Archive for the ‘Children’ Category

Ch Ch Ch Chia

 

Chia-pet

Remember those chia pets that were all the rage in the 70s? How did that happen? I guess that’s what makes things a fad. Pet rocks, Mexican jumping beans, and the best- streaking. FADS from the 70s/early 80s were pretty weird. Well at least chia seeds actually serve a nutritional purpose.

 

Most people don’t realize how amazing these little seeds are.

 

Nutritional Content of Chia Seeds

 

*Iron.  3 times than spinach for strong healthy blood for improved energy

 

*Calcium. 5 times calcium of milk for strong bones and teeth.

 

*Potassium. 2 times potassium of bananas for building muscle.

 

*Protein. 2 times protein of any other seed or grain for muscle strength and energy.

 

*Antioxdants. 3 times antioxidant levels of blueberries for cancer prevention.

 

*Fiber. Twice as much as broccoli for lowering cholesterol, cardiovascular health, stabilizing blood sugar, and constipation.

 

*Omega 3s. Nearly 5 times the omega 3s found in salmon for brain health and balancing hormones.

 

*As an added bonus, chia seeds are considered in Chinese medicine to reduce anxiety, fear, and even panic attacks.

 

 

You can add chia seeds to your morning smoothie. But one of my favorite ways to eat them is my recipe recently featured on The Better Show.

 

Chia Seed Pudding

 

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk (or rice or almond)
  • 1/2 cup coconut water or apple juice
  • 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extra
  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries, blueberries, and/or strawberries
  • ¼ cup of thinly sliced almonds

 

Mix coconut, chia seeds, coconut milk, coconut water, vanilla in a bowl.

Place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours.

Top with fresh raspberries and almonds.

 

Dig in and enjoy!

 

Live natural. Live well.

 

Heather

Something Fishy With Your Fish

 

 

Unknown

 

 

 

Fish. Most people think it’s the perfect food for getting your protein and essential fats. A majority of doctors recommend at least 2 servings a week. Eating seafood regularly healthy or completely safe is a myth. That you need to eat fish for optimal health is another myth. So what exactly am I talking about? Seafood is less than perfect because of toxic levels of mercury and radiation it can contain, along with high levels of cholesterol.

 

Mercury

 

Almost all fish are contaminated with mercury as the result of our oceans and streams being polluted by industrial waste. Fish with the highest levels of contamination include: tuna (all types)*, swordfish *, sea bass *, oysters, marlin *, halibut, salmon *, pike, walleye, white croaker, largemouth bass, sea bass *, mackerel *, and shark *. Pregnant women have been advised for years to avoid canned tuna due to the mercury content and the potential effects on the fetus. Keep in mind that mercury exposure is considered toxic at any level, but children are most vulnerable due to their fast growth rates and low body mass.

 

(The above fish, which are asterisked, are not only dangerous to consume, but also endangered due to over fishing. Due to increased demand, the number of sea animals consumed per year is now 90 billion. Blue fin tuna population has dropped 96%. No wonder they’re on the verge of extinction.)

 

High concentrations of mercury can result in:

 

*Depression, fatigue, headaches, dizziness, irritability, lack of concentration, memory lapses, and nervousness

 

*Mental retardation, Cerebral palsy, autism, deafness, & blindness

 

*Trembling hands, numbness in the hands and feet, & loss of muscle coordination

 

Radiation

 

Fukushima was such a horrific tragedy in 2011 for the people of Japan and felt all over the world. Unfortunately, the after effects of this disaster will be with us for decades to come. Before unseen radiation amounts has leaked into the Pacific and is contaminating all creatures and plant life living in it. Obviously, the closer to the spill, the higher the levels of exposure and risk are. Fish living near Fukushima have been declared completely unsafe.

 

I’ve seen some blogs comparing the radiation levels in fish from the Pacific to natural occurring radiation found in a banana. It’s like comparing natural sugar found in fruit to artificial sweeteners. There are different types of radiation, some more dangerous and longer lasting than others. Also, it is well known that radiation exposure is cumulative. The University of South Carolina and University of Paris-Sud finished a study in 2012, which concluded that even low levels of exposure to radioactivity are hazardous to animals and humans. One of the reasons is it that our bodies are unable to flush out radiation, so there is a cumulative effect.

