Can Coffee Be GOOD For You?

coffee beans

 

 

If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time (even before I kinda’ sorta’ lost everything earlier this year!), then you may recall that I have a love-hate relationship with coffee.

I know it lacks any real health benefits. No matter how I can twist it around in my brain to justify it… it just simply doesn’t ADD to the healthy function of my cells.

So, for several weeks a few times each year, I give up coffee. It serves the dual purpose of 1) cleansing my body, and 2) proving to myself that I’m not addicted!

Bad news – I think I’m an addict.

Actually, I’m not physiologically addicted. It’s more of an habitual addiction.

I don’t even like the taste of coffee. How warped is that?! If you ask me to drink black coffee, I’ll gag on your shoes right before I give it up forever.

(Sounds like that should actually be my strategy for releasing this vice, doesn’t it? Well, minus the gagging on your shoes part!)

I like the routine of having a cup of hot coffee in the morning. That’s all.

If I could find a single variety of tea that I actually enjoyed, this would be a done deal. No such luck. I drink tea, green tea, especially… for the health benefits. But, I don’t love it.

Then again, I don’t “love” coffee, either, so I’m not sure how that theory actually flies!

I don’t drink very much coffee, actually. I never have more than two very small cups at most. I won’t drink it later in the day. I don’t “need” it to wake me up or get me going. I know this because I can skip it for whatever reason, and feel totally fine.

One of the main reasons I’d skip it is if I didn’t have “clean” coffee available. By that I mean “less-toxic”.

Coffee beans are one of the most heavily sprayed crops on the planet. The leading coffee-producing countries are still legally allowed to use known carcinogens in their crop sprays.

So, we’ve only purchased organic coffee since… well, since we started drinking coffee regularly. If I can find organic and “low-acid”, it’s a bonus!

Some might say “it costs more”. However, it’s more than worth the investment, in my opinion.

I’m also careful about what I put in my coffee. I wish I could just drink it black, but I choose not to at this point. So, I add coconut oil, some coconut milk or organic cream.

Well, I’m just off a wee break from coffee. I resumed with a cup and 1/2 this morning. Blah. I could take it or leave it. Actually, I had planned to “leave it” again in a few weeks… just as part of a little cleanse.

But, then, something happened outta’ the clear blue…

I received this email about coffee. Coffee I had never heard about. It has gotten my attention.

Heck, this guy even talks about making coffee with grass-fed butter! Hello! He’s speakin’ my language!

 

It’s called Upgraded Coffee and it’s all coming from the website Bulletproofexec.com. Go check out the website – looks like some cool stuff there. Check out what I read in the email…

“Upgraded Coffee is the result of an obsessive pursuit to find the absolute highest performance coffee beans on earth. It’s taken me more than 10 years to identify every step of performance-robbing toxin formation in coffee and to find a reliable, perfect source of beans that always make me feel great – even though “normal” coffee gives me a headache and jitters and makes me cranky. This coffee makes you feel noticeably better than anything else you’ll find. You’ll never go back to Starbucks again. These beans are meant for drinking black or best of all, for making Bulletproof Coffee with grass fed butter.

Upgraded Coffee Is Unlike Anything You’ve Tried

(and why it’s good for you):
  1. It is carefully produced and tested with new and old methods to target the lowest toxin content vs. normal coffee, so you get all the benefits of coffee without the negative health effects.
  2. The beans are harvested from a single family-owned estate in Guatemala located 1250 meters above sea level, high enough to produce great coffee.
  3. The estate is Passive Organic and the family that owns it does not allow chemicals (herbicides, pesticides, etc.) It is not economical for Central American boutique coffee estates to become certified organic.
  4. They are hand picked by experienced coffee harvesters – skilled people who know how to pick only perfectly ripe berries.
  5. Most coffee beans are processed by either leaving them in the sun and elements to wither and dry, or by pressing them and letting them ferment (spoil) to remove the outer layer of the bean.  Both of these techniques are known to produce significant levels of mycotoxins as they enhance flavor. Upgraded Coffee beans are mechanically processed right after picking using only clean cold water.  This more expensive process is safer because it dramatically reduces harmful molds or bacteria from impacting your health.
  6. The beans are roasted in small batches by the #1 ranked roaster in United States under the strictest conditions.  Roasting the beans enhances their antioxidant capacity and flavor to provide you with a healthier, tastier cup of coffee.”

OK. Cool.

Then he goes on to describe “Bulletproof coffee”…

“Coffee Is Better With (Grass-Fed) Butter

We’re serious.

Bulletproof Coffee is a mixture of high quality grass-fed butter, pharmaceutical grade MCT oil (medium-chain triglycerides), and specially selected Upgraded Coffee Beans.  This drink is becoming wildly popular for several reasons:

  • It makes you feel energized, alert, and focused all day without the crash of commercial energy drinks.
  • It melts body fat and can increase muscle mass.  One of our clients lost 75 pounds in 75 days using Bulletproof Coffee as a part of his Bulletproof Fasting custom protocol.
  • It’s made with high quality unsalted grass-fed butter, so it tastes great and provides important fatty acids like CLA.

This is the ultimate drink of the high performance entrepreneur…or school teacher.”

(I’ll add “home school teacher” to that list, too!)

Hmmm… I know it makes ME curious. How about you?

This could change my plans to give up coffee again in the near future! I’m going to be looking into this a bit more. I betcha’ it’ll be even easier for me to justify drinking this! (mischievous giggle)

In the meantime, if you’re a coffee drinker, please make sure you’re not just drinking conventional coffee anymore. It’s definitely time to upgrade, whether it’s to this Bulletproof drink, or to organic. Just upgrade!

Oh, let me know if you try Upgraded Coffee… and if it makes you leap tall buildings in a single bound! ; )

 

 

Upgraded Coffee

12 Reasons Why Butter is Better

butter

Butter is not only “acceptable” in our diets, it actually has many health-enhancing properties.  Yes, butter is “healthy”.

{Collective gasp!}

Actually, I think, by now, most people have heard this (that butter is healthy)… somewhere… from someone. Then again, the outdated, inaccurate nutrition advice that is still being regurgitated in doctors’ offices and “health” tabloids never fails to surprise me.

Butter is most definitely healthier than margarine. “But, wait! I thought butter clogs our arteries, is high in those dangerous saturated fats that increase our cholesterol and cause heart disease, and makes us fat?!”

Not so fast. First, saturated fats are most definitely not the “bad guys” we’ve been led to believe for so long now. Our bodies require saturated fats for countless functions including hormone production, immune function, cell membrane integrity, healing and repair, they decrease inflammation, and they’re actually the preferred source of fuel for the heart. They are critical for our short-term and long-term health.

Saturated fats are considered “stable” fats for heating and cooking. That means they’re safer to cook with and don’t easily turn into rancid, trans fats when we heat them.

Fats do not make us fat. The inability to burn fat effectively makes us fat. (That’s a whole different ball of wax, involving leptin resistance and our chronic, massive sugar intake.)

Poor quality, “fake”, synthetic fats, trans fats, hydrogenated fats (as found in margarine and most commercial vegetable oils, for example) can make us fat because our bodies and brains aren’t certain how to handle these imposters.

It turns out that our waistlines are the least of our concerns when it comes to these fake fats and trans fats. These “bad fats” are one of THE leading causes of systemic inflammation. Inflammation is one of the key triggers to every chronic and degenerative illness our culture is currently suffering from on mass scale. Reducing inflammation is a core focus of prevention and treatment of these chronic illnesses.

These “bad fats” also cause cell congestion (which means that important nutrients can’t properly get into the cell and toxins can’t properly get out), as well as decrease in nerve function.

If bad fats are a leading source of inflammation, cell congestion, and nerve interference, well, then, I think you know what you need to do. Ditch the margarine (and similar spreads) and the hydrogenated vegetable oils!

Some of the “good fats” to choose are butter, pure coconut oil, ghee, and extra virgin olive oil (although, this is not a saturated fat and should not be heated).

Let’s look more closely at butter.

(Much of the following information is from the Weston A. Price Foundation.)

1. Butter is an excellent source of many fat-soluble Vitamins that we have a difficult time finding in abundance elsewhere in our Standard American Diet. These are Vitamins A, D, E, and K. Vitamin A is needed to maintain good vision and to keep our endocrine system functioning well. Vitamins A and D are essential for growth, for healthy bones, for proper development of the brain and nervous systems and for normal sexual development. Vitamin D has also demonstrBuy Econugenics Natural Dietary Supplementsated its fortitude in the field of cancer prevention and treatment. Real butter, particularly from grass-fed cows, is considered America’s best source of these nutrients. In fact, Vitamin A is more easily absorbed and utilized from butter than from any other source.

2. Butter is also a great source of minerals. Trace minerals, such as chromium, copper, iodine, manganese, selenium, and zinc are found in butter. Butter contains more selenium per gram compared to herring or wheat germ.

3. Butter contains healthy fatty acids. Butter provides short-and medium-chain fatty acids. These are converted in the liver for a quick source of energy, and help boost metabolism. These fattys acids also have immune-enhancing properties, as well as anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties.

4. Butter contains Arachidonic Acid which plays critical roles in our brain function as well as being a vital component of the cell membranes.

5. Butter has an excellent balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fats. This balance between linoleic and linolenic acid helps prevent problems associated with the over-consumption of omega-6 fatty acids, so prevalent in our fake fats national diet!

6. Butter has Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA). If your butter is from cows that eat their natural diet rich in green grass, it can contain high levels of CLA. This is a compound that can help provide protection against different types of cancer, and helps the body store lean muscle instead of fat, thus improving our metabolism. It’s important to note that this benefit of CLA in our foods all but disappears when the animals have been fed grains.

7. Butter also has Glycospingolipids. This is a type of fat that protects us against gastrointestinal infections, especially those in the very young or elderly population.

8. Butter is an excellent source of good cholesterol. Remember, your body NEEDS cholesterol for a variety of essential physiological functions – growth and repair being two of the basics. Cholesterol is necessary for cell membrane integrity, hormone production, and protection against heart disease and cancer.

9. Butter contains Lecithin that assists in the proper assimilation of cholesterol – it makes sure we put cholesterol and other fat constituents to good use.

10. Butter contains two compounds not often discussed in mainstream media: the Wulzen Factor, a substance discovered by researcher Rosalind Wulzen, and Activator X, discovered by Dr. Weston A. Price.

