Colloidal Silver: A Natural and Safe Antibiotic

Colloidal Silver: A Natural and Safe Antibiotic

A Traditional Antibacterial Remedy Before we had modern drugs, colloidal silver was our primary clinical antibiotic. This suspension of microscopic silver particles in water is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent that speeds wound healing, treats infections, and has both antiviral and antifungal properties. Colloidal silver is regaining popularity for its ability to cure infectious diseases, including… Continue Reading

Face Reading: A Mother and Daughter Comparison

Face Reading: A Mother and Daughter Comparison

More Than Genetics Using traditional Chinese Face Reading we can decode the messages our faces reveal. As an example, let’s examine this mother and daughter photo. When your diet and lifestyle are right for you, your vital energy and innate beauty shine through unhindered. But if you’re not in balance, if there’s an energetic snarl… Continue Reading

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Identify Leaky Gut with Face Reading

DIY Diagnosis You can detect leaky gut (intestinal hyper-permeability) by looking in the mirror. Over centuries, Chinese medicine developed a sophisticated system of correspondences between outward signs and the internal organs; such as, for example, that the lower lip region reflects colon health. So take a look. If your lower lip is toned, uniformly colored… Continue Reading

2 Responses to Identify Leaky Gut with Chinese Face Reading

    • Eliminate what’s hurting your gut, and then it can start to mend. Our bodies are hardwired to heal. There are specific diet and lifestyle adjustments that expedite healing.

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Startled Into Eating Meat Again

Eating Meat Helped Resolve My Invasive Cancer As a longtime fan of yours, I remember reading that when you had cancer, you started eating meat again. I’m at a dietary crossroads myself and would love to know why you made the shift. —Syl Stenhouse, London, England In 1989, after twenty years of macrobiotics, then renowned… Continue Reading

6 Responses to Startled Into Eating Meat Again

  1. Hi Rebecca ! It has been decades since I last saw you. What fun to read your advice on FB. I, too, was macrobiotic for about 15 years, which saved the life of my daughter, Allana. You and Sandy were central in that miracle. After that, with working intensively “in the world”, I realized my body, spirit, and mind needed more. I added fish and chicken, and later added animal orotein a few times a week. With the grass fed, happy farm options available to us, meat is a rich and tasty addition. Where ther was once rice, I am now grain free, and my gut is happy. Allana is now a superb Functional Medicare Practitioner. Sending you love, Karen

    • Karen…How lovely to hear from you. Not long ago I was recalling you and a colorful piece of your art that hung in our home. Nice to hear of Alana. Yes, thanks be for how diet changes helped her at a critical time.

      Indeed, globally, our digestive prowess has declined resulting in an increasing number of people who cannot tolerate grains. Good on you for tracking your own needs and adapting as necessary. Much love to you, Rebecca

  2. Hi Rebecca…thanks for sharing this important story with us. After taking some of your classes in Boulder, I practiced macrobiotics and ended up with ovarian cysts. There seemed to be a link with soy products for me. Now that most soy is GMOed, do you still eat it?

    On another note, I’m curious as to how you liked living in Crestone? My husband Marlow and I are considering retiring in the San Luis Valley area, and I remember you, Peggy Markel, and Jill (Gillian) living there. Would you recommend that climate/area? I have chemical sensitivity and have to live where the air and water are clean. I hope all continues to be well with you. Sue Seecof and I were reminiscing about you and your lovely family recently…fond memories, for sure.

    Thanks, lovely,

    Allenda (I worked at the Green Mtn. Grainary Herb Shop)

    • Hi Allenda, Lovely to hear from you and recall rich memories. Re. soy, the relevant question for you is: are you able to assimilate soy? The number of people unable to tolerate soy continues to grow. YOu mention chemical sensitivities. That suggests corresponding digestive issues in which case I’d consider an elimination diet to identify problematic foods. Re. Crestone, yes, it’s a remarkable area. Check it out; and good luck in finding your perfect spot.

  3. The same thing happened to me! I was vegan/vegetarian for many years and a nutrionist told me to start eating animal protein.I feel much better now, though I continue to eat a mainly plant based diet.

  4. Dearest Rebecca,

    You continue to inspire and inform. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and wisedom. And the beautiful photo of Snow-capped Mount Shasta.

    Happy Thunder Moon

The Tibetan Book of Health: Sowa Rigpa, the Science of Healing

A just published book by Dr. Nida Chenagtsang, The Tibetan Book of Health, is loaded with remarkable health tips and practices. I highly recommend it to all students of alternative medicine and to everyone seeking better health. Tibetan medicine shares similarities with both Ayurveda and Chinese medicine. It remains, however, a decidedly unique modality with… Continue Reading

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Recovery Clothing Helps Healing

New Fabric Supports Healing Want to tap in to your body’s own healing energy? Change your clothes! Wearing clothing made with a new type of fabric can actually promote healing from within. This fabric is imbued with ceramic (yes, you read that right!) and emits far infrared (FIR) healing properties. Far infrared or thermal radiation… Continue Reading

5 Responses to Infrared Clothing Enhances Your Energy

  1. On a subtle or maybe not so subtle level I wonder if the infrared clothing would assist with some detoxification and water structuring in the body in the same but less intense way that full infrared saunas do. In a super perfect world I would want to ground anyone wearing tight polyester since it I suspect it retains some electricity that is not natural to us. Microfiber polyester sheets for example are extremely static-y when compared to cotton sheets. – Thank you for your wonderful blog!

  2. Is it possible that wearing infrared clothing will help relieve 20 years of night sweats caused by menopause? I don’t eat sugar or caffeine and I’ve never used alcohol.

    • Charie, There are no “magic bullets” be it a superfood or infrared clothing. One of largest impacts on our health is our daily diet. I’m confident that the right-diet-for-you will address your night sweats. And infrared clothing may provide additional ease. Good luck. And if you wish direction, consider a diet consultation with me.

  3. Very interesting Ms.Wood, I’ve suffered with lower back issues for 17 years and now after 5 surgeries, I’m feeling a little better. Will this new infrared clothing help me feel better? Thank you

    • Gaston, infrared clothing supports recovery as it increases body warmth and energy and so enhances circulation. To the degree it will support your recovery, I could only surmise. Good luck.

What to Eat for How You Feel

A newly published cookbook offers practical steps to enhance your health and energy. Divya Alter’s What to Eat for How You Feel is based on a living Ayurvedic tradition and is remarkable for conveying primal, jargon-free information. The book’s recipes are vegetarian, but the information shared is relevant for all dietary preferences. What to Eat… Continue Reading

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Red Radishes

This recipe is adapted, with permission, from Divya Alter’s excellent book, The New Ayurvedic Kitchen: What To Eat for How You Feel.  Brussels sprouts are one of those compelling vegetables: you either love them or hate them. With their bitter, pungent, and sweet tastes and heating qualities, Brussels sprouts and red radishes are ideal for… Continue Reading

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How to Make and Use a Castor Oil Pack

Castor Oil Packs—An Effective Home Remedy to Boost Immunity and Reduce Inflammation If your qi doesn’t flow smoothly, the energy gnarls up and symptoms develop. A warm castor oil pack is an effective way to unscramble this energetic traffic jam. The common cause of virtually all symptoms is energy gone awry, and if uncorrected, an… Continue Reading

7 Responses to Castor Oil Packs—An Effective Home Remedy to Boost Immunity and Reduce Inflammation

  1. Thank you Rebecca. I wasn’t specific, but the client is my 30 y.o. daughter who had an open partial nephrectomy 1 1/2 yrs ago for a cancer scare (happily benign). Parts of her incision have improved but other sections have not despite frequent massages. She is also struggling with low back pain issues which as PT, I can’t help but feel are connected, at least in part, to changes in her abdominal wall.

    • This is obviously too technical a question to adequately relate to on this forum. If your daughter wishes to consult with me, we can address the low back pain issues.

      • My apologies Rebecca, I didn’t mean to be requesting too much specifics regarding the back pain, rather the time since open abdominal surgery in regards to the castor oil pack, which you answered the first time.

        Thank you.

  2. Thanks for this detailed explanation! I’ve been wanting to do more castor oil packs, but found it really messy. I was wondering: if my pack now smells rancid, but I don’t want to throw it out because it’s pure wool, what’s the best way to clean it properly?

    • Give your old castor flannel a good wash using, if necessary, a strong detergent. Then it’s ready for another long cycle of use.

  3. Hi Rebecca,
    Somewhere over the past few years I learned of this and gave it a try for menstrual cramps, but now menopausal (yay!) I haven’t thought of it again. I’m wondering what your thoughts are on the use of this 1 1/2 yrs following an open abdominal surgery where a 6-8 inch keloid scar is present. Thanks so much for all the work you share!

    • By all means, resume castor oil pack. They will help keep the scar tissue soft as well as support your liver and gut functions.

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The Whole30 Program—From Viral to Mainstream

The Whole30 went viral over four years ago and still remains a top* diet. Fad diets come and go and diets from government agencies remain seriously dated, but grassroots experience rings true. Should you have health or energy concerns, perhaps it’s time to look into the Whole30. I’m impressed by how quickly my clients succeed… Continue Reading

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Under Eye Problems: Naturally Resolve Dark Skin, Puffiness and/or Hollows

If you see discoloration, puffiness or hollows under your eyes, your long-term resolution is a dietary and lifestyle upgrade. Ignore the slick ads for injectable fillers and topical treatments. Such cosmetic “fixes” fail to address the root cause and, therefore, cannot deliver long-term results. Many people—even adolescents—succumb to the con that deep tear troughs are… Continue Reading

3 Responses to Under Eye Problems: Naturally Resolve Dark Skin, Puffiness and/or Hollows

  1. Hi Rebecca, thank you so much for this information! I can see that, unfortunately, my eyes have a lot of the same characteristics as Trent’s. I recall reading your blog entry on sanpaku eyes a while back and realized my eyes are very sanpaku at bottom, and even borderline at top. I know this is most likely due to not getting enough sleep at night, for as far back as I can recall. I’ve been progressing in a healthier lifestyle all across the board over the last few years, but sleep is definitely the area I’ve most struggled in disciplining myself.

    Just wondering, what could one expect to happen down the road to the kidneys if they continued to be compromised? In other words, if I keep running on an average of 6.5 hours of sleep each night, what kind of damage am I doing to them? Also… probably a weird question, but I’m curious ~ how exactly do the eyes get un-sanpaku’d? 🙂 Do the irises get bigger, do the lower eyelids lift, or…?

    Thank you so much for your time and phenomenal work. I truly appreciate everything I’ve learned from your blog and books! Blessings ~

    • You’ve asked a good question: how will your eyes shift back to normal (after being sanpaku)? I’m not sure, but here’s what I observe: facial features normalize as we regain our balance just as digestion returns to normal after a tummy upset. As you support your kidneys and regain your vital chi then the white sclera showing under your eyes recedes. You’ll also feel more settled in your body and regain some of the positive characteristics of strong kidneys such as courage and perseverance.

      Now it’s my turn. What shifts might you make to support getting more sleep? Perhaps less Face Book time? Or…… ? It’s great that you continue to progress to a healthier lifestyle, and perhaps you’ll want to amp that up. Good luck. It’s doable. And my hunch is that a Face Reading would support you accordingly.

      • Thanks for your reply, Rebecca! The human body is just endlessly fascinating, the more I learn. The illustration of digestion coming back into balance makes a lot of sense. Interesting when I think about it, I can see that my eyes really have changed in appearance since I was young, when the iris-to-white ratio was more balanced and, I now realize, healthy.

        I’m not a Facebook user, but the internet in general is a big distraction, yes! I’ve had a Face Reading on my wishlist for a long time, and do hope I can do that at some point. I know it would be tremendously valuable.

        Many thanks again; I truly respect and appreciate your feedback!

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Which Salt Is Best? Do a Taste Test!

