Posts Tagged ‘liver’

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

Lemon Drop

 

images

 

What’s the first suggestion I give to all my patients? Drink lemon water first thing in the morning. Even better? Sip on lemon water through out the day. For those of you who don’t like to drink water, lemon is the perfect addition to a ‘plain’ glass of water. No need for soda, sugared drinks or overly sweet juices.

 

The Benefits of Lemon

 

*Aids in absorption of water and hydrates the lymphatic system.

 

* Mini detox to support the liver’s ability to flush out toxins.

 

* Alkalizes the body leading to less inflammation and disease

 

* Stimulates metabolism, especially helpful for those prone to constipation.

 

* High in vitamin C. There are approximately 28 mg in one lemon, which is close to half of what you need in a day to maintain a strong immune system and youthful skin.

 

What could be simpler? Squeezing half or a whole lemon in a glass of water or over your fresh salad has so many fitness promoting properties. A lemon a day truly keeps the doctor away.

 

Live natural. Live well.

 

Heather

Balancing Your Hormones Naturally

 

I’ve seen a drastic increase in hormone related illnesses in the last ten years. Unfortunately, no matter how clean our diet is, we can’t completely avoid all pollutants. Just in the last 3 months, I’ve seen 15 new female patients in their 20s. All of them got their first period between the ages of 8 and 10. All of them. This is just one symptom of how all the toxins and pollutants we’re exposed to are damaging all of us.

Some simple steps to minimize your risk

* Minimize or eliminate your consumption of:
-animal products (especially non-organic)
-sugar (real & fake)
-trans-fats

* Avoid all plastic, especially in food packaging. See my blog post for more info.

* Do a liver cleanse at least once a year.

* Make sure you get plenty of healthy fats in daily. See my blog post for more info.

* Organic produce as much as possible. See my blog post for more info.

* Put a water filter on your taps and showers.

* Exercise that helps get your blood pumping & de-stressed 3-5 times per week.

* Have your hormones tested. If anything is off, you can naturally treat almost any imbalance.

* Get active. Whatever your political beliefs, we all what safe food, water, and air for ourselves and our children. Contact your state and federal representatives and let them know you vote and you want to see changes.

 

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

Radiation- What to Do?!?!?

I’ve had so many patients ask about the potential side effects of radiation hitting the West Coast. This gives me a chance to talk about my favorite subject- FOOD.

Whole Grains & Legumes

Brown rice should be lightly roasted to increase your protection against radiation.

Adzuki beans- little red beans used in soups and stews- are great for improving kidney function, which is necessary for removing toxins.

Other delicious grains to help protect you include: buckwheat, millet, and quinoa.

Sea Vegetables

Most sea vegetables contain a polysaccharide that binds to radioactive strontium and other pollutants. This helps to eliminate them from the body.

Kombu, a common kelp, can be used when cooking beans or vegetables. Add to your soup or salad a few tablespoons of sea vegetables, such as nori (used in sushi rolls), hiziki, alaria, arame, or wakame.

Miso Soup

1 or 2 bowls of unpasteurized miso soup every day, preferably prepared with kombu seaweed and root vegetables.

Miso broth with root vegetables (like carrots, beets, yams, onions, turnips and radishes) stimulates digestive enzymes and supports the elimination of pollutants and toxins from the blood.

Eat Your Veggies

Any dark, leafy greens will promote detoxification, including: dandelion, kale, cilantro, and chard. Other veggies to alkaline the body and reduce inflammation are: pumpkin, squash, garlic, avocado, and broccoli.

Root vegetables are a great source of antioxidants and support your kidneys.

Add tumeric- the spice that makes curry yellow- to your veggies to reduce inflammation and support your immune system.

Adding lemon to your filtered water supports the liver’s function to eliminate toxins. It also stimulates your metabolism. Who wouldn’t want that? I recommend drinking lemon water all the time, but especially first thing in the morning to jumpstart your day. No matter what the circumstances.

Supplements

The Iodide Question

There are many conflicting studies about the benefits and efficacy of taking iodine to protect your thyroid from radiation. So I’m hesitant to say anything about it. I personally think taking a low dose potassium iodide pill is usually safe as long as you don’t have a thyroid condition already. Short-term use should be fine, but please consult your physician first. According to the CDC, a single dose is all you need. Should radioactive iodine remain in the environment for more than 24 hours, another dose might be required. You shouldn’t take any at all unless you know that there is an immediate radiation hazard.

Other Steps to Take

Reishi and Cordyceps mushrooms protects your bone marrow from radiation and other toxins.

