Sunday, October 27, 2019

Is Oxy Pulling Better Than Oil Pulling?

I love the health benefits I get from oil pulling and suggest it a lot to my patients.  Whether for oral health, cleaning the lymph, or detox support oil pulling is helpful in so many ways.  I have just recently come across oxy pulling thanks to one of my patients who brought it to my attention and so I have something new to add to my daily health routine!   Good news is oxy pulling only takes 30 seconds to do.  Oxy pulling was developed to replace oil pulling and that's what my patient wanted to do, stop her oil pulling and do oxy pulling instead but when I did my research I actually had her do both.  It is more beneficial to do the oxy pulling first and then the oil pulling, then brush your teeth.

While you sleep and throughout the day, your mouth is producing live organisms that are not only harmful to your overall oral health, but to your body as well. These organisms can cause a plethora of disease within the body if swallowed. Therefore it is very important that these organisms are not allowed to accumulate and thrive in your mouth. The most opportune time for these organisms to develop and grow is when we are asleep and after we eat.

Similar to what happens during the oil pulling process, swishing the oxy pulling oral rinse around in your mouth will activate enzymes, allowing toxins and bacteria to be drawn out from the body.  The only Oxy Pulling solution I know of is Garner's Garden.  

The following are the key ingredients that are used to make oxy pulling so effective:

1% or 2% Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide, H2O2: Helps by inhibiting the reproduction of bacteria and also kills fungal spores. H2O2 is also able to penetrate periodontal areas between the teeth and gums by its foaming action; this is how oxygen is released to inhibit the growth of bacteria while creating a whitening/bleaching effect for the teeth. Another benefit is the ability to remove and repel plaque from the surface of the teeth for prolonged periods of time. Think of how wax is applied to a car. When water touches the car’s surface that has had wax applied to it, water will bead up and roll off of the car. This is along the same premise of H2O2 and plaque – there will be some accumulation of plaque over a couple of hours of daily activities, but a large majority of the plaque will be repelled and not accumulate on the surface of the teeth.

Other Ingredients that can be in Oxy Pulling Solutions -

Activated Charcoal:
 Assists with the whitening of teeth and it also traps and removes toxins that are present in the mouth.

Peppermint Essential Oil: Kills germs, helps with pain, and highly effective at preventing bad breath.
Cinnamon Essential Oil: has the greatest antimicrobial potency against streptococcus mutans, the bacteria responsible for tooth decay, and lactobacillus plantarum, one of the bacteria responsible for gum disease.
Tea Tree Essential Oil: Contains terpinen which is responsible for giving this oil its healing properties. Tea tree is known to kill fungus and bacteria.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

The Benefits of Lymphatic Therapy

At Healing Arts we help people detox, removing toxins from their body, while supporting their body with the right nutrition for better health.  In doing this, one of our main concerns is to make sure the lymphatic system of the body is moving toxins through effectively.  If the lymphatic system slows down then toxins get backed up causing all sorts of problems in the body.  

The lymphatic system is composed of vessels throughout the whole body that carry lymph fluid through lymph nodes and particular organs and then through more vessels in order for the lymph to be dumped and recirculated into the blood stream at the collar bones.  Unlike blood vessels which have a heart to pump blood, lymphatic vessels don't have a pump to move lymph.  Lymph moves by contraction of your muscles.  That is why exercise is important for detox among other things.

If the lymph gets backed up and toxins cannot be moved through the body to be detoxed headaches, brain fog, fatigue, mucus in the morning, recurrent sore throats, frequent colds, constipation, unable to lose weight,  joint stiffness in the morning, sore breasts, itchy skin and more can occur.  These toxins can literally reek havoc in all sorts of ways.    

To help the lymphatic system not get backed up with toxins dry brushing, oil pulling, foot detox bath, all help with the lymph and so does a lymphatic therapy.  

Lymphatic therapy aims to improve the efficiency of not only your lymphatic system but also your circulatory system. By dropping the volume of retained fluid and the pressure this special type of massage can also reduce the risk of impeded circulation. Lymphatic drainage therapy has the potential to improve your immunity and is really beneficial post-surgeries and postpartum.  I loved getting lymphatic therapy after delivering my daughters to help with recovery. 

 Lymphatic Therapy Is Beneficial For:

  • Cellulite fat accumulation
  • Pre-Post Surgery Swelling
  • Lymphoedema
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
  • Swollen legs or arms due to fluid retention.
  • Hormonal & emotional imbalances.
  • Breast tenderness & congestion.
  • Post-mastectomy or breast cancer treatment.
  • Fibromyalgia & Lupus
  • Depression & Anxiety
  • Recurrent infections

Commonly, a lymphatic therapy session is 60 minutes to increase the lymphatic flow and circulation that is needed to help heal the body.  The lymphatic enhancement practitioner will guide you about the treatment follow up depending on your medical condition.

Ater I gave birth a year ago, Maria Schalkoff was my lymphatic enhancement practitioner who was great at helping me get back on my feet.  I am so happy that she will now be part of the Healing Arts team and will start giving lymphatic therapy starting September 10th.  Maria went to the bio holistic institute of il Melograno in Savona Italy graduating in aesthetic cosmetology and bio energetic massage.  She is certified in MLD by Academy of Lymphatic Studies. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

How to Eat Well for Better Energy

Eating strategically to keep blood sugar steady throughout the day can help to keep fatigue at bay.  Every cell in the human body relies on sugar (glucose) for energy. When blood sugar rises, the body produces insulin to attach to glucose that is out in the blood stream and gets it into cells. When blood sugar drops, the body secretes different hormones to raise it. In this way, our blood-sugar and hormone levels are in constant flux, ensuring our cells’ access to glucose. But drastic swings in blood sugar levels zap us of energy, leading to lethargy and fatigue.

To help stabilize blood sugar and not get sugar highs and lows it is about the quality of the nutrients we ingest, not just the amount that matters. Eating this way will also prevent or help diabetes.  While imperfect, the Glycemic Index can be useful for characterizing the nutritional quality of a given carbohydrate.

