Author Archives: Colleen

  1. Top 7 Health Trends for 2018

    Leave a Comment



    Sleep, mental health, digital detox, femtech and probiotics top the list of expected 2018 consumer health trends 

    SANTA ANA, Calif.  (Jan. 5, 2018) — Sleep quality, digital detoxes, the growing popularity of soup and the de-stigmatization of mental health issues are among the top consumer health trends expected to make headlines in 2018, according to a leading values-based nonprofit national research group affiliated with the Amusement Park advertising and PR agency of Santa Ana, Calif.

    “We have continued to see healthy behavior expand beyond diet and exercise over the past decade and expect to see more attention paid to the mental aspects of health in the future” said Mark Weinfeld, director at The Values Institute (TVI), a Santa Ana-based social science research entity that released its 2018 trends report today.

    TVI used observational studies to identify seven health and wellness trends that Americans are most likely to embrace in 2018. The compilation of this list is prepared by the Institute’s BalancedHealthy practice which focuses on the 79 percent of Americans that actively takes steps to improve or maintain their health. BalancedHealthy, in conjunction with CEB Iconoculture, developed the first of its kind segmentation study based on shared values rather than traditional usage and demographics.  

    TVI’s BalancedHealthy practice predicts these top seven consumer health trends to go from niche to mainstream in 2018.

    1. What’s Good for the Gut.  The biggest trend that will see enormous growth in 2018 is attention and care for gut health. Foods and drinks that are beneficial towards gastro-intestinal processing, such as nut milk yogurt and probiotic drinks, are becoming more mainstream. The popular probiotic drink kombucha has seen sales increase 12 times over in the last 3 years, with frequent drinkers referring to themselves as riding the “booch bandwagon.” More than just a probiotic drink, however, kombucha is becoming more niche with a rising tide of small, craft brewers that are highlighting the artistry behind kombucha and dedicating themselves to product quality.  Expect to see a lot more of this fizzy drink and other GI-healthy foods and drinks on the shelves of your local grocery store this year.


    1. Femtech.  Cycle-tracking apps, fertility and contraception awareness, and pregnancy trackers are just some of the latest tech innovations that are helping women understand their bodies in a way that is more open, aware, and vocal than ever before. This new category of technology is already worth an estimated $1.1 billion and is expected to continue to grow immensely in 2018. New products such as Cora organic tampons and Intimina menstrual cups are shaking up a feminine product category that has remained relatively stagnant for years. Brands have recognized that the feminine health industry is ready for an upgrade, and consumers are more than ready to embrace these new products.


    1. Sleeping: The Next Competitive Sport.  Whether they’ve read about sleep in health journals or have heard celebrity’s recipes to success, people know that they need to prioritize sleep in their health regimens. The big trend for sleep in 2018 is not just about getting enough sleep, but optimizing the hours they do get. Oils, weighted blankets, and an arsenal of technological devices are now available to help people improve their sleep. In fact, getting better sleep has almost become an athletic endeavor as people compete to get more out of their sleep. Sleep Number and Fitbit will give you a report in the morning to let you know how your sleep scored, aligning with the trend of not just counting the hours you get, but measuring your performance in the time available to you.


    1. Souping is the New Juicing.  The trend of juicing came about a few years ago when people started getting creative with the way they got their daily dose of veggies. But as colder weather approaches each year, another option for getting your fill of veggies has been growing in popularity – soup. Soup recipes for 2018 will contain a lot of on-trend ingredients, such as ghee, turmeric, and bone broth. Zupa Noma sells “ready-to-sip” soups, while Los Angeles-based Brothee bottles broth and will even deliver to select areas in LA. Soup cleanses, often sold in kits like Splendid Spoon, are becoming more attractive to some as a lower level of fasting, providing more sustenance and variety than a juice cleanse without all the sugar.


    1. Digital Detox No Longer Just About Vacations.  With the inundation of smart phones into nearly every area of life, digital detoxes are no longer just a cool thing to do – they’re perceived as downright impressive. Engaging in a “social cleanse” is a feat not easily accomplished, and people that can hold out for days (or even hours) without their phone receive high social praise. Restaurants and hotels have gone so far as to advertise that they do not offer Wi-Fi, something that just a few years ago was a huge draw for people looking to link up while they were away from home. Eat Bar & Grill in the UK hosts a “tech-free date night” where once guests are seated they are instructed to drop their cellphones into a brown paper bag. So expect to see more WiFi-and phone-free zones popping up at your favorite restaurants, cafes, and hotels this year.


    1. A New “Top” for Ice Cream.  While ice cream is not a new dessert trend, it’s certainly grown over the last few years to stay on par with the trend to go back to whole, natural foods. After the froyo craze of the 2000’s, people are still looking for low-calorie desserts with fresh ingredients, but they want them without anything artificial. Halo Top ice cream, which for a period in 2017 was actually out-selling ice cream giants Haagen-Dazs and Ben & Jerry’s after a reported 2500-percent sales increase, has succeeded where other low-calorie ice creams did not because it is made with no artificial sweeteners. Their new spin on ice cream lets consumers experience the nostalgic aspect of eating dessert as they did when they were younger with ingredients that allow them guilt-free indulgence as an adult. Look for more frozen desserts to emerge that are lower in calories and made without artificial sweeteners.  Try their Lemon Bar Ice Cream Cake recipe (as shown in featured photo).
    Man Therapy



    1. De-stigmatizing Mental Health in Media.  2017 saw an increase in the portrayal of mental health issues in mainstream media, from the two controversial Netflix series To the Bone and 13 Reasons Why, to The Good Doctor on primetime ABC. These three shows have received a mix of both praise and criticism, suggesting people want more of these issues brought to light in entertainment but that no one has quite gotten the execution right yet. Other mediums, such as the Man Therapy website or Happify app, have been well-received and address consumers’ desire to have stigmatized topics brought to light. We anticipate to see more of the stigma around mental health broken down through TV, movies, websites, and apps in 2018.


