There's a new expression "70 is the new 60". Some of us may not feel that way. Matter of fact as we age, we may feel anything BUT younger, no matter what our mind tells us. All those aches and pains that seem to increase and not go away; a bunch of extra fat around our middles; lack of places to go 'work out' at an 'adult' pace; to name a few. Let's take a look at aging. There has been much scientific progress on working with the aging population that looks at the realistic challenges of increased age and what the perfect solutions are for slower metabolisms, keeping muscle tone, and keeping that belly roll under control.
To start with, men age differently than women. Women are not 'small men'. They have different metabolic needs because of their hormone challenges. For example, men can work out and increase muscle mass in a week by 3 to 4 times that of women because of the way men's metabolisms process protein. Keeping our muscle tone as we age, is extremely important for skeletal stability, heart function, and those body systems that they indirectly affect like brain and mitochondria. It's a good idea to keep in mind that walking and other aerobic activity is good for general health; but it is resistance exercise that builds and maintains muscle. Two days a week, physical exertion, geared toward your personal build, level of strength, health and agility is going to be key in making this a reality.
Sometimes, in the process of trying to keep that belly roll under control, we mistake weight loss for greater health. Most often, because muscle weighs more than fat, we are losing muscle instead. The best resistance exercise is in small 15 to 20 minute workouts where you work intensely for 15 - 30 seconds and then rest for equal or more seconds. Exercise in general, even for great athletes is always a matter or working and then recovering. Most of us do not give ourselves enough time for recovery because we are so intent on getting better we push ourselves too much. Pain caused by lactic acid in our muscles after exertion is a good sign that we have not practiced recovery. As you begin, 2 days a week for high intensity resistance training is enough; and you may even find that you need a 2 day rest in between, as you feel your muscles 'complaining'. Starting back again too soon, will take away from your gain, so walk, or do other aerobic or less strenuous things in between including a day or two off from exercise entirely. You can find many resistance exercises for aging individuals on youtube if you are unable to find a trainer locally or group class that targets your goals. And remember, that if you have chronic health issues, less may be more as you develop a habit of exercise that keeps you moving, while you gain on your physical challenges.
Eating protein is KEY for older women especially in order to build and maintain muscle. Science now demonstrates that when working intensely, it is better to eat a small amount of protein (2-4 gm) like a couple tablespoons of yogurt or half a banana to have enough protein on board to avoid the lactic acid response and then eat some good protein within 45 minutes afterward to give the body good protein to build and keep that muscle you just worked for. It is within that 45 minutes that your body is looking for the right building blocks in response to your muscles calling for it; after that, other parts of your body are looking for protein and you have missed your window. Although there is much question about how much protein we should eat and whether it puts too much strain on our kidneys; that issue only applies if you have kidney disease. As women, in midlife to menopause and beyond, protein at every meal is a must. It's not just about meat intake; nuts, seeds, legumes, and even some vegetables contain good digestible protein as well as good grass fed dairy if you don't have an intolerance.
Keeping fat around our middles under control seems to get harder as we age. Some of us eat less, thinking we will lose, to no avail. Some of us cut out carbs and eat only salads which sometimes helps with weight loss, but also takes away from muscle mass. Starving ourselves will not solve the problem. Hormone balance, cortisol management, insulin control and eating for your age are important to maintaining muscle and keeping the midriff bulge off. Here are some keys to eating for peri-menopause and beyond:
1. Eat more vegetables. The greatest color variety and diversity as you can across a week will give you a wide variety of nutrients and feed your organs, while keeping glycemic levels low and sugar cravings at bay. They will offset carbs and boost metabolism, provide anti-oxidants and fiber for good bowel and flora activity.
Cortisol Management - Let's talk about Circadian Rhythm. Circadian rhythm is your body's natural cycles based on the rising and setting of the sun, and other factors that influence hormone balance and the metabolic function of your body at any given time of the day. This is based on the hormone Cortisol which triggers brain responses that send signals to adrenals and other hormones. It is responsible for the fight or flight syndrome, waking, sleeping, digestion, neurotransmitters in the brain, metabolic starting and resting among other things. High levels of cortisol can be stored in belly fat and interfere with those daily rhythms, interrupting our body's efficiency clock, causing a cascade of problems. Among these could be sleep dysfunction, accumulated body fat, hormone imbalances, insulin resistance, etc. Sound like the symptoms of aging? What to do?
At no time of life has eating well be more important and often women in menopause and peri-menopause find themselves eating differently naturally. The suggestions above play an important part here. Vitamin D and sunlight are especially important to start our days; and upon waking, taking in a "face full" of sunlight, even being outside in it for 15 minutes will start that cortisol surge. We were created to respond to sunlight! A healthy cortisol surge follows a specific curve, rising to its maximum output mid to late morning and falling off through the rest of the day and into the sleep spectrum until it begins to build again in the early morning hours to prepare for waking. Whenever this curve is interrupted, it begins to work against us. Blue light spectrum from computers and cell phones resembles the early morning sunlight spectrum so that if you are working late into the day or evening, science demonstrates that it can trigger you body to upregulate cortisol. Hard time falling asleep at night? Caffeine spikes cortisol and can over stimulate the cortisol curve by causing a surge, then dropping back down, surging, then dropping, etc. Drink multiple cups daily and you are taking your body on a roller coaster ride. Stress is another spike trigger for cortisol; and remember, too much daily, continual stress will contribute to interrupting and even shutting down organ systems long term. Best to deal with this now, and not wait for inflammation and chronic disease to be your motivation. Proper exercise and recovery, as mentioned above, is part of the picture of consistent cortisol production throughout the day, as muscles are fed and release their own hormone stimulants, feed mitochondria (the energy mechanism in our cells), strengthening cardiovascular function and elasticity. No matter what health condition you are in, it is important to KEEP MOVING as we age.
Insulin control - As mentioned above, this is another concern as we age. It is your liver that balances the input and output of insulin and resistance or acceptance across your cell membranes. Low mitochondrial function, cortisol spikes, imbalanced hormones can all affect your body's ability to deal with insulin. It is now widely acceptable that many active, midlife women are wearing 'continuous glucose monitors'. Although they are mostly recommended by physicians for folks with Type II diabetes; they are proving to be beneficial to women as they approach midlife to monitor when during their day, their insulin is spiking. By thinking through the activities, eating habits and other factors around those spike times, gives clues as to what is affecting these spikes so that they can be addressed.
