Posts Tagged ‘vegan’
How many days of work have you called in sick? How many days have you just not felt that great? Do you know a coworker who is always sick? Stress taxes the body. Bad food, late nights, no sleep, overexertion, & different time zones regularly or even every day would wear out anyone.
A lot of people have weakened immune systems due to stress, poor diets, travel, overuse of antibiotics, lack of sleep, and overwork. This makes them prone to colds and the flu. 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. That’s why travelers tend to get really sick. It’s rare that they just get a case of the sniffles.
Improving someone’s immune system so they don’t get sick is ideal. Taking care of yourself on a daily basis, along with acupuncture, taking Chinese herbs, massage, Reiki, supplements, and aromatherapy, along with dietary changes, have a great impact on one’s health.
Some of the signs that you’re overstressed
*Poor sleep, Anxiety, Brain fog, Acne
* PMS, Low libido, Weight gain
* High blood pressure/cholesterol, Excessive evening hunger
* Hair loss, Exhaustion, Impaired immunity
* Slow healing, Salt/sugar cravings, Caffeine addiction
Once a person is sick, the sooner treatment is administered, the quicker the recovery. Similar treatment protocols are administered with someone who is sick or just starting to come down with something. The use of Chinese medicine gets rid of an infection without the side effects of antibiotics. Treating an infection naturally doesn’t suppress the contagion, so that it doesn’t just come right back.
These simple, easy to follow tips can help you and your loved ones stay healthy & recover quickly from colds and the flu.
1) Take at least 500 mg of vitamin C a day. Great sources include dark leafy greens, broccoli, bell pepper, lemon, and persimmon. C also aids in iron absorption.
2) Supplement with acidopopholus/probiotics to encourage healthy bacteria to grow in your digestive tract. Thus, boosting your immune system and improving your mood.
3) Eat garlic. Garlic is a natural antibiotic and tastes great.
4) Drink two tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar daily to help with allergies, nausea, asthma, fat, migraines, cholesterol, blood pressure, fungus, flu, and acne.
5) Eat turmeric in soups, curries, and smoothies. It’s a natural antibiotic, reduces cough, detoxifies, reduces inflammation, improves skin, and aids in digestion.
6) Take a vitamin B complex for reducing stress and improving energy.
7) Ginger is a natural antiviral, reduces inflammation and pain, kills parasites, eliminates mucus, and aids. Digestion.
8) Eat your antioxidants to prevent illness of any kind.
Prunes Kale Raisins Spinach
Berries Brussels sprouts Broccoli
Beets Plums Onion Corn
9) Eat plant based Omega 3s for brain function and regulating hormones. Sources include walnuts, hemp, flax, kale, seaweed, chia seeds, and acai berries.
10) Essential oils for stress- Lavender, Neroli, Chamomile, Cypress, Frankincense, Basil, Jasmine, Valerian, Chamomile, Lemon, Rose
11) Drink water. Drink half your weight in ounces daily. More, if you are flying.
12.) Avoid dairy and sugar. They cause inflammation, fatigue, and weakened immunity.
13) Avoid caffeine because it exaggerates body’s response to stress.
14) Put Epsom salts in your bath for detoxification and muscle tension.
Following these easy to follow tips will lead to a much happier and healthier you. Stay calm, vibrant, and full of energy with out breaking the bank.
Live natural. Live well.
Remember those chia pets that were all the rage in the 70s? How did that happen? I guess that’s what makes things a fad. Pet rocks, Mexican jumping beans, and the best- streaking. FADS from the 70s/early 80s were pretty weird. Well at least chia seeds actually serve a nutritional purpose.
Most people don’t realize how amazing these little seeds are.
Nutritional Content of Chia Seeds
*Iron. 3 times than spinach for strong healthy blood for improved energy
*Calcium. 5 times calcium of milk for strong bones and teeth.
*Potassium. 2 times potassium of bananas for building muscle.
*Protein. 2 times protein of any other seed or grain for muscle strength and energy.
*Antioxdants. 3 times antioxidant levels of blueberries for cancer prevention.
*Fiber. Twice as much as broccoli for lowering cholesterol, cardiovascular health, stabilizing blood sugar, and constipation.
*Omega 3s. Nearly 5 times the omega 3s found in salmon for brain health and balancing hormones.
*As an added bonus, chia seeds are considered in Chinese medicine to reduce anxiety, fear, and even panic attacks.
You can add chia seeds to your morning smoothie. But one of my favorite ways to eat them is my recipe recently featured on The Better Show.
Chia Seed Pudding
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 3/4 cup coconut milk (or rice or almond)
- 1/2 cup coconut water or apple juice
- 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extra
- 1/2 cup fresh raspberries, blueberries, and/or strawberries
- ¼ cup of thinly sliced almonds
Mix coconut, chia seeds, coconut milk, coconut water, vanilla in a bowl.
Place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours.
Top with fresh raspberries and almonds.
Dig in and enjoy!
Live natural. Live well.
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.
Fish. Most people think it’s the perfect food for getting your protein and essential fats. A majority of doctors recommend at least 2 servings a week. Eating seafood regularly healthy or completely safe is a myth. That you need to eat fish for optimal health is another myth. So what exactly am I talking about? Seafood is less than perfect because of toxic levels of mercury and radiation it can contain, along with high levels of cholesterol.
Almost all fish are contaminated with mercury as the result of our oceans and streams being polluted by industrial waste. Fish with the highest levels of contamination include: tuna (all types)*, swordfish *, sea bass *, oysters, marlin *, halibut, salmon *, pike, walleye, white croaker, largemouth bass, sea bass *, mackerel *, 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. Keep in mind that mercury exposure is considered toxic at any level, but children are most vulnerable due to their fast growth rates and low body mass.