 

Cholesterol

What about all the healthy fat found in fish? Yes, depending on the fish, it may contain high levels of omega 3s needed for healthy brain function and hormone levels. But many of them also contain high cholesterol. The American Heart Association recommends eating no more than 300mg of cholesterol per day. If you are high risk for heart disease, you should keep that number under 200mg daily. Just to give you an idea, a dinner containing shrimp will easily exceed 200 mg just from the shrimp alone.

 

Examples of cholesterol in fish

 

100 gram serving                                                 cholesterol amounts

Shrimp                                                                               195mg

Oil-packed Sardines                                                     142mg

Oysters                                                                               105mg

Striped Bass                                                                     103mg

Crab                                                                                    147 mg

Squid (in calamari)                                                         233mg

 

Fish are high in omega-3s because of the seaweed they eat. So why not get your healthy fats right from the source? Other great options for healthy fats include flax, chia, sesame, and hemp seeds, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, spirulina, kale, acai berries, and walnuts. All of these foods are nutrient dense and some a packed with protein.

 

Hopefully, this has you thinking about changing some of your eating habits. If you’re nervous about all the fish you’ve eaten over the years, take a blood test for heavy metals. But you can change what you eat today. Have a kale salad topped with roasted cauliflower, and walnuts for a delicious, truly healthy promoting meal.

 

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

Are YOU Addicted?

 

 

Got you, didn’t I? Addiction is such a buzzword. Most people associate addiction with skid row types or the weak willed. The very opposite is true. All of my patients are addicted to something, but usually it’s to socially acceptable things. Coffee, soda, love, alcohol, shopping, approval, and dairy are at the top of the list. The hardest to give up? And the most prevalent? Sugar. Yep. Sugar. This epidemic of abuse of sugar in this country has gotten so bad that a 12 year old needed a liver transplant due to his intake of soda.

 

It is now a common occurrence to see children taking blood pressure medication and having what used to be called adult onset diabetes- type 2 diabetes. 5-year-olds weighing more than 100 pounds is normal. 100 pounds. Almost 13 percent of children ages 6 to 17 are obese. Something is very wrong. Teenage boys consume an average of 34 teaspoons of sugar a day. It’s recommended that adult males should eat no more than 9 teaspoons of added sugar per day.

 

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study conducted at Harvard proving that sugar consumption and foods that drastically raise blood levels triggers activity in the brain associated with addiction. Sugar and other stimulating addictions increase dopamine in the short term, leading to wanting more. Dopamine is released when you experience pleasure. Since 1970, American sugar consumption has gone up 17 percent. See the connection?

 

Unless you make all your own food from home, sugar is hidden in everything including tomato sauce/ketchup, salad dressing, soup, flavored chips, yoghurt, cereal, canned vegetables, breakfast bars, bread, fast food and chain restaurants, Do you think you’re choosing the healthier option at fast food places by ordering a salad? Think again. A McDonald’s Big Mac has 9 grams of sugar and the chicken salad raspberry vinaigrette has 13 grams. Jarred pasta sauce isn’t any better. A serving of Prego tomato sauce has more sugar than one serving of Oreos.

 

Tips for getting off the junk.

 

* Daily acupuncture is an effective way to ease the suffering of withdrawal.  It helps with cravings.  It also safely and effectively aids a patient in dealing with whatever emotions might come up.

 

* Avoid having sweet breakfasts, such as sweetened yoghurt and fruit, sugared cereal, and sugar-laden oatmeal.  Starting your day off with sugar sets up your entire day to wanting more.

 

* Eat healthy snacks to give you energy instead of reaching for an energy bar, coffee with sugar, or donuts.  Try hummus, veggie sticks, and nuts.

 

* Stop eating and drinking all sugars, sweeteners, and fruit juice. The slightest amount can retrigger your cravings.

 

* Enjoy plenty of omega 3 rich foods- walnuts, kale, hemp seeds, and seaweed snacks. They help with insulin control and healthy brain function.

 

* If you are having something sweet, add a little cinnamon to help regulate blood sugar levels.

 

Addiction. It can be an action or substance that is in any way negatively affecting your daily life, and you find it virtually impossible to stop.  How many times have you said to yourself, “No more,” only to reach for another piece of cake?  It’s time to take charge of your health and give up sugar.

