Category Archives: General

Alkaline Water

In a healthy individual, the lungs and kidneys work to maintain a normal body pH. Problems with these organs can lead to either metabolic or respiratory acidosis (or alkalosis). Human blood has a pH of approximately 7.4—slightly alkaline. A fluctuation of as little as .05 in blood pH can have serious health consequences (including death) so your body has numerous checks and balances to keep that from happening. Body tissues have different pH levels. In the stomach, for example, where acids help us to digest food, the pH can go as low as 1.5,  your vagina should be acidic, since yeast infections can fester if vaginal tissue becomes too alkaline. (Sorry, guys, if that’s too much information.)

Drinking water is not going to flush all of the acid out of your stomach—nor would you want it to (it’s important for things like digestion). Most of the water reabsorption happens in the intestine where your digestive tract secretes enzymes to neutralize stomach contents. So the pH and alkalinity of the water you consume is likely more or less irrelevant. By the time water gets around to affecting your blood, it has already had its pH altered several times by your digestive tract.

In practice I have noticed an increase in gall bladder issues with people consuming pH water. I’m pretty sure I know why this might be happening. Ask me!

Sleep paralysis

Sleep paralysis is a condition in which a person awakens from sleep but is temporarily paralyzed, unable to move or speak. The phenomenon, in fact, is not uncommon. Around 20 to 40 percent of people experience sleep paralysis at least once in their life.

Sleep paralysis often occurs when we are in any way, sleep deprived.

Scientifically it happens when we wake up while we are still in a stage of sleep, called rapid eye movement, or REM, during which most vivid dreams occur. During REM, a part of the front brain called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, central to our ability to plan and think logically, turns off.To prevent us from acting out intensely “real” dreams during REM, and potentially hurt ourselves, our brain has a brilliant solution: our muscles become paralyzed, preventing the body from acting out what’s going on in the brain. This is usually no problem because we are sound asleep. Unless we aren’t. Then all it takes is a few neurochemicals to leave us stuck in this borderline state sleep and wakefulness.

Exactly how the muscles are paralyzed has been a mystery until recently. University of Toronto researchers Patricia Brooks and John Peever discovered GABA played the crucial role.

Balancing out your GABA is essential to getting control of sleep disorders.

Top 3 Gaba Deficiency Symptoms

1. Anxiety and Depression

2. General Uneasy Feeling

3. Can’t Sit Still For Long Periods of Time

Here is a short list of more possible symptoms of GABA deficiency:

  • Snap easily under stress. Low stress tolerance.
  • Hard to get to sleep at night. Often presents itself in the form of insomnia.
  • Tendencies to use drugs or substances often. This can include alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and other drugs.
  • Feeling overwhelmed by day to day living.
  • Being nervous or anxious for even though everything is fine.

Possible Reasons Why Someone Could be Deficient in GABA

  • Genetics – It is possible to get the bad luck of a genetic variation
  • Dietary Habits – GABA is formed by the amino acid glutamine which is often present in meat.
  • Too much stress – With too much stress GABA can quickly be depleted.
  • Medication or recreational drugs that desensitize the GABA receptors. (Ambien, alcohol, benzodiazepines, barbiturates)

Thyroid and Sleep

You are dragging all day long, yet when it’s finally time to turn in for the night, you can’t sleep. sleep-quoteOr you find yourself laying awake for a long time before falling asleep for the night…or if you can fall asleep well, you tend to wake up often within the next hour or two.

What gives? It could be an underactive thyroid. You may have an under active thyroid even if the standard TSH lab test said you were “normal”.

Your ability to sleep and stay asleep depends largely on the health of your liver. Often when you become hypothyroid, your liver loses the ability to produce and store glycogen. Glycogen is a form of sugar your body relies on, especially at night when you don’t eat for a long period of time, to prevent your blood sugar from crashing. And because you don’t store glycogen and don’t eat anything while you sleep, this makes you prone to low blood sugar when sleeping. This drop in blood sugar triggers the activation of your stress response, where we oftentimes see surges of adrenaline. And it’s these surges of adrenaline that wake you up and prevent you from going back to sleep. Adrenaline also naturally rises at night, oftentimes peaking at 2am or 3am in the morning.

The thyroid, a butterfly-shaped gland in the neck, can have a dramatic impact on a huge variety of bodily functions, and if you’re a woman over 35 your odds of a thyroid disorder are high. What causes your thyroid to go haywire? It could be genetics, an autoimmune attack, pregnancy, stress, nutritional deficiencies, or toxins in the environment. Or it could be secondary to adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue happens when cortisol levels become consistently low, often after a traumatic event or from a sustained lifestyle of too many late nights, poor food choices, and chronic stress. The body enters a catabolic state, which signals the thyroid to slow down.