Backaches and muscle weakness is a common symptom of aging and we often think that a more chronic condition is setting in. Most low back pain is structurally muscle related. Most people get bulging or slipping discs as they age and younger people with good musculature have no pain. As we age and we are more sedentary and the general public does a lot of activities using our frontal muscles but not our counter balancing rear or back muscles. As we age we need to be conscious to keep moving. Many people walk which is a good way to keep back muscles strong; especially if you concentrate on holding in your core muscles (belly button to spine), walking straight (shoulders back, head up with ears over your shoulders) and not hunched over or leaning forward, stepping with your feet straight ahead and with feet 8 inches to a foot apart (not right next to each other), and lastly hinging at the hips backwards and forwards (not swinging them side to side). In addition, good core exercises along with the right resistance exercises for you to include your back lateral muscles will continue to keep you limber and muscles supporting your vertebrae. And remember to do recovery activities after working out.
Skin care and cognitive function are sometimes the first things we think about as we age. Certainly the changes in skin tone alone are more obvious, but consider also, how your internal skin (or connective tissue) is being affected. Many women are well aware of not just wrinkles, but excess dryness of aging skin. For some women, this can also affect vaginal area becoming extremely painful. Hormone balancing and small amounts of oral HRT, not just topically in the vaginal area, will provide a complete hormonal balance that will bring positive affects to all the above mentioned aging issues if you have them.
If you suspect you are in need of balancing all these things as you age, are in good health and want to live well into your older years; this is a real reality with the science we now have. Your first decision is to find a good functional medicine or naturopathic physician that specializes in hormones and female aging. Once that is accomplished, you can ask questions about your own specific aging issues. Don't take anything for granted, but continue to be your best advocate by asking questions and making sure you get the answers you need. There are a lot of exercise and resistance training modules available on youtube that can give you an idea of the exercise needed as we age. As always, there is a lot of information on the web that can get you started in learning; BUT make sure you get tested to find out what hormones are beginning to slow down and get professional advise on a local level so that someone can monitor you. Remember, learn and work at your own pace.
Here are some excellent references you can start with in this process:
Debra Atkinson, MS - Flipping 50 insiders FB group - great exercises and mindset for reset.
Dr. Yoni Whitten - The Pain Fix Protocol, also great youtube exercises to learn from
Gabrielle Lyon, DO - Muscle Centric Medicine, How to Increase Lean Muscle
Marcelle Pick, ND OBGYN - Is it Really Adrenal Fatigue
Anna Cabeca, MD OBGYN - The Hormone Fix
Mariza Snyder, MD - The Cause of Midlife Chaos and Other Female Challenges
Esther Blum, MS, RD, CDN, CNS - Micronutrients that Banish Menopot
Stacey Sims, MSc, PhD - Women's Science
Maria Claps, CHC, FDN-P & Kristin Johnson, JD, BCHN, FNTP - What Midlife Women Need to Know Before Considering Hormone Therapy
Keri Glassman MS, RD, CDN - Stress & Cortisol in Midlife
he poplar trees are blooming, the first trees in spring in Vermont to begin to leaf out. In more milder climates the magnolias are blooming and the cherry trees are strutting their stuff. Here in Vermont we are bringing up the rear for the arrival of spring, but there are sure members of the plant family that have gotten their jump start on the others.
The precocious coltsfoot flowers are blooming on the roadsides and other gravelly places. They look like miniature dandelions, except that the flowers bloom before the leaves and the stems are segmented. The leaves come later with a scalloped edge that resembles a horses hoof - thus the name. This herb is great for lung congestion and colds, many of which appear with the fluctuation in the weather in springtime.
Dandelions, not to be outdone, are putting forth their scissor edged leaves; and now is the best time to begin to pick the smaller leaves to throw into salads and steam for greens for a mild bitter addition. The bitter substances are great to support the liver and digestive system after a long winter of heavier, heat producing foods and help clear the liver, gallbladder and bowels of internal food "debris". In herbalism we have a saying, "liver loves bitter". The bitter sensory nerves on the tongue send a message directly to the liver to prepare digestive enzymes for breaking down food as it travels through the digestive tract. So you see, every flavor type, sweet, salty, bitter, sour has a purpose.
Interesting that the foods we need this time of the year, can be found growing close by if not in your own backyard. Perhaps our Creator has a plan.
At the same time, spring is a good time to not only sweep away winter cobwebs; but is THE perfect time to physically cleanse the body and jump start good support for the immune system as you switch from winter foods to summer foods. Some folks make this habit a regular practice in spring and in fall, especially in changing seasons like ours. It helps keep digestive 'debris' at a minimum, improves immunity & energy, creates new cell production, and is an internal 'cleansing' process
There a numerous herbs, supplements and foods that help.
The simplest cleanse is a liver cleanse with olive oil & lemon juice. Cleansing the liver works on a number of bodily functions because the liver is the filter for blood as well as the producer and distributer of a number of important substances that all need to be in balance to keep the body working efficiently. It's extremely important to support this organ for good immune function. The liver balances blood sugar, removes toxins from the blood, creates good and bad cholesterol, helps balance reproductive hormones, breaks down and stores fat, triggers the gallbladder to produce bile for digestion, and works with the kidneys to balance blood pressure just to name a few.
An olive oil/lemon juice fast is often combined with a 3-Day fast to 'scrub' the inside layer of the large bowel of all food debris, clear liver ducts of similar waste and give the digestive track a rest from the daily work of transporting, breaking down and absorbing food. It also creates an alkaline environment in your digestive track so that your gut flora can rejuvenate too. To do this fast drink 8 oz of good water when you wake up; then take half an organic lemon and 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a glass, whip them with a wisk and then drink. (the lemon cuts the olive oil and vice versa. If the sour is too much, you can always dilute with a little water.) Wait an hour and drink a liver cleanse tea (Yogi brand makes a good one but there are others) These teas will contain the bitter herbs like dandelion, yellow dock, and burdock which stimulate the liver, combined with cinnamon and other spices that soften the flavor. Enjoy a water or liquid diet fast for the rest of the day and repeat for the next day. On day 3, do the same in the morning and eat a small meal of steamed, organic vegetables at dinner time. On day 4 you may return to your regular eating habits but eat really good food, easily digestable and not too heavy. During the fasting time, you may see changes in your stools, as debris is eliminated. This is perfectly normal. You should also notice some return of energy.