    “These trends are consistent with the growing importance of health among Americans — we have seen the BalancedHealthy population grow from 76 to 79 percent since 2014” explained Weinfeld. “It’s not an exaggeration to say that health is the new social currency in this country – meaning that 9 out of 10 Americans would rather be seen by others as healthy versus wealthy.”

    For details, go to The Values Institute website at



    About The Values Institute

    The Values Institute is a social science research entity housed at Southern California’s Amusement Park Inc.. The Values Institute grew out of the agency’s three decades of work helping Fortune 500 clients and nonprofits build long-term relationships with their constituents based on shared values and socially responsible behavior. Founded in 2009 by CEO Mike Weisman, the Institute exists to inspire organizations to use the power of what they value most to drive a purposeful and rewarding existence.


    About Amusement Park

    Amusement Park companies are manufacturers of pioneering content and entertainment, tech and unique products, business models and branded relationships, as well as old-school, ground-breaking advertising. For information, go to or visit the Amusement Park Facebook page.


    # # #

  2. Six Surprising Facts You Should Know About Vitamin B12 Deficiency

    Leave a Comment



    Six Surprising Facts You Should Know About Vitamin B12 Deficiency

    By Sherry Kelishadi, Pharm.D and Vice President at NutraGlow, Inc.

    A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that more than half of Americans take some form of dietary supplement for their overall health. Our friends and family taking multivitamins, fish oils and other vitamin supplements is nothing new and something we might all consider. But just as different car models require specific grades of fuel for maximum performance, individuals also need different levels of vitamins and nutrients to maximize their personal health.

    However, too few of us recognize a key vitamin we may be lacking—B12. Vitamin B12 deficiency has become a silent epidemic. Some of the most commonly mentioned side effects include fatigue, lack of energy, sluggishness and dizziness. While there is a bucket full of other causes we might blame for such symptoms—such as lack of sleep, depression or even more serious health risks, such as anemia—the scary truth is that a deficiency in vitamin B12 could ultimately be behind many if not all of these issues I’ve mentioned here.As an example, a person low on red blood cells may have pernicious anemia, a B12 deficiency anemias caused by an inability to absorb the vitamin B12 needed for your body to make those healthy red blood cells. Therefore, there may be more serious effects of vitamin B12 deficiency to look into than just the fatigue and sluggishness commonly associated with low B12, levels, for a lack of red blood cells itself could also cause those same effects.

    As a vitamin B12 deficiency can manifest in a multitude of different ways, here are some important facts that may surprise you about the importance of Vitamin B12 for your body:

    1. There are not a lot of natural B12-rich food sources – Dairy products, eggs, meat, poultry, and fish provide the richest amounts of B12. There are other foods, like some cereals, that are enriched with B12. But overall, there are a limited variety of options for adequate B12 consumption, which leads us to the next important fact.
    2. Vegetarians and especially vegans are at a higher risk for vitamin B12 deficiency – Those who have dietary limitations that include dairy, meat and other animal-derived foods should definitely be supplementing vitamin B12 into their diets. 
    3. Your body doesn’t store vitamin B12 for a long period of time – Even if you feel that you eat plenty of foods rich in B12, that may not be enough. As we age, our body’s absorbency rates decrease, making it even more challenging to ensure that we are getting enough B12 nutrients.
    4. B12 helps make your DNA and RBCs – This circles back to what was mentioned above. We need our DNA and red blood cells even more than we need our sleep and energy. B12 doesn’t just make us feel better; it helps our body to produce crucial elements of existence!
    5. Heavy drinking and long-term use of acid-reducing medications can also inhibit absorbency of vitamin B12 – Heavy alcohol consumption is not good for our bodies for a variety of reasons, the impact on vitamin B12 absorbency being one of them. Acid reflux and heartburn are common conditions that are also brought on by deeper-rooted factors that should be looked into. Eliminating the need for medications for this issue would be a win-win situation.
    6. With age, not only do we need more B12, but also it can become harder to absorb – Ironically, we need more B12 as we age. The average adult should get 2.4 micrograms a day. Unfortunately, while you may take supplements to ensure you are getting enough, the dose you take may not be the dose you are absorbing—especially if taken in pill form. Fortunately, sublingual vitamins such as Super B from NutraGlow provide supplementation with maximum absorbency. Sublingual vitamins are easier to take, taste better and are more effective than those that come in pill form due to a superior absorption rate into the bloodstream.

    Whether you don’t consume enough vitamin B12-rich foods, or your body does not absorb it well no matter how much you supplement, low vitamin B12 should be taken serious.

    Be proactive with your health by paying attention to any signs you may suffer from one of the lesser-known (or well known!) impacts of vitamin B12 deficiency. Speak with your doctor about getting tested for B12 levels and making sure that you are taking the most absorbable form of vitamin B12 out there.

    nutraglow b12

    Sherry Kelishadi is vice president at NutraGlow, Inc. She earned a Doctorate of Pharmacy from the prestigious University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in 2011. Kelishadi worked as a chief pharmacist at Rite Aid for three years before joining the team at a compounding pharmacy in Orange County and, ultimately, cofounding NutraGlow. Her passion lies in nutrition, dermatology, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and wound care. Her hobbies include traveling, dancing, sports, and spending time with her family.