The Wulzen Factor is known as the “anti-stiffness” factor. It is found in raw animal fat and protects against calcification and degeneration of the joints, as well as hardening of the arteries and cataracts.

Activator X (or “The Price Factor”) helps the body absorb and utilize minerals effectively. Again, butter can be an excellent source of Activator X when it comes from cows eating rich green grass in the spring and fall seasons.

11. Butter tastes great! I couldn’t leave this point off the list! Cooking with real butter adds a flavor like no other. C’mon, you know it does! Just be careful not to over cook your butter. If it turns brown, essentially it has become a rancid fat that is no longer beneficial. (Pure coconut oil is safe for high temperature cooking.)

12. I consider butter to be “brain food”. I’ve seen people get rid of the “bad fats” in their diet and replace them with “good fats” like butter, and the changes are astounding… particularly in the areas of brain function. I’ve seen improvements with depression, ADD/ADHD, anxiety, memory issues, learning disorders, mood swings, sleep disorder, and so on. The brain loves its healthy fats… and begins to shut down when we don’t supply them.

So, do you see why I say that butter is more than just “acceptable”? It’s a health food!

By the way, for those of you adopting a dairy-free approach and are concerned about butter consumption, I’ll share this. I’ve heard several leading nutrition researchers say that butter has far more properties of a healthy fat than it does of dairy. That makes sense to me. I consider butter more of a fat than a dairy product… especially if you’re talking about REAL butter from cows that munch on grass. Raw butter is even better yet.

Many local farmers and farmers’ markets are great places to find your source of real, grass-fed, raw butter, as well as some online sources.

Have YOU made the switch to real butter? Where do you purchase yours? Or, do you make it yourself? Please share!

 

 

Learn & Master Series

Swept Away by Positive Thoughts

waves

I save various quotes that ring true to me in some way. Sometimes, it’s a motivational statement, or an inspirational thought. Other times, it’s just something that makes me feel good at a deeper level.

This is one of those quotes. I’m not even sure where I originally read it anymore… it has been quite awhile since I first saw it. Yet, I’ve saved it because it does something to me… when I breathe it in deeply and let it roll around in my head, it makes me feel good.

I think that must mean something!

“Every thought that you think is vibrating at a very personal frequency, and by the powerful Law of Attraction (the essence of that which is like unto itself, is drawn), that thought is now attracting another thought that is its vibrational match.

And now, those combined thoughts are vibrating at a frequency that is higher than the thought that came before; and they will now, by the Law of Attraction, attract another and another and another, until eventually the thoughts will be powerful enough to attract a “real life” situation or manifestation.”

You might want to re-read that, if your brain is anything like my brain!

If you’ve never read about or thought about the vibrational frequency of our thoughts, our words, or even the music we listen to, this may sound odd to you.

“Power vs. Force” by David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D., is a great read that discusses the science behind these frequencies.  Of course, this is nothing new, and Dr. Hawkins certainly isn’t the first or only to discuss frequency of thought, it’s just a starting point.

Anyhow, the notion of certain types of thinking attracting more of the same type of thinking isn’t rocket science. Whether you like to call it Law of Attraction or not doesn’t really matter because we’ve all seen this play out in our lives countless times.

~ When you choose to “see” the positive in situations, you tend to “see” even more positive.

~ When you tend to say the positive things, you tend to find more things to say positive things about!

~ When you’re nice to people, more people tend to be nice to you!

~ When you decide you’re going to see the glass as half-full, it’s amazing the evidence you can quickly gather to support that the glass is, indeed, half-full!

~ Likewise, if you’d prefer to see the glass as half-empty, it will be easy to gather enough evidence to support your hypothesis! Think about all the times you decide, “This is a bad day.” It’s crazy how many events and situations will rapidly unfold to prove your point!

(I know I’ve gotten caught up – swept away – with that type of stinkin’ thinkin’. It’s easy to do! Choosing to see and say the positive takes practice and repetition, at least initially!)

~ How about when we decide – without even knowing what’s going to happen today! {gasp!} – that “Today IS a great day!” Again, events and situations will present themselves to support our affirmation.

It’s pretty awesome, actually!

The more we look for “good stuff”… the more “good stuff” we put out there… the more comes back to us.

Sounds like the Golden Rule a bit, don’t you think?

Anyhow, regarding the quote above, I particularly like the vision it creates for me. I like the idea of positive, empowering thoughts building upon each other… gaining in size and strength… and completely sweeping me away!

That’s what I feel like when I really get in a groove with some of my “rituals”. When I’m really, truly in the moment, whether it’s while I’m meditating, doing deep breathing exercises, or reading something spiritually uplifting… when I’m really and truly IN the moment, I feel completely engulfed by it.

So, if one positive thought is what starts this chain reaction of other positive thoughts… which can’t help but “attract” more positive things to us… then you know what that means, right?

Yes. Start with one positive thought. As simple or lofty as you like.

Focus on it. Say it over and over. Envision it. Feel it. Enjoy it.

Then watch what happens.

Whether you “believe” that it works or not, you’re right! ; )

However, you might as well “act as if” when it comes to positive attracting more positive… because it sure does feel a lot better to approach life that way than the alternative!

 

Buy Econugenics Natural Dietary Supplements

 

16 Tips for Optimal Breast Health

breast health

Breast health is a subject near and dear to many of our hearts. I have had breast “issues” for about 6 years now, so it’s something that’s on my mind. A lot.

My mom had breast cancer. She passed away five years ago – just a little over two years after her diagnosis. I don’t “buy into” the genetic connection, per say. It’s incomplete. I do very much “buy into” family connections (similar lifestyle choices and environmental experiences) based upon the science of Epigenetics.

Essentially, it’s the environment that the cells are exposed to, day in and day out, that will determine whether or not they express their coded message. In the case of cancer cells, it takes a specific set of environmental circumstances over time for the cancer cells to express their message of “cancer”.

Since I’m not a fan of conventional approaches to breast issues, particularly what ‘they’ call “preventive care”, I’m keenly on the look-out for strategies and solutions that are safe, effective, and make physiological sense.

Earlier this year, I was introduced to a nutritional supplement company that makes high-quality products (EcoNugenics). In fact, a few of their products have shown excellent results with cancer. I purchased a couple for my dad (with prostate cancer) – one that is a major immune system strengthener, the other is shown to dramatically reduce the spread of cancer.

(Now, if I could just get my dad to remember to take these things, we’d probably be a bit better off…! It’s OK. He’s my dad and does things his way. I’m used to it!)

Anyhow, the product that has some good traction regarding decreasing the spread of cancer is PectaSol-C Modified Citrus Pectin. It’s also demonstrating benefits for overall breast and prostate health.

So, I started taking this a couple months ago, along with another of EcoNugenics immune-boosting products.

In the months leading up to this, my breast symptoms had been on a steady incline. Two days on these products, and I noticed 80-90% improvement! I, for one, am the first to point out that there are always multiple factors involved – in both healing, and in getting “sick” in the first place. So, who knows?! It was pretty uncanny timing, though!

Let’s talk about breast health a bit, and outline some tips and strategies that can help ensure healthy breast tissue down the road.

The first 7 tips are actually borrowed from EcoNugenics. Then, I’ve added a few of my own that I know make a difference with me, personally, as well as other women I’ve consulted with over the years.

* * * * *

From EcoNugenics:

Here are seven straightforward ways to not only support lifelong breast health, but total-body wellness in the process!

1. Eat colorful fruits & vegetables every day (try for organic).
Most of us agree that eating enough fruits and vegetables everyday can be hard, so here are some simple solutions:  Incorporate vegetables into a few easy recipes of meals that you can love. Try different greens in your salad, besides regular iceberg or romaine lettuce. Spinach, watercress, kale and other greens will help spike the nutritional value of your standard salad. Cruciferous veggies, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and kale provide exceptional vitamins, enzymes, antioxidants and phytonutrients as well as DIM (diindolylmethane), a powerful compound which research shows supports breast health by assisting in the proper metabolism of estrogen.*

Whenever possible, opt for organic fruits and vegetables, and be aware of the top 12 non-organic produce items with the highest levels of pesticides. You can find the list of the “Dirty Dozen,” compiled by Environmental Working Group, here. By choosing organic, you reduce your exposure to common pesticides which are proven to harm breast, cellular and overall health.

2. Get moving

If you don’t exercise every day, don’t beat yourself up or decide that it’s too late to start. Take action now with a short walk around the block, gradually increasing to thirty minutes a day if possible. Even a brisk walk twice a week provides health benefits. Not only does exercise help you lose weight and manage stress, but it actively fights abnormal cell growth and provides a host of other well-documented benefits.*

3. Maintain a healthy weight and metabolism
Get motivated to lose a few extra pounds! In a study of 5,450 women, scientists determined a relationship between high insulin levels (often associated with unhealthy weight) and compromised breast health.* Women with the highest insulin levels were more than twice as likely to develop breast health problems as those with the lowest insulin levels. Extra weight also encourages high estrogen levels, the hormone that can stimulate unhealthy breast cell growth. The more fat cells you have, the more estrogen is pumped through the body on a daily basis. Balanced weight leads to balanced hormones, reducing your risk for breast health issues.*

4. Get enough rest
Getting about eight hours of sleep a night promotes overall health and also gives the body time to restore its cells. Melatonin, a hormone produced while you sleep during the night, also contributes to healthy cellular activity.* Listen to your body and get some sleep when you need it the most, and avoid overnight work shifts if possible, as this type of schedule is associated with increased risks to breast and other areas of health.* If you have to work through the night, be sure to follow the other tips outlined in the article, and do your best to get enough restful and regular sleep during the day. Doing things like avoiding caffeine near the end of your shift and using light-blocking curtains can help!*

5. Focus on specific natural ingredients
Doctors from across the medical spectrum agree on several potent natural ingredients and compounds that support healthy cellular function, especially in the area of breast health. The substantiated list includes diindolylmethane (DIM), quercetin, turmeric, Chinese skullcap, astragalus, and medicinal mushrooms.* While the research on these ingredients continues to spark the interest of modern scientists, natural health traditions have relied on their benefits for centuries. DIM, obtained from eating broccoli, promotes healthy estrogen metabolism.* Quercetin is a flavonoid shown to have amazing cellular effects in animal and laboratory studies, which show that it can inhibit the growth of unhealthy cells.* The spice turmeric helps the body process toxins and diminish the blood supply to aberrant cells.* Astragalus is a respected herb for managing stress, boosting immunity and offering antioxidant support.* Medicinal mushrooms have long been used to address diverse areas of health in traditional Asian practices and ongoing research continues to demonstrate how they promote cellular health.*

6. Reduce or avoid alcohol intake
Practice moderation when it comes to imbibing. Research has established a link between excess alcohol consumption and breast health problems. A study of 13,885 women found that those who had 14 or more alcoholic drinks per week experienced a 24 percent increase for developing abnormal breast cells. A well-known Harvard study involving 38,000 healthy women showed that those who drank more than 12 ounces of wine each day were 32 percent more likely to develop abnormal breast cells.

