July Newsletter 2018

July Newsletter 2018

July 2018 Edition

What’s New

Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States with one in five (22%) adults in the United States that report having doctor diagnosed arthritis. (CDC)

Healing Rheumatoid Arthritis with Natural Medicine

People living with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) compare the pain and inflammation to a fire raging out of control. RA is a chronic, systemic autoimmune disease causing swelling, stiffness, and pain in the joints. It can result in joint deformity and damage to other organs, including the nerves, heart, and lungs.

Approximately 1.5 million Americans have Rheumatoid Arthritis: most are adults over age 40; about 12,000 children under age 16 have juvenile-onset RA.

Symptoms of RA (aggravated by stress and lack of sleep)

  • Swollen, painful, hot and disfigured joints on both sides of the body
  • Pain, stiffness and limited movement making daily activities difficult
  • Fatigue, muscle aches, and fevers

The prevailing, conventional theory is that inflammation results from an “over-reaction” of the immune system that may include genetic factors. Doctors of natural medicine believe there is a deeper, root cause for this haywire immune system response. They theorize immune dysregulation originates in imbalances that involve a person’s genetics, lifestyle choices, nutritional status, gut health, stress, environmental triggers and emotional wellbeing.

Treatment of RA

Conventional treatment includes physical therapy and prescription medicines (steroids, painkillers, and immune suppressors) to treat pain and swelling. While these drugs may be necessary for some people, they have side effects including hair loss, liver damage, stress on the kidneys and heart, and risk for addiction, without correcting the underlying imbalance.

Natural medicine emphasizes identification and treatment of root causes. Holistic doctors use safe, natural therapies and interventions that stimulate the restoration of health without side effects. Here’s a sampling of holistic interventions that can make a huge impact in healing the root causes of RA.

An Anti-inflammatory Diet

Commit to a diet that includes: organic fruits and veggies; healthy fats such as olive, avocado, and coconut oils; whole grains; bone broth; wild-caught fish; and nuts/seeds. These foods provide natural antioxidants – cellular superheroes that gobble up the free radical cells that contribute to development of RA. There are many foods that are considered healthy in general, but may cause inflammation for some people, leading to immune dysregulation. Holistic doctors will test for food sensitivities, such as gluten, dairy, egg, or others, and work with a patient to create a diet with healthy alternatives when needed.

Keep Moving

Movement is important for managing symptoms (including pain) and enhancing psychological wellbeing. Low impact exercise, such as cycling, walking, water aerobics and Tai Chi, are ideal. Symptoms can improve with strength training.

R & R: Rest, Relaxation & Pain Reduction

Massage therapy, acupuncture or acupressure, reflexology, yoga, deep breathing, and guided imagery provide protection against painful bouts of RA by helping improve body awareness, reduce muscle tension, enhance sleep, and decrease stress hormones.

Manage Symptoms, Naturally

Nutritional and herbal supplements can help reduce pain and inflammation. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with RA, so supplementing can be important. Extracts of ginger and turmeric, Omega-3 fish oil and digestive enzymes are some nutrients that help tame the fire of inflammation.

A natural medicine approach to healing RA will be unique to each person. Consult with your holistic physician for interventions that will work best for you.

References

Food for Thought. . .

“We see in order to move; we move in order to see.” – William Gibson

The Red Bell of the Ball!

Crisp, sweet red bell peppers are versatile and packed with nutrients. They’re loaded with the antioxidants Vitamin C and A, which support immunity and help the body fight free radicals – molecules implicated in inflammation and many disease processes. That beautiful red color is attributed to the nutrient lycopene, another antioxidant. Vitamin B6 and folate – nutrients that support red blood cells – are also found in these crimson beauties. Making red bells a regular part of your diet can help protect against chronic illnesses such as heart disease, joint disease, and cancer.

Red bells are actually the fully ripe version of green bell peppers. With the exception of very cold winters, they’re available year-round in most places. Choose peppers with deep color, taut skin, and fresh-looking stems. Peppers should be firm and heavy for their size (indicating they are well hydrated). They add flavor to sandwiches, stir-fry, salads, soups, stews, sauces, and are also delicious raw.

You may have heard that peppers are a part of the nightshade family of vegetables and aren’t a good food choice for some people. Nightshades (including potatoes, eggplant and tomatoes), are so named because they grow best in shady areas and some bloom at night. For most people, nightshades are a healthy choice, but for others, they can trigger a reaction similar to that seen with soy or dairy. If you’re concerned about this, consult a natural medicine practitioner for dietary testing and guidance.

References

Roasted Red Peppers Stuffed with Kale & Rice

Delight friends and family with this perfect summer picnic supper or lunch entree. The crimson flesh of red pepper gives bright contrast to kale’s deep green. Chopped onion and minced garlic combine with lemon and herbs to bring an aromatic flavor to the brown rice. Delicious, filling, and vegan friendly, too!

Ingredients

  • 3 medium red bell peppers
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Filling:

  • 8 ounces kale, (6 cups lightly packed), trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup cooked short-grain brown rice, (see Tip)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional or use preferred substitute)
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, divided (see Tip)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. To prepare peppers: Preheat oven to 400°F. Halve peppers lengthwise through the stems, leaving them attached. Remove the seeds. Lightly brush the peppers outside and inside with oil; sprinkle insides with salt and pepper. Place, cut-side down, in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Bake until just tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool slightly. Turn cut-side up.
  2. To prepare filling: Bring 2 cups salted water to a boil in a large wide pan. Stir in kale, cover and cook until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water; squeeze dry. Finely chop.
  3. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and chopped bell pepper; cook, stirring often, until onion is golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Stir in the kale. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Stir in rice, Parmesan, 2 tablespoons pine nuts and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Divide the filling among the pepper halves. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons pine nuts.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons water to the baking dish. Cover the peppers with foil and bake until heated through, 15 to 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for 5 minutes more. Serve hot.

