Healthy New Year

Dear Friends, We all LOVE Thanksgiving, don't we? It is a joyous time to gather with family and friends and give thanks for all of the blessings in our lives. Believe it or not, it's one of our favorite holidays here at BB&R because there are a number of health benefits associated with getting together with family and friends. We reduce our stress levels, we encourage those around us to make healthier choices and we LAUGH together which makes us happier and ultimately healthier people.

If you're in charge of a side dish this Thanksgiving we have two of our favorite healthy AND delicious recipes for you below. We've also included one of our favorite healthy dessert recipes. But remember that sometimes you just have to indulge and what better time to do it than on Thanksgiving with a slice of pecan or pumpkin pie?

With love and healthy holiday wishes,

Patricia Reilly Doro Bush Koch Therese Burch Patrice Brickman

Founding Partners of BB&R Wellness Consulting

An Interview with Claire Dwoskin


Claire Dwoskin is the founder of The Children's Medical Safety Research Insitute (CMSRI), which provides funding for research to address eroding national health, particularly in very young and elderly populations. She is our close friend and a true warrior for wellness! CMSRI is one of The Achieving Optimal Health Conference's founding sponsors. Claire is ALL IN. She is smart, passionate, and probably one of the most informed people we know in the field of the role of toxicity in our bodies. She isn't afraid to get her uniform dirty and she even mans her own booth at The Achieving Optimal Health Conference! We are so grateful to Claire and wanted to ask her a few questions about her passions and how she stays healthy!

1. We are so grateful to you as the founding sponsor of AOHC. How did you become interested in mind body health?

Claire: I am delighted to be part of the Achieving Optimal Health Conference and appreciate the contribution this gathering is making toward cultivating and protecting health. When I had children, I became more aware of the increases in serious and disabling chronic health conditions such as life threatening food allergies, asthma, type 1 diabetes, ADD/ADHD, Alzheimer's, depression, anxiety, cancer and other conditions that were largely unheard of or very rare when I was a child. As parents, my friends and I began to wonder why this was occurring and what we could do about it. This curiosity led my husband and me to form a foundation called Children's Medical Safety Research Institute to fund scientific research into the causal factors underlying these conditions. We hope these discoveries will lead to prevention, treatments and cures.

2. What do you see as the greatest health risk in our society today?

Claire: Studying the effects of neuro and immune system toxins is likely to be one of the most promising areas of research which could result in healthier outcomes. We have learned that the immune system effects the brain, and the brain effects the immune system, which is the basis of mind/body health. Toxic exposures during critical periods of development and bioaccumulated toxins' effects on gene expression and epigenetics, the genetic inheritance of future generations, are of utmost concern. Both ancient and modern history have taught us that toxic substances can have profoundly negative effects on health and development. Thalidomide, DES and lead poisoning are a few tragic examples in which substances were believed safe, but later found unsafe, some with generational impacts.

Aluminum toxicity has been scientifically linked to a long list of diseases including physical, mental and genetic diseases, which have increased significantly in the past three decades. Dedicated teams of researchers are undertaking collaborative studies to understand the precise mechanisms by which aluminum damages cells, and new links to diseases and conditions are still being discovered. Most recently, Time Magazine reported on a study linking male infertility to aluminum toxicity. Some researchers believe that understanding the toxic potential of aluminum may hold the key to many of the greatest medical discoveries of our time.

3. How do you take care of yourself and your family? Do you have any suggestions or tips for over the holidays?

Claire: We eat organic food at home, and love many of the recipes we see posted on the Achieving Optimal Health Facebook page. My kids have gotten into juicing this year, and are enjoying the healthful benefits of eating more raw foods. Finding quiet time to relax and recover from the stresses of the week is important - we all find the zone in our own ways. I have been learning a lot about essential oils and their healing potential. Family dinners and a lot of good conversation, games and laughter are important over the holidays. Seeing old friends and loved ones and being thankful is a source of joy and good health.

Our Favorite Healthy Holiday Recipes!

Quinoa Stuffing

2 tablespoons olive oil 1 1/2 cups red quinoa 3 cups vegetable stock 1 medium onion, diced 3 stalks celery, diced 1/4 cup golden raisins, chopped 1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped 1 tablespoon fresh sage 1 tablespoon fresh thyme 1 tablespoon fresh oregano 2 teaspoons sea salt 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

In a medium pot over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add quinoa and toast until fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Increase heat to high and stir in stock, onion, celery, raisins, cranberries, herbs, salt and pepper. Cover and cook until quinoa is al dente, 12 to 15 minutes. Toss in a large bowl to serve. Garnish with parsley.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Hazelnut Chimichurri

1 1/2 pounds brussels sprouts 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp olive oil, divided 2 teaspoons sea salt, divided 2 tablespoons black pepper, divided 1 cup packed fresh parsley 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts 1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro 1/4 cup red wine vinegar 1 clove garlic Fresh basil (optional)

Heat oven to 425°. Slice ends off sprouts and cut into halves. Toss sprouts and odd leaves in 2 tbsp oil, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper. Spread onto a baking sheet in a single layer and roast until leaves are browned and hearts are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. In a food processor, process remaining 1/2 cup oil, parsley, hazelnuts, cilantro, vinegar, garlic, remaining 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper until smooth. Toss sprouts in sauce until well coated. Pour sprouts onto a serving dish. Garnish with fresh parsley or basil if desired.

Raw Vegan Banana Cream Pie

Try this 10-ingredient, amazingly healthy vegan banana cream pie this Thanksgiving! Simple dessert at it's finest.


1 heaping cup walnuts 1 heaping cup pitted dates (soaked for 10 minutes in warm water and drained)


1.25 cups cashews soaked for at least 4 hours or overnight, then drained 3.5 tbsp coconut oil. melted 1/4 cup coconut nectar 1 medium just ripe banana (~1/2 cup mashed)* 1/3 cup full fat coconut milk 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract 1/4 tsp sea salt 2-3 tbsp lemon juice

Place soaked dates in the food processor and process until small bits remain and/or it forms into a ball. Remove and set aside.

Process walnuts until a meal consistency is achieved. Add back in dates and a pinch of salt and mix to combine. When squeezed between two fingers, the crust should stick together and feel moldable. If too dry, add another date or two. If too wet, add a little almond or walnut meal. Press into a springform pan, or an 8x8 baking dish or round cake pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment. Press until flat, going up the sides about 1/2 inch. Place in freezer to set. Add all filling ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy - about 1-2 minutes. If it's having trouble blending, add a little more coconut nectar or water to encourage it along. It should be silky smooth when completely combined. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Adding a heaping spoonful of peanut butter at this point could be a brilliant idea. Then pour into crust and smooth with a spoon. Tap to release any air bubbles, then cover and freeze until set - about 4-6 hours. To serve, let thaw for 5 minutes. Top slices with coconut whipped cream, crushed peanuts and caramel sauce (optional). Should keep in the freezer, covered, for at least one week.

NOTES: *Sub strawberries, mangoes or another fruit for bananas if desired. *If your dates are already stick and very moist, you don't need to soak them.

Mindfulness Moment

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