Caring for the Care Giver ~ The “Sandwich” Generation

My Pops.

ralph

 

It has been awhile since I’ve checked in here.

It feels like I’ve been in one of those extreme ultra-marathon races… except this one has lasted for 7 months or so. (And it still has another leg of the race to finish!)

The nutshell version of the story is:

  • My Dad had a bad fall on the ice late last winter which stranded him outside at night for a few hours. This set him back physically and mentally for quite some time
  • That same week, the owner of his apartment sold the property and gave Dad his ‘moving papers’. That seriously rattled him.
  • I didn’t feel comfortable with the accommodations Dad was looking at at that time, so my hubby and I made the decision to move him in with us for a few months until we could find more suitable arrangements
  • That was much tougher than I had anticipated… but I’m still glad we did it. Even though it wasn’t all peaches & cream, it was important for us to spend that time together.
  • Dad & I were back and forth to his doctors and nursing visits all summer, which is quite a jaunt… being in two different countries ‘n all.
  • The pain from cancer in his bones continued to worsen over the summer with us, especially in the last couple weeks of his stay.
  • We moved him into a beautiful assisted living residence back in his “home town” in mid-August. I travel back and forth to visit him at least once a week.
  • He has since taken a turn for the worse on several levels. The pain was horrible for the first few weeks there, but seems to have calmed down somewhat.
  • Suffice it to say, he has not exactly been happy there. He is laid up in his bed the majority of the time, mostly due to pain and limited mobility, but probably due to depression as well. He went from spending day & night surrounded by 4 crazy family members and all our activities and shenanigans… to a much more lonely environment.
  • Now we’re dealing with major issues with confusion and the frustration that accompanies it. It could be the increased meds they’ve put him on. It could be cancer in his brain now. Either way, it’s not fun.
  • We’ve been told that he won’t be able to stay in the residence any longer and will need to be moved on to long-term care in a nursing home setting, or preferably a hospice setting.
  • Yesterday was another rough one – another fall. Much weakness. His head nurse is going to do her best to keep him safe and stable over the weekend in his current setting, and then we’ll re-assess on Monday morning.

And that’s where things stand today. Time to find a new home. Time to try to explain to my Dad that he needs to move AGAIN. Try to come up with the right way to say “We’re going to hospice”.

Since my brother passed many, many years ago, I’m the one-and-only surviving family member to make decisions with Dad… and now, for Dad. That pressure can wear on a person after awhile. Especially trying to do this from a distance now.

 

All this has been going on while trying to run a business with my husband, run my own business on the side, home school our kids, take care of my own health, and pretend I’m taking care of our household! (I’ll need a demolition crew to help me sort through our household.) Obviously, I let the Dr. Mom Online gig fall to the wayside.

I guess this is where the term “Sandwich Generation” comes from. Makes sense. We’re stuck in the middle of raising our own families, living our own lives… and caring for our parents.

There’s a financial toll to all this as well – assisted living and moving and caring for an extra adult all costs a good chunk of change. That’s just added insult to injury. We’ve been the poster family for Murphy’s Law when it comes to financial crud lately… “if it can go wrong, it has gone wrong!”

BUT, I’m thankful our children are healthy and happy, and we still have each other.

There have been tolls on relationships, too. It’s tough to be there for everyone, all the time. I think we’ll turn out OK… God willing.

 

Now, to the real point of this post…

I remember reading years ago that those caring for their elderly parents can suffer shortened lifespans by as much as 10 years! It can be chronically stressful, without a doubt.

Chronic stress is a form of toxicity. It also leads to systemic inflammation. Toxicity & inflammation act as a (negative) dynamic duo to set the stage for chronic illness and breakdown.

For those of us caring for family with chronic illness, there’s a blessing and a curse there. The blessing is that you can live a long time with chronic illness. In many cases, you can manage the disease for years.

The curse is, the chronic stress can go on for a long time… causing massive  breakdown over the years.

Here’s another kicker: Some studies even show that, if you have an elderly &/or un-well parent, but you’re NOT the caregiver, you can actually suffer the same effects as the family member who IS acting as the primary caregiver.

Sheesh, talk about a lose-lose!

It’s just stressful all around, I suppose. I’ll admit, I thought the stress would taper off when Dad moved into the assisted living residence where he’d be surrounded by people and receive ample care. In reality, it has been quite the opposite.

 

Those studies about caregivers losing their health have been in the back of my mind for years. As a result, thankfully,  I’ve done my best to maintain some of my healthier rituals throughout these last few months.

I know that the mental & emotional stress is an area I stink at when I’m pulled in too many directions, or my relationships are threatened, or my loved ones’ health & safety is concerned. I’m not sure I’ll ever truly master that area of ‘health’! BUT, there ARE things I can be consistent and diligent with in an effort to offset some of the toxic effects of the mental garbage.

My “Big 4 Saving Graces” during times of stress have been, and continue to be:

1) Prayer – I just can’t fathom going through life (and death) without faith. When everything (and everyone) else fails… God doesn’t.

2) Nutrition – It’s far from perfect, but there are certain standards I’m pretty rock-solid about maintaining. I was eating ‘grain-free’ for most of the year, up ’til the last week or so, actually. I just feel better physically & mentally when eating that way – much less “inflamed”. Things are already inflamed enough… I don’t need any more! I’m adamant about including “protein & veggies” multiple times per day. I drink plenty of water. We only cook with healthy fats. And I just really don’t bother with most toxic, factory foods, convenience foods, etc.  So, even when my diet is “bad”, it’s not horrific! I might be dead by now if I ate the Standard American Diet!

3) Movement – Exercise is my sanity! I don’t work out for hours on end… partially because science just doesn’t support that, but mostly because I just don’t feel like it, nor do I have the time! I choose shorter, more focused sessions most of the time. But I do MOVE every day. Some days it’s only a walk and some stretching/spinal hygiene exercises, but it’s movement. Most weeks include a couple resistance training sessions, a couple burst-like cardio workouts (sprints, for example), and 2 0r 3 longer duration activities (like bike rides and stand-up paddling). The variety and consistency of these movements is what keeps me going and helps me mentally manage what’s happening around me.

4) Being outside – There’s just something about nature that is calming and reassuring. It’s grounding. It’s where I’m best able to unwind and be present. Like exercise, I get edgy without my outdoor R & R time!

 

I can tell that my health has taken a hit this time around. God willing, I can get through this acute stress without much fuss, and then focus on rebuilding health.

 

So that’s the update.

I’m in a strange, stressful leg of this journey. I know more rough spots are up ahead. Like all of us, I’m just trying to stay faithful, do my best with the information & resources I currently have at my disposal, and look for the blessings along the way.

 

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Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a popular personality in Natural Health & Wellness. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic with 19 years of hands-on clinical experience in the Wellness Practice she shares with her husband, Dr. Marc VanHoogstraat, in Michigan. She is also the proud (home schooling) mom of two rather fabulous youngsters.

Her unique perspective of the science of Wellness  provides predictable solutions and transformational results for those struggling with chronic health issues, as well as those seeking lifelong health. To discover her simple strategies for creating better health through nutrition, movement and mindset, regularly visit http://DrMomOnline.comhttp://Facebook.com/DrMomOnline and http://Twitter.com/DrMomOnline.

Also, check out her available books at http://amazon.com/author/drcolleen .

For more information about working privately with Dr. Colleen and Dr. Marc in an Investigative & Functional Health Recovery Program for any number of metabolic and health issues, such as thyroid imbalance, weight loss resistance, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity & gut permeability, autoimmune conditions, cellular detoxification, mercury detoxification, and more, please contact Dr. Colleen directly at info@drmomonline.com or http://Facebook.com/DrMomOnline. Personalized distance programs are available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You Can’t Get Away With Those Unhealthy Habits, Silly Humans!

Peaceful Balance

When you consider what the human body is capable of surviving, it’s nothing short of miraculous.

Take a moment to think about  the amount of abuse we deliver in the form of toxic & deficient food, over-eating, alcohol, sugar, caffeine, smoking, drugs (medicine), vaccinations, chronic stress, sleep deprivation, sedentary living, sitting for hours each day, toxic household chemicals, toxic cosmetics & personal care products, toxic lawn & garden care, and on and on.

We are quite remarkable.

That’s not to say we’re “getting away with” any of this!

All we need to do is look at the rates of serious, chronic, degenerative illness like cancer, diabetes, obesity, autoimmune conditions, heart disease, fertility issues, food sensitivity issues, learning disorders, and mental & emotional conditions to know that, clearly, we do not have this health thing in the bag!

We’ve taught for years that there is nothing magical about human physiology that allows us to get away with chronic toxic & deficient choices in nutrition, movement, and mindset… or the ongoing lack of pure & sufficient choices in these areas.

We’re simply not getting away with anything.

However, the nature of chronic illness is such that it takes a long time to develop (you really have to work hard at, it for a long time, with your poor lifestyle choices!), and you can actually remain alive for awhile, too!

Perhaps that’s the reason we don’t change? Because it doesn’t instantly kill us or destroy our lives. (That’s arguable.)

We’ve almost come to see this as “normal” because it’s so common. Everyone has something. Cancer, heart disease, diabetes, an intolerance to this or that, chronic pain, depression & anxiety, medications for one thing or another… so what’s the big deal?!

I guess part of this story comes down to deciding whether you want to merely survive, or thrive. Sure, we can exist with chronic illness, but what’s our quality of life really like?

Then again, maybe we’ve lowered our standards and expectations there, as well. Maybe it’s enough just to be here, whether we’re lacking vitality and energy, or not.

In all fairness, we all know people who’ve been diagnosed with terminal conditions who are LIVING far more than the rest of us!

In reality, we’ve ALL got a terminal diagnosis, right? None of us are getting out of here alive! Why not live while we’re here – whether it’s for 3 more weeks, 3 more months, or 3 more decades. I believe that’s what we’re called to do.

So, what are we to do? How do we play this game of life in our favor? Personally, I believe I’ve been given the free will to make good choices and take care of this physical house I’ve been given, but the ultimate decision about my lifespan is not mine to make. I still try to make good choices anyway.

Except when I don’t.

 

 

And right now, at this stage of my life, I’ve not been making all the best choices. (sigh)

I’ve been thinking to myself quite a bit lately, “You, of all people, KNOW there is nothing magical about your physiology that is allowing you to get away with this!!”

That voice gets on my nerves.

The very short version of the story is that the last few months have been a tumultuous and stressful time, both for my Dad and with my Dad. A series of events led us to the decision to move him in with us for a little while as we figure out the details of the next step – assisted living.

Coming to this decision, having to address the physical & cognitive decline, and then working around various financial and time constraints with housing options has not been a picnic. The packing and moving process was a challenge, since he hasn’t felt well enough to pitch in much. And now, trying to figure out our new roles, living under the same roof again (but under very different circumstances and a heap of stress from both sides) is a new challenge.

I understand it’s all a process… a transition… a stage.  I also know that it’s a blessing he’s here, alive. He has been living with cancer for almost 13 years, and metastatic cancer for 3 and ½ of those.  I remind myself often not to take that for granted.

In the meantime, I’ve slept less and been agitated more. My fuse has been shortened. I’ve just not been the highest version of my greatest vision of myself. THAT’S the part that my inner health coach is getting on my case about!

I’ve managed to maintain my “Move Well” and “Eat Well” focus for the most part during these last few months (although I have had more afternoon coffee as a survival tactic to get through a few days recently! Oy). While I’m not perfect by any means, I feel that my discipline in these areas of my lifestyle has saved my buttocks under these stressful circumstances.

It’s the “Think Well” that has been sorely mucked up lately. Too much stress… being pulled in too many directions… resulting in chronic sleep deprivation. Not a good combination. My physiology won’t sustain abuse like that.

I don’t ever kid myself that stress goes away completely. I think that’s called death!

Instead, I believe we can take a look at stress reduction (or improved stress-coping behavior) from three different angles:

1) Remove the sources of stress that we can remove – we can be our own worst enemies here!

