A Natural Approach to Autoimmune Disease

Has your immune system been high-jacked by an autoimmune disease such as Multiple Sclerosis, Hashimoto’s, Celiac disease, or Ulcerative Colitis?

Autoimmune diseases are chronic inflammatory diseases which can be both managed and improved through the use of naturopathic medicine.  Here are just a few examples of how Be Well Natural Medicine can help you heal your body:

>>> Food intolerance testing and nutritional therapy: Food sensitivities can often be aggravating to inflammatory diseases and Be Well Natural Medicine offers a test which gauges sensitivity to 95 different foods.  When the body is reacting negatively to certain foods, it can cause a cascade of adverse reactions, kind of like putting the wrong type of gas in your car.  Food intolerance testing is an easy way to see what foods work for your body, and which ones just don’t.

>>> Herbal medicine: Herbal medicines are potent healers and when used correctly can calm the inflammatory storm of an autoimmune disease.  For example, turmeric is one of many powerful anti-inflammatory herbs which can be simply added to food as a spice. Not only has it been shown in studies to reduce inflammation, but it is also beneficial for neurologic, metabolic, liver, pulmonary, and cardiovascular diseases—just to name a few.  A naturopathic doctor can help you identify which herbal medicines will be the most potent healers for your body.

A great benefit to these and other natural therapies is that they have little to no side effects in contrast to pharmaceuticals.  You truly CAN heal your body naturally!   With the right guidance, you will discover that your body is capable of amazing things.  If you nourish your body, it will thank you generously in the form of vitality, strength, and a deeply rooted sense of connection and peace.  It is your beautiful home.

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Under Our Skin: Documentary Reveals Lyme Controversy

“Under Our Skin” is a riveting documentary film about the controversy surrounding Lyme Disease. This documentary was a finalist for the Audience Award at Tribeca Film Festival and and has won five Best Documentary awards. It is now viewable for free from various documentary sites online, so we are sharing it here.

If you or a loved one have struggled with chronic fatigue, MS, fibromyalgia, migratory joint pain, strange neurological symptoms, this film may resonate.

If you don’t have time to watch the film, but are wondering what the controversy is all about, Dr. Oz does a great job of briefly explaining the situation here in the December 2009 issue of The Oprah Magazine.

Dr. Leslie Vilensky, one of the naturopathic doctor’s at Be Well Natural Medicine, specializes in holistic medicine for people affected by Lyme Disease and similar issues.  She is an amazing natural medicine resource for these patients.  More info about her services is available here on our website.

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New Year 2014: Supercharge your goals and desires

It’s time to welcome in the New Year with freshly renewed purpose and alignment with our heart’s desires.  I’ve been prepping for the New Year like a mad woman:

  • Setting goals with soul using Danielle LaPorte’s guide “The Desire Map
  • Prepping for the launch of our St. Paul Desire Map Book Club, which launches globally on January 7th, 2014
  • Getting ready to welcome our newest “Doctor Who Listens”, Leslie Vilensky, ND (she’s amazing)
  • Fine-tuning and prioritizing projects, course offerings, retreats, and more
  • Dreaming BIG (think annual business trips to warm tropical destinations)
  • Keeping up with the usual daily to-do list that comes with being a doctor, mom, partner, friend, mentor, woman.

All of the beautiful visions dancing in my head gave me a sense of fullness, pride, joy, and passion.  But after a few days of being up to my ears in them, I realized my goals were actually starting to give me a tension headache and insomnia.

I was clinging.  After all, I had worked so hard to create such lovely goals, now I wanted them with urgency.  The mental and physical tension created by my attachment was beginning to suck all my time and energy, leaving no room for, well, LIFE to happen.

So, instead of continuing to cling to my goals and desires (I was squeezing the life out of them), I loosened my grip and released them (see my list below for ways to release), which allowed me the energy and flexibility to let life happen again.  I could breathe deeply, sleep soundly, remember to eat healthy balanced meals, drink plenty of water, dance, and enjoy myself more.  The way to supercharge my goals and desires was to nourish myself in the present moment.  Thus I learned that the ”release phase” is just as important as the “planning phase”.


