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

Body

Hipocracy- You Betcha!

What was my last meal?

Grass fed beef and veggies–yeah!

What is my next meal?

A big ‘ole chicken quesedilla from my favorite mexican restaurant La Hacienda!

Hipocracy you may say.  But , I have an unhealthy relationship with mexican food.  I can tell you exactly when it dates back to .  In medical school, my roommate and I were chronically stressed and frankly probably clinically depressed because we literally lived and breathed medicine.  We had no time for socializing were buried in books almost every waking hour we weren’t  in class.  Grabbing takeout mexican food and watching  Jerry Springer episodes(yes we felt validated and normal seeing their dysfunction lives) on the weekend was a special treat to anticipate.  So I have formed a comforting connection with eating mexican to make me feel good.  It’s unhealthy but not necessarily a toxic coping mechanism.  So I choose never to break that strategy for fear that the deprivation of my lifelong habit would allow me to pick up an even more toxic habit (ie doing drugs or something).  Like relationships between people, the relationships we have with food can be healthy, unhealthy, or downright destructive.  Many of my patients often exhibit signs of the latter, as many relate to food as medication, a best friend, or an escape from reality. Without understanding these relationships, making long-term dietary changes can be impossible.  I choose the lesser of the evils and try to maintain insight into why I am making that choice.  I am choosing to eat poorly tonight but I’m not going to make that choice again for a while.  This is my one wild night then back to the books and the goal at hand!  No different then medical school–you gotta stay on course for the goal at the end.  Unfortunately, the health goal doesn’t end with a diploma or a degree–it’s a lifelong  journey in vitality.

Here is a nice interview excerpt by Christa Orecchio, a clinical nutritionist that works on breaking programming lying at the root of unhealthy eating habits.

You can find more Real Food information on Sean Croxton’s site http://www.undergroundwellness.com

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, disease, Exercise, Humor, Nutrition, vegan, Whole Food Leave a comment

Monsanto Evils

This post is for Cindy–a dear patient and friend who has been suffering from a debilitating illness since 2001.  She has been to Cleveland Clinic, Mayo, and to all of the top specialists in the fields of neurology, rheumatology, infectious disease, dermatology, oncology, cardiology, and pulmonology.  Geez–I think we hit every field of medicine.  However, I promised Cindy that I would never stop looking for what may actually be making her sick!  I recently did an ALCAT test on her to find that she has a severe intolerance to GLYPHOSATE.  Ba Bam!!!  Ironically, if you have been following the news lately, you are aware of  The Monsanto Company who exclusively produces Roundup Ready soybean seed for the commercial market.  Allegedly,  many of monsanto’s seed products are genetically modified to make them resistant to the Monsanto produced agricultural chemicals such as Round Up herbicide.  They also allegedly produce recombinant Bovine somatotropin.  Yes, I know  What???  It is a synthetic growth factor injected into cows to increase their milk production.  Watch this trailer for more information.  And watch out Erin Brockovich because if I cure Cindy by getting her off of Monsanto products—I’m casting Channing Tatum in the movie!

Posted on by Angela in Body, Call to action, Diet, disease, Exercise, Humor, Nutrition, vegan, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