The Glycemic Index (GI) ranks carbohydrate-containing foods (and beverages) on a scale from 0 to 100 according to their potential to boost blood sugar. High GI foods cause sharp spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels. Foods with a low GI are generally digested and absorbed more slowly, and therefore cause a gentler rise in blood sugar and insulin. See how different carbohydrates stack up on this Glycemic Index Reference Chart.

High GI foods include starchy vegetables and highly processed carbohydrates (think: fruit juices, chips, white bread) – in short, the ones we already know aren’t beneficial for our health. By contrast, low GI foods tend to be fiber-rich fruits, non-starchy vegetables, legumes and minimally or un-processed whole grains.
We help people make deliberate adjustments to their diet to stabilize their blood sugar levels and get their energy back.

1. Incorporate low glycemic index foods into your diet

After being muscle tested and figuring out what foods your body does well with the next step is to reduce your intake of high GI foods in favor of whole fruits, vegetables, legumes and minimally processed grains. Try substituting steel-cut oatmeal for instant and beans for potatoes. Or, if you’re having a high GI food – say, cornflakes or instant oatmeal – throw in a handful of berries to reduce its glycemic load. The top 10 foods to help with blood sugar are:
  1. coconut
  2. turmeric
  3. cinnamon
  4. raw chocolate
  5. green tea
  6. apple cider vinegar
  7. avocados
  8. lemons and limes
  9. olives and olive oil
  10. grass-fed butter

2. Add protein to meals and snacks

Because protein slows the body’s absorption of carbohydrates, it helps level out blood sugar. Fish, lean meat, beans, and eggs are all healthy protein sources. To incorporate more protein in your diet, top your salad with a hard-boiled egg or blend a little protein powder into your morning smoothie (Kachava protein powder is one of my favorites).

3. Be prepared

Healthy snacks help stabilize blood sugar between meals. Plan ahead to ensure you have access to healthy snacks when you need them. An apple, a handful of nuts or a cup of plain coconut yogurt are all easy to have on hand, and portable for when you’re on the go.

A diet that’s rich in whole grains, lean protein, and fibrous fruits and vegetables is useful for fighting fatigue and may also reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, all of which help you live well.  How have you found different foods affect your energy levels? Consider when logging your diet making notes about how you feel after eating and between meals. Let your experiences help guide us to help you to make healthy modifications to your diet.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Women Beware: Feminine Products Contain Toxins

Are you surprised tampons and pads can contain hazardous chemicals? Due to the vaginal tissue being much more absorptive than other skin, these toxic chemicals in feminine care products are especially concerning. Unregulated toxic chemicals in feminine care products may result in serious health problems, like increased risk of breast cancer, reproductive problems, asthma, and allergic reactions.  I think all women should not use toxic feminine products but especially don't use them if you have a sensitive bladder, a history of urinary tract infections, vaginal pain with sex or a history of yeast infections.

Unfortunately, because of the lack of government oversight, toxic chemicals can legally be used in all kinds of personal care products without pre-market safety testing. In addition, it’s difficult for women to avoid some of these potentially harmful chemicals in feminine care products because companies are not legally required to disclose ingredients in tampons and pads and other products.

The big problem with tampons and pads is that companies use cotton full of pesticides.  They also use Dioxins and Furans which are heavy chemicals used to bleach the pads and tampons white.  An alternative is to use organic cotton tampons made from pure natural cotton that hasn't been grown in a soup of pesticides. They don't contain rayon or synthetic additives, and most have been manufactured using a chlorine-free process that doesn't create chlorinated toxins. Seventh Generation is such a company and their tampons can be found at Target, Whole Foods, Walmart, etc. 

Toxic Chemicals in Feminine Care Products & Women’s Health

  • Feminine care products, in one form or another, are used by the majority of women in the United States.
  • Up to 86 percent of women use tampons in the U.S.
  • Other feminine care products—douches, sprays, washes, and wipes—are used by up to 10-40 percent of women.
  • Black and Latina women are disproportionately impacted by toxic chemicals in feminine care products, as they’re much more frequent users of feminine cleansing products like douche, wipes, and sprays.
  • Anti-itch creams commonly contain chemical allergens or irritants and can actually exacerbate the very symptoms that women are attempting to treat.
  • Lots of feminine care products contain formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, and formaldehyde is a carcinogen and a potent allergen.
What You Can Do to Reduce Your Exposure
  • Eliminate use of products that may be unnecessary to a healthy vagina.
  • Choose unscented products where available (particularly tampons and pads).
  • Choose chlorine-free bleached or unbleached cotton tampons and pads.
  • If you are having allergic symptoms, switch brands! When you do switch – call the company’s 1-800 customer service to tell them why!
  • Tell the FDA if you’ve had symptoms that may be from a feminine care product. Call 1-800-332-1088.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Purify Your Blood Naturally

Natural Blood Cleansers

Blood does more than just carry oxygen to our organs and muscles.  It also carries hormones and sugar, helps regulate our immune system and cleanses the body.  It can be simply said that our blood needs to remain clean and free of toxins for the body. When toxins find their way into the body, the blood carries it to the liver, where the liver detoxes it, dumps it into the intestines and we excrete it out.  If our blood is too toxic we can start feeling sick in many ways.  Headaches, stomach pain, constipation/diarrhea, acne etc. can ensue.  But if we take our health seriously and keep our blood free of toxins we can have health benefits like glowing and acne-free skin, reduced cholesterol level, easier digestion and transport of nutrients etc. The liver being the main detox organ and kidneys being the second detox organ, if we take care of these organs then we can have cleaner blood which makes everything else in our body work better.  

Water is the natural detoxifying agent which is also one of the most common and simplest blood purifiers. It flushes out toxins from our body and helps our organs to function properly. A person should drink at least 2 to 3 liters of water each day. Water aids the flow of minerals and vitamins and also helps in purification of blood by flushing toxins out through urination.

 is a golden spice which has numerous benefits. It promotes liver function and is one of the best natural healers. A compound found in turmeric named curcumin can fight inflammation.  Beside this, turmeric generates red blood cells.  