There must be as much hype about salt as there are salt varieties. In this blog, I’ll share science-based guidelines for making the most flavorful and nutritious choices, plus a do-it-yourself home test. The first guideline for buying salt is to favor additive-free, unrefined sea salt, as it contains valuable trace minerals and is free… Continue Reading

6 Responses to Which Salt Is Best? Do a Taste Test!

  1. Hello Rebecca. Thank you for this article. I am a natural foods chef and use a variety of salts on a daily bases. The salts I most often use are The Real Salt (from Utah), The Real Co Himalayan Salt, and the flaked Maldon Salt from the UK. I prefer The Real Salt from Utah. It’s smooth, and in a sense I feel I am getting nourished. The salt I enjoy the least, but have to use at one of my jobs, is the Maldon Salt though the flake texture looks great sprinkled on cookies and other dishes, it doesn’t taste or feel natural or nourishing. I also have to use generic mechanically dried Kosher salt at work, and find that I have to use double the amount of salt to get the flavor profile that real sea salt gives to food. Thank you for all you do. Cheers.

  2. What is your opinion of “live” Celtic sea salt? Are any of the trace minerals in sea salt toxic, like lead, for example?

    • I’m unfamiliar with “live” Celtic salt. Yes, there are some toxic trace minerals in sea salt. But remember if there’s an 8+ foot line of 100 grains of sea salt then only #99 & 100 “grains” would be composed of over 60 trace minerals. In other words, it’s a negligible amount.

  3. A couple of points I didn’t see in your article:
    – our oceans are polluted, and even infinitesimal amounts of toxic heavy metals are unacceptable. Are we sure these pollutants are not in sea salt?
    – Himalayan salt comes from an enclosed salt mine that was once ocean, hundreds of thousands of years before pollution existed. Real salt comes from an open salt mine, exposed to everything in our atmosphere, jet fuel, Chernobyl, air pollution.
    It just seems there are no simple answers these days…

  4. I have only used solar dried salt for 30 years. I found it had a milder more complex taste than the box salt I was raised on, which was harsh. I have used mined salt on occasion. I liked it but not as well as the solar dried salt. That was my favorite.

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Allergy Symptoms and Chronic Health Complaints? Histamine Sensitivity Might be the Source

Self-Test to Determine if a Low-Histamine Diet Will Help Resolve Your Health Issues. If you suffer from allergic-like symptoms, suspect hypersensitivities to multiple foods, or have chronic health complaints, histamines might be the problem. There are no medical tests for histamine sensitivity and very few health professionals identify or treat this condition. But it’s not… Continue Reading

2 Responses to Histamine Sensitivity

  1. Hi Rebecca,
    Could you please tell me if earthen cookware is a good idea or not for someone diagnosed with Histamine Intolerance. I am concerned about bacteria hiding out in the pores of the cookware and building up over time.

    I would love to try clay vessels to cook in, but don’t want to make my situation worse.


    • Not to worry. Bringing food to a boil would kill any bacteria. Also dry the pot thoroughly after each use (and don’t store with lid on) and bacteria will die-off.

Low Salicylate Diet for Food Sensitivities

If you have nagging health complaints, you might be one of the increasing numbers of people with sensitivities to naturally occurring chemicals in foods such as salicylates. Guest blogger Maribeth Evezich, RD, offers information on sensitivities caused by salicylates (suh–lis-uh-leyts) to help you get a handle on–and resolve–your health issues. What Are Salicylates and Where Are… Continue Reading

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A Step Up from Sweet Potato Toast

Toasted sweet potato, the latest alternative to bread, has recently been sweeping the social media scene. Given the number of people on grain-free diets, this innovative “toast” now serves as a sandwich base in many a lunchbox. While popping a slice of sweet potato in a toaster wins points for cleverness, I prefer to make… Continue Reading

2 Responses to A Step Up from Sweet Potato Toast

  1. My only concern is that the griddle may be non-stick and release perfluorocarbons. I would not use such a product if this is the case.

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Pan Fried Sweet Potato “Toast”

You’re apt to find it easier and less fussy to cook a sweet potato in a skillet than in a toaster. The fat adds welcome flavor and more efficiently conducts heat to produce a more toothsome toast.See A Step Up from Sweet Potato Toast. But don’t limit yourself to sweet potato; yam, and squash that is… Continue Reading

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How Often to Go? Why One BM a Day Is Best

Popular medical opinion has it that anywhere from three bowel movements a day to one every three days is normal.1 Pooh on that! Both history and science show that our biological inner clocks are innately set for one full evacuation a day. Furthermore, there’s an ideal time. Breaking the fast reactivates the digestive system and… Continue Reading

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3 Responses to “Pure” Avocado Oil: Superfood or Scam

  1. I use Avohaus Extra Virgin Avocado Oil as it tastes light fresh and clean with pure avocado flavor. I tried Bellavado and it appears to be Virgin Avocado Oil as it left a bad taste in my mouth like old avocados, heavy and oily. The color is greenish brown too. Be careful out there because companies are marketing their avocado oils as Extra Virgin when they are really Virgin avocado oil and the smoke point is only 360F for virgin avocado oil. Avohaus is the only true EVAO on the market. Vibrant green, rich and buttery with pure avocado flavor.

  2. What do you think naturally refined means? There is one oil on Amazon that says their avocado oils is naturally refined.


    • As there’s no federal regulation for the term “naturally refined” this term tells you nothing. It’s a marketing ploy. Look at the company’s online literature.

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Low-Salicylate Diet

Maribeth Evezich will post a guest blog here on August 1, 2016. It includes: – What are salicylates and where are they found? – How do salicylates work and how can they be a problem? – I think I’m salicylate intolerant. Now what? – Where to get help. Do revisit us. Thanks for your patience.… Continue Reading

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Stir-Fried Snow Pea Leaves with Garlic Scapes

Created by Leda Scheintaub Snow pea leaves, also known as snow pea shoots or snow pea tips, are the prelude to the pea, the tips of the snow pea vines with beautiful radiating tendrils. Their flavor profile is completely different from the pods—slightly sweet, grassy, and fresh tasting—and a moreish introduction to the world of… Continue Reading

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Sanpaku Eyes Revel Low Kidney Energy According to Chinese Face Reading

 Sanpaku—or “Three Whites”—Eyes Reflect Kidney Health Just as a sparkle in the eye reveals zestful energy, a highly placed iris reveals low kidney energy according to Face Reading. When a person looks straight ahead and the white sclera shows underneath the colored iris, this is called sanpaku (a Japanese term meaning three whites) as illustrated below. Typically… Continue Reading

2 Responses to Sanpaku Eyes Reveal Low Energy

    • You’re right, sanpaku can generally be changed unless, probably, you’re in your late 80s. But it will take some work to ground your energy and support your kidneys. Odds are that you’ll need to shift both your diet and lifestyle choices. If you want specific help, I’ll be glad to do so in a Face Reading consultation. Good luck!

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4 Responses to Bone Broth: How to Boost its Healing Power

  1. What about using cast iron for making broth. I’m a huge fan of cast iron for almost everything (cooking.) It may be reactive but is iron not a good thing to consume? Thanks!

    • I wouldn’t. The iron taints the broth with a metallic off flavor that is not bioavailable. While I value my cast iron pans for sautéing and making crepes I never use them for fluid ingredients.

  2. I would like to pressure can my bone broth after adding some medicinal herbs. Will pressure canning effect the herbal potency or effectiveness?

    • Good question. Regrets, but I don’t have a definitive answer. Some nutrients are lost with prolonged cooking and/or high temps. I’ve always preferred keeping my stock at a simmer for that reason. You can try this: Try pressure canning a batch and then compare it to a batch of fresh. Then trust your gut response.

Medicinal Bone Broth Recipe with Chinese Herbs

When bone broth is made only from bones, you’ve got a medicinal tonic. To further kick up this recipe’s value, add vegetables and potent Chinese medicinal herbs. Of the 13,000 herbs listed in the Chinese pharmacopoeia, here are the top eleven used for bone stock plus a broth recipe. Their invaluable healing properties both sweeten and… Continue Reading

17 Responses to Medicinal Bone Broth Recipe with Chinese Herbs

  1. Thank you for this great recipe and all the information, my broth has been boiling for 26h now. I was lucky to find a leg bone with some marrow on it, so it’s quite fatty and I have already added a spoon of the broth into my millet porridge this morning instead of butter, which totally transformed it.
    Towards the end of boiling, I am planning to add goji berries, lotus seeds, bay leaf and ginger along with the vegetables. Do you think this will be a tasty combo? And how would you normally consume the broth for ailments such as anaemia? with noodles as a main dish or any ideas for it being a breakfast soup? I wonder how often and how much would it be good for me, a person with anaemia and low hormonal levels, to drink it considering how fatty it is..I would appreciate your answer. Best wishes,

    • You’re welcome. The combo you suggest sounds tasty to me. Re. how often to enjoy bone broth, just trust your inner knowing. You can’t get “too” much of it. YOu may skim off the fat (and discard it) or use it.

  2. I have been diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome. I see many of the things added to bone broth build the immune system. In my case it is vital to suppress it. How would I put together a bone broth that would fill that need?

    • Correct, in some conditions we do not want to stimulate an overactive immune system and therefore you would eliminate from this recipe medicinal mushrooms, ginger, astragalus and perhaps the kombu. The broth is also tasty without herbs. One herb to add that helps quiet an overactive immune system is bupleurum.

  3. Hi Rebecca,
    I am wanting to add some Chinese Herbs to my bone broth for an extra boost of nutrition and to increase energy levels. What are the best herbs to give it a pho flavour which I love but wont ruin the taste of my broth. Also I have experienced a bad smell after 10 hours from my broth the last batch I made. Have you experienced this?

    • Ginger, star anise and onion are classic pho ingredients. And be light on the star anise as it can be overpowering.
      Hmmm…I’m not sure about your last broth developing a bad smell; I’ve not heard of this happening. Refrigerate it in a covered, glass container.

  4. Hi Rebecca! Where can I find herbs like dioscorea?? Do you order online or go to a pulse reader’s shop or something?

  5. I made a broth sat.with big knuckle beef bones and there was a lot of fat on them resulting in a very fat/greasy broth and I froze it. Its good fat as i bought the bones from a local farmer who raises his beef on 100% on grass. Should I use it the way it is or do you think it’s too much fat?

    • Enjoy the broth with the amount of fat-to-taste that is pleasurable to you. And use any extra fat (tallow) in place of lard or other cooking oil. Beef tallow from the store is pricy.

      • Thank you for all your answers. I’m planning on making that often (as long as there is a good cow farmer close to where I am). Easier than chicken feet. I am 70 and so is my husband, healthy, not on pharmaceuticals, always cook from scratch with mostly organic ingredients. Growing mushroom, sprouting seeds, eating fermented veggies, drinking kombucha, making turmeric tea and coffee and more. Trying to forget my wrinkles and saggy skin.

  6. Do you mix chicken bones and beef bones together. If so does it have a good flavor anyway or is it better to do one or the other.

    2nd question: is it ok to leave the skin and nails on the chicken feet when making a broth. I did a broth with chicken feet before, my husband cut the nails (yuk!) and I removed the skin, it’s too much work but I sure had a good gelatin broth. I’d like to make one again but without all that work.

    I’ll stick to beef broth it’s less work if I have to do all that preparation for the chicken feet.

    Appreciate your answer thank you Rebecca. I love your website and book: encyclopedia …….

    • Yes, you can use any combo of bones and they all taste great. The easiest thing is to purchase blanched chicken feet. Yes, advice is to trim chicken feet claws–sounds like hubby has a permanent job as trimmer!

  7. does it matter if it is not a grass fed, organic beef, chicken or can I use the cheapest chicken and beef bones from any grocery stores.
    I was thinking if the broth has been cooking for 48 hours all the bad “stuff” from the meat is gone. Am I right?
    Thanks for your answer Rebecca.

