Author: Micki Contini

Why I Use an Infrared Sauna Regularly and Why You Should Too

As you might already know, sweating is a great way to burn calories and get rid of toxins that harm your health. Sauna has been used for hundreds of years for its healing abilities. I have a detox regime that I follow most morning which includes my sauna. I’m writing this while in my sauna.

If you’ve been following me you might know that I am in recovery from CIRS, from long-term toxic mold exposure. I have a faulty set of genes that are supposed to identify the mold and eliminate it from my body. Instead, it just built up in my body until I got very sick. So now it’s up to me to strengthen my body while assisting in the natural detox process. I’m happy to report I’ve found an awesome tool that’s been key to my recovery!

What are the benefits of using an Infrared Sauna?

Infrared saunas help your body release toxins, including heavy metals like mercury and lead, environmental toxins such as mold and mycotoxins. With IR technology, you can also lose weight, relax, relieve unwanted pain, increase your circulation, and purify your skin.

Here are some of my top benefits of using an infrared sauna regularly:

1. Detoxification: Sweating is one of the body’s most natural ways to eliminate toxins.

2. Relaxation: Infrared promotes relaxation by helping to balance the level of cortisol the body’s stress hormone. The heat will also help to relax muscles and relieve tension allowing you to relax/de-stress.

3. Pain Relief: Infrared can relieve aches, joint pain, muscle aches by increasing circulation and relaxing muscles.

4. Weight Loss: The heat generated by an infrared sauna will cause your core temperature to increase, which can also lead to an increased heart rate. The same increase in heart rate that you get when exercising! A 30-min session burns about 600 calories.

5. Improved Circulation: As the heat from saunas increases core body temp, and circulation increases. It stimulates blood flow, improves muscle recovery, and decrease pain/inflammation.

6. Skin Purification: eliminates toxins from pores, increases circulation, clearer, softer, and healthier-looking skin. I recommend dry skin brushing before.

Is infrared sauna better than the regular steam sauna?

Steam room saunas use moisture and heat. infrared saunas are unique and have low humidity and air temperature. While both steam room and infrared saunas provide benefit, the far infrared rays penetrate deep inside the body, promoting better blood flow.

Is a portable infrared sauna better than a wood infrared sauna?

I prefer a portable infrared sauna for a few reasons. I want my head to stick out so I am not forced to breathe in the toxins that are coming out of my skin. I like to move it around to different rooms in my house. Sometimes I like to watch television while I am in the sauna detoxing but sometimes I like to meditate and need to be in a quiet room. The Thera360 comes with a carry case so I can fold it up and travel with it.

How often should you use an infrared sauna?

The optimal amount of sauna sessions depends on your health status and what your what your health goals are. There is no one answer to the number of sessions per week, but infrared saunas are safe to use every day. I use mine almost every day. In fact, you will see wellness improvements sooner if you use it daily. On average, most people use their sauna 3-4 times a week for 30-45 minute sessions. If you have an illness, such as mold toxicity or cancer you should out with short sessions spaced far apart. If you have any questions about how you should use sauna sign up for a free consultation with me. Details at the bottom.

What is the best-infrared sauna to buy?

Thera360, from Therasage, is the Cadillac of all portable Saunas. It’s full spectrum, has an earthing grounding pad, tourmaline gemstones for happy negative ions (same as the beach!) When I took mine out of the box there wasn’t any chemical off-gassing. Off gassing is a huge problem with the cheaper models made out of plastic! The Therasage 360 has heating panels on all four sides so it heats evenly and there’s a controller where you can set your desired temperature and there’s also a timer. If you have any questions or want one of these gems to let me know and I will set you up with a nice a discount. I think everyone could benefit from one of these babies!!!

Schedule a complimentary consultation with me HERE to learn how YOU can benefit from using an infrared sauna. Please put “Free Sauna Consult” in the subject line and I will get in touch with you to schedule your complimentary session. To apply for a consultation contact us at (732) 659-0227 or email me at [email protected]

My friends at Therasage have offered a special discount for you if you’re looking to purchase an infrared heating pad or portable sauna. Just click here to browse infrared products, and enter the code “getwell” at checkout for 5% off.

