Claire's Corner en-us NYK RSS Feeder White Trash Carbohydrates Mon, 09 Apr 2018 12:29:51 -0400 <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 600px;" /></p> <p><strong>White Trash Carbohydrates </strong>are just what they sound like: cheap, common foods that stupidly rob your body of nutrients because they are void of nutrition - and don&#39;t get any better just because of a pretty label! They might come with an awesome green logo or some promise of being healthy, but if you look closer at what they do, you&#39;ll see they belong in the trash!<br /> <br /> We see so many people coming in for careÂcomplaining of low energy, sluggish metabolism, central weight gain, disturbed sleep and uncomfortable hormonal symptoms, not to mention the obvious cravings for sweets and starches, irritability or weakness between meals, or even frequent urination. All of these problems can find their root cause in blood sugar dysregulation, and it&#39;s going to take a lot more than a single supplement to fix the problem. Let&#39;s take a closer look at what this means...<br /> <br /> <strong>How Carbohydrates Affect the Body</strong><br /> Eating refined carbs (fried potatoes, cookies, white bread, bagels, white rice, GUs, etc.) results in an immediate and substantial increase in blood sugar. Although some of this can be utilized by active muscles during exercise, any excess blood sugar will cause <strong>inflammation</strong> in the lining of the blood vessels throughout your body, which is known as glycemic stress. This excess sugar has a harmful effect on the liver; it throws off your lipid values by increasing triglycerides and increasing LDLs to carry <u>beneficial</u> cholesterol out to repair the inflamed arteries and tissues in the body.<br /> <br /> <img data-file-id="2755785" height="150" src="" width="150" /><br /> Having excess blood sugar eventually leads to <strong>insulin resistance</strong>. This scenario can get worse over years; you don&#39;t just suddenly wake up one day as a diabetic. When blood sugar increases, the pancreas secretes insulin to process the blood sugar. Eventually, after prolonged assault, the insulin receptors get overloaded and begin declining in function, to the point that more insulin is less efficient in the body. The result is a weakened pancreas, unable to produce enough insulin and enzymes that are needed, and a diagnosis of insulin resistance: a sliding scale of uncomfortable symptoms on the road to diabetes.<br /> <br /> <img data-file-id="2755781" height="150" src="" width="150" /><br /> Glycemic stress and insulin resistance are also associated with <strong>depression, insomnia</strong> and <strong>fatigue</strong>. A diet high in refined carbohydrates makes ALL hormonal problems worse because the increased inflammation from blood sugar adversely affects the body&#39;s hormone balance. As insulin levels rise and remain high, cortisol levels rise along with them, much like a situation of being under chronic high stress. High cortisol can have damaging effects of its own, eventually fatiguing the adrenals, dysregulating the hormonal signaling between glands, and impairing hippocampus function (our <strong>memory</strong> center). In the opposite situation, when insulin levels drop too low (say, in the middle of the night) the body can increase cortisol in an effort to bring more glucose to the brain - which wakes you up, feeling alert like it&#39;s 7 a.m., when cortisol is supposed to be high.<br /> <img data-file-id="2755769" height="294" src="" width="150" /><br /> Obviously, a weakened sugar handling system can wreak havoc in many ways throughout the body! But did you know, sugar handling issues are also linked to <strong>low testosterone</strong> in men? (Guys, do I have your attention now?) That&#39;s right. Years of chronic stress plus a refined carbohydrate diet deplete your zinc stores (that your prostate needs) and fuel the aromatase enzyme that converts your precious testosterone into estrogen. The first sign of low testosterone is... ahem...well, let&#39;s say if your soldier is not standing to attention in the morning, it&#39;s time to get to work. Later signs of low T (with comparatively high estrogen) is having cherry angiomas (red moles), a bloated, hard "beer belly" and/or "man boobs". Yes, you can get a beer belly even if you don&#39;t drink beer - it&#39;s because the sugars from carbohydrates can damage the liver in the same way! Technically speaking, what MUST happen is to promote proper lipid balance (statins don&#39;t do this), decrease Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG), diminish the aromatase enzyme, and support both digestion and the stress response. You don&#39;t have a deficiency of Viagra, but you may have subtle co-deficiencies of zinc, magnesium, and DHEA, along with xenoestrogen toxicity.<br /> <br /> This goes for both men and women: to be successful in restoring hormone balance, first you must start eliminating the root cause of the problem (everything that metabolizes like sugar), and then start healing and detoxing all the damage it has caused.<br /> <br /> <strong><img data-file-id="2755757" height="131" src="" width="100" /><br /> Have questions</strong>? Scroll to the bottom and click the button to send us a message! We can help you work on all these issues and more. Let us help you get started!<br /> <br /> <strong>It&#39;s Not Just Desserts</strong><br /> There are a lot of so-called health foods that contain way too many carbohydrates. Beware of energy drinks, fruity protein shakes, cereal bars, or any other label proclaiming "energy" - they will be full of empty sugars. Have you ever checked an Ensure label? 33 grams of carbohydrates with only 1 gram of fiber, a bunch of gut-destroying GMOs and a boatload of synthetic vitamins (not utilized by the body without the nature-given cofactors). We can do a lot better for our dear Grandparents!<br /> <br /> <img data-file-id="2755761" height="83" src="" width="150" /><br /> If you can&#39;t find a suitable high-protein bar in the store, just make your own! It really is so easy! See recipe below...<br /> <br /> A good daily goal should be 50 grams of carbs, independent of those you get from fiber. And beware of high starch foods as well. If you see a label that has 30 grams of carbs per serving, with 3 grams of fiber and 15 grams of sugar - maybe that doesn&#39;t seem so bad - but what they haven&#39;t pointed out is there are still 12 grams of starch that will spike your blood sugar, too! That&#39;s right, the FDA doesn&#39;t require labeling of starches in the Nutrition Facts, so it&#39;s up to you to remember and watch out for excess starch.<br /> <br /> <img data-file-id="2755745" height="100" src="" width="100" /><br /> Gluten-free foods can be misleading for this same reason. Maybe you have figured out that gluten from wheat, rye and spelt is a problem for you. But the gluten-free substitutes can be just as bad. Whereas they won&#39;t cause the same gut-wrenching or mucus-forming inflammation in the gut, the high-starch tapioca flour, arrowroot flour, and rice flour can still weaken your pancreas and digestive system.<br /> <br /> What else can happen if you have depleted zinc stores and weak upper digestion - say hello to <strong>acid reflux</strong>, <strong>heartburn</strong>, and even <strong>parasite</strong> overload! I tell you, if we could get the vast abundance of cheap, refined carbohydrates out of our food supply, millions of people would find massively improved health - without changing anything else in their lifestyle!<br /> <br /> <strong>Better Choices You Can Make</strong><br /> <img data-file-id="2755765" height="100" src="" width="100" /></p> <p>Instead of soda, drink sparkling water with a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice, or even a single drop of grapefruit essential oil.<br /> <br /> Instead of alcohol when you&#39;re out to eat, try club soda with a splash of bitter herbs from the bar - gives a little color, a nice flavor, and no one will know you&#39;re "not drinking".<br /> <br /> Instead of having orange juice or apple juice, eat the whole orange or apple, so you get the fiber, too!<br /> <br /> Instead of white rice, have brown or wild rice, and use a good quality or homemade sauce with butter, olive or avocado oil. Instead of white potatoes, have sweet potato, and load it up with butter. Having a healthy fat along with a portion of carbohydrates can slow the rush of sugar to the bloodstream.<br /> <br /> <img data-file-id="2755793" height="150" src="" width="100" /></p> <p>Instead of plain or flavored instant oatmeal, soak some old-fashioned oats in a jar of water overnight (so they cook faster in the morning) and load it up with ground flax seed or nuts, cinnamon, and butter or coconut oil.<br /> <br /> If you awaken after just a couple hours&#39; sleep, or wake up too early, try having a snack of almond butter or turkey meat right before bed.<br /> <br /> Focus your meal planning on including a healthy fat and lean protein. What&#39;s a healthy fat? Think BACON!<br /> <strong>B</strong>utter<br /> <strong>A</strong>vocado<br /> <strong>C</strong>oconut oil<br /> <strong>O</strong>ther oils like grapeseed oil, palm oil, ghee and olive oil<br /> <strong>N</strong>uts and seeds<br /> <br /> <img data-file-id="2755789" height="65" src="" width="100" /></p> <p>Make some organic chocolate or lemon ketogenic FAT BOMBS for when you have a sweet craving.</p> <p>Instead of grabbing a bagel for breakfast, make a batch of high-protein "breakfast cookies."</p> When Counting Sheep isn't Enough - Part 2 Mon, 09 Apr 2018 12:27:48 -0400 <p><img alt="" src="" style=" width: 600px; height: 600px;" /></p> <p><strong>Getting Restful Sleep - Part 2</strong></p> <p>Getting restful sleep - all night long, with peaceful dreams and waking up with energy in the morning - can be a lot easier said than done. Certainly, all of us have felt the effects of too much stress, and what it can do to our sleep temporarily, but as soon as that particular stress is relieved, normal sleep should return. But what happens when it doesn&#39;t?<br /> <br /> The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has declared Monday, March 12, 2018 (today!) to be Insomnia Awareness Day. Each night, millions of Americans struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep. Did you know that 15-20% of adults develop a short-term insomnia disorder, lasting less than 3 months, and approximately 10% of adults have a chronic insomnia disorder, which occurs at least three times a week for more than three months.<br /> <br /> Chronic insomnia can have many negative impacts on your health. Related symptoms can include: chronic fatigue, poor focus and concentration, memory issues, impaired mood, low motivation and apathy, and increased errors or accidents. Clearly, sleep issues need to be dealt with early, before developing into a chronic, debilitating condition.<br /> <br /> Last week, we took a look at two major causes of insomnia: HPA axis dysfunction and glycemic management. If you missed our Part 1 email, take a look in your Promotions or Spam folder from Monday, March 5. Here is a quick recap:</p> <p><strong>HPA Axis Dysfunction</strong></p> <p>The hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis represents the way the various endocrine glands communicate with each other through hormonal signalling. Chronic stress (either chemical, physical, or emotional stress) can wreak havoc on the hormonal output that determines our circadian rhythm (high energy in the day vs. low energy at night). When properly used, adaptogenic herbs and supplements are supportive of proper sleep signalling, but won&#39;t "force" the body to do anything. Often, we like to use several of these supplements in combination, when stronger support is needed.</p> <p><strong>Glycemic Management</strong></p> <p>In this case, the individual must work on the diet, to bring in more healthy fats and protein, and a lot less carbohydrates. It may be helpful to eat a snack of turkey meat or almond butter right before bed, so the fat can help keep blood sugar stable through the night.</p> <p><strong>Problems with OTC Remedies</strong></p> <p>Sometimes, it&#39;s not so easy to figure out the underlying cause of the disrupted sleep. Many people tend to turn to over-the-counter options like Melatonin or Tylenol PM. To holistic practitioners, the problem with using Melatonin is that it is supposed to be produced by your pineal gland late at night. When it is added exogenously,Âthe body can get used to the condition of not having to produce its own Melatonin. In other words, the endocrine system realizes there is sufficient Melatonin in circulation, and the pineal gland can become lazy in its production of the hormone. Another way to put it would be, if there is a problem (possible toxicity) with the pineal gland, you may just be covering up the problem by adding your own Melatonin.