Energizer Summer!, Part 5


simply well with holly niles


“I have no energy”, “I feel tired all the time or “I fade by 3:00” …these are all common complaints I hear from clients in my practice. Lack of energy can be connected to many imbalances in the body.  Sometimes we might need to consult a health professional but often there are simple lifestyle changes that we can make to revive our energy.  This week’s newsletter is part of a refresher series on the 7 basics of how to improve your energy to enjoy your summer.

#5. Not enough SUN: Even though it’s summer in the northeast, some of us don’t get enough sunlight.  We work indoors and often go from our air-conditioned cars to our air-conditioned homes.  Lack of sunlight can lead to depression and something called SAD (seasonal affective disorder).  Seasonal affective disorder occurs during certain seasons of the year and is characterized by feelings of depression, fatigue and sleepiness. It is believed that a lack of sunlight and a deficiency of vitamin D may be the cause of this disorder. Even in summer months we can still suffer from lack of sunlight. Dr. Mercola, a leader in wellness education, cites research that in one study elderly adults with limited sun exposure were 11x more likely to suffer from depression than those who had a healthy dose.  Sunlight makes us feel good and energized!


Simply Easy Tip:

Spend some time outdoors in the sun.  Dr. Michael Hollick, a world authority on Vitamin D, suggests that having our limbs exposed to the midday sun for about 15-20 min per day is a good target.


Simply Supportive: Synergy K

Synergy K is a unique formula that contains a broad-spectrum blend of vitamins K1, K2 and D for healthy calcium utilization to maintain healthy bones and blood vessels. While vitamin D is essential to assist calcium absorption, vitamin K helps to guide this calcium to bones and prevents their absorption into organs, joint spaces and arteries. With limited sun exposure for many of us, due to work life constraints, it is helpful and often essential to take a daily supplement. To order Synergy K, you can contact our friendly front desk team at (860)519-1916 or email Info@IntegrativeWellnessAndPT.com or you can click on the link above. 


Simply Delicious: Heart Healthy Citrus-Avocado Salmon Salad Recipe

Cold water fish like salmon and sardines are a good source of natural Vitamin D.


For Salmon:
Two (4-6 ounce) salmon fillets
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper
For salad:
3-4 cups organic baby spinach
1 large pink grapefruit, peeled and sectioned
2 medium navel oranges, peeled and sectioned
1 avocado, thinly sliced
¼ to ½ cup sliced almonds
¼ cup green onions, sliced
Juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste


For salmon – Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place salmon fillets on baking sheet. Squeeze fresh lemon over the top and drizzle with a little olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from oven and let cool before assembling salad.

For salad – Place spinach in a bowl or on a large serving platter. Top with citrus, avocado, and cooled salmon. Sprinkle the top with almonds and green onions. Squeeze the fresh lemon juice over the top and drizzle with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

[Recipe from: http://cafejohnsonia.com/2014/02/healthy-citrus-avocado-salmon-salad-recipe.html]



Simply Well newsletter #87: Energizer Summer, Part 5 PRINTOUT (pdf)



Energizer Summer!, Part 4

simply well with holly niles


simply well with holly niles


“I have no energy”, “I feel tired all the time or “I fade by 3:00” …these are all common complaints I hear from clients in my practice. Lack of energy can be connected to many imbalances in the body. Sometimes we might need to consult a health professional but often there are simple lifestyle changes that we can make to revive our energy.  This week’s newsletter is part of a refresher series of 7 basics of how to improve your energy to enjoy your summer.

#4. Unstable Blood Sugar: We often think that sugar gives us energy but ironically the opposite is true.  Many of us start our day with carbs (a.k.a. sugar) like oatmeal, bagels, muffins, etc. which spikes our blood sugar for the short term but then sends it crashing.  Even whole grains on their own can be a problem as they metabolize into sugar.  The body doesn’t like hyper-states like elevated blood sugar and it actually spends a lot of energy trying to rebalance it. The better choice is to start the day with some protein as part of breakfast and continue a portion of protein with all meals and snacks to keep blood sugar balanced. Reducing simple carbs as you start the day and as you continue the day is crucial to keep your blood sugar levels balanced.  This alone can decrease fatigue and help improve alertness and energy to move through your day.

Simply Easy Tip:

Eat dinner for breakfast to start your day with protein.  Sliced turkey, smoked salmon or last night’s leftovers make a great breakfast option especially when time is a factor.


Simply Supportive: UltraMeal Daily Support

A good quality protein powder is a great support for a breakfast shake to get your day started well. Use this with the recipe on this newsletter to create an easy option. UltraMeal Daily Support is a nutritious and delicious drink mix featuring a blend of macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, and fats), phytonutrients , and essential vitamins and minerals. It includes a balanced ratio of healthy carbohydrates, fats, and proteins (15 g of protein from a proprietary blend of pea and rice proteins). To order UltraMeal Daily Support, you can contact our front desk at (860)519-1916 or click on the link above.



Simply Delicious: Protein Shake for Breakfast or Snack!


* Protein powder (aim for 20 grams of protein per shake):
Pea, Rice or Hemp Protein, unsweetened
* ½ -1 cup berries (frozen/organic)
* Fluids: water or unsweetened nut, coconut or hemp milk
* 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Coconut oil
or 1-2 tablespoons ground flax or hemp seeds

Optional added ingredients:

* 1-2 handfuls of organic kale or other leafy green to blend in
OR buy dry organic green powder (Product: Amazing Grass)
* 1-2 tablespoon nut butter (raw is better)
* Cinnamon (optional)


Simply Well newsletter #86: Energizer summer, Part 4 PRINTOUT (pdf)




Energizer Summer!, Part 3

“I have no energy”, “I feel tired all the time or “I fade by 3:00” …these are all common complaints I hear from clients in my practice. Lack of energy can be connected to many imbalances in the body. Sometimes we might need to consult a health professional but often there are simple lifestyle changes that we can make to revive our energy. This week’s newsletter is part of a refresher series of 7 basics of how to improve your energy to enjoy your summer.

#3: Lack of movement

There’s a paradox here in our strategy to improve energy. How often do we say, “I am too tired to exercise but if I don’t exercise I will be tired”? There are times when rest and taking it easy is the best choice but our chronic sedentary lifestyle is the very thing that makes us sick and tired. Our bodies were not designed to sit in chairs, cars and couches most of our day. Our internal body is always moving from our cardiovascular system to our digestion and beyond. Things keep moving inside of us to keep us going and to renew our cells and body. When we move our bodies through exercise, we support that process as well as increase circulation and oxygen flow. According to Jordan Metzl, a sports-medicine physician at New York City’s Hospital for Special Surgery and author of The Exercise Cure,”Exercise is the best preventive drug we have, and everybody needs to take that medicine.”


SIMPLY easy tip:

Walking is the simplest way to start moving. Start with short sessions of movement like 15 minutes or map out a 1 mile walk and commit to it every day. Once we start moving, we get inspired to do more.

theracurmin hpSIMPLY SUPPORTIVE:

To support recovery from exercise, anti-inflammatory herbs like curcumin are important. Standard curcumin is poorly absorbed. Theracurmin® HP is the first water-dispersible curcumin – dissolving quickly and maintaining solubility over time; resulting in a product that is 27x more bioavailable than standard curcumin extracts. To order THERACURMIN-HP, you can contact our front desk at (860)519-1916 or visit our website:



Paleo Energy Bites

YIELD: 12 energy bites
1 cup unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup chopped dates
1/3 cup almond butter
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional, for more sweetness)
1/4 cup sugar-free chocolate chips (see notes below)

Toast coconut and almond meal: Place coconut in a dry frying pan. Turn on heat to medium and stir coconut until it begins to turn golden brown. Remove from pan and allow to cool. Repeat process with almond meal. Be sure to stir constantly to ensure even toasting and to avoid burning.
Place cooled coconut and almond meal in a mixing bowl.
Place chopped dates, almond butter, melted coconut oil, and optional maple syrup in a food processor. Process until smooth. Add more coconut oil if the consistency is too dry (and if you skipped the maple syrup).
Pour liquid into the coconut/almond mixture. Stir to combine. Add salt and chocolate chips.
Take about 2 teaspoons of the mixture and roll into a ball. When complete, store in the fridge.

