Monday, December 4, 2017

Best Natural Shampoo!

Trying to go all natural isn’t the easiest thing when it comes to shampoos.  Reading the ingredients on the label can feel like reading a different language at times for me, yet it is all in English, it’s just in big scientific words to hide the crazy amount of chemicals that can be in it.  When I go shampoo hunting (yes, it is now a hunting sport) I look for a shampoo without petroleum.  Petroleum, also found in vaseline, lotions, and hand sanitizer and besides petroleum can be labeled as
·       Mineral oil
·       Petrolatum
·       Liquid paraffin
·       Paraffin oil

The scariest component of petroleum may be a contaminant called 1,4 dioxane, an impurity found in 22% of all petroleum-based cosmetics and is a possible human carcinogen and known animal carcinogen. How much you're exposed to depends on the product you're using: it's in 82 percent of hair dyes, 45 percent of self-tanners and 36 percent of face moisturizers, for starters.
A 2009 study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology investigated whether mineral oil-based moisturizers might increase the rate at which tumors form. When mice that were at high risk of developing skin cancer received a topical application of 100 mg once a day, five days a week for 17 weeks, the rate of tumor formation significantly increased.
So after years of researching the most natural shampoos that actually work I have fallen in love with a brand called Lisa Rachel.  
  This shampoo is also sulfate-free.  The olive oil and aloe conditioner and cleanser is the one I use.  It does the trick to use only that and no actual shampoo.   However, one of the last ingredients is fragrance’ for people who know they are sensitive to fragrance that is my only disclaimer.  Try it out for yourself!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

How to Repair and Rebuild the Gut

Take a second to think about the how hard our body works to keep us alive. It digests our food, keeps our heart beating, helps remove toxins, fights off invaders, keeps us breathingand that’s just to name a few jobs our body controls. Pretty amazing, right? When you think more about our digestive system, you can look at it quite simply as a long tube that extends from where we place our food to where we eliminate it. It has a job of utmost importance to our health and survival: to nourish and protect.

The health of your digestive system determines what nutrients are absorbed and what toxins, allergens and microbes are kept out. It is directly linked to the health of the entire body. Intestinal health is defined via the process of optimal digestion, absorption, and assimilation of the food we consume. This however relies on processes and factors within the body to all work together to allow this to take place.

It begins with the bugs that live in our guts. We are home to over 500 different species of microorganism that create their own ecosystemI like to think of it as a factoryto allow for our food to be digested, to regulate hormones, excrete toxins and produce vital nutrients. You may be thinking "Bugs? The bad ones?" Yes, we have those too, but what’s key is that the factory stays in balance and all the bugs are doing their correct jobs in the correct location. Too many bad bugs such as parasite/yeast and not enough of the good bugs such as the lactobacillus and good yeast can drastically damage your health and can cause disease such as leaky gut, arthritis, eczema and diabetes. Keeping these in balance is key to health.

Secondly, the gut houses a major filter system, filtering through all the toxins we come in contact with. It does this with a very thin filter which, if abused through consumption of processed foods and toxins, can actually separate and release toxins into the bloodstream causing systemic inflammation and intolerances.

Thirdly, the gut is the only human organ that functions without the help of your brain, and it’s got 100 million cells. In fact, the gut sends signals to the brain via the Vagus nerve, and you actually send more information from the gut to the brain, than from the brain to the gut. In other words, your brain is translating gut signals as emotions. It contributes to those very important happy feelings and interference can cause anxiety and depression. So, when someone says trust your gut, it might be worth doing.

Lastly, the digestive system’s job is to break down all the food we eat separating it into what will feed our body and what is waste. The body can only break down whole food to use as fuel, and anything refined or processed is classified as waste. If this process becomes impaired we no longer create fuel for our body, which causes us to become tired and ill and for inflammation to skyrocket.

Now we know what needs to work to keep our digestive tract healthy. What do we do if we suffer from digestive issues or any health concern for that matter? I am here to help you see the light at the end of the tunnel. The goal is to repair and rebuild.

