Wellness Beets Episode #17: Natural Movement for Babies, Physical Therapy, and Yoga with Jennifer Cohen

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WBKitchen is kindly offering us a special discount from June 10th-June 30th!
When you go to WBKitchen.com, just type in the discount code “BEETS15” at checkout.


Interview with Jennifer Cohen, Pediatric Physical Therapist and Children’s Yoga Teacher: 

#1.  We first met you when you submitted a question to the podcast! So cool! When we chatted, we found out you are a pediatric physical therapist and teach yoga for kids and we wanted to learn more about what you do. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

#2.  What do you think are some of the biggest benefits of kids doing yoga? What are the things you see the most?

#3.  Yoga is so great for everyone. Do you see kids who are resistant to the idea? How do you advise parents to deal with this problem?

#4. When we chatted, you brought up this really fascinating topic of alignment and natural movement for babies. So, so interesting! Can you walk us through how you think about this?

#5. It makes so much sense that we create an unnatural, movement less environment for babies that get them set up for future problems. What are your best tips for parents?

#6.  What are your thoughts on strollers, baby harnesses, shoes, and toys?

#7. Where can people learn more about you and get in touch with you?

Connect with Jennifer at: www.luvwhatyoudo.net and [email protected]


Here are some resources that Jennifer recommends:

►APTA – Physical Therapist’s Guide to Container Baby Syndrome 

►Children’s Hospital of Atlanta

►Tummy Time Tools (I love this one because it’s not just tummy time but holding too)

►Where Jennifer did her certification: http://rainbowkidsyoga.net/


We love questions! Send us yours at [email protected]


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Don’t forget to get a discount off your order of WBKitchen goodies! Use the discount code “BEETS15” at checkout.



Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil: Interview & Review

I eat fish four to five times per week. Most of it falls into the category of fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines, mackerel and trout. These carry some of the highest levels of bio-available omega 3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA.

I’ve written about the importance of these fats for brain health, fighting inflammation, a strong heart and healthy skin. But what if you can’t stomach fish?

Fish oil supplements should do the trick, right? Not likely.

Most are made with chemical fillers and the oil inside those capsules is rancid. Fish oil is super sensitive to heat, light and air, causing rancidity to occur very quickly during extraction of the oil from the fish. By taking a fish oil pill, you’re likely doing more harm than good.

The Rosita family in Norway is changing all that. After years of practice and research, they have developed a delicate way to extract fish oil that protects it from rancidity. The result is Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil (EVCLO).

I recently interviewed Archie Welch of Organic3, a US distributor of EVCLO, to learn more about their process.

BB: Where is the cod sourced and how is this done sustainably? 
Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil and Rosita, the family that makes it is based in Northern Norway where most of the cod fishing for the Atlantic ocean is done. Norway has strict quotas on how much cod can be caught. They also have agreements with Russia on protecting certain fishing grounds.  In the last few years they’ve reached cod populations that match what they had back during WWII. It’s a big upswing in the cod populations… and if they keep their quotas in line they see no reason why those shouldn’t keep climbing.

Norway still has some very clean waters, obviously oceans are not pristine like they used to be…but as far as the catch of the cod, they are pretty clean. We do put them through natural processes that take out any heavy metals or pesticides. But for the most part, very little has to be done.

BB: Can you describe how the production process protects the delicate oil and nutritional value?

AW: A lot of the oils you buy on the market are highly, highly processed. They go through a lot of high heat, solvents and chemicals and they pretty much damage all the nutrients but it makes it self stable. Which is why when you go into a health food store you’ll find it on the shelf and not in the refrigerator.

What Rosita does, because this is a whole food, is protect the oil and keep out all the rancid factors, which is very difficult. Cod liver oil is very high in omega 3 fatty acids, the DHA and EPA, and those oxidize extremely quickly. They’re polyunsaturated fats, very sensitive. If you don’t protect those right from the very start, they’re going to go rancid.

