2014 Schedule – GAPS Connections & Healing Foods

Make your New Years Health Resolutions happen!

 Join us in 2014 for GAPS Connections & Healing Foods classes.  Learn about whole food nutrition and a healing protocol to restore your natural immunity – GAPS™.  GAPS™ stands for Gut & Psychology Syndrome which establishes a connection between the functions of the digestive system, the immune system, and the brain.  Downloadable Schedule  GAPS 2014 flyer

Register today and save!   Classes will be canceled if less than 5 individuals are preregistered.

All classes held at 1020 West Devon Ave  Elk Grove Village IL 60007

Each GAPS™ Connections session will last about 2 hours and will include:

  • a GAPS™ lesson – simple lessons to help you implement a healing protocol
  • food samples or live cooking demo.
  • opportunity to share news about local suppliers of food, supplements or kitchen equipment
  • tips from experienced GAPS participants
  • a question and answer session
  • an opportunity to purchase GAPS books, DVDs, and GAPS Workbooks.

 View full schedule   Special Note – all those who have participated in the full series before are welcome at no cost – just bring a friend! 

 Healing FoodsLearn the how’s and why’s of making your own delicious healing foods – hands on.

We will explore and create a variety of simple, nourishing, and family friendly foods.

These basic cooking skills will

  • save you time
  • save you money
  • and could save your family’s health! 

Learn more about why these traditional foods are so essential to our health and how to get your families to enjoy them.  Hands on preparation and tasting make this class not only practical but fun and delicious!  View Dates & Times

Renee Renz is Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition®, and  a Certified GAPS™ Practitioner. Renee firmly believes in the phrase “You are what you eat,” adding “and also what you eat eats”. She is a staunch advocate for local farmers and natural food co-ops, an active Weston A. Price Foundation Chapter leader and KYF Chicago Board member. Renee is co-founder of GAPS™ Connections support and education group, and provides individualized consultations to anyone seeking to restore their health and vitality through natural, nutritional healing.

Edie Brennan is a Master Certified Healing Foods Specialist and Certified GAPS Practitioner.  She is passionate about helping individuals and families achieve abundant health and wellness As a busy mom of three little lacto-fermented- pickle- eating cuties, she has learned to take a no frills, practical approach to making delicious and nourishing foods that families will love.

Breast Health & Essential Oils

breast cancer riskOctober is breast cancer awareness month.  I was privileged to hear a presentation last month by Dr. Christine Salter titled Breast Health and Essential Oils.  Dr. Salter has been sharing essential oils with her clients since 2009 and has witnessed how essential oils can be used effectively not only for affecting one’s state of mind, but also directly affected health issues such as cancer.

Dr. Salter stressed that the mind and the body are in separable and that 70-90% of visits to health care providers are related to stress disorders.  She referenced the following study showing the link between stress and breast cancer:  Stressful Life Events and Risk of Breast Cancer in 10,808 Women: A Cohort Study  The findings suggest a role for life events in breast cancer etiology through hormonal or other mechanisms.

Thus one’s health and well-being must include stress management techniques.  While we may not be able to remove the stressors from our environment, we can affect our reaction to them and one proven method is through aromatherapy as shown in the below study:

In conclusion, our investigation demonstrates the relaxing effect of a mixture of lavender and bergamot oils. This synergistic blend provides evidence for its use in medicine for treating depression or anxiety in humans[1] .

sacred frankincenseNot only do essential oils have the power to effect our state of mind, but they may also have a direct affect upon our cells.  The following studies report how the essential oil of Boswellia sacra have been effective against human breast cancer cells as well as bladder cancer.

In fact, the following video with Dr. Suhail  address the powerful healing effects of Boswellia sacra and plans for further studies.  Boswellia sacra is only found in Young Living’s Sacred Frankincense.

Essential oils also have another cancer fighter in the line up  – those containing d-limonene.  Limonene is a natural plant phytochemical that has been proven in humans and in animals to have chemopreventative and chemotherapeutic benefits. Limonene is found in the citrus oils and more.


  • Orange – Contains up to 96% limonene
  • Grapefruit – Contains 89-95% limonene
  • Tangerine – 85 – 93% limonene
  • Mandarin – up to 75% limonene
  • Elemi – up to 70% limonene
  • Lemon – 59-73% limonene
  • Lime – Up to 65% limonene
  • Bergamot – 30-45% limonene

Breast massage

 As part of her action plan for breast health along with Breast Healthy Nutrition & Lifestyle and Breast Healthy Personal Care Products, Dr. Salter recommends Therapeutic Self Breast Awareness- using Sacred Oil Of Frankincense as well as Citrus Fresh.