Time Saving Prep Tip: Follow Steps 1, 2 & 3. Cover and refrigerate up to 2 days.

Brown Rice Prep Tip: Place 1 cup brown rice, 2 1/2 cups water and a pinch of salt, if desired, in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer. Cover; cook over low heat until rice is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 45 to 50 minutes. Makes 3 cups.

For Toasted Pine Nuts: Heat a small dry skillet over medium-low heat. Add pine nuts and cook, stirring constantly, until golden and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. (Or spread in a small baking pan and bake at 400°F for about 5 minutes.)

References

Fight Joint Inflammation with Turmeric

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is the golden-orange spice that gives curried foods pizzazz. In Traditional Chinese and Indian Medicine, turmeric is used to treat allergies, digestive ailments, and pain. The active chemical component of turmeric is curcumin, known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Today, research is focused on the role curcumin plays in diseases where the underlying factor is inflammation, such as in heart disease and arthritis.

Studies show that curcumin blocks inflammation at the cellular level. Some studies indicate that curcumin’s role in preventing joint inflammation surpasses its ability to reduce active joint inflammation. In clinical trials, standardized curcumin supplements helped improve pain and swelling in patients with RA. These promising results are being further investigated in long-term studies.

Including turmeric in your diet is easy to do and, oh, so flavorful. Add turmeric to soups and dressings; sprinkle over meats, veggies, and scrambled eggs; add it to plain yogurt or a smoothie.

While adding turmeric spice to your meals is a great first step, the amounts used in cooking do not provide the therapeutic levels needed to achieve its robust health effects. When considering the addition of turmeric to your health plan, work with your holistic health practitioner to determine if this is a good choice and which curcumin supplement is best for you. He or she can recommend the right form (capsule or powder) that will have the best bioavailability – meaning it’s easy for your body to process through the digestive tract – for your specific health needs.

References

The Anti-inflammatory Power of Cat’s Claw

Native to the Amazon rainforest, Cat’s Claw (Uncaria tomentosa) gets its name from the inch-long hooked thorns that allow this tropical climbing plant to anchor itself to trees and wind its way up 100 feet or more into the forest canopy. As they have for centuries, indigenous people and herbalists use the roots, leaves, and bark in preparations for asthmas, arthritis, rheumatism, urinary and kidney problems, and inflammation. In modern herbal medicine, Cat’s Claw is recommended for chronic illnesses such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, mononucleosis, and arthritis.

A potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory botanical, Cat’s Claw is used to treat joint problems that occur with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. In a small clinical trial, Cat’s Claw was shown to decrease pain in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, as well as osteoarthritis of the knee. The medicinal benefits of Cat’s Claw come from chemicals called pentacyclic oxindole alkaloids, which boost the immune system and help temper inflammation.

The concentration of medicinally active chemicals in Cat’s Claw vary based on when and how the plant is harvested. A holistic health physician will be knowledgeable about a product’s purity and potency, as well as which form of Cat’s Claw supplement is best for you. For example, your physician may suggest tea, tincture, extract or capsule depending upon your health concerns. Some people experience upset stomach, headache or dizziness when using Cat’s Claw. Also, it is not recommended for women who are pregnant or nursing, or for children under age three.

References

Cold Laser Therapy for Pain Management

Cold Laser (CL) is a non-invasive therapy that helps reduce joint or muscle pain and swelling, while improving the rate of repair in the affected area. It’s used to treat injuries (e.g., sprains, tendinitis, muscle spasms) and joints affected by illness, including arthritis, fibromyalgia, neck and back pain, and nerve pain syndromes.

How does Cold Laser Work?

A low-level red or near-infrared light is emitted and absorbed by soft tissue, which leads to a change on the cellular level, giving damaged tissue a “boost” to promote regeneration. It helps the body rebuild connective tissue and release pain-relieving substances called endorphins. Applied by a doctor, therapist, or technician once or twice weekly, treatments take about 10 minutes. You’ll feel the device moving against your skin, but there is no sound or vibration.

Does CL Therapy Work for RA?

The experience of pain is highly variable among different people, including those living with RA. Studies using CL show promising results for reducing morning pain, stiffness, and swelling over 4-12 weeks, but more long-term research is needed.

Are there Side-effects?

CL Therapy is gentle and no side effects have been reported. It’s important to understand that results vary based on:

  • symptoms treated and the underlying health condition
  • extent of the person’s experience of pain
  • duration of treatment
  • type of device used and the experience of the technician applying treatment

Many types of Cold Laser (CL) devices are approved by the FDA and are sold online for use at home for the temporary relief of pain. This only means that the device is safe to use – it may not be effective for all conditions or symptoms. Consult with a health practitioner (ND, DC, PT or OT) who understands this treatment and can guide you in receiving this therapy or, if appropriate, educating you on purchasing the best device for use at home.

References

June Newsletter 2018

June Newsletter 2018

June 2018 Edition

What’s New

Nearly twice as many women have Alzheimer’s Disease as men, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Alzheimer’s Disease also worsens more quickly in women than it does in men.

Holistic Approaches to Protecting the Brain from Alzheimer’s Disease

Is Alzheimer’s Disease hardwired into the brain’s destiny as we age?