Spirulina and chlorella help the liver to flush on toxins, including radiation.

If you don’t like to or don’t know how to cook with tumeric, as suggested above, you can take it as supplement. 2-4 grams per day is should be enough.

Some homeopathic remedies to treat radiation: radium bromatum, uranium nitricum, plutonium nitricum, x-ray and plumbum. Please consult a qualified physician or homeopath before taking.

Taking a bath in Epsom salts, sea salt, bentonite clay, and/or baking soda to support your body’s ability to release toxins.

Acupuncture has long been established as great for detoxification and supporting the thyroid & immune system.

Foods To Avoid

You want to make sure your body can easily eliminate toxins, especially radiation. The healthier you are, the better your organs can do their job. So you want to avoid acidic foods and foods that slow down your body’s ability to detoxify. It is important to avoid coffee, sodas, refined sugars, dairy, and ‘white’ (bread, rice, etc…) and processed foods

All of these tips should be incorporated in to your daily lives, whether or not you’re directly affected by nuclear fall out in Japan. Eating a plant based, alkalizing diet will help protect you from almost any disease or pollution.

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

Popeye was almost right

But he should have eaten fresh spinach instead of canned. It’s a great source of iron, which increases the health of your blood, especially red blood cells. Red blood cells in turn feed your muscles, among many other things, and in turn, gives you energy and strength.

The absorbed iron is transported as plasma ferritin and stored in liver, spleen, bone marrow and kidney. When red cells are broken down, the liberated iron is reutilized in the formation of new red cells. Iron is necessary for oxygen transport and cell growth by helping the blood transport oxygen from the lungs to the tissue cells where it is needed.

Are you getting enough iron?

Iron deficiency symptoms include: Pale skin & nail beds, fatigue, irritability, dizziness, weakness, shortness of breath, sore tongue and mouth, light headed, brittle nails, decreased appetite (especially in children), headache, weakness. Other symptoms include heartburn, gas, vague abdominal pains, numbness and tingling in the extremities, heart palpitation, and sores at the corners of the mouth.

What causes the malabsorption of iron?

Deficiency Vitamin C, because Vitamin C aides in iron absorption. In men and postmenopausal women, anemia is usually due to blood loss associated with ulcers, the use of aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS), or colon cancer.

Iron is mostly absorbed from duodenum (part of the intestines) and upper small intestine. So if you have any digestive issues or food sensitivities, you could be at risk for anemia.

Phytate, which is found in some whole grains and legumes, can limit iron absorption. Soy, which is a good vegetarian source of iron, contains phytate and certain proteins that interfere with iron absorption. Other foods that obstruct iron absorption include coffee, tea (including some herbal), cocoa, calcium, fiber and some spices.

Some iron loss occurs naturally. The total daily iron loss of an adult is about 1 mg and about 2 mg in menstruating women.

 

Daily Requirements of Iron

Children, men and women according to age have different nutritional needs. Please see chart below for guidelines.

Children
7 mos – 1 yr 11 mg         1 yr – 4 yrs 7 mg

4 yrs – 8 yrs 10 mg          9 yrs – 13 yrs 8 mg

Men
14 yrs – 18 yrs 11 mg        19 yrs + 8 mg

Women

14 yrs – 18 yrs 15 mg

19 yrs – 50 yrs 18 mg
51 + yrs 8 mg

Pregnant 27 mg

Lactating 14 yrs – 18 yrs 10 mg
19 + yrs     9 mg

 

Sources of Iron

Food                         Iron in mg             Food                       Iron in mg

Black beans              7.9                               Tofu                         4.6
Garbanzos                6.9                               Lima beans             4.5
Pintos                       6.1                              Lentils                     6.6
Navy                         5.1                                Split peas               3.4
Soybeans                 8.8                           Kidney Beans         5.2

Fresh Peas              2.9                            Tempeh                    2.2

 

Vegetables (1 cup cooked)

Spinach                   6.4                             Kale                       1.8
Beet greens            2.8                             Acorn squash         1.7
Swiss chard            4.0                             Brussels sprouts   1.7
Tomato juice           2.2                             Potato w/skin         1.4
Butternut squash    2.1                              Beets                      1.0

Fruit

Prune juice (1 cup)  10.5                            Dates (10)              2.4
Dried peach             5 3.9                            Prunes                   1.8
Raisins, ½ cup        2.6                          Strawberries, 1 cup   1.5

Grains (¼ cup dry)
Rice bran                     10.8                    Wheat bran/germ      1.9
Quinoa                         4.6                     Cream of wheat           8.1
Millet                            3.9                      Oat or cornmeal         0.7

Seeds (approximately ¼ cup)

Pumpkin seeds           4.0                    Sunflower seeds          2.4

Hemp Seeds              13.6

Miscellaneous

Blackstrap molasses  3.2                  Brewer’s yeast, 1 tbs        1.4
Tahini 2 tbsp               2.7                   Cashews ¼ cup               2.0

 

So next time your at the farmers market, pick up some some kale and spinach and add them to your black bean chili or next soup. Or top your green salad with pumpkin seeds.  Not only will it taste great, but you’ll feel more energized.

