Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

Vitamin D for Health

 

 

What is all this hype about vitamin D deficiency? It’s sort of the new health trend. Most doctors didn’t test for it or even ask about D until a couple of years ago.

 

So why is there such a problem?

 

First, if you live north of Los Angeles on the west coast or Florida on the east coast, you can’t get enough D from the sun in winter. If you:

 

* Work indoors
* Always wear sunblock
* Avoid going out in the sun
* Are over 60

 

Vitamin D is responsible for your immune system, bone & heart health, reducing cancer risk, muscle flexibility, and mood elevation. The agreed upon intake amount per day is 2,000 IU.

 

Signs that you might be vitamin D deficient.

 

* Osteoporosis or arthritis
* Poor memory
* Fractured or broken bones
* Weak or sore muscles
* Autoimmune disease
* Prostate cancer
* Frequent colds
* Depression

 

Sources of Vitamin D

 

* Sunlight with out sunblock 5-30 minutes per day on arms and legs
* Take a vegan D3 supplement
* Mushrooms, especially shiitake
* Fortified organic soymilk

 

Have you doctors check your vitamin D levels, especially if you’re experiencing any symptoms mentioned above. Get outside and enjoy a little sun. It does the body good.

 

Live natural. Live well.

 

Heather

Hot Hot Hot Flashdance

 

 

Have you been experiencing hot flashes or irregular periods? Worried about osteoporosis? Emotions running rampant? You might be at the beginning of menopause or peri-menopuase. Yes, there are many drugs out there that reduce menopause symptoms with some dangerous side effects. Why not eat the right foods to feel cooler and a little less crazy instead? Proper nutrition can reduce symptoms and keep you calm with out any of the worries of medication. In Chinese nutrition, each plant, nut, seed, or fruit has an energetic value to it. They can give you energy or help you to de-stress.

 

Here are some tips.

 

What to eat, when you’re feeling.….

 

Overwhelmed or afraid


Miso soup, adzuki beans, black beans, buckwheat, soba noodles, roots and greens, squash

 

Impatient


Barley, wheat, rye, lentils, white beans, spring greens, daikon radish

 

Worried or self-conscious


Millet, adzuki or garbanzo beans, sweet squash, root veggies

 

Depressed or sad


Brown rice, tempeh, lentils, roots and greens, miso soup, onion, scallions, ginger

 

Cooling foods to help with hot flashes and night sweats


Apples, bananas, pear, persimmon, cantaloupe, tomatoes, citrus, lettuce, radish, cucumber, celery, asparagus, Swiss chard, eggplant, spinach, summer squash, bok choy, broccoli, cauliflower, corn, zucchini, soy, mung beans/sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, millet, barley, amaranth, seaweed, spirulina, wheat grass, peppermint, lemon, cilantro, marjoram, molasses, oats, wild rice, black beans, parsnips, black sesame seeds, potatoes, kidney beans, blueberries, blackberries, and watermelon.

 

Sources of fluorine for building bones


Cabbage, avocados, black-eyed peas, seaweed, rice, rye, parsley, lemon grass, licorice, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, carrots, caraway seed, cauliflower, cucumber, dates, endive, turnip and beet greens, dandelion, sunflower seeds, garlic, spinach, tomatoes, green leafy vegetables, and almonds.

 
Feeling better about ‘the change’ now that you’ve read this? I hope so! You can take charge of your health and do it naturally. The transition into menopause can go smoothly.

 

Live natural. Live well.

 

Heather

Anger Management

 

 

 

You might have heard that your liver is in charge of filtering out toxins. But did you know your liver is also in charge of filtering out anger and resentment? It’s true. In Chinese medicine, each organ has an emotion or emotions that affect it. If you don’t release or process what you’re feeling, it starts to cause internal imbalances. The liver is weakened or compromised by anger, resentment, frustration, and/or stress. Experience any of those lately? In the last week? In the last hour?

 

If you are stressed out or frustrated about your job, you might be experiencing some physical symptoms related to your mental health.

 

Symptoms that can manifest from suppressing your anger.