2) Through daily practice, lay a foundation for relaxation and peacefulness – we can improve how we respond to stress when we practice stress reduction as part of our daily disciplines.

3) Change how we look at potentially stressful situations. ie. If we choose to believe that something is stressful, it is. If we choose to believe it is not, or doesn’t need to be, it’s not.

If we practice relaxing, breathing properly, affirming what is right & true, visualizing the ideal, quieting the mind, and we’re grateful, and we pray… the likelihood of an improved response to stress is increased dramatically. When we lay a solid foundation, we can draw from those reserves when stress is heightened.

We can also choose to think differently about what we allow to stress us out. (I’m mostly talking to myself here… thanks for listening in!) If we’re stressed, perhaps we’ve chosen that on some level. Hard to believe sometimes, isn’t it?

 

I can see and feel many of the physical signs of breakdown as a result of ongoing (poor response to) stress. I remember a study a few years back that said being the caregiver for an elderly parent takes 10 years off your lifespan. Crazy! But, I can totally see how it can be true.

At the time, I had just gone through some years of dealing with my mom’s journey with cancer, and her subsequent death. Unfortunately, that period of time transitioned into my dad’s health decline.

According to the research, I’d better smarten up!

It doesn’t have to play out the way those statistics say, necessarily. Our environment (shaped by our lifestyle choices) will determine whether we get “sick” or not.

We need to create a healthier environment for our cells. We can ADD healthy choices while simultaneously SUBTRACTING non-health-enhancing choices.

Just like I do with nutrition, my focus is to fuel up with health first. I’m simply making sure I hit the high notes in this area of my life each day:

  • Praying
  • Getting back to practicing my relaxing breathing – Honestly, this is the #1 thing I tend to forget when I’m hurried or stressed. Dumb.
  • Walking daily (not for “calorie burning” or to set any speed records, but to relax, appreciate nature, count my blessings, chat with my kids, practice good posture and good breathing)
  • Doing Mind Fit (SMT) every day
  • Sitting outside and enjoying the beauty of the lake (more relaxing breathing)
  • Intentionally reading & watching things that fill my noggin with happy, positive, and enjoyable thoughts
  • Being intentional and staying in the present in order to enjoy the moments – whether it’s with the kids, or family, or friends, or our practice members. It just feels good to try to enjoy more moments… and then to try to string more of these moments together!

 

Sometimes, we forget about stress when we think about health, or we minimize its effects. I urge you to remember your mental, emotional, spiritual, and social health – nurture these areas just like you would your diet and exercise.

It’s of equal-or-greater importance.

Besides, we’re not magical enough to get away with ignoring it!

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a popular personality in Natural Health & Wellness. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic with 19 years of hands-on clinical experience in the Wellness Practice she shares with her husband, Dr. Marc VanHoogstraat, in Michigan. She is also the proud (home schooling) mom of two rather fabulous youngsters.

Her unique perspective of the science of Wellness  provides predictable solutions and transformational results for those struggling with chronic health issues, as well as those seeking lifelong health. To discover her simple strategies for creating better health through nutrition, movement and mindset, regularly visit http://DrMomOnline.comhttp://Facebook.com/DrMomOnline and http://Twitter.com/DrMomOnline.

Also, check out her available books at http://amazon.com/author/drcolleen .

For more information about working privately with Dr. Colleen and Dr. Marc in an Investigative & Functional Health Recovery Program for any number of metabolic and health issues, such as thyroid imbalance, weight loss resistance, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity & gut permeability, autoimmune conditions, cellular detoxification, mercury toxicity, and more, please contact Dr. Colleen directly at info@drmomonline.com or http://Facebook.com/DrMomOnline. Personalized distance programs are available.

 

 

 

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Reversing Diabetes World Summit

Diabetes Movement

 

Are you concerned about diabetes?  Have you been told you have pre-diabetes or that your blood sugar is elevated? Are you living with someone who has blood sugar fluctuations or seems to be heading toward a full-blown diagnosis of diabetes?

Not sure what to do about it?

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Well, you’re not alone.  Diabetes affects 25 million Americans and pre-diabetes may reach the 1 billion people mark.

What we’re doing as a culture is not working.

Fortunately, my colleague Dr. Brian Mowll has made it his personal mission to gather the leading experts in the field of natural diabetes care to initiate a change in the way we view and treat this condition.

I’d like to invite and encourage you to join me at the first online summit devoted to preventing and reversing Type 2 Diabetes.

The event starts on Monday May 5, 2014 and runs for 12 life-changing days with over 50 amazing presentations.

You can get your complimentary ticket for this event simply by clicking here to register.  It doesn’t cost a thing and it has the potential to change or even safe your life.

During this online event, you’ll hear from a wide array of experts in the fields of medicine, dietetics, fitness, nutrition, pharmacy, scientific research, and lifestyle coaching.  Some of the top-notch speakers include:

  • Mark Hyman MD  author of “The Blood Sugar Solution”
  • David Perlmutter MD author of “Grain Brain”
  • Mark Houston MD   Author of “What Your Doctor May Not Be Telling You About Heart Disease”
  • Stephen Sinatra MD Author of “The Sinatra Solution”
  • Ron Rosedale MD  Author of “The Rosedale Diet”
  • JJ Virgin CNS   Author of “The Virgin Diet”
  • Jonny Bowden PhD  Author of “Living Low Carb”
  • Paul Jaminet PhD  Author of “Perfect Health Diet”
  • Suzy Cohen RPh  Author of “Diabetes without Drugs”
  • Izabella Wentz PharmD  Author of “Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis”
  • Ashley Koff RD  Author of “Mom Energy”
  • Stephanie Greunke RD  Author of “Rock Your Hormones”
  • and many more!

 

 

 

 

Here are the details:

The Reversing Diabetes World Summit will air between May 5 -May 16, 2014.  There’s absolutely no cost to attend the event.  All you need to do is register by clicking here.  Once you register, you’ll get updates as well as some nice bonuses and other valuable material just for joining the event.

This information can change and even save lives.  We have a responsibility to share this message with as many people as possible to bring greater awareness to real, natural solutions.  Help us get the word out by sharing this post with  your friends, family members, and anyone else you know that could benefit from learning more about preventing and reversing type 2 diabetes.

Thanks for helping us with our joint mission to help more people stop diabetes naturally and create optimal health!

Dr. C

 

PS.  Remember, there is no cost for the event, but you need to register by clicking here now so that you get all the updates and don’t miss a single presentation.

 

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Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a popular personality in Natural Health & Wellness. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic with 19 years of hands-on clinical experience in the Wellness Practice she shares with her husband, Dr. Marc VanHoogstraat, in Michigan. She is also the proud (home schooling) mom of two rather fabulous youngsters.

Her unique perspective of the science of Wellness  provides predictable solutions and transformational results for those struggling with chronic health issues, as well as those seeking lifelong health. To discover her simple strategies for creating better health through nutrition, movement and mindset, regularly visit http://DrMomOnline.comhttp://Facebook.com/DrMomOnline and http://Twitter.com/DrMomOnline.

Also, check out her available books at http://amazon.com/author/drcolleen .

For more information about working privately with Dr. Colleen and Dr. Marc in an Investigative & Functional Health Recovery Program for any number of metabolic and health issues, such as thyroid imbalance, weight loss resistance, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity & gut permeability, autoimmune conditions, cellular detoxification, mercury toxicity, and more, please contact Dr. Colleen directly at info@drmomonline.com or http://Facebook.com/DrMomOnline. Personalized distance programs are available.

 

 

 

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Are You Sure You’re Treating The Actual Cause Of Your Thyroid Condition?

The Thyroid Sessions
A thyroid problem isn’t always a thyroid problem.
What did she just say?
In a large number of  “thyroid” cases, there’s really nothing wrong with the thyroid itself.

The thyroid isn’t at the root of the problem. The real problem is going on “downstream”.

 

 



What you may not realize is that most of your thyroid hormone is activated in the liver and intestines.

In fact, up to 20% of this activation depends on having the right kind of good bacteria in your gut!

There we go again… right back to the importance of healthy gut function! It’s tied to seemingly EVERYTHING, health-wise!

We see this play out in our practice ALL the time! If your gut health is lacking, it throws everything else out of whack… thyroid included. It’s why, 9 times out of 10, any of our Recovery Protocols will begin with a GI Wellness protocol before really getting down to the nitty-gritty of the imbalance.

 

Want to know more about this master control system of your body? Then tune into the FREE Thyroid Sessions starting Sunday May 4th.

 

One of the speakers is Reed Davis — founder of  Functional Diagnostic Nutrition. In this little video snippet, he gives you a sneak peek of the thyroid-gut connection that he will describe in greater detail during the actual event.

 

Click the video below to see what’s in store when The Thyroid Sessions kick off Sunday, May 4th!

 

Reed David
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Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a popular personality in Natural Health & Wellness. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic with 19 years of hands-on clinical experience in the Wellness Practice she shares with her husband, Dr. Marc VanHoogstraat, in Michigan. She is also the proud (home schooling) mom of two rather fabulous youngsters.

Her unique perspective of the science of Wellness  provides predictable solutions and transformational results for those struggling with chronic health issues, as well as those seeking lifelong health. To discover her simple strategies for creating better health through nutrition, movement and mindset, regularly visit http://DrMomOnline.comhttp://Facebook.com/DrMomOnline and http://Twitter.com/DrMomOnline.

Also, check out her available books at http://amazon.com/author/drcolleen .

For more information about working privately with Dr. Colleen and Dr. Marc in an Investigative & Functional Health Recovery Program for any number of metabolic and health issues, such as thyroid imbalance, weight loss resistance, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity & gut permeability, autoimmune conditions, cellular detoxification, mercury toxicity, and more, please contact Dr. Colleen directly at info@drmomonline.com or http://Facebook.com/DrMomOnline. Personalized distance programs are available.

 

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The Thyroid Sessions ~ A Free Online Event You Don’t Want To Miss!

The Thyroid Sessions

 

 

Your thyroid runs the show.

Most importantly, it controls your metabolism. Your thyroid function basically determines if your body’s (figurative) foot is on the gas pedal or on the brake.

When your thyroid isn’t functioning up to par it can leave you feeling exhausted, overweight, depressed, constipated, brain foggy, and much, much more.

It truly is incredible how far-reaching the effects of thyroid imbalance really are.

In fact, your thyroid could actually be THE cause of your most significant health challenges.

Knowing how profound the effects of thyroid imbalance are, that’s why I also find it incredible how often it’s misdiagnosed or mismanaged… or missed all together!

Over 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease… an estimated 200 million worldwide… and this number is on the rise with each passing year. Yet, an even bigger problem is that 60% are completely unaware they even have a thyroid problem – let alone how to heal it and restore healthy function!

I can’t tell you how often I listen to someone’s list of symptoms, ask them if they’ve had their thyroid “properly tested”, and they tell me…

“The tests show that it’s NORMAL!!!”

As far as they’re concerned, it’s a done deal.

What if you’re not getting the right test in the first place. Then what?

Millions of people are suffering—trying all kinds of diets, pills, and treatments to try to lose weight, boost their energy, stop their hair loss, and clear their brain fog. Unfortunately, they will all fail unless they:

#1 Have it properly diagnosed using ACCURATE testing, and

#2 Learn how to heal the underlying thyroid issues and address the full picture of factors that effect thyroid function.

It’s much bigger than treating a lab test result.

Sadly, Western medicine has fallen behind when it comes to the latest research on the causes and treatments — both natural and synthetic — for thyroid problems. There are many theories, but not many mainstream ‘solutions’.

Tweaking your meds in response to the latest lab test result for the rest of your life isn’t much of a solution.

 

 

This is why I was very happy to see that my colleague Sean Croxton of Underground Wellness has brought together a couple dozen of the world’s most knowledgeable experts to teach you EVERYTHING your doctor didn’t tell you about thyroid disorders.

 

It’s called: The Thyroid Sessions

It’s happening from Sunday May 4th – 11th.

 

Registration is FREE!! Just click here to reserve your spot.

 

(This is another FREE online event that Sean has coordinated – watch from home, watch in your p.j.’s, watch with your dog on your lap… just watch!)

