Posts Tagged ‘depression’

Do You Need to Detox?

Cleanses and detoxes seem to be the latest trend. I’m constantly hearing about the latest fad to get rid of toxins and lose weight. After living for over 20 years in Los Angeles I heard them all. Only eat cabbage. Don’t eat broccoli. Drink only sweetened lemon water. All promising to be the miracle cure to all of your woes. Does it sound too good to be true? Then it probably is.

 

So why cleanse? Do you need to do one? Many of my patients who eat organic, plant based, alcohol free, and/or sugar free are less likely to need to support. But unfortunately our planet has become so toxic, that our bodies need added support from time to time.

 

The incidence of chronic disease is ever increasing. What we put into our bodies is important. So is the air we breathe, the clothes we wear, and our homes. We are exposed to poisonous substances all day long. Sorry to sound so negative. But the reality isn’t so pretty.

 

Statistics on Toxin Exposure

 

Chemicals

 

* Less than half of the almost 80,000 chemicals in existence today are tested for safety.

 

* We’re exposed to more than 50,000 chemicals daily.

 

* Your home may contain over 1,000 chemicals.

 

Heavy metals

 

Symptoms of heavy metal poisoning may include

 

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

 

*Damage to vital organs

 

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

 

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

 

Sources of Mercury

 

Silver Fillings

 

• Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Norway have all banned mercury fillings. The World Health Organization has found that the average individual could absorb as much as 120 micrograms of mercury per day from their amalgam fillings, which is considered a toxic.

 

Fish

 

• Vaccines

Mercury is found in any vaccines w/ thimerosal, a preservative.

 

Some illnesses that are becoming all too common

 

Cancer

• Obesity

• Heart disease

• Asthma and allergies

• Digestive issues

• Thyroid disorders

• Infertility

• Chronic fatigue

• Adrenal fatigue

• Skin issues

• Autoimmune diseases such as hypothyroidism, rhuematoid arthritis, lupus, Type I diabetes, and MS.

 

What Can You Eat?

 

 

1. Try to limit your calories to 1200 per day. If exercising, know your limits and listen to your body. Do cleanse for at least 3 days and up to 30 days.

 

2.Eat only whole, plant based foods. Raw as much as possible at least once per day.

 

3.Focus on dark leafy greens at every meal or drink. These include

broccoli, spinach, kale, collard greens, chard, arugula, and watercress.

 

4. Organic only! If your budget is tight, at least avoid the Dirty Dozen.
5.Vegetable broth. Drink this soup throughout the day when hungry.

 

Biehler’s broth

1 lb. cut up green beans
3 celery stalks
4 medium zucchini
2 bunches of parsley
4 cups of water

 

Place ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Simmer
for 10-15 minutes until veggies are tender.
Take off heat and let sit with lid off for 5 minutes.
Puree soup.

Enjoy hot or cold.

 

6. Smoothies daily with unsweetened nut milk. Be sure to include greens such as kale, spinach, or lettuce and healthy fats such as chia seeds.

 

7. Flax, chia, and/ or hemp seeds: 2 tablespoons per day in your salad, on steamed veggies, or in smoothies.

 

8. Juicing 16 to 64 ounces per day, if you have a juicer or access to a juice bar. Include turmeric and ginger in your drinks.

 

9. Raw apple cider vinegar: 2 tablespoons in 8 ounces of water 3 times per day before meals.

 

10.Herbal teas- detox or digestive support teas. One of my favorite brands is Yogi Tea.

 

10. Lemon juice in your water all day, especially first thing in the morning.

 

11. Water: drink a minimum of glasses daily per day.

 

Other Tips

 

* Supplements- milk thistle, coriander

* Epsom Salts

*Eases stress by replenishing magnesium in the body. Magnesium helps produce serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical.
*Flushes out toxins and heavy metals- 2 cups in your bath every week for just ten minutes

*Relieves cold symptoms
*Relaxes muscles/reduces inflammation- relieves pain/ asthma, treats bruises/sprains.
*Prevents hardening of the arteries
*Makes insulin more effective by balancing magnesium and sulfate levels.

*Epsom salts can also be taken internally with some water for constipation

* Gall bladder cleanse, nightly until no stones

1/2 cups Extra virgin olive oil

4 oz of fresh limes, lemons or grapefruit juice

 

Epsom salt – 4 tablespoons

 

Other Support

 

*Sweat: steam, baths, sauna, and exercise

 

* Massage: to stimulate the lymphatic system

 

Colonics: Most people are constipated or use coffee to get their digestion moving. A buildup of toxins in your large intestine is the result.

