What Do Hormones Do?

Posted on February 23rd, 2018 by


Hormones are chemical messengers and without them, proper functioning in our body does not occur. They control everything from reproduction, digestion, metabolism, emotions, and even hunger and satiety. When our hormones function properly, we feel great and when they do not, we can have health issues that make us miserable.

Let’s look a few key hormones systems and you will get the picture as to how important they are.
Hypothalamus: It signals the production of other hormones and in doing so, helps regulate things like hunger, moods, sleep, body temperature, and sex drive.

Thymus: It produces the hormone thymosin, which helps regulate the immune system. The thymus shrinks as we age but scientists are not sure it is supposed to, which means that, perhaps, good nutrition could help maintain immune function as we age.

Pancreas: Insulin produced in the pancreas is a key hormone and its sole function is to help blood sugar get into the cells so we have the energy we need for our cells to function. However, too much insulin has been implicated in many health issues.

Thyroid: Hormones produced by our thyroid are associated with metabolism and heart rate. If you have trouble losing weight – your thyroid may not be functioning optimally.

Adrenals: There are many hormones produced by the adrenal glands but their main function is to help us cope with stress, both physical and mental. Because of this, the adrenals rule the roost in the body. This is because protecting us from danger is considered to be one of the most significant systems in the body and because of that, when we are stressed, the adrenals can cause all kinds of havoc with other systems.

Pituitary: This is a master endocrine gland that produces hormones that tell other glands and organs to produce more hormones. However, hormones from the adrenals like cortisol or insulin from the pancreas can exert pressure on the pituitary and interfere with other hormones relationships where the pituitary is involved.

Of course, the hormones that often concern most people are the reproductive hormones.

In women, the ovaries produce estrogen, progesterone and small amounts of testosterone before menopause. After menopause, it is the adrenals that produce these hormones to keep women healthy.

For men, the testes produce testosterone and small amounts of estrogen and progesterone.

These are just a few hormonal relationships – it really is complex and often hormone problems are a result of several hormones exerting influence in a way that causes more than one issue. Food and lifestyle and supplements can help immensely to feed the various body parts so they work in a more balanced way. A consultation with a menopause expert can help you do this.

Balanced hormones are the key to a having a body in balance. Even small imbalances can cause an issue. Getting a proper diagnosis is key and from there decisions can be made to help correct the issues.

Coffee – Who can drink it and who should avoid it?

Posted on February 16th, 2018 by

Coffee is one of those things – you either love it or hate it. You know if you like the taste or not (or if it’s just a reason to drink sugar and cream). You know how it makes you feel (i.e. your gut, your mind, etc.).

Not to mention the crazy headlines that say coffee is great, and the next day you should avoid it!

There is actual science behind why different people react differently to it. It’s a matter of your genetics and how much coffee you’re used to drinking.

NOTE: Coffee does not equal caffeine. Coffee contains between 50-400 mg of caffeine/cup, averaging around 100 mg/cup. Coffee is one of the most popular ways to consume this stimulant. But a cup of coffee contains a lot of things over and above the caffeine. Not just water, but antioxidants, and hundreds of other compounds. These are the reasons drinking a cup of coffee is not the same as taking a caffeine pill. And decaffeinated coffee has a lot less caffeine; but, it still contains some.

Let’s look at caffeine metabolism, its effects on the mind and body, and whether coffee drinkers have higher or lower risks of disease. Then I’ll give you some things to consider when deciding if coffee is for you or not.

Caffeine metabolism

Not all people metabolize caffeine at the same speed. How fast you metabolize caffeine will impact how you’re affected by the caffeine. In fact, caffeine metabolism can be up to 40x faster in some people than others.

About half of us are “slow” metabolizers of caffeine. We can get jitters, heart palpitations, and feel “wired” for up to 9 hours after having a coffee. The other half is “fast” metabolizers of caffeine. They get energy and increased alertness and are back to normal a few hours later.

This is part of the reason those headlines contradict each other so much – because we’re all different!

The effects of coffee (and caffeine) on the mind and body

NOTE: Most studies look at caffeinated coffee, not decaf.

The effects of coffee (and caffeine) on the mind and body also differ between people; this is partly from the metabolism I mentioned. But it also has to do with your body’s amazing ability to adapt (read: become more tolerant) to long-term caffeine use. Many people who start drinking coffee feel the effects a lot more than people who have coffee every day.