  3. Trust Your Gut…6 Stomach Issues Not to Ignore

    Leave a Comment

    Trust Your Gut…6 Stomach Issues Not to Ignore

    dr. gina sam


    We’ve all eaten or have drunk something that didn’t agree with us. We’ve all caught a stomach bug that was settled with rest, and over-the-counter aid and some chicken broth. While many times we can go at it alone and solve a stomachache ourselves, there are certainly times where it’s necessary to see a doctor. Dr. Gina Sam Gastroenterologist with Mount Sinai in New York City and Associate Professor provides insights on symptoms indicative to common conditions and advises when it’s time to see the doctor. 


    Common symptoms include feeling full fast during a mean, a slicing pain, burning or tightness between your breastbone and navel or bloating. The tricky thing with indigestion is that it can be triggered by something else that is worse. Persistent indigestion may be a side effect of a medication, caused by smoking, thyroid disease, ulcers, infection, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). “If you rarely have indigestion and feel funny or discomfort after a spicy meal that may go away on it’s own. However, if indigestion is a daily occurrence for more than 2 weeks and is coupled with trouble swallowing, fatigue or weakness then absolutely see your doctor to be sure it isn’t due to something more serious,” advises Dr. Sam.


    Lactose Intolerance

    When the small intestine fails to product enough lactase, an enzyme that digests milk sugar (lactose) food reaches the colon before it has been processed and absorbed. Undigested lactose interacts with normal bacteria in the colon leading to diarrhea, nausea, bloating, cramping, gas and sometimes even vomiting. These symptoms usually begin 30 minutes to two hours after consuming foods or drinks with lactose. Dr. Sam explains that the challenge with lactose intolerance is that it often leads to calcium deficiency so it’s always a good idea to see your doctor to create a plan that explores which foods trigger discomfort and which are still okay.


    Kidney Stones

    According to Dr. Sam kidney stones don’t cause symptoms until they pass on from the kidney towards your bladder. That’s when there may be cloudy or foul smelling urine that can appear brown, or pink. There may also be a frequent need to urinate but the ability to urinate small amounts. Nausea and vomiting along with fever and chills are also symptoms. Usually when lower back pain is so severe sleeping and even sitting is difficult the patient seeks medical attention. “When you have kidney stones you just know something isn’t right, yet sometimes it takes people longer to see several symptoms before they seek medical attention,” explains Dr. Sam. 


    Gallstones are stones that form in the gallbladder, a tiny sac that hangs out under the liver, emptying bile as needed to digest fats. These stones cause swelling and can block the duct into the intestine, resulting in pain. Gallstone pain tends to strike the right side of the upper abdomen, particularly after fatty meals triggering the gallbladder to contract. “If the gallbladder is inflamed, any contraction of that nature will be amplified and typically will cause pain to the patient,” says Dr. Sam.



    While it’s more common to people ages 10-20 it can strike at any age. Typical symptom is pain specifically in the lower right quadrant of the abdomen however, half of those with appendicitis have pain elsewhere. Also not everyone has his or her appendix in the same place making the pain site vary. “This is why it is important to monitor symptoms closely. Many of the symptoms are similar to ones associated with other conditions such as kidney stone, Crohn’s disease even ectopic pregnancy,” offers Dr. Sam. She further explains that the patient can expect several tests (blood, urine, MRI, CT or ultrasound) to confirm diagnoses. Some doctors don’t want to risk waiting for test results and based on how the patient describes his or her own symptoms may opt to surgically remove the appendix.


    Side Effects From Medications

    “No drug is without side effects and sometimes that includes abdominal pain.  Oral bisphosphonates, a popular class of drugs that helps preserve bone density and prevent osteoporosis, can cause swelling—and therefore pain—in the lower esophagus,” says Dr. Sam. Pain medications known as NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen and aspirin can also cause swelling in the stomach lining and may even lead to ulcers.

    “Rule of thumb is to trust the gut. When something feels more serious, it usually is. Some stomach issues can either be symptoms of other more serious issues or if left unaddressed, can escalate into something worse. “Whenever you’re feeling prolonged discomfort and sharp pain it’s worth seeing your doctor,” advises Dr. Sam.

    About the doctor:

    Dr. Gina Sam, MD/MPH is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York. She is the Director of the Mount Sinai Gastrointestinal Motility Center specializing in achalasia, gastroesophageal reflux, functional disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroparesis, and anorectal disorders including pelvic floor dyssnergia and fecal incontinence.

  4. You’ll Definitely Swipe Right On The ShopWell App

    Leave a Comment



    I am so excited to learn about ShopWell, “the leading nutrition app helping millions of consumers make smarter decisions about the food they eat, is launching new in-app features to make healthy shopping even easier.”