Or Purchase here for 10% ($80) off!

How to Remain Healthy as You Age: Must Have Essential Nutrients

menopause, healthy aging, live long

Have you ever wondered why some people age so gracefully and some people look and feel like train wrecks?

I used to believe that aging meant getting a disease, feeling tired all the time and gaining lots of weight. Look around and you will see lots of sick, overweight and tired people. I thought illness and obesity were inevitable. I didn’t realize that healthy aging was a choice.

What is Succesful Aging?

Succesful aging is maintaining high physical and cognitive function in your 40’s, 50’s and beyond. It means feeling and looking your best. If you want this for yourself then read on.

In this blog post series, I will share my most powerful successful aging strategies. In this post, I will tell you the specific nutrients you must include in your diet daily.

Foundational Vitamins and Minerals

Here is a listing of essential vitamins and minerals we need each day. We must get them from our food. These are the foundational nutrients that we must include in our diet to age gracefully.

Track your food for a few days and see if your diet includes the following nutrients. You can use a phone app such as MyFitness Pal. My favorite free app, is Cronometer because you can get the most nutritional information. Or if you are old school and prefer pen and paper to keep track, download my food tracker here.


Good for: Healthy eyes and general growth, including healthy teeth and skin.
Food Source: Carrots and other orange (carotene pigment) foods including sweet potato and cantaloupe melons.


Good for: Energy production, immune function, and iron absorption.
Food Source: whole grains, potatoes, bananas, lentils, chili peppers, beans, yeast, and molasses.


Good for: Strengthening blood vessels, giving skin elasticity, antioxidant function, and iron absorption.
Food Source: oranges, guava, red and green peppers, kiwi, grapefruits, strawberries, Brussels sprouts, and cantaloupe.


Good for: Strong healthy bones.
Food Source: eggs, fish, and mushrooms. sun exposure


Good for: Blood circulation, and protection from free radicals.
Food Source: almond. and other-other nuts, sunflower seeds, and tomatoes


Good for: Blood coagulation – that is, the process by which your blood clots.
Food Source: Leafy greens, kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, broccoli.


Good for: Cell renewal and preventing birth defects in pregnancy.
Food Source: dark leafy greens, asparagus, broccoli, citrus fruits, beans, peas, lentils, seeds, nuts, cauliflower, beets, and corn.


Good for: Healthy teeth and bones.
Food Source: dairy products like yogurt, cheese and milk, black molasses and Canned fish (sardines, salmon with bones) beans, and some leafy greens (collard and turnip greens, kale, bok choy).


Good for: Building muscles naturally and maintaining healthy blood.
Food Source: Clams take the top spot for iron content, followed by oysters and organ meats like liver. Cereal, pumpkin seeds, beans, lentils, and spinach are great sources of iron.


Good for: Immunity, growth, and fertility.
Food Source: Oysters, spinach, cashews, beans and dark chocolate.


Good for: Glucose function, which makes sure every cell in your body gets energy as and when needed.
Food Source: whole grains, fresh vegetables, and herbs

I want you to feel and look your best. I want you to have limitless energy and get a good report at your yearly exam. I want to help you regain your health and avoid unneeded disease. You will look better and feel better by giving your body the nutrition it needs. Congratulations on taking the first step in healthy aging.


Are you finding that you’re always exhausted? Do you have trouble getting a restful night’s sleep? A good night sleep is a very important part of healthy aging. During sleep, our body is cleansing, detoxifying and rejuvenating itself. If you aren’t getting high-quality sleep download my free How to get a good night’s sleep guide.


3 Tips for Succesful Aging

One of the most frequently asked questions that my clients ask me, as a functional, integrative nutritionist is: “How can I stop aging?”

Well, the bad news is I don’t think we have discovered how to stop aging completely. BUT, The good news is I can tell you how to dramatically slow down aging. Yep. Here goes…

1) Add in as many nutrient dense vegetables as you can to all of your meals. Try and add one vegetable from each color. Each color represents different nutrients. Guess what? We need them all! Shoot for 7-9 servings per day.