Because of thyroid hormones far reach in the body—from brain to bowels—diagnosing a disorder can be challenging. Symptoms of hypothyroidism in adults include:

Early symptoms
• Easy fatigue, exhaustion
• Poor tolerance to cold temperatures
• Constipation
• Carpal tunnel syndrome (pain at the wrists and numbness of the hands)

Later symptoms
• Poor appetite
• Weight gain
• Dry skin
• Hair loss
• Intellectual ability worsens
• Deeper, hoarse voice
• Puffiness around the eyes
• Depression
• Irregular menstrual periods or lack of menstrual periods

13

The thyroid hormones work in a feedback loop with your brain — particularly your pituitary, hypothalamus and adrenals — in regulating the release of thyroid hormone. This is where all the HPA Axis talk comes from. Your pituitary makes TRH (thyroid releasing hormone), and your hypothalamus makes TSH. If everything is working properly, you will make what you need and you’ll have the proper amounts of T3 and T4. Those two thyroid hormones — T3 and T4 — are what control the metabolism of every cell in your body, your body’s temperature, and heartbeat to name just a few. But their delicate balance can be disrupted by nutritional imbalances, toxins, allergens, infections, and stress. If your hormones are off balance your whole system suffers.

You may also notice a messed up sense of taste and smell, low libido, brain fog, excessive daytime sleepiness, heart flutters, changes to your period – particularly longer, heavier flow and more cramps. Mysterious or sudden tingling/numbness, high blood pressure, weight gain, hair thinning or falling out, trouble getting pregnant, high cholesterol.

What do you do about it?

Well yes, that is the question. And it isn’t an easy – one size fits all answer. Sorry. You need to get some help. Make an appointment with me or email me to help you find someone in your area who can help.

Not interested in any of that? Ok if you insist on self medicating please do it safely and stick with adaptogenic herbs (that way if you are wrong, you won’t do too much damage). Thyrosol is a well rounded thyroid support. Energenics is a great multi if you suspect thyroid issues. Licorice Plus is an excellent adaptogen for cortisol metabolism (not recommended for those with heart disease or hypertension).

Other things to do:

  • Keep your bedroom cool. A comfortable bedroom temperature is important, especially while you’re in the process of getting your thyroid regulated.
  • Try turning down all lights at least an hour before you go to bed. This includes not staring at your phone, tablet or computer screen. Keep your bedroom dark and cover all bright or flashing lights. Darkness helps with natural melatonin production.
  • Having a relaxing pre-sleep routine is one of the most important things you can do to help facilitate good sleep. Take a warm bath with relaxing scents like lavender, read a favorite book (not an e-book with a backlit screen), or listen to relaxing music. A cup of chamomile tea after dinner may help you begin the relaxing process.
  • Make sure your bed is comfortable and supportive for a good night’s sleep.
  • Indulging in a large meal close to bedtime can disrupt sleep, as can eating something unusual. If you’re struggling with sleep problems, avoid spicy dishes and foods or drinks with caffeine, such as chocolate or coffee.
  • Eating a little something with a combination of protein and fat, such as celery and almond butter, before bed can help keep blood sugars balanced overnight. Try nuts, which are rich in selenium.
  • One of the biggest contributors to sleep problems is stress, and people tend to think about stressful situations instead of closing their eyes when they climb into bed. To address these issues in a beneficial way, try writing in a journal or practicing relaxation techniques like meditation.
  • A glass of wine or cocktail may help you fall asleep faster, but it makes it harder to stay asleep.
  • Choose and stick to firm wake and bed times—even on weekends and holidays.
  • Exercise in the morning and do a relaxing yoga or meditation at night.
  • Eat cherries in the evening. Cherries boost the body’s own supply of melatonin.
  • Get plenty of sunlight to optimize your vitamin D levels or take a good D supplement.
  • Take a complete omega 3 supplement with more of the EPA than DHA, like this one.
  • Eliminate refined carbohydrates, high glycemic complex carbohydrates
  • Maintain daily carbohydrate intake at not more than 80 grams but DO NOT restrict calories. The thyroid will sense when weight loss is too rapid for the individual and simply shut down. Any weight loss needs to be steady and controlled. Support the thyroid with GTAMeda-Stim, etc. if rapid weight loss is absolutely required.

Why “cheat days” are a bad idea

As you begin the holiday season, I would like to share some important insights with you to help you stay on course and succeed.

I’ve heard this many times over the years: “I allow myself onscreenshot-2016-11-22-08-58-01e cheat day a week.” Or “I allow myself a cheat every Friday night.” Or “I have a couple of slices of pizza every Saturday.” Or the comments from naysayers such as “A little bit can’t hurt” or “Everything in moderation.”

