Jess Ainscough On The Wellness Journey



I am delighted today to bring you a new series on the blog featuring interviews with wellness experts across the globe. I also couldn’t be happier to begin this series with the inspirational Jess Ainscoughthe world renowned wellness warrior herself! Author of the newly published Make Peace With Your Plate ( Hay House), she reaches over 700,000 readers each month on her blog, many of whom partake in her cleanse.  Jess recently interviewed me in her Zen Men series, which was an honor.

Imagine you’re in your twenties and told you not only have cancer, but a rare form and your only option of survival was to have your arm amputated. Jess didn’t want to go that route.

‘I didn’t chop off my arm. I didn’t go into aggressive, full-body chemotherapy.
I didn’t accept that my doctor’s ‘solution’ was the only course of action.

I decided that I would do everything in my power to thrive in life, in spite of the looming expiration date I’d been given.
I learned how to treat myself with absolute kindness & self-respect.
I radicalized my diet. I systematically detoxified my body — and mind.
I discovered that wellness isn’t a destination, but a loving (and unconditionally forgiving) relationship with your own body.’

Jess gives us a glimpse today into how she became a wellness pioneer.

HD:  Jess it is so fantastic to be able to have you here today! You have an amazing journey that you share on your website about how you overcame a major health issue.Tell us a little about how you felt during those years of discovering you had cancer and using natural healing to make your way out.

JA: I still have cancer, but I don’t see it as the terrifying threat I once did. I was diagnosed with Epithelioid Sarcoma in my left hand and arm six years ago and was told that my case is terminal. Conventional medicine doesn’t have any solutions for me, other than amputation to bide me more time. So I’ve dedicated the past six years to healing my body with natural methods. I’ve overhauled my diet, my lifestyle and my mindset. I did two years of a therapy called Gerson Therapy to give my body an intense detox, I learnt how to meditate, and I’ve done a lot of work on myself to peel back the layers and switch on my body’s innate healing mechanism.

HD: For those that haven’t heard of Gerson therapy, can you share a little bit about their methodology?

JA: Gerson Therapy is two years of intense detoxification and nourishment. It involved hourly juicing, multiple daily coffee enemas, castor oil treatment and a very strict diet that’s mostly vegan and all organic. It’s incredibly tough to do, but I’ve seen some miraculous things occur as a result of it. Gerson isn’t for everyone though. For some people it may be all they need, but for others (like me) other elements are needed in order to truly heal.

HD: You speak all over the world about health and wellness. What is the number one thing people ask you when you are meeting readers or speaking at an event?

JA: People love telling me when I’ve managed to convert them into doing coffee enemas. I always say that one of my missions in life is to make coffee enemas cool. The amount of people who enthusiastically tell me that they’ve started doing them tells me that it’s happening!

HD: What changes do you see with regards to people turning to natural medicine and more traditional forms of healing?

JA: People are awakening to the limitations of modern medicine versus the incredible power of their own bodies. Conventional medicine is important and it definitely has a place, but I love that more and more people are embracing natural healing methods to deal with the root cause of their ailments. We’re starting to trust ourselves more rather than give all of our power away to people outside of us.

HD:  If there was one thing anyone can do to better their lives and health, what would it be ( in your opinion)?

JA: It’s so hard to narrow it down to just one thing because I think that to truly live a healthy and happy life, we must have a few areas covered – eat real food, connect with nature each day, spend time in stillness/meditation, and to have fun every single day. The biggie though is joy – if you’re not enjoying life, no amount of green juice in the world will make up for that.

HD: You offer some pretty incredible health and wellness guides and programs on your site. Tell us a little about them.

JA: For those who are new to my work, I have a Wellness Warrior Starter Kit & Cleanse e-book that is a great introduction into life as a wellness warrior. My online coaching program, The Lifestyle Transformation Guide is just about to close it’s doors. We just have a few spots left in this program – we’re capping it so that I’m able to continue the support and intimacy for its members. We also have some super exciting programs in the works at the moment, which will be rolling out through the year. Stay tuned!


