Natural Tips for Avoiding Colds

This cold and flu season is still upon us and unfortunately, many patients are still being plagued by these nasty viral symptoms.  Here are a few tips to try if you feel like you are coming down with something. Of Read more

Sherry's Story

Sherry has a great story.  She has been diabetic for years and she has made some massive changes!   "I have been on a lifestyle change. It has been a year following a ketogenic food plan.  When I started this journey Read more

Pharmacy to Farmacy

Many of you may know Erin-- the fabulous Pharm D that worked in our office a few years back.  Erin is a phenomenal gal and we embarked on the journey  into natural medicine around the same time.  As we both Read more

When Should I Take My Supplements?

If you are like me -- you are just starting to realize why it is important to add supplements to your diet.  Even if we are eating a clean, healthy and unprocessed diet;  the mineral content of the soil Read more

More Homemade Salad Dressings

Blackberry Balsamic Vinaigrette 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar 1/4 cup avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil 1 tsp local honey 1/3 cup blackberries   Process all the ingredients together in a blender and then season with ground pepper and sea salt The beauty of this recipe Read more

Healthy Mayo and Ranch Dressing

This stuff is a must -- If you read labels these days you will be hard pressed to find a mayonnaise or salad dressing that doesn't contain some type of vegetable oil.  Even the commercial mayos that advertise to Read more

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

So I got a little wicked crazy this weekend and decided to splurge on some pizza.  We do gluten-free carry out around here sometimes, but my future son-in-law inspired me to make my own cauliflower pizza crust. He made Read more

Pumpkin Chai Smoothie

Here's a throwback post that is certainly appropriate for this October weekend.  This smoothie matches the season and will be a great way to start the lovely fall day. Thanks to Smoothie Queen Amy for this great recipe I can't wait Read more

Call to action

Cow Farts

“I’ll never stop eating animals, I’m sure, but I do think that for the benefit of everyone, the time

has come to stop raising them industrially and stop eating them thoughtlessly.” (Mark Bittman)

Mark Bittman is a bestselling cookbook author, journalist and television personality. His friendly, informal approach to home cooking has shown millions that fancy execution is no substitute for flavor and soul.  Listen to this entertaining and informative talk on the necessity of changing our diets for the future of mankind.

Posted on by Angela in Call to action, cancer, Diet, disease, Nutrition, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

Factory Farmed Dairy

Why am I drinking cooked milk from an unhealthy cow that only lives 42 months on a factory farm before being turned into fast food hamburger meat?  These animals are fed so poorly with pesticides, herbicides, gmo grains, antibiotics, and animal remnants that they are lucky to live that long.  Then we drink the milk from these “healthy” specimens and eat their dead bodies on the fly on the way to football games?  It’s amazing we last more than 42 months.  MILK-it does the body good?  Not.  Instead of “Got Milk?” ————— “Got Veggies?”

Posted on by Angela in Body, cancer, Diet, Nutrition, vegan, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

Fall Exercising

A big thanks to Kevin Deeth for another great exercise post!

Transitioning Your Workout Routine From Summer To Fall

This week’s post was written by guest blogger Jim Rollince who’s fitness and nutritional goals parallel my own. He is the head of the creative writing department at gymsource.com and I want to thank him for his time.

Now that the warmer weather is coming to an end, many people are confused about their workout routines.  You might have spent your entire summer swimming laps in the pool or using treadmills in an air conditioned gym just to stay cool.  With the weather changing to a cooler temperature, many exercise fanatics are finding it difficult to transition.  Believe it or not, autumn is one of the best seasons to workout.  There are quite a few benefits to exercising in this season and there are also a lot of different workouts that you can do to take advantage of the changing temps.

One of the major benefits about working out in the fall is that the temperatures outside are a lot more tolerable.  If you enjoy running or walking but have been forced to use home gym equipment because of hot temperatures, now is your time to get out into the fresh air and enjoy your exercise in a new environment.  Switching your environment when working out is essential for staying on track.  People, in general, tend to get very bored rather quickly.  This can be a recipe for disaster if you are trying to establish a steady and solid workout routine.