(The above fish, which are asterisked, are not only dangerous to consume, but also endangered due to over fishing. Due to increased demand, the number of sea animals consumed per year is now 90 billion. Blue fin tuna population has dropped 96%. No wonder they’re on the verge of extinction.)
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
Fukushima was such a horrific tragedy in 2011 for the people of Japan and felt all over the world. Unfortunately, the after effects of this disaster will be with us for decades to come. Before unseen radiation amounts has leaked into the Pacific and is contaminating all creatures and plant life living in it. Obviously, the closer to the spill, the higher the levels of exposure and risk are. Fish living near Fukushima have been declared completely unsafe.
I’ve seen some blogs comparing the radiation levels in fish from the Pacific to natural occurring radiation found in a banana. It’s like comparing natural sugar found in fruit to artificial sweeteners. There are different types of radiation, some more dangerous and longer lasting than others. Also, it is well known that radiation exposure is cumulative. The University of South Carolina and University of Paris-Sud finished a study in 2012, which concluded that even low levels of exposure to radioactivity are hazardous to animals and humans. One of the reasons is it that our bodies are unable to flush out radiation, so there is a cumulative effect.
What about all the healthy fat found in fish? Yes, depending on the fish, it may contain high levels of omega 3s needed for healthy brain function and hormone levels. But many of them also contain high cholesterol. The American Heart Association recommends eating no more than 300mg of cholesterol per day. If you are high risk for heart disease, you should keep that number under 200mg daily. Just to give you an idea, a dinner containing shrimp will easily exceed 200 mg just from the shrimp alone.
Examples of cholesterol in fish
100 gram serving cholesterol amounts
Oil-packed Sardines 142mg
Striped Bass 103mg
Crab 147 mg
Squid (in calamari) 233mg
Fish are high in omega-3s because of the seaweed they eat. So why not get your healthy fats right from the source? Other great options for healthy fats include flax, chia, sesame, and hemp seeds, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, spirulina, kale, acai berries, and walnuts. All of these foods are nutrient dense and some a packed with protein.
Hopefully, this has you thinking about changing some of your eating habits. If you’re nervous about all the fish you’ve eaten over the years, take a blood test for heavy metals. But you can change what you eat today. Have a kale salad topped with roasted cauliflower, and walnuts for a delicious, truly healthy promoting meal.
Live natural. Live well.
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
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.
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.
Another question I get asked a lot: “Don’t you need milk for calcium?” The answer is a big “NO.” On top of dairy not having much calcium compared to many plant foods (see below), a lot of people are allergic/lactose intolerant. This means they can’t access the calcium in dairy anyway and it can make them really sick. Dairy has also been linked to heart disease, prostate cancer, and Type 2 diabetes.
The dairy industry paid almost $200 million in the US in 2011 on advertising. So that’s pretty much everyone believes you can only get enough calcium from eating dairy. Marketing. The guys at Mad Men would be proud.
A staggering statistic that also disproves this myth- On average, Americans eat the most dairy and have the highest rates of osteoporosis. According to the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, we eat almost 300 pounds of dairy per year.
Besides not having the highest levels of calcium, eating a lot of dairy and animal protein makes your body acidic. To alkalize itself, the body leeches calcium from your bones.
Inuits have the highest dietary calcium intake of any other people in the world– above 2000 mg per day from fish bones. Their diet is also the highest in the world in protein- up to 400 g a day mostly from fish and have the highest rate of osteoporosis in the world. The Bantu of Africa consume an average of 350 mg of calcium a day and have almost no cases of osteoporosis.
Still don’t believe me? Look at these numbers.
In milligrams per 100 gram serving
Whole milk 118
Collard greens 203
Sesame seeds 1160
In milligrams per 8 oz (1 cup)
Soybean sprouts 50
Alfalfa sprouts 25
Corn meal 50
Carrot juice 57
Navy beans 140
Pinto beans 100
Lima beans 60
Black beans 60
Sunflower seeds 260
Recommended Daily Allowance
* 0-6 months 200 mg
* 6-12 months 260 mg
* 1-3 years 700 mg
* 4-8 years 1000 mg
* 9-18 years 1300 mg
* 19-50 years 1000 mg
* pregnant/lactating 1300 mg
* 51-70 years male 1000 mg
* 51-70 years female 1200 mg
* 70+ years 1200 mg
So as you can see, ‘Milk it does the body good” campaign just isn’t true. Do yourself a favor. Go to your local farmers market this weekend. Try some fresh, green veggies. Buy yourself a juicer and enjoy. Grab a handful of almonds. Eat some hummus. Your bones will thank you.
Live natural. Live well.
Note: Oxalic acid, which is found in spinach, rhubarb, chard, and beet greens binds with calcium and reduces its absorption. They should not be considered good sources of calcium.
You want to know what I hear when I recommend buying organic? “It’s so much more expensive!” Patients of mine who don’t live in Southern California also say, “It’s impossible to find in winter.”
When it comes to produce, some non-organic options are safer than others. Please use this list when doing your shopping.
The 12 Most Contaminated, AKA The Dirty Dozen
* Bell Peppers
The 12 Least Contaminated
* Sweet Corn
* Sweet Peas
* Kiwi Fruit
Asking your grocer to carry more organic, local options will encourage them to supply the demand. As the demand grows, more farmers will listen.
Live natural. Live Well.
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:
* reduces bad cholesterol levels, thus reducing the risk of heart disease
* controls blood sugar levels
* promotes healthy digestion
* encourages weight loss
* 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
* boosts immunity
* reduces high blood pressure and heart disease
* regulates cholesterol levels
* slows aging by protecting the skin from sun damage
* reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and certain cancers
* 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 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.