Things that Make You Go Toot

With all the health benefits of eating a whole foods, plant-based diet, there can be an awkward problem.  Some of the healthiest of foods have one major drawback. Gas. But there is hope! Worried about gas? This is the most common reason people avoid legumes.  But since legumes are so darn good for you, being high in fiber, protein, and other nutrients, it’s important to eat them regularly.

Why do beans make you fart? Beans cause gas because they contain a particular sugar that the body can’t break down called oligosaccharide. Oligosaccharides are not broken down and absorbed by the lining of the small intestine the way other sugars are, because we don’t produce the enzyme to do so. They make it all the way through the GI tract to the large intestine still intact. This produces the gas that must eventually come out sooner or later.

You might experience gas even when you haven’t had beans.  This can be the result of foods that come into the large intestine without being properly absorbed in the small intestine will cause gas. For example, stress can cause food to move through the digestive tract too quickly to be properly digested, with the end result being gas in the large intestine.

Here are some simple tips to reduce the toots.

-Eat with fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kim chi, coconut yoghurt, and miso.

-Cook with fennel or cumin, kombu, ginger, fennel, kelp or wakame to prevent gas.

-Soak for 12 hours in ginger. This soaking process will also cause the beans to sprout, making minerals more available.

-Add half a teaspoon of the prebiotic source raw apple cider vinegar, a fermented food, the last 5-10 minutes of cooking.

-Chew well.

No need to get embarrassed every time you have a bean burrito or lentil soup anymore. So, enjoy!

Live natural.  Live well.

Heather

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Why I Wrote Fix Your Mood with Food

My story of plant based eating and eventually writing Fix Your Mood With Food started almost 30 years ago when I gave up meat. Helping animals was my sole motivation and I had absolutely no interest in being healthy. Sugary cereals, Doritos, veggie Top Ramen, occasional overcooked vegetables, and white bread with sweetened peanut butter were pretty much all I ate. When you’re 15, you think you’re invincible.

Living off of junk food with zero nutritional value caught up with me quickly. I was often fatigued and very moody.  So I made the decision to start eating tofu, beans, and more fresh veggies no matter how much how I disliked them. Luckily, my taste buds changed within a couple of months. I soon realized that not only eating whole plant based foods made me feel better physically, but emotionally as well. This epiphany led to my studying Chinese medicine and nutrition in graduate school. After ten a decade of treating patients and seeing such drastic improvements, I knew I had to share my clinical experience with a broader audience.

A majority of my patients come in with complaints of depression, high stress, anxiety, or insomnia, or all of the above. I did some research and found that psychiatric disorders affect more than 60 million Americans and few see lasting improvement using prescribed medications. As a practitioner of nutrition and Chinese medicine, I’ve proved that proper nutrition not only feeds the body, but it feeds the mind.

My goal of writing this book is to empower my readers into making the right eating choices and truly fix their mood with food. Fix Your Mood with Food uses the methods practiced in Chinese medicine and Western nutrition to improve mood naturally.

Readers will be empowered by natural options with dietary insight based on ancient healing practices. Whether you’re a constant worrier, easily agitated, stressed, suffer from panic attacks, or anything in between, you can take back control and return to emotional balance. You’ll be guided to elevate mood naturally as you improve (and prevent) a variety of physical ailments, including heart conditions, high cholesterol, digestive issues, headaches, and energy problems.

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

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The Dreaded V Word

Kale, and tofu, and pleather. Oh my!

The words most parents dread to hear. “Mom. Dad. I’m now vegan.” Talk about putting up resistance. Going vegan or vegetarian will somehow cause anyone you know who isn’t veg to have an opinion, be angry with you, become a nutritionist overnight, and/or suddenly think you’ve lost your mind. I can only speculate as to why there is so much anger towards the V word and us vegans. Believe me, I have my own theories and plenty of dramatic stories to tell. Maybe I’ll share them for another article.

What you’ve heard or can expect to hear from anyone who finds out your vegan.

– You’ll get sick.

– You don’t love me enough to eat my cooking.

– Have you been brainwashed?

– Are you some kind of eco-terrorist, leftist, hippy, nut job? You can fill in your own here.

– Why do you care more about animals than humans?

– What about plants? They have feelings, too.

– God put animals here for us to eat.

