Many people think of starting the new year with some sort of new you program that often includes a cleansing phase of some sort. But what is this and what is it supposed to do anyway? More importantly, do they actually do what they say they do?
Short answer is no, not even close. The body is already equipped with the machinery to keep it clean, it's the liver. When the body is overwhelmed with too much toxin, it can put into into safe hiding through the body storage mechanism, fat.
Recently, the website Examine.com published an article about cleanses and whether or not they work. They also include a great brief on how the body is able to cleanse itself. Its about an 8 minute read but worth it. Read the full article here.
Do You Need to Detox?
The easiest way to make sure your body is able to do its own daily detox is through a whole food diet that supplies it with the nutrients it needs to complete the detoxification pathways.
Not sure if you are having issues with toxins that are overburdening your liver? A nutritional assessment questionnaire can help you find out. To find out if this might be something you need, check out the Why Not Wellness page or schedule a consultation with Lacey.
We all know that the gut serves as a sort of second brain, and there might even be a good argument that it is more of the primary driver as we learn more about the microbiome and how it can affect everything from our moods to our health. And listening to your gut is certainly a thing as many of us have experienced it whispering to us like an internal conscious.
Our gut will certainly talk to us when we have eaten something that doesn't agree with it! Many of us have experienced symptoms from the mild heartburn of overindulgence to the more upsetting symptoms of food poisoning. But what about the other lifestyle factors that can affect our gut? Are you aware of what those can do to your digestive system?
This short article describes some of the issues that can affect the gut due to life stress and some simple action steps that you can start implementing.
How Stress Can Mess With Your Gut & 4 Things You Can Do About It
When discussing the concept of blood sugar regulation, we’re simply describing the process by which the levels of sugar in our blood are maintained by the body. This sugar is called glucose, which is created by breaking down the food we eat and is the form that the body can use for energy. When we eat excessive amounts of sugar and carbohydrates and lower amounts of fat and protein, our glucose levels spike and this can result in unstable blood sugar levels. It often also results in cravings for more sugar and can also trigger cravings for other stimulants, such as caffeine1. Today we’re going to break down 4 pillars for healthy blood sugar to keep you feeling happy, balanced, and craving-free.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that the average American consumes between 150 to 180 pounds of sugar each year – an unbelievable amount compared to two or three hundred years ago when normal sugar consumption was one to five pounds per year. According to the Nutritional Therapy Association, as early as the 1940s, many doctors, including Weston Price, D.D.S., and Francis Pottenger, M.D. predicted the epidemic of modern degenerative illnesses stemming from the reliance on devitalized, denatured, and artificial foods. Never before in the history of mankind have we been so heavily reliant on these processed, lifeless foods and it’s wreaking havoc on the health of our nation.
For those reasons, the first, and by far the most important, pillar to regulate blood sugar is balancing your macronutrients (meaning the fats, protein, and carbohydrates that you eat). Make it a priority to incorporate high-quality proteins, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and filtered water throughout your day. These foods will fuel your body and help your system naturally regulate blood sugar levels. Avoiding refined sugars and processed carbohydrates are equally as important, as these foods are addictive and can create a blood sugar roller coaster. It will look like this: crave something sweet or caffeinated for an energy boost, our blood sugar spikes, shortly after we crash, and soon thereafter we crave sweets or caffeine again to maintain the “high”. You can break this vicious cycle by removing these stimulants, and incorporating a plentiful amount of protein and fat, along with your other macronutrients and an overall healthy diet.
The second pillar to maintain healthy blood sugar levels is exercise. Exercise is typically one of the first management strategies advised for patients newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and is firmly incorporated in the management of type 1 diabetes2. Together with diet and behavior modification, exercise is an essential component of all diabetes and obesity prevention and lifestyle intervention programs. Exercise training, whether aerobic, resistance training, or a combination, is very helpful in regulating blood sugar levels3.
The third pillar is stress management. Stress management comes in many forms, such as massage, exercise like yoga, walking, or pilates, or simple at-home techniques such as deep breathing, a hot bath, or a foot soak. When you’re stressed and your body enters “fight or flight” mode, glucose is released to give your muscles the energy needed to run and escape. In the modern day, there’s a good chance that threat is more mental than physical, which means you won’t need that extra energy after all4. The result is elevated blood sugar which takes its toll on your body. Practicing stress management techniques will take the body out of this constant “fight or flight”, allowing our blood sugar levels to regulate.