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5 Ways To Become Healthier ( Starting Now)

5 Ways to become healthier ( starting

All across the world, people are waking up to a pressing need for us to become aware of how to take care of our health, as well as making a positive impact on our environment and community. 

Through the internet, affordable courses, books, health leaders, alternative MDs, Moms/Dads/Kids, activists, chefs, and so have appeared. It can be overwhelming finding out what we should eat and how we can best take care of our health. On top of that, there is a belief that in order to be healthy you need to spend a ton of money on supplements or equipment. Sure, I love my Vitamixer and see real value in supplementation, but in reality you can start living a healthier life right here and now.

I’ve created my list of 5 ways you can take charge of your health without feeling overwhelmed. Start with one of these points or do all of them! Whatever feels right for you and your family. Remember, you are not in this alone!

1.) Say no to GMO

If you are concerned about Genetically modified food, pesticides, and other harmful toxins in your food, it’s time to switch to organic. It’s important to remember that even though organic food can cost more, it doesn’t have to; there are organic produce clubs you can join that send you an affordable box of veg/fruit every week, and at your local farmer’s market you can speak with farmer’s about seasonal produce.

Organic shampoo too expensive? Consider making your own ( youtube has many videos on everything from ‘no-poo’ to dry shampoo). No fluoride free toothpaste at your local store? Use baking soda and essential oil ( like peppermint) or even turmeric.

Remember to buy in bulk when possible so as to save even more. Your local health food store should have a bulk section for things like chickpeas, lentils, rice, etc You can also save by shopping at places like iherb which offers discounts and cheap or free shipping.

2.) Download my free workbook to determine your budget and assess your pantry

If you’re not sure where to start and are new to all this health stuff, download my free workbook and start filling it out. It will help you determine your budget, personal health goals, and what items in your house may contain harmful ingredients.

3.) Find the right exercise for YOU

Not everyone enjoys running, yoga, or cross fit. Find what YOU enjoy and do it daily. That’s your number 1 task: consistency. If you hate doing something, you won’t do it for long, so find out what works for you. If it happens to be running, then schedule it into your calendar and tell family/friends you are unavailable during that time for anything other than running. Or better yet, invite them along with you!

Enjoy yoga but no time to take a class? No problem, you can do it at home and fit it into your schedule. Read Emily’s post on how to not feel overwhelmed by yoga and know that it’s flexible for your needs and schedule.

4.) Start using and/or growing spices

You can do this right now! Write down your top 5 favorite spices on a sheet of paper and then google them followed by ‘health benefits’ or ‘how to grow’ and you will be amazed as to A. how health they are and B. probably how easy it is to grow them ( well, some of them)

I’ve written about the health benefits of ginger as well as cinnamon, and that is just touching the tip of the iceberg! Wait til I write about turmeric…one could write a book on turmeric as it’s a major superfood.

Once you’ve investigated the health benefits of your favorite spices and herbs, discover how to use them. The Herbal Academy of New England has excellent programs and articles for learning how to make poultices, cook with superfoods, make tinctures, etc. Meghan Telpner also teaches on her TV show and culinary nutrition program how you can use superfoods in your daily diet.

5.) Simplify

I can’t even begin to expound on how important it is that we all slow down and simplify our lives. That’s a challenging task in our fast paced keep-up-with-the-Joneses world, but our health and wellbeing depend on it.

A few ways to start slowing down and simplifying

-Declutter one room a week and donate or sell whatever you don’t use or need

-Journal 1 page a day. This will slow down your train of thought and get you into a contemplative mode. An excellent way to end the day. 

– Go on a limited info diet. I am not saying you shouldn’t stay on topic of topics that are important to you, I’m saying don’t be inundated with negativity that is dominate in media. 

– Spend time each day meditating and/or praying. 

-Take a nature walk with your family. 

All in all, remember that the journey to wellbeing is something that may not happen overnight. It can, and it’s great if it does but leave room to gradually improving your health too. No matter what health issues you are facing, you can do something each and everyday to get you closer to your goals.

The Culinary Nutrition Expert Program

10 Ways To Make Yoga More Than A Resolution


10 Ways to Make Yoga More Than A Resolution

Whether you are new to yoga or are looking to restart your practice there are some things to remember so as to avoid overwhelm.