It’s a terrifying thought. Many people believe it’s true. Hope lies with the ongoing research to help us understand the root causes and progression of Alzheimer’s and the factors that may protect the brain from this devastating illness.

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia, affecting a person’s memory, thinking and behavior to the point where they don’t recognize themselves and their loved ones. Approximately 5.5 million people age 65 and older have Alzheimer’s Disease. Nearly 200,000 people under age 65 have “younger-onset” AD. Symptoms start slowly and worsen over time, ultimately interfering with independent living and quality of life. Signs to look for include:

  • Persistent forgetting of recently learned information and important dates or events
  • Difficulty planning, problem solving, completing familiar tasks, and understanding time
  • Difficulty processing visual images, object distance and contrast
  • Trouble maintaining a conversation
  • Social withdrawal and depression
  • Changes in mood and personality, usually becoming anxious, suspicious, or confused

Scientists believe the disease process begins when protein deposits build up in brain tissue and damage nerve cells. This can evolve over 10-20 years before symptoms are noticed. While family history can increase your risk, many factors influence the onset and progression of AD. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, as outlined below, can help alter your brain’s destiny.

The Brain-Body Health Connection. Several illnesses are linked to an increased risk for AD, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes. To protect your mind from cognitive decline, exercise daily, eat more whole foods, learn new skills, meditate, read regularly, and get quality sleep each night.

Smart Food for Healthy Aging. Choosing fresh, nutrient rich foods is vital for brain health (and the body, too!). Select organic foods to decrease exposure to toxins that exist in conventional farming. Limit your intake of caffeine, sugar, alcohol, refined grains, and packaged foods to ensure optimal health benefits from your food.

Manage Stress. Stress elevates hormones in the body that increase inflammation which, over time, interferes with optimal functioning and contributes to illness. Relax with yoga, mindful walking, or guided imagery to help keep these hormones in balance.

Get Your ZZs. We need just as much sleep in our elder years as in our 30s and 40s. What does change is the brain’s ability to maintain continuity and quality of sleep, particularly deep sleep. Maintaining healthy sleep habits throughout your adult life can make it easier to maintain sleep quality as you age.

A Personalized Approach, Naturally. Prevention is important, but once signs of cognitive decline are noticed, you need expert guidance. Though more long-term studies are needed, initial research shows that a personalized approach incorporating natural medicines plus lifestyle change can reverse cognitive decline for some people. For expert guidance in developing a personalized prevention or early intervention program, consult with a specialist in natural medicine treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease such as a Naturopathic Doctor or Functional Medicine practitioner.

References

Food for Thought. . .

“The past beats inside me like a second heart.” – John Banville, The Sea

Hemp Seeds Nourish Brain Health

Although hemp seed comes from the same species of plant as marijuana, it does not contain psychoactive chemicals and it stands on its own regarding health benefits. Hemp is considered “brain-friendly” because it’s rich in nutrients, especially omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids – a group of fats the body doesn’t make on its own. A healthy ratio of these fatty acids (EFAs) is generally 2:1. Eating hemp seeds provides that balance, which is important for Westerners whose diets typically include more omega-6 fats. These EFAs, plus antioxidants found in hemp, help reduce inflammation, which plays a crucial role in overall health particularly for the heart and the brain.

The protein in hemp is another stand-out nutrient. Hemp seeds are one of the few plant sources that contain all the essential amino acids the body cannot manufacture on its own and yet are necessary for many bodily functions. Both fat and protein are critical for brain development from conception through birth and beyond. As we age, we need these nutrients to feed the protective layers around nerve tissue. Researchers are actively examining the benefits of hemp seed for brain health and in relation to conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease.

The light, nutty flavor of hemp seeds makes them an easy addition to anyone’s diet. Enjoy them raw; blend to make hemp milk; mix into cereal, yogurt, salads, smoothies, and desserts; or add to soups and other recipes.

Hemp seeds are best bought shelled/hulled and are usually labeled as “hemp seed hearts.” Store in the fridge or freezer for the longest preservation of flavor and nutrient content. You can also store hemp in a dry, cool area away from heat sources for up to one year.

References

Raw Tabuoli & Hemp Seed Salad

Summer gatherings at the park, campground, or by the water are a perfect way to relax, revive your spirit and reconnect with loved ones. This easy picnic salad supports good health and is a dish everyone will enjoy. Hemp seeds are a great source of plant protein and essential omega fatty acids. The herbs provide antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. For maximum freshness, prep this right before heading out.

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients

Base:

  • 1 huge bunch of either curly parsley or Italian flat parsley, or 2 smaller bunches
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 1 organic tomato, diced
  • 5-6 heaping Tbs. of hemp seeds

Dressing:

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • Dash of cold-pressed olive oil (optional)
  • Sea salt, to taste

Instructions

Chop the parsley and place in a large bowl, along with the tomato, onion and hemp seeds. In a small blender, or whisked by hand, combine the lemon, garlic, olive oil and sea salt and blend or mix well. Pour over the salad and toss well.

References

Protecting Brain Health with Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)

The omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are classified as “essential” nutrients for the human because they cannot be made by the body. Hence the term, Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs). Since the body cannot make EFAs, we have to acquire what we need from food and nutritional supplements. While EFAs are important to overall health, in this article we highlight their importance to brain health. Fatty acids nourish and protect brain cells and help reduce inflammation. Scientists are actively investigating the role EFAs play in preventing and managing age-related cognitive decline.

