Amla Berry aka Indian Gooseberry

Although I’m familiar with gooseberries, I had not heard of Indian Gooseberries, also know as Amla Berries, until recently. These little fruits are rich in antioxidants that provide many health benefits, especially to the liver.

Amla Berry Aka Indian Gooseberry

What are Amla Berries?

These berries, classified as a superfood, are native to southeast Asia and grow on deciduous trees. The trees range in size from small to medium and produce fruits that are round, greenish-yellow in color, with six vertical stripes.

High in fiber and vitamins C and E, Amla berries also contain micronutrients such as manganese, vitamin A and potassium.

The gooseberry taste is described as sour, strong and bitter. In India, it is often eaten with salt and red chili powder to enhance the flavor.

Amla Berry Aka Indian Gooseberry

Health Benefits of the Amla Berry

Amla is used as a natural medicine thanks to its impressive nutrients and the wide array of health benefits that it has to offer.

• High in phytochemicals, which are plant compounds with antioxidant properties that fight off harmful free radicals in the body. Free radicals cause oxidative damage to cells and contribute to the development of chronic disease, aging, and age-related disorders.

• Protects the liver from old inherited toxins as well as new exposure to toxic substances. The berries’ high vitamin C content feeds the liver’s personalized immune system, protecting it from infection while helping the immune system seek out and destroy pathogens inside the liver. Amla berries improve liver function and help to restore glucose.

• Improves heart health and decreases the risk of coronary heart disease by reducing cholesterol levels in the blood and preventing the buildup of plaque.

• Maintains normal blood sugar levels due to their high fiber and antioxidant properties. Fiber slows the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream and helps to prevent spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels. Gooseberries prevent high blood sugar and reduce the risk of diabetes complications such as kidney or nerve damage as a result of uncontrolled blood sugar levels.

• Affects cancer cells and potentially has the ability to prevent cancer.

• Decreases inflammation throughout the body, which lowers the risks for many diseases.

• Improves skin and hair health, and is often an ingredient in beauty products. Amla berries increase the production of collagen, the protein that is responsible for providing youthfulness and elasticity to the skin.

• Protects the digestive system and keeps it working efficiently while preventing problems such as gastric ulcers. The berries promote regularity to prevent issues such as constipation.

• Recent studies show that gooseberry extract increases memory retention and antioxidant levels in the brain while decreasing levels of acetylcholinesterase, an enzyme associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

(Info from Anthony William and Dr. Axe)

Amla Berry Aka Indian Gooseberry

How to Use Amla Berries

It’s rare in my area to find fresh Amla berries, however they can be purchased in Indian grocery stores, and sometimes in health conscious food stores, in cans or in the freezer section.

It’s easiest to buy dried or powdered berries online or look for the supplement in capsule form. Adults can take up to 2 capsules, twice a day, or add one teaspoon of dried or powdered gooseberries to water or a smoothie.

I’ll be checking out my Joplin health food stores and Natural Grocers, to see if they have Amla berry products in any form. I’ve already found capsules and powdered berries online. See links below.

I look forward to trying this new-to-me supplement and reporting back!

Amla Berry Aka Indian Gooseberry

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Apple Ginger Celery Juice

It was late before I turned my attention to this blog post tonight. As I walked into the kitchen, at a time when I should have been getting ready for bed, the apples piled in a basket called to me. They literally did, by sending their fresh apple scent to tease me.

Inspired, I quickly created a special bedtime treat that is in perfect alignment with the 21 Day Apple Challenge.

Apple Ginger Celery Juice

Anthony William, who issued the Apple challenge to the Medical Medium Instagram community, shared a juice blend recipe this morning. With those apples calling my name, fresh juice seemed like a great way to relax before bed.

Apple Ginger Celery Juice

4 red apples

4 – 6 stalks of celery

1 – 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled

1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Run the apples, celery and ginger through a juicer. Stir in cinnamon, if desired (and trust me, you will desire it!). Makes 2 servings.

Apple Ginger Celery Juice

I put four small red apples, 4 stalks of celery, and 1 teaspoon of minced ginger through my juicer and added 1 teaspoon organic cinnamon.