<br /> <br /> Tylenol PM has other concerns. It contains acetaminophen (pain reliever) and diphenhydramine HCl (antihistamine). A quick search on reveals that "an overdoes of acetaminophen can damage your liver or cause death." Acetaminophen can also cause a severe skin rash with blistering or peelingÂand also can be fatal. The risk of these effects are increased when consumed with alcohol. Acute liver failure can occur after one large dose of acetaminophen, or after having higher than recommended doses every day for several days.</p> <p><strong>Biomeridian Clock</strong></p> <p>According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) there is an internal "body energy clock" reflected in the energy meridians that are linked to every organ. The body energy clock reflects the cyclical ebb and flow of energy throughout the body. TCM holds that "chi" (the vital energy force) moves inward during sleep to restore the body. When the various cleansing processes are complete, chi moves outward again to promote actions in different parts of the body. If the organ is overloaded with toxicity or negative emotions, function will be disrupted, which can wake you up at the wrong time. By understanding that every organ has a daily repair schedule, gives us an opportunity to determine what may be affecting your healthy sleep.<br /> <br /> Let&#39;s take a look at the organs commonly affected by the sleeping hours:<br /> From 9:00 to11:00, this is the Triple Warmer time, the time of the thyroid and adrenals. During this time, cortisol production should be low, to allow the person to rest calmly and let sleep take over. However, if you have been watching a scary movie or mulling over stressful events from the day, you may unknowingly be firing up increased cortisol production and fueling a "fight or flight response" that can keep you from falling asleep on time. Essential oils that help for calming a stressed out body include Lavender, Roman Chamomile and Frankincense.<br /> <br /> From 11:00 to 1:00 is the time of gallbladder renewal. The gallbladder is a pouch that collects bile as it is produced from the liver. If our daily lifestyle is such that the liver is overburdened, the bile production can stagnate, becoming thick and sluggish and not flowing easily. This sluggish bile can irritate the gallbladder, and in turn can cause disrupted sleep at the time when it is supposed to be actively performing growth and repair. The gallbladder is also the organ associated with resentment. So if you have a problem of holding grudges, or if there is a particular situation in life causing you great strife and resentment, focusing on and releasing this emotion from your worries may give you the restful sleep you have been looking for at this time. Essential oils that support gallbladder function include Geranium and Lavender.<br /> <br /> From 1:00 to 3:00 is the time when the liver is most active. The liver performs hundreds of functions, most notably, neutralizing and eliminating excess toxins and hormones from the bloodstream. Again, if the liver is overburdened from toxic food or medications, or is under-nourished of proper nutrients, it can struggle in performing its functions, and can wake you up. I believe this is why most people discover much more restful sleep during our 21-Day Purification Program, which promotes liver detoxification through specific herbs and foods. The liver is the organ of anger and frustration. Have you been especially short-tempered lately, harboring negative emotions of pent-up anger? Maybe it&#39;s time to do a purification of your liver. By clearing the negative toxicity, you may clear the negative emotions and improve your sleep, too. Essential oils that are useful in promoting liver function include Geranium, Helichrysum and Clove.<br /> <br /> From 3:00 to 5:00 the body energy shifts to the lungs. This is the time of early stirring, gentle breathing, and moving waste from the lungs. Do you tend to cough when you first get up and move around? It could be because the lungs have just been working on clearing debris and tissue repair. The lungs are associated with the emotions of grief and sadness. If you have suffered a loss that you haven&#39;t fully grieved through, your body may be telling you to focus on it, and release the sadness in order to restore function during this time. One essential oil that I find particularly helpful in oxygenating the lungs and releasing grief is Sandalwood. Just a few drops on the chest before bed can help give a sense of peace and release that inner tension.<br /> <br /> <strong>Electronic Devices</strong></p> <p>Uh oh, here&#39;s where I get to remind you that late night TV is not the best thing to get you to sleep on time. You already know it to be true! The bright lights, sound and mental stimulation are in direct opposition to what your body needs to transition to peaceful dreams.<br /> <br /> Exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) from cell phones, computers, cell towers, WiFi, tablets, cordless phones, electric blankets and even the new electricity Smart Meters on our homes can have a significant effect on sleep. Even when you&#39;re not using these devices, the constant electromagnetic radiation is continuously zapping your body and affecting your energy. If you keep your WiFi going constantly and use your cell phone by your bed as your alarm clock, this may be a huge contributor to your disrupted sleep.<br /> <br /> EMFs from man made devices have a higher frequency than the natural electromagnetic fields of your body at rest. The electrical current in your home is generally between 50-60 Hz. In contrast, the ideal frequency in your brain during sleep drops to as low as 2 Hz. This discrepancy can keep you from falling asleep, and can pull you out of deep sleep.<br /> <br /> EMFs also cause sleep loss through the suppression of melatonin in your body. EMFs hinder the production of melatonin and impact our cells so that they can&#39;t take in the melatonin that is produced. This allows proliferation of malignant cells and disrupts cell-signalling systems, which determines how a cell responds to its environment.<br /> <br /> Things you can do very easily to improve your bedroom environment:</p> <ul> <li>Use black electrical tape to cover up the bright lights on your devices</li> <li>Remove any unnecessary electrical devices from the room</li> <li>Do not sleep under an electric blanket turned on all night</li> <li>Put your WiFi on a timer so that it turns off automatically at night</li> <li>Put your phone on airplane mode when it&#39;s time for bed</li> <li>Do not stare at a TV, computer or tablet in the hour right before bed</li> <li>Avoid loud music, arguments and discussing to-do lists with family right before bed</li> <li>Take a warm bath with lavender soap, or a few drops of your favorite essential oils before bed</li> <li>Read a book with a peaceful storyline right before bed.</li> <li>Cuddle with your pets, tell your spouse something that you&#39;re grateful for, or pray quietly right before bed.</li> </ul> <p>We hope this information has been helpful for you! Please let us know of any questions you may have. Click the button below to request a consult, and let us help you with more ways to improve your sleep!</p> When Counting Sheep isn't Enough - Part 1 Mon, 09 Apr 2018 12:26:45 -0400 <p><img alt="" src="" style=" width: 600px; height: 600px;" /></p> <p><font color="#000080"><strong>When Counting Sheep Isn&#39;t Enough - Part 1 of 2</strong></font></p> <p><strong>Your sleep is so important!</strong></p> <p>Do you know that with chronic lack of sleep (less than 6 hours), the risks for ALL causes of mortality are increased? Do you know that lack of sleep can impair your metabolism, make you 30% hungrier, decrease your thyroid function by 30% and contribute to mood disorders? Do you know that taking sleep medications has a direct relationship with dying earlier - from all causes? Clearly, we need to pay attention to the amount and quality of our sleep, and make improvements naturally and ASAP, if needed!<br /> <br /> <strong>Sleep and Weight</strong></p> <p>Among overweight adults who were put on a diet, sleep turned out to be a significant determinant of success: subjects who slept (on average) seven hours and twenty-five minutes per night lost more body fat than those who slept five hours and fifteen minutes per night.</p> <p><em>"Insufficient sleep undermines dietary efforts to reduce adiposity". Annals of Internal Medicine 153 (2010):435-441</em></p> <p><strong>Normal or Not?</strong></p> <p>Who in this modern world hasn&#39;t had an occasional restless night? Every now and then, it&#39;s not uncommon to have a night where you don&#39;t rest so well, for whatever reason. Maybe you had a heavy dinner too late, or maybe it was that extra martini or glass of wine you just couldn&#39;t turn down. Certainly, if you have argued with a family member or are under pressure at work, you may find yourself tossing and turning, and it seems obvious to know what&#39;s going on.<br /> <br /> But what about when your sleep disturbance turns chronic, and you&#39;re trying everything restful you can, yet still you&#39;re looking at the clock at 3 a.m., or 4, or 5? If you&#39;re not getting good zzzz&#39;s on a regular basis, it&#39;s time to figure out how to make things right again. Here, we&#39;ve provided our thoughts on the reasons for lack of sleep, and some helpful remedies you may like to try...<br /> <br /> <strong>HPA Axis Dysfunction</strong></p> <p>The HPA Axis stands for the "hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis". You may have heard us speak about this during our nutrition consults, and maybe you have not really understood what that meant. In a nutshell, it means the way that your endocrine glands secrete hormones and communicate to one another. After prolonged periods of chronic stress, whether emotional stress, chemical stress (food), or physical stress (overtraining), the adrenal glands can become less effective in producing cortisol according to a proper circadian rhythm. Rather than having high cortisol in the morning to wake you up and give you energy all day, and tapering off until night, sometimes people may feel low and dragging through the day, only to feel a "second wind" at night and then not be able to go to bed. Or, sometimes the person may get only light sleep through the night, not the deeply restorative sleep (with dreaming) that helps you feel refreshed in the morning. If someone is trying to adapt to the stresses of working a night shift, certainly the circadian rhythm is affected and will need some support.<br /> <br /> We recommend several key herbs and glandular supplements to help support proper signalling of the HPA axis: Hypothalmex, Symplex F or M (for females or males), Withania Complex (containing Ashwagandha), Adrenal Complex (containing Rehmannia and Licorice) or our Adrenal-Immune tonic (Ashwagandha, Rehmannia and Echinacea). In addition, we also recommend key minerals to help calm and feed the body the nutrients it likely needs to relax: Coral Legend (containing calcium and magnesium), Magnesium Lactate, Cataplex G (containing niacinamide), or Organically Bound Minerals (containing potassium). Other herbs that we know to be sedative in effect are Kava, California Poppy, andÂChamomileand Valerian. Some people also get great benefit from supplementing with the neurotransmitter, GABA.<br /> <br /> When properly recommended and applied, the above supplements are only supportive of proper sleep signalling, and won&#39;t "force" the body to do anything. Often, we like to use several of these supplements in combination, to give a synergistic effect, when stronger support is needed. The variety of helpful nutrients can be confusing, so please give us a call if you would like a recommendation for the best food and herbal support for you.<br /> <br /> <strong>Glycemic Management</strong></p> <p>It is extremely common for people these days to have way too many carbohydrates in their diet. Whether it be bread, orange juice, bagels, pasta, candy, or alcohol, to the body it all feels like a whole bunch of sugar, which requires insulin in order to be processed and managed by the body. After a long period of consuming too many carbs like this (even if you are working out like crazy and "burning them off"), the pancreas can get fatigued and insulin receptors on the cell membranes can become dull and ineffective - this is the beginning of insulin resistance. Typical symptoms can include: frequently being hungry even just after eating, getting weak & dizzy in between meals, cravings for sweets and starches, and frequent urination. Not only that, but waking up too early, wide awake and not being able to go back to sleep, is often a symptom of impaired glucose metabolism. How does that work? In the middle of the night, your blood sugar level can sometimes drop too low, and the body must turn up cortisol to bring more glucose to the brain. The problem is that cortisol really shouldn&#39;t come up that high until 7 am, which should naturally wake you up, refreshed and ready for the day.