 

What to Avoid during a Cleanse (and always)

 

Sugar

• Alcohol & caffeine

• Processed food

• Hydrogenated oil

• Preservatives

• Fried food

• Animal products, especially non-organic

Sodas

• Genetically Modified Foods

 

 

Feeling Sick while Detoxing?

 

If your body is full of toxins that need to be released, you may feel nauseous or even get sick during a cleanse. This is completely normal (unfortunately), especially if it’s your first time. If you do feel sick, take activated charcoal 3-4 times a day on an empty stomach.

 

Feeling very weak? Stop.

 

Please consult a physician before doing a cleanse, especially if you have cancer, are pregnant, are taking medication, have issues with your immune system, or other chronic illness.

 

 

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

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

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

The Dangers of Mercury

 

I can’t tell you how upset I was to find out my dentist had been putting a known toxin in to my mouth. What?!?! Since I was 4 years old, my poor little body had been intentionally exposed to neuro-toxin. How could he? And all those vaccines I got. How could my pediatrician have done such a thing? What happened to the Hippocratic oath of “Do no harm?”

 

 

I first learned about the dangers of mercury and how we can be exposed to it my first year of college. I was grateful that I had already given up eating seafood, so that wasn’t a concern.

 

Finding all of this out, I got to thinking, “How much mercury HAVE I been exposed to?” I thought I was living a pretty healthy life- organic vegetarian, using green beauty products. (And cheap beer can be vegetarian. Right?) But maybe I was wrong.

 

I didn’t have any symptoms of mercury poisoning, but I still had my blood tested in grad school for mercury. The levels were high. I immediately had all my silver fillings taken out and still refuse any vaccines. I did a series of liver cleanses to flush out the mercury and any other heavy metals in my system. I now have a clean bill of health. I do a liver cleanse at least once a year to keep healthy.

 

Luckily, our bodies have the ability to remove this heavy metal through nutritional and herbal support. I already had a diet high in antioxidants, which improves the liver’s function to rid the body of all toxins, including heavy metals. I added a few more healing modalities that support the detoxification process: acupuncture, massage, saunas, a juice fast, and fiber supplements.

 

Side Effects Of Mercury Poisoning


The presence of mercury is considered toxic at any level, but children are most vulnerable due to their fast growth rates and low body mass.

 

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

 

Sources

 

Unfortunately, there are very high rates of mercury poisoning in several industries, especially among munitions workers, laboratory technicians, farm workers, and coal burning plant workers.
Apart from exposure to industrial waste and pollution, you might be at risk for mercury poisoning through your amalgam (silver) fillings, eating seafood, and getting vaccines.

 

Silver Fillings
Dentists all over the world now refuse to use amalgam fillings, because of the direct link to their use and mercury poisoning. Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Norway have all banned mercury fillings. The World Health Organization has found that the average individual could absorb as much as 120 micrograms of mercury per day from their amalgam fillings, which is considered a toxic dose. Mother’s pass on the mercury in their fillings to the children through their breast milk.

 

Fish
Almost all fish are contaminated as the result of our oceans and streams being polluted by industrial waste. Fish with the highest levels of contamination include: tuna, swordfish, sea bass, oysters, marlin, halibut, pike, walleye, white croaker, largemouth bass, 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. Now it’s best to avoid all seafood.

 

Vaccines
Mercury is also found in any vaccines containing thimerosal, which is a preservative found in many vaccines. It is possible to request vaccines that don’t contain this extremely toxic preservative.

 

What Next?

 

Hopefully, this has you thinking about changing some of your habits. Get your blood tested. Take out those silver fillings. Don’t eat fish. Do a liver cleanse or two.

 

Once you’ve done a cleanse and flushed out mercury and other heavy metals from your system, it is important to limit exposure from your diet and environment. Try to avoid the following items that can contain mercury: pesticides and fungicides, certain cosmetics, medications, and hair dyes, fluorescent lights, and some solvents.

 

Live Natural. Live Well.

 

Heather

Eating Healthy Fats Make You Smarter

Did you know your brain is about 60% fat?  That your hormones are made from fat? 60% of your heart’s energy comes from burning fats.  Your lungs need fat to work and keep them from collapsing.  Fats help you absorb certain nutrients, including fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.

I know there’s all this confusing information out there about what’s healthy to eat and what isn’t.  One myth out there is that fat is bad.  Low fat and non-fat products became all the rage in the 90s, but not all fats are created equal.