Anthony shared today that apples are anti-inflammatory because they starve viruses. When their pectin enters the digestive system, it releases phytochemicals that bind onto viruses, shrouding viral cells so that they can’t feed and proliferate. Apples also have traces of flavonoids, rutin, and quercidin, phytochemicals that are responsible for heavy metal and radiation detoxification, as well as the amino acids glutamine and serine, which help detoxify the brain of MSG. This fruit helps cleanse and purify organs, improve circulation in the lymphatic system, repair damaged skin, and regulate blood sugar.

Apples also hydrate at a deep, cellular level. They provide precious trace minerals such as manganese and molybdenum, as well as electrolytes and critical mineral salts that help the body rehydrate after exercise or stress of any kind.

This juice was a great way to destress at the end of the day while getting in more apples for the challenge. And it tasted delicious. The blend of sweet apples with salty celery was just right. The ginger added a hint of warmth while the cinnamon immediately reminded me that fall is approaching.

I enjoy freshly prepared hot apple cider this time of year. This refreshing juice drink could become my new fall favorite.

Apple Ginger Celery Juice

Chamomile Benefits

I have associated chamomile with relaxation and a good night’s sleep. The dried flower from this healing herb makes a soothing and delicious hot tea. However chamomile, used medicinally since ancient times, has many healing benefits beyond creating drowsiness.

Chamomile Benefits

Chamomile is a member of the aster family. Two types of chamomile are commonly used for their healing benefits, the German and Roman varieties. Chamomile tea is beneficial as a sleep aid which is especially helpful for those who suffer with insomnia, sleep disturbances, a racing mind, or high anxiety and stress. However, chamomile also has other significant healing properties such as the ability to soothe a disturbed digestive system by easing flatulence, stomach aches, ulcers, and cramping, and by aiding in overall digestion and elimination.

The herb also helps to relieve bronchial and sinus congestion, calm anxiety and panic attacks, decrease menstrual cramping, ease muscle spasms, lower blood sugar, fight cancer and reduce migraine pain. Chamomile tea’s anti-inflammatory properties make it beneficial for reducing swelling associated with arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other auto-immune diseases. Chamomile tea cleanses the liver and kidneys by stimulating them to purge out toxins and eliminate them from the system.

Chamomile Benefits

Chamomile has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties making it especially helpful in fighting against colds, flus, infections, and even Candida. Chamomile tea is excellent for children as it can calm colicky infants and teething babies as well as soothe children that are irritable, cranky, and restless. Its mild flavor is often accepted and enjoyed by children especially when sweetened with honey. As a topical remedy, cooled chamomile tea can be applied to the skin to help soothe rashes, chickenpox, psoriasis, eczema, and burns, including sunburns.

Chamomile tea can also help to relieve eye fatigue and dark circles. Apply a cooled tea bag to the eyes for five minutes at night as a gentle and effective compress. Chamomile and peppermint tea are often used in combination due to their synergistic properties to help the body cleanse, relax, and heal. (Info from the Medical Medium blog. Check it out HERE)

Chamomile Benefits

For the first time I am growing German chamomile in my herb garden this summer. My intention is to keep adding healing herbs each year, until I truly do have a complete apothecary garden available for use. Today I snipped fresh chamomile flowers to combine with dried chamomile that I had on hand. I added three teaspoons of the dried herb and a small handful of fresh blossoms to two cups of boiling water and let it steep for 15 minutes. Chamomile has a delicate floral scent and flavor. I don’t add honey. However, I am looking forward to trying out herbal combinations, such as chamomile and mint, chamomile and lavender or chamomile and lemon grass.

On this rainy day, with mild thunderstorms rolling through the area, a cup of hot chamomile tea was the perfect afternoon soother. I included a couple of homemade sugar free, gluten free cookies made from three simple ingredients, to tea time. Watch for that recipe Tuesday.

I’m sipping chamomile tea, nibbling on a cookie, and feeling grateful for the healing benefits that plants provide. This is bliss.

Chamomile Benefits

Echinacea

This medicinal herb is commonly found growing in the wild, and in backyard gardens and borders as a decorative flower. Also called the purple coneflower, this plant is in the daisy family. I grow it in my own backyard paradise.

