Posts Tagged ‘insomnia’

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

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

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

Relieving Stress

Wouldn’t it be great to have a way to make your stressful work feel stress free? Wouldn’t it be great to feel relaxed and invigorated each and every day? Sounds impossible, right? Wrong!

Acupuncture, massage, herbs, proper diet, and exercise are all important in minimizing the effects of the pressure caused by life’s daily stresses. Headaches, sleepless nights, losing your temper, feeling tired, and tense muscles will all become a thing of the past.

The best part is that this is all done safely and naturally without any negative side effects. You’ll feel more energized, joyful and calm – all at the same time. Bring passion back in to your life. It’s time to feel the way you did when you were younger and had less responsibility.

Patient Testimonial:

“Before working with Heather, I used to be one of those guys who got pissed off at everyone and everything. People were actually afraid of me on tour. I can’t tell you how many fights I’d get into. The stress and exhaustion wore me out. I’m still not the nicest guy, but I take everything , or almost everything, in stride now.”
- Jack G., Singer

Do I Need to Detox?

Do I Need to Detox?

I get asked this question a lot. Our bodies aren’t made to handle the amount of toxins we’re constantly exposed to. Toxin overload can lead to a whole host of illnesses and side effects. Take the quiz below to see if you need to do a cleanse.

  • Do you eat processed foods, fast food and/or eat out regularly?
  • Do you eat non-organic animal products and produce?
  • Do you consume genetically altered foods?
  • Do you eat foods containing hydrogenated oil?
  • Do you or have you used artificial sweeteners (Nutrasweet/Aspartame, Splenda, Sweet n Low)?
  • Do you eat foods containing preservatives, additives, dyes, or sweeteners?
  • Do you charbroil or grill foods?
  • Do you drink coffee, soda or alcohol regularly?
  • Do you drink unfiltered tap water?
  • Do you use a microwave?
  • Do you microwave/cook/store food in plastic containers?

If the majority of your answers are yes, then your diet contributes significantly to your toxic load. Most likely, you’re also exposed to other irritants such as pollution, cigarette smoke, dry cleaning fluids, cosmetics and beauty products, exhaust fumes, cleaners, and medications.

You might want to consider detoxing, if you’re experiencing any of the following:

Weight gain

Fatigue

Food cravings

Insomnia

Reduced mental clarity

Poor digestion

Low libido

Autoimmune disorders

Cancer

Hormonal Imbalances

Thyroid Disorders

Adrenal Exhaustion

Infertility

Arthritis

Not all cleanses are created equal. Many of my patients try one, that ‘everyone’ is doing with no results.  Sometimes, they even feel worse. It’s important to have a qualified physician help you find one that is right for you. When done correctly, the results can be life changing. And remember, if you go back to your old habits once you’ve completed a cleanse, the benefits won’t last. I see a lot of people go through the effort, but don’t change their lifestyle. I highly recommend avoiding unhealthy foods and products to guarantee long lasting results.

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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