Why Genetic Testing is About Much More Than Just Your Ancestry

If you’ve heard about genetic testing in the past decade, it’s probably been through the marketing of ancestry companies. There’s the allure of finding out where you came from (or uncovering family secrets!), and at-home kits provided by these companies have shown everyday people how easy it is to test their DNA. 

But unfortunately, due to the popularity and widespread marketing of ancestry tests, most people aren’t aware of the other benefits genetic testing can provide. While ancestry testing simply tells you where your family came from, genetic testing for health and wellness can lead you to a whole array of actionable insights into optimizing your eating, exercise, lifestyle choices, and more in order to achieve better health. 

Here are a few ways genetic testing can inform your health and wellness. 

Personalized Care 

A lot of approaches to health and wellness these days focus on a one-size-fits-all approach, recommending the same diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices to everyone. But everyone is unique — so shouldn’t healthcare be tailored to that unique individual? Genetic testing uncovers a person’s genetic variants, which give us insight into how that person’s cells and systems function, show the impact of the types of food you eat and the environment around you, and more. 

Losing Weight 

Those who have struggled to lose weight may spend time, energy, and money seeking new ways to get healthy and lose weight when their genes are able to give them all the insight they need. Genes are able to give insight into what types of exercise are best for your body, whether it be more endurance exercises or power exercises. They can also show how your body stores fat, which nutrients it absorbs best to inform which foods to eat, and other insights that can form a more targeted recommendation plan. 


Your genes can also tell you more about your metabolism. We know that metabolism has a connection with energy and vibrancy, yet many of us have a “sluggish” metabolism we’re not sure how to correct. Knowing your genes can give you insights into how your metabolism is affected by what you eat, how you burn energy, how you store fat, and more. 

The Right Exercise 

What if you’ve been hitting the gym and trying to get fit, but you’ve been doing the wrong exercises all this time? Getting insights into your genes can actually show you whether your body is more suited for endurance activities, like running or bicycling, or whether your body is more suited for power activities like sprinting or weight lifting. Knowing more about how your body works means being able to choose the right activities for you. 

Caffeine Intake 

We’re all affected by caffeine in various ways — some people can drink coffee right up until bedtime, when others have to cut themselves off mid-morning! But do we know why? Our genes can tell us! Our genes are responsible for how quickly we metabolize caffeine, so we can know whether to have that extra cup or not. 

Better Daily Choices 

As you can see, knowing your genes and how they affect your body can give you insights into many different aspects of your health and wellness so that you can make better choices each day about actions that affect you. For example, did you know that your genes can determine how well your body eliminates toxins, which can help you make choices about what environments to be in? Your genes can also give you insight into your stress levels, and flag if you’re not getting enough sleep at night. 

More Than Ancestry 

Knowing your genes can reveal a lot more to you than just what’s stated above. Additionally, as our knowledge continues to increase around how genes work and how they impact our bodies, the blueprint that genetic testing provides for your optimal health will only become more detailed, allowing you to build the perfect life of health and wellness suitable to you. 


Ready to start your personalized health journey? Schedule a complimentary Discovery Call to discuss leveraging a 3×4 Genetics test as a tool to meeting your health goals. Click here to see a sample 3×4 Genetics report.

Cool Cucumber Soup

Jump to Recipe

It’s that time of year in California when you get a bit of rain and wind one day only to wake up the next morning to find it’s 20 degrees hotter and the sun is blazing. The following day may give you a spattering of more rain (if we’re really lucky), and so it goes. Then, Mother Nature will suddenly blast the heat and we’ll be thrown into summer!

This light, cool soup hits the spot on a hot day! Blended soups are so great in that it really doesn’t matter how nicely you chop your ingredients – they’re just going to get pureed anyways! This is a really easy soup that comes together very quickly. It can be served in bowls or even in cute, little cups and sipped as an appetizer.