Citrus FreshCitrus fresh as this is a blend of orange, tangerine, mandarin, grapefruit, lemon and spearmint.  Note, citrus oils are not only high in limonene but aromatically are known as a mood elevator and may therefore help with reducing the effects of stress as well.

Incorporate essential oils in your daily practice to help promote your greatest health.  I know I do.   Order Young Living Products hereyl_logo_new smaller

[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21922934

Great message.


Illinois Raw Milk Regulations – an update

The following is an update to Illinois Food Rights Threatened.

dairy foods

Since the May 1st meeting of the Dairy Work Group of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) in Bloomington where 125 people came to show support for our freedom of choice many good things have occurred.

The Dairy working group has met several more times and now includes 7 raw milk farmers, 5 raw milk consumers, and 2 Prairie Farms employees as well as the IDPH employees, Farm Bureau reps, including Molly Lamb and Steve Divicenzo.  IDPH has been given the directive that they MUST develop raw milk rules.  All involved have agreed to create a two tier system for Illinois Raw Milk Farmers.

The first tier would allow off farm sales only but would not require regular inspection or testing, the second tier would be voluntary for the farmer and would require regular inspection with much higher standards such as those being promoted through the Raw Milk Institute founded by Mark McAfee.

So is a time to make a choice – stand by and let whatever will be or help to promote our freedom of choice through education.  On August 7th there will be an educational event focused on raw milk.  rawmilk aug 7The intention of the program is to provide an understanding on the topic.  
The presenter, Kimberly Hartke is a nationally recognized expert on the subject based in Washington DC.

Some key points that will be presented are:

  • differences in raw and pasteurized milkraw milk special
  • safety concerns
  • health benefits
  • scientific data
  • consumer interest
  • Q&A with raw milk producers

Please attend and share this event with any interested parties.  More importantly please contact the members of the Illinois Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) and ask them to attend.  JCAR will be reviewing the proposed regulatory changes being created by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) As it stands the current proposal will not only meet the needs of the IL DPH but also our producers as well as us, the consumers.

We want to keep this momentum going.  Providing education to the key decision makers is a significant part of this. Attached it the list of the JCAR members and their contacts.   Please at least reach out to any members located near you.


You may view many of the attendees comments from the May 1st meeting in this video.

Unplugged –


Ah, Summertime!  A warm and active time, it seems to me to be a good time to unplug from the madness of the world and connect with the earth.  It is a time to be outside, whether you are simply sitting in the sun or enjoying the cool shade, gardening, hiking, biking, swimming.  A time to be out in touch with nature.  Barefoot and feeling the grass beneath your toes.  I have a favorite mossy spot under the birch trees by the lake up north where I like to stand and feel the soft cool cushion of the earth.


Actually, where we go in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is an anomaly in the fact that there is no cellular service at the cabin.  Now if we go down the road toward town for about 15 minutes things connect, but at the lake – no service.  No cell tower, no wifi (there is satellite)– a definite reduction in the energetic noise to which we are exposed regularly.  Every trip to the lake is always relaxing and refreshing.  I know the change in environment is key as well as the fresh woodsy air, the energy by the water, and all the other beautiful things, but the lack of man-made energetic frequencies are a factor.

cell tower

Personally I have a love/hate relationship with this energetic noise.  I love the internet and how we can use our friends Google and YouTube to find anything at anytime; email is such a great way to keep up on the latest info as well as share what is happening; Skype, MeetUp, Facebook you name it– we can connect in countless ways, often instantly.  That said, there truly is no replacement for time spent face to face, or with a good book or a hobby, and away from the glow and the buzz of electronics.  The hate part for me comes in with the energetic effects of the constant buzz, the flicker and glow which when suffering a migraine makes one want to just stab oneself in the eye and/or crawl in a dark hole.  The constant contact and influx of information, the overwhelming amount of things that can fill our time–this all adds yet another factor of life in which to find a healthy balance.

This documentary, Resonance – Beings of Frequency, shares  the biological effects of man-made electromagnetic energy in our environment.   