Here’s a list of these effects (that usually decrease with long-term use):

  • Stimulates the brain
  • Boosts metabolism
  • Boosts energy and exercise performance
  • Increases your stress hormone cortisol
  • Dehydrates

So, while some of these effects are good and some aren’t, you need to see how they affect you and decide if it’s worth it or not.

Coffee and health risks

There are a ton of studies on the health effects of coffee, and whether coffee drinkers are more or less likely to get certain conditions.

Here’s a quick summary of what coffee can lead to:

  • Caffeine addiction and withdrawal symptoms (e.g. a headache, fatigue, irritability)
  • Increased sleep disruption
  • Lower risk of Alzheimer‘s and Parkinson’s
  • Lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes
  • Lower risk of certain liver diseases
  • Lower risk of death (all cause mortality”)
  • Mixed reviews on whether it lowers risks of cancer and heart disease

Many of the health benefits exist even for decaf coffee (except the caffeine addiction and sleep issues).

NOTE: What’s super-important to note here is that coffee intake is just one of many, many factors that can affect your risks for these diseases. Please never think regular coffee intake is the one thing that can help you overcome these risks. You are health-conscious and know that eating a nutrient-rich whole foods diet, reducing stress, and getting enough sleep and exercise are all critical things to consider for your disease risk. It’s not just about the coffee.

Should you drink coffee or not?

There are a few things to consider when deciding whether you should drink coffee. No one food or drink will make or break your long-term health.

Caffeinated coffee is not recommended for:

  • People with arrhythmias (e.g. irregular heartbeat)
  • People who often feel anxious
  • People who have trouble sleeping
  • People who are pregnant
  • Children and
  • teens.

If none of these apply, then monitor how your body reacts when you have coffee. Does it:

  • Give you the jitters?
  • Increase anxious feelings?
  • Affect your sleep?
  • Give you heart palpitations?
  • Affect your digestion (e.g. heartburn, etc.)?
  • Give you a reason to drink a lot of sugar and cream?

Depending on how your body reacts, decide whether these reactions are worth it to you. If you’re not sure, I recommend eliminating it for a while and see the difference.

Recipe (Latte): Pumpkin Spice Latte

Serves 1

3 tbsp coconut milk
1 ½
tsp pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)
¼
tsp vanilla extract
1
tbsp pumpkin puree
½ tsp maple syrup (optional)
1 cup coffee (decaf if preferred)

Instructions

Add all ingredients to blender and blend until creamy.

Serve & enjoy!

Tip: You can use tea instead of milk if you prefer.

 

References:

https://authoritynutrition.com/coffee-good-or-bad/

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-coffee

http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/a-wake-up-call-on-coffee

http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/can-your-coffee-habit-help-you-live-longer-201601068938

http://suppversity.blogspot.ca/2014/05/caffeine-resistance-genetic.html

https://authoritynutrition.com/how-much-coffee-should-you-drink/

Everything You Think You Know About Healthy Eating is Wrong and it’s Making You Fat and Tired

Posted on February 5th, 2018 by

Oh my gosh – nutrition and diet info is everywhere!

And each expert and association tries to lead you in their direction because they know best and their advice is going to help you. Right?

Well, maybe…

Everyone has heard (and maybe lived through) the intense focus on how much you eat. This has gotten way too much attention because while this does affect your weight and energy level, it’s certainly not the “holy grail” of health.

Let’s focus a bit more on the often overlooked (and proven) benefits of what you eat and drink and how you eat and drink it.

What you eat and drink

The “calories in, calories out” philosophy (i.e. how much you eat) is being drowned out with research on other factors that may be just as important. Don’t get me wrong limiting calories, carbs or fat can certainly help you lose weight but that’s simply not the only factor for long-term weight loss and maximum energy for everyone.

When the intense focus on how much we ate didn’t work in the long-run it wasn’t really a surprise. We kinda knew that already, didn’t we?

You can certainly still continue to count your calories, carbs, and fat but don’t forget to also pay attention to what you eat.

Ideally, you need a varied diet full of minimally-processed foods (i.e. fewer “packaged” “ready-to-eat” foods). This simple concept is paramount for weight loss, energy, and overall health and wellness.