Labor Day Recipes

Happy Labor Day weekend!  The long weekend brings lots of get togethers with food as the main agenda!  Don’t waste your weekend slaving behind the stove—
Instead, load up your slow cooker with one of the following crowd-pleasing dishes. I’ve listed the  recipes in countdown order— if you have a favorite, please chime in below. Happy Labor Day!
10) Salsa Chicken and Black Bean Soup. This is filling, delicious, and is different enough to gain lots of attention on the buffet table. Easy to stretch by serving rice, and fixen’s like sliced avocado and tortilla chips.
9) Lima Bean Casserole Cassoulet. I love serving this to guests and listening to the conversation. “what type of beans are these?” “I’m not sure. some sort of large pinto beans or something?” I usually wait until the pot is practically empty before coming clean that they were lima beans.
8) Honey Lentils. Delicious, nutritious, vegan vegetarian, and such a fun offering to bring to a picnic. I get the nicest emails about these lentils!
7) Pesto Spinach Lasagna. I need to run to the store to pick up the ingredients for this! You have never had a better vegetarian lasagna. So so good.
6) Hirino Psito. This is a wonderful main dish to serve to guests. Worcestershire sauce, dijon mustard, and beer mix together to create a savory sauce that perfectly compliments the sweet contrast of brown sugar and cranberries. Win!
5) Brie with Apricot Topping. To make this more user-friendly for guests, insert an oven-safe dish into your large slow cooker and load the ingredients into the dish. Then remove the dish (use mitts!) and serve with your favorite crackers (we like Glutino a lot). Do not add water in the crockpot around the dish.
4) Pomegranate Beef. When we host a dinner for new friends, I usually make this. This keeps picky older relatives happy, along with the kids (note to self: I need to update some of these photos!). I’ve made this for television audiences, and served it at the Disneyland Food & Wine Festival, where the kitchen chefs gave rave reviews, which made me cry. This recipe was also featured on Oprah.com!
3) Cream Cheese, Sausage,  and Rotel Dip (mommy crack). The ingredients are odd, the taste is not. Make this and you’ll be happy.
2) Potluck Beans. We can’t have a potluck countdown without potluck beans, now can we? These beans have bacon. Nuff’ said.
1) Original Taco Soup. Feeds a bunch, easy to throw together, and everyone LOVES it. This has been our number one potluck bring along for the past 12 years.
 
Honorable mention: Black Beans with Cilantro. I ran out of numbers— this is a great bean recipe.
Enjoy your long weekend!
Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, disease, Nutrition, vegan, Weight Loss, Whole Food 2 Comments

Emotional Eating

This topic is near to my heart right now.  As many of you know, our family of 6 at home drastically dropped in the last two weeks.  Alex moved out into a house with her highschool best friend and we toted Ciara off to IU to start her freshman year.  I didn’t think I would take the change so hard.  I completely melted down –crying, emotional outbursts, and binge eating!  In that one weekend, I consumed enough pizza, chicken fingers, nachos, ice cream and potato chips to sink the Bismark!  Unfortunately, the binge triggered all the old cravings for those nasty players again.  I have found myself no longer practicing what I preach!  This video from one of my favorite bloggers gives a nice plan and explanation for change.  It’s a little lengthy but, realistic.

Visit her site  http://www.lindawagner.net for more informational posts—you can also click the healthy eating link on the right to go directly to her great blog!

First day of kindergarten to first day of college

Posted on by Angela in Diet, disease, Guest Blog, Mind, Nutrition, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

Aloe Vera Magic

If we put aloe vera on painful sunburns for its soothing effects;  why not drink it to soothe gut inflammation? After all, it’s just a plant. Here are some major advantages to drinking aloe vera gel or juice on a regular basis.

THE GUT:

A healthy digestive track plays a huge role in how we absorb nutrients from foods entering them into our bloodstream to fuel our cells. We have various yeast and bacteria in our gut that require a delicate balance.   Aloe vera helps as a natural balancer in that it regulates the overgrowth of bacteria or yeast. This allows the bowel to absorb nutrients better, especially protein. The added benefit is that it helps transit of stool through the bowel which results in softer, bulkier stool.

THE SKIN:

Aloe vera helps feed basal skin cells keeping them healthy and functional. It stimulates fibroblast cells to reproduce faster and increase in number. Fibroblast’s job is to produce collagen and elastin which give skin its structure making it look more plump and elastic;  therefore, less wrinkles and you look younger!  These fibroblasts also form mesh networks over a wound which allows new skin cells to grow over and close wounds faster. Bonus!

VITAMINS:

Aloe vera contains calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, chromium, magnesium, copper, zinc, vit B12, C, E, and floic acid. Many of these vitamins can’t be stored int the body so we need to constantly replenish them by ingesting them in foods. These plants tend to grow in areas where soils are rich in minerals and its roots absorb them well in these uncontaminated areas.

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY:

Aloe contains salicylic acid and plant sterols which have a natural anti-inflammatory and pain killing effects. It tends to soothe muscles, maintain healthy joints along with mobility and flexibility. Patient’s with chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome seem to claim benefits.

Superjuicer Michelle and I mix 2 oz of aloe vera juice or gel into our daily breakfast juice concoction and it has absolutely no taste. What have you got to lose to give it a try? GOT JUICE????