10. Start with a five minute practice if you don’t have much time or start with a home practice if you can’t get to a studio.  Don’t let the inability to get to a group class keep you from experiencing the benefits of a practice.

9. Classes are always crowded at the beginning of the year.  If you tried going to classes for the first time in January or February and they were packed, know that by now things have calmed down a bit.

8.  Don’t let the new and crazy sounding words scare you.  Your teacher will show you what they are asking you to do and if you feel lost give it a couple of chances rather than just giving up right away.  If you feel lost after a couple of classes find a new class and a teacher that makes you feel comfortable.

7. Don’t feel like you need all of the “gear”.  You don’t need a special mat, expensive clothes or yoga socks.  You don’t actually even need a mat to get started.

6. Go to the appropriate yoga class and practice the right kind of yoga for your body.  If you have not moved your body in so long that you wore leg warmers the last time you went to a class then don’t start with an advanced Vinyasa class.  Find a Gentle or Beginner’s class and give yourself permission to start slowly.

5. Know that it is ok to not be able to do every single pose that is taught.  Go with the flow and do what you can.  There is a reason it is called a yoga “practice”.  It takes time and work.

4. Try not to compare yourself to your neighbor.  Your teacher may say that to you and you might laugh to yourself and think ”right…” but really don’t do it.  Yoga is not about comparing so stop doing it and enjoy your practice more by just being in the moment.

3. Remember to laugh a little (or even a lot).  Yoga makes us feel joyous and laughter is just another expression of joy. A yoga class doesn’t have to be serious and stuffy.

2. Take care of yourself after class.  Drink water, eat healthy foods and get some rest.

1.  Start where you are.  Forgot needing to be flexible and just go to a yoga class!

Emily Loupe is a yoga teacher, yoga therapist, massage therapist and much more.  She has a passion for wellness and helping people use the practices of yoga to create health, wellbeing and happiness.  She teaches and runs a teacher training program in Austin, Texas called Elemental Yoga School.  Elemental Yoga School will be offering online yoga programs in 2014.  Find out more at

5 Ways To Stay Happy And Healthy In 2014

2014 healthy living tips

Click here to download this FREE printable!

This time of year is always buzzing with excited and hopeful energy, people all over the world planning the year ahead. Setting goals. Dreaming big. Wondering what 2014 will bring.

Whatever your goals and dreams are for this year, here are some tips to ensure it’s happy and healthy.

1. Be Present.

“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

Make mindfulness a habit by bringing yourself back to the present moment whenever you notice yourself getting lost in thought. This is especially important if you often re-play the past or spend too much time future-tripping.

The key here is awareness. Once you realise you’re stuck in your head, turn your awareness to your body. Focus on your breathing. Listen to the sounds around you. Feel your back against the chair or your feet on the ground.

A great way to train your mind to stay present is to meditate. Even ten minutes a day will make a difference. Light a candle and gaze at the flame. Go outside and let nature guide you towards a more peaceful state. Listen to a meditation recording or go to a class.

By giving yourself over to the now, you’ll feel more relaxed and joy will come to you with more ease.

2. Laugh.

“At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities.” ~ Jean Houston

We’ve all heard the saying, ‘laughter is the best medicine.’ It’s uplifting and fun, it brings people together and lightens your mood. Not only that, it’s an amazing happiness booster and even reduces stress.

Make it a goal to laugh every day in 2014. Watch your favorite funny movies and tv shows {The Big Bang Theory and Seinfeld are my go-to laugh inducers!}. Read funny books. Make time to hang out with people who make you laugh or try Laughter Yoga.

A good giggle can transform even the darkest of days.

3. Nourish Your Body.

“Let food be thy medicine, thy medicine shall be thy food.” ~ Hippocrates

Choose foods that make your body glow from the inside out. Every body is different when it comes to finding which foods keep us at optimum health; vegan, paleo, gluten free, the list goes on. If you’ve found the foods that nourish you, great! Keep it up.

If not, find the foods that make you feel good and healthy. If you need help, find a nutritionist or health coach and work together to find what works for you.

