It’s HAPPY FEET month at Brio Wellness Center. All month we will be sharing cool info on how to maintain Happy Feet during the dry weather, which for us is like year round, right?!? So keep checking back here to learn something new. And if you haven’t already subscribed to our e-newsletter, be sure to take care of that before you leave.

Okay, let’s get things kicked off with a refreshing foot scrub. While you’re at it, you can use this scrub anywhere on your body. Just keep it away from your eyes and sensitive parts where the peppermint could burn. We especially love to use this scrub on our hands frequently throughout the week. It is really great at relieving dry, itchy fingers.

Cool fact: Peppermint Oil has a stimulating effect on the right brain. Which means when you are feeling anxious, hyperactive, have lack of focus, and feel overly emotional you could use some right brain stimulation.* This Refreshing Foot Scrub will wake up your brain in the morning, or refresh your brain after a long day of work or play, and it’s the perfect chemical free way to sluff away dry skin, moisturize, and invigorate all at the same time. No need for soap. The coconut oil is a natural anti-microbial. Just rinse & pat dry to maintain silky smooth skin.

Now that you’re feet & brain are happy… how’s your spine? #getadjusted 

*Source: “Disconnected Kids: The Groundbreaking Brain Balance Program for Children with Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, and Other Neurological Disorders” By Dr. Robert Melillo

PaleoCleanse Detoxification

Presented by: Mendi Kessler, Nutrition Educator, Designs for HealthJoin us for this FREE community event!

Monday, September 12th @ 6pm

Presented by:
Mendi Kessler
Nutrition Educator, Designs for Health

Invite a friend to join you!

Call to Register!
(562) 598-2746

Brain Food!

imgresDid you know your brain controls every single function of your body? Did you know the purpose of eating is to ultimately feed the brain? Regular consumption of healthy brain foods reduces our risks of disease by maintaining a healthy immune system.

The typical American diet is laden with unhealthy trans fats, sugars, processed foods, preservatives, artificial flavors, artificial colors, antibiotics, pesticides and growth hormones. With all these “ingredients” in our so called “food,” it is of no surprise a myriad of diseases caused by nutrient deficiencies are at an all-time high and vitamin supplement sales are soaring.

Many young adults & athletes in pursuit of sculpting the perfect body often times turn towards nutrition and protein powders as well as sports drinks to ensure they are getting the nutrients their bodies need. Often times these products are riddled with dangerous fillers, hormones, and chemicals that can cause liver, kidney and heart damage with long term daily consumption. Unfortunately, many of these well meaning folks don’t realize the dangers hidden in these “power” products.

The most important thing one can do for their body is EAT – chew, swallow, stimulate, digest, and absorb real food. So, consume nutrient-rich Brain Foods first and consult with a doctor trained in functional nutrition for additional necessary support to ensure a safe and profoundly healthy brain and body.

The most natural form of any nutrient is found in nature’s goodness— real food. The synergistic effects found only in the whole food’s natural state provides us with the most bioavailable forms of their nutrients. While taking supplements to boost our deficiencies is important, isolating these nutrients in the forms of powders, pills, and even essential oils can be risky business.

A nutrient rich diet complete with organic fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains & legumes, as well as organic lean meats are the best way to ensure safe nutrient balance in our bodies. However, a completely organic diet could be cost-prohibitive for many American individuals and families. I encourage patients to choose first the organic foods they really like and eat regularly, and then if cost is an issue reach for non-GMO, natural or free range for the foods they eat less often. By doing this, you limit the amount of harmful “ingredients” and remove many of the overly processed and packaged foods completely.

Incorporating foods for brain health into your diet isn’t hard. Just keep these 5 simple principles in mind:

  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. In general, the more colorful the better.
  • Use a wide variety of herbs and spices to make your meals delicious and brain healthy.
  • Buy wild salmon and grass-fed meat when available.
  • Use coconut oil wherever you normally use vegetable oil.
  • Eat nuts and seeds as brain food snacks. But most of all, eat chocolate!


Blueberries (fresh or frozen): contain anthyocyanins known to improve memory, learning, reasoning skills, decision making, verbal comprehension, and numerical ability avocado; help maintain communication between brain cells by stimulating the production of BDNF(brain derived neurotic factor) a protein that stimulates cell growth.

Avocado: boosts the neurotransmitter dopamine to help keep your brain focused.

Green Leafy Vegetables: contain folic acid, Vit B6 & Vit B12 work synergistically to reduce brain atrophy, improve brain function, and dramatically reduce brain shrinkage in the part of the brain most affected by Alzheimer’s. Also contains L-Tyrosine which works synergistically to reduce brain atrophy, improve brain function, and dramatically reduce brain shrinkage in the part of the brain most affected by Alzheimer’s. They also contain Vit K, also thought to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.

Peppers (hot & bell peppers): high in vitamin C, antioxidants, and phytonutrients such as beta carotene and capsaicin which improves circulation to the brain.

Root Vegetables: high in fiber and complex carbohydrates that are good at supplying your brain with a steady stream of energy.