Echinacea

Once known primarily for preventing and easing colds, echinacea has become one of the top selling herbal supplements, and for good reasons. This pretty flower has many health benefits.

Echinacea contains a compound called echinacein that protects healthy cells from viruses and bacteria that are trying to invade them. The herb is beneficial in helping the body heal quickly from colds, flus, sinus infections, bronchitis, sore throats, hay fever, canker sores and ear infections. It also heals gingivitis, eases an enlarged prostate, reduces the size of enlarged lymph nodes and clears up urinary tract and yeast infections. Echinacea purifies the blood and has powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

Echinacea

Echinacea has potent immune boosting properties. It is also a natural painkiller for headaches, toothaches and body aches.

Used as a topical ointment or salve, echinacea soothes and heals skin conditions such as irritations, psoriasis, eczema, boils, scrapes, wounds, bug bites, bee stings and sunburns.

Echinacea can be taken in capsule form, as a tincture, or used fresh or dried to make tea. It can be purchased in health stores or health conscious grocery stores. See link below to buy echinacea online. The flowers are perennials and very easy to grow. I use the leaves and flowers, freshly picked, to make hot tea, although the entire plant has health benefits.

I cover the leaves and a flower in boiling water and steep for at least 15 minutes. I especially like adding lime slices to my echinacea tea. When my flowers are in season and blooming, echinacea goes into my daily afternoon tea rotation. Anthony William recommends using echinacea for short periods of time, a few days to two weeks, to support the immune system without overstimulating it.

Echinacea

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Silver Hydrosol

I had not heard of silver hydrosol, before starting the Medical Medium 28 Day Cleanse, at the beginning of my healing journey. I had heard of people consuming silver, and healing from a host of diseases. But didn’t taking silver drops turn your skin blue?

You can be sure that before taking silver hydrosol, I did my research. Here is what I discovered.

Silver Hydrosol

Silver has been used since ancient times, to prevent the growth of bacteria, algae and other organisms, and to fight infections and diseases. It used to be a common practice to drop a silver coin into a container of milk, back before refrigerators existed, to prevent bacteria from contaminating it. Silver served as a natural antibiotic until the 1940s, and then fell out of use with the arrival of modern antibiotics.

Silver hydrosol, which consists of tiny drops of pure silver suspended in pure water, is making a comeback, and for good reasons. While modern antibiotics have surely saved countless lives, they have also created antibiotic resistant viruses and bacteria. Silver hydrosol suffocates bacteria and viruses, effectively killing them without allowing them to mutate into “superbugs”.

Silver Hydrosol

Silver hydrosol is antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral. It is effective in killing Epstein Barr, shingles and herpetic viruses. The drops can be applied topically to cleanse and soothe skin wounds and irritations and prevent infections. Silver hydrosol can also be used to treat thrush, warts, eczema and psoriasis. It can be used in the ears for fungal, viral and bacterial infections or dropped into the eyes to heal pink eye.

Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, silver hydrosol calms inflammation on the skin and throughout the body. Used as a spray, it clears the sinuses by eliminating infections, and can be used in a nebulizer to treat viral or bacterial pneumonia. Silver hydrosol is effective against colds and flus as well. And, it powerfully boosts the immune system.

Silver hydrosol comes in liquid form, and it is used topically or consumed by placing a dropper full under the tongue. It has a slight metallic taste that is very mild. This product WILL NOT turn the skin blue. That only happens when inferior silver products are taken at extremely high dosages. The recommended dosage is 1 – 6 full droppers under the tongue, for 14 consecutive days.

I first tried silver hydrosol after reading the recommendation in the book Medical Medium. The chapter on the Epstein Barr virus lists it as a supplement that kills EBV on contact and lowers the viral load in the body. As I was fighting shingles as well, I was willing to try it, especially after my research revealed how beneficial silver is. My shingles cleared up quickly, which brought relief from years of pain and inflammation.

With no concerns about my skin turning blue, I include silver hydrosol in my supplement regiment every few months, taking it for 14 days to kill off any new viruses, bacteria or unwanted microbes that have invaded my body. I feel good knowing that this natural product won’t create antibiotic resistant mutations that can do great harm.