– The all-time go to concern- you won’t get enough protein.

Any of them sound familiar?

How to speak your truth and spread the message of compassion without turning people off.

When we all start off on this path, many of us can be pretty preachy. I definitely had my moments and probably still do. The intentions are good, but very few loved ones are going to respond in a way you want- throw away the cheese, ice cream, and leather shoes, and go vegan overnight. The frustration may make you want to preach even more. I highly recommend giving your friends and loved ones some initial information about why you’ve gone vegan. Show them your decision is well thought out and is best for you. After that, lead by example. Be a shining example of how you and your life have improved since making the commitment. Hopefully, they’ll come around or at least mellow out a bit. But be warned, they may not.

How I recommend coming out as a vegan

-Calmly and kindly let them know you’ve made this very important life changing choice and ask that they respect it.

– Recommend documentaries and books to read. It’s really up to you. Would they respond better to Forks Over Knives, Diet for a New America, or Earthlings?

– Send them to sites like nutritionfacts.org or PCRM that have scientific evidence to back it up the fact you’re not going to shrivel up and die. Most likely, you’ll live a much longer, healthier life. I personally like to point out to concerned family the long list of vegan athletes as proof as well. It’s impossible ignore the strength and accomplishments of Scott Jurek, Meagan Duhamel, Lewis Hamilton, Serena Williams, and Mac Danzig.

Raising vegan kids takes the fear and backlash of veganism to a whole new level. That’s when loved ones really love to bring up their PhD (not!) level of knowledge in nutrition.

How to educate

-Let them know, you are supplementing B12, the only real nutrition concern for vegans.

-Explain how you’ve discussed with your pediatrician your options, what you child should eat for a well-balanced diet, and they’re on board.

-Get comprehensive blood tests to make sure you’re really doing it right.

Your healthier than average child will be the real proof. They don’t get sick as often and have tons of energy without sugar or sodas. They are a healthy weight and very active. Most likely, your kids aren’t suffering from asthma and other illnesses that are plaguing most kids today.

Once you’ve given all this information to those who are now terrified you’ve joined a dangerous cult, let go. Many of my friends’ entire families have made the commitment to living cruelty free. My family now makes vegan meals without me being around. So, shifts can happen. I know I have had an impact on their food choices and you can do the same with your family.

Keep in mind your family might never alter their eating and living habits. Remember how you used to think about what you ate and wore before making the switch. Stay focused on the positive impact you’re having on animals and the planet. Appreciate and acknowledge what you and your fellow animal lovers are doing instead.

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

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Yoga with Acupuncuture

There is a saying in Chinese Medicine: “When the mind is calm the Qi flows smoothly, and conversely when the Qi is made to flow smoothly the mind is calm.” If you practice Yoga, you probably know that for the past 5,000 years, Eastern philosophy has stated that the smooth flow of Qi is essential to your wellbeing.  A healthy flow of Qi leads to the Holy Grail of a healthy lifestyle:  Balance.  As time marches on it seems balance is more and more illusive in our daily lives.  Thankfully, many of us have made the practice of yoga part of our routine, but is it enough to achieve the balance that we all desire?

“Yoga is all I need to be healthy and balanced.” As an herbalist and acupuncturist, I hear that a lot.  You know what I also hear a lot?    “I hurt my back doing Ustrasana 3 weeks ago and it’s not getting better.”

I’d tried yoga a few times before I started graduate school for Traditional Chinese Medicine.  But it wasn’t until I started learning this ancient medicine, that I really got it.  Once I understood the theory behind the medicine, it all fell in to place for me. Yoga and Chinese Medicine have been practiced for over 5,000 years to increase longevity and prevent disease, and when used in combination, the results are incredible. 

Yoga does reduce pain. Many Asanas (yoga poses) along with deep breathing help the brain’s pain center regulate the secretion of natural painkillers in the body. Because muscles relax when you exhale, lengthening the time of exhalation can help produce relaxation and reduce tension. But often this is not enough. Our stressful lifestyles, combined with poor eating habits and a polluted environment can create systemic deficiencies and toxin buildup. Receiving added support from Chinese herbs and acupuncture can help to correct most health concerns. The Chinese pharmacy is the largest and most advanced categorization of plants, animals, and minerals.  This means that there is an herb, or several herbs, which can treat any imbalance or illness you may be experiencing.