 

Live natural.  Live well.

 

Heather

 

Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired

 

 

Are you one of those people who seems to always be coming down with something? How many special occasions have you missed, because you or a family member is sick? How many days have you called in sick this year? The stress of our every day lives taxes the body. Bad food, late nights, little to no sleep, caffeine and sugar addiction, and high stress levels every day would wear out anyone. Chinese medicine and proper nutrition can help you stay healthy and recover quickly from colds and the flu. Traditionally in China patients only paid their doctor when they were healthy. This motivated doctors to prevent illness instead of frantically trying to put out fires. Can you imagine, if we still did this today?

 

A lot of people have weakened immune systems due to the fast paced lifestyle most of us lead. This makes them prone to colds and the flu and even more serious illnesses. Having a lower immunity can also make you prone to being really sick for longer periods, especially when compared to someone who is relatively healthy. It’s rare to just get a case of the sniffles.Improving one’s immune system, so you don’t get sick is ideal. This process can start immediately and have a long-term impact on one’s health.

 

Once a person is sick, the sooner treatment is administered, the quicker the recovery. The use of Chinese medicine and herbal supplements gets rid of an infection without the side effects of antibiotics. Naturally treating an infection doesn’t suppress the contagion, but helps the body heal itself. So the bug doesn’t come right back.

 

9 easy preventative measures

 

* Eat lots of garlic

* Take vitamin C daily

* Avoid dairy and sugar

* Minimize inflammatory foods

* Support your adrenal glands

* Minimize stress

* Take a non-dairy probiotic

* Indulge in Epsom salt baths

*  Mushroom or algae source of  D3 daily

These tips result in:

 

* No more feeling miserable

* Have more energy

* Save money

* No more calling in sick (unless you want to)

* Avoid side effects of antibiotics and other medications

* Enjoy your life

* Make your boss happy

 

I can’t stress enough how prevention is key. Start today. Pick a quality probiotic and vitamin C. Make dinner using fresh garlic. Throw out all sweets. Staying healthy is really that simple.

 

Live natural. Live well.

 

Heather

Breastfeeding Tips for a Healthier Child

 

The information out there can be so confusing. Have any of these thoughts run through your head?

My doctor says I HAVE to eat meat.
Is it safe for my baby?
All I can think is I need to: get rid of the baby weight pronto, have energy, keep my baby healthy.

Breastfeeding is definitely the best choice for guaranteeing better health for your child. Keep in mind that everything you eat, your baby is eating, too.

 

What to avoid and why

 

* Caffeine including chocolate (Sorry!): irritability, poor sleep, and colic.

* Sugar: poor sleep, irritability, decreased immune function, thrush, diaper rash, and eczema.

* Alcohol and recreational drugs: lethargy, poor physical and/or mental development, decreased immunity, thrush, and diaper rash.

* Medications: Talk with your doctor to see if there are safer options while lactating. There may be a safer medical or herbal version. Side effects may vary, depending on the medication.

* Spicy food, cabbage, dairy, raw onion, and broccoli: colic.

* High allergen foods (gluten, nuts, dairy, soy) as your baby may develop an allergy from early exposure.

 

What to Eat

 

• Eat whole unprocessed foods including fresh fruits and vegetables, seeds, and whole grains daily.

 

• Because of brain development, eating a balance of essential fatty acids is key. Limit meat and dairy products and include hemp seeds, kale, flax seeds, avocado, and seaweed into your diet.

 

• Keep taking your whole foods source pre-natal for added nutrients. If you haven’t already, add a probiotic for your immune system and digestion.

 

Now that you’ve made the best possible choice for you child, your breast milk will help your baby to thrive. Every child is different. How your diet affects her may change or be different from child to child. Watch how she responds from meal to meal and you’ll know what’s best.

 

Live natural. Live well.

 

Heather

Mellow Yellow

 

 

Turmeric. It’s the spice that makes your curry yellow. This little yellow root is a powerhouse of healing properties. So many, in fact, that it would be hard to list them all.

