Read Your Labels


by Bera Dordoni, N.D.


Every year Spring is ushered in with a natural products expo in Southern California where thousands of vendors display their products, many of them new. Below I’ll mention a few that made it into my heart for superior quality combined with ethics. These companies create their products either because there’s not enough of something natural out on the market to compete with the commercial brands of products that are often harmful to our bodies, or because they want to help stop some of the practices that contribute to our planet’s destruction.


As I walked through the nearly 2,500 booths in the Anaheim Convention Center, vendors on both sides of me were dropping samples of their products into my bags (of course I had bags on both shoulders… these were free samples, after all!). After quickly reading the labels on these free samples, I thanked them graciously as I handed back many samples, stating that I prefer not to consume canola oil or aspartame, both of which items were often found in the sample products. Even if an item is something you find in your health-food store, it doesn’t mean it is a healthful item, so you always must read your labels if you want to know what you’re consuming.


Numi Organics has always had some very delectable teas, but this time they’ve outdone themselves by adding some vegetables – their Savory Tea line is filled with real organic vegetables, wild herbs, decaf tea and aromatic spices – not quite a soup, but more than a tea, such as Broccoli Cilantro, Beet Cabbage, Tomato Mint, Carrot Curry, Fennel Spice and Spinach Chive. I drink one and feel warm and nurtured. Comfort in a cup. These teas can be found at Whole Foods or online at; soon they might be coming to your local health-food store if you ask them to bring them in. I’ve sampled every one of these teas and I can tell you this woman’s gone wild over them. My new, healthful addiction.



In the past I’ve talked about the huge benefits of consuming powdered greens and even mentioned Green Vibrance from Vibrant Health. You love commercial instant breakfasts filled with toxic chemicals? You say they’re fast and you don’t have time in the mornings for a hearty breakfast? No excuse now – you can enjoy protein-packed vitality in chocolate or vanilla combined with greens in their Pure Green Protein; I drank some and had energy to burn walking miles around the expo. Check out all their superior products at or ask your local health-food store to order them for you.



I’ve mentioned Lafe’s deodorants before – all natural crystal salts and aromatic essential oils. They still have the best line on the market in my opinion; they use absolutely no parabens or any other toxic ingredients. When I learned they have Earthly Delight shampoo and conditioner I sampled them and was an immediate convert. Again, no harsh, harmful ingredients. With my frizzy, unruly hair, when I find a conditioner willing to tame it I grab it as long as it’s non-toxic. Lafe’s Earthly Delight conditioner has such nutrient-rich and aromatic ingredients I leave it in my hair after showering and my hair responds with curls, not frizz. So there, desert air! If these products aren’t on your health-food store shelves, you can order them online at


There were hundreds of cosmetics lines on display, but my favorite still stood out in the forefront at the expo – Ecco Bella. Colors are gorgeous, the aromas from their essential oils used in lotions are enticing and they use no chemicals to clog the pores. They have great skin-care items, too. Nonie of Beverly Hills remains on the top of my list for purity when it comes to skin care. But finally, hello, women who are sensitive to mascara – I discovered Earthlab Cosmetics mascara doesn’t flake, clump or itch. I haven’t been able to wear mascara in more than 30 years. Thank you, Earthlab Cosmetics, for this new line. I look forward to trying out the rest of their products at




Last month I talked with you about how our animals are what they eat as much as we are what we eat. Since so many of us tend not to have time to prepare nutritious meals for our dogs, there is an option. You can have Frenchie’s Kitchen prepare and ship meals right to your door frozen (mine was shipped on a Monday and arrived on a Thursday still solidly frozen) – either beef, chicken or turkey combined with fresh vegetables in a stew (all human-grade quality ingredients). Check them out online at or call 1-877-55-MEALS to place an order.



At least once in awhile you’ve gotta pamper yourself. After a shower I tend to use plain virgin coconut oil to moisturize my body. Except on Pampering Day. My indulgence in luxury is a new body butter I found at the Expo from Chandler Farm (, and they avoid the use of palm oil because its extensive use in so many products is depleting the habitats of creatures from the rainforests. They also use absolutely nothing harmful found in all commercial lotions and body butters, using only organic and natural ingredients, essential oils, and flower and plant extracts. The Lavender Body Butter is smooth and silky – definitely my favorite; I’m thinking of buying stock in the company so I can fill a tub with it and sink slowly up to my neck in it… ah, fantasies.


If I am honest here (and I guess I’m gonna be), I continue to admit my addiction for sweets has never died, so much of my reason for attending the health expo was to find some healthful sweets to indulge in, not only for me but also for the many diabetics who struggle with sugar cravings. I found a way to satisfy not only my sweets cravings but also my chocolate cravings with some raw coconut macaroons that contain organic shredded coconut, organic maple, organic virgin coconut oil, and more good-for-you ingredients in a variety of flavors (including chocolate, yay!) from Hail Merry. For those who still believe coconut oil is bad for you, refer to for its fabulous benefits. I also tried Hail Merry’s amazing raw pecans flavored with Chimayo chile or lemon thyme. Raw foods retain many more nutrients in them than cooked foods, so these are a real treat. If you don’t find their products in your local health-food store, go to to order directly. They’re worth it. I made the mistake of sharing them with some clients here and the entire bag disappeared in a matter of minutes. Gotta go order some more now.



Walking around the expo with 63,000 other people I wanted to protect myself from anyone carrying a virus, so I snorted my Xlear nasal mist, which I do before I go into any setting with a large number of people. I advise all my clients to use this if they’re exposed to people who tend to be sick or just to protect themselves if their immunity is low. Xlear comprises xylitol (an anti-bacterial), saline and grapefruit seed extract, which combination doesn’t allow anything to penetrate the mucus membranes and invade the body. I was delighted to see these products at the expo; you can pick up a bottle of Xlear at La Montañita Co-op in Gallup if you’re in our local community. They also carry xylitol gums (great for the teeth), mints and toothpaste in a variety of flavors at



My lips, cracked and chapped from our dry New Mexico air, sought relief from numerous lip balms. Nothing worked. Then I found Windy Ridge Herbals “Lip Service,” all natural, and voila, my lips have never felt better. Another ‘I-think-I need-to-buy-stock-in-this’ item. Available in the Gallup area at La Montañita Co-op and at El Morro Feed & Seed.



Read your labels. Simple, understandable ingredients make for good health. When you’ve no idea what the label says, best to put it back on the shelf. If you want to get away from commercial products and try something new, tasty, healthful, luxurious or convenient, indulge in some of these above-mentioned items for the health of it. You might simply smile because they make you feel so good. Or moan in ecstasy when you bite into a macaroon and sip your tea. Or sigh with relief knowing you’re feeding your dog something healthful. You could just smack your lips. Your dog certainly will.


Now, let’s talk all about the divine stinking rose, garlic. Oops, that’s next month. Seeya then!




Dr. Bera “The Wellness Whisperer” Dordoni, N.D.

Specializing in immune system rehabilitation, restoration, and maintenance through nutritional counseling, life-style coaching, and the laws of attraction. To purchase I Have a Choice?!, schedule a private consultation, or learn more about her next workshop, wellness retreat, or natural-health class, visit or call 505-783-9001.