Avocados are a good source of fiber, healthy monounsaturated fats, vitamin E, B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, polyphenols, and antioxidants that protect against inflammation and free radicals. Of the macronutrients (carbs, protein, and fat), fats are slower to burn through so they increase satiety making you feel full longer. That’s just one reason why adding a fat to every meal is important. Onions and garlic, as part of the allium family, have antioxidant, antiviral, and antibacterial properties in addition to being a great source of sulfur which plays an important role in the detoxification process (something your body is doing all of the time). Cucumbers are not only hydrating, they are also anti-inflammatory. Throw on some toppings to get that chew-factor in which will help stimulate saliva even more, providing those initial enzymes that start breaking down your food into absorbable nutrients.


Cool Cucumber Soup

This is a really easy soup that comes together very quickly in the blender. It can be served in bowls or even in cute, smaller little cups and sipped as an appetizer or amuse-bouche.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Appetizer, Soup
Servings 5


  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 ½ cups avocado from about 2 large
  • 2 cups English cucumber chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • ½ cup red onion diced
  • 2 ½ Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp sriracha*
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 3 ice cubes (more to chill if needed)

Topping Options

  • pepitas*
  • diced red bell pepper*
  • sliced green onion or chives
  • chopped avocado
  • chopped cucumber
  • hemp seeds*


  • Add water, avocado, cucumber, garlic, red onion, lime juice, vinegar, oil, sriracha, salt, and ice to a high-speed blender. Puree.
  • Add more salt, sriracha, lime juice or vinegar to taste. I added an extra tsp of sriracha but it depends on how much heat you want. If you'd like the soup colder, add a couple more ice cubes. Blend.
  • Pour into bowls and add desired topping options.
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Can also be frozen.


* If you are following AIP and are in the elimination phase, the ingredients marked with an asterisk should be avoided.
This recipe is adapted from the Green Goddess Gazpacho recipe in the Oh She Glows for Dinner cookbook by Angela Liddon.
Keyword AIP, Vegan, Vegetarian

Almond Cow Product Review

What’s an Almond Cow, you ask? It’s a plant-based milk maker that quickly whips up “milk” from, you name it… almonds, cashews, coconut shreds, pecans, pistachios… and the list goes on! It even makes dressing! You can also make yummy goodies from the leftover pulp!

On the main page of the AlmondCow.co website, they say that “Every Almond Cow prevents 500 plastic cartons from landfills and the ocean. Together, we’ve kept over 1,500,000 single-use plastics from polluting the planet.” So, if you’re a lover of plant-based milk and the planet, you should look into making your own milk. 

I know a lot of you out there love your almond/cashew/coconut/oat/hemp milk in your coffee, tea or smoothies. For some (I’m one of them), the idea of making your own plant-based milk sounds a little daunting and maybe you really don’t want to find out how to use a nut bag. I totally get it. Having that carton in your fridge that you bought from the store is easy. Right now, go to your fridge (or pantry) and take a look at the ingredients in your alternative milk. Do you know what those ingredients are? Many of the additional ingredients you’ll see are to thicken and improve the texture of the milk and they are highly processed. Many of the gums and lecithin have been deemed generally safe to consume but they may cause gastrointestinal distress in some people. If you are one of those people whose gut tells you it doesn’t like it, don’t consume it! Always listen to those symptoms speaking to you! And watch out for the sneaky “natural flavors” especially in non-organic products which may contain preservatives and solvents. Check out this article from the New York Times for more info on natural flavors.

Granted, some packaged “milks” are better than others, so I’ll try not to ruin everything for you. But take the time to understand what those ingredients are. 

So, let’s go through some of the pros & cons of this appliance. 


  • You control exactly what goes into your plant-based milk. No added thickeners, emulsifiers or preservatives.
  • No nut bag needed! There’s a strainer basket inside that keeps the pulp separate from the milk.
  • Although you need to make the initial investment, over time, it will save you money. The cost of the milk-maker itself is currently $195. It is cheaper to make your own than to buy it. The Almond Cow instagram page has some info on how much you can save. Using coconut milk as an example, they compare purchasing 48 ounces at $4.80 versus the cost of $0.99 to make the same amount using the Almond Cow.
  • You’re not adding to landfills or ocean pollution by tossing those plastic cartons away!
  • Lots of recipes are available on the Almond Cow website and from fellow Almond Cow owners on a prolific community Facebook group. 