Most people don’t know what effect certain yoga poses have on their body, but acupuncture can provide a framework to understand which poses are best for a particular condition.  Specific poses invigorate certain meridians and organs, and nourish yin, yang, Qi, and blood. For example, backbends energize the yang aspect of the body.  Meaning they generate heat and energy by stimulating kidney yang production.  While forward bends emphasize the yin or cooling and calming aspects of the kidneys.  So, if you have insomnia or are going through menopause, forward bends are great for you. The kidneys are the root of yin and yang, which makes them very important in the treatment of almost any illness.

I discovered early on that the poses I hated doing were the ones I needed most.   The areas of weakness or decreased flexibility are usually sites of stagnation or weakness.  This goes for everyone.  For example, I dreaded doing twisting postures for such a long time.  I’d use any excuse not to do them fully, if at all. Twisting postures literally help squeeze out toxins from your liver and other organs.   Guess what?  I had liver issues!  Surprise!  So you should look at which poses are hardest for you to see where you might have imbalances.  But please don’t try to diagnose yourself.  A qualified acupuncturist will able to help diagnose and treat you.

Along with treating an injury or health issue (emotional as well as physical), Chinese medicine can prevent injury and sickness.  This means you can go even deeper with your practice. Acupuncture also allows you to go deeper into meditation.  Several patients of mine who meditate have noted this improvement after just a few sessions. Isn’t that we all want?  Allowing your body and mind to go places you might not have thought possible can be achieved with the support of acupuncture, herbs, and proper nutrition.

Yoga and Chinese medicine work wonders for pregnancy, and more and more pregnant women are doing a combination of the two.  Well, this one study in Sweden proves they’re doing something right.  A recent study proved the efficacy of acupuncture and yoga in regards to relieving pelvic pain during pregnancy. Pelvic girdle pain is common among pregnant women, as many as 1 in 3 are suffering severe pain. It is most likely caused by Relaxin, the hormone that softens ligaments and tissues during pregnancy and provides increased flexibility in the joints of the lower back and pelvis in preparation for childbirth.

A research team from Gothenburg’s Institute for the Health of Women and Children compared standard treatment (a home exercise routine), home exercise plus acupuncture, and standard treatment plus stabilizing exercises/yoga aimed at improving mobility and strength, each treatment was given for six weeks. The women given acupuncture had significantly less pain than the other two groups.

The researchers concluded that treatment with acupuncture and yoga offers clear advantages and can be seen as a useful addition to standard treatment for pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy. This finding is supported by previous evidence of a beneficial effect of stabilizing exercises adapted for pregnancy as well as evidence that acupuncture can have a pain-relieving effect for patients with low back pain.

The next time you hit the yoga mat, think about where you are holding tension.  Consider using acupuncture to help the flow of Qi in these areas. Then take stock of any past injuries, traumas, or chronic issues like fatigue, indigestion, or menstrual problems.  Instead of ignoring the problem, or taking harmful prescription drugs, which could have side effects that cut into your yoga routine, consider using herbs to help your system heal.  If used properly, Chinese medicine and yoga work together in perfect harmony, helping you live a long and balanced life.

Live natural. Live well.


Heather

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Over 40 and Fabulous

 

Your top five foods to flourish at any age.

Are you sexier than ever? Stronger? More confident? Well, I applaud you. Now’s the time to make sure you stay more powerful and hotter than ever.

Once you’re over forty, fifty, or sixty, your dietary needs and health concerns have shifted. Bone health, preventing heart disease, symptom free menopause, or keeping your gorgeous, glowing skin might all be on your list. Maybe the weight you never had to think about is now a struggle. Maybe your moods are all over the map. Do you know another woman breast cancer? The good news is a few simple dietary tweaks might be all you need stay fit.

Wakame. We’ve all heard the slogan “Milk. It does the body good.” Pushing the idea that we need milk to be strong, especially to have strong bones. What, if I told you that’s a big fat lie? You can get all the calcium you need from plants.