A bowel cleanse is another type of similar cleanse to eliminate debris from the bowels. The bowels are the source of the Vitamin Bs that your body will make. These vitamins are the immune boosting and metabolic vitamins that are exchanged as the liver removes waste and takes in Vitamin Bs from the large bowel. If the walls of the bowel are 'caked' with debris over time, those vitamins cannot be made OR they cannot be absorbed. When this happens the body begins to show signs of sickness associated with lack of Vitamin B and a supplement of B vitamins may be necessary. There are a number of bowel or colon cleanses on the market as well as other natural foods like apple cider vinegar and honey, saline salt flush (find at draxe.com), as well as a smoothie drink (find at liveenergized.com). There are also herbal capsules and formulas but do your research and avoid extremely irritating ingredients like senna and psylium. Some of these ingredients can be found in over the counter commercial bowel control products which in the long term are not good for you. If you need to use one daily, you should get to the bottom of the problem. Some better brands of herbal supplements would be draxe.com, Garden of Life, Dr. Schultz, Nature Wise and Christopher's.
Fasting and bowel cleansing are the most common seasonal fasts, but depending on your own personal health and what your goals are, there are others. You can target any part of your body if you know the right nutritional protocol to use; but before you detox any other part of the body, make sure the bowels are functioning well first, so that eliminating the toxins goes out smoothly. If not the toxins can reabsorb and be distributed back into your body. Draxe.com has a good overview of the kinds of fasts like, kidney, parasites, lungs, brain, etc. that you can do. Though you may not use their products or protocol, it is a good place to start gaining information.
Last but not least, I wanted to mention Intermittent Fasting. This is more a type of eating habit than a fast depending on how you incorporate it into your lifestyle. Some folks do make this a part of their lifestyle and eat this way daily. Others use this as a seasonal or periodic habit; again, to clean and rejuvenate.
As the word intermittent infers, this is not a total elimination fast. It is more an elimination of time, creating a smaller window each day for eating. Normal window of eating can go anywhere from 7 am to 7 pm - 12 hours. The intermittent fasting window narrows that down to 6 to 8 hours per day with a 16 hour extended fast between dinner the night before and breakfast the next day. That amount of fasting time will cause your body to go into "autophagy", which is the process of your body 'looking' for food and using up the defective protein molecules and stored fat for fuel. In so doing it uses what is available from defective cells and eliminates the rest in the waste stream. This triggers the body to create new cells to replace them - autophagy. This takes care of the threat from defective cells to produce tumors, sickness and other immune issues; and is a natural process of any type of fasting, like 3 or more days of continual fasting. This type of 'cleanout' creates energy, while physically strengthening the immune system at the cellular level. Over an extended period of time, it can also help you lose weight in a slower, more healthy way. For the best understanding of intermittent fasting and how to go about it, see Naomi Whitel's book Glow 15.
It's springtime, season change. While we're cleaning out our flower beds of weeds and enjoying the warmer weather, make sure to leave time to do our body clean out. Whether you use herbals, food, fasting or a combination; taking time for stewarding our bodies, will give us energy and health to steward those things that are important to us and our families.
The Battle With Fatigue
Many people battle with fatigue for different reasons. Whatever the reason, when fatigue sets in, it is often times a game changer for a person's lifestyle. Finding the source and understanding ways to get your energy back are not only possible, but obtainable when you understand what is causing the problem. If you are experiencing any of the following physical issues: lagging energy, insomnia, difficulty concentrating, slowed focus and alertness, mid-afternoon slump, crazy late night and afternoon cravings, aching muscles, headaches; your body is giving you an SOS signal. Now is the time to respond.
In the United States, we suffer from "20th Century Disease". What I mean here is that we have become a multi-tasking, fast food eating, technology driven society that continually strives for more information, worries about keeping up and has over extended our expectations of self and others. Top it all off with increasing toxic load on our bodies, continual exposure to known and unknown environmental hazards and complex family dynamics; and we have a recipe for high stress, mutating disease and currently a lower life expectancy than our grandparents. The complexity of our lives has led to a complexity of sorting out what lifestyle and environmental factors are negatively affecting our health and how to make viable changes. Fatigue is a major symptom of something wrong and your body saying it needs attention. Don't just have another cup of coffee or 5 Hour shot; do something now before it gets worse.
That said, you may need professional help that can help you sort through the additional symptoms and information about your lifestyle that are contributing or complicating the situation. Everyone is unique and lifestyle/family dynamics different. There is not just one fix for fatigue. Remember, it took months and maybe years for the accumulation of things that led to fatigue, you will need to take the time to unravel the layers and undo the cause.
Remember the Foundational Principles
There are some basic principles of health that are important to remember here. When fighting back against fatigue, it is important to maintain your current level of health so that it doesn't get worse as you address the root cause of the fatigue.
Drop back to clean eating - food, water, (don't let depression send you on a comfort food binge). And check out the Environmental Working Group (EWG) to keep up on the "Dirty Dozen" fruits & veggies containing the most toxins and the "Clean Fifteen" fruits & veggies that contain a minimal amount; as well as other environmental crises to watch out for. See Cellular Healing Food Pyramid.
Watch your environment - stay away from toxic chemicals, pesticides & fertilizers. Walk in natural areas, barefoot when able, beach sand or water
Hydration - drink plenty of clean water, teas, coconut water without sugar additives; eat high water content veggies like watermelon, cucumbers, celery, tomatoes, zucchini are 90% water
Heal the Gut - Alkaline eating, L-glutamine, aloe or coconut water, multi species probiotics, good fiber in form of veggies, fermented foods
Keep bowels moving - 2 to 3 movements per day, fiber rich foods, a salad a day, avocados
Support the liver and kidneys - NAC, Dandelion and other bitter herbs & teas, milk thistle
Lose the bad fats - stay away from chips, pastries and breads made with inflammatory canola, rapeseed and soy; cook with avocado or coconut oils, use organic cold pressed olive and walnut oils for dressings and marinades
Vits/mins/supps - I have always been a proponent of a chelated multi-mineral even before a multi-vitamin. Multi-vitamins in one pill will counteract some of each other as well as not getting enough of any particular one you might need. Better to determine what vitamins are deficient and only supplement for those.
Medications - every pharmaceutical prescription that you are taking, because of it's chemical makeup, deprives the body of vitamins and minerals specific to each individual drug. Find out what those are and supplement to replace them.
Stress - Take a serious look at the stressors in your life and do something about them sooner than later. The effect on your adrenal system is accumulated over time. Stress that is not addressed, will slowly cause fatigue to set in and leads to adrenal exhaustion. Once that happens, recovery is a long process back from debilitation.
Pain - Pain is a stressor when you have to tolerate it daily. There are natural ways to find pain relief and neuro specialist functional medicine physicians that work with the many facets of pain. New findings like infrared sauna, stem cell and oxygen therapy are helping relieve pain the some have had to tolerate for years. Sources of pain are different; like connective tissue, vs muscle, vs brain misfire, etc. Though you may not want to get hooked on opioids or over the counter pain killers; if you have daily pain, it is good to take a "day off" from pain once a week, even if you have to use an over the counter to achieve this. One day of no pain will help your adrenals to maintain & recover.
