The Problem With Caffeine (Part 1)

I’ve always felt a bit like an alien in society, because I don’t do caffeine.  The responses I receive when I disclose this to people range from confusion, to amazement and utter disbelief.  I was raised in a household where nobody drank coffee or sodas, and so it was just never on my radar.  And in college, when chronic procrastination finally resulted in a situation where I needed to stay up and study way past my bedtime, I experimented with caffeine pills, which was probably the worst four hours I’ve ever experienced in my entire life.   Every single part of my mind and body were asleep as I tried to review the notes I took over the course of the semester, except for my eyes, which wouldn’t close.  I felt like a walking zombie.  That was my first and last experiment with synthetic caffeine and somehow I still managed to graduate college with a decent G.P.A.

When I speak at health seminars around the country, the subject of caffeine comes up pretty frequently and everyone is curious to know my thoughts about whether it’s healthy or not.  It’s like people subconsciously know that there’s something deeply unsettling about their daily (or multiple times a day) habit and they’re looking for someone to help relieve them of this internal conflict. 

Is it toxic to the body? 

Is it toxic to the brain? 

Will consuming it daily have long term negative health consequences down the road? 

Something so natural can’t be bad for you right? 

Sometimes I refuse to broach the topic, since so many people are sensitive about it, but when I do respond, I always pause and moderate my voice before proceeding.  So if you’re reading this now, imagine that I am speaking in a soft, loving, and non-judgmental tone...

There are several reasons why caffeine, consumed on a regular basis, is not good for your body.  The first is that caffeine produces a dehydrating effect within your body, and therefore the cells on your body don’t have enough fluid to do their jobs properly or flush out toxins.  And when you have cells functioning at low efficiency and toxins building up in and around the cells due to chronic dehydration, then you are setting the stage for degeneration and chronic health conditions in your body.  We all know how important it is to drink enough water and stay properly hydrated.  So it’s ironic, that at the same time we often engage in regular habits that deplete the water in our system, like eating salty food and drinking alcohol and various caffeinated beverages. 

The second reason caffeine is not good for your body is that you have this thing called the endocrine gland system, which contains pretty powerful energy centers (i.e. chakras) where each gland in your body is located.  The thyroid and adrenal glands are your two “energy” glands.  The thyroid gland is located in your neck area and unfortunately, most of the American population is suffering from chronic hypothyroidism for various reasons I’ll go into in another post. 

In addition, your adrenal glands are the two little glands that sit on top of each of your kidneys and handle your stress response, also known as your “fight or flight” mechanism.  They also control all sorts of important functions in tandem with your autonomic nervous system, that regulate how you breathe, how fast your heart beats, the rate at which you metabolize sugar (see below), how efficiently you move waste through your colon (see below), etc.  You know, pretty important stuff.  And glands are funny in the sense that if you overwork them, they stop functioning (surprise!), which many people do by living with constant stress and living in a constant state of fear.  And it doesn’t matter if the threat is real or not.  Have you watched the news lately?  Exactly. 

Caffeine is just another factor that constantly stimulates your adrenal glands into action at a subtle level, and taxes an already overtaxed mechanism.  The more your glands go down in function, the more you'll need something external to get you going in the morning...or keep you going throughout the day.  And while caffeine provides an artificial boost, that boost has to be artificially maintained and it's characterized by "peaks and valleys".  On the other hand, healthy endocrine glands provide a natural and sustained energy source that is consistent and constant.

The third reason that caffeine might not be so good for you is simply that’s it’s usually added to a beverage product that is simultaneously laced with copious amounts of sugar.  The only reason I visit Starbucks these days is to use their free Wi-Fi while I travel.  But I see the things that people order and it's a bit shocking.  I’m not sure when it became popular to have dessert for breakfast, or during multiple times per day, but all of those pumpkin spiced lattes, and frappuccinos look like pretty decadent treats from my perspective.  So you’re getting this double whammy of stimulation from these caffeinated, sweetened drinks, and the sugar is wreaking havoc on all the cells in your body, especially those in your brain and nervous system, in ways that science is just starting to figure out.

