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

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

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

Gluten Free Zucchini Bread

Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread So I have been struggling with gluten-free baking because honestly -- I've never been good at baking!!  Then when I try to modify recipes using flours I'm not familiar with, it just makes  a perfect storm of Read more

nutrition

Nutrition Bars

This post is for all those out there under the misconception that power bars, muscle milk, protein drinks and things disguised as healthy are actually good for you.  I have patient’s tell me all the time that they are eating healthy and when I ask them to actually  write down what they are eating it scares the crap out of me!     Typical patient–no breakfast, slimfast for lunch, and a healthy choice frozen dinner all accompanied with a “diet” cola.  Then they wonder why they aren’t losing weight.  Well, maybe if they were getting one ounce of nutrition out of any of those products, they would be.  It’s not their fault–it’s the physician’s fault!  We aren’t educating them on nutrition.  Most physician’s don’t know jack about nutrition because we aren’t educated on it either.  It’s time to think outside the box and stop drowning patients with pills for diseases they don’t need to have!

Thank you Kevin Deeth for doing your homework and sharing!   A+

Here is his post from his great website http://kevindeeth.wordpress.com/

 The Truth About Nutrition Bars

In a recent study published by consumerlabs.com 30 nutrition bars were broken down/analyzed and over 60% of the bars failed to meet labeling claims! What is really in your “health or nutrition bar”?

Thank you to Rachel for the suggestion on this topic.

Meal replacement bars, snack bars, weight loss bars, energy bars, and protein bars are a convenient and easy way for people to get a quick snack or meal when they are on the go. The problem is that 99% of the products out there are loaded with carbs and sugars that spike insulin levels and promote fat storage. Despite the hidden ingredients and artificial additives, marketing gurus have duped consumers into thinking that these “nutrition bars” are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals when in reality this is far from the truth. The FDA claims that it currently does not have any formal guidelines for nutrition bars or the labeling on nutrition bars.

The Breakdown

“Protein Bar” is an extremely deceptive term.  Most bars contain more carbs than protein. The consumer labs study found that a typical bar is made up of

  • 49% of calories from carbohydrates (mostly from sugars)
  • 29% of calories from protein
  • 22% of calories from fat
What To Stay Away From 
 
Clif Bars
 
 
The concern here is the 45 grams of carbs and 21 grams of sugar (for comparison a snickers bar has 35 grams of carbs and 28 sugars). If you are not an endurance athlete than that amount of carbs in the form of a small snack is way to high. Ever notice how the Clif Bar rapper conveniently covers the ingredient list. Here is why. With over 30 ingredients, it is hard to decipher what exactly the bar is made up of.  Organic rice syrup, evaporated cane juice, organic evaporated can juice, organic date paste, are all fancy names for sugar that make up this so-called “nutrition bar”. While ingredients like evaporated cane juice are not as detrimental to refined sugar, it is close enough.
 
The Take Away– Stay away from Clif bars
 
 
Atkins Advantage Bar
 
 
With Atkins Advantage you get more bang for you buck because the lower carb and sugar levels. You also get a solid 15 grams of protein with only 210 calories. The unfortunate part is the saturated fat and ingredients. With over 50 ingredients, there are several hidden land mines such as glycerin, sucralose, cellulose, artificial flavors, which are all code names for SUGARS!
 
The take away- Eat only if there is no whole/unprocessed foods available like fruit or nuts.
 
 
Nature Valley Bar
 
I commend General Mills for their bold and forthright honesty. They are not trying to hide anything. The second ingredient is SUGAR! With high levels of carbohydrates and sugar, nature valley bars have nothing “natural” about them. High fructose corn syrup and brown sugar syrup are two ingredients that have single handily added to the obesity problems in the US.
 
The take away- Don’t even think about it
 
 
Power Bars
 
This label is also very informative as it provides the disclaimer that the FDA has no regulation over these “health bars”. With 45 carbs,  27 grams of sugar, ingredients such as evaporated cane juice, glucose syrup, and fructose, a power bar is basically a glorified candy bar. At least they have less than 30 ingredients as opposed to some of the other examples listed right?
 
The take away- If you are going to have something with the nutritional equivalent of a candy bar why not actually have a candy bar that tastes great? Opt for a snickers or twix instead.
 