    • Good question. As possible, we purchase the best quality that we can afford. A problem with commercial meat is that it contains residues from pesticides, herbicides, hormones, etc that was in their feed. (Commercial poultry doesn’t contain hormones, but other meats do.)

      Unfortunately quality bones from grass fed beef are becoming more pricy. One way to save money on meat is to invest in an inexpensive box freezer and buy in quantity.

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Fermented Turmeric Tea

Medicine from Scratch To enhance turmeric’s medicinal wallop, ferment it. In five minutes of your time (plus two days to ferment), you can create a base for a month’s supply of tasty and healing fermented turmeric tea. Best known for its characteristic bright orange-yellow color and as a signature ingredient in curry, turmeric is the… Continue Reading

14 Responses to Fermented Turmeric Tea

  1. I am hearing adding black pepper increases the absorption. Should I add some to the fermented turmeric recipe?

    • Sure, if you so wish and enjoy the flavor add the pepper. For more details on the energetic differences between black and white pepper, see my New Whole Foods Encyclopedia.

  2. Hi, I’m trying out making fermented turmeric. I’ve put all the ingredients together, but it’s still very dry and not mixed well. Should I add more lemon juice or honey? When first mixed should it be a paste?

    • It sounds like you’re using the dried turmeric which, initially, is a dry paste. If necessary, add more lemon juice. As the blog suggests: Note: Initially the honey will not easily mix in, but in an hour or so it readily softens and dissolves on its own.

  3. Could ground turmeric be added to homemade kombucha for flavoring? I am attempting to home brew kombucha and would also like to add more turmeric to our diets.

  4. Rebecca, I wasn’t sure where to post this question about fermenting, but not related to the above tea recipe. Hope this is okay.
    I am making a huge vat of hummus as we speak.
    I had the hopes of being able to puree a small amount of my spare Kombucha mothers along with the hummus….for one, to not see these go to waste, and more importantly, I was considering fermenting the hummus for a day or so. I just can’t find any recipes that use a kombucha scoby as a starter for fermented hummus! Does this sound like a good plan or terrible! Any advice would be so appreciated.

  5. If someone has gallstones and doesn’t know and consumes turmeric, what dangers are there to using turmeric?

    • The good news is that herbs like turmeric–in comparison to drugs–are gentle medicinals and in moderate use, can be consumed safely. Using turmeric in high doses may be problematic for some people. If you’re concerned that you have gallstones, I invite you to do a thorough web search on turmeric’s contraindications.

  6. Turmeric is not water soluble so needs to be consumed with some form of oil or fat otherwise it will just go through the system with little effect. Freshly cracked black pepper will increase the effect of the curcumin content as well. Better to use powdered Turmeric rather than fresh for ailments or pain as it contains far more curcumin. Turmeric has around 300 synergistic ingredients, some, like curcumin have been studied quite extensively, so curcumin isn’t the only beneficial substance in this incredible spice. The benefits of Turmeric are vast and the warnings about dosage usually prove to be about supplements, you can consume real Turmeric quite safely unless you have an issue like gallstones. Turmeric has been used with incredible success with both humans and animals. Check out Turmeric user group on FB for everything you could possibly want to know.

5 Responses to Photos Show Diet Resolves Acid Indigestion and Heartburn

    • Pat, Glad you asked. Yes, I work with people all over the world. Place an order and you’ll receive your Consultation Packet. Fill it out and I’ll create and email your Face Reading Report.

  1. Rebecca, thank you for this article. There are too many doctors out there telling their patients they will have to be on these drugs for the rest of their lives! My doctor is one of them. Three months ago my doctor handed me a prescription for Protonix and told me I would probably have to take it for the rest of my life. The insert from the pharmaceutical company states very clearly this drug is not meant for long term use. She did not believe me when I told her I would heal with the proper food. Thanks to you I am learning so much more about food as medicine.

  2. Care sunt recomandarile tale pentru arsuri gastrice si indigestie pentru ca din articolul tau nu reiese nimic in acest sens?

    • For heartburn and acid indigestion, the first step is to identify what ingredients are challenging your digestion and to avoid them. I spell this all out in my ebook, Clean and Free, or consider a Consultation with me.

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2 Responses to How I Learned Chinese Face Reading for Health

  1. I’m a subscriber to your newsletter, which I’ve found to be wonderfully informative.

    I’d like more information about face reading. The link to your FAQ page doesn’t work–I received a message that the page was not found. I’d be most grateful if you would provide me with a working link to the FAQs. I’d like to know more, including instructions on taking the photo that is the key to your reading.

    Thank you.

    • I regret the inconvenience and how curious as the link works for me:

      Upon placing an order, you receive instructions for taking the photo. But here they are:
      Your Photo – A cell phone or computer camera work nicely. Send three high-resolution photos as attachments (not embedded in an email): one looking straight ahead, one off-center left, and one off-center right.
      • Take clear, close-up photos in natural light without shadows as per the man’s photo below. Avoid shadows and bright light as in the woman’s photo since they obscure subtle detail.
      • Neutral expression; mouth relaxed rather than smiling.
      • No make-up; neck and face fully revealed; pin or tie back your hair if necessary.
      • Neutral expression; mouth relaxed rather than smiling.
      • No make-up; neck and face fully revealed; pin or tie back your hair if necessary.
      • Men: a clean shave enables a more comprehensive reading.

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Face Color Different than Neck Color

Dear Rebecca:  The color on my face is much darker than my neck, it’s not from a tan and it didn’t used to be this way. It makes me look weird. What can I do? –Tonya Dear Tonya:  You’re right, skin color can change and I’ll tell you how to regain your normal color. But… Continue Reading

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White Line Around the Lips

Dear Rebecca: I’m 20-year-old college student, and I’ve had a white line around my lips for many years now. Some days it is more noticeable than others, but it’s almost always there. And for the past nine months, there’s been a white spot near my lips. This affects my self-esteem and confidence level so much. Can… Continue Reading

2 Responses to White Line Around the Lips

  1. Hi there I would like to know if you have figured out what fixes the white line under lip issue. Is there a certain vegetable or vitamin? Thanks

    • There’s no magic bullet. It requires significant dietary upgrade. I’m available for personal help in a Consult if you so wish.

When Gluten Free Isn’t Enough

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.… Continue Reading

2 Responses to When Gluten Free Isn’t Enough

  1. I have been diagnosed with adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder). First my left shoulder, then after 18 months my right shoulder. I have researched this and it is considered an autoimmune disorder (inflammation), unknown cause. I have recently stopped eating complex wheat products; bread, pasta, crackers… Do you recommend a diet for this? What other foods are inflammatory and should be avoided? Thank you for any response.

    • Yes, the diet in my Clean and Free ebook in non-inflammatory; I’ve many blogs that address your concerns (use the drop down menus) and I’d be glad to help you with a Face Reading.

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Swollen Lips

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 or discolored lips in classical art or in photos prior to the 1950s. Indeed, the historical norm for lips is that… Continue Reading

8 Responses to Swollen Lips

  1. Had staph infection — had sores in my nose and taking topical mupricon for the nose and the lips — after a week – I started seeing under the bottom lip swell a little — they thought it was a reaction — now it is still there — like the picture of Betsy in your website —
    I have no problems with digestion — do not eat dairy or wheat and just chicken and veggies —
    I gave up bagels and do not have celiac — My diet is very bland and no sugar – no juices or fruit — just bananas-am I a candidate for you to help. I am 67 and an athlete — doing triathlons.

    I am willing to pay the $100.00 for you to see my pic.

    • Even if the “ledge” on your lower lip is 100% related to the mupricon, I’m confident that by analyzing your face, I can provide you with relevant health information. By the way, many people with dysbiosis and leaky gut (commonly expressed by irregularities on the lower lip) have no overt digestive symptoms.

  2. Thanks. This is the first time I have heard about looking at the pouches and coloring under the lips. Very interesting. I will be looking more closely at this area on people this coming week.

    • Great, and track your own lip as well. For example, if constipated the lower lip tends to be larger than after a full BM.

Healthy Way to Enjoy Seaweed

Better Than Chips I used to indulge in potato chips and am delighted to report that this is past tense. I now opt for a savory and phenomenally healthful treat that’s equally crunchy. Thanks to toasted seaweed (which happens to be among our most nutrient-dense plants), I don’t miss packaged chips. Toasted sea palm has… Continue Reading

6 Responses to Healthy Way to Enjoy Seaweed

  1. Hello, Question about the Sea Chip Recipe. Are you starting with dried seaweed or fresh seaweed? If you are starting with dry, do you have to rehydrate the seaweed before putting it in the oven? (like if you want to make Kombu Chips?)

    Thank you.

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The Healthiest Way to Enjoy Saffron

Sun Tea–A Double Shot of Sunshine Likened to liquid sunshine, saffron tea is luminous, golden and uplifting. It’s smooth with a subtle floral flavor and the delicate lift that it gives makes me reach for it often. It’s the anticipation of that lift that has me setting a shot glass filled with water and a… Continue Reading

3 Responses to The Healthiest Way to Enjoy Saffron

  1. i don’t understand the saffron sun tea recipe do you brew it in 3 tablespoons of water and then add more water to make a cup or is the 3 tablespoons an error?

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12 Responses to If You Can’t Eat Grain—You Can Eat Starch Resistant Rice

  1. I had heard that the rice needs to be chilled in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours before it can be used as resistant starch, but you indicate that it only needs to be cooled completely before these properties change. And then for family members who don’t seem to have digestive issues so far, then brown rice of any variety would work as well. I hadn’t heard that cooked and cooled dried beans also have these resistant qualities. So, using beans on salads work very nicely. Where can I find the links that give proof to these claims as so many folks around me are questioning me about this. Thanks so much!

    • Good questions. Let’s look at the original science suggesting that 12-hours of refrigeration is necessary. It comes from a Shri Lankan study that analyzed several different cooking styles including one in which rice was cooked and then chilled for 12-hours. It did not test rice cooled at room temperature or by chilling in the refrigerator for a few hours. See resources on my blog.

      Yes, brown rice is more nutritious, however it is so very hard to digest that I no longer recommend it. Historically, rice was, in the least, minimally processed (scarified) to remove part of the bran to make it easier to digest. Eating brown rice was popularized by macrobiotic teacher George Oshawa in the 1960s–it’s a new fangled experiment.

      There are so many things in our modern lifestyle and diet that challenge the digestion–why add brown rice to the list! Perhaps enjoy some white rice and favor the more easy-to-digest whole grains like quinoa, millet and buckwheat?

  2. I typically soak grains or beans overnight (and rinse well) before cooking – does this have any impact/relation with resistant starch? Thanks!

    • Right, we soak grains and beans prior to cooking to reduce their lectins, phytates and anti-nutrients; see my blog on this for further detail. Once rice is (soaked or otherwise) is cooked and then cooled, its starch resists digestion in the small intestine.

  3. All of the benefits of resistant starch that you have cited have been demonstrated with Hi-maize resistant corn starch from high amylose corn. High amylose corn is a naturally rich source of resistant starch and is supported by more than 70 human clinical trials. You cannot get enough resistant starch in cooked and cooled rice to receive the benefits that you have cited. Eating green bananas, beans, peas, intact whole grains and cooked and cooled starchy foods like rice or pasta salad can help healthy people stay healthy, but you are misleading people to promise that the food sources, delivering low quantities of resistant starch, can deliver benefits only shown with supplementation with extracted Hi-maize resistant corn starch. For additional information, you might want to investigate

    • Problems with the product you recommend is that it is derived from commercial corn which is typically GMO and a common allergen for so many people today. I’ll pass.

  4. I was doing this for years but never knew I was actually helping myself and my family. I used rice often, especially with leftovers but wanted to reduce my dinner meal prep time when working full time so once a week a would make about two meals worth of rice and store in the refrigerator for use later in the week. It always warms well with a little coconut or sesame oil and make a fantastic fast fried rice dinner with a small amount of meat. Glad to hear I have been on the right track all along.

