Rebecca’s Books

New Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Soups and Stews, by Rebecca Wood and Leda Scheintaub

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The food reference includes the healing properties of foods; in continuous print since 1983.


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A do it yourself Face Reading book.
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An allergen-free, healthy eating program.
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Identify and remedy problems caused by bacteria, fungi, intestinal parasites and viruses.
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Robust recipes for grains with vegetables, fish, poultry, meat & fruit.
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When Gluten Free Isn’t Enough

Aug 24

Dear Rebecca: I started keeping a food diary as you suggested. It was really, really awful. It was too embarrassing to show anyone. I was grazing the entire day until supper, my one square meal. I was feeling stuck. So I said to myself, “I need to be gluten-free. I’m going to go gluten free. I can go gluten free.” It wasn’t a scary thought anymore.

I’m not sure how long I’d been gluten-free, but at a certain point I noticed that my complexion seemed brighter. My abdomen was less bloated, but I didn’t lose weight or inches, and that was very disappointing. asparagus_new

Last week I ate some baked goods. I was curious whether I would feel different. Within a few hours I got bloated again and my nose started dripping. I’ve been intending to send you another picture, but will wait until I’ve been gluten-free for a good while. —Shelia

Dear Shelia: Good work. You’ve made an invaluable discovery: that your complexion brightened and you weren’t bloated is a clue that your body doesn’t like gluten (note: gluten intolerance symptoms vary widely from person to person). Then after abstaining, you ate gluten and your symptoms returned. Together these make a strong case that gluten has become a toxin to your body.

But why didn’t you lose weight or inches? This is telling. When problematic foods are eliminated from the diet, weight typically stabilizes at a healthy norm. So you didn’t lose weight likely because there is still another allergen or allergens to identify and eliminate. Once your diet is free of irritants, your digestive tract mends, you lose undesired pounds and your face really shines!

Dear Rebecca: What do you think about green drinks? —Nin

Dear Nin: When breakfast is a smoothie, it’s a given that you’ll be snacking before lunch. Frequent nibbling on chocolate, cheese, nuts or something starchy is not a sustainable diet.

Unlike any green drink or smoothie, a real meal deeply satisfies. In contrast, note how a substantial meal supports your core energy.

Swollen Lips

Jul 25

Does swelling below your lower lip make it jut out like a ledge? If your lips appear swollen, consider that those lip ledges weren’t there in your high school photos. And you won’t find swollen lips in classical art or in photos prior to the 1950s. Indeed, the historical norm for lips is that they are uniform in size and color, have precise borders with normal surrounding skin and are not overly dry or wet. Before examining how lip irregularities appear and how you can resolve them, let’s first look at some examples.

As you’ll see in Melodie’s before and after photo sequence below, “erasing” a swollen ledge can happen quickly. But first, here’s a client, Karl, displaying swelling but no ledge; and next is a client, Betsy, with a more advanced ledge.

Karl, age 29.

Karl, age 29.

Lower lip boundary is blurred, swollen and pink.

Lower lip boundary is blurred, swollen and pink.

While this young man doesn’t have a ledge under his lower lip, if his diet doesn’t change, the odds are that he’ll grow one. Enlarge Karl’s photos to better see the large size and fuzzy border of his lower lip and the swollen pink skin below it. Additionally, the predominantly pink-red upper portion of his bottom lip indicates inflammation in the small intestine.

Swelling, ledges and pouches under the lip don’t sprout up overnight. The first indicators are chronic digestive and bowel irregularities followed, in time, by loss of distinct lip borders, swelling of–or around–the lips and discoloration such as pink (in Karl’s example) or white (see Remedy Irregular Skin around Your Mouth). Karl emailed me a few weeks after I sent his Facial Analysis and Dietary Report: “I’m feeling better already and my cravings are down. I’m going to stick with it and stop cheating myself.”

Betsy was diagnosed with diverticulitis, a condition that was fatal for her father. She asked her doctor what to do, and he said: “Eat more fiber, and when it progresses we’ll surgically remove it.” She was underimpressed with his answer, so she contacted me. I could see that her diet was already fiber-rich with wheat and other foods that she was not assimilating. When there are digestive irregularities, it’s imperative to avoid the foods that exacerbate your condition.

Betsy, age 69.  Note the fuzzy lip borders, the uneven lip color and the ledge below her bottom lip.

Betsy, age 69. Note the fuzzy lip borders, the uneven lip color and the swollen ledge below her bottom lip.

I gave Betsy dietary recommendations over a year ago and I’ve not heard back from her. I do hope her diverticulitis is resolved. Some people aren’t ready or able to make the changes right away but do so at their own pace. Years later I often get a “thank you” from a client for her improved health. But even if Betsy has implemented a 33 percent change, then she’ll be enjoying significant improvement in her face and overall energy.

Below, in Melodie’s “after” photo, the first thing you’ll notice is that she’s lost weight. Look again and you’ll see much more. Her increased energy and wellness are reflected in these ways: her lips and skin are more uniform in color; her eyes beam out more energy; and her lower lip pouches have dramatically shrunk. (To see the fine detail, enlarge your screen.) Good work, Melodie!

Melodie, before photo.

Melodie, before photo.

60-days after following  dietary protocol

60-days after following dietary protocol

In her mid-fifties and suffering from central nervous system exhaustion and digestive issues, Melodie took a leave of absence from work. She contacted me for a Face Reading and Dietary Analysis Report. Based on her photo and intake information, I provided her with an annotated photo plus dietary and lifestyle suggestions. She had the gumption to make the changes, and we all rejoice in her newfound health.

How to Regain Normal Lip Definition

The first step in regaining normal lip borders is to identify what caused the problem and then desist. Briefly, our lips are at the apex of our digestive tract and a readout for what lies south of them. So when your assimilation is good, expect your lips to be free of irregularities such as discoloration, swelling, ledges or bulging pockets. But when your diet includes foods that challenge your gut, then you’re inviting leaky gut (increased intestinal permeability) and, in time, one or more symptoms, such as these pouches, will appear.

Fortunately, you don’t have to start from scratch in your investigation. Leaky gut is endemic in our culture, and there’s an abundance of information on how to identify which foods are problematic (see below). Then simply adjust your diet by removing the irritants and your lips and the surrounding skin regain their normal definition.

Conclusion  Swelling, a shelf-like ledge or pouch under the bottom lip indicates leaky gut, an endemic condition that underlies all autoimmune diseases, food intolerances and sensitivities and allergies. Leaky gut contributes to colitis, celiac disease, diverticulitis, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and colon cancer. As you correct your diet and regain your health, you also regain normal facial skin tone around your mouth.

Note  Since 1970 I’ve combined the ancient art of Chinese Five-Element medicine and facial diagnosis with dietary counseling to help people identify and resolve their health concerns. For more information and photos on face reading, see my ebook Read Your Face ($14.95), 127 pages with 76 photos. My ebook Clean and Free ($9.99) provides the information you need, including meal plans and recipes to regain your digestive health. To help you get underway, consider a Face Reading and Dietary Analysis Report.

Client names have been changed to protect the parties privacy.