Wakame has an amazing calcium punch with 1/3 of a cup supplying almost 1200 mg of calcium. Wakame contains iodine to support your thyroid to increase energy levels and metabolism. Two tablespoons are plenty, as too much can put stress on your thyroid. Wakame is also the highest source of plant-based omega 3s (good fat). Wakame lowers blood pressure, cholesterol, stress and anxiety, and may reduce risk of cancer.

Enjoy in seaweed snacks, salad, avocado rolls, or miso soup.

Beets I used to hate beets growing up. I’m so grateful my taste buds have matured. These red root veggies lower blood pressure and inflammation, boost your energy and increase muscle strength. They’re high in vitamin C, fiber, detox the liver, nourish blood, and minimize hot flashes, night sweats, and anxiety.

Fermented beets gut health, boost immunity, cleanse the blood, treat kidney stones, alleviate chemical sensitivities, fatigue and allergies.

Try beets in juice, salads, soups, and dips.

Chia seeds

No interest in sex? Hot flashes from hell? Memory disappearing before your eyes? You may need to eat more healthy fats to balance your hormones and support your brain. A serving has five times the omega 3s of salmon.

Chia seeds boost immunity, reduce triglycerides, inflammation and blood pressure, prevent blood clots, protect your arteries from plaque buildup. They contain twice as much fiber as broccoli and five times more calcium than milk! High magnesium content eases anxiety.

Consume chia seeds in porridge, pudding, and smoothies.

Chickpeas

I don’t think anyone loves hummus as much as I do. I eat hummus regularly, even though I practically lived off of it in college. Chickpeas in this delectable dip are high in protein, fiber to balance blood sugar levels and aid in weight loss, improve gut health, reduce inflammation and worry and overthinking. Chickpeas are high in bone building and heart health nutrients, including calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin K, magnesium, vitamin C, potassium, vitamin B6. What’s not to like about these little yellow beans?

Broccoli

Did your mom convince to eat these nutrient power houses by calling them trees? Or smothering them with melted Velveeta cheese?  Broccoli and other cruciferous veggies like cauliflower, brussels sprouts, watercress, daikon, arugula, kale, cabbage have shown to lower risk of certain cancers, specifically lung and colon. Broccoli is high many anti breast cancer nutrients including folate.

Broccoli helps detox the liver. It improves bone density, because one cup vitamin k helps calcium absorption. A serving of broccoli has 70 mg of calcium and is high in Vitamins A, C and E for skin health. This green wonder also reduces anger, frustration, and stress.

Enjoy steamed, raw, juiced, soups, stir fries, on pasta with pesto

Whatever your age, you can indulge in these edibles guilt free and with potentially huge benefits to your well-being and general health. Incorporate them into your weekly menus and soon you’ll see the difference.

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

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Plant Based Athletes & TCM

 

Veganism, Chinese medicine, and athletics.  Huh?  You probably haven’t heard those in combination ever. They could be considered strange bedfellows. In fact, some of you vegans and vegetarians reading this have probably been told by an acupuncturist that you have to eat meat.  We’re actually taught in school that everyone needs to eat animal products. Everyone.  If you or someone you know was told this, you can ignore it.  Most acupuncturists receive about 40 hours of nutritional training as part of their formal education.  That’s a lot more than MDs, but not nearly enough. I’ve heard from many patients that their previous acupuncturists who were stumped on how to help them say, “If you just ate meat, your problem would go away.’  Even people with cancer!  I personally was told by a respected acupuncturist to eat meat for an issue I’d had since I was a small child.  She said my vegetarianism was the cause of my problem.  It was a problem that started when I was eating animal products every single day, if not every meal.  Hmmm….  I still haven’t figure out her logic.

 

There are some acupuncturists and herbalists out there who understand and promote plant based nutrition. More and more are questioning what we learn in school. Seek them out.  Some acupuncturists, myself included, offer phone consultations for herbs and nutrition to people all over the word.  You can ask when setting up your first appointment how they feel about veganism.

 

The beauty of Chinese medicine is that there are no negative side effects.  Chinese herbs are completely safe when taken properly and most of them are vegan.  Most of the herbs that aren’t veg are illegal anyway. Double check with a qualified practitioner before taking anything.  Chinese nutrition is very unique as it takes in to account your physical and emotional history to give you optimum results.  Some fine tuning to your already healthy diet might be all you need to have incredible results.