<br /> <br /> In this case, the individual must work on the diet, to bring in more healthy fats and protein, and a lot less carbohydrates. It may be helpful to eat a snack of turkey meat or almond butter right before bed, so the fat can help keep blood sugar stable through the night. We also like to recommend our favorite sugar-busting supplements: Diaplex, Paraplex, Gymnema, Cataplex B and Cataplex GTF, along with some form of fish oil, to help re-sensitize insulin receptors and get the cell membranes working better.<br /> <br /> If you have been feeling that carbohydrates and frequent sweet snacking have been controlling your life, please talk to us about doing a 10-day Blood Sugar Cleanse. Getting your carbohydrates in check not only can improve your sleep, but also can improve your lipids and inflammatory responses throughout the body.<br /> <br /> <strong>In our next segment, (Part 2) we&#39;ll be discussing the Biomeridian Clock and the influence ofÂ</strong><strong>Electronic Devices on your sleep. Until then, we wish you restful sleep and sweet dreams!</strong></p> Coffee... Healthy or Not? Mon, 09 Apr 2018 12:24:41 -0400 <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 600px;" /></p> <p><span style="color:#800000;"><strong>Coffee... Healthy or Not? It all depends...</strong></span></p> <p>The way I&#39;ll answer this for you is the way I answer most questions in our nutritional consultations: it depends on the individual. Whether a food is healthy for us or not has to be taken into context of questions like: what else is going on with the person&#39;s health, what kind and how much are they drinking, and how is it being prepared?<br /> <br /> It&#39;s a worthwhile question, because the majority of Americans consume coffee every day, and since it has become a "lifestyle activity" to hang out at coffee shops, teenagers and young adults are lining up more and more for their daily "Cup O&#39;Joe." The biggest problem I see is that most people are letting their taste buds decide everything that comes into their mouths, and coffee is just one more way that huge amounts of sugar are undermining our collective health. I have compiled some thoughts here for you to consider, about whether coffee is a healthy choice for you or a loved one. Hope you like the info, and that you learn something new!</p> <p><br /> <img data-file-id="2691005" height="66" src="" width="100" /> <img data-file-id="2691093" height="100" src="" width="72" /></p> <p><span style="color:#800000;"><strong>Organic versus Conventional</strong></span><font color="#ff0033"><strong>ÂÂ</strong></font>For a coffee to be labeled "organic," producers cannot use synthetic pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers on 95% of the beans in the package. Sadly, 100% is not required, and so there might still be some trace chemical residues in organic coffees. But what makes the biggest difference here is for the farm workers and the environment, not the consumer. Conventional coffee is typically a heavily sprayed crop. Following more traditional farming practices reduces the amounts of chemicals that enter the ground, helps to maintain partial forest canopy, reduces erosion, and reduces the toxic chemical exposures that cause cancer for so many farm workers these days. Fair Trade is also not a perfect certification; Fair Trade USA&#39;s standards are no longer fully aligned with those of Fair Trade International, but generally, most Fair Trade coffee is shade grown under natural tree canopies and farmers are encouraged to follow sustainable practices for disposing of wastes, maintaining buffer zones and minimizing water use.<br /> <br /> <span style="color:#800000;"><strong>The amount makes a difference: 1 cup vs. 1 pot</strong></span><font color="#ff0033"><strong>ÂÂ</strong></font>It&#39;s funny how people like to justify their coffee habit. People like to tell me, "I just have one...but it&#39;s a super large thermos mug... Is that ok?" Well, no. There have been many studies done on coffee and its effects on our health - and a lot of these studies are inconclusive or conflicting. You can click the button below to read a few studies from the<em> American Journal of Clinical Nutrition</em>. It seems the standard amount used in the research is about 200 mg/day, or about 2 cups of coffee. So by that, if the researchers don&#39;t find quantifiable effects from 1 cup of coffee, to me that&#39;s a sign it&#39;s probably ok.<br /> <br /> But here&#39;s the kicker - caffeine has a strong effect on your adrenal glands, and causes them to increase cortisol and adrenaline output. This is where you feel that kick of energy. But what if you&#39;ve been consuming coffee, and stressing about your job, and worrying about finances, and over training your body, and eating a poor diet, and partying long hours with your friends, etc. Drinking coffee may just be the straw that breaks the camel&#39;s back, and results in adrenal fatigue (i.e. exhausted adrenal glands with very little or dysregulated hormonal output). If you&#39;re feeling dependent on coffee and simply can&#39;t function without it, talk to us about doing an Adrenal Stress Index test and let&#39;s see what&#39;s really going on.</p> <p><img data-file-id="2691037" height="100" src="" width="100" /></p> <p><span style="color:#800000;"><strong>What else are you adding?</strong></span><font color="#ff0033"> </font>Sugar is an obvious no-no. Not many people are admitting to adding sugar anymore. But there are a lot of closet Splenda and Nutrasweet users out there; for some reason, people are still more fearful of calories than they are of chemicals. So, here&#39;s what aspartame breaks down into: aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol which converts into formaldehyde. FDA studies claim that consumption of aspartame is safe; however, for some people, aspartame is associated with a multitude of negative side effects like headaches, dizziness, migraines, confusion, increased hunger and neuro-toxicity. In the holistic world, Stevia is a much safer alternative.</p> <p><br /> What about creamer? Ideally, there wouldn&#39;t be any problem with raw milk, except that it&#39;s near impossible to find in Georgia. Pasteurized Half and Half is not the worst thing in the world, if you can tolerate dairy. But Coffee Mate? Have you seen these ingredients: <strong>sugar</strong>, water, <strong>partially hydrogenated oil</strong>, sodium caseinate,Â<strong>propylene glycol</strong>,dipotassium phosphate, <strong>polysorbate 60</strong>, sodium stearoyl cactylate, <strong>artificial colors</strong> and flavors, and <strong>sucralose</strong>, an artificial sweetener. The consumer group just happens to rate Coffee Mate a 10 on a scale from 1 to 10 (10 being the worst). This product poses concerns for 2 tsp of added sugar per serving, artery-clogging trans fat, genetically modified ingredients and questionable processing methods. No, thank you.<br /> <br /> What&#39;s a better option? Follow the lead of the Bulletproof guys, and add some brain-promoting <strong>real fats</strong> to your coffee!<strong> Butter</strong> makes it creamy, and <strong>coconut oil</strong> makes it sweet. Personally, I like to brew my coffee in a French press, then pour it into a small Magic Bullet cup and add the butter and coconut oil, with maybe a dash of cinnamon. Blend it for about 30 secondsÂand pour it into my coffee cup. And there I&#39;ve got a fully organic, frothy, and decadent love in a cup. Love it!</p> <p><img data-file-id="2704073" height="100" src="" width="100" /></p> <p><span style="color:#800000;"><strong>Brewing in a glass pot or Keurig?ÂÂ</strong></span>Wow, you might hate me for saying this, but that convenient personal-size K-cup is probably leaching nasty chemicals into your coffee. Sorry! According to a CDC study, BPA was detected in the urine of 95%of the people tested. Clearly, our widespread use of plastic products is catching up with us. Plastic pods and plastic lids are just one more source of endocrine-disrupting chemicals that we&#39;d be better off without. The endocrine disrupting chemicals are what we work on removing though our 21-day Purification Cleanse. Just think how much better you would be - year round - without this daily source of pollution in your cup?</p> <p><img data-file-id="2691145" height="100" src="" width="100" /></p> <p><span style="color:#800000;"><strong>Taking Thyroid Hormone?</strong></span><font color="#ff0033"> </font>If you&#39;ve been on thyroid hormone for a while, you may remember that your doctor told you to take your meds on an empty stomach. But did he tell you to take it an hour away from coffee? He should have! Because this study and this one to indicate some detrimental effects that warrant more research on how coffee affects thyroid hormone.<br /> <br /> <span style="color:#800000;"><strong>Taking HRT (synthetic estrogen)?Â</strong></span>There is also a potential link between Hormone Replacement Therapy and how you metabolize the caffeine in coffee. Having very high estrogen levels seems to increase the physical effects of caffeine - leading to jumpiness, sweating, and/or nervous stomach. Furthermore, this study points out that the effects of coffee on women&#39;s estrogen levels may vary (either increase or reduce) as a function of race. Clearly, more research is needed to clarify what this means for the thousands of women consuming coffee every day.</p> <p><img data-file-id="2691161" height="100" src="" width="100" /></p> <p><span style="color:#800000;"><strong>Are you depressed?Â</strong></span>Chronic consumption of caffeine has been shown to have specific effects on our brain chemistry and neurotransmitters. Chronic intake increases our serotonin receptors (helps regulate mood), inhibits GABA production (GABA is a calming neurotransmitter), and increases acetylcholine (involved in muscle contraction). Furthermore, daily caffeine reduces some B vitamin co-factors that are necessary for synthesis of serotonin, dopamine, and GABA. So, while you may feel a quick boost in alertness, energy and mood, after a long period of use, you may develop deficiencies that make you feel lower or more blue than you should.<br /> <br /> <span style="color:#800000;"><strong>In Summary:</strong></span><br /> To summarize, yes, coffee has great <strong>potential</strong> to be a healthy food - if consumed sparingly, grown without synthetic pesticides, not adulterated with anything toxic, and if the individual doesn&#39;t have any complicating factors. Benefits to your body include antioxidants and polyphenols (which you still need to get from vegetables and fruit), mental clarity, and enhanced mood. So make your healthy choices where you can, so you can fully enjoy your "love in a cup!"</p> <p><br /> Are you planning to be part of our January Purification Cleanse? You will need some great alternatives, because coffee will be eliminated throughout the 21 days. Here are some of our favorites...<br /> <br /> <img data-file-id="2690909" height="100" src="" width="100" /> <strong><span style="color:#800000;">Matcha</span><span style="color:#800000;"> Green Tea</span> </strong>can be used to make a super awesome Coconut Matcha Latte. MMMM!! Matcha tastes a bit grassy to me on its own, so I like to add it either to a Latte or blend it in to my smoothie. Matcha is great because you&#39;re actually consuming the whole tea leaf, not just steeping for a few minutes and then removing it. You don&#39;t want to overheat it, because of the delicate phytochemicals, so here&#39;s what I do... while my tea kettle is heating, I put a little cool water and/or unsweetened coconut milk in a Mason jar, then add a teaspoon of Matcha and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon. Next put the lid on, and shake it up until there are no more lumps. When the tea water is hot, pour in just enough to make it the temperature you want. Taste and adjust to your liking. If you like it more sweet, try adding a few drops of Vanilla Creme Stevia.<br /> <br /> <img data-file-id="2690913" height="100" src="" width="100" /> <span style="color:#800000;"><strong>Chai Roobios Tea</strong></span> has fantastic flavor and no caffeine. Perfect for your Purification Cleanse! Chai tea typically contains herbs like cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, black peppercorn, fennel seed, cloves and/or star anise - a beautiful, spicy blend that will leave your senses fully engaged!<br /> <br /> <img data-file-id="2690921" height="100" src="" width="100" /> <strong><span style="color:#800000;">Teechino</span>Â</strong>is a chicory tea with multiple varieties - all are super tasty. It is amazing how much this tastes like coffee! Granted, it&#39;s a bit more watered down, but it&#39;s still a lovely addition to your morning. You won&#39;t be missing out!