If you truly have a food sensitivity or food allergies or food addiction or auto immune disease this will NOT work out well for you. It has nothing to do with the few calories ingested. The implications are also far greater than the high-carbohydrate exposure of an indulgence.

  • Appetite is stimulated for several days following the cheat. Re-exposure to gliadin-derived opiate peptides will erode your will, typically giving way to consuming a flood of junk. The junk food industry has deliberately formulated its products to create irresistible cravings.
  • Once the food addict puts the chemicals (sugar, flour, wheat) into the system they ignite the binge.
  • Inflammation is re-ignited, an effect that typically lasts for about one week.
  • Re-exposure after a long period of wheat/grain abstinence can also re-trigger autoimmune inflammation, swelling, and pain that can last for months–months from one indulgence.
  • Given the incredible bowel toxicity of gliadin, gliadin-derived peptides, and wheat germ agglutinin, toxic to the esophagus, stomach, small bowel, and colon, you never fully regain the chance to restore healthy bowel flora with occasional indulgences.
  • You can experience re-exposure reactions. The most common: joint pains, skin rashes, acid reflux/heartburn, diarrhea, bloating, anger, anxiety, mental “fog,” depression. These typically last from a few hours to several days.

Some effects are immediately noticeable, many are not. You may be perfectly happy while bowel flora is changed, or autoimmune inflammation is gathering steam.

The key is to never go back. If you are wanting pancakes for breakfast, a big plate of spaghetti, or a big slice pizza, cheesecake, a cookie, or other indulgence, make them without wheat, without grains, without gluten-free junk replacements, without sugar. Also, if you are taking in sufficient quantities of fat and calories, you should not be experiencing cravings or hunger.

For many of us – we CANNOT just treat the few extra pounds. We must look to the factors allowing the abnormal conditions to emerge in the first place.

The holidays are especially hard. We know those relatives who disagree with us, and we dread in advance their judgmental looks or hurt faces when we don’t indulge in their binge triggering dishes. I always find that talking with someone I trust about my plan to stay on track helps me get clear about my intentions and it also helps me stay accountable to the plan itself.

Ask yourself how you want to feel before you begin eating. It takes all the emotional charge away and focuses on self-care instead of how food tastes or the cravings you are having. Remember,if you are taking in sufficient quantities of fat and calories, you should not be experiencing cravings or hunger. So don’t starve yourself in preparation for a big holiday meal. That sets you up for failure. The calories are not the only issue, not even the biggest issue for most of us.

Stress Relief

Seeing someone else in a stressed state can impact our own hormonal and nervous system responses as if we were experiencing their stress firsthand.

Stress Is Actually Contagious

Stress is more likely to spread when you’ve got emotional ties to the anxious person—a romantic partner, friend, or colleague. But even if it’s a stranger, you’re not immune. One study showed that when subjects watched a stressed-out person through a one-way mirror, cortisol levels—one of the hormones related to stress—rose in 26 percent of observers. Negative TV can translate to real-life negative emotions.

How It Affects Your Health

Stress does not cause disease to happen, but it speeds up the development of anything that might be wrong in the body or brain. Plus, it can lead to a general “blah” feeling. When stress continues to be a problem, we feel exhausted, overwhelmed, and burnt out. Our brain chemistry is so depleted that the lens through which we see the world is literally dark and gloomy.

So What Do You DO About It?

Stress depletes your B vitamins so make sure you are getting enough. Is your cortisol already too high?

Hit pause.

Take a few deep breaths before communicating or interacting with others when you’re feeling anxious. It’s also super easy to spread stressful vibes via email (just say no to caps lock!), so it’s a good idea to save messages as drafts first and spend a few extra moments re-reading to make sure your tone isn’t abrasive.

Change your focus.

Find a way to block out negativity and stress. Stuck in a cubicle next to a coworker who’s always complaining or sighing? Use noise-cancelling headphones, reorient your chair, or put up pics of your family so your attention is re-focused on something positive.

Lead with positivity.

One of the biggest ways we transfer stress is verbally, so jump-starting a conversation with a positive statement can set the tone in a different place. Instead of starting off a meeting saying, “I’m so stressed, my head is all over the place!” try something light-hearted: “I just had the best turkey and avocado sandwich for lunch. How’s your day going?” Not only is this a super easy way to protect yourself against secondhand stress, but it can also have a ripple effect and reduce stress for others around you.

Exercise in the morning.

