Thursday, July 29, 2010

The New Dirty Dozen and Clean Foods You Don't Have to Buy Organic

The Dirty Dozen--the list of 12 foods you should eat organic--has been updated for 2010. The new list includes fruits, vegetables, and other foods with a high pesticide residue. It is highly recommended to buy organic when shopping for these foods. So, what are they?

The New Dirty Dozen includes:
  • Celery
  • Peaches
  • Strawberries
  • Apples
  • Blueberries (new to the Dirty Dozen list, blueberries are reportedly treated with 52 pesticides, making them one of the dirtiest berries available)
  • Nectarines
  • Bell Peppers
  • Spinach (also new to the Dirty Dozen, spinach may have as many as 48 different pesticides)
  • Kale
  • Cherries
  • Potatoes
  • Grapes
For more information about this new list, as well as information about how to shop for meats, milk, and leafy greens check out The Daily Green website.

By the way, carrots have been removed from the Dirty Dozen list, but made the list in previous years because of the up to 26 pesticides used. Carrots are a great source of beta-carotene and add great texture to vegetable dishes, so if you can't find organic, just be sure to scrub them before eating and you may consider peeling their skin as well.

The good news ... there are 15 identified "Clean Foods" you can eat without having to buy organic! Also from The Daily Green website, this list includes:

  • Onion
  • Avocado
  • Sweet Corn
  • Pineapple
  • Mango
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet Peas
  • Kiwi
  • Cabbage
  • Eggplant
  • Papaya
  • Watermelon
  • Broccoli
  • Tomato
  • Sweet Potato
For more information about what "organic" means and why to buy organic, download our free ACHS Wellness Guide here. It also includes lots of practical tips for natura bodycare and holistic living.

Are you interested in exchanging recipes? We're collecting healthy, holistic recipes on ACHS Facebook for exchange. Get some new ideas, share some new ideas here:

Eating for Summer: What's Fresh Now?

It's summer, which means lots of fresh fruits and veggies are in season. Whether you grow your own or go to your local farmer's market every Saturday, it's a great time to eat fresh (and can fresh so that you have yummy fruits and veggies year-round).

Canning and cooking at home are not only great ways to save money, they can also provide great family time and fun activities to share with friends. Plus, you know what you're eating! You can pick all your favorite seasonal items and herbs, and grill them or eat them raw or make delicious salads ... or, or, or however makes you feel healthy and satisfied.

But, how to know what's in season now? The Mother Earth News website has taken the guesswork out of eating for summer. Here's a summary of what's in season by category from their article "Summer Recipes: Fresh, Easy and Healthy":

Herbs: basil, borage, chives, cilantro, dill, garlic, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, summer savory, thyme

Salad Greens: arugula, beet greens, lettuce, mizuna, radish greens, sorrel, spinach, tatsoi

Cooking Greens: bok choy, chrysanthemum greens, collard greens, kale, mustard, turnip greens, Swiss chard

Garden Veggies: artichokes, avocados, beans, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, Chinese cabbage, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, kohlrabi, leeks, okra, onions, peas (field, snow and snap), peppers, potatoes, radishes, tomatillos, tomatoes, summer squash, zucchini

Sea Veggies: dulse, Irish moss, various kelps, nori (laver), sea palm, wrack

Fruits: apricots, berries (blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, mulberries, raspberries, strawberries), cherries, figs, grapes, lemons, melons, nectarines, oranges, peaches, plums

Ephemeral Garden Treats: edible flowers (the blossoms of arugula, basil, calendula, chives, cilantro, lavender, marjoram, nasturtium, oregano, roses, rosemary, sage, thyme and violets), squash blossoms

Wild Edibles: beach peas, burdock, cat brier, lamb’s quarters, purslane, red clover, wild berries, yellow dock

Animal Products: Eggs and milk from animals eating summer’s bright green grasses are highly nutritious. Summer is prime chicken season, and lamb is most tender in early summer.

Fish: bass, bluegill, catfish, crappie, trout, walleye

Nuts & Seeds: almonds, sunflower seeds, walnuts

Mushrooms: bearded tooth, bolete, cauliflower, chanterelle, coral fungi, fairy ring, maitake, lobster, matsutake, mousseron, oyster, porcini, puffball, shaggy mane, shiitake, sulfur shelf, wood blewit (Note: Before you go out harvesting mushrooms, get a good field guide and be sure you know what you’re doing. Learn to identify various mushroom species with absolute certainty, so that you won’t pick anything poisonous!)

Are you interested in exchanging recipes? We're collecting healthy, holistic recipes on ACHS Facebook for exchange. Get some new ideas, share some new ideas here:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Help Support Your Kids' Healthy Sleep

It's almost August ... can you believe it? Before we know it, it will be September and our kids will be heading back to school.

During summer, it can be difficult to keep kids on a regular sleep schedule; we want them to play and have fun while they can! But research shows school-aged kids needs about 9-12 hours of sleep[1] at night, which is especially important during the school year to support intellectual and emotional health.