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

8 steps to reducing cancer risk

Cancer prevention.  Maybe I should have titled the subject line “Illness Prevention.”  But the big C always gets people’s attention.  Especially when 1 in 3 women and 1 in 2 men are getting cancer now.  So why not change a few things to reduce your risk?

1 Eat more vegetables
Vegetables aren’t just delicious and filled with vitamins and nutrients; they also contain a lot of fiber, antioxidants, and beta-carotene.  All of these help reduce your risk. Eating vegetables makes your body more alkaline, which is also good for preventing any illness.
For more on why eating a more plant based diet is better for you and the environment, please read another great resource at GoVeg.

2 Go organic
Organic food not only tastes better, it doesn’t have all those pesticides, antibiotics, steroids and growth hormones that can make you very sick.  A lot of people say to me organic costs more.  One trick is to go to your local farmer’s market right before closing.  The vendors are practically giving their products away.  Plus, eating organic is much cheaper than getting sick, missing work, and having medical expenses.

3 Sweat more
Sweating releases toxins through the skin.  Fewer toxins in your body, the lower your risk of getting sick. Go for a hike, take a power yoga class, or sit in a sauna on a regular basis.

4 Do a liver cleanse on a regular basis
If you’ve been getting my newsletters for a while, you know I’m a fan of doing a SAFE cleanse at least once a year.  Along with sweating, a liver cleanse will flush out the bad stuff that’s stuck in your liver.

5 Taking care of your mental health
Stress can weaken your immune system.  Thus, making you more susceptible to getting sick.  So whether it’s meditating, therapy, a spiritual practice, exercise, or all of the above, please take care of you!

6 Avoid sugar, including sugar substitutes, and dairy
Sugar feeds cancer.  Eat some fruit instead. And dairy is mucous forming, since it’s mucous too.  Try milk alternatives, such as hemp, almond, or rice.  You can get really creative and make your own.

7 Deep breathing
Cancer cells won’t thrive in a highly oxygenated body.  So take out that yoga mat and breathe.

8  Don’t store or cook your food in plastic.
Highly heated plastics release dioxin (carcinogens) into your food and ultimately into the cells of the body.  In fact, avoid using plastic altogether.

See?  That wasn’t so hard, was it?  Knowing that you’ve taken the first steps to being disease free can be so liberating.

 

 

Live natural.  Live well.
Heather


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

Hope for Autism

AutismIs your child autistic?

The number of children with autism has gone from 1 in 10,00 in 1980 to 1 in 88 girls and 1 in 54 boys today. Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability with a growth rate of 1,148%.  The numbers are staggering. Some of this because of diagnosing has gotten better.  But most of the increase is due to the toxins to which we and our children are exposed.

Many parents come to me after their child has already been diagnosed. Most autistic  children develops at a healthy rate, and then ‘suddenly’, their behavior changes drastically.

Some of the symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Digestive issues
  • Increased pain threshold
  • Withdrawal
  • Aggression
  • Impulsiveness
  • Lack of attention and difficulty making eye contact
  • Issues with non-verbal communication
  • Lacking in verbal communication skills
  • Poor immune responses
  • Problems with social relationships
  • Obsessive attachments to certain objects
  • Sensory integration problems
  • Poor behavior, whining, or tantrums
  • Insomnia

Common causes:

  • Poor Detoxification
  • Heavy Metal Toxicity
  • Inflamed Gut and Microbial Imbalance
  • Food Allergies
  • Nutritional Deficiencies

What you can do

  • Have your child tested for heavy metal poisoning, food allergies, and gut health.
  • Put your child on an allergy elimination diet.
  • Avoid vaccines, especially those containing mercury.
  • Avoid amalgam/silver fillings, as these contain mercury.
  • Avoid all toxic cleaning and beauty products.
  • Feed your family organic, non-genetically modified foods.
  • Receive acupuncture/acupressure treatments along with herbal medicine.
  • Research what supplements will help your child.

I can help your autistic child with any of the above steps to have a healthier, more fulfilling life. There is hope.

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

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