Tara's Story

Tara's Story When I turned 30 years old I weighed in at 348lbs; clothes were getting harder to find and more expensive, and my life was getting difficult to manage. When going out to eat we had to have a 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

The Sauerkraut Challenge

As many of you may know --- my 9-year-old daughter has been extremely ill for the last 4 weeks.  It is so painful to watch your child suffer from illness and not be able to do anything to fix Read more

Healing the Gut with Bone Broth

What is bone broth? What the @&*$ is bone broth and why is everyone talking about it and its medicinal benefits.  First, bone broth is simply stock!  Chicken or beef bones are usually used although you can use venison/lamb/pig etc.  Read more

Breastfeeding Tips

  Here's a different topic for today regarding breastfeeding!  We all know how important the gut microbiome is and breastfeeding is a natural, inexpensive way to help your baby's gut get all those good bacteria!  Natalie Michele the author of Read more

Avoid these banned foods

Are you eating food that's already banned in other countries but is still allowed to poison and kill Americans? Learn these pernicious ingredients and common foods through this infographic. Use the embed code to share it on your 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

What Happened When My Dad Went Gluten Free

It seems I am getting more and more testimonials from patients on how great they feel when they go gluten free.  I thought I would re-post this great story by one of my friend's experiences.  Comment down below with Read more

Detox Challenge

I’ve had several patients recently do some detox challenges and they seem to be getting great results!  I didn’t have time to participate in the last one that I posted.  I did hunt down another one which should be great!  Dr. Sara Gottfried is hosting one with the registration ending today!!  Sorry for the short notice!  You can sign up for free by clicking the banner below.

 

 

 

She is also the author of  THE HORMONE CURE–which is an excellent resource to help naturally get your hormones back in check!!!

Happy Detoxing y’all !!!

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

Practical Paleo

OK –This is a phenomenal book!  I picked it up at Target while shopping for back to school supplies and haven’t put it down since.  This guide gives you some amazing recipes, information on pale diets, and really explains the fundamental leaky gut concepts.  I’ll admit that I paid upwards of FORTY dollars for it at Target and am kicking myself for not ordering it.

Check it out!

Posted on by Angela in Diet, Nutrition, Whole Food 3 Comments

Gluten Free Update

Here’s Superhero Sandy’s latest gluten-free update.  It seems it is possible to change and still enjoy food!  Here are a few of her recent observations and recommendations.  Thanks Sandy–we are all inspired by you!

 

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Sandy Writes:

Gluten free update: I’ve always been one to buy quality name brand products, not the generic store brand stuff that doesn’t taste as good. I’m known among close family and friends as a good cook, and it has always been my contention that good cooking starts with the choices you make in the store. I’m a picky shopper, favoring name brands and top quality fresh food; my motto is “if nobody eats it, it’s not a bargain,” so stay away from the cheap, generic stuff.

Anyway, while driving the four blocks to Kroger from my home one day about three months ago, my phone rang. It was the nurse at my doctor’s office telling me that my thyroid antibodies were sky-high and that I needed to get on a gluten-free diet as soon as possible. I also needed to start taking probiotics, selenium, and CoQ-10 to help combat the catastrophe that was taking place in my intestines and finding its way to my thyroid gland…and who knows where else…probably wherever I felt pain, including my arthritic knees. As I understand it, the antibody issue is separate from the TSH, T3, T4 markers for thyroid disease. This was something different, an autoimmune thing I had going on along with a underactive thyroid gland.

The nurse sounded serious. This wasn’t just a “why don’t you try this and see what happens” suggestion; it was an order. Oh, man. I had a lasagna pan full of semolina pasta covered in meat sauce, cheese, and sour cream…all ready to bake for my grandson and his friends who would be arriving in a couple of hours. I started doing an inventory of what I was planning for dinner that very night that I could and could not eat if I were to actually change my diet to gluten-free. Salad? Okay, yeah. Pasta? Not so much. Bread? Don’t make me laugh. First I panicked. And then I started to solve the problem.

