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.

March 2018 Newsletter

March 2018 Newsletter

March 2018 Edition

What’s New

The human reproductive system produces the largest and the smallest cell of the human body. The ovum released by female ovaries being the largest human cell with a diameter of approximately 120 micrometers, and the sperm being the smallest cell in the body, 3 by 5 micrometers in size.

Natural Solutions for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), one of the most common endocrine (hormone) disorders, affects approximately 10 million women of all races and ethnic groups worldwide. It’s the leading cause of infertility in women and can present at any life stage – from puberty through post-menopause. Most women with PCOS will have cysts on the ovaries, but as many as 30% of women will not have cysts. Women with PCOS experience an array of symptoms, including:

  • irregular menstrual cycles
  • obesity
  • infertility
  • pelvic pain with or without periods
  • mood swings, depression or anxiety
  • thinning hair on the head
  • excessive body hair (hirsutism)
  • fatigue and sleep problems

Because of the wide range of PCOS symptoms, fewer than 50% of women are properly diagnosed. Too often women simply accept the discomfort and don’t inform their doctors until symptoms are at their worst. Even then, they are often misdiagnosed because so many of the symptoms can be attributed to other causes. Another reason for missed diagnosis is that PCOS has long been believed to be present only in obese women; we now know that it can affect women of any body weight including those who are normal or even underweight. Additionally, PCOS can present differently based on life stage, genetics, ethnicity, age and environmental and lifestyle factors such as self-care, exercise, and eating habits.

Causes of PCOS

Obesity and insulin resistance are health issues that are linked to PCOS and both affect hormonal function in the body. Insulin resistance relates to problems with regulating insulin, a hormone that allows the body to properly use glucose (blood sugar) for energy. When the body isn’t as responsive to insulin as it needs to be, too much of it circulates in the blood and can cause a hormone imbalance.

Natural Solutions

Dr. Samuel Thatcher, an early pioneer in PCOS research and treatment, was among the first clinicians to advocate for a holistic approach to PCOS treatment. With the goal of enhancing a woman’s quality of life, holistic health practitioners perform a thorough lifestyle assessment, blood tests, and dietary analysis. They then educate and guide women in using natural approaches to manage and heal from PCOS, such as:

  • Lifestyle Improvements. A whole foods diet, exercise, stress management, and proper rest are essential to PCOS treatment. These approaches can create a positive shift in blood sugar level, mood, and body weight. Approaches will differ based on a woman’s stage of life and complexity of symptoms.
  • Supplement Support. Some of the herbs and nutrition supplements that may be used for PCOS aim to balance blood sugar level as well as hormones. These can include Nettle Root, Green Tea, Flax Seeds, Saw Palmetto, Licorice Root, Chaste Tree Extract, Trace Minerals, Vitamin D3, and Chromium.

If you think you have PCOS, speak with a holistic practitioner about the approaches best suited to your symptoms and needs.

References

Food for Thought. . .

“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” – Joseph Campbell

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The Antioxidant Power of Green Tea (Camellia sinensis)

The wonderful thing about Green Tea is how the leaves retain their biologically active nutrients from the time of harvesting to the moment you brew and then sip this liquid elixir. Green Tea contains plant nutrients (polyphenols), such as catechins and flavonoids, which function as antioxidants, helping the body to clear out free radicals, molecules that cause oxidative damage to cells. This damage creates inflammation and can lead to disease.

One of the potent compounds in Green Tea is the antioxidant Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG). Studies conducted on the health-protective benefits of EGCG show that people who frequently drink Green Tea have lower rates of illness, including many types of cancer. While additional research is needed to understand the mechanisms that contribute to the medicinal properties of Green Tea, EGCG supplements have been used in clinical trials to help treat certain cancers, inflammatory diseases, and diabetes.

There are many ways to enjoy Green Tea. The best varieties of tea will be loose leaf, organically harvested from GMO-free crops. To maintain the potency of the antioxidants in your tea, do not add milk, which alters the tea’s health-boosting properties. Be sure to follow the steeping directions. Steeping longer than directed can make the tea bitter. As a general rule, if you prefer a stronger tea, add more tea for the same steeping time. To sweeten, add locally sourced honey or a splash of fresh squeezed lemon, orange, or even watermelon juice.

References

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Green Tea, Lime & Avocado Smoothie

This is a refreshing and creamy twist on the green tea smoothie, which is often prepared with fruit. Lime juice and freshly squeezed lemon add tangy pizzaz to this beautiful and nutrient-rich smoothie. Green tea and kale provide antioxidants, while avocado contributes healthy fats, making this a satisfying afternoon treat or an excellent complement to breakfast. It’s also an ideal addition to a healthy detox routine.