Blueberries are one of the best natural blood purifiers. It inhibits the growth of liver cancer cells and also keeps the liver healthy. Not only this, blueberries are high in antioxidants which directly prevent any damage to the liver. It removes heavy metals and harmful chemicals from the body efficiently.

Various fishes like salmon, sardines, and tuna contain omega-3 fatty acids which decrease the triglyceride levels in the blood and also lowers the blood pressure which ultimately helps the liver and kidneys to purify the blood effectively.

Broccoli is loaded with vitamin C, omega – 3 fatty acids, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, manganese etc. which help in removing toxins from our blood. On regular consumption, broccoli ensures detoxification and also provides a boost to the immunity system.

Beets can detoxify the blood naturally because of the presence of antioxidant named betalains and nitrates. It is also able to reduce oxidative damage in the liver. As per studies, if 
beetroot is consumed regularly it is capable of detoxifying the body by increasing the production of helpful enzymes. But because of nitrates be careful when giving it to infants.

Chlorophyll supplements work during digestion to both detoxify the body of toxins ingested through foods as well as to detoxify the body of existing stored toxins. Some chlorophyll is absorbed into the bloodstream during digestion. As the blood passes through the liver, chlorophyll promotes the liver’s cleansing and detoxification process by its action on the Phase II detoxification enzymes produced by the liver. Phase II is a process in which the liver uses enzymes to convert a toxic substance into a less toxic substance that is easily eliminated by the body. Additionally, chlorophyll appears to stimulate the regeneration of damaged liver cells. 

Chlorophyll also appears to increase circulation to all the organs of our body by dilating blood vessels. Specifically for the heart, chlorophyll helps in the transmission of nerve impulses that control contraction. The heart rate is slowed but the contraction strength is increased, improving the efficiency of the heart.

Garlic in raw form is loaded with sulphur, an element which is beneficial in getting rid of toxins. It filters out the toxins from our blood by producing detoxification enzymes. Garlic is also helpful in cleaning and clearing the whole body. It boosts the immune system and possesses anti-inflammatory properties which can help in reducing the cholesterol level in the body and also blood pressure.

Lemon helps in detoxifying the blood by releasing the toxins of our digestive tract and cleansing the system. Consuming warm lemon water on an empty stomach can do wonders. It can aid the breakdown of fat and also ease the load on the kidneys. The minerals and vitamins present in lemon help in detoxification of the body.
 Lemon juice can activate the liver to release toxins which help in cleaning intestines.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Eat to Live a Long and Healthy Life

Blue Zones are regions of the world where Dan Buettner claims people live much longer than average. The term first appeared in his November 2005 National Geographic magazine cover story, "The Secrets of a Long Life".  Buettner identified five regions as "Blue Zones" (Okinawa (Japan); Sardinia(Italy); Nicoya (Costa Rica); Icaria (Greece); and among the Seventh-day Adventists in Loma Linda, California. He offers an explanation, based on data and first hand observations, for why these populations live healthier and longer lives than other people in his book, The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who've Lived the Longest. 

The people who live in the Blue Zones eat a healthy and move their bodies a lot. They have social circles that reinforce healthy behaviors. They take time to de-stress. They're part of communities, often religious ones. And they're committed to their families.

Below are details of how Blue Zone people eat.  I love to muscle test to be specific to each of my patients but I think it is a good reminder to eat well by learning from these healthy cultures.  It is made easy to eat like the healthiest people in the world with the Blue Zones Meal Planner, where you’ll find thousands of recipes that follow these guidelines while making plant-slant food delicious and accessible. 


People in the blue zones eat an impressive variety of garden vegetables when they are in season, and then they pickle or dry the surplus to enjoy during the off-season. Eating local and in season is so important and this data proves it.  The best-of-the-best longevity foods are leafy greens such as spinach, kale, beet and turnip tops, chard, and collards.  Combined with seasonal fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and beans dominate blue zones meals all year long.
Many oils derive from plants, and they are all preferable to animal-based fats. The diet cannot say that olive oil is the only healthy plant-based oil, but it is the one most often used in the blue zones. Evidence shows that olive oil consumption increases good cholesterol and lowers bad cholesterol. In Ikaria, they found that for middle-aged people, about six tablespoons of olive oil daily seemed to cut the risk of dying in half.
People in four of the five blue zones consume meat, but they do so sparingly, using it as a  small side, or a way to flavor dishes. Research suggests that 30-year-old vegetarian Adventists will likely outlive their meat-eating counterparts by as many as eight years. At the same time, increasing the amount of plant-based foods in your meals has many salutary effects. Beans, greens, yams and sweet potatoes, fruits, nuts, and seeds should all be favored. Variety of fruits and vegetables makes a difference; don't eat the same thing over and over again. Know which ones you like, and keep your kitchen stocked with them.


Averaging out consumption in blue zones, we found that people ate about two ounces or less about five times per month. And we don’t know if they lived longer despite eating meat. If you are thinking eating less meat may be in your healthiest interest let me know and we can muscle test to see if eating less really will help you. 
The Adventist Health Study 2, which has been following 96,000 Americans since 2002, has found that the people who lived the longest were vegans or pesco-vegetarians, who ate a plant-based diet that included a small amount of fish. So, while you may want to celebrate from time to time with chicken, pork or beef, we don’t recommend it as part of a Blue Zones Diet. Okinawans probably offer the best meat substitute: extra firm tofu, high in protein and cancer-fighting phyto-estrogens but soy is very much in their culture and what their ancestors ate and is not the GMO American soy so I would be nervous suggesting a lot of it to my patients.  


