Natural, Safe Sunscreen?

Sunscreen… most of us need it, some would say we all need it, most of us would agree that we can all benefit from it. Can’t hurt, right?… Turns out it can, depending on what’s in it. Most regular, readily-available sunscreens contain the following chemicals:

Oxybenzone This chemical is known to wreak havoc on the entire endocrine system, and has been known to cause endometriosis and lower birth rates in women. It can also affect your thyroid (as your thyroid is controlled by hormones), as well as your body’s response to insulin, as insulin is a hormone.
Octinoxate This chemical is made by mixing sulfuric acid with methanol and heating it until it becomes insoluble in water. It’s extremely absorbable and is a “carrier” for other chemicals; instead of laying on top of your skin, it’s absorbed directly into your bloodstream and carries whichever chemicals it’s mixed with into your bloodstream as well. These chemicals then come out in your blood, breastmilk and urine. Octinoxate is also the infamous “coral reef killer”, and some seaside countries have banned it due to the destruction it’s brought to their marine life, via swimmers wearing sunscreen that contains it.
Retinyl Palmitate This chemical is a synthetic form of Vitamin A that actually heightens your skin’s sensitivity to the sun… yikes.

While this all sounds pretty bad, scientists agree that not engaging in any form of sun protection at all is not advisable for anyone. So what are some guaranteed-safe solutions for protecting yourself from the sun (aside from never stepping foot outside of your house ever again)? Maybe it’s time to consider mixing up your own sunscreen, using some natural oils. Check these out:

Sesame Oil
Cold-pressed, unfiltered sesame oil can block up to 30% of the sun’s rays from your skin.

Shea Butter
Shea butter can prevent sun damage in an SPF 6-10 capacity. It’s full of Vitamins A and E, both of which protect your skin from free radical damage.

Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is not only good for post-sun exposure application- it’s good for sunburn prevention, too! Aloe vera blocks approximately 20% of the sun’s rays from your skin.

Coconut Oil
Coconut oil provides the equivalent of an SPF 10 and is also full of Vitamin E.

Avocado Oil
Avocado oil provides the equivalent of an SPF 5-15 and is full of fatty acids and Vitamins A, E and D.

Wheatgerm Oil
Wheatgerm oil provides the equivalent of an SPF 20, and also contains Vitamins E and K.

Carrot Seed Oil
Carrot seed oil provides an equivalent of an SPF 35-40 and is rich in Vitamins E and A.

Red Raspberry Seed Oil
Red raspberry seed oil provides the equivalent of an SPF 25-50, but isn’t as easy to find as the other oils on this list. Buying it online would be your best bet.

*If you've been prescribed a certain sunscreen by a medical professional, don't stop using it without consulting them.

This Month's Recipe: Chocolatey Oatmeal Cookies!

Bet we had you at “cookies”, didn’t we?… It wasn’t that easy, you say? Well, if you need a reason to eat a good cookie, here it is:
- These cookies are full of iron, healthy fats, probiotics, B vitamins and other nutrients that support brain and bone function!

Chocolatey Oatmeal Cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 12-16 minutes (depending on desired brown-ness)
Total Time: 22-26 minutes
Yield: Depends on how big or small you want your cookies


- 2 large mixing bowls
- An electric hand mixer -OR- a whisk (but you're going to have to put some muscle into it!)
- Parchment paper
- Cookie sheets/baking trays


- 2 cups of old fashioned, whole rolled oats
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour -OR- gluten-free baking flour
- 4 tbsp of brewer's yeast -OR- gluten-free brewer's yeast
- 1 cup of solid coconut oil
- 3/4 of a cup of chocolate chips -OR- dairy-free chocolate chips -OR- carob chips
- 2 whole eggs
- 2/3 of a cup of light brown sugar
- 1 tsp of baking soda
- 2 tbsp of ground flaxseed
- 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp of salt


- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line your cookie sheets/baking trays with parchment paper .
- In one of the mixing bowls, combine the coconut oil, sugar and vanilla extract. Use your electric hand mixer (on a high setting) or your whisk to dissolve the sugar and vanilla extract into the coconut oil.
- Add the eggs into the mixing bowl with the coconut oil mixture and mix (on a medium setting) until well-incorporated.
- In the second mixing bowl, combine the oats, flour, baking soda, yeast, flaxseeds and salt, and mix (on a low setting) to incorporate.
- Turn your mixer to a low setting and pour the wet ingredient mixture into the dry ingredient mixture. Mix until well-incorporated.
- Turn off the mixer and gently fold the chocolate chips into the cookie dough (by hand).
- Drop the cookie dough onto the lined cookie sheets/baking trays, to your desired cokie size (keeping in mind that the cookies will expand as they bake!).
- Bake for 12-16 minutes, or until you’ve reached the desired done-ness!


