09:05 09:05

Nourishing With Stinging Nettles

By |2020-06-04T13:58:40-06:00May 7th, 2020|Categories: Blogs, Common Conditions, Holistic Living, Nutrition Articles, The Seasons|Tags: , , , , , , , |0 Comments

April Crowell Dipl. ABT (NCCAOM), AOBTA CI & CP, CHN

Stinging nettles sting.

My first encounter with nettles was not pleasant, and at the time, I didn’t know enough to look for lamb’s quarter or dock to soothe the nettle’s sharp bite.  Instead, I chose to run screaming back to camp seeking my mother’s aid to treat the flaming red blisters on my legs.

Despite my first meeting with nettles, I have grown to love their amazing nutritional and healing properties.  They are one of the few herbs that I can recommend to almost anyone–young, old, weak, strong, nursing mothers and athletes.  To date, I  haven’t come up with someone that can’t benefit from nettles.

A bit of nettle history

Nettles have a long history of medicinal use–dating back to the bronze age. Native Americans used them to stop bleeding after child birth, Victorian women used nettle tinctures to thicken their hair.  Soups were used to build strength and stamina–the list is long as you will see below.

Nettles grow wild across Europe, America and parts of Canada. Many people harvest them fresh, but for ease (possibly I’m just lazy) I get my nettles dried and in bulk unless a local grower has some fresh available.   I use them regularly for my family, self and my clients.  All parts of the nettle plant have medicinal properties earning them a place of honor in my herbal cupboard.

Western uses and nutritional profile

Long inhale and go….  Asthma, chronic cough, any lung disorder, hives, shingles, eczema, diabetes, uterine bleeding, chronic nose bleeds, allergies, gout, heart failure, spasms urinary and kidney stones, urinary tract infections,  strengthen hair, heal wounds, replenishing after surgery, fluid retention, rheumatism, arthritis,  reduce edema and bloating, build teeth and bones, balance mood swings, treat […]

08:15 08:15

13 Tips to Simplify Your Meals

By |2020-06-04T13:58:35-06:00May 20th, 2018|Categories: April's Blogs, Blogs, Holistic Living, Nutrition Articles|Tags: , , , , , |Comments Off on 13 Tips to Simplify Your Meals

April Crowell, Dipl. ABT (NCCAOM), AOBTA CI & CP, CHN

“What’s for dinner?”

It’s a common question that can turn into an amusing (or annoying) game.  When you have a busy schedule it can be a daunting task to figure out how to eat well–let alone eat.  I’ll tell you a little secret–it’s all about habits.

Our culture has put emphasis on economy and convenience, at the cost of  our connection to self nourishment, and I’m not talking about restorative yoga.   Think about it.  We spend less time planning and preparing meals than any other culture in the world, and we have increasing disease and health costs that are directly related to dietary habits.  Diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, GERD (okay, there is a virus involved sometimes here, but I assure you, if you slow down how you eat, it improves considerably), kidney stones, ulcers, gout, heart disease–you get the picture.  We all know nutrition is important, what and how we eat is the basis for our energy, ability to health and overall health.

Wonderful.  So how do we start improving how we nourish ourselves?

Simple-create new habits that make better nourishment and eating habits a priority.

You will be hungry today, so why let that surprise you?  Why not plan for it instead? Your health and soul will thank you.   Let’s play with a few ideas.

1. Create time–If your current habits don’t allow you the time to menu plan, shop, prep and cook–budget some time.  Put it in your day planner or on your ‘to do’ list.  If you skip meals, put the time for them in your planner as well.  It usually takes me about 15 minutes to make a menu for the week and I […]

06:34 06:34

Sprouts, A Deeper Look

By |2018-05-31T13:42:38-06:00May 2nd, 2018|Categories: Blogs, Holistic Living, Nutrition Articles|Tags: , , , , , |Comments Off on Sprouts, A Deeper Look

by Nathan Mandigo

A while ago I wrote on an article on the basics of sprouting (find it here) which mentioned just a few of the wonderful benefits that can be gained from sprouts.  Today I would like to take a deeper look at the benefits of sprouts and their amazing properties.

From a Western perspective, sprouts are very nutritious as they are a good source of many vitamins and trace minerals that many people in this country are deficient in, they have a low glycemic response, and are a good source of dietary fiber.  What makes sprouts most interesting from my perspective is the presence of a chemical called coumarin.

Coumarin is a naturally occurring, fragrant chemical present in most feed plants and several other common foods (like cinnamon (cassia sourced), strawberries and cherries).  A feed plant is any plant that is used to feed livestock or which graze lands are planted with, such as alfalfa or clover, two very common sprout seeds.  In concentrated forms, coumarin is toxic to the body and is one of the precursors used to make rat poison and blood thinners, that’s not the interesting part.  The interesting part is that coumarin in small quantities, as found in sprouts, increases our sensation of satiation.  It makes us feel fuller faster by making the body think we have eaten more than we have so we are less inclined to overeat.  Scientist believe this property in these plants was evolved as a way to stave off over feeding by grazing animals to give plants a chance to seed.  If you would like read more about coumarin, here is the wikipedia article.