 

Just a few of the experts who will be interviewed:

 

Chris Kresser reveals the truly surprising truth about “normal ranges”.

Dr. Dan Kalish walks you through a simple, inexpensive way to test your thyroid at home.

Dr. Kelly Austin shows you how to avoid fillers like gluten and lactose in thyroid meds.

Dr. Alan Christianson teaches you how to shrink thyroid nodules…naturally.

Christa Orecchio discusses real food and lifestyle strategies for hyperthyroid and Graves’ disease.

Dr. Sara Gottfried shows you how to lose weight when your thyroid is off.

 

Click here to view the entire lineup!

 

Shortly after you reserve your spot for this free online event, Sean will send you a  FREE one-hour interview with “Gluten Master”  Dr. Tom O’Bryan about the impact of gluten consumption on Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. If you register early, you’ll receive more thyroid-related goodies, too!

 

Please share this Thyroid Sessions event with your friends and family by forwarding this post or sharing it via social media. You just might change someone’s life. :)

 

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P.S. If you haven’t watched our free webinar yet - “Natural Thyroid Solutions That WORK!”, go here to watch: www.ThyroidRestore.com

If you need personalized solutions to your thyroid condition, including the proper testing, please contact me! Our “Distance Care Recovery Protocols” are available worldwide.

 

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Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a popular personality in Natural Health & Wellness. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic with 19 years of hands-on clinical experience in the Wellness Practice she shares with her husband, Dr. Marc VanHoogstraat, in Michigan. She is also the proud (home schooling) mom of two rather fabulous youngsters.

Her unique perspective of the science of Wellness  provides predictable solutions and transformational results for those struggling with chronic health issues, as well as those seeking lifelong health. To discover her simple strategies for creating better health through nutrition, movement and mindset, regularly visit http://DrMomOnline.comhttp://Facebook.com/DrMomOnline and http://Twitter.com/DrMomOnline.

Also, check out her available books at http://amazon.com/author/drcolleen .

For more information about working privately with Dr. Colleen and Dr. Marc in an Investigative & Functional Health Recovery Program for any number of metabolic and health issues, such as thyroid imbalance, weight loss resistance, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity & gut permeability, autoimmune conditions, cellular detoxification, and more, please contact Dr. Colleen directly at info@drmomonline.com or http://Facebook.com/DrMomOnline. Personalized distance programs are available.

 

 

 

 

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Break Free From Your Addiction To This #1 Dietary Toxin

Sugar Freedom Strike

I’ve been reading some of the latest research about the effects of sugar lately. It ain’t pretty! One name that has popped up a few times is Catherine Gordon… the “sugar expert”. She’s the creator of  Sugar Freedom.

More on that in a minute.

Did you know that the average person is likely eating, on average, 23 teaspoons of sugar a day and they probably don’t even know it?

And the more you eat it, the more you crave it.

(And, the more stressed you are, the more you crave it. Nothing like kicking you while you’re down!)

Even if you’re on an “Avoid Sugar” diet, more than likely, you’re STILL consuming this toxin that is destroying your metabolism, messing with your hormonal communication at the level of the cell membrane, interfering with brain function, making you tired, making it hard to shed unhealthy body fat, AND setting the stage for every serious degenerative illness.

Yep. That’s sugar.

It’s in the stuff you’re not thinking of… things like soup, condiments, “health” foods, and yogurt, plus… breads, cereal, pasta, crackers, pizza, pastries… so it’s incredibly challenging to completely avoid.

(Don’t even mention sugar substitutes as a “solution”! These are even more toxic… and are mostly targeted to our brains!)

If you’re struggling to lose fat, you’re probably consuming MORE than the average person. 23 teaspoons of sugar a day is almost the equivalent of 20 bags over the course of a year!

I remember giving a Metabolic Weight Loss seminar in our practice a couple years ago, and one lady in attendance assured me that she consumed FAR more than 20 bags in a year! She told me with conviction that she most likely consumed at least 2 bags per week!! And, she literally meant “the bags” of sugar. She said that didn’t even count the bagel at the drive-through each morning, and the fast-food sandwich everyday at lunch! Nope, that was just the “bags” she went through with her routine baking and cooking.

Good heavens.

The trend in the last couple decades is that our FAT consumption has decreased with the age of low-fat, fat-free and diet foods that so-called “health experts” told us we should consume (gimme a break!)… and, our SUGAR consumption has sky-rocketed.

 

So, how are we doing?

Anyone else noticing that obesity rates are out of control and STILL climbing? How about cancer? Diabetes? Heart disease? Cholesterol & blood pressure problems? Hormonal imbalances?

Low fat and high sugar is THE #1 dietary approach to make you SICK.

So, what can we do?

Well, getting rid of the sugar in our diets is an obvious answer… but not necessarily an “easy” one to implement.

Sugar is EVERYWHERE. And, to make matters very, very challenging, sugar is a serious addiction.

We make it sound cute when we describe it as a “sweet tooth”. It’s not cute. Unless you think cancer is cute, too.

Overly dramatic? No. I think a few generations from now,  they’ll look back on our eating habits and wonder what on earth we were thinking, voluntarily destroying our own health like that with sugar, as well as other toxic foods.

Personally, I know it’s time to get this (excuse me) crap out of my life at a more serious level.

I eat very few sweets and grain-based foods compared to the masses, but I know I still consume far more than my body would prefer.

My brain is quite talented at justifying the occasional dose of sugar, whether it’s from a piece of gluten-free toast, or a glass of wine. It’s all sugar.

My educated brain knows this. My bratty, childish, addictive brain is a pain in my hind-quarters, however.

That’s why Catherine Gordon’s program got my attention. She gets to the MENTAL component of this sugar challenge.

Her program is called Sugar Freedom.

 

From a scientific perspective, I like that Catherine has laid out a program that’s progressive in nature, showing you exactly how to remove sugar and other addictive foods in way that prevents you from going back to your old, bad habits.

Take a look at her story – it’s CRAZY! More importantly, take a close look at her transformation. This woman took a hardcore addiction – and a masterful ability to justify her addiction – and dramatically turned things around.

I can relate to her because she’s… um… “mature”, like me!

She’s not some early twenty-something whose body has never been through the ups & downs of multiple pregnancies & childbirths, plus all the hormonal swings, and the stress that can accompany years of raising a family and working. Catherine gets all this.

FYI: Catherine mentions the exercise program she used to help shape her physical transformation – it’s Turbulence Training by Craig Ballantyne. I’ve endorsed his time-tested program here in the past. It’s 100% top notch! Apparently, Catherine does, too… those before & after photos don’t lie! I’m going to share more about this program soon… and offer you a Challenge. :)

 

In Sugar Freedom, you’ll get menus that are already written for you, including easy recipes that show you exactly how to put together the breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks that will have you ending cravings, burning fat, getting rid of bloat, and losing weight starting in just days.

Catherine teaches you about strategic “emergency foods” to eat instead of the typical snack foods that have been keeping the fat on your body.

In as little as 24 you will feel your cravings, food obsessions, and overwhelming appetite disappear. You will become satisfied on real nutritious foods – the menus are full of simple, tasty dishes you will recognize, and actually want to eat!

Yes, these are the exact meal plans that will get you off of sugar by showing you exactly what to eat instead.

Her program is a tremendous value at its full price. In fact, considering that it can show you how to turn your health around and protect you from frightening illnesses, I’d say it’s far UNDER-priced. However, Catherine’s “Sugar Freedom” is specially priced right now. I mean, NOW!

I’m not sure how long her sale will last… but I strongly recommend you look at her program… and buy it… and DO it!!

I’m going to.

It’s time.

 

Learn more about the Sugar Freedom Strike <= Eliminate cravings in 3 days!

 

 

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Looking to create better health, a new body, AND a new financial future in the New Year? Then, in addition to ditching the sugar, cleaning up your diet, and incorporating fat-burning workouts, take a look at “It Works!”

 .

Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a popular personality in Natural Health & Wellness. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic with 18 years of hands-on clinical experience in the Wellness Practice she shares with her husband, Dr. Marc VanHoogstraat, in Michigan. She is also the proud (home schooling) mom of two rather fabulous youngsters.

Her unique perspective of the science of Wellness  provides predictable solutions and transformational results for those struggling with chronic health issues, as well as those seeking lifelong health. To discover her simple strategies for creating better health through nutrition, movement and mindset, regularly visit http://DrMomOnline.comhttp://Facebook.com/DrMomOnline and http://Twitter.com/DrMomOnline.

Also, check out her available books at http://amazon.com/author/drcolleen .

For more information about working privately with Dr. Colleen and Dr. Marc in an Investigative & Functional Health Recovery Program for any number of metabolic and health issues, such as thyroid imbalance, weight loss resistance, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity & gut permeability, cellular detoxification, autoimmune conditions, insomnia, and more, please contact Dr. Colleen directly at info@drmomonline.com or http://Facebook.com/DrMomOnline. Highly successful personalized distance programs are available.

 

 

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10 Ways To Build A Solid Foundation For Your Immune System

cold face

 

‘Tis the season… the “cold and flu” season, that is.

Actually, it seems there are two kick-offs to this much-anticipated season each year. The first is the back-to-school time, but the most significant seems to be November 1st… or the day after Halloween!

Since sugar is a major enemy of the immune system, the weeks surrounding Halloween, right through the entire Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons can be a very difficult time to keep our immune systems at peak performance.

In our family, I don’t sweat it too much if someone develops a simple cold a couple times a year – part of that is just seasonal house cleaning, in my opinion. The weather changes, leaves drop off trees, noses run. Seems like part of nature to me. It’s an intelligent “adaptation”… when it’s just a short-lived event, that is. When I see it drag on and on in some folks, then we’ve got other issues at play.

My husband and I are both practicing Chiropractors – we are physically touching dozens and dozens of people every day… down in their faces, getting sneezed on and drooled on and goobered on by the wee ones we adjust… ah, it’s a glorious thing! (Seriously! Love it!)

If the germ theory were accurate, I would’ve been dead a long time ago. So would you.

It’s all about the resistance of the host… the condition of the “inner terrain” that determines what the immune system will do with the various viruses and pathogens it’s exposed to.

So, how do we build a strong, resistant inner terrain to keep us healthy and lower our risk for illness?

There’s so much out there in the form of immune-boosting nutritional supplementation. Some of it is garbage. Much of it has some value. But, for me, it’s not practical nor desirable to take a dozen different products to boost or enhance the function of my immune system each day.

First, I’d rather take steps regularly, as part of my lifestyle and daily routine, that keep my immune system strong.

So, let’s talk about 10  Strategies for Building a Solid Foundation for Your Immune System:

1. More Sun!

One of the main reasons we see an increase in “expressive” immune systems during the colder winter months, in addition to all the immune-suppressing sugar that people tend to consume more of around the holidays, is the fact that we get less unfiltered sun exposure to make our own vitamin D. Without adequate vitamin D, there is less calcium uptake in the bloodstream… which is where calcium shines as a heavy-hitter in our immune system.

Even in the cold months, it would benefit us to make every attempt to get outside on those sunny days (well, everyday, really!) and soak up some sun. I can hear the whining from here. If you’re not a cold-weather trooper, and even if you are, it’s best to supplement with vitamin D3 during those colder, more grey months. The science is there by the boat loads!

Then, make sure your diet is abundant with calcium-rich foods, too, like greens, cruciferous vegetables, bone broth, and so on. (NOT conventional cow’s milk or dairy products!) It’s this vitamin D3/calcium dynamic duo that serve to activate the killer cells of our immune system and boost our immunity.

Most authorities on the subject of vitamin D3 recommend a daily does of 2000-5000 IU per day for maintenance… higher if your immune system is suppressed.

2. Support Digestive Strength

As we’ve been teaching in our practice for the past few years, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that the health of the individual is intricately tied to the health of the “gut”.

In the case of immune function, this couldn’t be more apparent. Eighty percent of the immune system is in the “gut”! It’s silly to overlook this area when dealing with anything health-related, whether it’s the prevention of sickness, the treatment of an acute condition, or in an effort to recover from chronic illness.