Every day this is what you should aim for:

  • A colourful array of fruits and veggies at almost every meal and snack. You need the fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Enough protein. Making sure you get all of those essential amino acids (bonus: eating protein can increase your metabolism).
  • Healthy fats and oils (never “hydrogenated” ones). There is a reason some fatty acids are called “essential” – you need them as building blocks for your hormones and brain as well as to be able to absorb essential fat-soluble vitamins from your uber-healthy salads. Use extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil, eat your organic egg yolks, and get grass-fed meats when possible. You don’t need to overdo it here. Just make sure you’re getting some high-quality fats.

How you eat and drink

Also pay attention to how you eat and drink.

Studies are definitely showing that this has more of an impact than we previously thought.

Are you rushed, not properly chewing your food, and possibly suffering from gastrointestinal issues? Do you drink your food?

When it comes to how you eat let’s first look at “mindful eating”.

Mindful eating means to take smaller bites, eat slowly, chew thoroughly, and savour every bite. Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture. Breathe.

This gives your digestive system the hint to prepare for digestion and to secrete necessary enzymes.

This can also help with weight loss because eating slower often means eating less. Did you know that it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full?

Thought so!

We also know that more thoroughly chewed food is easier to digest and it makes it easier to absorb all of those essential nutrients.

And don’t forget about drinking your food.

Yes, smoothies can be healthy and a fabulously easy and tasty way to get in some fruits and veggies (hello leafy greens!) but drinking too much food can contribute to a weight problem and feelings of sluggishness.

Don’t get me wrong a green smoothie can make an amazingly nutrient-dense meal and is way better than stopping for convenient junk food – just consider a large smoothie to be a full meal not a snack. And don’t gulp it down too fast.

If your smoothies don’t fill you up like a full meal does try adding in a spoon of fiber like ground flax or chia seeds.

Summary:

Consider not only how much you eat but also what and how you eat it.

Recipe (Smoothie meal): Chia Peach Green Smoothie

Serves 1

  • handful spinach
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 banana
  • 1 chopped peach
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

Add ingredients to blender in order listed (you want your greens on the bottom by the blade so they blend better and have the chia on the bottom to absorb some liquid before you blend).

Wait a couple of minutes for the chia seeds to start soaking up the almond milk.

Blend, Serve and Enjoy!

Tip: Smoothies are the ultimate recipe for substitutions. Try swapping different greens, fruit or seeds to match your preference.

Bonus: Chia seeds not only have fiber and essential omega-3 fatty acids but they contain all of the essential amino acids from protein.

References:

http://summertomato.com/wisdom-wednesday-salad-dressing-is-your-friend
https://authoritynutrition.com/20-reasons-you-are-not-losing-weight/
http://summertomato.com/the-science-behind-mindful-eating-what-happens-to-your-body-during-a-mindful-meal
http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3061/2

Three Ways to Avoid Overeating at Meals

Posted on February 5th, 2018 by

 

Sometimes those holiday feasts are just amazing.

And it’s not just the abundance of delicious food but also the people, the decorations, and the ambiance.

It is way too easy (and common) to indulge on those days.

But it doesn’t always stop there.

Sometimes we overeat on regular days.  Or at regular meals.  Or All. The. Time.

Here are three tips to avoid overeating at meals.

(Psst, turn these into habits and ditch the willpower!)

Tip #1: Start with some water

When your stomach is growling and you smell amazingly delicious food it’s too easy to fill a plate (or grab some samples with your bare hands) and dive into the food.

But did you know that it’s possible to sometimes confuse the feeling of thirst with that of hunger?  Your stomach may actually be craving a big glass of water rather than a feast.

Some studies have shown that drinking a glass or two of water before a meal can help reduce the amount of food eaten.  And this super-simple tip may even help with weight loss (…just sayin’).

Not only will the water start to fill up your stomach before you get to the buffet, leaving less room for the feast but drinking enough water has been shown to slightly increase your metabolism.

Win-win!

Tip #2: Try eating “mindfully”

You’ve heard of mindfulness but have you applied that to your eating habits?

This can totally help you avoid overeating as well as having the added bonus of helping your digestion.

Just as being mindful when you meditate helps to focus your attention on your breathing and the present moment being mindful when you eat helps to focus your attention on your meal.

Do this by taking smaller bites, eating more slowly, chewing more thoroughly, and savouring every mouthful.  Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture.  Breathe.

This can help prevent overeating because eating slower often means eating less.

When you eat quickly you can easily overeat because it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full.

So take your time, pay attention to your food and enjoy every bite.

Bonus points: Eat at a table (not in front of the screen), off of a small plate, and put your fork down between bites.

Tip #3: Start with the salad

You may be yearning for that rich, creamy main dish.