7. Use targeted daily supplements
For superior breast health support, BreastDefend is a comprehensive formula which synergistically combines the most advanced and bioavailable compounds shown to promote healthy breast cells.* Recent studies have shown this unique formula offers significant support for breast health.*  BreastDefend contains DIM, in addition to quercetin, turmeric rhizome curcumin extract (BCM-95®), astragalus root, Scutellaria barbata extract, and Coriolus (Trametes versicolor) mushroom, Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) mushroom and Phellinus linteus mushroom specially grown on immune and cellular supporting herbs.* This effective combination of extracts, herbs, and specially grown medicinal mushrooms offers a powerful tool to promote breast health and support overall vitality, without toxic side effects.*

BreastDefend was also recently studied together with PectaSol-C® Modified Citrus Pectin. Results demonstrated even greater breast health protection and support, through the combination of the two nutraceuticals.* In essence, PectaSol-C boosted the already powerful actions of BreastDefend in the support and protection of breast health and overall wellness.
With the tips presented here, together with the powerful research behind BreastDefend and PectaSol-C Modified Citrus Pectin, you have a targeted strategy to protect breast health and maintain vitality throughout life.

 * * * * *

From Dr. Mom Online…

First, I think EcoNugenics’ product, PectaSol-C Modified Citrus Pectin is an absolute MUST for anyone ever diagnosed with cancer. This is one of the top recommendations we make in our Integrative Cancer Recovery Program.

Buy Pectasol-C for Cellular Health

Here are a few others I think make a difference in breast health and breast symptoms:

8. Lay off the caffeine. Caffeine directly effects blood vessels. If any of the symptoms of breast pain or discomfort are related to blood vessels, then it would benefit us to minimize our intake. (That was directed to me, personally. Ugh.) By the way, if you’re drinking coffee, whether it’s caffeinated or decaffeinated, make sure it’s organic. Coffee beans are one of the most heavily sprayed plants on our planet. Upgrading to organic is NOT an expense. This is a very serious investment in food safety and your health.

9. Breathe deeply and de-stress. Personally, when I’m overly stressed or caught up with stinkin’ thinkin’, my symptoms are at the absolute worst. As soon as I start with deep breathing and relaxation (and removing the source of stress, if possible), I can feel an immediate relief of symptoms. Overall, when I incorporate stress management techniques into my daily routine, not only do I feel better and function better overall, but I notice fewer breast symptoms as a whole. I’m not naive enough to think that we can remove stress from our lives. But, we sure do have a choice in how we respond to it, don’t we?!

10. Pull out that sweet tooth! Sugar is just a vicious little varmit. It wreaks havoc on our health in countless ways. I notice that when I consume too much sugar, my symptoms return… wickedly fast. When you’re considering your sugar intake, it’s not just about sweets and junk food and baked goods. Don’t forget those foods that convert to sugar quickly in your body – foods like bread, pasta, cereal, crackers, pretzels, and on and on. Don’t get wise with me and think you’ll side-step this issue by using artificial sweeteners! That is a toxic choice that reaps toxic consequences in every tissue of the body… not just breast tissue! (Keep in mind that stress makes us crave more sugar… all the more reason to have an effective outlet for your stress.)

11. Watch out for gluten. I’ve seen this in our practice, and heard this from enough women now to know it plays a role for a lot of us, whether we’ve quite put our finger on it yet or not. For a growing number of people, gluten is a problem. It can manifest itself in an incredible number of ways, often mimicking other illnesses and conditions. Simply, I’ve seen women give up gluten and their breast symptoms completely clear up. (Same thing with sugar, by the way.)

12. Let the girls breathe, for cryin’ out loud! You’ve heard it before – underwire and push-up bras can cause a lot of breast problems. So can any other clothing that is constrictive and prevents your lymphatic system from fully functioning. Sure, our culture is obsessed with “the look” these clothes provide… but, then again, our culture is suffering with breast cancer like at no other time in history. Let the girls relax a bit, at least the majority of the time. ‘Nuff said.

13. Sweat is your Hot Sauce, girl! Again, nothing new here. Anti-perspirants are the nemesis of breast health. Quick anatomy & physiology lesson here: YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO SWEAT! How on earth do you think all those nasty toxins are going to leave your body if you block one of the major exit routes?! Nobody likes those sweat circles, agreed. But I dislike breast cancer even more. There are non-toxic deodorants you can use. No excuses. Plus, the less toxic you are (by following many of the other tips here), the less stinky your sweat tends to be. Seriously. Finally, if you’re exercising and working up a sweat – that’s a GREAT thing – let your hot sauce flow! It’s one of the often-neglected benefits of challenging exercise… it’s detoxifying!

14. Take care of your “structure”. Let’s not forget to overlook the obvious here. Well, maybe it’s just obvious to ME because I’m a Chiropractor! When the spine is chronically dysfunctional (not moving freely, or out of alignment), or there’s chronically poor posture, or chronic muscle imbalance and tension… any and ALL of these can refer pain and  symptoms into the breast. That’s just how our ultra-cool body works! It’s all connected. So, I’d recommend regular Chiropractic care, as well as soft tissue work. In addition, take a look at your daily postural patterns. for example, if the way you sit at home, at work, our in your car causes you to round your shoulders and upper back, and push your head forward while decreasing your cervical (neck) curve, then your posture is a major problem. This will affect a LOT of things, breast health included.

15. Control your hormones, woman! A lot of women notice fluctuations in their breast symptoms that correspond to various stages of their monthly cycles. Others notice a brand new set of symptoms and their timing as they ease into pre-menopause and menopause. Hormones are most definitely involved. I am not a fan (mild understatement) of artificially altering our hormonal levels with drugs like hormone replacement or birth control pill. It’s like playing with fire. (I know there are individual cases where it might provide a temporary ‘solution’…) I also don’t think we should be tinkering with our hormone levels by using hormone creams… unless we know the cause of our hormonal imbalance, and exactly which hormones are out of balance. Address the cause. There are accurate tests for this now, and doctors who know how to help you restore healthy function, holistically. While we’re on the topic of hormones, start to minimize your exposure to synthetic estrogens (found in various plastic items, for example), as well as “modern” soy foods & ingredients whenever possible. Both alter our natural hormone levels.

16. Smushing and radiating is not a winning combination. I’ll keep this one short and sweet. Mammograms are not your only option for highly effective and highly sensitive diagnostic tests. Thermal imaging has been shown to be equally effective at identifying problems in the breast tissue… WITHOUT dramatically interfering with the breast cells and then radiating them! Just sayin’. There’s gotta’ be a better way. (And, voila! There is!)

Well, there you go. Lots of ideas for taking good care of our breasts, and the rest of our health.

Let me know what YOU add to these tips to ensure healthy breast tissue… I’d love to hear it!

 

Last Chance to Save Big… And Lose Big!

The Virgin Diet Challenge Master Package

 

All righty… I just want to give you one last reminder about this great new program by celebrity nutrition & fitness expert, JJ Virgin. Her new book, “The Virgin Diet”, is already a top seller… and it’s still in the pre-launch phase!

If you don’t know JJ, look her up! This lady is a phenom! She’s a class act, knows her stuff, and is a trusted veteran in the health & wellness industry. She’s also got an amazing “mom story” that tugs on my heart strings. Her eldest son was hit by a car and nearly killed a couple months ago. JJ has turned the earth upside down to get him the proper care that he needs, and has been at his hospital bedside for countless hours… lovin’ on him while he’s awake, and working her tail off when he’s not. This lady is as dedicated as they come.

When it comes to her weight loss and nutritional strategies, JJ’s not just regurgitating the same (inaccurate) nonsense that so many others in the field are. Her program is different – it’s based on solid science and current research.

That’s why we support JJ. She’s speakin’ our language!

Her “Virgin Diet” and the “Virgin Diet Challenge” are based on many of the same principles we teach in our practice. Weight loss oftentimes isn’t as simple as, “eat less, move more.” That works for some folks… but not all. If your “gut” is unhealthy or damaged from a history of medications, stress, toxic diet, and a gazillion other things, then even foods you think are healthy can be damaging to your system… AND making you fat, tired, achy, and cranky.

Food intolerance is one of THE leading reasons why almost 3/4 of overweight people are struggling.

Think about it – counting calories and “points” won’t help AT ALL if the foods themselves are what’s making you sick and fat!

Check out this video of JJ describing her program… great stuff!
This weekend is your last chance (as far as I’ve been told) to get in on JJ’s Virgin Diet Challenge special pricing… and all the freebie bonuses she’s throwing in. The special pricing ends on Sunday November 25th!

 

The Virgin Diet Challenge Set

 

She’s hitting the road now to do a series of PBS episodes about her program, as well as some work with various talk show hosts, like Rachael Ray. Now’s the time to get her program at this introductory price… because it doesn’t look like it will last much longer!

You can read more about the program here.

 

I believe in JJ’s approach so much that I’ve sweetened her deal…

If you order JJ’s Challenge program by this Sunday, I’m going to give you a $125 gift!

My uber-smart Dr. Hubby and I are offering our comprehensive metabolic and functional health assessment to anyone who enrolls in JJ’s program through this post. While JJ’s program is an immediate boost toward improving your health and dropping those excess pounds, our assessment will take things to the next level.

Through our detailed assessments, we will determine your current level of physiologic imbalance and the possible next action steps that are right for you. When you sign up for JJ’s program to take her Challenge, there is NO charge for your assessments with us AND no charge for your follow-up consultation with the doctor (in person, on phone, or via Skype). This is normally a $125 service in our practice! (That’s the “gift”, by the way.) The information and knowledge you will gain is invaluable. You’ll have a clear direction to take with a health-recovery strategy personalized for YOU.

We’re doing this because we know how much of an impact JJ’s program can have on your life – if you do and commit to it.

If you sign up for JJ’s program by Sunday, AND you’re interested in taking us up on our offer, then shoot me an email at info@drmomonline.com to let me know you’d like to get started.

