Introducing the WIN System: Wellness, Weight loss and Well being Integrated Naturally

We often hear stories of people who feel like they lost themselves to weight or illness or depression (or all of the above). Significant weight gain is often a multi-faceted issue, relating to more than just diet or exercise alone. With this in mind, we created the WIN System: Wellness, Weight loss and Well being Integrated Naturally.

Our team of WIN practitioners work with you to rediscover yourself. You will start with a nutritional consultation with Traditional Naturopath and Functional Nutritionist, Jeannie Peck. You will work with her on underlying health issues that are often reasons for weight gain or road blocks to weight loss such as hormonal imbalances, poor sleep, digestion problems and blood sugar instability. Putting these nutritional pieces in place sets you up for weight loss success.

You and Dietary Supplements Counselor, Emily Givler, will work together on designing an eating and weight loss plan that is right for you, focusing on portion control, real food, metabolic support, detoxification and building balanced meals.

The final member in your weight loss team will be Mark Reinhart. Mark will work with you on emotional wellbeing and exercises for stress relief and fitness. For many people, this is the most important part of the program and what facilitates long term success. Give us a call, and discover what it feels like to WIN!

Cooking with Coconut Oil

You have many options when it comes to selecting fats and oils for cooking, and it can be coconut oilconfusing figuring out which are healthy. But it’s not just a matter of choosing oils that are healthy, but also whether they stay healthy after you cook with them.

When you’re cooking at a high heat, you want to use oils that are stable, meaning they don’t oxidize or go rancid easily. When oils undergo oxidation, they react with oxygen to form free radicals and harmful compounds that you definitely don’t want to be eating. Celebrity chefs have been touting EVOO for years, but some research shows that olive oil has a very low smoke point, meaning the temperature at which it oxidizes is very low. So what is a health conscious cook to do?

Coconut oil is the clear winner when it comes to high heat cookery.

Over 90% of the fatty acids in it are saturated fats, making it very resistant to heat.

This oil is semi-solid at room temperature and it can last for months and years without going rancid. If you’ve heard the rumor not to eat any fats that are solid at room temperature because that means they are solid in your body, you have been misled! Your body is much warmer than room temperature, and coconut oil is liquid below 98.6 degrees.

Coconut oil also has powerful health benefits. It is particularly rich in a fatty acid called Lauric Acid, which can improve cholesterol and help kill bacteria and other pathogens. Bonus, it can help speed your metabolism (albeit slightly), and increase feelings of fullness more than other oils.

So how do you choose the right coconut oil for your purposes? Organic, unrefined virgin coconut oil would be the gold standard, and safe to use up to 350 degrees. For higher heat cooking, however, look for a refined coconut oil, as it will be stable up to 450. Use caution, not all refined oils are the same, and many use harsh chemicals and manufacturing processes.


Science has proven that probiotics are one of parents’ most effective tools for keeping kids healthy year round

The air today is warm and muggy, but before we know it, kids will be back to school, busy with studies, sports, and friends. Meanwhile, parents are bracing themselves for yet another autumn tradition: back-to-school sniffles. The shared environment of a classroom, daycare, cafeteria, or playground can expose children to millions of bacteria and germs every single day that can weaken a child’s immune system and make them more susceptible to infection and illness.

Now is the time to start boosting your child’s immune system, before they hear back to germ-ey classrooms and classmates! It is not just these germs that cause kids (and grownups!) to get sick. A big factor in whether or not we actually fall ill is the strength of our immune system response. That, believe it or not, starts in the digestive tract where over 70% of immune system cells reside. Microbiota, the beneficial bacteria that live in the gut, help support the function of these immune cells. Research has shown that we can strengthen and support these good bacteria by taking more good bacteria: probiotics!

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 22 million school days are lost annually due to the common cold, with the average child contracting 6.5 colds a year. That’s a lot of sick days! What many parents don’t know is that bacteria can actually be an ally when it comes to fighting off back-to-school bugs. While many people are starting to think of probiotics as important for good digestive health (which they are), not as many people as yet aware of their ability to bolster immune response.