How to repair the gut:
• Find the source - Nutrition response testing will help determine the root causes of any nutritional deficiencies your body may be suffering from and use whole food nutrition to help detox and rebuild.
• Prioritize relaxation - Finding ways to reduce your level of stress emotionally, physically and environmentally will reduce the inflammation on the body, allowing it to repair. You can use mediation, a favorite hobby or exercise.
• Reduce toxic exposure - Lower antibiotic use and other medications as these don't just destroy just the bad bugs but the whole factory, throwing the gut entirely out of balance.
• Alter your diet- Remove all highly-processed food, sugar, highly-refined carbohydrates and alcohol. This will take away a toxic load and allow the body to truly repair.

Now that we have found ways to reduce the stress and toxins in the body to create optimal digestive health there are many ways to rebuild and create an environment where the factory can start working again.

How to rebuild the gut:
• Fermented foods - Consuming ½ serving daily of fermented foods will help rebuild the good bacteria. Daily is key; similar to how you would take probiotics regularly to keep the good bugs happy, fermented foods should be consumed same way.
• The good starchy carbs - Sweet potato, plantains, and cassava are the best starchy carbs for our digestion. The good bugs love them and they won't spike your blood sugar.
Some favorites are sauerkraut (Hawthorne Valley), kimchi, kombucha, good quality kefir.
• Deep breathing - Digesting is a parasympathetic process, meaning we must be in a relaxed state for digestion to occur correctly. Taking 3 big deep breaths in and slowly releasing each time will help the body become relaxed. A prayer blessing your food can also help the body become more relaxed.
• Hydration - Staying hydrated is key to ensuring the nutrients are transported correctly throughout the body and that waste is eliminated.

Now you can look at your digestive system as your best friend. It’s easy to get caught up in how it sometimes isn’t working, causing us pain or discomfort, but understanding there is a way to help repair and rebuild this intricate friendship within will only help you see that the body truly wants to keep you happy and healthy on the outside too.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

What Kind of Grass-Fed Beef are you Eating?

The demand for grass-fed beef has been increasing yet a range of practices and labels and a lack of regulation persists. Labels can be confusing for sure and with regulations being questionable is it worth the extra price? Yes, but as the consumer we have to do our research.

Cows are indeed supposed to eat grass, not the genetically modified corn/soy/grain mixture that most farmers give them. One of the benefits of eating grass-fed beef is the significantly higher levels of omega-3s present in it. Depending on the breed of cow, grass-fed beef contains between 2 and 5 times more omega-3s than grain-fed beef. Grass-fed beef also contains significantly more of the antioxidants vitamin E, beta-carotene, glutathione, superoxide dismutase (SOD), and catalase than grain-fed beef. These antioxidants play an important role in protecting our cells from oxidation.  

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) has potent antioxidant activity, and research indicates that it helps protect against heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Beef is one of the best dietary sources of CLA, and grass-fed beef contains an average of 2 to 3 times more CLA than grain-fed beef. This is because grain-based diets reduce the pH of the digestive system in ruminant animals, which inhibits the growth of the bacterium that produces CLA. It’s interesting to note that as a whole, Americans consume far less CLA than people from countries such as Australia, where grass-fed beef tends to be the rule rather than the exception.

So now that you know all the health benefits of eating grass-fed and are ready to spend the extra money to do so you need to know exactly what is meant by the label “grass-fed”. And is all grass-fed beef the same?

According to rancher and the author of Defending Beef, Nicolette Hahn Niman, “On average, the cattle in the U.S. that is going through feedlots is slaughtered at 14-16 months. They do grow fatter and faster if they’re being fed grain, so they’re going into feedlots at younger ages to shorten that time as much as possible." In contrast, grass-fed cows are slaughtered anywhere between 18-36 months.

“When you keep cattle on grass their whole lives, and truly have them forage for a diet that their bodies have evolved to eat, you allow them to grow at a slower pace,” says Niman. Not surprisingly, caring for the animal for so long can be expensive for ranchers and consumers.

Marilyn Noble of the American Grassfed Association argues that beef producers have little incentive to stick with those rules. “You see a lot of beef labeled as ‘grass-fed,’ but whether or not it actually meets that standard is questionable."

