Integrative Health Blog

"Let food be thy medicine" ~ Hippocrates

Posted by on Wed, Feb 26, 2014

By Guest Blogger Farmer Allan Balliett, Owner, Fresh and Local CSA

I suffered from the effects of Multiple Chemical Sensitivities(MCS) for over 10 years. My healing didn't begin until I  abandoned AMA doctors and found a Naturopath. He got me off from cigarettes and tranquilizers and onto organic food. (With MCS I was painfully reactive to food additives, trace amounts of pesticides, tobacco smoke and 'fragrances' and was horribly fatigued all the time.) Because fresh organic produce was rare in the early 80's, I adopted a macrobiotic diet which was based around organically grown staples like grains and beans and wild crafted foods like seaweeds. Once I was "minimizing toxins and maximizing nutrition," my healing began almost immediately and in 3 weeks I had made more progress towards “Wellness” than I had in the previous 10 years. In 3 months, I was a new person, with a clear head with literally boundless energy.

Every once in a while after I was well I'd bite into a piece of 'fresh' organic food, like an apple, and have an MCS reaction. When I brought this up to my macrobiotic counselor he said,   "Not all organic food is toxin free. Some of it is fake and some of it gets contaminated in the distribution process. If you want  food that's chemically free, you'll need to go out to West Virginia and grow it yourself with the other people who are healing."

Having grown up on a conventional farm under the influence of a grandmother who had studied herbalism with a Native American medicine man, I took up the challenge and moved to West Virginia, using my new energy to commute from West Virginia to my job in DC while searching for an appropriate non-toxic way to grow food.

My Journey to Biodynamic Farming

After reading every book I could find on farming without chemicals, I found my first  book on biodynamic farming. Biodynamics was the only holistic method of farming I'd run across and, unlike Rodale organics, it's goal was ‘to produce foods appropriate for human development’ rather than produce foods that could be sold profitably by weight or count using the least inputs possible. The goal was quality, not increased profits. There's a huge difference in these approaches to producing food. I think my mentor, Alan Chadwick, said it best  about the effect of commercialization on food quality: "When a man goes into a field to produce good food, that food is completely different from the food he will grow if he goes into that same field to produce $10,000.00."

While reading about food-as-medicine ("healthy soil=healthy plants=healthy people") I read Dr. Carey Ream's statement that “All disease is the result of mineral deficiencies", and soil scientist William Albrecht saying that physicals for the draft for WWI proved that the least healthy young men came from the areas of the country with naturally mineral deficient soils. It was also clear that there is a strong relationship between the minerals in our food and ultimate health and clear indications that we absorb minerals from living organisms more readily than we do from pills.

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Tags: CSA, holistic nutrition, integrative nutrition

Holistic Nutrition: Gluten Free Christmas Cookies

Posted by on Wed, Dec 18, 2013

Anita Capizzi RN, CHC

Anita's Healthy Tips

I’ve been busy with holiday decorating and shopping....there’s never enough time to get things done in December it seems!! Holiday parties and gatherings are sure to include sweet treats which are not so inviting  for those of us who don’t eat gluten.

I wanted to share a recipe for gluten free cut out cookies in case you can find the time to bake! 

It’s the first time I’ve made them -- okay, I didn’t really make I said, I’ve been busy!

My son made them yesterday with Snoopy presiding over the table, and we decorated them last night. It was great fun and a nice way for my family to share our Christmas traditions. We were pleased with how they turned out and they taste great!

Here is the Gluten Free Christmas Cookie Recipe:

3/4 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

2 tsp. baking powder

3  3/4 cup gluten free cookie mix - we used Bob’s Red Mill

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Cream butter and sugar Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add baking powder and flour. Dough may be stiff. Make 2 balls. Roll each ball out on floured surface and cut out shapes with cookie cutters to about 1/4 inch thickness. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 6-7 minutes. Decorate with icing.

Happy Holidays!

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Tags: holistic nutrition, integrative nutrition, recipe, gluten

Holistic Nutrition: Raw Chewy Trail Mix Recipe (Gluten-free, Vegan)

Posted by on Thu, Oct 31, 2013

Brooke Mader CHC

I wanted to share with you this fun, delicious, raw cookie/trail mix ball recipe I made yesterday! 

I hope you enjoy them. They make a great snack or healthy school lunch treat.

Despite the lengthy dry ingredient list, they are a breeze to throw together. Plus, how hard is it to throw seeds into a bowl?

Raw, Chewy Trail Mix Recipe                   


10 pitted dates

1/4 cup almonds

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup pumpkin (pepita seeds)

2 tbsp chia seeds

2 tbsp bee pollen (optional)

2 tbsp shredded coconut

Pinch of sea salt

Pinch of cinnamon

If you are feeling fancy, add some cacao nibs!

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Tags: holistic nutrition, integrative health, integrative nutrition, recipe, gluten

Starting Gymnastics...on My 44th Birthday! 3 Tips to Keep YOU Strong

Posted by on Wed, Oct 23, 2013

Lisa Wilson CHC

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Tags: raw food, integrative health, integrative nutrition

Holistic Nutrition: Summer Fruits Dessert Recipe

Posted by on Wed, Aug 21, 2013

Holistic Nutrition Tips

Summer is here!  Have you taken advantage of the season’s goodness with regards to fruits and vegetables??

Our bodies thrive on the micro nutrients (vitamins and minerals) found in the summer’s harvest.

All fruits and vegetables are loaded with antioxidants that help us to fight off free radical damage to our cells which can lead to premature aging and a host of other diseases.

Red tomatoes, yellow peppers, purple grapes, blueberries, yellow peaches, green cucumbers and squashes..... the list is endless and eating this “rainbow” of color is the best way to help your body deal with free radicals!

Need some help getting those foods in? Try my recipe below for an easy summer dessert that pairs fruit with good fats, nuts and whole grains!

Summer Fruit Crisp Recipe

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Tags: healthy fats, holistic nutrition, integrative health, integrative nutrition

Holistic Nutrition: When Fruit is Not a Healthy Choice

Posted by on Mon, Jun 17, 2013

Anita's Healthy Tips                       


Summer officially starts this week, on Friday, June 21. Most of us have air conditioning these days, but many of us can remember sleeping on sticky sheets with the fan in the window during the summer! Which never worked, by the way!! When it gets hot, who wants to be in the kitchen using the oven or the stove? Now is the time to try all those recipes that don’t require cooking!!


Salads of all types - green salads, fruit salads, raw kale salads, gazpacho soups, cold cucumber or melon soups, and caprese salad - taste wonderful and don't heat up the kitchen.

Know Your Fruits and Veggies: The "Dirty Dozen" and The "Clean 15"

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Tags: holistic nutrition, diabetes, pre-diabetes, integrative nutrition, sugar, pesticides

I Hit the Holistic Nutrition Jackpot!

Posted by on Wed, Apr 24, 2013

Eve Colantoni CHC

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Tags: holistic nutrition, holistic health, integrative health, integrative nutrition

Do You Have Problems with Dairy? It's Not the Cow's Fault

Posted by on Mon, Mar 25, 2013

Jody Jung RN, CHC

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Tags: holistic nutrition, integrative health, integrative nutrition, digestive health, probiotics

The Deconstructing Diabetes Program Results Are In!

Posted by on Wed, Jan 30, 2013

Anita Capizzi RN, CHC

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Tags: diabetes, blood sugar, integrative health, integrative nutrition

Why Diets are Fattening (And What To Do To Really Lose Weight)

Posted by on Fri, Jan 11, 2013

Eve Colantoni CHC

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Tags: holistic nutrition, weight loss, integrative health, integrative nutrition