Dry Cracked Heels & Other Bodily Signs You Need Better Nutrition

I’m hanging onto sandal season despite Thanksgiving being three weeks away! Here in California, we’ve had a few really nice warm days and so I’ve been taking advantage and showing off my fabulous green toenail polish as much as possible!

Last time I went for a pedi, I couldn’t help but notice how many people came in with super dry cracked heels. While slathering on lotion can be a temporary solution, not many people realize the important role that nutrition plays in skin health. In fact, there are many visible bodily signs of malnutrition. Dry skin is certainly one of them.

When clients come to see me, I do a medical history form and a three day diet recall so that I can get  important background information. I also generally scan their face, skin, hair, and nails and this can give me some very strong signals of what they might need support with. I also prefer to start with a metabolic typing assessment . Some of us need way more dietary fat than others, and following the typical low fat diet that’s recommended by most mainstream establishments may not be working for certain Metabolic Types. That’s right! More dietary fat can be a good thing, if you’re choosing the right kinds of oils. The right kind of fat will keep your skin soft and supple and will actually help you to lose weight! 

Vitamins A, C, E, and minerals selenium and zinc are crucial for healthy skin. So are essential fatty acids. Most of the time, boosting the diet with plenty of deep sea fish, flax seeds and purslane (excellent plant sources for the omegas), pumpkin seeds for zinc (tis the season!), and brazil nuts for selenium provides the body with nutrients to repair those dry cracked heels. 

Dry, dull, or thinning hair can be an indication of hormonal imbalances and/or protein deficiency. Dandruff is often due to fatty acid imbalances or can be caused by yeast overgrowth that comes from the overconsumption of sugar.

Peeling and ridges in the nails may indicate poor digestion and lack of stomach acid. White spots in the nail bed are an indication of low zinc which is crucial for immune function.

Rather than spend tons of money to cover up these problems with lotions and potions that are potentially harmful and cancer causing, why not make an investment in yourself and heal your body (and your heels!) from the inside out?  Come and see me for a health and beauty consultation before the holidaze. Mention this article and I’ll email you a comprehensive list of chemicals you must avoid in “beauty” products.

Yours in Health,
Sylvie Nalezny, MA, CNE

Dark Chocolate Truffle Treats

I was inspired this Halloween to make a yummy healthy treat for myself and for my friends. Halloween is often the beginning of the downward spiral of overeating and sugar binges that last until January 1st. Don’t sabotage yourself! You can enjoy something tasty without caving in to the sugar monster. You can whip these up in about fifteen minutes. Enjoy!

Trick or Treat!
Sylvie Nalezny, MA, CNE


½ cup pitted prunes
¼ cup pitted dates
3 Tbsp almond butter
1 Tbsp maple syrup
3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
½ cup finely grated, unsweetened coconut


In a food processor, drop the prunes and dates one by one.
Scrape the food processor bowl and run until prunes and dates are smooth
Add remaining ingredients except for coconut.
Run until smooth and scrape the bowl as needed.
Roll the mixture into 12 one inch balls and roll in coconut to coat.
Refrigerate for at least ½ hour.

You can also chop the ingredients by hand, for a chunkier truffle.
Cut dates and prunes in quarters.
Toss with 1 Tbs of the cocoa to prevent pieces from sticking together.
Place the chopped mixture in bowl and combine with remaining ingredients.

Chocolate Orange Decadence

Oh yeah! This delicious, rich, decadent torte is gluten free, dairy free, and sugar free! I made it last night for a group of girlfriends and it was a hit. Plus, it’s really easy to make. Enjoy! 

Here’s what you’ll need:

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup blanched almond flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp pink himalayan sea salt
3 organic eggs from pastured hens
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1 Tbsp orange zest
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Oil the inside of a springform pan using a paper towel and a dab of grapeseed oil.
In a food processor or a coffee grinder, pulse 1/2 cup of chocolate chips into a coarse, gravel like texture.
In a large bowl, mix the “graveled” chocolate chips, the almond flour, the cocao powder and salt. 
Mix in the eggs, agave, and grapeseed oil. 
Add in the orange zest.
Finally, fold in the remaining chocolate chips. 
Bake for 25-30 minutes. Test the center with a toothpick for “doneness.” The toothpick should come out clean.
Garnish with orange zest. Serves 12. 