The fourth pillar is to eat every 2-3 hours throughout the day. This may be confusing to some, as there are schools of thought suggesting that intermittent fasting is the better choice for blood sugar regulation, and from an evolutionary perspective, intermittent fasting was likely the normal state of affairs. However, for those people with blood sugar regulation problems, eating every 2-3 hours throughout the day will help maintain healthy blood sugar levels5. Choosing healthy snack options should be the focus, with an emphasis on protein and fat.
Together, these four pillars will provide the ultimate foundation for healthy blood sugar keeping you happy, balanced, and craving-free. If you have been diagnosed with blood sugar dysregulation or any blood sugar disorder, it’s best to discuss all of these treatment options with your licensed health care provider.
1 “Blood Sugar Dysregulation.” Heather Carr, DPT, 31 May 2015, heathercarrdpt.com/uncategorized/blood-sugar-dysregulation/.
2 Galassetti, Pietro, and Michael C Riddell. “Exercise and Type 1 Diabetes (T1DM).” Comprehensive Physiology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, July 2013, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23897688.
3 Kirwan, John P, et al. “The Essential Role of Exercise in the Management of Type 2 Diabetes.” Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine, U.S. National Library of Medicine, July 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28708479.
4 “How Stress Can Cause Diabetes and Obesity.” Mercola.com, articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2018/02/08/stress-blood-sugar-levels.aspx.
5 Gerald, and Chimonger. “Intermittent Fasting, Cortisol and Blood Sugar.” Chris Kresser, 1 Apr. 2019, chriskresser.com/intermittent-fasting-cortisol-and-blood-sugar/.
I personally am not a big drinker. While I do enjoy a small amount of wine with my meal a few times a week, that's it for me. But I do know that many of you enjoy your afterwork, and afterwork out beers. There a few key nutrients that you can take to help support your body in staying healthy while still enjoying your brews. This article gives a quick overview of a few key nutrients that you might want to add to your supplement shelf.
3 Key Nutrients to Take If You Drink Alcohol
We are well into the holiday season and today is another big food one. For many of us, it may even mean multiple large indulgent meals over the course of just a couple of days between family visits. And who doesn't want to be able to eat and enjoy the treats of the season? Yes, it's great to be able to try and plan ahead and think that you will be able to abstain from it all, but let's be realistic for a moment. How long will that will power last when you see everyone else enjoying good food while you have your celery and carrots? Perhaps you don't need to worry as much as you think you do. This great article from Examine.com explains what happens when you consume all of those extra holiday goodie calories and whether or not you should really worry about it.
Can one binge make you fat?
It's been a big season for a few severe colds already this year. I know I increase my daily dosage of vitamin C to help support my immune system during this time of year. And recently, when I started to feel myself coming down with a cold, I immediately tripled my dosage. I have never been brave enough to try taken vitamin C to the recommend dosage of "to bowel tolerance" when I start to get sick, but I do find it helpful and it does seem to shorten my colds to just a few days. I pair up my increased vitamin C with colloidal silver as soon as I start to feel my nose and throat getting scratchy. Does it work? It works for me!
But colds and minor illnesses aside, vitamin C has many other benefits to the body, from skin and joint health to stress support. For a brief review of many of the benefits of this amazing vitamin, check out this article about it by Wellness Resources.
Vitamin C for Stress, Collagen, Immunity
The proof is in the person! Enjoy this testimonial from Kelli as she shares her experience utilizing the nutritional therapy approach to help resolve her underlying imbalances and the issues they were causing.
As her testimonial shows, Kelli and I worked on more than just the foods she was eating. One of the many benefits of using a nutritional therapy approach is the individualized one on one attention that each person receives. With Kelli, we were able to discover and address the underlying issues that were presenting as the symptoms shown on her NAQ graph. Once these issues were discovered, we were able to address them in ways that worked for her and fit her needs and lifestyle.