Infections - low grade or underlying infections & inflammations cause continual deprivation of the adrenals. An inflamed bowel from IBS, fungal issues, rashes, yeast, etc. need to be addressed. Any unknown infections need to be uncovered.
Depression - If clinical, get help, if circumstantial use adaptogenic herbs and self-care techniques
Lack of sleep - Whether falling asleep or staying asleep; continual sleep deprivation of less than 7 hours of sleep at night is NOT normal. Stop using blue light computers & phones late into the night, cut your stress and multitasking ways before they become an addiction that cannot be controlled.
Food allergies/intolerances - Part of healing our gut issues; but also promoters of headaches, joint pain, fatigue; make note of foods that don't just cause immediate reactions, but those that result in symptoms of bloating, gas, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea and irritability within a 24 to 48 hour period. Keeping a food journal may be necessary to sort out patterns of intolerances that show up within that 2 day window.
Yeast or mold - Home environments that have mold issues can become chronic health issues. Clean up bacterial issues when necessary; or if out of control, serious consideration should be given to changing living quarters.
Environmental factors - Convert your home to cleaners that are non-toxic and do not off gas chemical & volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Hint: look under the kitchen sink, laundry room, basement, utility rooms and garage.
Adrenals/low Thyroid - These can be determined by blood testing and specialty consults. Low thyroid metabolism is much more prevalent than it used to be and presents multiple layers of health issues. Even a low thyroid result on a blood test that is within normal range is reason to seek specialty evaluation.
Lyme - Ticks are infiltrating natural areas and areas around your homes as an ever increasing problem. If you have experienced an infectious tick bite, marked by fever, rash or target rash, get it treated. There are multiple bacteria that have mutated through ticks that can cause debilitating circumstances and fatigue is a big one. Even if the initial symptoms go away, if not treated, they can lay dormant and return months later as fatigue, fever and other related symptoms. At this point you have a bigger problem as they have had time to multiply using you as the host.
Hypoglycemia - Low blood sugar and diabetic insulin resistance can cause numerous problems including fatigue. As it progresses so does weariness. Get evaluated and treated if blood testing shows potential problems.
Low blood pressure - contrary to opinions that low pressure is healthy; low blood pressures can set us up, especially as we age, for heart fibrilation and irregular heart rate. Easy to regulate with medication and even some herbal supplements, normal blood pressure is the goal of 120/80
Age - Keep moving in some fashion as you age, find a way to keep a positive outlook and companions that give you a young outlook on life. General healthy aging is possible as shown by some of our centagenarians at Lomalinda and other places on the earth. Just keep in mind that medications or even healthy foods take longer in most seniors to process because of a natural slowing metabolism. There is usually room for some supplementation to maintain good health and slowing down our super active lifestyles may take place, but there are plenty of examples of active, healthy lifestyles at a slower pace.
Long-term COVID - This is a recent occurrence resulting from the Covid pandemic and symptomatic of fatigue. Getting help to increase metabolism and get any Covid spike proteins out of your body is key to recovery.
Balance your time with technology - Computers, cellphones, sitting for long hours at a computer, etc. are part of our 20th Century Disease that disturb sleep, wreck posture, disturbs circadian rhythm, cause back pain & neurological problems. Standing desks, movement every half hour and quitting the blue light from tech tools 2 hours before bed will go a long way to help balance work, play and sleep.
Other Additional Solutions
Adaptogens - these are herbs and supplements that help your body adapt to stress and
Polyphenols - these are supplements that augment and help increase metabolism at a cellular level. The energy creators of our bodies are the mitochondria in our individual cells. These as well as certain foods help to 'feed' our mitochondria, make them strong and sustain our energy.
Autophagy - Fasting, intermittent fasting or 'small window' eating habits not only leave room for our bodies to clean out and heal, but they create an environment called autophagy whereby the body uses up leftover protein from defective cells and deposits them in the waste stream for elimination. The body is then triggered to produced brand new cells to replace them. This includes precancerous cells, autoimmune defects, insulin resistance and many others.
As you can see, our world has become a complex place; but it is our only hope for a healthy, happy lifestyle. Getting back to balance and a simpler way of doing things doesn't have to be a depressing, frustrating effort. Functional medicine doctors and practitioners are a gold mine of knowledge to move from sickness to well being; and they can help unravel the seeming complexity of multiple health issues to find the source of problems to bring healing to the whole body without a lot of pharmaceuticals and side effects. There are lists of Functional Medicine specialists online and if you need help finding someone in your area, we here at Healing Leaves Center are happy to help you find someone.
Preventing Lyme Disease
As this goes out there are 20 days until it is officially spring!! As winter creeps into spring and the melting waters begin to permeate the ground, it produces more than just the long-anticipated sprouting green growth. It also begins to wake up the various growth of fungi, bacteria, and insect larvae to begin their summer evolution. Enter the notorious tick.
We are more apt to think about ticks in the summer when it is warmer and we are more active in walking the fields and forests. But tick activity begins in the spring and well into fall before they go into dormancy with the first frosts. Just the mention of the words Lyme Disease, is enough to make some of us panic when we find a tick on our clothing or worse
embedded in our skin. But take a deep breath and read on; an informed hiker knows what to do and how to avoid disease. Just because you have found a tick imbedded in your skin does not mean you have to run for antibiotics.
What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease is a parasitic infection that is carried by ticks that can cause symptoms of extreme fatigue, muscle & joint pain that can move from one area of the body to another, severe headache, facial nerve palsy, irregular heartbeat, neuropathy & strange nerve sensations in arms & legs, arthritic-like inflammation in different areas of the body and short-term memory impairment. In addition to lyme disease, there are 6 other known parasitic infections that can occur with lyme in any multiple combinations. Over time, the animals that ticks have come into contact with and the parasites that they carry, have compounded the number of bacteria that can be transmitted by ticks and the sickness
they carry. If you do suspect you are sick from a tick bite, it is advisable that you see someone that is experienced with lyme and its co-infections.
First, here is a good look at the life cycle of ticks from a website www.earthkind.com :
The CDC reports that, depending on the type of tick and the amount of time between stages, their lifespan can range from three months to two years. The Blacklegged tick, otherwise known as the Deer tick, has a typical lifespan of two years. Males normally die after mating and a female will die after laying her eggs. In general, they don’t have a lengthy lifespan, but it is enough time for them to wreak havoc on their host. During that period of time, they go through four stages: egg, larva, nymph, and adult. To get to each of the next stages in their life cycle, these pests must feast on an unsuspecting animal’s blood. If they don’t, they will die before making it to the next phase. Below we go over each of the stages in the life cycle of a tick so you know what to expect and how to prevent tick bites.