Popular ingredient additions/variations: sliced almonds, ground hemp seeds, chopped walnuts, raisins, dried cranberries

Stay Hydrated This Summer!

5 tips for incorporating more water into your daily life:

  1. Drink a glass of water after every pee break. Replenish what your body is losing.

  2. Tea. Herbal tea is basically flavored water, right? Hot or cold, a good cup of herbal tea can soothe you and provide medicinal benefits, depending on what you’re brewing.

Note: there are some herbs that should be avoided if you’re breast feeding, as they can reduce your milk production. The following herbs* are used by mothers in various cultures all over the world… when they want to start the weaning process:

  • Black Walnut

  • Chickweed

  • Herb Robert

  • Lemon Balm

  • Oregano

  • Parsley

  • Peppermint/Menthol

  • Periwinkle Herb

  • Sage

  • Sorrel

  • Spearmint

  • Thyme

  • Yarrow

    3. Water infused with fresh citrus, cucumber, ginger or berries. Make water interesting again.

    4. Sparkling water or mineral water. For when you get soda cravings.

    5. Eating water-rich foods: strawberries (92% water), cucumber (96% water), green bell peppers (92% water), cantaloupe (90% water), zucchini (95% water), watermelon (92% water), celery (95% water), spinach (92% water) and grapefruit (91% water).

"Water traps" to avoid:

Sports drinks, coffee, (large amounts of) chocolate, caffeinated teas, "vitamin water" drinks and tea powders or drink mix powders. These drinks contain high amounts of processed sugar and/or artificial sweeteners, chemicals and natural or synthetic caffeine.

* Hidden Hindrances to a Healthy Milk Supply by Becky Flora, IBCLC

Supplementing Your Chiropractic Care Through Nutrition: Part 2

CNS-boosting food of the month: Salmon

Last month we briefly touched upon the benefits of supporting our central nervous systems via nutrition. This month, let's talk a bit more about a wonderful, CNS-boosting vitamin called Vitamin D3 (we like it so much we made it last month's "Product of the Month")! Vitamin D3 is essential for calcium absorption and helps develop healthy, strong bones. Insufficient Vitamin D3 can lead to brittle or even misshapen bones, and can affect spinal health in the long term. That being said, Vitamin D3 deficiency is surprisingly common, since this vitamin only occurs (naturally) within a limited range of foods. Not to despair, however- one food that's delicious and happens to be rich in Vitamin D3 is salmon! If taking Vitamin D3 supplements isn't your thing, check out the recipe below!

Salmon Greek Salad with Lemon Basil Dressing

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: Makes 4 servings


Salmon Salad:

- 16 ounces of salmon fillets, (four 4-ounce pieces)
- olive oil, as needed
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 8 cups of romaine lettuce or spring greens of your choice
- 1 cup of tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cup of cucumber, diced
- 1/2 cup of red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup of red bell pepper, diced
- 4 ounces of feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 cup of walnuts, roughly chopped

Lemon Basil Vinaigrette:

- 1/4 cup of lemon juice, plus the zest of one lemon
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 8 fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano, or 1 teaspoon of fresh oregano, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper


Salmon Salad:

- Lightly season both sides of the salmon fillets with salt and pepper.
- Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on both sides of the fillets, to coat.
- Heat a frying pan or grill to medium-high. Add a small amount of vegetable oil (on a folded piece of paper towel) then grease the frying pan or grill grates with the oil.
- Once the pan/grill is hot, add the seasoned salmon fillets. Cook the salmon uncovered, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until flaky (about 130-140°F).
- Remove the salmon from the pan/grill and transfer to a plate, remove any skin that is still attached, then cover the plate to keep the salmon warm.
- In a large bowl, add the salad ingredients (greens, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, bell pepper, cheese, and walnuts). Set aside.