If you must eat fish, fewer than three ounces, up to three times weekly. In most blue zones, people ate some fish but less than you might think—up to three small servings a week. There are other ethical and health considerations involved in including fish in your diet. It makes sense, for example, to select fish that are common and abundant, not threatened by overfishing. In the world’s blue zones, in most cases, the fish being eaten are small, relatively inexpensive fish such as sardines, anchovies, and cod—middle-of-the-food- chain species that are not exposed to the high levels of mercury or other chemicals like PCBs that pollute our gourmet fish supply today.
People in the blue zones don’t overfish the waters like corporate fisheries that threaten to deplete entire species. Blue zones fishermen cannot afford to wreak havoc on the ecosystems they depend on. Again, fish is not a necessary part of a longevity diet but if you must eat seafood elect fish that are common and not threatened by overfishing.


Milk from cows doesn’t figure significantly in any blue zones diet except that of some
Adventists. Arguments against milk often focus on its high fat and sugar content. The number of people who (often unknowingly) have some difficulty digesting lactose according to this research may be as high as 60 percent. Goat’s and sheep’s milk products figure into the Ikarian and Sardinian blue zones.

I do think it makes a difference that the goat’s milk that they consume is not as liquid but fermented as yogurt, sour milk, or cheese. Although goat’s milk contains lactose, it also contains lactase, an enzyme that helps the body digest lactose.


People in all of the blue zones eat eggs about two to four times per week. Usually they eat just one as a side dish with a whole-grain or plant-based dish. Nicoyans fry an egg to fold into a corn tortilla with a side of beans. Okinawans boil an egg in their soup. People in the Mediterranean blue zones fry an egg as a side dish with bread, almonds, and olives for breakfast. Blue zones eggs come from chickens that range freely, eat a wide variety of natural foods, and don’t receive hormones or antibiotics. Slowly matured eggs are naturally higher in omega-3 fatty acids.


According to the research, eat at least a half cup of cooked beans daily. Beans reign supreme in blue zones. They’re the cornerstone of every longevity diet in the world: black beans in Nicoya; lentils, garbanzo, and white beans in the Mediterranean; and soybeans in Okinawa. People in the blue zones eat at least four times as many beans as Americans do on average. I was surprised by this information because I feel like a lot of my patients don't digest beans well but I realize that the quality of the bean and how it is prepared makes a huge difference.  The majority of Americans are reaching for canned beans.  Definitely don't eat any canned beans.  Instead buy them dry and pressure cook them to remove any lectins.  

The fact is, beans are the consummate superfood. On average, they are made up of 21 percent protein, 77 percent complex carbohydrates (the kind that deliver a slow and steady energy rather than the spike you get from refined carbohydrates like white flour), and only a few percent fat. They are also an excellent source of fiber. They’re cheap and versatile, come in a variety of textures, and are packed with more nutrients per gram than any other food on Earth. Beans are a meal staple in all five of the blue zones—with a dietary average of at least a half-cup per day, which provides most of the vitamins and minerals you need. And because beans are so hearty and satisfying, they’ll likely push less healthy foods out of your diet.


According to the research consume only 28 grams (7 teaspoons) of added sugar daily whereas I tell my patients if their body tests to avoid sugar then they really are to avoid it all together.  People in the blue zones eat sugar intentionally, not by habit or accident. They consume about the same amount of naturally occurring sugars as North Americans do, but only about a fifth as much added sugar—no more than seven teaspoons of sugar a day. It’s hard to avoid sugar. It occurs naturally in fruits, vegetables, and even milk. But that’s not the problem.
Between 1970 and 2000, the amount of added sugar in the American food supply rose by 25 percent. This adds up to about 22 teaspoons of added sugar each of us consumes daily—insidious, hidden sugars mixed into soda, yogurt, and sauces. Too much sugar in our diet has been shown to suppress the immune system. It also spikes insulin levels, which can lead to diabetes and lower fertility, make you fat, and even shorten your life.

People in the Blue Zones eat more intentional sugar than I thought but the good news is when your body tests that it can handle it I would stick to a limited amount of added sugar a day as well.  


Eat two handfuls of nuts per day. A handful of nuts weighs about two ounces, the average amount that blue zones centenarians consume—almonds in Ikaria and Sardinia, pistachios in Nicoya, and all nuts with the Adventists. The Adventist Health Study 2 found that nut eaters outlive non–nut eaters by an average of two to three years.

They found the optimal mix of nuts: almonds (high in vitamin E and magnesium), peanuts (high in protein and folate, a B vitamin), Brazil nuts (high in selenium, a mineral found effective in protecting against prostate cancer), cashews (high in magnesium), and walnuts (high in alpha-linoleic acid, the only omega-3 fat found in a plant-based food). Walnuts, peanuts, and almonds are the nuts most likely to lower your cholesterol. I found this data interesting because I would personally stay away from peanuts.  


Eat only sourdough or 100 percent whole wheat. Blue zones bread is unlike the bread most Americans buy. Most commercially available breads start with bleached white flour, which metabolizes quickly into sugar and spikes insulin levels. But “Blue Zones” bread is either whole grain or sourdough, each with its own healthful characteristics. In Ikaria and Sardinia, breads are made from a variety of whole grains such as wheat, rye, or barley.

Whole grains also have higher levels of fiber than most commonly used wheat flours. Some traditional blue zones breads are made with naturally occurring bacteria called lactobacilli, which “digest” the starches and glutens while making the bread rise. The process also creates an acid—the “sour” in sourdough. Traditional sourdough breads actually lower the glycemic load of meals, making your entire meal healthier, slower burning, easier on your pancreas, and more likely to make calories available as energy than stored as fat. I have seen in my office that patients who can't eat wheat can eat sourdough so if you want to see if you can have sourdough bring in a piece for us to test.  


Choose foods that are recognizable. People in blue zones traditionally eat the whole food. They don’t throw the yolk away to make an egg-white omelet, or spin the fat out of their yogurt, or juice the fiber-rich pulp out of their fruits. They also don’t enrich or add extra ingredients to change the nutritional profile of their foods. Almost all of the foods consumed by centenarians in the blue zones grow within a 10- mile radius of their homes. They eat raw fruits and vegetables; they grind whole grains themselves and then cook them slowly. They use fermentation—an ancient way to make nutrients bio-available—in the tofu, sourdough bread, wine, and pickled vegetables they eat. And they rarely ingest artificial preservatives.