    I checked out ShopWell’s new features and love the interactive wellness programs and geo-alerts that inform users of healthy food recommendations in their favorite store.  There’s also a live chat feature where you can speak with a registered dietitian.  In the app you’ll also find personalized recipes, tips and tools and instant purchases for personalized recommendations.  Here’s the press release to learn more:

    Pioneering Nutrition App ShopWell Announces New Features As Mobile Health Category Continues to Experience Rapid Growth

    With More Than 2 Million Users, ShopWell Introduces Live Chat with a Registered Dietitian, Wellness Programs, Geo-Alerts and Instant Purchases for Personalized Recommendations

    shopwell app


    (San Francisco, CA) September 28, 2016 – ShopWell Labs, Inc., a technology company that helps millions of consumers make smarter decisions about the food they eat, announced today a suite of new features that simplify finding healthier choices at the grocery store. ShopWell’s latest release includes interactive wellness programs, geo-alerts that inform users of healthy food recommendations in their store, the option to live chat with a registered dietitian and an instant purchase button, all of which encourage long-term behavior change for consumers working towards their health goals.

    With the wellness-focused app trend continuing to forecast upward, ShopWell sees significant market potential for companies within the space. By combining cutting-edge technologies with personalization tools, ShopWell will look to capture additional market share with its latest features:

    Wellness Programs – ShopWell’s new wellness programs offer users the opportunity to chat with a Registered Dietitian and receive personalized recipes, quizzes, tips and tools to empower them to ‘get their shopping cart fit’. ShopWell recently completed its 30-day “Healthy Heart Challenge” and will be rolling out a 14-day “Sugar Buster Challenge” in the coming weeks. The company saw a 10% decrease in the sodium-density of purchases by users who participated in its blood pressure program.

    Geo-Alerts –Using geo-location technology, ShopWell will now alert users of personalized recommendations when they’re in the store. When leaving the store, ShopWell users can snap a photo of their receipt and receive a personalized shopping cart assessment and additional recommendations for their next shopping trip – making each store visit more personalized than the last.

    Buy it Now – 80% of users currently look for where to purchase the products that they find on ShopWell. The new “Buy it Now” feature allows users to instantly purchase healthy recommendations from online retailer partners for at-home delivery.
    “We are very excited about these latest innovations,” said Elliott Grant, CEO of ShopWell. “ShopWell’s mission is to create tools that make it easier for anyone to eat healthy. Our personalized in-store recommendations, curated wellness programs, and integration with online shopping are great examples of our commitment to pioneering ideas that make shoppers’ lives easier.”

  5. NEWS for the “DARK Act”

    Leave a Comment

    Bipartisan defeat of Senate GMO “DARK Act” a victory for right to know

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today a bipartisan group of senators voted to block Sen. Pat Roberts’ (R-Kan.) legislation, dubbed the Deny Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act, which would have prevented Vermont and other states from labeling genetically modified foods. The bill would have put in place a discriminatory and voluntary system reliant on QR codes, websites and toll-free numbers to disclose GMO content. A similar bill, which passed last year in the House, took away states’ rights to label and regulate GMO crops.

    Friends of the Earth Food and Technology Program Director Lisa Archer offered the following statement in response:

    Friends of the Earth strongly supports mandatory GMO labeling and applauds the senators who stood against  the DARK Act, an undemocratic and desperate attempt by junk food and chemical corporations to keep Americans in the dark about what we feed our families. More than 90 percent of Americans want GMO labeling and this bill would have done nothing to satisfy the tidal wave of consumer demand for transparency evident in states across the U.S. The bipartisan defeat of this bill is a testament to the strength of the movement for a truly sustainable, healthy and transparent food system.

    We urge the Senate to stand strong against any proposals that fall short of clear, on-package labels that allow Americans to make an informed choice about what they eat. Proposals for GMO disclosure via QR codes, websites or toll-free numbers discriminate against lower-income, rural and elderly Americans who have less technological access. In this election year, voters won’t soon forget which senators choose to stand up for their right to know. 


    Friends of the Earth fights to create a more healthy and just world. Our current campaigns focus on promoting clean energy and solutions to climate change, ensuring the food we eat and products we use are safe and sustainable, and protecting marine ecosystems and the people who live and work near them.

    Source courtesy of: Friends of the Earth



  6. How Are Supplements Regulated?

    Leave a Comment

    Did you know that dietary supplements are 2,000 times as safe as regulated pharmaceuticals? Get the facts on transparency in supplements with this clarifying infographic.  Also, when choosing supplements for the low-FODMAP diet, always read the labels for high-FODMAP ingredients like lactose, fructose or sugar alcohols.  Before you check out the infographic, here are some tips from Patsy Catsos, MS, RDN, LD for choosing supplements on the low-FODMAP diet.  Choose supplements that have:

    • Little or no calcium or iron to minimize gastrointestinal side effects (take separately if needed)
    • Not much more than 100% of DV for most nutrients unless treating a specific deficiency (except maybe vitamin B-12)
    • Folate in the form of L-methyl folate; not more than 400 mcg folate
    • No high-FODMAPS like those found in chewable or liquid products where a substantial amount of sweetener may have been added.

    Once you have completed both the elimination phase and have challenged all FODMAPs within the rechallenge  and reintroduction phases it may then be safe to add in a new multivitamin or swap out the one you have been taking.  Of course you would want to stop taking any supplement in chewable or liquid form that is sweetened with FODMAPs. If you have a nutrient deficiency of any kind, and your supplement contains FODMAPs, please discuss removing the supplement from your daily regimen with your doctor.


    Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

    Be good to yourself and your gut!

    Colleen Francioli

    Certified Nutritionist Consultant
    Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme

    Source for Infographic:  Delicious Living


  7. Book Reviews: IBS and Bone Broth Detox

    Leave a Comment

    If you’ve been giving the bone broth trend some consideration, you can read more about what I think here and check out these two books below.  Use these books as long as you have completed the low-FODMAP diet or do not have digestive issues.  Many of thee foods listed in these books include high-FODMAPs like garlic and onions.