I really like some of the extras that JJ is creating for this program, like her holiday survival tips and her travel tips. She’s giving all the tools and strategies necessary to truly make this a lasting lifestyle change for the folks that work with her.

It’s a great program! If you can do it, DO IT… TAKE THE CHALLENGE! You could be a different person, inside and out, by Christmas! I’m here to help you along the way…

 

Thanksgiving Left-Overs: Health-Enhancing Turkey Stock

turkey

Happy day after Thanksgiving!

Is your fridge loaded with Thanksgiving left-overs? It’s a blessing, isn’t it? My family gets almost as excited for left-overs the next day as they do for the official Thanksgiving meal itself!

I have been informed by various family members, that I am THE only person on the planet that does not enjoy left-over turkey sandwiches.

I like turkey. I like bread. I do not like them together. It goes back to childhood. Evidently, I had a bad experience with the two combined!

Issues.

Anyhow, this post-Thanksgiving issue of mine is what leads me to this post. We end up with a good amount of left-over turkey that would probably lose its appeal after a couple days around here. There are only so many sandwiches even the biggest sandwich fans in my family can stand!

I like to take advantage of all the left-over turkey and turkey parts to make a super healthy concoction of Turkey Stock.

Properly prepared meat stocks are not just delicious, but they’re also incredibly health enhancing. They contain minerals of the bone, cartilage, marrow and vegetables as electrolytes, all in a form that is easy to assimilate. In order to help draw out the minerals (particularly calcium, magnesium and potassium) into the broth during the cooking, an acidic vinegar or wine can be added.

You can also try sipping on the wine as you’re making the stock with the vinegar, if you choose. You’re welcome.

A gelatin-rich broth is protective in nature, helping us defend against various infectious diseases and a variety of other health problems, particularly those of the digestive system.

Stock can be consumed on its own, or in sauces and other dishes for a healthy base.

I sent my dad home with some containers of the broth I made this year. His oncologist wants him on a “bone strengthener” because of the metastasis in his pelvic bones, and had recommended an absolute garbage-quality calcium supplement. I told him to take this everyday for some real bone protection!

 

Here’s the recipe and directions I follow…

 

Turkey Stock (Recipe borrowed from – and loosely translated – Nourishing Traditions)

Ingredients:

1 whole free-range turkey or 2-3 pounds of bony turkey parts, such as necks, backs, breastbones, and wings

gizzards from one turkey (optional)

4 quarts cold filtered water

2 tablespoons vinegar (I used Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar)

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped

3 celery sticks, coarsely chopped

1 bunch parsley

several sprigs of fresh thyme, tied together

 

Directions:

Cut the turkey parts into several pieces. Place the turkey pieces in a large stainless steel pot with water, vinegar, thyme, and all vegetables except parsley.

Let stand 30 minutes to 1 hour. Bring to a boil, and remove the scum that rises to the top.

Side Note: Do you remember the last time I shared this recipe a few years ago? I found it counter-intuitive then, and I still find it counter-intuitive years later, that “scum would rise to the top”!  How is that possible? Life just isn’t like that, I choose to believe. Nice folks rise to the top… not scum! At least  that’s the message I’m trying to teach my children, for heaven’s sake!)

Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 6-24 hours. The longer you cook the stock, the richer and more flavorful it will be.

About 10 minutes before finishing the stock, add parsley. This will impart additional mineral ions to the broth… and potentially give you Super Human powers beyond compare!

Remove pieces with a slotted spoon. The skin and smaller bones can be given to your soon-to-be-very-appreciative four-legged friends.

Strain the stock into a large bowl and reserve in your refrigerator until the fat rises to the top and congeals. Skim off this fat and reserve the stock in covered containers in your fridge or freezer.

Clear stock will last about 5 days in the refrigerator (longer if re-boiled), and several months in the freezer.

Now don’t go ruining all the nutritional fortitude of this great recipe by re-heating your stock in a microwave! I don’t think radiated stock has quite the same benefits!

 

So, whatcha’ doin’ with YOUR left-overs?

 

 

 

An Attitude of Gratitude

gratitude

Thanksgiving is nice.

I like it that more folks are open about what they’re grateful for. So many Facebookies chime in throughout November, declaring their gratitude for something each day. It’s nice. Cute.

It does, however, make me wish we’d all be as expressive with their gracious sentiments throughout the rest of the year… wouldn’t that feel a lot nicer? Ahhh…

I was thinking about this last night as I was driving home from the kids’ gymnastics class… listening to them bicker with each other in the back seat.

You know that last nerve?

Well, by this time last night, after a l-o-n-g day of work and errands, following two nights of almost no sleep, with a dog that’s dealing with some nasty intestinal issue right now (ick)… listening to my little angels find everything wrong about their sibling, and being generally ‘negative’ too often lately, that last nerve of mine was edgy.

(Good thing I know a great Chiropractor!)

Sometimes, it’s just  hard for me to understand what on earth a 10 and 7-year old could possibly have to be so grouchy about! “What?! You have no job… no bills… people give you food and clothes and ‘things’… your life is like a vacation! Sheesh!”

So, we had a chat.

I talked about the only thing I know that works for ME 100% of the time when my stinkin’ thinkin’ has taken over. (No, not a glass of wine.)

I talked about Gratitude.

I told them that, if they’re really sincere about doing this ‘exercise’, it’s virtually impossible to remain in a negative mood or have a glass-half-empty attitude.

As a mom, I feel like this is one of the most important “life skills” I could possibly teach my children. How to have a grateful heart…. how to be “positive”… how to let your actions, words, and tone reflect that.

(I need to constantly work on this, too… and I do.)

We have our Thanksgiving tradition of a “Gratitude Jar” where we fill it with little slips of paper that say various things that each of us are grateful for.

It’s nice. It’s cute. But, sometimes, when I read a slip that says something like, “I’m thankful for movies” or “I’m grateful we’re not having chicken for dinner!”, I’m not too sure that the kids really get it!

(They’re funny… I’ll give ‘em that!)

 

So, I asked them to dig deeper.

I think part of being truly grateful is recognizing what you might be taking for granted. At least that’s what I figured out for myself several years ago, and for my kids now.

We talked about some of the biggies that maybe they overlook… and just assume it’s normal… or they’ll always be there. Things like family, neighbors they love, good friends, two parents who adore them (enough to keep them in line!) a home, power, a family business, a fridge & pantry with food, a car, our healthy & capable bodies, our unique talents, our freedom, our safety… and the fact that God has always provided for us… we’ve always made it through, no matter how bleak certain situations have seemed.

We also talked about the Law of Attraction, and how what we think about and focus on the most tends to show up the most. We agreed that it’s pretty cool how focusing on what’s good will bring more good… focusing on our blessings brings more blessings, and so on. (Whether you ‘buy into it’ or not, it sure does feel good to live this way!)

I have challenged them to spend this Thanksgiving season intentionally looking for “the good” around them AND keeping their lips zipped when they feel compelled to add negativity or sass.

The good is always there, whether we choose to see it or not. Stinkin’ thinkin’ just tends to cloud our senses. That’s why we need to be in control of our lip zipper and make sure our rose-colored lenses are in place!

This intentional seeking of the good, the positive, and the many blessings around us is what got me through the toughest period of my life a few years ago. ‘Looking for the blessings’ is a lifeline for me. Nothing brings me more peace than sincerely focusing on all that I am grateful for.

It’s why I’m determined to lead my children in this way.

Obviously, I want them to continue with this intention long past Thanksgiving 2012… I just needed to give them an attainable goal to start with!

I know that sibling squabbles happen. I know that negative stuff happens. I know that stressful events will always creep up on us.

I know how easy it is to focus on those and be swept away by overwhelming stress and negativity. It’s seemingly effortless to see the negative! It takes intention to consistently choose to see the positive… and to be grateful.

I am grateful that these kids of mine are truly good. I am grateful that, the vast majority of the time, they get along swimmingly.

I am grateful that God has granted me the privilege of being the mother of these two extraordinary little people. I’m grateful for the overwhelming, heart-wrenching, knee-buckling love I have for them. I’m grateful that I like them so much as people, as well as love them.

I am grateful for so much… too much to mention here. But I’m grateful for my healthy, strong, hard-working, and gifted husband… and I’m grateful for the gift of another Thanksgiving with my dad here.

I’m grateful that He reminds me to be grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

Motion is Life ~ How to Approach Exercise in a Functional, Primal Way

old shoes

Motion is truly “life”.

Our bodies crave motion. Our brains are “driven” by motion of the joints. This is called proprioception – movement neurology, essentially. It’s the real reason why exercise and motion make us feel good, happy and alive.

We should strive to become “movers”.

Here’s the thing. We don’t need to do hardcore exercise in order to become effective movers. We don’t need to become marathon runners, or power weight lifters, or elite athletes of any sort in order to express healthier cell function.

We benefit greatly from a variety of movement forms. It’s hard to go wrong with exercise, honestly.

We do best when our overall exercise and movement routine is based on 3 basic components:

1) Variety – Mix things up to challenge different components of your physiology, as well as to prevent boredom and plateaus.

2) Intensity – Not all movement needs to be “intense”, but you should incorporate some challenging motion in your overall routine. Challenge is good. It stretches us mentally and physically.

3) Consistency – Rather self-explanatory. If motion is critical for brain health and, therefore, overall healthy function, then it makes sense that we should partake in activity on a very regular basis. Intentional movement on a daily basis is ideal.

When our intention is simply to live a long, healthy life (as opposed to training at elite levels for a specific sport) what types of motion should we incorporate and how often should we do them?

I focus on 7 main areas of movement in designing an overall exercise routine:

1) Simple moves – Slow & steady, as often as possible.

I believe that we should be able to move without a struggle. This type of simple movement includes the basics, like going for regular walks, taking the stairs more often, and parking the car further away from the door. We should be able to accomplish this simple level of activity on a daily basis, without aches and pains, and without resorting to our whiny pants.

2) Simple moves – A little more challenging, a little less often.

The next step is to ramp it up a bit and elevate your heart rate. Much has been said in recent years about the negative consequences of prolonged elevation of heart rate (as in long-distance, steady state, low-to-moderate intensity exercise). So, instead of the old-school cardio work outs being at the forefront of our exercise routines, we can back off on those a bit and pay closer attention to working below our maximum heart rate.