  5. I sure hope this will be true for me! It has been a year and a half since I was able to eat any grains.

How to Prevent or Resolve Autoimmune Disease

If you suffer from progressively worsening symptoms that baffle your doctor, or if you’re diagnosed with a chronic or strange-sounding disease, then odds are it’s autoimmune related. In autoimmunity, your immune system mistakenly attacks your healthy cells. Autoimmune disease (AD) refers to a varied group of illnesses that involve every system; they are chronic, debilitating… Continue Reading

Roasted Daikon Soup with Dandelion Greens

From The Whole Bowl: Gluten-free, Dairy-free Soups and Stews, by Rebecca Wood and Leda Scheintaub. Countryman Press, 2015. While the dandelion greens found year round at the greengrocers work well in this soup, for a special springtime delicacy, I encourage you to forage dandelions so that you can also feast on their hearts and buds. Early… Continue Reading

Dandelion Hearts (Crowns)

The top of a dandelion’s taproot, its heart or crown, is a tasty nibble that, while money can’t buy, is free for the taking. In texture, color, and taste dandelion hearts are reminiscent of the base or heart of a head of celery, only with a light bitter-sweet dandelion essence. Adorning the crown are pearl-sized nascent buds,… Continue Reading

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A Buyers Guide to Stainless Steel Cookware

People frequently ask me what stainless steel cookware line I recommend. My first response is to think twice before buying a full line. If you own a 21-piece set of cookware, I’ll wager that two or three of those pots get regular use but that the other pieces are crammed in the back of an… Continue Reading

38 Responses to A Buyers Guide to Stainless Steel Cookware

      • Here is what I found on one website. What do you say to that?
        “The Vinegar Test
        I poured a couple tablespoons of plain white vinegar (which is of course, quite acidic) into two pots—my All-Clad saucepan, and another generic stainless steel pan I had lying around. I also put some of the vinegar into a glass cup as a control. After a few minutes, I taste-tested the vinegar from each.The All-Clad vinegar? Tasted exactly like the vinegar in the glass cup. But the vinegar in the cheap, generic stainless pan tasted like metal. Blech. The taste is still in my mouth”.

        • For this information to be applicable–and to be able to duplicate the test–one would have to know the grades of each tested pan.The grades are stamped on the pot bottoms. Please give it a try and let us know.

  1. I also am seeking healthier cookware. I looked at the ceramic cookware that you recommend and it did look promising until I saw that it is a product of China.

  2. There is a lot of misinformation out there on the various types of stainless steels. Here’s the real deal.

    Stainless steels come in a number of SAE grades, I will talk only about the 3xx series and the 4xx series. The 3xx is Austenitic, the 4xx series is Martensitic. What’s the major difference – nickel and carbon content and magnetic properties. 3xx steels have 8% or more nickel and little carbon, 4xx steels have very little nickel, often none, and carbon. When it comes to carbon, the low carbon steels have some of course – but very little – for example 0.08%, while the high carbon steels have quite a bit more – for example 0.6% to 1.2%.

    Nickel provides luster. Chromium provides corrosion resistance. Carbon provides hardness.

    High carbon is needed to hold sharp edges, so knives need carbon. But people like shiny things – which needs nickel.

    And as many things in life, you can’t have it all. Carbon and nickel don’t work so well together when making alloys, unless of course you wish to make exotic and thus expensive alloys. So the industry basically ends up with two major series of stainless steels. The 3xx series has high nickel and little carbon, and the 4xx series has non-existent or very low nickel, but with carbon.

    Shiny stainless mixing bowls are made of 3xx series stainless steels, while those high quality knives are made from 4xx series stainless steels.

    Stainless is often referred to by two numbers – the % of chromium and % of nickel. So a 304 or 316 stainless with 18% chrome and 8% nickel will be labeled 18/8. If it is 10% nickel it will be 18/10. The 18/10 is going to be a bit shinier – not enough that most people see, but that’s where marketers get involved – selling you stuff you don’t really need. A 440C stainless (like found in Wusthof or other high quality knives) would be an 18/0 stainless – virtually no nickel (perhaps 0.25%).

    And thus we come to cookware. If you prize shiny pots and pans – they are made from 18/8. Because nickel also kills magnetic properties, the 18/8 stainless won’t work on an induction cooktop. Induction compatible pots and pans are much less shiny – as they are made from 18/0.

    So why do some people say that low nickel stains more easily – that’s because some unscrupulous manufacturers make their pots and pans from lower quality stainless with less chrome in it – one example grade known in the industry is 409 or 10/0. 409 is still corrosion resistant, but it is less stain resistant – the primary intended purpose of 409 was automobile exhaust systems. Due to the low chromium content, this grade stains easily in the presence of acids (i.e. lemon, etc). This is not important in an exhaust system which you want to last for 20 years, yet don’t care if it has a few stains on it.

    But lower stain resistance in the kitchen is just what most people don’t want. All stainless can stain – leave it wet long enough and an unprotected crystal of iron will – ta da – rust. But an 18/0 stainless is as unlikely to stain as an 18/8 stainless.

    The 18/8 stainless 3xx series are known as Austenitic, and the 18/0 stainless 4xx series are known as Martensitic. 304 and 316 are common SAE grade numbers for the former, and 440A & 440 C are common SAE grade numbers for the latter. 440A is low carbon more suitable for cookware, and 440C is high carbon prized for high quality stainless knives, as the high carbon allows the steel to hold an edge longer.

    And there it is – pick what you want, because you can’t have it all … or can you?

    You can also find multi-layer cookware, which uses the 18/0 on the bottom, then a layer of copper, and finally 18/8 in the body – which is induction compatible but low gloss on the bottom, and high gloss on the top. Of course because of all the layers, it costs more. You can have it all – at a price.

  3. Hello, I have been doing alot of research my self and I find your article very informative, however I am confused on one thing. The leaching of acidic foods. U said buy 316 18/10 it is less corrosive. That is the same material that all clads two lines of stainless steel and the D5 are made from and They don’t say it’s less they just say nonreactive. So are they right can I cook a tomato sauce in their pot or simmer some meat in vinegar or wine?

    • Allclad is wrong. If you’ll look at the scientific study link in this article, stainless is corrosive and things that increase its corrosiveness include: long cooking, cooking with salt and acidic ingredients. That’s why non-reactive ceramic or clay is ideal. Ideally you might purchase one such pot to use for your long simmered dishes with an acid. Or prepare them in a casserole in the oven? Or continue using your stainless steel knowing that it’s not an ideal world but that stainless is probably better than an aluminum, cast iron or non-stick pan.

  4. Rebecca – Thank you for such a clear concise high quality explanation. I have been doing considerable research on Stainless Steel cookware and this is the best information by far that I have come across.

    I have a question though. I have seen many SS sets that have vent holes in the lids and they vent around 185 degrees (if I recall correctly). This seems to be ideal for preserving the nutrients in veggies but it also seems like this would prevent anything from ever coming to a boil. What is your opinion of these vent hole lids?

  5. Dear Rebecca, you say: “If your budget allows, favor a 316-grade pot for its enhanced resistance to erosion and leaching of chromium and nickel”. Could you tell me where I can get one pan like that? I can’t find one. Thank you very much for your help. Mary Rose

      • 18/10 and 18/8 are both grades of 304 not 316 If it is 316L or 316Ti it will be stamped 316TI or 316L No one who sells in the store uses 316 because of the cost and because of hardness, its hard to draw into the shape of a pan. Check out

      • Are we sure about this? My understanding is that the real difference between 316 and 304 stainless is 316 has molybdenum added (making it marine grade).

        304 stainless can still be 18/10 but won’t have molybdenum (apparently 304 can be 17.5-19.5 Cr and 8-10.5 Ni:

        As a matter of fact, apparently a lot of manufacturers like to play games advertising the use of 18/10 SS when in reality the stainless is more like 18/8.3 since this is apparently a little legal loophole (

        Also, in my research I found this study which seems to indicate the grade of SS didn’t seem to predict the amount of leaching of Cr and Ni:

        I stumbled across this blog while doing research for myself as I am trying to be more health conscious and have found trying to get the straight facts about what we cook our food on/in to be totally convoluted! Thanks for attempting to make sense of it.

  6. Hi Rebecca,

    Can you please recommend a safe waffle iron and pancake skillet? as most are nonstick and i know unsafe. We have young children and cook a bunch of these. thank you very much!

    • Regrets, I know of no nonstick waffle irons. A heavy skillet is best for pancakes and so cast iron is ideal here. While you don’t cook acidic or watery items in cast iron, pancake batter isn’t on the griddle long enough to be reactive.

  7. Thank you for providing very important information. Please help me decide on buying a stove top kettle, what’s the optimal material?
    Also which kettle brand do you have?


  8. Rebecca,
    Thank you for the time and care you have taken to create this website and share your knowledge. My question has to do with the All Clad Stainless pots I just bought because they weren’t supposed to have a non stick surface. Apparently they have something called a “starburst finishing” layer on the inside surface which is invisible but which they advertise as “commercial strong non stick”. There is no information out there about what this is. I have written to the company but am not confident of receiving anything but platitudes. How do we find out what was put on the inside of these pans?
    I very much hope you can help!

    • Monique,
      You’re welcome. We want everyone to be using good cookware. I don’t trust the so-called “commercial strong non-stick” for a minute. I’ve always found that a reputable manufacturer is proud to fully disclose relevant details about quality to customers and All Clad’s page gives no clue whatsoever. I’d pass on them.

      • I emailed All Clad about this as I had the same concerns. Here is the response I received regarding the “starburst” finish:

        “The process for the starburst finish is achieved by mechanical means and is in essence a sanding operation.

        There is no chemical involved to create this finish.”

  9. A have bougth a Silit pan, they say it is free of nikel.
    Silit is a healthy pan?
    I also use Vision, is Vision healthy?
    Thanks for the great articles!!

  10. Hi – We have a question.
    Our pans are stainless steel uppers for the food and aluminum bottoms for quick heating (and likely cost saving). Are we filling our home with toxic fumes every time the heat from the stove flames onto the aluminum?
    Thank you for your advise on this. Ann

  11. Hello, Just came across your site today and love the way you explain things.
    Just bought a Cuisinart ‘MultiClad pro tri-ply stainless steel’cooking set. Please tell me how to prevent leaching of metals into my food.

  12. I have been reading your information about the problem with chemicals leeching into food from pots. I have a nickel allergy and didn’t realize that my stainless steel could be a problem. I used a magnet and the only place it sticks to is the outer rim of pots. Can you please recommend a set of pots for me and my 14 year old daughter who is asthmatic. I am a single mom without the ability to buy really expensive pots. I would like to replace what I have have which is premium chefmate cookware stainless steel. It says 514 on the handles. It is difficult to clean as you have mentioned because of the screws or whatever you want to call them. I use at least 5 of these pots. I really need help with this as you are knowledgeable as to which exact pots. There are too many out there to choose from and I don’t have the money to waste. I swear I an not from any company looking for an endorsement. I just want to be healthier. My daughter gets sick a lot. Oh forgot to mention that she has a lot of allergies too but they are not to nickel like me. Thank you.

    • Stainless steel is problematic for people with a nickel allergy. You best options are ceramic or enamel. Replace your pots one at a time and as your budget allows. See my other cookware blogs for options.

      • It really is so confusing to try and figure this out. There seems to be so many pots and pans that say non stick ceramic or enamel. The only real ones seem to be with cast iron and are so very heavy, expensive and cumbersone. uggggggg. I can’t really afford pots that are really expensive. i use 2 different sauce pans and a stock pot and of course a frying pan. I also use a small frying pan for scrambled eggs. Can’t really afford xtrema etc. I don’t have a lot of room for storage so my pots gets banged around and I would be afraid to damage expensive pots.

        • See my other cookware blogs for your options. Not to worry. Perhaps start with one enamel on steel (not as heavy as enamel cast-iron) saucepan and a good stainless fry pan.