I started changing my shopping practices on that very first trip. Luckily, I ran across some gluten-free pasta, so I bought it, scraped some sauce and cheese off the casserole, cooked up the new pasta, and mixed them together. Not bad. So far, so good. Everybody else ate the original casserole while I ate my gluten-free pasta version. And from that point on, my kitchen only contained gluten-free pasta. You literally couldn’t tell the difference…although you do have to be a bit more exact about cooking time.

Then I started doing research, shopping the out-of-the-way sections of the store: buying organic stuff, fresh fruits and vegetables. I also started going to the local meat market here in Greencastle, buying better, unsullied by hormones and antibiotics meat and milk and butter and eggs.

Now, less than three months later, I just returned from a grocery shopping expedition. I have completely changed, one or two items at a time, what I buy at the store. My shopping list is entirely different from it was not long ago. Here’s a partial list of what I buy now:

Trader’s Point milk (grass-fed, organic, not homogenized, the real stuff my Grandpa Hause used to carry in buckets from the barn to the house)
Kerrygold Irish butter (kind of like the stuff my Grandma churned from those buckets of milk)
Blue Sky free range eggs (I’ve tried several brands of eggs; these have the most golden yellows I’ve ever seen.)
Van’s gluten-free waffles…or pancakes…or whatever. These are better than Eggo. Trust me.
Rudi’s gluten-free “original” white bread (okay, so it’s not quite the same as what you usually buy…but it’s gluten-free and you can make a sandwich with it.)
Izze soda (instead of diet Coke…nothing but fruit juice and sparkling water)
Smucker’s Simply Fruit jelly…again, no sugar, no sweetener of any kind…doesn’t need it…just fruit juice.
Udi’s blueberry muffin tops (gluten, soy, wheat, and dairy free)
fresh produce from local suppliers, including some honey crisp apples from Anderson Orchard, which we picked up yesterday
heirloom tomatoes…don’t fall for vine ripe or Indiana tomatoes…heirloom are the best
100% grass-fed beef from local producers. If I can’t find grass-fed, I will still buy local. If I can’t find local, I buy organic…no hormones, no antibiotics. Sometimes this means there’s no chicken available today, so you have to buy pork instead or you can’t find the cut of beef you want. You have to be adaptable to eat well.
Kemp’s frozen yogurt (because my soul needs ice cream)
Talenti gelato (can’t eat much of this because it’s calorie-, fat-, and sugar-laden, but it is gluten-free, HFCS free, and oh, man, is it ever good!)
Simple Truth gluten-free animal crackers (a store brand, but good)
Quinn’s popcorn (although i don’t use the flavor packet that comes with it…I use the above mentioned Kerrygold Irish butter.)
Pamela’s chocolate chip gluten-free cookies
Glutino table crackers
Ronzoni gluten-free pasta
Muir Glen fire roasted diced tomatoes (I already knew these were the best canned tomatoes and tomato sauces and spaghetti sauces around…been buying Muir Glen for a while now)
frozen corn, peas, green beans, broccoli…whatever I can’t find fresh, I buy frozen. Just the vegetables. Not the kind that come with sauces already in them. I love those ones that you can steam in the microwave.
Maple Hill creamery yogurt (full fat with the cream on top, just like the milk from grass-fed cows…and mostly I buy plain and mix in my own fruit and granola and sweeteners. Trader’s Point makes good yogurt too, but Maple Hill is thicker. I like it better.
organic blue agave syrup
real maple syrup
GiddyUpGo gluten-free granola
Nature’s Path corn flakes
Cheese…I don’t know about cheese. We still have a bunch I bought in Wisconsin last month. I can’t swear that what I have is organic and grass-fed. Probably some is and some isn’t. I’m working on that.

I try to buy things that are sugar-free, but you have to watch that. Most of the time “sugar-free” on a label means that they used aspartame or some other poison instead of sugar. Sugar isn’t good, it contributes to inflammation, but poison is worse. Sugar is also better than high fructose corn syrup.