From a Chinese medicine perspective, sprouts, are also an […]

10:00 10:00

Peas, Please! A New Look At An Old Food

By |2018-05-31T13:35:51-06:00April 18th, 2015|Categories: April's Blogs, Blogs, Nutrition Articles|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

April Crowell, Dipl. ABT (NCCAOM), AOBTA CI & CP, CHN

Peas–it seems that people either love them or hate them.  Personally, I love them, and there is really nothing like the taste of peas plucked straight off the vine.  Their sweetness comes from the natural sugars that begin to break down into starches the moment you pick them.   We treasure them in the spring as one of our early crops but with a little planning, you can harvest them in most regions from late spring up to the first frost.

Vegetable or legume?

Both–peas are eaten both dried and fresh (green).  Native to India, there are more than 50 varieties of peas and much of the world eats peas in both their dry and fresh form, especially the Middle East and Asia.  Americans, however, tend to favor fresh peas.  Peas’ nutrition and energetics will change a little depending on whether you eat them dry or fresh, but these little legumes make an wonderful addition to any diet.

Western nutritional take on peas

Peas are an excellent source of protein, vitamins A and B and minerals including calcium, sulfur, potassium and iron.  Dried peas are a great source of fiber.  Green peas (fresh or frozen) have vitamin C, K and carotenes, that are lost in the dried form.  Like other legumes and lentils, peas lower cholesterol, especially in their dried form where they are most able to absorb excess and dampness (one of the ways Chinese medicine categorizes cholesterol).

Eastern energetics of peas

Peas have neutral temperature and very sweet flavor.  They enter the Spleen/pancreas, and relax the Stomach and Heart.  Peas help to calm down the Liver when it is overly hot or toxic–which is often for many Americans, especially in the […]

09:24 09:24

French Green Clay–Why I Recommend Mud

By |2016-12-29T12:24:16-06:00December 30th, 2014|Categories: Blogs, Holistic Living|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

April Crowell Dipl. ABT (NCCAOM), AOBTA CI & CP, CHN

“You’re going to make me drink mud, aren’t you?”

“No, it’s entirely your choice.  I’m just saying that it is real– not an addictive drug. It’s inexpensive and really effective with acid-reflux.”  I chuckled as my client squirmed with the idea.  Although I had presented the idea multiple times they had fervently resisted, opting for the OC meds.  What could be the harm in trying a simple, natural clay?  Their resistance was–well, intriguing to me.  It would take them several more weeks before they gave in and tried it.  Now they are hooked.

Green clay is amazing and I consider an essential part of my herb pharmacy, first-aid and travel kit.  Here’s why.

Green clay or Illite (French Green Clay or Tuscan clay) is an organic, naturally occurring clay made up of decomposed plant material including kelp and seaweed.  Loaded with minerals and iron oxide this soft, grey-green powder has been used medicinally for centuries. Most of the world’s French Green Clay comes from deep quarries in France–hence its names.  This mineral rich mud is very alkalizing to the body and has a tremendous ability to absorb toxins and excess fluids.  Externally, green clay is used as detoxifying mask, to clear up acne and pull toxins from wounds, insect bites and stings. It naturally refreshes any area to which it is applied. Internally, it has excellent detoxification properties and can be used to treat acid-reflux, GERD, bloating, gas, diarrhea, morning sickness and heartburn. It calms the digestive system and helps to heal the stomach and intestines.   It also pulls heavy metals from the system and absorbs and astringes.

Sounds wonderful, right?  Here […]

09:28 09:28

Why See a Nutritionist? A Short List of What Nutrition Can Treat

By |2016-12-29T12:24:17-06:00October 6th, 2014|Categories: Blogs, Nutrition Articles|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

We are glad you asked!

Nutritional and dietary habits are some of the most profound changes we can make that will have a broad effect on our well-being.    Whether we eat processed fast foods, eat irregularly or enjoy a healthy whole foods diet–our relationship with food defines how we live.

What can nutritional changes treat? 

Honestly, what can’t it treat or radically improve?   Almost anyone will benefit from increasing the vegetables in their diet.  Still, no two people are alike and we have different nutritional goals and needs, your Holistic Nutritionist can help you understand your individual needs help you incorporate specific foods to meet those goals.  Below is a short list of disharmonies that can be treated or improved through nutrition.

  • acne
  • acute disease (colds–yep, ideally, you change your diet to treat the current condition present)
  • arthritis
  • autism
  • bronchitis
  • cancer
  • candida
  • chronic fatigue
  • chronic or acute pain
  • cystic fibrosis
  • depression
  • diabetes
  • eating disorders
  • fibromyalgia
  • gall bladder disorders
  • gout
  • headaches
  • high blood pressure
  • hyper/hypo thyroid
  • improved athletic performance
  • infertility
  • irritable bowel, Crohn’s, Diverticulitis
  • liver disease
  • menopause
  • MS
  • menstrual disharmonies
  • pms
  • recovery or injury
  • weight loss
Eat well, be well!


