The Protein Fad

For the last ten years or more, the American diet has been all about protein. This was all thanks to some very good advertising on the part of the meat and dairy industries, some misguided diets fads that were not really based on science, and some outdated studies done on animals. While it is true that cutting out carbohydrates and eating more protein will cause a person to lose weight, often drastically, it is not sustainable or healthy for the brain. It also has nothing to do with what our “ancestors” ate – although those diets did focus on moving away from processed foods and eating whole foods which was positive. Most people who have done these diets end up bingeing on carbs (unless they are extremely disciplined and prepared at all times).

Our bodies have evolved over time and so have our lifestyles. We now have, at least in the USA, endless food options at our fingertips. I see everything advertised lately as “high protein” – from yogurt to pasta to even cookies. It is all marketing to profit off this current trend. People are currently brainwashed to think the more protein they eat – the better! They also somehow believe the more protein they eat, the skinnier they will become. Not true. In fact, too much protein will cause serious health issues.

The CDC (which is not an organization I really trust for information) recommends 46 grams of protein per day for women and 56 grams per day for men. The World Health Organization recommends we have an intake of 5% of our total calories from protein. There are other factors you can consider if you want to calculate your protein needs more accurately. That is your BMI and your activity level. I found a calculator online that will help you calculate your protein requirements and you will probably be shocked at how little you actually need. Try it out:

Mine came out to a range of: 27 – 33 grams per day. Now, that does not take into the account my activity level or any health issues I may have, but I am not some kind of super athlete nor do I do physical labor, so it is fine for me. So what would that look like? 3 ounces of chicken breast or fish, one cup of cottage cheese, a heaping cup of lentils, or a cup and a half of tofu. You can also get protein from green vegetables or rice or potatoes. What most people don’t realize is that everything has protein in it. So, unless you are actually in a country where you are not getting enough food and are starving, you are getting enough protein. There are some more advanced ways you can calculate your requirements and you can read about that here:

Below is some information from Dr. Mercola’s newsletter that will explain why we want to avoid excess protein in our diets:

Excess Protein May Fuel Weight Gain, Yeast Overgrowth, and Cancer – by Dr. Mercola

“There are a number of reasons why I believe it’s prudent to limit your protein intake. The first is that if you eat more protein than your body requires, it will simply convert most of those calories to sugar and then fat. Increased blood sugar levels can also feed pathogenic bacteria and yeast, such as Candida albicans (candidiasis), as well as fueling cancer cell growth.

Excessive protein can have a stimulating effect on an important biochemical pathway called the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR).

This pathway has an important and significant role in many cancers. When you reduce protein to just what your body needs, mTOR remains inhibited, which helps minimize your chances of cancer growth.

Additionally, when you consume too much protein, your body must remove more nitrogen waste products from your blood, which stresses your kidneys. Chronic dehydration can result, as was found in a study involving endurance athletes.”

To read the full article Click Here



Raw Vegan Coconut Cashew Cream

photo 1 In the world of proper food combining, fruits and nuts are not an ideal combination for digestion. That said, I find this digests fine for me, especially if I take the time to soak the nuts first. If you decide to make this without soaking the nuts (this process releases the enzyme inhibitors and starts the sprouting process), just be aware that the cream will become twice as thick the next day (if you have some left in the frig) as the nuts absorb the liquid.


2 cups raw cashews

1 tbsp coconut oil

a squeeze of lemon juice (or orange juice)

a pinch of salt (I use the Himalayan Pink Salt)

1/4 cup coconut sugar (if you don’t have this, use maple syrup) – adjust to your own preferred level of sweetness. 1/4 cup of coconut sugar makes it very sweet in my opinion.

a dash of vanilla extract (french vanilla stevia drops work also) or some vanilla bean

8 oz coconut water (you can use regular water instead if you don’t have coconut) – use less or more water depending on if you want it thicker or thinner


Step 1: Soak 2 cups of raw cashews in cool water in your refrigerator for 4 hours or even overnight. When that is done, drain off the water and rinse. I use a mason jar, but any bowl is fine.

Step 2: Put the cashews into the blender. Add in all the other ingredients and blend.

Step 3: Refrigerate – the cream tastes best when it is cold. Alternately, you can add ice cubes when you blend in place of some of the water/coconut water to have it cold right away.

Step 4: Layer with your favorite fresh, ripe fruits and enjoy!

photo 2

Herbs & Oils for Common Issues ~ Part One


Knowing what herbs and oils to have on hand, or be able to find, when you or a family member gets sick makes life less stressful. Nature is amazing in that it has provided for us everything we need to live and be healthy. Medicinal plants do not only produce the chemicals in their bodies that they need to survive (like our bodies do), but they also produce whole other sets of chemicals and compounds that work as medicines for humans and animals. This is their gift to us.

There are various ways to use herbs: eating them fresh, water extractions like teas and infusions, vinegar extractions that can be used as tinctures or in food, alcohol and glycerin tinctures that extract the alkaloids from the plants. You may want to learn about the different methods of using herbs, or consult an herbalist, to know you are taking the best form possible for your condition. As an herbalist, I very rarely recommend taking herbs in capsules. It is generally useless. There are some exceptions to this rule – Cayenne being one of them. I also like to use herbs that grow as weeds near us or herbs that are available as foods in grocery stores, versus expensive, imported, and rare herbs. I do not recommend using herbs that are endangered unless they are farm grown.