Science has proven that probiotics are one of parent’s most effective tools for keeping kids healthy. A recent study showed that kids who supplemented with probiotics were more than 3 times less likely to experience fever, coughs, and runny noses than their classmates who did not receive the probiotics. The World Health Organization (WHO), a division of the United Nations, has spoken out in favor of probiotic supplements for children and also for adults. WHO officials issued a statement saying that live microorganisms in probiotics, when administered consistently, provide health benefits.

The friendly bacteria help support the function of immune system cells by, among other things, crowding out unfriendly guests like bad bacteria and viruses. Probiotics also enhance digestion, which means the body better absorbs all the nutrients it needs from food and supplements. That alone equips the body to stay healthy and more efficiently fight off any bad bugs that come along.

Unfortunately, due to overuse of antibiotics, stress, and other modern environmental and dietary issues, most people of all ages have a compromised balance of microbiota in their gut. Children who were born via cesarean or who were formula fed rather than nursed are at an additional disadvantage, as those seem to be the two primary times that we are inoculated with the good bacteria that appear to be so key to good health.  To maintain good health, the ratio of good to bad bacteria needs to stay at 85 : 15. This ratio is almost impossible to maintain without supplementing with a high-quality probiotic.


How do you choose a good probiotic? Look for one that contains a minimum of 4 different strains of beneficial bacteria. There are over 400 species that inhabit our gut, so a single strain usually isn’t enough. These are live cultures, so how the product is manufactured and handled really matters. Look for a brand that has had studies conducted on its finished product. Probiotics that incorporate prebiotics (basically food for the probiotics) like FOS may have additional benefit. Most importantly, the beneficial bacteria need to survive the acidic environment in the stomach and make it to the parts of the digestive tract where they are needed. Once they are there, you want them to stay put, so you need something called good epithelial adherence.

You can ensure your probiotics get where they are needed and stay there by sourcing human-strain probiotics. At present, these are only available through clinicians, like Health by Design. Probiotics sold over-the-counter at health food stores and pharmacies are plant and animal strain in origin. You may get some benefit while you are taking them, but they are flushed promptly from your system. Human origin probiotics, on the other hand, have been shown to offer significantly more lasting support.

With probiotic supplementation in place, the body’s immune system can see some real benefit, which translates into fewer sick days. That’s great news for the whole family! It’s not just germs that make people sick. Poor digestive tract balance can lead to a compromised immune system response, making the body especially vulnerable to daily germ exposure. A high-quality probiotic supplement can be a big step toward sound health for the whole family throughout the year.


• Take a multi-vitamin supplement, which includes vitamins C and D.

• Exercise one hour a day (proven more effective than supplemental vitamin C).

• Eat a fruit or vegetable at every meal or snack

• Sugar depresses your  immune system, so keep sugar intake moderate by eliminating sweetened  beverages and keeping sweet treats to no more than two small servings a day.

• Similar to sugar, too many processed foods such as high-sodium processed meat and refined flour are equally disruptive to the immune system. Keep these from becoming daily staples in your diet.

• Eat enough protein. For most of us, this isn’t a problem; however, some children, picky eaters, elderly and  vegetarians need to make an extra effort to be sure  they get at least 5 ounces of meat, fish, chicken, egg, cheese, beans, nuts or fermented organic soy each day.

• Eat fish at least 3x a week or take fish oil supplements to get enough beneficial omega 3 fatty acids.

• Recharge your battery every night! Get the 7-8 hours of sleep you need (more for kids, especially infants and teenagers).

• Wash hands frequently with soap and water.

Repel Pests with Essential Oils

Maybe you’ve heard the news: it’s a baad yeartick3 for ticks. The wet spring here in the Northeast left conditions perfect for the pesky critters. Not only are ticks a nuisance, they are also all too often carriers of Lyme disease. This is nothing to joke around about, my friends. Lyme is a serious and complicated disease that can leave the victim suffering for many years after the infection has been treated. According to the Mayo Clinic, even after the initial rash and flu-like symptoms have abated, victims can still be subject to complaints like:

  • Joint pain. You may develop bouts of severe joint pain and swelling. Your knees are especially likely to be affected, but the pain can shift from one joint to another.
  • Neurological problems. Weeks, months or even years after you were infected, you may experience inflammation of the membranes surrounding your brain (meningitis), temporary paralysis of one side of your face (Bell’s palsy), numbness or weakness in your limbs, and impaired muscle movement.