Stage 1: Eggs Like all living, breathing things, ticks begin in egg form. McHenry County, IL Health Department says that adult female ticks will typically lay eggs in the early spring. The eggs hatch as the temperature warms. The egg to hatch period can take up to 60 days. Once hatched, they must find a blood meal to survive.
Stage 2: Larva In this unique stage, the tick has six legs instead of the usual eight. The larva are tiny and can be hard to detect. Often, they will look for mice and other small animals to get their first meal. After the larva feeds, it will lie dormant through the winter and molt into the next phase.
Stage 3: Nymph When the tick reaches this level, the average size (while bigger) is STILL less than 2 mm. In visual terms, that’s around the size of a poppy seed! In this stage, they add two more legs, bringing them to a total of eight. During this time, they tend to be more active in late spring through the summer months. Once a new host is found, and the tick gets its meal, it will once again molt to become an adult.
Stage 4: Adult This is the final stage of the tick life cycle. At that stage, adults can typically be found outdoors on tall grass or shrubs, waiting for their next victim. They will attach themselves to a different host, an animal or person, that brushes against the grass where they are lurking. They will once again feed, then mate, and then the females will lay eggs to start the cycle all over again.
Now that you know their activity cycle, here are a few things to keep in mind. If you are walking on well-traveled paths, especially where there is a lot of dog walking going on or dog play areas, the odds of coming into contact with ticks will be greater. Contrary to what some folks think, ticks do not jump or fly onto their victims, they climb onto taller grasses and brush. They "hang out" there until an animal or human comes along and brush up against the overgrowth and then drop onto a potential host. Smaller eggs and larvae are more apt to attach themselves to mice, while the larger nymphs and adults are found on deer, dogs, cats, etc and humans. Of course, any one of these animals can help spread any disease by coming into contact with others and ticks in whatever form can take another ride.
If you have pets and they seem to come in with ticks from being around your outdoor home environment, be sure to trim out old or overgrown grassy areas, tall grasses around the foundation of your house and any brushy areas nearby. These are places ticks like to hang out. Some flea and tick collars and other treatments for dogs and cats can be toxic for them so use carefully if you choose this route. Andrographis herb, which we will talk more about below, is fine to spray on your pets and even if they lick themselves, they will not get sick. If you do use it this way, you will need to refresh the spray every couple of days.
Awareness Factor #1: Be conscious of what type of environment you on walking in. Stay away from tall grassy fields or lunging through brush, like along stream beds etc. If you do need to walk these types of areas, you will want to do a tick check when you arrive home AND before you enter the house. Then throw ALL your clothes in a hot washer or even just the dryer as heat will kill them. You don't want to leave unchecked clothes laying around the house as any ticks can then have free reign in our house, furniture, etc. When you do a tick check, be sure to check armpits, backs of knees, groin areas etc. Any places that are dark & warm is
where they will head. Don't forget to check your hair and hairline.
Awareness Factor #2: Just because you find a tick embedded in your skin, doesn't mean that you have been contaminated. If you do regular tick checks; when walking, you will likely find the tick the same day or a few hours after tick imbeds. Most ticks are not able to embed far enough into your skin to make contact with blood for a number or hours, usually 12 to 24. If they are removed properly and area treated immediately, there are usually no after affects.
How to Dress
When you can, wear long pants and sleeves. In summer when it is hot, that may not be practical. Sturdy boots for your feet with pants tucked into them tend to keep them off your legs. Wear a hat and be sure to check your hair during a tick check. If you choose to wear a short sleeved shirt, be sure to spray your arms with tick repellant; and it doesn't hurt to spray your clothes with repellant also, so they stay away.
How to Treat
There are many insect repellants that advertise that they are tick repellants also. I have not yet found one that works well for ticks. What we HAVE found is that ticks do not like the herb Andrographis. Not only does it work well as a repellant but it also works internally if you are bitten to kill any bacterial parasites that may get into your bloodstream. You can dilute the tincture with water and spritz skin and clothes. If you find a tick embedded in your skin, remove the tick with a slotted spoon sold specifically for tick removal. Next best thing is a pair of tweasers; but don't squeeze the body of the tick. There will be more of a chance of the tick spewing any bacteria into your skin or bloodstream. Work carefully, and remember as traumatic as it might be to find one on you; take a deep breath and know you are doing the right thing by getting as close to the skin as possible with the tweasers, getting a good grip on the neck at the sight and pull straight back. Once the tick is removed, make sure you kill the tick by cutting through the body with something sharp - they have very tough exteriors. It is a good idea to carry Andrographis with you when you hike as part of your backpack. (We have small kits that can be purchased with antibacterial solution, Andrographis and a spritzer bottle). After you have removed the tick, apply some antibacterial solution if you have it or even a drop of Andrographis which will kill bacteria and parasites in the immediate area. You can also take 2 half droppers of Andrographis orally to help kill anything that may get into your bloodstream. Just be ready as it is bitter and you will want some water to chase it with.
When you arrive home, do a tick check and wash the area well with a antibacterial solution or soap. Keep your eye on the area for a few days. If any type of bullseye or other rash appears, whether a target rash or a general outbreak; or if you develop a fever, even if there is no rash, you should call your physician. A test for lyme at this time may or may not be positive for lyme or any of the other 6 bacterial parasites that could be present, but with your symptoms, usually a course of Doxycycline is prescribed for 21 days. The sooner you are treated the better as once lyme gets into your system, it is much harder to get rid of; sometimes going
dormant for months and then appearing again with fatigue, sometimes pain and other symptoms of unknown origin. The course of treatment then becomes much more complex and I recommend you find someone in your area that is experienced in dealing with lyme disease.
The biggest thing is not to let fear keep you from enjoying the outdoors. Now that you are informed, be prepared and know what to do. Find a buddy that can help you check places that you cannot see like your back and hair. Invest in good lightweight hiking clothing and have some type of tick kit with you. You may never have to use it, but peace of mind is a great investment.
If you would like to purchase one of our kits for $25 to include postage, just send us an email request.
The image of a slim, athletic 30 something in workout leotards or running attire, downing a green drink before heading out the door might be what comes to mind when you think of 'smoothie drinks'; but it doesn't begin to convey the variety of uses for liquid nutrition that can give us a leg up on our health goals.