 

I can tell you that Chinese medicine and veganism are a really great fit.  Especially, if you’re an athlete.   A plant based diet gives you all the nutrients you need.  Meat stays stuck in belly.  Thus, slowing you down. Animal products cause inflammation making you more prone to injury and slow down recovery time.  We all know shining examples of how well it works.  Many of them have been or will be featured in this magazine.  A great resource for Chinese nutrition that’s mostly plant based is “Healing With Whole Foods” by Paul Pritchard.

 

Some of the benefits of Chinese medicine and nutrition

 

Quicken recovery time

Increase endurance

Prevent injuries and illness

Reduce stress

Aid in digestion leading to better absorption of nutrients and increased strength

Increase lung capacity

Any other underlying health issues that can affect performance

 

I have countless examples of athletes who’ve benefited from this ancient medicine.  Here are two.

 

Many years ago I treated a well known yoga instructor in LA.  For 25 years he had shoulder pain from a car accident.  The pain made several poses difficult, if not impossible.  With just 3 acupuncture treatments, he was and still is completely pain free.  Something he’d lived with for decades is gone.

 

In 2010, a professional basket player was referred to me due to several injuries that kept coming back.  He’d already had 2 surgeries that didn’t help much and wanted to try something more holistic and longer lasting.  He also had issues with his digestion and stress from the pressure of his job.  After a few slight modifications in his diet, weekly acupuncture for 2 months, and Chinese herbs, he was pain free.  He now has no more stomach issues and handles his stress and anger way better than even he though possible.  He still sees me weekly to prevent injury and keep his cool.

 

I’ve seen couch potatoes to body builders and Olympic athletes.  Chinese medicine and plant-based nutrition have improved their quality of life.  And eating more vegetables is never a bad thing.  I guarantee it.

 

Live natural.  Live well.

 

Heather

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Breakfast of Champions

 

Breakfast.  It does a body good.

I had an epiphany (actually several) when traveling in India–You don’t have to eat ‘breakfast food’ for breakfast. This is because Indians, like many people around the world, eat the same types of food at each meal.  For the most part, many traditional Western breakfasts are unhealthy any time of day .  Filling your stomach with sugar, caffeine, saturated fat, processed foods, white bread.  Or skipping it all together.  Does that really sound like a good idea? So why start off that way?   How you begin eating will help determine your energy levels, metabolism, brain function, mood, and cravings throughout the day.

 

Avoid for breakfast

Sugar- it’s hiding in most breakfast foods.  Having sweets and refined carbohydrates first thing in the morning can lead to cravings throughout the day. It’ll also make your energy levels crash.

Coffee- Most people are so exhausted they can’t even think of a day with out caffeine, especially coffee. It a temporary fix, as you probably know. Caffeine works because it stimulates your adrenals to release adrenalin, so you’re depleting your body’s reserves. Coffee (even decaf) is highly acidic and research suggests this acidity can make a person more vulnerable to inflammation and illness.

Bacon and sausage (yes, even turkey sausage)-  High in saturated fat, salt, and toxic preservatives.  Do you really want to clog your arteries first thing?  It’ll also lead to more of those cravings for fat and salt.

 

Favor for breakfast

Lemon water- It hydrates, gets your metabolism moving, and gives you a mini detox every time you drink it. Hot or room temperature.

Green drinks- juice or smoothie- Greens are high in nutrients, which increase energy without any crash.  Plus, they’re highly alkalizing to prevent illness.

Miso soup-  Miso is alkaline, high in probiotics and B vitamins. It warms/aids digestion.

 

Miso recipe for breakfast

Miso- 2 tablespoons

Ginger- shredded or juiced to taste

¼ cup of daikon radish, shredded or chopped

¼ cup of tofu, cubed

½ a carrot, shredded

Nori pieces, toasted

1 clove of minced garlic

1 scallion, chopped

 

 

Boil 3 cups of water in a large pot.  Add carrot, daikon, tofu, and garlic.  Simmer for about 5 minutes.  Add ginger, scallion, and miso paste.  Simmer for another 2-3 minutes.  Garnish with Nori.

 

Share with me your favorite breakfast. One that keeps you satisfied and energized.

 

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

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5 Tips for Finding the Right Acupuncturist

Like most professions, not all acupuncturists are created equal.  I can tell you from my clinical and personal experience, finding the right physician is key to getting the help you need.

