From the Inside, Out: Tips for Skin Health

Tips for Great Skin Health; What You Eat Matters

Vitamin A: derivatives as carotenoids and retinol. Retinoids have the potential in the prevention and treatment of other skin diseases such as skin cancer, acne and psoriasis, and prevents UV skin damage.

Food Sources: carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, mango, papaya, apricots, beets, green pepper, broccoli, and kale.

Vitamin C is powerful antioxidant that can help your body synthesize collagen. It’s the major water-soluble antioxidant and acts as first defense against free radicals in the whole blood and plasma and improves skin hydration.

Food Sources: Oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, guava, chili pepper, snow peas, Brussel sprouts and tomatoes.

Vitamin E has been shown to fight heart disease, boost immunity, and stop cell damage that can lead to skin cancer. Vitamin E is a lipid-soluble vitamin found in cell membranes and circulating lipoproteins. It protects against oxidative damage by acting directly with a variety of oxygen radicals. Its’ antioxidant function is strongly supported by regeneration promoted by vitamin C; also exhibits anti-inflammatory roles.

Food Sources: Nuts, dark, leafy greens, sunflower seeds, peanut butter, mustard greens, spinach, avocado, and red peppers.

Glutathione is the mother of all antioxidants. Best defense against cellular damage, free radicals, harmful chemicals and inflammation. Plays a crucial role in immune function and protects from environmental damage.

Food Sources: Sulfur-rich foods, cruciferous vegetables (arugula, kale, collards, cauliflower, etc.) liver, selenium, vitamin E & C help boost and produce glutathione levels.

Collagen is the structural protein of our skin. Collagen gives firmness and elasticity in your skin. Collagen depleted as we age which causes our skin to sag and wrinkles to form. Damage from pollution and sun exposure decreases collagen even more.

Eating protein is important as the amino acids build collagen, and fruits and vegetables containing vitamin A & C help form collagen. Also, avoid excessive amounts of sugar as it interferes with collagen’s ability to repair itself.


Piccardi, Nathalie, and Patricia Manissier. “Nutrition and Nutritional Supplementation.” Dermato-Endocrinology, vol. 1, no. 5, 1 Sept. 2009, pp. 271–274., doi:10.4161/derm.1.5.9706.

Schagen, Silke K., et al. “Discovering the Link between Nutrition and Skin Aging.” Dermato-Endocrinology, vol. 4, no. 3, 1 July 2012, pp. 298–307., doi:10.4161/derm.22876.

Signs Your Body Needs to UNLOAD


Did you know that scientists estimate that the average adult carries within her or his body over 700 toxins?

So where do these toxins come from? 

 Our organs work extremely hard every single day to eliminate our exposure to toxins. The majority of the toxins we accumulate comes from our direct and not-so-direct environment. Water, food, and air which we inhale and ingest are another one of the most common ways we are exposed to toxins. Our work and home environment are also full of contaminants  such as cleaning agents, carpet or floor chemicals, and paint exposure. Even personal hygiene products for our hair, skin, and face often contain toxic chemicals and pollutants. Air pollutants such as primary or second-hand smoke exposure, auto exhaust, and the long list of pollutants such as carbon monoxide are also frequently inhaled. With that said, we do live in a world where we are living and breathing chemicals and toxicants at an increasingly high rate. It’s no wonder we all have a toxic load of chemicals that we call our body burden.


So how do we know when our body has reached its’ peak and needs to UNLOAD? Well, let’s start:

Our toxic body burden depends on three different factors: our toxic exposure from internal and external sources (as mentioned above), our genetic predisposition to properly detox, and lastly, consuming proper nutrition of helpful detoxification nutrients. All of these factors can impact the body’s limit to reduce toxins and lower the body burden.

Toxic symptoms often occur when our body has reached its peak capacity. Remember, we each have our own personal limit of accumulated toxins. Symptoms start showing when our organs are not able to detoxify them fast or efficiently enough. These symptoms include but are not limited to:


-Obesity-weight loss resistance



-Sleep disturbances

-Abdominal gas and bloating


-Mood changes and behaviors

-Skin rash, skin conditions, rosacea 


-Congested sinuses/fluid retention

-Chemical sensitivity-sensitive to perfumes and fragrances


-Constipation, loose stool


If you experience 3 or more of these symptoms, then your body most likely will and can benefit from UNLOADING! Our 4 week detox program includes weekly menu and recipes, detox guide, peer and professional support, mind-body tools and practices, and sessions via FB Live. The goal of this program is to use nutritional support for facilitating the pathways involved in the process of detoxification. After the program, you should feel an increased sense of wellbeing and have a informed plan to limit your own personal toxic exposure throughout your everyday life going forward. Join us and UNLOAD! 