<br /> <br /> <img data-file-id="2690917" height="100" src="" width="100" /> <span style="color:#800000;"><strong>Zhena&#39;s Gypsy Coconut Chai Tea</strong></span> is one I have in our pantry all the time, and at the office - it&#39;s so good! This blend is made with Green Tea, so it does have some caffeine, but not as much as regular coffee, plus it&#39;s organic and has lots of antioxidants. So yummy!<br /> <br /> <img data-file-id="2690925" height="100" src="" width="100" /> <strong><span style="color:#800000;">Yerba Mate</span>Â</strong>also contains some caffeine, similar to black tea, but again, has less than coffee. Yerba Mate is a traditional South American brew that is said to offer the "strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate" all in one beverage. But it doesn&#39;t taste like chocolate. If you&#39;ve never had it, it tastes grassy and similar to a green tea.</p> Staying Well through the Winter Mon, 09 Apr 2018 12:22:32 -0400 <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 600px;" /></p> <p><font color="#ff0033">Greetings, everyone! We have made it to December, and you know what that means: colder days, less outdoor exercise and much more holiday stress! For most people, this also means more parties, more eating out and more sugary treats. Have you ever wondered, is it a just coincidence that "cold and flu season" just happens to occur when we reduce our daily sunshine and let other priorities take the place of our healthy habits?<br /> <br /> This time of year, there is no shortage of reminders to "get your flu shot." However, this medical intervention is not very effective, it comes with some risks and its ingredients are not safe for everyone. Read more on </font><font color="#ff0033"> We have a long list of other options that we believe are much healthier and safer for maintaining your health and vitality:<br /> <br /> <img data-file-id="2686157" height="200" src="" width="200" /><br /> <strong>Vitamin D</strong></font> levels must be sufficient in order to achieve deep sleep and to make proper use of your B vitamins. Vitamin D is a sex hormone precursor and it helps maintain strong T-regulatory cells within our immune system. Through the summer, we are able to make a decent amount of vitamin D if we get some daily sunlight exposure and consume a good amount of essential fatty acids. We also get some vitamin D from foods like salmon, eggs and meat. However, once we start wearing long sleeves and staying indoors on the weekends, just about everyone becomes deficient. For this reason, we often recommend supplementation with vitamin D3 through the winter.<br /> <br /> <img data-file-id="2686125" height="200" src="" width="200" /><br /> <font color="#ff0033"><strong>Cod Liver OilÂ</strong></font>is like an "insurance policy" for Americans, who are unlikely to eat organ meats, and thus are often lacking in vitamins A and D, which cod liver oil naturally provides. Vitamin A is necessary for proper utilization of vitamin D within the body. Cod liver oil also supplies essential fatty acids EPA and DHA, which are necessary for brain function and development, as well as reducing inflammation. Cod liver oil is known to provide healing action within the intestinal lining, where the majority of our immune system resides.<br /> <br /> <img data-file-id="2686129" height="200" src="" width="200" /><br /> <font color="#ff0033"><strong>Fresh Fruit</strong>ÂÂ</font>The natural, whole vitamin C complex in fresh fruits like kiwi, berries and oranges is immensely supportive to the immune system. Consuming the whole fruit with the fiber slows the absorption of sugar and gives many other vitamins, too. The whole vitamin C complex consists of bioflavonoids, antioxidants, rutin and tyrosinase, in addition to the ascorbic acid, which acts like a preservative for the rest. Your body doesn&#39;t make vitamin C on its own, and it doesn&#39;t store it, either. So, it&#39;s important to consume these foods on a regular basis. What about those cheap ascorbic acid supplements on the market? These can be helpful temporarily if you are already sick, because they acidify the gastrointestinal tract. However, they are a poor approach for long-term health, as they don&#39;t provide the full vitamin C complex that comes in whole, fresh fruit, and furthermore, can cause damage to the kidneys over time.</p> <p><br /> <img data-file-id="2686137" height="133" src="" width="200" /></p> <p><font color="#ff0033"><strong>Homemade Chicken Broth</strong></font> is so easy and economical to make at home. Once you get the hang of it, you will never want to buy that store-bought watered-down broth again! Homemade broth contains loads of minerals that come directly from the bones and the bone marrow. You can use the bones from chicken, duck, beef, lamb or fish. Bone broth can be cooked anywhere from 3 to 36 hours in a crock pot, or can be made in about 45 minutes in a pressure cooker. Either way, it is the most economical healing food you can consume. Bone broths contain fantastic minerals for supporting the immune system and healing the gut lining. As an alternative, you can take a good quality whole-foods multi-mineral supplement, like Immuplex from Standard Process.<br /> <br /> <img data-file-id="2686141" height="200" src="" width="200" /><br /> <font color="#ff0033"><strong>Probiotics and Living Foods</strong>ÂÂ</font>Lacto-fermented foods are living foods - literally teeming with beneficial bacteria and enzymes - you should realize that one of the foundational keys to great health is having a diverse living population of bacteria in the gut. Why - because a strong microbiome assists in our digestion, keeps Candida and parasites at bay, strengthens our immune system, creates B vitamins,and helps remove heavy metal exposures from our gut. The biofilm that is created by these living organisms coats our intestinal tract and serves as our first line of defense from environmental toxins. So how to start? An easy first step is to try Coconut Kefir - it is a consistency like yogurt and can be flavored with fruit or cinnamon, or enjoyed mixed with seeds or granola. My other favorites include Ginger-Berry Kombucha or fermented Beet Kvass. If you prefer to take a probiotic, we recommend a variety of strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium - even better with some Saccharomyces added in. Make sure any probiotic you take is not cultured on a potential food allergen - like dairy, corn, wheat or soy. Our favorites? Prosynbiotic or Lact-Enz by Standard Process, and Probiotic Sufficiency by Innate Choice.<br /> <br /> <img data-file-id="2686145" height="220" src="" width="200" /><br /> <font color="#ff0033"><strong>Exercise</strong> </font>There is nothing like exercise to help boost the metabolism, as well as mitochondrial growth in our cells, which helps create energy. Physical activity does many things to support good health, such as: it can flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways, it stimulates white blood cells, it increases body temperature, and slows the release of stress hormones that can have a suppressive effect on the immune system. We recommend that you incorporate short, fast intervals to your regular cardio training. Bounce and jump to move your lymph. And sweat, sweat, sweat!<br /> <br /> <img data-file-id="2686149" height="200" src="" width="200" /><br /> <span style="color:#FF0000;"><strong>Herbs</strong></span> Oh my goodness, where do I start discussing my favorite herbs?!? Most people have heard of Echinacea, but did you know that it works best the longer you take it; you are not getting its best benefit if you only take it when you start feeling ill. Furthermore, there tend to be quality issues with cheap Echinacea on the market. If you compare to our liquid Echinacea Premium made by Mediherb, you will instantly notice the potency as it tingles your tongue with its powerful "echinacosides. In addition, Astragalus root supports the immune system, your vigor and vitality, as well as a healthy stress response. And Mediherb&#39;s Andrographis Complex, which also includes Holy Basil as well as Echinacea, is an even more targeted support for upper respiratory tissues. Did you know that the multitude of adaptogenic herbs like Ashwaganda, Rehmannia, Eleuthero and Rhodiola can also benefit the immune system, because of their powerful effects modulating the stress response? With so many choices, it really helps to have an expert opinion. Let us help you with a personalized herbal protocol to fit your needs.<br /> <br /> <img data-file-id="2686201" height="165" src="" width="200" /><br /> <span style="color:#FF0000;"><strong>Chiropractic adjustments</strong></span> are a regular lifestyle choice for all of us here at East Cobb Spine & Sport.ÂNumerous research studies have shown that chiropractic care positively impacts immune system function. Maybe some of you still reach for OTC cold meds, but if we get the sniffles, we run to our amazing chiropractors - Dr. Bacon and Dr. Wilkie! Adjusting the spine gives an immediate boost to the function of the central nervous system, which controls EVERYTHING. When the central nervous system functions at 100%, the immune system has more power, the stress response is more appropriate, and deeper growth and repair is possible. For more information about how chiropractic care can help the immune system function better, visit and</p> <p>Â</p> <p>And I suppose it goes without saying that we should minimize unhealthy influences like alcohol and sugar. Unfortunately, these have a direct and detrimental effect on your immune function.</p> <p>There are <strong>so many things</strong> you can do to stay well!<br /> Contact us for recommendations for your unique health concerns!</p> Clear Skin from Within Mon, 09 Apr 2018 12:19:15 -0400 <p><img alt="" src="" style=" width: 600px; height: 600px;" /></p> <p><font color="#000080"><strong>The Skin is the Window to the Gut</strong></font></p> <p><font color="#000080">Have you heard this saying before? The skin is the window to the gut. Yes, the skin is your body&#39;s largest organ, and if you are dealing with any chronic sign of distress (redness, swelling, itchiness, scaly patches or acne) it could be a clue to what&#39;s going on deep inside. For today&#39;s message, I&#39;m spotlighting acne. But the majority of this information really applies to any strategy for improving the health of your skin.</font><br /> <br /> <strong>Warning: This is Personal</strong><br /> As I sit down to write this email, I am feeling a bit of sadness - a deep memory from years ago when I was longing for answers as to why I constantly was fighting acne. I found it so hard to believe that all these television actors always had perfect skin - they could go to work every day and get filmed, looking great. It didn&#39;t look like they were putting on 3 layers of makeup, concealer, powder, the way I did. I felt I could never be in the public eye. And how was it that my co-workers, who sometimes looked like they just rolled out of bed, would show up with perfectly smooth skin? As opposed to me, who would spend so much time cleansing, scrubbing and picking just to wind up with bumpy, red skin. How could anyone afford to look so good all the time? When I was spending $100 a month at CVS on products, plus expensive facials to get my pores sucked out - and STILL I could see in my reflection large bumps under the skin. Every time I walked up to my car in the sunshine, I could see a brief reflection and shadows of all the bumps. It was awful. It was not good for anyone to feel that way. And especially not for someone trying to date a Chiropractor/Wellness Expert and trying to look worthy of his affection.<br /> <br /> But since then, I have learned that everyone suffers for a reason. It is part of the human condition. No one has the same problems to deal with, but we all have some kind of a problem. So now - thanks to my husband, Dr. Bacon, and the many holistic practitioners whom we have met through countless hours of seminars - I have gained the knowledge I needed to heal my skin from the inside out. Speaking on behalf of Dr. Bob and the rest of the staff here, it is our collective mission to get this knowledge out to the people who need it. You orÂsomeone you know may needÂthis info!<br /> <br /> I know now that I&#39;m not alone. In our practice, we see and speak with people all the time who have similar troubles. I don&#39;t always get to give them advice, but if I could, I would say to pay attention to what&#39;s going in your mouth and on your skin, and get help from a holistic practitioner to get access to the healing nutrients and herbs that can literally change you from the inside out.