But don’t start there.

(Don’t worry, you can have some…just after you’ve eaten your salad).

Veggies are a great way to start any meal because they’re full of not only vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and health-promoting phytochemicals but they also have some secret satiety weapons: fiber and water.

Fiber and water are known to help fill you up and make you feel fuller.  They’re “satiating”.

And these secret weapons are great to have on your side when you’re about to indulge in a large meal.

Summary:

Have your glass of water, eat mindfully, and start with your salad to help avoid overeating at meals.

Recipe (Water): Tasty (and beautiful) Pre-Meal Water Ideas

If you’re not much of a plain water drinker or need your water to be more appealing to your senses here are five delicious (and beautiful looking) fruit combos to add to your large glass of water:

  • Slices of lemon & ginger
  • Slices of strawberries & orange
  • Slices of apple & a cinnamon stick
  • Chopped pineapple & mango
  • Blueberries & raspberries

Tip: You can buy a bag (or several bags) of frozen chopped fruit and throw those into your cup, thermos, or uber-cool mason jar in the morning.  They’re already washed and cut and will help keep your water colder longer.

References:

https://authoritynutrition.com/7-health-benefits-of-water/

http://summertomato.com/the-science-behind-mindful-eating-what-happens-to-your-body-during-a-mindful-meal

 

 

 

What is Metabolism?

Posted on February 1st, 2018 by

This word “metabolism” is thrown around a lot these days.

You know that if yours is too slow you might gain weight. But what exactly does this all mean?

Well technically “metabolism” is the word to describe all of the biochemical reactions in your body. It’s how you take in nutrients and oxygen and use them to fuel everything you do.

Your body has an incredible ability to grow, heal, and generally stay alive. And without this amazing biochemistry you would not be possible.

Metabolism includes how the cells in your body:

  • Allow activities you can control (e.g. physical activity etc.).
  • Allow activities you can’t control (e.g. heart beat, wound healing, processing of nutrients & toxins, etc.).
  • Allow storage of excess energy for later.

So when you put all of these processes together into your metabolism you can imagine that these processes can work too quickly, too slowly, or just right.

Which brings us to the “metabolic rate”. 

Metabolic rate

This is how fast your metabolism works and is measured in calories (yup, those calories!).

The calories you eat can go to one of three places:

  • Work (i.e. exercise and other activity).
  • Heat (i.e. from all those biochemical reactions).
  • Storage (i.e. extra leftover “unburned” calories stored as fat).

As you can imagine the more calories you burn as work or creating heat the easier it is to lose weight and keep it off because there will be fewer “leftover” calories to store for later.

There are a couple of different ways to measure metabolic rate. One is the “resting metabolic rate” (RMR) which is how much energy your body uses when you’re not being physically active.

The other is the “total daily energy expenditure” (TDEE) which measures both the resting metabolic rate as well as the energy used for “work” (e.g. exercise) throughout a 24-hour period.

What affects your metabolic rate?

In a nutshell: a lot!

The first thing you may think of is your thyroid. This gland at the front of your throat releases hormones to tell your body to “speed up” your metabolism. Of course, the more thyroid hormone there is the faster things will work and the more calories you’ll burn.

But that’s not the only thing that affects your metabolic rate.

How big you are counts too! 

Larger people have higher metabolic rates; but your body composition is crucial! 

As you can imagine muscles that actively move and do work need more energy than fat does. So the more lean muscle mass you have the more energy your body will burn and the higher your metabolic rate will be. Even when you’re not working out.

This is exactly why weight training is often recommended as a part of a weight loss program. Because you want muscles to be burning those calories for you. 

The thing is, when people lose weight their metabolic rate often slows down which you don’t want to happen. So you definitely want to offset that with more muscle mass.

Aerobic exercise also temporarily increases your metabolic rate. Your muscles are burning fuel to move so they’re doing “work”.

The type of food you eat also affects your metabolic rate!

Your body actually burns calories to absorb, digest, and metabolize your food. This is called the “thermic effect of food” (TEF).

You can use it to your advantage when you understand how your body metabolizes foods differently. 

Fats, for example increase your TEF by 0-3%; carbs increase it by 5-10%, and protein increases it by 15-30%. By trading some of your fat or carbs for lean protein you can slightly increase your metabolic rate.

Another bonus of protein is that your muscles need it to grow. By working them out and feeding them what they need they will help you to lose weight and keep it off.