Going to the gym for 30 minutes registers as a big win for your brain. And you’ve probably heard exercise boosts your mood, helping set a positive tone for the rest of your day. Not only can it help make you immune from stressed-out folks around you, but lower stress levels can also help you deal with other challenges as they come your way—like tackling that urgent project your boss gives you.

Reset your response.

Next time you see a grumpy colleague huffing and puffing down the hallway or your partner comes home irritated after a long day, try to identify what’s happening. Say (silently) to yourself, “Wow, she/he is really stressed out,” and try to bring a sense of compassion to that person. Sending positive vibes toward them—instead of mindlessly absorbing their negativity—takes away their power to influence your mood.

Schedule time for yourself.

Make a point to step out of the office to recharge during a crazy day—and actually put it on your calendar. Go to a coffee shop, walk in the park, go to a bookstore, get a manicure—whatever it is, these recharge “appointments” should be just as important as any other client or team meeting you have during the day. Also consider your gym time, time with friends and family and things for YOU important too. Schedule yourself a massage!

Limit distractions.

In our hyper-connected world, it’s easy to feel high-strung vibes from all directions—the conference room, your computer, your cell phone. In response, try to turn off distractions as much as possible. Check your email only during certain time blocks so you’re not fighting a losing battle (respond to one message, receive five more). If you’re lucky enough to have an office to yourself, close the door when you’re in “focus mode”—maybe even put up a sign asking people to come back in 30 minutes. (If not, message colleagues to let them know you’re totally focused for the next hour.)

Just breathe.

All of the talk about mindfulness has to have some value, right? It does. Next time you’re feeling stressed, take two minutes, take your hands off your keyboard, and simply notice your breath going in and out. This is single-tasking in the midst of a multi-tasking world, and it trains your brain to focus on peace, rather than being scatter-brained and pulled toward stresses. Then you can return to work less likely to be swayed by negative things. Learn some new meditation skills that can help give you a quick reset.

The scary C word

Hey – so there is a LOT of info here. I created an email list with all the same info just not all at once. I put the most important things to know and do first and you will always be updated with anything new I learn. Sound good? Sign up here

Getting the worst possible diagnosis is becoming more and more common. To be clear and up front – I DO NOT have an alternative treatment. Do whatever you and your treating oncologist decide is best for your case. That being said – there is a lot you can do to support your body to heal and shield yourself from the worst of the symptoms of the treatment.

But you know what is the ideal way to approach it? Prevention. 

Once you have completed the recommended treatment and got the all clear – PLEASE do not go back to ignoring what allowed that to happen in the first place. If you have a history of cancer in your family, you are at higher risk and need to take action now.

When someone comes in with a sick fish, they don’t treat the fish… they treat the water! Why? Because the fish lives in the water and absorbs the chemicals, pollutants and minerals in it. So — what does that mean to you? It means you need to change your environment. Both your internal and your external environment.

 Internal Environment 

Did you know that much of what you put on our skin absorbs into your body, almost as if you’d eaten it? Did you know that the average woman uses 12 products, containing 168 different ingredients, every single day?

According to Dr. Mercola, putting chemicals on our skin or scalp may actually be worse than eating them. When you eat, enzymes in the saliva and stomach break down what’s ingested and flush it out of the body. However, chemicals on the skin are absorbed into the bloodstream without any filtering. Just imagine what the cumulative effects of long-term use may do.

Here is a list of things to avoid:

  • Hydroquinone – A skin-lightening agent.  linked to increased risk of skin cancer
  • Phthalates –  ingredients such as BzBP, DBP, DEP, DMP, or diethyl, dibutyl, or benzylbutyl phthalate
  • Formaldehyde – formaldehyde, quaternium-15, dimethyl-dimethyl (DMDM), hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, and 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (bromopol)
  • Toluene – usually in nail polish. methylbenzene, toluol or antisal 1a. Most mainstream nail polishes contain toluene, a suspected carcinogen, along with phthalates and formaldehyde. Together, they are known as the “toxic trio,” and they form a potent combination of toxins that you want to avoid.
  • I’ve created a database.

So, how can you limit, or avoid, exposure to these chemicals?

  • Buy natural products like plain soaps (have you tried Dr. Bronners Liquid Soap?)
  • Avoid heavily scented or colored products.
  • Just like with your food, look for organic labels.
  • Simplify! Consider what products are really necessary – chances are you don’t need half of what you use.
  • Babies, children and teens are particularly sensitive to chemicals and the effects on their developing systems. Keep this in mind when choosing both the quantity and quality of products for children.
  • Invest in a jar of coconut oil. You can use it to replace so many of your personal care products.