<br /> <br /> <strong>The Skin as an Organ of Detoxification</strong><br /> The skin is an organ of detoxification as well as the liver, kidneys, bowel and lungs. It is important to remember this biological function of the skin when dealing with skin rashes, eruptions, dermatitis and acne. You can take these symptoms as functional signs that there is some irritant in the system that the body is pushing out. At some point, when your practitioner indicates you are ready, an important process for clearing your skin will be to do a detoxification cleanse. Doing so will help remove toxic burdens from the liver, kidneys, bowel and lungs, thus relieving the detoxification demands on the skin.<br /> <br /> <strong>Face Mapping</strong><br /> This is such a cool concept. I was fascinated when I first found out that you can trace the source of the inflammation to an internal body part, for any chronic sign of inflammation on the face. There are lots of variations on this example face map, but basically, if you are constantly getting breakouts on the forehead, you need to look to digestion and what kind of overgrowth/dysbiosis might be there. And although this one doesn&#39;t show it, breakouts on the chin typically are hormonal/gynecological.</p> <p><img height="386" src="" tabindex="0" width="300" /></p> <p>Of course, it is not always so simple. Certainly, there can be multiple complicating factors - do you always sleep on your right side? Do you use a pore-clogging hair product? Do you tend to rest with your face in your hands? But by and large, just about anytime I get a sign of inflammation on my face, I can also correlate it to something that has been happening with the body part indicated on the map.<br /> <br /> <strong>Gut Dysbiosis: Bacteria, Yeast, Fungus and Parasites</strong><br /> Yes, there are living organisms in your gut. When in balance, they keep us healthy and happy by producing neurotransmitters, latching on to toxins in the gut, and promoting elimination. But when out of balance, we can develop a slew of problems: constipation, diarrhea, rashes, toenail fungus, bloating, gas and of course, acne. Sometimes you can get a clue in your blood work when you see abnormal immune markers, even though you don&#39;t feel sick. Luckily, we have a whole bunch of tools in our tool box to deal with gut dysbiosis: Zymex, Spanish Black Radish, Oregano oil and so many other herbs... We even have a powerful parasite cleanse to deal with those sneaky bugs that so often go under the radar. Who here has benefited from the Wormwood Complex tablets? Lucky you!! Back in the day, I had to drink the liquid Wormwood tonic. Possibly our worst tasting herb!<br /> <br /> <strong>Zinc Deficiency (Thanks, Carbohydrates)</strong><br /> This might be the top problem I see with today&#39;s youth. All over the place I see teenagers sucking down sugar-filled coffees and fast food, suffering with acne all over their faces. Why is this a problem? Because an over-consumption of refined sugars will eventually lead to trace mineral deficiencies. BTW, refined sugars doesn&#39;t just mean candy - it also includes bagels, waffles, orange juice, pop tarts, granola bars, cereal, bread, pasta...anything that metabolizes like sugar. Alcohol, too. In the refinement process, trace minerals are stripped out of the sugar molecule. When refined sugars are ingested, the body will actually pull these missing and needed nutrients from its own organs and tissues to process the sugar, if the needed nutrients are not present in the diet. This can cause nutritional deficiencies of zinc, chromium, calcium and B vitamins, which are necessary for the pancreas to produce insulin and enzymes. Mother Nature packages whole, unprocessed foods with everything they need to be absorbed and utilized by the body. The commercial food industry, however, strips away the life-supporting elements and adds back a few fraudulent chemical nutrients to give a better (more addictive) taste and a longer shelf life. Other problems that can be caused by these trace mineral deficiencies include: poor attention and concentration, behavioral issues, depression, anxiety and sleep issues.<br /> <br /> <strong>Food Sensitivities</strong><br /> If you have a permeable gut lining, you can develop sensitivities to ANY type of food that you eat often enough, even if it is a healthy food! Back in the day, no one could have told me that almonds were partly causing my acne. But, I ate them morning,noon and night, almost every day. They were my favorite food. And my gut lining was wrecked from NSAIDs (that&#39;s another story). But through my first 21-day Purification Cleanse, I eliminated all nuts, as well as the other top food allergens: wheat, dairy, corn, soy and eggs... and my skin just got so clear, so fast. Sometimes it&#39;s the food you crave most, especially late at night, that is your biggest sensitivity. Talk to us about how to do an elimination diet - it&#39;s FREE and may give you the answers you&#39;re looking for!<br /> <br /> <strong>Favorite Remedies</strong><br /> Acne is not really a "quick fix" type of issue. It takes some time and dedication to really create lasting healing. The work may require a few months of avoiding certain foods and using targeted supplementation before the internal environment is truly healed. But I can tell you, that once you&#39;re on the right track, you should start seeing improvements within just a few days. And the improvements will keep building, getting better and better, as you continue your dedication and doing your part with an anti-inflammatory diet.<br /> <br /> That being said, there are a few remedies I have found that have really helped when I needed those improvements to be as fast as possible. Here are my favorites:<br /> <br /> Our "Clear Skin from Within" Tonic is a liquid herbal blend that contains Chaste Tree for hormonal support, Goldenseal as an anti-microbial, with Calendula, Chamomile, Licorice and Gotu Kola for tissue healing. Our "Seal Up that Leaky Gut" tonic is similar, but without the Chaste Tree.<br /> <br /> Pure Haven Essentials non-toxic products - I use the whole product line. The shampoo, conditioner and styling cream are based in aloe vera and are non-pore clogging. If you have acne on your back, you MUST change out your shampoo and conditioner to a non-toxic product - it makes such a difference! I also love the Pure Haven cleanser, moisturizer, night serum and especially the eye cream! They are the best bang for the buck I have found. I place orders at least once a month, so if you let me know what to order ahead of time, I can cover the shipping and have it here at the office before your next appointment. Other great non-toxic skin care choices are Beauty Counter and Neal&#39;s Yard Remedies.<br /> <br /> Colloidal silver is extremely useful as an anti-microbial, taken internally or applied topically. Colloidal silver is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-yeast. There are safety considerations for proper use of colloidal silver, according to the concentration, so please take individual advice from Dr. Bob on this one. ClickÂ<strong><a data-saferedirecturl=";q=;source=gmail&amp;ust=1523377115900000&amp;usg=AFQjCNFEsBK6ra75QVsUtZmYtP56BlX_2w" href=";id=41f0f75ea2&amp;e=6fbc95788d" target="_blank">here</a>Â</strong>for more info on the history of use of colloidal silver.<br /> <br /> Hemorrhoid cream - yes, you read that right. If you have a swollen, irritated bump, try using a Hemorrhoid Cooling Gel to shrink the tissue. Don&#39;t use the regular ointment - it&#39;s too greasy.<br /> <br /> Visine can really get the red out - not just in your eyes, but also for red blemishes on your skin.<br /> <br /> Any sulfur-containing clay mask or nighttime ointment will likely be beneficial. Sulfur is a necessary nutrient to promote healthy skin growth and repair, and is a much safer choice than benzoyl peroxide (which can bleach your sheets and cause brown "liver spots" over time on your face). This one is my favorite, and can be found at local Good Nutrition stores:</p> <p><img height="114" src="" tabindex="0" width="150" /></p> <p><br /> <strong>So, there you have it. I hope you can benefit from this information provided by the amazing, healing world of Chiropractic! Please let us know of any questions you may have!</strong></p> Fueling for Performance Mon, 09 Apr 2018 12:17:24 -0400 <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 600px;" /></p> <p><strong>Fueling for Performance</strong><br /> As I am writing this, I myself am recovering from a full-on weekend warrior event: the Reebok Ragnar Tennessee Relay. For a duration of 28 hours, eleven of my friends and I consecutively passed our Ragnar wrist strap 200 miles from Chattanooga to Nashville. We ran all day Friday, all through the night, and most of Saturday. It was an epic adventure that bonded us as friends, based on a mutual respect of our abilities, passion, and humor as we gleefully cheered each other on - to an amazing 3rd place finish!<br /> <br /> It surprised most of us to realize that the median age of our team was 49. We had quite a few ladies over 50 years old who are still running at the top of their game. How inspiring is it to know you don&#39;t have to hang up your shoes just because of a few more birthdays?!? While driving around in our van, we all had plenty of time to compare stories of PRs and racing in exotic locations. But we also talked about injury, recovery, and taking care of our bodies with longevity in mind. At the end of our trek, we all took note that we had done a great job at FUELING... we had no "bonking" (zapped energy) on the course, we had no digestive issues that sent us into the woods, and no perceived issues of "oh no, I shouldn&#39;t have eaten that".<br /> <br /> Choosing your food wisely is important for any person to remain healthy, but it&#39;s absolutely essential for any athlete looking to maintain top performance along with normal hormonal patterns, glycemic management, and restful sleep. Just because you work out a lot and have achieved a "fit-looking" body, doesn&#39;t mean you&#39;re healthy on the inside. All too often, the life of an athlete revolves around sugary snacks, caffeine, carb loading, high-glycemic starches and GUs, all in the name of having "energy to burn". Nothing could be further from the truth, if you want to be a healthy and strong athlete for a long time into the future.<br /> <br /> I have compiled some nutrition tips from these beautiful ladies, for your benefit aswellas for your active family members. My goal is to dispel some myths regarding our fuel choices, so you can take this info into achieving your next level of success.<br /> <br /> <strong>Carb Loading</strong><br /> This is such an outdated concept, that you need a massive load of carbohydrates to keep your muscles moving fast. There are endurance events all over the country promoting their big "pasta dinner" the night before the race, but it&#39;s more about having a cheap place to eat with your friends than actually doing something your body needs. When you eat carbohydrates (from grains, fruit and vegetables) any glucose that is not needed immediately for energy is converted into glycogen and stored for later use in the liver, and to a lesser extent, the muscles. Your body can store around 2,000 calories&#39; worth of glycogen, which is a lot more than most people expend, even in a vigorous workout. Sometimes I see people sucking down a GU within the first mile or two of an event. At that point, there is no way to have used up your glycogen reserve! Unneeded sugars will just inflame the body and suppress the immune system.<br /> <br /> One of the first things Dr. Bob taught me was that I can get the majority of the carbohydrates I need from vegetables, not grains. Gradually, I trusted this insight and started training with less empty calories. Eventually, with stronger digestion, my body became more of a fat burner and less inflamed from all the grains and sugars (less joint pain and muscle soreness, less desire to snack, and better skin). My favorite healthy fats to include on a regular basis are: avocado with sea salt, coconut oil with butter 50/50 for cooking, and liquid coconut MCT oil in smoothies. The medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil are readily used as energy, and are very easy to digest. Read an interesting studyÂ<strong><a data-saferedirecturl=";q=;source=gmail&amp;ust=1523376971511000&amp;usg=AFQjCNH2CyNEjUbw8LX6L0JPp_daMYJI0g" href=";id=2bd83aa7b7&amp;e=6fbc95788d" target="_blank">here</a></strong>.<br /> <br /> Certainly, on race morning and on days of long endurance training, more complex carbs make it into my diet. Breakfast might consist of a mash-up of nut butter, sweet potato, a piece of banana and cinnamon, or possibly a little oatmeal mixed with butter, coconut oil, hemp seed and cinnamon. I try hard not to grab a "protein" bar that often includes soy isolate and added sugar. But meals later in the day are always designed to offset the carb-heavy breakfast, by including nutrient-dense greens (kale or spinach), with other meat and vegetable sources of protein (chicken, fish, beans) and of course some healthy fat (avocado, coconut or palm oil, butter or ghee). I try to use anti-inflammatory herbs and spices whenever possible: fresh garlic, ginger and turmeric.