Silver Hydrosol

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Celebrating Two Years on a Plant Based Lifestyle

Two years ago this month, I embarked on a healing journey that has completely transformed my life. Here is a recap on the healing that occurred during year one, and an update with the continued healing that has taken place in the last 12 months.

Two Years Plant Based

My healing journey began with a desperate prayer for help. After suffering with chronic sciatica and pain in my legs for 20 years, after a car accident, my left leg deteriorated, requiring me to walk with a cane. The pain and the tightness in leg joints and muscles continued to worsen. I struggled to walk at all, or sleep, or even straighten out my legs. A wheelchair seemed inevitable.

I asked the Divine for help and help arrived the next day, via an article by Anthony William, the Medical Medium. He wrote that a traumatic incident, such as a car accident, could create pain that does not heal. His words described me and my condition. Thankfully, he offered hope. I ordered Anthony’s books, and immediately began a 28 day healing cleanse, eating raw fruits and vegetables. I saw such remarkable improvements after 28 days that I adopted a plant based lifestyle and never looked back.

Two Years Plant Based

I avoided meat, eggs, dairy, sugar, gluten, soy, corn (unless non GMO) and canola oil. And I ate fruits, vegetables, brown rice, legumes, nuts and seeds. The problem, I discovered from Anthony, was that the viruses I’d had in my body…some since childhood…were wreaking havoc. The shingles virus was the culprit that attacked my sciatic nerves. Epstein Barr and strep had infected my liver and thyroid, and other organs and body systems. My action plan was two fold: eliminate the viruses by avoiding the foods that feed them and support my immune system with healthy, wholesome food.

It worked. In the first year I experienced healing of these symptoms/disorders:

sciatica • inflammation in legs & body • pain in legs • high blood pressure • irritable bowel syndrome • sensitive gut • severe acid reflux • indigestion • rashes & hives • tinnitus • gall bladder inflammation • headaches • sinus problems • seasonal allergies • joint pain • nerve pain • insomnia • heart palpitations

I also dropped excess weight.

Two Years Plant Based

Two Years Plant Based

With such amazing changes in my health, I chose to remain plant based. Returning to my old way of eating would mean a return to my old way of feeling unwell. I’m not willing to sacrifice my health, ever again.

My mainstays this past year, as my healing journey continues, are celery juice first thing in the morning, followed by a fruit smoothie. At least 3-5 times a week, that breakfast smoothie is a heavy metals detox blend of wild blueberries, bananas, Hawaiian spirulina, cilantro, Atlantic dulse, chaga mushroom powder, barley grass juice powder, aloe vera gel and hemp seeds. I love fruits and veggies, and add brown rice, legumes, nuts and seeds to round out my diet. I sip on lemon or lime water, ginger water, juices and herbal teas.

My meals are simple and beautiful, and full of health boosting nutrients. I rarely eat out, preferring to prepare meals at home. A desire that I expressed, to cook more, is being fulfilled with this lifestyle.

In the past 12 months, my health has continued to improve. I’ve experienced healing of these symptoms/disorders:

frozen sacroiliac joint • floaters in both eyes • discoloration on fingernails and toenails • ocular migraines • chronic dehydration • menopause symptoms such as flushing, night sweats, hot flashes • fluid on left knee • mouth sores • tingling and numbness in feet and hands • overactive thyroid • toxic liver • neck pain and stiffness greatly reduced (my neck vertebrae are so messed up from the car accident that X-rays freak out doctors…but my neck doesn’t hurt like it once did)

Two Years Plant Based

My skin is clear and healthy. My hair texture has improved, and although it’s hard to tell in photos, as my silver hair reflects more light, I swear my hair is darkening up. I have more dark strands of hairs growing in, than I did a year ago. My legs feel so incredibly good that they amaze me every day. I continue to see improvements in flexibility and strength in both legs. I am energetic, have mental clarity and operate at a high vibrational frequency.

I’ve come to understand how marvelously and wonderfully made my body truly is. It is a finely tuned sensor, that lets me know if I need the nutrients in a certain food, or if I accidentally ingest something I shouldn’t. I trust my body. I listen to it. I respect it. And, I nourish it and care for it like I never have before. And I’m mindful of what I put on my skin and in my home. I’ve been eliminating chemicals and toxins by switching to natural cleaning, laundry and bath products.