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Yucatán Turkey Thigh and Yucca Stew 

While bone broth is indeed a tasty and healing ingredient, here’s a shortcut. Cook meat on the bone, as in this Yucatan Turkey Thigh and Yucca Stew. Then  you’ll create both the stock and the stew and only have one pot to wash. From The Whole Bowl: Gluten-free, Dairy-free Soups and Stews, by Rebecca Wood and… Continue Reading

Smoky Parsnip and Sweet Potato Soup Recipe

Thrilled to be guesting with Be Nourished this month and to whet your appetite for our upcoming cookbook, The Whole Bowl: 50 Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Soups and Stews, with this highly flavored, warming soup. The Smoky Parsnip and Sweet Potato soup gets its smoke from chipotle and a back note of allspice adds rounded depth. Earthy… Continue Reading

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Uneven Pigmentation Around Lips

Geographically speaking, your lips top off your digestive tract. As much as they play a key role in your social identity, they also reveal the condition of your whole gastrointestinal system. So if you have developed vitiligo, irregular or blotchy skin color around your mouth, this mirrors problems below. Look at your childhood photos and… Continue Reading

46 Responses to Discolored Skin Color around Your Mouth

  1. Hi, you mentioned lips play a role in social identity. Can you elaborate what you mean by this as I am curious. Thank you

    • I was just trying to be poetic. Point being that we’d rather have lips that appear attractive versus lips that do not. It’s a given that “attractive” is a relative term.

  2. Yes. It seams like over night around my lips top and bottom is a pale green. I’ve tried to cover it up to no avail.
    Help please

    • Yes, cover-ups don’t get at root causes. For my personalized help, consider ordering a Face Reading Report. Or dig into my blog and you’ll find lots of supportive help. Good luck.

  3. I found your site when researching possible reasons for the faint-pink blotchy border just below the edge of my lower lip, and a similar pink blotchy spot just above the edge of my upper lip. I eat very little sugar (special occasions), only occasional bread, but I have dairy almost every day in the form of Greek yogurt with fruit. I’m 60, active, and my energy is excellent, but I am concerned about this pink discoloration.

    I also have a recurring fungal infection (Angular Chelitis) at the corners of my mouth that flares up after long periods of stress, and is relieved by an anti-fungal cream. It is pink and looks like cherry juice dripping out!

    After reading a little of your site, I’m considering avoiding all dairy for a while to see if there is any improvement. Would that be your first suggestion?

    • That’s a start. I’d also go gluten-free. If you don’t get speedy results then you need eliminate more culprits. So consider working plan C of my ebook, Detox and Cleanse.

      • Thank you for your reply, Rebecca. I’ll start with dairy-free to test just that one element before eliminating another. Question: I have been making or purchasing good kefir using organic grass-fed milk. Should I also avoid kefir altogether? I started drinking it after two courses of antibiotics for a recent dental abcess.

        • A problem with eliminating only one culprit is that you may not feel better. If you’re ingesting arsenic, mercury and lead, then eliminating only the arsenic might not make a huge difference.

  4. I’ve white skin above my lip that’s more fair than my face. Do you have any suggestions to get rid of this or to darken it?

    • While generally we can say that lighter skin above one’s lip is due to a digestive concern, the causes for each person are individual. That is, not everyone shares the same digestive triggers. If you follow all the links on this page, you’ll be able to remedy it. If you need individual help, consider a Consult with me.

  5. Dear Rebecca,
    I bought your clean and free book but I don’t know how to get started with it. Eliminating wheat is a really difficult task as we eat wheat bread with breakfast, lunch and dinner. The white line below my lip is like really expanding. And I’m stressed 😔

    • Yes, it is difficult to go gluten-free. And it’s doable. The question is how badly do you want to regain your normal facial coloring and digestive health? When you’re ready, Clean and Free has all the information and recipes you need to get you underway. Good luck.

  6. I notice when i am tired the skin above my upper lip is very white. What does this mean?

    • When you’re body is out of balance (from lifestyle and diet) your face will show it in different subtle ways. I invite you to also see what types of food (most commonly dairy, grains, eggs and nuts) also figure into the equation besides fatigue.

  7. Hi. Im 19 years old. And i have a white line below my lip as well as a little white spot at the lower lip. After reading your blogs it looks like i should decrease carbohydrate in my diet. Please suggest me some low carb diet. that are nurtionally good as well. Is lemon juice (with no sugar in it) good? Because i cant swallow food without drink.
    You really explained everything very well. Thank you so much for this.

    • Ellen, YOu’re welcome. One of the more common causes of digestive problems today is over consumption of carbohydrates. My ebook, Clean and Free gives directions for a balanced and healthy diet. Yes, a squeeze of lemon in water is generally a good drink.

  8. Hello
    For some months now, my lower lip border line has become irregular and blurred and below it, the color is white. My upper lip is ok. Can you please tell me what should I do? Which diet should I avoid ? Can it be cured? I eat a lot of yogurt and french fries. Thank you very much!

    • These indicators reveal that your diet needs adjusting. While I can’t tell you what diet to follow given this snippet of information, here’s what you can do: read all my related blogs about this. Also consider my ebooks for a DIY approach. Or I’ll be glad to work with you in a diet consultation. Good luck.

        • What’s great about our bodies is that if we given them basic care, they’re hardwired to heal. So set aside being scared. Follow the steps I outlined in my first answer to regain your normal color. Yes, if you do order a consultation, then you will send (and I will assess) your photo.

  9. Hello. I’m currently 16 and about 2 months ago,mi went and got a facial done. It was my first facial so I didn’t know what I was doing but at the end, they said that around my lips, I had a darker discoloration around them. I have never really noticed it before.. But now, I’m very nervous and scared about what it means. I don’t know whether I should change my diet because I’m already healthy and active. I don’t wear makeup so I’m just bewildered about what I’m doing wrong. Is there any way to get rid of it? I really would like your advice.

    • Dear Isabel, There is so much information and misinformation about diet, so please, do not let yourself get nervous about this. Take a big breath and have confidence that you’ll figure it out.

      That’s just great that you’re healthy and active. Keep it up. Also you might experiment to see if there is anything in your diet that makes it worse. Keep a diet log and see if you can sleuth out any dietary culprits. Of course, I’d be glad to help you in a consultation or you can find more detail in my ebooks.

  10. My lower lip has turned completely white with border loss in the last two years and not one dermatologist I have consulted with really has a clue. They say “hmmmm” a lot, 2 think it’s some odd manifestation of sun damage. I, too, cover up my borderless, greyish white lower lip with lipstick all day. One doctor said I must have COPD, or heart trouble. I am looking into that shortly. However, digestive issues were not suggested and this is the first information I have found that suggests a correlation. Can you pinpoint some of your recommended foods heal up the inner organs and put color back into the lips? I already eat so much of what you list, and make my own bone broth when I have time.

    • I’m sorry for your situation. So often with lip irregularities, what’s most important is figuring out what to exclude from your diet. What are you eating that has become toxic to your system? My ebook Clean and Free is a starting place. Good luck.

  11. I noticed a while ago that the skin around my mouth is darker than the rest of my face. It has a yellow green tint. It looks like I forgot to wash that area. A couple days ago I noticed my eyelids have suddenly turned yellow. Several people, young and old, have complained online. What could be causing this change in skin tone?

    • Jacqueline, I freely offer the overall answers in my multiple blogs. But to specifically say what is causing your discolored skin, and to point out the resolution, I’d need to see your photo and have your intake in a face reading. There’s no specific formula for everyone who has a yellow-green tint as the causative factors vary from person to person.

  12. Hello….I have recurring redness above my mouth that looks like a red moustache. I can see it coming on one day then the next it will be bright red then fades for a few days and usually gets dry and flaky like it was a burn. It comes and goes in this cycle each week with maybe one or two days with no redness. I’ve been told I have leaky gut and followed the autoimmune protocol strictly for 10 weeks which decreased the intensity but it still came and went each week. I’m still mostly following AIP but have reintroduced wine a few nights a week and notice if I go overboard the redness really flares up. Any other ideas??

    • Yes, it’s apparent that while the AIP protocol helped it failed to nail the cause of your irritated skin. That is, there’s another layer yet to be discerned. That’s where face reading is such a boon. I’d be glad to help you identify your next step.

  13. hi, i needed to ask you that if i have black colour all around my lip is it a good thing or a bad thing

    • Uniform lip color is “normal”. Color irregularities indicate an imbalance in the internal organs. If it’s a black border, almost like lip liner, that suggests challenged adrenals. I’d need to see your photo to comment further.

  14. Hi,I have a greenish hue around my lips,abovethe upper lip but I guess that’s because of mustache(embarrasing,i know)and under my lower lip.What should I do?

    • Odds are that the greenish hue is not from facial hairs (unless they’re green!) but from the skin itself. By eliminating foods that challenge your digestion, I’m confident your skin will lose its greenish tint.

      • I have the same problem with green skin around my mouth, how can I eliminate foods that challenge my digestion when I don’t know what they are?

        I’m particularly healthy so it’s not as though I can start with cutting out takeaways.

        • If you’ve green skin around your mouth, that’s a clear indicator that your GI tract needs support. The best way to determine the foods that are problematic for you is with an elimination diet as per my ebook, Clean and Free.

  15. Hello. In response to a comment above, you said, “Pls. see the autoimmune link in this blog for an approach that, I find,is more effective.” Which link are you referring to, please?

  16. I am trying to figure out why is there a a brown an 0ink line
    On my top lip. Above that its a solid brown line which I am use too. So what is really going on? Please help so I may get my lips back to the way they were…..

    • Your digestive system is compromised. Consider following the links in this blog to get your lips back to normal.

  17. Thank you so much for this information. How helpful it is! It teaches me that I definitely have leaky gut syndrome. I’m on the GAPS diet. Will following it strictly, plus clearing out my lymph system cure me?

    • You’re welcome. A potential problem with GAPS is that it’s a formula and might contain some foods that aren’t right for you. Pls. see the autoimmune link in this blog for an approach that, I find,is more effective.

    • My lips in this article show the described features of normal lips (and, given my age, the wrinkles surrounding my mouth are normal). For more details, see my book, Read Your Face.

  18. Trying to avoid wheat products; do you know if sourdough bread is an exception since it is made with a fermented substance?

Corn Tortillas Recipe

As virtually all nonorganic corn products are GMO, making your own tortillas with organic masa is a prudent—and tasty—choice. Thankfully, quality organic masa is now available (organic products are free of genetically modified organisms). Of the various types of gluten-free bread, here’s why homemade tortillas are unparalleled. When making tortillas, you turn them twice on… Continue Reading

2 Responses to Corn Tortillas Recipe

  1. O how I would love to have these, but being allergic to corn makes it impossible. Any thoughts as to how I could reach a similar result with anything other than corn? I am also allergic to wheat, barley and rye.

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Cultured Foods for Your Kitchen: 100 Recipes Featuring the Bold Flavors of Fermentation

Here’s a truly great cookbook, Cultured Foods for Your Kitchen: 100 Recipes Featuring the Bold Flavors of Fermentation, by Leda Scheintaub (Rizzoli), 2014, 192 pages. While this book offers readers new to fermenting plenty of entry points, more accomplished cooks will find ideas for expanding their repertoires. Just as fermentation transforms food with a natural alchemy, Cultured Foods for Your Kitchen opens up… Continue Reading

2 Responses to Cultured Foods for Your Kitchen: 100 Recipes Featuring the Bold Flavors of Fermentation

  1. Hi Rebecca,
    You are the best, and whatever you recommend will happily try!
    Many birthday blessings to your Mother!
    Thanks, Peace, Elizabeth

  2. Please tell your mother, Ms. Verna Wood, Happy Birthday.

    I look forward to your newsletter. I will buy a couple of your books.

    Thanks for keeping us informed with such important information.