2) Hydrate. As women, our estrogen declines as we age. This can cause dry skin. Your skin on your face is the first thing others see. Drinking at least half your body weight in ounces can combat this. Plus water helps us detox and keeps things moving.

3) Make my Hearty Successful Aging Soup. See recipe below.




Hearty Successful Aging Soup

RECIPE – Serves 12


  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium onions, chopped
  • 3 large leeks, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 medium turnips, peeled and chopped
  • 2 huge leaves swiss chard, deribbed and chopped
  • 8 leaves kale, deribbed and chopped
  • 1/4 head cabbage, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 med-large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 (14.5-oz.) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 4 quarts homemade bone broth or 4 quarts low sodium chicken broth


  • In a large soup pot*, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and stir until nearly translucent. Add the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Be careful to not burn!
  • Add remaining veggies. Sauté for about one minute.  You are not cooking them. This will flavor the soup. Add the thyme, salt and pepper while sautéing.
  • Next place the veggies in a large slow cooker.  Add the diced tomatoes and broth. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 9 hours or on HIGH for 4 to 6 hours. If your slow cooker isn’t large enough, simmer the mixture in the soup pot on the stovetop for at least 1 hour.
  • Before serving, gently mash a few of the sweet potato chunks to thicken the soup.
  • Serve and enjoy.

If you are reading this chances are you are interested in improving your health.  Fill out the form on the bottom right side of this page or use this link to stay connected to me. I wouldn’t  want you to miss out on any of my health information. I also have a free gift for you. After you subscribe I will send you a link to download my free “How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep Guide”

Look and Feel Younger: How to Naturally Slow Down Aging

Why do some 40 year olds look 60? And conversely, why do some 60 year olds look 40? Whether you like it or not, aging is the natural process we all go through. But what if I told you how to turn back the clock? I am going to share with you how to naturally slow aging by improving your lifestyle, following an healthy diet, and taking targeted supplements.

Lifestyle Recommendations

• Exercise: This is a big one! Activity keeps you young by lubricating your joints, supporting detoxification, improving lean muscle mass, and improving your cardiovascular health.

• Sleep:  A restful night’s sleep is one of the best things you can do to prevent aging.  Aim to get between 7- 9 hours of sleep  in a completely dark, cool room. (Grab my Free “How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep Guide” CLICK HERE )

Foods that Cause Faster Aging

• Refined Sugar: The number one food that speeds aging. It causes glycation which damages cells and causes wrinkles.

Artificial sugar and other artificial ingredients: These contain a large number of chemicals which can speed up the aging process.

• Trans fats and hydrogenated oils:  These processed fats promote inflammation which leads to premature aging, heart disease, and certain types of cancer.

• Alcohol: Although an occasional glass of red wine is said to be beneficial for health because it has an anti-oxidant known as resveratrol, the overall consumption of alcohol is a bad idea. It’s pro-inflammatory and speeds up the aging process.

• Grains: All grains are pro-inflammatory unless they are sprouted. Grains cause glycation, which speeds up the aging process.

Supplements to Slow Aging Effects

• Omega-3 fats:  The omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA found in fish oil are powerful anti-inflammatories and may reduce age-related cellular damage. (1000 mg daily)

• Green Powder: Contains foods high in antioxidant compounds like chlorella, spirulina, grass juices, wild berries, and herbs that are known to slow aging. (1 serving per day)

• Resveratrol: Found in the skin of red grapes resveratrol has been shown to reduce cellular damage and slow aging. (250-500 mg daily)

• Adaptogen Herbs:  Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, Holy Basil, Ginseng. These herbs lower cortisol levels and reduce the damaging effects stress can have on the body. (500-1000 mg daily)

• Co-enzyme Q10: Acts as a powerful antioxidant by supporting heart function and is also required for the energy production of cells critical for preventing premature aging. (150 mg 2x daily)

Essential Oils to Slow Aging Effects

Frankincense, lavender, myrrh and sandalwood can be used as potent anti-aging remedies. They’re high in antioxidants and contain compounds that naturally balance hormones and reduce cellular damage. Try adding 2 drops of frankincense to your drinking water, once per day to slow the aging process.