    These books include great advice on how to live healthier and plans to follow using bone broth to help detox the body as well as heal the gut.

    Heal Your Gut with Bone Broth,” a new book by Robin Westen features a 7-day program created to balance your digestive health.  The book includes traditional, quick-and-easy bone broth remedies.  The book promises that “in just one week, you will counter inflammation and control the growth of disease-causing bacteria; produce vitamins, absorb minerals, and get rid of toxins; reduce the risk of allergies, including controlling asthma; stabilize your moods; and, keep weight down.”  You’ll learn about the history of broth, the super-health benefits of bones and marrow, the toxins that exist in our everyday lives, the need for detox, how to relieve stress, and how to prep for the detox: minimize caffeine, no sugar, no dairy, no alcohol a week before, no eggs, no processed foods, no fried foods; use steam baths and saunas to rid the body of toxins; get more sleep and set a goal (to stick to the detox) by creating affirmations.

    “Broth Basics” in chapter 4 teaches you about different types of cookware to use as well as proper storage once you’ve made your broth (the same type of storage I used with my broth – mason jars).  There’s a grocery list for which foods to buy to make the broth, but if you’re going to make the author’s recipe, do not use the high-FODMAP foods listed like onions, mushrooms, garlic, cider vinegar and honey.  Once you are done with the low-FODMAP diet and know you can tolerate the high-FODMAP foods I’ve just listed, go ahead and incorporate them into your homemade broth!  Try my low-FODMAP recipe if you’re on the low-FODMAP diet to get you started.

    The author says that after following the book that bloating, gas and flatulence are part of the cleansing process (probably due to the high-FODMAPs in her broth) and that the digestive system is resolving itself and the heathy bacteria in your digestive tract will be restored.  The meal plans in the book have a few high-FODMAPs included (Top Gut Bacteria Foods page 128) so again this book should not be used while you’re figuring out your gut for the low-FODMAP diet but the lists of  foods all have quick explanations for why they are good for the gut to help balance bacteria- proving a point I make very often as do other FODMAP trained professionals – most FODMAPs are not bad for you, they can be good for your gut and that’s why you should not be on the diet long-term.  The more diverse your gut bacteria is, the more chances you will have to fight diseases and possibly even cancer.  

    Dr. Kellyann said that she needed to create a program that would give her dangerously overweight patients as well as patients who needed to lose just a few pounds—the immediate benefits of fasting without the drawbacks.  She was already prescribing bone broth as a core part of her weight-loss program because it’s “a high-octane fat burner.”  So she combined the power of easy “mini-fasts” with the power of bone broth.  In her book The Bone Broth Diet, she says: “If you’re battling extra pounds. I’m guessing that you also have digestive problems—constipation, diarrhea, gas, or even all three. That’s because weight gain and digestive problems often stem from a common source: a sick gut. The gelatin and other nutrients in bone broth help heal the gut (something I’ll talk about in Chapter 3), curing digestive problems while they facilitate weight loss.”

    With her plan you’ll have two bone broth mini-fast days per week. The other 5 days, you’ll eat three full meals and two bone broth snacks each day.  Pick any days you want for your mini-fast days, and just separate your two mini-fast days with at least one or two non-fasting days. “For instance, try doing a mini-fast on Sunday and the other on Thursday.”  The Bone Broth Diet is a 3-week program for taking off weight fast with 3 weeks’ worth of recipes and meal plans. Dr. Kellyann notes that it is safe to stay on the diet longer as she’s had patients who’ve lost more than 100 pounds by staying on it for months. After 21 days, you’ll know which foods to eat and which to avoid, so she says “it’ll be easy to get adventurous in the kitchen.”

    As for the recipes included in the book, I really like Dr. Kellyann’s recipe for MIDDLE EASTERN MEATBALLS.  I made suggestions for how to make it low-FODMAP:


    Yield: Makes 4 servings

    • 1 1/4 pounds ground turkey
    • 1 egg
    • 1 ⁄ 2 onion, finely chopped don’t include
    • 1 ⁄ 4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    • 1 clove garlic, minced  replace with a pinch of asafetida powder
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon paprika
    • 1 ⁄ 4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 ⁄ 2 teaspoon ground coriander (optional)
    • 1 ⁄ 2 teaspoon Celtic or pink Himalayan salt
    • 1 ⁄ 4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
    2. In a large bowl, mix the turkey, egg, cilantro, asafetida powder, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, coriander, salt, and pepper. Form into golf-ball-size meatballs; about 16 meatballs. Place on the prepared baking sheet.
    3. Bake at 425°F for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350°F and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted in the center registers 165°F and the meat is no longer pink.
    4. NOTES: This can be prepared ahead and refrigerated. 

    Are you going to try a bone broth detox and diet?  What are your thoughts?  Comment below!

    ~ Colleen Francioli, Nutritionist and Author of The Everything® Low-FODMAP Diet Cookbook

  8. Is that a Teal Pumpkin on Your Neighbor’s Doorstep?

    Leave a Comment

    Fall has arrived and with it comes the crisp air, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin patches and shopping for your little ones’ Halloween costumes.  For kids with food allergies, sometimes the fun in trick-or-treating is really about the costumes and not the candy.

    However, the non-profit group Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) hopes to make an impact nationwide on Halloween with its second annual Teal Pumpkin Project.  For parents of children with food allergies this could mean changing the experience entirely, especially when neighbors work together to make their neighborhood allergen-safe.  So how does it work?

