by Rebecca Montrone

My husband Dale and I spent several days together in Israel a few years ago.  Of all of the many observations and thoughts I could share from that adventure, I think what struck me perhaps more than any other was the profound difference in the way our cultures follow the Creator’s advice for health and well-being – a rest one day out of seven.

Of course, I understand that the United States is not a theocracy and never has been, and I am not suggesting that the government institute a mandatory day of rest.  That said, if I could just tell you how amazing it was to see an entire society simply come to rest, beginning Friday one hour before sundown and ending Saturday one hour after sundown.  We were at a resort on the Red Sea when that time came.  The kitchen staff did most of their meal preparation during the day on Friday, so work for them was at a minimum the next day.  Check-out time was not enforced on Saturday, because – generally speaking –  people do not come and go until the Sabbath is past.

Dale and I checked out around 3:00 pm to catch a flight back to Tel Aviv.  By the time we had settled into our hotel and were enjoying dinner at an outdoor café, Sabbath was just ending, and people started coming out of the woodwork, doing relaxing enjoyable things; riding bikes, running on the beach, families out walking, eating, talking, laughing, enjoying music, and looking… really rested!

Contrast this scenario with our weekends, when the structure of our society takes every opportunity to keep families watching the clock, jumping into the car to drive one or another of the kids to yet another activity, etc.  I can’t tell you how many weekends over the years we have spent all day Saturday and Sunday in auditoriums at our daughter’s dance competitions.

I believe we ignore the wisdom of a rhythm of rest every seven days to our great detriment.  For myself, I started putting into practice the wisdom of weekly rest in the following ways many years ago, and I would encourage you to try some of these yourself if you haven’t already.

First, I find going to church and being involved in the services on Sunday very restful.  This is a time of rest for my spirit – I guess I could compare the feeling to eating and drinking and resting after strenuous physical activity.

I do not allow myself to do anything related to my work – I even discipline my mind not to think about it, and I know I’ll be that much sharper on Monday morning because of the break.  I don’t take Sunday afternoon as an opportunity to pay the bills, etc.  What I CAN do is anything I enjoy.  It might be having friends over and playing games all day, or taking a long nap, having a movie-fest, enjoying the great outdoors, reading, listening to music, playing my piano or guitar, or playing computer games; even cooking, because I enjoy cooking. What a rest!  I pass this day without any thought at all of the things I should be doing.

Of course, you would translate this advice into your own lifestyle; you can play golf, but you can’t go grocery shopping; you can watch the game, but you can’t clean the basement.  Are you getting the idea?  If you find yourself burning out, feeling like you need to take a long vacation in order to keep yourself from going nuts, then follow the wise advice of our Creator and take advantage of the weekly rest.  You will be happier and healthier for it; spiritually, mentally, and physically… I promise!



Backyard Bounty: How to Eat the Wild Plants in Your Yard


By Abby Quillen    From – check it out and, if you like this kinda stuff, subscribe!

If weeds are cropping up in your lawn, it may be time to get revenge by harvesting some of them for your dinner table. You may ask yourself, why eat weeds when there’s a garden or 24-hour supermarket nearby? There are many good reasons! Weeds, otherwise known as wild plants, are nearly always more nutritious than cultivated vegetables. That’s because farmers bred the bitterness out of most commonly consumed plants, and many nutrients (which have a sour, bitter, or astringent taste) were stripped away in the process.1

Moreover, plants that thrive in bad conditions, such as driveway cracks or barren soil, are loaded with phytonutrients and phytochemicals such as carotenoids and flavonoids. Plants produce these chemicals to protect themselves from insects, disease, ultraviolet light, bad weather, and animals. And wild plants need more protection than the domestic plants humans carefully tend and protect. Weeds send strong taproots deep into the soil to draw minerals into their leaves, so they’re also packed with calcium, magnesium, iron, and trace minerals.234 Lamb’s quarters, for instance, have three times as much calcium per serving as spinach.5

Are you ready to take advantage of the bounty of highly nutritious, free food that’s available steps from your back door? First, you must learn to identify plants with absolute certainty. Get started with these common edible plants that grow nearly everywhere, perhaps even in your own backyard.