The advantage to using smoothies and other liquid drinks for some of our health needs, is that it bypasses the energy the body has to use to breakdown and digest the foods, while providing readily absorbable nutrition directly to the digestive process for direct access to the bloodstream where nutrients are distributed. If you are someone who has digestive issues, it is one way to diffuse the pain, indigestion, and apprehension of eating meals. If you're a cancer patient that needs to obtain nutrition in order to get well, but the thought of food makes you feel ill, this could be the way to maintain your strength during chemo and radiation. If you have children that are picky eaters, it may be a great tasting way to get them to eat their veggies. If you're work schedule isn't conducive to sitting down and enjoying breakfast or lunch, it could be a way of maintaining great energy throughout your day, or it can be a healthy way to weight loss.
AND, it doesn't have to taste bad!
Often I hear people say they don't like 'green' drinks because they taste like 'dirt'. They don't have to. Often recipes call for the dominant green to be kale which has a strong earthy flavor. There are two ways to deal with kale; if you don't like it you can use another green - arugala, spinach collards, beet greens, cress, romaine or even red or green leaf lettuce. Take note here that a lot of the time, the kale we are used to purchasing is the tougher, curly kale, but the milder kale is Lacinato which is lighter and milder in flavor. If you grow this one in your garden, you will always have it on hand; and it can be frozen for winter use. The other way to balance the flavor of kale is with the 'sweeter' tasting vegetables like cucumber and/or celery, both of which are detoxifying and immune building veggies or carrots. Many people like to add a sweeter taste by adding fruit; but beware. It is always my advice to use ONLY ONE fruit in a nutritional drink; otherwise you are adding too much sugar (though it might be natural), it will counteract all the goodness you are putting into the recipe. Again, unless you are making a dessert drink, 1 fruit is best and the berries - blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, organic strawberries pack the most nutritional punch.
Adding good protein into a nutritional smoothie is a good idea, especially if you are using your drink as your lunchtime replacement. There are a number of organic protein powders that would be good choices for this, but READ THE LABELS. There are a few key ingredients to look for which you can find in an all-inclusive vegetable and protein mix or even a canister of individualized protein (like pea protein) or all-inclusive that you just add a scoop to your base smoothie. The protein-rich ingredients to look for would be pea protein, sprouted brown rice, chia, and any of the beans in sprouted form. Some of the better formulas come with probiotics and digestive enzymes also which are not necessary but will contribute to good gut flora and digestion. Beware of whey protein. Unless it is processed without the use of rennet (a substance from the 4th stomach of ruminant animals - like cows - that causes coagulation and is used to draw the liquid from the milk solids). If you choose to go this route, make sure it's organic.
The last item to be mindful of is to add a small amount of good fat to the drink. This can come in the form of avocado, olive oil, MCT or flaxseed oil. These fats are the good ones that the body needs in small amounts to provide digestible fat for energy reserves.
The other part of smoothies to consider is that supplements can be added to these drinks instead of continually taking them in pill form. Any capsules can be opened and poured into the smoothie as well as liquid minerals. If you are on a supplement program, and are tired of all the pills, this is another way to get them into your system without having to digest the capsules themselves.
Lastly, add some liquid for hydration in the form of coconut or almond milk, or good water or coconut water; not juice. If you want to add fruit, add it in whole form as most bottled juices have sugar that has been added to them. Also, having the pulp of the fruit included is an addition to the good fiber you need to keep your bowels moving smoothly. If you use organic fresh squeezed juice, this should be the only fruit in the drink - per the discussion above.
For cancer patients whose pallets are significantly altered by chemotherapy, there is a drink called 'dragon slayer' that is made up of a combination of choices depending on what flavors you can tolerate at any given time. They are categorized by nutritional value and content so that you can choose from columns of foods that are palletable. This drink was developed by Patrick Quillan, the Nutritionist worked with Cancer Centers of America for their first 10 years developing high nutritional plans for cancer patients with great success. You can find it at https://canceraction.org.gg/project/dr-patrick-quillens-dragon-slayer-shake/
Now for the recipes. They are as varied and available as your taste and needs are. I will list a few below. I would also highly suggest looking at www.liveenergized.com for some of the best alkalizing smoothie recipes that are there free of charge, backed by science. Some of these may challenge your taste buds, but I guarantee that you can find some that will more than satisfy your particular taste pallet & even specific health challenges; and you certainly can tweak them to include other things as mentioned above to make them more personalized.
You can go on the internet and google smoothie recipes till the cows come home. Just bear in mind the principles above when choosing one and look for suppliers with reputable, research based ingredients.
A Simple Green Drink - This high nutritional drink has a more mellow flavor using the 'sweeter' tasting veggies to which you can add any number of options.
Base mix: A large handful of greens of your choice
A 2" piece of cucumber, peeled and chunked
1 large stalk of celery, chunked
1/4 ripe avocado
Options: 1 scoop protein powder of choice
1 fruit of choice
A small piece of ginger or tumeric or both, peeled
1 Cup of liquid (water, almond milk, coconut milk, coconut water)
Other veggies as desired (tomato, peppers, carrot, asparagus)
Any supplements by opening capsules and adding contents
Put all in the blender on high speed until well blended.
The Metabolism Boosting, Liver Healing Evening Juice
This is one of Ross Bridgford's free recipes from www.liveenergized.com It's intended to use in the evening before sleep when your body is in healing mode to balance your blood sugars, reduce oxidation (due to it’s high volume of antioxidants), sooth inflammation, alkalize and nourish. It’s a superb combination for healing and nourishing the liver, providing effective detoxifying nutrients, controlling blood sugar, insulin release, and for boosting your metabolism in the short- and long-term!
This is something you can do on and off, maybe for a week at a time when you’re feeling like you need a kick start. If you can still have your morning juice that is a GREAT combination as you’re going to sleep with your body primed with nutrients to work throughout your rest, and are then breaking your fast in the morning with another nutrient-dense juice or smoothie.
Weight Loss Smoothie - This one is a lovely mix of blended spices for a non-veggie, non-fruity smoothie
When your hormones are unbalanced, losing weight (sustainably) is literally impossible.
It all starts with imbalanced blood sugar levels and the impact this has on our insulin production/response. A standard Western diet of sugar, gluten-containing grains, processed foods, simple carb overload etc leads to a constant spike of blood sugar, which HAS to be accompanied by a constant spike of insulin. Repeated blood sugar spikes, leads to repeated insulin spikes…not good.
But worse? Your body rapidly gets desensitized to this – and each time there is a blood sugar spike you need more and more insulin just to cope. If you need to lose weight – this is a disaster.
Let me introduce the hormone known as leptin. Leptin is the hormone in your body that tells you when you’re hungry. Lots of leptin, and you don’t feel so hungry. No leptin and you ALWAYS feel hungry. Well, not so simple. You see, and I need you to concentrate here – this is important – it is not the AMOUNT of leptin that is IN the body.