When we consume EFAs, the body will use what it needs and then stores the rest for future use. Brain tissue is especially rich in EFAs where it is important for protecting connections between nerve cells. So, a diet deficient in these fats deprives the brain and nervous system of a crucial nutritional substance. Scientists believe DHA protects against Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and dementia. Adults with insufficient intake of DHA show poor performance on cognitive tests as well as increased risk for age-related cognitive decline. In studies using an EFA supplement, there have been positive changes in memory related functions for individuals with very mild AD.

Because we must get EFAs from food or nutritional supplements, it’s important to understand what our bodies need. Most Americans get a daily average of only 130 mg EPA + DHA – far below the 1000-2000 mg recommended for optimal health and cognitive function. We also need the proper ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acid. Too little omega-3 and too much omega-6 can result in increased inflammation. Eating a variety of EFA rich foods plus a supplement is a good option for many people.

People who have a high intake of fish consumption show a decreased risk for dementia and AD. Foods abundant in EFAs include salmon, chunk light tuna, halibut, sardines, and krill, as well as flaxseed, chia seeds, and walnuts. Be mindful of the source of your fish, since some are high in mercury. Look for organic, wild caught options. Your holistic physician can help you with dietary options and EFA supplement that best meets your needs.

References

Boosting Brain Resilience with Ginkgo & Bacopa

One of the oldest living species of tree, Ginkgo Biloba‘s leaves and seeds have been used in botanical medicine for thousands of years. Touted as the “brain herb,” Ginkgo has received extensive research attention for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and the role they likely play in supporting healthy cognitive function and treating dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Two components in Ginkgo help support brain health: Flavonoids, the source of the plant’s antioxidant qualities, and Terpenoids, which help improve circulation by dilating blood vessels. Ginkgo may work by increasing blood flow, flushing out free radicals that can damage cells, and reducing inflammation. It may even protect nerve cells from further damage caused by Alzheimer’s Disease or vascular dementia.

Numerous studies show Ginkgo has a positive effect on memory, learning, and thinking in people with Alzheimer disease or vascular dementia. For some people, it may work as well as prescription medication for Alzheimer’s, but Ginkgo hasn’t been tested against all drugs used to treat the disease. Also, testing Ginkgo supplements with healthy young and older adults has not conclusively shown a significant change in cognitive function. It’s likely the herb works differently in healthy people compared to people who have an impairment or illness.

Another herb worth noting is Bacopa monnieri, an Ayurvedic botanical medicine used for centuries to enhance learning, memory and attention span. Scientists have been investigating Bacopa for potential therapeutic intervention for Alzheimer’s and age-related memory loss. Research suggests it may have a protective effect on brain cells by supporting optimal nerve conduction or helping them resist damage that can occur from infection, toxins, and the aging process.

Botanical medicines can interact with other drugs and medical conditions. Consult your wellness practitioner to determine if either of these herbs are appropriate for you.

References

Improving Lives with Cognitive Stimulation Therapy for Dementia Patients

Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) is a small group program designed to improve the mental abilities, learning, thinking and memory skills of people living with Alzheimer’s Disease and Vascular dementia, the two main types of dementia. An evidence-based treatment backed by extensive clinical research, CST has been shown effective for individuals with mild to moderate dementia. Studies also indicate that CST can be as beneficial as drug treatments and may even enhance treatment for those who require medication management of symptoms.

Components of a CST Program

A CST program is facilitated by a trained healthcare professional over a period of at least seven weeks. Each 45-minute session covers a different themed topic with activities pertinent to quality of life enhancement, social interaction, mental stimulation, visual and auditory stimulation, communication skills, and physical mobility. Groups are limited to 5-8 people. Topics typically covered in CST are:

  • orientation to surroundings
  • face/ scene recognition
  • art, music and culture
  • current affairs
  • use of money
  • personal treasures
  • object categorization
  • creative expression
  • childhood recollections
  • word and number association

Benefits of CST

Consistent evidence from multiple and varied studies demonstrate that CST is effective in improving several types of symptoms associated with dementia. This includes improvement in mood, confidence, concentration, information retention, self-expression, and motivation. Participants and their caregivers report enhancements in self-esteem, coping methods, developing new relationships, and maintaining a sense of vitality. Research also shows CST is a cost-effective program as it helps reduce the total care costs (health and social) for those who participate. Long-term involvement (additional 24 weeks) brings about continued improvement in cognition and quality of life for many people.

To find a CST program, ask your physician and check with local hospitals, senior centers, and assisted living facilities.

References

Guiding Principles

The information offered by this newsletter is presented for educational purposes. Nothing contained within should be construed as nor is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. This information should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider. Always consult with your physician or other qualified health care provider before embarking on a new treatment, diet or fitness program. You should never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of any information contained within this newsletter.

May Newsletter 2018

May Newsletter 2018

May 2018 Edition

What’s New

Everyone with celiac disease is gluten sensitive, but not everyone with gluten sensitivity will develop celiac disease.

When Your Body Goes Against the Grain: Celiac Disease & Gluten Sensitivity

How did gluten, a naturally-occurring protein found in wheat, barley and rye – sources of nutrition for people over thousands of years, become so unhealthy?

Many scientists attribute the increase in Celiac Disease (CD) and non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (GS) to alternations in wheat’s biological structure, the result of modern farming and bread-making practices and the chemicals used today. The result: wheat crops that are biochemically different from the virgin wheat of agrarian society. Because our bodies have not adapted to these chemically treated crops, we’re unable to digest them properly.

Modern bread-making has gone from being a simple four-ingredient wholesome loaf of sustenance to being a less-nutrient dense squishy loaf of preservatives. Old-fashioned baking involved giving flour time to absorb as much water as possible, and waiting for yeast and bacteria to activate the dough (fermentation). Today, industrialized baking replaces natural hydration, fermentation and kneading with artificial additives and massive mixers to accelerate dough formation. To endure commercial processing and increase shelf life, additional concentrated vital wheat gluten and preservatives are stuffed into bread products.