 
Why so much sugar?

In their early development, nutrition bars were bland and primarily eaten by fitness enthusiasts. However, the bars underwent a transformation to appeal to general consumers. The bland, stiff, and protein packed bars didn’t necessarily appeal to the general population. To compensate, manufacturers made their products more flavorful by adding corn syrup, sugar, sugar alcohols, artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors, colors and hydrogenated oils, which are all bad for your health.

What To Eat Instead

Kind Bar

Definitely the best nutrition bar out there. The calorie, carbohydrate, protein, and sugar content is a well-balanced mixture that can provide an adequate snack  in between meals. What I love about these bars is the simplicity of the ingredients and the natural additives. Unlike the rest of the bars, you don’t see a list of 30 ingredients with names that are too long to pronounce.

The take away– A good snack that offers a variety from eating nuts or dried fruits by themselves or with trail mix.

Conclusion

As a general guideline, the less ingredients the better. Eating something in its most natural state is always your best bet. The best example I can think of is a product like peanut butter. When buying peanut butter look for one ingredient, PEANUTS! Avoid products with ingredients other than peanuts like what you see in most commercial products.  For example, Jif regular peanut butter’s list of ingredients includes peanuts, salt, sugar, fully hydrogenated vegetable oils, and diglycerides. I never encourage people to eat anything processed like nutrition bars but I understand there or some times when nothing else is available. If that is the case, choose something like a KIND Bar where there are only a few ingredients or prepare ahead and always carry around some nuts and fruits.

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

From South Bend,

Kevin

kdeeth21@gmail.com

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

Crazy Sexy Cancer

Kris Carr is a vivacious dancer, actress, and filmmaker.  She was born in 1971 (one year before me).  She has appeared in the television series “Law and Order” and has played the ghost of Marilyn Monroe alongside Peter Falk in the film, “Mr Peter’s Connections.”  On Valentine’s Day in 2003–she was diagnosed with stage IV

epithelioid hemangioendothelioma

 which is a rare cancer affecting the liver and lungs.  She chose to live and vowed to do anything it would take to cure herself of this debilitating disease.  Please watch this inspiring video and see what incredible faith and gumption this gal had to overcome her disease and become a survivor!

We Should All Be So Strong!

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

Cheat Day!

 

From our friend Kevin Deeth:

A wake up call statement before we get started. The FDA makes no serious effort to control the use of the word “natural” on nutrition labels. Case in point: 7UP boasts that it’s made with “100% Natural Flavors” when, in fact, the soda is sweetened with a decidedly un-natural dose of high fructose corn syrup. Be careful of misleading food labels.

The concept of a cheat meal or cheat day has been around since the inception of diet’s themselves. Staying disciplined for 7-14 days in a row can be both physically and mentally challenging. Whether you are trying to gain muscle or lose weight, eating a disciplined diet that is filled with protein, healthy complex carbohydrates, and adequate caloric intake can be become monotonous. This is where the “cheat meal” or “cheat day” comes into play. Most of the issues people have with dieting are mental and not physical. Cravings are powerful and can be taxing on the physical and mental side of humans. The good thing is cheat days or cheat meals can actually have physical benefits for your metabolism as well as giving you a mental break

Physically

Cheat meals keep the body guessing. Similar to when your muscles adapt to the same exercises and rep range from routine and repetitiveness, your metabolism adjusts based on your calorie levels in the same fashion. Just when your body starts to think it has things figured out you surprise it with a radical change in your diet. If you eat the same thing everyday within a few weeks your body will adapt to the caloric intake. You have to spice things up and keep the body confused.

The Science

Leptin is a protein hormone that plays a key role in regulating energy intake and energy expenditure, including appetite and metabolism. Leptin signifies a slowing metabolism. Whenever you are on a diet for an extended period of time, your body will begin to adjust its metabolic functions in an effort to ‘make due’ with the amount of fuel that it is being given. Your goal is to periodically kick your leptin levels back up so as to avoid the intense physical hunger and the slowed-to-a-crawl metabolism.

Psychologically

The cheat meal can provide a mental break even more so than as a physical break. Mid-week cravings can be pushed aside knowing that you have an awesome reward in the form of a meal coming on the weekend. Allowing yourself this mental break can inhibit future cravings in the weeks to come. 