IT IS THE AMOUNT OF LEPTIN YOUR BRAIN RECOGNISES
As it turns out, in studies looking at the effects of leptin, researchers found that in overweight and obese subjects there was actually a GREATER amount of leptin circulating in their body compared to others – BUT – their brain was not able to recognize it was there. Having constantly high blood sugar spikes, and thus high levels of insulin actually block the part of the brain that recognizes leptin.
And just like insulin resistance – this situation is called leptin resistance… In order to recognize leptin, we need to control our blood sugar…
Leptin Balancing Smoothie
Ingredients - Serves 2
1 1/3 cups unsweetened almond or coconut milk
2/3 cup filtered water
A handful of almonds, (soaked overnight)
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1 Tbsp cashew butter (almond can be substituted)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger OR 1" fresh ginger, grated
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cardamon
1 Tbsp coconut oil
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
Optional: 1 scoop plant-based protein powder
Rinse the soaked almonds, add to the blender with the nut milk and water, blend until they’re smooth, and then add the remaining ingredients.
If you’re using protein powder, I recommend a plant-based product – and if you’re on a weight loss journey, adding a little protein to this smoothie is certainly not a bad idea.
Serve as is, or over ice. It’s REALLY delicious!
Resolutions or Life Style Changes?
It's January - the head of the year. The holidays are over. Time for a fresh start. This is the time of year when we settle back into our normal routines. As the next few months promise to be cold and less active than before the holidays, our thoughts turn toward nesting and home improvements, daydreaming of garden plans in the spring and vacation adventures in summer. Some of us turn to reading that pile of books that has been building up during our busy schedules. And then there are those of us who turn towards personal improvement; taking a few classes, losing a few pounds, or joining the gym.
We used to call these things New Year's resolutions; usually starting off with a big vision that melts into oblivion when schedules get in the way, results aren't what we want, or motivation wains. I like to think of this time of year as the perfect time for 'Lifestyle Tweaks'. Somehow that picture for me encompasses smaller increments and less daunting goals. In any case, it helps me to stop and evaluate what I would like to accomplish and what it might take to get there; what's in my area that works, and who I might get to join me for some camaraderie and accountability. It's not so stressful to think about and it allows for some unexpected interruptions and changes for 'flaws' in the plan. More like life's realities and ability to change in mid stream. Unlike a resolution that sounds like a 'stick to it or else you fail' banner; tweaks are advantages, improvements, changes and alternatives as they make themselves available; and we get to set the stage for that to happen.
Look at the whole diet thing for example. Every woman I know wants to lose 5 or 10 pounds after the holidays; so we sign up for the gym or a diet program. How hard can it be? So you join the program, lose the 10 pounds and go back to your old habits only to see that 10 pounds land right back where it was. Nothing really changed, now you're depressed, and you throw in the towel because it's no different than last year.
On the other hand, if you're going to make a Lifestyle Change or 'tweak', the plan is that this will be something that you adopt, a part of adjusting to life, that becomes part of the new you. With that in mind, it opens up doors of adventure and a little reflective thought.
Improving your health is that way. We don't have to wait until we're sick to make moderate changes in our lives. If your life isn't in danger, this is the perfect time to find better foods, nicer clothes, a little more energy, a new hair style, a new way to chill, etc. etc. Whether you're talking about physical health, mental health or both; let's put a little fun into this. It's no secret that there are enough negative things going on in the world right now to put a damper on fun. So maybe we need to tweak that expectation too and take some small steps that lead in the direction of positive outcomes.
Starting in February, we are offering on a once a month basis, 2 hour 'Zoom Study Groups' on various topics of interest, that encompass the questions that I am continually asked about specific health issues; as so many of you have expressed interest in our teaching opportunities apart from full time commitment in the Potting Shed school program. This is not just for serious students, but for any of you that would like to do a deep dive into the science of disease and functional solutions for specific topics with food, herbals and supplements in order to be more informed about your health. They will include interactive discussion, handouts, and Q&A; as well as recommendations on where to find reliable resources. It is my hope that this becomes somewhat of an online 'community' of folks in different parts of the country; where we can all help advocate for and encourage one another in the learning process. Following is a list of Study Group Topics with dates for February and March. I give you February and March only so that we can change a date or time and I can find out just what topics appeal to registrants as we go forward. With some feedback, we can determine what evenings and timeframes work best for the attendees. No class is mandatory to continue, so you only need attend the ones that have interest for you personally; and you are welcome to invite friends who might be interested also.
List of Topics - Here are some suggestions, but this is not all inclusive & is subject to those topics olks are most interested in
. Stress Management, Anxiety & Adrenal Exhaustion: The negative effects of stress, how to
recognize it and what the options are.
. Candida and Other Fungal Disease - Fungus can lay dormant, popping up in future to undermine immunity. WE will look at the science of cause, the symptoms and the options to overcome it.
. Hands On - How to Make - Elderberry Syrup, Tinctures, Salves…….
. Lyme - Losing the fear by taking action. Precautions, understanding, and treatment
. Women's Health Issues - From PMS to Peri-menopause to Menopause and everything
inbetween. A deep dive into the female balancing act and how to keep it running smoothly.
. The Battle with Fatigue - Stopping the slow decline and building resilient energy.
. Cholesterol, Heart Disease & Diabetes - The Threefold Cord - which one comes first, what's the Connection, can you have just one and not the others?
. Building Immunity - Our natural immunity is a God given 'armor' to fight off disease; under
standing how it works and how to keep it strong
. Restricted Exercise - Ways to keep our bodies moving despite handicaps or roadblocks to healing.
. Anti-inflammatory Eating and the Role Food Plays in Overall Health
. Cooking For Good Health - with possibly a guest chef
Zoom classes are easy: We will charge $25 per person, per class. This would need to be paid up front. Upon payment, a link for the zoom call will be made available, which can be accessed by phone or laptop by clicking on the link on the date and time of the class (no special software is needed except to have a video cam for your laptop). The day of class an email with handouts will be sent out to each of you.
The two dates for February and March are as follows:
February Date: February 8th 7:30 - 8:30 EST Stress Management, Anxiety, & Adrenal
March Date: March 22nd 7:30 - 8:30 EST Anti-inflammatory Eating and the Role Food
Plays in Overall Health
Sign up by emailing Cathy at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to engaging with you all to derail the dark side of ill health in our lives.