Another benefit for working out in the fall is that you will find it easier and more enjoyable to workout.  Just imagine yourself taking your daily hour walk, but this time you are walking in a beautiful park that is laden with autumn leaves.  The weather is cool, but you have your warm sweater on to keep you cozy.  This whole scenario will make you hungry to exercise and it will make your at-home treadmill seem boring and useless.  One way to really enjoy the fresh, crisp new weather is to take a gorgeous nature hike.  Find a hiking trail near your home and dedicate a full day to enjoying its beauty.  You will really be able to see the changes of the season when taking a hike.

Autumn really allows you to enjoy your exercise regimen more so than any other season.  If the weather outside is getting a little too chilly for your liking, do not hesitate to use treadmills, ellipticals or other equipment at home.  Instead of using an air conditioner, conserve energy by opening up some windows and smelling that delicious autumn air.  Fall is a great time to also explore your town or city.  The temperatures are just right for walking or jogging a local park or simply taking a walk down your road.  Looking at all of the fall decorations and holiday decor will also help to make your workout a little more interesting.

In general, you should take advantage of the changing season and make sure to change your workout routine with it.  Get some comfy and heavy workout clothes and do your exercises outside as opposed to staying cooped-up in the house.  You will find that you are actually looking forward to the fall weather and not missing summer all that much.

My Take

I think Jim makes a compelling argument for training in the fall. My experience in the fitness industry has shown that people tend to work out the hardest and most dilegentely from January to April due to New Years resolutions and preparing for beach season. My thoughts are with new seasons should come new challenges and goals. Personally, I intend to use the fall to try to put on a few pounds of healthy muscle. Setting fitness goals and tracking progress will help you to stick with a routine and ensure you don’t ruin everything you worked for in the spring and summer.

The main section of this article that resonated with me was the exercise outside portion. I have made it a weekend staple to wake up early on Saturday mornings and go for a run with a few friends on our football Saturdays. Running around campus and dodging the early tailgaters makes for great scenery and can turn a 30 minute grind into a 15 minute leisurely jog. So, my challenge to readers is find your own “Saturday morning run” that you actually enjoy and make it a routine.

 

Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any questions.

From South Bend,
Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Exercise, Nutrition, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

Pride and Success

I’m so proud today!  I’ve been having a rough week having to doll out some difficult diagnoses to patients.  That is ultimately the worst part of my job!  I hate telling someone they have cancer or disease even if it is something we can treat and cure.  I feel like it rips a piece of my soul out every time–not to mention that I look like HE double hockey sticks the rest of my day because I cannot let someone cry alone.  So with swollen eyes and mascara stained cheeks, I forged ahead to see Miss Susie, one of my dear patients with diabetes.  She started my wellness program reluctantly back in December and has vowed to stick with it.  Upon starting, her blood sugars were out of control and her Hgb A1C was 10! (this is the average blood sugar over 3 months in a diabetic and should be 6).  Today, she clocked in 18 lbs lighter with an A1C of 7 and I am starting to take her off of medication.  I have to mention that during the last 9 months –her husband was diagnosed with cancer and underwent surgery as well!  So despite her emotional hurdles–she was able to overcome her disease by taking charge of her diet and what she actually put in her mouth and it has made ALL the difference.  My day is a little brighter now thanks to Susie who took a leap of faith with me and vowed that she would do what we told her.  She is my strong wellness warrior with the strength it took to get rid of diabetes!@!   Eat your veggies people!  This whole food business really does work!  You can get better if you really want to!

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Nutrition, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

Intimidated by an Eggplant

So I received an eggplant in my Green Bean Delivery organic veggie bin and I had no idea what to do with it.  I have ordered eggplant parmesan out at a restaurant before and liked it.  However, my novice cooking skills have made me quite intimidated to buy one and actually cook it myself.  Not to mention my girls have automatic scowl mode ingrained when they see a plate that isn’t filled with mac-n-cheese or pizza.  Here is a great recipe by Irene Young passed down by her mother Linda from the village of Mesta, Xios, Greece.

 

 

 

Linda’s Summer Vegetables

1 lb eggplant cut into chunks

1 zucchini, cut into chunks

       sea salt

olive oil- 1/2 cup

1/2 lb trimmed, fresh green beans

2 large potatoes diced

2 large bell peppers diced

2 large carrots sliced

2-3 cloves of garlic

2 medium onions

6-8 mushrooms

2 lbs ripe tomatoes quartered

1/2 cup parsley chopped

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Clean eggplant and zucchini and cut into chunks and salt—then let sit for 1-2 hours–this is called bleeding the eggplant which helps take the bitterness out of the meat and draws the moisture out so that the eggplant doesn’t absorb too much liquid when cooking.