 

Benefits

 

 

* Anti-inflammatory
* Antibiotic
* Skin conditions- eczema, psoriasis, and hives
* Pain reduction
* Metabolism
* Blood detoxifier
* Helps cough and asthma
* Gas & bloating
* Speeds up wound healing
* Heals stomach ulcers
* Prevents cancer
* Gallstones
* Slows progression of Alzheimer’s and MS
* Reduces side effects of chemotherapy
* Lowers cholesterol

 

Fresh is always best. But powdered and capsules will still help. Turmeric can be added to soups, stews, grilled veggies, tofu scramble, and, of course, curry. Juice a small amount with some cucumber, carrots, lemon and lettuce for a delicious, immune boosting treat every morning. You can also make into a paste with aloe vera to reduce itching from bug bites and chicken pox.

 

Isn’t it amazing how the things we have in our kitchen cabinet can keep us healthy? Every time we cook, we have the opportunity to improve our quality of life. Food can really be thy medicine.

 

Live natural. Live well.

 

Heather

Sleep, Glorious Sleep

 

In the hectic, fast paced world we live in today, most of us don’t get enough sleep. Sleep is key to a healthy body and mind. Keep in mind that alcohol, caffeine, sleeping pills and some medications can lead to unrestful sleep.

 

If you’re tired after a solid 8 hours, something else may be going on with your health.

 

Lack of quality sleep can lead to:

Weight gain: Chronic insomnia can cause weight gain by elevating cortisol (stress hormone) levels, which stimulate fat production. How we process and store carbohydrates can be compromised as well.

 

Cardiovascular Health: Insomnia may cause hypertension and irregular heartbeat.

 

Poor Memory: Sleep helps the brain commit new information to memory.

 

Mood: Lack of sleep can cause anxiety, irritability, and poor concentration.

 

Illness: Poor sleep weakens our immunity, make you more prone to illness. Getting enough rest is also vital to fighting cancer.

 

So turn off the tv and computer early, take a relaxing bath, drink some herbal tea, and get in to bed.

 

Sweet dreams.

 

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

Food Allergies. Your Questions Answered.

 

The incidence of food allergies is on the rise. Mostly likely you or someone close to you suffers from some level of food sensitivities. Many of my patients come in for this very problem. Many of them don’t realize allergies might be causing or contributing to other health issues. (See list below.)

 

Why is this increase occurring?

 

I’ve found through research and clinical experience different reasons. A few of them include:

1- Over-consumption of or too early exposure (under 6) to high allergen foods.
2- Genetically modified foods.

3- Side effects of certain vaccines.

4- Weakened immunity, if not breast-fed or exposed to high allergen foods through breast milk.

5- Overuse of antibiotics- either as medication or in non-organic animal products.

Eight foods or groups of foods cause about 90% of all food allergies.

 

* Dairy products

* Eggs

* Shellfish (shrimp, crab, lobster)

* Fish (tuna, salmon, cod, halibut)

* Tree nuts (almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts)

* Peanuts

* Soy

* Wheat

 

One of the tricky things about food allergies is that they don’t always show up how you’d expect. Not everyone responds with an upset stomach, digestive complaints, or fatigue after eating. This is not something many doctors know, unfortunately and they may be slow to diagnose.

 

Food allergy symptoms

 

• Digestive: Diarrhea, Gas, Abdominal Pain, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Ulcers, Gallstones, Leaky Gut Syndrome, Celiac Disease, Weight Gain

• Emotional: Depression, ADD/ADHD, Autism, Panic Attacks, Anxiety

• Skin: Eczema, Psoriasis, Rosacea,

• Immunity: Ear Infections, Asthma, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Frequent Flus & Colds

• Other: Infertility, Migraines & Headaches, Multiple Sclerosis, Epilepsy

 

If you have any of the above health concerns, please consult a qualified physician for diagnosis and treatment. There is hope! Healing or minimizes food allergies is now possible. Abstaining from those foods, acupuncture/acupressure, detoxification, proper nutrition, and appropriate supplementation are a part of the protocol. Boosting your immune system, cleansing your body of toxins, and healing any damage done to your digestive tract from the exposure to allergen foods will bring you optimal wellness. The result will most likely be at minimum a reduction in allergy symptoms, and at best a complete elimination of your allergies.

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

The Truth About Dairy

 

Another question I get asked a lot: “Don’t you need milk for calcium?” The answer is a big “NO.” On top of dairy not having much calcium compared to many plant foods (see below), a lot of people are allergic/lactose intolerant. This means they can’t access the calcium in dairy anyway and it can make them really sick. Dairy has also been linked to heart disease, prostate cancer, and Type 2 diabetes.