11:23 11:23

Tomatoes–A Fruit Dressed Up As A Vegetable

By |2018-05-31T13:33:28-06:00August 4th, 2014|Categories: April's Blogs, Blogs, Nutrition Articles, Summer, The Seasons|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

April Crowell, Dipl. ABT (NCCAOM), AOBTA CI & CP, CHN

It’s very hot this year, which means tomatoes will soon be running amok in my garden and kitchen.  Which sounds funny if you know me–I don’t love tomatoes and will pluck them off my plate–unless they are fresh or the sauce comes from tomatoes that I know ripened here and now. It’s a first world burden that comes from having a large garden with fresh tomatoes since I was little.  I love growing the colorful little gems in my garden, and their flavor is truly different fresh off the plant.

Fruit or vegetable?

Fruit. Tomatoes have of habit of hanging out in both the vegetable and fruit category in stores, garden centers and cookbooks, but to be botanically correct–they are a fruit.  Yes, just take a look at those slippery seed clusters that reveal their true identity.  Like other fruits, they develop from the ovaries of flowers.  However, they are most often listed in the vegetable category as they don’t share the sweetness and high sugar content of other fruits.

A little tomato history

Native to South America and Central America, the Aztecs had been eating tomatls for centuries, long before the Spaniards showed up in Central America.  History tends to credit Cortez with the discovery of tomatoes in 1519 when he found them growing in Montezuma’s gardens.  He returned to Europe triumphantly with his new seeds.  The first tomatoes to arrive in Europe were likely small and yellow in color, as the Italians and Spanish refer to them as pomi d’oro (yellow apples).   However, the Europeans were skeptical of the shiny new food, assuming them poisonous, and planted the tomatoes as ornamentals.   The French botanists, Tournefort, would […]

01:41 01:41

The Wonders of Wheatgrass Juice

By |2017-04-24T16:52:30-06:00July 1st, 2014|Categories: Blogs, Holistic Living, Nutrition Articles|Tags: , , , , , , |Comments Off on The Wonders of Wheatgrass Juice

April Crowell, Dipl. ABT (NCCAOM), AOBTA CI & CP, CHN

What is wheatgrass juice?

Wheatgrass juice is pressed or juiced from the young grass of the hard winter wheat berry when it reaches about 5-7 inches in height–and it is simply amazing nutritionally.  The wondrous little sprouts pick up 92 of the 102 minerals available in soil and pass that along to you when you drink the juice.

Nearly 70% chlorophyll, wheatgrass, is filled with enzymes and every vitamin that science has presently identified.  Yes, they are still finding them. It contains super oxide dismutase (SOD); vitamins A,E, F, K , niacin, B1, B6, B12, B17, pantothenic acid, and vitamin C. Chlorophyll, choline, enzymes, amino acids, minerals and trace minerals including; calcium, iron, chlorine, potassium, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, sulfur and cobalt and being nearly is one of the best detoxifiers and blood builders for humans. Amazing stuff.

What is chlorophyll?

Chlorophyll A and B are the fat soluble portion of plants that allows them to absorb the sun’s vibrancy and convert that into energy–the  primary photoreceptor pigment in biochemical terms.  This energy from the plants is readily available, nutritious and healing for the human body–if you eat plants.  Chlorophyll rich foods top the charts in immune enhancing and toxin elimination.

Green is the color of health

Color truly counts in food and finding chlorophyll rich foods isn’t difficult–it’s in any organic plant matter that is green.  Chlorophyll A reflects sunlight in wavelengths that we see as blue-green, while chlorophyll B reflects in the green-yellow range.  No artificial colorings, please.  I had the most interesting debate with a client who was certain that green jello was chlorophyll rich.  Perhaps if she had made it with seaweed, but I digress. Chlorophyll comes from nature’s true colorings of the leaves, […]

10:41 10:41

Considering Cholesterol

By |2018-05-31T13:32:54-06:00June 24th, 2014|Categories: Blogs, Chinese Medicine, Common Conditions, Holistic Living, Nutrition Articles|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

April Crowell Dipl.ABT (NCCAOM), AOBTA CI & CP, CHN

Cholesterol can be a confusing topic.

It’s a hot topic in media and books–and with good reason.  The Center For Disease Control estimates that 1 in 3 adults have high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol.   That’s a big red flag in the healthcare field as high cholesterol is linked with heart disease and increased risk of stroke.

What is cholesterol?

First, let’s be clear–cholesterol is essential to life. A fatty substance that is made in the liver, cholesterol is vital for proper brain and nerve functioning  and the proper creation of sex and adrenal hormones.  Cholesterol is used to make vitamin D and bile, which breaks down other fats–and it is found in every cell of our body.  So if your mindset has been to kill or get rid of cholesterol, drop it.  We need it to survive, we just need to regulate it.