Celiac Disease

One in 133 adults and children have CD, a genetic, autoimmune disorder that occurs in response to ingesting gluten, triggering the immune system to attack the delicate lining of the small intestine. This creates inflammation and can lead to nutrient malabsorption and secondary health problems. There are over 200 symptoms for CD, including:

  • extreme abdominal pain
  • nausea, vomiting
  • gas, constipation, diarrhea
  • joint pain, anemia, fatigue
  • stunted growth, skin rashes
  • behavior disorders, mood disturbances

Symptoms can begin immediately and last from a few hours to several days. The primary treatment for CD is a life-long gluten-free diet.

Non-celiac Gluten Sensitivity (Gluten Intolerance)

Non-celiac Gluten Sensitivity (GS) affects 6-7% of the U.S. population. It’s an adverse food-induced reaction that seems to have an immune component. Gluten activates an inflammatory response that can affect tissues anywhere in the body. Symptoms vary based upon individual and environmental factors. Determining if you have GS requires testing to rule out CD. Blood/genetic tests are not available for directly assessing GS. Currently, holistic doctors use a Food Sensitivity Panel to identify reactions to wheat. Also, an elimination diet with symptom monitoring can assess GS.

Testing for CD

A genetic test (Celiac HLA) indicates your risk for developing CD. If a first-degree family member has CD, a negative gene test excludes you from the possibility of developing it.

Blood tests require that you continue eating gluten products in order to get an accurate result. (Abstaining from gluten will skew the results.) Your practitioner will determine the amount of time required to eat gluten prior to testing. The tTg-IgA (Tissue Transglutaminase Antibodies) test looks for antibodies toward gluten. Your holistic physician may order a panel of antibody tests to assess if you are deficient in antibodies the body needs, or if the body is creating antibodies against its own tissues.

An endoscopic biopsy might be ordered to obtain a definitive diagnosis of CD. In this procedure, performed by an M.D. who specializes in digestive disorders, a part of the small intestine is removed and examined for damage.

Based on your symptoms and test results, your holistic physician can determine the type of testing you need and design an appropriate, personalized treatment plan.

References

Food for Thought. . .

“Calm mind brings inner strength and self-confidence, so that’s very important for good health.” – Dalai Lama

Delicious Gluten-Free Pasta – Finally!

Yes, it’s true! Pasta made from lentils is one of the tastiest and most nutritious gluten-free options for many people. Typically made from red lentils, also known as pulses, lentil pasta is more than just naturally gluten-free … it’s also

  • rich in dietary fiber (as much as 11 g per serving)
  • high in protein (between 14-21 g per 3 oz serving depending on brand)
  • a low-glycemic index food
  • cholesterol-free
  • a great source of calcium, potassium, zinc, and iron.

Lentil pastas are calorie dense (up to 100 calories per oz), so a little goes a long way toward filling your belly. For lunch or dinner, these pastas can be a great meatless meal accompanied by assorted veggies and topped with your choice of sauce or a vinaigrette.

When you cook lentil pasta, the water may appear cloudy. This is due to the starches cooking out of the legumes. Lentil pasta expands as it cooks: be sure to use a large pot with ample water as the water may foam (check instructions) and you want to give your noodles breathing room.

When choosing legume pasta, if affordable, opt for organic varieties. You also want to make sure the brand does not harvest from genetically modified crops (GMO crops), so look for the “NO_GMO” label on the package. Some brands to look for include Tolerant, Modern Table, Pow! And Explore Cuisine.

Bon Appétit!

References

Gluten-Free Zucchini Pasta Primavera

Primavera! That’s Italian for “lightly sauteed springtime vegetables.” Traditionally made with a not-so-light creamy cheese sauce, this recipe transforms the dish into a healthier and tastier version. A more delicate cream sauce is created from a base of cashew butter. The combination of Dijon, lemon, chicken broth, garlic and onions combine to yield an aromatic flavor that will delight everyone at your table.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen broccoli florets
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup 1/4-inch-thick half-moon slices onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups 1/4-inch-thick sliced white mushrooms
  • 1 cup 1/4-inch-thick sliced carrots
  • 1 cup 1/4-inch-thick sliced red bell peppers
  • 1 cup unsalted chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons cashew butter
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 package of lentil pasta cooked according to package instructions*

Preparation

Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add the broccoli and cook until bright green, tender-crisp and slightly undercooked, 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, carrots and peppers, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are fork tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Combine with the broccoli.

*Prepare the pasta in a separate pot

Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan; immediately reduce the heat to low and whisk in the cashew butter until the mixture is smooth. Stir in 1 teaspoon of the lemon juice and the mustard, and season with salt and pepper. Gently toss with the vegetables.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over high heat; add the zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1 teaspoon lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

Serve the the pasta on plates or large bowls topped with veggies and sauce mixture.

*Do not prepare pasta too early or the noodles will have to sit, which can make them become mushy.

References

Gut Protection with L-Glutamine

When you have a digestive illness, it essentially means that your delicate intestinal lining (the mucosa) is damaged, making it impossible to extract nutrients and other substances crucial for your body’s biological processes. The amino acid L-Glutamine is one of these substances. A protein building block, L-Glutamine is stored in muscle where it’s vital to tissue growth and repair. It’s involved in the formation of other amino acids and glucose (sugar), as well as the body’s adaptive response to stress and the optimal functioning of the immune and digestive systems.