5 Daily Habits to Support my Chronic Disease

The 5 Daily Habits that help support my chronic disease


I’ve spent the last five years on this autoimmune rollercoaster. It has its’ ups and its’ downs for sure. Right when I feel like I have “everything under control”, my body has other plans and reminds me that autoimmunity is complex. As a Nutritionist, I pride myself on being real about my experiences to what led me into this field. However, I can also be extremely hard and critical of myself when I experience autoimmune symptoms. But that is part of the journey. Here are some of my 5 daily habits that I use to help support my chronic disease.



1.    Meditate- I cannot stress this enough! Meditation has been proven to have many physiologic benefits especially for those with chronic pain. Meditation can be any form of tuning out the world and tuning into yourself. I have meditated various lengths in time from 30 minutes to 3 minutes depending on what my body needs that day. I sit and meditate in the morning and in the evening. There is no right or wrong way, just sit with yourself, tune in and listen to your body. The benefits have helped my nervous system relax and my mind to calm. 

2.     Fuel with anti-inflammatory foods- If you have an autoimmune condition, you definitely need to decrease inflammation in your body. I start my day with probiotics followed by a mix of aloe vera, cranberry juice, and chlorophyll. It’s important for me to include foods that feed the good bacteria in my gut, foods including spices like turmeric & ginger to decrease inflammation, and protein for energy. 

2.    Fuel with anti-inflammatory foods- If you have an autoimmune condition, you definitely need to decrease inflammation in your body. I start my day with probiotics followed by a mix of aloe vera, cranberry juice, and chlorophyll. It’s important for me to include foods that feed the good bacteria in my gut, foods including spices like turmeric & ginger to decrease inflammation, and protein for energy. 

3.    Take my supplements daily! I cannot stress this enough! When I first started my healing journey via functional medicine, I was completely overwhelmed with the amount of supplements I had to take. After a while I started to love taking my supplements because I knew they were keeping me healthy. I became familiar with my body and how I felt and what supplements would help me achieve that daily goal. If I feel too much joint pain, I would increase my Boswellia on that day. Also, make sure you are taking your supplements correctly!



4.    Self-work: The first thing I did after being diagnosed was change my diet. But changes didn’t stop there. It was an awakening experience for me as I continued to look for ways to better my health which led me to deeper spirituality, writing, and a ton of self-development. I tried many different approaches to do more self-work, but I have a few that have stuck with me which became a routine in my life. I write daily, I listen to podcasts, and I do lots of inner work. It’s incredibly scary at first to go deep within and look at what you can be doing different to better yourself but once you take those steps, it became more comfortable for me to be true to myself, to be open, and to live my life how I want. 



5.    Connect with people IRL- This was something I didn’t do in my first few years of living with an autoimmune condition and it was extremely isolating but looking back it was needed in order for me to fill the empty space with my own growth and challenges. Your mental health directly affects your physical health. At the time, I was so sick that there was no way I felt I could really connect with others. It was incredibly hard to keep up friendships with people who didn’t understand my health. I found my support online first then when I felt ready to meet new people, I reached out! I feel that having a community of supportive people is what can really make a difference in my overall health. I feel full of love and energy when I connect with people living in their present. So, find your tribe. Find people who lighten up your day, who root for you, who are proud of you and who make you smile. Those are the people who are meant for you! 


What to eat AFTER you got rid of SIBO?

So you figured out you had SIBO, followed either the low-FODMAP or SCD diet protocol and had amazing results with significant improvements! But now you are hesitant to figure out what to eat next WITHOUT getting SIBO back. I’ve created this protocol for you to follow after you get rid of SIBO without limiting your life and risking the return of SIBO. However, it is good to remember that diet isn’t just enough to eradicate SIBO forever. In addition, here are some strategies to avoid the comeback of SIBO.


What is SIBO exactly?


Well we are given an overabundance of information about the gut, our microbiome, good and bad bacteria without clear definitions. SIBO stands for Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth defined as excessive bacteria in the small intestine. The symptoms someone can experience with SIBO can range from mildly uncomfortable (minor gas, bloating, abdominal discomfort) to chronic diarrhea, gas, bloating, weight loss, abdominal pain and distention and malabsorption. Also, the symptoms depend on the degree of bacterial overgrowth in the intestine. 


Note: If you have been experiencing any of these symptoms for a while now without any relief, make sure to get tested for SIBO at our clinic! 


The most popular protocol to follow for SIBO is the low-FODMAP/low-carb diet. The reason why is because when you eat high starchy foods like bread, cereal, pasta, rice, or sugar- the bacteria in your gut feeds off the sugars in your food. The bad bacteria in your gut LOVES starches and sugar so they can take over your gut! 


Once you have taken these foods (SUGARY, PROCESSED FOODS) out in combination with the right protocols such as gut-healing nutrients and digestive enzymes then this helps lessen your chance of the bad bacteria taking over again. 


I HIGHLY recommend to continue to avoid sugary, processed foods. If you did it for SIBO, then do it for the rest of your health. Replace with an anti-inflammatory diet.