If you would like to find out what changes you can make in your life to slow down aging I can help. CLICK HERE to schedule a free 15 minute Get Acquainted Session or jump right in and make an appointment so I can start helping you feel better right away, CLICK HERE to book a consultation.

If you are reading this chances are you are interested in improving your health.  Fill out the form on the bottom right side of this page or use this link to stay connected to me. I wouldn’t  want you to miss out on any of my health information. I also have a free gift for you. After you subscribe I will send you a link to download my free Sleep Guide

4 Clues that You Have a Thyroid Problem and 5 Natural Fixes that Work


You’ve been to the doctor and he says you’re fine but you don’t feel good. You’ve told him you’re tired all the time, you’re having trouble losing weight, you’re constipated and you can’t remember even the simplest things. The doc said “it’s all in your head”. He showed you the blood tests and pointed to the numbers and said “look they are all in range, you’re OK”.

Approximately 25 million Americans have a thyroid problem, and most of them don’t know it. Most thyroid imbalances are caused by an under-active thyroid gland called Hypothyroidism,

The thyroid is the master gland of metabolism. How well your thyroid is functioning is directly related to every system in your body. If your thyroid is not running optimally, then neither are you.

Most conventional doctors use only one test (TSH) to screen for problems but there are other important tests that are needed to tell the whole story. Another huge problem is they only use the ‘normal’ lab reference range as their guide rather than listening to their patients symptoms.

If you suspect that you might have a thyroid problem these are the tests I suggest you ask for:

  • TSH
  • Free T4
  • Free T3
  • Reverse T3
  • Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (TPOAb)
  • Thyroglobulin Antibodies (TgAb)

5 things you can do to improve your thyroid function:

  1. Make sure you are getting Iodine, Zinc, Selenium, Iron, Vitamin D and B vitamins in your diet.
  2. Get your adrenal glands tested. They work hand in conjunction with your thyroid. Reducing stress with activities such as yoga, Pilates or even just taking a walk in nature will all help support your adrenals.
  3. Address any digestion issues you might have. A properly functioning gut is crucial to good health.
  4. Try a gluten-free diet and I don’t mean buy gluten-free junk food at the grocery store. Choose foods that don’t have gluten in them to begin with.
  5. Switch to glass. BPA (Bisphenol A) and other endocrine disrupting chemicals are found in plastics (think plastic water bottles) which can negatively affect your thyroid gland.

If you suspect you have a thyroid problem or need help with an existing thyroid condition I can help. I’ve personally had thyroid problems so I know how hard it is to get effective care.  CLICK HERE to schedule a free 15 minute Get Acquainted Session to find out how I can help you. Or jump right in and make an appointment so we can start helping you feel better right away, CLICK HERE to book a consultation.


If you are reading this chances are you are interested in improving your health.  Fill out the form on the bottom right side of this page or use this link to stay connected to me. I wouldn’t  want you to miss out on any of my health information. I also have a free gift for you. After you subscribe I will send you a link to download my free Sleep Guide

Purple Cauliflower Health Benefits and Recipe

Everyone is familiar with the white cauliflower. But did you know there are purple, orange, and yellow cauliflower varieties, also? Purple cauliflower tastes mild and slightly sweet. It gets its beautiful color from the presence of the antioxidant anthocyanin, which is also found in red cabbage, purple carrots and berries.

Anthocyanins are considered one of the most important nutrients for eye health. Research also suggests that anthocyanins may help alleviate certain inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, due to their strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Anthocyanins also help to lower your cancer risk. A 1-cup (100 g) serving of fresh purple cauliflower contains about 400 milligrams of anthocyanins.

Cauliflower is a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables.

