By Dina Eliash Robinson

Those of us who are not billionaires and cannot afford individualized, custom-designed Concierge Medicine, nor personal nutritionists and chefs, can still keep ourselves safe, healthy and properly nourished by learning to adapt or correct the one-size-fits-all  healthcare (based on statistical averaging) and profit motivated food information available to most of us, to fit our individual needs.

Believe it or not, it is not only doable and costs not a penny, but it only requires a slight mindset adjustment, a bit of time to find reliable information sources and the decision to pay attention to what goes into and onto our bodies.Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 4.44.02 PM

The following are a few tips to help you achieve these goals:

• Turn Your Back On Fad Diets… In fact, It’s best to forget the concept of ‘dieting’ altogether and press the Delete button the instant another media-hyped magical body-sculpting, fat-burning or weight-loss formula pops up and clamors for your attention. It is important to remember that as much as we have in common as human beings, each of us is a unique organism carrying within ourselves distinguishing biological, genetic and experiential markers that help us make good choices when we learn to be self-aware.

Our research shows that the only successful shortcut to achieving and maintaining a healthy, high-energy and clear-thinking body and mind consists of

Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 4.53.17 PM• knowing the current condition, workings and needs of one’s own unique physical and genetic makeup; and

• designing and adopting a well-balanced eating plan with foods and portions compatible with one’s body’s nutrition needs.

To achieve the best results in the shortest possible time, it helps to build eating plans around organic fruits, vegetables, chicken, turkey; and wild-caught small and medium size fish. Courtesy of our awful habit of polluting our oceans, large fish tend to have dangerously high accumulations of toxic mercury, gathered from the smaller fish they eat, which contain very little, if any discernible amounts of this dangerous heavy metal. It is also Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 4.43.27 PMwise to avoid bottom-feeding fish (such as sword fish), which are contaminated with PCBs, as well as seafood that is farmed or obtained from waters known to be highly polluted or from untrustworthy exporters. 

Since even government health authorities have been recently reporting that red meat poses higher cancer risks than was
previously believed, it is best to eliminate it altogether from our diet. The only red meat that seems to be relatively safe for healthy people with no cardiovascular or high blood pressure problems to eat, on rare occasions and in small quantities, is grass-fed lamb imported from New Zealand.

You’ll find additional food safety and nutritional information scattered throughout this website. We’ll also be happy to Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 4.47.38 PManswer any questions you might have about the food-and-health connection. Just click on “Contact Us,’ or e-mail me at

• Never Self-Medicate… Let your trusted health professional prescribe the supplements (homeopathic, herbal, food-based, etc.) and vitamins when and as you need them.

It is not safe to take either of these substances on your own. So don’t be influenced by the recommendation or example of anyone you know who is taking them; nor by a persuasive marketing pitch, bargain price offer, or even by a “scientific” article in the media about their enticing health benefits.

Needless to say, self-medicating with over the counter pharmaceuticals is far more dangerous, since they are too easy to misuse and can have severe—and sometimes fatal—side effects. In fact, the latter should also be a consideration before agreeing to take prescription drugs. Fortunately, pharmacists and online sources can provide plenty of risk-versus-benefit information on which to base one’s decisions.

Holistic healthcare practitioners base their supplement recommendations on in-person examinations, which often include a muscle-testing method called kinesiology.

Doctors and other allopathic (medical) healthcare practitioners base their prescriptions of medicines on in-person examinations, various test results and on how persuasive they found to be the latest presentations by pharmaceutical representatives who managed to get into the former’s office.   

To get the best of both holistic and allopathic healthcare methods, some patients use their trusted professionals in either or both disciplines, depending on their symptoms or concerns. For example, they ask their primary physician to prescribe blood workups that test not only for the usual medical problems, but also for levels of vitamins, minerals, blood count (anemia), etc. They then bring a printout of the blood test results to their holistic practitioner to determine what supplements might solve the problem(s), before considering prescription or over the counter drugs.