Scientists have proven that negativity literally makes cancer grow inside the body

Dr. Steven Standiford, chief of surgery at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, says that holding onto these negative emotions creates a chronic state of anxiety. This produces a predictable excess of adrenaline and cortisol, which deplete the production of natural killer cells. These cells are your protection against cancer. If you refuse to forgive it not only makes you sick but can keep you that way.

 External Environment

Reducing BPA Exposure and helping the body eliminate what your are exposed to with:

  • reduce the use of BPA lined canned goods
  • use glass containers to store food instead of plastic wrap
  • replace re-sealable zipper storage bags with BPA free ones
  • support your liver to detox what you are exposed to with NAC

PFOA is a chemical that is makes things resistant to grease and water.  It is used to keep grease from leaking through fast food wrappers and microwave popcorn bags, in non-stick coatings like Teflon, and in water-resistant fabrics like Gore-Tex®.  PFOA is a highly-estrogenic compound that can disrupt your hormones.  It has also been linked to thyroid disease, cancer, immune system problems, and increased LDL cholesterol levels. To make matters worse, PFOAs remain present in the body for many years.

If you use non-stick pots and pans on a daily basis, you may unknowingly be exposing yourself and your family to PFOAs.  In less than five minutes at high temperatures, the coating of non-stick cookware will also break down into a chemical warfare agent known as PFIB, and a chemical analog of the WWII nerve gas phosgene.

Female reproductive cancers (breast, ovarian, uterus)

  • Meta I-3-C support the health of estrogen-sensitive tissues.
  • SulforaClear – like eating a couple of pounds of raw, organic broccoli a day.

Household Cleaning – toxic ingredients

Here is the beginning of the database.

Diet

More vegetables (especially green), fruits, nuts and seeds. Nutrient quality is immensley important.  Eat real, unprocessed food – avoid canned, bagged and boxed foods. Mushrooms in particular have documented anti cancer properties.

Personalized Medicine

Genetics are what you are born with – but the expression of those genes in a large part is up to you and your environment. Certain genetic expressions can be triggered by stress, food, sleep issues and many other things. ARx3 is designed to find out what it is that you, personally need and to find ways to help support those specific needs.

Your Lymph

It is a complicated network of vessels, ducts, and nodes that filters and moves fluid between the cells and tissues. Our body contains about 50% more lymphatic fluid than blood. Unlike the blood, whose circulation is driven by the pumping heart, the lymph does not have its own pump. It is propelled by three means: the movement of muscles, the nerves which create subtle pulsations, and the fluid pressure within the system. Therefore physical movement and deep breathing are vital to stimulate natural lymphatic drainage.

The lymphatic system works to accomplish 2 tasks. 1) accumulate excess fluid and take it back to the heart, and 2) it is an active immune system component designed to reduce/eliminate infections by means of lymphocytes. This lymph system “filters” out waste leaving the rest of the fluid to go back into general circulation. The lymph system is the body’s primary waste elimination system and functions as the body’s primary means of immune defense. Some refer to the lymphatic system as the “garbage disposal system”of the body.

This waste is composed of a multitude of dead cells (red blood cells, lymphocytes, infectious organisms, etc.) and all of this enters back into general circulation. From here the blood carries it to the liver where it is cleaned. The dead red blood cells are carried to the spleen, where they are broken down and the iron is stored while the other parts (bilirubin) is sent to the liver.

In the end, it all ends up back in the liver. The liver then gets rid of the waste iniStock_lymphbody a multitude of ways. It can secrete it into bile, which then exits your body via the colon, or it can put it back into your bloodstream (albeit as a more water soluble form) where it is then filtered by your kidneys to pass in urine. You can also pass some waste through your skin and lungs as well.

Bile is secreted by your liver/gallbladder to help oils you eat mix with water so that it may be easier absorbed. And waste can be secreted into your intestines along with bile, to which it can be reabsorbed to end up ultimately back in the liver, or it can pass along with feces. (what probably most likely happens)

If the lymphatic system is congested, the lymphocytes can no longer do their job and our bodies become a virtual junkyard.

Who Needs Lymphatic Drainage?

The following conditions may suggest the need for lymphatic drainage:

  • Sinusitis
  • Eczema
  • Bronchial Asthma
  • Allergy
  • Chronic Constipation
  • Tension Headache
  • Migraine
  • Stress Reduction
  • Post Stroke
  • Injury to Muscles and Soft issue
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Post Surgery Recovery
  • Lymphedema
  • Lower Back Pain
  • Pain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Fatigue
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Lymphatic drainage massage is a very light pressure pumping touch  (less than 9 ounces of pressure per square inch of skin), which allows the lymph to drain and flow better.  It can improve lymphatic flow up to 20%!  Resulting in the elimination of stored bacteria, viruses, proteins, cancer cells, and harmful substances.  The outcome is the improved production of lymphocytes and a healthier immune system.