And the final reason to forgo the caffeine, is that it can mask serious problems with your digestive health.  Ideally, you want to be having regular bowel movements 2-3 times per day on average.  I often come across people who say they have to consume caffeine daily, because it’s the only way that they can “go” in the morning.  Listen to me carefully...  You do not want to be in the position where you are regularly using any sort of external stimulant to remove waste from your colon, whether it’s caffeine or laxatives – which is one of the most popular OTC items these days.  If you’re not pooping on a regular basis, most likely, you are not suffering from a "caffeine deficiency."  Ha!  Instead, you probably have sluggish adrenal glands or a diet and lifestyle imbalance that needs to be addressed sooner, rather than later -- that is only being masked by your caffeine habit.

But I really don’t want to make this article about demonizing caffeine.  Really I don't.  And I’m sure you would love to continue drinking your morning coffee and afternoon latte with a somewhat clear conscience.  Right?  So I have an idea.  Let’s shift our focus and start to examine some of the potential reasons why you would require an external stimulant in order to live your day to day life.  #realtalk  My personal theory is that the regular consumption of toxic foods and/or beverages is primarily fueled by underlying toxic thoughts, emotions, belief systems, and/or lifestyle habits.  And those are the things that are worth paying attention to and consciously shifting, instead of engaging in some self-imposed guilt trip or endless mind-numbing debate about the latest scientific studies on whether caffeine is good for you or bad for you.   It is my opinion that nothing is inherently good or bad, it’s all about how you use it in your life and for what reasons, that makes all the difference.

Stay Tuned Next Week for Part 2 of This Series!

LaShanda Greene is a former CPA turned Health Educator and Wellness Consultant.  She overcame a long list of health challenges five years ago by cleansing her body, changing her diet, meditating daily, and pursuing a more fulfilling life and career path.  She's passionate about helping people address the root causes of their chronic health issues, heal mind, body, and spirit, and live an empowered life filled with joy, excitement, and purpose.  She's currently working on a book and traveling the world to learn about various healing modalities, as well as speaking publicly about natural healing and the health benefits of detoxification.

Your Light Is Seen

Your light is seen. Your heart is known. Your soul is cherished by more people than you might imagine. If you knew how many others have been touched in wonderful ways by you, you would be astonished. If you knew how many people feel so much for you, you would be shocked. You are far more wonderful than you think you are. Rest with that. Rest easy with that. Breathe again. You are doing fine. More than fine. Better than fine. You’re doing great. So relax. And love yourself today.
— Neale Donald Walsch

Top 5 Signs You're Toxic (That Everyone Considers Normal)


Introducing my new video ...


It is a part of my new "Learn With LaShanda" Video Series and contains all the information I wish that someone had shared with me before I got sick! There are so many people who are sick in our society, that believe me when I say that if you want to keep your health, you DO NOT want to be doing what everyone else is doing. So consider this the personal wake up call you've been waiting for, that could help you avoid walking down the road to being diagnosed with a chronic illness.

Please share with others who you feel could benefit from this type of information. This first video is available for a limited time at a discounted rate, and the next video will be posted soon. 

Love and Blessings!

More "Learn With LaShanda" Videos:

Harvard Scientist Urges People To Stop Drinking Low Fat Milk

By:  Mike Barrett

Vegans may have had it right all along; while raw, organic milk offers numerous health benefits, a Harvard researcher and pediatrician argues that conventional milk and dairy products alike are a detriment to your health – thanks to added health-compromising sweeteners.

As David Ludwig mentioned in his research, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics, there have been countless pieces of research concluding the ill effects of sugar-sweetened beverages. The over-consumption of sugar has been tied to obesity, diabetes, inflammatory-related pain, and much more. And because of sugar’s negative effects on our health, even the United States Department of Agriculture, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and other organizations are recommending against consuming calories from sugary drinks.