Millet Polenta Cakes with Zucchini, Daikon, Cherry Tomatoes, and Cilantro-Miso Pesto

Reprinted with permission from Cultured Foods for your Kitchen by Leda Scheintaub. Photo by William Brinson. This recipe is an extension of the Fermented Millet Porridge concept (and a riff on the French-style chickpea flour–based bites known as panisse); after you’ve made your porridge, you pour it onto a baking sheet to firm up, then… Continue Reading

One Response to Millet Polenta Cakes with Zucchini, Daikon, Cherry Tomatoes, and Cilantro-Miso Pesto

Fermented Millet Porridge

Reprinted with permission from Leda Scheintaub’s Cultured Foods for Your Kitchen Millet becomes surprisingly thick and creamy when it’s fermented (see Three Reasons to Soak, Sprout and/or Ferment Grains) and then cooked, making it a satisfying breakfast option for folks who are dairy free and those just looking to add more whole grains into their… Continue Reading

9 Responses to Fermented Millet Porridge

  1. I accidentally fermented my millet for two days. It had a funky smell but I cooked and ate it anyway. Reading this gives me peace of mind.

  2. Hi Rebecca,

    Good day. Can I cook the millet first before fermenting so I don’t have to cook again and eat that right after fermentation, is that OK?

    Best regards,


    • Yes, cooking a fermented food destroys the desirable cultures. However, cooking enhances the flavor and, in the case of grains, makes it more digestible. To enhance the flavor is why we sometimes cook fermented foods including olives, wine, cheese, etc. To make a fermented food more digestible (like sour dough batter, tempeh or fermented millet) we cook it.

  3. I just made my first batch of fermented millet this evening and, oh my, it was delicious! The slightly sour flavor reminds me of Ethiopian injera and I’ve already begun my next batch soaking. Thank you for your wisdom and humor, Rebecca. Your website and The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia are among my “go tos!” Warmly, Erin from Texas

Discoloration Around the Eyes

While black or blue skin below the eyes is commonplace today, even more prevalent is irregularly colored skin near the inner corner of the eyes. Have a look in the mirror; you’re apt to sport colors in this region. It’s your body’s way of communicating important information. Here’s what this means according to Chinese Face… Continue Reading

11 Responses to Discoloration Around the Eyes

  1. My eyes are very puffy especially above the eyelids..l also have very dark black and red circles under the eyes..what can this mean..

    • I describe this in the several blogs on this page, or see my ebook–Read Your Face. Or I can help you in a consultation.

    • As I’ve not seen black spots on the sclera (eye whites), I cannot comment. Yellow spots or accumulations on the sclera are easy to resolve with diet and lifestyle modifications. If you’re concerned about black skin near your eyes, I’ve repeatedly observed skin color returning to normal in my clients when they make dietary shifts.

    • Anna, I’m sorry for your scare. Color is an important indicator and I detail what it signifies in my books and blogs. If you wish a consultation with me, then I’ll gladly assist.

  2. I’m trying to figure out why I have so many brown spots on my hands, arms and legs. I eat very healthy, organic. I drink kombucha, eat fermented vegetables, grass fed beef, good chicken and eggs most of the time. Walk almost every day. I am 70.
    I heard that maybe I need to detoxify, could that be so?

    • Carmen, in general brown spots are “liver” spots and come with age. While your diet is “clean” the relevant question is: is it best for your specific needs? If you wish, in a face reading we could identify what’s contributing to the excessive brown spots, how to support your liver and overall balance. It’s quite individual. Detoxing may be part of it, but we also need to identify any staple ingredients that may be problematic.

    • Yes, you can regain normal skin color by stopping doing the things that caused it which, often include: dietary stressors, lack of sleep, substance abuse and stimulant use. Follow the links at the end of this blog to see how.

Why It’s Hard to Go Gluten and Dairy Free

Science now explains why going GFDF is so hard. We’ll look at that, and then the encouraging news: If you tried going without but backslid, you still have made inroads in realizing your GFDF goals. But first take a few seconds and imagine feeling utterly content. You’ve nary a suggestion of pain or suffering. You’re… Continue Reading

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Hay Fever Free

It’s hay fever season and how many times have you moaned (and sneezed) about that darn pollen! So why is it that your swollen eyelids and other allergic responses get worse every year but the amount of pollen remains constant? While pollen may be the trigger, it’s taking the bum rap for the underlying issue… Continue Reading

7 Responses to Hay Fever Free

  1. This is astounding. After suffering for the last few weeks with terrible classic hayfever symptoms..I’ve gone gluten free for twenty four hours and I am cured. No tablets, nasal spray or eye drops today and I’ve just been outside and I am cured. I know I must keep this up now. It is not even a choice.

  2. I lived for years with the most debilitating allergies until I experimented with a food exclusion for entirely different reasons. Six months later, I noticed I hadn’t had to take off work from not being able to stop sneezing or inability to see straight for I didn’t realize how long, my husband said how quiet it was around the house recently, and my boss noticed I hadn’t had a sneezing fit in a while as well. I was also able to go to visit my mom and have few ill effects in her shuttered, dark house filled with little furry animals.

    It was gluten the whole time. Two years later after going completely strict even off starches, I can occasionally sneak a cookie or two once a week so things don’t accumulate, but overall, I have to avoid gluten. I find that also keeping on top of my hydration and being wary of how much coffee to water I intake is vital. One small salad a day has also been made an automatic way of life for me now.

    After everything, my landlords, coworkers, friends and family are all suffering intensely this allergy season with terrible headaches, sinus issues, etc., and I feel that for the first time ever in my life, I’m the only one like them who dodged the bullet. It’s changed my life. Telling them to try this experiment themselves to see if it’ll help? That’s the true impossible task.

    • Sarah,
      Thanks for your testimonial and kudos for your good work.
      Oh, how we wish we could help everyone adapt the diet that serves them best! But then, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.”

      What we can do is set an example, appropriately offer relevant information and pray.

  3. Oh my I am so impressed with Rebecca Woods wisdom!! Why oh why do doctors not know these things.

    It has taken me 30 years of chronic hayfever & sinus issues to understand what is really going on. I now have almost no problems (unless I start drinking too many wines or eating wheat, sugar etc when the inflamation set in).

  4. Yes, yes, yes! One of the many curious side effects when I went gluten free was no hay fever or cat allergies. This was huge because the cottonwoods produce a lot of pollen around here. It was miserable. It seemed to feel better when we had to go dairy free, too, for my son.

    We can now indulge occasionally, but now we know what our body is saying via the inflammatory symptoms.

  5. Hi Rebecca,

    I am a big fan and have recently bought your book ‘Food Encyclopedia’ .

    kind regards,

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Teff Waffle

Almost chocolate in color, this gluten-free waffle tastes unlike any wheat waffle ever made.  It has a nutty, satisfying flavor and is substantial in character while remaining light in texture.  One taste and you may never again settle for a wheat waffle. You’ll find this recipe and other gluten-free quick bread recipes in my award… Continue Reading

9 Responses to Teff Waffle

    • I don’t know. I’m always looking for the real energy that a food imparts versus calories. And this waffle sustains and energizes in a way that a wheat waffle never could.

  1. What waffle iron do you use/recommend? I’m having difficulty finding a healthy one to buy. I’m thinking cast iron, but I have an electric stove.

    Thank you for your response.

    • The one non-stick product I use is a waffle iron; today there are no practical alternatives. If you can find a second-hand cast aluminum iron (they’re no longer made), that’s an option.

    • Excellent question. Start with 1/8 of the flour amount (so in this recipe, that would be 1/4 cup coconut flour to 1 3/4 cup tef flour) and then judging from the results, either increase or decrease accordingly.

  2. I have just heard about Caputo flour! Seems it is like the flour of the old days, when it didn’t cause us to be sensitive. What are your thoughts about this flour?

    • Caputo flour is a blend of rice starch, cornstarch, potato starch, soy flour, and sugar. Give it a try and see if it works for you. I, by the way, would NEVER use soy flour as it’s hard to digest, mildly toxic and tastes like soy beans.

      Your real opportunity is to determine the underlying causes of your sensitivities. Get at the root cause. My various books and consultations address just this.

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Eyes Reveal Marijuana Abuse

It’s a given that marijuana has medical value. While the drug’s efficacy for muscle spasms and other concerns is not questioned, let’s consider its recreational use. According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), abuse of stimulants like cannabis have a negative impact on the kidney and nervous systems. Facial analysis of the eyes illustrates this point… Continue Reading

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18 Responses to Food Tastes Best When Cooked in Clay Pots

    • The line I prefer are the artesian pots from Columbia, la Chamba; they’re lovely and sturdy (the USA line that I’m aware of is not durable). Of course, you may get one from a potter and that will be pricy.

  1. What a lovely website with so much useful information, thank you Rebecca!

    I am very much looking forward to cooking in unglazed clay pots, but I was wondering – can all unglazed clay pots be used for cooking (I mean slow, long-term cooking – as in making a stew or beans?) Or do the cooking pots need to be baked/seasoned first by the craftsman in a certain way?

    I come from a country where unglazed clay pots are very affordable (unlike in the U.S., unfortunately), however, most craftsmen I have spoken to there insist that the glazing process is crucial in making the pot usable for cooking. And yet, it is precisely in the glaze that harmful ingredients can be found and released in the food. I really would like to resolve this conundrum!

    • Some clay vessels, like stoneware or an unglazed flower pot, can be used for baking, but cannot be used for stove-top cooking. Glazes are problematic if they contain lead but if they contain no toxins, they’re fine for culinary use. A reputable pot maker will provide you with information about his/her glaze. Hope this helps.

      • Thank you Rebecca!
        It is good to learn that not all glazes can be problematic. It is just so difficult to obtain this information from pot makers – not that they would want to conceal it, it is just that they do not necessarily test the glaze for toxins.

        In the meantime, I found out something else interesting that I thought maybe your readers could find useful. Apparently there is a middle ground between unglazed (=not suitable for stove-top), and glazed pots (=potentially carrying toxins) – it is the Terra-sigillata finish – apparently a mix of clay and water that seals the pots and serves a similar role as a glaze. This technique is used to make Miriam’s earthenware clay pots which they claim can be used on stove top.

        • Thanks, Polly. And as USA glazes do NOT contain lead that potential problem is only for antique or imported pots.

  2. Is there one method of seasoning that will work well for all glazed clay/ceramic pots? Some suggest covering only the bottom of the pot with any type of milk and simmering it for 5 minutes…but I’ve seen various other instructions. Also, what is the purpose of seasoning?

  3. After learning about La Chamba clay pots from your site some time ago, I purchased two and love them. However, since the black color is achieved by smoking the clay, I wonder if the blackness on the interior slowly comes off over time into the food, because it is probably carcinogenic, as most burned/smoked/charred things are. Your thoughts?

  4. Great Website with a lot of useful information.
    Question: how do we know that the clay has not been contaminated with toxic waste? la Chamba, for instance, comes from Colombia. Is the area where the clay was mined clean?

  5. Recently I was gifted with a La Chamba clay cooking pot, and I found your web site because I was looking for information about it. As another long-time whole-foods-cooking enthusiast, I’m thrilled to learn about you. I look forward to reading more of your pages.

  6. Hi Rebecca. I discovered your website a few days ago. Thank you for your dedication to health, healing, and teaching. How lovely!

Protect Yourself from Radiation with This Superfood

As Fukushima radiation nears our west coast shoreline, here’s one obvious and practical precaution to take daily: Eat foods that will protect you. Conversely, avoid the foods that increase your absorption of radiation. Unquestionably, the best food is seaweed; you’ll find other top foods listed below. And what about the seaweed itself, you might ask.… Continue Reading

4 Responses to Protect Yourself from Radiation with This Superfood

  1. Hi Rebecca,
    Do you have an opinion regarding newly popular raw foods diets that advocate use of machines such as a thermomix or vitamax (and a whole other range of juicers, smoothie makers and soup makers) that claim to release the fibres and enzymes in foods by pulverising them and thus claiming to make them more bio-available and nutrient concentrated?