Lemon Basil Vinaigrette:

- Combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, mustard, honey, garlic, basil, oregano, salt and pepper in a blender.
- Blend until well-mixed and a slightly thick and opaque dressing is achieved, or about 30 seconds.
- Add more salt and pepper to taste (optional).
- Evenly divide the mixed salad ingredients, top each plate with a salmon fillet and drizzle with dressing to taste (this recipe makes extra dressing, so there might be some left over).
- Enjoy!

Popular ingredient additions/variations: toasted pine nuts, slivered almonds, candied toasted walnuts, candied or plain toasted pecans, shelled toasted pumpkin seeds.

The Benefits of CBD Use

Did you know that our bodies have an entire system of naturally-occurring, cannabis-like substances inside of them? This system is called the Endocannabinoid System (or ECS), and it's named after cannabis because a) it regulates how our bodies interact with cannabis and b) it was discovered after research was done on how our bodies interact with cannabis. The prefix "endo" is short for "endogenous," which means "naturally produced inside of the body"... It turns out the ECS plays a vital role in maintaining homeostasis (the body's way of making sure the environment inside remains stable regardless of the outside environment) and correcting imbalances within (such as internal temperature, hormone levels, pain regulation and hunger, among many more). The ECS works via two main types of cannabinoid receptors: CB1 (located in the CNS) and CB2 (located in the immune system, the digestive system and peripheral nervous system- or the nerves in your extremities). The great thing about the ECS is that it only affects what's needed at the time, without affecting any of the body's processes that aren't out of balance.

So how does all of this relate to CBD use?

CBD (or cannabidol) is the non-psychoactive compound in cannabis that is only activated by the ECS where needed. In other words, it won't "alter your consciousness"- that happens when the body is flooded with THC (or tetrahydrocannabinol), which it can't break down as easily as CBD. Because it works where needed to help restore balance throughout many of the body's systems, CBD can provide a variety of benefits, such as pain management, management of inflammatory diseases, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, certain sleep disorders, premature perimenopause, asthma, arthritis and a host of other conditions. CBD is already being used by conventional medicine to help manage these conditions, and now that cannabis products are legal in the state of California, CBD is less stigmatized and more accessible than ever. In fact, our office now carries CBD oil! Don't be shy, ask us about it! CBD oil can, just like essential oils, be used in a number of ways, depending on the grade of the oil (make sure you know what the oil can and can't be used for). CBD oil can be ingested orally (alone, in foods/beverages, in tinctures or in capsules), applied topically (alone or as a cream or salve) and inhaled as vapor (in a vape pen). Dosing isn't one-size-fits-all and often requires a bit of experimentation, but a physician might be able to better guide you toward an optimal dose.

As with any supplement or addition to your health regimen that might be new to you, consult with a physician before beginning to use CBD products. CBD products have not been proven to cure any diseases or conditions and are only meant to supplement your existing healthcare. A physician will be able to tell you what you might be able to expect as far as potential side effects go (based on your individual body and medical history). Like many supplements, CBD products are not recommended for pregnant and breast-feeding people.

Supplementing Your Chiropractic Care Through Nutrition: An Intro

‘Nutrition’ isn’t a buzzword commonly associated with chiropractic care, but the two are more closely related than we think; the relationship between nutrition and chiropractic care extends beyond simply eating for overall good health (although, if that’s something you're doing then you’re already on track!).

*Scroll down for a nutritious, delicious, CNS-boosting recipe at the end of this segment!

A (very) broad overview
Your CNS (or Central Nervous System) consists of your brain and your spine. Your brain is the command center that controls and gives the orders for all of your voluntary and involuntary processes, it’s the “home” of your thoughts, perceptions and emotions, and it’s the main interpreter of information coming from your external environment and your internal environment (such as your internal organs… such as your stomach). Your spine is the “highway” by which signals get sent back and forth between your brain and the rest of your body. Your CNS is the best-protected system of all of your body's organ systems, and that's thanks to the bones of your skull and spine... Now what could your spine possibly have to do with chiropractic care? Just kidding.

There are so many connections between diet and the CNS (both the brain and spine) that it would be impossible to cover them all in this month alone. We’ll be covering a different CNS/chiro/nutrition connection point and featuring one food or nutrient each month that we can use to optimize CNS health and thus supplement our chiropractic care.