They never drink soft drinks (including diet soda). With very few exceptions, people in blue zones drink coffee, tea, water, and wine (soft drinks, which account for about half of Americans’ sugar intake, were unknown to most blue zones centenarians.) 
WATER Adventists recommend seven glasses of water daily. They point to studies that show that being hydrated facilitates blood flow and lessens the chance of a blood clot.
COFFEE Sardinians, Ikarians, and Nicoyans all drink copious amounts of coffee.Research associates coffee drinking with lower rates of dementia and Parkinson’s disease.
TEA People in all the blue zones drink tea. Okinawans nurse green tea all day. Green tea has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease and several cancers. Ikarians drink brews of rosemary, wild sage, and dandelion—all herbs known to have anti-inflammatory properties.
RED WINE People who drink—in moderation—tend to outlive those who don’t. (This doesn’t mean you should start drinking if you don’t drink now.) We always test to see if alcohol is okay for your body.  

Monday, July 1, 2019

Lectin-Free Diet

To Reduce Inflammation, Try This!

Lectins are microscopic proteins that plants evolved to defend themselves from predators, including insects and animals (that includes humans!). They are essentially indigestible and have the unique ability to increase the permeability of your intestines which eventually can cause a leaky gut or more intense situations.

That means that lectins and other small particles of food can pass through the wall of your gut, and will be treated as foreign invaders by your immune system. This causes an inflammatory response, which can set the stage for a host of diseases, as well as weight gain. 

Dr. Steven Gundry popularized the lectin-free diet. He is a former heart surgeon who switched his focus to food and supplement-based medicine. Dr. Gundry describes lectins as the main danger found in the American diet. In response, he has written a book that provides information on how to avoid lectins, alternative food choices, and recipes, The Plant Paradox

According to the book when lectins are harmful, leaking through the gut and causing inflammation, the auto- immune diseases that can be created are celiac disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, cancer, and depression.
Following a lectin-free diet could be a way to lower inflammation in the body. The best way to know if avoiding lectins would make a difference in your health is to get muscle tested to see how your body responds to lectins.  

According to Dr. Gundry, people should limit the following foods when trying to avoid lectins:
    •    legumes, such as beans, peas, soy, lentils, and peanuts
    •    squash
    •    nightshade vegetables, such as eggplant, peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes
    •    fruit, although in-season fruit is allowed in moderation
    •    all grains
    •    corn
    •    meat from corn-fed animals
    •    A1 milk

Soaking beans overnight in water and some baking soda, then draining them and thoroughly boiling or pressure cooking them, can eradicate nearly all lectins. In fact, pressure cooking vegetables and legumes is also an excellent way to decrease lectin content in those plant foods.  But, using a pressure cooker doesn’t get rid of all lectins – it won’t even touch the lectins in wheat, oats, rye, barley, or spelt.
Likewise, sprouting grains, seeds, and beans releases enzymes that reduce lectins, and the process of fermentation can cut the lectins in dairy and vegetables.
Peel and Deseed your fruits and veggies – If you’re going to use lectin-rich plant foods, make sure to peel and deseed them. Often, the most harmful part of a plant is it’s lectin-filled hull, peel, or rind. To reiterate, the peels and the seeds are often where lectins are hiding, so you can significantly cut down on your intake by eliminating that part of the plant.
Finally, if in fact you must eat grains, opt for white over brown. So, instead of brown rice, eat white rice. Instead of whole wheat bread, find a healthier version of white bread.
Turns out, though many believe brown rice is healthier than it’s white counterpart, those who eat rice as their staple grain have always stripped the hull off of brown rice before they eat it. That’s because the hull contains all the dangerous lectins.

A lectin-free diet is not easy to follow but the science is there to back up why lectins would cause inflammation in the body and lead to certain diseases.  If you think it may help you and you can’t get muscle tested then try not eating lectins for 2 weeks and then add them back in and if you notice a difference then maybe avoiding lectins is the best thing you can do for your body. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Are You Eating Anti Freeze?

Is Propylene Glycol a Healthy Additive?

Propylene glycol is a substance commonly used as a food additive or ingredient in many cosmetic and hygiene products.The U.S. and European food authorities have declared it as generally safe for use in foods. However, it has become controversial since it is also an ingredient in antifreeze. This had led to health concerns about possible toxic effects from eating foods that contain it and putting it on your skin.  

Propylene glycol is a synthetic food additive that belongs to the same chemical group as alcohol. It is a colorless, odorless, slightly syrupy liquid that is a bit thicker than water.  In foods, propylene glycol may be used in the following ways:
    •    Anti-caking agent: It helps prevent food components from sticking to one another and forming clumps, such as in dried soups or grated cheese.
    •    Antioxidant: It extends the shelf life of foods by protecting them against deterioration caused by oxygen.
    •    Carrier: It dissolves other food additives or nutrients to be used in processing, such as colors, flavors or antioxidants.
    •    Dough strengthener: It modifies the starches and gluten in dough to make it more stable.
    •    Emulsifier: It prevents food ingredients from separating, such as oil and vinegar in salad dressing.
    •    Moisture preserver: It helps foods maintain a stable level of moisture and stops them from drying out. Examples include marshmallows, coconut flakes and nuts.
    •    Processing aid: It is used to enhance the appeal or the use of a food, for example, to make a liquid clearer.
    •    Stabilizer and thickener: It can be used to hold food components together or thicken them during and after processing.
    •    Texturizer: It can change the appearance or feel of a food.
Propylene glycol is commonly found in many packaged foods, such as drink mixes, dressings, dried soups, cake mix, soft drinks, popcorn, food coloring, fast foods, bread and dairy products 

It is also used in injectable medications, like lorazepam, and in some creams and ointments that are applied to the skin, such as corticosteroids. 