Optional: sugar-free stevia-sweetened chocolate chips. Another option, chop up an unsweetened baking chocolate bar or a very dark chocolate (at least 72% cacao) candy bar. Store these in the fridge. They get a bit soft at room temperature

Adapted from http://www.cheaprecipeblog.com/2016/08/paleo-energy-bites/

Energizer summer!


simply well with holly niles


“I have no energy”, “I feel tired all the time” or “I fade by 3:00” …these are all common complaints I hear from clients in my practice. Lack of energy can be connected to many imbalances in the body. Sometimes we might need to consult a health professional but often there are simple lifestyle changes that we can make to revive our energy. This week we start with a refresher of 7 basics of how to improve your energy to enjoy your summer.

#1. Stay Hydrated: Dr. Andrew Weil, bestselling author and founder of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, calls water “the essential nutrient”. A well-watered garden yields beautiful flowers and plants. A well-watered body supports good energy levels, healthy cells and efficient detox. When we look at what many people drink in a day, coffee and caffeinated beverages are a large part. In fact, Caffeine is dehydrating and our focus should be on consuming filtered water and herbal teas.  Find ways to swap out your caffeine and add more water to your day. This is the first step in improving our energy naturally.


Simply Easy Tip: 

Add Herbal tea bag(s) to a bottle or pitcher of cold water for a refreshing simple and quick way to enhance the flavor.


Simply Supportive: PHYTOGANIX

Give yourself a little added punch with the benefit of antioxidant-rich Goji and Acai berries, which are loaded with phytonutrients. PHYTOGANIX is a convenient, delicious way to get a diverse daily supply of phytonutrients from certified organic sources. To order Phytoganix, you can contact our friendly front desk team at (860)519-1916 or click on the link above to be directed to the product page.


Simply Delicious: Lemon, Ginger & Basil Iced Tea


2 lemons
5 ginger coins
3/4 cup basil leaves, loosely packed
3 tbsp honey
9 cups boiling water


Cut the lemons in half and juice the lemons into a large pitcher, catching any seeds. Add the lemon halves into the pitcher, along with the ginger coins and basil. Pour boiling water into the pitcher and stir in the honey. Allow to steep until cool, and then remove the ginger, basil, and lemon halves. Serve with ice.

Lemon, Ginger and Basil Iced Tea for Detox


Simply Well newsletter #83: Energizer summer PRINTOUT (pdf)



Create your summertime with food!

simply well with holly niles


simply well with holly niles


Along with reading good books about health, preparing good food at home for family and friends is a great way to create healthy habits.  There are many resources for recipes and tips to make wonderful meals and snacks.  My intention is that this newsletter offers resources to you every week.  When making dietary changes it can feel overwhelming where to start and the best resources for ideas.  This is just a few of the websites that I like as well as some cookbooks to help with those changes.


Against all grain- www.againstallgrain.com

Elana’s pantry- www.elanaspantry.com

Nourishing meals- www.nourishingmeals.com

Rebecca Katz- www.rebeccakatz.com


The Brain Warrior’s Way Cookbook by Dr. Daniel Amen: “An essential resource for Brain Warriors who want to fuel their bodies with foods that boost energy, focus, memory, and quality of life, this cookbook is the ultimate tool for winning the fight in the war for your health.

Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook by Dr. Mark Hyman: “Following Dr. Hyman’s scientifically based program for rebalancing insulin and blood sugar levels, this cookbook presents 175 delectable recipes that are free of allergens and harmful inflammatory ingredients”

It’s All Easy: Delicious Weekday Recipes for the Super-Busy Home Cook by Gwyneth Paltrow: “The #1 New York Times bestselling cookbook that will help anyone make delectable, healthy meals in no time! Gwyneth Paltrow is back to share more than 125 of her favorite recipes that can be made in the time it would take to order takeout

The Longevity Kitchen by Rebecca Katz: “A collection of 125 delicious whole-foods recipes showcasing 16 antioxidant-rich power foods, developed by wellness authority Rebecca Katz to combat and prevent chronic diseases.”


Simply Easy Tip: 

Try one new recipe a week.  Get the whole family in on the choosing process and make it together.


Simply Supportive: Innate Vegan Pea Protein

Making a morning protein shake is an easy way to create a protein-based breakfast (see recipe). Innate Vegan Pea Protein is an excellent source of plant protein. It’s an easy-to-digest pea protein with a complete essential amino acid profile. To order Innate Vegan Pea Protein, you can contact our friendly front desk team at (860)519-1916 or Info@IntegrativeWellnessAndPT.com or you can click on the link above.

Innate Vegan Pea Protein


Simply Delicious: Double Green Smoothie


1 1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy beverage, such as almond, coconut or hemp
2 dried apricots or 4 pitted dates
1 banana
1 cup chopped kale leaves
1 cup baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup fresh or frozen berries
Optional: add 1 scoop of protein powder


Combine non-dairy beverage, apricots, banana, kale, spinach and berries in a blender and blend until smooth.


Adapted from: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/double-green-smoothie



Simply Well newsletter #82: Create your summertime with food PRINTOUT (pdf)





Healthy reading for healthy eating!

simply well with holly niles


simply well with holly niles


As summer approaches, we often see lists of the best summer reads.  Books on those lists are ones that we can dive into at the beach or on vacation.  I am often asked what are good nutrition books to read. There are many wonderful books about the power of food for not only our general health, but also for specific conditions. I have chosen a list of 5 books that I think really help make that connection with food/lifestyle and health.

The Blood Sugar Solution by Dr. Mark Hyman: “Dr. Hyman describes the seven keys to achieving wellness-nutrition, hormones, inflammation, digestion, detoxification, energy metabolism, and a calm mind-in a healthy-living program.”

Adrenal Revolution by Dr. Aviva Romm: “Dr. Romm with a specialty in women’s health and obstetrics delivers a program to heal the overwhelmed, overloaded systems, and prevent and reverse the myriad of symptoms affecting the vast majority of women today.”

Grain brain by Dr. David Perlmutter: “Dr. Perlmutter, neurologist, explains what happens when the brain encounters common ingredients in your daily diet, why your brain thrives on fat/cholesterol, and how you can spur the growth of new brain cells at any age.”

Eating on the wild side by Jo Robinson: “A radical way to select fruits and vegetables and reclaim the flavor and nutrients we’ve lost, how choosing modern varieties that approach the nutritional content of wild plants can also please the modern palate.”

Food Rules by Michael Pollan: “Eating doesn’t have to be so complicated. In this age of ever-more elaborate diets and conflicting health advice, Food Rules brings welcome simplicity to our daily decisions about food.”


Simply Easy Tip: 

Choose a book and read a chapter per day.  Don’t feel overwhelmed by book suggestions; find a way to incorporate one idea at a time.


Simply Supportive: Wellness Essentials Daily Packets

If you are looking for the basics of nutritional supplements, Wellness Essentials Daily Packets are a great way to support the body.  Wellness Essentials is formulated to support your nutritional needs to help you stay active and vital and maintain overall health.* Each once-daily packet provides:

Multifaceted health support: PhytoMulti is the “smart multi” with essential nutrients and a proprietary blend of 13 concentrated extracts and  phytonutrients to help protect cells and maintain DNA stability—activating health potential like no other supplement.*
Immune and neurological health support: D3 1000 features 1000 IU of  vitamin D3 per tablet—the most bioactive form of supplemental vitamin D.*
Heart health, mood, and overall health support: OmegaGenics  EPA – DHA 500 is a quality-guaranteed  omega-3 fatty acid formula manufactured and third-party tested in Norway to ensure greater purity.*


Simply Delicious: Raw Chopped Veggie Salad

Chopped Veggie Salad INGREDIENTS:

1 orange bell pepper (chopped small) (about 1 cup)
1 yellow bell pepper (chopped small) (about 1 cup)
5-8 radishes (cut in half and sliced thin) (about 3/4 cup)
1 small head of broccoli (chopped small) (about 2 cups)
1 seedless cucumber (chopped small) (about 2 cups)
½ cup halved red seedless grapes
2-3 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup raw shelled sunflower seeds
1/8 cup raw hemp hearts (hulled hemp seeds)

Oil-Free Dressing INGREDIENTS:

Note: Can add olive oil if desired.

1 garlic clove (minced)
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/8 tsp pepper (or to taste)

Adapted from: https://www.veggieinspired.com/raw-veggie-chopped-salad/



Simply Well newsletter #81: Healthy reading for healthy eating PRINTOUT (pdf)




Get in the Blue Zone!


simply well with holly niles


I recently heard an interview with Dan Buettner, Author of Blue Zones.  As a National Geographic reports/explorer, he studied and focused on 5 areas of the world where people easily live healthy lives into their 100s. From his research, he distilled shared similarities in each culture that seem to support longevity. To kick off your summer, here are a couple that are easily added to our daily lives.