To celebrate my two year anniversary, I climbed into my favorite tree…the redbud in my front yard, something I couldn’t do two years ago. This tree survived the Joplin tornado in 2011, when thousands of trees perished. My redbud twisted and lost branches and now bears scars…but its deep roots held. I’ve survived my own storm, one that lasted many years. I twisted, parts of me broke, and I bear scars as well, however, I am strong and determined, and healing continues.

This exciting journey is ongoing with health and wellbeing my priorities. It’s onward and upward from here.

Two Years Plant Based

You can order Anthony’s books by clicking on the link below.

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Vitamin D3

Even though I am a firm believer in the importance of supplements, and committed to taking them to support my health, that wasn’t always true for me. In fact, I disliked taking supplements, primarily because there were so many options out there and I never knew what I should be taking. And, most multi-vitamins are created in a such a way that they do the body little good, passing through without even dissolving.

I am grateful for helpful information about supplements in my Medical Medium books. They provide detailed lists about what’s beneficial and why. My desire, in sharing the Sunday Supplement posts, is to help inform others so that they too can decide which herbs and capsules would most benefit them.

Vitamin D3 is one of those supplements I was unsure about, and only recently began taking. Vitamin D is important for bone health. However, taking too much D isn’t helpful because the body discards most of it, deeming it toxic at high levels. Therefore, I’ve always preferred to soak up my D from sunlight and skip the capsules altogether. And then a funny thing happened.

Vitamin D3

When the new Natural Grocers store opened in Joplin, they celebrated their grand opening with give aways. The first time I visited I received, among other goodies, a bottle of Vitamin D3. I stuck it up in the cabinet and didn’t think much about it…until I started the 90 Day Thyroid Cleanse in the Thyroid Healing book.

As I made notes about what foods, herbs and supplements to include during the cleanse, I saw D3 listed as one to add. Anthony William writes, “Supplementing with this vitamin helps stabilize the immune system and prevent it from overreacting to invaders such as EBV (Epstein Barr Virus). Don’t overdo it though…megadoses of vitamin D are not productive.”

Vitamin D3

I retrieved that bottle of D3 and began taking it on Day 1 of the Thyroid Healing Cleanse and have continued to take one capsule a day.

Other benefits of vitamin D3, besides immune support, are: healthy bones and teeth, improved brain health, supports the nervous system, improves lung function and heart health, decreases risk of flu, and regulates insulin levels.

The important thing is not to increase the dosage, thinking more is better. It’s not. D deficiency can result in conditions such as osteoporosis, however, there are other nutrients to be more aware of. Severe deficiencies in B12 and zinc can be much more damaging and gravely affect the quality of life. Read about B12 HERE and Zinc HERE.

For the greatest health benefits, take one capsule of D3 5,000 IU a day…and get out into the fresh air and sunshine for a few minutes every day!

Vitamin D3

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Grapes

Like bananas, grapes are often overlooked as a healthy food choice, due to their natural sweetness. They can be judged as being too high in calories, carbs or sugar and therefore they are eliminated from a health conscious diet. However, also like bananas, it is unwise to dismiss this juicy, powerful fruit.

Grapes

Grapes contain phytochemicals that are critical for kidney health. Those phytochemicals bind onto wastes that the kidneys have difficulty filtering. Grapes are excellent for the liver as well, helping to cleanse away debris, processed food and by products that can clog up lobules in the liver.

Powerful micronutrients in grape skins eliminate parasites, mold and unproductive fungus from the intestinal tract. And antioxidants enable grapes to help fight and prevent most forms of cancer.

Grapes

Additionally, grapes expel radiation from the body, draw out DDT and toxic heavy metals from the liver, kidneys, spleen and other organs, and they are a potent antiviral for autoimmune disorders. And finally, grapes are an amazing energy boosting food.

I had the joy and pleasure of visiting vineyards in Italy last year. Our tour group learned about the care and tasks involved in growing the best grapes, at Fattoria Il Poggio, near Montecarlo in the Tuscany region. What a beautiful sight, those rows and rows of grape vines, with the mountains in the background. After our al fresco dinner at Fattoria Il Poggio, complete with wines made from their carefully tended grapes, I left with a new appreciation for this fruit.