 

* High blood pressure, PMS, headaches

* Vertigo, hair loss, & blurry vision

* Muscle spasms & ringing in the ears

* Crave sour tasting foods, dizziness, & red eyes

 

Avoiding anger and stress is pretty much impossible unless you live in a cave. But you can do something about it. How you deal with it is key. One of those ways is through the foods you eat. Chinese nutrition gives very detailed guidelines on what to eat when needing emotional support.

 

Foods to Eat


* Beets, apple cider vinegar, & dill

 

* Broccoli, pine nuts, & mustard greens

 

* Romaine lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, & cauliflower

 

* Basil, mint, cabbage, peaches, strawberries, & quinoa

 

So instead of going through PMS hell, try the above foods instead. Find ways to simplify your life. Maybe take up yoga or meditation. A kickboxing class might be just the trick. Most importantly, acknowledge and accept your what you’re feeling. Don’t suppress or ignore it, even if it’s uncomfortable. You’ll not only feel your mood lift, but any physical ailments will start to disappear.

 

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

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

10 Holiday Health Tips

 

 

Want to stay healthy this holiday season? No colds or flus. No gaining ten pounds that never seem to come off. Sound impossible? Not at all. Let’s do it differently this year. If you’ve been following my posts for a while, you know I’m all about prevention. Once you’ve gained the weight or gotten sick, it’s much harder to recover than not going through it at all.

Here are a few helpful tips to be in top shape the whole year.


1) Take at least 500 mg of vitamin C a day.

 

2) Eat garlic- It’s a natural antibiotic and tastes delicious.

 

3) Sweat- It’s a great way to get toxins out.

 

4) Dab your wrists or neck with lavender oil, because it has antibiotic properties.

 

5) Eat before going to parties. Fill up on healthier options before being tempted to eat only sugar, white bread, and animal products.

 

6) Contribute some healthy options of your own to holiday meals.

 

7) Take a B complex for hangover prevention.

 

8) Let yourself totally enjoy when you are indulging. Feeling guilty releases stress hormones leading to weight gain. So, if you’re going to have one too many cocktails or that second piece of pie, just accept it and enjoy every bite. Not that I’m condoning doing this, but we all know it’s going to happen.

 

9) Drink a glass of water after each alcoholic beverage.

 

10) Get moving. It’ll help keep the weight off, reduce stress, and boost your immunity. Walk. If you live where it’s too cold and wet to get outside or even to the gym. Run up and down your stairs a few times. Do some jumping jacks. Buy a mini trampoline and jump for 20 minutes.

 

See how simple and fun prevention can be? Start a new holiday tradition this year. The tradition of health.

 

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

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

To Carb or Not to Carb

 

Thank you, Dr. Atkins. You made carbohydrates a dirty word. Somehow you made it ok to eat pork rinds and drink diet Coke, but taboo to eat brown rice and black beans. And broccoli. Don’t forget broccoli has way too many carbs. Huh?

 

Our bodies need carbohydrates for energy. We should minimize or completely avoid simple carbs and enjoy complex carbohydrates in moderation. If you exercise on a regular basis, you can eat more. What a motivator for hitting the gym, right?

 

Complex Carbohydrates
Many are known for their lowering cholesterol abilities and high fiber content . Fruit contains complex and simple carbohydrates.

Sources
* Millet, oats, barley, whole wheat
* Brown, red, & wild rice, quinoa, buckwheat
*Split peas, lentils, chickpeas, black beans
* Sunflower, flax, pumpkin, chia seeds
* Broccoli and Brussels sprouts
* Whole grain breads, crackers, cereals, pasta

 

Simple Carbohydrates
Simple carbs can cause a sugar imbalance. Considered empty calories (no nutritional value), eating too much sugar is stored as fat. When eating out or buying pre-made food, be careful. Sugar is a commonly added to sauces, bread, salad dressings, ketchup, and soups. I call it the lazy cook’s spice.

Sources
* Honey
* White or brown sugar
* Corn syrup
* Lactose (in dairy)
* Dextrose, sucrose, and fructose

So, don’t be afraid of carbohydrates. Have 5 servings of organic fresh fruit daily. And please eat your broccoli. Having the occasional sweet treat is fine. But if you’re diabetic, have cancer, or know that the occasional cookie will turn into a dozen a day, definitely stay away. Bon appetit!

 

Live natural. Live well.

 

Heather

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