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  • Writer's pictureellenpotthoff

Welcome to Dr. Ellen's...

Updated: Jan 16


We’ll get to the holidays shortly, but first ...


I have two dear friends who have written some really wonderful and useful books. I wanted to plug them, in case you had a need for these particular sets of information.

The first is called: Cherish the Girls, A Well-Rounded Approach to Breast Health & Wellness by my wonderful friend, Lynn Fraley RN, DrPH. The book begins with a long list of potential beliefs you might hold, regarding everything about breasts and medical vs. complementary treatment of them. The premise is that it helps to unearth ones’ own beliefs, and examine them for relevance, as so much in life is determined cby them.

The book then gets into things that can cause detrimental effects on the breasts: bras, mammograms, and toxicity. After that there is a goodly amount of information about thermograms, breast-feeding, and cancer (including it’s treatment). The balance of the book relates to the positive effects of good lifestyle habits.

If you have breasts, this book is well worth a read!! Available on Amazon HERE

The second book, by my great friend Carol Hansen Grey, is called Simple Healing Tools On the Path to Personal Empowerment. It is an easy-to-read guide that uses a unique blend of storytelling combined with “how-to” descriptions of a variety of healing tools that are referenced in each story. The book is designed in 3 parts: The Stories, The Tools & The References. Each story stands on its own enabling the reader to skip around and choose stories that relate to their own personal circumstances. At the end of each story the healing tool used is listed along with its page number in Part 2 where you will find detailed descriptions of how to implement the tool. I’ve known and worked with Carol for over 25 years. She is a great writer and a gifted healer. Give yourself or a loved one a gift of personal empowerment this holiday season. You can read more about the book HERE


Background - “Your health is determined by the health of your liver”, so says Dr. Roger Murphree, DC, author of 5 books, and a well-known speaker. The liver performs 500 separate functions in the body, including: storing glycogen (sugar), glucose, vitamins A, D, B12 and the minerals iron and copper; being the mainstay of protein metabolism; making lipoproteins; and detoxing the body by removing chemicals, drugs, toxic materials like beauty and household products, jet fuel, pollution, etc., and endotoxins (products of our own metabolic processes).

Fatty Liver – ever heard of it? No, well you’re not alone. Most people haven’t. But, it is fairly common in the general population. Somewhere between 25-33% of Americans have it.

What is fatty liver disease? As you might guess from the name, it occurs when fat infiltrates the liver cells—about 5-10% of them. What you might not think, though, is that this comes from eating too many simple carbs, including wheat and white rice products, which easily break down into glucose, in the body. The worst carb for Fatty Liver production, is HFCS (high fructose corn syrup). Also, Fatty liver can come from frying foods using fats and oils that smoke at a low temperature.

There are two types of fatty liver disease: alcoholic and non-alcoholic (NAFLD). As the name suggests, alcoholic fatty liver relates to drinking alcohol, which also quickly breaks down to glucose. The good news is that two weeks after stopping drinking, the liver starts to shed fat. Short of that, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic fatty liver can lead to hepatitis, liver scarring, cirrhosis and ultimately death. Not a pleasant thought!

Typically, people with fatty liver are overweight (apple shaped with abdominal fat), have diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, and insulin resistance. They are often over 50 and smokers. They usually don’t know they have fatty liver disease because the symptoms can be subtle to non-existent. They might experience a swelling of the abdomen, jaundice, an enlarged spleen, blood vessels appearing under the skin, red palms or gynecomastia in men (“man boobs”). Occasionally, they might experience extreme tiredness, unexplained weight loss, weakness, and/or chemical sensitivity

People with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) tend to also get SIBO (small intestinal bowel overgrowth), celiac disease, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), GERD, H. pylori, LGS (leaky gut syndrome), and hypothyroidism, and visa versa.

How can it be prevented and what can be done about it?