  • It’s one more appliance. 
  • I have found it doesn’t quite get rid of allll the pulp but it’s pretty decent. 
  • It is thinner than the milk you get in a carton. This doesn’t bug me but if texture is a thing for you, keep this in mind. But, remember that the cartoned stuff is thicker because of the additives. 

I’m off to make some CocoCash milk with coconut shreds, cashews, a touch of vanilla and salt, and sweetened with some dates! I may even throw in some raw cacao! 

I have no affiliation with Almond Cow and was not paid to write this. However, if you decide to purchase from them, if you use this link you will get $10 off and I get a $25 credit to buy more supplies from them. It’s a win-win!

What is Nutritional Therapy?

We always start with the foundations.

Nutritional Therapy centers on the idea that real health can be achieved through a holistic and bio-individual approach to nutrition and lifestyle. Many of modern society’s myriad of health problems result from weaknesses in the body’s physiological foundations brought on by poor nutrition and chronic stress. A Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner’s (FNTP) role is to help restore good health by assessing the body’s nutritional deficiencies and imbalances, and addresses these through diet, supplements, and lifestyle changes.

Nutritional Therapy Practitioners and functional nutritionists look at the big picture rather than the symptoms accompanying an issue. This means that we as Nutritional Therapists do not assume that a symptom is the actual “problem.” Instead, we become investigators so as to find the root underlying cause. 

Nutritional Therapy Practitioners espouse the concept of bio-individuality, meaning there is no “one size fits all” approach to diet. While some people thrive on a diet relatively low in fats, for others, the increase in carbohydrates is devastating. Likewise, low-carb diets high in fat may help some people, but for others, it is completely inappropriate. There is no perfect diet for everyone. 

As Nutritional Therapists, we are trained to help each client find the right types of whole foods that will restore balance and enhance their ability to heal. We also understand that the body has innate intelligence of its own nutritional needs, and we use tools to help our clients reconnect with and grow attuned to that innate intelligence.

How Does it Work?

An FNTP has been trained to work with clients on addressing root causes to health issues by balancing the physiological foundations using a combination of tools including an analysis of a client’s Food Journal, a thorough Initial Interview, and a Nutritional Assessment Questionnaire (NAQ). While I am not currently implementing this, a Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner has additionally been trained to perform a Functional Clinical Assessment (FCA) and Lingual Neural Testing (LNT).

A Restorative Wellness Practitioner (RWP) has additional education and training in functional nutrition to use and implement advanced tools and protocols for obtaining optimum health. This includes training in specific lab testing and results interpretation. 

You should always consult with your physician or healthcare provider before making any dietary changes.

At Cross into Wellness, I will start with a free Discovery Call to make sure a client understands how we would work together and also make sure I think I could help with their health goals. When a client chooses to move forward, we schedule a Comprehensive Nutrition & Wellness Consultation where we review intake forms and take a look at the big picture of their health. At this point, the client will have received tips and action items to move forward.

Clients often choose the 4-Month Wellness Program. It is a natural extension to the Comprehensive Nutrition & Wellness Consultation as it provides ongoing support and a reassessment at the 3-month mark. This program may always be extended depending on the complexity of person’s situation.

Schedule a free Discovery Call with me to learn more.

7 Ways to Combat Inflammation this Holiday Season

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! A typical holiday season is filled with love, joy, family, and friends. If 2020 has shown us anything, it’s that this is not your typical year! While you may not be attending large gatherings, it sill may be a season filled with stress, lack of movement, and over-consumption of sugar and alcohol which means systemic inflammation can be at an all-time high. In this article, I’ll discuss 7 ways to combat inflammation this holiday season!