Recommendations

Leptin is highly responsive to glucose metabolism. So, when eating a cheat meal,  you will benefit much more if the majority of your excess calories are coming from good sources of carbohydrates that will turn into glucose.  One day a week increase your caloric intake by 25 to 50% in any way you want but preferably in the form of healthy carbohydrates. The sudden spike in your calories will keep the body guessing and force your metabolism to readjust following the meal along with giving you a mental break.

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

From South Bend,

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

Pass the salt!

Contrary to popular belief, I don’t think salt is a bad thing.  Actually epsom salts made of magnesium sulfate have great medicinal properties when absorbed through the skin.  The biggest benefit is that it helps replete magnesium in the body.  This helps with muscle cramping often associated with chronic dehydration (from too much Mtn Dew), works as an anti-inflammatory, and removes dead skin.  The biggest benefit is that magnesium helps raise serotonin levels which elevate mood and concentration.  With most of the country suffering from adrenal fatigue, we could all use a little elevation in mood.  Last but not least,  and most important for me, it will help relieve foot odor.  I have two children I need to douse in epsom salts baths tonight.  The stench radiating from our house is unreal!

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

Attack of the 30lb Sumo

A few months ago, after listening to me nag, one of my BFF’s decided to do a cleansing/detox diet to get healthy.  She has 4 lovely children, a full time job, and a crazy busy life.  Jody is the most fabulous cook and often drops gourmet meals off for us on a whim.  I think we have a kindred connection because those are usually the days I am driving home from work thinking I’m too exhausted to cook and will go postal on my family the first time someone asks “When’s dinner?”  The girls are all just chomping at the bit to jump away from their phones and computers to lend a hand.  NOT!  Then I’ll ask for help, they will roll their eyes and then proceed  to bicker with each other the entire time.  It’s difficult to cook when you are peeling Emma off of Sid’s back when she has attacked like a sumo wrestler.  Jody just knows–she should, she’s a mom.  She and her sister, Dee, are incredibly creative, whitty, and enjoy life.  They have started feeling so much better after changing their diets, they were inspired to share their story.

Let me introduce Jody and Dee’s mission  “Food Forethought”

 

Food For Thought, Food Forethought

We all think about food. Most of us even have emotional experience relating to liking food, disliking food, craving food, loving food. At some point as an adult, we start to think about food based upon how it makes us feel after we’ve eaten it. When dieting, we obsess about everything that’s on the “don’t eat” list. What do you think happens when one tells herself “I can’t have cheesecake, I can’t have cheesecake, I can’t have cheesecake” incessantly? You will likely give your right arm at the end of the day for a piece of cheesecake. The aftermath of guilt and digestive agony is a recurring nightmare.

Here’s our plan: let’s think about food, what we CAN eat, before we eat it. Food is so much fun! If you look at what the earth provides us, rich in color and nutrition and taste, it’s amazing. We want to take a look at healthy and flavorful recipe options that will change your mind, and change your health.

Here’s the interesting part (and the disclaimer): the contributors of this site are not physicians, not nutritionists, and not culinary experts. We are parents, spouses, full-time office workers, neighbors, and friends. We are on this journey with you, adapting common comfort foods for a healthier life.

As we get to know each other, we will share our secrets and successes and we will encourage each other to persist in this journey to better health.  We can do this!

 

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Family, Guest Blog, Humor, Nutrition, Weight Loss, Whole Food 1 Comment

Dr. Max Gerson

Max Gerson MD was a german physician born in 1881.  He was one of the first men that experimented with using diet to cure disease.  He developed a “migraine diet” that when used on his patient, not only cured the migraines, but it also cured his skin tuberculosis.  He then went on to study diet more and work with a nobel prize winning physician to treat cancers.  in 1958, he published A Cancer Therapy: Results of 50 cases.  I find it amazing that we have ignored this basic knowledge for so many years in the flurry of our capitalistic dreams.  We have forgotten the basics!

The Beautiful Truth–Is a movie about a 15yo Alaskan boy who sets out to investigate some of the Gerson findings after he is inspired by a research project he is assigned.  Check out the trailer below:

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