<br /> <br /> <strong>Issues with Chocolate Milk</strong><br /> There is no shortage of professional athletes touting chocolate milk as the perfect recovery drink. But hang on a moment... although chocolate milk tastes great, check out these ingredients: Lowfat Milk, Liquid Sugar (Sugar, Water), Cocoa Processed with Alkali, Cocoa, Dextrose, Salt, Carrageenan, Guar Gum, Vanillin, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D3.<br /> <br /> Milk on its own can be extremely hard for many adults to digest. As we age, our enzyme production naturally decreases, and milk sugars require a lot of the lactase enzyme to successfully be digested. If enzymes are insufficient, this can lead to uncomfortable bloating, diarrhea and gas. If you love milk, but get symptoms from the conventional, pasteurized stuff, try some raw, unpasteurized cheese or raw milk (labeled "pet milk"). Raw milk products still contain the beneficial bacteria and enzymes that contribute to its easy digestion; they are just a little tricky to find.<br /> <br /> With the naturally occurring milk sugars, the added sugar and added dextrose (another sweetener) you&#39;ve got a whole lot of sweetness that can add up to empty, unneeded calories. Lowfat milk is not the health product the dairy industry wants us to believe. Check out this study comparing the effects of low fat vs. full fat milkÂ<strong><a data-saferedirecturl=";q=;source=gmail&amp;ust=1523376971511000&amp;usg=AFQjCNEvNq3aA3wL8B4Py5GryZ4lF7Zxpw" href=";id=4a9dc2612a&amp;e=6fbc95788d" target="_blank">here</a></strong>.<br /> <br /> Carrageenan, which has no nutritional value, is often used as a thickener and emulsifier to improve the texture of ice cream, yogurt, and other processed dairy foods.Some animal studies have linked carrageenan to ulcerations and cancers of the gastrointestinal tract, along with other stomach problems.<br /> <br /> Guar gum can be a problem for some people due to cross-reactivity within the same botanical family. If you feel you are sensitive to increased inflammation caused by legumes,stay away from guar gum.<br /> <br /> Vitamin A Palmitate sounds good, but it&#39;s a questionable ingredient. Read moreÂ<strong><a data-saferedirecturl=";q=;source=gmail&amp;ust=1523376971511000&amp;usg=AFQjCNFTXAG4wkduLCnO4fjCB86U134_yw" href=";id=c56b0df98a&amp;e=6fbc95788d" target="_blank">here</a></strong>.<br /> <br /> Bottom line, pasteurized chocolate milk has the potential to inflame many people&#39;s digestive systems and create mucus elsewhere in the body. If it works for you, great. But for most adults, I don&#39;t believe it lives up to the marketing and hype.<br /> <br /> <strong>Digestive Power</strong><br /> We always say in our nutrition consults that the appropriate food and supplements for you are purely individual. What is right for you might not be right for another. This was so obvious at dinner mid-race Friday night. We chose a restaurant with the most options in Cowan, TN; actually we may have chosen the only restaurant in Cowan, TN! Most of us got some combination of easy-to-digest chicken, sweet potato and a little salad, with water. But we had one crazy girl (there&#39;s one in every bunch!) who ordered a steak and salad. We were all shocked!Â<em>"For real, how will you digest that in time?"</em> But somehow she did! You should have seen the smokin&#39; run this little 5&#39;-0" powerhouse threw down two hours later. Some people have superb hydrochloric acid production that can break down tough proteins very quickly. For the rest of us, we have Zypan. :)<br /> <br /> <strong>Inflammation</strong><br /> Several people I have spoken with since the end of the event have asked how sore I am. "<em>Oh my gosh, you must be so sore!</em>" But I&#39;m not, and it&#39;s certainly not due to being perfectly trained up for the event - for sure, I was under-trained. I attribute the lack of soreness to being very careful about my food choices leading up to and during the event. No inflammatory gluten, no dairy, less of my individual sensitivities like almonds, plus I supported my digestion and recovery well with enzymes; amylase, protease, glucoamylase, lactase, lipase, invertase, protease, hemicellulase, etc. are like magic Pac-Men that help you digest your food or that clean up tissue debris when taken on an empty stomach. I also treated myself to some anti-inflammatory Boswellia Complex with Black Currant Seed Oil along the way.<br /> <br /> What&#39;s the problem with Advil, Tylenol and other OTC anti-inflammatories? Basically, they shut down the communication between the brain and the site of injury. You may not feel the pain, but then the brain is also not sending the repair troops down there to fix the damage. All you&#39;re doing is delaying your healing response more comfortably. Not only that, but acetaminophen is associated with something you really don&#39;t want:Â<a data-saferedirecturl=";q=;source=gmail&amp;ust=1523376971512000&amp;usg=AFQjCNGPCB94hEysGuVwzZS185jcIYhXrg" href=";id=df9d4d9bfd&amp;e=6fbc95788d" target="_blank">sudden liver failure</a>.<br /> <br /> <strong>Performance Enhancing</strong><br /> A friend of mine asked me recently, "<em>Do you have any supplements that are performance enhancing, that could get you disqualified or in trouble?</em>" I guess to someone who is not familiar with clinical nutrition, but has only heard of the scandals in the professional sports world, "supplementation" is a scary word. The answer is yes and no. Yes, we have many supplements that build the body up: to increase resistance from the effects of physical stress, to feed the circulatory system what it needs to work efficiently, to increase the oxygenation of tissues, and to ease the effects of nervousness when you&#39;re on the spot. But no, none of what we have available is illegal or banned from any sport that I&#39;m aware of. We do not promote the use of hormones or anything artificial that would present any sort of problem like that.<br /> <br /> For this particular race, my extra (non-maintenance) support consisted of Drenamin and Withania Complex for my adrenals, to deal with the stress of intense exercise with little to no sleep, Cardio-Plus to support my heart and oxygen-carrying capacity, Betafood (beets!) to promote nitric oxide, and Boswellia with Black Currant Seed Oil to assist with recovery. These were on top of my regular digestive support and minerals that I enjoy every day. But by no means were these the only choices. If you are doing nutrition with us, you probably have something "performance enhancing" in your pill box, too! Maybe for you it&#39;s Adrenal Dessicated, Eleuthero, or Tribulus for an extra boost in hormonal power. Or maybe you like Cataplex B, Cyruta Plus or Vasculin to promote cardiovascular health and the rhythm, rate and tone of the heart; sometimes, we recommend taking a few extra of these before a workout. If you have suffered an injury, you may have benefited from Ligaplex I or Divine Nature to speed healing and repair of your ligaments and tendons.<br /> <br /> Bottom line, everything you put in your mouth has the power to take you towards vibrant power and longevity, or towards a slow, malnourished death. The choice is yours!</p> Superfoods for Children Fri, 17 Nov 2017 19:33:30 -0500 <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 600px;" /></p> <p>The following foods are considered to be "superfoods" for children over one year old. Unfortunately, these foods are often lacking in our Standard American Diet. Parents should try to consume these foods on a regular basis and encourage children to try them to support proper physiology:</p> <p><br /> <strong><img alt="" src="" style="float: left; width: 200px; height: 200px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid;" />Raw milk and raw cheese</strong> are often better assimilated than pasteurized dairy, because the beneficial enzymes naturally present in the milk are still intact. It is illegal in Georgia for a store to sell raw dairy milk, but you can likely find raw cheese in the natural or gourmet section at your grocery store. You can find raw dairy milk labeled as "pet milk" from your local farmer or by joining your local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).</p> <p>Â</p> <p>Â</p> <p>Â</p> <p><br /> <strong><img alt="" src="" style="float: left; width: 200px; height: 200px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" />Pastured or free range whole eggs</strong> have a much better Omega 3:Omega 6 ratio than their factory-produced counterparts. Our standard diet tends to have too much Omega 6 fatty acids in it; therefore, we need to be mindful of every opportunity to increase our Omega 3 intake. Otherwise, chronic inflammation can result from a fatty acid imbalance. Eggs provide a rich source of choline, cholesterol and arachidonic acid for a child&#39;s developing brain.</p> <p>Â</p> <p>Â</p> <p>Â</p> <p><br /> <strong><img alt="" src="" style="float: left; width: 200px; height: 200px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" />Liver </strong>is a food that was widely eaten by our grandparents, but has lost its popularity among the mainstream population. As a result, not many people are familiar with how to prepare it or know about the health benefits liver provides. If you soak the liver in fresh lemon juice for a minimum of 4 hours, it will cut the "cat food" odor tremendously. Then, you can mix it into some ground beef and make either hamburger patties, meat loaf or meat balls with your usual seasonings. You will have transformed the liver into a familiar food with a pleasing texture and no offensive odor! And your family will get to enjoy a rich natural source of vitamins A, D, E and K, B vitamins (especially B12 and folate), zinc, iron and copper that this special meat provides. Other tasty alternatives: liver fried in bacon fat with bacon and onions, liver pureed then mixed with bread crumbs and made into dumplings, liver made into pate or enjoyed as Braunschweiger or liverwurst. Shop at</p> <p><br /> <strong><img alt="" src="" style="float: left; width: 200px; height: 200px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" />Bone broth </strong>is so easy and economical to make at home, that once you get the hang of it, you will never want to buy that store-bought watered-down broth again! Homemade broth contains loads of minerals that come directly from the bones and bone marrow you use. You can use the bones from chicken, duck, beef, lamb or fish. Bone broth can be cooked anywhere from 3 to 36 hours in a crock pot, or can be made in about 40 minutes in a pressure cooker. Either way, it is the most economical healing food you can consume. Bone broths contain fantastic minerals for supporting the immune system and healing the gut lining.</p> <p>Â</p> <p>Â</p> <p><br /> <strong><img alt="" src="" style="float: left; width: 200px; height: 200px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" />Cod liver oil </strong>is like an "insurance policy" for American children, who are unlikely to eat organ meats, and thus are often lacking in vitamins A and D, which cod liver oil naturally provides. Cod liver oil also supplies an essential fat called DHA, which is necessary for brain function and development. One teaspoon can be consumed daily for children up to age two. After age two, the dose can be increased to two teaspoons daily.</p> <p>Â</p> <p>Â</p> <p>Â</p> <p><br /> <strong><img alt="" src="" style="float: left; width: 200px; height: 200px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" />Grass-fed butter</strong> is a perfect fat for developing children; not only does it taste great on everything, but it is a great source of the fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, E, and K, as well as DHA, which support the brain, immune system and epithelial tissue health. Grass-fed butter contains more minerals such as selenium, copper, zinc, chromium and iodine than typical factory-raised butter. In addition, the arachidonic acid content is essential for healthy skin and intestinal integrity. And the cows are happier, too!</p> <p>Â</p> <p>Â</p> <p>Â</p> <p><br /> <strong><img alt="" src="" style="float: left; width: 200px; height: 200px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" />Coconut oil </strong>has a wide variety of uses in both the kitchen and for personal care. Coconut oil will strengthen your immune system, as the lauric acid it contains has beneficial antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. Coconut oil is nourishing as a moisturizer or from within, as it supports healthy bacteria in the colon. The saturated fat is excellent for development of a child&#39;s brain and central nervous system. Furthermore, coconut oil is converted easily into energy without causing unwanted weight gain.