Eating Wild Plants in Your Yard - Edible Backyard Wild Greens
Source: Blog

Chocolate- a wondrous food & medicine


Chocolate dreamstime_xs_51754811 (1)

Could CHOCOLATE Rival Penicillin & Anesthesia
In Terms of Importance to Public Health?
Rebecca L. Montrone – Wondrous Roots, Inc.

That’s what ScienceDaily reported in 2007: that the health benefits of chocolate could rival penicillin and anesthesia in terms of importance to public health. The health benefits of flavanoid compounds in cacao seeds (Theobroma cacao) – from which we get “chocolate,” have been found to have beneficial effects on cardiovascular health, blood pressure, cerebral blood flow and brain power, blood sugar control, and intestinal health. Norman Hollenberg, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School has gone so far as to state that epicatechin, one of the compounds in cocoa, has such important ramifications for health that it should be considered a vitamin.

Years of study involving volunteers of the Kuna Indians who live in the San Blas islands off the coast of Panama, has demonstrated that four of the five killer chronic diseases of our time – stroke, heart failure, cancer, and diabetes – are reduced to 10% normal averages. The Kuna Indians consume approximately 40 cups of cocoa per week! In those Kuna Indians who have migrated to Panamanian cities and consume approximately 4 cups of cocoa per week, these same diseases are as prevalent as in the general population.
It is suggested that cocoa flavanols positively influence cardiovascular health by inducing the release of endothelial nitric oxide, relaxing the arteries and resulting in decreased blood pressure.

Other benefits include increased cerebral blood flow, an important factor when it comes to memory and cognition. Restricted cerebral blood flow is a common problem in the elderly population. How nice to think that the perfect prescription might just be a few cups of hot chocolate every day!

Published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology in June, 2006, author David F. Dinges, PhD, states in his paper “Cocoa Flavanols, Cerebral Blood Flow, Cognition, and Health: Going Forward”:

“As Hollenberg and Luscher point out, not only does flavanol-rich cocoa-induced nitric oxide production show a dramatic influence on blood vessels in healthy individuals, preliminary information available indicates that the influence on nitric oxide synthesis is evident in patients with advanced atherosclerosis, hypertension, or diabetes mellitus.” One might extrapolate here and mention a possible positive effect on erectile dysfunction, as well, as popular drugs such as Viagra and Cialis function by increasing nitric oxide and promoting vasodilation. Further, when it comes to intimacy, chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA), an amphetamine-like chemical created in the brain and released when we are in love. This is why we give chocolates as Valentine’s gifts! Cacao also contains some anandamide, a neurotransmitter present in the brain. Anandamide promotes feelings of well-being, but its action is short-lived. Chocolate also contains substances that delay the breakdown of anandamide. Both anandamide and phenylethylamine are associated with being alert and mentally focused.

In March of 2010, the British Journal of Nutrition published a study, “The effect of polyphenol-rich dark chocolate on fasting capillary whole blood glucose, total cholesterol, blood pressure and glucocorticoids in healthy overweight and obese subjects.” The authors concluded that “the present study confirms previous reports of improved fasting glucose levels and blood pressure following dark chocolate consumption” and that additional studies are needed “to identify the optimal dose of polyphenols required to improve glucose metabolism and to examine additional parameters that could be influenced by polyphenols.”

Interestingly enough, in this particular study, no difference in outcome was seen when the content of polyphenols was 1000 mg vs. 500 mg. Because really dark chocolate is bitter, one goal is to find a therapeutic dose of daily chocolate that still tastes good. Personally, and as a practitioner, however, I say suck it up and eat the really dark stuff. We order 99% Lindt bars online (they’re impossible to find in the stores). A good bar 85% or over is probably good, but remember that the lower the concentration of cocoa, the greater the sugar content. Since I don’t eat sugar or sweetened foods, I go straight for the high-test. I also make a concentrated, liquid medicinal extract of organic cacao powder. I keep it in my purse and take a few squirts throughout the day as I feel so inclined.