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

Conventional Diet Wisdom

 

Conventional diet wisdom is wrong!  Changes in our diets have occurred as a result of the agricultural revolution 7,000 years ago.  Unfortunately, the more recent industrial revolution has happened  so quickly that our genes haven’t had time to adapt.  Heart disease, cancer, and diabetes were virtually nonexistent before we rapidly changed our diets.  Our ancestors for more than 2 million years ate meats, fish, vegetables, fruits, and nuts.  Grains like wheat and corn, soybeans, and sugar were not part of their diet.  The processed foods that we are consuming now only contain food like substances and not nutrients.  If you don’t believe me–go into Walmart and count how many healthy looking people over the age of 30 you see.  More food for thought—Watch this tidbit about the Paleo Diet.

Posted on by Angela in Body, Call to action, Diet, disease, Green Living, Nutrition, Organic, vegan, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

Nut Butters- Get a little nutty!

Remember the MUFA’s?  These are the infamous plant-based oils that are packed with nutrients to keep your skin looking beautiful and youthful.  Remember that including them at every meal will help you lose that belly fat.  A wonderful way to help incorporate them is to make nut butters.  Buy unshelled nuts because they are fresher.  If you buy shelled for convenience, choose the natural, salt-free type.  Store them in an airtight container and keep them in a cool, dark place.

Nut butters are easy to make and they are better than store-bought types and are totally free of preservatives, salt, and sugar.  Place shelled, roasted nuts in a food processor with a spoonful of olive oil.  It’s that simple!  Voila–you have a great spread–use them on gluten-free breads, in dessert making, to sauté veggies or anywhere you would use regular butter.  Store these in the refrigerator and they will last for about a month!  Don’t forget, you can always add a little flax-seed or vanilla for flavoring!

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

Magical MUFA’S

Ever wonder why that belly fat is the hardest to lose?  It’s because we aren’t eating enough magical MUFA’S.  Monounsaturated fatty acids are the perfect antidote to a fat belly!  These plant-based fats are healthy because they are organic elements.  They combine to form a flexible chain that flows through your arteries –because they are flexible, they don’t get stuck on the walls of the arteries and cause corruption.  Saturated fats, on the other hand, are sticky and inflexible—-they gum up those arteries.

We can declog those pipes by adding more monounsaturated fats into our diet like oils, nuts, seeds, avocado, and dark chocolate.  Go for adding a MUFA at every meal!

Here’s a great recipe from super foodie Kathy–AngelaMD’s wellness expert!

 

Belly Fat Fighting Black Bean Salsa

1 cup black beans –soaked overnight to prevent gas and cooked

(if you must, use canned beans but rinse and drain them well)

8 ounces fresh or frozen corn

1 large tomato diced

1/2 cup diced red onion

1/2 avocado diced

Dress with

1/2 Tb red wine vinegar

2 Tb lime juice (fresh squeezed is best)

1 Tb olive oil

Mix together and enjoy those MUFA’s fighting off that waistline!

You’re SEXY and you know it!

Magic Mike–here we come with our MUFA’S

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

Labels–by Theresa Mazza

Recently my husband directed my attention to People Of The Second Chance. I was instantly captured by their message, Labels Lie. People Of The Second Chance recognize that labels distort the truth and they’re doing something about it. I’ve discovered this the hard way. The sad and ugly truth…

I label people I don’t understand
I label people out of fear
I label people because I’m not confident in my own identity
I label people because I think there’s safety in not venturing far from what I know

Just over a year ago I was working at the Rocketown music venue in Florida. During a sold out concert we turned away hundreds of teens. While doing a routine parking lot check I discovered that these hundreds of teens had gathered in a circle. My immediate reaction was to call on my security team. I was afraid. There must be a fight! Or there will be if we don’t get these teens out of here.

Check out the video to see what really happened.

 

 

check it out my friends, we all in this together. So live your life, do it right, do what you want.
me and my friends in this circle right now, this is your life,
do what you can, do what you want, don’t let nobody tell you that you can’t do you.
nobody ever tells you that you can’t be you.
you stick your middle finger in the air, like you don’t care, this is your life

There was no fight that night. But the truth of this singer’s message hit everyone, even me. We are all in this together. No one can tell you that you can’t be you, even yourself.