The most obvious preventative, for NAFLD, is to avoid eating simple carbs and using poor quality cooking oils. Addressing faulty lifestyle habits, like having unabated stress levels, decreased glutathione levels, poor sleep, sedentariness or sickness, can also help prevent Fatty Liver. Taking reduced glutathione, B vitamins, milk thistle, L-cysteine, curcumin, methionine and NAC is helpful, too. Eating artichokes, dandelion, avocado, okra, citrus, peppers, broccoli, and spinach will help ward off or treat Fatty Liver Disease. Dr. Greger has a video about the use of ginger for NAFLD and obesity HERE: Given how easy, cheap, and tasty that is, it may be one of your best bets!!

Online Help with Stress

The internet has an inordinate number of sites to help deal with stress (and therefore help prevent Fatty Liver Disease).

One of the more interesting offerings, that my wonderful web master came across recently, is called ZEN COLOR. It is a free app that you can download on your phone and involves beautiful pictures like the one pictured below. It is offered as a black and white line drawings with numbers associated with different areas of the picture. You click on a number and different areas will show up with crosshatching, in the picture. When you click on them, the areas will color, and voila, after all are colored, this is what you can end up with. So, it is like paint by number and Where's Waldo combined. It is mindless, but compelling at the same time, and very relaxing!

One caveat. The numbered color palettes disappear when you click on all the areas associated with them. When all the numbers disappear the image is complete. If you get stuck with a few numbers remaining, you can press the little help button at the top and it will bring you to the area(s) you missed. Try it out. It’s fun and relaxing and you have a beautiful masterpiece when you are done. Enjoy!!

Treats for you for Christmas that are actually good for you!!

I am always looking for yummy treats to make that are really tasty, easy to make and good for me. I recently found the following recipe at EatingWell.

Apple Pie Energy Balls

Ingredient¾ cup Medjool dates, pitted and chopped

  • ½ cup rolled oats

  • ½ cup chopped dried apples

  • ½ cup unsweetened almond butter

  • ¼ cup chopped pecans, toasted

  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon


  • Soak the dates in a small bowl of hot water until softened, 5-10 minutes. Drain.

  • Combine oats, dried apples, almond butter, pecans, cinnamon and the soaked dates in a food processor; process until very finely chopped.

  • Roll the mixture into 12 balls (about 2 T. each). Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes, or up to a week.

The other recipe I really like is:

Cocoa Cookie Dough Balls from “Let Them Eat Vegan” by Dreena Burton


  • ½ cup raw almonds

  • ½ cup + 2 tbsp. Rolled oats

  • A few pinches of sea salt (about a scant 1/8th tsp.)

  • 1 cup pitted dates

  • ¼ cup raisins (or more dates)

  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

  • 2 tbsp. chocolate chips or cocoa nibs

  • a few tsps. of unsweetened cocoa powder, unrefined sugar, or a combination of both, for dusting/rolling (optional)


In a food processor, process the almonds until fine and crumbly. Then add remaining ingredients (except the optional chocolate chips) and pulse or process. Once the mixture starts to become crumbly, process fully for a minute or two. It will appear as if nothing is happening at first, that the mixture is just whirring around in crumbs, but soon, it will start to become sticky. When you see it start to become a little sticky, add the chocolate chips and process again. Continue to process until it forms a ball on the blade. Stop the machine and remove the dough. Take small scoops of the dough (1 to 1-1/2 tbsps. In size) and roll in your hand. Repeat until you have rolled all of the dough. Toss or roll the balls in the coating, if using, and refrigerate. Eat and repeat often!

Makes 14-16 dough balls

NOTE: You can substitute ½ tsp of almond extract or orange oil for the vanilla.

I wish you, and yours, the very Merriest Christmas, Happiest Hanukkah and most Wonderful, Happy New Year ever!!

Ellen Potthoff, DC, ND


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Dec 23, 2022

Wow! Great newsletter and what a kind endorsement of my book, Cherish the Girls... I cherish you and your remarks. You do important work, Ellen. I’m glad to be in your circle!!

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