The one calorie-containing beverage they still heavily promote, however, is reduced-fat milk, where the organization recommends drinking 3 cups daily. This is where Ludwig questions the scientific rationale for such recommendations.

“This recommendation to drink three cups a day of milk – it’s perhaps the most prevailing advice given to the American public about diet in the last half century. As a result, Americans are consuming billions of gallons of milk a year, presumably under the assumption that their bones would crumble without them,” says David Ludwig.

As far as Ludwig is concerned, if the USDA is recommending to drink reduced-fat milk, it is also inadvertently encouraging the consumption of added sugars – a piece of advice that goes against all the research saying not to consume sugar and sugar-sweetened beverages. The idea of consuming low-fat milk or chocolate milk cancels out the whole reasoning for the recommendation in the first place since the fats are simply being replaced with dangerous sugars.

(Read more)



Healed Cancer with Raw Food Then Ran 366 Marathons in a Row

By:  Chris Wark

Janette Murray-Wakelin is one of the most remarkable cancer survivors I have interviewed.
In 2001, she refused conventional treatment and healed aggressive breast cancer with a raw food diet.

Then in 2013, she and her husband Alan (both in their 60s) ran around the entire continent of Australia. This involved running a marathon every single day for 366 consecutive days.

In the process they broke and set a new world record.
And they were exclusively fueled by raw fruits and veggies.

These grandparents put my level of fitness to shame. To shame!

Here’s part 1.

Click here to read more and see Part 2 of the Interview



5 Things Done Differently In Healthy Relationships

by:  Laura Brown

One of the things I am quite frank about is the fact that I have had my share of screw ups in the romantic department.

If there was a mistake to make, I made it. If there was something I was told I shouldn’t/couldn’t do, I did it. And I suffered a great many heartaches because of it.

I began to correlate drama and dysfunction with love and romance and nothing could be further from the truth.

Part of why I consider being a relationship specialist my calling and why I am so dang good at it is because I have been there, done that and burned the t-shirt. This includes the hard work on my relationship with love to get to where I am today.

Where am I today? Married to the man of my dreams after a long road of off and on, long distance dating with two kids and another currently taking residence (and causing me to waddle rather ungracefully around the house) in my womb.

Here is what I have discovered those in healthy relationships do differently:

1. The past cannot be erased.

Many people will tell us that we must release the past or leave the past behind us. While that is a very novel idea, it’s complete and utter B.S. We will never forget or release the past, and why should we? It brought us here.

Everything we have encountered, whether good or bad, was a learning experience designed to aid our evolution. People in healthy relationships haven’t suddenly forgotten or “released” their wounds, they have transformed them. They have learned to honor their past and all it entailed as necessary steps to take in the ladder to their personal evolution.

They bring with them the appreciation for each moment and respect for where they have come from and what they have gone through into their current relationship. It adds a richness and depth that would otherwise be lacking if we truly had an ability to push a button and drop our pasts down the chute.

2. It’s not always 50/50.

Sometimes its 80/20 and that is okay. What is not okay is if it stays in this place of imbalance. We all go through things that leave us gutted or otherwise unable to be fully present in a relationship.

Instead of complaining and throwing a tantrum, those in a healthy relationship understand that sometimes we need to give a bit more while our partner puts focus on other things. It could be a job or personal issues that requires their attention. If talked about openly and honestly, then its okay to give a bit more while our partner’s attention is diverted elsewhere.

What is not okay is if this imbalance becomes a part of our everyday existence. One person cannot be the backbone to the entire relationship; the very definition of partnership implies the participation of another for a common goal.

3. Honesty Counts.

And, honestly, this has been the hardest part for me. As a rather independent woman who made her own money and did her own thing for so many years, it became difficult to imagine that suddenly I was supposed to share where every penny went or had to tell my partner where I was going.