1.    Anti-inflammatory foods will keep your body on the right track to eliminate and reduce inflammation that starts in the gut and can contribute to more serious conditions and diseases. My top anti-inflammatory foods that should be in your weekly or daily intake are:

-Wild caught Fish

-Turmeric (use this spice on anything!)

-Dark, leafy greens

-Coconut oil

2.Eat probiotic-rich foods like sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha, kimchi, miso and anything else that is fermented. You can also get coconut probiotic yogurt if you are avoiding dairy. Lean towards goat yogurt if you choose dairy. Probiotics help to reduce inflammation and improve gut permeability problems. 

3.Increase your zinc intake! Zinc-rich foods (grass-fed lamb, grass-fed beef, pumpkin seeds and chickpeas are highest in zinc) or supplements can help reverse the defects in SIBO.

4.Glutamine or aloe are a great combination to help heal your gut after therapy of SIBO

5.Practice meditation, hypnotherapy, and mindfulness to downregulate your stress response on the immune system and gut lining. 

6. Consider an Elimination diet to avoid allergens that trigger immune and inflammatory responses following your SIBO protocol before any of these recommendations. 


If you follow this approach after your SIBO protocol, you’ll have success in healing and restoring gut function while avoiding more exacerbated conditions like IBS, and inflammatory gut issues!




Dukowicz, A. C., Lacy, B. E., & Levine, G. M. (2007). Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth: A Comprehensive Review. Gastroenterology & Hepatology3(2), 112–122.

Mullin, G. E. (2011). Integrative gastroenterology. New York: Oxford University Press.



DIY Rose Water

My skin used to be flawless all through my teenage years and then when inflammation hit, my skin took the same hit. It’s definitely changed and has been a huge struggle of mine but I’ve learned some tips to calm my skin. When I get stressed, I start picking at my face and we all know that’s the worst thing to do. So I try not to. Aloe and rose have been my two skin saviors. Let’s start with rose water. Rose water has many beneficial properties that I’ll get into in a second. I started using Heritage Rose Petal water about twice a day on my skin to refresh and then calm my skin at night. My skin felt amazing. It’s interesting because as I notice what works for my skin, I also notice the cultural connection. Rose water was traditionally used in Egypt and Cleopatra would use it in her skin regime! So feel free to feel like a freaking QUEEN!


I had a few dozen of whole-trade roses and I thought how perfect it would be to make some DIY rose water! So what are the benefits of rose water? Here are some:


-Rose water helps to hydrate and revitalize your skin

-Antioxidant properties help to strengthen skin cells and skin tissues

-Anti-inflammatory properties helps calm the skin (especially from redness) and this includes relief from skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, and acne.

-It can also help with mild scalp inflammation and be sprayed directly on your scalp and hair

-The aroma itself can help to calm anxiety and natural uplift you as a bonus!!

 (credit to: Aashna Ahuja and her article)


Okay, let’s make some rose water!


Step 1: Clean the roses. I used about 7-8 roses. You can use any color. I also realized my rose water would not come out a pretty light pink since the color of my roses were white and pinkish. So if you want the traditional rose color then make sure to get pink roses. Go ahead and take the rose petals apart and clean them under water in a colander like below.


Step 2: Use distilled water and fill up a pot deep enough. You need enough water to just cover the petals. Turn on the stove to start the process.


Step 3: Bring your pot to a boil and cover your pot (it took at least 20 mins for mine). A good indicator is to look at the color of the water, the more color the more you know it’s ready.


Step 4: Strain the water into clean and sanitized glass mason jars OR let your rose water cool and put them in spray bottles (for hair and face).


Done! It’s so easy and really fun. I keep mine in the refrigerator to keep longer. Let me know what you think and comment if you love making rose water or will try this!!! Happy DIY-ing! 

Paleo(ish) Foodie Adventures in Arizona!


Flower Child (Phoenix, AZ)

First on the list is Flower Child AZ. I regretfully visited towards the end of my trip and I say that because after I went there I knew I wouldn’t have went to any other restaurant the whole trip! I loved the vibe, it reminded me of LA (which is long overdue) and not surprising because they have a location there when I looked them up! Please come to SF! The menu is simple but delicious and accommodating to food substitutions/allergies/intolerances and the whole nine. People of all food preferences would definitely enjoy this place! 

Salmon, Smashed Potatoes and Sauteed Spinach with Raspberry Rose Kombucha @FlowerChild   

Salmon, Smashed Potatoes and Sauteed Spinach with Raspberry Rose Kombucha @FlowerChild


Green New American (Phoenix, AZ)

Second on the list is Green New American which I ate on my second to last day on the trip. I was hesitant because Green New American is all vegetarian and to be honest, there has been rare occasions that I actually like places that are all vegetarian menu. I feel I never get the best quality and flavor. We were close by and I was starving so I pulled over to try this place. I had the Karma Curry bowl with veggies and a side of thyme fries. It was incredibly hard for me to decide on what to get because I can’t stand “faux meat”. Heads up this place uses lots of tempeh and tofu both marinated in so many spices that I couldn’t get a clear answer from the woman taking my order. She was so kind and patient with me but I really dislike when restaurant workers aren’t aware of food ingredients. So I settled with a safe bowl that was HUGE, it could have been shared with 3 people!!! Sadly, it didn’t satisfy my taste buds and I left hungry but that’s me so check out the menu, the food smelled delicious and my sister did like their food and she has zero food intolerances. 

