosting tonic that increases endurance while providing important nutrients and delicious flavor.

There are many variations for making bone broth and I share more about other delicious and time saving methods with participants in my classes and programs.  In the recipe below, I share a simple version that you can make with either a whole organic chicken, or leftover bones from past chicken dinners. I recommend that you save the bones left over after your family eats the meat off the bones of any animal in a freezer baggie, labeled with the type of stock you want to make from it, in a designated area in your freezer just for these occasion of making homemade bone broth.

Bone broth assists our bodies in healing from chronic digestive disorders such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and other long term digestive issues.  It’s simple and easy as most of the time spent making it is hands off time, while the pot slowly simmers on the stove top and the nourishing smell of chicken broth permeates the air.  Bone broth is an essential ingredient in my kitchen and I hope it is or will be in yours too!  If you choose not to make it yourself, you can always buy traditional bone broth from the great folks at Bare Bones Broth.

Bone Broth Recipe

Makes ~1+ gallons of finished broth, depending on how many parts and pieces you use and if you poach an entire chicken in your stock pot.


  • 1 organic whole chicken (~ 5 pounds), giblets removed and/or
3-4 lbs of bony chicken parts (necks, backs, breast bones and/or wings) saved from left over chicken bones from past chicken, turkey, or other poultry meals or whole packages of raw poultry parts. If you don't have a scale at home, this equals out to a few generous handfuls of bones, give or take.  If you have plenty of room in your pot to cover with at least an inch of water over the top of your bones while still leaving yourself a headspace of an inch or two to prevent any liquid from bubbling over and making a mess of your stove, I encourage you to go for it.  Note: Using raw and cooked parts will result in a stock that is less clear.  Clear stocks are desirable
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar (I prefer apple cider vinegar)
  • 4 quarts filtered water (or more as needed to cover bones and chicken)

Optional, but tasty additions:

  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
  • 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 bunch parsley


  1. Place bones and all vegetables except parsley in a large stainless steel pot.
  2. Cover with filtered water and add 2 Tbsp vinegar. Let stand for 30 minutes to 1 hour. This acidic solution helps release the nutrients from the bones.
  3. Bring to a gentle rolling boil. Remove the scum that rises to the top with a large slotted spoon, and discard.
  4. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 6 to 24 hrs. Keep in mind that the longer you cook the broth, the more savory and mineral-rich it will be! If you are looking for a reduced, more concentrated broth, be sure to simmer uncovered.
  5. 10-20 minutes before finishing, add parsley. This helps release additional mineral ions into the broth.
  6. Remove chicken pieces with a slotted spoon. Strain the broth carefully into a large bowl. If there is a lot of sediment in your broth, it can be helpful to first line the strainer with a thin cotton kitchen towel or cheesecloth.
  7. Place in the refrigerator until broth cools and fat rises to the top. This fat can be reserved for cooking purposes, especially if the broth was only cooked a few hours and if you do not have a sensitive digestive system.  It is not advisable for folks with a more inflamed system to consume fat skimmed from broth that's been cooked for a long time.  As always, be mindful of how your body feels and eat accordingly.
  8. Pour stock into glass jars. Store in the refrigerator for about one week or freeze for later use. Once the "fat cap" (the fat that seals the broth underneath it from air) is broken, consume the broth within five days. 
    Notes: For broth that is being frozen for later use, be sure and leave enough head space in the jar so that the expansion of the liquid will not cause the glass to break. Freezing the jars of broth on their side can help to avoid glass breakage.  Freezing in plastic is not recommended because of leaching of various health disrupting toxins from the plastic into your life giving broth.

Enjoy in soups or sip a mug of this Gut Healing Broth in the morning. ENJOY!



Recipe: Simple Roast Chicken

Some variation of this go-to recipe is one of my top approaches to preparing a whole chicken.  It is simple and satisfying, just what I’m looking for in the kitchen!  Roasting the whole bird provides a few meals made at one time in one dish, which saves time with less dishes to wash and leftovers to enjoy throughout the week.  Stay tuned to learn what to do with the valuable bones.  Save them in a bag in the freezer for now.

Serves ~6


1 organic whole chicken (about 5 pounds), giblets removed
1-2 tablespoon butter*
1/8 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 lemon, sliced

1-2 cloves garlic, minced
 or sliced

Some Variations:
*Alternatively, you can use ghee.  If you are sensitive to dairy, substitute coconut oil or olive oil in place of the butter or ghee.
~Add in other seasonings that sound good and provide variety on your table.  Some of my favorites are thyme, rosemary, and/or tarragon.
~Add sliced onions with the lemon slices into the cavity of the bird for added aroma and flavor.


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Ready the pan you want to use to roast the chicken and place it by the sink.  This step helps you avoid dripping raw chicken juices across your kitchen counters, floors, etc.
  • Rinse chicken under cold running water and after drip drying over the sink, place it in the roasting pan. 
  • Optional step: Use a paper towel to pat your chicken dry, which allows the fat to adhere better.  Note: Using paper towels on raw meat is one of the few tasks I use a paper towel for in my kitchen.  Most jobs get cleaned up with reusable cloths.
  • Cooks Choice: You can either lift the skin above the breasts of the bird around the large neck cavity and insert the butter and prepared garlic between the skin and the meat with your hand, LIKE SO, or you can cut slits in the skin of the chicken and press in the garlic.
  • You can slather or drizzle the outside of the bird with more of the fat of your choosing if you would like.
  • Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper and rub seasonings over the chicken.
  • Insert lemon slices inside chicken cavity.
  • Cook for about 1 1⁄2 hours or until chicken is cooked through and has reached 165 degrees. Check the temperature after an hour to avoid overcooking.  Moist and just done meat is what we’re aiming for here.  For those using a convection oven, the cooking time will be significantly less. 
  • Remove chicken from oven and let cool before enjoying.
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