How they do that? They control the process from the fishing right to the end product in the bottle. The Vikings way back when, observed a phenomenon, that when you catch a deep water cod or any fish that you’re going to extract the liver and bring it up to the surface and get the liver harvested almost immediately; with the difference in pressure from the deep ocean and the difference in temperature, all you have to do is bring the liver out of the fish and the oil exudes on it’s own. And that is just because of the difference in pressure. So that’s what Rosita does.

(Rosita) lets mother nature exude the oil without any heat, no chemicals, no solvents, no pressure, and from there they filter it, similar to coffee filters just to get any particular matter out. Before (extraction) they inspect all the livers to make sure they’re only using the healthiest livers.

Rosita only uses the Atlantic Cod, or Gladius Marine. Historically it is documented to be the most healing.

BB: Are there any additives or supplements in the oil?
AW: To keep it fresh they do add one drop of a combination of rosemary herb and full spectrum vitamin E that helps to protect it from oxidizing. We keep the bottles small so they’re consumed long before the oil goes rancid.

(Rosita) never uses any metal, they never let the livers or oil touch metal. They use ceramic knives for harvesting the livers. They keep the temperature and the lighting down in the bottle facility. They nitrogen flush the bottles and cap it without any oxygen. That allows us to ship without any cold packs, but once it’s received the consumer needs to refrigerate it and especially after it’s been open it needs to be refrigerated. All these factors go into keeping the rancidity issues at bay.

BB: Why is it labeled Extra Virgin?
AW: Anytime you have anything to do with cod liver oil in Norway it has to go through the Norwegian government. We had to send all the oils to NOFIMA and government backed institutes and labs for testing all the fish oils. They were all highly impressed with what Rosita was doing since they weren’t using any heat. It was a throw back to the way they used to harvest livers and create cod liver oils. They were so impressed that they allowed them to use the moniker, Extra Virgin. It’s the only Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil in the world.

BB: What is the self life and what do you recommend for proper storage?
AW: If unopened, you can store it up to a year in the refrigerator. For longterm storage, you can put it in the freezer and it will extend it another 6 months to a year. It can go 2 years in the freezer. Once open you have about 3-4 months before it will start turning.

No flavors are added to EVCLO, we want people to taste the freshness and know when it’s starting to turn. If we add flavors it may mask the rancidity and we want people to know exactly what they’re getting.

BB: What are the benefits of EVCLO?
AW: A high dose of vitamin A, one of the highest doses of natural vitamin D3 of any food in the world (not synthetic) and a healthy dose of EPA and DHA.

It’s because of companies like Rosita that we have access to high-quality, nutrient dense foods.

Norway has one of the world’s lowest levels of depression and they credit it to the heavy doses of omega 3s in their diet. Contrast that to America where we have high levels of depression and consume a very small amount of fish.

Rosita is a company that I trust and I believe their fishing methods are responsible and sustainable.

I love EVCLO for it’s healthy source of omega 3, vitamins D and A that comes from a whole food source. It’s a great alternative for those fish-haters out there. The taste is pure and light and yes it does taste fishy. But wouldn’t you want something coming form fish to taste fishy? That’s how you know it’s the real deal. The other alternative is to eat the whole fish so you make the choice.

How do you get your omega 3s? Do you eat seafood or take a supplement? 


Click here to get FREE SHIPPING on Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil through May 27th!

Learn more about EVCLO here.

You can listen to the entire interview on Episode #11 of Wellness Beets Podcast.

Click to listen now.


*This post contains affiliate links. These help me keep the blog and podcast running so I can keep providing all the insights and info to y’all! Thanks for your support! 


Fish Oil Claims Not Supported by Research, http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/03/30/fish-oil-claims-not-supported-by-research/?_r=0

NOFIMA, http://nofima.no/en/

Before You Go Vegan, Read My Story

Yesterday I shared this story on EcoCult.com. It’s my personal journey of diet discovery and how I learned to focus on nourishing my body while still aligning with my ethics. 