My Apologies

Dear Readers,

Yesterday I blogged about my experience with an overweight Kaiser nurse  who gave me a vaccination and expressed to me how sad she felt it was that I couldn’t go reward myself afterwards with an ice cream sundae due to my dairy free diet. 
I must admit that while writing the post, I was still emotionally triggered from the argument we had regarding food sensitivities. She was claiming that they were “no big deal” and for me, and in my practice as a nutritionist, I feel that they are indeed a huge deal. I felt that her comments to me were essentially minimizing my entire education and what I stand for. 
However, rather than reacting out of anger, I should have taken a moment to empathize with her. 
I described her as “very obese, pasty, and puffy.” That was not a compassionate thing to say and I apologize. What I was trying to say was that she looked unhealthy and was showing symptoms of food allergies herself. I can look at pictures of myself in the past and can tell by how puffy my face looks that I had been eating bread and or drinking beer (that contains gluten) the night before. Dark circles under the eyes for example are a tell tale sign for dairy sensitivities. Acne is often related to dairy sensitivities. 
So often, we are addicted to the very foods that we are sensitive to. We crave them and find it impossible to live without them. It causes me great pain to see people suffer and caught up in the addiction cycle. Often the only joy that people feel centers around foods that are actually causing them harm. 
The first step to breaking the food addiction cycle is to face the truth and to become educated. With some patience and faith, within just a few days, the physical symptoms are relieved and the cravings lessen. In my work with my clients, it is my goal to discover these hidden food sensitivities, and to create delicious customized menu plans that emphasize the myriads of yummy, healthful foods that they CAN enjoy. 
Please forgive me if I offended…
Love and Light,
Sylvie Nalezny, MA, CNE

The Injection Nurse at Kaiser Today

At my last check up appointment, my doctor told me I was due for a tetanus shot and that I should probably get vaccinated against the whooping cough too. Now I’m a little on the fence about vaccinations I must admit. I refuse to get the flu shot  because I just think it’s unnecessary.

From personal experience, it seems that those who get the flu shot are always getting sick! I never get the flu and get a cold maybe once or twice a year. There used to be a time when I did get sick much more frequently. But back then, I was smoking cigarettes, not getting enough sleep, and eating too much sugar, all things that deplete the immune system drastically. 
When the whole swine flu scare came out, I blogged about it, encouraging people to rethink getting vaccinated against what would probably eventually blow over as a big nothing. There are plenty of things we can do to boost our immune systems without the risk of serious side effects. I wish doctors were as eager to increase their patients’ Vitamin D level than to send them for vaccinations. (Low vitamin D makes you much more susceptible to colds and flus, amongst other health issues.)
Anyway, I decided to go and get the booster shots this morning. When the nurse called my number, I asked her if there was any mercury in the shots that she was going to administer. She rolled her eyes at me and said that there wasn’t. OK. Then I mentioned to her that I had a food sensitivity to eggs. Is there any way to get the injection in a base that doesn’t contain egg albumin? She shook her head no. 
Then we got into a big debate regarding the difference between full blown food allergies and food sensitivities. She assured me that it’s only those who get anaphylactic shock from eggs that should be concerned about the vaccine. She proceeded to tell me that “people tend to overreact about food sensitivities and that it’s really not a big deal.” Regarding my decision to eliminate gluten, cow dairy, and eggs from my diet, she shook her head and said. “That’s so sad…that means you can’t go to Fenton’s and treat yourself to a nice ice cream sundae after your shot.” 
She really meant it too. I looked her up and down. She was very obese, pasty and puffy. Now I am not a mean person and I hate to sit in judgement. But all I could think about was actually how sad it was for her….as unhealthy as she is, working in a health facility with full access to farmer’s market produce, health education classes, and some of the best doctors around! Obviously, this woman has a love affair with ice cream, a love affair that has turned into an abusive relationship, judging by her waist circumference. 
Oooh ouch. Did I just really write that? Guess so! All I’m trying to say is that people tend to be addicted to foods they’re sensitive to. And the foods that we’re sensitive to make us put on weight very quickly. Today I can honestly say that the freedom that I feel from eliminating the foods that I am sensitive to brings me a much deeper and more permanent joy than indulging for 5-10 minutes with an ice cream sundae. 
There are so many delicious healthy things for me to eat out there! This week, I’ll be posting the fabulous treats that I can enjoy as part of a gluten, dairy, and egg free diet! 
If you’re curious about your own food sensitivities, I am offering a very simple blood spot test that looks for the 30 most common food allergies. I can mail it to you or we can do it in person and the cost is only $160. 
To Your Health!
Sylvie Nalezny,  MA, CNE

P.S. I have nothing against nurses; they are some of the most giving, loving people around. It is not my intention to offend

Ten Tips For Cancer Prevention

This last Sunday, I participated group hike and fundraiser to benefit the Breast Cancer Fund . What an uplifting experience! It was a gorgeous day. The coastal fog burned off by mid morning and the views all up and down Mount Tamalpais were inspirational.