Other benefits of dark chocolate polyphenols include anti-inflammatory mechanisms, positive influence on HDL cholesterol, and even influencing intestinal health by contributing prebiotic flavanols! Cacao is a rich source of sulfur and magnesium. The magnesium content is one reason women may crave chocolate during the premenstrual phase, as some of the unease experienced during this time can be related to estrogen dominance and magnesium deficiency.

For more information, Google the references below, but don’t wait to enjoy all of the health benefits of this delicious “food of the gods!” If you don’t already, start eating your daily dose of chocolate TODAY!

Science Daily – Cocoa “Vitamin” Health Benefits Could Outshine Penicillin
American Botanical Council – Habitual Dark Chocolate Intake Reduces Blood Pressure
Consumption of Cocoa Flavanols Results in Acute Improvements in Mood and Cognitive Performance During Sustained Mental Effort
American Botanical Council – Dark Chocolate Consumption Improves Fasting Glucose Levels and Blood Pressure in Overweight and Obese Persons
American Botanical Council – Chocolate Consumption Associated Inversely with Atherosclerotic Plaque
Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology – Cocoa Flavanols, Cerebral Blood Flow, Cognition, and Health: Going Forward
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition – Prebiotic Evaluation of Cocoa-Derived Flavanols in Healthy Humans by Using a Randomized, Controlled, Double-Blind, Crossover Intervention Study

Food and Fat Confusion!



When I begin working with a new client, he or she first fills out a lengthy, very detailed Nutritional Wellness Questionnaire. Part of the information this provides me with is a general description of the daily diet; breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, etc. Oftentimes, I see a pattern of eating that reveals an intention of making very good choices, but misinformed.

In such cases I like to do a nutritional analysis. My clients are usually shocked when they see what their health-conscious food choices really add up to. For example, a young woman I recently worked with noted that for breakfast she often had low-fat yogurt with low-fat granola and apple. Sometimes toast. She became hungry often throughout the day and had to snack frequently. She didn’t like junk-food, mind you, so she wasn’t grabbing cookies or chips; usually cheese, crackers, that kind of thing. Not a big meat-eater, she usually relied on chicken for protein at dinner, sometimes salmon, usually eaten with a grain of some kind and vegetables. No soda, artificial sweeteners, etc. The diets of many in our population don’t come close to being that “healthy,” but…

The data regarding the function of this young woman’s pancreas and insulin – i.e., blood sugar regulation – indicated ups and downs; wide fluctuations between highs and lows. This pattern is a pattern that sets one on a path to ill health. It begins here, with foods containing high amounts of sugar, frequent hunger and the need to eat often, moves on to weight gain, insulin insensitivity, metabolic syndrome – and over time can eventually end in full-blown type 2 diabetes.

“But wait a minute!…” you might be saying. “Where are you finding so much sugar in her daily diet? It looks pretty reasonable to me.”

Are you ready? Here’s the nutritional analysis for the breakfast of low-fat yogurt, low-fat granola, and a raw apple:
1. Low-fat plain yogurt 8 oz – 13 gm protein, 17 gm sugar, 17 gm carbs (the same, so all the carbs are from sugar), 4 gm fat. Remember, this is plain – not flavored – yogurt.
2. Granola. Granola is made of grains and usually some kind of sweetener. I took a look at the nutritional analysis of Kellogg’s Low-Fat Granola Without Raisins, halving the serving size because of its part in the breakfast. Protein 4 gm, sugars 15 gm, carbohydrates 44 gm, fat 3 gm, fiber 4.5 gm. So here, again, is a food very high in sugar and in other carbohydrates (the grains) that will very quickly convert to glucose and enter the bloodstream.
3. Apple. Now, you’re probably saying “WHAT? What could possibly be wrong with an apple??” I checked the nutritional analysis for one cup of raw apple with peel on: no protein or fat, naturally; 3 gm of fiber and a whopping 13 gm of sugar, and in the form of fructose (and don’t believe the “sugar is sugar” people, no matter what you hear in television ads!

So… in this breakfast that on the surface looks like a healthy choice, there are approximately 45 gm of sugar! By comparison, 8 oz of regular root beer contains 24 gm of sugar. Then, there are still 29 more gm of carbohydrates from the grains in the granola, which will all convert to glucose once they make it to the small intestine, which will be fast, remember, because there is not much fat or protein or even fiber present to slow digestion and release of sugar into the bloodstream. Make sense?
Now…I’m going to take you on a journey through the body as this food is ingested and digested!