2.  Pat the eggplant dry and saute in olive oil.  Then add a dash more oil and add the green beans, potatoes, peppers, carrots and mushrooms;  cook for 15 minutes and then add onions and garlic; cook 5 minutes and add tomatoes and parsley; cook for 10 more minutes.

3.  Place the vegetable mixture in an oven-safe dish.  Cover and bake for 45 min at 350 degrees.  Add cheese and bake uncovered for another 15 minutes.

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, disease, Nutrition, Organic, vegan, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

The New Stress

Machines are robbing us of our ability to focus.  We are giving ourselves a new version of attention deficit disorder literally by our device.  Between email, twitter, laptops, phones, and tablets we have fallen into habits of distraction that cause our concentration and focus to wander.  This unfortunately ends up causing stress and inefficiency.  I challenge myself for the next few days to stay on task at whatever I am doing whether it be work,  preparing dinner, or spending time with my kids.   I have laid out a few simple rules for myself to de-clutter and simplify my life.

1.  Pick a task–focus from start to completion without allowing any interruptions.

2.  Schedule correspondence times– check email on the hour or half hour only –then respond only to urgent ones.

3.  Maintain human contact–keep eye contact in conversation and focus.

Hopefully this will help keep me completely in the moment and able to enjoy each conversation, each moment and to really take more time to smell the roses.  I love Sherry Turkle’s segment entitled “Alone Together” as I really think it depicts our loneliness as a society in this tech driven age.

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Nutrition, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Manifesto

I absolutely love this gal!  She is an inspiration and I believe everyone is affected by cancer in their lives at one point or another.  It may be a friend, loved one or themselves and it is always game changer.  Kris stands for empowering yourself against disease and facing it with positivity.  Her movie, books, newsletters, and blog are a daily inspiration for me and my patients. Take some time to watch this superhero gal in action in the trailer from her movie “Crazy Sexy Cancer”.

 

 

I’m Kris Carr, author of the New York Times Best Seller, “Crazy Sexy Diet,” and founder of Crazysexylife.com, an award-winning and fantabulous wellness site with daily articles from leading experts and cutting-edge resources for building vibrant health and happiness. My wake up call – a stage 4 cancer diagnosis, with no cure and no treatment (Zoinks!) – ignited a personal revolution and taught me how to take responsibility for my well-being at the deepest level imaginable. Now I want to show you how to step into your destiny and become the CEO of your own health. Radiance is your natural state. You can banish the blocks that hold you back with a plant-powered diet and Crazy Sexy lifestyle!

Each and every one of us has the power to ignite a wellness revolution in our kitchens. Change now. Get juiced now. Learn to live like you really mean it and teach others to do the same. By joining the revolution, you vow to wake up and take a stand for your well-being. No one can take better care of you than wise, brilliant, capable, and STRONG you.

This self-care thing is bigger than many of us imagine. The pursuit of personal health, spiritual wealth and happiness is actually a political statement, a peaceful protest and a powerful act of love. Why? Because in order to care for ourselves in a full-tilt-boogie-I’m gonna-walk-the- talk sorta way, we must rebel against the broken systems that support dis-ease and dismantle the status quo. We can’t wait for special interests, government policies, subsidies, agribusiness, factory farming, pharmaceutical industries and advertisers to change. But we can get off our sofas, vote with our forks and knives and heal the way we eat, drink and think.

Read the guiding principles of the Crazy Sexy diet and lifestyle I’ve outlined below and make these simple health habits stick. Get inspired – print it out, hang it on your fridge and read it daily! This step alone will have a huge impact on your life.

Keep in mind, this is just an overview of the guiding principles. To dig deep and make lasting changes, grab your copy of “Crazy Sexy Diet” here.

Make juice not war and remember, you are the change you’ve been waiting for… Peace & Revolution,

Kris Carr

Posted on by Angela in Body, cancer, Diet, Exercise, Guest Blog, Nutrition, Uncategorized, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

Chew that Gum!

Thanks Kevin for helping me choose a healthier alternative to my chewing gum fetish!  I have always been a huge fan of chewing gum because I come from a family of excessive talkers!  Yes, I do have a habit of running my mouth to extremes!  But a fear of bad breath also drives my need for chewing gum.  Thankfully, Kevin has some good alternatives to some of the sugar free gums for us to try.