1.  Stay hydrated.

Water is the most important nutrient in your body! It flushes toxins, enables cellular hydration, and transports nutrients, which all play a huge factor in managing and combating systemic inflammation. 

As a general rule of thumb, aim to drink half your body weight in fluid ounces of hydrating fluids each day. For example, if you’re a 140 lb person, your daily goal is 70 oz of hydrating beverages. These hydrating beverages include high-quality filtered water, coconut water, bone broth, and uncaffeinated herbal tea.

Keep in mind, for every 8 oz of dehydrating beverage you consume (coffee, tea, juice, alcohol, soda) you’ll want to add another 12 oz of hydrating beverage to your daily baseline. 

2. Move your body. 

Moving your body is crucial for a variety of reasons. Regular physical activity has health benefits that includes stress reduction, weight control, strengthening of the heart, bones, and muscles, and reducing the risk of certain diseases(1) — all of which are vastly important for combating inflammation. Additionally, exercise is critical for the movement of lymphatic fluid that is responsible for filtering out bacteria, viruses, and toxins, which, if left stagnant, causes high levels of inflammation. 

3. Slow down and breathe. 

While we cannot go three minutes without oxygen, too seldom do we sit and focus on breathing deeply. Our respiratory system is responsible for filtering out fumes, allergens, mold, and airborne toxins, all of which are highly inflammatory to our system. Focus on breathing in deeply to oxygenate your cells and breathe out completely to remove carbon dioxide and other accumulated toxins in the lungs. In addition to the oxygenation of our system, this deep breathing slows down our nervous system and allows the body to enter a parasympathetic state so we can “rest and digest.”

4. Chew your food. 

While this may seem like an odd suggestion, it’s a small but powerful habit to combat inflammation. When we eat too quickly, we swallow air and large chunks of food, which can cause digestive dysfunction and therefore systemic inflammation.

Aim to chew your food 20-30x per bite or until the food is a liquid-like consistency. This tiny habit will vastly improve digestion and combat inflammation. 

5. Sleep

Sleep is a time where we restore and repair! Ensuring you get 7-9 hours of deep restorative sleep per night is especially key during times of excess stress and overindulgence of sugar and alcohol (i.e. the holidays!).

6. Avoid too many sweets. 

A high sugar diet can have harmful effects on your health and can result in chronic inflammation, where the body’s immune system activates, resulting in damage to healthy cells(2).

To reduce inflammation, aim for an overall healthy diet filled with nutrient-dense whole foods. During the holidays, do the best you can to avoid overindulging in sweet treats filled with refined sugars. If possible, enjoy a dessert made with naturally sweet ingredients like maple syrup or honey!

7. Cook with high-quality oils. 

Hydrogenated oils like vegetable, canola, and soy, are highly inflammatory and should be avoided at all costs. These industrial seed oils come from genetically modified plants that are toxic to our systems, full of additives, and have been linked with a variety of health problems. 

For high heat cooking choose unrefined coconut oil, animal fats or ghee from pasture-raised (not factory-farmed) sources and for medium heat cooking choose extra virgin olive oil or butter. These fats and oils are critical for our health as they boost the immune system and reduce systemic inflammation!

Ensure your days will be merry and bright by following these seven ways to combat inflammation this holiday season!

1. “Does Sugar Cause Inflammation? What the Research Says.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326386. 

2. “Exercise … It Does a Body Good: 20 Minutes Can Act as Anti-Inflammatory.” UC Health – UC San Diego, health.ucsd.edu/news/releases/Pages/2017-01-12-exercise-can-act-as-anti-inflammatory.aspx. 

Warm Beet Salad


The humble beet is an antioxidant-rich root vegetable that provides serious support for the liver and gallbladder. The deep pigments that give beets their rich color, called betalains, are special phytonutrients that provide anti-inflammatory and detoxification benefits.

Loaded with a variety of additional nutrients such as folate, potassium, magnesium, fiber, and vitamin C, beets are a great way to increase the nutrient-density of your diet.

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