Category Archives: Health Tips

Featured Book: Healthier Without Wheat

This is the leading resource for discovering your wheat allergy or gluten intolerance. For millions of people, bread, pasta, and many other foods are bad for their health. Thousands of people have already come to their own realization that they are healthier without wheat in their diet, but it can be difficult to figure out when most doctors aren t knowledgeable on the topic.

This book provides validation for what these people have discovered, and explains how you too can determine whether or not wheat and gluten are making you sick.

In Healthier Without Wheat you learn the difference between celiac disease, non-celiac gluten intolerance, and wheat allergies. You will discover how hundreds of health problems are connected to wheat and gluten reactions and why sorting this out on your own can be more difficult than you might think. You will also discover how you can be gluten intolerant even if you don t have celiac disease, and why non-celiac gluten intolerance can be just as severe as or more severe than celiac disease.

Click here for more information.

Celiac or Not Celiac?

That IS the question.  Research suggests that about one in 133, or about 2.1 million people, have celiac disease (an autoimmune disease that attacks the small intestine). But many of us have found removing gluten from our diet greatly improves our health. Does that mean we have Celiac disease?

Nope.  Another category of gluten sensitivity, called non-celiac gluten intolerance (NCGI), has risen to the surface of medicine to provide a diagnosis for most of the gluten sensitive population.  The research suggests one in seven people are actually intolerant to gluten, far more than the occurrence of Celiac. And, in our personal practice, we have found more often than not the removal of gluten from the diet dramatically improves health in nearly ALL of our patients.

There are blood test that can begin to give you and idea if you have an intolerance to gluten and yet unfortunately these tests are not fool proof.  The absolute best way to tell if you have a problem with gluten is to remove it from your diet for 1-3 months and see how you feel.  Almost as important than how you feel without gluten, is how you feel after you add it back in for a day or two.  It is common for patients to experince the return of fatigue, brain fog, mood swings, and blood sugar problems when they add gluten back into their diet.

I challenge each and every one of you to get in control of your health and take the 90 Days Without Guten Challenge!  For support in this process call or email us to learn about our lifestyle coaching programs that can change your LIFE!

Why Go Gluten Free

Gluten is a protein that is found in grains such as wheat, rye, barley, and some oats.  Its name comes from the root word “glue” because it is what gives bread and other grain based foods their sticky, stretchy, glue-y nature.

The medical research is still trying to figure out exactly why gluten seems to be such a problem for so many people.  The best we can tell at this time is that the issue is threefold:

1. In some people gluten damages the small intestines and results in a decreased ability to absorb nutrients.  These deficiencies lead to a wide variety of symptoms and associated diseases like osteoporosis, anemia, depression, anxiety, ADD/ADHD, difficulty gaining weight, growth issues in children, and hormonal imbalances just to name a few.

2. Another major concern is the damage itself causes a chronic inflammatory state in the digestive system which leads to local stomach issues like pain, cramping, gas, bloating, chronic diarrhea or constipation, reflux, and eventually diseases like Crohn’s, colitis, IBS, and GERD.  It has yet to be shown in the research but I suspect gluten intolerance plays a roll in the development of GI cancers, like colon and stomach cancer.

3. The last issue is a further development from the above two.  The chronic inflammation and nutrient deficiencies lead to a state in the GI tract called leaky gut.  This is exactly as it sounds.  The inflammatory process leads to small openings in the GI tract to let the large immune cells in to heal, but can also accidentally let undigested food partials out where they don’t belong.  This can then trigger hypersensitivity immune reactions to those foods and even an autoimmune reaction to our own cells due to the over activity of the immune system itself.  Associated conditions include: ALL autoimmune diseases, especially hashimotos thyroiditis, psoriasis, eczema, acne, hypothyroidism, adrenal fatigue, difficulty loosing weight, arthritis, infertility, PMS, irregular menses, migraines and other chronic head aches.

Farm Raised Eggs = Better Nutrition

Not all superfoods are created equal.  There is a HUGE difference between a conventionally raised,  store-bought egg and one raised out on the open range of a local farm. In 2007 Mother Earth News ran a study of 14 flocks around the country and compared conventional USDA data on eggs to their farm-raised counter parts (full article here). They found farm raised eggs contain:

· 1/3 less cholesterol
· 1/4 less saturated fat
· 2/3 more vitamin A
· 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
· 3 times more vitamin E
· 7 times more beta carotene

Where can you find fresh farm eggs? Local farmer’s markets, local farmers, neighbor’s houses, as the practice of raising your own chickens has become more popular in recent years, or check out the following websites for more ideas:

www.eatwild.com

www.localharvest.org

So buy fresh, local, farm raised foods as much as possible.