Several weeks after infection, some people develop:

  • Heart problems, such as an irregular heartbeat. Heart problems rarely last more than a few days or weeks.
  • Eye inflammation.
  • Liver inflammation (hepatitis).
  • Severe fatigue.lyme-info

And it can come and go for years, even with treatment. Trust me, it is nothing you want to get. So how do you and your family enjoy the summer sunshine and the great outdoors without exposing yourself to Lyme disease and all of its complications? 

First, use protective clothing. Long pants and light colored clothing can be your best defense. Most ticks will be found low to the ground to about 12 inches up in tall grasses or brush. If you find one higher up on yourself, it has likely crawled there. Unlike fleas, ticks are not good jumpers. Long pants (especially tucked into socks) can keep ticks off your lower limbs, and light colored clothing will make them easier to spot if they do get on you.TickMaster4_12

If just the idea of spending the summer in long pants has you sweating, you don’t have to resort to chemical warfare to keep ticks and other biting insects at bay. Nature has provided us with plants whose aroma and essential oils are noxious to these nasty pests. Use these essential oils to make yourself unappealing to these bugs without toxic chemicals like DEET. deet

We highly recommend Inshanti Essential Oils, made locally in Lancaster County, PA and available through Health by Design. Each batch of oils is tested for oil quality and purity. The Ticked Off! Tick Repellent Stick is effective against black flies and mosquitoes as well as ticks using oils like geranium, tea tree, citronella, lemongrass and cedar wood. It is easy to apply and smells great!inshanti

Bug Buster Spray by Inshanti is an other essential for those pesky summer time critters! The two ounce formula is great for hiking or camping as it repels ticks, black flies, mosquitoes and more. Not to mention it is completely safe for the whole family! This natural, non-toxic insecticide contains oils that are safe and effective including witch hazel, peppermint, eucalyptus and catnip. Tick protection isn’t just for people! Protect your dogs with these Inshanti blends, but be advised, they are not safe for cats.

So get out there and enjoy a tick-free summer, safe from toxic chemicals with family-friendly essential oils!oil

Fermented Strawberry Mango Salsa

Strawberry season is winding down here in Lancaster County. I’m sad to see it go, so I’ve got to get busy preserving what is left of the harvest! I love strawberry jam, but I want to try something a little different this year, so I’m going to up the nutritional ante with some strawberry fermented foods! Fresh local produce plus added probiotics and enzymes? Sounds perfect!

Chemical Free strawberries from Whispering Breeze Farm.

Chemical Free strawberries from Whispering Breeze Farm.

Be sure to seek out organically grown strawberries. They are in the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen conventional foods to avoid. In fact, tests have revealed that strawberries can be contaminated with 45 different pesticide residues! Get those scary details here… Dirty-Dozen

Back to my fermented salsa. Lacto-fermentation is an ancient food preservation technique that, in its simplest form uses nothing more than vegetables, salt, water and (sometimes) spices to prevent spoilage and create tangy condiments such as pickles, kimchi and sauerkraut. When you ferment fruits and vegetables, you create a proliferation of good bacteria known as lactobacilli. This enhances their digestibility and increases vitamin levels, plus these beneficial organisms produce numerous enzymes. Some studies indicate they may even contain antibiotic and anti carcinogenic substances. Their main by-product, lactic acid, not only keeps fruits and veggies perfectly preserved, but also promotes the growth of healthy flora throughout the gastrointestinal tract. Learn more about probiotics here:


The key to some lacto-fermented foods like this fresh salsa, is whey. I often have left over whey from cheese making or from making Greek yogurt, but if those things are not on your kitchen agenda, fear not! You can get whey by straining store bought plain yogurt through a cheese cloth for a few hours or overnight (coffee filters can work, too) and reserving the liquid. The liquid you have reserved is the whey, and you’ll be left with thick, creamy Greek yogurt in your cheesecloth. I recommend starting with an organic, whole-milk plain yogurt. If you get more whey that you need, simply freeze it in ice cube trays and it will last for months!whey

Now, I am by no means an expert at fermentation. Yet. So far, I really love almost everything that I’ve fermented, and even better, my kids like most everything I’ve fermented! I’ve been blown away by how easy it has been, and I have yet to blow up anything in my kitchen!  Win win. It is amazing to be able to preserve fresh food so easily and know that you are increasing nutrient availability while doing it.