  • Dance, yoga, run – whatever it takes to build enough heat in your body that you literally sweat.  Use that energy and heat to release your desires and create room for the New Year and all it has in store for you.  Check out my New Year’s Playlist on Facebook, created to inspire you to move and release.
  • Write your desires/dreams on tiny pieces of paper and burn them (safely, please).  Whether it’s a raging bonfire with a group of friends or cozying up to your fireplace with a furry-friend is entirely up to you.
  • Create a “quiet” space for transformation to take place – this doesn’t mean sit somewhere quiet and then think incessantly, it means quiet your mind.  Meditation, getting a massage or acupuncture, and spending time in nature are my favorite ways to do this.
  • Practice gratitude.  Give yourself permission to enjoy what you have in THIS MOMENT.  Regarding the future, sometimes what we receive is far better than what we could have ever imagined for ourselves.

For more encouragement, support, and guidance as you begin your personal transformation this New Year – would you like to lose weight, eat healthier, reduce stress –  whatever your goal, I invite you to work with me as your naturopathic doctor and guide.  I can help you transform your BODY, MIND, & SPIRIT using naturopathic medicine, the power of truly listening, and the gift of being present.

With peace and joy ~

Dr. Liz Orchard

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Desire Map Book Club St. Paul

I know you want to kick off your New Year feeling inspired and ready to take on your desires.  Me, too.  That’s why I’m starting a group focused on coming together in communion and conversation to dig a little deeper and get clear about how we want to feel in the New Year and beyond.

Here’s the scoop:

Dr. Liz Orchard, ND (founder of Be Well Natural Medicine, that’s me) and Michelle McGlade, LAc are co-hosting “The Desire Map Book Club of St. Paul”, launching on January 7th, 2014 at 7:00pm as part of Danielle LaPorte’s “World’s Biggest Book Club”. We’ll be focusing on Danielle’s book, The Desire Map.

Using The Desire Map as a jumping off point, we are going to delve into soulful conversation and community – 2 of our favorite things.  So, bring your list of desires, goals, gratitudes, and intentions for the New Year.

If you’re not familiar with Danielle’s book or her inspirational website, check her out HERE.  Danielle LaPorte and her books have fueled and inspired me so deeply, in a way that feels like such a gift, I have decided to help promote pretty much everything she does.  So, if purchasing one or more of her books or products feels right to you, please use my affiliate link HERE.

If you are interested in joining our group online or in person, please join our private Facebook group HERE.  If you can’t make it for the launch in  January, our Facebook community is a great way to connect and future monthly meetings will be announced there as well.

May all your wishes come true.

Dr. Liz Orchard

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Gluten Free Vegan Pumpkin Muffins

When I’m feeling a little down about the cold weather in Minnesota, I fire up the oven and start baking.  The star of my baking recipes this month is PUMPKIN for obvious seasonal reasons and because it’s loaded with nutrients.  It is a vegetable after all, so if I can turn vegetables into sweet treats that even the pickiest of eaters can enjoy, I feel pretty awesome about my chances of someday becoming a competitor on my imagined future favorite TV show featuring Gordon Ramsey (of Master Chef) getting as intense about nutrition as he is about all other culinary matters.  The cooking challenge he’d present would be “Create a healthy gluten free vegan dessert in under 30 minutes!” and I’d whip up a batch of these Gluten Free Vegan Pumpkin Muffins – WIN!  

Even without the imagined win, these muffins are a real treat.  Why vegan?  The 3 most common food allergies are dairy, egg, and gluten, so by avoiding all 3, it is my hope that most people can enjoy these scrumptious muffins.  If you are not sure whether or not you have a food intolerance, I’d recommend asking your Naturopathic Doctor about getting tested.  Identifying and removing a food intolerance can not only help your digestion, but also improve energy, mood, weight, and eliminate various health issues such as headaches, joint pain, acne, and more.

Gluten Free Vegan Pumpkin Muffin Recipe


1 cup pumpkin puree (canned, BPA-free lining)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
3/4 cups organic unrefined sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup oil (I used a combo of grapeseed oil and coconut oil)
1/3 cup water
1 very ripe banana mashed well

Optional add-ins that make the recipe even more nutritious:  1 Tbs flaxmeal, 1/2 cup raisins, 1/2 cup grated carrot


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together 1 cup pumpkin puree, vegetable oil, mashed banana and water. Stir pumpkin mixture into flour mixture until smooth. Mix in optional add-ins.  Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups.
  3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

I will post a photo next time I bake them, but wanted to get this recipe out to the masses before Thanksgiving draws nearer.

And a few more sweet pumpkin recipes from other healthy foodies:

Grain Free Pumpkin Bars from The Detoxinista

GF Vegan PumpkinMuffins from Nosh and Nourish

Warmest wishes,

Dr. Liz

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