And don’t forget the mind-body connection. There is plenty of research that shows the influence that things like stress and sleep have on the metabolic rate.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to metabolism and how so many different things can work to increase (or decrease) your metabolic rate.

Recipe (Lean Protein): Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken Breasts

Serves 4

2 lemons, sliced

1 tablespoon rosemary

1 tablespoon thyme

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

4 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)

dash salt & pepper

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive old

Preheat oven to 425F. Layer ½ of the lemon slices on the bottom of a baking dish. Sprinkle with ½ of the herbs and ½ of the sliced garlic.

Place the chicken breasts on top and sprinkle salt & pepper. Place remaining lemon, herbs and garlic on top of the chicken. Drizzle with olive oil. Cover with a lid or foil.

Bake for 45 minutes until chicken is cooked through. If you want the chicken to be a bit more “roasty” then remove the lid/foil and broil for another few minutes (watching carefully not to burn it).

Serve & enjoy!

Tip: You can add a leftover sliced chicken breast to your salad for lunch the next day!

References:

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-energy-balance

https://authoritynutrition.com/10-ways-to-boost-metabolism/

What I’m in menopause?

Posted on September 29th, 2017 by

Irene Hogan-Menopause Expert

What Are the Symptoms of the Menopause?

Menopause, although not a disease is a stage in your life that can be hot and heavy or barely cause a ripple.Not every woman suffers the same signs or symptoms at the same level of intensity. Menopause occurs after one complete year without menstruation. What we actually refer to as menopause signs often are the effects and symptoms of going through that year and beyond.In fact many women experience changes that they aren’t aware of even 10 years before the final day. Here is a list of some major symptoms of menopause.

  • Psychological Changes

Your  brain chemistry and mental state undergo several changes during menopause, such as memory lapses, regular crying fits, mood swings and irritability. Disturbing symptoms of menopause that can mentally affect women include depression, anxiety,  difficulty while concentrating, dizziness and confusion. Added to all of that your sex drive of may also decrease.

  • Physical Changes

Some of the prominent physical changes that a menopausal woman may experience are cold and hot flashes, night sweats irregular periods and irregular heartbeats. Moreover, you may have pains and aches in your joints, gastrointestinal issues, bloating and muscle tension. You may also suffer from changes in body odor, weight gain, breast tenderness and a lack of vaginal lubrication.

Many  women can have electric shocks to the skin, increased facial hair, hair loss, itchy skin and even incontinence. Allergies and headaches can increase, and the start of other health problem, for example, osteoporosis, and diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In addition to the above mentioned changes, some women may also experience tingling in their feet and hands, brittle or softer fingernails, gum issues and a bad taste in their mouths, ringing in the ears and tinnitus.the list is, insomnia endless.Due to the lack of sleep and night sweats you may also find yourself over tired and fatigued.

  • What is the Average Age for Menopause?

According to several researches, the average age of menopause is 51. Generally, the symptoms of menopause manifest in women who are in between the ages of 45 to 55, with a few suffering symptoms in their late 30s.

As a general guide to know when you should expect and experience these changes in your life, you need to have a look at the age of your mother when she started suffering the symptoms of menopause. Typically, when it comes to menopause, daughters closely follow in line with their mother.

So if all that sounds like your life is going to hell in a hand basket there is a light at the end of the tunnel.Working with an expert in menopause will help you tailor a plan individualized for you.I have worked with many women over the years.With a program that takes into account your own risks and family history a plan can be developed.i work with you on lifestyles stress reduction the appropriate supplements and herbal remedies.

Don’t put your life on hold or buy into all the myths and negative stories propagated by the media.Menopause is not the end of life as you know it. It can be the beginning of a new journey, freedom,opportunities.

Menopause you’re in it for life, live it well.

Living in a toxic world.

Posted on September 12th, 2017 by

 

Toxins are everywhere in the food we eat the air we breathe and the products we put on our skin,Stress is one of those invisible toxins your body faces every single day.We are all toxic to varying degrees.

