Posts Tagged With "Improving The Quality Of Life"
Spring and summer are great times to detoxify and clean out your body. It is especially important here in Seattle to take advantage of the warm weather to do just this. We live in fairly toxic environments. There are heavy metals in the air we breathe and the food that we eat. Heavy metals are metals that have particular chemical properties. Some heavy metals are good for us in appropriate dosages, such as: zinc, copper, and iron. Others are not healthy for us in any amounts, such as: mercury, lead, cadmium, and aluminum.
Exposures to the more harmful heavy metals occur throughout our lives and are common and frequent. Some exposure can be avoided, but some cannot. The best way to deal with the exposures that can be avoided is knowledge. Understanding where exposures can come from is our greatest tool in this arena. Mercury, for example, is a common heavy metal that often comes from fish and dental work. Understanding this and avoiding exposure is the greatest tool against exposure. Monterey Bay aquarium puts out a pamphlet outlining the best and worst fish to eat to help us to avoid mercury and lessen our impact on the environment. (http://www.seafoodwatch.org/cr/cr_seafoodwatch/download.aspx) Avoiding amalgams in dental work is also important to avoid potential mercury exposure.
The other exposures tend to come from the air we breathe and the ground we live on. These are exposures we can never fully avoid. The best way to deal with these exposures is to make sure that our bodies are working optimally to help to clear these toxins. Our bodies do this naturally, but the degree to which they do this is dependant on many factors. These include, but are not limited to the nutritional status of our bodies (what nutrients do our bodies need more of), the genetics passed down to us from our ancestors, and, of course, our lifestyle. Physical therapies, such as acupuncture and time spent in the sauna or sun, eating organic whole foods and sleeping 8 hours a night can help to make your body more equipped to handle these challenges.
Lessening our exposure to these metals and helping to make our bodies more efficient at clearing these toxins, will help to improve your quality of life, lessen the effects of aging and time, and reduce your chances of contracting some diseases throughout your life.
Knowledge is power and knowing more about your body and the toxic burden it may be carrying and the obstacles that you may have to clearing these toxins can help you to lead a healthier and happier life. Watch our newletters throughout the spring and summer for more detox tips.
This weeks detox tips:
1. Get 8 hours of sleep a night.
2. Drink half your body weight in ounces of water daily.
3. Incorporate cilantro into your diet. Cilantro naturally helps to pull harmful metals out of your body.
4. Eat a few slices of apple with fish. Fish can be high in metals, especially mercury and the apple will help to bind the metals. This prevents them from being absorbed into your body.
5. Download the seafood pocket guide to know which fish are the healthiest for you and the planet.
We want to give a huge shout out to our very own Dr. Katy Koukouras ND, EAMP, Lac
for being nominated at one Seattle's Top Alternative Doctors in Seattle Magazine! This recent award is determined by nominations from her peers and is a great honor for Sky Valley Healing Arts in Snohomish! If you want to learn more about Dr. Katy and her practice in Naturopathic Medicine, Eastern Medicine, and Acupuncture click here!
Congrats Dr. Katy!
BRAIN AND BODY BOOSTING TIPS FOR 2014
Yes, it's another year, and the time most people make their resolutions to improve their health. With all the advice out there, especially on losing weight, it can be hard to know where to start. I like to go back to the basics and make it simple. Losing weight is a good goal, but to actually reach it, ditch the diet and MAKE PERMANENT LIFESTYLE IMPROVEMENTS. If you can make changes to these 4 areas, then this is a good beginning to a healthier brain, balanced hormones, reaching your weight loss goals, and warding off a whole host of modern day diseases.
TIP #1: NUTRITION
FOOD: YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT
In an earlier blog I talked about how your food choices not only affect you, but the next 2-7 generations after you. Food choices are the best way to improve your health and ward off disease. Eating 3 small meals per day with 2 snacks is the best way to balance your metabolism. Having a high protein breakfast and adequate fiber during the day will balance blood sugar and regulate insulin. When it comes to proper nutrition, it's more of the right, and less of the bad foods, that make the difference.
Fast food. This is a no brainer.
Processed foods. If you bought it in the middle of the grocery story, and it's in a box, it's processed.
