Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM, ROHP

International Best-selling & 16-Time Book Author, Board-Certified Doctor of Natural Medicine, Registered Nutritionist, Herbalist

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Dr. Michelle's New TheProbioticPromise.com Blog

Dispelling the Myths about Probiotics

Discover the truth about probioticsThe other day I was flipping through a medical journal which touted probiotics as the “supplement of the year.”  I opened my e-mail inbox only a few hours later to find a news story showcasing probiotic-rich foods as the “health food of the year.”  It seems probiotics and probiotic-rich foods have earned their rightful place in the health and nutrition world. 

But it seems there is almost as much misinformation about probiotics as there is mention of these beneficial microbes.  As a probiotic researcher for 25 years and author of the soon-to-be-released book, The Probiotic Promise (DaCapo, January 2015), I’d like to shed some light on the facts and expose the fiction.  Be sure to subscribe to this blog as I’ll be sharing critical information over the weeks and months ahead—information that you can use to improve your health and quality of life.

Before I start tackling the essentials about probiotics, let me introduce myself a bit further.  I am a board-certified doctor of natural medicine, registered nutritional consulting practitioner, and registered orthomolecular health practitioner.  As the author of 16 books including several international best-sellers, many readers count on me for practical, no-nonsense health information.  Unlike many health sites on the internet, I have the clinical experience and health background to provide accurate information in my blogs.  You wouldn’t buy the plans for your dream home from an architectural coach; I think you should be as selective about where you get your nutrition and health information.

So, what exactly are probiotics?  Probiotics are living microorganisms that bestow health benefits when ingested in food or supplement form.  The first myth I regularly hear is that probiotics are “beneficial bacteria.” While it is true that probiotics count many beneficial bacteria in their numbers that is only part of the story.  Probiotics can also include other types of beneficial microbes.  Some beneficial yeasts are an example. 

Immediately when I say “beneficial yeasts” someone immediately pipes up that yeasts cause yeast infections.  Beneficial or probiotic yeasts DO NOT cause yeast infections and may even help boost your immunity so your body is better able to fight harmful yeast infections.

Stay posted.  I’ll be sharing lots more news you can use and helping you to get the facts straight on probiotics.  If you haven’t already subscribed to this blog, I hope you will. You can subscribe here.

Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM, ROHP is an international best-selling and 17-time book author and doctor of natural medicine, whose books include:  60 Seconds to Slim, Weekend Wonder Detox, The Ultimate pH Solution, and Healing Recipes. She is the publisher of the free e-magazine World's Healthiest News.  Subscribe to receive health news, tips, recipes and more.  Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook.  Learn more about her work on her website DrMichelleCook.com.

Dr. Michelle's HealthySurvivalist.com Blog

A Super Health-Boosting Pumpkin Spice Latte

If you’ve read my recent blog “The Ugly Truth about Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte” and are ready for a delicious beverage that’s packed full of healthy and wholesome ingredients, then my recipe for “A Better Pumpkin Spice Latte” is for you. 

This recipe can be made with your favorite coffee but I urge you to at least try it with roasted dandelion.  When dandelion root is roasted it takes on a coffee-like flavor.  You may be scoffing at the thought of a dandelion latte but roasted dandelion root is perhaps the most overlooked natural superfood available.  It grows almost everywhere so is a renewable resource, to say the least.  It is packed with health benefits:

It boosts energy and immunity against disease according to a study in the journal Molecules.

It purifies the blood and helps alleviate anemia by significantly increasing both red and white blood cells, according to a study published in Advances in Hematology.

Recently researchers have added superbug killer to the dandelion’s impressive health-boosting resume, having found high antibacterial activity against E. coli, Bacillus subtilis, and MRSA.

I regularly use dandelion root with my clients to help boost kidney and liver function--common concerns in many health conditions.  Learn more about kidney and liver detoxification in my book Weekend Wonder Detox (DaCapo, 2014).

If the thought of pulling up dandelions from your yard doesn’t sound appealing you can purchase dandelion root in most health food stores.  It is available roasted or raw.  If you’re using raw dandelion, cut into small chunks, place in a 200 degree Fahrenheit oven for 1 to 2 hours depending on light or dark roast preference.  Longer roasting times produce a darker roast taste.  Grind in a high-powered blender or coffee grinder.  Store in an air-tight glass jar.  Some health food stores sell pre-roasted and ground dandelion root already prepared.  It is often labelled “coffee substitute.”

If you're harvesting dandelion root be sure to choose an area free of pesticides and lawn sprays.  I've found it easiest to harvest after a rainfall when the ground is soft.

Super Health-Boosting Pumpkin Spice Latte

This delicious pumpkin spice latte is much lower in sugar and devoid of artificial ingredients that plague commercial varieties of the beverage.  I tend to lIf you prefer a sweeter drink, simply increase the amount of coconut sugar used.  You can serve it hot or iced, depending on your preference.

Serves 2

1-1/2 cups almond or coconut milk

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1 tablespoon roasted and ground dandelion root

1-1/2 tablespoons coconut sugar (or more to taste)

1 teaspoon cinnamon+ more for sprinkling on top

1/8 teaspoon cloves

1/3 teaspoon nutmeg+ more for sprinkling on top

Blend all ingredients together in a blender until smooth and creamy.  In a small saucepan over medium to high heat, heat until desired temperature has been reached.  Serve immediately.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.

Check out my new books Weekend Wonder Detox and 60 Seconds to Slim.  Subscribe to my free e-magazine World’s Healthiest News to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more.  Follow my blog on my sites HealthySurvivalist.com and DrMichelleCook.com, and Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook.  Copyright Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD.  Take the FREE WEEKEND WONDER DETOX QUIZ to determine which detox is best for you.