That’s all I got for you now, but my list is ever-changing, and I still haven’t been able to explore Fresh Thyme as thoroughly as I want to. Look for more updates in the future on my gluten-free lifestyle. Oh, and I just got another blood test last week. My numbers are “a little bit better.” We’re making some adjustments. But I feel better all the time, am not sick as much as I used to be…I’m staying on top of this thyroid deal, and that seems to actually be helping with the arthritis issues too.10505625_10152531893746815_5633312240394115874_n

Posted on by Angela in disease, Nutrition, Uncategorized, Whole Food Leave a comment

Can Diet Changes Regulate Your Hormones to Lose Weight?

I have been recommending “The Hormone Cure” book by Dr. Sara Gottfried with some amazing patient results!  Jessica (our guest author) graciously offered to write a post explaining the science correlating hormone balance and weight loss.  Be sure to visit her site as well!  We have been talking about limiting grains in the diet for prevention of blood sugar issues so keep that in mind as well.  EAT YOUR VEGGIES!

Jessica writes:

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Can Diet Changes Regulate Your Hormones To Lose Weight?

Modern research suggests that it is possible to modify your daily diet to bring about changes in the ways your body hormones are functioning. Dietary changes will influence hormone levels and help you lose weight. So, weight loss is not only about shedding calories or having a strong willpower; it has quite a lot to do with the way your hormones behave. Although it sounds strange, what you eat can actually regulate your hormonal functions.

Hormonal imbalance is responsible for different forms of ailments, ranging from cancers to amnesia. Studies show that nearly 40 chemicals actually work to influence one’s appetite. When your hormones are not in control, your weight loss efforts can suffer a setback even if you are following a healthy well-balanced diet. Since hormones are produced when the body has enough cholesterol and good fats, it is important to have these foods as part of your everyday diet in order to release important hormones.

How diet changes can affect hormone functions:

  • Control omega-6 intake: Cortisol hormone leads to heightened appetite particularly for comfort foods that are sugar-rich and fattening. If you can avoid the omega-6 polyunsaturated fats you can protect yourself from inflammation. These fats are unstable and get oxidized easily, causing mutation and inflammation of arteries. Instead, you should focus on including monounsaturated fats and saturated fats because these benefit health. So, vegetable oils, peanut oil, margarine etc are best avoided; it is wiser to opt for real butter, coconut oil and olive oil.
  • Limit caffeine consumption: Excess caffeine can adversely affect the endocrine system especially when you are already feeling the effects of other hormone stressors. You can switch to drinking herbal teas.
  • Limit toxins: Toxins are present in household chemicals and plastics, and pills for birth control likewise can play havoc with your hormones. When you already have hormonal imbalance or trying to get pregnant, you need to stay away from such toxins. You should avoid storing foods in plastic containers and choose organic produce and organic meats.
  • Coconut oil: Coconut oil can work wonders for your hormones by providing the building blocks for their production. Therefore, it helps in weight loss, reduces inflammation and has anti-bacterial properties.
  • Increase fiber intake: When you eat more fibers like raw fruits and vegetables and whole grains, you can not only lose weight but improve the release of old estrogen from your body. This in turn leads to an improved overall hormonal balance.
  • Increased meat and carb intake: When you include more carbs and meat in your daily diet, you get more energy for hormone production. For instance, seafood that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids or low-fat meats is an excellent source of fiber which can contribute to weight loss.
  • Eat more vegetables: You can include  fibers and vegetables in the diet to control leptin resistance. Veggies contain important vitamins and antioxidants that reduce inflammation which interferes with leptin secretion. This in turn improves the body’s fat-burning power and helps to reduce your cravings.
  • Opt for meal delivery services: You can consider joining reputed weight loss meal delivery services that deliver portion controlled meals. As they prepare meals especially to lose weight, the above said factors would be well imbibed in their diet plans. Moreover you need not bother about counting calories or cooking healthy meals each day when you join such programs. For instance, Nutrisystem is a popular weight loss meal delivery service which delivers nutritionally balanced and portion controlled meals to their dieters. The meals are usually low glycemic, low-fat, low carb, low sodium and are devoid of trans and saturated fats. So, considering the diet services is one of the wisest options to lose weight.

These are some easy dietary changes which can help in the release of important hormones that allow you to maintain an optimal weight. Weight loss is guaranteed to happen when your hormones are working optimally and your diet is well-balanced.