My rebellious nature would kick in and “it’s none of your damn business where I’m going” flew from my mouth more than a few times. This, however, does not a healthy relationship make...

(Continue Reading...)


Podcast Interview With The Empowered Women's Channel

I had the opportunity to spend some time in the studio with Kate Stellman and Bo Wong, founders of the Empowered Women's Channel and talk about what I've been up to and my philosophy on health, healing, and wellness.  I was more than delighted to share my thoughts and I love the movement they're creating to help more women life a healthy and empowered lifestyle.

See below for a description of the podcast...

It has been said that the eyes are the window to the soul. We’re sure you’ve probably all heard that line before, and whether you agree with it or not is besides the point. No matter what, in some regards, the eyes tell so much about us and our health. Ever heard of iridology before? We hadn’t! It can be simplified as a basic ‘reading’ of our eyes-which hold secrets may help access important information in regards to our health and wellness. If things are a little (or a LOT) of balance, often times these imbalances can be picked up through physical symptoms (such as a tummy or head ache) or even in more subtle ways that we have never paid much attention to (such as iridology).

Don’t know about you-but we want to live lives that are full of vibrancy, hope and extreme self care. In this episode of the Empowered Women’s Channel podcast, Sacred Circle member LaShanda Greene dishes up some inspiring tips and advice on how to really pay attention to what our bodies might be telling us (or in some cases even screaming at us) and subtle ways to start  making some significant changes through diet and lifestyle. The girls chat with LaShanda about off the mainstream path healing modalities and how we all might add a little extra zing into our steps by taking the proper care of ourselves.... (read more)"

(Click here to listen)


The Link Between Detoxification and Conscious Eating

I love inspiring stories of health and healing, don't you?

I came across this couple recently who made a conscious decision to literally transform their bodies, their health, and their lives, by changing their diet and that's powerful!  The couple started out with a vegan diet,  eventually tried out a cleansing raw vegan diet, and intuitvely stuck with it based on observable improvements with their weight, energy, and health levels.  Stories like this give other people the inspiration to get started with eating healthier, and move out of the inertia that keeps them stuck in the same patterns and habits year after year.  

However, I find it fascinating that most of my detox clients come to me seeking remedy for their health issues, and at the same time, most of them claim to eat pretty "healthy" already.   And for the most part,  they don't recognize the disconnect between those two things!  

You'd be amazed at the variety of ways people describe a "healthy diet".   Some people describe it as small portions, others as caloric restrictions, others as only indulging on the weekends, or not eating fast food, and others as not doing mocha lattes every morning!  The common theme however is that even under the guise of healthy eating, most people are simply not consciously aware of what they're putting into their bodies 3 times a day, 7 days a week.

I'm not a strict "raw vegan" or "vegan" personally, but my diet consists of a lot of raw fruits and vegetables and hardly any dairy or animal protein. I'm not a fan of diet labels because you can be "vegetarian" and eat nothing but refined carbs (i.e. breads, pastas, etc.) and dairy products, or you can be "vegan" and still eat tons of processed foods and hardly any fruits and vegetables.

I'm mostly a fan of eating intuitively and eating consciously.  BUT (and this is a big BUT), I find that level of awareness and intuition only becomes heightened, after the body is cleansed of toxins at a deep level.  At that point, you can really begin to distinguish cravings and emotional eating, from what the body wants and needs as fuel.  And with an internally cleansed environment, you can also start to readily feel what the wheat, dairy, meat, high fructose corn syrup, etc. are doing to your body in real-time, while before, most people are physically numb to the effects until they reach critical mass stage and health symptoms appear.

I wanted to offer that perspective based on what I've observed time and again with clients, and also with myself.  This topic comes up over and over in conversation, and many people have strong opinions on this subject, but those same people generally have not had the experience of detoxifying their body and seeing how that process could significantly impact their diet choices.  

