Posts Tagged ‘diabetes’

Always Coca Cola

coke-logo-10

Coca Cola, Pepsi , Mountain Dew, Sprite. You name it. I’m not a fan. Patients and loved ones often wonder why I’m so against drinking soda. One can of Coke has the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar. 10. Almost 13 billion gallons of cola were consumed in the U.S. last year. That’s 130 billion teaspoons of sugar just from drinking colas. High sugar content is just one of the reasons I recommend avoiding soft drinks.

Toxic Ingredients

* Phosphorus- weakens bones and decays teeth. A major contributor to osteoporosis.

* Formaldehyde. Yes. An ingredient in plywood and fungicides. A known carcinogen.

* High fructose corn syrup- Increases body fat, cholesterol, diabetes risk,and triglycerides. Also stimulates appetite.

* Fake sugars. Known to be neurotoxic, carcinogenic, and damage optic nerve. More info.

* Food dyes and coloring- linked to hyperactivity, impairment of brain function, lack of impulse control, cancer.

* A diuretic. Makes you pee and dehydrates you. Leading to fatigue, headaches, constipation, irritability, rapid heart rate, and more.

I hope now you’re looking for healthier options. But still feel you need the sugar and caffeine boost?

For bubbles- kombucha or sparkling water with lemon or lime

Energy- chlorophyll rich foods- sea vegetables, spinach, kale,
parsley, cilantro, blue-green algae, sprouts, wheatgrass.

Sugar buzz- the best source. Nature’s finest. Fruit.

Another consequence of soda consumption is plastic consumption. It hurts your health and the environment. Listen to my interview with Beth Terry on how you can use less plastic.

Next time your thirsty or looking for more energy, have a water and a smile.

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

 

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

Sexual Healing- Nature’s Cures for a Great Sex Life

I don’t have to convince you that a healthy sex drive is a good thing. More and more studies are proving what the ancients have known for thousands of years: sex is good for your health. But in today’s hectic world, being “in the mood,” doesn’t always make the top of your to-do list. The result? A low libido.

Ancient Chinese medical texts describe in detail how important a healthy sex life is for general health and well-being. There are even descriptions of how often is healthy according to your age. There are many ways to improve sex drive and function, but the safest and most effective way is do it naturally through Traditional Chinese Medicine and Nutrition, along with essential oils.

You might be asking, “Why choose Chinese medicine over Western medicine?” For starters, acupuncture, herbs, proper nutrition, and essential oils have no side effects when used properly. Another added bonus is that certain herbs increase fertility and help with other health concerns while giving you that extra oomph.

Along with stress, poor lifestyle habits, and physical conditions (arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, prostatitis, obesity, smoking, diabetes, and high cholesterol), a history of sexual trauma can lower your libido. Even seemingly mild occurrences can have an effect on your sex drive. Healing any issues around this type of trauma is key to sexual health. Chinese medicine along with therapy is the perfect combination to deal with such issues.

Scar tissue caused by surgery in the pelvic region can cause lack or insufficient flow of Qi and blood to the area and may cause impotence, low libido & infertility.

There are many Chinese herbs whose functions include: regulation of energy metabolism, promotion of sexual functions, removal of plaque and cholesterol, lowering of blood pressure, reduction of scar tissue, and regulation of the adrenal cortex.

How do essential oils work? Sense of smell, which is connected to olfactory nerves, works mostly on a subconscious level. Olfactory nerves are directly connected to the most primitive part of the brain, the limbic system. The limbic system deals with sex drive, hunger, and thirst. Certain smells mimic sexual olfactory signals. Thus, ‘turning you on.’

Play with them. You and your partner can put them on each other. If pregnant or trying to get pregnant or you have any hormonal imbalances, please consult a qualified professional as to safety of certain oils.

Oils to Use

* Increasing libido- jasmine, rose, sandalwood, myrrh, and frankincense, cinnamon, pepper, nutmeg, peppermint, sage and clary sage.

* Prostatitis- Thuja and thyme

* Sexual trauma- frankincense

* Anger/stress distracting you- lavender, ylang ylang, & bergamot

* Depression- rosemary & ylang ylang

* Love sick- chamomile

* Lavender is very calming and can relieve the feeling of pressure/anxiety with sexual performance. It reduces high blood pressure that can cause sexual dysfunction. Lavender also reduces scar tissue.

The good news is that a low libido is treatable without having to worry about the side effects or safety of most medications on the market. Whether or not you choose Chinese medicine to increase your sex drive, it is important to remember that achieving balance in your life is key to your health.

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

Pumpkins Aren’t Just for Decoration

It’s that time of year! Pumpkins everywhere. Not only are they are great decoration for Halloween, they’re great for you. One of my fondest childhood memories is carving up a pumpkin in anticipation of dressing up and all the sugar I was about to consume. Luckily, now I look forward to all the pumpkin I get to eat instead.

Health Benefits of Pumpkin

Pumpkin is naturally low in calories and rich in health-promoting nutrients, including:

Fiber

* reduces bad cholesterol levels, thus reducing the risk of heart disease
* controls blood sugar levels
* promotes healthy digestion
* encourages weight loss

Potassium

* Balances fluid levels
* promotes strong bones
* necessary for energy production
* maintains healthy blood pressure

Alpha-carotene & Beta-carotene

* improves vision & reduces risk of cataracts
* reverses sun damage to the skin & slows the aging process
* is an anti-inflammatory
* prevents tumor growth
* boosts the immune system
* protects against heart disease

Vitamins C

* boosts immunity
* reduces high blood pressure and heart disease
* regulates cholesterol levels

Vitamin E

* slows aging by protecting the skin from sun damage
* reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and certain cancers

Magnesium

* promotes a strong immune system
* strengthens the bones
* supports heart function

Pantothenic acid/vitamin B5

* balances hormone levels
* manages stress levels

My favorite pumpkin dish is a really simple soup- Just cook some vegetable broth, 4-6 cups of pumpkin, onion, garlic, a little curry powder and a potato or two on simmer for 20 minutes. Add coconut milk at the end. Puree in blender and serve. Delicious!

Pumpkin Seeds


Pumpkin seeds are high in vitamin E, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and are an excellent plant-based source of omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids. The seeds protect against prostate cancer and prevent osteoporosis.

One way I love to eat pumpkin seeds is to slightly toast them, put them in a blender with silken tofu, nutritional yeast, and Bragg’s amino acids. This makes a great dip any time of year.

So this year, make it a new tradition to use the whole pumpkin and make healthier choices during the holiday season.

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

Weight Management

The combination of Chinese Medicine – acupuncture, Chinese herbs and nutrition – along with Western nutrition creates a synergy that helps manage weight in a healthy, individual manner. Chinese medicine speeds the metabolism, reduces cravings, helps reduce stress as well as support healthy food choices.

A typical treatment plan consists of an initial consultation followed by acupuncture. All patients receive a specifically tailored food plan that will indicate foods that should be eaten in moderation as well as a list of foods to be avoided. Herbal supplements and organic vitamins are used to adjust metabolism, cholesterol, energy, food cravings and even to manage diabetes. Weekly acupuncture treatments are recommended during the first month to accelerate results, then a maintenance program of every four to six weeks.

As everyone responds differently to treatment, each step along the way, up to and including a maintenance program once the desired weight goal has been achieved, is done on an individual basis.

This unique blend of Eastern and Western medicine is the optimal way to safely lose weight.

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

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