Fermented foods are often an acquired taste, as they tend to be on the tangy side (think pickles), but including a small amount of these foods in your diet every day can be a significant step in improving digestive health and immune system function. Try this salsa on top of pan seared, wild caught fish or grilled, pastured chicken. Use it to dress up tacos or burgers. Layer it onto a grilled cheese sandwich. Now I’m getting hungry!

Lacto-Fermented Strawberry Mango Salsa
  • 2 ripe mangoes, diced
  • 1 quart of strawberries, hulled and chopped
  • handful of Thai basil leaves (about 12 leaves)
  • 1/4 cup of diced red onion
  • 1 tsp Himalayan or sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup of whey
  • 1 jalapeno, finely chopped

Dice the mangoes and strawberries and place them in a salsa1medium sized bowl. Add salt. With your hands, gently bruise the fruit to bring out some of the juices. You don’t want to pulverize the fruit, but bruising it to release the juice helps with the fermentation.

Stir in finely diced red onion, jalapenos and ground pepper.

Add 1/4 cup of whey and the basil leaves. Stir untilstrawberry-mango-salsa1 everything is well mixed. Divide the mixture into mason
jars. This recipe makes around 3 pints. If there doesn’t seem to be enough liquid to cover the salsa, add just enough filtered water to cover. Fermentation is an anaerobic reaction. Non-nerd translation: you don’t want your fermenting fruits or veggies to be exposed to the air. if they poke out of their liquid, push them down and/or add more water.

Cover the jars and let them sit until you start to see small bubbles form. This can take from 2-4 days depending on many factors like the heat of the room. Give it at least 2 days to ferment on your counter or in your cupboard and give it a taste. The longer you let it ferment, the tangier it will be. When you have reached your desired taste, stick the jars in the refrigerator and the salsa will keep for a long time. How long? I can’t say. It always gets eaten quickly in my house!

One note when fermenting fruits; too long fermenting on the counter and alcohol will start to be produced. Please taste before giving to children! strawberry-salsa-1

Women’s Wellness Fair and Cream Sale!


Health by Design Natural Clinic’s

Women’s Wellness Fair

10th * May  * 2014

Health by Design Natural Clinic

12 Keystone Ct. * Leola

Join us for an afternoon of health and wellness, relaxation and rejuvenation with engaging speakers, great local vendors, exciting door prizes, live music and light refreshments.

If you’re looking for a fun day out with your friends or a special day with mom, one of the best places you can go is The HBD Women’s Wellness Fair!

Start out with a complimentary yoga class at noon with certified yoga instructor, Karen Jiwa. Stick around for our featured speakers, nationally certified aromatherapist Deb Stoltzfus at 1:00, and our keynote speech by Functional Nutrition Clinician, Dr. Jeannie Peck at 2:00. Dr. Jeannie will be discussing hormone basics and shedding light on what we can do to bring them back into balance naturally.


Throughout the day we will highlight some great local companies like Goosie Organics (organic teethers/ teething necklaces), Rijuice (organic juice blends), Soap du’ Jour (handmade soaps) and Inshanti Wellness Spa (essential oils).


Free Jade Reflexology sessions will be available by appointment. Spaces are limited and they are filling up fast, so be sure to reserve your spot! There will also be a complimentary Mother’s Day Tea blend for all attendees! 

As if that wasn’t enough, we will be offering



This offer is good for the day of the event only. There is no limit on the number of discounted creams. Sorry, no rain checks!

There is no cost for this event! 

For more information or to register, call 717.556.8103 or email

We’ll see you on Saturday!


12:00PM – 3:00PM
May 10, 2014


Health by Design Natural Clinic
12 Keystone Ct
Leola, PA 17540

16th Annual World Tai Chi & Qigong Day Celebration


Health by Design is excited to host another WTCQD Celebration on Saturday, April 26. 2014 from 9:30 – 10:30 am.  Join the wave as people all around the world participate in what has become a global event of peace, health and healing. We are so pleased to welcome back National Qigong Association (NQA) President, Mark R. Reinhart, who will be facilitating the celebration. Mark is insightful and inspiring, and it is a treat to have him back again. This is a FREE celebration, and no experience is required! Pre-registration is appreciated! You can do that here!