How do you calculate your maximum heart rate and your targeted range for aerobic activity? It’s not as simple as the old stand-by equation of 220 – your age. Science has evolved! It’s still pretty close, though. I’d recommend you go here to get a more specific calculation of your maximum heart rate. Then, you can calculate 55 – 75% of this maximum heart rate. This will be your target range for this level of aerobic activity.

(If this sounds like a pain, just do the 220 – your age! Then figure 50-80% of that number. Work in that range, depending on your current condition. For those of you who want more accuracy, and exercise specificity, use the link above.)

Do this level of exercise a couple times per week.

Great examples are: going for a brisk walk, a bike ride, hiking uphill, swimming, easy jogging, rollerblading, ice skating, easy rowing, stand up paddling… any activity that is slightly challenging, but keeps you in the target range.

3) Resistance & Lifting

You’ve got to consistently work at getting and staying strong. There are countless health-related reasons for this, such as decrease risk for falls, injuries and fractures, better posture, and even improved insulin sensitivity. Also, there are the more ‘superficial’ reasons, like looking lean and toned, and the added benefit of lean muscle mass to burn fat and calories for you.

There’s no need to over complicate this. There are some basic body weight functional movements that will challenge you and get you noticeable results on the inside, and out.

For the lower body: Squats and lunges cover almost all your needs. If you can add dead lifts to that duo, you’re set. Start easy – practice squatting by sitting down in a chair, and start lunges by holding onto a counter or chair back for balance.

As you gain strength, balance and confidence, you can  add plenty of variety and challenge by playing with your stance, surface and stability, tempo, number of sets and repetitions, as well as recovery time between sets.

For the upper body: Pushing and pulling movements are the focus.

The leaders of the pack are push-ups, pull-ups, and overhead press. If you can’t yet swing a pull-up, I like rowing (pulling) type exercises. Again, add variety and challenge by changing the surface, the placement of hands, tempo, etc.

Don’t forget your core! Fortunately, when you’re doing mostly functional and multi-joint exercises as listed above, you’re naturally engaging your core on a regular basis. When you do add specific core exercises, focus on adding full core challengers, like jack-knives on a ball, mountain climbers, planks, etc.

Now put these all together! Two or three times per week, do a variety of these functional exercises in a 10 – 25 minute session. Be sure to include lower body, upper body, and core all in the same work out.

4) High-Intensity Challenge

High-intensity, short-duration activities, like sprinting, provide a greater challenge. Thankfully, they also provide greater results! High-intensity burst training burns more fat and calories over time than longer, steady-state cardio work outs. They also create very positive changes in hormone balance, and improve insulin sensitivity. You can accomplish all this with bursts as short as 5 seconds, working up to 10, 20, 30 seconds eventually. What’s not to love?

Not all sprinting needs to be the running sort. You can apply the same principles of high-intensity, short duration bursts to activities like cycling, swimming, stairs work outs, elliptical machines, climbing, rope jumping, vertical leaps, squat jumps, etc. As long as you’re giving it your maximum effort for short bursts of time, with short recovery periods in between, you’ll benefit from this type of exercise.

Several sports inherently include these types of bursts. Basketball, soccer, hockey, tennis, racquetball/squash, and lacrosse are just a few examples.

Do this type of activity a couple times per week. It may only take you 5 or 10 minutes!

5) Brain & Balance Training

Since the brain is so intricately connected to movement, particularly that of the spinal area, we can’t overlook this critical component to our exercise routine. Since the majority of proprioceptive input for the brain comes from the spine, hip joints, and ankle joints, try to move and challenge these often.

Think of these movements as “spinal hygiene”, where the focus is to fully move and stretch all segments of the spine, as well as the pelvis and hips. Another important component of this brain-building type of activity is to challenge your balance each day, even if it’s as simple as standing on one leg for a few seconds at a time. Bonus points if you stand on one leg while brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand with your eyes closed.

Do this some type of this activity daily.

6) Flexibility

Being flexible not only helps prevent injury as we age, but it also allows us to more fully enjoy all activities we participate in with greater range of motion, less muscle strain and sprain, and better balance and agility.

This category is right up there with Brain & Balance Training. Do some work on improving your flexibility each day.

7) Play

The point of having a healthy body is to be able to put it to good use… and to enjoy it! Investing in all these variations of motion on a regular basis isn’t about having 6-pack abs or the perfect bikini body! It’s about creating and re-creating a healthy body that will serve you well as you age… so that you can serve in the way you seem fit.

If you want to play organized sports, play on a team, play a game at your annual family reunion, or just play with your kids at the park, a healthy body will allow that.

So, when you review this list, it looks like an enormous amount of movement and exercise to incorporate. Not really. I like to chunk it down this way, personally:

  • Each morning, I take 10 -15 minutes to tend to brain, balance and flexibility training (#5 & #6).
  • I also walk our dog daily (#1).
  • Three to four times each week, I do something “cardio” related. Sometimes it’s longer duration, like running or cycling (#2), while oftentimes I’m incorporating bursts of high-intensity (#3).
  • Three times per week, usually on opposite days of cardio, I do resistance training (#4).
  • I play with our kids a lot (#7). We like to jump on the trampoline, play catch, play soccer, climb trees and various things, go tubing, go sledding, play hockey… whatever floats our boat in the moment!

Invest in your body now, and each day from now on, and it will serve you well for many years. It’s the house you’ve been given to live in while you’re here… keep it clean and sturdy!

 

Can A Diet Really Do All This?

jj book

If you consider yourself a health-conscious person (or you’re aiming to become one!), then you might find this news rather interesting.

There’s been a lot of buzz in the last week about my colleague JJ Virgin’s new book “The Virgin Diet: Drop 7 Foods, Lose 7 Pounds, Just 7 Days”. It’s already a Barnes & Noble Top Pick and a runaway hit – and it hasn’t even been released yet! She’s kinda’ magical that way!

Not all new diet books get this much attention (nor should they)… so why this one?

Well, I think the reason why The Virgin Diet is generating so much excitement is that it’s a completely NEW approach to weight loss. It blows away the old myths that simply don’t hold water anymore – myths like “calories in, calories out”, “move more, eat less”,  and “your body is a bank account”. JJ addresses how food intolerance is the real cause of weight gain.

This is what we’ve been teaching in our practice for the last couple years… and testing people for with advanced lab work. It’s phenomenal work that gets to the root cause of not only weight problems, but every chronic and degenerative illness we know.

You may be shocked to learn that many of the so-called “diet” and “health” foods you’re eating every day are actually making you fat, tired and cranky.

Yes, you.

I say that with love. : )

Check out this video to get the full story – it’s fascinating:

What JJ does that is so unique in the over-crowded world of “weight loss” is she teaches people to lose weight in a fast, simple and straightforward way. There’s nothing complicated or weird about her plan, and that’s the beauty of it – it simply WORKS.

It’s funny how “real” health tends to get “real” results!

JJ has helped thousands of clients get results even when they’d already given up hope. She’s helped celebrities and regular folks alike who were told that their excess weight, poor energy, aches and pains, and other frustrating symptoms were just “normal for their age” and they’d have to learn to “live with it.”

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to “live with” anything except a 100% healthy, energetic, and vibrant body. I want to live life to the fullest. I admire professionals like JJ who are truly helping others do just that… in a safe, effective, and scientific way.

Imagine what your life would be like if you finally lost that extra 10, 20 or 50 pounds…

Imagine having the boundless energy you need to accomplish everything you want to – to get it all done, and to reach your goals faster because you’re not struggling with exhaustion.

Imagine having brighter, clearer skin, and a buoyant, positive mood.

What would that do for your SELF-CONFIDENCE? Holy moly. That’s a big one.

JJ says, when you follow her plan, “Don’t be surprised when your friends start asking you if you’ve had work done, or if you just got back from the spa. This actually happens to my clients all the time. The transformations people experience are that dramatic.”

Watch the video above and then read some more here…

More info on JJ’s successful program and her new CHALLENGE!

 

PS. In the video JJ introduces her new course, The Virgin Diet Challenge. The Challenge is AWESOME!!

Well, I believe in JJ’s work and her results so much that I’m offering my very thorough metabolic and functional health assessment to anyone who enrolls in JJ’s program through my link. This assessment will determine your current level of physiologic imbalance and the possible next action steps that are right for you. There is NO charge for completing and reviewing your assessments during a “Doctor’s Report”! This is normally a $125 service in our practice!! The information and knowledge you will gain is invaluable.

From there, I can recommend advanced personalized metabolic, nutritional and hormonal diagnostic testing at MY cost for the labs, then we’ll do a  follow-up report once your lab results are in (in person OR via phone/Skype/email). During your report, we can discuss an effective, personalized strategy to restore hormonal and metabolic balance, recover from chronic degenerative conditions, and regain your health.

I’m doing this because I know how much of an impact JJ’s program can have on your life – if you do and commit to it. It’s a fantastic starting point!

JJ has priced her program ridiculously low and now the value just got better with the addition of my assessment plus Doctor’s Report, and all the possible advanced testing you can have done at MY cost! This is worth anywhere from $125 to several hundred dollars, depending on your current health challenges you’d like to address.

Plus there’s a solid 100% money back guarantee so you risk nothing.

BUT, YOU’VE GOT TO HURRY!!  JJ’s special pricing, my special pricing, and the Challenge are ending soon… really soon!

If you have any questions at all before giving JJ’s program a try, let me know.

(Also, I hope you know that you don’t have to do JJ’s Challenge in order to work with me! It’s just a nice little bundle package for you this way!)

 

Recipes That Are Healthier, Not Harder ~ Make Your Own Healthy Raw Ketchup

ketchup

One of the keys to achieving greater levels of health is to ditch the insidious toxic foods that sneak their way into our diets without us giving them too much thought.

You know, things like condiments, dressings, sauces, and dips. Sneaky.

Mainstream, conventional versions of these foods are typically toxic junk full of sugar, hydrogenated oils and trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, gluten, soy, artificial sweeteners, flavors and colors, neurotoxins (like MSG and others), and so on.

It’s “little” stuff that adds up over time.

On a side note, I’m not a fan of teaching kids to drown their raw veggies in dressing or dip for the sake of “eating their veggies”. Nope. Not with the amount of toxicity in those add-ons. Vegetables can only make up for so much damage that we create! We can at least clean it up and provide a less-toxic option as a dip. Yes? OK. Carry on…

If you or your family enjoy a little ketchup now and then, it pays to upgrade to a non-toxic version. Many stores now carry organic brands that lack the toxicity levels of the conventional brands. I still recommend reading the label, however.