There are many directions to take in order to restore and enhance gut health.

Some simple measures are to add a high-quality, broad spectrum probiotic to re-populate the gut with healthy bugs – these are your immune defense warriors. Another is to add the herb turmeric or curcumin. It has been shown to have positive effects on digestion, immune function, and inflammation… all of which are inter-related, so it’s not surprising they all improve.

For a growing number of people, years of unhealthy lifestyle and/or drug use has taken its toll on the gut. In these cases, more focused attention to the diet and the repair of the intestinal barrier are necessary precursors to re-populating with healthy bacteria. We work with different protocols in our practice for Leaky Gut and GI Wellness to accomplish these critical health tasks.

3. Green Tea

Here’s a simple addition to make. Green tea has many health benefits, one of them being widely-acknowledged support of the immune system. We don’t drink green tea as a “reactive” measure to “getting sick”. It’s proactive for maintaining health.

Stick to organic sources, and don’t mess up the benefits by adding sugar! If you need to sweeten it, add a bit of stevia or a bit of local raw honey.

We also keep echinacea tea and elderberry tea on hand, but they play second fiddle to the overall health benefits of green tea.

4. Keep Stress in Check

Easier said than done, right?
Our body is perfectly equipped to manage short-term or acute stress. It’s commonly known as the “fight or flight response”. When we’re in the acute response, the part of our immune system responsible for prevention of sickness and maintenance of health is down-regulated. We’re in survival mode, instead. Good stuff if you’re attacked by a pack of wild dogs while strolling down the sidewalk! Not so good, however, if the stressor continues long-term.

Chronic, un-managed stress wears down our immune system, as well as countless other systems and functions in the body. We will always have stressors… and that’s not always necessarily a bad thing. It’s how we respond and adapt to that stress that determines whether we will express health or not.

You know how this goes… think how often you’ve “come down with something” following a period of increased stress?

Particularly at this time of year, make sure you’ve got strategies in place to offset your stress. Cuddle up with a blanket, a cup of green tea, and a good book for some relaxation and unwinding. Meditate, pray, journal, stretch, go for a walk, take a bath, do yoga, sit in the sauna, play, whatever works for you. Intentionally create time to de-stress.

I also recommend adding certain “adaptgen” herbs, like Ashwagandha, to help your body manage ongoing stress.

I’ve talked about the Break the Cycle System here before. It’s a simple way to manage both toxicity and stress as part of your lifestyle. (Remember, toxicity and stress are two root causes of ALL chronic illness.) I particularly like Ashwagandha because it supports the production of white blood cells (the “soldiers” of the immune system), it supports healthy moods, and it has a rejuvenating effect.

Intentionally plant positive, health-enhancing, life-enhancing ‘seeds’ each day in addition to removing any unhealthy ones. Be intentional with your thoughts, words, and actions… they have a very real effect on your health.

 

stress, toxicity, Beyond Organic, detox, nutrition

 

5. Control Sugar Intake

I know I mentioned it earlier, but it bears repeating. Sugar is a deadly enemy to the immune system.

Obvious offenders are junk food, sweets, candy, desserts, and baked goods, but there are so many other sources of sugar (and its derivatives) to consider: breads, cereal, pasta, crackers, wraps, flatbreads, pizza, bagels, donuts, muffins, pancakes, waffles, pop, energy drinks, alcohol, ‘designer’ coffees, condiments, dressings, dips… and on and on.

The more you can reduce your sugar intake, the greater your health will be.

Don’t shoot the messenger… the messenger can get better with this one, too!

 

6. Sauna

Your skin a fabulous exit route for toxins, especially with a little extra help from you. I’m an enormous fan of the far-infrared sauna. If you can get one, or get access to one, definitely add this to your list of immune (and health) boosters. However, if this isn’t realistic, then just do regular skin brushing and exfoliation. Keep those exits open for toxins to vamoose.

Less toxic accumulation means more health.

 

7. Powerful Foods… Probably Already in Your Kitchen

At this time of year, I tend to do quite a bit more slow-cooking with an abundance of traditional immune-boosting and infection-fighting foods, like garlic, onions, and real broth. When these have been simmering all day in a soup pot or slow-cooker, the rest of the family is eager to consume them. It’s a simple way to lay a solid foundation for strong immune function for the entire family.

 

8. Raw Local Honey

The list of benefits of raw local honey is lengthy and impressive! (Not so much with processed, low-quality honey. Stick to raw and local.) Many of those benefits are immunity-related, from helping offset seasonal allergies to soothing a sore throat. Just be aware – even though it’s not refined sugar, it’s still a source of sugar. Keep it in check.

 

9. Chiropractic Adjustments

If you’re not already benefiting from regular Chiropractic adjustments as part of your healthy lifestyle choices, now is the perfect time. Ample evidence over the years has demonstrated the direct relationship between Chiropractic adjustments and improved immune function… and improved “everything” function, really!

When you remove interference from the “Master System” of the body (the Nervous System), it just makes sense that everything else will have a much-improved opportunity to function more optimally, as well. Simple, yet profound!

Watch what happens this “cold and flu season” if you get Chiropractic adjustments on a very regular basis. It’s a secret weapon!

 

10. Sleep

Get enough sleep! Chronic sleep-deprivation is a stressor to the body and brain. It triggers the physiological stress response pathways just like toxic food or massive stress does. Take it seriously and intentionally. It IS part of your overall healthy lifestyle.

Take advantage of this season of less daylight to get to bed at an earlier time.  The research is consistent on this one – getting to sleep earlier in the evening leads to better quality, deeper sleep than going to bed later and sleeping in.

Whether your focus is to maintain good health, prevent immune system meltdown, or recover from a full-blown immune “episode”, sleep is your friend! When we’re receiving good quality and quantity sleep, our bodies can heal and repair more effectively… and we can awaken more refreshed and better prepared to make healthy choices the next day.

Sleeping well means better health and stronger immune function. You know this to be true based on past experience, right? When you get too run down, things tend to fall apart on many levels. Oftentimes, we end up with an expressive immune system as a result.

Sleep well, be happy!

 

Are there more things you can do to improve the function of your immune system? Of course. These are just some of the things our family does to build and protect the foundation for good immune function.

 

How about you? What would you add to this list?

 

***

Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a leading authority figure in Natural Health & Wellness. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic with 18 years of hands-on clinical experience in the Wellness Practice she shares with her husband, Dr. Marc VanHoogstraat, in Michigan. She is also the proud (home schooling) mom of two rather fabulous youngsters.

Her unique perspective of the science of Wellness  provides predictable solutions and transformational results for those struggling with chronic health issues, as well as those seeking lifelong health. To discover her simple strategies for creating better health through nutrition, movement and mindset, regularly visit http://DrMomOnline.comhttp://Facebook.com/DrMomOnline and http://Twitter.com/DrMomOnline.

Also, check out her available books at http://amazon.com/author/drcolleen .

For more information about working privately with Dr. Colleen and Dr. Marc in an Investigative & Functional Health Recovery Program for any number of metabolic and health issues, such as thyroid imbalance, weight loss resistance, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity & gut permeability, cellular detoxification, and more, please contact Dr. Colleen directly at info@drmomonline.com or http://Facebook.com/DrMomOnline. Highly successful personalized distance programs are available.

 

 

Pharmaceutical Prescriptions ~ Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should!

pharmaceutical drugs, prescription medication, cancer

pharmaceutical drugs, prescription medication, cancer

I got pretty irked with the system the other night. Which system? The medical-pharmaceutical system.

Shocking, I know.

I believe there’s a staggering level of  overuse and abuse of this system. I believe that the irresponsible way this system is utilized is THE reason the health of our country is worsening with each passing year.

I think people go to “The Doctor” far too much. The symptoms I hear people go to the doctor for just boggle my mind. I think people take far too many drugs. I think doctor’s prescribe far too many drugs. I think pharmaceutical companies produce too many drugs… and create far too many new “conditions” that “require” their drugs.

Yada yada.

The system ain’t goin’ anywhere anytime soon.

It’s up to us to be smarter consumers.

It’s up to us to take care of our own health, and reserve the use of the system for true emergencies and crisis care… because that’s where it at least has the potential to shine.

Not the case with the treatment of serious, chronic, degenerative illness. Certainly not the case with the prevention of these illnesses. And don’t even kid yourself that the system could possibly help you achieve “health”.

Taking responsibility for our health doesn’t go over real well with a large segment of the population.

So, the cycle of chronic illness, and the financial damage that results, shall continue.

Anyhow, I’ve uttered a few times in recent years, that I believe pharmacists play a critical role in the current “healthcare” system (sickness care is the accurate term).

Far too many times, I’ve heard of patients being stopped by a pharmacist who has caught the fact that this patient has been prescribed duplicate drugs by multiple doctors.

Gee, I’d hope that a doctor ~ someone who has taken an oath to protect the patient ~ would have caught this before prescribing yet another drug, but, sadly, that’s often not the case.

Relax. I’m sure your doctor is great and would never let this happen. It’s everyone else’s doctors!

But the other day, the pharmacist my dad goes to for advice (Lord help me) made a big mistake, in my opinion.

Let’s back up.

One year ago, my dad began using a catheter as a result of the effects of metastatic prostate cancer. Within a week or two, he began showing signs of a bladder infection. He ended up doing some lab work to confirm, and was prescribed antibiotics.

Nothing unusual so far.

I’m not even sure how this all unfolded, but I remember Dad saying his symptoms had improved a few days later… and then we let it go after that.

I made the assumption that “the system” would take care of it. After all, it was a ‘simple’ infection.

I can be naive when it comes to trusting the system, too, evidently.

Nobody followed up with my dad. He finished the  antibiotics and felt better. Not perfect, but better. He still had some symptoms, but he just assumed they were normal.

I dunno’. Hard to check on the details of someone’s bladder infection when you live in another country!

So, he had no follow up testing. No follow up doctor’s appointment to confirm that he was out-of-the-woods. Nothing.

When he told me he felt warm, then cold, then shaky, then light-headed, and so on, I had to make some calls and shake the system into action.

It wasn’t until I started making calls that I found out he had been left on his own.

Ultimately, his body hadn’t cleared the infection. It was now stronger and more gnarly than it originally was. Dad ended up with a serious kidney infection that wasn’t even ‘caught’ until after we almost lost him and he was taken by ambulance to the hospital.

Amidst my fear and deep concern at the time, I seem to recall being a bit irked then, as well.

Fast forward to the present.

He just started using a catheter again a couple weeks ago. Guess what? Yep. Signs of infection within a few days, off an on.

I said, make an appointment with your family doc to get some testing and get on it right away this time!

So, like any good parent, he ignored me.

He waited a week. Then, went to see his “good friend”, the pharmacist.

My father is a very difficult man for me to raise.

After Dad shared his symptoms with his Pharm Friend, he told Dad,

“You need an antibiotic… usually, it needs to be prescribed … BUT, wait! Let’s see if I still have your prescription on file FROM A YEAR AGO… that would save you a trip to the doctor and the lab!”

Well, isn’t that convenient?! How thoughtful.

Are you kidding me?

Remember earlier I said that I think people go to the doctor far too frequently? Yeah, well, this would have been a time to GO TO A DOCTOR… NOT a pharmacist!

The Pharm Friend explained that, by law, it’s perfectly fine for him to take a prescription that’s previously on file and re-fill it… without any consent from a doctor needed.

Sounds perfectly safe to me.

You know, just because you can do something, doesn’t always mean you should.

Where is the common sense in this one?

I know it saves a visit to the doctor and laboratory. So, it costs the system less, right?

Not if he winds up in the hospital again. Or, worse.

So, this time around, we have NO testing ahead of time at all. Silly me. I thought we were supposed to confirm a bacterial infection prior to taking antibiotics. No doctor is even aware of Dad’s situation, so there sure as heck wouldn’t be any follow-up scheduled to see how he’s doing.

I had to explain this all to my dad the other night on the phone when he told me what was going on.