So I really don't like to get into conversations with people on which diet is "best", until they've cleansed their body.  I've found consistently, that when people detox, they naturally eat differently, they have less cravings, deficiencies disappear, and they intuitively move away from heavier foods, and gravitate towards more and more plant based foods and raw foods, after the cleanse.   And that's a phenomenon that I hope everyone experiences -- not just a change in diet; but an expansion of clarity, intuition, and awareness that reconnects people with Nature and naturally guides the body back into balance and well-being.  


LaShanda Greene is a holistic health educator, specializing in detoxification and cellular regeneration.  She is the founder of Higher Purpose Healing and after reversing many of her own health issues, she now helps others overcome their health challenges naturally through diet and lifestyle change, so that they can live with more health, vitality, and purpose.  She offers detoxification consultations and powerful herbal detoxification programs to restore health and vitality to the body.

Travel Updates & Tips On Mentally Transitioning to Eating More Raw Foods

My travels in Baja Sur were fantastic. I got lots of sunshine, spent time at the beach, and ate a ton of fresh, organic, tropical fruit, and even picked some of it myself which was quite a treat. I ended up doing four health talks in Mexico and there were almost 50 people who attended the last one at a community garden in La Paz, Mexico. They asked a lot of great questions and expressed gratitude that I came to their part of the world to share this kind of information with them. What a great experience!

I’m currently in Oklahoma visiting my best friend who has two beautiful children, age 6 and age 3. She asked me to come to Tulsa and transform her family’s diet so we’ve spent the past week grocery shopping for organic produce (as well as many pantry items she’s never heard of), in addition trying a lot of new raw food recipes with familiar flavors in the kitchen. Tonight was pizza with an avocado base instead of tomato sauce, topped with raw marinated vegetables. The other night we had zucchini noodle pasta with a raw marinara sauce and raw vegan banana strawberry ice cream for dessert. In general, the recipes have been a hit with the family, but her three year old is a tough sell!

What I have learned after working one on one with a family that is completely new to raw foods, is that the thought process around food and eating has to shift, in addition to the recipes and ingredients. Here are my tips for anyone trying to wrap their heads around shifting their diet to include more raw foods.

Make Time For Food

For most of us, food has become little more than an afterthought. It’s something we fit in between doing other more “important” things on our schedule. There’s always the temptation to just grab something here or pick up something there, but eating fresh and vibrant foods involves a mental shift where you start prioritizing food and the process of making food, as an important part of your schedule and regular routine. Most people spend their lives sacrificing their health for wealth and then later in life end up spending their wealth to regain their health. Don’t get caught up in this familiar cycle.

Invest In Your Health

There’s nothing wrong with being cost conscious, but when it comes to feeding yourself and your family, you want high-quality and non-toxic food going into your body three times a day. Grocery items are usually cheap, because they are made with cheap and oftentimes toxic ingredients. And big box stores like Walmart and wholesaler distributors like Sam’s and CostCo specialize in offering large quantities of cheap (and often toxic) food for public consumption. It’s time to increase the line item for food and grocery in your budget and stop cringing at the thought of a higher grocery bill each week. You can afford to eat in a way that honors your body and your health. Consider this a short term investment in the long term health of you and your family.

Get Ready to Indulge

Eating “healthy” these days is often associated with weight loss, counting calories and obsessing over ratios of macronutrients (e.g. carbs, fats, protein). The fun part about eating more fruits and vegetables is that you can eat them in abundance and be assured that you are filling your body with tons of nutrients and that weight loss will naturally occur because raw foods have a high water content and are naturally low in calories. Abundance…indulgence…these are great words aren’t they? Many of the dishes I make include things like raw almond butter, coconut oil, and avocado and taste sinfully delicious. It’s hard for people to accept that anything that tastes so rich and good, could be could for you! So I’ve found that’s a huge mental hurdle people have to cross when transitioning their diet.