(NOTE: For example, when interior bleeding was caused by the baby aspirin prescribed by a doctor for my then 89 year old mother to lower her slightly elevated blood pressure and prevent a stroke, on the advice of our holistic practitioner, we replaced the aspirin with Kyolic garlic capsules, which not only lowered her blood pressure and protected her from stroke until the end of her life, of natural causes, at age 94, but seemed to also have protected her from viruses and Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 5.04.42 PMinflammations.)

• Never Self-Diagnose… Consult your trusted health professional as soon as you begin to experience unfamiliar or uncomfortable symptoms. Online research can be misleading and inaccurate—especially when done by a layperson with little or no experience is finding reliable sources of information.

My family, several friends and I found that unless symptoms are serious (in which case physicians should be immediately contacted), it is practical to first consult the holistic professional, since allopathic medicine protocols focus on testing—often invasive or otherwise including some risks—and medications, which, of course, have some or many dangerous side-effects. (Just listen to the fast-talking off-camera voices during drug commercials, describing the scary side effects—sometimes including ‘death’).

If the holistic health professional does not provide the answers and solutions sought during the examination, a trip to the primary physician or a specialist should be the next step.

• One Size Does NOT Fit All… As mentioned above, our bodies are as different from each other as fingerprints. We have various genetic backgrounds, experiential life histories, environments we have lived in or visited, and foods we have consumed—all of which have left some effects on us.

Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 10.43.10 AMBecause therapies and medications are based on statistical averages, with most drug dosages leaning toward the adult male, with little or no differentiation for sizes, weights, females and children, it is best to err on the side of caution. This is also when it is advisable to ask lots of questions and to be a pain in the neck.

The situation regarding supplements and vitamins is thankfully more benign, since on the very rare occasions when some mild discomfort or allergic reaction occurs, it is quickly reversible with no harmful after effects. Homeopathic remedies are the safest, since they are virtually impossible to overdose on, or to cause any harm.

Preferably wild-caught salmon with all organic vegetables, herbs, spices and other ingredients. Excellent with organic brown Basmati rice. Yields four portions of salmon and several additional portions of the vegetable mix, which can be incorporated as a veggie risotto or served over mashed potatoes or pasta.P1020630


  • 2 slices of wild-caught salmon filet, 3” to 3-½ “ wide
  • ½ cup organic, extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small fennel bulb
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill (from the fennel stalks or other)
  • 3 cups of shredded kale (hard spines removed)
  • 1 peeled parsnip (or small rutabaga or other root vegetable)
  • 2-3 sheets of nuri or ¼ cup other seaweed
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley (or 1 tablespoon dry parsley)
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil (or ¾ tablespoon dry basil
  • 2 tablespoons capers


  • ½ cup Balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup Pomegranate (or other) vinaigrette
  • 2 cups organic vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon red paprika powder
  • pinch or two (or to taste) cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon ginger powder
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric

Cooking Directions:

  • Immerse salmon in marinade—if need be, add cool water that had been boiled or spring water to cover the salmon. Marinate for 1 hour.
  • Slice parsnip, fennel & other root vegetable & set aside in a bowl;
  • Chop onion & garlic & set aside, each on its own separate plate;
  • Have dill, parsley, basil, seaweed & kale prepared & set aside, each in separate bowls;

In a big skillet…

  • Sauté chopped onions in olive oil, on low heat, until translucent;
  • Add chopped garlic & sauté 8-10 seconds;
  • Add fennel, sauté for a few minutes, then add root vegetables—add some of the marinade liquid so it doesn’t burn, stir well, cover & cook for 5 minutes (add more liquid as needed);
  • Transfer salmon from marinade to skillet & lay slices down carefully, skin down, on the veggies; spoon about a cup of the marinade on top of the salmon, cover, cook for 5 minutes, uncover & flip salmon skin up, ladle some of the veggies on top of the slices;
  • Add parsley, basil, kale, seaweed, dill, capers & mix them in without braking the salmon slices;
  • Ladle as much marinade as needed to prevent veggies & salmon from burning, cover & cook on low heat, adding as much of the rest of the marinade as possible without drowning the ingredients;
  • Cook until veggies are done & salmon is cooked to your taste—if it is cooked before the veggies, remove the salmon & place it in a covered bowl or plate to keep it warm, & return it to the skillet when the rest of the ingredients are cooked.


