Archive for the ‘Women’ Category

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

The Big C

 

 

So you’ve gotten the big C diagnosis. Now what? Whether you decide or not to go with Western treatments- surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation, Chinese medicine and nutrition should be a part of your healing plan.

 

Chinese medicine can help with any cancer related symptoms and side effects associated with chemotherapy and radiation, including: nausea/vomiting, burns, weakened immunity, stress, anxiety, detoxification, pain, bruising, hair loss, skin issues, hot flashes, fatigue, digestive issues, loss of appetite, and anemia.

 

You don’t have to take my word for it. Even the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has proven that acupuncture used on cancer patients improved their immune system response. Their studies also showed that acupuncture reduced pain levels in some cancer patients. Clinical trials performed all over the world have determined that acupuncture reduces nausea and vomiting caused by chemo and anesthesia.

 

What can you do?

 

Eat & Drink


* Immune boosting- astralgus root, probiotics, lemon, aloe vera, bell pepper, kiwi

 

* Nausea- ginger, mint, dry crackers, apples

 

* Calming- beets, radish, carrots, yams, melons

 

* Detoxifying- dandelion greens, cucumber, kale, beets, seaweed, tumeric, garlic

 

Avoid


* Sugar- cancer loves to feed on sugar.

 

* Dairy- casein, which is a milk protein, encourages tumor growth.

 

* Non- organic- pesticides and steroids cause and promote cancer.

 

* Toxins found in beauty and household cleaning products.

 

Most importantly, do what makes you happy. Find support from people who will keep you on track. All experts agree that having a positive outlook on your diagnosis and treatment is vital to recovery.

 

These tips are meant for prevention as well. Whether or not you’ve gotten diagnosed with cancer, you can use this opportunity to take charge of your health and even come back healthier than ever before.

 

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

Adrenal Fatigue

 

Do you feel tired all the time? Do you get plenty of sleep and still don’t feel rested. Do you have difficulty focusing? You might be experiencing adrenal fatigue.

Your adrenals are two small glands that sit on top of your kidneys and give you energy. They regulate your stress response and secrete hormones, including aldosterone.

The adrenal glands can become fatigued for several reasons: Lack of quality sleep, stress, medications, alcohol and drug use, caffeine, and more.

Some adrenal fatigue symptoms

 

1. Chronic fatigue
3. Insomnia
4. Easily overwhelmed
5. Craving salty and/or sweet foods
6. Sensitivity to light
7. Difficulty concentrating
8. Poor digestion
9. Irritable bowel syndrome
10. Frequent Colds
11. PMS and Menopause
12. Low blood pressure
13. Sensitivity to cold
14. Allergies
15. Arthritis
16. Anxiety, Panic Attacks, and/or Depression
17. Low libido
18. Dark circles under the eyes

 

Does this sound like you? Chinese medicine and nutrition can help heal your adrenal glands. Some lifestyle changes are necessary as well. Find ways to reduce stress, get enough quality sleep, stay hydrated, reduce your coffee intake, and you’re on your way.

 

Live natural. Live well.

 

Heather

Simple Steps to Healing Leaking Gut

 

Leaky gut? Sounds pretty gross, doesn’t it? Well it is. And it’s just what it sounds like, too. The intestines become permeable, allowing toxins, bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites to enter the blood. Ewww! Leaky gut can cause a whole host of health issues, usually misdiagnosed and mistreated. (See symptoms below.)

 

Causes of leaky gut

 

* Gluten intolerance & food sensitivities
* Use of antacids, antibiotics & non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs- Ibuprofen, aspirin, Naproxen)
* Smoking
* Over consumption of alcohol
* Parasites
* Candida
* Regularly overeating

 

Symptoms of a leaky gut

 

* Digestive complaints, including: gas, constipation and/or diarrhea
* Chronic fatigue
* Skin conditions, including rashes, rosacea, & eczema
* Fuzzy thinking
* Mood swings
* Weakened immunity
* Chronic joint or muscle aches
* Asthma, bronchitis, respiratory infections
* Sinus congestion
* Food allergies