Noble’s skepticism is rooted in the fact that, for the most part, the USDA allows producers to determine whether or not their beef meets the grass-fed beef marketing claim standard. Noble says farms “self-certify” their own beef, and the Food Safety and Inspection Service generally goes along with their claim.

Unless also labeled organic, it’s perfectly permissible for grass-fed cows to be given antibiotics to prevent infection and synthetic hormones to promote faster growth. Also, it's important for your grass-fed meat to be labeled organic because otherwise the grass they are eating is probably being treated with herbicides and fertilizers on a pretty consistent basis.

So what are we to do? We, the consumers who want to know if our extra dollars are getting the extra healthy meat. Farmers’ markets with farmers offering organic and grass-fed beef from their own pastures may be the safest way to go. In this way we can talk directly to farmers to find out how their beef was raised.

Many of these producers have begun using the term “pasture raised,” another unregulated labeling term that is popular among ranchers raising pigs and chickens. The other week I bought pasture raised bacon from the farmer's market and when reading the ingredients was surprised to see nitrates on the label. I assumed that the farmer's goal was healthy meat. That if he was caring enough to raise pasture pigs that he would not then poison the consumer with nitrates. So ask questions and read labels! There’s nothing worse than spending extra money on fancy labels and empty promises. Most small, local farms know and understand this and are more than willing to go above and beyond to reassure their customers of the natural, ethical, and sustainable nature of their farming practices.

Monday, November 6, 2017

The Healing Power of Alignment

The purpose of chiropractic medicine is to support the alignment of the body so that nerve flow is optimal from the brain to the rest of the body. If the joints are misaligned then the nerves and even blood flow is compromised. Muscles that attach to the joints are then pulling at compromising angles and can cause tightness and pain. Without proper nerve flow impulses to muscles and organs are limited so muscle injury and organ dysfunction can happen. Signs of such organ dysfunction can be headaches, acid reflux, stomach or intestinal pain, erectile dysfunction and more.

When working with patients I use both chiropractic medicine and design clinical nutrition programs using muscle testing. Sometimes patients just need a nutrition program, sometimes they only need chiropractic, but more often than not at some point during their healing program both tools are needed to reach optimal health.

Chiropractors got into nutrition work because starting in the 1940s they weren't getting as good of results as they were in the early 1900s. They knew they weren't worse doctors but what used to take 5 office visits for a patient to get optimal relief was now taking 12 visits. Why were people not holding their adjustments? Why were they slower to heal? The answer is toxins. A toxin in the body that the nervous system saw as a noxious stimulus that would keep irritating the body so the body couldn't do what it was meant to do. The body is meant to heal.

Around World War II is when canned food and more sugar entered the grocery stores and I think ever since then food became more and more processed to the point of the majority of food on the shelves of a grocery store is no longer food but products. The body could not digest these products that well and inflammation ensued causing healing to be slower.

Inflammation is the culprit and so whether I use chiropractic medicine or nutrition the goal is to remove the inflammation so the body can heal. Without the right nutrition the body cannot produce healthy cells and without the right alignment nerve and blood flow will not bring the right impulses or nutrition to all parts of the body.
There are ways to muscle test when a symptom is more of a nutritional deficiency or a structural misalignment. So next time you are in the office let us know of your health concern and we can help differentiate which care is best for you!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Travel Immunity

Almost 2 million people fly every day and some people arrive feeling worse than when they left. Flying is very taxing to the body; it messes with its natural rhythms, puts a strain on the immune system, causes dehydration, increases stress hormones, and (sadly) accelerates aging. It puts you at high risk of feeling under the weather as the air isn’t really filtered but instead simply blown to the back of the plane and re-circulated.

Our bodies were never designed to be confined to be at high altitude, especially in such close proximity to so many people breathing the same air. Flying exposes you to environmental toxins and pathogens that you aren’t routinely exposed to. You’re exposed to radiation, toxic cabin air and new people. If you have a robust immune system then your body will handle these toxins by using its amazing detox pathways. However, if you’re not in optimal health these things can hit you pretty hard.

We want to arm you with all the correct defenses so that your immune system becomes Superman and can battle these not-so-ideal environments. Here are the top 6 defenses to protect your body and kick the immune system into gear!