  2. Thank you for this wonderful article, Rebecca! Soon after Fukushima disaster, we posted an article on stocking your cupboard in the nuclear age. You can find it at our site here: and also you can print out a free piece to meditate upon or place on your altar to bring healing to Japan and the world:
    And of course you will find yourself and your Whole Foods Encyclopedia as one of my sources for the stocking your cupboard in the nuclear age article! All Blessings,

Crisped Dulse

If you’re new to seaweed, this simple recipe is a tasty way to start a good habit. As with all seaweed, dulse helps prevent your body from absorbing radioactivity. Dulse has an almost bacon-like aroma and flavor, and when crisped is pleasantly chewy, rather like potato chips. As a stand alone,  add a squeeze of… Continue Reading

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Ceramic–The Healthiest Cookware

Since the 1980s I’ve cherished 100% ceramic cookware. To understand why, let’s consider roasted marshmallows. Some folks like to quickly toast/scorch the outside of their marshmallows, while others carefully slow-roast their soft little pillows until the heat deeply penetrates the core, enhancing the flavor throughout and—careful now—melting the sticky goodness right off the twig. Because… Continue Reading

96 Responses to Ceramic–The Healthiest Cookware

  1. Hi, as Xtreme Ceramcor is not available in my country of Indonesia, but the product of World Kitchen is available.

    I have a special needs child so it is really a concern about the cookware.

    What do you think of their products?
    I am now using Visions which is a glass.

  2. my expensive Xtrema skillet broke after slipping a few inches into my stainless steel sink – what a waste of a lot of money after just a few uses.

  3. Hi Rebecca, thank you for finally saying all non stick cookware is toxic which I have believed a long time though they still try to come out with newer versions. Like you said once the coating is cut or scratched you are exposed to the metal.

    I continue to research the cookware and have found ceramic to be the best. I’m concerned about Xtrema because it’s made in China. As ceramics are made with water would the poor quality of water in China make these pots not safe? Thank you.

    • Ceramic is non-reactive. So no matter the quality of the water mixed with the dry ceramic material, a finished ceramic pot will not leach heavy metals or other contaminants into your food. Not to worry.

  4. Hi Rebecca,
    I have a cast iron Heuck classics dutch oven with lid and just wondering if it is just ceramic coated or 100% ceramic. It is red outside and white inside. Do you know anything about this brand and if it would be safe to use?


      • Thank you so much for the information. I can use it and be safe now. I just need to find a good skillet and then I’m all set. Is there one that you would recommend for me in about a 8-10 in range? It is just me so I need a smallish one.

        Thanks, Faye

          • Hi Rebecca, I took your advice and bought a Ceramcor,Xtrema 10 in skillet. Only got it a couple days ago but I’m not finding much information on how to use. I was wanting to make a dish in the oven yesterday but couldn’t find if it was ok to put the cold skillet in a preheated oven. Would that be ok or does the skillet need to be warm first? All I have cooked in it so far is fry an egg and it kind of stuck a little, not bad and I probably didn’t put enough oil in. I did heat skillet first.

          • Faye, You’re right, use more oil when cooking eggs. As for recipes and information, you’ll find a ton of it on the Ceramcor web page. Enjoy your skillet.

          • Rebecca have you ever fried chicken in the Ceramcor Xtrema skillet. I have looked all over the site and can’t find anything. Been wanting to do this but don’t know where to start.

  5. Hello Rebecca, thank you for your post. I am glad to have someone to turn to for research info and discussion.
    Have you heard that World Kitchen has brought back the original CorningWare Stovetop cookware made of pyroceram, beside Visions? They can be used on stove tops and go from freezer to oven. I was all set to purchase a lot of them before a paragraph in Wikipedia caught my attention:
    “In 2009, the stovetop line of CorningWare was reintroduced by World Kitchen. The cookware is manufactured by Keraglass/Eurokera in Bagneaux-Sur-Loing, France. This is the only factory in the world still manufacturing vitroceramics (aluminosilicate glass) for cookware. At the time it restarted the production of CorningWare, Keraglass/Eurokera was able to abandon the use of arsenic in the manufacture of their vitroceramics, thanks to the modern technology of their newly built oven.”
    Upon further research, I realized that arsenic had been historically used as a fining/clarification agent to reduce the bubbles in glass. I was not able to find any further info to confirm that World Kitchen had indeed stopped using arsenic. The only thing I found was an old 1982 EPA report listing CorningWare as one of the 15 factories in the U.S. still using arsenic.
    I also noticed that pyroceramic is aluminosilicate. Many websites define aluminosilicate as aluminum oxide (alumina) and silicon oxide (silica), while Wikipedia says it’s mineral composed of aluminum, silicon and oxygen. I am unable to find any info explaining how the high temperature tempering of glass may or may not render aluminum inert or so bonded together that it becomes “unleachable”.
    In one of the Q&A section on the product page of “Visions 5L Dutch Oven”, the staff wrote that, “our testing confirms that Visions® products comply with all applicable federal and state safety regulations, including those relating to lead and other heavy metals content.” But it didn’t say if it was in compliance with California’s Proposition 65. And I am not sure if Prop 65 monitors only lead and cadmium or if it extends to arsenic and aluminum as well.
    I would love to hear your thoughts on this matter, Rebecca.

    • Good research, Jeanie. As Corningware so poorly conducts heat, it’s not cookware I use. I understand that ceramics, including pyroceramics, are non-reactive. If you find any additional information, kindly let us all know.

      • Dear Rebecca, Xtrema is also ceramic and thus poor conductor of heat. Why do you prefer Xtrema over CorningWare Stovetop cookware? Is there a reason why Xtrema is so much more expensive that CorningWare Stovetop?

        • CorningWare is an inexpensive type of glass that poorly conducts heat. Ceramic conducts heat evenly and so is an ideal cooking medium; however, it’s a relatively slow heat conductor and so that means initially you need to allow a few minutes longer for the pot to warm up. However, the advantage is that the pot retains heat well and you can then cook at lower temperatures. Also foods don’t dry out as ceramic retains the moisture.

          • CorningWare Pyroceram has a much longer history of being proven safe than Xtrema. I can’t speak to their cooking properties because I do almost entirely water based cooking.

          • Yes, both CorningWare and Xtrema are safe. However Xtreama conducts heat well and Corningware does not.

  6. Hello Rebecca and thank you for all the information about healthy cookware. I have seen the Palm Cookware and I would like your opinion, since I don’t know what they used to fabricate their pots. They seem to be Teflon or non stick.

  7. Hello Rebecca,

    Thank you very much for this! Extremely helpful.

    I have a question though, are ceramic and granite the same? I am extremely confused.

    Thank you again!


    • Yes, the manufacturers of non-stick can make it very confusing. Remember that you DON’T want non-stick cookware such as CeraStone Granite. However, Granite Ware® is enamel and non reactive (and not advertised as non-stick).

  8. Dear Rebecca,
    Thank you for all of this helpful information. I purchased a USA-made clay pot and found that you are correct – they are not durable. I came back to your site to read again your advice and to help me make a decision on a different pot. I also need a skillet for eggs and am thinking about taking your advice and purchasing from Xtrema. I would use a link from your site if you had one but I am not finding one; you seem to have significantly redesigned your site. If you post a link I will use it as I do appreciate how fair and thorough your articles are.

  9. Dear Rebecca,
    Thank you for your response.Unfortunately I just have bought the Suntoza cookware sets,before I visit your page.I just want to know is the coat of this cookware really lead-free or not?

  10. hello.
    Thank you for your article.I have a question about SUNTOZA brand ceramic pots.It is Korean.On the box of pots has hinted “there is no PTFE,no PFOA,no lead and no cadmium and it is eco-friendly”.The ceramic coat is glazed and lustrious.I wonder if it is trustworthy and safe to use.I would appreciate if you could help me.By many thanks in advance.

      • They have a good warranty and I can get it for a great price due to show sales. I just needed to know if it’s a safe choice. I’m converting all my cookware over. It does get a bit confusing. Love your page. So to be clear, it is a safe cooking choice?

  11. Do you have the ceramic 10.5 quart Dutch oven? I was looking for a really tall Dutch oven and was considering Le Creuset but ceramic would be lighter which would be nice. In the picture it doesn’t look tall though. I was hoping to find a tall Dutch oven so that when I make a red sauce and it spits it’s not going all over my oven top. Because those sauces spit even when you’re cooking on very very low with even just a metal pot.

  12. Is there anything toxic with Le Creuset? It all is a little complicated. If cooking something that could be done on either that or the 100% ceramic pan which would you choose?

    • Ceramic (like Xtrema) is non-toxic as is a true enamel (like Le Creuset). The so called “ceramic” non-stick pans are a synthetic. Don’t use them. Different pans work best for different applications and are also a matter of personal choice; I, however, find my Xtrema saucepot indispensable.

  13. Dear Rebecca, I recently bought a Victoria enameled iron cast skillet. It’s made in Columbia and sold on and My question is whether the Enamel contains lead since it is made in Columbia and does the F.D.A allow foreign products into the U.S.A with lead

  14. Dear Rebecca, does the glaze in Enamel cast iron contain lead or cardium? Such as the brand Le Crueset? And my last question, does glassware such as pyrex, contain lead? Your blog is such a relief to me in this difficult time of deciding what is the safest cookware. Your time and dedication is so greatly appreciated and respected.

  15. Thank you for your article, very informative. What are your thoughts on Titanium Ceramic Coated. They say its PTFE and PFOA free, but wondering if its got other nasties. Thank you.

  16. Hi –

    Any comments on the “green pan” ? It’s being heavily marketed right now for the holidays… it uses Thermolon™, a ceramic non-stick coating – Is it safe to use in your opinion ?

    • I’ve never used them and don’t know how they stand up compared to some of the older lines; but they look good. Perhaps check out the reviews on Amazon.

  17. Hi Rebecca,
    We don’t use many non-stick, but recently overheated a boiled-dry Scanpan when steaming veggies (long story). Though the fumes are known to be toxic, do you think that there are residual toxins in the steamed food, since it was above the burning PTFE? Should I toss? What are lasting dangers of eating?

    • The studies indicate that the fumes are toxic, not the food. Yet, basically, your food was cooked at high temperature on a layer of synthetic (plastic) polymers and that cannot have been a positive impact on its flavor or healthfulness as (unlike clay, glass or enamel) polymers are reactive.

  18. Hi Rebecca, on the Xtrema testing results from their website…looks like they were tested by a lab in the US in 2008. SInce then they have been tested in China and the reports seem a bit sketchy: just a date and signature, no actual levels ot the metals tested for.
    Why would they test their product throughly (just 1 frying pan, though) the first time they entered the market and then choose do do all following tests in China?
    Thank you for your wonderful website, love the 100% ceramic option, just a bit nervous about Xtrema.


    • You’re welcome. The formula hasn’t changed since 2008 and the same ingredient is used in all their cookware, so you’re good to go. But if you’re still nervous, contact the company directly. They’re most responsive. I use my Xtrema pots daily and feel confident in them.

  19. Rebecca, I wondered if you could check out the Royal Worcester egg cookers.They’re “vintage,” which means, I guess, 1950s. I love shirred eggs and was wondering if these would be safe to buy.

    • What I offer is basic information on determining quality cookware then it’s up to you to figure out which brands fit those parameters. You can do it. As guidelines, refer back to the information in my blogs.

  20. Hello Rebecca,

    Would you go with 100% ceramic versus enamel coated cast iron? Also with the 100% ceramic, you can cook steak and chicken on the stove top, correct? I am looking to buy a safe (non-toxic) skillet as well as a non-toxic cookie baking sheet. Would 100% ceramic be sufficient for both?