Grapes can be added to juices, smoothies and salads, dried into raisins, or…my favorite…lightly rinsed and eaten as a snack. In Life Changing Foods, by Anthony William, the chapter on grapes comes with a fun and simple recipe for grape slushies, using frozen grapes and coconut water. This cold drink reminds me of the snow cones I used to enjoy, in my favorite flavor, grape. This is a healthy, wholesome version of that summer treat.

Anthony has included a fresh grape jelly recipe as well, made in the food processor. It has the added health benefits of raw honey and a squeeze of lemon. I will be trying out this recipe for the first time on Tuesday. I think it will make a great topping for frozen banana ice cream!

Such an unpretentious food packed with healing properties. That’s the grape. Enjoy any of the varieties…concord, red or white….and reap good health.

Grapes

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Nachos Style Potatoes

I tried this easy to prepare recipe last week and enjoyed it for lunch. I have been grateful to learn that potatoes are in fact good for us. They are foundational to my plant based diet. It’s always great to find another recipe that showcases this health boosting food.

Nachos Style Potatoes

This recipe is from Thyroid Healing by Anthony William.

Nachos Style Potatoes

These were so good! The potatoes were perfectly cooked, tender on the inside with a crispier exterior. Sliced a bit thinner and I could create my own healthy potato chips. Instead of half a jalapeño, I used 1 small can of chopped green chilies in the salsa, for less heat.

And the garlic cashew aioli was wonderful. The recipe makes enough for leftovers. I can make another batch of nachos style potatoes. Or, it works great as a topping on other veggies. I added a dollop to raw beet noodles that I made with the spiralizer. Store the aioli in the fridge.

I look forward to serving up these “nachos” again soon!

Nachos Style Potatoes

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Zucchini Noodles Made with a Spiralizer

I have wanted to try a spiralizer, a kitchen tool that creates mounds of noodles from fresh, raw vegetables, since I began this plant based journey. The problem was, I didn’t own a spiralizer! Thanks to my daughter Elissa, who gave me an Amazon gift card for Christmas, I purchased the Zalik 5 blade spiralizer recently and tried it for the first time for lunch today.

I have seen beautiful photos of noodles made from zucchini, cucumber or beets for months. I love trying new recipes, and with veggies being such an important part of my diet, a spiralizer seemed a must. I looked at a variety of models, from very inexpensive to fairly pricey, and settled on a mid priced unit.

The Zalik comes with five interchangeable blades and a brush for cleaning those blades. The unit is made of heavy plastic and it comes apart for easy cleaning. I purchased organic zucchini for my first attempt at making raw veggie noodles.

I cut the ends off of the zucchini and popped it into the unit where it is held securely by prongs. As I turned the handle, while applying slight pressure to keep the zucchini moving forward, noodles curled into the waiting bowl. I used a 2mm blade.

I was like a kid with a new toy! This was fun, turning one medium sized zucchini into a bowl full of noodles. The whole process took less than a minute. And the spiralizer was a cinch to clean up and pack back into its box.

I followed a recipe in Thyroid Healing, by Anthony William, to complete my lunch. I will share the Pesto Zucchini Noodles recipe next Tuesday. Veggie noodles can be tossed with basil pesto, topped with marinara sauce, or combined with cooked or raw veggies.

I added organic cherry tomatoes, freshly made basil pesto, and sprinkled on hemp hearts, sea salt and black pepper. This colorful meal was perfect for lunch. The zucchini noodles were very mild, and soft and pliable, more like pasta noodles than raw veggies. I loved the light fresh taste. Any firm vegetable could be used in place of zucchini.

I am excited to make noodles out of other vegetables and also to make veggie chips and curls, using the different blades. I grow vegetables during the summer months and lots of basil. I look forward to picking fresh basil from my own backyard to create pesto. Homemade potato chips anyone? Sweet potato curls? Cucumber or yellow squash noodles topped with pesto? I’m going to have fun with this spiralizer…and eat well at the same time!

You can order your spiralizer below! And check out Thyroid Healing for amazing recipes and crucial health info.

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