LymphoplusLympho Code, Lymph 1 AcuteLymph 2 MatrixLymph 3 Chronic, Parotid PMG and Spanish Black Radish are all powerful lymph drainage products. Please schedule an appointment if you need help deciding which is best for your situation.

 

 

Stress or Emotional Eating

If you’re eating more than you’re hungry for, or more than you feel is appropriate, or you’re drawn to eat foods that you know aren’t in the best interests of your goals for health and wellness or weight loss, you’re using food to cope with stress. Guaranteed.

Emotional eating is turning to food for comfort, stress relief, or as a reward rather than to satisfy hunger. Most emotional eaters feel powerless over their food cravings. When the urge to eat hits, it’s all you can think about — you are eating to fill emotional needs, rather than to fill your stomach. Stress eating is particularly problematic when it is the primary way you calm and soothe yourself.

When eating is your primary emotional coping mechanism—when your first impulse is to open the refrigerator whenever you’re upset, angry, lonely, stressed, exhausted, or bored—you get stuck in an unhealthy cycle where the real feeling or problem is never addressed. Emotional eating provides a release from discomfort, providing a momentary sense of pleasure and satisfaction when you’re feeling something you don’t want to feel.

How Can I Tell if I am Emotionally Eating?
There are 4 tell-tale signs of comfort eating.

  1. You eat when you are not physically hungry. Consider how long ago it was since you ate. Was it 3 hours ago or a half hour? Is your body sending you any clear signals that you are hungry? Is your stomach grumbling? Are you low in energy?
  2. It is hard to find food that satisfies you. For this reason, you don’t stop eating when you are full. You may find yourself scavenging for food or eating things you don’t even like.
  3. Cravings are triggered by an emotion such as anger, anxiety, or boredom etc.
  4. Comfort eating has a mindless component to it. You may not enjoy or taste the food because you are eating it mechanically, as if in a trance. Imagine sitting in front of the TV mindlessly popping chips into your mouth.

Why is Food so Comforting?
There are many reasons food can be so seductive in moments of stress.

  • Biology.  When you are stressed out, your body is flooded with cortisol, a stress hormone, which makes you crave carbohydrates, sugar and fatty foods. Food is soothing due to the chemical changes it creates in your body. Chocolate is an excellent example.  Chocolate boosts the “feel good” neurotransmitters and chemicals in your body that make you more alert and excited.
  • Tune Out. Eating can be distracting. It can take your attention away from whatever is bothering you emotionally.
  • Beliefs. You may also be conditioned to believe eating can ease pain. Many media ads push the therapeutic value of food.  For example, a commercial may urge you to buy a particular candy because it will bring you “bliss” or “happiness.”
  • Convenience. We enjoy things that are easy and convenient. Vending machines and fast food restaurants are always close at hand when you are fretting.
  • Entertainment. It is difficult for many of us to deal with boredom and anxiety. Preparing food and eating it can be entertaining and fills gaps in time.
  • Good Vibes. Emotional eating may be linked to your childhood. Perhaps home baked cookies or macaroni and cheese automatically trigger positive or comforting memories from the past.

Sometimes we’re so very concerned with what others think of us and feel about us that we’ll compromise ourselves time and time again just to avoid any possibility of judgement or rejection. We can’t possibly begin to feel safe in the world and the sense of peace and happiness and trust in ourselves that we need in order to cease using food to cope if we’re going to keep putting what others think of us ahead of how we feel and what we need.

Emotional abuse occurs when someone manipulates our feelings intentionally. As adults, we are ultimately responsible for what we choose to respond to and for how we choose to respond. The use of guilt, manipulation, and threats, as well as the withdrawal of love and affection, are all examples of emotional abuse. If our role models were unable to ask directly for what they needed while respecting our boundaries, should we say no to their request, it follows that we would mature into adults who feel unable to ask for our needs to be met.

Emotional neglect occurs when our most basic need for love and acceptance isn’t met. We all have a need for love and acceptance. It is natural, and it is our right as human beings to have that need met effectively and consistently. Sometimes when we do not receive consistent love and acceptance, we tend, to try to make sense out of the pain and suffering we feel by imagining that we are somehow to blame. Somehow, we are not good enough, not loveable enough, and so we don’t deserve love and affection. That is what we tell ourselves to make sense of the lack of healthy emotional connection in our lives. This is a common circumstance and it is a very harmful one. It sets the stage for the internalization of many critical messages.

A study in the Journal of Counselling Psychology, 2002, identified emotional abuse and/or emotional neglect as the experience in childhood most likely to lead to an eating disorder or sub-clinical disordered eating.