Due to its chemical properties, it is also found in a wide variety of hygiene and cosmetic products. Additionally, it is used in industrial products like paint, antifreeze, artificial smoke and e-cigarettes. 

Propylene glycol is “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (reference).  In the US, it can be used as a direct and indirect food additive. In Europe, it is only allowed to be used in food as a solvent for colors, emulsifiers, antioxidants and enzymes, 

The World Health Organization recommends a maximum intake of 11.4 mg of propylene glycol per pound of body weight (25 mg/kg) per day. The estimated exposure to propylene glycol through foods in the US is 15 mg per pound (34 mg/kg) per day. (reference)

When consumed in toxic quantities, the buildup of lactic acid can lead to acidosis and specifically bothers the kidneys. Acidosis occurs when the body cannot get rid of the acid fast enough. It begins to build up in the blood, which interferes with proper functioning. At toxic levels, propylene glycol has been found to cause neurological symptoms. There have also been cases of nausea, vertigo and strange sensations.

The American Contact Dermatitis Society has stated that 0.8 and 3.5% of people are estimated to have a skin allergy to propylene glycol (reference). The most common skin reaction, or dermatitis, is the development of a rash. People who already have sensitive skin are at particular risk of allergy to this additive. For people with allergic dermatitis, it is best to avoid all sources of propylene glycol. 

While propylene glycol is generally considered safe by our government agencies, it makes sense to choose to avoid it as much as possible.  It is found in many different food products and can be identified by checking the ingredients list. The names it may be listed under include:
    •    Propylene glycol
    •    Propylene glycol mono and diester
    •    E1520 or 1520

Common foods include soft drinks, marinades and dressings, cake mix, frosting, popcorn, food coloring, fast foods, bread and dairy products.  Unfortunately, if propylene glycol is used as a carrier or solvent for another additive, such as flavor or color instead of a direct ingredient, it may not be listed on the food label.

However, the majority of foods containing it are highly processed junk foods. By consuming a fresh, healthy, whole foods diet, you can avoid most sources without too much trouble.
You can also check the labels of cosmetic products, though avoiding it may be difficult. There are several helpful websites that can help you identify which products contain it.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

8 Health Benefits of Honey

I have been using Manuka honey to boost my immune system at the first sign of feeling sick.  I add bee pollen to my morning smoothie to get the anti-inflammatory benefits that I read about. With recently researching ‘sour honey’ for anticancer properties I stumbled on the work apiculture.  
Apiculture is the science and art of prolonging, sustaining, and retaining health by using products obtained from honeybee hives, such as honey, bee bread, bee venom, bee pollen, propolis, and royal jelly. I feel like just the last couple of years I have seen the growth of bee products in lots of different ways and did more research on what is actually proving to be affective. Here is the info I collected on the benefits of bee products, including honey, propolis, and royal jelly.

Honey is being recognized worldwide due to its high nutritive components that are beneficial for human well-being. It has been traditionally used by Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Chinese to heal wounds and diseases of the gut, including gastric ulcers. It has also been used as a remedy for cough, sore throat, and earaches. In India, Lotus honey has been traditionally used to treat eye infections and other diseases. 

Propolis is generally known as the “bee glue”, which is a generic name that refers to the resinous substance accumulated by the bees from different types of plants. Propolis functions in sealing holes and cracks and for the reconstruction of the beehive. It is also used for retaining the hive's internal temperature, preventing weathering and invasion by predators. Propolis has numerous applications in treating various diseases due to its antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer, properties. Part of the reason it has such applications is it contains important vitamins, such as B1, B2, B6, C, and E and useful minerals such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, sodium, copper, zinc, manganese, and iron.

Royal jelly, a white and viscous jelly-like substance, is a form of hypopharyngeal and mandibular gland secretion from the worker bees. It is also known as a “superfood” that is solely consumed by the queen bee. Royal jelly is also fed to the honeybee larvae upon hatching. This superfood is the main reason for the longevity of the queen bee compared to the other bees. Royal jelly is widely used as a dietary nutritional complex to help combat various chronic health conditions and is seen to be antibacterial, antitumor, antiallergy, and anti-inflammatory. Approximately 185 organic compounds have been detected in royal jelly. Royalactin is the most important protein present in royal jelly. In addition, royal jelly has hormones such as testosterone, progesterone, prolactin, and estradiol that can be very helpful.

8 Health Benefits of Honey

1. Wound Management
Honey has traditionally been used to treat wounds, insect bites, burns, skin disorders, sores, and boils. Scientific documentation of the wound-healing capabilities of honey validates its efficacy as a promoter of wound repair and an antimicrobial agent.  

Honey has a beneficial effect on child dermatitis caused by excessive use of napkins and diapers, eczema, and psoriasis. The effect of honey mixed with beeswax and olive oil was investigated on patients with psoriasis showed significant improvements (reference)

2. Gastrointestinal (GI) Disorder
Natural honey is composed of enzymes that facilitate the absorption of food.  Honey also provides some nutrients, such as minerals, phytochemicals, and flavonoids, that aid digestive processes in the body Manuka honey has antibacterial properties as well.  Studies have also shown that natural honey contains high amount of prebiotics, hastening the growth of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria.

3. Oral Health
Honey is useful for the treatment of many oral diseases, including periodontal disease, stomatitis, and halitosis. In addition, it has also been applied for the prevention of dental plaque, gingivitis, mouth ulcers, and periodontitis. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of honey can stimulate the growth of granulation tissue, leading to the repair of damaged cells 

4. Pharyngitis and Coughs
Pharyngitis, commonly known as sore throat, is an acute infection induced by Streptococcus spp. in the nose and throat.  In addition to streptococci, viruses, nonstreptococcal bacteria, fungi, and irritants such as chemical pollutants may also cause sore throat. Manuka honey is effective for treating sore throat with its anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Honey coats the inner lining of the throat and destroys the harmful microbes while simultaneously soothing the throat.  The antioxidant and antimicrobial properties of honey aided in minimizing persistent cough and ameliorated sleep for both children and adults following honey intake (2.5 ml). A comparative study on children with different natural products reported that honey was found to be the widely used remedy for pneumonia 82.4% [reference].
5. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a mucosal infection caused by contents of abnormal gastric reflux into the esophagus. Symptoms of GERD include heartburn, inflammation, and acid regurgitation. Consumption of honey helps this condition by coating the esophagus and stomach lining, thus preventing the upward flow of food and gastric juice. Honey can further stimulate the tissues on the sphincter to assist in their regrowth and finally reduce the chances of acid reflux.