Top 5 Sensational Superfoods

A Superfood, by definition (thank you wiki), is “a food considered especially nutritious or otherwise beneficial to health and well-being,” and in our opinion generally rock.

In general the CW Docs are more concerned with the big picture of eating whole foods than getting into the details of micro-nutrients in specific foods.  However, in this case, it helps to understand the nutrient make-up of superfoods to appreciate their miraculous ability to add health to your life!

1. The Incredible, Edible EGGEggs in Hands

Farm raised free range eggs are an incredible protein source rich with beta carotene (antioxidant that prevents cancer, repairs damaged cells, and helps our body detoxify), fat soluble vitamins A, D and E (also antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, great for brain function, mood stability, and heal heart disease), and choline (essential nutrient for brain health).  Tryptophan is the highest concentrated amino acid in eggs and is the precursor to serotonin, an important neurotransmitter that gives us our sense of well being, confidence, and ease with life.

Food for Thought: Literally, eggs are great brain food, so eat up.

Best practice: Eat eggs with the whites cooked through but the yokes as runny as possible as this preserves the natural sate of the nutrients making them the most bio-available.  Always eat a WHOLE egg.  The only nutrients in the whites are protein.  All the essential fats, vitamins, and health packed nutrients are in the yokes – so don’t skip these.

2. All Things GREEN and LEAFYrainbow chard

Green leafy vegetables are the most power packed, nutrient dense foods we eat.  They are full of detoxifying chlorophyll, essential minerals like iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium and vitamins, including K, C, E, and many of the B vitamins. To highlight few of the health benefits of these nutrients:

  • Iron -  ENERGY, oxygen transport, recovery from exercise, regulates cell growth and division (i.e. protects from cancer)
  • Magnesium – RELAXATION, decrease pain, increase bone density, proper heart rhythm, decrease blood pressure, improve coordination, regular colon eliination, and mood balance
  • B Vitamins - ENERGY, metabolism, decrease stress,  DNA synthesis (anti-cancer), supports the nervous system, liver function, hormone production, mood balance

Food for Thought: Cilantro binds with and helps remove heavy metals from your body detoxifying at the deepest level.

Best practice: eat 3 cups of greens a day raw or lightly steamed.  This is a great source of calcium for those of you avoiding dairy and concerned about your intake.

3. Glorious GARLICGarlic

It seems there is little garlic isn’t good for.  In herbal medicine it is well known for its antibiotic, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory effects.  Garlic also protects our arteries from oxidative stress and has a balancing effect on our cholesterol levels.  Additionally garlic is a great source of selenium, an essential nutrient that supports our thyroid.

Many of the health benefits of garlic are due to the sulfur compounds in it. This means deoderized garlic is not as useful as the real thing. Garlic is such a delicious addition to foods there is no reason not to just consume it as a part of your food versus taking a supplement.

Food for Thought: If smelling like garlic is a problem for you, take care of your liver, as the garlic odor in our skin is a result of an overstressed, congested liver. Ideas for liver support: eat lemons, artichokes, and greens, avoid processed food, sugar and alcohol, use castor oil packs daily (for directions click here).

Best practice: Always eat FRESH garlic and chop or mince it yourself as most all of garlic’s health providing substances will degrade 2-6 hours after being chopped. Chopping, mincing, or crushing (pressing) garlic actually INCREASES the health benefits, crushing producing the greatest effect.

4. The Bountiful BERRYGIrl holding berries

Strawberries, cranberries, blueberries, huckleberries,gooseberries, currents, boysenberries and the list goes on.  These potent little packages offer rich antioxidants due to their color.  The substances that make a blueberry blue are anthocyanins credited with being protective against cancer, the aging process, heart disease, infection, inflammation, and more.  Berries are also rich in bio-flavonoids which is what quercetin is, discussed last month as anti-allergy.  Tea, wine, citrus, and chocolate are all also high in bio-flavonoids.