How to Stop Emotional Eating

The answer to overcoming the use of food to cope is not to ignore your feelings. The answer is not found in berating yourself for having feelings or for not being stronger and more able to cope with the traumatic events of your life.

Tell yourself that it’s OK to feel sad, mad, scared, tired — you name it. This includes those intense feelings of guilt or anger that tend to follow an emotional eating episode. Approach your feelings with kindness, and your body will begin to understand that it no longer has to overeat to protect you from your feelings. Plus, through listening to your emotions, you’ll discover what it is you truly want, and can create new strategies for deeper satisfaction.

You can start with a simple step. Make a list of what is stressing you, and make a plan to take control of the situation. If you can change the situation, go for it. If the problem is out of your control, you can manage the way you think about it. If you can notice your stress in the moment, you can choose how you respond, rather than reacting the way you have in the past.

Discover your triggers and strategize. If you know you eat when you’re lonely, plan to call a friend or write in your journal instead. Also, always carry food with you so that you never feel deprived. Emotional eating can be your body’s reaction to feeling deprived, so create new ways to nourish yourself. Stock your fridge with delicious, healthy foods, pack your calendar with exciting things to do, and be disciplined about setting aside time for yourself to relax.

Take the time to build trust in yourself, and in others, so that you can create the space for the compassion and love that you need. It is possible and so very rewarding for you to meet your own need for love and compassion. Doing so does not mean that you won’t get that need met outside of yourself – in fact it truly creates a far greater likelihood of getting the need for love and acceptance met in all areas of your life. It takes practice and finding creative, new ways to calm and successfully soothe yourself. The goal is to rewire your brain to identify non-eating behaviors as comforting.

If you take out stress eating, you have to put something in its place.  Write down a concrete list of all the healthy, non-calorie related activities that give you a quick pick-me-up on a tough day. Give your body other ways to experience feeling good, aside from eating. Here a few simple examples.

  • Sip black tea. A study in the journal of  Psychopharmacology found that subjects who drank black tea experienced a 47% drop in their cortisol levels, the stress hormone that makes you crave food, compared to 27% among the subjects who drank a placebo.
  • If a foot rub would hit the spot better than a snack, try self-message. It can be as simple as sitting down, taking off your shoe and placing your foot over a tennis ball. Rub your feet, one at a time, over the top of the ball until they feel relaxed and soothed. According to the study in the  International Journal of Neuroscience , self-massage slows your heart rate and lowers your level of cortisol.
  • Mindless eating soothes raw nerves by numbing out emotions. Munching gives you a moment to zone out from daily commotion and stress. Instead, actively choose a healthy way to clear your mind. Try a quick breathing exercise. Slowing down your breathing can trick your body into thinking you are going to sleep, which in turn relaxes your body. Close your eyes. Stare at the blackness of your eyelids. Slowly breathe in and out. Count each time you inhale and exhale. Continue until you get to 10.
  • There are many ways to calm yourself without calories, such as journaling, meditation techniques, connecting with others, self-message, distraction, Emotional Freedom Technique, guided imagery and ways to pamper your senses. When you’re tempted to snack for emotional reasons, try moving instead. Try out these techniques when you aren’t craving food so you get them down pat before you really need them! You wouldn’t want to learn how to swim in rough water. Nor do you want to learn the art of soothing yourself without food on a very stressful day. With practice, you can end emotional eating.

 

What’s a good calcium

The milligrams you take are not necessarily the milligrams your body absorbs.

What’s a good calcium?” is actually somewhat complicated. But a simple place to start is by recognizing that all calcium types are either organic or inorganic salts.

The inorganic forms:

  • Calcium sulfate – 5-10% absorbed
  • Calcium phosphate – 5-10% absorbed
  • Calcium carbonate – 5-10% absorbed

The organic forms:

  • Calcium gluconate
  • Calcium lactate
  • Calcium citrate – 30 to 35% absorbed
  • Calcium amino acid chelates – 65-80% absorbed
  • Calcium orotate – 90 to 95% absorbed
  • Calcium aspartate – 85% absorbed
  • Calcium ascorbate

Each of the above is obviously not entirely calcium there’s a percentage of ‘the other stuff’ attached to the molecule. So, the percentage of the compound that’s ‘elemental calcium’ is an issue.

The most common form of supplement, by far (of all types), is calcium carbonate. It’s also the cheapest. What’s more, it also has the most elemental calcium (40% of the total molecule). Seems like that might pretty much settle the selection issue, right? Unfortunately, there are two problems with the carbonate form:

1) Like the other inorganic forms, it’s the most poorly absorbed (only 5-10%)

2) Unlike the other inorganic forms, calcium carbonate requires (and binds) the most acid.