Imagine, trying to speak in a calming, sweet, nurturing voice to my dad… while I’m internally steaming and disgusted by the utter lack of common sense and responsibility Pharm Friend displayed… and also, as nicely as I possibly can, scolding my dad for not following common sense protocols!

Dear God. Is it just me? Or have these people completely lost their minds?!

This is not good for MY health, let along my dad’s.

So, I gave Dad a very clear action plan. (It has to be simple, short, and ultra-clear because years of drugs, cancer treatment, poor lifestyle choices, and chronic stress have done a number on his memory.)

I said:

“Call your family doctor in the morning. Make an appointment for this week. Make sure you have lab work done. Make sure you are scheduled for a follow-up, that includes more lab work,  within 2 weeks.”

“Oh, and stop going to your drug-pusher friend for health advice.”

Seriously. If you go to a pharmacist for any type of “health” advice, what do you think his recommendations will be??

Want better health and function? Ask someone else. Ask better questions.

Since many folks don’t seem ready to shake loose the notion of medicating themselves for every little thing – not that a bladder or kidney infection is a little thing by any means – we encourage people to take responsibility for one critically important piece of this drug puzzle.

Always ask, “What’s the exit strategy with this medication?”

You should not be on a drug forever.

Either it “fixes” the cause of the problem, or it doesn’t. (Good luck fixing the cause of a chronic health problem with a drug.)

In the case of an acute infection, the exit strategy is extremely critical. Obviously.

Or, at least it should be obvious.

Don’t assume. I learned that lesson the hard way!

If we start completely leaving common sense out of this drug equation, we’re sunk.

 

The soap box is now being returned to its resting place. :)

 

 

Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a leading authority figure in Natural Health & Wellness. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic with 18 years of hands-on clinical experience in the Wellness Practice she shares with her husband, Dr. Marc VanHoogstraat, in Michigan. She is also the proud (home schooling) mom of two rather fabulous youngsters.

Her unique perspective of the science of Wellness  provides predictable solutions and transformational results for those struggling with chronic health issues, as well as those seeking lifelong health. To discover her simple strategies for creating better health through nutrition, movement and mindset, regularly visit http://DrMomOnline.comhttp://Facebook.com/DrMomOnline and http://Twitter.com/DrMomOnline.

Also, check out her available books at http://amazon.com/author/drcolleen .

For more information about working privately with Dr. Colleen and Dr. Marc in an Investigative & Functional Health Recovery Program for any number of metabolic and health issues, such as thyroid imbalance, weight loss resistance, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity & gut permeability, cellular detoxification, and more, please contact Dr. Colleen directly at info@drmomonline.com or http://Facebook.com/DrMomOnline. Highly successful personalized distance programs are available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best Yoga Poses For Improved Gut Health

yoga

 yoga, gut health, colitis, crohn's, IBS, constipation, diarrhea

 

If you’re one of the growing number of people that regularly experiences some type of digestive issue, like discomfort, pain, or bloating in your gut, then you know how much of a burden this can be.

It tends to cloud over  everything else.

The number of folks living with some type of chronic digestive issue is growing. It ranges from mild flare-ups and Irritable Bowel Syndrome, to much more serious conditions, like Crohn’s.

Certainly, your diet, exercise habits, stress levels, water intake/hydration level, and medication use  all play significant roles in your overall gut health.

Sometimes, extensive damage to the gut has already been done, and the focus needs to shift to a gut permeability and “leaky gut” repair protocol, otherwise the problem is destined to get worse, setting the stage for autoimmune conditions. (I can help you with that.)

Clearly, prevention is the best bet.

While there are countless steps you can take to benefit your gut health, don’t forget about yoga.

Yes, yoga!

I talked about yoga here not too long ago, and introduced you to yoga expert Kristine Fondran. Kristine has written a nice, simple article about 3 Yoga Moves to Improve Digestion.

Take a look-see at her article and try these 3 poses to help with your digestive health.

 

Top Gut Health Poses — Use Yoga To Improve Your Digestive System Health

by Kris Fondran

Top Gut Health Poses — Use Yoga To Improve Your Digestive System Health post image

 

If you’re like most people, you don’t think very much about your digestive health until you have an “issue”.

It usually takes some kind of “back up” in the system — or perhaps the exact opposite (what fun!) — to make us pay attention to the cause and effect relationship that led to our current digestive experience.

Your diet, exercise, water intake, and stress levels all play a significant role in the digestive process. And just a little imbibing here, some travel there and a huge presentation at work can be enough to give rise to a “funny tummy.”

Because digestion is based on metabolizing not only food but our life experiences as well, you must remember that relationships, happiness, sadness and stress all play their part when it comes to digestive issues. And it may take some serious reflection to figure out what’s gone wrong.

The good news is that simply paying attention to what you expose your body to on a regular basis — physically, mentally, and emotionally — can help you start making the changes that will positively contribute to your digestive health and overall well being.

Yoga asana — or postures — are a perfect way to keep you connected with your body, and they can help you develop the awareness to see the cause and effect relationship of what you put in, and literally what and how it comes out!

While a regular yoga practice can help keep all your bodily systems running more smoothly, a more specific and regular “digestive yoga practice” can keep you… well…. “regular” and much, much more.

Take charge of your digestive health by giving the following yoga postures and movements (pun intended!) a try.

 

Raised Leg Pose

This pose strengthens the abdomen, low back, pelvis, and digestive system. And as if that wasn’t enough, it also improves the flexibility of your hips and hamstrings.

Supine Base Palms Down

Modified Leg Lift

Leg Lift Full

Description:

  1. Begin in the Supine Base Position, with palms facing downward.
  2. For low back issues, begin in a modified version of the position by bending your left knee.
  3. Bring your awareness to your abdomen.
  4. Begin on the right side (starting on the right side activates the ascending colon).
  5. Inhale, contract your abdomen and lift your right leg as far as possible without bending your knee.
  6. Pause at the top of the movement, feeling the pressure in your abdomen and throughout your leg.
  7. Exhale, keeping the abdomen engaged, and slowly lower your right leg.
  8. Continue for up to 10 repetitions.
  9. Repeat on the left side.

Contraindications: Those with high blood pressure or back problems such as sciatica or slipped disc should not practice this movement.

 

Universal Spinal Twist

This pose tones and massages the abdomen, and relieves tightness in the low back caused by prolonged sitting. If you’re lucky you’ll even get a little “crack” in your low back as the body releases into the final position.

Starting Universal Spinal Twist

Universal Spinal Position 2

Universal Spinal Final↓ [alternative angle] ↓

Universal Final Another Angle

Description:

  1. Begin in the Supine Base Position.
  2. Stretch your arms to the side in a “T” position.
  3. Bend your right knee, placing the sole of your right foot next to your left knee.
  4. Shift your body slightly to the right so your weight rests slightly on your left hip.
  5. Take your left hand and place it on your right knee. This is the starting position.
  6. Inhale, and on the exhalation gently press down on your right knee, allowing that knee to move closer to the floor. Simultaneously turn your head in the direction of your outstretched arm.
  7. In the final position, your head should be looking in the opposite direction of your knee, and your shoulder and arm should be in contact with the floor.
  8. Hold the final position for 3-5 breaths.
  9. On an inhalation, bring your knee up and shift the weight off your hip, returning to the starting position.
  10. Exhale and straighten the leg.
  11. Repeat 5-10 times on both sides.

Contraindications: Release pressure on the knee if you feel pain in your hips or low back.

 

Seated Forward Bend — Modified

This pose is a more easily attained version of the old standby. But because most of us have such tight hamstrings, we perform this stretch incorrectly. This modified version massages the abdomen and entire pelvic region while progressively stretching the hamstrings and lower back. And as an added bonus, you get to give yourself a hug. Who couldn’t use an extra hug?

Seated Base

Seated Forward Bend Pos 2

Seated Forward Bend Pos 3

Seated Forward Bend Pos. 4

Description:

  • Begin in the Seated Base Position with your legs outstretched and feet slightly apart.
  • Bend your knees, bringing them in toward your chest.
  • Clasp your hands around your thighs, bringing them toward your chest. This is the starting position.
  • Inhale and make your spine straight and long. On the exhalation, start to walk your heels away from your body.
  • Continue to move your heels outward, but only go as far as you can while keeping your thighs against your chest.
  • Once your thighs begin to move away from you chest, stop and take a few breaths. This is the “1st final” position.
  • Release the posture by straightening your legs.
  • Repeat 3-5 times, holding the final position for up to 5 breaths. On the last repetition, straighten your legs and continue to fold forward. In a perfect world your chest will be flush with your legs. Not the case yet? So be it. Most of us have a ways to go with this one.

Contraindications: Those with slipped disc or sciatica should avoid this posture.

Finally, please keep the following in mind while practicing the digestive movements and postures:

  1. Awareness of movement, specifically intra-abdominal pressure
  2. Feeling the stretch of the muscles
  3. Connecting the movement with the breath

Now get out there and heal and detoxify your body, mind, and spirit — starting today!

 ***

If you’d like to hear more from Kris, check out her complete program: Science-based yoga program to shape your body & optimize your health

 

 

Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a leading authority figure in Natural Health & Wellness. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic with 18 years of hands-on clinical experience in the Wellness Practice she shares with her husband, Dr. Marc VanHoogstraat, in Michigan. She is also the proud (home schooling) mom of two rather fabulous youngsters.

Her unique perspective of the science of Wellness  provides predictable solutions and transformational results for those struggling with chronic health issues, as well as those seeking lifelong health. To discover her simple strategies for creating better health through nutrition, movement and mindset, regularly visit http://DrMomOnline.comhttp://Facebook.com/DrMomOnline and http://Twitter.com/DrMomOnline.

Also, check out her available books at http://amazon.com/author/drcolleen .

For more information about working privately with Dr. Colleen and Dr. Marc in an Integrative Health Recovery Program for any number of metabolic and health issues, such as thyroid imbalance, weight loss resistance, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity & gut permeability, cellular detoxification, and more, please contact Dr. Colleen directly at info@drmomonline.com. Distance programs are available.

 

 

Tips for Decreasing Your Toxic Exposure

toxic air

 

I talk about toxicity here quite a bit. For good reason.

When we’re chronically exposed to toxicity, whether through external or internal sources (like chronic stress or sleep deprivation), this can cause inflammation at the level of the cells. Inflammation is one of the most significant root causes of all chronic illness.

Toxicity and inflammation interrupt healthy hormonal communication at the cell membrane, potentially causing hormonal resistance; they block key nutrients from getting into the cell, and accumulated toxins & by-products from exiting the cell; they disrupt our energy production within the cell; and they can change the expression of our genes from healthy to “sick”.

Inflammation and toxicity are nothing to shrug off.

Now, there’s plenty of toxic exposure out there that we can’t do much about. Let’s not fret about that for the moment. Instead, let’s focus on some of the major sources of toxicity that we can control… and minimize.

1. Food – No surprise here. Food has become a major, chronic source of toxicity as we move from “real” foods grown naturally, to franken-foods, factory foods, and foods loaded with drugs and chemicals.

What can you do?

  • Choose more organic and “clean” foods when you can. The first foods to focus on cleaning up are: meat, eggs, dairy, and grains. Choose foods from free-range, pastured livestock that is as drug-free as possible.
  • Organic vegetables and fruit are ideal, especially in the case of some the classically more toxic choices, like strawberries and apples. If you can’t get organic for whatever reason, then clean your produce very well with a vinegar/hydrogen peroxide (food-grade) rinse, or a pre-made produce wash. Google it.
  • Choose wild fish from deep, cold waters. Minimize your consumption of large fish that tend to be higher in mercury contamination, like tuna and swordfish.
  • Obviously, eat more “real” foods and reduce your intake of foods made with artificial colors/flavors/sweeteners.

2. Water – Our modern day water supply has many toxins that can contribute to our toxic load. No, the solution is not to drink pop, energy drinks, coffee, or alcohol instead!