The Truth About Chewing Gum

One of America’s favorite passtimes and quick fixes for bad breath, chewing gum is a daily ritual for millions of americans. Ever wonder what is in the gum you are chewing or what effect it has on your health?

Quick Stats

  • More than 100,000 tons of chewing gum being consumed every year.
  • Every year over 374 trillion sticks of chewing gum are made.
  • In the next 5 years, over 1 million metric tones of chewing gum will be produced.
  • The Chewing Gum Industry is profitable market. The world’s chewing gum industry is estimated to be worth approximately US $19 billion.

Potential Health Benefits of Chewing Gum.

Chewing gum improves memory

Some suggest that chewing gum can help in improving memory and enhance cognitive powers.  Research studies show that people who chewed throughout standardized tests produced significantly better scores than people who did not. Some attribute this to an increase in the stimuli produced in the area in our brain linked to memory, the hippocampus, when you continuously move your jaw.  Chewing gum can also increases blood flow to the brain. Some studies have reported that blood flow to the brain increases by as much as 25 to 40 percent during gum chewing. Also the act of chewing speeds up our heartbeat and blood pressure just enough to wake up both left-and right hemispheres to work together.

Check out this site for one of the first studies showing actual evidence of this.http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn2039-chewing-gum-improves-memory.html

Chewing gum reduces symptoms of stress

Research has shown that the rhythmic motion of chewing gum has a stress-reducing effect because relaxed and satisfied feelings. Psychiatrists and psychologists believe that chewing gum can help reduce tension and help to release nervous energy. Chewing gum may provide an outlet for frustration and irritation while also increasing alertness and concentration.

For more on this http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/119826.php

Chewing gum helps to manage weight

With a low-calorie count (5 to 10 per serving), chewing gum is an inexpensive snack. According to some studies, adults who chewed gum ate 36 calories less of the snack than adults who did not chew gum. Both regular and sugar-free chewing gum helped adults to eat less by helping to curb their appetite. The physical act of gum chewing may help to reduce your cravings for high calorie snacks. Some reports show that chewing gum can burn around 11 calories per hour. (IE not to be used in place of actualy exercise)

Chewing gum improves digestion

Chewing gum helps to improve intestinal motility and also helps to increase saliva flow which promotes more frequent swallowing. This helps to prevent reflux of acid from the stomach back into the throat.

Chewing gum improves oral health

The results of scientific research demonstrate that chewing gum is good for oral health and teeth specifically. Chewing gum increases saliva, which is the most important component of oral health and powerful protector of the oral cavity. Stimulated saliva corrects a potentially harmful environment using its high concentration of buffers, minerals and antibacterial components. That helps to flush sugars, food debris and decay-causing acids out of the mouth. Chewing gum also freshens breath, whitens teeth by reducing stains and preventing stains from accumulating and reduces plaque.

Potential Health Risks of Chewing Gum

The basic make up of gum: gum base, softeners, sweeteners and flavorings. Ever wonder what makes up the sweetener and flavoring part?

The Ingredients

Sweeteners are added to gum to give it that sweet flavor. Those ingredients are usually sugar, corn syrup and even beet juice. Sugar is probably the healthiest off all sweeteners. Sweeteners such as  xylitol, sorbitol, mannitol and aspartame are also used, which have been linked to several long-term health effects that are also found in diet sodas.

Some gum ingredients are suspected to be carcinogens or have been linked to various health conditions. Sugar can cause cavities and lead to health issues such as diabetes, while aspartame, a popular artificial sweetener, has been linked to cancer, diabetes, and neurological disorders. Chewing gum containing such ingredients can have dangerous and long-lasting health effects.
What about Sugar-less or Sugar-free gum?

 Sugar-free chewing gum has a number of dental benefits. Sugar free chewing gum doesn’t cause tooth decay. It demineralises tooth enamel and has an antimicrobial effect. Those who chewed sugar-free gum after eating had fewer cavities than those who did not. HOWEVER, Sugar-free gum often contains either aspartame or sorbitol, the first being  potentially toxic and increasing your hunger, and the second becoming a  dangerous laxative in large doses. For me, it’s very similar to comparing soda to diet soda.