Serve over rice, pasta or mashed potatoes.


Big NewsCongress Tackles Nutrition Studies As Medical Tool With ENRICH ACT

By Dina Eliash Robinson

With a proposed $15 million grant to fund it, the bipartisan “Expanding Nutrition’s Role in Curricula & Healthcare” (ENRICH ACT—H.R. 1411) bill recently submitted in the House by Representatives Tim Ryan, D-Ohio and Pat Tiberi, R-Ohio, opens the door to a mandated upgrading of the woefully inadequate courses now masquerading as nutrition training in medical schools.

While the bill is long overdue after decades of ignored requests for such enhancements by both practicing physicians and healthcare-track students, it is a step in the right direction and merits all-out public support. Phone calls and e-mails to Congressional representatives, along with consumer efforts to goose media attention for the ENRICH ACT, are sure to help expedite its passing and implementation.

Until now, the lack of active support for similar legislation by those who would Doctorsmost benefit from providing healthcare workers with preventive tools, can be blamed for the fact that three out of four medical schools in this country still do not live up to the 1985 Federal recommendations for either in-school or mandated continuing post-degree nutrition education. Even though nine out of 10 physicians have been, all along, strongly advocating the inclusion of nutrition counseling in primary care.

Economic Consequences—Who Wins? Who Loses?

Lacking expertise in holistic prevention and health-maintenance skills, physicians’ tools have been limited mostly to expensive and often risky tests, invasive procedures and prescription drugs—with side effects, which, in some cases, also include addictive properties. What’s more, since time-strapped primary physicians have to delegate most testing and procedures to technicians and specialists, the formers’ ability to perform their most important medical function—finding potentially life-saving diagnoses—is handicapped.

There are both economic and qualitative differences between diagnoses obtained through costly testing and trial-and-error procedures, and those made by doctors who possess the full spectrum of “Healing Arts” skills:

  • scientific training;
  • talent, intuition, passion for and commitment to their profession;
  • communication (mostly listening) and keen observation;
  • familiarity with patients and their circumstances;
  • trust-building relationships, viewing and caring for patients as individuals.

Benefits of the Holistic Healthcare Approach

Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 5.17.38 PMPardon the editorializing, but where is the profit or commonsense in a healthcare system that allows more time (and expense) for impersonal (often invasive, risky and painful) testing conducted by technicians than for doctor-patient interactions?

Both doctors and patients find the lack of a holistic approach to the “healing arts” equally difficult and economically untenable. Doctors are frustrated by patients’ increasing sophistication in gathering (not always accurate) online information and their resulting fear, mistrust in, and resistance to certain prescribed treatments—and even more by their defection to alternate health practitioners.

Meanwhile, consumers who do abandon allopathic medicine and seek alternativeScreen Shot 2015-11-29 at 5.18.37 PM treatments, are shouldering the double expense of must-have health insurance and the out of pocket cost of uninsurable or only partly covered holistic care—such as acupuncture, chiropractic, trainers or counselors in homeopathy, herbalism, naturopathy, nutrition, exercise, etc.

Here are some of the reasons the ENRICH bill is needed more urgently than ever:

  1. About 70 percent of deaths in the United States are caused by chronic diseases—such as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular conditions—which have reached epidemic proportions and are driving healthcare costs beyond what consumer and government budgets can sustain much longer.
  2. Since most of the chronic diseases are either caused or precipitated by obesity and the consumption of foods loaded with toxic chemicals, sugar, salt, trans- and saturated fats, they can be prevented by making some basic lifestyle adjustments.
  3. For years, countless research programs and statistical evaluations have concluded that the most effective way to improve the nation’s health is to prevent illness before it occurs.
  4. The most effective prevention methods are a healthy diet—consisting of moderate quantities of preferably organic and mostly plant-based foods—combined with moderate exercise and stress-reducing activities, such as meditation, biofeedback, Yoga, etc.
  5. Weight management and wellness depend on a combination of both healthy eating habits and exercise appropriate to individual needs and abilities. (Neither works alone.)