CNS-boosting food of the month: Beets

We can’t talk about the CNS without talking about internal inflammation, which can affect our brains and our joints- including the facet joints that link the vertebrae of our spines together! Beets not only reduce inflammation and work to remove toxins from our blood, but also increase blood flow to our brains (via their naturally-occuring nitrates). What powerful little root veggies! We love the following beet recipe because it’s extremely versatile and can be dressed up or down, and many of the ingredients can be substituted to fit your needs without sacrificing the overall flavor!

Beet Salad with Rosemary-Maple Vinaigrette

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 30
Assembly Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yield: Makes 6 servings


- 4 fresh medium red or gold beets (or both!), skins on
- 1 (10 ounce) package of mixed salad greens or baby greens of your choice
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 ounces of goat cheese (optional)
- 3 tbsp of real maple syrup (preferably Grade B or A)
- 2 1/2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar - OR - 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp of dijon mustard
- 4 small shallots, finely minced- OR- 2 ounces of red onion, finely minced
- 2 1/2 tsp of minced fresh rosemary or 3/4 tsp of dried crushed rosemary
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste


- Thoroughly scrub the beets to remove any surface dirt.
- Place the beets in a saucepan and fill with enough water to cover. Bring the water to a boil then cook the beets for 20 to 30 minutes, or until fork-tender. Drain and cool the beets then cut them into bite-size cubes.
- In a bowl, whisk together your vinegar, minced shallot/onion, maple syrup, rosemary, salt and pepper, dijon mustard and olive oil to make the dressing.
- Divide your greens evenly onto salad plates and place equal amounts of the cubed beets over the greens.
- (Optional step): Top each salad with small dabs of goat cheese.
- Drizzle each plate with dressing to taste.
- Enjoy!

Popular ingredient additions/variations: fresh or canned (and drained) mandarin orange segments, chicken, lamb, toasted pine nuts, slivered almonds, candied or plain toasted walnuts, candied or plain toasted pecans, shelled toasted pumpkin seeds, quinoa, large-pearl cous cous, barley, buckwheat, soft cheese like Boursin, feta cheese, fresh fennel root (thinly sliced)

What's Dr. Eileen Reading Right Now?

Real Food for Pregnancy: The science and wisdom of optimal prenatal nutrition, by Lily Nichols, RDN, CDE

Amidst all of the current information on how you should eat during pregnancy, this book examines all of that information and focuses on what’s optimal for both you and your baby. Conventional prenatal nutritional guidelines are debunked, macro and micro nutrients are demystified and Lily Nichols gives you real talk on nutritional deficiencies, shares prenatal wisdom from different cultures around the globe and so much more- all from a research-based standpoint! This book is available in paperback and digital formats- check out the official website for more info and purchasing options!

Chiropractic Care for Headaches?

Tension headaches, migraine headaches, poor-posture headaches, TMJ headaches... What do these have in common? They're all such a headache. Did you know that headaches are the third most popular reason for adults in America to seek chiropractic care? A 2011 study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics concluded that chiropractic care- mostly via spinal manipulation- is an effective treatment method for migraines, headaches that originate in the neck, and tension headaches. One of the several reasonings behind the chiropractic relief of migraines (especially) is that adjusting and stretching the bones, joints and bodily tissues can change the way blood vessels operate (since throbbing blood vessels are the physiological cause of migraines). Not to mention, a good adjustment can just leave you feeling really… good. And for TMJ sufferers, having tension in the spine alleviated can then reduce pressure on certain nerves that cause TMJ-associated pain and headaches. The main reported results of regular chiropractic care for headaches are a long-term reduction in the frequency, duration and intensity of the headaches, so we invite you to come see what we might be able to do for YOUR headaches!

Bryans, R., Descarreaux, M., Duranleau, M., Marcoux, H., Potter, B., Ruegg, R., & White, E. (2011). Evidence-based guidelines for the chiropractic treatment of adults with headache. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 34(5), 274-289.

Allergy-Soothing Essential Oils

It’s that time again… the end of spring! For some, spring means getting to enjoy nature again after months of unpleasant weather. For others, spring is a shorter name for ‘allergy season'. And for others still, everyday is allergy season. Whatever your case may be, nature has a way of balancing itself out; for all of the allergens it produces, it also produces ways to soothe the effects of those allergens- namely, through essential oils. Oils like lavender, mint, tea tree and eucalyptus already get a lot of press, so here are some of our favorite, less-talked-about essential oils:

Anise hyssop: Oil of anise hyssop (which is usually just called hyssop) can be put in a diffuser, put directly on your pillow, mixed into a carrier oil of your choice and massaged onto your chest or steamed in a pot of hot water to help open your lungs and unclog your sinuses.