 

Adding to this, being vegan makes almost health care professionals either confused or defensive or clueless or all of the above.   So as a vegan acupuncturist and nutritionist, I’d love to give you some tips.

 

What exactly is acupuncture? Acupuncture is the placement of disposable, hair-thin needles into specific points along energy channels on the body. Qi (your body’s energy) flows within these meridians or pathways. Stimulating qi flow balances a person to relieve symptoms and eliminate an illness.  Its origins are from China and date back at least 5,000 years. The oldest known text on Chinese medicine is over 2,500 years old.

 

Acupuncture can help with pretty much any physical and emotional condition you can think of, including:  poor digestion, skin issues, addiction, weight loss, pain management, HIV/AIDS, cancer, stress, insomnia, autism, allergies, colds and flus, and autoimmune disorders.  I could go on.

 

One reason I want to be a voice for my profession is that people are scared to try it. Needles?!? No way!  Or they think it’s impossible to do Chinese medicine vegan style.  Moby recently asked me how I was able to keep my practice vegan.  It can be done!

 

* What to expect.  Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are incredibly powerful and healing.  The improvements I see in my clinic are quite impressive.  But be prepared that it isn’t always a quick fix.  Acupuncture gets to the root cause of a problem, not just the symptoms.   I have seen people see 80% improvement after just a session or two, but this doesn’t always happen.  Getting rid of the problem, so your symptoms don’t come back or manifest in some other way are ideal and can take some time.  So be patient!

 

* Just like the rest of the world, most acupuncturists aren’t vegan or even vegan friendly.  So, make sure you find someone who will be supportive of your lifestyle.  It’s also important that they understand what veganism means and how important it is to you, because many prescribe animal products in their herbal formulas with out telling their patients.  I’ve treated at least 30 vegans/vegetarians  who showed me what they were prescribed by another acupuncturist. Products like gelatin or donkey hide glue (yes, you read correctly) were in them. Since the herbs are in Latin or Chinese pinyin (names spelled with our alphabet), how could anyone know who isn’t trained?

 

* Ask friends and coworkers who they go to.  This is the best possible resource.  You might have similar health issues and they got help from their acupuncturist.  Safe bet that they will be able to help you, too.   If no one in your circle has tried it, check out Yelp for someone who has at least fifteen 5 start reviews.

 

* Someone who is knowledgeable about your condition.  Since there are so many different body parts and things that can go wrong, your acupuncturist might have heard of your ailment, but doesn’t have a lot of experience with it.  They might still be able to help you, of course.  But first hand knowledge and experience can only up your chances of healing.

 

*Experience.  Someone who has been at it for a while will most likely be.  Freshly out of school doesn’t mean they aren’t any good.  Far from it.  It’s just that hands on experience can only make you better.  I can see my 12 years in private practice greatly improved my skills as a doctor.

 

* Someone with good bedside manner. This really ties in with being vegan friendly.  I’m sure everyone reading this can relate-  “You don’t eat meat? That’s why your sick.  Eat it or you won’t get better.”  Also, when you’re feeling crappy, you want someone who is going to listen and hear you out.  I recently had a new patient who has been dealing with cancer for 5 years say after her first treatment “Thanks for being nice to me.”  I almost started to cry.  Her dozens of doctors over the years weren’t mean.  They just treated her like a statistic.  No reassuring words or even a smile.

 

I hope this helps you on your journey to wellness.  For those of you who haven’t tried it, it’s pretty easy.  These hair thin needles don’t hurt once there inserted. In fact, most people fall asleep during a treatment. For those of you who tried and didn’t find the right fit, please try again.

 

 

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

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10 Tips to Stay Healthy this Winter

I’m keeping this posting short and sweet. I give most of my patients these simple and easy to follow 10 tips to boost your immune system to prevent illness. Most of the below guidelines should help almost anyone stay healthy and strong. If you happen to get sick, you can heal quicker by following some of my go-to tricks.

1-More water. Drink half your weight (in pounds) in ounces. Most people don’t drink enough, causing fatigue, sugar cravings, and more.

  • Add lemon to your water for vitamin C, increase absorption of water, stimulate digestion, nourish yin.
  • 1-2 tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar per day in water or salad dressing.