Author Bio:

 

Jessica Robert Keenly blogs about weight loss ideas and diet tips. She runs a simple blog displaying helpful articles on easy dieting methods and weight loss ideas.

Image link:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/inspiredhomefitness/8753895157/sizes/z/

 

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Nutrition, Weight Loss, Whole Food 1 Comment

Robin Williams

I’m devastated at the tragic death of Robin Williams.   However,  I am grateful in so many ways.  I’ve seen testimonials of depression, addiction, and imperfection posted on social media sites all day.    Robin’s comedy entertained us with wicked humor,  but his death provoked a new set of emotions.  He now demonstrates the issue that mental health is a disease.   In my world, he is still teaching and entertaining on a whole new uncomfortable level.

Unfortunately, my profession holds me hostage to stories of despair, victimization, and contempt of disease states.   Stories of suicide and the aftermath are hard to hear .  Unfortunately, I’ve found myself attracting them into my life via my confused emotions on the subject.

Depression is a disease.  Is it hereditary? maybe—-Are you predisposed and destined to get it?  NO, I think not.

I believe that illness evolves into disease  based on everyday choices.  Nobody chooses to be depressed or sick.  I get that.   Robin Williams’s death is a call to action.   He had the coveted wealth, fame and stardom-but, it wasn’t enough.  Please reach out to those struggling quietly around you.  I hope this post helps!  A few of my closest friends and I will be doing the suicide prevention walk –I hope you can join us!

 

For Lucy and Maggie …

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Countless hours spent on the deck discussing the uncertainties of life. Innumerable days of listening to our children giggle, play, fight and cry together. Tears shed watching one another battle the ups and downs of family life in the 21st century. These experiences have made our former neighbors become our dearest friends and confidants. They are our “wolf pack”.

This week, the Henriksens, and their dear friends watched their families bond together once again as they faced yet another frightening event. An event that would forever change the way all ten of us view life and the ambiguity of the world. We will become different people having experienced this sad tragedy.

Our dearest friends’ daughter has known one of the most vivacious, loving, talented and endearing girls for many years. The two girls were kindred spirits at the mere ages of 15 and 16. To the shock of everyone, she took her own life this week. She battled depression for years. Unfortunately, the disease won the strenuous fight. Sadly and despite her suspected perception, young Maggie was never alone.

Most all of us probably know someone whose life has been affected by depression, either directly or indirectly. We may not know that someone is suffering from depression, they may not even know themselves. Two out of three people who struggle with depression never seek help resulting in untreated depression as the leading cause of suicide. In America alone, it’s estimated that 19 million people live with depression, and suicide is the third-leading cause of death among those 18-24 years old.

Perhaps you have seen the countless photos on social media of outstretched arms with the word “love” scribed on skin and merely thought it some new type of arm art fad. There is a much deeper meaning to these sharpie tattoos.

Renee was a troubled Florida teen. Described as one who “has felt the touch of awful naked men, battled depression and addiction, and attempted suicide” she at one point used her cocaine-cutting razor to carve “F—k Up” on her arm adding to the other fifty self inflicted scars there. A group of concerned friends finally convinced her to go to a drug treatment center but she was deemed too “high risk” due to her distinctive markings and denied treatment. Fearing for her life, they designed a T-shirt selling drive in hopes of raising enough money to pay for her care. Their experiences led them to realize the greater need beyond just Renee.

Together they organized and formed TWLOHA, a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people lost in depression, addiction, self-destruction and suicide. You can read their complete story and Mission Statement here: http://www.twloha.com. Their efforts caught on and went viral. Photos of teens with “Love” on their arms began popping up in dramatic fashion. Famous bands and the Hollywood elite began wearing their trendy T-shirts. “Why do you have that written on your arms?” “What does that T-shirt mean and where can I get one?” All were keen efforts to raise awareness for this cause and show those in need that they are not alone. By metaphorically applying “Love” as a pressure bandage to the self inflicted ugly wounds of the story’s character, this band of persistent friends helped not only Renee, but began to define and fulfill TWLOHA’s vision including:

The vision is the possibility that your best days are ahead.

The vision is the possibility that we’re more loved than we’ll ever know.