We are fortunate to live in a time where food preferences are more about lifestyle than keeping us nourished. Vegetarian, gluten-free, paleo, grain-free, pescetarian, vegan, there is a diet to suite all preferences. You can even combine them and the world accepts and respects your decision. But what are the health implications of these diets? We forget the fact that we need certain foods for nourishment. 

Nutrition and health were my beats as a kid. I took to heart everything the media reported and then made it my mission to disseminate that information to family and friends. As soon as my mom brought the groceries home, I’d carefully read every label and discard the items I deemed unfit for consumption.

This had nothing to do with a want or need to lose weight. I was fortunate to have a speedy metabolism and never thought twice about the amount of calories I consumed. My motive was in protecting myself and loved ones from the dangerous ingredients that supposedly caused this or that disease.

My obsession only intensified throughout college and my early 20s. My digestion had been problematic since before I can remember, and I searched for ways to ease the discomfort for years. I was willing to try anything for some relief. So I shifted my eating plans on a regular basis as a way to test my body and improve my health issues.

It was a combined desire of wanting to do the right thing health-wise and to be respected for those choices that led to my dive into vegan food.

Once I began working in the environmental protection field, I became heavily influenced by my surroundings. Many of my colleagues and new friends were vegetarian, vegan, or raw dieters, and my curiosity led me down a similar path. Let’s face it, I wanted to fit in and be accepted.

After a month of binging on food policy documentaries, I could no longer look the other way at how our meat is produced. Beef would never taste the same again. I was willing to sacrifice flavor for the environment and humane treatment of animals, so I gave up meat. When my stomach upset continued, a friend suggested I eliminate dairy, since it’s a common intolerance for people. I went for it.

With dairy eliminated, I was now eating a mostly vegan diet. During this time, my digestion issues lessened and I thought this must be it. My health and values were aligned and I decided this was the life path for me, no turning back.

Finding the Way?
I was vegetarian and then vegan for three years. Over the course of this new diet, I still ate seafood and eggs occasionally and splurged on bites of meat during holidays with my family. But I always felt guilty for eating it. I thought it was unhealthy and would lead to some awful disease.

These years of restrictive behavior made it difficult for me to relax and just enjoy food. Perfect eating became an obsession, and I judged all others for their food choices.

Despite eating what I considered healthy, my body began showing signs of distress. Severe dry skin patches popped up. I had to go back in for my third colonoscopy before my 24th birthday. I had repeat running injuries that never seemed to heal. With these mounting issues, my dad called me the unhealthiest healthy person.

But I was blind to the fact that my eating habits may be contributing to my problems. I was solidly convinced I was doing what was best for my body.

The Shift
Five years later my dry skin had reached a tipping point. My friend recommended a few nutrition science books, and by the next week I’d gulped down five books and made appointments with doctors. All results pointed to nutritional deficiencies.

My diet in the last year or so had begun shifting to the regular indulgence of meat a few times per month. Sustainable meat sources were readily available and I proudly told others I eat only “happy” animals. So when I learned I needed to change my eating preferences further in order to improve my health I was perplexed. How could consuming mostly vegetables, fruit, whole grains and little meat be the root of my problems?

I was determined to cure my ailments, so I had no choice but to make the change to a diet that served my body’s nutritional needs. That included eating meat guilt-free for the first time in years. Meat was no longer the enemy. It was a rich source of nutrients my body needed to thrive.

Then I had the realization that saved my life. My diet choices had induced a full-blown eating disorder. I was a food restrictor. And my choice to become vegan was a way to have more control over my body by removing all the animal fat.

Seeing this side of myself wasn’t pretty, and only validated the need to lift all bans on my diet.

I was also officially diagnosed with a dairy allergy, which explained my lifelong digestion discomfort. All of the puzzle pieces were beginning to fit together.