Treated meats (pepperoni, cured meats), farmed fish, canned tuna, fried meats.
Grains such as wheat and gluten containing foods (many people are intolerant, and they cause water retention, besides being horrible for the brain) , corn, soy, and white rice, bread, and potatoes.
Fruit juices, excess caffeine, and alchoholic drinks.
High amounts of sugary fruits- bananas, pineapple, mangos, melons.
Hydrogenated fats, vegetables oils, shortening,
Rich sauces, salad dressings, and marinades are a great way to hide excess fats, gluten, and sugars.
Sugar, artificial sweetners like aspartame (a neurological toxin), MSG.
Green vegetables (kale, chard, spinach) , cruciferous vegetables ( broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage) and aromatic onions and garlic.
Low sugar fruits like berries, pears, and apples are best.
If you eat animal proteins, choose organic, grass fed, or free range beef, buffalo, wild game, chicken, or turkey.
Whey protein that is from a good source can be added- I advise Paleomeal for a well rounded protein supplement. If you are allergic to whey, plant proteins are widely available as well- Paleomeal DF (Dairy Free) or Plant Fusion (we sell this in the office)
Eggs- Boiled, poached, fried. It's a myth that eggs increase cholesterol, so moderate egg consumption is a good source of protein and healthy fats.
Beans and legumes such as garbonzo (hummus), kidney, and navy beans.
Healthy fats such as grass fed butter, olive oil, coconut oil, avocadoes, and olives are good for the brain.
Fermented dairy is the best, like Kefir or yogurt. Avoiding dairy might be essential because many people are allergic to it, and like gluten it can create water retention.
Grains such as quinoa, sweet poatato, yam, limited brown rice.
Nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds.
Superfoods such as Spirulina, Chlorella (both have highest plant protein and B12), Cacoa (boosts neurotransmitters), Nutritional Yeast (non animal protein and B vitamins,) Maca (boosts Human Growth Hormone- Sex hormones- adrenal hormones- Try Dynamite Adrenal or youthH2O)
Spices like sea salt, tumeric, ginger, rosemary, saffron- Spices are a great way to get immune support.
Seaweeds like nori and dulse. They improve thyroid status and fight radiation exposure (Fukashima?)
Sweetners like stevia or wild honey.
Lots of clean water (1 gallon per day is optimal) with a bit of lemon or herbal tea.
SHOP, COOK, AND PREPARE FOR SUCCESS
I find that nutritional changes are actually the most difficult to make mainly because we are moving fast all the time. It takes patience and time to shop, cook and prepare for eating properly. I suggest using references such as cookbooks, pinterest, online recipes, and/or scheduling an appointment with a Naturopathic Physician or nutritionist to help set up a personalized eating plan and schedule specifically for you. You may say it sounds more expensive, but much like the other Tips to follow, eating healthy builds equity in your future.
It's all about SUPPORT if you want to be successful, so I've added a few of my favorite menus, a gluten free food list, and smoothie recipes below.
You can also SHOP HERE for any of the included proteins or green supplements (PaleoMeal Whey Proteins, PaleoMeal-DF (Dairy Free), PaleoGreens, Paleobars, Dynamite Adrenal etc) Put in the code SVHAWC, open a free account, pick your supplement from our scroll down options, and it will be shipped directly to your house!
Happy Healthy Eating!
Next blog....#2 2014 TIP: SLEEP
High fiber foods balance blood sugar and regulate insulin by slowing down the absorption of carbohydrates into the body. High fiber foods such as apple, greens, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds can give essential nutrients and healthy fats, while improving the cleansing facilities of the intestines and colon. Fiber is a great way to improve your health and balance your blood sugar!
Insulin Regulating Fiber Blast
1-2 cups SuperGreens
2 tbsps pumpkin seeds
1 tsp cinnamon
Add water, and blend!
Ingredients for High Fiber Blood Sugar Balance Blast
Trying the High Fiber Blood Sugar Blaster #2
Boosting Your Immune System Naturally
When I see the word Immunity, my brain automatically hears I am Unity. I am Unity could mean so many things, but when it comes to the immune system, I see all the little cells holding hands and singing Kumbaya, united together for one mission: To protect and defend. This is the time of year where illness travels around school, work, and home and the flu becomes a household "experience". Building immunity is a life long endeavor, different with each stage of life, but creating a robust immune system includes the basics for everyone, young or old. Below is my simple list- believe me the list could go on, and on, and on.....but lets start here.