Through the knowledge that she gained through the assessments and the one on one work that we did together, she is now able to clue in to what her body is telling her so that she can take control of her own health.
With the weather we have been getting lately, your body can get thrown for a bit of loop. But why is this? Should we just blame the daylight savings time change and just wait for spring or is there maybe something else we might want to consider?
The thyroid can be considered the master regulator or the body and the metabolism. If the thyroid is dysregulated, it can cause various signs in the body from stubborn weight gain, dry skin, hair loss, or weak nails. I recently came across a simple online quiz that can help you determine if you should consider having your thyroid looked at further. Keep in mind, this is not going to diagnose you with a thyroid imbalance, it just looks at some of the common symptoms of thyroid issues.
The thyroid needs nutritional support just like any other organ, muscle or tissue in our body. Not only do we need to eat a diet that supplies the thyroid with the key nutrients it needs, such as selenium, iodine and zinc, we must be able to digest the food we eat so that our body can absorb the nutrients from the food we consume. Often times just by addressing our digestive issues, it is possible to correct mild imbalances and bring relief from the symptoms that our presenting. The symptoms are just signs of what is going on, they are not the problem themselves. When you are able to address the underlying imbalances, the symptoms will often resolve as a result.
A nutritional therapy consultation can help you by identifying if digestive disturbances and gut dysbiosis may be contributing to underlying issues. Once identified, addressing those issues can be the supporting foundation to bringing the body back into balance and self correction. Not sure if this is you? Schedule a chat with Lacey and find out.
I recently read an article that hit a nerve with me. This article was about the benefits of full fat dairy products. Now you may or may not know that I work a few hours a week at one of the local coffee shops, so when I read this article I had to shake my head. Whenever I work, I see it time and time again, people asking for low fat milk or some other milk substitute thinking that they are making a healthier choice (but please keep all of the sugary syrup!).
I will confess however, that there was a time that I too was part of this low fat camp about 15 years ago, but as I learned more about the benefits of whole foods and how necessary the components of them are for health, I began to switch over. Part of the main reason for my switch to a nutrient dense diet was to manage my multiple sclerosis. I truly believe that through a nutrient dense diet of primarily whole foods and consistent physical activity, I have been able to not only keep my MS from progressing, but I have been able to do so while discontinuing the use of any disease modifying medications.
Check out the article, it's a quick read, and consider switching out some of your dairy for whole fat versions. I don't drink a lot of milk, but I do drink a lot of coffee and half and half is my go to for that. My other favorite dairy products are whole fat cottage cheese (on tomatoes) and whole fat yogurt that I make myself. So go ahead, treat yourself, your taste buds, and body, will thank you.
Still Think Low-Fat Dairy Is the “Healthy Choice”? Think Again!
It's that time of year, and it seems to have hit us rather rudely with what seems like a good dose of extra cold air. As much I enjoy watching the snow fall outside of my window and coat everything with a lovely white blanket, I certainly don't enjoy how the cold dry turns my skin into a dry, itchy, flaky nightmare.
Topical lotions and oils provide some relief, but that is usually short lived. My hands are particularly vulnerable and I have often suffered from painful split and cracked finger tips. Wearing gloves, even to just go from home to the car, does help as well. A couple of years ago, I stumbled across a supplement that has kept my winter skin problems at bay. It's an unusual oil that you have probably never heard of, squalene. Within about 10 days of taking it, my cracked thumb was completely healed! I have kept taking it ever since, even in the summer, and I have not had a repeat of many of the dry skin problems that I was usually plagued with. I purchase mine from Wellness Resources and you can check it out here.
Of course, proper nutrition is essential for healthy skin and no matter how much you apply to the outside, healthy skin begins on the inside. This article can give you a quick overview of what can contribute to dry skin issues as well as some the nutrients that are needed by the body to keep skin healthy from within. The supplements and nutrients that you are taking will be best utilized, and you will get the most of the money that you spend, by making sure that your digestive tract is healthy and functioning well so that you are able to absorb what you consume. Fats especially can be poorly digested if the G.I. tract is not functioning optimally.
So check out the article, and then if you aren't sure about the rest, check with Lacey and see where else you might be lacking.
Dry, Flaky Skin? Nourish from Within