03 Nov, 2015

True Food Kitchen—Our Favorite Restaurant in San Diego

Posted by: Dina Eliash Robinson In: Uncategorized

Squash PieFor Thanksgiving 2015, True Food Kitchen has generously offered its super-healthy Squash Pie recipe to patrons who wish to make it at home. Least we can do is pass on to you their graceful gift:

2 packages vegan graham crackers, pulverized
4 Tbsp. sesame tahini
5 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp grape seed oil

6 cups pureed squash
1 cup sugar (half light brown, half white)
1-1/8 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. ground ginger
3/8 tsp. ground cloves
1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
4 Tbsp brandy
1-1/2 cup coconut milk with
4-1/2 Tbsp. arrowroot powder
scant dash of nutmeg if desired

For Crust:
1. Blend all ingredients until well combined.

By Dina Eliash Robinson

Serendipity is my best friend in the kitchen. Especially when a vegetable intentionally omitted from my shopping list seduces me and changes my plans for next week’s menus.

Which is exactly what happened recently, when a gorgeous butternut squash pushed itself into my peripheral view while I was bagging some red Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 4.14.25 PMonions nearby. Normally, I would have ignored it, since it was too large for a two-person household with no imminent plans for hosting a dinner party, but I could not resist its perfect shape—a symmetrical gourd, shaped like a padded figure-8—-and the silky-smooth, unblemished, pale skin with a hint of its pulp’s golden amber color showing through. But what clinched the sale was its unexpectedly solid weight, which promised enough raw material for a variety of dishes.

Hefting the squash from hand to hand, I wondered, “What on earth am I going to make out of this beauty without wasting a drop of it?” I imagined seasoning and oven-roasting a cubed batch of it to mix into a garden-fresh salad; boiling, peeling and mashing another batch and serving it as a side-dish with chicken, fish or mushrooms; and turning the last portion into my famous ‘mystery chocolate pudding’ (see our recipe under “Desserts”).

In the end, however, as it happens with most proverbial ‘best laid plans,’ these daydreams gave way to an improvised (i.e. Jazz Cooking) recipe that turned out to be a one-course meal that is easier and faster to prepare, hearty, filling and more delicious than any squash dish I’ve ever cooked before.

So, I scrubbed my meaty gourd with a Dobie™ pad and Pure Castile soap (a liquid, plant- and eucalyptus-oil-based food cleanser), rinsed it well, wiped it dry and set to work (see recipe below).

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 4.14.15 PMCounting Virtues: While most squashes are among nature’s super-foods, the butternut squash is also an energizing powerhouse for both body and brain. Not only does it contain off-the-charts amounts of vitamins A and C, but it is also rich in molybdenum—a still somewhat mysterious mineral which, however, is known to play an important role in the metabolism of our nervous system’s messaging molecules (i.e. neurotransmitters). What’s more, butternut squash is a treasure-trove of manganese, potassium, vitamins E, B6 and B1, magnesium, copper, pantothenic acid and fiber.

Nothing but a soup could make the best of these benefits and not waste a drop of them. A thick, well-seasoned and nutrition-rich soup that tastes equally delicious whether eaten hot or cold and not only keeps fresh for 10 days or more, but deepens in flavor daily, as the herbs and spices seep into every molecule. When served cold, a big dollop of plain goat yogurt will enhance the soup’s creamy texture and add an interesting hint of tartness to it.

Gilding the Lilly: Pushing my ‘jazz cooking’ envelope, I decided this was my chance to use up some fresh-frozen greens that have been patiently waiting in the freezer for some time. So I pulped to a coarse consistency several stalks of leftover beet greens and kale leaves, part of a fennel bulb with a few stalks and dill herbs still attached, a small bunch of basil leaves and another of flat, Italian parsley and added to the bowl of already puréed butternut squash, painting its gold with a becoming light green hue. As a bonus, they fortified the mixture with more nutrients, flavor and fiber.