The mucosa requires maintenance to protect and repair itself from the effects of stress, toxins, and a poor diet. When the mucosa breaks down, inflammation results and this is associated with a variety of chronic health conditions. Further, when illness, chronic or severe stress, inflammation, or food sensitivity/allergies cause the gut to fail at effectively breaking down food to acquire nutrients, deficiency results. A lack of sufficient glutamine in the gut creates a cycle of wear and tear on the mucosa.

Clinical research shows that L-Glutamine supplements can break that cycle by helping repair damage and potentially help the lining regrow. This connection between glutamine and intestinal maintenance has led researchers to examine its role in Celiac Disease and gluten sensitivity.

L-Glutamine supplements are available in both pill and powder form. Proper dose is crucial to its effectiveness. It’s not recommended for children under age 10 or for people with certain health conditions, including kidney or liver disease. Consult with a holistic health practitioner to find out if L-Glutamine is right for you.

References

Heal Thy Gut with Marshmallow Root

There’s much more to that sweet, fluffy treat we enjoy melted in a s’more or sprinkled atop hot cocoa. Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis) is an ancient herb whose Greek name, Althainean, means “to heal.” Ancient Greek and Egyptian healers used Marshmallow flowers and leaves in salads to support healthy digestion. A secretion, known as mucilage, from its roots and stems, was used to soften the skin, treat sore throats, and ease congestion. Modern holistic practitioners use Marshmallow Root (aka “mallow”) for these purposes and in treatment preparations for:

  • inflammation of the lining of the stomach
  • digestive issues including diarrhea stomach ulcers, constipation
  • inflammatory bowel disease, leaky gut syndrome and autoimmune disorders
  • skin conditions such as eczema
  • bloating and water retention
  • dry coughs and colds
  • bacterial infections and respiratory infections

A key healing property of Marshmallow Root is the ability to soothe inflammation of the mucous membranes throughout the body. When food sensitivity/allergies, illness, or other factors interfere with healthy digestion, a person can experience upset stomach, heartburn, constipation or diarrhea. Mallow forms a thick protective coating in the digestive tract, which helps reduce the burning and tame other symptoms of digestive distress.

With tall stalks topped by a lovely five-petal white blossom with purple center, Marshmallow Root makes a striking addition to a garden – especially if you enjoy harvesting for herbal tea. Supplements come in different forms including powder, tea, extract, ointments, and capsule. While considered safe for most adults and children, do ask your holistic practitioner which preparations of are best for you.

References

Tips & Tools for Easy, Delicious Gluten-Free Living

Today’s options for a gluten-free lifestyle are better than ever. You still want your food choices to be wholesome, organic, and fresh so remember: Just because a product carries the GF food logo, doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Read ingredients and watch out for high sugar content and processed ingredients.

We hope this list of resources helps you make gluten-free living easy and delicious.

Apps. Use apps to help you buy groceries, find a restaurant, view a GF menu, or verify allergen content. There’s even an app to help you translate dietary preferences into another language!

Grocery:

Restaurants:

Check-out Healthline’s Best Gluten Free Living Apps of the 2017

Websites.

Celiac Disease Foundation: education, resources and support for those living with CD. Learn how to live GF, monitor symptoms; explore the GF marketplace – packed with recipes, news, and tips.

Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG): industry leader in the certification of gluten-free products and food services. Provides support, advocacy and education resources. You can join a local branch, research products and restaurants, browse recipes, and find helpful tips for kids and families. Offers an e-magazine.

Beyond Celiac: awareness and advocacy organization, covering research, news, events, lifestyle and dietary support.

Gluten-Free Living: one of the longest running publications and websites on gluten-free diet and lifestyle.

Elana’s Pantry: one of the longest running websites dedicated to great tasting GF and allergen-free recipes. Elana walks her talk and has overcome challenging medical diagnoses through wholesome living and dietary solutions.

Glutenista: hip, fun GF lifestyle brand providing resources, tips, and fashion for your wardrobe and kitchen.

Find healthy GF recipes and tips by visiting the website for your favorite GF brands (e.g., Udi, Smart Flour Foods, Bob’s Red Mill, and Canyon BakeHouse to name just a few). Google “gluten free food companies” to find brands and food services including those in your local area.

Guiding Principles

The information offered by this newsletter is presented for educational purposes. Nothing contained within should be construed as nor is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. This information should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider. Always consult with your physician or other qualified health care provider before embarking on a new treatment, diet or fitness program. You should never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of any information contained within this newsletter.

April Newsletter 2018

April Newsletter 2018

April 2018 Edition

What’s New

On average, kids spend twice as long playing on screens as they do playing outside.

Your Healthy, Happy Child

There’s a lot you can do to help your child maintain optimal health and prevent the occurrence of common illnesses. For instance: Do you model healthy eating? Are you exercising as a family? Do you make time to play and relax? Teach your children the following self-care tips and you’re helping them establish a lifetime of healthy habits.

Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body. Kids should brush and floss at least twice a day. Good oral hygiene benefits the whole body.

Clean Hands, Healthier Kids. A daily shower or bath is important, but it’s routine hand washing that helps prevent the transfer of bacteria, reducing the chance of diarrhea, respiratory illness, and the common cold.

Guard Against Colds. Teach children to: avoid shaking hands or getting close to folks who are sneezing and coughing; refrain from sharing school supplies and toys with those who are sick; never drink or eat from another child’s containers; always use tissues and cough into the crook of their elbow, not their hands.

