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What Your Aching Joints and Digestive Discomfort May Have in Common

Your intestinal lining serves as a highly selective barrier with microscopic pores that absorb essential nutrients from your food while blocking harmful pathogens, large food particles and waste products from entering your bloodstream. But what happens when your digestive lining becomes damaged and more porous?

The unfortunate result is called leaky gut syndrome or intestinal permeability, a condition that can lead to unpleasant digestive symptoms like bloating, gas and cramps along with seemingly unrelated maladies like chronic sinus infections, achy joints, skin rashes and even brain fog.

What makes treating leaky gut so difficult is that there is no diagnostic testing for it. Nor is there a way to determine the exact cause of increased intestinal permeability. For some patients, Crohn’s or celiac disease is at the root of the problem. When these conditions are effectively treated, the symptoms of leaky gut disappear.

However, in many cases leaky gut cannot be traced to an underlying condition or known causes of intestinal permeability like food allergies, radiation treatments or certain drug use. This is when patient and physician must put on their thinking caps and look for lifestyle factors that may be causing or contributing to the condition.

Some possible culprits include:

  • Chronic stress
  • Yeast overgrowth caused by too much sugar consumption
  • Bacterial imbalance in the gut
  • Parasite infection
  • Excessive alcohol intake

Once one or more of these factors are controlled or eradicated, the various symptoms of leaky gut may disappear or become significantly reduced. But it’s important to remember there is no cure. Many doctors that successfully treat patients with leaky gut find an integrative approach that includes certain nutritional therapies, dietary modifications and stress reduction techniques works best.

Here are some lifestyle strategies that have been shown to help.

  • Adopt an anti-inflammatory diet with the goal of healing inflamed intestinal tissue and reducing other inflammatory symptoms in the body. This includes eliminating sugar and artificial sweeteners, dairy products and gluten in favor of anti-inflammatory omega-3 rich fatty fish coupled with high-fiber, antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables.
  • Maintain healthy gut bacteria (probiotics) that are crucial for strong immunity and the absorption of water-soluble vitamins your body needs. Natural sources of probiotics include fermented foods like sauerkraut and other pickled vegetables, Greek yogurt, kefir, miso and tempeh. A high-quality probiotic supplement taken daily is also recommended by many doctors.
  • Improve intestinal permeability by taking L-glutamine supplements. Healthy quantities of this semi-essential amino acid can be produced in the body under normal circumstances, but with physical trauma, it may be deficient and lead to increased intestinal permeability. Supplemental L-glutamine has been shown to improve intestinal permeability in malnourished children and people with inflammatory bowel disease.
  • It’s well-known that chronic stress can lead to a variety of intestinal ailments and even produce toxic metabolites that lead to other health problems. That’s why learning to reduce your stress with meditation, exercise and even a sense of humor is so important.

While many people see noticeable improvement in their leaky gut symptoms in about 6 weeks, in extreme cases it can take months or even years for a damaged intestinal lining to heal. The key is to find a caring physician with experience in treating patients with the symptoms of intestinal permeability and then working closely with her to successfully heal your gut.

Melanie Segala is the past editor of the alternative medicine reference book, Disease Prevention and Treatment, and the author of numerous health-related articles. She is currently a health writer for BlessedHerbs.com nutritional supplements.





Lemon-Ginger Iced Green Tea

It’s  the middle of Summer and boy is it HOT out there! You may be drinking tons of water everyday to quench your thirst but sometimes plain water gets a little boring. Iced-tea is popular this time of year and I whipped up a recipe that will cool you down and please your taste buds at the same time!

iced-tea (452x800)



2 bags organic green tea

2 bags organic ginger tea

3 cups cold water

6 cups ice

1 lemon, juiced

1 lemon, sliced

2 T. organic maple syrup, optional



1. Boil 3 cups of water in a tea kettle.

2. Steep green tea and ginger tea in 3 cups of water for 1 hour.

3. After tea has steeped for allotted time, mix with another 3 cups of cold water in a 2 quart tea pitcher.

4. Add 6 cups of ice to tea.

5. Stir in lemon juiced and sliced lemon.

6. Sweeten to taste with maple syrup.

Yield: 2 quarts

Five Fun Ways to Keep Your Memory Sharp

If you worry about your memory and want to keep it sharp, here are 5 tips to boost your brain power.

Being an active learner throughout your life is a good way to keep your mind youthful, because maintaining sharp brain health requires constant learning. The more you use your brain, the more brain cells your body will generate. And, experts believe that the more brain cells you have in reserve, the lower your chance of developing age-related cognitive decline.

Here are some fun ways to stimulate and challenge your brain:

Memorize a Poem or Song: This kind of focus and concentration has been shown have positive effects on memory. Pick a favorite poem or song and look at it visually while saying it out loud to help you remember. Repetition is key to remembering something, so say it in the morning when you wake up, and again at night before you go to bed. Before long, you’ll have your favorite poem or song memorized.

Play Card Games Like Concentration: Any card game will help stimulate your brain and keep it working. Concentration is one game that’s great for your memory and can be played either alone or with a group of people. In this game, all of the cards are laid face down on a surface and two cards are flipped face up over each turn. The object of the game is to turn over pairs of matching cards.

Try Brain Teasers: These fun games really challenge your mind to look at something in a different way or focus and concentrate to solve a problem. For example:

Find the Familiar Word

If you cross out five letters in the group of letters below, the remaining letters (in their current order) will spell a popular fruit. What is the word?


(The answer at the bottom of this page)

Have a Chat: If puzzles and games are not your thing, try having a chat with someone. Memory researchers have found that spending just 10 minutes a day talking to another person can support your memory as much as puzzles and games.

Switch your routine. Try using your non-dominant hand to write, brush your teeth, hold your computer mouse, or switch the channels of your TV with your remote control. Yes, it will likely feel a bit awkward. And, it will take more time to do what you are trying to do. But, when you use your non-dominant hand for tasks, you are actually strengthening the pathways in the opposite side of your brain.

Answers to Brain Teaser

Cross out “fi-v-e-le-tt-ers” to make the word BANANA

This article is written by Lauren Kent the writer for Nutri-Health.com, an online High Quality Health Supplements and Health Store.  Assisting people and helping them find quality natural supplements and health products online is what Lauren has been doing for several years.  Nutri-Health.com carries Digestive Supplements to Probiotic Supplements to Joint Health products.

Strawberry & Cucumber Salad with Minty Coconut Dressing

It’s getting hot outside, especially in South Florida! You may already be craving cooling foods like salads and fresh fruit. Sweet strawberries and cooling cucumbers along with this minty fresh coconut milk dressing are sure to satisfy a sweet craving and cool you down all at once. Refreshing! I made the dressing with regular coconut milk but feel free to use light coconut milk.

berry-cucumber salad (800x642) [click to continue…]

Red Velvet Cupcakes {gluten free, vegan}

Red velvet cake is typically loaded up with chemical-laden red food coloring and the frosting is a heavy cream cheese. Eat this and you will feel sugar overload and over processed central.

Enter this simple gluten free cake using beet powder and cocoa powder for that classic red color. If you use baking soda, it will react with the beet powder and the cake will have a more cocoa color but they will rise a bit more. Go without the baking soda for the authentic red velvet color. Either way, this is delicious! Homemade icing made with 3 ingredients: powdered sugar, coconut milk, vanilla. This makes 16 perfect little bites to serve at your next dinner party. Enjoy!

red velvet cupcakes (800x531) [click to continue…]