Nutritional & Economic Benefits of “Gilding the Lilly”: Since these frozen greens (about half of a gallon-size freezer bag) were my own Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 4.12.53 PM‘found foods,’ they are not mentioned in the recipe below, to leave such possibilities for your culinary imagination.

I’m happy to report, however, that combining the squash with these greens increased the amount of soup to 10 servings or more (depending on portion sizes). It also lent it a noticeably energizing ‘punch,’ as well as packing a huge bang for the buck—we estimated our cost at about $1.80 per average serving (including the prices of frozen greens and all the herbs and spices listed below).

Health Tips: In addition to our standard advice to use organic ingredients in all our recipes, if at all possible, we also highly recommend that only stainless steel pots, pans and other kitchen implements be used, since reliable scientific research has been, for some time now, showing that aluminum might be a possible cause or precipitator of Alzheimer’s disease.

Although scientists tend to be cautious and wary of absolute certainties when they report their findings in books and papers, all of us here at believe it is best not to ignore their warnings—even when they use words such as ‘might’ and ‘possible.’ We decided, therefore, since the earliest warnings appeared in scientific papers many years ago, to err on the side of caution—or as the old adage goes, ‘better safe than sorry’—and switched to stainless steel kitchen- and tableware.


The following basic, simplified recipe awaits your additions and imaginative improvisation. Enjoy!


  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 1/3 red onion
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic (depending on clove sizes)
  • ¼ cup of good quality, extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce
  • 4-5 fresh leaves of basil (finely chopped) or 1 tablespoon dry basil
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley (finely chopped) or 1 tablespoon dry parsley
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1-2 pinches of nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon powdered ginger
  • ½ teaspoon (sweet) paprika
  • pinch of cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • ¼ cup of fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange- or lemon peel zest
  • ¼ teaspoon sea-salt or Himalayan pink salt (optional)Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 4.12.38 PM


  • Wash & scrub butternut squash.
  • Cut squash in half (crosswise) & then into quarters; scrape out & eliminate seeds.
  • Place squash quarters into pot large enough to leave room for plenty of bottled spring water to cover them completely; cover the pot with tight-fitting lid & cook until squash is soft & easy to peel.
  • Save the water in which the squash was boiled & use it in the soup.
  • Purée squash & keep it in a bowl.
  • Pour olive oil into large soup pot.
  • Chop onion & garlic — (1) add the onion to the olive oil & sauté until it turns glassy. (2) Add the chopped garlic & sauté for about 8 seconds or until it releases its aroma.
  • Add squash & the saved water to the soup pot & turn up the heat but just a little; mix well, cover with tight-fitting lid & cook until it starts to bubble. To be safe, stir from time to time to prevent burning.
  • In a soup bowl, mix all the herbs & spices & uncovering the pot, mix them well into the soup.
  • Add orange juice & Worcestershire Sauce—mix well & continue stirring from time to time.
  • If soup becomes too thick or difficult to stir, add a little spring water, ½ cup at a time so it does not get too diluted. (Choose the thickness you prefer.)
  • Cook soup for 15-20 minutes; turn off burner, stir well from the bottom; cover & leave it on the burner to cool slowly (for about 10-15 minutes) & remove from heat.
  • Soup is now ready to eat—on its own or with seasoned croutons.
  • Note: If you have pulped and added raw greens (as mentioned in the column above), make sure they are also cooked before removing soup from burner.




Catharine’s Book

Jolene loves junk food. She loves it so much she wears red licorice in her hair—and pink taffy underwear! The Munch Bunch calls her "The Junk Food Queen." Then, one night in her dreams, she meets a bunch of cool characters who take her on an incredible, edible journey into a world of juicy fruits, super salads and yummy smoothies.
Book acclaimed by The Diabetes Research Institute Foundation - which uses it in its fundraising drives.


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Foods Containing Health-Protecting & Immune System-Boosting ANTIOXIDANTS Dina Eliash Robinson — Researcher & Editor in Chief of Being Interviewed by Talia Raoufpur — Student at San Diego State University

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