Karma Curry bowl at Green New American   

Karma Curry bowl at Green New American


Nami (Phoenix, AZ)

Nami is located right next door to Green New American, I think they may share the same owner but I’m not sure, I just assume since Green New American’s website also has Nami’s menu. Nami is a very cute and artistic café serving vegan and some gluten free treats, drinks, and of course their famous soft serve. The woman behind the counter told me the soft serve was a mix between coconut and soy ice cream. I don’t ever eat soy ice cream, but c’mon I was on vacation and desperately wanted ice cream in AZ weather (which was not bad at all, a good 80-90 degrees). Anyway I got a Strawberry Cheesecake tSoynami soft serve! It was way too sugary for me but my sister enjoyed it so it’s always a win if you travel with someone who will eat and take your leftovers!!! It’s definitely worth it to check out. They also had donuts, muffins, cookies, and even cookie dough to buy. 

Strawberry Cheesecake soynami   

Strawberry Cheesecake soynami


Nourish (Gilbert, AZ)  

I found Nourish when I was in AZ and yelped “paleo” restaurants. I decided to meet my friend Amanda there so we could check it out. Nourish is a very small café that caters to people with autoimmune and food allergies/intolerances/sensitivities. Their menu is easy to read with all ingredients listed as well as a key indicated paleo friendly, gluten free, etc. But I believe their whole menu is gluten, dairy, soy and peanut free. I ordered the grass fed burger bowl (typical af) but I should’ve ordered something else. Don’t get me wrong, it was decent but worthy to discuss? No L The burger was a little dry but I loved the products they sold. I bought Turmeric Bone Broth and they carry some other cool brands! So definitely check them out!

ChocolaTree (Sedona, AZ)

If Berkeley and Sedona had a baby, it would be ChocolaTree as the product. This place is an absolutely delightful and beautiful oasis. From walking in to seeing the AMAZING and equally delicious chocolate and desert case to the restrooms filled with gorgeous art that is truly transformational and one of a kind. This restaurant is screaming good vibes. The menu is 100% organic and gluten and GMO free. They have delicious tonics and drinks. But the CACAO is on a whole other level here!! I grabbed about 7 chocolates including a donut and a cookie dough cup (I should’ve bought 10 to freeze and take home, they were THAT good). So cacao lovers, rejoice and celebrate at ChocolaTree.


The Original Chopshop (Multiple locations, AZ)

This restaurant is really good! I think anyone would love and can find something of their liking on the menu. I got the Green Curry Grilled Shrimp bowl and it was delicious!!! They have a good variety of offerings on their menu which includes protein bowls, salads, sandwiches, superfood bowls and parfaits and treats. They offer and cater to both vegan and gluten free individuals as well which is awesome. A great place to eat, hang out and enjoy!


Experience the Energy Vortex (Sedona, AZ)

Last week I spent my time in Arizona. One of the goals on my list was to visit the beautiful town of Sedona. It was about 3 hours from Phoenix. So I made sure to have a whole day of it. It took awhile but it was worth it times a million. I could look at those red rocks for hours on end.


Let’s get into it. An energy vortex is supposed to be a sacred spot on Earth that either energy enters into or projecting out of the Earth’s plane. Before I went, I made sure to read about the vortexes. They say when you truly enter a vortex you can feel the energy. Other places in the world known for having energy vortexes include Machu Picchu in Peru, The Great Pyramids in Egypt, and Stonehendge.


After getting lost then finally being directed to one of the vortexes, I was ready to get out of the car. I already had plans to pray and meditate and didn’t bring my phone specifically up there (the images are from around the vortex). The hike up was gorgeous! I wanted so badly to be completely alone but I had to of course settle so I found a spot in the center enough that no one bugged me.



I closed my eyes and took this all on. I felt the energy and I felt extreme gratitude flowing in and through my body. Although all of Sedona is considered to be an energy vortex. But there are designated spots that are believed to have a powerful impact on one’s spiritual development. As you experience Sedona, you can’t miss signs all over the place that point to “healers, shamans, and psychics”. Many of them you can pay to do healing work with you on the red rocks or the vortexes.


I experienced an immense amount of energy and hope. As I become more spiritually connected, I can feel closer to God everyday. I prayed. I appreciated. I thanked. And I meditated. I took in all of that energy to feel closer to myself and create hope. Often times, fear rules my thoughts and I doubt my abilities without even trying. Hope allows me to use all of my experiences good or bad for strength and self-development.