Or, if you’re feeling a little frisky, you can make your own!

Here’s a simple, healthy recipe I’ve recently tried that was a crowd pleaser… and far more interesting than just plain ‘ol ketchup!

 

Healthy Raw Ketchup

Ingredients:

1 cup organic tomato, chopped

1 cup organic sun-dried tomatoes, soaked for 30 minutes, drained, and chopped

1 tbsp fresh organic garlic, minced

10 fresh organic basil leaves

3 organic dates, pitted

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp Celtic sea salt

1-2 tbsp Bragg’s raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar

 

Directions:

(This is tricky… now, pay attention!)

Blend all ingredients together until it forms a paste. ; )

 

Makes approximately 2 and 1/2 cups

 

Try it on top of a grass-fed burger or with your homemade sweet potato wedges. Yum! (Just don’t go and sabotage your efforts by eating that burger with a giant gluten-loaded bun, for cryin’ out loud!)

 

(Recipe from The Juice Lady’s Living Foods Revolution by Cherie Calbom)

 

 

The Power of Greens

broccoli

In articles and blog posts, I often refer to the “greens” products we use in smoothies.

I like to use whole foods, like spinach, kale, Swiss chard, and whatever else floats my boat at the time (like coconut oil, avocado and various berries)… but I also like to add a powerful punch of nutrition by adding a “super greens” powder.

A high quality greens powder helps us fill in the gap between what we should be regularly consuming, and what we actually consume!

Another critically important benefit of a greens product is the alkalizing effect it has on our body. This is more important than ever with the “Standard American Diet” of high carbs, high sugar, toxic fats, low-quality sources of meat, dairy and grains, and toxic processed foods taking over everywhere we turn.

The status-quo of mainstream food comes with highly acidic consequences that contribute to all major chronic illness.

I recommend every health-seeking individual and family add a greens product to their intake for some simple nutritional “insurance”, in addition to a foundational diet abundant with vegetables, fruit, non-toxic protein sources, healthy fats & oils, fermented foods, and plenty of pure water.

The green blend we use the most often is Greens First.

You can read about the many, many benefits of greens by clicking on the link above. Check out the “white paper”, too, while you’re there.

 

Greens First ~ Super Food!

I like it for several reasons.

  • It’s high-quality ~ pure & sufficient.
  • It contains the “Super Greens”: Spirulina, Chlorella, and Young Barley Greens for unmatched nutritional and health benefits
  • I trust the people who run the company, including their quality control. We’ve ordered from them for many years.
  • This is the brand our practice members have chosen as their overwhelming favorite, as well.
  • It’s cost-effective.
  • You can mix it without a blender, if need be.
  • It mixes really well AND tastes really great even if it’s just with water!
  • My kids love it!

There are many great quality greens products on the market now. This one just seems to have staying power and a great reputation for quality, affordability and effectiveness.

I like. : )

Nutrition 101: Healthy Cooking Oils (and Fats)

coconut on beach

 

 When it comes to oils we use in our food preparation, I recommend cooking or baking with high quality saturated fats due to their stable nature under heat. This means that they don’t oxidize (or, turn “rancid”) when exposed to higher temperatures.

The two that I cook with almost exclusively are non-hydrogenated extra virgin coconut oil and organic butter, preferably from grass-fed, pasture-raised animals. I’d estimate that 95% of the time, it’s coconut oil I use.

There are other traditional saturated fats, like lard for example, that can be used as well. I just don’t have the experience with these that I do with coconut oil and butter.

Extra-virgin coconut oil boasts countless health benefits, including improved metabolism, improved digestion, as well as contributing to a healthy immune system and healthy microbial balance. I “eat” this off the spoon every day now, and also use a spoon of it in my morning coffee. Dee-lish!

The “politically correct” diet gurus for the last few decades have brow-beaten us into thinking that saturated fats are “bad” and will cause heart disease and cancer! They advise that we should be consuming primarily polyunsaturated fats from vegetable oils.

As a result, most of the fats we consume in our modern day average North American diet are polyunsaturated and hydrogenated, primarily from vegetable oils derived from soy, corn, safflower, sunflower and canola.

Our society’s ever-increasing health woes should be ample evidence that this advice is misguided and inaccurate! (Have you seen a decrease in heart disease or cancer in the last few decades? Maybe I’ve missed it…)

One of the reasons that polyunsaturated oils contribute to an overwhelming array of health problems is that they tend to become oxidized when they are subjected to heat, oxygen and moisture… as in cooking and processing.  Another problem is that most polyunsaturates in the most popular commercial vegetable oils are of very low quality with minimal amounts of any beneficial fatty acids.

In addition to this inferior quality and inherent properties that leave much-to-be-desired, we need to consider the mass chemical processing these oils go through to get them on our mainstream store shelves to be sold to the public at such a “cheap” price.

I’d say the price is far greater than we realize.

Saturated fats, by the way, are not the bad guy. We need fat. We need saturated fat. In fact, saturated fats play critical roles in our health and physiological function. One of the most important is that they constitute approximately 50% of the cell membranes. The cell membrane is key to ALL healthy function in ALL parts of the body.

And, as far as cardiovascular issues are concerned, quality sources of saturated fats actually contribute to improved heart health… not the opposite as we’re told.

As with all fats, I believe the quality of the source of fat is of utmost importance. Therefore, I don’t believe it’s a good idea to chow down regularly on red meat that comes from cattle fed a grain-based (corn) diet, for example. Or meat that’s loaded with hormones, steroids and antibiotics. I don’t think there’s anything inherently “wrong” with red meat. I think there’s plenty wrong with toxic red meat… or white meat… or fish… or dairy products, for that matter!

OK, back to cooking oils.

Margarine is a nutritional train wreck. It’s a man-made fat produced by using high-heat (destroying any trace of nutrients), bleaching agents and deodorization. Margarine also contains harmful hydrogenated oils that contain trans fats known to contribute to a laundry list of negative health conditions and symptoms.

 

Another popular oil in our kitchen is organic extra virgin olive oil. Olive oil is extremely healthy (loaded with antioxidants), especially when “used” properly. Olive oil is not a saturated fat, therefore, it’s not considered a “stable” fat and shouldn’t be heated. Some say it can be heated at low temperatures. I’d avoid it, if possible, and use a stable fat instead. I use it primarily in our salads.

Oils can be a tricky health subject. We oftentimes don’t even think about what our food is being cooked in or prepared with when we’re eating away from home, in restaurants, or buying packaged foods. It pays to read labels and ask questions. If we’re consistently consuming the truly “bad” fats, like the polyunsaturated, hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated trans fats, our health will indeed pay the price.

 

What’s In Your Medicine Cabinet? Natural Remedies for Health.

med cabinet

Not pretty... just functional!

 

In our practice, I’m often asked “What’s in your medicine cabinet?”

I love it when our kids are nearby when that question is asked… because they always get a funny look on their faces and wonder, “What’s a ‘medicine cabinet’??” Funny!

Almost as funny as when they gasp every time their grandfather refers to going to the “drug store” to pick something up!

I have brainwashed them well, my friends.

Anyhow, we keep a stash of more natural remedies in the “cabinet over our bathroom sink”, as well as in the kitchen.

The majority of these items are not consumed or utilized on a daily basis. Not even close, as a matter of fact.

I think one of the main reasons for that is that we don’t feel it’s necessary to “treat”, tend to, or mask every symptom that our bodies express.

Sometimes, though, I want to mask somebody’s symptom so that the whining will stop and I can get some sleep, dagnabbit!

 

So, this is what we currently keep in that bathroom cabinet (that has anything to do with natural remedies):

a concentrated citric extract called “Agrisept” – good for 99% of our home remedy needs! (or so it seems!)

calendula gel

tea tree oil & gel

eucalyptus oil – great for the bottoms of feet and chests when somebody’s stuffed up

essential oils: lavender, peppermint, spearmint and citronella

arnicha gel

Silver gel – great topical infection fighter vs. something like neosporin

Other items in the photo: the top shelf shows a couple topical nutritional products to help balance the stress hormones (cortisol); there are a couple “natural” topical gels for bug bits and stings; and the Christmas mug has our dog’s toothpaste and toothbrush… in case you were wondering.

Other goodies we use as remedies… or in remedies…

baking soda – a gazillion uses

hydrogen peroxide – we use it mostly as a mouth rinse, in sore or itchy ears, as a gargle for sore throats…

Lauricidin – another “power player” for immune boosting support

silver drops

homeopathic remedies for various afflictions

Modified Citrus Pectin – not only great for overall immune support, but also kicks the tail of wandering cancer cells! (I’ve recently switched to this product vs. just vitamin C powder)

Vitamin D3 – I take 16,000 – 24,000 IU per day in the gloomy, colder months. The kids take 4,000 IU several times per week.

pure fish oil or cod liver oil – countless benefits. (Less critical if you’re eating mostly grass-fed, pastured sources of livestock and a Paleo/primal-based diet with lots of traditional fermented foods. Which means the vast majority of us still need a high-quality essential fatty acids product!)

organic green tea and some other soothing herbal teas

“Superfoods” greens powder

broad-spectrum probiotics (more narrow spectrum products are good if you’ve properly identified which strains of bacteria you may be deficient in… until then, go broad spectrum.)

pure coconut oil – countless benefits

pure raw, local honey – great for sore throats

***

I’m sure there’s more in our kitchen that I’m forgetting, but you get the main idea, I hope.

I often tell clients and practice members that it’s just as important to consider what you’re feeding your body (or not feeding your body), as it is to consider what you can “take”.

We are a pill-popping society, for sure!

In fact, I’d say that keeping certain things out of your body can be the most powerful “natural remedy”.

The number one food group to avoid when your immune system is working overtime is SUGAR, and anything that turns to sugar quickly in your body. Think sweets, starchy carbs, grains…

Modern dairy is another nightmare for your immune system to counteract.

Foods that I make sure I’m adding when anyone in my family is “adapting” are things like fresh garlic and onions, as well as a boat load of veggies.

Then there are the other “natural remedies” that make a significant difference when someone in my family is feeling run down:

maximize sleep

keep the neck and core warm, especially when there’s a fever

along the same lines, use warm compresses around neck and base of skull and take warm showers

do lymphatic massage to help the lymphatic system clear accumulated toxins

sip on real broth

Oh, and get adjusted, of course! You cannot beat the boost and clarity that a great Chiropractic adjustment gives!

 

 

Five Years Ago Today…

My Angel.