Bergamot: Bergamot oil can be mixed into water and sprayed or wiped around your house to help neutralize pet dander.

Geranium: Geranium oil can be mixed into a carrier oil of your choice and massaged onto your skin, mixed into water and sprayed onto your skin and clothes, or put in a hot bath to help soothe hives and rashes. It’s also a natural insect repellent!

Thyme: Thyme oil can be mixed into water and sprayed or wiped around your house to help get rid of mold.

Rosalina: Rosalina oil can be put in a diffuser, steamed in a pot of hot water or mixed into a carrier oil of your choice and massaged onto your temples to help relieve sinus headaches.

Text Neck: What a Pain!

Ah, text neck- that posture most of us hold while using a mobile device (i.e. neck bent downward, torso bent over and shoulders rounded). It’s such a common posture that we usually aren’t even aware of it until we begin to feel it in our necks. Our mobile devices aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, so what can we do to alleviate pain and/or postural issues that can result from text neck? Here are a few tips:

1. Reduce the need to look down at your mobile device in order to use it. This can be done by:
- Using hands-free technologies such as your device’s built-in (or downloadable) speech-to-text function to replace manual texting and web surfing.
- Sitting down (in an upright posture) and placing your device on a stand or flat surface that will raise its screen to your seated eye level.

2. Stretch it out. You don’t have to wait until you feel pain to start a stretching routine. In fact, you don’t even need a routine! Take 5-10 minutes out of your day to stretch your neck and cervical-trapezius muscles (the muscles where your neck and shoulders connect) or do a few yoga poses that gently stretch your neck and shoulders. If you’re unsure about which stretching exercises or yoga poses would be safest or most beneficial for you, consult a chiropractor or doctor who’s familiar with your body and its specific needs.

3. Hold your head high! If you absolutely have to use your hands while using your device then sit or stand with your head held upright and hold your screen up to your eye level. It helps if you’re stationary while doing this (walking with your phone in front of your face is not recommended). It might feel a little strange at first to hold your device up so high, but your neck will ultimately thank you for it!

Did You Know, Chiropractic Care Improves Your Heart Rate Variability?

Did You Know, Chiropractic Care Improves Your Heart Rate Variability?

You have all heard me talk about the awesome health benefits of chiropractic care, and as you may already know the list is long! Chiropractors are great at alleviating muscular pain, joint pain, back aches, but there is so much more to it! Initially, you may seek out a chiropractor for musculoskeletal issues, but you will quickly notice and experience the profound effects of a chiropractic adjustment in relation to your heart rate variability and nervous system! 

3 tips for developing a better water intake habit!

3 tips for developing a better water intake habit!

We hear it all the time, “stay hydrated!” or “drink more water”, and this is awesome advice! Drinking an adequate amount of water is essential for our health, but it can be a daunting task to deal with every single day. Some of us might get too busy and forget throughout the day to make sure we are drinking enough water, or maybe some people just don’t like the bland taste of water. I’ve heard every excuse in the book, and here are my three tips to help you consume more water throughout the day and maintain your hydration!

5 Go-To Remedies for Muscle Strains

5 Go-To Remedies for Muscle Strains

Muscle aches, tenderness, and soreness is never fun to deal with and can be quite painful and last for a prolonged period of time if it is not addressed,  most of us have experienced this first hand. Our natural reaction is to try to rub the area out ourselves, or if you are lucky enough, convince someone to massage the area or maybe even dig their elbows into a specific tender spot. But let me tell you, you might be doing more harm than good! If you have experienced this before, you’ve probably noticed that this approach gets you little to no relief at all. There are better options to help with muscle aches and soreness! Here are my top five go to treatments for anyone dealing with muscle aches. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

What is the Best Source of Probiotics?

What is the Best Source of Probiotics?

Many people have asked, and here is my answer! Do probiotic supplements provide the same benefits as foods???  You would think so, considering they are marketed the same way, right? Both probiotic foods and the supplements are in fact providing healthy bacteria for your gut, but getting the probiotic sources from foods such as sauerkraut, yogurt, kimchi or fermented vegetables is significantly more beneficial for you!