Foggy Beginning No Carb Loading for me!
It’s Wrong for my Metabolic Type….

 Sunny Ascent Relief Under Shady Redwoods…


From the Top! All Downhill From Here The Finish Line!

I support the Breast Cancer Fund because they are dedicated to education around cancer prevention. There are many environmental causes of breast cancer and we need to know what they are so that we can make healthier choices!

My big take-away was that plastics are evil. For food storage I use pyrex and stainless steel. However, the bottles that I have been filling with reverse osmosis water contain hormone disrupting phthalates (BPA). Check the codes on your plastic items to see if the plastic you’re using is safe or not. Here are the top 10 tips I learned while trekking on Sunday:

1). Know Your Plastics. Avoid clear, shatter proof plastic that contains BPA (usually code 7). This was  the code on the bottom of my water jug. Safer plastics are coded 1, 2, 4, and 5.

2). Minimize canned foods. The lining inside of cans is coated with BPA (bisphenol A) which leaches into the food. Be especially careful with acidic foods such as tomatoes and pineapple which leach even more! Yes, this means coconut milk too. Thankfully, there is now coconut milk in cartons available for purchase.

3). Never microwave in plastic! (Try to minimize microwaving in general; plants watered with microwaved water will always die)

4). Use non-toxic cleaning products. You can use baking soda and vinegar for most cleaning jobs.

5). Eat hormone free meat and dairy. If the animal is given hormones and you eat it, you get hormones too!

6). Avoid “fragrance.” Those Glade type plug ins are bad news. Use essential oils instead which are non toxic.

7). Avoid the following hormone disrupting ingredients: DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, parabens, PEG, anything that ends with -eth, triclosan, triclocarban, triethanolamine (TEA), hydroquinone, and oxybenzone.

8). Avoid anti-aging creams that contain lactic, glycolic, AHA, or BHA acids.

9). Avoid slathering on sunscreen. Yep, that’s right. Most sunscreens contain cancer causing ingredients. Pretty ironic. Plus, making Vitamin D from the sun is one of the easiest and best cancer prevention strategies there is and sunscreen prevents you from Vitamin D synthesis. Do limit exposure and  cover up during peak sun hours. Find a safer sunblock at: www.safecosmetics.org/skindeep.

10). Use a headset when talking on your cell phone. Or text instead of calling. The EMF’s that radiate from cell phones are creating health risks that are not yet well understood and may be causing hormonal disruptions. 

October is Breast Cancer Prevention Month. Please pass this information on to a friend…

Yours in Health,

Sylvie Nalezny, MA, CNE

Chocolate Delights, Flax Seed Cones, & Natural Disinfectant

One of my favorite things to do is to visit Farmer’s Markets and meet and try new delectable, organic, hand-made products! Time to give some props where they are due! Here are some of my recent favorites. Enjoy!

Coracao Confections Truffles. 
www.coracaoconfections.com   or catch them at the Tuesday afternoon Berkeley Farmer’s Market on Derby. 
Raw Daddy’s Flax Seed “ice Cream” Cones.
James, the creator of this fun and delicious product, dehydrates flax seeds into a cone shape and fills them with incredible mixes of raw veggies, and or nut butters to create truly innovative flavors. You can buy the flax seed cones separately and use them instead of bread or a tortilla. MUCH healthier, full of omegas, fiber, and raw enzymes. I first tried one at the Underground Farmer’s Market. Location changes for this “secret” market, but if you want the details, get on the mailing list with Forage S.F. You can also check out: www.rawdaddyfoods.com.
Cloud of Protection: Defense Against Illness, Bad Vibes and Stinkiness.
This is a lovely alternative to using antibacterial hand sanitizer constantly. Many “hand sanitizers” contain triclosan, a chemical which can disrupt hormones, impair detoxification, and is very toxic to critters living in our waters. Using antibacterial products frequently can increase your resistance to antibiotics over time, leaving you in a terrible bind should you ever REALLY need antibiotics. If you’re concerned about “germs” use this product instead! It contains essential oils that fight airborne bacteria and viruses. It smells fantastic…
I discovered this product at the Bee Hive Farmer’s Market in Berkeley on San Pablo and Cedar. Visit their website at: www.ByNieves.com.
Let me know what you think and I’d love to hear from you regarding some of your fabulous, healthy, and local new discoveries. 
Yours in Health,
Sylvie Nalezny, MA, CNE