COLDS & FLUS: Some easy to acquire and safe herbs to use when a cold or flu virus hits you are: Garlic, Thyme, Sage, and Ginger. All of these are easily found in grocery stores and buying organic* is always best.

GARLIC: Allium sativum

Allium sativum
Allium sativum

Garlic has been shown to increase immune function, lower blood pressure, fight bacterial infections, and reduce the risk of many types of cancer.

Raw Garlic: To reap the powerful anti-viral properties of Garlic, you must eat it raw. As soon as you cut into any food or herb with antioxidant qualities, it begins to oxidize. So cutting your garlic and eating it as soon as possible after cutting it is key. Heating garlic destroys many of these qualities.

Garlic Toast: One of the tricks I picked up from Herbalist Susun Weed, who trained me in herbal medicine, was to chop up garlic, mix it into some olive oil, and then put it on top of toast – it is actually very yummy.

Garlic Shot: Another option is to mince up raw garlic and drop it into a shot glass with a dropper full of Echinacea tincture (I prefer Herb Pharm Super Echinacea) and fresh squeezed orange juice… and drink it like a shot.

Garlic Honey: Another herbal trick is to peel the garlic cloves and submerge them in raw, local honey. You let them sit in the honey for at least 4 weeks, but the honey can even preserve them for a year (maybe more) before it begins to crystallize. Then you can eat the honey garlic gloves or use the garlic infused honey as a syrup. Take it by the spoonful or smear it on bread perhaps.

Counteracting Garlic Breath: Parsley is the antidote for garlic breath. It neutralizes the smell of garlic, so eat some fresh Parsley after you take or eat your garlic.

Garlic dressings: You can also add raw garlic into homemade salad dressings. Blend up raw garlic with some fresh herbs, avocado, lemon juice, a pinch of sea salt, and voila! Pour over fresh greens and eat right away.

Garlic Juice: You can also add garlic to your fresh juice recipes if you have a juicer. It works well with vegetable juice combinations.

A note about improper use of garlic: Recently on some of the raw food blogs and Youtube videos, some raw food “gurus” have been saying that garlic is dangerous to ingest. Sadly, this misinformation started when someone applied raw garlic to a wound on the skin. NOT RECOMMENDED. They then showed that the garlic burned the skin/wound and left a bad scar. The conclusion was that eating raw garlic would burn your insides. This is obviously not true. You cannot just take herbs and apply them at will, however you choose, or you could get hurt. Garlic is a safe, non-toxic herb from the onion family that we can eat. It can also be used as medicine, but it is never to be put on a wound. Doing so would be like looking at a can of Lysol and saying, “Hmmm, this is anti-viral and anti-bacterial. I should spray it on my open wound.” NOT a smart idea.

A note on buying organic: When your body is working hard to fight a virus, illness, or infection, you do not want to ingest pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides that will give your liver a lot more toxicity to filter out. The same goes for food. If you are eating healthy salads, but they are covered in toxic poisons, you may want to re-think that. Also by supporting our organic farmers, we are contributing to a less toxic world and therefore less illness, less cancer.

Part Two… coming soon!

Jessica d’Arcy ©2014

5 Easy Natural Tips for Healthy Toddlers

There are so many little things you can do to add a touch of holistic health into your toddler’s life. Here are some easy ideas to bring them some comfort and love:

1. Before nap time or bed time, I like to add a chamomile tea bag to my son’s water bottle or milk (organic is always best). It is not necessary to heat the water or milk, but you can slightly if you like. Even in cool water, the energy and some medicinal properties of chamomile are infused, which help soothe and calm nerves and ease him to sleep.

2. An easy way to get your sick toddler to drink more fluids when they are sick is to add a splash of 100% juice (again organic is best) to their water (I like the brand: First Juice). Coconut water is another great way to get electrolytes into your sick child. Mix it with juice if they don’t like it plain.

3. For a child who is nervous, stressed, or anxious, try adding 2 drops of Rescue Remedy to their water. This is a wonderful flower essence that I always keep on hand for everyone in my household – it even works on animals (just a drop on their nose)! Rescue Remedy is a vibrational medicine, so it works on the energetic level to calm anxiety and stress to make things feel more manageable. It is also a great thing to use after something upsetting has happened when people need to be calmed and re-oriented.

4. Worried that your child is not getting their daily requirements of vitamins and minerals? Try Juice Plus + gummies. These are natural fruit and vegetable supplements. They are made from the juice of fruits, vegetables, and berries – juiced on the farm where they are picked and triple checked to be pesticide, herbicide, and fungicide free. Children 4 yrs and older can receive them free when an adult in the family orders the adult capsules. Otherwise they start at $23 per month. Contact me to order or place your order here: JuicePlus+

5. Did you know that 1 – 2 year olds need to be getting 1000 – 1300 calories per day with 40% of those calories from fat? Something my son loves to eat is Greek Yogurt, the whole milk version. It is high in calories and has twice the protein of regular yogurt. Plus foods with probiotics, like yogurt, help keep digestion regular and strengthen the immune system. I buy plain greek yogurt or brands that don’t have added sugars – a little fruit is fine.

©2010 by Jessica Ann d’Arcy