  • Filter your tap water. Try a reverse osmosis filter or a multi-stage carbon filter.
  • Use glass, stainless steel, or ceramic containers for storage or transport… or wherever you’re drinking water.
  • Avoid water from soft plastic containers – this is the type of plastic known to leach into the water and seriously mess with our hormonal function. Don’t drink from these plastic water bottles if they’ve been left in the heat.
  • Along the same lines, if you’re the sporty type, minimize the use of “camel-back” type plastic water containers.
  • Yes, you still need to drink plenty of water each day. 6-8 glasses is still the general recommendation.
  • Get yourself a filter for your shower (or bath, if you’re the soaking type). Look for the type that specifically says it limits chlorinated hydrocarbons. Not all filters do.

 

 


3. Personal Care, Skin Care & Cosmetics

What we put on our skin (and expose our skin to) gets absorbed into our bloodstream and circulated throughout the body. It’s an enormous vehicle for toxicity. It’s also easy to significantly upgrade our choices here.

  • Use “low-toxin” make-up, lotions, and creams. Avoid products with: parabens, propylene glycol, phthalates, alcohol, and ‘fragrance’. Generally, a good starting point is to shop for these types of products in a health store where your options will be less-toxic across the board.
  • A super-easy, super-healthy alternative for slathering on toxic body lotion that’s leaching into your bloodstream each day is to use pure coconut oil. Sure, you might have to wait a few minutes to get dressed, or wipe off some of the excess, but that’s nuthin’ compared to the potential damage caused by conventional body care products. Another nice, healthy option is almond oil.
  • Don’t forget to upgrade your sunscreen. Applying toxic sludge to your body, then going out into the sun, bakes it right into you. Choose less toxic sunscreen.
  • Look for shampoo, conditioner, hair color, mousse, gel, etc., that is made without sodium lauryl sulfate, paraben, phthalate and other petrochemicals, as well as alcohol. There is a growing market for salons and spas that use these types of products now.
  • Avoid hair spray, especially the aerosol type. If you desperately need some control in the locks department, again, purchase the type made without all the petrochemicals.
  • Avoid the use of synthetic perfumes and all the synthetically scented body care and hair care products. Sheesh… do we constantly need to be scented and glittered?
  • Speaking of smelling, you are supposed to sweat, people! “Anti-perspirants” block critical detoxification pathways AND usher in toxins like aluminum, right into the axillary lymphatic area no less! Who’s brain-child was this?! I get it. We don’t want to stink, and we don’t want those dreaded underarm circles. Try a deodorant crystal or a non-toxic deodorant stick instead. Some folks even swear by applying dampened baking soda (or washing with it), then wiping off the excess before dressing.
  • “Mainstream” feminine hygiene products are another source of toxicity. Consider upgrading to less-toxic brands made with organic ingredients.
  • Cool it with the anti-bacterial soaps, already! Where did the over-use of antibiotics get us? Were you not paying attention?? We need bacteria… we need an exposure to germs. This is normal! Killing them ALL off is dangerous. Germs are not the bad guy – an inner terrain that is unhealthy is the problem. Address the cause. (Dismounting the soapbox now.)

 


4. Household, Lawn & Garden Products

The things we use to “take care of” our home and property are most likely some of the most toxic products we regularly come into contact with. We can simplify here, as well as detoxify.

  • Instead of purchasing 52 different cleaners that we’re told we need for all our cleaning jobs, try your own cleaning products made from simple combinations of inexpensive ingredients like vinegar and baking soda. Google it.
  • If you don’t want to make your own, then purchase less-toxic cleaners. Again, it’s a growing market so you have several choices now.
  • Anywhere you’re using toxic cleaners and high temperatures combined is a good place to detoxify. For example, dishwasher detergent. Conventional detergents are loaded with chloride and other toxic chemicals – add the hot water and the closed environment and you’ve got a chemical storm happening in there… being absorbed by the dishes you eat from.
  • It’s a similar story with laundry detergent and fabric softeners. You can make or purchase less toxic types that get the job done without harming you or the environment. Also, when purchasing brand new clothes, wash before wearing – several times, if the clothing has fire retardant in it.
  • Air fresheners and fabric sprays are another unnecessary source of ongoing toxicity. Air doesn’t need perfume sprayed or spritzed into it! If you desire some type of scent, try natural sources like essential oils or simmer some citrus peels, vanilla, cinnamon sticks, etc. Try opening your windows if you’re looking for that “fresh air” scent. ; )
  • Consider this, if you feel the need to keep your pet away from surfaces you’ve just cleaned because of the chemicals… it’s probably not a good idea for humans to be exposed either!
  • This is true in the outdoors, too. Avoid spraying pesticides or herbicides in or around your home. Not every weed must be annihilated with chemical warfare! Not every lawn in America was necessarily destined to be the exact shade of (Monsanto) green without a trace of any other plant growth in it! Not every tomato in your garden must appear perfect and enormous… nor must every single flower in your garden be flawless! It hurts, I know. It hurts worse to treat chronic illness caused by chronic toxicity.

5. Plastics

The large-scale use of plastics has been linked to the disruption of hormonal function in our bodies. Hormones are the chemical messengers that are involved in virtually every physiological, mental and emotional function in our bodies. Not a good idea to mess with these.

  • Avoid plastic bottles and containers with the 3, 6 and 7 on the bottom. These are not your winning lottery numbers. They are the most likely to leach harmful plastics into the contents of they contain.
  • Purchase and store your foods and liquids in glass containers when possible.
  • Do not use plastic in a microwave! (Really, I wish you wouldn’t use a microwave at all. It’s another chronic source of toxicity.)
  • Minimize the use of plastic wraps and plastic food bags. I know. It’s tough. But, you have other options for food storage that are safer.
  • You’re better off hand-washing your plastics rather than putting them into high-heat dishwashers. Don’t shoot the messenger.

 


6. Dental Care

  • The #1 biggie to avoid is mercury amalgam fillings. Mercury is a neurotoxin. Find a dentist who is properly trained to provide non-toxic options AND knows the proper removal protocol for mercury fillings.
  • Re-consider root canals. Ask a holistic dentist for his/her opinion first.
  • Switch to a non-fluoride toothpaste. Cleaning with just baking soda and water is an option.

7. Drugs & Vaccines

  • If what you’re taking, prescribed or over-the-counter, is not directly responsible for keeping you alive, then have a chat with your prescribing doc(s) to determine the exit strategy. Chronic use of drugs is a chronic source of chemical toxicity. Get the the right doc who can help you find the root cause of your health challenge, then work on fixing it rather than performing an ongoing chemistry experiment in your body.
  • Save the drugs for life-saving endeavors, emergencies, and crisis care.
  • Take a look at the ingredients in any given vaccine. Then, find a study that proves the safety and efficacy of vaccines. (I’ll wait.) OK, now, I urge you to reconsider this choice. Vaccines are a frightening source of toxicity… and for what? No “hysteria” or “fear tactics” here. None needed. Just evidence-based science.

8. Home & Office

  • Use an air filter, like a HEPA filter with a charcoal filter, to continuously clean your air.
  • If you’re building or re-modelling, let carpets, furniture, and paint “off gas”. (Google it for directions.) You can do this with a new car, too.
  • Consider purchasing used furniture that has already had the chance to off gas.
  • Use only low-VOC or no-VOC products, like paints and floor covering.
  • Minimize the use of new, synthetic (toxic) carpets in your home. Opt for real wood or natural fiber carpets when possible.
  • Change the filter on your furnace every season. Don’t forget to clean your air ducts.
  • Remove your shoes and leave them at the door to minimize various petrochemicals, pesticides, and a gazillion other toxins being walked through your home.

 

9. Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs)

This is a field of study causing growing concern, for good reason. We are inundated with these invisible fields from cell phones and towers, televisions, computers and tablets, clock radios, microwave ovens, electrical wires, and a gazillion other sources. I’ll write more about this soon.

  • For now, minimize the amount of time you have your cell phone pressed right up to your head. Use a hands-free option. Better yet, contact me to find out about a little device you can place directly on your cell phone (as well as your computers and tablets) to dramatically reduce the effects of this toxicity.
  • If you still have one, use your land-line phone anytime you can.
  • Get that digital clock away from your head while you’re in bed!
  • Don’t use electric blankets, or turn it off before you ever go to bed.
  • Take regular breaks from your screens! (T.V., computers, and so on.)

Of course, there is so much more we could talk about in an article covering toxicity. The main points I want to emphasize are:

A) Control what you can. We can’t remove ALL sources of toxicity, but we sure can do better than what we’re currently doing in most cases.

B) Make sure your body is able to handle the ongoing inundation of toxicity. In my opinion, this means we’d all better be doing regular cellular detoxification protocols as part of a healthy lifestyle. There’s no way our bodies can handle this enormous onslaught of toxicity without a dedicated focus on cleaning things up, beginning at the level of the cell.

***

Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a leading expert in Natural Health & Wellness. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic with 18 years of hands-on clinical experience in the Wellness Practice she shares with her husband, Dr. Marc VanHoogstraat, in Michigan.

Her unique perspective of the science of Wellness  provides predictable solutions and transformational results for those struggling with chronic health issues, as well as those seeking lifelong health. To discover her simple strategies for creating better health through nutrition, movement and mindset, regularly visit http://DrMomOnline.com and http://Facebook.com/DrMomOnline. Also, check out her available books at http://amazon.com/author/drcolleen .

For more information about working privately with Dr. Colleen in an Integrative Health Recovery Program for any number of metabolic and health issues, such as thyroid imbalance, weight loss resistance, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity & gut permeability, cellular detoxification, and more, please contact her directly at trombley68@gmail.com. Distance programs are available.

Getting Healthy & Losing Weight When You’re Way Off Track

abdomens

Sometimes, when I’m in a consultation with a new client, and I’m listening to their health history and current lifestyle, I feel overwhelmed on their behalf!

I feel a little bit ticked off on their behalf, too.

The modern day lifestyle that so many of us are caught up in is toxic, toxic, toxic.

As is the case with stress, we can’t “eliminate” toxicity. That’s not the point.

However, we can focus on two things when it comes to improving our level of toxicity:

1) reducing our intake and exposure, and,

2) making sure the detoxification pathways of our cells are clear so that they can do their job of getting rid of accumulated toxins.

(I’ll talk about #2 in upcoming posts. It’s not as simple as picking up a little ‘ol colon cleanse at your local pharmacy and drinking more water for a few days! No, we can do significantly better than that, my friends!)

Recently, I’ve started working with a young mom who originally contacted us for help with weight loss. Since her last child was born, she has steadily gained weight… and lost health. Thankfully, she recognized that something was not right… that eating “right” and exercising more was not the (complete) answer for her.

She’s right. We need to address underlying issues of toxicity, various hormonal/metabolic imbalances, gut permeability, and so on.

Her doctors put her on anti-depressants and ant-anxiety medications because she was feeling lousy about going from a size 4 to a size 16. Funny thing about those drugs – she still felt pretty lousy about her weight gain, AND, she had a new collection of symptoms as a result of the drugs.

As she shared the details of her current diet and lifestyle with me, I began feeling overwhelmed with all the toxicity and the inaccurate (yet incredibly common) “health” advice she has bought into. It happens almost every time I meet with someone new. I just can’t believe what they’ve been told and what they’ve been doing…

Some of the common nutritional and diet myths (lies) she had bought into were:

  • Eating low-fat and fat-free foods because she thought that fat made her fat.
  • Buying only “lean” meats for the fat issue, again.
  • Avoiding red meat because she was told that it causes high cholesterol and heart disease.
  • Avoiding butter for the same reasons, and using margarine and butter ‘knock-offs’ instead.
  • Using artificial sweeteners, like Splenda, because she was told to watch her sugar intake.
  • Drinking 2% or skim milk because she was told that whole milk had too much fat and too many calories.
  • Adding flavor packets of (for example) Crystal Light to her water because she was told to drink more water, but didn’t like the taste of it.
  • Cooking with vegetable oils because she was told that was better than using a saturated fat that would contribute to heart disease.
  • Eating and drinking “diet” foods to watch her calorie intake.
  • Making sure she started her day with something like cereal, or oatmeal, or toast for the “grains” she thought she was supposed to be eating.
  • Adding spoonfuls of white sugar to coffee, pancakes, oatmeal, cereal, and toast because that’s how she was raised AND because her doctor told her the refined white sugar was “healthier” than brown sugar! oy.