Health by Design WTCQD 2014

Join Mark after the celebration for an AMAZING workshop:

The Eight Pieces of Silk Brocade

This is one of China’s oldest and most complete routines, and Mark will be teaching it in its entirety! Did you know that Tai Chi is one of the most ancient forms of exercise? It’s true! This form is perfect for total body conditioning, strength building, and weight management. Even Dr. Oz recommends Tai Chi and Qigong for health and longevity. Mark is truly a dynamic instructor! Do not miss this opportunity to study with him.

Workshop Fee: $60- if pre-registered by Tues. April 22.  $75- Day of Event


Super Food: Sprouts!

Did you know that eating 2 oz of broccoli sprouts is the nutritional equivalent of eating 2 POUNDS of broccoli? It’s true!

When you sprout seeds, all of the resting nutrition in the seed begins to break down into its simplest components. Proteins break down into separate amino acids, complex starches break down into simpler carbohydrates. The plant starts to multiply in it’s nutrient content to get ready to become a full-sized plant. This results in a fiber-rich food packed with vitamins A, C and E, tons of B vitamins, minerals, protein and sometimes even essential fatty acids. Sprouts are also far easier to digest than the original seed, bean, nut or grain thanks to their higher quality enzyme content.

Photo: You may be surprised at how many types of veggies you can eat as sprouts. Most of us are familiar with alfalfa and bean sprouts, but consider radish, beet, pea, lentil, broccoli or cilantro. In general, any plant from which you might eat the stems and leaves is a good option for sprouting. Plants from which you only eat the fruits (such as tomatoes and peppers) won't work.

You may be surprised at how many types of veggies you can eat as sprouts. Most of us are familiar with alfalfa and bean sprouts, but consider beet, pea, lentil, or cilantro.  Red cabbage yields beautiful magenta sprouts.  Radish sprouts will add spice to salads and sandwiches.  Broccoli sprouts are considered by many to be a cancer-fighting superfood thanks to their high levels of phytochemicals called sulphorophanes.  In general, any plant from which you might eat the stems and leaves is a good option for sprouting. Plants from which you only eat the fruits (such as tomatoes and peppers) won’t work.

Some people worry that eating sprouts can lead to increased risk of exposure to food born illness and, to some degree that concern is justified. Sprouts of various types have been at the center of at least 40 significant outbreaks of food born illness over the past 20 years. They’re often found to be contaminated with salmonella, E. coli, and listeria.  They are vulnerable to contamination because the seeds require moist, warm conditions in order to sprout— the same conditions that are ideal for bacteria to multiply.


You can minimize the risk while maximizing your family’s nutrient intake by sprouting seeds at home.  Sprouts are one of the cheapest and easiest plants, even for novice gardeners.  Sprouting seeds at home is also a great activity for kids- even the young ones!  You can go all fancy and get a kit if you like, but for first timers, all you really need is a mason jar, some cheesecloth or fine mesh, string, a rubber band, or lid rings to seal it up, and of course some seeds to sprout.


Once you have gathered your supplies, place about a tablespoon or so of your desired seeds into the bottom of a jar. Fill the jar with about 3 times more  water than seeds and let them soak.  The amount of time you leave the seeds soaking varies depending on the type of seed and can range from 15 minutes to overnight (generally not longer than this).  Check out the handy chart below for the recommended soaking- and sprouting- times.  Once you have added the seeds and water, cover the top of your jar with your cheesecloth or mesh and band it to the top of the jar.

After your seeds have soaked for their prescribed length of time, gently tip your jar over and strain off the water.  A little remaining moisture is what you are looking for. You want to make sure your emerging seedlings aren’t swimming in a puddle at the bottom of the jar.  Set your jar on a counter top in a warm environment. Rinse and drain the seeds twice a day to prevent bacterial growth. Remember, after the initial soak, this is just a quick rinse each time. Your seeds will sprout in a matter of days. Place the jar in sunlight for the last day or two to help the sprouts develop more chlorophyll (green them up). This boosts their nutrient value even further!  Once your sprouts are ready to eat, store them in the refrigerator and use within a few days.  If you’re concerned about bacterial growth, you can rinse your sprouts in a mixture of 10 parts water to 1 part white vinegar, but if Add your sprouts to salads, sandwiches, soups, stir fries.  Sprout lentils and use them in pilafs and casseroles. Get creative! Use the sprouts in places where you would ordinarily use the whole plant.