4. Move Your Butt.

“The higher your energy level, the more efficient your body. The more efficient your body, the better you feel and the more you will use your talent to produce outstanding results.” ~ Anthony Robbins

Exercise is brilliant for a whole mind, body, spirit boost. How our body feels determines every other area of our lives, so it’s vital to get our bodies moving regularly.

Again, it’s about finding what works best for you. It could be yoga, marathon running, going to the gym, swimming, dancing, even hula hooping or trampolining.

If you don’t exercise as much as you’d like and want to feel fitter and stronger in 2014 {like me!}, set a goal and stick to it no matter what. Start small if you need to, even taking your dog for a walk every day is enough. Keep building on your fitness routine as you go along; jump rope after your walk or jump on an exercise bike for 30 mins every day.

The more you move your body, the better you’ll feel.

5. Do What You Love.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” ~ Steve Jobs

It doesn’t matter what it is. Whether it’s knitting, writing, painting, gardening, playing guitar, hiking, cooking, dancing, volunteering… if you love it, do it! And do it as often as possible.

Forget about what other people think; do what makes you happy. Working on our passions can be as calming as meditation and is guaranteed to make you feel joyful, fulfilled and alive.

If you haven’t found what you love to do yet, keep looking. Here’s a clue; when you do it, you’ll get lost in it, it will electrify you and you’ll lose track of time because you’re having so much damn fun!

And if you’re worried it’s too selfish to do what makes you happy, take a look at my all-time favorite quote:

“Ask what makes you come alive and do it. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive.” — Howard Thurman

I hope this post has inspired you to make 2014 your happiest and healthiest year ever. If you want a reminder of these 5 happiness boosters, I made a free printable for you to do just that! Check it out here!

jenbiopic (1)Jen Saunders is the creator of Wild Sister Magazine and the Wild Sisterhood. She’s a tie-dye wearing, coffee guzzling writer, artist + self love advocate who fiercely believes that empowering women will change the world. A former city girl living by the sea with her husband, when she’s not creating the next edition, blog post or ecourse, Jen loves movie marathons, writing fiction and instagramming ridiculously cute photos of her pug.

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Why Society Works To Keep People Unhealthy…Especially Children

For the majority of people, it’s hard to fathom why big corporations, the medical industry, junk food restaurants, and even some schools would want to keep people overweight and unhealthy. For this very reason, they continue to trust them and put their children’s lives and wellbeing in the hands of others.

This is the most deadly decision one could make. Yet it is the most popular.

It all boils down to us being used to not questioning things very well. Why should we? We have to worry about work and paying the bills, we have enough on our plates. We want to be able to trust others. We have to, don’t we? I mean we can’t do it all on our own.

No we can’t, and yet we must. We absolutely must.

Companies have taken advantage of people being willing to not question the quality of their products or services enough to do anything about it. They know that despite their food being incredibly unhealthy and causing disease and death that because we all have limited time (in modern society) that we just…don’t have time. Time is the issue. We are so busy, we have no time.

Whereas before people generally worked from home ( as artisans or some kind of trade) or out of a family store or business, now both mom and dad are out at work, leaving limited time for child rearing. Kids are put into schools, and they have no time to question what they eat or learn, so both get taken advantage of, and thus bad food is served and altered information can be taught.

All in all we’re just another brick in the wall.

Well NO we aren’t and we need to stop acting like we are. Because of our not having time, entire industries have taken advantage in us. We don’t have time to question what’s in our plate and what’s in our children’s vaccines, so how do we combat this? We free up our time and awareness.

Doing this is like undoing decades of bad habits, with us being used to trusting authorities, and the transition is not easy. But if we make an effort and get our minds in this habit, we can do it, and we must.

The first step to take is to look at where your attention is most: on work, on social life, on commuting or problems, etc and to address how to free up our attention from these subjects onto our health and wellbeing. If you hate your job, and it consumes a lot of your time and attention, consider maybe working for yourself online or starting your own business. Some great resources for that is the book 100 Dollar Startup as well as Laptop Millionaire and the sites such as The Art Of Nonconformity Or it could be working less, maybe part time.