… I lost my most favorite person in the entire world.

 

My Angel.

 

Five years ago today, my mom was leaving this world.

Tuesday November 13th, 2007.

In the five years that have passed, I’ve worked so hard to remember the good… the blessings… her grace… her faith… her spirit… her class… her humor… our love.

I’ve done a pretty good job, overall.

But this time of year, I find myself getting edgy… and, at first, I’m not sure why.

Then I remember.

… sigh…

I trust God’s plan and His timing.

(Doesn’t mean I’m always mature enough to like it, though.)

I mourn for “what could have been“… and what my kids are missing out on without this spectacular woman in their lives.

The day before she died, mom was insistent that I truly “enjoy” my children.

I try to remember that.

I try.

It’s one of the reasons I home school.

It’s one of the reasons I’ve made the career choices I’ve made in recent years.

Five years ago, when I approached my mom’s room at the hospital in the morning, a nurse stopped me before entering the room and told me, “I think this will be your mom’s last day...”

I felt the world stop. Nothing else mattered or made sense.

I’ve managed to push aside and bury many of the details of that very, very long day. I’ve tried desperately hard to remember the “good” from that day.

However, it was awful.

The day before was better. Mom shared much wisdom that I’ll never forget and always cherish. How she “chose” joy, despite the many tragedies in her life. How she found peace. How she turned to God more than ever. What she really and truly wanted for me in this life.

Five years ago today, though, was just horrible.

So many good-byes. So much stress around us.

Thankfully, so much faith that got us through.

And, even a few hours before her final breath, there were still smiles, beauty, love and laughter. There was still my mom.

Then, things got pretty bad. The pain was intense. The coherent communication had ceased. Everyone left except my dad and me.

We waited for my husband to arrive. Mom clearly waited for him, too. She hung on, somehow. Once he was finally there, it was obvious she had something to say to him – she made many noises and reached out for him.

I’m not sure what that was about, but I know she always had such a soft spot for him… and his glass-half-full approach to life. They had a special connection.

Then she struggled more… and more.

To this day, I’m not really sure if she was struggling to stay… or struggling to go. It was just a struggle.

In the end, before the brief coma, I read her favorite prayers to her and encouraged her to anticipate the overwhelming peace, comfort and joy that would soon be hers. I asked her to say hello to my brother, and to tell him “I love you” for me… and to say “hi” to everyone else who had gone on ahead of us.

A couple hours later, in the wee morning hours of Wednesday November 14th, mom took her last breath. The struggle ended… for her.

I’ve grown exponentially since that time.

I’ve seen extremely dark times since then, especially in the first several months after mom passed… and I was oftentimes rotten to those I love the most.

Honestly, I’ve sucked at times. Many times, if you ask my family.

I’ve also filled them up with more of my love and affection than I was capable of before this time.

I’ve aged prematurely since then. When I look at the wrinkles formed over the last 7 years since her diagnosis of breast cancer, I feel I’ve really earned them through the tears and sadness. They have meaning and depth (no pun intended!).

I’ve also matured in a good way…

I’ve discovered depths of emotion I didn’t know existed before then. Unbelievably good, along with the aforementioned bad.

I’ve craved life and being “real” and connecting with people more than ever.

I tell a whole lotta’ people that I love them… and I really, deeply do.

I appreciate people even more. I see the light in people.

I don’t think I take my relationships for granted… I know that we are very clearly NOT in charge… and what we have now can be gone in an instant.

I’m a better person because of my mom.

The fabric of my life is more intricate because of my mom’s illness, her death, and my recovery.

Through it all, I know God is good. I am OK. And I will see my mom again.

In hindsight, one extremely horrific day isn’t so bad in the “big picture”. I’d say the blessings far outweigh the pain.

I’m thankful that the negative details have become more fuzzy over time.

I’m thankful that I can still remember exactly how my mom’s hands felt as I held them so many times, and how warm and deep her hugs were. I’m thankful that my most prevalent memories are of my mom’s love and her spirit and the rich life we shared together.

My most favorite person in the entire world. My mom.

 

Good times!

 

 

 

For the Love of a Good Sandwich ~ Lovin’ Lettuce Wraps

lettuce wraps

I love me a good sammich.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t exactly fit with my efforts to adopt a more grain-free, Paleo type diet for our family. The gluten-free breads and wraps seem to either be too pricey… or too cardboard-like… or too toxic with other garbage. Sometimes, it just seems easier to choose the grain-free option.

Oh, stop right there.

I did NOT say that we ARE 100% grain-free and Paleo completely. Au contraire.

We just lean that way as much as we can!

One strategy I adopted to satisfy that almost-universal need to hold a sandwich or burger on occasion, is to wrap it ALL in lettuce.

We’ve been doing our more predictable lettuce wraps for quite awhile – you know, the “P.F. Chang inspired” types with  or Asian-inspired or Southwest flavors of yumminess inside.

Certainly, we do fajitas and tacos wrapped in lettuce… and burritos. Like I said, “predictable”.

But, I’ve been trying to get a bit more creative with our bread-free (grain-free) sandwiches and fixins lately.

We wrap our burgers in lettuce pretty much every single time now. They’re messy… but fantastic. And it feels great to NOT feel so full after a great burger.

I have deli meats and various classic sandwiches and “burritos” wrapped in lettuce; meatballs in lettuce wraps; leftovers of chicken, or meatloaf or steak… even spicy sausage rolled up in a lettuce wrap. (Not my highest recommendation on that one!)

The kids love refried beans with salsa, avocados or guacamole, and fresh veggies all wrapped in lettuce for a super quick and easy lunch.

I like avocado slices, sprouts, black olives, cukes and tomatoes in a lettuce wrap.

I sometimes have egg “burritos” in lettuce wraps, completely with onions, peppers and something green, like spinach or broccoli or asparagus… just to completely gross my kids out!

And get this. I even have B.L.T.s … in lettuce wraps! Does that make it a B.L.L.T.? Not sure!

NO, it’s not the same as having the “real” thing… but that’s kind of the point, right? I’m looking to drastically reduce grains in my diet – it’s not going to be the same as a traditional sandwich.

What are YOU wrapping in lettuce these days? Or, what else are you doing to reduce your intake of grains?

 

Gluten Free Abs

 

 

Vitamins & Nutritional Supplements for Kids

fruit face

 

 

I’m often asked what type of vitamins and nutritional supplements I give our children. First, I’m a firm believer in getting whatever nutrients you possibly can from your daily, healthy, real food sources. Above and beyond that, many of us may still need to supplement – or “complement” – in certain areas.

If our diet was more perfectly aligned with “Paleo” or “primal” standards 100% of the time, I’d feel less inclined to supplement much at all. Also, if I strictly avoided all sugar, grains, dairy, and provide our kids with a gazillion servings of organic vegetables each day, I’d probably never consider supplementing!

However, I have a different reality for the time being… so we supplement!

The most significant supplement I give our children is omega 3 essential fatty acids – fish oil. There’s no possible way our natural food sources could give them enough of this critical element these days. Many nutrition experts note that even “wild”, deep cold-water fish is now too toxic to consume enough of in order to create optimal health.

Eating meat and animal products from livestock that are only grass-fed and/or pastured is a very important choice on many levels, but essential fatty acid content is one of the biggest reasons to make this choice whenever you can. (It tastes FAR better, too, if you ask me!)

If you’re not able to eat this way all the time, then it’s important to supplement with the purest sources. We primarily use Innate Choice products, although I know there are other reputable companies out there now. Look for sources that are pure, pharmaceutical grade, ultra-refined, unheated, etc. Also, don’t just look at overall omega-3 in the product: look for the amount of EPA and DHA. If those aren’t making up the vast majority of the omega-3 content, then you’re buying and ingesting a lot of questionable-quality excess fats. Spend the money to get the best, safest, most nutritionally sufficient brands.

In the cooler weather months, I usually switch to cod liver oil and I definitely add Vitamin D3.

We also give our kids probiotics. These are the naturally occurring, healthy bacteria that are supposed to be living in our gut. They are destroyed by antibiotics, stress, artificial sweeteners, coffee, drugs, tap water, etc. To keep our digestive system and immune system healthy (and, therefore, every other system healthy as well), we must ensure a sufficient amount of probiotics in our system. These days, kids don’t have much of a chance for optimal health unless we supplement with probiotics.

Again we like Innate Choice and also Garden of Life’s products for this. There are a few other good, full-spectrum choices as well. We also work with some high-end “physician’s only” nutraceutical companies to be even more specific with the exact strains of probiotics that individuals may need based on their health history.

I like to add some greens/”superfoods” to the kids’ smoothies several times per week, as well as a colostrum immune-boosting supplement.

Finally, we have a multi-vitamin/mineral on hand for the kids. I say “on hand” because we don’t necessarily give it to them every day. Most days I make a concerted effort to make sure the kids are getting ample sufficient and pure sources of the essential nutrients they need from the foods I supply for them. If, for some reason, that’s not the case, that’s when I make sure they get the multi-vitamin/mineral supplement.

That’s it, for the most part. We keep it pretty simple… because we know that real health shouldn’t be hard!

Now, if one of the kids (or their parents) are “coming down with something” or experiencing a specific body signal, like ear pain or sore throat for example, then I have a few other tricks up my natural remedies sleeve!

(More on what’s in our “Natural Not-Medicine Cabinet” in an upcoming discussion.)

 

Need nutrition help? This 8-page family nutrition guide lays the foundation for healthier choices. Only $10 (+ s/h) while supplies last. Contact me if you'd like a copy!

 

Cellulite ~ How It Got There and How to Make it Leave!

legs

Recently, I was consulting with a new client who is beginning one of our Metabolic Weight Loss & Health Recovery programs. Like many busy moms I work with, this woman was telling me about her crazy, hectic life that involves much running around and little focus on creating a healthier lifestyle.

Long story short, she noticed that once she “hit 35″, it was far more difficult to maintain her previous weight and clothing size. She readily admitted that she and her family are “carboholics” – eating cereal, bagels, bread, pasta, pizza, crackers, pretzels and baked goods many, many times per week. They also eat at fast food restaurants on a regular basis. She doesn’t like water. She doesn’t like vegetables. She loves designer coffees!

Also, she was doing no exercise whatsoever and sits at a computer all day long for work. To top it all off, she doesn’t sleep well at night, either, and takes a handful of various meds each day.

I gently informed her that the “problems” she was now experiencing were not simply due to turning 35!