While migraines  used to be a regular occurrence and I could count the days I didn’t have one on one hand – that has now reversed to counting the days I do have a migraine on one hand.  This is due to my efforts in managing my health and environment.  Diet and lifestyle choices are critical factors in maintaining your greatest health and are something under your direct, conscious control.  The environmental factors like the man-made energetic frequencies are not as controllable.  The epidemic rise in health issues, with the latest generation named generation Rx,  demonstrates the effects of the assault of he man-made processes and frequencies on well-being.  To take back your health, it pays to manage those factors you can control.  If you have made positive changes and still have not experienced healing perhaps you need to look into ways of reducing the EMF factors in your environment.summer

Gluten – Celiac – Sensitivity Oh my!

Gluten-FreeWhat is your awareness of celiac or for that matter gluten?  The Gluten free/Allergy free expo was recently held in Schaumburg (did you see me at the Norwex booth?).   At the expo did they share that gluten is found in all grains, not just wheat, rye, barley and oats.

Following are the types of issues one may have with gluten

  • allergy – acute or delayed reaction creating some sort of inflammation which leads to  → tissue damage → and subsequent disease
  • intolerance  – this is where gluten is not digested well and a protein called Zonulin is created which enters the bloodstream and creates an immune response with the following cascade of events:
    • gut dysbiosis → leaky gut → acquired allergy (could be to any food) → tissue damage → disease
  • sensitivity – not a disease, but a state of genetics which  if continually triggered builds cumulative inflammation over a lifetime eventually converting into an autoimmune process.  Gluten sensitivity can manifest in hundreds of ways with symptoms such as migraine headache, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, asthma, psychological disorders, bone loss, osteoporosis, thyroid disease, cancers  etc.
  • Celiac  –  a rare manifestation of gluten sensitivity which affects 1 in every 133 healthy individuals[1].  In Celiac’s, gluten consumption causes an immune response that damages the small intestine and reduces nutrient absorption. As damage progresses, a variety of multi-systemic symptoms may develop such as other autoimmune disorders, as well as osteoporosis, infertility, neurological conditions and in rare cases, cancer.   

Learn more about the types of gluten issues in this 37 minute video.

A gluten-free diet is essential to treatment for any of the above gluten issues. Unfortunately gluten can be hidden in a variety of unexpected sources, including salad dressing, supplements, and envelope glue.

Personally, I can attest to the differences in living gluten-free versus grain free.  While eating so-called gluten-free foods removed many of the irritants reducing symptoms, many are still highly processed foods which break down into sugars and feed the pathogens within.  Thus symptoms may be reduced, but are not resolved.   By following the GAPS™ protocol  removing all grains and many starches from the diet allows the body to fully heal whether you are dealing with an allergy, intolerance or sensitivity to gluten or any other form of gut dysbiosis.  Once healed one may then explore slowly  adding these foods properly prepared back into the diet if one is truly able to process  and uptake healthfully.


If you missed the 21 day Mantra  Meditation Journey with Deva Primal and Miten you may go here and view all the mantras with their meanings.

To enjoy the full 21-Day Mantra Meditation Journey (including the daily Mantras) please click hereom

To download the complete “Into the Heart of Mantra” program please click here

This experience was truly enlightening.  Personally I enjoy the feel of mantras and don’t always know the meanings behind them.  As Sanskrit is an energetic language it is the energy of the sounds which is so powerful – the meaning comes from the feeling.  I admit it did help to hold a definition in mind along with the feeling.  Knowing the meanings also explained why I am drawn to different mantras at different times.

instrument tuningDeva Primal stated that the use of mantra is like tuning and instrument.  You are the instrument.  Are you in tune?  Take time each day to tune in.  A mere 15 minutes is what this journey entailed.  You may also take 2 minutes when transitioning from one focus to another to sit and internalize a mantra.

“Mantra is a word that is thousands of years old. It means projection (tra) of the mind (man). Mantra is the way we project our mind to Divinity.”  Snatam Kaur  

Keeping mantra on our mind – we keep on the path to reaching our Divinity.  It is the simple things done with discipline which make the biggest impact in the end.

As Snatam Kaur states:

Mantra, well, sorry folks, mantra is kind of boring. It is that kind of boring, boring, boring, boring a hole into your heart so that your light can finally shine through you. It takes time, it takes patience, it takes consistency, it takes prioritization.

Can you find a few minutes each day to tune in and align with your inner light and let your truth and Divinity shine?

They say it takes 21 days to make a habit – Give mantra a try for 21 days.

Sat Nam (the truth within you)