Posts Tagged ‘weight loss’

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

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

4 Tips for Fulfillment in 2014

 

 

We all have aspirations and goals. Whether it’s a New Year’s resolution list, a spiritual or religious holiday, a milestone birthday, or just plain ready for a change, those hopes are valid and genuine. But manifesting them is a whole other story.

 

Why? We usually set ourselves up for disappointment by making these dreams unrealistic, get too busy with life to follow through, we don’t believe we can achieve them, or we don’t or can’t make the commitment it can some times take to quit smoking, lose weight, or go back to school in our 40s. This year can be different.

 

4 Tips a Better You

 

1- List five goals you hope to achieve. These goals can be health, relationship, finances or anything areas in your life you want to improve. Make sure you are realistic. Lose 50 pounds by February or have a best selling book in two months when you haven’t started writing, might be stretching it a bit.

 

2- Make a game plan for each goal. This plan should be daily, weekly, and monthly action steps. Stick to them. Cross them off your check list as you achieve them. Crossing items off is incredibly therapeutic!

 

3- List five to ten potential obstacles to manifesting all that you want. Be totally honest with yourself on this one. Are you ready to overcome these obstacles? Do you need a degree, more time, or a loan? Do you need to build your confidence before you take that first acting class?

 

4- Recruit a support team. Ask friends and family, make like-minded new friends, or join a support group to help you on the road to success. Everyone who can your cheerleader will aid in you in sustain you and keep you on track.

 

Let’s make 2014 your healthiest and happiest yet. Email me your success stories. And good luck!

 

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

Breastfeeding Tips for a Healthier Child

 

The information out there can be so confusing. Have any of these thoughts run through your head?

My doctor says I HAVE to eat meat.
Is it safe for my baby?
All I can think is I need to: get rid of the baby weight pronto, have energy, keep my baby healthy.

Breastfeeding is definitely the best choice for guaranteeing better health for your child. Keep in mind that everything you eat, your baby is eating, too.

 

What to avoid and why

 

* Caffeine including chocolate (Sorry!): irritability, poor sleep, and colic.

* Sugar: poor sleep, irritability, decreased immune function, thrush, diaper rash, and eczema.

* Alcohol and recreational drugs: lethargy, poor physical and/or mental development, decreased immunity, thrush, and diaper rash.

* Medications: Talk with your doctor to see if there are safer options while lactating. There may be a safer medical or herbal version. Side effects may vary, depending on the medication.

* Spicy food, cabbage, dairy, raw onion, and broccoli: colic.

* High allergen foods (gluten, nuts, dairy, soy) as your baby may develop an allergy from early exposure.

 

What to Eat

 

• Eat whole unprocessed foods including fresh fruits and vegetables, seeds, and whole grains daily.

 

• Because of brain development, eating a balance of essential fatty acids is key. Limit meat and dairy products and include hemp seeds, kale, flax seeds, avocado, and seaweed into your diet.

 

• Keep taking your whole foods source pre-natal for added nutrients. If you haven’t already, add a probiotic for your immune system and digestion.

 

Now that you’ve made the best possible choice for you child, your breast milk will help your baby to thrive. Every child is different. How your diet affects her may change or be different from child to child. Watch how she responds from meal to meal and you’ll know what’s best.

 

Live natural. Live well.

 

Heather

Mellow Yellow

 

 

Turmeric. It’s the spice that makes your curry yellow. This little yellow root is a powerhouse of healing properties. So many, in fact, that it would be hard to list them all.

 

Benefits

 

 

* Anti-inflammatory
* Antibiotic
* Skin conditions- eczema, psoriasis, and hives
* Pain reduction
* Metabolism
* Blood detoxifier
* Helps cough and asthma
* Gas & bloating
* Speeds up wound healing
* Heals stomach ulcers
* Prevents cancer
* Gallstones
* Slows progression of Alzheimer’s and MS
* Reduces side effects of chemotherapy
* Lowers cholesterol

 

Fresh is always best. But powdered and capsules will still help. Turmeric can be added to soups, stews, grilled veggies, tofu scramble, and, of course, curry. Juice a small amount with some cucumber, carrots, lemon and lettuce for a delicious, immune boosting treat every morning. You can also make into a paste with aloe vera to reduce itching from bug bites and chicken pox.

 

Isn’t it amazing how the things we have in our kitchen cabinet can keep us healthy? Every time we cook, we have the opportunity to improve our quality of life. Food can really be thy medicine.

 

Live natural. Live well.

 

Heather

To Carb or Not to Carb

 

Thank you, Dr. Atkins. You made carbohydrates a dirty word. Somehow you made it ok to eat pork rinds and drink diet Coke, but taboo to eat brown rice and black beans. And broccoli. Don’t forget broccoli has way too many carbs. Huh?

 

Our bodies need carbohydrates for energy. We should minimize or completely avoid simple carbs and enjoy complex carbohydrates in moderation. If you exercise on a regular basis, you can eat more. What a motivator for hitting the gym, right?

 

Complex Carbohydrates
Many are known for their lowering cholesterol abilities and high fiber content . Fruit contains complex and simple carbohydrates.

Sources
* Millet, oats, barley, whole wheat
* Brown, red, & wild rice, quinoa, buckwheat
*Split peas, lentils, chickpeas, black beans
* Sunflower, flax, pumpkin, chia seeds
* Broccoli and Brussels sprouts
* Whole grain breads, crackers, cereals, pasta

 

Simple Carbohydrates
Simple carbs can cause a sugar imbalance. Considered empty calories (no nutritional value), eating too much sugar is stored as fat. When eating out or buying pre-made food, be careful. Sugar is a commonly added to sauces, bread, salad dressings, ketchup, and soups. I call it the lazy cook’s spice.

Sources
* Honey
* White or brown sugar
* Corn syrup
* Lactose (in dairy)
* Dextrose, sucrose, and fructose

So, don’t be afraid of carbohydrates. Have 5 servings of organic fresh fruit daily. And please eat your broccoli. Having the occasional sweet treat is fine. But if you’re diabetic, have cancer, or know that the occasional cookie will turn into a dozen a day, definitely stay away. Bon appetit!

 

Live natural. Live well.

 

Heather

Boosting Your Immunity

How many days have you called in sick this year? How many special occasions have you missed, because you or a family member is sick? Again? The stress of our every day lives taxes the body. Bad food, late nights, little to no sleep, caffeine and sugar addiction, and high stress levels every day would wear out anyone. Chinese medicine and proper nutrition can help you stay healthy & recover quickly from colds and the flu.

A lot of people have weakened immune systems due to the fast paced lifestyle most of us lead. 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. It’s rare to just get a case of the sniffles.

Improving one’s immune system, so you don’t get sick is ideal. This process can start immediately and have a long-term impact on one’s health. These modalities are also highly effective for those with HIV/AIDS.

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 types of herbs and points used do change, but daily acupuncture treatments and herbs are essential. The use of Chinese medicine gets rid of an infection without the side effects of antibiotics. Naturally treating an infection doesn’t suppress the contagion, but helps the body heal itself. So the bug doesn’t come right back.

A few, easy preventative measures: Eat lots of garlic, take vitamin C daily, and avoid dairy and sugar (sorry!). These simple steps may help you:

* avoid feeling miserable

* have more energy

* save money

*no more calling in sick (unless you want to)

* avoid side effects of antibiotics

* thoroughly enjoy your holidays

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

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