6. Bowel Movements
Honey has been known to minimize the duration of viral diarrhea compared to conventional antiviral therapy. Manuka honey on an empty stomach helps with inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS) experiencing severe diarrhea or constipation, bloating, and stomach discomfort.

7. Liver and Pancreatic Diseases
Honey helps to soothe pain, balance liver systems, and neutralize toxins. Complications in the liver system can be attributed to oxidative damage. Honey exhibits antioxidant activities that have a potential protective effect on the damaged liver. Honey, which has a 1 : 1 ratio of fructose to glucose, may help to promote better blood sugar level, which is useful for those suffering from fatty liver disease since it provides adequate glycogen storage in liver cells. Insufficient glycogen storage in the liver releases stress hormones that impair glucose metabolism over time. Impaired glucose metabolism leads to insulin resistance and is the main factor of fatty liver disease. 

8. Breast Cancer

Imbalance in estrogen plays a role in breast cancer growth. Phytoestrogens are chemicals found in nature that when ingested act like estrogen in the body.  Honey has phytoestrogens in it. Very specifically Tualang honey shows highly specific and selective killing effects towards breast cancer cell lines and has a good potential as a chemotherapeutic agent [reference].

Monday, June 10, 2019

Having a Healthy Relationship with Your Body

Think about when you first wake up in the morning.  What are your first thoughts as you roll out of bed?  Do they have anything to do with how your body feels?  I tend to get a yes to that question only if that person is in pain or is afraid something is wrong with them.  If we are feeling fine we tend to ignore the body and go on with our day. We can’t be bothered by it. In our office we try to change that awareness.  We teach people to be aware of the food they eat, to make healthy choices and also be aware of the chemicals and heavy metal they are using in their daily life.  This change in awareness is about taking their health into their own hands and making those daily choices to create health in the body.  It takes a dedication, a determination and also self love to confront the body and take care of it. It takes courage to really look at ourselves, our body and do something healthy for it. That’s why a lot of people don’t come to the office unless their body is screaming at them. The body screams in the form of a symptom.  It is only with a headache, stomach ache, anxiety, weeks of insomnia, constipation etc. that people make an appointment.  That is, the majority of the people.  That is how we are trained. To actually go to the doctor’s when you are healthy doesn’t cross people’s mind.  Many doctors are trained in disease. They don’t know what to do if you are healthy.  If you don’t have a symptom they don’t have any advice for you.  Yet, as consumers we should have a new goal.  Our goal should be to keep the health we have.  Preventative healthcare is the best healthcare.

When we bring people’s awareness to their lifestyle and want to help them make changes that would improve their health part of that goal is to help them build their intuition with their bodies.  Listening to their body and what the body is trying to tell them is a new skill set for most people.  When listening to the body I don’t want to deepen the mind-body connection.  Instead, I want to get my patients out of their mind and into the body.  In the body is where your true power lies.  Meditation has it correct.  The goal in meditation is to quiet the mind and we do that by concentrating on the breath.  This concentration on breath gets us into the body and it is there that we find our center.  The center that is beyond the mind and beyond the body.  The center is where we are at peace no matter what is happening around us.  The center is our soft voice that is forever loving.  The center is our Spirit, our Higher Self, our love.  Call it what you would like.  Every religion has a different name for it.  It is our center, beyond anything in this physical world.     

The book by Eckart Tolle, The Power of Now talks about how the body loves your attention. It even states that the more consciousness you bring into the body, the stronger the immune system becomes. I find this to be true but let me specify our body loves our positive attention.  It loves to be loved,  not judged so watch your thoughts.  You think loving thoughts towards your body and you believe the body has the power to heal itself and it will.  If you think negative thoughts and put them in your body dis-ease can occur.  The book, Feelings Buried Alive Never Die is great at explaining that concept.  

A clear example of getting into the body to help it heal is how exercise makes us mentally feel better.  I often tell patients to exercise for better stress management.  I used to think that exercise helped get the stress off the body by changing the biochemistry of the brain but now I realize that exercise reduces stress by getting people to stop thinking and instead putting their attention into the body.  This change in attention from whatever is going on in the mind to the body allows feedback from the body to the brain so that exercise encourages the production of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin in the brain. Exercise also produces endorphins, the ‘feel good’ chemical in the brain.  In this way exercise is nature’s antidepressant and is really good for helping people with all sorts of things like ADHD, anxiety, depression, insomnia, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, blood sugar imbalances, hormone imbalances etc.  You name it and exercise can help because it gets you to pay attention to the body and the body responds by changing the brain chemistry.  

The way to a healthier, happier life is by embracing the body, loving the body.  Start having a positive relationship with your body by checking in with it and listening to it.  If it is hungry, feed it healthy food.  If it is full, step away from eating.  If it is tired, go to bed at a decent hour.  If you know your body doesn’t do well with coffee, skip that afternoon cup.  There are so many choices we make a day to either help or hinder our body.  Be compassionate with yourself  and your body and know your only goal is to make better choices than yesterday and that we are here to help.  

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Leaky Gut Help

What is Leaky Gut and How to Help it

Unfortunately the medical term 'leaky gut' is exactly what it sounds like. It's when the lining of the gut has holes in it and the waste can spill out into your bloodstream, reaching (and essentially poisoning) your vital organs.

Unfortunately, for a shocking percentage of Americans, this “nightmare scenario” is a reality.