1. 80% rule: The Okinawan people have a mantra they say before meals to remind them to stop eating when they are 80% full. That 20% difference could be a great support to both easing digestion and losing or maintaining weight.  People in the Blue Zones also eat a smaller dinner with no after-dinner treats.  Summer is a great time to lighten up on eating with warmer days and more time outside.

2. PLANTS are key: Beans are the main theme in diets of most Blue Zone centenarians.  As a plant protein, they are high in fiber and very affordable.  On the other hand, animal products are lower in portion size in those same diets.  With all our summer parties and barbecues, it’s a good idea to review our portions of meat and add some bean dips and salad to balance our meals.

There is so much power to affect our health with our food choices. Looking at Blue Zone cultures is a great way to learn from those who seem to have made that connection to their food to create long term health.

Blue Zones


Simply Easy Tip: 

Use a smaller plate for meals to notice if you are eating more food to fill your plate rather than your appetite. You can easily create that 20% gap between hungry and full by changing how you serve your food.


Simply Supportive: PGX Daily Fiber Packets

To control appetite, it can be helpful to have some fiber about 30 min before eating. PGX Daily Fiber Packiets come from the konjac root and also can help balance blood sugar.

PGX® (PolyGlycopleX®) is a novel complex of water-soluble polysaccharides (plant fibers). It was developed after many years of research, most of which focused on the link between blood sugar levels, appetite and weight gain. PGX® safely and effectively supports healthy blood sugar levels within normal ranges, reduces appetite and supports weight management.*

The most important advantage of PGX® over other soluble fiber products is that significantly less PGX® is required to obtain the same important health benefits, including appetite control and reduced food cravings.* To order PBX Daily Fiber Packets, you can contact our friendly front desk team at Info@IntegrativeWellnessAndPT.com or call (860)519-1916. You can also click on the link above to be directed to our product shopping cart to purchase it directly.

PGX daily fiber packets


Simply Delicious: Avocado & Fava Bean Salad– A Blue Zone Recipe!


½ cup fresh fava beans, shelled and peeled
1 medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1½ cups sunflower sprouts
½ cup cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Juice ½ small lemon
½ avocado, diced
¼ cup chopped almonds, toasted
¼ cup large shavings of Parmesan, optional or can use goat/sheep cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Prepare a small pot of salted boiling water and a small bowl of ice water.
Drop the fava beans into the boiling water and blanch for 3 minutes.
Remove the beans and immediately immerse in the ice water to stop the cooking process. Keep in the ice water long enough to cool completely, about 15 seconds.
Drain and place on paper towels to dry.
Thinly slice the fennel (using a mandolin, if you have one).
Place the fennel slices into a large bowl with the sunflower sprouts, chickpeas, and fava beans.
Drizzle the salad with olive oil, the lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper.
Toss the salad, then add the avocado, almonds, and Parmesan shavings and gently toss again.
Taste and adjust seasonings.



Simply Well newsletter #80: Get in the Blue Zone PRINTOUT (pdf)



Bulking up for health!

simply well with holly niles


simply well with holly niles


A few weeks ago, we talked about reducing inflammation by improving our gut bugs/immune system with fiber.  Mounting research shows that adding fiber to your diet can reduce your risk of death from any cause.  This is tied to the fact that increasing fiber reduces the risk for many chronic diseases. Cancer, type 2 Diabetes, heart disease and stroke are all on that list. Reducing cholesterol and blood pressure as well as improving insulin sensitivity are some powerful outcomes from adding fiber.  These are connected to our most common chronic diseases.  Using diet as a source for fiber is a perfect choice as there are a wide variety of whole foods that are high in fiber.  Processed/packaged foods are very low in fiber and best to avoid.  A good daily target for fiber is 35-40 grams.

  • Here are some of the best choices; it’s good to eat a variety:
  • Psyllium seed husk, flax, hemp, and chia seeds
  • Berries
  • Root veggies and tubers: onions, sweet potatoes, jicama
  • Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts
  • Beans, peas


Simply Easy Tip: 

Some foods are higher in fiber and small amounts can help us improve our daily dose.  For example, adding 2 TBS ground flax seeds adds 4 grams of fiber and 1 TBS psyllium adds 5 grams of fiber.


Simply Supportive: Herbulk® Fiber

Herbulk is a powdered fiber product designed primarily to provide the metabolic benefits of fiber, helping to support healthy intestinal function and integrity. Benefits include: Supports healthy intestinal function, Great for those who have occasional loose stools, Features satiety-enhancing fiber to create a feeling of fullness.* To order this product, contact our friendly front desk team at (860)519-1916 or Info@IntegrativeWellnessAndPT.com or click on the link above to be directed to the product.


Simply Delicious: Chia, Flax, & Hemp Seed Pudding


2 Tablespoons chia seeds
2 Tablespoons hemp seeds
1 Tablespoon ground flax seeds
3/4 – 1 cup plant milk, like coconut or almond
1/2 of banana, sliced
2-3 dates, pitted and chopped
1 Tablespoon shredded coconut
Handful of fresh berries (raspberries, strawberries, etc.)


1. In a single serving bowl, mix the chia seeds and a 1/2 cup of the milk. Let stand for 10 minutes, or until the chia seeds have coagulated.
2. Add the hemp and flax seeds and stir, adding more milk as needed.
3. Add banana, dates, berries and coconut and top with a bit more milk as desired.


Adapted from: https://plant-based4health.com/recipes/breakfast/chia-flax-hemp-seed-pudding/



Simply Well newsletter #79: bulking up for health PRINTOUT (pdf)



Spicing up your memory +

simply well with holly niles


simply well with holly niles


Continuing our journey to look at recent research, we find that curcumin, a compound found in the spice turmeric is one of the most researched nutrients. It is connected to many positive health benefits. One study showed that by adding just 1 gram per day, you can help reduce the risk of cognitive impairment.  Reducing inflammation in disorders like Crohn’s disease & rheumatoid arthritis as well as reducing bone reabsorption in Osteoporosis are all areas that show strong promise.  Curcumin has been shown to reduce the activation of inflammatory molecules and thereby slow the cycle of inflammation. This is so significant since inflammation is at the root of most disorders. The research shows once again the power of food as medicine to help balance the body.


Simply Easy Tip: 

Add turmeric or curry powder (which contains turmeric) to roasted veggies to enhance their flavor and nutrition.


Simply Supportive: Theracurmin-HP

To get curcumin in a more therapeutic dose, it can be helpful to take it as a supplement. Professional grade supplement companies use specific processes to make the curcumin easier to absorb in the body. Standard curcumin is poorly absorbed. Theracurmin-HP is the first water-dispersible curcumin – dissolving quickly and maintaining solubility over time; resulting in a product that is 27x more bioavailable than standard curcumin extracts. Theracurmin HP is a triple-strength formula, containing the same amount of curcuminoids as original Theracurmin, but in smaller capsules, and at just 2 capsules per day – allowing for more flexibility in patient dosing. To order Theracurmin-HP, a professional-grade curcumin supplement, you can contact our friendly front desk team at (860)519-1916 or Info@IntegrativeWellnessAndPT.com or click on the link above to be directed to our shopping cart.


Simply Delicious: Turmeric Tonic, a Delicious Anti-inflammatory Drink


2 cups coconut water (one that doesn’t have any additives/preservatives)
2 inch knob fresh turmeric (1 oz weighed) OR 1/2 – 1 teaspoon dried turmeric
1 inch fresh ginger root (about 1/2 oz weighed)
1 lemon, squeezed
1/4 teaspoon unrefined sea salt
1-3 teaspoons raw honey


1. Place coconut water, turmeric, and ginger root in a blender and give it a whir.

2. When the turmeric/ginger is finely shredded, strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve into a jar (If you have a high power blender you can skip this step).

3. Add lemon juice, sea salt, and honey to taste. Serve preferably with a food containing healthy fats and black pepper for enhanced absorption.