Sedona is breathtaking and feels like a bubble. I felt very protected in that space. When you go to the vortex, make sure to find a place at least with some sort of solace. Come in mind with whatever spiritual practice you intend to do. Don’t rush the experience, take it all in then take your pictures. Meditate, pray, or just tune in to the energy. You may experience all sorts of feelings.


If you visit Sedona, or have already please leave a comment about your experience or anything else you’d like to ask or share. 


Essentials for Your Room/Home

My favorite home essentials


No matter where you live, filling your home or room (or both if you can afford to live in the Bay Area J) with things that make you feel comfortable and increase your quality of life are essential to living a happy and healthier lifestyle! Don’t think it’s overrated because you want your home/room to be a place of solitude. These few essentials are for improving air quality and overall mood in your room!


Himalayan Salt Lamp: the benefits are endless for this salt lamp. Basically they are salt rock(s) with a bulb in them. Salt lamps are known for clearing the air, which makes them beneficial for improving indoor air quality. They may improve allergies but there are no studies to prove that. However, the salt lamp makes for an amazing night light, radiating a warm, orange glow.


Air Purifier: I cannot live without this! If you choose to invest in any of my essentials, the air purifier is the most beneficial in my opinion. It removes pollutants from the air. Especially if you suffer from allergies or asthma, it can be very helpful in reducing those symptoms. Make sure to get a HEPA filter, which helps clear dust, pollen, pet dander, and smoke. The one I have has a timer on it and different settings so that I’m able to set it before I leave for the day.


Essential Oil Diffuser: I’m obsessed with mine!! Who doesn’t like the smell of a spa aka your home (choose lavender for that!). I use mine daily and put a mixture of my favorite essential oils in it. Most have their own timer that automatically turns off after 4 -6 hours. If I have small headaches, I put peppermint oil and often feel better. This one is more of an investment because you have to get essential oils but a little goes a long way!



Gut Healing Supplement Protocol

There was a time I was taking up to 24 different supplements and herbs. I had two cases of pill holders because nothing would fit how much I was taking. I’ve learned to simplify my supplements after the parasite infection is gone. Prior to being properly diagnosed and treated, I was given countless supplements that my body was barely absorbing. In August, I decided to take a break and stop using all supplements because I knew something was off (infection). I’m happy I made that decision on my own even though I was scared I just kept trusting myself (hello, intuition). Now, I can finally and happily start the healing process of the immune and gut function. I’m not adding dosages because they vary based on person and again this is for me.


VSL DS #3- High potency probiotic, designed for ulcerative colitis. 

Vitamin D3 liquid –I suggest anyone with an autoimmune disease to take vitamin D. It reduces excess inflammation. Especially if you are on prednisone or have a long history of steroid use, you should look into taking vitamin D.

S-Acetyl Glutathione- this supplement is an accelerated form of glutathione. It’s made by Xymogen and a fairly new supplement. But again this helps with overall digestion, absorption, healthy immune and cell function.

Hepotothera Forte – this helps with detoxifying my liver. It contains selenium, milk thistle, N-Acetyl L-Cysteine and Alpha Lipoic Acid.

Zinc- helps the body overcome viral and bacterial infections, especially longstanding infections. It plays an important role in tissue repairing. Everyone with an autoimmune disease has a leaky gut, that is where it all starts.

Glutamine powder- this is an amino acid that helps your body seal and heal from a leaky gut. Glutamine does amazing things to help the body function like repairing the intestinal cells, maintains secretory IgA, and works with glutathione for reducing inflammation and detoxification.

Vitamin A- is vital for tissue healing, which helps to heal leaky gut. I get a lot of vitamins from my diet but once you have an autoimmune or history of chronic illness, you may need vitamins in supplement form while you are trying to heal.

Collagen- is a protein we have in our bodies and our skin. It improves our hair, skin, nails, and our digestion. I’m using Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides for the first time and I’m really excited to see my skin and nails get back to normal!

Fish Oil (Omega 3s)- Both EPA and DHA help to heal leaky gut by reducing inflammation by reducing the production of inflammatory cytokines. It also helps with joint pain and skin inflammation.



Setting Intentions for the New Year

I feel like towards the end of every year we hear people talk about how the next year will be “their year” in addition to talking about resolutions that will usually not happen or easily be given up on.


For me, I love to reflect. I do it daily in my journal but I tend to reflect on feelings. If you want to learn about yourself and what you don’t want to bring into the new year, then reflecting is a good start.


First, grab some paper and a pen and set aside time to write. Make sure you won’t be interrupted so that you can have time to truly reflect.


Set the tone: I like to burn incense and turn on my salt lamp and play some music. Anything goes here, so make sure to get comfortable


Focus: Start by thinking of events/experiences/moments that happened throughout the year starting with the very beginning of the year. Write everything that comes to mind, include fun moments/people you met even if those people aren’t in your life at this moment. All of it matters!!!


Reflect: After you are done, really reflect on the last year. Give yourself time to reflect. It’s almost like reading someone else’s story so enjoy it. Read it aloud or read it to yourself. Have fun and try to relive them.