Ask yourself, have you experienced…

A bloated belly that just won’t go away?
Extra pounds that are hard to lose?
Gut discomfort and slow digestion?
Stiff, achy joints?
Energy levels that crash too early in the day?

These could be the early signs of leaky gut.
Also, one of the biggest warning signs that you may have leaky gut can be that you’re experiencing multiple food sensitivities. Partially digested protein and fat can seep through your intestinal lining, making their way into your bloodstream and causing an allergic response.
This allergic response doesn’t mean you’ll break out in a rash all over your body, but it can lead to various symptoms:
  • Bloating
  • Thyroid conditions
  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Headaches
  • Skin issues like rosacea and acne
  • Digestive problems
  • Weight gain
If left un-repaired, it can lead to more severe health issues like inflammatory bowel disease, IBS, arthritis, eczema, psoriasis, depression, anxiety, migraine headaches, muscle pain and chronic fatigue.
According to the Journal of Diabetes, there is a strong body of evidence pointing to leaky gut syndrome as a major cause of autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes. 
Another problem with leaky gut is that it can cause malabsorption of vital minerals and nutrients, including zinc, iron and vitamin B12.

Lectins and Foods that Cause Leaky Gut

Lectins are found in many foods, not just grains, and consumed in smaller amounts, your body will do just fine with them. But foods that have large amounts of lectins are more problematic. Some of the lectins and foods that cause leaky gut include wheat, rice, spelt and soy.
Sprouting and fermenting grains reduces phytates and lectins, making these foods easier to digest. GMO and hybridized foods tend to be the highest in lectins since they have been modified to fight off bugs. Also, gluten-containing grains may damage your intestinal lining and potentially cause leaky gut syndrome. Once your gut is healthy, you can add back in grains to a point that your body can handle them without causing damage to the intestines. 
Conventional cows milk is another food that can cause leaky gut. The component of dairy that will harm your gut is the protein A1 casein. Also, the pasteurization process will destroy vital enzymes, making sugars like lactose very difficult to digest. For this reason, I only recommend buying raw dairy and from A2 cows, goats, sheep or buffalo. For more information on A2 milk, read here.  
Sugar is another substance that will wreak havoc on your digestive system. Sugar will feed the growth of yeast, candida and bad bacteria, which will further damage your gut. Bad bacteria actually creates toxins called exotoxins that damage healthy cells and can eat a hole into your intestinal wall.

The 4-Step Plan to Heal Leaky Gut

The good news is there’s a solution to successfully healing leaky gut. There is a four-step process that includes:
  1. REMOVE foods and factors that damage the gut
  2. REPLACE with healing foods
  3. REPAIR with specific supplements
  4. REBALANCE with probiotics

Nutrition Response Testing can specify all 4 steps to your specific needs.  No 4-Step plan to heal leaky gut is the same.  Everyone needs different supplements and to remove different foods from their diet while they are healing. There are general steps to take that can help before getting muscle tested. For more details on how to heal Leaky Gut, read here

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Important Benefits of Sun Exposure

Important Benefits of Sun Exposure

For the last twenty years or so, we have been told to protect ourselves from the sun. 
How much of that fear of sun exposure helped or hurt us?

Many of us are afraid of sun exposure and so we slather on our sunblock.  Unfortunately most brands are laden with toxic chemicals such as:

  • Oxybenzone, which is linked to hormone disruption and cell damage that may lead to skin cancer.
  • Retinyl palmitate, which has now been proven to be a carcinogen.
  • Octyl-methoxycinnamate causes oxidation damage of the skin, which ages your face.
  • Butyl-Methdiebenzoylmethane, which releases free radicals into the body.
  • Benzophenone 2 (BP2), decreases the function of the thyroid, in a population that is already seriously suffering from hypothyroidism (under active).
While it’s true that sun burns are not a good thing, burns are not all that we get from the sun. What has also become common in the last twenty years is a low Vitamin D level in the general population… do you wonder why?
Humans need sunlight.

Here are some of the things sun exposure does for us:
  • Lowers inflammation – which is important for the maintenance of blood pressure;
  • Helps muscle and bone health;
  • Increases brain health;
  • Allows the body to properly absorb and transport calcium to the muscles, organs and glands;
  • Assists with weight management;
  • Helps with depression/improves mood
  • Kills bad bacteria;
  • Sunlight is necessary for optimal hormone production;
  • Builds the immune system
  • Sunlight lowers cholesterol. The sun converts high cholesterol in the blood into steroid hormones and the sex hormones we need for reproduction. In the absence of sunlight, the opposite happens; substances convert to cholesterol.
So, maybe the answer is not to slather on toxic sunscreen to block all the sun’s positive benefits, (for the best healthy sunscreen read here).  Interestingly enough, your ability to not get a sunburn is largely dependant on supplying the body with the right nutrients and making sure the transport of these nutrients to the skin is functional.
Believe it or not, we can help you protect your skin without harmful sunscreen creams and without blocking the great benefit of sun exposure; it has to do with the proper nutritional support.

If you have the genetics towards skin cancer you do have to be careful.  The three main forms of skin cancer—melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma—are largely attributed to excessive ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure. Skin cancers have become the most common form of cancer worldwide,

Whereas skin cancer is associated with too much UVR exposure, other cancers could result from too little. Living at higher latitudes increases the risk of dying from Hodgkin lymphoma, as well as breast, ovarian, colon, pancreatic, prostate, and other cancers, as compared with living at lower latitudes. A randomized clinical trial by Joan Lappe, a medical professor at Creighton University, and colleagues, published in the June 2007 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, confirmed that taking 2–4 times the daily dietary reference intake of 200–600 IU vitamin D3 and calcium resulted in a 50–77% reduction in expected incidence rates of all cancers combined over a four-year period in post-menopausal women living in Nebraska.

If you are not at genetic risk of skin cancer I do recommend 10 minutes of sun bathing a day to get the health benefits.  If you are interested in optimizing the benefits of the sun for your health let me know at your next appointment so we can give you the specific nutrition that your body needs to get the benefits of the sun without the burn.