Simply Well newsletter #78: Spicing up your memory PRINTOUT (pdf)



Chill Out to Lose Weight?



simply well with holly niles


I was recently listening to a podcast talking about the fact that when we are overstressed, brain chemicals make it harder to shift our body and our metabolism.  Here are some of the ways stress impacts our weight:

Hormones: Our fright/flight response to stress helps release sugar into our blood stream so we can run from danger. It also releases hormones like adrenaline to keep us going and cortisol to refuel. Most of our stress comes when we are sitting; as a result, the response from our body ends up storing sugar as fat and leaving us ready to eat. Adrenaline also leaves us feeling wired and while we may burn up some calories fidgeting or running around from that feeling, it can leave us with anxiety which “triggers” emotional eating.

Sleep: Worry and stress can keep us up at night and prevent a good night’s sleep. Stress can also cause a decrease in blood sugar which can lead to fatigue.  Caffeine is often the remedy for fatigue which further disrupts sleep.  Lack of sleep can also impact chemicals that control appetite called ghrelin and leptin. This can lead to cravings and overeating-this cycle is very common in our modern life.

Getting a handle on your stress can be essential to getting your body ready to shift into weight loss and healthy metabolism.


Simply Easy Tip:

Find a simple breathing practice that you can do anywhere like before a work meeting, when you are running late or right before you are eating. This helps to shift the nervous system to create calm in the body and lead to a healthy metabolism including weight loss.


Simply Supportive: Lavender Oil

Lavender oil supports the nervous system and sleep. Combined with stress management practices, this is a great supplement to use. A patient’s ability to respond to occasional anxiety has the potential to interfere with the enjoyment of life and even the ability to perform ordinary daily activities. In addition to lifestyle and behavioral modifications, supplementation can also play a role in supporting a balanced mood. Lavela WS 1265 (Lavender Oil) is an exclusive lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil, known as Silexan. Indicated for occasional anxiety, Lavela WS 1265 has been shown to promote relaxation and calm nervousness. To order this product, you may contact our friendly front desk team at (860)519-1916 or Info@IntegrativeWellnessAndPT.com or you can click on the link above.


Simply Relaxing: Mindful Breathing #1

This breathing exercise comes from the Institute for Functional Medicine and is a simple way to reduce stress. Shallow breathing may lead to tension and fatigue. Breathing with your diaphragm tends to reduce stress and improve energy.

Abdominal breathing, also known as diaphragmatic breathing, is a powerful way to decrease stress by activating relaxation centers in the brain. The abdominal expansion causes negative pressure to pull blood into the chest, improving the venous flow of blood back to the heart.

  • Find a comfortable place to sit or lie down, with your feet slightly apart, one hand on your abdomen near the navel, and the other hand on your chest.
  • Gently exhale the air in your lungs through your mouth, then inhale slowly through your nose to the count of 4, pushing out your abdomen slightly and concentrating on your breath. As you breathe in, imagine warm air flowing all over your body. Hold the breath for a count of at least 4 but not more than 7.
  • Slowly exhale through your mouth while counting to 8. Gently contract your abdominal muscles to completely release the remaining air in the lungs.
  • Repeat until you feel deeply relaxed for a total of 5 cycles. You may be able to do only 1 or 2 cycles at first.
  • Once you feel comfortable with your ability to breathe into the abdomen, it is not necessary to use your hands on your abdomen and chest.

There may be an added benefit of lowering blood pressure when you place your tongue on the ridge of the roof of your mouth, just behind your teeth.



Simply Well newsletter #77: Chill Out to Lose Weight PRINTOUT (pdf)



Bugs that put out fires!

simply well with holly niles


simply well with holly niles


Most of our modern diseases are rooted in inflammation.  We know that inflammation increases as we age and that it’s a strong risk factor in the elderly.  A recent study looked at the gut “bugs” (microbes) of older mice and found that imbalances in microbes contributed to increased inflammation. This has been translated to the human gut as well. The gut can become “leaky” and release bacteria that triggers inflammation and impacts immune function.  There can be many causes of gut imbalances including a diet high in sugar and processed foods, excessive alcohol, prescription and over-the-counter medicines and high stress. We know that some supportive practices to reduce your age-associated inflammation are to eat a healthy diet, exercise, and manage any chronic inflammatory conditions in the best way possible. Specifically, it’s important to eat foods that help your gut make healthy bugs (see recipe) and also helpful to add some healthy bugs by supplementation.  Making these lifestyle changes now is a good investment in your future health.


Simply Easy Tip: 

Add more fiber to your diet!  Your gut needs fiber to make good bugs so eating more plant foods, legumes, ground flax and psyllium are perfect options.  These foods also have anti-inflammatory properties as well!


Simply Supportive: Ultra Flora Balance

Add a probiotic to your daily routine to ensure that you are getting a wide variety of good bugs in your gut! UltraFlora® Balance provides a dairy-free base for a blend of highly viable, pure strains of L. acidophilus NCFM® and B. lactis Bi-07—“friendly” bacteria that have been shown to support a healthy intestinal environment and immune health . Backed by the Metagenics ID Guarantee for purity, clinical reliability, and predicted safety via scientific identification of strains with established health benefits. To order this high quality broad spectrum probiotic, you can contact our friendly front desk team at (860)519-1916 or Info@IntegrativeWellnessAndPT.com or you can click on the link above.


Simply Delicious: Jicama & Red Onion Slaw

Jicama and onions are both pre-biotic foods-these help support the production of healthy bugs in your gut.

Salad Ingredients:
1 cup peeled, shredded jicama
1 cup peeled, shredded carrots
1 cup shredded cucumber
1 cup shredded red cabbage
1/2 cup shredded red radishes
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 TBLS cilantro, roughly chopped

Dressing Ingredients:
5 TBLS Rice wine vinegar
5 TBLS Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
2 1/2 TBLS fresh lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes


In a small bowl, whisk together your dressing ingredients. Set aside.

Using a food processor, shred all the veggies except the red onion and cilantro. If you don’t have a food processor, simply julienne all the veggies so the pieces are all the same size. Toss together in a large bowl. Thinly slice the red onion and add to the veggies. Chop the cilantro and set aside.

Add HALF the dressing to the veggies, tossing gently to coat. Allow the salad to sit for 15-30 minutes in the refrigerator to combine flavors. Add the cilantro just prior to serving. Put the rest of the dressing on the table for serving.

A bit of warning, this makes a big amount of slaw




Simply Well newsletter #76: Bugs that put out fires! PRINTOUT (pdf)



Sweetness turned sour!

simply well with holly niles


simply well with holly niles


A recent study was published looking at the impact of diet soda and the risk of stroke and dementia.  Accounting for lifestyle factors such as caloric intake, smoking, and exercise as well as age and education, it appears that drinking at least one diet soda a day makes it three times more likely you’ll have an ischemic stroke. That is a condition that can cause dementia or lead to the development of Alzheimer’s. Those are some sobering numbers to consider as many Americans have a great fear of developing dementia. As with most research, there were some who disagreed with the study. However, there have been many other studies showing possible links between artificial sweeteners like those found in diet soda to other serious immune disorders including Lupus and Multiple Sclerosis. In the end, these are all chemicals and our body is not programmed to digest chemicals. If you drink diet soda, now is a great time to give it up as we see more potential negative health impact. As we move into the summer, we will continue to look at basic lifestyle changes that can improve your health.


Simply Easy Tip:

Often people who are drinking diet soda like the carbonation of it. Try seltzer water in a variety of flavors to give you the fizz without the chemicals. Add some fresh lemon, lime or orange for even more taste.


Simply Supportive: Our loose leaf Green Tea!

Add a beverage like Green Tea that supports your health with a high level of antioxidants and no chemicals. Brew it and serve it over ice with fresh lemon. There are so many health benefits to drinking green tea. The green tea that is sold at Integrative Wellness & Physical Therapy is specially imported for a tea farm in Taiwan for its medicinal potency! To order this green tea, you may contact our front desk at (860)519-1916 or Info@IntegrativeWellnessAndPT.com, or you can click on the link above.


Simply Delicious: Iced Green Tea with Ginger, Mint and Honey


6 cups water
1/4 cup ginger, peeled and sliced
1 tbsp loose leaf green tea
1/2 cup mint leaves, tightly packed, plus extra to serve
1/3 cup honey (use less and choose a local honey when possible)
1 lemon, divided


In a medium-sized pot, combine the water and ginger slices. Bring to a boil. Once the water boils, remove from heat and add the tea leaves and mint leaves. Cover the pot and steep for about 15 minutes.

Strain the brewed tea; separating the liquid from the mint leaves and tea leaves. Mix in the honey and juice from half of the lemon into the tea. Transfer to a pitcher and cool to room temperature before refrigerating.