Food for thought: Acai and Goji Berries have had a lot of press lately for their antioxidant properties.  While this is true, these berries are grown in the Amazon Rain Forest and hills of the Asian Himalayas respectively.  They are far from a local crop.  With so many healthy berries stateside it is still best to choose local.

Best Practice: Eat lots of raw, organic, fresh berries.  Fresh-frozen is also a good option.  Organic is important for berries as they are so tasty many bugs enjoy them as much as we do making them one of the most heavily sprayed crops in America.

“If it is safe for a bug, it is safe for me!” -Dr Fred Montague, Professor of Biology University of Utah

5. Coconut coconut

OK, you have heard us tout this food as healthy all over our newsletters, now here is why: Coconut is full of beneficial fiber for GI health, it has anti-cancer properties, anti-microbial properties, and it protects us from diabetes. Its medium lengthed fats provide instant energy as they are absorbed directly into the blood stream unlike the longer fats from other plant oils like canola, sunflower and soy oil. To read more about the wonders of coconut click here.

Food for Thought: There can sometimes be confusion as to what is coconut milk.  So let’s clear it up.  If you buy a whole coconut it has white flesh and a clear liquid inside.  The flesh is the pulp and the liquid is coconut water.  Coconut MILK is made by blending BOTH of these together.  Coconut water is a great electrolyte drink but lacks the essential fats, fiber, and other goodness of the pulp.

Best practice: Eating plenty of raw or lightly heated coconut milk is best as it preserves the high quality fats (fats are broken down by heat). And, coconut oil is the best choice for high heat cooking as it is more stable at high temps than olive oil or butter.

Addressing Allergies, Naurally

To address the root causes of allergies properly one should consult a Naturopathic Physician for individualized care and therapeutic intervention.  In the mean time, here are a few tips to get started on a sneeze-free spring:

  1. Drink plenty of water (half your body weight in ounces)
  2. Avoid gluten, dairy, sugar, and other inflammatory foods (like processed food)
  3. Use a Neti Pot with saline and a pinch of probiotics, 1-2 times a day, upon waking and/or before bed
  4. RELAX: get 8 hours of sleep, meditate, take time for yourself, move your body (moderately, over exercising can lead to adrenal fatigue), and PLAY!
  5. Eat TONS of fruits and veggies, minimum of 5 cups a day. Studies indicate 8-9 is best for cancer prevention!

(Ever get the notion fruits and veggies are good for everything? That’s because they are. They are anti-cancer, anti-heart disease, anti-allergy, anti-inflammation, anti-diabetes.  They are PRO-LIFE! Get it? Eat your Veggies.)

The True Cause of Seasonal Allergies

Seasonal allergies, or hay fever, is an immunological response to common environmental antigens (things that cause a reaction in the immune system) like grasses, weeds, and tree pollen.  Conventional wisdom would have us believe these substances are the CAUSE of the allergens.

We would like to propose they are the TRIGGER of the symptoms of allergies (itchy, watery eyes, hives, runny nose, and sneezing), but that the true cause lies in WHY the body reacts to these ubiquitous things found in nature in the first place.

A note about cause: If these antigens were the cause of allergies then wouldn’t everyone who is exposed to them start sneezing?

Cause (v.): to make something happen… i.e. all the time, no exceptions.

So what gives? Why don’t we all have seasonal allergies?

The root is in individual susceptibility; the conditions in the body that predispose the immune reaction, or overreaction, to occur…i.e. how healthy is your immune system?

When we look a little deeper into the case of someone who has seasonal allergies we almost always find three underlying factors:

  1. weak digestion
  2. food allergies, known or not yet discovered
  3. adrenal fatigue

When we eat food that our stomach is unable to properly digest it can lead to nutritional deficiencies, leading to poor immune function.  Additionally, the immune system in the gut further reacts to the now fermented, undigested food causing even more problems in the GI track.  This can lead to food allergies which further stress the immune system making it prone to overreact to any antigen, food, infectious organisms or environmental pollens   to the point that it is so sensitive it will attack just about anything and everything.

Layer that on top of an over-scheduled, stressed out life, low on sleep and high on processed food, sugar and caffeine and you have the perfect storm for adrenal fatigue (insufficient or improper production of cortisol, a hormone responsible for the regulation of allergic reactions among many other essential functions).  Many of us who suffer from seasonal allergies can note worsening symptoms when tired, stressed out, or after consumption of sugar and caffeine, all things that weaken the adrenal glands.