Next is to determine why you are making poor eating habits. Is it because of the lack of time issue or something else? Do you have cravings? My wife determined for her that she never learned to cook. She happens to be a great cook, but she never learned any of what she knows and her recipe list is limited. It made her want to go out to eat because it seemed easier.

No matter what actions you need to do to change your eating habits, first begin by inquiring into what is taking up your attention and time. That is always the first step.

Diet IS health

I can’t wait to watch this new documentary, Forks Over Knives. If you aren’t familiar with T Colin Campbell’s long study on nutrition and its role on health, I highly recommend getting a copy of The China Study. Whole Foods CEO John Mackey says “The most important book on health, diet and nutrition ever written. Its impact will only grow over time and it will ultimately improve the health and longevity of tens of millions of people around the world.”
I couldn’t agree more with him. My family and I try to follow Doctor Campell’s advice on food and diet and we rarely get ill. I look forward to seeing him in Forks Over Knives!

Holistic Children's Vitamins and Supplements

Ok, as a kid I admit: my family were Flinstones users. You know, the chewable vitamins LOADED with synthetic junk but yet very attractive to kids…just goes to show how powerful marketing is!!
We found Dr. Christopher’s on iherb, when we were searching for a cayenne supplement strong enough to please my wife’s palate. We’ve used his inexpensive and high quality brand ever since. For our 3 year old, we adore all of the alcohol free tinctures they have, such as Kid-e-Mins, Kid-e-Reg, and Kid-e-Calc. All are vegan and taste great, all natural.

We haven’t seen them in Whole Foods or other stores, and iherb sells them for 45 percent off, so we buy from them ( we don’t work for them or anything; they are just the largest place that ships to people living overseas).

I really recommend checking them out, and suggesting to your local health food store that they get them in stock!!

Natural Moisturizer

I wanted to do a post on Natural Moisturizers that we use or have used in the past. Best case scenario is that we make our own, normally with coconut oil. Sometimes we like to change it up a little, and have experimented with a variety of brands.
Dr. Christopher’s Beauty facial Cream is out favorite, and we use it on our 3 year old. We love the way it smells, but more then that it has no preservatives or parabins, nor any synthetic junk. The herbal ingredients are amazing:

Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, Vitamin E, Aloe Vera, White Oak Bark, Comfrey Root, Marshmallow Root, Mullein Leaf, Black Walnut Leaf, Gravel Root, Wormwood Herb, Lobelia Herb, Scullcap Herb, & Gardenia Oil, Lemon and Beeswax

Our second favorite is Dr. Schultze’s jojoba and tea tree oil. You can use it anywhere, and it too smells amazing and lacks any preservatives.

We have also tried/use Jurlique’s products, which are very high quality ( and I believe organic) but when we used them they contained PEGs so we looked for alternatives.

My wife is in LOVE with Jo Wood’s products, which are organic. They are expensive but worth it, or make a wonderful gift. The owner, Jo, is very passionate about organic living and eats a healthy diet; her passion for a healthy lifestyle is reflected in the high quality of her products.

Whether you make your own moisturizer or buy one, choosing something sans synthetic ingredients is important for your health, and the planet’s. Even using olive oil is better then the popular brands seen at many stores.

If you use a certain organic or natural product, I would love to hear about it!!

Spring Dragon Longevity Tea: How I Wake Up

My wife and I are tea addicts. Ever since I first visited Asia and attended two tea ceremonies, I realized the importance that tea has not only in multiple cultures in Asia, but in medicine as a whole.

There are an array of teas with different phytochemical properties and tastes, most of which I adore. I have recently though become a major fan of Dragon Herb’s Spring Dragon Longevity Tea. I have asthma, and in Japan and China, gynostemma has been used to successfully treat a myriad of bronchial issues. The main component in Spring Dragon is this ‘magic grass’, which has been infused with a plethora of other helpful herbs such as schizandra, goji berries, lua han guo ( another lung tonic), Siberian ginseng, and astragalus to help enhance one’s energy and jing ( lifeforce). I have several cups a day and can’t recommend it enough. You can buy it at a cheap price or directly from Dragon Herbs.