  • Arugula
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Collard greens
  • Horseradish
  • Kale
  • Radishes
  • Rutabaga
  • Turnips
  • Watercress
  • Wasabi
  • 1 cup of cruciferous vegetables contains approximately 12 grams of fiber
  • Cruciferous vegetables contain protein, as much as 25 percent of the daily value in three cups
  • Cruciferous vegetables, especially kale and collard greens, provide high amounts of vitamin K, which may have benefits for fighting cancer and inflammation

Glucoraphanin (class of compounds called glucosinolates) is known for it’s as anticancer properties in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and kale. When you chew purple cauliflower, the glucoraphanin is broken down into a compound called sulforaphane which  causes cancer cells to self-destruct without harming your healthy cells. (Dr. Rod Dashwood)

For every 1 cup serving (100 g) of purple cauliflower,  12 g of fiber. 100 % of the recommended daily values, (DV), of vitamin C. 25% DV of vitamin K, 14 % DV of folate and 11 % DV of vitamin B6, 12 % DV of manganese and 9 % DV of potassium.

Buying Tips: Choose cauliflower that looks fresh. Cauliflower loses it nutritional value over time. You want to eat cauliflower as fresh as possible to get the biggest nutritional punch. Cauliflower that’s been in the grocery store, (or your refrigerator) for several days contains significantly less vitamin C than freshly harvested produce.

Fight Cancer • Boost Heart Health • It’s Anti-Inflammatory • It’s Rich in Vitamins and Minerals • Boosts Brain Health • Digestive Benefits • Antioxidants and Phytonutrients 

[gmc_recipe 893594]

Purify the Air in Your Home with this Scientific Solution

Screen shot 2015-01-08 at 4.21.12 PM

Pollution not only increases risk of respiratory illnesses, heart disease, learning disabilities, and even cancer, but can also accelerates aging. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “studies of human exposure to air pollutants by EPA indicate that indoor levels of pollutants may be 2 to 5 times—and occasionally more than 100 times—higher than outdoor pollutant levels.”

They add that indoor air pollutants have been ranked among the top five environmental risks to public health.

We can reduce indoor pollution by vacuuming and dusting frequently, opening a window as much as we can, and investing in a quality air filter. But there’s another way to make indoor breathing easier while adding a nice atmosphere to our indoor spaces. Buy more houseplants! Any greenery helps, but there are certain plants that clean the air better than the rest.

For maximum efficiency, use 15 to 18 plants in a house that’s 1800 to 2000 square feet.

Think one plant for every 100 square feet.

You don’t have to buy that many at first. Invest in a few, and then propagate additional ones off the original. (my favorite way to get new plants!)

Plants that will Help Clean the Air in Your Home

  • Spider Plant: formaldehyde, xylene and toluene.
  • Golden Pothos: benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene and toluene.
  • Snake Plant (Mother-in-Law’s Tongue): benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene and toluene.
  • Bamboo Palm or Reed Palm: formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene.
  • Chinese Evergreen: benzene, formaldehyde.
  • Peace Lily: benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene, and ammonia.
  • English Ivy: mold and mildew, formaldehyde, benzene, xylene, and toluene.
  • Gerbera Daisies: benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene.
  • Red-Edged Dracaena (Dracaena Marginata): benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, and toluene.
  • Warneck Dracaena: benzene, trichloroethylene, xylene, and toluene.
  • Weeping Fig: formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene.
  • Chrysanthemum: formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene, and ammonia.
  • Boston fern: formaldehyde, xylene and toluene.
  • Philodendron: formaldehyde.


“Benefits Stemming from Space Exploration,” NASA, September 2013,
“Plants Clean Air and Water for Indoor Environments,” NASA,
Luz Claudio, “Planting Healthier Indoor Air,” Environmental Health Perspectives, October 2011; 119(10): a426-a427,
Heather L. Papinchak, et al., “Effectiveness of Houseplants in Reducing the Indoor Air Pollutant Ozone,” Hort Technology, April-June 2009; 19(2): 286-290,
Patricia M. Webb, “Indoor Plants for Clean Air,” Penn State Extension, January 16, 2008,
If you are reading this chances are you are interested in improving your health.  Fill out the form on the bottom right side of this page or use this link to stay connected to me. I wouldn’t  want you to miss out on any of my health information. I also have a free gift for you. After you subscribe I will send you a link to download my free “How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep Guide”

Resources to Help You Locate Organic and Locally Produced Food

Local Food


The following organizations can also help you locate organic and locally produced foods. If you know of a resource that isn’t listed here please let me know so I can add it here.