Bug Prevention. Lice love warm, cozy places. To prevent the spread of head lice, kids should not wear hats indoors. They should never share brushes, combs, hats, hairbands, or athletic headgear. If lice are present at your child’s school or daycare, consider a short haircut or styling long hair in a ponytail, bun, or braid.

Healthy Hydration. Water is essential to health. It helps flush toxins from the body, maintain healthy circulation, promote strong muscle contractions, facilitate digestion, and prevent dehydration.

Eat a Rainbow. A balanced diet includes a variety of colorful fruits and veggies, whole grains, and high-quality sources of protein. Involving your children in shopping and meal preparation empowers them to make healthy choices and try new foods. Eat at least one meal each day together as a family, without watching TV or having phones and other electronics at the table. This promotes mindful eating and encourages family communication.

A Little Sweetness. If you’re modeling healthy choices around sweets, then it won’t bother your kids (too much) that you’re asking them to do the same. Point out the health problems associated with eating too much sugar (e.g., poor athletic performance, gaining weight, diabetes). However, don’t deprive kids and don’t label foods as good or bad. If they’re making healthy choices 80% of the time, a little sweetness in their diet will be okay-and will be savored.

Strengthen Emotional Muscles. Encourage your child to journal, collage, write poetry or draw comics to express a range of emotions. A ‘what’s up’ notebook between an adult and child encourages kids to open up, tell you about their day, even ask embarrassing questions. Adults who reply honestly and non-judgmentally find this is a great way to start difficult conversations or just get a sense of what’s going on with their child. This works best if you start during the later elementary or early middle school years.

Family Values. Call a family meeting and find out what’s important to each family member and what they think will contribute to a healthy, happy home life. For example, your family might identify respect, responsibility and communication as core values. This exercise sets up expectations for behavior inside and even outside your home. It helps kids feel accountable for their behavior toward themselves and other family members.

References

Food for Thought. . .

“Let us sacrifice our today so that our children can have a better tomorrow.” – Abdul Kalam

The Power of Pecans

Whether you call ’em PEE-can or PEH-kahn, they are one of the most sought after nuts around the globe. A cousin of the walnut, pecans are the only major tree nut native to North America. People love pecans for their versatility: They add a sweet, nutty goodness to breads and cereals, stuffing and spreads, salads and side dishes, entrees and desserts. At the same time, they bring a lot of nutrition to the table.

Pecans contain healthy, monounsaturated fats like oleic acid, as well as antioxidants that support heart health by lowering LDL cholesterol and increasing the good cholesterol, HDL. Packed with fiber, pecans support healthy digestion and colon health. Some research shows that diets consisting of pecans (and other healthy nuts) can support a healthy body weight and even help people lose weight. Pecans are a good source of vitamins and minerals that support overall health, including B-vitamins, magnesium, manganese, vitamins E and A, zinc, iron, and folate.

Your family can enjoy the natural, nutty sweetness of pecans as a snack (plain or roasted), sprinkled over yogurt or oatmeal, or sautéed with savory seasonings such as curry powder, sea salt, or paprika. Consider baking with pecans—from cookies to cheesecake and even homemade ice cream.

When purchasing pecans, fresh is best and organic is even better. Look for pecans in the bulk foods section at a grocer that regularly “turns the stock.” Store pecans, and all nuts, in an airtight package away from heat, preferably in the fridge to retain nutrient content.

References

Pecan Nut Butter

It’s sweet. It’s nutty. And it’s oh so good. If you haven’t yet had pecan nut butter, you have to give it a try. The key to exceptional nut butter is the quality of the nut.

Choose the fresh nuts stored in bulk and rotated frequently. Refrigerated, organic nuts are ideal. Toasted pecans blended with a food processor turn out scrumptiously smooth with maple undertones, without any added oil. A pinch of salt and a dash of cinnamon enrich the flavor. Try it on your favorite breakfast bread or whole grain crackers, or smoothe pecan butter over sliced apple.

Recipe yields 1 cup.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces (about 2 cups) high quality pecans, either whole or in pieces
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Dash of ground cinnamon (optional)

Preparation

  1. Pour the pecans into a large skillet and toast, stirring often, over medium heat until fragrant (don’t let them burn!). This will take about 4 to 8 minutes.
  2. Pour the toasted pecans into a food processor or high-speed blender and let them cool for several minutes. Then blend the pecans, pausing often to scrape down the sides with a spatula. The mixture will be crumbly at first, but will eventually blend into super-creamy goodness. Be careful not to let the mixture get too hot, which seems to cause oil separation. You might have to stop and let the mixture/machine cool down for a bit just to be safe. The amount of blending time required depends on your machine- an older food processor might take ten to fifteen minutes to turn the pecans into pecan butter, while fancy Blendtec or Vitamix blenders can turn it into butter in a minute or two.
  3. Add a pinch of sea salt and a dash of cinnamon (if using). Blend again, taste, and add more salt or cinnamon if needed.
  4. Pour into a small jar, seal it with a lid, and store it in the refrigerator for good measure. This pecan butter will keep well, refrigerated, for up to one month or so – obviously, don’t eat it if you see or smell any signs that it has gone bad.

References

Zinc: Essential for Every Body

Zinc is second to iron as the most common mineral in the human body and it’s found in every cell, making it vital to the health and wellbeing of children and adults. Zinc plays an indispensable role in hundreds of biochemical reactions including those that support the development and the health of the blood, skin, muscles, and hormones. Zinc also supports optimal function of the nervous system, immune system, and endocrine system.