Slice the second half of the lemon. When ready to serve, add 1 to 2 lemon slices into each glass, along with a few mint leaves and ice cubes. Once the tea has cooled, pour it into the glasses and serve.

Modified from: http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-iced-green-tea-with-ginger-mint-and-honey-recipes-from-the-kitchn-207387



Simply Well newsletter #75: Sweetness turned Sour! PRINTOUT (pdf)




Springing into Green!


simply well with holly niles


In our recent series about vitamins and minerals, we saw a common theme. PLANTS are amazing sources of vitamins and minerals. This is not a new message but important to refocus on as we come into Spring. My new passion in vegetables is microgreens and sprouts. I like the idea that the energy to grow the whole plant is condensed into a mini-version which makes them so nutritious.  Some popular options are sunflower sprouts, pea shoots, alfalfa sprouts and broccoli sprouts. These are all very high in natural chlorophyll and contain a powerhouse of nutrition.  I have also found some newer options like snow pea tendrils, red amaranth, red cabbage and cilantro microgreens.  They make a wonderful salad and are very light when added to other foods as a garnish.  The good news is that you can even grow some of these in your own home (see the recipe below).


Simply Easy Tip:

Add sprouts to your salads and rotate the variety. You can find a variety in most stores and you can even make your own.


Simply Supportive: Amazing Grass Superfood

Bring a little extra zing. Lemon-Lime Energy is a powerful blend of nutritious greens, phytonutrient-packed fruits, veggies and cereal grasses, digestive enzymes and probiotics. There are about 85mg of plant-based caffeine by combining yerba mate and matcha green tea to this Original Green SuperFood, to provide a natural kick in a delicious tasting lemon lime powder. To order, contact our friendly front desk team at (860)519-1916 or Info@IntegrativeWellnessAndPT.com or you can click on the link above.


Simply Delicious: Sprouting at Home!


Wide-mouthed jars; you can use canning jars or reuse jars you have, making sure they’ve been cleaned and sanitized.

Mesh or cheesecloth and something to secure it to the jar (as in, a rubber band). If you use a canning jar, you can place the mesh on top and secure it by screwing on just the ring part of the lid.

Seeds.   There are the usual suspects – alfalfa and mung beans (from which common bean sprouts come) – but there are many other options. Try radish, lentils, mustard, soybeans, beets, peas, broccoli, sunflower and wheat berries, to name just a few. The important thing here is that you purchase seeds that are specifically for sprouting; they will be labeled. (Good sources for such include Burpee Seed and Sprout People.)  Sanitize your jars and prepare the seeds in a very clean area … not amidst a dirty kitchen or near pets and high household traffic.


Wash the seeds or beans. Place one or two tablespoons of seeds in the jar (make sure they don’t take up more than a quarter of the jar; they will expand a great deal) and cover with a few inches of water and secure the mesh or cheesecloth on top. Let soak for 8 to 12 hours at room temperature.

Drain the seeds and rinse them, then drain again. Find an area out of direct sunlight and place the jars upside-down, but at an angle to allow drainage and air-circulation through the mesh. You can get a custom sprouting rack or try a dish rack or just a bowl.

Rinse and drain the seeds between two and four times a day, making sure that they never dry out completely.

As soon as they are big enough, harvest! This generally takes from three to seven days – and as little as one day – depending on what you’re sprouting. Lentils and mung beans, for instance, may just take a day or two. Sprouts are at their best when they’re still on the relatively small side and just starting to turn green.

Give them a final rinse and allow them to drain very well in a colander, removing any unsprouted seeds. Once they are dry, store them in a covered bowl and use within a week. All sprouts can be eaten raw, and all but the most delicate (like alfalfa) can be gently cooked as well.

From: http://www.treehugger.com/green-food/grow-your-own-sprouts-jar.html


Simply Well newsletter #74: Springing into Green PRINTOUT (pdf)



Learn your ABCs… of nutrition– More on Minerals: The importance of IODINE!

simply well with holly niles


simply well with holly niles


Our last chapter of ‘More on Minerals’ focuses on IODINE.  Surprisingly, there has not been a lot of research about all the health implications of iodine. But we know for sure that it has a big impact on thyroid function. Iodine supports the production of thyroid hormones and too much or too little iodine can create an imbalance. Hypothyroid conditions or Hashimoto’s disease has been on the rise so it’s a good idea to look at the role of iodine in our diet. Food sources are the best options since they contain a good ratio of a variety of minerals. For example, sea vegetables are the highest source of iodine with a bonus of many trace minerals as well. Trace minerals are those that are needed in the body in small amounts. It is suggested that since our soils are depleted in minerals due to modern agriculture, that adding sea vegetables is an important idea.


Simply Easy Tip: 

You can buy sea vegetable flakes to sprinkle on veggies and salads. A good brand is Eden seaweed gomasio which combines sea veggies, sea salt and sesame seeds. Adding this to your day will help meet your daily need of minerals.


Simply Supportive: Concentrace Liquide Trace Mineral Drops

Some people prefer to add liquid trace minerals to their diet. Concentrace Liquid Trace Mineral Drops is a good option to ensure sufficient minerals, especially if you feel your diet is lacking. Follow the label instructions and note that they do have a strong flavor so adding them to juice or food is a good idea. ConcenTrace® Trace Mineral Drops is the #1 selling trace mineral supplement in the natural channel according to SPINS.‡ It is also one of the most powerful natural health mineral supplements in the world and has many uses and applications. It’s impossible to underestimate the importance of minerals and trace minerals for the human body. They are the catalysts for all the vitamins and other nutrients your body uses for developing and maintaining good health. ConcenTrace® captures the perfect balance of trace minerals your body needs. Using ConcenTrace® every day may help maintain healthy energy levels in your body by providing your body’s entire electrical system the minerals it needs to function properly. ConcenTrace® Trace Mineral Drops is an all natural mineral concentrate that’s made by using ConcenFlo™, our proprietary harvesting process. ConcenTrace® contains over 72 naturally occurring ionic trace minerals from the Great Salt Lake with 99% sodium removed. Ideally, minerals should come from eating a raw food diet. However, even eating a raw food diet isn’t enough since researchers have proven that soils have been depleted of minerals. Therefore, if it’s not in the soil, it’s not in the food. Here’s where ConcenTrace® comes in–taking ConcenTrace® every day ensures you’re getting a full spectrum of ionic trace minerals, which are the same kind of bioavailable ionic trace minerals that are found in foods! To order Concentrace Liquid Trace Mineral Drops, you contact our friendly front desk team at (860)519-1916 or Info@IntegrativeWellnessAndPT.com. You can also visit our shopping cart directly by clicking the link above. 


Simply Delicious: Vegetarian Sushi Rolls


3 cups short-grain Japanese rice, rinsed
1/3 cup rice vinegar, 3 tablespoons sugar, Salt

For the rolls:

10 nori sheets (dried seaweed), halved
Sesame seeds, for sprinkling
1 cucumber
1 avocado
1 plum tomato, seeded
1 small red onion
20 asparagus spears, trimmed and blanched
Wasabi paste, for spreading and serving
1 romaine lettuce heart
Pickled ginger, for serving


Make the rice. Combine the rice and 3 1/4 cups water in a rice cooker and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions. A rice cooker is the best way to get perfect sticky-firm rice, but if you don’t have one, just use a saucepan. Fold in the vinegar. Combine the vinegar, sugar and 1 teaspoon salt in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Transfer the cooked rice to a large wooden bowl (traditionally, a wooden tub). Drizzle a quarter of the vinegar mixture over a wooden spoon or spatula onto the rice. Fold the rice gently with the spoon to cool it and break up any clumps; be careful not to smash the grains. Fold in the remaining vinegar mixture and let the rice sit 5 minutes. Spread the rice.

Cover a bamboo sushi mat with plastic wrap. Place a half nori sheet rough-side up on the mat. Moisten your hands and scoop a handful of rice, slightly larger than a lemon, onto the nori. Press the rice to spread it evenly up to the edges of the nori, moistening your fingers as you go. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Prepare the vegetables. Peel the cucumber and slice into matchsticks. Thinly slice the avocado, tomato and red onion; peel the tough ends of the asparagus. Add the filling. Carefully flip over the nori so it’s rice-side down on the mat with the short end facing you. Spread a bit of wasabi paste in a line about one-third of the way up the nori-it’s spicy, so use it sparingly. Arrange a few pieces each of lettuce, cucumber, avocado, tomato and onion in a tight pile in the lower third of the sheet. It’s OK if the vegetables hang over the edges of the nori. Roll the sushi. Roll the sushi away from you with your hands, tucking in the vegetables as you go. Remove the mat from under the roll and place it on top. Press the roll into a compact rectangular log, using the mat to help you. Slice the roll. Cut the sushi roll into 4 to 6 pieces. Repeat with the remaining nori, rice and vegetables. Serve with pickled ginger and more wasabi.