 

The dairy industry paid almost $200 million in the US in 2011 on advertising. So that’s pretty much everyone believes you can only get enough calcium from eating dairy. Marketing. The guys at Mad Men would be proud.

 

A staggering statistic that also disproves this myth- On average, Americans eat the most dairy and have the highest rates of osteoporosis. According to the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, we eat almost 300 pounds of dairy per year.

 

Besides not having the highest levels of calcium, eating a lot of dairy and animal protein makes your body acidic. To alkalize itself, the body leeches calcium from your bones.

 

Inuits have the highest dietary calcium intake of any other people in the world– above 2000 mg per day from fish bones. Their diet is also the highest in the world in protein- up to 400 g a day mostly from fish and have the highest rate of osteoporosis in the world.  The Bantu of Africa consume an average of 350 mg of calcium a day and have almost no cases of osteoporosis.

 

Still don’t believe me? Look at these numbers.

 

Calcium Sources

In milligrams per 100 gram serving

Butter                                 20
Whole milk                       118
Chickpeas                        150
Collard greens                203
Parsley                              203
Soybeans                         226
Almonds                           234
Sesame seeds                1160

 

In milligrams per 8 oz (1 cup)

Soybean sprouts            50
Alfalfa sprouts               25
Nori                                 1200
Kombu                            2100
Wakame                         3500
Tofu                                350
Quinoa                           80
Kale                                72
Okra                                81
Corn meal                     50
Oats                               40
Carrot juice                  57
Navy beans                  140
Pinto beans                  100
Lima beans                 60
Black beans                 60
Lentils                           50
Hazelnuts                     450
Walnuts                         280
Sunflower seeds          260

 

 

Recommended Daily Allowance

 

* 0-6 months                           200 mg

* 6-12 months                         260 mg

* 1-3 years                               700 mg

* 4-8 years                              1000 mg

* 9-18 years                            1300 mg

* 19-50 years                          1000 mg

* pregnant/lactating               1300 mg

* 51-70 years male                1000 mg

* 51-70 years female             1200 mg

* 70+ years                             1200 mg

 

So as you can see, ‘Milk it does the body good” campaign just isn’t true. Do yourself a favor. Go to your local farmers market this weekend. Try some fresh, green veggies. Buy yourself a juicer and enjoy. Grab a handful of almonds. Eat some hummus. Your bones will thank you.

 

Live natural. Live well.

 

Heather

 

Note: Oxalic acid, which is found in spinach, rhubarb, chard, and beet greens binds with calcium and reduces its absorption. They should not be considered good sources of calcium.

Eliminating Candida

 

You may think that yeast is only a problem “down there.”  But it can affect the intestines as well. Candida can be hard to diagnose, because it shares symptoms with other health issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome and gluten intolerance.  You might find yourself bouncing between doctors in an effort to find the true culprit of symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea, constipation, sinusitis, or headaches.

 

If you answer ‘yes’ to a many of the below questions, you probably have Candida.

 

*Have you ever taken repeated or prolonged courses of antibiotics?

*Do you eat non-organic animal products, which contain antibiotics and steroids?

*Have you taken a prolonged course of steroids or birth control pills?

*Have you been bothered by recurrent vaginal, prostate, or urinary-tract infections?

*Are you bothered by hormone-related issues, including: PMS, infertility, menstrual

irregularities, or sexual dysfunction?           

*Are you overly sensitive to certain odors?

*Do you have memory or concentration problems?                                   

*Do you suffer from digestive issues?

*Does your skin itch, burn, or rash easily?

*Do some foods disagree worsen your symptoms?

 

What next?!?!

 

Eliminate yeast-promoting foods

For a minimum of 6 weeks, eliminate foods that feed yeast and encourage its growth:

Sugar, dairy, yeast, fruit, grains, and fermented foods. Eat no more than 40-60 grams of carbohydrates a day.  Focus on eating vegetables, nuts, seeds, unprocessed oils, and drink plenty of water.

The good news is that Candida is treatable with simple dietary changes and the right supplements. It can take a few months to really eliminate the yeast. So don’t give up, if your symptoms don’t away immediately.

 

Live natural. Live well.

 

Heather

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