Stay hydrated. It’s vital you stay hydrated, especially before the flight. The cabin air is very dry causing dehydration, drying up your mucus membranes, throat, eyes and weakening your immune system. Stay away from any alcohol and coffee before the flight and make sure to get in lots of good filtered water. Coconut is a great pre- flight drink with high electrolytes will keep you hydrated longer.

Avoid X-ray airport scanners. These machines give off a lot of electromagnetic field radiation, wreaking havoc over the body and weakening the immune system. I recommend avoiding these if at all possible, to prevent this toxin from affecting the body and making you more susceptible to the toxins on the planes. Ask to opt out of the scan or apply for the TSA pre-pass that lasts for 5 years.

Pack your snacks. Diet is always key and being on the right nutrion program will make sure you have all the correct vitamins and minerals that will ensure the immune system is in full gear. Packing your own food and snacks will allow you to know what you’re eating. Pack foods that boost your immune system and be sure to stay away from the unhealthy packaged and prepared food at the airport.

Get extra immune support. Being on a nutrition response testing program will protect your immune system by making sure they body has the correct nutrition to keep you healthy and full of energy. Because flying can add a lot of stress to the body extra immune support is vital to make sure we feel great when we land. Immuplex and Antronex are our go-to products for flying to make sure to keep the bugs away, energy levels high and immune system boosted. 

We are coming out with our own Healing Arts immune support supplement so keep your eye out for it when in lands in the office.

Exercise. Make sure to keep the body moving. Get up and stretch your legs on the plane and be sure to get some exercise in before and after your flight. This will allow the body to get adequate blood flow and detoxifying movement of the lymph system. 

Cover your ears. This may sound odd but the noise pollution form planes is actually a lot higher on the decibel range than what we are used to, which can actually will trigger a stress response in the body. This stress response links long flights to hypertension, cardiovascular disease and anxiety. So, protecting your ears is protecting your body against stress.

Try earthing. Yep, you read that correctly. Walking around outside barefoot can really have a huge impact (whether you travel often or not). This is one of my favorite ways to destress my body, as the Earth’s energy reduces inflammation and keeps blood and lymph flowing. It’s best at the beach if you’re on vacation but any contact with the earth with get you destressed and calm in no time.

Many dread the experience of flying or some know they aren’t going to feel good afterwards (not to mention the jet lag). These tips will equip you with all the right tools to keep the body and immune system healthy and in superman function so you can feel and perform better when traveling by air.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Why Organic Eggs Are Not The Healthiest Eggs

If you are reading this blog, you are probably someone who invests more energy in your health and who takes care to buy higher quality foods for yourself and your family. If so, you may think that buying organic eggs is the best you can do… but there’s more! Organic eggs are really just a single step up from regular eggs.

If you see the word “organic” on a label, including eggs, you might think that the hens who laid the eggs lived in better conditions and enjoyed happier lives than their battery cage friends, but even certified organic eggs can come from birds who are subject to living in inhumane factory conditions.

Most industrial egg-laying operations get by following the minimum standards required. They are allowed to do this by simply including a small porch area attached to a two-story building where their chickens are housed, and they can call this “outdoor access.”

Certified organic eggs come from hens that are raised on hormone-free and antibiotic-free organic feed, and have “access” to outdoor areas. But with those living conditions the chickens are not at their healthiest to produce the healthiest eggs.

So What Kind of Eggs Should You Buy?

If you can’t even trust a certified organic label for eggs, which eggs can you buy? Here are some other terms used to label the various conditions under which eggs are produced and what they mean:

Cage-free: This is a loose, unregulated term describing eggs which could be from hens confined to a barn, OR from chickens with access to outdoor space. There is no specific regulation for the term cage-free and there is a big difference between these options! Cage-free egg producers are not audited by independent inspectors, unless they are also certified organic.

Many people buy cage-free eggs thinking that these hens have access to outdoor pasture, but the truth is that they usually live inside dark enclosed sheds. The chickens are free to roam around within the confined space and to stretch and spread their wings, which is a significant improvement over cage conditions, but they still don’t typically have free roaming access to outdoor pasture.