Simply Well newsletter #73: Learn your ABCs of nutrition– More on Minerals– The importance of IODINE! PRINTOUT (pdf)




Learn your ABCs… or nutrition: More on Minerals– The benefits of ZINC!

simply well with holly niles


simply well with holly niles


Like Magnesium, ZINC is connected to over 300 enzyme reactions in the body.  Our immune system is well supported by sufficient zinc and when levels are low it can affect our ability to taste and smell. Vitamin A synergizes with Zinc to help with vision. This is another great example of how vitamins and minerals work together. We also know through research that low levels of zinc impact male reproductive capacity. There is a wide variety of food sources of zinc including oysters, pumpkin seeds and shitake mushrooms. Asparagus and spinach are good veggie sources. Other than oysters, most foods have smaller amounts of zinc, so eating a variety is the best way to get sufficient amounts in your diet.


Simply Easy Tip: 

Sesame and pumpkins seeds are both good plants sources of zinc. Throw a handful of pumpkin seeds in your salad or sprinkle sesame seeds in brown rice or steamed veggies.


Simply Supportive: Zinc 30

If you feel run down or know you don’t eat sufficient food sources of zinc, this is an easy option for you. Zinc performs a vital role in supporting the body’s defense system, and is also related to the normal absorption and actions of most B vitamins. It is essential for over two dozen enzymes involved in digestion and metabolism. Stress can deplete Zinc causing immune deficiencies and impairing wound healing abilities. This mineral also is essential for prostate health and sexual reproductive health. Zinc picolinate is a highly absorbable form of this mineral, which is essential for a wide range of physiological functions, including support of the body’s defense system.

To order this product, you can click on the link above or contact our friendly Front Desk team at (860)519-1916 or Info@IntegrativeWellnessAndPT.com.


Simply Delicious: Sesame Seasoned Spinach


¼ cup water
1 pound baby spinach
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (see Tip)
2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 small clove garlic, minced


Place water in a very large pot or Dutch oven and bring to a boil over high heat. Add spinach and cook, stirring frequently, until completely wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a colander and let stand until cool enough to handle. Squeeze out excess water.
Coarsely chop the spinach. Place in a bowl and mix in sesame seeds, soy sauce, sesame oil and garlic. Serve at room temperature.
Kitchen Tip: To toast nuts and seeds, cook in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.




Simply Well newsletter #72: Learn your ABCs on nutrition– More on Minerals– ZINC! PRINTOUT (pdf)


Learn your ABCs… of nutrition– Even more on MINERALS!!!

simply well with holly niles


simply well with holly niles


In the world of minerals, we are looking this week at POTASSIUM.  Potassium is in the family of electrolytes which means that they help conduct electrical charges in the body for things like heart rhythms.  In fact, if potassium levels go too high or too low the nervous system and heart can shut down. Potassium works as a partner to sodium and balancing the 2 minerals is key in our body. Since many people eat processed foods that are high in sodium they become deficient in potassium.  There are 2 important steps in ensuring that you have sufficient potassium:

* Avoid packed, processed, canned and fast food-they all share high levels of added sodium or salt.
* Focus on adding plants like fresh or frozen (without seasoning) vegetables and fruit to your daily diet as a natural source of potassium.


Simply Easy Tip: 

When most of us think of potassium-rich foods, most of us think bananas. The truth is bananas are #33 on the list of potassium-rich foods. Swiss chard, sweet potatoes and lima beans are much better for getting a dose of potassium.


Simply Supportive: PhytoMulti

As we learn more about minerals and vitamins, some of us still don’t eat enough sources on a daily basis. A good multivitamin can help close the gaps in your diet. PHYTOMULTI has the good nutrition of vegetables and fruits added at only 2 tablets per day. To order this product, contact our front desk at (860)519-1916 or Info@IntegrativeWellnessAndPT.com or click on the link above!


Simply Delicious: Sweet Potato Lima Bean Soup


1 pound dried large lima beans
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 leek (white and pale green parts only), finely chopped
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 sage leaves, finely chopped
4 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
10 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 sweet potatoes
1 tablespoons maple syrup
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped parsley, for garnish


The night before you plan to make the soup, place the lima beans in a bowl and cover with a few inches of cool water. Soak overnight, then drain and rinse the beans before starting the soup.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the celery, carrot, leek, and onion, and sauté until tender. Add the garlic, sage, thyme, and bay and sauté for another minute. Add the drained lima beans and vegetable stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and skim any foam off the top.

Cover the pot with the lid slightly ajar, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beans are very tender, about 2 hours. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt in the last half hour of cooking (or once the beans are softened but still slightly crunchy in the middle). Discard the bay leaf and thyme sprigs.

While the soup is simmering, roast the sweet potatoes. Prick the sweet potatoes all over with a fork and roast on a foil-lined baking sheet until soft, about 1 hour. When cool enough to handle, peel the sweet potatoes or slice the potatoes and scoop out the flesh, whichever you find easier.

Combine the sweet potato flesh, maple syrup, a half teaspoon of salt, and one-third of the soup (including liquid and beans) in a blender. Process until smooth. Return the purée to the pot and stir to combine. If desired, add water (or more stock) for a thinner consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings with more salt and pepper. Simmer to rewarm the soup.

Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with parsley.


Modified from: http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-sweet-potato-lima-bean-soup-recipes-from-the-kitchn-198044



Simply Well newsletter #71: Learn your ABCs of nutrition– Even more on MINERALS!!! PRINTOUT (pdf)



Learn your ABCs… of Nutrition– More on MINERALS!!!

simply well with holly niles


simply well with holly niles


We are now taking a peek at Minerals which are often paired with vitamins in foods. They serve as helper molecules in the body and support the way we make energy, detoxify and maintain a healthy immune system.  Even though calcium gets a big nod as the star, it’s magnesium that is a powerful supporting actor in the mineral world.  Most Americans are deficient in magnesium and it is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body! Magnesium, in sufficient amounts, is connected to blood sugar balance, healthy bones, reduced inflammation and improved mood. Not surprisingly, green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard are high in magnesium as well as many of the other vitamins and minerals we have visited in these last few weeks. Seeds like pumpkin, sunflower and sesame and beans like navy and black share that same focus of magnesium.  As you can see, creating a daily diet with plant foods like veggies, beans and seeds offers us a great selection of nutrients that nature brings in easy abundance.


Simply Easy Tip:

Seeds and seed oils are great paired with veggies.  A drizzle of sesame oil on broccoli or some toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds as a snack or tossed in a salad of greens create delicious textures and flavors as well as a steady supply of vitamins and minerals.


Simply Supportive: Magnesium Glycinate (90 capsules)

Magnesium comes in several forms. If you feel you have additional needs for magnesium beyond your diet, this Magnesium Glycinate is a good type that is absorbed well without creating loose stools. To order this product, click on the link above to go to our online shopping cart or contact our friendly front desk team at (860)519-1916 or Info@IntegrativeWellnessAndPT.com.


Simply Delicious: Paleo Roasted Spicy Sunflower Seeds


1 cup sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon coconut oil
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon salt


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Prepare baking sheet by lining it with foil.
Assemble sunflower seeds into baking sheet.
In a small bowl, stir together oil, paprika, cumin and salt.
Pour oil mixture into sunflower seeds in baking sheet and toss until evenly coated.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until golden. Let it cool first before serving.


Adapted from: http://paleoaholic.com/paleo/paleo-roasted-spicy-sunflower-seeds/



Simply Well newsletter #70: Learn your ABCs of nutrition- More on Minerals!!! PRINTOUT (pdf)




Learn your ABCs…of nutrition– MINERALS!!!

simply well with holly niles


simply well with holly niles


Our focus shifts this week to the partners of vitamins- MINERALS! Calcium leads the way, most commonly thought of as a strengthener of bones and teeth.  However, it also plays an important role in muscle and nerve function. Many people consider dairy as the optimal source of calcium but foods like sardines, organic tofu and sesame seeds are excellent non-dairy sources of calcium.  In fact, many Asian cultures show low rates of Osteoporosis and they do not include dairy in their daily diet.  For bone health, there is a concern about calcium deficiency but it’s very important to not overdue it with calcium supplementation.  It can deposit in the kidney or blood vessels and lead to problems.  Combining moderate supplementation with dietary sources is the best way to ensure sufficient calcium in the diet.