The latter problem above is appealing if you’re trying to sell an antacid product (like TUMS) but it’s very much a double-edged sword. More acid is now required for the digestion of proteins, or else malabsorption (and indigestion!) can occur. Since you take the antacid for indigestion, you can see where this is headed.

Calcium ascorbate, which gets you the benefit of vitamin C as the other part of the molecule, along with the fact that it’s no longer an acidic form of vitamin C a neat solution to several problems.

Calcium citrate – the citric acid reduces the amount of stomach acids required for absorption.

You can’t generally take calcium alone without making biochemical trouble for the body. Calcium is not found in nature (in edible form) without magnesium, and they therefore should be given together. Studies show that calcium alone may even be preferentially laid down in arterial walls rather than in bones. Plus, phosphorous is also needed with calcium. The problem here is that phosphorous is one of the few minerals that’s over-supplied in the modern (crappy) diet. Excesses of phosphorous in the absence of the other minerals can create a problem with balance and possible leaching of other minerals.

What’s not mentioned in those cute major-media ads for calcium and antacids is that for bones, the calcium must also have not only magnesium (okay, and phosphorous), but also manganese, silica, boron, strontium, and vitamin D (and that last one in high doses), vitamin C, vitamin B-12, at the very least.

Bile: Your Metabolism’s BFF

Bile helps to emulsify and break down fat particles in your system from the foods that you eat. And it is also the primary method of detoxification because bile is an antioxidant, which your liver uses to throw all of its filtered toxins into for elimination.

Bacteria, drug, virus, as well as parasites and heavy metals are all thrown into bile as a method of detoxification and elimination of toxins from your body.

Without proper bile —and you can make it, even if you do not have a gallbladder— you are not going to be detoxifying properly. You’re not going to be breaking down fat, so you’re going to be overweight. You’re going to be fatigued and you’re going to feel sick no matter what else you’re doing that could be correct.

What are signs that we have poor bile digestion?

Sciatic-like pain is very oftentimes associated with gallbladder issues as well as pain in your legs, the inability to lose weight (because bile is so intricately affiliated and linked to fat metabolism), not sleeping properly, migraines, anxiety, ringing in the ears, nausea, shortness of breath, urine retention, headaches, dizziness, varicose veins and hemorrhoids.

And we must also talk about poop. Take a look at your stools, if they are light-colored or clay-colored, that’s a sign that you’re not making enough bile salts.

No Gall bladder?

Bile is produced by the liver and stored in the ball bladder. So you still make bile but maybe not when you need it the most.

It is more important than ever to support bile production so whenever you eat something fatty, your body will be breaking it down adequately so that you will not be deficient in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.

You still can help yourself tremendously by taking a course of what I call bile salts. Sometimes individuals have to be on bile supplements for the rest of their lives to ensure adequate digestion of fats and the ability to utilize all of those fat soluble vitamins.

What causes low bile?

Low-fat, no-fat diets – you need fat to make bile. Sometimes the gallbladder can be blocked and your bile becomes very congested – this can lead to the formation of stones.

Bile can be very thick and congested if you’re not taking in the proper nutrients that thin the bile. Betaine in beets, lemon juice, lecithin and the amino acid taurine all assist with bile health.

Eating the right fats is critical to not only our gallbladder health, but our healthy metabolism and just optimal health overall. That is hard to do without bile and worse, hard to digest!

Without proper bile flow it is very hard to absorb the fat soluble vitamins like vitamin A, the anti-infection vitamin, heart-supporting vitamin E, bone-supporting K2, or hormone helping vitamin D and your essential fatty acids.

What can you do?

A product with pancrelipase or ox bile salts are needed if you no longer have a gall bladder or are experiencing one or more of the symptoms of a sluggish gall bladder. A supplement containing choline can help de-fat a clogged liver.

Making sure you have enough stomach acid is important to producing adequate bile to digest dietary fat. When you have enough HCL, it will trigger the gallbladder to release bile.

Parasites love the gallbladder duct. So if you’re having problems and it’s not stones get checked for the parasites.

Is it the liver?

If the liver is not functioning the way it should or it’s on overload, it’s not going to be producing high-quality bile.

The same nutrients that you need for the gallbladder are also those that tones and cleanse the liver. Also one to two cups a day of dandelion root tea or tincture is a way to gently tone the liver. Milk thistle and berberine is a good addition in small doses if you are experiencing a lot of symptoms.

Artichoke is a wonderful liver-loving food, very supportive of the liver, and its cleansing properties. Anything that’s chlorophyll-rich like the magnesium-rich green leafy vegetables I like as well, for the liver.