Now is a great time to start your kids back on a healthy sleep schedule so that by the time school rolls around, they'll be rested and ready to head back. So, how do you help support your kids' healthy sleep schedule? Here are some suggestions[2]:
  • Make a special bedtime.
  • Pick a bedtime that feels natural for your child. Pay attention to when they naturally "wind down" or get physically tired, which is when they should be going to bed.
  • Keep a regular routine and make it simple.
  • Avoid caffeinated beverages like hot chocolate and cola, which can keep your kids from falling asleep.
You also might want to try using lavender Lavandula angustifolia essential oil. Many kids (and adults!) find a few drops on the pillowcase soothing and relaxing. You can even lead your kids through some simple deep breathing exercises to help them relax and inhale the lavender aromatherapy essential oil.

A 2008 study in Early Human Development [3] also showed that the aroma of lavender bath oil may have effective relaxing and sleep-inducing properties. When used with mothers and infants, the data showed increased relaxation of mothers and infants.

Have you tried lavender with your kids? We'd love to hear more about your experience using lavender for sleep and relaxation. Please post your comments to share (and if you have other suggestions for helping your kids to get healthy sleep, please post those too!).

[3] Field T, Field T, Cullen C, Largie S, Diego M, Schanberg S, Kuhn.
Lavender bath oil reduces stress and crying and enhances sleep in very young infants. Early Hum Dev. 2008 Jun;84(6):399-401. Epub 2007 Nov 28. Accessed 7/27/10:

* Note the information within this article is for information purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, prescribe, or cure. When using essential oils, it is best to consult with a Registered Aromatherapist or your primary care physician for questions.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

ACHS hires Fayne Griffiths as ACHS Director of Student Financial Services and Registrar

We're proud to announce that we have recently hired Fayne Griffiths, MBA, to join the ACHS team. Fayne will work as Director of Student Financial Services and Registrar for the American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS).

Fayne, who has resided in the Pacific Northwest for more than 30 years, has served students in several Portland-area colleges, including as Director of Student Services, Director of Financial Aid, and Director of Student Financial Services and Registrar.

"I am excited about serving ACHS," Fayne says. "Helping students who are dedicated to helping others is the highest privilege I could imagine. My goal is to energetically and usefully apply my previous experience to continuous improvement efforts of the College."

Griffiths will work with new and returning ACHS students, “providing stewardship of students' academic information,” Fayne says. “Enrollment information, grading, and student account information are all areas I will assure the controls are in place to provide complete accuracy.”

“I was first introduced to the various modalities of CAM through my work with another Portland-area complementary alternative medicine college,” Fayne adds. “Repeatedly, I have both witnessed and benefited from the profound healing provided by highly educated and caring alternative health providers. I am grateful to once again have the opportunity to serve this amazingly talented and dedicated group of students.”

**We also want to congratulate Heather Baley, who, until recently, had been ACHS's longtime Registrar. Heather has been promoted to Dean of Students! Way to go Heather!

About ACHS
American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS) is one of the first accredited, fully online college offering degrees, diplomas, and career-training certificates in complementary alternative medicine. Founded in 1978, ACHS is committed to exceptional online education and is recognized as an industry leader in holistic health education worldwide. For more information about ACHS programs and community wellness events, visit, call (503) 244-0726, or stop by the College campus located at 5940 SW Hood Ave., Portland OR 97239.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

New Definition of PTSD Creates Greater Access for Veterans

According to a recent article on the website, there is a new process for service members to claim post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Veterans who may not have engaged in combat, but are experiencing symptoms of PTSD no longer have to cite a specific incident on their claim. Rather, "the new policy recognizes that living with the fear of death and injury may be enough for troops to develop mental health issues," said Bryant Jordan in "New PTSD Rules Relax Definition".

Veterans are no longer required to cite specific incidences of stress--or support their claims with documentation. Veterans are now only required to show that they served in a combat zone and performed a job "consistent with conditions related to their PTSD symptom." And "many more veterans will now be able to file claims for PTSD, including troops who did not have direct contact with the enemy," Michael Walcoff, acting undersecretary for benefits for the VA, said during a press conference in Washington DC.

Women, Walcoff said, will be among the major beneficiaries "because their military records often did not reflect combat experience." In addition, doctors, nurses, and troops working in medical care who witnessed trauma, and other troops who found themselves working in a stressful role, will also benefit.

For more information about using aromatherapy to help ease symptoms of PTSD, click here for the ACHS article Aromatherapy Can Help PTSD.

"When treating chronic challenges like PTSD, a consistent routine is important. The recommended solution is a combination of wellness protocols such as holistic nutrition and aromatherapy." Click here to learn more about aromatherapy and wellness protocols for PTSD.

> Click here to read New PTSD Rules Relax Definition:

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Did you know … Wheatgrass can help heal a sunburn.

Did you know … Wheatgrass can help heal a sunburn. When the juice is used externally—either applied directly or applied to a cloth bandaged in place—the plant’s chlorophyll has been shown to help re-moisturize the skin, to alleviate sunburn, and to support burn healing*.