Jaw Related Issues
One of the most common health issues related to chewing gum is muscle fatigue due to overuse of the jaw muscles. This is known to lead to chronic headaches. The action of chewing gum can also cause unnecessary wear on the cartilage in the jaw joint. Frequent gum chewers may be more likely to develop problems in the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ

My suggestion
Most health nuts will advise you to switch to something outrageous like licorice root, parsley, or chewing on a natural tooth pic. I actually believe the benefits outweigh the negatives in terms of chewing gum. I suggest looking for a gum sweetened with erythritol ( a natural sugar alcohol which has recently gained popularity because of its inclusion in a few mainstream stevia based sweeteners),stevia, or lastly xylitol at a natural foods store. Identifying products with no sugar additives or artificial sweeteners is important with all food selections and should not be any different for gum. While it is more expensive, this type of gum is more safe and less likely to cause adverse health effects. Make your pack last twice as long by chewing half a piece a day versus a whole piece.
Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any questions.
From South Bend,
Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Exercise, Nutrition, vegan, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

Fooducate

In this world of technology overload, I have found a positive to my smart phone that is quite helpful.  FOODUCATE is a fabulous app for all our wellness patients and website followers to use.  Here is a little information about this app and how/why to get started using it.  It not only grades nutritional content of the items at the grocery store, it allows you to scan the barcode and get the information right on your phone.  Then you can search for alternative, healthier options based on their suggestions.  It’s ingenious!  Why didn’t I think of this first?

 http://www.fooducate.com/

Get the Fooducate mobile application and use it to:

  • Automatically scan a product barcode
  • See product highlights (both good & bad)
  • Compare products
  • Select better alternatives
  • Dig deeper and learn more about food and nutrition

Features:

  • Created by dietitians and concerned parents
  • Uses your mobile’s camera to effortlessly scan UPC barcode
  • Over 200,000 unique products and growing daily
  • Simplified information helps you make better choices
  • Works on iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Android OS version 2.2 and up

This is what is nice about this app

You get to see the stuff manufacturers don’t want you to notice, such as

  • excessive sugar
  • tricky trans fats
  • additives and preservatives
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • controversial food colorings
  • confusing serving sizes
  • and more…

Read the labels or let fooducate do it for you.  And remember, eat your veggies people.  Eat your veggies!

 

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Nutrition, vegan, Weight Loss, Whole Food 2 Comments

BPA—Read the Label

Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical that acts like the hormone estrogen in your body, is used to create the epoxy linings of canned food.  BPA is a chemical created over 70 years ago as a drug that was intended to promote healthy pregnancies.  It was never used as a drug so the food industry saw no problem adding it to a wide range of products, including canned food linings and plastic food containers. Low levels of BPA exposure have been linked to abnormal development of reproductive organs, behavior problems in children, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic changes resulting in diabetes.

BPA is generally used to keep fats from becoming rancid.  It is most commonly found in butter, meats, snack foods, cereals, dehydrated potatoes and beer.  It is also used to preserve food color and flavor so it’s added directly to many packaging materials.

Eat Your Veggies!  Eat Your Veggies!

Just another reason to avoid it if it’s in a box, package, or can!  Shop the perimeter of the grocery!  It goes a lot faster and you don’t have to curse under your breath at the lame geeky people who spend 10 minutes reading the label of a product and then putting it back.  You know they didn’t take the time to read the Oreo label, but when it comes to buying their pasta–they only want whole grain!  Check out this excerpt from Mayo Clinic regarding how to avoid BPA products.

 

  • Seeking out BPA-free products. This may not always be easy to do, of course. Some manufacturers label their products as BPA-free. If a product isn’t labeled, keep in mind that most aluminum cans or bottles have linings that contain BPA, while steel bottles or cans don’t. Polycarbonate plastic is generally hard, clear, lightweight plastic. It often has the No. 7 recycling symbol on the bottom.
  • Microwave cautiously. The National Toxicology Program advises against microwaving polycarbonate plastics, although the American Chemistry Council says this is safe. The plastics can break down over time, possibly causing BPA to leach into food.
  • Wash safely. The National Toxicology Program advises against washing polycarbonate plastics in the dishwasher using harsh detergents, although the American Chemistry Council says this is safe.
  • Use alternatives. Use glass, porcelain or stainless steel containers for hot foods and liquids instead of plastic containers.
  • Cut back on cans. Reduce your use of canned foods since many cans are lined with BPA-containing resin.
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