More writing: I know! it seems like a lot but it’s not. After you wrote down the moments of 2016 that happened to you, write down lessons learned next to each moment. Don’t judge yourself for anything that happened in the past year. Just write what you have and can learn from each experience.


Setting new intentions: Instead of resolutions like losing weight or not calling you ex. Setting intentions is different. You are setting what you intend to manifest towards your goals, dreams, and overall life. Here are some examples:


I intend to love.

I intend to forgive others, and myself.

I intend to make exercise a part of my life for my health.


After you set your intentions, say them aloud or to yourself during meditation or just use them as meditation statements everyday as these intentions will evolve.

Here’s to the new year!!!!! I wish you a happy, healthy, and safe new year!!!

My Morning Drink

I never gave much thought to my morning routine before I had any health issues. It’s one of those things that you just don’t think about. I never thought to set intentions for the day or anything like that. I wasn’t raised or taught that. I barely used to make breakfast in time before heading to work!


Obviously things have changed since then. I know there’s so much information and people telling us what they drink daily and every morning for so many different reasons. I used to try and follow everything but honestly it’s exhausting. I learned the hard way that I need to do what works for ME not anyone else.


Here is my morning drink (and occasionally if I skip this I make sure to have it sometime during the day).


Liquid chlorophyll:

There was a time when I had to eat up to 10 cups of leafy greens a day (yes overkill!). I knew I could also get the benefits of greens in other forms but I wanted a liquid form because of healing my colon. Chlorophyll is a green pigment from leafy green vegetables. Iron deficiency and anemia is common in IBD patients and this liquid is highly effective in promoting healthy iron levels. In addition, it’s an antioxidant, promotes cleansing of toxic metals, controls body odor, and is effective in stopping Candida albicans from growing!


Pure Cranberry Juice: First! Check your label! Make sure there is nothing but cranberry juice and/or water in that ingredient list! Cranberry juice is rich in antioxidants because it cranberries contain phytonutrients, which help to prevent a wide range of health issues. I personally love the bitter taste of cranberry juice so if you try this drink beware it will be sour/bitter.


Aloe Vera juice: Aloe contains so many internal beneficial effects but most commonly known for calming the skin from sunburns, inflammation, wounds, etc. Internally, I use aloe because of its digestive benefits. Just like its’ effects on the skin, aloe decreases the inflammation internally and helps to heal the stomach and intestines including ulcers.


Lemon: I don’t always use lemon because the acidity for my own preference. However, adding lemon to this drink will help aid in digestion and detoxification because of the acids found in the lemon. Also, you’ll get some more Vitamin C, which helps your white blood cell production for your immune system!


I love to share what I drink/eat/do but remember to always listen to your body first and find what works for you! I used to do the warm lemon water every morning then realized it wasn’t a fit for me. Don’t get discouraged in finding your thing or your rhythm.



My top Paleo-friendly restaurants in the Bay Area

Prior to my paleo days, I was a huge foodie! I was obsessed with every blog and website for new restaurants. I constantly ate out and ate good! I’m thankful I can actually tolerate being able to dine out. It’s not something we often think about but I know I am so grateful that I can. Food is a social connection that we make with people. We create memories around food! Anyway, here are my favorite spots in the SF Bay Area that I love to grab a bite. Most are paleo-friendly or gluten-free, and some are just places I know I’m safe with eating at. Hope you all enjoy :) 


Roam Artisan Burger  

Farmer's Market Salad

I would eat here before my paleo days so I was really excited knowing I still can! I usually get a grass-fed beef burger and a salad or their seasonal veggies and my guilty pleasure-THE FRIES (fried in rice bran oil)! I definitely go all out at Roam and order the gluten-free bun! If you make it there, make sure to get some of their kombucha on tap! 


Little Gem

I literally waited for Little Gem to open after reading about it on EaterSF. I went and to be honest I was really disappointed. That was their first opening week! I really built up too much expectation! I went back and I was completely impressed! The food was delicious and the service was friendly and professional. Since the menu changes frequently, I’m loving their Korean bowl right now with bulgogi and white rice! It’s amazing!! They also do brunch!

Little Gem


As Quoted

I love this place! It’s super cute and quaint! Everything I’ve had on the menu was delicious! Clean, fresh, and tasty! I personally get their Turmeric latte with coconut oil. Oh and make sure to grab their Chinese Chicken Salad on the way out, thank me later!!!!

As Quoted


Mission Heirloom

If paleo and aip folks had a heaven, it would be this beautiful restaurant in Berkeley, CA. Two words: Turmeric Tonic. Paleo products are all over this café, along with take out options of pretty much their whole menu!

Empanadas at Mission Heirloom
Spring Rolls at Urban Remedy

Urban Remedy is a plant-based organic food company. I fell in love with their Mint Chip Smoothie (it’s like drinking a Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookie). Then I went on to eat their Macro Bowl (favorite) and Spring Rolls. They have desserts, juices, tonics, shots, smoothies, and so much more! I treat myself here on warm days with a smoothie and salad. Who wants to join me next time?