Carbohydrate digestion begins in the mouth with the enzyme amylase present in saliva.
Digestion continues in the stomach and then moves to the small intestine.
In the small intestine carbohydrate is converted to various forms of sugar (maltose, lactose, sucrose). As these sugars travel further into the small intestine they are broken down in size and are all eventually converted to glucose (except for fructose, which enters the liver as 100% fructose) so that they pass through the intestinal walls and…

Enter the bloodstream. The bloodstream carries the glucose to the liver. If cells in the body need the glucose for energy, the liver will send it where needed. If not, the excess glucose is stored as glycogen – liquid glucose. Glycogen is stored in the muscles and in the liver.
When all the space for glycogen is occupied, the liver begins converting excess glucose to fat. This is how “sugar makes us fat.” The fat cells are stored under the skin and in various organs throughout the body.

On the flip-side, this is how fat is burned for energy, promoting healthy weight loss:
When blood sugar levels fall too low (because there is minimal sugar/carbohydrate in the food eaten), the liver will first trigger the release of glycogen from the muscles and liver for conversion back into glucose. This is not to be confused with the protein in muscles being burned for energy. The liver will convert protein from muscle into glucose only in emergencies; this is what happens when people starve – when glucose and fat stores are depleted.

Once the glycogen stores are depleted, then the liver will begin to burn fat for fuel, and fat loss results. This is why on carbohydrate-restrictive diets it is not uncommon to experience an initial rapid weight loss during the first few days to a week; this is what we think of as “water weight” – not really water at all but liquid glycogen.
How does fructose fit into this entire equation? From ScienceDaily Limiting Fructose May Boost Weight Loss, Researchers Say – July 8, 2008:

“Our study shows for the first time the surprising speed with which humans make body fat from fructose,” Dr. Parks said. Fructose, glucose and sucrose, which is a mixture of fructose and glucose, are all forms of sugar but are metabolized differently.

“All three can be made into triglycerides, a form of body fat; however, once you start the process of fat synthesis from fructose, it’s hard to slow it down,” she said.”

What might my client eat for breakfast, then? If she doesn’t like the idea of switching to foods such as eggs, etc., here is a suggestion for a similar breakfast but “sugared down.” A really lowered-sugar/carb version might be:

  • Full-fat cottage cheese – 4 oz contains 13 gm of protein, 3 gm of sugar with a total of 4 gm of carbohydrate, and 5 gm of fat. (4 oz instead of 8 oz yogurt, because it is hard to eat that much full-fat cottage cheese).
  • Raspberries instead of an apple – 1/2 cup of raspberries contains 2.5 gm fructose, 7.3 gm carbs, 1/2 gm protein, 1/2 gm fat, 4.6 gm fiber. Another benefit of raspberries is the ketones contained in them. Stubborn belly fat is often stubborn because of the hormonal disruption that doesn’t allow thermogenesis to work as efficiently. Raspberry ketones cause hormone-signaling lipase to kick in, slicing up the fat cells in these hard-to-reach areas and preparing them to be burned off. Raspberries are also an excellent source of antioxidant rich ellagic acid.
  • Hemp hearts and/or nuts instead of granola? A half- ounce of walnuts (7 halves) contain 2 gm carbs, > 2 gm protein, 9 gm fat, 1 gm fiber. One heaping tablespoons of hemp hearts contain 1.25 gm carbs, 3.5 gm protein, 4.5 gm healthy balance of Omega 3, 6, 9, 0.7 gm fiber.