</p> <p>Â</p> <p>Â</p> <p>Â</p> <p><br /> <strong><img alt="" src="" style="float: left; width: 200px; height: 200px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" />Leafy greens and raw salad vegetables</strong> are great sources of magnesium and fiber. A lack of these nutrients in children&#39;s diets, combined with mild dehydration, can lead to chronic constipation. The key to having children eat their vegetables is to start them early. Make a colorful plate with a variety of finger-food vegetables kids can choose from. Even better, serve your vegetables with a satisfying fat, like a rich butter or cream sauce, real cheese or a homemade pesto or hummus. Foods like spinach, Swiss chard, mustard greens and kale should be sauteed with liberal amounts of butter, lard or tallow.</p> <p>Â</p> <p>Â</p> <p><br /> <strong><img alt="" src="" style="float: left; width: 200px; height: 200px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" />Citrus fruits </strong>are well loved and are usually no problem for children. The natural vitamin C is supportive for the immune system, and consuming the whole fruit with the fiber gives many other vitamins, too. However, keep in mind that fruit still contains fructose, and overloading with fruit can create a desire for sweets all the time, which contributes to picky eating and continued gut dysbiosis. Have a sweet fruit for a treat, but be sure to eat your veggies, too!<br /> Nuts, Seeds and Nut butters provide a convenient source of healthy fats and protein. Look for raw nuts and seeds; heating can damage the delicate oils and lead to digestive distress. Nuts like almonds, pecans, walnuts, macadamias and cashews are high in phytic acid, which can block mineral absorption. These nuts should first be soaked in salt water for six to eight hours, then drained and dehydrated in a warm oven or dehydrator before consuming.</p> <p>Â</p> <p><br /> <strong><img alt="" src="" style="float: left; width: 200px; height: 200px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" />Hummus and Tahini </strong>are great choices for kids because they taste great on finger foods like celery, carrots and apple slices, and the sesame oil is a natural builder of bone marrow, which helps create our white blood cells. Furthermore, you can blend a variety of herbs and vegetables into your homemade hummus - try zucchini, yellow squash, cauliflower, bell peppers or artichoke hearts in your next batch. You may need to adjust the amounts of olive oil and tahini up a little to maintain the consistency you like.</p> <p>Â</p> <p>Â</p> <p>Â</p> <p><strong><img alt="" src="" style="float: left; width: 200px; height: 200px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" />Lacto-fermented condiments and beverages</strong> may be an unusual choice of foods for kids, as the sour taste tends to become more appealing as we age. But when you understand that lacto-fermented foods are living foods - literally teeming with beneficial bacteria and enzymes - you should realize that one of the foundational keys to great health is having a diverse living population of bacteria in the gut. Certainly, the epidemic health crises seen in children today is partly due to insufficient bacteria and beneficial yeast in the gut. A strong microbiome assists in our digestion, keeps Candida and parasites at bay, strengthens our immune system and helps to capture and remove heavy metal exposures from our gut. The biofilm that is created by these living organisms coats our intestinal tract and serves as our first line of defense from environmental toxins. So how can we get these amazing organisms into our children? An easy first step is to try coconut kefir - it is a consistency like yogurt and can be flavored with fruit or cinnamon, or enjoyed mixed with seeds or granola. Common beverages you could try are Kombucha tea and beet kvass. Or, you could think of serving just a little bit of sauerkraut, or lacto-fermenting other foods like cucumbers, carrots, beets, turnips, onions, or even fruits like apples, lemons, berries or pineapple. Recipes can be found in the books Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon Morell or The Nourished Kitchen by Jennifer McGruther.</p> Understanding Your Unique PMS Fri, 17 Nov 2017 18:57:27 -0500 <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 600px;" /></p> <p>Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) affects millions of girls and women, sometimes from the onset of menstruation, and sometimes only appearing later in life. The symptoms women experience can vary greatly from one person to another, and even from one month to another. It can be extremely difficult for the average woman to figure out what is causing her hormonal symptoms, even in this day and age when we all have an internet connection and a "Dr. Google."</p> <p>Often, women will seek answers from their medical doctor. It&#39;s only natural to start there, right? However, PMS is not a highly researched area of training for medical doctors, and they often don&#39;t have knowledge of the tools needed to overcome these types of hormonal dysfunctions. Usually, we will be told to take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, i.e. ibuprofen) to relieve cramps, even starting the drug several days before the onset of menses "just to be sure" you have it in your body in time. But although NSAIDS are inexpensive and commonly available, doesn&#39;t mean they come without side effects.</p> <p>Symptoms can be subtle or dramatic. It may take years, but one day you may realize that the abdominal cramping, blood in your stool, frequent bruising, acne, and gut dysbiosis/leaky gut syndrome was likely caused by years of eating NSAIDs like candy. Then what will you do?<br /> And what about your other symptoms that come around every month (or every other month)? What remedies will your doctor give you for the crushing fatigue on Days 1 and 2? The cystic acne on your chin? How about the mood swings and irritability the week before or during your cycle? And what if your cycles are short (less than 28 days) or long (more than 32 days), or what if bleeding only lasts 2 days or is excessive, lasting a week? What if your breasts swell painfully and your stomach bloats like you&#39;re 5 months pregnant? What can be done to remedy the nausea, vomiting, or even fainting you may experience? Surely, your doctor must have the answers! But sadly, often they do not.</p> <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 200px; height: 200px; float: left;" /> ÂThe bad advice that I, personally, have been told by a multitude of medical physicians include:<br />  Â1. Take NSAIDS 800 mg 3 times a day, starting 3 days before your cycle begins.<br />  Â2. Drink sports drinks during your cycle "to keep your electrolytes up". Never mind about the sugar and all the artificial ingredients. (Neon is healthy!)<br />  Â3. Use Retin-A for your acne, even if your skin turns red and continually peels off.<br />  Â4. Use birth control pills to "regulate" your cycle, even if they deplete your B vitamins and leave your hormonal system weaker.<br />  Â5. Stay home from school/work if you&#39;re not up for it. Your boss won&#39;t mind. ;)<br />  Â6. You can&#39;t be estrogen dominant because you&#39;re not overweight, and no, there isn&#39;t a way we can test for it.<br />  Â7. No one knows what causes PMS. Good luck - you will probably grow out of it.</p> <p>After 20+ years of following this poor advice, I finally got to start learning the hard way about the leaky gut syndrome and reactive hypoglycemia I had caused. Of course, no one ever diagnosed me with anything like that - but I suffered with those symptoms, too, on top of my PMS, always wondering what was wrong and why couldn&#39;t I ever find out what was really going on!</p> <p>The worst thing that any doctor has told me happened when I was age 34. I went to see an endocrinologist - a specialized hormone doctor, right? I was armed with a printout of my recent lab work. I believed that if I just saw the right specialist and had the right information, I would finally get the answers I was looking for, to break this endless cycle of symptoms! He reviewed all of my lab results, then told me I was "normal." He said PMS was a mystery and there was nothing that could be done about it. He said that basically, unless I had a diagnosable condition like Diabetes, there was nothing he could do for me. And then - "at your age, you should just be happy you&#39;re getting a period!" Can you believe I actually had to pay the co-pay for that visit! Seriously! What did I get for that experience? Not a thing! Years later, as I&#39;m writing this, it still makes me angry.</p> <p><img alt="" src="" style="float: left; width: 200px; height: 200px;" />The truth is that there are many things you can do to improve a dysfunctional menstrual cycle. It doesn&#39;t matter if someone diagnoses you with primary or secondary dysmenorrhea. It doesn&#39;t matter what kind of a condition with which someone tries to label you. It doesn&#39;t matter if insurance will or will not pay for the things that get you better. The important thing is that you find out the information that answers all your questions and you have the desire and motivation to follow through on a healing journey! Based on my years of experience, I feel it is essential that you have someone to guide you through the maze of natural remedies - and that is what I am here for!</p> <p>Â</p> <p>Â</p> <p>First, let&#39;s have a quick review of how your hormones work. It all starts in the brain, where a small gland called the hypothalamus secretes gonadotrophin-releasing hormone, which the pituitary recognizes and then releases hormones to the "downstream" glands, the adrenals and ovaries. The adrenals and ovaries respond with their own hormones, which are communicated back to the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus then turns off the signal when the system appears to have the right amounts of hormones communicating back. This is what we call the "negative feedback loop." This circle of hormone communication directly influences whether we have normal timing of our menstrual cycle and ovulation, and normal flow and duration of menses.</p> <p><img alt="" src="" style="float: left; width: 200px; height: 200px;" />When it comes to the awful symptoms of pain, nausea and vomiting, we have to look to the proper functioning of the liver. The liver is responsible for hundreds of functions in the body, of which one that is very important is neutralizing and detoxifying excess hormones. Keep in mind that any organ/gland of the body can only do so much. If the liver is overburdened from neutralizing and detoxifying the not-so-healthy preservatives and additives from processed food, toxic alcohol and medications, along with the synthetic chemicals from fragrances and detergents, not to mention the parabens and contaminants from lotions and cosmetics, the liver will have a reduced capacity to also deal with the excess hormones that need to be flushed from the system. A "congested liver" that is under-functioning may cause digestive symptoms as well as influencing how hormones act in the body. Foods like cruciferous vegetables, leafy greens, red beets, onions, garlic and eggs, as well as soluble and insoluble fiber, provide nutrients that keep the liver and colon running well and able to detoxify. In addition, sufficient intake of essential fatty acids from Evening Primrose Oil and Borage Seed Oil help to produce anti-inflammatory prostaglandin hormones that are needed to keep painful menstrual cramps at bay.</p> <p>Women who experience heavy bleeding, fibroids and endometriosis really need to pay attention to how lifestyle choices combine to increase estrogen all month long. These lifestyle choices tend to involve consumption of unfermented soy products, and use of chemical hair products, detergents, cosmetics, creams and fragrances that contain "xenoestrogens" - chemicals that act like estrogen in the body. It is possible to have excess estrogen all month long due to these products, with normal progesterone, resulting in a relative deficiency of progesterone, also called "estrogen dominance". It is also possible to have normal or low estrogen in the first half of the month (follicular phase) and low progesterone in the luteal phase, also resulting in a relative deficiency of progesterone. Generally, the strength of your hormones in the follicular phase and the strength of the responsive ovaries and adrenals will determine whether ovulation occurs, and this in turn determines how much progesterone is produced. Sometimes, women take matters into their own hands, and start using an OTC progesterone cream, which is easy to overdose and then causes a relative excess of progesterone, at the wrong times of the month. All of these scenarios cause imbalance in the signals that the glands are trying to "read" and cause dysfunction.