Lies, lies, lies. Ticks me off.

To her credit, she had already dramatically cut back the amount of fast food she consumed, and had begun baking, roasting and grilling her food more than frying like she used to.

Oh, and just to add fuel to the flame, she hasn’t been exercising because she’s so tired and feels so heavy, and her work schedule is all over the place. She works at a business that’s open 24/7, and she could be working any one of those 24 hours in any given week. Her sleep routine is horrible and she never feels rested. She admits that she is a very tightly-wound ball of stress!

As I sat there listening to her, I couldn’t help but think how many hundreds of thousands (if not millions) were also eating like her and living like her, thinking they were doing the right thing… or just doing the best they could.

She had never heard (nor have most folks we work with) that the more toxic you are, the more chronically ‘fat’ you become. Fat cells harbor toxins. Fat acts as a buffer to protect our vital organs and systems from serious toxicity. So, until you address toxicity, you’ll hang onto excess fat.

Now, think about how undeniably toxic diet food is! Some of the worst food on the planet is the pre-packaged food sold in many weight loss programs! Guess that’s one way to ensure repeat customers!

Anyhow, we’ve got a long journey ahead of us, no doubt. But this young lady is so incredibly excited to begin the process of re-building her health!

We’ll be approaching her nutritional choices in phases. Phase one is to #1 – upgrade the fats & oils she’s using, as well as #2 – the meat & eggs she’s purchasing. Also, she is off dairy for the first month. If and when it’s re-introduced, it will be a very different quality than the conventional dairy we find in most grocery stores. We’ll move to raw and unpasteurized.

Instead of using common commercial vegetable oils for her cooking and food preparation, I’ve recommended pure coconut oil, real butter (grass-fed, if she can), extra virgin olive oil for no-heat dishes, and a few other healthy fats and oils.

I’ve recommended she upgrade to less-toxic meats and eggs that are from free-range/pastured and grass-fed livestock. Continuing to eat meat and eggs from animals that are fed an unnatural and toxic diet makes no sense if we expect to improve our own health.

The next big step will be addressing her sources of #3 – sugar and moving toward a significant reduction in those. This will include the vast majority of grains (pasta, cereal, crackers, most bread, most tortillas, etc.).

Of course, we’re also beginning to eliminate some of the obvious sources of toxicity, like junk food, sweets, fast food, diet food, conventional soy and corn-based foods, artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup…

The body needs clean sources of ‘fuel’ to function properly. We should be choosing from the least toxic sources of meats, eggs, some (acceptable) dairy, some (acceptable) grains, vegetables, fruit, fats & oils, traditionally fermented foods & drinks, nuts & seeds, and pure water.

Cleaning up our diets is one of the most important steps we could possibly take in cleaning up our health. It’s where I like to begin any health recovery program, whether the motive is weight loss or the reversal of a serious illness.

As I mentioned earlier, we also need to address underlying issues, like the health of the cells, gut permeability, etc. We’ll get there!

In the case of this young lady, I can hardly wait to witness her health recovery! It’s not about her (or any of us) being “perfect”. But the more of these healthy choices she can make, the better her health is going to be, and healthier her body composition will be.

It’s so predictable, which is what makes it so exciting!

Less toxins in + more nutritional sufficiency in + more toxins OUT = vibrant health on the inside and out!

* * *

 Have YOU made any of these key nutritional upgrades? How has YOUR health benefited as a result?

Please share this article with others, if you think it might help them… thanks! : )

 

 

 

 

Do We “Catch a Cold”, or “Earn” One?

cold and flu

A few days ago, I “caught a cold”.

Not really. I never actually say those words. They’re not accurate.

However, that’s the terminology several people in our office used with me when they heard my voice in the midst of this summertime cold. “Dr. Colleen! You caught a cold??!!” And, “How on earth did you catch a cold in the middle of summer?!

Perfect opportunity for me to give a lesson in health!

First of all, I didn’t “catch a cold”. There was no massive outbreak of colds in our community… or state. In fact, I had not been in contact with anyone experiencing a cold at all.

Nope, I earned this little expression of my immune system fair and square, all on my own.

(By the way, I wasn’t “sick”, either. My body was simply adapting to the environment I had created. It’s an intelligent response by the body… not a stupid or random one.)

What’s the cause of this adaptation of the immune system? Same as all chronic illness or “diseases of lifestyle”: toxicity &/or deficiency. We voluntarily or involuntarily create an environment for our cells that is essentially “poisonous” to them (toxicity), &/or we don’t consistently provide what our cells need in order to function in a state of homeostasis (deficiency).

I am so incredibly talented that I was able to provide my cells with both toxicity AND deficiency for several days in a row recently!

My diet has been “off”. Nothing major by the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) standards… then again, who wants to use those standards as any semblance of ideal diet recommendations! I have been following a predominantly “Paleo” type diet for a few months now: strictly limiting any grain intake; no dairy; no legumes, etc.

I fell off that wagon with a resounding thump over the past few weeks… having a little bread here and there… a tiny bit of cheese in a meal… a few “adult” beverages. You get the picture. Nothing horrible, per say… just an insidious increase in the inflammatory foods I had been avoiding.

Well, actually, there was something “horrible” about the week preceding my immune response, come to think of it: cake. Not just once… three or four times, as I recall. Not huge amounts each time. In fact, very small pieces. It was even gluten-free and organic… but it was CAKE, nonetheless! Sugar, sugar, sugar.

Sugar blocks the ability of the immune system to do its job properly.

There’s my toxicity.

That, and the ongoing stress of being pulled in far too many directions for several months… and the resentment, guilt, worry and other toxic emotions that tend to accompany that. Lovely combination – it’s like a toxic soup.

What about deficiency, you ask?

One of the core requirements for healthy cell function is that the body gets sufficient rest and recovery. I had been involuntarily deficient in my body’s sleep requirements for a few weeks. Most likely related to the aforementioned stress! Whatever the cause (or, more accurately, combination of causes), I was only getting a miniscule amount of sleep each night for far too long.

That’s rough. I believe that chronic sleep deprivation is one of the most serious, and most overlooked, underlying triggers that increase our risk factors for all chronic illness. Everything is affected by chronic sleep deprivation: physiologically, mentally, and emotionally.

No, sleeping pills are clearly not the answer, wise guys. Have you read or listened to the side effects of those?! That’s pure craziness! I’d rather correct the cause than add more toxicity… especially that kind of frighteningly dangerous toxicity.

So what has been my cold “remedy”?

Reverse the toxicity and deficiency, of course!

I’ve been careful to restore purity and sufficiency… and to add a few things to help my body fight off this house guest.

My diet has been nice and clean and simple again. No dairy, no grains, no legumes, etc. I’m not perfect and never will be, but I feel better when I can stick to this plan for (relatively) longer periods of time.

I’m doing the best I can with balancing all that’s on my plate… and I’ve started to put my foot down with some of the scheduling issues that are causing the greatest imbalances. I continue to do very well with fully enjoying the down time that I do have – even if it’s just 15 minutes on the dock. I am good about being fully present and appreciating the little blessings throughout each day.

And, I’ve finally been able to manage to string together a few night’s of restful sleep. Amen!

I’ve continued with my standard foundational nutrition supplements/complements, like fish oil, full-spectrum probiotics, vitamin D3 (in large amounts), a greens/super foods powder I add to my smoothie, a cover-my-bases mineral/antioxidant product, and some other specialty products I’ve been taking for a few months.

To specifically aid my body in this particular cold scenario, I gargled with hydrogen peroxide a few times each day as well as used it as drops in my ears; I took a bath in magnesium bath salts; and I used raw, local honey before bed to soothe my throat.

That’s about it.

The result? One day of feeling really rotten, plus a day on either end where I just felt like I had an annoying cold. Done.

So, I earned this cold… I didn’t “catch it”. I believe that’s true even during the glorified “cold and flu season”. Even though we’re surrounded by more folks experiencing colds, we will not develop one ourselves if our cellular environment is functioning optimally. Our immune system will do its job and fight off the invading organism.

In the case of colds and flu, if we do “succumb” to a virus, I believe it’s far more important and more successful to consider how you can support optimal cell function as opposed to treating all the individual symptoms that accompany these expressions of health.

Give the body what it needs. Keep away from what it doesn’t need.

It’s the recipe for health, as well as the ‘treatment’ for sickness.

How simple is that?!

 

 

Teacher-Recommended “Healthy” Snacks for Kids

goldfish

“Teacher Recommended Healthy Snacks for Kids” is another Oldie-but-Goodie that was originally posted in March of 2011. (Still “rebuilding” my archives after the hack attack!)

It’s really no wonder at all that we can be so confused by nutrition.

It’s also no surprise that our kids end up equally, if not more, confused.

Recently, following our nutrition and lifestyle consultation, one parent in our practice brought in the “Recommended Health Snacks” list from her child’s class for my reading enjoyment. She thought I’d get a “kick” out of its contents.

Apparently, it’s enjoyable to others to watch me grow new gray hairs and wrinkle prematurely.

This mom explained that their school is participating in a much-publicized “wellness initiative” this year in an effort to “stamp out” childhood obesity and improve “heart health”, amongst other commendable goals.

Obviously, that’s all good.

They’re doing interesting things in gym class to chart their progress throughout the year, wearing pedometers to encourage additional movement, as well as sponsoring fun events like jump rope contests and so on.

Nutritionally, I’m not so sure.

I continue to hear very confusing, inaccurate nutritional messages in circumstances like these.

I get a little edgy when the term “healthy” is thrown around so loosely… carelessly, at times. I reserve the use of “healthy” for choices that are “health-building” and “health-enhancing”. That keeps it pretty simple and clear when it comes to making choices. Takes care of much of the confusion.

I definitely have an issue with using the term healthy for a lifestyle choice that clearly subtracts from our optimal cellular function, or has the potential to subtract from it.

Anyway, back to the list this concerned mom brought me.

Although this list isn’t horrifying by any means, it’s just disappointing… knowing that this was apparently based on the school’s “big improvement in nutrition” this year.

Check it out:

List of Recommended Healthy Snack & Lunch Choices:

Sunflower Seeds
Goldfish Crackers
Crackers
Cheese
Pretzels
Fruit
Veggies
Bagels
Muffins
Yogurt
Granola Bars
Breakfast Bars
Popcorn
Nuts
Trail-mix
Peanut Butter
Applesauce

At first glance, you might not think it’s too bad, right? That’s what most parents have shared with me.

“What?! There’s no chips or chocolate bars or candy on that list. It’s HEALTHY!”

In the case of the nuts & seeds and the fruit and vegetables, I agree. Well, if the nuts and seeds are raw & unsalted, that is!

What do YOU think about the rest of the list?

The cheese, yogurt, trail mix and applesauce might be a decent choice – depends on their source and quality. Although dairy is not required for optimal cell function… so we can argue that we shouldn’t even be consuming it at all! Whenever possible, clean it up. Organic and raw are better choices. Don’t choose dairy products based on the number of calories, or whether or not it’s “low-fat” or “fat-free”. Choose based on the ingredients and the source of those ingredients.

I repeat – we do not require dairy in order to experience optimal cell function (i.e. “health”). In fact, most times, dairy directly subtracts from our health.

By the way, our brains NEED fat. A low-fat diet (from processed, factory foods) is NOT the direction we should be headed with kids in particular. Their developing brains need all the help they can get. (So do mom and dad’s!) When we choose low-fat and fat-free foods we miss out on the critical fat soluble vitamins found in healthy fats. This is NOT the answer to the childhood obesity epidemic!! Real food, whole foods, more raw foods, non-toxic food PLUS daily exercise and an active lifestyle… that’s more like it!

Back to the list.

When my kids were in school, every “healthy” trail mix provided at various school functions always contained cereal and pretzels… and usually some type of colorful candy. Not my idea of healthy trail mix! For a “healthy” trail mix, focus more on raw nuts and seeds as the main ingredients.