High Fructose Corn Syrup: Is it really just corn sugar?

Have any of you seen these “Corn Sugar” commercials that claim High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is the same thing as sugar? Are any of you falling for this nonsense?

It makes perfect sense that the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) is trying to re-brand HFCS as something- ANYTHING- other than what it really is. Over the past few years, manufacturers of HFCS have seen their products shunned by savvy consumers everywhere as awareness over the hazards of this chemically produced food product have come into the public consciousness.

The CRA has asked the federal government to allow it to change the name of HFCS to “corn sugar” and launched an enormous multi-million dollar public relations campaign to try to convince American consumers that there are no dangers associated with their product. They are trying to convince you that sugar is sugar regardless of the source, that your body doesn’t know the difference, and that attacks against it by groups like the Weston A. Price Foundation and the Naturopathy Movement are completely unfounded and devoid of scientific research (which, incidentally, is completely untrue).  The sugar industry has gone as far as to sue the Corn Refiners Association for making these claims that they say are inaccurate and misleading to consumers.

So if High Fructose Corn Syrup isn’t sugar, what IS it? It is actually corn syrup that has undergone enzymatic processing to convert some of its glucose to fructose. Okay, so what’s the big deal about that? This is really a question of HOW it is “enzymatically processed”. Caustic soda containing mercury is used to convert the corn starch to corn syrup. Studies have repeatedly shown that this toxic heavy metal can contaminate the corn syrup and make its way into the finished food product. Let me say that again. Foods containing HFCS may be contaminated with MERCURY! Mercury, for those of you who aren’t aware, is a well known neurotoxin! On top of mercury contamination, glutaraldehyde, a toxic embalming chemical, is also used to manufacture HFCS. This isn’t sounding too much like table sugar to me.

So is HFCS really just corn sugar? Plain and simple, NO! HFCS initiates a metabolic nightmare in the human body.  We’ll discuss these issues and some of the other health risks associated with High Fructose Corn Syrup in future posts. Until then, don’t be fooled by a slick marketing campaign; HFCS is most certainly not sugar!

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are the “good” or “friendly” bacteria that are normal inhabitants of  the intestinal tract.  Although the word bacteria is usually associated with germs and illness, friendly bacteria help the body to function, maintain and fight illness and disease.  On the other hand, “bad” or “pathogenic” bacteria can cause intestinal micro flora imbalances and may lead to illness and disease.


Over 400 different species and more than 100 trillion total bacteria live in the human intestinal tract.  Friendly and pathogenic bacteria form a delicate and constantly changing balance as they compete to take hold and remain in the gut.  While human beings usually start life with a relatively healthy intestinal tract, age, lifestyle and environmental factors, such as caesarean deliveries, disease, alcohol consumption, acid in coffee, the use of antibiotics in food production, as well as in medical treatments, bacterial infections, stress, poor eating habits, chlorinated drinking water, traveler’s bugs and a number of other factors can greatly reduce the number of “friendly” bacteria.  A healthy lower intestine should contain at least 85% friendly bacteria to prevent an overgrowth of microorganisms like E.coli, salmonella and many others.

Probiotics enhance immune function, produce antioxidants and improve nutrition through the enhanced breakdown and absorption of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.  They also synthesize the B vitamins which are necessary for a healthy nervous system.


Regular use of probiotics may help

  • Reduce constipation
  • Reduce diarrhea
  • Reduce lactose intolerance
  • Management of blood sugar levels
  • Normalization of skin conditions
  • Maintenance of bone health
  • Prevent thrush
  • Prevent vaginal yeast infections
  • Prevent athlete’s foot
  • Inhibit food poisoning
  • Improve digestion of proteins, carbohydrates and fats
  • Produce substances that can contribute to the reduction of cholesterol

Regular use of probiotics will improve intestinal health and help guard against disease.