Now, let’s contrast the two breakfasts:
1. Low-fat yogurt, low-fat granola, apple:
Carbohydrates not from simple sugar: 29 gm
Sugar: 45 gm
Total carbs: 74
Protein: 17 gm
Fat: 7 gm
Fiber: 7.5 gm
2. Full-fat cottage cheese, raspberries, hemp hearts, walnuts:
Carbohydrates not from simple sugar: 5.8 gm
Sugar: 5.5 gm
Total Carbs: 11.3
Protein: > 19 gm
Fat: 19 gm
Fiber: 6.6 gm

Wow! If we can wrap our Madison-Avenue brainwashed heads around the fact that it is sugar that makes us fat and not healthy fats, it is easy to see how astonishingly more healthy the second choice is. Further, this breakfast will stick with my client; she will not be hungry again until lunchtime, avoiding the rollercoaster of grabbing high-carb/sugar snacks and feeling hungry every couple of hours. Consuming whole-fat foods as found in nature ensures that the protein can be adequately used to build muscle – we can’t use the protein in protein foods without the fat-soluble vitamins in the fat to metabolize it. The protein and fat content of the second choice will cause the already low amounts of sugars and carbohydrates to be released into the bloodstream much more slowly, providing a gentle increase in blood glucose and keeping the need for insulin at a minimum. By the way, keeping blood glucose – and therefore insulin levels – within a narrow range is a key to longevity, but that will just have to wait until next time!

_________________________________________________________________[i] Stanhope K.L., et al. “Consuming fructose-sweetened, not glucose-sweetened, beverages increases visceral adiposity and lipids and decreases insulin sensitivity in overweight/obese humans” J Clin Invest. 2009 May 1;119(5):1322-1334
[ii] Le K.A., Ilth M., Kreis R., Faeh D., Bortolotti M., Tran C., Boesch C., and Tappy L. “Fructose overconsumption causes dyslipidemia and ectopic lipid deposition in healthy subjects with and without a family history of type 2 diabetes” Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jun;89(6):1760-5
[iii] Ouyang X., Cirillo P., Sautin Y., McCall S., Bruchette J.L., Diehl A.M. Johnson R.J., Abdelmalek M.F. “Fructose consumption as a risk factor for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease” J. Hepatol. 2008 Jun;48(6):993-9

Plantain… A “Wondrous Weed Indeed!”


Plantain dreamstime_xs_13734770

I know, I’ll bet most of you are thinking about bananas when plantains are mentioned,
but the plantain I speak of is found right in your own backyard! Plantago major,
otherwise known as common plantain, is that weed in your backyard that competes – or
perhaps conspires – with the dandelion to take over your lawn.
My introduction to the wonders of common plantain happened quite by accident. We
were living in southern Connecticut at the time, and it was early summer. One day my
husband Dale was bitten by a spider behind his left knee. It was painful when it
happened, but we didn’t think too much of it after the initial incident. A few weeks later,
however, upon returning from the International Herb Symposium at Wheaton College in
Massachusetts, I noticed that the skin was reddened in a ring around the bite, and the skin
was beginning to chafe. It was bothering him, too. Although a “bullseye rash” is a
classic symptom of a deer-tick bite, and we had plenty of those where we were living, we
knew he had been bitten by a spider when it happened.

I quickly went to the “web” to see what I might be able to learn. His bite had the
characteristics of a brown recluse bite, and the prognosis for those nasty bites was
disturbing, to say the least! I read of persistent, stubborn sores that progressed in severity
and size, treated with intravenous antibiotics, etc., and many times leading to the
amputation of arms or legs. Yikes. I didn’t share this information with Dale!

Searching for a ‘miraculous’ botanical alternative treatment over the worldwide web
yielded nothing. Then, I remembered I had purchased a book at the conference I had just
attended, The Book of Herbal Wisdom by Matthew Wood, a western herbalist I have long
admired and whose lectures I attend whenever possible. Wouldn’t you know, in the book
he told a story of a woman who had been on a walk with an herbalist who pointed out the
use of common plantain for insect bites, asserting that even the black widow bite could be
successfully treated if the chewed leaves were applied. Sometime later, this same woman
was out in a garden with two of her friends when they stumbled into a black widow nest.
All were bitten. Upon returning home, the woman remembered the words of the herbalist
regarding plantain and did as she had advised. The next day her two friends were dead.
She was fine (was this before email… or telephones for that matter?).