Peanut butter can be a slippery slope. Many health experts say that we shouldn’t consume peanut butter because it contains aflatoxins that are harmful to our health. Almond butter is a better choice. At the very least, consuming “natural” peanut butter without all the added sugar and chemicals is a step in the right direction. Consider, too, that peanuts are legumes. We don’t actually need those in our diet. (I’m still bummed out about that, too. Trust me!)

Breakfast bars? Guess that would depend on their ingredients. Definitely not the conventional junk that’s out there. Those can be no better than glorified junk food. If you can, make your own, or look for raw bars with “clean”, real food ingredients. Granola bars can be tricky, too. Leading brands tend to be high in sugar and processed ingredients… plus, they’re loaded with grain, which leads me to the next point…

All righty. Let’s get down to the biggest problems on this list.

Gold fish crackers? As a “recommended HEALTHY snack”? Crackers, pretzels, bagels??

Fillers? Yes. Stop a kid’s stomach from growling? Yes. Health-promoting fuel for the body AND brain? NO.

Processed, refined, toxic grains trigger the stress response in children and adults alike.

This is one of THE root causes of ALL chronic illness… whether it’s obesity, attention & learning deficits,  emotional dysfunction, or even the ‘bigger’ illnesses like diabetes and cancer.

Grains are carbohydrates. (So are veggies, by the way. However, most Americans are in no danger of over loading on carbs from vegetables anytime soon!) Carbohydrates break down to glucose. Carbohydrates elicit a physiological response that favors fat storage. This entire hormonal cascade of events taxes the pancreas, the adrenal system and the immune system and contributes to an insulin roller coaster.

Also, there’s an inflammatory response to boot – you know, that same inflammation I’ve described as one of the root causes of all chronic illness?!

Then there are the issues of gluten and lectin, which, in a nutshell, can cause massive GI disarray and lead to serious autoimmune ailments.

Plus, grains just flat out do not offer us anything we can’t find in superior forms from other foods, like vegetables. grass-fed and pasture-raised meats,  and healthy fats & oils.

 

 

Maybe these foods on the list are indeed a step UP from the nastier more toxic snacks that contain even more artificial ingredients and colors and sweeteners… but that doesn’t mean we should confuse kids OR parents by calling them “healthy”.

That’s quite a stretch.

I know it’s challenging to provide a healthy lunch and healthy snacks day after day… after day. I get it.

Mixed messages make it even harder for everyone, kids included.

SO… let’s be PROACTIVE here! Let’s be part of the solution, rather than continuing to wallow in the problem.

What are some of YOUR favorite healthy snack choices you like to provide your kids?

The 5 Pillars of Chronic Illness: The Precursors to Why We Get Sick (Oldie-But-Goodie)

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(This post is actually a RE-post of an oldie-but goodie I had originally posted back in May of 2009. Due to the detailed “hack attack” a few months ago, my original Dr. Mom Online site is gone AND, unfortunately, so is much of the back-up. Boooo! However, I did manage to dig up some of my previous posts and articles from a back-up of a back-up! I’ll slowly start re-posting some of these over the next little while… to fill in some of the gaps!)

The 5 Pillars of Chronic Illness 

*** The overall concept of the 5 Pillars, as well as “rocks in the backpack”, comes from a colleague and mentor of mine, Dr. James Chestnut, B.Ed., M.Sc., D.C., C.C.W.P. ***

Despite all the attention shed on health, exercise & fitness, diets and the “miracles of medicine” during the last few decades, our society is witnessing a drastic increase in all chronic illnesses.  These illnesses and conditions include cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, osteoarthritis, depression and anxiety disorders, Alzheimer’s, dementia, autoimmune issues, acid reflux, constipation, infertility, chronic pain, chronic fatigue, decreased sex drive, and so on.

Science continues to demonstrate that over 99% of these illnesses are truly preventable – they are not “genetic” as has been the message so long perpetuated. Our lifestyle choices and our environment determine whether or not we will express health and wellness. This relationship between the environment and our genetic expression is summarized by the Science of Epigenetics.

There are clearly some direct relationships that have been confirmed in the study of chronic illness. We do not develop any of the aforementioned chronic illnesses due to random chance or faulty genetics. The “5 Pillars of Chronic Illness” represent the prerequisites to chronic illness. We do not develop chronic illness without at least one of these five pillars existing first.

The 5 Pillars of Chronic Illness are:

1)         Stress Hormones

2)         Insulin Resistance

3)         Chronic Inflammation

4)         Decreased SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin)

5)         Decreased Immunity

For example, it would be highly implausible (many would say “impossible”) to find someone experiencing cancer that did not have at least one of these five pillars first. In the simplest of metaphors, we could liken cancer or any of the other chronic illnesses to a cooked potato. The potato didn’t just magically end up that way. It wasn’t bad luck or bad potato genes that cooked the spud. Something must have preceded the end result of that potato being cooked.

It may have been baked, roasted, slow cooked, fried, microwaved… or any combination of these. These cooking methods are like the five pillars. They must precede a cooked potato! Obviously, developing chronic illness is far more serious and detailed than cooking. But, if we don’t understand the hierarchy of how sickness truly happens we can never fully restore health.

In the case of chronic illness, the five pillars are innately intelligent physiological adaptations to yet another level of precursors. In order for the body to respond in the form of these pillars, or adaptations to the environment, there must be a preceding state of Toxicity and Deficiency.

This means that lifestyle choices incongruent with our genetic blueprint for health and the prevention of chronic illness are being made. It doesn’t matter if the lifestyle choices are related to nutrition, movement or mindset – if they are toxic and deficient, rather than pure and sufficient, the end result is that the body will intelligently express adaptations to this toxic and deficient environment in the form of the physiological stress response. This response is neatly summarized by the five pillars of chronic illness.

The physiological stress response does not create health; it does not heal. What it does is it allows short term survival in the pathogenic environment. Essentially, it buys you time to get to a healthy environment – one that is less toxic and deficient, more pure and sufficient.

Our toxic and deficient lifestyle choices are like rocks in a backpack we wear as we tread water. They slowly sink us and make our existence more challenging and stressful. If the rocks are left in the backpack, and we continue to choose more rocks, our bodies make the highly intelligent decision to adapt to this new environment.

This is known as allostasis – the body’s attempt to maintain stability in a changing environment. The rocks are known as the allostatic load – the cumulative effect of our body responding to the stressors (toxicity and deficiency).

It’s this allostatic load that results in the physiological stress response and the 5 pillars of chronic illness. Without the rocks, we don’t move to the next stage.

Therefore, if we can prevent putting rocks into our backpack in the first place (by consistently making pure and sufficient lifestyle choices) and remove the rocks that are already there (by decreasing toxic and deficient choices), then our body no longer has a reason to express the five pillars. Without any of the five pillars, we don’t develop chronic illness.

Our lifestyle choices are the linchpin in this relationship between chronic illness and the environment. Choose wisely!

 

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Hacked, But Now Back! It’s Time To Focus On Health Again!

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Well, hello there, stranger! It’s been a long time!

Here’s the short version of where I’ve been: my blog was the victim of a very well orchestrated attack. Stinks. It took us several months to even figure out what on earth happened… then several more attempting to salvage what we could… but no such luck. I pretty much lost everything from the past 5 years. (Nothing *important*, per say… all things considered!)

Yes, we had back-ups, wise guy! Those were ‘contaminated’ as well. Poof. Gone! Who knew just running regular back-ups wasn’t good enough?! Lesson learned.

The same thing happened to every other website we own for our practice and the various books and products we’ve created over the years. I think the very worst part of this has been losing our contact lists… all the people we’ve met online and in person over the years. That part makes me sad. I hope our paths will cross again somehow.

(Speaking of which, please be sure to sign up for my email updates so we can keep in touch… since there’s a pretty good chance I no longer have your contact info you may have previously sent!)

So, this has been a rather stressful, icky experience. I don’t exactly understand all the technical reasons why it happened, nor do I care to focus on the “why” too much, other than to correct what can be corrected as I move forward. It’s just time to move on… to re-create… and re-build. Thankfully, I have a few rough drafts of my favorite articles saved in a totally different place than my ‘official back-up’, so you’ll see those resurface at some point.

(So there, hacker dudes.)

The site won’t look overly lovely for a little while yet – it’s still under construction. However, I didn’t want to wait ’til it’s “perfect” to start sharing again… perfect isn’t on my agenda anyhow!

Like I’ve said a hundred times to myself over the past few months, “Oh, well. What else am I gonna’ do?!”

So, what have I been up to for the past several months, you may or may not be wondering? I think I can quickly sum it up with “going a little bit crazy!” Yes, that seems about right!

It seems like we had some months of condensed stress:

  • first my husband’s dad passed away quite suddenly right before the holidays – of course, that created major emotional distress and heartache that seemed to set the tone for the weeks and months to follow
  • then our only assistant in the practice gave her notice that she was moving right after the holidays… so we hired a new person ASAP… waited a few weeks for her to start… she never showed up… so we started the hiring process all over again
  • in the meantime, I started back in the practice VERY full time… every day for quite awhile… along with the kids… trying to home school at work, around work, while being the doctor AND the assistant … crazy.
  • thankfully, we have a new assistant who has eased the burden… and my poor kids are only there 5 or 6 days a week now, rather than 7!! If they’re lucky, it might only be 4 days some weeks! They have been little troopers!
  • my dad’s health has been up and down. He sold his house that he has lived in for 48 years, mostly due to the financial strain it was causing him. That opened up a whole new can of worms… the stressful kind. Stressful worms are clearly not good for health… and especially not good for cancer. So, we’re working through that process…

Thankfully, there are always blessings. Always – no matter how mucky things can get.

On the very positive side, the last several months have been jam-packed with massive amounts of studying and learning, learning, learning. That’s definitely the part I love the most about what I do!

My hubby and I have continued with daily study in the area of  “Neuro-Metabolic” care – or, metabolic recovery and brain based therapy, primarily as they relate to chronic illness. It’s quite similar to “functional medicine”, in case that rings a bell.

There are so many conditions and pathways for recovery we’ve been studying – thyroid conditions, digestive issues and “leaky gut”, liver detoxification pathways, (true) root causes of cardiovascular conditions, hormonal imbalances, fertility issues, depression & anxiety disorders, autoimmune conditions (grossly misdiagnosed or missed altogether!), and many, many more.

A couple areas we’ve dived head first into with advanced training are Integrative Cancer Recovery as well as becoming Certified Gluten Practitioners.You will flip your lid when you hear the depth and breadth of the gluten issue and food sensitivity in general – it goes so far beyond “wheat” and grains, it’s not even funny!

Of course, the topic of cancer is near and dear to my heart. I’m extremely proud of the training we’ve accomplished recently, as well as the very thorough Integrative Recovery program we’ve spear-headed in our practice, with the help and input of a couple hundred of the smartest docs you could imagine.

I’ll definitely be filling you in on some of the phenomenal information I’ve been studying, and more importantly, how to reduce your risk  for these chronic conditions… or how to manage and/or reverse them if you’ve already been diagnosed. With the advanced diagnostic testing we now perform, we even offer “distance programs” for people all around the world… helping them properly identify the root causes of their health problems, and helping them regain health and function through a strategic recovery program. Exciting times!

 

As far as home school is concerned, we’re on a roll now. We’re late bloomers this year… but we are finishing strong! Each child has really blossomed in their own way – I’m proud of each of them for who they’ve become this school year, and for the knowledge and skills they’ve acquired.

I’m also a mighty bit relieved that there’s significantly less whining about school from the shortest of the short ones! Makes my life as teacher (and mom) a whole lot more peaceful!

So, that kinda’ sorta’ brings us up to speed here.

Let me know if there are certain health topics you’d like more information about… if you have any questions… or any suggestions regarding how to improve this blog as it gets going again. I’d love your input!

Also, please play nicely and share with others! My mission, both in our practice and with this blog, has always been to reach out to as many people as possible and offer help in any way I can. I appreciate your help in spreading the word!