I know  you’re feeling tired, have brain fog, acne, difficulty losing weight you could be loaded with chemicals and toxins.Parabens are found in shampoos conditioners makeup and foods as preservatives. Phthalates are used to soften plastics and leach into products stored in them.Bisphenol A has been linked to breast cancer and endometriosis. Toxins contribute to hormonal imbalance and PMS.Before you have left the house it is estimated women have been exposed to over a hundred chemicals in their health and beauty products, make up, and the water and food we eat.Sounds like a science fiction movie well its now well researched that theses toxins makes it hard to lose weight and messes with our hormones.No wonder we are feeling fatigued, foggy,fat and frazzeled

Toxin reduction tips and tools

Water – Be sure the number of ounces of water you drink per day is equal to at least half of your body weight. (i.e. 150 lbs. body weight = 75 oz. water per day). In the autumn and winter, it can be especially helpful and detoxifying to drink warm water.

Lemon Water – This is a gentle yet effective way to support and detox the liver, kidneys, and colon, and help alkalize the body. It assists in breaking up mucus and provides energy via enzymes, vitamin C, potassium, and trace minerals. Please use fresh, ripe lemons, not prepared lemon juice. Make lemon water simply by squeezing the juice of 1⁄2 a lemon into a glass of water.

Body Brushing – This is one of best ways to stimulate the lymphatic system. This is beneficial because it assists the lymph nodes in keeping blood and other vital tissues detoxified. It is energizing, assists in breaking up cellulite, removes dead skin, stimulates circulation, and strengthens the immune system. To do this, you will need a natural bristle brush, which can be purchased at most health food stores or pharmacies. Start at your feet and work up the body in long strokes towards your heart. Be sure to cover the whole body, but skip the face and the breasts. Do not feel like you need to spend a tremendous amount of time on this, 2–3 minutes prior to your shower is fine.

Toxin Elimination Bath – Each evening, place 2 cups of Epsom salts and one cup of baking soda in the tub, run the hottest water you can stand, and add 8 drops lavender oil. Soak for 20 minutes and allow yourself to sweat. When you are finished bathing, wrap yourself up in towels, go under the covers, and sweat some more. You should feel very relaxed and sleep soundly.

Exercise – Moving will be a key component to your detox. Tune into to what kind of exercise feels appropriate, rather than just doing what you usually do or what you think you should do. Walking, yoga, swimming, tai chi, hiking, biking, and strength training are all great ways to get moving. A powerful exercise for removing toxins is using a mini-trampoline or rebounder to help enhance you lymphatic system. This is called Lymphasizing, see the end of this document for more details.

Fiber – Getting additional fiber as we detox is vital to supporting the colon in its role of toxin elimination. In addition to lots of fresh vegetables, ground flax seeds and chia seeds are recommended. You should be eliminating at least 2 times per day.

Castor oil packs – This can be a self-administered and inexpensive way to nurture and support the liver while you detox. . It is incredibly healing and relaxing. Castor oil is said to be able to penetrate deeply – as much as 4 inches – into the body. These packs can be used to stimulate and detox the liver and gall bladder.

Directions:
You will need 100% pure, cold-pressed castor oil, an old T-shirt, and a hot water bottle (or heating pad).

• Put on an old T-shirt, so you don’t get the oil on your nice clothing.

• Rub castor oil on your abdomen, being sure to cover the area where your liver is.
Lie down on you back, and place the hot water bottle or heating pad on your abdomen, on top of your shirt, for one hour.

Alternatively, you can rub the castor oil on your back, being sure to cover the area where your liver is. Then with your T-shirt on, lay on top of the heating pad or hot water bottle.

This is a safe regimen to continue throughout the spring season, especially if you suffer from liver-based symptoms like eye problems, PMS, pre-menopausal symptoms and menopausal irritability, mood swings, bloating, tender breasts, hot flashes, anxiety, migraines, skin rashes and breakouts, angry outbursts, or tension between the shoulders.

Many people report a remarkable sense of well-being and tranquility while applying the castor oil pack. Because the emotion of anger is closely tied to the liver, you may experience angry feelings resurfacing. Stay with your feelings and try to channel them constructively. You may try to transform this anger into forgiveness – first for yourself and then for others.

 

Breathing Meditation

This is a wonderful one that will calm and center you in any situation. It can also be used when you feel overwhelmed by a craving. Very often the craving will pass by the end of 10–20 breaths.

To practice: Close your eyes, place your hands on your belly and just tune into the sensations around the inhale and the exhale. Gradually begin to deepen the breath, taking 10–20 slow deep conscious breaths deeply into and out of the belly. Do this meditation often.