1) Combat emotional stress. “Stress-related disease emerges, predominantly, out of the fact that we so often activate a physiological system that has evolved for responding to acute physical emergencies, but we turn it on for months on end, worrying about mortgages, relationships, and promotions.” - Why Zebra’s Don’t Get Ulcers.
Reducing stresses such as fear, worry, and conflict, while increasing love, pleasure, and laughter can increase biochemicals such as oxytocin, natural killer cells, and Immunoglobulin A,( all increase immunity), while decreasing cortisol and adrenaline (which increase blood pressure, elevate blood sugars, and suppress the thyroid). Adopting stress reducing habits, removing negativity, and processing traumatic events, can overtime add years to your life, improve your outlook, and strengthen your immune system.
2) Let food be your medicine. Over 70% of the immune system resides in the digestive system, thus what you choose to eat (or drink), directly affects your immunity.
Many illnesses can be avoided or lessened by eating nutrient dense foods such as lean protein, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and legumes, all year round. Stay away from processed foods, sugars, trans fats, excessive alcohol, and foods that are not organic.
Organic foods are important because they are not sprayed with herbicides/pesticides, are hormone and antibiotic free, and are not derived from GMO products. These harmful compounds can alter hormone and immune function and even damage DNA.
Moderation is the key to success, and “cheating” a few times a week is fine, but cheating all day long every day of the year is going to decrease immunity, period.
3) Add Superfoods to your diet. SUPER DUPER foods (SDfoods) as I like to call them are a great example of high nutrient, low calorie foods, that are full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids that strengthen immunity. Look for high Vitamin C SDfoods such as Camu Camu (YouthH2O), acai, and goji berries. Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin that squelches free radicals and helps fight infection, thus boosting immunity. I will be posting my favorite SDfoods in the next few blogs, so stay tuned.
4)Exercise. Just like healthy nutrition, exercise is at the core of having a strong immune system. Exercise improves circulation aiding the body in elimination of toxins, decreases insulin levels and reduces the harmful inflammatory chemicals created by stress. This means you need to lift something heavy at least 2-3 times per week and increase your heart rate at least 4 times per week. Stress reducing activities such as yoga, Tai Ji, Qi Gong, and meditation are also immune stimulating. Besides, losing those excess pounds can't hurt. Yippee!
5) Sleep. Many studies show that sleep deprivation decreases T cells, inflammatory cytokines increase, and thus you are more succeptable to colds and flus. Millions also suffer from sleep related disorders such as sleep apnea, which recents studies have shown increased cancer diagnosis with severity of sleep apnea. Bottom line: Your immune system needs adequate restful sleep.
6) Get your head on straight and your body aligned. As many of you know I specialize in a powerful cranial, spinal, and neurological treatment, NeuroCranial Restructuring, and I can tell you from thousands of clinical examples that being pain free and standing tall has a direct impact on the immune system. Pain itself causes cascades of chemicals to be released into the system and chronic pain just plain wears everything out including your immunity. Other treatments I like: Reiki, Manual Ligament Therapy, Reflexology, Acupunture, and Hydrotherapy.
7) Vitamin D. Living in the rainy Northwest, I can tell you most everyone here and in any other dark climate during the winter, is deficient. Vitamin D is not really a vitamin, it’s more like a super hormone, and some studies show it as or more effective than the flu vaccine. Taking Vit K2 with the D is important too, so consider this when beginning to supplement.
8) Probiotics. Since the digestive system holds most of your immunity, you need to support the good bacteria and help them thrive. Probiotics assist the body in a multitude of ways and are the true champions of our inner ecology.
9) Lastly, turn off your phone, your computer, your iPad, your X-box, your TV, your alarm clock, your WiFi.... and look others in the eye and have a real conversation, make love to your partner, hug your chidren and get outside and put your feet on the earth more. Electromagnetics are making us sick in more ways than one, but this is a topic for another blog. Connect with people, nature, and not just your devices, your immune system will thank you.