Simply Easy Tip:

Spinach and Collards greens are very high in calcium: 1 cup of collards = 1 cup of cow’s milk in calcium. Add greens a few times per week as a non-dairy source of calcium.


Simply Supportive: Liquid Calcium Magnesium

This liquid calcium magnesium provides moderate calcium with a balance of magnesium in an easy to swallow liquid form with an orange-vanilla flavor. It also contains cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) for additional support. To order this product, you can contact our front desk at (860)519-1916 or email Info@IntegrativeWellnessAndPT.com. You can also click on the link above!


Simply Delicious: Sauteed Spinach with Toasted Sesame Oil


2 teaspoons minced ginger
1 10-ounce bag fresh spinach, tough stems removed
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon GF soy sauce or coconut aminos
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 cloves garlic, minced


Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sesame seeds, garlic and ginger; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add spinach and cook, stirring, until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vinegar and soy sauce. Serve immediately.





Simply Well newsletter #69: Learn your ABCs of nutrition– MINERALS!!! PRINTOUT (pdf)




What is Detox? They Body’s Brilliant Recycling Project

what is detox


[Written by Holly Niles, Licensed Clinical Nutritionist and Nutrition Director at Integrative Wellness & PT]

We hear a lot of about “detox” but many of us don’t really stop to think about what that means in our body.  Most often we hear about detox cleanses where people follow a restrictive diet that may include shakes or juices for a set time to support the body’s detoxification.  It makes it seem that detox is a short-term event and that without that focused cleanse the body isn’t really detoxing.  The beautiful thing is that detoxification is happening every moment in our bodies with a brilliantly designed system.  However, there are ways to help the body detox more efficiently as well as steps to reduce our intake and exposure to toxins.  These combined tools help support the body’s well designed system.

Let’s take a deeper look at this process of detoxification:

WHAT is a toxin?

The Merriam-Webster toxin definition states: “A toxin is a poisonous substance that is a specific product of the metabolic activities of a living organism and is usually very unstable, notably toxic when introduced into the tissues, and typically capable of inducing antibody formation.”

Simply put, toxins are harmful substances. They come to us through our food, water, and air supply and most of us are exposed to some if not all of them on a regular basis. They come in many forms and can represent a burden for the body.  Body burden can come from both internal actions and also from environmental toxins including pesticides/herbicides for crops and gardens, chemical solvents like cleaners and household products, xenobiotics like drugs, and industrial chemicals of all types.

How do they find their way into our daily life?

INTERNAL TOXINS: We naturally produce internal toxins simply by being alive.  Natural toxins are made by rebuilding tissues and replacing worn out cells.  This happens continuously so we naturally create a fair amount of waste that needs to be recycled. Our bodies have automatic ways to eliminate natural toxins and prevent build up.

EXTERNAL TOXINS: External toxins are the toxins outside of our bodies that can be ingested or absorbed. We often think of food as a main source but many everyday products and lifestyle choices are significant sources of toxins. External toxins can be found in everything from your daily deodorant, shampoo and even drinking water.

Here are some examples:


  • Pesticides found in plant foods like fruits and vegetables
  • Mercury concentrations in large predatory fish like tuna and swordfish
  • Preservatives and artificial colors and flavors in processed foods
  • GMO (genetically modified) foods like soy, corn and even some vegetables


  • Dust mites, molds (from leaks or poorly ventilated areas), pet dander
  • Asbestos, lead, radon from pipes or building materials
  • Synthetic consumer products-solvents, cleaners
  • Formaldehyde (foam insulation, wood and carpet glue, paint preservatives)


  • Cleaning supplies and air fresheners
  • Cosmetics/grooming products
  • Plastics (food wraps, soda, baby and water bottles)
  • Detergents and soaps


  • Solvents
  • Pesticides/herbicides
  • Heavy metals
  • Hormones and medicines


  • Industrial and auto exhaust
  • Dental restorations
  • Alcohol
  • Medications: over the counter and prescription

It’s important to begin looking at the ways toxins come into our daily life and find alternatives when possible.

WHERE does detox happen?

Detoxification is a process by which the toxic qualities of a poison or toxin are neutralized by the body.  It’s the body’s way of recycling or processing things to make them less harmful and to remove waste from the body.  This is important for us to stay alive and well and protected from things that could harm us.

What is the body’s pathway to detox?  The liver is the main organ for detoxification along with lungs, blood, colon, lymph, skin and kidneys. If we look first at the liver as the main organ of detox, we see it has a multi-step process for managing toxins in our body.  Beyond our internal toxins, we bring toxins in through many avenues including our digestive system with food, our immune system through our skin and respiratory system into lungs.  On the day-to-day we primarily count on the liver to help manage those toxins.  The liver has a unique 3 phase process to neutralize toxins to prepare for elimination. The purpose of the liver’s process is to break toxins down to be water soluble to they can be eliminated.

Phase 1: Like a “spray n’ wash” pre-treatment in laundry.  Toxins are broken down to more manageable units by a system of enzymes. These enzymes use several biochemical processes to accomplish this.  Vitamins and minerals are essential to this step of detox.  Many substances are more toxic or volatile after this first phase. Alcohol is one of those toxins that becomes more toxic after going through phase 1.  That is why chronic and excessive alcohol consumption is damaging for the liver. It’s so important to look at ways to support the transition from phase 1 to phase 2 so that the handoff flows seamlessly.

Phase 2: Like the “wash” cycle of your washing machine.  During this phase, toxins are made water soluble to be excreted. This part of the process uses amino acids that come from protein as well as vitamins and minerals to complete what phase 1 started.  One of these processes is called sulfation which uses sulfur compounds like those found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussel sprouts and cauliflower to support detox. Research shows that eating 1 cup of broccoli per day creates a positive impact on this phase of detox.

Phase 3: Like the “rinse/spin” cycle of your washing machine.  Toxins are removed or recycled through urine, stool and bile.  Regular daily bowels movements, urination and even sweating are key to support the completion of the cycle.  This is one of the many reasons we need to drink sufficient water to help the liver complete its process.

This is where the other organs of detox come to help the liver. The water-soluble toxins from the liver are pushed along to the kidneys to filter through urination as well as the gastrointestinal tract. There are many layers of reinforcement for the body to run efficiently and there are backup organs if the liver and kidneys get overwhelmed. Your lungs, skin, bladder and large intestine will jump in to help the process but since they are not primarily detox organs it’s harder for them and requires more energy from the body.

WHAT gets in the way of detox?

Where toxins become dangerous is when this waste accumulates. When we combine both internal and external toxins, the body burden can become high. Some people are exposed to a high level of toxins through certain foods and lifestyle. The liver is designed for this but never gets a break since there are always toxins to recycle but even the liver can be overworked.  When there are many toxins in the body, they can build up waiting for recycling and create some damage to cells and organs.  They can in effect, clog the system.  It’s important to consider how you can help your body and to learn more about the impact of some of the choices we make. For example, certain medications like acid reflux medications and antacids slow digestion down and reduce the body’s ability to absorb vitamins. Vitamins are an important helper in detox so those medications can clog the system. Tylenol, with long term use, affects phase 1 of liver detox and has even been shown to damage the liver making detox more challenging.

HOW can I help the process?

The easy answer to that question is to limit and avoid toxic exposure. The second very important support you can give your body is too add foods and practices that accelerate detoxification in the body.