Visualization

Now is a wonderful time to put attention on what you would like to bring into your life and one of the most powerful tools you can use is images. By creating images in your mind and connecting emotionally with these images, you begin to send the message to the universe that this is what you want. If creating images in your mind is difficult, cut pictures out of magazines or other media that represent your goals and dreams. This is a powerful tool, so really take the

time to work on what you DO want. When visualizing, stay with your image and the feelings it evokes for a good 3-5 minutes.

Gratitude Meditation

So simple yet immensely powerful, the gratitude meditation is highly recommended. It is especially important if you often find yourself spiraling down the hole of negative thinking and negative manifestations in your life.

This can be done anytime, but it can be particularly good first thing in the morning or before going to bed. Sit quietly with your eyes closed and meditate on all that is good in your life. If you are having trouble finding something good, simply feel gratitude for the gift of breath and a healthy body. Your objects of gratitude can be as big or as small as you want. You may choose to write down these items after or before meditating on them. Do this for as long as you want. You can also do this while walking in nature.

Walking Meditation

With walking meditation, the intention is on fully taking in the smells, the sights, the sounds and the sensations of your walking experience. Try to put your attention on only one thing or one sensory organ at a time. Take the time to drop in and just allow any thoughts outside your present experience to fall by the wayside. This can be a great meditation if you have trouble sitting still.

Breathing

Two wonderful breathing techniques for detoxifying:

Sounding Breath is done lying on the ground in the corpse pose, letting all your limbs relax. Exhale completely and then slowly draw in your breath through the nose. As you inhale, feel how your lungs and abdomen fill up. As you exhale, contract your throat to make a slight hissing sound and completely exhale and empty your lungs. Let your breath be long and slow.

Sitting Breath is done while sitting, so it can be done at any point. Exhale with a deep sigh in order to reset your diaphragm. Then breathe slowly through your nose for a count of 7, and hold your breath for a count of 7. Then for another count of 7, exhale through your nose. Repeat this three times, and this will help calm your spirit and relax your nerves.

The benefits of doing Pranayama (breathing exercises) every morning (or evening) for 20 to 25 minutes include:

  • Increases lung capacity and improves breathing efficiency
  • Improves circulation, normalizes blood pressure and improves cardiovascular efficiency
  • Boosts the immune system and enhances immunity
  • Increases energy levels and gives lots of positive energy
  • Strengthens and tones the nervous system
  • Combats anxiety and depression and improves sleep
  • Improves digestion and excretory functions
  • Provides massage to the internal organs, stimulates the glands and enhances endocrine

functions,
• Normalizes body weight and provides great conditioning for weight loss

Power of Breathing

Undoubtedly, the most important component to human health and vitality is oxygen. In fact, human life would not be possible without it. Oxygen produces ATP (adrenosine triphosphate) and without ATP, our bodies would immediately shut down. When a person breathes, there is an exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen. The oxygen, which is taken in by the body from the atmosphere around us, is picked up by the hemoglobin in the blood and distributed to all of the body’s trillions of cells where it is then used to fuel the cells and release energy (ATP).

In addition, the makeup of the human body is largely composed of the element oxygen, especially factoring in that water is composed of 33% oxygen.

It’s clear then that optimal oxygenation of your cells through proper nutrition, fluid intake, exercise, and stress management is absolutely necessary in order to maintain your health and create a vital life.

“Improper breathing is a common cause of ill health. If I had to limit my advice on healthier living to just one tip, it would be simply to learn how to breathe correctly. There is no single more powerful – or more simple – daily practice to further your health and well being than breathwork.” Andrew Weil, M.D.

Herbs to protect the liver,

The most widely used and effective hepatoprotective herbs include:

  • Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum
  • Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
  • Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
  • Schisandra (Schisandra chinensis)

     

     

     

  • Detox foods to add to your diet.

    Adding organic fruits and vegetables limits you exposure to pesticides. Eating organic has been shown to have greater antioxidant value, provide significantly more Vitamin C, iron ,magnesium and less nitrates than conventionally grown foods. Vegetables and fruits  such as are found in a Mediterranean diet are associated with a longer survival. Even a small increase in their consumption  can make a difference. Antioxidants in the food and flavonoids help protect you against disease. These same flavonoids are found in red wine and black tea.

    The next big question .Do I need to detox? What is detox? Doesn’t our liver naturally detox and take care of everything.The answer is no. It is impossible to avoid toxins. It is impossible to consume enough nutrients to help our body detoxify. Over time we accumulate toxins and they build up. This excess of toxins has been implicated in low energy levels chronic fatigue,obesity,memory,hormone imbalance.

