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

 

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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

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Manic Panic

 

 

Did you know that 40 million people will experience high levels of anxiety in the U.S. this year? Damn, that’s a lot of people. No wonder the number of people taking anti- anxiety medications has gone up 30% in the last 10 years. Do these medications really fix the underlying cause of anxiety? The answer for most people prescribed anti-anxiety meds is a resounding “No!” The primary symptoms are just masked for as long as you’re taking the medication. Not only is the problem still there, but the unresolved issues can make you physically ill as well.

 

Ask anyone who’s experienced it. Anxiety and panic attacks suck.

 

Causes of Panic Attacks

 

*Adrenal fatigue– cortisol disruption

 
*Food allergies


*Hormonal imbalances


*Caffeine


*Stress, especially post traumatic stress disorder

 

 

Luckily, Chinese medicine and nutrition are great for treating and healing why you have them in the first place. Who wants to go through life on edge or fearful all the time? Or afraid that you’re going to have a panic attack, causing more anxiety? Now you heal once and for all.

 

Foods to Reduce Anxiety

 

* Beets, radish, yams, cabbage
* Seaweed- Kelp, wakame, arame
* Blackberries, black beans, quinoa, mung beans

 

What ever your mood, you can fix it with food. Find out the cause of your emotional upset. Then dig in to these delicious treats to reduce anxiety, fear, and even panic attacks.

 

Live natural. Live well.

 

Heather

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Fiber for Life

 

 

 

Did you know that we’re supposed to get at least 30 grams of fiber a day? The average American eats only 15 grams per day. No wonder everyone is bloated, irregular, and at high risk for heart disease. Also, if you don’t poop, your body reabsorbs toxins it’s trying to flush out. One of the results- Colon cancer is now the third leading type of cancer related deaths in the US.

 

Keep in mind that that fiber is found only in plant foods and never in animal products. No wonder those who consume the Standard American Diet (SAD) are clogged up. We’re supposed to go three times a day. I can tell you most of my patients are lucky, if they go #2 once a day. I’ve seen some cases of once every ten days!

 

Health Benefits of Fiber

• Prevents colon cancer, constipation, colitis, hemorrhoids, gallstones, and varicose veins.

• Lowers cholesterol and helps prevent and manage diabetes.

• Slows the absorption of food. Thus, reducing blood glucose levels and increasing weight loss.

• Removes heavy metals and toxins and reduces the side effects of radiation.

 

Sources of Fiber


Fruits and vegetables- 1 medium size, unless otherwise noted.

 

Apple with skin                           3.0 g

Banana                                         2.0 g

Pear with skin                              4.5 g

Orange                                          2.0 g

Prunes                                           3.0 g

½ cup Brussels sprouts              4.5 g

1 large Carrot                                2.9 g

½ cup Broccoli                            1.5 g

Potato with skin                           4.0 g

1/ 2 cup Corn                               1.5 g

Beets                                             1.85 g

 

All half cup for legumes, grains, nuts and seeds

 

Barley                                   4.0 g

Black beans                        5.5 g

Brown rice                           1.5 g

Garbanzo beans                6.0 g

Green peas                         6.9 g

Hemp seeds                    16.8 g per serving

Kidney beans                     6.5 g

Lentils                                4.5 g

Lima beans                       6.5 g

Oats                                     3.0 g

Pinto beans                       5.9 g

 

Tips

 

As you increase your fiber intake, pay attention to your use of medications and certain minerals- calcium, iron, and zinc. You may need to adjust your medications, especially insulin. If you take a fiber supplement, never take your medications or supplements at the same time.

 

Your body could take a little while to adjust to getting the fiber it needs. So you might be a bit gassy at first. This will pass. Drinking plenty of water and chewing on fennel seed will reduce the toots.

 

See how important it is to get enough fiber? And how easy it is? Stock up on hummus, carrot sticks, and split pea soup, and you’ll be good to go. No pun intended.

 

Live natural. Live well.

 

Heather

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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