Monounsaturated fats are the healthy kind. The best example is olive oil, but don’t cook with it.  High temperatures change the chemical make up of olive oil, which can make it carcinogenic (cancer causing). For cooking, I’d recommend refined coconut, safflower and non-GMO canola oils.

Great sources for healthy fat:  nuts, seeds, and avocado.  I suggest adding flax or coconut oil, plus some almond butter and hemp seeds to your morning smoothie.

Signs that you might not be getting enough of the good stuff

* Lack of mental clarity upon awakening

* Depression

* Infertility

* Weight gain

* Brittle Fingernails

* Allergies

* Arthritis

* Poor Sleep

* Poor Memory

* Dry hair & skin

* Lack of Concentration

* Fatigue

You might have heard of Omega 3, 6, and 9 Essential Fatty Acids, but aren’t really sure what they do.  EFAs can reduce risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, Alzheimer’s, arthritis and many other degenerative illnesses. Sources for Omega 3s:  seaweeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, borage oil, and primrose oil.  Yes, some fish are a great source of EFAs, but almost all fish have dangerously high levels of mercury in them. Fish get their omegas from eating seaweed. So why not eat the original, safer source instead?

Definitely stay away from trans fats/hydrogenated oils: These fats form when vegetable oil hardens, a process called hydrogenation, and can raise LDL (bad cholesterol) levels, and lower HDL (good cholesterol) levels, repeatedly linked to heart disease. These fatty acids can also cause major clogging of your arteries, type 2 diabetes, obesity and other serious health problems.  For the men reading this, trans fats also reduce sexual performance. They’re found in most processed foods, fast food, crackers, and cookies.

You should also minimize most saturated fats, which are found in animal products such as butter, cheese, whole milk, ice cream, cream and meats. They are also found in some tropical plants and vegetable oils such as coconut, palm and palm kernel. Coconut oil is actually really healthy and is the oil to use for cooking since it is far less likely to be damaged through heating.

I know a lot of you reading this are probably thinking, “I’m young, I don’t need to worry about this kind of stuff until I’m in my 40s or 50s.”  I hate to break it to you, but that’s not really the case.  More people are overweight and becoming diabetic at a younger age than ever before.  I recently saw a patient who had his first heart attack at 35 years old.  He grew up eating a typical American diet and rarely exercised since college.  The hardening of his arteries started in his 20s.  Once that damage is done, it’s really hard to heal.  I don’t want to scare you.  Hopefully, it will motivate you to make smarter food choices from now on.

So when you’re eating on the run, grab some walnuts instead of pizza.  Your body and your brain will thank.

Live natural.  Live well.

Heather

Prozac vs. Whole Foods

Feeling stressed out lately? The holidays got you down? You might want to think about adding some vitamins and improving your diet. Some of you reading this might be thinking “I can just take a pill for my problems.” I hear a lot of my patients think that taking medication long term is completely safe.

Well guess again.

Side effects of anti depressants may include: abnormal dreams, impaired vision, anxiety, chest pain, chills, confusion, diarrhea, diminished sex drive, dizziness, dry mouth, gas, headache, hives, impotence, insomnia, itching, loss of appetite, nausea, nervousness, rash, seizures, fatigue, sore throat, sweating, vomiting, & muscle weakness

Simple ways to help cope

Chromium (broccoli, grapes, oranges, grains) Lessens depression, particularly in people who are also craving sugar. Chromium is a blood sugar stabilizer for all you sugar addicts out there. Take 300 mcg of chromium per day.

Folic acid (brown, red & wild rice, beans, oranges, dark greens) and B12 (sea vegetables, Brewer’s yeast, miso, fortified foods, salmon, eggs, milk) People with B deficiencies are more likely to have severe depression. Take 800 mcg of folic acid and 1 mg of B12 per day.

Magnesium (wheat and oat bran, brown rice, nuts, molasses) Supports brain function and helpful for mood disorders, including PMS and bipolar disorder. Take 300 mg of magnesium per day.

Omega-3 fatty acids (walnuts, flaxseed oil, hemp seeds, borage oil, primrose oil, oily fish,) Build healthy brain cell membranes and help facilitate neuron-to-neuron communication. Take a supplement that includes a total of 650 mg EPA and DHA daily.

Zinc (beans, nuts, oatmeal) Helps metabolize omega-3 fatty acids in the brain. Low zinc levels are often found in those suffering from postpartum depression. Take 25 mg zinc per day.

So, if you’re having a hard time, please use the above information to at least get started. I hope this information helps lift your spirits!

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

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