Should You Go Vegan? 
When I adopted a plant-based diet, I was unaware of the possible health implications. My surroundings influenced my decision. Eating more plants seemed like a logical way to improve my health, only the opposite happened. It led to restrictive eating patterns and nutritional deficiencies.

That was a major mind shift that I’m still trying to wrap my head around. With the environmental world bashing meat production, it’s difficult to go against a movement aligned with my values. I’m still committed to my environmentalist values. Most of my food is purchased from small sustainable farmers and the “happy” meat philosophy still rings true to me. I just have to remember that the motive for this comes from a place of ethics rather than restriction.

Vegetarian and vegan didn’t work for me, but it does work for so many people. If I had been less naive about nutritional needs and worked with a dietician, my story would be different. It’s smart to have a medical professional involved when making the choice to omit meat. Meat is some of the most nutrient dense food on the planet, containing essential vitamins that plants cannot provide. You must be up on your body’s inner workings before you toss meat to the curb.

Why Eat Meat?
1. Meat is some of the most nutrient dense food on the planet. Just a few bites of meat can satisfy nutritional needs whereas triple the amount is needed from plant sources for the same benefit.

2. Fat-soluble vitamin A is only found in meat. The vitamin A we associate with carrots is actually beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A that must be converted by our bodies into vitamin A. This conversation rate is tricky too. The ratio varies from 3.8:1 to 28:1 depending on the source. If a woman eats four servings of yellow-orange fruits and vegetables and/ or dark leafy greens she would reach the minimum recommended value needed per day. In contrast just one bite of beef liver contains the same amount of vitamin A and does not have to be converted.  

3. Vitamin D can only be obtained from meat, which is needed for bone health and boots immunity.

4. Restrictive diets are linked to eating disorders. Ethics aside, many sufferers have used the vegan or vegetarian diet as a politically acceptable form of extreme weight control.

5. Vitamin K2 in only in meat sources, such pastured egg yolks, milk and cheese from grassfed animals, liver, beef, and chicken. We need vitamin K2 to transport calcium to our bones. Without it, calcium builds up and causes blocks in our arteries. 

6. Vitamin B12 and iron are also only found in meat sources. Vegans typically must take an absorbable supplement in order to meet these nutritional requirements.

7. The active forms of omega 3 fatty acids are only found in meat sources. EPA and DHA are the active forms found mostly in wild-caught fatty fish and grass-fed beef. The omega 3 found in plants (walnuts, flaxseed, purslane) is in the form of ALA and must be converted to EPA or DHA for the body to use it. Unfortunately these rates are low, with women converting about 21% of ALA to EPA and 9% to DHA. 

Food is a personal subject. We all have strong opinions of what we eat and how we eat it. It’s easy to become wrapped up in the lifestyle and leave behind the fact that food is a necessity for living. Green smoothies are as much of a fashion accessory as your new floral clutch. The media throws conflicting studies at us daily so it’s difficult to find the truth.

But for me, it was a matter of trial and a lot of errors to finding the healthiest me. And the healthiest me eats meat.


Eat the Yolks, Liz Wolfe

Vegetarians and Vegans Return to Meat. Why?, http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/animals-and-us/201412/84-vegetarians-and-vegans-return-meat-why

Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3662288/

Resource: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0062320041/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0062320041&linkCode=as2&tag=empowesusten-20&linkId=7KPNYVKZ5SJ7XRFG

Eating Disorders: The Dark Side of Vegetarianism?, https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/animals-and-us/201009/eating-disorders-the-dark-side-vegetarianism

Food Habits: Are You A Restrictor or a Permitter?, http://www.saragottfriedmd.com/food-habits-are-you-a-restrictor-or-a-permitter/

The age of Information is also the age of misinformation – Claims regarding vegetarianism and vitamin A, http://www.vrg.org/blog/2014/08/28/the-age-of-information-is-also-the-age-of-misinformation-claims-regarding-vegetarianism-and-vitamin-a/