    • Neighbors paint at least one pumpkin the color teal and keep it visible for trick-or-treaters
    • Parents and kids can better navigate doorsteps by knowing the teal pumpkin means their neighbors have food allergy-friendly alternatives 

    Facts on Food Allergies

    Food allergies affect an estimated 4%–6% of children in the United States(1, 2).  

    Babies and children are more prone to food allergies, although adults can also develop allergies later on.

    About 90% of all serious allergic reactions in the United States come from these foods: milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, wheat, soy, peanuts, and tree nuts.

    Allergy-Friendly Treats

    If you’re not sure which candies are off-limits take a look at this Halloween Candy Ingredient Guide 2015 for Gluten & Food Allergies.

    Allergy-Friendly-Halloween-Treats-Torie-and-Howard-Organic-Hard-CandyThe following is just a short list of examples for allergy-friendly Halloween treats that you can offer this year: 

    *Most of these candies are free of all allergens but always be mindful to read labels.


    How Can You Take Part?

    • Buy this paint on Amazon or go to Home Depot or Michael’s craft store to find teal acrylic paint and a brush.  If your child is old enough, have them paint the pumpkin and teach them about the Teal Pumpkin Project
    • Join 100,000 households pledging to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project™ – Take the Pledge – share it on Facebook!
    • Buy allergen-free candy and keep them in a separate bowl from the rest of your candy
    • Tell your neighbors about the Teal Pumpkin Project and share any leftover paint with them so they can easily take part.  Share the names of the treats listed above (or share this blog post)

    Other Fun Giveaway Ideas

    You could also give away Halloween stickers, Halloween tattoos, Halloween pencils, or a fun favorite – non-toxic Halloween slime!

    teal pumpkin food allergy






    1. Branum AM, Lukacs SL. Food allergy among U.S. children: trends in prevalence and hospitalizations. NCHS Data Brief. 2008;10:1-8.
    2. Liu AH, Jaramillo R, Sicherer SH, et al. National prevalence and risk factors for food allergy and relationship to asthma: results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005-2006. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010;126(4):798-806.e13.
  9. Product Review: CapriClear 100% Coconut Oil Spray On Moisturizer

    Leave a Comment


    What we eat is just as important as what we put on our bodies.  Skin is the largest organ of our body and much of what we put on our skin is then absorbed into our bloodstream.  If you have a digestive disorder and know that 70%+ of your immune system lies in your gut, then it might be good to consider taking a better look at the products you use.  Do all of your skin, hair and body care products need artificial products?  Have you tried alternatives?  You can fund alternatives at a natural products market or if one is not close to you, take a browse online at a natural products retailer.  Start comparing the difference between say your regular toothpaste to a natural brand, then move onto shampoo etc.  

    What ingredients might be best to avoid?


    The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in their report “Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products in the Environment: Agents of Subtle Change?” reported that the parabens—methyl, propyl, butyl and ethyl displayed estrogenic activity in several tests. It is a medical fact that estrogen stimulates breast cancer and anything absorbed through the skin may be as high as 10 times the concentration of an oral dose.

    I use natural products for so many reasons and I like the way I feel when I use them – I have more peace of mind knowing what’s going on or in my body.  I have IBS and also Hashimoto’s disease which is an auto-immune condition where my body basically attacks my thyroid.  My health has improved since switching to more natural products!

    capriclearTesting Out CapriClear

    I recently tried CapriClear®, a spray-on moisturizer made with 100% fractionated coconut oil and was very surprised with the results and the way it felt on my skin.  It’s so light and not oily like you may think. 

    What is Fractionated coconut oil (FCO)?

    It is a fraction (portion) of the whole oil, in which the different medium-chain fatty acids are separated for specific uses. Compared to regular coconut oil, fractionated coconut oil has several more uses because it is highly purified.  Impurities are removed which gives it a longer shelf life too!  100% fractionated coconut oil (Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride) is the purest form of coconut oil available.

    You might hear fractionated coconut oil referred to as “caprylic/capric triglyceride oil” or “medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil” because it is primarily the medium-chain caprylic (8 carbons) and capric (10 carbons) acids that make up the bulk of the oil. MCT oil is most frequently used for medical applications and special diets. As part of this method, the familiar coconut smell is eliminated.

    CapriClearUses for Fractionated Coconut Oil

    In order to give CapriClear a fair test, I tried it for a couple months on different parts of my body.  Here’s how I’ve used CapriClear:

    Hair – When my hairs get dry or damaged, I love using coconut oil.  In the past I have bought jugs of solid coconut oil and scooped it out with my hands to then apply to my hair.  With CapriClear it’s easier and also lighter.  I just spray it on and leave in for about 15-30 minutes.  I then wash out and use my favorite all-natural shampoo and conditioner by Davines.

    Skin – You’ve probably tried shower oil before and I bet it contained several unnatural ingredients (I won’t mention those brand names!).  CapriClear is much better because it’s just one, natural, nourishing ingredient.  It does not contain emulsifiers, fragrances, animal products, artificial dyes, preservatives or other additives such as sulfates, parabens or toxins that can lead to skin irritation.  I loved how it felt after showering – it’s a nice way to pamper your skin a couple days a week.  I also used it as a shaving lotion and loved it!

    Scars – I have a couple scars from past surgeries and I have used Bio-Oil but I now also use CapriClear.  Several sources say that coconut oil helps with scars and I am all for home remedies!  

    Cracked lips – My lips became pretty dry and cracked during the weeks following the birth of my son.  As soon as I applied CapriClear, my lips started to feel better, and after a few days, they were finally healed.