Brown Recluse dreamstime_xs_30205547The Brown Recluse Spider

So… I hustled off to Wild Oats and purchased a liquid extract of plantain. I instructed
Dale to rub it on the bite topically a few times a day and to take a few droppersful by
mouth a few times a day. After the first day the bite began to subside and quickly healed.

An anecdote, to be sure! But then I had another opportunity to try it. A few years later,
back in New Hampshire, I attended my women’s Bible study at Windham Presbyterian
Church on Thursday morning, as I was in the habit of doing. I missed a woman from our
group and inquired regarding her absence. “Didn’t you hear?? She was bitten by a
spider, hospitalized, treated by infectious disease…” etc., all to no avail. Sent home, her
knee was so swollen she couldn’t walk, and she was in a great deal of pain.

Hmm… the wheels started to turn. Here was the very opportunity I had been waiting for!
By this time I had started making my own medicinal herbal extracts, and I had plenty of
plantain extract at home. I gave some to one of her close friends with instructions. The
next week she was back at Bible study. Not knowing what to expect, as casually as I
could, I asked how it went with the plantain experiment. “It was instantaneous,” my
guinea pig replied, “…I rubbed it all over the knee area the first night before I went to
bed, and when I woke up in the morning the swelling was completely gone; all that was
left was a small, red dot!”

Incidentally plantain’s extraordinary drawing power is largely responsible for its
miraculous action on insect bites, and it can be applied to other conditions that require
powerful drawing, such as splinters, ticks, you name it! Not bad for a humble, oh-so -common weed!  Purchase your plantain products here:  PLANTAIN SALVE and PLANTAIN TINCTURE

Crila Holistic Herbal Supplement Makes Radio





ON THIS “WONDROUS” SATURDAY AFTERNOON, LET’S TALK ABOUT… SEX!!!!!!!!!  (And…  maybe all we CAN do is TALK about it!)SEX dreamstime_xs_6614998

This week, the MEN.  We’ll talk about low testosterone and it’s associated health and lifestyle problems… at epidemic proportions in our population, one has to wonder, WHY??  




LOW T dreamstime_xs_18556829


But… Guess what?  You can’t absorb those nutrients because of your acid reflux and “purple pill!”




Big Pharma 2 dreamstime_xs_65525507



Oh, ‘ya think???   









“You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know.”
— William Wilberforce


Vaccine injury and autism… no, I won’t go away, thank you:

“Oh, not AGAIN, Becky!  Not  MORE vaccine-injury drivel; after all, we all know that’s been DEBUNKED!  We all know you’re just a conspiracy-theory-minded wacko ANTI-VAXXER!

Really?  Well, when Becky stops seeing tragicallyvaccine-injured clients, maybe then she’ll pipe down!


This week, 3-year-old new client, normal and exceptional until 9 months…. Hmm… moving to the grand ole USA (land of the FREE and the BRAVE – you’re not as free as you think, and you need to be braver and braver to live here…).  While the parents gave evidence of all of her vaccinations being up to date, this wee girl was forced to repeat every single shot.  Now, her HEALTH is shot.  “Oh, c’mon, Becky, there’s no… proof…. ” 








This is a post about weight loss and blood sugar control. 

Some of you may be familiar with the term “resistant starch.” The concept is that this type of starch moves all the way through your digestive system and into the large intestine where it is broken down by friendly flora and all kinds of wonderful things happen. 

Some of you may also know that I recently performed an n=1 experiment on myself to see what the impact would be. 

Some expected benefits: 1. Improved insulin resistance, 2. Decreased inflammation, 3. Improved digestion, 4. Maybe some weight loss. 

My trial lasted 24 days, and I consumed 4 TBS of resistant potato starch per day. It is now 32 days later. 

1. Improved insulin resistance? (certainly no worse…but fasting BG levels for me seem to be more related to after dinner consumption of protein. When I trade the protein for fats, I have wonderful morning numbers.) 
2. Decreased inflammation (don’t know…how do you tell?) 
3. Improved digestion (OH YEAH!…better sleep too.) 
4. Weight loss (HUGE surprise. I’ve lost 7 of the most stubborn pounds in 32 days. I thought they were never coming off.) 


“Thanks so much for joining me, and wishing you all a wondrous rest of this delightfulafternoon!”


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