Zinc is present in a great variety of foods, such as eggs, seeds, nuts, dry beans, red meat, miso, dark turkey meat, dark leafy greens, and scallops. However, because there is evidence of mineral depletion in soils around the world, your holistic health practitioner may recommend a trace mineral supplement. A zinc supplement might also be recommended for people with a medical condition that affects absorption. Medical researchers are looking at how the body utilizes zinc and whether or not taking zinc can improve treatment for Celiac Disease, diabetes, thyroid function, heart disease, and other health concerns. In other research, a connection exists between taking certain forms of zinc and a reduction in the number of colds in a year, the number of missed school days, and the amount of antibiotics required in otherwise healthy children.

A person’s need for supplemental zinc varies based on age, gender, and other health factors. There are several forms of zinc, but not all are appropriate for every person. For some people, zinc supplements can cause upset stomach or interfere with the actions of other medications. Also, taking too much zinc can have a toxic effect. Consult with your natural medicine practitioner before starting a zinc supplement.

References

Elderberry: Medicinal Elixir for the Whole Family

For millennia, physicians, and herbalists have found medicinal uses for all parts of the elder tree, including its wood, leaves, flowers and berries. Leaves were used in ointments to heal skin. The flowers and berries were made into infusions as a common treatment for colds and rheumatic conditions. Today, herbalists and holistic physicians commonly recommend elderberry for the wide variety of properties that can support the health of the young and old alike.

European (Black) Elder (Sambucus nigra) is the species safely and most commonly used for botanical medicines. Note that the berries should not be eaten (or used) raw. They must be dried first or properly cooked at the peak of ripeness.

Elderberries are rich in Vitamin C and flavonoids that act as antioxidants that protect cells in the body from damage and can help reduce inflammation. They have been used in preparations to treat colds, flu, and bacterial sinus infection. In studies, syrup prepared from the juice of elderberry has been shown to help decrease the duration of flu symptoms, including swelling in mucous membranes and congestion. Other studies have shown that elderberry extracts have antiviral properties and appear to have a role in inhibiting the replication of viruses.

Elderberry can interact with other medications including those used to treat diabetes, asthma, and drugs that suppress the immune system. Before using an elderberry product for an adult or a child, check with your natural medicine practitioner to verify the integrity of the product and appropriate use.

References

Kids And Yoga: Discover the Many Benefits

Under the guidance of a certified instructor, yoga classes for kids focus on building upon each child’s strengths while helping them ease stress and bolster self-esteem, cooperation, self-trust, and reverence for one’s inner world. These classes are for kids of all ages and typically use music, activities, and props to create a fun, interactive environment.

Children experience many benefits from participation in yoga classes including:

  • Enhanced awareness of, and better control of, their body
  • Greater ease connecting to other people and their surroundings
  • Confidence and improved self-esteem/ self-efficacy
  • Enhanced ability to focus and self-regulate behavior and emotion
  • Improved physical skills such as balance, coordination, agility, sense of direction
  • Ability to experience relaxation and learn how to access this state of being at any time

Children’s Yoga Teacher Qualifications

The standard credentials for a children’s yoga teacher is completion of a 200 hour Yoga Alliance approved teacher training plus educational or practical experience with children. (If your child has special needs, that is additional qualification/experience you’ll need to explore). Ideally, the instructor has obtained CEUs or certification in teaching yoga for children.

Before choosing a class for your child, ask questions about the teacher’s experience and certification. Also, observe a class and see the range of abilities being taught; trust your intuition about whether or not a class or a teacher is a good fit for your child. A children’s yoga teacher must be able to truly be present for a child just as they are, in the moment, and demonstrate acceptance that every child’s body does yoga differently. This empowers even the most ‘yoga clumsy’ child to gradually achieve a sense of fulfillment and self-efficacy that can carry from the yoga mat to other areas of the child’s life.

References

Guiding Principles

The information offered by this newsletter is presented for educational purposes. Nothing contained within should be construed as nor is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. This information should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider. Always consult with your physician or other qualified health care provider before embarking on a new treatment, diet or fitness program. You should never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of any information contained within this newsletter.
Asthma, COPD, Allergies, or Chronic Cough? Solution: Glutathione Nebulizer!

Asthma, COPD, Allergies, or Chronic Cough? Solution: Glutathione Nebulizer!

Glutathione Nebulizer

Do you have asthma? Chronic allergies that affect your breathing? Do you have wheezing? Are you struggling to get all that mucus out after your cold that “ended” weeks ago? Are your sinuses stuffy or is your head congested? Have a lingering cough?

At Of The Earth Wellness, we offer several different kinds of breathing treatments, which use a nebulizer to get either glutathione (the body’s master antioxidant) or acetyl-cysteine (a sulfur containing amino acid) into your lungs or your nasal cavity, depending on the area that needs addressing. We also can add a special essential oil blend into the mix to help relax and calm your lung or nasal tissues.

Glutathione is great for combating hyperactivity of the lung tissue, which is why it’s great for coughs that linger or chronic asthma. It nourishes the lung tissue and works it’s antioxidant magic.

Acetyl-cysteine is a form of the amino acid, cysteine, and it’s a super potent mucolytic (breaks up mucus) – think of it as a natural Mucinex, without side effects!

Different combos we common recommend:

1. Glutathione alone

2. Glutathione + Cysteine

3. Any of the above with herbal support.

These treatments last for about 15 minutes and might even put you to sleep, they’re that relaxing. All you need to do is sit, relax and BREATHE!

And yes, kiddos can participate too! They need to be old enough to understand the concept, however, so we recommend ages 5 or 6+

If you’re curious which breathing treatment is right for you – give us a call or email so we can advise you! Let us help you kick that cold, or calm down those lungs and allergies.