Rosemary: has significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to fight free radical damage in the brain. It also contains Carsonic acid, a phytonutrient particularly good for protecting the brain from a stroke and neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. Other herbs good for supporting your brain are: basil, chives, oregano, parsley, sage, and thyme.

Turmeric: a potent antioxidant that readily crosses the blood-brain barrier that improves memory, increases BDNF production in the brain, reduces brain inflammation, can break up the brain plaques associated with Alzheimer’s.

Nuts and Seeds like walnuts, chocolate, almonds, cashews, sesame seeds, and chia seeds: contain brain-essential omega-3 fatty acids, B complex vitamins, vitamin E, iron, zinc, and magnesium.

Chocolate (70% Cacao or more): contains flavinoids thought to reduce the risk of dementia. Also contains caffeine & theobromine contribute to the improved memory, focus, and attention that chocolate lovers experience.

Salmon (wild-caught only), Grass-fed beef and meats: contain amino acids and high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids which aid in reducing inflammation.

Coconut Oil: contains medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) which enable it to supply energy directly to the brain with no insulin spike making it a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s and other neurological disorders.

Immune Boosting Tea

With the changing of seasons, there’s been a lot of cold/flu illnesses going around, so I wanted to share with you a great tea recipe that is rich in antimicrobial properties. A cup of this tea each day will go a long way to boost your body’s natural immunity.

While you’re cuddled up in your comfy chair sipping on this delicious tea, why not expand your knowledge on how these spices have incredible neuroprotective properties too, like helping to prevent neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Depression, and sooooo much more!  file:///Users/mindijentes/Downloads/nihms307525.pdf

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“Raw Ingredient Testing: a critical component to quality supplements” by Babette Gilbert-Teno

Be aware of hype or marketing verbiage! It is IMPORTANT to be completely aware of what is in supplements you are taking.

Did you know that when cadavers are dissected in anatomy labs, some tablets (lesser quality) are found whole in the digestive tract as they were not able to be broken down by the body? 

Xray picture for undigested calcium pills
Undigested Calcium Tablets lodged in the colon

I’ve toured labs and sat in many raw ingredient analysis committee meetings. There are many supplements that have tested high for HEAVY METALS, including though not limited to: lead, aluminum, arsenic, cadmium AND pesticides! And, many that have not met amounts listed on the label OR have exceeded what is listed on the label by 3000%! Scary to think of the damage that can be done without the unsuspecting consumer even knowing until it comes out in lab work or a diagnosis months or years from now!

I’ve been doing research and have been asked for 24 years by thousand of colleagues (doctors, other healthcare professionals, business professionals) as well as clients if I could recommend a high quality “all-in-one” nutritional supplement (with raw ingredient testing) so people/patients didn’t have to take so many pills and spend so much money for so many bottles, AND so they could be assured that they weren’t being exposed to high levels of heavy metals, pesticides, etc. and get sick.

Enter ZEAL! An all-in-one powdered nutritional drink from whole food concentrates with RAW INGREDIENT ANALYSIS done. Zeal also offers a healthy weight management kit with a healthy cleanse and burn. This is why the Zeal Wellness Formula is the only product that I’ve ever exclusively endorsed in 24 years as a Nutritionist!

Zeal Wellness Formula

Quality Labs & specialty tests results related to blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, CRP, homocysteine, cellular oxygenation, adrenal function, immune function

Zeal is changing lives! Patient lab values don’t lie! Balancing hormones and neurotransmitters. Marked improvement in Body Composition – Decreased FAT, increased Muscle. Increased libido, mental clarity, focus and sports performance – setting/breaking personal records. Zeal Wellness Formula is #1 in All Categories!



Cabbage Rolls Recipe

cabbage-rolls-mjentesThe first time I (Mindi) ever had cabbage rolls were at my grade school friend’s Greek home one day after school. I always enjoyed going to Patricia‘s home after school. I’m sure she has become as wonderful a cook as her mama. These rolls are inspired by that day so many years ago. ENJOY!

Cabbage Rolls

1 head of cabbage, carefully separate and blanch leaves, remove from water and allow to cool.

In a large frying pan cook together:
1 cup brown rice, cook with 1/4 chopped fresh parsley and the juice of whole lemon
1lb. Ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 toes garlic, minced
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup red wine

Carefully assemble cabbage leaves with a 1/4-1/2 cup of ground beef and rice mixture. Roll up and tuck in edges. Place in a large frying pan with tomatoe sauce. Stew over medium heat until tender (20 mons or so). Sprinkle with feta cheese and fresh parsley. Makes 12-14 rolls.

Baby’s First Foods – Boston Children’s Hospital

baby-carrotFor years it was believed that a baby’s first solid food should be bland, rice cereal as it was unlikely to trigger an allergic reaction. But times have changed and those recommendations no longer stand.

Read this article written by a local pediatrician, letting parents know what’s now considered the best starter foods for baby’s first bites:

Thanks Boston Children’s Hospital!