Ingredients

  • Flesh from 1 avocado
  • 2 sweet apples, cored and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 small zucchini, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped broccoli florets
  • 1 small knob peeled ginger
  • Roughly 1/4 cup loosely packed parsley
  • 1/2 juiced lime
  • 2 leaves kale
  • 1 cup brewed and cooled green tea
  • 2/3 cup almond milk (or water)
  • 2 tsp chia seeds (optional)

Preparation

*You might like to stop and taste after blending in the lime and lemon, to see if the flavor suits your taste.

  1. Add all ingredients to a high-powered food processor and blend until smooth and combined.
  2. Pour into two jars and stir a teaspoon of chia seeds through each. Allow to sit at least half an hour (though overnight is best) before consuming. This will allow the chia seeds to absorb the liquid.

References

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Chromium: an Important Mineral for Health

Essential to overall health, the mineral Chromium supports our daily energy level, manages metabolism of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates and helps our body maintain a stable blood sugar level. Chromium is commonly found in multivitamin/mineral formulas. However, some people can be deficient in chromium or have a health condition that can be improved by taking a chromium supplement.

Research indicates that proper chromium supplementation can be of benefit for managing Type-2 diabetes, improving cholesterol levels, weight management, and enhancing athletic performance. Because there is a relationship between blood sugar management and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), scientists are looking at the role of chromium in this condition. Chromium enhances the action of insulin, which helps the body regulate blood sugar level. Some studies show that supplementing with chromium can improve blood sugar management in those with Type-2 diabetes. In another study, women with PCOS who took a daily chromium supplement saw improvement in insulin sensitivity (which affects blood sugar level).

There are many forms of chromium supplements. Some are more easily absorbed and utilized by the body than others. Speak to your holistic health practitioner about which form and dose of chromium is best for your specific health conditions.

References

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Support for Menstrual Difficulties with Chaste Tree Extract

Back in the Middle Ages, Chaste Tree Extract (Vitex agnus castus, aka Vitex or Chasteberry) was used by monks to decrease sexual desire (hence its name!). Today we know that this powerful herb – a medicinally potent brown berry about the size of a peppercorn – doesn’t impact sexual desire. But it does help manage reproductive disorders. Vitex is used for menstrual difficulties including PMS and PCOS, breast pain management, and infertility. It may also benefit women going through menopause.

Vitex does not supply hormones to the body; rather, it acts on the glands that control hormone production, namely the pituitary and hypothalamus. Ultimately, it helps balance the ratio of progesterone to estrogen, while slightly elevating progesterone level.

Chaste Tree is available as a liquid extract, in capsule and tablet form, and as an essential oil. It is considered safe for most people. However, women on birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy, or who have a hormone-sensitive condition (such as breast cancer) should seek medical consultation before taking this herb. Also, it should not be used by persons taking antipsychotic drugs or medications for Parkinson’s disease. Your holistic health care provider is the best source for information on Chaste Tree and the appropriate use for your health concerns.

References

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Create a Health Shift with Intermittent Fasting

You’re probably aware that going too many hours between meals can cause a drop in blood sugar that leads to headaches, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating. While that’s true, new research shows that planned periods of Intermittent Fasting (IF) or Intermittent Energy Restriction (IER) can be good for your health. This is not about starving yourself to lose weight. Instead, IER aims to give the digestive system a break from food, which allows the body to cleanse itself. To be truly restorative, IER is matched with a similar break from mental and physical activity.

Though clinical research is still in the early stages for both animal and human studies, several health benefits have been identified. Researchers are investigating different types of IER protocols for both healthy adults and those who are living with obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and metabolic diseases.

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

  • Increased sensitivity to insulin and leptin, which can lower risk of diabetes, heart disease and even cancer
  • Better regulation of hormones associated with appetite
  • Enhanced metabolic use of stored fat
  • Lower triglyceride levels, which decreases risk for heart disease
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Enhanced awareness of appetite and cues for eating

Intermittent Fasting Regimens

During an Intermittent Fast, drink plenty of water, keep exercise to low intensity, and avoid stress such as the kind created by work deadlines or caretaking for family. For best health practices, choose unprocessed, whole foods including grains, fresh fruits and veggies, and best quality fish, meat and dairy.

  • The 16/8 Method involves skipping breakfast and restricting your daily eating period to 8 hours (e.g., Noon – 8 PM), then fasting for 16 hours (8 PM to 12 PM the next day).
  • The Weekly/Bi-weekly 24-hour Fast involves a 24 hour period of fasting for one or two days per week or every other week: Last meal at 6 PM Monday, no food but plenty of water until 6 PM the next day.
  • The 5:2 Method involves choosing any two non-consecutive days of the week and eating only about 600 calories on those days: Tuesday 600 calories; Thursday 600 calories, rest of the week eating regular, healthy meals.

Your holistic health practitioner can help you determine if this is a good approach for you and which is the best intermittent fasting regimen to meet your health goals.

References