</p> <p><img alt="" src="" style="float: left; width: 200px; height: 200px;" />Something that most people don&#39;t know is that the ovaries are very sensitive to the amounts of sugar and starchy carbohydrates in our diet. With an excess of sugar, bread, pasta, white potatoes and rice, the pancreas is required to produce large amounts of insulin to keep blood sugar stable. Repeated high sugar meals eventually fatigue the pancreas, which is a stress to the system, and also contributes to fatiguing the adrenals. When the ovaries, pancreas and adrenals are fatigued from this continual onslaught, hormone production is going to be disturbed, and a variety of uncomfortable symptoms (insatiable cravings, changes in energy and mood, or sleep) can ensue.</p> <p>Â</p> <p>Â</p> <p>As far as things like crushing fatigue on Days 1 and 2, with brain fog, inability to deal with social situations and stress, even faintness or panic attacks, these are all symptoms of weak adrenal hormones. Giving adrenal support month-long and then increasing the support at times when you need it most will help to calm your anxiety and bring the world back to normal.</p> <p>Some women experience bloating, breast tenderness, headaches and swelling of the face, hands and feet during their monthly cycle. These symptoms that relate to your ability to regulate fluids are governed by proper functioning of the hypothalamus, pituitary and the kidneys. As mentioned before, excess intake of sugar causes chronic fluctuations in insulin, which can suppress ketoacid formation (factors that reduce fluid retention). Further, excess intake of processed table salt can disturb the delicate electrolyte balance, worsening symptoms.</p> <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 200px; height: 200px; float: left;" />The key to resolving your unique set of symptoms is to identify the underlying causes of disturbances to the foundational hormone mechanisms described above, and to take action to correct these imbalances. Obviously, you need more of all the good things, and less of all the bad things! A thorough discussion with your holistic practitioner, possibly combined with salivary hormone testing, will help reveal the weaknesses in the endocrine system that must be strengthened in order to function better. Your healing journey will likely involve glandular supplements, herbs and concentrated nutrients, but a crucial piece will also be the dietary and lifestyle factors over which you have control. As far as the speed in which your symptoms will resolve, some will likely be quick and others may take longer, but your best results will be dependent on a full commitment from you to learn and to do all the things necessary to make changes from within.</p> <p>Â</p> <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 200px; height: 200px; float: left;" />You know, I haven&#39;t even mentioned yet one of the very best ways to get your hormonal system to function properly - to get adjusted! Chiropractic is the only way in the world to resolve muscular-skeletal subluxations that remove interferences to the central nervous system, enabling everything in the body to function better. How do you expect the organs and glands to receive the nutrients they need, if the nerve impulses and signaling are not working optimally? It really makes me sad how many women don&#39;t get adjusted regularly, and so don&#39;t experience the benefits of a fully functioning body.</p> <p>Â</p> <p>Â</p> <p><br /> Remember, when your endocrine system is fully functional, and you realize how good it is for your cycle to show up on time, last an appropriate amount of time, and not have the debilitating symptoms that require use of NSAIDs or retreating from the world, you will know that all the efforts you made will be worth it! Not only that, but you will have learned the education and have the power to help any other girl or woman you encounter who suffers from similar problems. Get ready to be empowered!</p> <p><br /> There is no reason to wait when the answers are so close at hand. All it takes is a phone call to get the process started. We look forward to talking with you!</p> Fake Foods that are Better Left at the Store Fri, 17 Nov 2017 17:54:20 -0500 <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 600px;" /></p> <p>"Oh no! Another online blog telling me what to eat and what not to eat!" It&#39;s true, it seems that everyone these days has an opinion on what foods are healthy and what are not. It is super confusing to most, to the point that many people just get overwhelmed not knowing what to believe, and decide to stay away from not only the current diet trends, but also just continue down the easy path of eating whatever is convenient and fits in the budget.<br /> However, choosing a good diet doesn&#39;t have to be an all-or-nothing thing! The truth is that the best diet for you is a completely individual thing - very likely, there are some "healthy" foods that your body doesn&#39;t respond to very well, and there may be some "bad" foods that you have become accustomed to, to the point that you don&#39;t notice dramatic symptoms.</p> <p>Very well. I am not here to debate what you feel works for you and break your attachments. However, if you have been feeling some mild effects and maybe you haven&#39;t been 100% lately, there is likely a nutritional reason for that, and it may be time to refine your choices. "Ugh, I don&#39;t have the willpower to not eat my favorite foods" I can already hear you say! Let me ease your concern. This is not about willpower. Sticking to a healthy diet and choosing healthy behaviors has more to do with your belief system and what you know about our food supply, than it does about your willpower.<br /> Once you take the time to read and fully understand both the front and the back of your food labels, as well as learn a little bit about both conventional and traditional/organic farming, you will start to see food products differently. When you learn more about how the body works and what it needs to be healthy, you start to realize that foods that don&#39;t contain beneficial nutrients actually are harmful, and take you away from your health goals. The purpose of our practice, (and the meaning behind this blog) is to put more education in your hands so it is easier to make better choices. A life wandering through ignorance can never be as fulfilled as when your eyes are fully open. So, here is a compilation of the biggest offenders in the grocery store, that you would do better to leave on the shelf. Here we go...</p> <p><img alt="" src="" style="float: left; width: 200px; height: 200px;" /><strong>Commercial dairy products</strong>, especially ultra-pasteurized or homogenized, should be left behind. The additional vitamin D2 it has been enriched with is not well absorbed. The pasteurization process kills the beneficial organisms and enzymes within the milk, leaving a substance that can only be digested if you have a fantastically strong digestive system and make sufficient lactase enzyme. (Most people don&#39;t.) If you can tolerate dairy, your best choices are raw milk and organic milk products from cows or goats allowed to roam on fresh grass, without the addition of growth hormones or steroids. However, in Georgia it is illegal for stores to sell raw milk for human consumption. You can sometimes find a local CSA who can sell raw "pet milk" to its members. You can also sometimes find raw cheese at the store, if you check in the "natural" or gourmet section. Most people believe they won&#39;t get enough calcium and will develop osteoporosis if they don&#39;t consume dairy milk. But the truth is, you need a wide variety of minerals plus essential fatty acids to maintain strong bones, and these nutrients can largely be obtained from a plant-based diet with plenty of leafy greens, both raw and cooked.</p> <p>Â</p> <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 200px; height: 200px; float: left;" /><strong>Modern soy foods,</strong> such as soy milk and soy protein isolate should be avoided. Although often touted as health foods, especially among the vegan community, they are what we call "endocrine disruptors", meaning they have the ability to act like estrogen in the body, potentially causing excesses and disrupting the negative feedback loop between our glands. Beyond that, approximately 97% of the soy produced in the United States is genetically modified. Maybe you think that is just a buzz word that doesn&#39;t mean much to you? Well, it means that for the entire lifetime of the plant, the soy was doused with toxic, "probable" carcinogenic pesticides that don&#39;t wash off in the rain, or from rinsing in your sink. Which is worse - the natural phytochemical that disrupts your hormones, or the poison it soaked up while growing? Either way, it doesn&#39;t matter, it&#39;s not what you want on your plate! On the other hand, eating small quantities of traditionally prepared soy products such as miso, tempeh, natto, shoyu, and tamari is acceptable. "What&#39;s that", you say? Miso is a fermented soybean paste used as a soup base. Shoyu and tamari are traditionally fermented soy sauces. Look for high quality, raw brands that contain active bacteria and enzymes. A cup or two a week of miso soup made from properly prepared and well-aged miso is fine to enjoy. Along the same lines, a small serving or two of tempeh or natto can also be nourishing. These soy foods are even better consumed with a homemade traditional Asian meal, including fish broth, organ meats, brown rice, fermented vegetables (such as kim chi) and seafood.</p> <p><br /> <strong><img alt="" src="" style="width: 200px; height: 200px; float: left;" />Margarine, shortening, as well as overheated, refined, partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated oils.</strong> These ingredients are commonly found in processed foods, nut butters, and pre-made bread, cake or muffin mixes. Many of the oils sitting on the grocery store shelf are already oxidized and rancid. Although some smaller companies utilize traditional extraction methods, most commercial oils are processed in large factories with technology that exposes the food to excessive temperatures (often up to 450F), high pressure, light, oxygen and chemical solvents. The result is oil that has been filled with harmful, cancer-causing free radicals. Instead, focus on the traditional fats such as butter, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil and lard or tallow. There is no good reason to keep unhealthy oils in your pantry!</p> <p>Â</p> <p>Â</p> <p><strong><img alt="" src="" style="float: left; width: 200px; height: 200px;" />Fruit juices.</strong> Due to the high sugar content and lack of fiber in these beverages, consuming the whole fruit is much preferred. In fact, when compared to the average soda, the common fruit juices apple and orange contain the same amount of sugar, (approximately six teaspoons per 8-ounce serving.) To add flavor to pure water, add a squeeze of fresh lemon, lime or orange. Lemonade made with freshly squeezed lemon juice and liquid stevia is a refreshing treat. Herbal teas can also be a nice change and there is a great variety in most grocery stores. Try Kombucha, ginger beer or water kefir beverages for other healthful alternatives.</p> <p>Â</p> <p>Â</p> <p>Â</p> <p><strong><img alt="" src="" style="float: left; width: 200px; height: 200px;" />Reduced-fat or low-fat foods.</strong> Opt for the original, full-fat versions, which provide the fat that allows for better absorption of the food&#39;s many nutrients. Usually, reduced fat foods will have a higher sugar content to make up in flavor for what is missing. Sugar is an extremely damaging ingredient that should be limited as much as possible.</p> <p>Â</p> <p>Â</p> <p>Â</p> <p>Â</p> <p>Â</p> <p><strong><img alt="" src="" style="float: left; width: 200px; height: 200px;" />Extruded grains,</strong> such as cold breakfast cereals, puffed cereals, and rice cakes. These over-heated and pressurized foods have caused rapid death in test animals. The high-heat process destroys the existing nutrients and makes the end product exceedingly difficult to digest. Opt for homemade oatmeal (soaked overnight), homemade cereal and granola (look for Paleo recipes), as well as homemade buckwheat pancakes and sprouted wheatberry crackers. With just a little preparation on your end, these alternatives will be just as satisfying and convenient for you!</p> <p>Â</p> <p>Â</p> <p><br /> To keep it simple: avoid all processed foods in general. Here is our advice: do a double-take any time you are opening a bagged or boxed product of any kind. Make sure you are making a conscious decision about what you are about to serve the family. And if you are still hesitating, read the ingredients list out loud!</p> <p>As always, we wish you the very best for your continued good health! Give us a call for your own personalized nutritional advice at (404) 973-0188, and we will get back to you, as soon as we are able.</p>