    Stretchmarks – If you have stretchmarks coconut oil is said to help reduce their appearance. Apply 1-2 times a day.

    Massage – Fractionated coconut oil isn’t super greasy like regular coconut oil so it’s great for massage and it won’t stain your bed linens.

    Skin conditions – CapriClear has received the National Eczema Association (NEA) Seal of Acceptance™.  Eczema and other skin conditions like psoriasis, diaper rash, acne and skin inflammation have been known to benefit from the use of fractionated coconut oil.

    Where to Buy

    There are several companies that sell fractionated coconut oil, but they come in regular bottles which means you have to pour the oil onto your skin or on a washcloth.  I like CapriClear because you can spray it on, and comes in two sizes, convenient to have at home or on the go:

    5.2 fl oz $19.99

    1.9 fl oz $10.99

    Buy now on their website!

    To learn more about the National Eczema Association and the Association’s Eczema & Sensitive-Skin Education (EASE) program, please visit or for more information.

    Check out and follow/like CapriClear on social media!









  10. Understanding Symptoms of Food Allergy in Children

    Leave a Comment

    More and more people are developing food allergies, but there are no clear answer as to why.  Allergic reactions to food can still happen at any age, however, food allergies affect more babies and children then adults.

    According to a study released in 2013 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, food allergies among children increased approximately 50% between 1997 and 2011.  Nearly 8% of children (around 6 million) have food allergies, and younger children are affected the most.  The same is true where boys seem to have more food allergies than girls. 

    Parents know that raising children to be healthy is a feat in and of itself, and since the number of children developing food allergies seems to be on the rise, it might be good to consider learning about food allergies and symptoms within children.

    Every 3 minutes, a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency department – that is more than 200,000 emergency department visits per year. 

    Overhead view of peanut butter on bread with red crayon warning against peanuts which are a dangerous allergen for many children and adults.

    Allergic Reactions to Food and Symptoms

    When a child experiences an allergic reaction to food, symptoms can range from mild to life-threatening. An allergic reaction to food sets off the body’s immune system, causing it to find a means for protection. The body thinks the food is a foreign invader and so its form of protection is to create antibodies to fight the food.  The next time the same food is eaten, the body is equipped with chemicals it made from the first contact with the food, called histamines.  These chemicals can trigger symptoms throughout the body involving the:

    Skin, nose, mouth or gastrointestinal tract

    • Anaphylaxis – when several areas of the body can be affected, threatening breathing and blood circulation send the body into shock; reactions may simultaneously affect different parts of the body (for example, a stomachache accompanied by a rash).  Insect stings, medications, or latex can also set off anaphylaxis


    • Hives
    • Eczema
    • Redness and swelling of the face or limbs and appendages
    • Itching and swelling of the lips, tongue, or mouth

    Gastrointestinal tract

    • Vomiting and/or stomach cramps
    • Tight, hoarse throat; trouble swallowing
    • Swelling of the tongue, affecting the ability to talk or breathe
    • Diarrhea

    Cardiovascular system

    • Shock or circulatory collapse
    • Weak pulse
    • Pale or blue coloring of skin
    • Dizziness or feeling faint

    Respiratory tract

    • Shortness of breath
    • Wheezing
    • Repetitive cough

    When Do Symptoms Occur?

    Symptoms can start within a few minutes or hours and sometimes several hours later.  Eczema is a symptom which is more often a type of delayed reaction.  

    A more severe form of delayed reaction is food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES), which occurs in the gastrointestinal tract anywhere from two to six hours after consuming foods like milk, soy, certain grains as well as other solid foods. Young infants are more prone to FPIES when exposed to these types of foods for the first time or even when they are being weaned.  The symptoms of FPIES may include repetitive vomiting (which can lead to dehydration), or bloody diarrhea. It can be difficult to diagnose FPIES as the symptoms can be mistaken for a viral illness or bacterial infection.  If you believe your infant is experiencing FPIES, they will need medical emergency assistance to receive IV rehydration.

    Mothers who are breastfeeding should know that babies can have allergic reactions to foods they eat. Babies who seem to be very sensitive to their mother’s milk can be tested for allergies. Sometimes just eliminating possible trigger foods from the mother’s diet may end any subsequent allergic reactions.

    How May a Child Describe Symptoms?

    Children sometimes might be too embarrassed to speak up if something seems wrong, and often times they have no idea that they are indeed experiencing an allergic reaction.  Here are some possible clues of how children may illustrate an allergic reaction:

    • Putting hands in their mouths
    • Pulling or scratching at their tongues
    • Changing of the voice or hoarseness

    Will a Child be Allergic Forever?

    Of the children allergic to milk, about 80% will eventually outgrow the allergy.  Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, indicated in a recent study that children are taking longer to outgrow milk and egg allergies. The majority are allergy-free by age 16. With regard to eggs, wheat and soy, most children outgrow those allergies when they reach five years of age.  However, only about a smaller fraction of children and adults will outgrow allergies to peanuts and tree nuts.  In adults, fish and shellfish allergies tend to develop later on in life and are also less likely to be outgrown.  


    Food Allergy Facts and Statistics for the U.S.

    Food Allergy Research and Education – Symptoms

  11. Does Your Child Have a Food Allergy? Give them a SafetyTat

    Leave a Comment

    Researchers estimate that up to 15 million Americans have food allergies (re: F.A.R.E Food Allergy Research and Education) and can you believe that number is growing?  There’s still no cut and dry answer as to why more and more kids have allergies, but you have to wonder – is it the food we (children and adults in the U.S.) eat or environmental pollution that is simply weakening our guts (where most of our immune system exists) to the point where we don’t have the bacteria needed to protect us?

