118: Good, Bad, Yummy: Magnesium Oil, Styrene & Papaya Pops


the GOOD, the BAD & the YUMMY!

Welcome to the weekly feature where I share one thing that I’m loving, one thing I’m not, and one simple, SUPER easy, clean-eating recipe.

This week’s PODCAST REPLAY recommendation is from The Rich Roll Podcast: “Live Dirty, Eat Clean: Robynne Chutkan, MD on Everything Microbiome” and it is the perfect accompaniment to everything we’ve recently been learning from Dr. Zach Bush. I highly recommend it! [tip: fast forward to minute 12 to skip the beginning chatter]. Thanks to Isobella M. for bringing this show to my attention! 

the GOOD: Magnesium Oil

Magnesium Oil – I learned in episode 116, that while it appears that most of us are deficient in magnesium, we aren’t optimizing our supplementation by popping the standard capsules (that I take regularly, by the way!). Dr. Zach Bush shared that magnesium is best absorbed through WATER. Come to think of it, Dr. Wiggy mentioned this, too Read up on the benefits here

Magnesium Oil Therapy

PS – I mention Mary Ruth Organics Premium Supplements again in this episode if you want to check them out. I am really loving this as my multi-vitamin morning and night.

the BAD: Styrene & Styrofoam Cups

You already know that styrofoam cups and food containers are total TRASH for the environment, but they’re so prolific (in every school, church, Dunkin’ Donuts….) that they’re hard to avoid. 

Let me give you a GREAT reason. Think about it this way – when you consume hot liquids in a styrofoam cup, you are consuming trace amounts of that styrofoam cup. Your kidneys do NOT need this.

Styrofoam contains the chemical styrene, which has been linked to cancer, vision and hearing loss, impaired memory and concentration, and nervous system effects. What happens when you eat hot foods or drink liquids from styrofoam plates and cups is the styrene leaches out of the Styrofoam and into our bodies. You can learn more about this here, or just invest in a reusable thermos that you can take everywhere.  

the YUMMY: Papaya Pops


My favorite way to eat papaya is to simply cut it in slices, then peel each slice. I leave the seeds intact and eat several teaspoons of them and just leave the rest (here’s the surprising reason why that’s good for you). Then, I squeeze lime over the slices and add a dash of himalayan salt to bring out the flavor. It’s so fresh and delish, and SO good for digestion – plus it’s rich in fiber. But, goodiegoodieglutenfree.com has a super simple recipe if you want to elevate your papaya game.

What you need:

  • 2 cups chopped fresh, washed papaya
  • 1/4 cup filtered water
  • 3/4 – 1 cup pure, raw coconut water (it shouldn’t have any other ingredients)
  • optional: lime (store fruit over night in a sealed container with a slice of lime to bring out the flavor)
  • an inexpensive popsicle mold that comes with the sticks:

  • Put all ingredients into a high speed blender and blend until smooth
  • Fill each popsicle mold with mixture, cover with the popsicle lid and add the sticks
    • Leftovers? Freeze in an ice tray and add to your next smoothie!
  • Freeze overnight
  • Once frozen, run popsicle mold under hot water to loosen the lid.  Then run bottom of the mold under water to loosen the popsicles.  Store popsicles in a ziplock bag in the freezer for up to 4 months

What do you think about this week’s topics? 

Please share your feedback with me and leave a review in iTunes.

And, if you’d like to learn more about how some of the links above help support the show, read this.

xoxo Ella







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115: Good, Bad, Yummy: BCAAs, MCT Chocolate Nut Butter Cups


This Week’s the GOOD, the BAD & the YUMMY!

Welcome to the weekly feature where I share one thing that I’m loving, one thing I’m not, and one simple, SUPER easy, clean-eating recipe.

This week’s PODCAST REPLAY recommendation is episode 042 with Sheila Viers on binge eating, “not enough-ness” and overthinking it all!

the GOOD: Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)

BCAAs – Branch Chain Amino Acids – read about how they work to reduce cravings by decreasing your appetite, keeping your blood sugar steady, and reducing cortisol levels here. You can click on the below brands that I like:

According to Metabolic Effect: The branched chain amino acids (BCAA) may have special utilization in weight loss programs combining exercise with diet. BCAA supplementation has been shown to increase muscle mass (4,12), decrease hunger (13), regulate blood sugar (10,14), attenuate the stress hormone response of exercise (7), and may increase exercise capacity (4,11) and fat-burning (11) directly. [See the studies referenced here]. For what it’s worth, Men’s Fitness Magazine agrees.  



the BAD: BCAAs

Wait, what? Yes, it’s BCAAs again. Because the jury is still out on this one, and I feel like you should have ALL of the info. Here’s an argument against putting so much into BCAAs…they’re not, of course, magic. Here’s what other experts say you need to know:

  • “BCAAs can be useful if, for some reason, you opt for a low protein diet [and thus a diet low in amino acids]. And they can sometime also be useful if you train fasted in the morning. Otherwise, there is no reason to waste your money on them.” – Syatt Fitness
  • Research commonly cited that demonstrates muscle-related benefits of BCAA supplementation was done with subjects that didn’t eat enough protein. – Muscle for Life
  • “Truth is, you can get all the benefits of BCAA’s from simply eating enough protein throughout the day. I know it’s not fancy…but it’s true. So not only will you get *better* results eating whole foods, you’ll also save a boat load of cash.” – Syatt Fitness
  • The body obtains branched-chain amino acids from proteins found in food, especially meat, dairy products, legumes, eggs and (organic, non-GMO) soy. “A balanced diet with adequate protein provides enough BCAAs, even for the strenuous exerciser,” Sarah Currie, RD 
  • Eggs are cheaper and better for you: One large whole egg contains 6.28 grams of protein, containing all nine essential amino acids: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lycine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine. Of the four nonessential amino acids, eggs have alanine, aspartic acid and glutamic acid.
  • Bee pollen! Bee Pollen has more amino acids than beef, eggs or cheese (per gram).
  • Other Food Sources of Essential Amino Acids:
    • Isolucine: seeds and soya beans, egg, meat, fish, lentils, almonds and cashews
    • Lucine: fish, pulses, lentils
    • Lysine: potatoes, yeast, beans, meat, soy products, cheese, fish, eggs
    • Methionine: yogurt, lentils, meat, beans, dairy products, eggs, onion, garlic, fish
    • Phenylalanine: sesame seeds, tahini, nuts and beans, almonds, soy, cheese
    • Thrionine: salmons, sardines, tuna fish, brown rice, beef, soy, liver, peanuts

Tryptophan: soy products, brown rice, cheese and cottage cheese, meat and beef
    • Valine: milk, cheese, mushrooms, grains, peanuts, soy
    • Histidine : wheat, brown rice, rye
    • Tyrosine: pumpkin seeds, oats, wheat, avocados, bananas and eggs, salmon, tuna fish, meat, chicken, milk and yogurt, broccoli

Bottom Line?

Whole foods for the win every time. But, if you are a good candidate for BCAA supplementation, make sure they’re from a reliable company, free of junk ingredients like artificial sweeteners and flavorings….AND pay attention to how you feel while taking them. If you see and feel that they’re making a difference, go for it!

the YUMMY: MCT Oil Chocolate & Nut Butter Cups

Amazing! This recipe was submitted by one of our very own, Brieanne R.! Brieanne – you are a freaking genius 🙂

What you need:


  • Whisk ingredients (except nut butter) with a fork until smooth and pour most of it into a mini-muffin pan, about 1 tablespoon per space
  • Then, scoop out a quarter to a 1/2 a teaspoon and plop your favorite nut butter and on top of each one
  • Cover remaining MCT oil mixture on top so that the peanut butter is covered
  • Sprinkle Himalayan salt on top and place in freezer
  • After completely frozen, use a butter knife to shimmy out that wonderful deliciousness and place in a bag in freezer and enjoy!
  • Try not to eat all of them in one sitting. Future you would be sad.

What do you think about this week’s topics? Please share your feedback with me. 

And, if you’d like to learn more about how some of the links above help support the show, read this.

xoxo Ella

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114: Empowered Self-Defense – Maryam Aziz


Maryam Aziz is a bad a$$ who wants to empower YOU.

This show is a departure from our normal themes, but it’s an important one. To me, wellness also includes taking preventative action to make sure that you’re being smart, staying safe and avoiding harm. To that end, I reached out to Chief Self-Defense Instructor for W.I.S.E., Maryam Aziz, to ask her how we can avoid putting ourselves at risk and what to do if we find ourselves in a threatening situation.

This show is for sharing. Please send this link to your pals and loved ones. You never know when this information might truly serve someone.

What We Discuss

      • Key tips to AVOID trouble and minimize our risk of harm
      • How so much of avoiding trouble is about being alert (tip: if you’re walking and looking at your phone, you’re not being alert)
      • The many new safety apps you can have at the ready on your phone (see a list below)
      • Taking an Uber or taxi? Listen to the simple tip we share for staying safe
      • How to PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR GUT INSTINCT. You have it for a reason.
      • What should you do in the face of trouble..at home? in a parking garage? while exercising?
      • Protecting yourself when dating and/or meeting new people
      • The drink order that is a cry for help (in some places)
      • What you should NOT do if you are attacked and what can you do to effectively resist harm

Additional Resources

• Check out Maryam and W.I.S.E. founder Rana Abdelhamid in action with these spunky video tutorials and their Self Defense Starter Kit:

About Maryam

Maryam Aziz is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of American Culture at the University of Michigan. Her research constructs a social and cultural movement history of martial arts practice during the mid to late 20th century. Maryam is a 2nd Degree Black Belt in Goju Ryu Karatedo and is an anti-hate crime martial arts/self-defense instructor. She is the chief self defense instructor for the International Muslim Women’s Initiative for Self-Empowerment (I’M W.I.S.E.). She teaches classes throughout the continental United States and she is currently developing a curriculum to help community organizations safely teach self-defense to communities affected by hate crimes.

Connect with me

The conversation continues over on Facebook and Instagram!

xxoo Ella

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