 

Foods to Avoid or Minimize

 

In order to heal  leaky gut it is necessary to temporarily eliminate all of the following:

 

* Dairy
* Junk & processed foods
* Refined grains, especially white flours
* Legumes
* Starchy vegetables- beets, carrots, potatoes, pumpkin, turnips, yams
* High glycemic fruits-banana, dried fruits, fruit juices
* Refined & fake sugars
* Alcohol, sodas, and caffeinated drinks

 

Foods to Eat

 

Make sure to eat as much organic as you can. Take a look at my posting on which foods are most important to eat organic.

 

* Lemon in water daily

* Non-starchy vegetables, including: alfalfa sprouts, artichokes, asparagus, bean sprouts, beet greens, bell peppers, bok choi, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, chives, cilantro, collard greens, cucumber, dandelion greens, eggplant, endive, escarole, fennel, garlic, ginger, green beans, horseradish, kale, leeks, okra, onions, radish, romaine lettuce, mustard greens, parsley, pickles, sauerkraut, scallions, snap peas, snow peas, spaghetti squash, spinach, summer squash, Swiss chard, tomatoes, watercress, zucchini.

* Fresh fruits, including: apples, apricots, berries , cantaloupe, cherries, currants, dates, figs, grapefruit, grapes, honeydew melon, kiwi, limes, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, papaya, peaches, pears, persimmon, pineapple, plums, pomegranate, tangerine, watermelon.

 

Supplements to Take

* Digestive enzymes
* Probiotics
* Chinese herbs
* L-Glutamine
* Plant Source Omega 3s
* Multivitamin

 

There is hope! The microvilli in the small intestine can be repaired. They normally regenerate within four to five days. The healing process may take longer, depending on the severity of the damage.

 

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.

Got Pain? Acupuncture. It Does the Body Good.

Do you get headaches or migraines? Is there anything worse? Headaches can ruin your quality of life. Not only do they suck, but the medications that ‘fix’ them don’t always work and can have drastic side effects.

 

Has your doctor still not figured out why you have them? “Take a pill” is probably their response.

 

Have they ruled out all these potential causes?

 

* Dehydration- most people are dehydrated
* Hormonal imbalances
* Food allergies
* Stress
* Neck tension & misalignment
* Mercury/heavy metal poisoning
* Adverse reaction to medications
* Tumors
* Head colds and sinus infections
* High blood pressure

 

How Chinese medicine can help

 

Acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and proper diet can all relieve or fix any of the above causes. How? Chinese medicine is able to regulate hormonal imbalances, detoxify the body, relieve stress, lower blood pressure, improve the immune system, reduce pain & inflammation, and minimize tumor size & growth. Pretty amazing, right?

 

Have you been living with headaches or migraines for years? It’s time to give Chinese medicine a try.

 

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

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

Balancing Your Hormones Naturally

 

I’ve seen a drastic increase in hormone related illnesses in the last ten years. Unfortunately, no matter how clean our diet is, we can’t completely avoid all pollutants. Just in the last 3 months, I’ve seen 15 new female patients in their 20s. All of them got their first period between the ages of 8 and 10. All of them. This is just one symptom of how all the toxins and pollutants we’re exposed to are damaging all of us.

Some simple steps to minimize your risk

* Minimize or eliminate your consumption of:
-animal products (especially non-organic)
-sugar (real & fake)
-trans-fats

* Avoid all plastic, especially in food packaging. See my blog post for more info.

* Do a liver cleanse at least once a year.

* Make sure you get plenty of healthy fats in daily. See my blog post for more info.

* Organic produce as much as possible. See my blog post for more info.

* Put a water filter on your taps and showers.

* Exercise that helps get your blood pumping & de-stressed 3-5 times per week.

* Have your hormones tested. If anything is off, you can naturally treat almost any imbalance.

* Get active. Whatever your political beliefs, we all what safe food, water, and air for ourselves and our children. Contact your state and federal representatives and let them know you vote and you want to see changes.

 

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

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