1. Avoiding/limiting toxins:


  • Choose organically/locally grown produce; focus on at least avoiding the dirty dozen. The dirty dozen are the most important fruits and vegetables to buy organic. This website will give you that list: (ewg.org- search dirty dozen)
  • Seek grass fed/locally raised meats and wild caught or sustainably farmed fish
  • Look for non-GMO foods and avoid dyes, preservatives, artificial colors or flavors
  • No artificial sweeteners which are just chemicals that the body needs to detox from
  • Limit sugar as much as possible as it creates cellular damage
  • Drink filtered water-there are many affordable options to filter water
  • Use glass/ceramic/stainless steel for drinking and storage of water
  • Limit/avoid plastic wrap and containers, use glass for storage and reheating
  • Avoid tin cans; look for BPA free lined cans or tetra boxes

Limit toxin burden in your home:

  • Choose a water filtration system
  • Swap out cleaning products for non-toxic brands
  • Open your windows for air circulation or consider an air filter

Limit toxin burden in your life:

  • Replace your beauty care products with chemical free brands
  • Limit alcohol; better to have less a few times per week than several servings at one sitting
  • Reduce over-the-counter medication when possible, especially painkillers

Consider these resources for making healthier lifestyle choices:

Environmental working group- http //www.ewg.org,

The Daily Green – http://www.thedailygreen.com/,

Cosmetic data base – http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/

Cleaning products- http://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners

2. Supporting your body’s detox system:

Use your food as medicine; eat foods that promote detox and help all the phases of liver detox:

  • Dark leafy vegetables (kale, collard greens, arugula, watercress and mustard greens): Sauté, juice or eat them raw but the more the merrier.
  • Onions and garlic: Add 1-2 cloves per day to veggies or salads; add them to your sautéed greens
  • Artichoke: High in fiber and rich in detox nutrients
  • Cruciferous or Brassica Family vegetables: (broccoli and broccoli sprouts, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, and cauliflower) These are very powerful for phase 2 detox
  • Cilantro and parsley: considered natural chelators of toxins and heavy metals
  • Organic berries: blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, etc. They are high in antioxidants which reduce cellular damage
  • Organic Green tea: This is an amazing antioxidant with Matcha green tea especially high in chlorophyll, a superstar of detox
  • Spices/herbs: cinnamon, turmeric, cumin, oregano, rosemary: the compounds in these offer many tools of support for detox and reducing the effects of cell damage

Eat high quality fats that help flush the liver:

  • Omega 3 fats like fish oil and flax
  • Avocados, olive oil and almonds

Ensure sufficient protein to give the building blocks for phase 2:

  • The average adult needs about 50-60 grams of healthy protein per day. For example, 1 ounce of meat/fish, 1 egg or ½ cup beans/legumes = 7 grams of protein

Eat more plants to ensure plenty of vitamins and minerals that support all aspects of detoxification:

  • Eat a rainbow of colors in your fruits and vegetables every day. The pigments that give plant foods their color are called phytonutrients. They work as strong supporters of all phases of the detox process.

Improve elimination of toxins:

  • Increase water to 6-8 glasses per day to flush the body and support phase 3
  • Have 1-2 bowel movements per day to aid the liver in completing its job
  • Increase exercise for circulation and sweating; this aids the secondary team of detox organs
  • Consider an infrared sauna or steam bath to promote perspiration using the skin as a way to eliminate and burn fat where excess toxins are stored
  • Increase fiber to 35 grams per day; fiber helps keep your elimination moving and completes the circle of detox

Nutritional Detox Programs:

  • In addition to shifting our diet and lifestyle to a less toxic one, there are also many high-quality professional nutraceutical supplement programs to aid detoxification. These are often referred to as ‘detox programs’. Detox programs can help to support the liver in detoxification as well as provide the body with essential nutrients ‘detox’ at a deeper level. Often, when a person has been exposed to toxins for a long period of time and has illness, a detox program can be beneficial to reach optimal health. It is helpful to have a professional support you in this type of detox program. Some health care professionals that offer detox programs include Naturopaths and Clinical Nutritionists that specialize in Functional Medicine and Functional Nutrition.

As we review our whole life including but not limited to food, we can see many ways we can make changes to improve the body’s potential detox


There are more subtle ways we bring toxins into our life. Since we are complex beings, we know that stress, feelings, beliefs and people can also push the toxic burden of our lives. When we consider our whole life, here are some of the other ways we become toxic.

  • Stress: Chronic stress is toxic for the body; by being in an emergency state we limit the body’s capacity to handle the day-to-day “housekeeping”. Making a choice to meditate or practice mindful breathing can enhance our overall wellbeing.
  • People/relationships: Consider that person that after spending time with them we feel drained. These are the kinds of relationships that are hard to manage and weaken our body. Sometimes shifting and changing who we spend time with can improve our health.
  • Negative beliefs: They can lower our self-esteem and limit success creating stress that is damaging to the body. There is healing potential in the power of positive thinking and cleaning up our thoughts.

When we examine detox and the many things in our life that can contribute to it, we see that we have the opportunity to make choices.  Overall, it’s important to limit the total load of how much burden we put on our detox system. Taking a step like limiting fast food eating, reducing alcohol, swapping out body care products for cleaner brands or drinking more water impacts that total toxic burden.  With those choices, we all have the power to improve our detox capacity and improve our health.


Learn your ABCs… of nutrition– Part 5


simply well with holly niles


We are wrapping up our peek into the ABC’s of vitamins with Vitamin E. There is a new understanding of vitamin E; it’s not one vitamin but rather eight different nutrients—four called tocopherols and four called tocotrienols. The most famous of the vitamin E group is alpha-tocopherol. It has been shown to be a powerful antioxidant. There are new studies to suggest that the other components like tocotrienols as well as other tocopherols can provide us with health benefits that are different from alpha-tocopherol. Most famously, vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) helps protect LDL cholesterol from free radical damage. When vitamin E is deficient, it is possible for LDL cholesterol to become damaged by oxygen. If the process continues, damaged LDL will accumulate in blood vessel walls and create the early stages of hardening of the arteries. Nature provides balance in foods with sunflower seeds, almonds and spinach ranking highest in vitamin E. We can see the benefits from eating a diet rich in these foods that supply us with a wide variety of nutrients. Making good whole food choices supports the whole body.


Simply Easy Tip: 

Sunflower seeds are an easy addition to smoothies, salads or even sprinkled on soups. They are very affordable and also rich in magnesium.


Simply Supportive: Vitamin E with Mixed Tocopherols

It’s always best to create a foundation of nutrients through our food.  If you are looking for a specific supplement for Vitamin E-it’s best to take one that has a mix of the 8 nutrients found in Vitamin E. Naturally occurring tocopherols (d-alpha, beta and gamma) are the most biologically active forms of vitamin E. Vitamin E, a powerful chain-breaking antioxidant and free radical scavenger, is considered the first line of defense against lipid peroxidation. It protects the integrity of the body’s cellular membranes, and has the ability to unite with oxygen and prevent it from being converted into toxic peroxides. Vitamin E plays a beneficial role in the cellular respiration of muscles, especially cardiac and skeletal muscles. It also supports healthy blood vessel function. In addition, vitamin E plays a role in nucleic acid and protein metabolism, mitochondrial function, and hormone production. Vitamin E is crucial to proper cellular function; it protects and supports a wide range of physiological functions through its free radical scavenging activity, especially cardiovascular functioning.*

*Supports antioxidant protection and optimal cellular function*
*Promotes cardiovascular health*
*Made with hypoallergenic ingredients

Vitamin E with mixed tocopherols is designed to promote antioxidant protection and cardiovascular health. Vitamin E with mixed tocopherols supports cellular respiration of muscles, especially cardiac and skeletal muscles.*

Simply Delicious: Paleo Kind Bars 2.0


1 cup almonds
½ cup walnuts, pecans, or your favorite nut
½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
⅓ cup golden raisins-can use less or less sweet options like goji berries
⅔ cup pumpkin seeds
⅔ cup sunflower seeds
3 Tbsp sesame seeds
3 Tbsp chia seeds
1 Tbsp orange zest
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
½ cup honey


Preheat the oven to 350 F, and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, and grease it with coconut oil, a neutral oil, or butter. Alternatively, grease a glass baking pan.

Roughly chop the nuts, then mix together all ingredients except for the coconut oil and honey in a large bowl.

Separately mix together the oil and honey, then pour over the nut/seed mixture, and stir until everything is evenly coated.

Pour into the parchment lined cookie sheet and spread into an even layer with a spatula. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool for 20 minutes, then lift up gently using the parchment paper, and place in the fridge for another 45 minutes to harden. Once solid, remove from the fridge and slice into bars of your desired size (it’s easiest if you use a nice big, sharp knife).

To store, wrap them in parchment paper separately (so that they don’t stick together), and keep in an airtight container in fridge or at room temp.


Adapted from: http://primalbitesblog.com/2013/08/14/paleokindbars/



Simply Well newsletter #68: Learn you ABCs of nutrition–Part 5 PRINTOUT (pdf)