    • Yes, an all ceramic like Xtrema (not stoneware) works better for searing than a enamel coated cast iron pot (as enamel better withstands high temperatures if the surface is evenly covered, as in a soup). To sear a steak in an Xtrema skillet you’d first heat the skillet at 450 degrees in the oven for 5 minutes then place on the stove, turn on the burner and sear as normal.

  21. Hello, Rebecca,

    Thank you for you well written and easy to understand articles. With that said and with the flood of information out on the web, I am a bit confused.

    So, if I am understanding correctly, a 100% pure ceramic pan would be good for cooking eggs? I am an egg fiend..

    I also sautee a lot (veggies mostly, fried rice and some protein) and I also sear/cook some chicken or beef. What kind of pan would you use for that?

    What type of pan should I cook my stews or marinara sauces in?

    Please excuse the multitude of questions…


  22. Hi Rebecca,

    Love your very informative site! Just wondering if you would know if the glaze used on Ceramcor is lead free.


  23. Loved your article. I was curious of your thoughts on USA pans that use americoat. Thanks for all your knowledge and that’d work’

  24. Does the seal on cast iron pots created by their rather exact-fitting, heavy metal lids, makes them better suited to stove-top cooking than ceramic or clay pots which tend not to have the same seal. How does the tightness of the lid closure affect the cooking of the food?

    • It totally depends upon what you’re cooking and if you want the finished dish to be more moist or more dry. There’s no rule. Experiment to determine what works best for you in a given dish.

  25. Hi Rebecca,
    Thank you for your great and informative article. I would like to know what you think about CeraCast Cookware by CeraStone. Your feedback is much appreciated.Thanks.

  26. Hi Rebecca. I so appreciate your advice on all types of cookware. My question is about xtrema which on their site is made in China. On Mercolas site the cookware is made in Germany. The all black cooking pots looked the same. The xtrema with red or green lids had pictures of production in China. How do I know if the materials used are safe? Are the two brands truly the same?
    Thanks for your input and advice.

    • So I asked the manufacturer of Ceramcor, Rich Bergstrom, your question and here’s what he said:
      1. Ceramcor, which is my company makes the cookware for Dr. Mercola. It is the same cookware as our Xtrema cookware and it is made in China. Please have you customer click on this link about the testing of our products.

      2. I have checked the Mercola web site and they don’t sell any cookware from Germany!

      Please have you customer send me this information about Mercola cookware from Germany.

  27. I like your article & agree wholeheartedly with your discussion here.
    Just bought a ceramic (not coated) pot at World Market. Wonder if you are familiar with it yourself? If so, what do you think of it.
    It is 100% ceramic. Also wondering the best way to wash & care for ceramic cookware.

    Thank you,

    Susan Solleder

    • Thanks. As 100% ceramic is breakable, handle it with care. Xtrema excepted, other ceramic is temperature sensitive so don’t subject it to big temperature changes (i.e. putting a hot pot on a cold surface). And most ceramic (unlike Xtrema and a few earthen pots) cannot be used on the stove top.

    • Find the line you like and check their webpage for information. One brand that I know is Ceramcor and, should you order from this webpage you receive a 10% discount.

  28. Hi Thank you for your useful info. May I know if SILIT cookware coating with Silagan safe?


      • Silit says it is cast aluminum, with a “Revolutionary non-stick hard sealing CeraProtect® mineral-based coating”. Isn’t this the bad not-stick coating you are talking about? I am looking for something non-toxic and trying to keep up, but I am confused…

        Thank you!

        • The non-stick coated pans you want to stay away from are those made with plastic-like polymers. Silit doesn’t reveal what their mineral-based coating is made from. We wish they did. However, as it’s non-toxic minerals and not polymers, you may assume it’s safe.

  29. Hello dearest Rebecca,
    I’ve checked the link above, however, I don’t see a regular size loaf pan for baking our allergen-free sandwich bread. I’m currently using a high quality stainless steel loaf pan (no scratches) which I line with unbleached parchment paper with good results. May I ask if you think this is safe, as well as, what type of loaf pan you use for good results, please?
    Thanks so very much.

  30. Hi Caroline,

    thank you very much for a well-written and informative article! I am throwing out my toxic Teflon cookware and am now carefully choosing what to go with next. One thing that caught my eye is the Pyrex Pyroflam range (I am in Europe), which is basically vitro-ceramic cookware. I am not sure whether this means that it is truly ceramic or whether there will still be hidden nasties leaching into my food….?

    • Vitroceramic cookware is glass turned into a crystalline material, that
      can withstand sudden temperature changes. However it’s such a poor heat conductor that it’s uses are limited.

      • Hello Rebecca!
        Thank you for the useful article! I am also trying to get some information whether vitroceramic is 100% safe. Still can not figure out if it is lead and cadmium free.

        • It’s a type of glass and therefore non-reactive. This cookware will NOT react with your food. I asked the company if it’s lead and cadmium free and haven’t heard back from them.

  31. I love my vintage Pyroceram Corningware and use it all the time now. I have never had a problem with heat conduction or the “sticking” that so many people complain about. Granted, I don’t cook on the stove top above medium flame when using it (unless boiling water) because modern range burners are capable of higher temperatures than they were in the 50s and 60s. As far as sticking, I think people have been around poisonous “non-stick” cookware for so long, they have forgotten how to use the proper amount of Olive Oil in their pans. I actually like a little bit of sticking, it makes for better fond for pan sauces…

    I would like to give these new pans a try though, they sound awesome! And my Vintage Corningware is already 50 years old, so it’s not going to last forever.

  32. Happy New Year, Rebecca,

    Can you believe, I am still using the Cruset pans that I bought during our class of so many years ago. Two of the four are still good! I’ll look into your cookware suggestions as I need more good ones.

    I’m still working on your good dietary suggestions.

    Have a blessed year ahead.

    Love and peace,

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Chicken Broth

Here’s an easy recipe for chicken broth that’s high in minerals, collagen and glycine. To read about its astounding health benefits see: Bone Stock. Enjoy it straight as an energy tonic or add it to soups, stews and sauces. The longer you cook the bones, the more minerals are extracted; however, excessive cooking and/or high heat… Continue Reading

3 Responses to Chicken Broth

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Vegetable Stock

Your own stock outshines any commercial stock in terms of  the energy it imparts and the pleasure it delivers. Why’s that? Really ponder the indignities that one carrot would encounter going thru a commercial size factory to be spewed out as product with a shelf-life of more than 18 months. As commercially prepared foods are… Continue Reading

2 Responses to When NOT to Eat Melon

  1. As always, your advice is sound and balanced. I love that you included information on the occasional need for a melon’s cooling properties as medicine, even in winter. For someone who is a walking menopausal heating system, cucumber works fine for me in winter. In fact, winter works fine for me. And my husband loves curling up to my hot flashes on the coldest of nights. I will make sure i serve him cucumbers that are pickled and set aside a few for me that are not. Thanks and warm cheers.

Cranberries for Health

See  Fermented Cranberry Relish The small, dry and intensely tart cranberry is second only to its cousin the blueberry in disease-fighting antioxidants. The remarkable anti-inflammatory properties of cranberries make them an excellent kitchen remedy for arthritic pain and infection. They quell damp conditions and so can help resolve candida, edema, cysts, lumps and tumors. How do… Continue Reading

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Fermented Cranberry Relish

Fermentation is the secret to this fresh sweet and sour cranberry relish. If you haven’t yet made a cultured food, let this foolproof recipe be your gateway to tangible kitchen magic. Yes, you can effortlessly transform the flavor and healthfulness of basic ingredients into a superior product. I delight in the simplicity of this recipe… Continue Reading

72 Responses to Fermented Cranberry Relish

  1. Hello Rebecca!
    We’ve gone through nearly a GALLON of the cranberry relish since November (I’ve given it as gifts to many of my holiday guests)

    Wondering if this would work equally well with Blackberries?
    Do cranberries have any inherent qualities (acid, or otherwise) that make it especially suited for fermentation? Or will any berry combination do? Thanks in advance.

    • Deb…it’s just the best, isn’t it! For those of you who haven’t tried this relish yet, it really is that tasty and a good year-round condiment. Fruit left at room temperature either ferments or rots. Fruits with a higher percentage of sugar and/or water (like blackberries) turn faster than those with less (like cranberries). So monitor your experiment by tasting it and reduce the fermentation period as necessary.

      I tried combining cranberries and blueberries and neither myself or grandkids were happy with the result. But experiment and let us know your findings.

      • Thanks for your quick reply Rebecca.
        I just started a batch of 50/50 cranberries and blackberries. I used a lemon instead of the orange to try to tone down both the liquid and the sweetness.
        I’ll post my results. Fresh out of the processor, it tastes fantastic. Finger’s crossed.

        • Well I just refrigerated this and it turned out wildly wonderful. I think my favorite batch thus far!
          10 oz cranberries
          6 oz blackberries
          1 lemon
          3/4 cup sugar.
          The only adjustment was to add the blackberries last and only pulse a couple of times so as to leave them a little bit chunky. I let this ferment about a week.
          It’s divine and a gorgeous dark purple color.

  2. I also tried this with pomegranates (frozen pomegranate seeds) and blueberries. Equally delicious, although—perhaps because they were frozen, it came out more as a drink.

  3. I had 2 cups of fermented chopped cranberries left from making cranberry vodka. Will add the sugar and oranges from your recipe to see what we get!

  4. Can the maple syrup / sugar / sweetener be omitted? Will the naturally occurring sugars in the fruit be enough to sustain the fermentation?

  5. I don’t have access to cranberries, only dried ones.

    Will this recipe work with different fruits, such as blueberries, raspberries and so on?

  6. I can’t wait to try this recipe! I am wondering if I could use frozen cranberries, as I already have some in my freezer (I would thaw them first, of course).

  7. I am in LOVE with this relish. Used your basic recipe, added crushed cardamom seed from about 4 pods, couple handfuls of chopped pecans and chopped celery. Just scrumptious . Thank you.

  8. I read instructions for my water kefir that fermenting with honey isn’t good because of it’s antibacterial properties which slows the fermentation. Also for low carb diets or diabetics, this needs to ferment longer to reduce the grams of carbohydrates from that much sugar.

  9. This is the first time I’ve used my Vitamix for something other than a smoothie. The chopping worked beautifully and the relish looks and smells amazing! I’m so excited to see how it ferments overnight, and share it with my family tomorrow for Thanksgiving! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

  10. You don’t specify raw honey, but I’d assume it should be? I’ve got some local but not raw which we were given and I’d like to use up, so it would be nice if it didn’t! 😉

  11. Thanks for the recipe. I only received 2 cups of organic cranberries from my CSA, so I cut the recipe in half. With the smaller volume, it only fills the jar 3/4 of the way full. Do I need to put it into something else / pack it down in some way for it to ferment properly? How does the air exposure change the process? Thanks!

  12. Hi, I’m getting ready to try your recipe but noticed a typo- you call for “16 oz (4 cups)” of cranberries, but 16 oz is really just 2 cups, so my question is should I use 16oz/2 cups or 4 cups of berries?

  13. I made my batch just tonight. Organic cranberries, fresh tangerines from a friend’s tree & local tupelo honey. Perfect timing as Thanksgiving is just next week. Thanks!

  14. I’m allergic to citrus. Can I skip the Orange? Sounds great otherwise. My daughter keeps wanting to get some fresh cranberries from the store.

  15. I think I’ll make this, but it’s going to have to be with conventional cranberries. Organic ones are just outrageously expensive. I do buy organic produce when I can. Should I do the vinegar soak on my cranberries (since they’re conventional) prior to getting this ferment going? Are the nuts added during the ferment or just prior to eating?

    • As possible, favor organic. For non organic, consider the H2O2 bath as per the directions in my book, Bugs Eating You. Add nuts with other ingredients.

  16. This looks great! Going to try it for thanksgiving this year. I am curious, do you know why some fermented cranberry sauces require whey or kombucha and some don’t? I was wondering if you need to introduce a culture?