Why was I afraid of a huge crowd of teenagers? Because I saw labels instead of truth. I saw a riot instead of a beautiful generation of honest and expressive teens. I saw a crowd of rebels and fringe kids instead a mass of world changers. Now, sure, the middle finger ending isn’t necessarily beautiful expression. But when Johnny Cash did it, we labeled him an icon of the everyman struggle, so why is it any different for these kids?

Here’s what I decided that night: I want to trade my lies for truth. The truth is, we’re all a little strange. None of us is perfect, but it’s our imperfections that make us unique. And even more important than accepting that we’re all strange and imperfect is the undeniable truth that we’re all perfectly strange. You are you. Don’t listen to the old lies or labels, and don’t make up new ones. The truth. God made you, no one can tell you that you can’t be you, even yourself.

What lies are hiding the truth in your life?

Thanks Theresa—follow her at http://theresamazza.com/
Posted on by Angela in Body, disease, Guest Blog, Mind, Spirit 2 Comments

Obesity–by Kevin Deeth

Obesity, diabities, and other weight related issues have become an epidemic in today’s society. Trans fats, artificial sweeteners,  and sugar loaded foods are partly to blame. Laziness, time restraints, and abundant resources are also major contributors. But how about our ancestors and genetics? What if some of our genes and bodily make up were predisposed towards storing fat? One theory suggests this could be a contibuting factor to the obesity epidemic that has taken over the US.

Thrifty Gene Hypothesis

Background

In 1962 geneticist James Neel proposed the thrifty gene hypothesis to partially explain the rise in diabetes in the world. The central premise of this theory is that through natural selection we evolved to be efficient at food storage and utilization. In Neel’s original hypothesis, he stated that ancient humans went through a cycle of feast and famine. The people who had bodies that were better at fuel storage or utilization were more likely to survive during the famine portion of the cycle. Thus over many generations, we developed genetically to be exceptionally efficient at the intake and utilization of fuel as these were beneficial adaptations throughout the majority of human life.

Relating To Obesity

This theory suggests that humans have genes which predispose them to obesity and fat storage.  Essentially, our bodies have evolved as a product of our ancestors whose primary goal when they ate was to store food as fat. This ‘thrifty’ genotype would have been advantageous for hunter-gatherer populations, especially child-bearing women, because it would allow them to fatten more quickly during times of abundance. Fatter individuals carrying the thrifty genes would thus better survive times of food scarcity. However, in modern societies with a constant abundance of food, this genotype efficiently prepares individuals for a famine that never comes. The result is widespread chronic obesity and related health problems like diabetes.

Why Weren’t Our Ancestors Fat?

In the hunter-gatherer society, food was gotten largely through physical activity. Our ancient ancestors have been estimated to have hunt for food for 1-4 nonconsecutive days per week, while women gathered food 2-3 days per week. Needless to say, they were a little more active than the average American who spends anywhere from 10-12 hours a day seated.

 ‘Stone Age’ genes and ‘Space Age’ circumstances

A 2 minute drive in a car with leather/reclined/heated seats to the grocery store is not the same as several miles of hiking and scavenging to find food and resources. We have theses genes which have been inherited from our “stone age” ancestors in these “space age” circumstances where resources are over-abundant almost to fault, and everything is convenient and easy.

Opposition And Problems

  • What about other sociities such as asian cultures where obesity rates are not even close to what they are in America?
  •  The field of epigenetics has shown that the body can manipulate the degree of transcription, or activation, a particularly gene has. Even more astounding is that environmental factors can impact the epigenome within a lifetime, thus altering how a gene functions. This suggests that our genes could recognize certain environmental factors available and adapt as a result which would poke holes in the thrifty gene hypothesis.

Conclusion

As can be seen, the genetics of obesity and the thrifty gene hypothesis are a complicated subject. It is easy to accept or dismiss portions of the hypothesis based on select data, but when taken in full it is clear that we simply do not understand everything that goes into the relationship between genetics and obesity.

Regardless, the important thing to remember is that environment and activity levels play a very large role in obesity problems in America.  Sure we all have different body types and some of us are more likely to put on weight, but the good news is that with proper dietary and exercise practices, you pretty much control your destiny.

Thanks for reading and I will be interested to here comments about this theory and post.

From South Bend,

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