2-Organic as much as possible. Otherwise, you’re eating pesticides, steroids, and antibiotics, which weak your immunity and cause countless illnesses.

3-Eat plenty of greens and root veggies. 2/3 of your plate should be veggies. The chlorophyll in spinach, dill, kale, parsley, cilantro, sprouts, cabbage, wheatgrass, seaweed, celery, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, and green tea aid detoxifies the blood reduces inflammation, remove toxic heavy metals, and strengthens the immune system.

4- Eat or drink ginger, garlic, and/or turmeric daily. They boost your immunity, reduce inflammation, have natural antibiotic/antiviral components, and reduce nausea.

5- Eliminate dairy from your diet. Dairy increases mucus production, weakens your immunity, and is NOT good for your bones.

6- Minimize caffeine and sugar (non-fruit sources). Caffeine increases your stress levels, which reduce your immunity. Sugar weakens your immunity and increases inflammation. Bacteria loves to feed on sugar.

7- Vitamin D3. Ideally, you want to consume about between 400 and 4,000 IU per day depending on your age. A great trick is put mushrooms in the sun for 15 minutes as it increases their Vitamin D content. You may have to take a supplement in winter. Please check with your physician.

8 Vitamin C. You need about 100 mg, more if  you’re sick. The foods highest in C include, pepper, guava, leafy greens, kiwi, broccoli, berries, citrus, tomato, peas, and papaya.

9- Probiotics. Eating healthy bacteria through food and taken a supplement when necessary not only prevents getting sick, it also boosts your mood. Bonus!

10-Vitamin B complex. Getting a high dose of your B vitamins reduces stress and increases your energy levels naturally.

See how easy it is to prevent illness and be in top form? Give these a try this winter and through out there. Let me know how you feel after a month.

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

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Sun Worship

 

You may think that your sunscreen is helping to prevent skin cancer, so it must be safe. Wrong! Most sunscreens contain ingredients that are toxic to humans and marine life. I was just as shocked as you probably are about this learning this disturbing news.

Over 14,000 tons of sunscreen end up in coral reefs per year. Some ingredients can cause coral bleaching and damage their DNA, thereby killing them. Many sunscreens also harm marine animals such as sea turtles and their eggs, sea urchin, fish and marine mammals.  If these substances are hurting sea creatures, just think what they may be doing to us!

Ingredients to Avoid

The main ingredient to avoid is oxybenzone, which is found in over 3,500 sunscreen brands across the globe. Octinoxate is even more toxic, but is usually found in lower concentrations in most products.

More ingredients to avoid to protect our oceans.

  • Microbeads
  •  Zinc oxide
  • 4-methylbenzylidene camphor
  • Octocrylene
  • Titanium dioxide
  • Triclosan
  • Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA)
  • Propylparaben
  • Methylparaben
  • Ethylparaben
  • Butylparaben
  • Benzylparaben

So what should you use?

Luckily, there are plenty of brands that are ocean friendly. Here are a few of my favorites. Please tell me what cruelty-free brands you like!

  • Badger, Jason, Alba Botanical
  • Potion, Nature’s Gate
  • Sante Sun, Lavera, 100% pure

 

Protecting Your Skin Through Nutrition

 

What better way to keep your skin healthy and glowing, but through food! Dig into these nutritious and delicious treats to prevent sun damage and keep you fit on the inside as well.

  • Cantaloupe, kale, mustard greens, Swiss chard, Romaine lettuce, arugula, yams, sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, mangos, spaghetti squash
  • Red cabbage, watermelon, cooked tomatoes, papaya, guava, asparagus, red bell peppers, apricots, persimmon, grapefruit
  • Spirulina, chlorella, algae/seaweed, flax and hemp seeds, walnuts, chia seeds
  • Beet greens, cooked spinach, watercress, Brussels sprouts, peas, broccoli, summer squash, pumpkin, pistachios
  •  Cloves, tempeh, edamame, tofu, green tea, peppermint, plums, black beans, garlic, blackberries, raspberries, cocoa
  • Oats, brown and wild rice, hazelnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, avocado, turnip greens
  • Strawberries, kiwi, oranges, lemons, limes, kumquat, green pepper, cauliflower

 

So get out there, enjoy a little sun, take a swim, and be safe!

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

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