The vision is hope, and hope is real.

You are not alone, and this is not the end of your story.

 

Lucy, I won’t let this be the end of Maggie’s story either . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on by Angela in disease, Exercise, Nutrition, Whole Food Leave a comment

What’s a probiotic?

 

 

PROBIOTICS

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What the H$%* are they and why do we need them?  I’m going to give you my own dumbed-down skinny on what they are and exactly how they can help us get healthier.

First, every organism on the planet is covered in microbes (those pesky little bacteria that live on our skin, in our guts, on our counters —etc).  Its normal!  We are supposed to be surrounded by all these little parasites exactly like we are surrounded by our leachy teenagers and our snot blowing kids —It’s natural and part of the whole  life experience.  We were all designed to have “healthy” bacteria to help us coexist in nature and that is totally cool.  Good Ole Mother Nature designed it that way and I’m convinced that she knew what she was doing!

Here are just a few of the healthy benefits that we get from these bacteria living on, around, and within us.

1.  They produce enzymes that kill bad bacteria (Eek -like the stomach flu)

2.  They produce substances that give the lining of the gut energy

3.  They boost immunity by giving us mucin (a component of mucous/snot) to help stomp out bad bacteria

4.  They down-regulate inflammation and free-radicals like crazy cousin Joe (see previous free radical post)

5.  They reduce the risk of allergy

These are all functions that the normal gut bacteria are designed to do for the human body.

These guys have so many more important functions but I fear boring you with the science of it all.  There’s a reference at the end of the post for all you science nerds like me!

Here’s the version that I dumbed down for my own little mind to digest!

1.  Our food supply has drastically changed since World War II—we are now using more corn and grain to feed our livestock.  We also used the leftover nitrogen from bomb making to fertilize our crops after the war.

2.  The US became much more industrialized after WWII and we started adding a lot of chemicals to improve the shelf life of foods

3.  This has gradually destroyed the lining of our gut (which I will better explain in another post)

4.  We now harbor bacteria in our GI tract that we aren’t use to having.  They are dysbiotic instead of symbiotic.

5.  Because we no longer harbor these “Good Bacteria” in our gut —we have increased inflammation and autoimmunity.

6.  The inflammation –now has to settle somewhere in our body if we don’t supply  it with good antioxidants as a defense mechanism.

7.  We are consuming foods that are no longer nutrient dense.  Even if we are eating healthy, our guts don’t have the correct bacteria to absorb the nutrients anymore.

So—-A first start at cleaning up The Gut– Probiotics

These are supplements with the good bacteria strains that have been killed off by our modern diet.  They do exactly what they are designed to do–help prevent disease, help absorb nutrients from food, help keep digestion regular etc.  These bad boys recolonize our Gut with the Good Bacteria.

So here is the final scoop–

If you eat a perfect diet of organic fruits, veggies, grass-fed meats and consume no processed foods—you might not need to take probiotics

But, if you are like the rest of us—you need these little buggers back in your gut to make and keep you healthy!

 

Here are the strains you want to look for in buying a probiotic

The Big 7!!!

1.  Lactobacillus Acidophillus

2.  Lactobacillus Ramnosus

3.  Lactobacillus Plantarum

4.  Lactobacillus Casei

5.  Bifidobacterium Longum

6.  Bifidobacterium Breve

7.  Saccharomyces boulardii

Probiotics can be found at your local drugstore or you can buy them HERE from Amazon

I’ll post more on benefits and the different digestive benefits of each strain –however this is your dirty little outline guide to refer to!

 

It seems to be a great idea to mix different brands of probiotic and then rotate them as well so I have added some of my new favorites to the list!

1.  Garden of Life Primal Defense Ultra Ultimate Probiotics Formula

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2.  Advance Orthomolecular Research Advanced Series Probiotic 3

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3.  Ultimate Floraultimate flora

 

 

 

 

4.  VSL #3

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You can easily purchase these thru Amazon by clicking HERE

 

For more information:  see “Probiotics:  Why You Need Them and How to Choose Them” by Yuri Elkaim, BPHE, CK, RHN

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, disease, Nutrition, Whole Food 1 Comment
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