    Now I am not recommending you go on a severe detoxification regime, or fast. Simple things like herbs and nutrients can be used to support your body’s own natural detoxification. Herbs such as Milk Thistle,astragalus,dandelion help break down waste and toxins and protect the liver. Reducing your intake of coffee and tea, alcohol and sweets, and red meat along with increasing your fresh fruit and vegetables helps minimise your toxin exposure.Exercising,saunas and dry brushing help with lymph circulation and the movement of toxins from the body. Drink plenty of clean alkaline water.

    How often do we need to detox? Everyone is different depending on their lifestyles and exposure. I recommend at least twice a year. Other people may require longer more frequent medically supervised detoxification programs along with targeted nutrients supplements and medical foods.

    Are there reactions to detoxification plans? Yes normally they are mild. Headaches may occur as you eliminate chemicals from your body. Skin breakouts due to eliminating chemicals through the skin.The  skin is the largest organ of elimination. Increased bowel movements may also happen. Any one on any prescription drugs needs to discus detoxification regimes with their health practitioner as many drugs are metabolised by the liver and may be affected.Detoxing will leave you feeling more energetic, and with a sense of well being and vitality. A side effect may also be weight loss.

  • Click the link below for information on a detox program I run with my patients
  •  

    For more information on a detox program

  • contact me for a free consultation where we will discuss your needs and specific programs for you.

 

Magnesium for Muscles and Sleep.Help for relaxation and hormone balance.

Posted on September 29th, 2016 by

mag_glycinate_120t_lma022v2_250cc_rt

Are you lacking magnesium in your diet?
42% of Canadians are deficient in the essential mineral magnesium.

Are you stressed,depressed,having trouble falling asleep,suffering from hormonal imbalances?

Magnesium is an essential mineral for maintaining good health.
It helps with healthy bones and teeth.

Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant and supports physical workouts and exercise.So if you are an athlete or physically active Magnesium can help prevent muscle cramps.
Magnesium also helps to metabolize carbohydrates fats and proteins.
I personally love magnesium as a natural aid to sleep.Magnesium glycinate is my preferred form for this
purchase magnesium here
Also a powdered form of magnesium Natural Calm which is taken as a warm drink before bed.
With our deficient soils it has been shown that our diets often lack magnesium.
Are you on these drugs?
If you are on drugs  diuretics,birth control pills and medications for high blood pressure these may also cause you to lose magnesium.
Think about adding magnesium to your daily to do list.It will help you sleep better and relax.

Adrenal exhaustion.Why you are fatigued,wired and irritable?

Posted on April 27th, 2016 by

Menopause expert

Menopause expert

Are you tired,exhausted,irritable and moody?Does getting up in the morning seem like a chore,do you feel as though you havent slept a wink?Welcome to your adrenals.You may not know them but they are two tiny glands that pack a powerful punch to your fight or flight response and the more stressed you are the harder your adrenals have to work untill finally they throw in the towel.If youre approaching or in menopause then you will find your hot flashes,night sweats are horrible and your energy and libido have got up and left you.

ADRENALS.

The adrenals are often called the stress glands,that is they help your body adapt to stress and also are a key to hormonal balance in menopause.The more stressed you are the more your hormones like progesterone and testosterone will be out of balance.The problem ids for most women are that thier adrenals are no longer able to adapt and start to shut down.So you may go from wired and tired to plain exhausted.

So we all know we are stressed.What can we do about it?

First you need to say NO.No to everything that doesnt energise you,make you feel good or robs you of time,sleep and health.Choose to nurture yourself.
SLEEP.

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sleep supplement

Sleep is a priority,turn off the tv,all your electronics and simply breathe.Turn off the lights and say goodnight,in a cool dark room before midnight.Write down all your to do lists before you go to sleep.Avoid caffeine at night,drink chamomile or try lavender in the bath or on your pillow,calm your nerves and body.

If you’re having trouble falling asleep then a few of my favourite herbs and supplements are GABA,l-theanine,Holy basil,and melatonin.I love Ortho Sleep for my patients.Ortho sleep buy now

Cortisol is often a problem with people under stress.Testing with a 4 point salivary cortisol is a great start to see what stage of adrenal fatigue you are at and form a treatment plan.

FOR TESTING ADRENALS.USE THIS LINK
salivary 4 point cortisol test

Patient intake form.

Posted on December 3rd, 2015 by

Patient Medical Evaluation Form

Please download forms fill in and return before your appointment.

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