But—it’s more important to protect your skin from burns and excessive exposure altogether. Repeated sunburn has many long-term effects, including premature aging—loss of moisture and wrinkling—and increased risk of skin cancer. We encourage you to preserve your skin’s health and vitality, and make prevention a priority.

Always wear a broad-brimmed hat to shield your face when playing in the sun for extended periods of time. Wearing sunglasses, applying an SPF 30 sunscreen to unprotected skin, and avoiding exposure during peak UV times are also recommended.

FREE DOWNLOAD: For more information about the health benefits of wheatgrass and directions for how to grow your own, download your free copy of the ACHS Wellness Guide here.

*This information is not intended to treat, cure, prescribe, or diagnose. For moderate to severe sunburn, consult your primary healthcare provider as soon as possible.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

U-Pick Lavender at ACHS is Happening Now: Harvest Fresh Lavender!

It's that time of year! Our lavender in the ACHS Botanical Teaching Garden is fresh, vibrant, and ready to be harvested. Starting today, stop by the ACHS campus in John's Landing between the hours of 8:30 am-5:30 pm, Monday-Friday, and harvest your own lavender for just $6 per bunch (or 2 bunches for $10).

U-Pick is on until the lavender is gone ... and it goes fast ... so don't wait! Plus, U-Pick is a fun, family-friendly activity. Bring your friends and family for some quality time in the garden!

For a little inspiration, check out the ACHS Aromatherapy Blog, where we have posted directions for making your own lavender wands. Lavender wands are very aromatic and make wonderful air fresheners and sachets, as well as great gifts!

U-Pick Lavender at the ACHS campus, 8:30 am-5:30 pm, Monday-Friday, 5940 SW Hood Ave., Portland. For more information, call (503) 244-0726 or email

Friday, July 2, 2010

Happy USA Independence Day, July Fourth!

The celebration of our nation’s “birthday” has come to mean friends, family, food and fireworks! The Fourth of July barbeque is an American tradition, and usually consists of many high calorie, high fat foods that have increased the risk for cardiovascular disease. According to Associated Content, the top ten Fourth of July foods are: potato salad, lemonade, pasta salad, watermelon, hot dogs, potato chips, hamburgers, baked beans and chicken. Let’s not forget the soda, desserts and ice cream!

Why not be the instrument of change for this year’s barbeque by making a healthy dish! The following is a great link to “Farmer’s Market Vegetable Recipes”, with some great recipes such as: Pizza Potatoes, Creole Zucchini and Red, White, and Green Salad:

There also are great holistic nutrition recipes contributed by ACHS students and graduates on ACHS Facebook Holistic Kitchen discussion. Here’s the link to download new recipes ideas and post your favorites too:

Have a wonderful Fourth of July weekend!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

ACHS launches new course Topics in Holistic Nutrition, a critical review of non-traditional nutrition topics

Portland, Oregon—July 1, 2010— American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS) is proud to announce the launch of Topics in Holistic Nutrition (NUT 309) September, 20, 2010. The newest addition to ACHS’s innovative holistic nutrition curriculum, Topics in Holistic Nutrition is a critical review of popular media topics and current research into nutrition, food, and health.

Topics in Holistic Nutrition is a core course for ACHS’s Certificate in Holistic Nutrition Consulting program and an elective option for several of the College’s complementary alternative medicine (CAM) programs, including the Holistic Health Practitioner and the Associate of Applied Science in Complementary Alternative Medicine programs.

“This course is truly exceptional,” says ACHS Senior Vice President Erika Yigzaw, “because it engages students with the most current issues and discussions about nutrition. Through the popular texts of contemporary writers Michael Pollan, Elson Haas, Christopher Vasey, and Kimberly Lord Stewart students will examine the affect of our supermarket-food system, food labeling, and CAM protocols on personal and social health not to just ‘learn the rules’ of good nutrition, but to really engage with the larger discussion about where our ideas of ‘good nutrition’ come from and what they mean. Michael Pollan says ‘Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants’ in his article “Unhappy Meals.” But what does ‘food’ mean? Students will explore this question, among many others, to better understand how nutrition is affected by our attitudes about food, health, and science.”

“Michael Pollan has become an icon of the anti-industrial food movement,” adds Dr. Arianna Staruch, ACHS Academic Dean. “In brief, this course is a critical review of topics not usually found in traditional nutrition courses.”

For more information about Topics in Holistic Nutrition and ACHS courses, visit for detailed descriptions. You also can contact the ACHS Admissions team by phone at (800) 487-8839 during the hours of 8:30 am-5:30 pm, PST, or email

About ACHS
American College of Healthcare Sciences is one of the first accredited, fully online college offering degrees, diplomas, and career-training certificates in complementary alternative medicine. Founded in 1978, ACHS is committed to exceptional online education and is recognized as an industry leader in holistic health education worldwide. For more information about ACHS programs and community wellness events, visit, call (503) 244-0726, or stop by the College campus located at 5940 SW Hood Ave., Portland OR 97239.