Farmhouse Thai Kitchen

This is definitely a hidden gem from most people I know and I almost didn’t want to share it on this list haha! But who would I be if I didn’t share! I love thai food and this place hits the spot. It’s a FUN experience here for dinner! I went to their Thai New Year celebration earlier this year and had the most amazing time! This place does not disappoint. I bring my favorite folks here! They have a gluten-free menu, not full paleo but if you are okay with it, you can make it work! This is a treat for me for sure!!!

Table at Farmhouse Kitchen
Mariposa Bakery

This is a dedicated gluten-free bakery with two locations. One in the SF Ferry Building and their full bakery and café in Oakland. I love their Oakland location. My sister loves their tuna melt (dairy but delicious) and I love their steak sandwich. They have a lot of baked goods so caution!

Green Heart Foods Café

Green Heart Foods

I just discovered this place last week and was really excited that I did! I was having an off day and this completely changed my mood! Or maybe I was hungry! Either way their Maple Tahini Oat Cookie (vegan, gluten-free) did for sure! They also make a bomb Turmeric latte with cashew milk.


How I keep sane and create my own support

Let me just say how hard it can be to be your own support through trying times. If you ever experienced anything that seems impossible to overcome (but most likely overcame) than you did whatever it took to get through it. Unfortunate experiences such as health issues, financial, family and friends easily gets overwhelming and can feel devastating with no end in sight. But, the beauty of any struggle is that if you listen up you can learn from it and also have a “self-care toolkit” to get you through. Everyone has their own ways to get through difficult circumstances so please share below!!!


1.  RECOGNIZING AND ACKNOWLEDGING WHAT IS HAPPENING: To me this is important! You can’t be denial of what is happening in your life, you need to be aware and mentally acknowledge it. I write it out in my journal. You can speak it out loud. The main point is to address what is happening first and foremost.

2.  Meditate Daily: I wake up and immediately meditate. I switch between an app and Youtube. My current fave is a Reiki meditation for healing and forgiveness. If you are new to meditating, don’t worry, it will take awhile to get used to. I prefer guided meditations because I’m able to focus and I like to journal for a few minutes after the meditation. I center myself for the day and set intentions of what I will do.

3.  Have fun! In times when I feel very down, I make sure to do things that make me happy. My personal favorites are baths, music, dancing, lighting candles and incense, and baking! You have feelings to release and work through and having fun doing what YOU love and what YOU want to do can feel empowering. When you do what you love make sure to make note of it. Your own body and mind changes just like everything else in life and sometimes things that used to work for me, just don’t anymore and I actually love when I discover something new about myself. The key is to LISTEN and really tap into yourself and then things start coming easier and making sense.

4.  Ask for forgiveness from those you have hurt and have hurt you: This really calls to situations involving other people. At times we see ourselves as the victim or as someone who needs the apology. We can’t forget that even in those times we may have hurt someone, and you can ask for forgiveness in whatever way feels comfortable to you. I do it during meditations.

5.  Learn to love yourself without feeling lonely: This one is HUGE for me! I love to be alone and also I love my own company! But at times when I felt very down when I was alone I automatically felt “lonely” which would spiral into self-doubt and judgement. I would begin to tell myself very negative things about my own self as to why I was “alone”. You have to love yourself first. Once you love yourself, you will begin to see who should be in your space out of love, not loneliness. 

How to tap in and listen to your body

Whether you live with an autoimmune condition, chronic pain, or chronic stress listening to your body is one of the single most important things you can do to help manage a healthier lifestyle. There is so much outside noise that often gets us caught up and we tend to ignore our wants and needs both consciously and subconsciously. The key is to tap into our intuition. Your intuition can be a feeling of knowing, without actually knowing how you know it. Get it? It can be a combined gut feeling based off past experiences as well. Either way, our intuition is hard to actually describe in a set definition because “we just know”. To maximize living your life in a way that feels best for you, listening to your intuition can be very powerful and life-changing.




Meditation is one of my daily routines. It took me a long time to enjoy meditation. Now when I skip a few days, I feel completely off. Even 2-3 minutes of meditation really helps center myself. In addition, using meditation as a tool to get in touch with your intuition can help. Meditating has endless benefits from focusing and centering to living in the present moment. Try this chakra meditation to get in touch with your intuition.


Setting Boundaries


If you are a people-pleaser this can be hard to do but worth it. Setting and having boundaries in your life and all of your relationships are important to tapping into your intuition. Why? Because you are listening to what YOU want rather than what others want or think you should want. Especially as women we often think that setting boundaries can translate to us being “selfish”. In order for us to live to our truest potential setting boundaries will help us achieve that life. Also when setting boundaries we often think we have to justify the reasons why we put ourselves first or say no to something but then we get into this never ending trap of making excuses when we don’t need to. I absolutely love this exercise to setting boundaries for all relationships.