    In the article Gut bacteria that protect against food allergies identified in Science Life, Cathryn Nagler, PhD, Bunning Food Allergy Professor at the University of Chicago commented on a study she authored about whether gut bacteria affect food allergies: “Environmental stimuli such as antibiotic overuse, high fat diets, caesarean birth, removal of common pathogens and even formula feeding have affected the microbiota with which we’ve co-evolved…Our results suggest this could contribute to the increasing susceptibility to food allergies.”

    In her 2010 CNN article, Why are food allergies on the rise? Elizabeth Landau asked: “Are children not getting exposed to enough bacteria? Should they eat common allergens such as nuts and shellfish at an earlier age?”  

    SafetyTat Boy
    There’s so many questions when it comes to food allergies in children but thankfully there are more companies and organizations who are thinking about ways to make it easier for parents to care and protect their children. 

    Now when parents can’t be with their children to monitor the food they eat, (school lunches, field trips, play dates, parties,) SafetyTat does the talking. I was pretty impressed by this bright temporary tattoo which outlines a child’s food allergy.  It’s easy to apply to a child’s arm or hand, and the tattoo acts as a visual reminder of the foods the child must avoid.

    “Kids’ food allergies can be a stress for parents and caregivers,” said Michele Welsh, SafetyTat Founder. “Accidental exposure is an overwhelming fear, and SafetyTats’ tattoos provide a vibrant way to notify others of children’s potentially dangerous food allergies. Our allergy alert tattoos were developed because of customers’ feedback. As one customer said it best, ‘SafetyTat (allergy tattoo) is my voice representing me when I’m not with my child.’ ”

    SafetyTats are:

    •  Waterproof/Sweatproof
    • Non-toxic
    • Latex-free
    • Hypoallergenic

    SafetyTat - food allergy

    If you have a child with a food allergy or know someone that does, head over to to purchase a few tattoos.  

    Here are some facts and statistics from F.A.R.E.

    Kids with Food Allergies is another great resource for parents.

  12. E.A.T Helps Children with Life-Threatening Food Allergies

    Leave a Comment



    Just learning about the non-profit End Allergies Together, Inc. (E.A.T), I am really excited to share their news.  Launched in early 2015, E.A.T is the only organization solely focused on funding food allergy research to help children with life-threatening food allergies. Unlike other organizations focused on advocacy, education, awareness, support and product development, the single goal of E.A.T is to accelerate research for a cure.

    The founders of E.A.T, Kim Hall and Elise Bates, are two mothers of children with life-threatening food allergies.  It was at a local food allergy meeting when Kim and Elise bonded over the everyday fears and struggles with their kids’ food allergies.  That’s when they agreed they needed to help find a cure.

    Over a year later, E.A.T was born with a laser focus on raising money to support short-term treatments and longer-term solutions for the food allergy epidemic.  I asked Kim Hall to share how hard it has been at times to have a child with food allergies.  Kim Said: “I tell people when they ask that question that it is a lifestyle. Lindsay is allergic to a trace amount of dairy, egg and nuts so we must be vigilant at every turn. It was hard to find schools that could keep her safe, it is dangerous to eat outside the house and it is nearly impossible to travel. We can only stay in hotels that have kitchens. Eating is a part of life and a way of life and it dictates a lifestyle for any family that is impacted by food allergies.”

    I applauded Kim for her attitude and for all she’s done for Lindsay as a momma.  I then asked her to share some tips on how parents can keep their children happy, and stay sane in the meantime.  What she shared was really healthy advice.  Said Kim: “A dear friend who raised a son with food allergies taught me a decade ago to ensure my daughter is not defined by food allergies. There is nothing worse than when someone says, ‘that is the allergic child.’  Lindsay loves gymnastics and she happens to have food allergies.

    “Play dates have always been extremely important to Lindsay. We are so grateful to have families who know and understand the dangers of Lindsay’s allergies. I always send her with an entire bag of food. She only eats from her bag so no one needs to worry about cross-contamination…not the mom, friend, me or Lindsay. Gymnastics and friends keep her safe and happy!”
    With 100% of net proceeds going directly to research, E.A.T was founded on the premise that anyone’s contribution, big or small is crucial.

    “Eating is a part of every day life and a way of life! But with a person visiting the ER with an allergic reaction every 3 minutes, people who suffer from food allergies can’t just E.A.T” said founders Kim Hall and Elise Bates.  “ is a great resource!  Colleen Francioli has an amazing story and mission. E.A.T welcomes donations of all sizes. That is our mission and story! Every donation small or big, is crucial!

    Severe food allergies are growing at a staggering rate with now 1 in 12 children diagnosed and 17 million Americans suffering.

    Annual food allergy research costs are an estimated $500 million, and with private and public funding in 2013 there was still a research gap of over $420 million.

    If the 30 million people touched by food allergies gave just 10 dollars, the $300 million raised could go a long way towards closing this gap.

    About The E.A.T Team:

    E.A.T has a multi-perspective approach that brings the medical, scientific, business and legal communities together against the fight for food allergy cure. Funding will be allocated with the help of a medical advisory board of scientists and clinicians, who are leaders in the field but are not seeking research funding for their own studies, so E.A.T’s goal remains objective. For more info visit,

    EAT 2