As we were discussing her goals, we got on the topic of cellulite. Specifically, what on earth cellulite IS, and how on earth we can get rid of it!

What is Cellulite?

The appearance of cellulite results when globules of fat under the skin push up against the connective tissue. This is what causes the uneven, “mottled” skin appearance associated with cellulite. Many lifestyle related factors have been linked to the formation of cellulite, but some of the most widely accepted causes are: toxic diet, lack of exercise, hormonal imbalance, and chronic stress.

Probably because we are just so lucky, cellulite is more common in women than men, with about 80% of women having some degree of cellulite. The incidence increases as we age and our skin loses its elasticity.

Decreasing Cellulite

Cellulite can be a gnarly critter to chase off. Like most everything else in the human body, rarely is there one isolated cause of the problem. Likewise, rarely is there a single solution that magically works overnight. When it’s lifestyle that led to the problem, then several components of lifestyle need to be addressed (improved) in order for the problem to improve.

So, my response to “What can I do to reduce cellulite?” is multi-faceted:

1) Clean up the diet. We need to seriously reduce toxic intake. The more toxins we ingest (or are exposed to), the more fat cells we make, and the bigger our already-present fat cells get. This is the body’s innate intelligence at work – fat protects us from toxicity.

See how smart we are?! Now we just need to smarten up and quit our toxic habits!

In addition to the obvious toxic dietary choices we should decrease, like junk food, fast food, sweets, pop, artificial sweeteners/flavors/colors, trans fats, etc., we should also be aware of the negative (toxic) consequences of sugar from simple carbs (starchy carbs and grains), as well as toxic sources of dairy, eggs, meat and so on.

It’s easier to think about what “clean eating” does include! The list is short and sweet: “less toxic” and more naturally raised sources of meat, fish and eggs; an abundance of vegetables, some fruit, healthy & naturally occurring fats and oils, some raw nuts & seeds, and lots of pure water.

(“Drink lotta watta”, as my childhood family doctor used to say!)

For bonus points, add some “superfoods” – a high quality “greens” product that gives your nutrition a turbo boost AND aids the body in detoxification.

Simply, eat real food. Use real (fresh) seasonings. Avoid factory foods and chemicals. Those are the basics.

2) I’d recommend taking this toxicity issue one step further and adding an “official” detoxification program to kick things off. Although upgrading to a less toxic diet will do wonders for overall detoxification, nothing quite compares to the effects of a high quality detoxification and cleansing protocol to essentially chelate accumulated, excess toxins from your system.

(I recommend ONLY working with a knowledgeable wellness care professional who has ample experience in this area. Contact me if you need help finding the right protocol.)

3) MOVE! Moving your body with intention every day is key. Specifically, high intensity, burst-like training is the

superior form of exercise to burn fat and help your body in the reduction of cellulite.

Although longer distance cardio exercise can certainly be of some value, high-intensity intervals have been shown to be 3-9 times more effective in burning fat! Interval or burst training prompts your body to burn more fat and calories long after your work out is over. Less excess fat means less cellulite.

There are countless ways to incorporate burst training. Think “harder, but shorter” work outs that feature short, intense bursts of challenging movement, followed by short  recovery periods. Rinse then repeat. One example is sprinting for a short time, then returning to jogging or walking, and repeating these cycles for anywhere from 5-20 minutes depending on intensity and duration of bursts and recoveries.

Google burst or interval training and you’ll find more than enough options to choose from.

Another critical component of exercise to include is resistance training. This is what builds lean muscle fiber… which is what serves as our body’s fat burning furnace and allows us to metabolize more effectively ALL the time.

4) Find outlets for stress and create balance in your life. According to research published in several dermatology journals, cellulite can also be caused by increased levels of catecholamines and cortisol due to high (sustained) stress levels. If you find yourself under chronic stress, whether it’s emotional/mental stress, or due to chronic sleep deprivation, or chronic toxicity from nutrition, or any number of reasons that our stress hormone production increases, then it’s critical that you find a way to break the vicious cycle.

We can’t eliminate all stress from our lives, but we can minimize its detrimental effects. When you have effective outlets for your stress accumulation, your stress hormone production has a significantly better chance of staying within healthy parameters.

5) Finally, there are several different nutritional supplements and foods that have shown various levels of effectiveness in the reduction of cellulite. Some of the most common are:

  • bromelain and other proteolytic enzymes – in addition to several addtional health benefits, these enzymes help the body dissolve areas of ‘unwanted’ gatherings of cellular tissue, like cellulite.
  • flax seed – can increase collagen production, which improves the integrity of connective tissue, which can result in the appearance of cellulite diminishing
  • “greens”, especially kelp – contains a substance called fucoxanthin (found in green plants with chlorophyll) that helps your body burn fat, and disburse toxins more effectively
  • Gotu Kola – a caffeine-free herb that has shown to improve the elasticity and thickness of the skin

Yes, there are others. These are just some of the safest, most effective and make the most sense!

There are also countless topical products that claim to minimize cellulite. While I’m not telling you they “don’t” work, I am emphasizing that you simply cannot overlook addressing cellulite from the INSIDE, not just the outside.

While special lotions and various cosmetic procedures may help, cellulite is a deeper issue. Why not address the various causes of the problem… that way, in addition to reducing the appearance of cellulite, you’ll also maximize your health along the way!

 

The Virgin Diet - Get Your Free Quick Start Guide Today!!

* * *

If you have a hunch that your metabolic function, hormonal function, or various other functions in your body may be out of whack and you’d like some help, shoot me a message. I’ll send you a metabolic assessment form, in addition to a couple other health & wellness lifestyle assessments and we can discuss the results together (including the need, or lack thereof, of any advanced functional laboratory testing) in order to create a health-building strategy for your future. : )

What To Do With All That Halloween Candy?

halloween 2012

Happy Halloween-ers!

What are YOU going to do about all that Halloween candy now?

Did your kids (or spouse!) bring a load of tasty toxins into your home… and now it’s right under your nose… taunting you and tempting you?

If not, super. You need to read no further.  You may continue eating your broccoli and kale!

For everyone else, how are you going to deal with this attack?

For some, Halloween candy is a weight gain issue. For others, it’s just a health (or lack of health) issue. Either way, it’s an issue for many!

This was the first Halloween that our kids officially went trick-or-treating. I’ve been able to avoid it for quite a few years, thankfully. But this year, they just begged for the “experience” of it.

Wait. Before you feel too sorry for them, or think they’ve been deprived of this childhood right of passage in any way, fret no more.

They’ve gone to Halloween parties and gatherings every year since they started school. And let’s not forget, last year, their parents were generous enough to take them to Disneyworld at Halloween, for cryin’ out loud!

Trick-or-treating was just a formality for them!

So, good friends of ours who live in a ginormous subdivision in town, invited our family to join their annual Halloween night traditions. This, of course, included the kids going out into the neighborhood for their goods. (Or, “bads”…) More importantly, it included good friends, new friends, some home cooked chili and warm cider, a nice fire… and lots of laughs!

Thankfully, the chilly rain cut the trick-or-treating short, so the loot collection was quite minimal. But, the kids LOVED being part of the festivities! They loved the houses all decorated and the great lengths that many folks go to in order to make the night so fun and entertaining for trick-or-treaters. They had a blast!

However, even though the toxic load is rather minimal, it’s still there… in a bag… in my kitchen.

What to do?

First, it’s gotta’ get out of this house! If it stays, it will be consumed. Easy.

No, a little bit each day is not OK, for me, at least! That’s simply justifying a less-than-healthy choice that we feel like choosing despite our wise inner voice telling us not to.

I know this. I have been known to justify unhealthy choices with the best of ‘em!

So, the trash can will receive the vast majority of our Halloween stash.

The kids have already decided that they would like to keep one or two of their “favorite” tasty toxins, and get rid of the rest.

Oh, there’s an important caveat to note…

The kids would like to make this exchange in part because they have been raised to understand that this ‘stuff’ is not part of a healthy lifestyle and that it does come with consequences. But, honestly, I think the major reason they’re so willing to toss the junk is that they’re hoping for a visit from the “Halloween Fairy”!

Who?

The Halloween Fairy.

You know, the fairy that visits after Halloween, collecting all the candy and junk that kids pack up and leave outside the door for her to remove… in exchange for a gift or reward of some type.

Oh, yeah. These kids are no dummies.

Seriously though, they are good little people. Their first thought was to “donate” it to other kids who didn’t get any candy. While I always express support and gratitude of their good will and intentions, I let them know that I just don’t want to contribute to increasing someone else’s toxicity levels! This junk is poison, for cryin’ out loud!

(Instead, they can donate some of their “responsibility money” to any good cause they choose. And, they do.)

So, the junk will exit the house today. Or, at least that’s the plan!

What will YOU do with yours?

How do you keep the disbursement of tasty toxins under some level of control?

What tricks do you have up your sleeve?

When I’m coaching folks in their nutritional choices and weight management issues, regardless of whether or not it’s Halloween season, we create some simple strategies for minimizing (or eliminating) tasty toxins:

  • Keep it in the freezer (preferably the one out in the garage, if you have one!)
  • Brush your teeth after eating your “real”, healthy food… so you’re less tempted to dirty ‘em up with junk food.
  • Make sure you’re only keeping small sized portions of tasty toxins… like the “mini” bars and such.
  • Give yourself a ‘deadline’ – a date in the next few days/weeks that you’ll pitch the junk.
  • Have healthy options already prepped and ready in your kitchen – things like raw nuts and seeds, chopped veggies, small pieces of fruit, etc. Duh. We all know this!
  • Drink more water. In fact, keep a clean source of water with you… when you’re tempted to eat junk, sip your water instead. Think happy, healthy thoughts. Think about what great choices you make!
  • Tired of water? Go move your body then. Get up. Move. It’s a better buzz than sugar.
  • Late night snacking on junk? Go to bed instead. Going to bed earlier is better for you anyway! One of your body’s fat-burning hormones is released during the wee hours of the morning… make sure you’re sound asleep well before then in order to benefit from this freebie!
  • And, obviously, the best strategy of all is to keep this garbage OUT of our homes in the first place! Out of sight, more likely to be out of mind.
  • Just because a tasty toxin is offered to you, or a bowl or tray of it is sitting on the counter where you’re shopping or doing business, does NOT mean you are obligated to indulge!! Get your Big Girl/Big Boy pants on and make some better choices!

So, what’s your plan?

How do you manage the tasty toxins that are increasingly prevalent at this time of year?