  • Local Harvest — This Web site will help you find farmers’ markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area where you can buy produce and grass-fed meats.
  • Eat Wild: With more than 1,400 pasture-based farms, Eatwild’s Directory of Farms is one of the most comprehensive sources for pastured foods in the United States and Canada.
  • Farmers’ Markets — A national listing of farmers’ markets.
  • Eat Well Guide: Wholesome Food from Healthy Animals — The Eat Well Guide is a free online directory of sustainably raised meat, poultry, dairy, and eggs from farms, stores, restaurants, inns, and hotels, and online outlets in the United States and Canada.
  • FoodRoutes — The FoodRoutes “Find Good Food” map can help you connect with local farmers to find the freshest, tastiest food possible. On their interactive map, you can find a listing for local farmers, CSAs, and markets near you.
  • Vital Choice Seafood — Trusted source for the wild salmon and seafood!

Why and How to Get More Purple Potatoes into Your Life for Better Health


If you’ve been following me, you’ve probably heard me say “eat the rainbow” a million times. That’s because colorful foods are packed with important antioxidants and other very important nutrients.  Each color group has it’s own combination of  vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are natural compounds found in plants. They protect us against disease and help keep us healthy.

Here is a very basic list of each color group and it’s benefits

  • Red: Very heart healthy and gives strength support to our joints
  • Orange: A great source of Vitamin C. Helps keep our eyes healthy
  • Yellow:  Good for our skin and digestive system
  • Green: Helps our entire body and strengthens our immune systems which means less colds
  • Purple: Purple/blue foods are excellent for our brains and they help us with our memory and also help keep some cancers away

This post will concentrate on purple. Although there are many purple foods, one of my family’s current favorites is the purple potatoe. Purple foods contain anthocyanins, which are a class of  phytonutrients.There is research that suggests that anthocyanins  promote eye and heart health, decrease cancer cell proliferation and more. You can find anthocyanins in teas, honey, wines, fruits, vegetables, nuts, olive oil, cocoa and cereals.

Purple Potatoes

Today, purple potatoes are grown in thousands of varieties in the US and are available year-round. They can be found in some grocery stores, health food stores and farmers markets. 7,000 years ago they were reserved for Incan kings in their native home Peru. They were considered food for the gods.

According to the USDA website, potatoes with the darkest colors have more than four times the antioxidant potential than other potatoes. Purple potatoes are as nutrient dense as Brussels sprouts, kale or spinach as far as their antioxidant properties go. They have a slightly nutty flavor.

Here’s one of my favorite ways to get more purple into my life:

[gmc_recipe 460465]



If you are reading this chances are you are interested in improving your health.  Fill out the form on the bottom right side of this page or use this link to stay connected to me. I wouldn’t  want you to miss out on any of my health information. I also have a free gift for you. After you subscribe I will send you a link to download my free “How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep Guide”


How to Stay Healthy During Cold and Flu Season


chickensoupA steaming bowl of chicken soup is so comforting on a cold day,especially if you aren’t feeling well. Not only is it nutritious, it’s also delicious!  If you are sick, the hot soup will help soothe a sore throat and also ease cold and flu symptoms as congestion and coughs. I make this soup in bulk and freeze it so I have it  on hand as an immune booster or a quick meal.

[gmc_recipe 444977]


[gmc_recipe 445020]


If you are reading this chances are you are interested in improving your health.  Fill out the form on the bottom right side of this page or use this link to stay connected to me. I wouldn’t  want you to miss out on any of my health information. I also have a free gift for you. After you subscribe I will send you a link to download my free “How to Get a Restful Night’s Sleep” Guide.