Free-range: Even though it sounds good, “free-range” doesn’t mean pasture-raised any more than “cage free” does. Free-range hens, you would think, should have access to the outside, but again, there is no regulation that guarantees how long they need to be outside, how much room they are given, or any other standards that would make them “free-range.”

Free-range hens can still be fed GMO feed, given antibiotics, and other animal by-products. They often live in overcrowded conditions, and they may or may not have access to more comfortable nests and perches.

Omega-3 Enhanced: Omega-3 enhanced eggs come from chickens that consume significant amounts of flax, which contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Most omega-3 enhanced egg laying hens in battery cages. The amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in these eggs is unregulated and can be quite variable.

Pasture-raised: Authentic free-range eggs come from hens raised on grassy pastures. These eggs are visibly more nutritious than eggs obtained from cage-free, or confined environments. Free-range producers are not audited by third parties unless the eggs are also certified organic so make sure you talk to your supplier about the eggs, but pasture-raised would be your best bet for the best eggs ever.

The color, flavor and texture of a pasture-raised egg is distinctively noticeable, and due to high amounts of Vitamin A, D, E, K2, B-12, folate, riboflavin, calcium, zinc, beta carotene, choline, and loads of omega 3 fatty acids, a pasture-raised egg is a true superfood. If you’ve never eaten an egg from a hen raised on sunshine, bugs and grass, then you are in for a treat!

Note that some eggs are labelled “pasteurized” and this means something different from pastured. Pasteurized eggs have been treated to eliminate bacteria such as salmonella so they can be eaten raw.

If you are not sure how the eggs you buy rate, use the Organic Egg Brand Scorecard to learn more about the source of eggs available to you and to help you choose a healthier, and more humanely raised egg!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Healing Arts Lifestyle: NYC Restaurants

There is no question about it: Ditching bad habits and adopting healthier ones can get challenging. Here at Healing Arts we are all about lifestyle changes that help you get your health back on track and allow your body to heal itself. Food changes like cutting out grains and sugar or switching to organic produce can allow the body to cleanse itself, but sometimes this leaves patients unsure about where to go if they want to eat out or grab a bite on the run. Well, stress no more! I have eaten my way through a small fraction of New York City to come up with a list that can help you navigate what can sometimes feel like a maze, so you can feel comfortable and healthy when stepping outside your kitchen.

For lunch and snacks:

I love their hot bar and they make the best grain-free and sugar-free pancakes. Not to mention their chocolate (which we sell at the office)!

They have tasty treats and great salads to grab if you on the go. Their Greek salad with cashew feta is delicious!

Thoughtful meals prepared in glass jars. Their menu is constantly changing so youll never get bored at lunch.

Indian-inspired nourish bowls. They make yummy cauliflower rice.

Organic juices and souphow can you go wrong? Tasty salads, too.

Vegan, plant-based meals with full flavor. Their air dried sweet potato fries are seriously good.

Organic bone broth with no additives. I love their broth with zucchini noodles as an option for lunch.

Homemade organic bone broth that packs a flavor punch. My favorite is their oishi oishi.

Local, organic and elegant. Their quinoa tagliatelle is delicious.

Californian vibes with yummy fruity and savory breakfast options.

Local, organic meals. Try their beef tartareextremely tasty. Think meat, veggies, fish, broth.

They have great avocado toast and its a great place to sit and work with mint water on tap!

Organic and sugar free. They make tasty homemade chocolate and nourishing savory plates.

Vegan/vegetarian share plates exploding with flavorin my top 5! Try the avocado dosa, whole roasted cauliflower and the slow roasted beets. They are rocking the breakfast scene.

Local and organic. Their salmon and charred octopus is a must-try.

Clean eating with lots of salad and snacks. Try their Thai curry.

Local Mediterranean and Latin cuisine. Their scrambled eggs and potato rösti is a must-try for breakfast.

This is the beginning of what will soon be a long list of healthy options that will make you feel satisfied and comforted. These options offer meals and snacks that are healing and in line with your new lifestyle changes. Don’t be afraid to go out and adventure yourselfyou may just find some on your own.