I understand not everyone is a writer or keeps a journal but I really encourage you to write as you go through life. Either on your phone, laptop, or notebook writing is truly a way to slow down. Often we don’t even realize what our bodies need until we slow down. That’s the key is to slow down and listen. I used to write when I was either angry or sad now I write as much as I can and my body and mind tells me what I need through writing. You would be surprised to read what words come out in your writing. That’s exactly what your body wants. Try this: Grab a piece of paper and set a timer to 3 minutes then pick up your pen and start writing with no intention. Write whatever comes to mind or not. Eventually you can practice this daily until it becomes part of your routine.


The LOW FODMAP 2 Day Meal Plan

FODMAPs stand for Fermentable Oligosaccharides(fructans & galactans), Disaccharides (lactose), Monosaccharides (fructose) and Polyols (sorbitol,xylitol). FODMAPs are certain types of carbohydrates found in foods. These foods have been known to trigger IBS symptoms such as gas and bloating because they are poorly digested in the small intestines. The diet is based on the research that eliminating foods high in FODMAPs for 4-6 weeks have been shown to reduce the symptoms and gradually re-introduce them back into the diet.


Day One: Calories: 1,981| Protein: 70g | Carbs: 140g | Fat: 65g| Sat Fat:55 g| Fiber: 17g|Sugars: 52g


Breakfast: 2 over easy or scrambled eggs on gluten free toast of choice (or 2) (read label for high FODMAP foods, Udi’s brand is an okay choice) with alfalfa sprouts or arugula.


Snack: Smoothie: 1 frozen banana, 1 cup organic strawberries, 1 cup kale, ½ small stalk celery and 1 can coconut milk. Mix all ingredients in blender and enjoy.


Lunch: Ground chicken patties: 2lbs ground chicken, 1 cup gluten free bread crumbs (can use almond meal or coconut flour). 1 egg, ½ cup diced chives, 1/4cup olive oil, 1 tbsp mustard, 1 tsp oregano, basil, salt. Mix all ingredients in bowl minus olive oil, shape in patties, place olive oil in your skillet, and let each patty cook 5-7minutes on each side. Enjoy with fresh salad of diced cucumbers and lightly sautéed spinach with no dressing. Can use lemon juice for added flavor.  


Snack: 1 cup lactose-free yogurt or non-dairy yogurt with no HFCS and ½ cup sliced fresh organic strawberries or raspberries


Dinner: Baked 3oz salmon with side of sautéed Bok choy and roasted carrots, with 1 medium sized plain baked potato (can add 1 tsp ghee). Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place salmon on foil, drizzle with 1 tbsp lemon juice and ½ tsp fresh or dried dill. Bake for 20-25mins until flakes easily.


Drinks: Filtered water 6-8 glasses daily. If you must you can drink: peppermint tea, green tea, white leaf tea, lactose-free milk, and cranberry juice, coconut water. Choose weak herbal teas.


Day Two: Calories: 1,518| Protein: 96g | Carbs:125 g | Fat: 55g| Sat Fat: 23g| Fiber: 8g|Sugars: 20g


Breakfast: 1/4 cup cream of buckwheat cereal cooked with 1 ¼ cup non-dairy or lactose-free milk, top with ½ cup organic blueberries.


Snack: 2 hard boiled eggs with one handful of walnuts


Lunch: Tuna salad lettuce wrap: 6oz canned tuna, drained, 1 tbsp mayonnaise, yellow mustard, ½ chopped cucumber, ¼ cup chopped pitted olives and head of lettuce. Mix all ingredients in a bowl except the lettuce. Scoop salad in lettuce cups. May add rice crackers if hungry.


Snack: 2 Rice cakes (Lundberg Farms is a good brand) spread with 1 tbsp. natural almond or peanut butter on each.


Dinner: Quinoa bowl with 1 cup sliced grilled chicken breast cooked with ½ tbsp. olive oil with a side of cooked chopped zucchini and red bell peppers. Quinoa: Measure 1 cup dried quinoa and two cups liquid (water or broth of choice), bring to a boil in a medium saucepan, reduce heat to low and cover until most of the liquid is absorbed. Fluff with fork and top with chicken and cooked veggies to enjoy.


Tips: Please remember when cooking, do not add onions/garlic. Onion/garlic are a huge contributor to IBS. Also, please eat fruits in small handfuls as I added them with only one small serving per meal. Eat in moderation, drink plenty of water, chew your food well, limit processed foods.

Please keep track of symptoms with a food diary each day.



CRON-O-Meter: Track nutrition & count calories. (n.d.). Retrieved July 23, 2016, from


Monash University (n.d.). The low FODMAP tour down under: IBS relief. Retrieved from 

The low FODMAP diet approach: dietary triggers for IBS symptoms (n.d.) About Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Retrieved from (Links to an external site.)


The low FODMAP diet approach: dietary triggers for IBS symptoms (n.d.) About Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Retrieved from (Links to an external site.)