Overcoming Long Covid
There are a lot of scare tactics out there. It is important to me that I give you factual information that has science behind it. As we discuss long Covid and Covid in general, I will give you links where you can go look at this for yourselves. Do not take anyone's opinion for proof (including mine). Go and look for yourself. This will be important to you and your loved ones in the days to come. Knowledge is power and we now have a lot more knowledge about Covid than even 6 months ago. Science is showing us what we need to do to stay healthy. I also encourage you to watch the documentary series "Brave: Reloaded" (link below – starts today, Nov 29). It is a free nine-part series that interviews researchers, infectious disease doctors, neurosurgeons, cardiologists, legal experts and microbiologists. There is certainly enough scientific data to negate the need for fear or vaccines. If you know where to look, you can find the truth. Don't be amongst those who get sick or lose their lives because of being uninformed.
That said, anyone with a compromised immune system, needs to be mindful to take the necessary precautions during any flu season. Rather than a shot that does not prevent the virus and comes with more deadly side effects than your immune problems cause, be informed. Make public appearances in crowded situations minimal, have respiratory and other flu remedies on hand. Get some Ivermectin, Hydroxychloriquine, or Andrographis herb as a preventative and/or to have on hand if you do get Covid. Details further along in this article address their ability and efficacy to deal with Covid well. Take good supplements and nutritional products to address your own health issues, to replace the deficiencies pharmaceutical medications are causing, and eat well to keep your immune system strong.
Here is a link to a scientific overview of 'Ivermectin - not the 'bad boy' if you are concerned about what you may have read in some of the early media coverage: https://www.theepochtimes.com/health/ivermectin-overview_4854366.html?utm_source=News&src_src=News&utm_campaign=breaking-2022-11-21-1&src_cmp=breaking-2022-11-21-1&utm_medium=email&est=TcAtNJ8e5r9Zjc7y12d7cweWPvokk8JtF2mj4x3qHBmFVD7SFslK0kElt7vPAoXqaPk%3D
For Christmas this year, I would like to give hope to those of you who are experiencing "long covid". This is the name for those who have had Covid and are still dealing with symptoms of fatigue, brain fog and pain (among other things) after the initial onset. Statistics say that 1 in 8 people have developed long term Covid symptoms, some quite debilitating. The Sars CoV2 spike protein has the ability to overtake and change normal body response to disease so the sooner we go after the symptoms the better the chance of taking it out. Those who have had to deal with the body's dysfunction, have a harder road to navigate. Health issues arising from receiving the vax, boosters, and exposure to shedding are similar in scope.
The following is an excerpt from the Epoch Times addressing Long Covid: "However, many are hit with a myriad of mental and physiological conditions, including symptoms common to acute COVID such as cough, fevers, shortness of breath, headaches, fatigue, and muscle aches, as well as less common COVID symptoms, including brain fog, severe fatigue, chest pains, depression and anxiety, pins and needles sensations, heart palpitations, and sleep problems, along with other strange conditions.
Not all long COVID symptoms are debilitating, but for some, suffering from long COVID could mean a complete change to their lifestyle and possibly even a disability. The disabilities apparently caused by long COVID are directly related to critical organs, including the brain, heart, lungs, and muscles.
1. Impaired Brain Function: Long COVID impairs brain function and causes nerve damage. Studies have shown that more than 30 percent of SARS-CoV-2 viruses attack the nerves. Nerves are a reservoir of hidden viruses and are connected to internal organs. Many “long-haulers” experience brain fog, difficulty sleeping, headaches, and dulled thinking and memory.
2. Impaired Heart Function: Fatigue is a primary symptom in long-haulers, as well as muscle aches and increased fatigue after exercise. Many suffer from reduced cardiac output, meaning they have to reduce the intensity of their exercise, and some can’t exercise without putting their health at risk.
3. Impaired Respiratory Function: Studies have found that long COVID patients have decreased lung function, owing to scarring and inflammation. This can lead to decreased oxygen uptake and shortness of breath from lowered blood oxygen levels.
4. Impaired Muscle Function: Persistent immune actions against viruses damage cells, including muscle cells and tissue. Inflammation from the immune responses can trigger inflammation in muscle fibers and induce muscle weakness.
5. Impaired Blood Vessel Function: Inflammation in the body damages the cells that line blood vessels, and can possibly impair oxygen supply to organs and muscles. This can cause fatigue and aches. From <https://www.theepochtimes.com/health/long-covid-contributing-to-disabilities-by-the-millions_4706990.html?utm_source=Health&src_src=Health&utm_campaign=health-2022-11-21&src_cmp=health-2022-11-21&utm_medium=email&est=vDNg%2FmHCaL7x8%2B9GzL0YEQe75E6ipOvtDx10HH8adhIBZvyk%2BN6aWxQtiGPx1sV9Aiw%3D>
"Ivermectin, low-dose naltrexone, and resveratrol are on the top of the list as the go-to treatments (for long haulers). These treatments have been found to be the most accessible, and generally brings out a positive response. They are classified as the first line treatments by Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC). However, a smaller group of people may not respond to the typical first line treatments or may respond with remaining unresolved conditions." according to the Epoch Times interview with Dr. Ysef Saleeby, Integrative Medical Doctor and Director Carolina Holistic Medicine: https://www.theepochtimes.com/health/doctor-shares-alternative-spike-protein-treatments-when-go-to-options-fail_4837027.html?utm_source=Health&src_src=Health&utm_campaign=health-2022-11-05&src_cmp=health-2022-11-05&utm_medium=email&est=f7AVWI0i4IDhRmXzWJ%2BKg8wt0WgPx8oGv9PXDWT9M5kkox2R1MK%2BJPC5dRhClZkcSXI%3D
He further states: "Potential injuries include: Reduced Autophagy, Mitochondrial Dysfunction, Persistent Infections, Mast Cell Response, Blood Clot Formation, Cancer, Autoimmune Disease"
There is now new information just produced from Dr. Bryan Ardis & Jonathan Otto in collaboraton with numerous physicians and medical researchers regarding the use of snake venoms and conotoxins in the virus, jabs, and shedding. Bryan Ardis - countering venomation https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?tab=rm&ogbl#inbox/FMfcgzGrbHsKLvkGZKdvGrtvLgrdSkMM
In light of this information, we are adjusting our protocols to include making use of these new findings. Virus carrying venom - treat for venom
Fact: it is now known that covid virus (which is a venom-based virus as is the vax) binds to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the brain. In a French study, it was determined that smokers are the lowest demographic worldwide for non-covid problems. (see the above link for video interview and research) Nicotine, which binds to the nicotinic receptors in the brain. The brain will prioritize nicotine over venom and 'kick' the viral venom off the receptors, neutralizing the effects of Covid spike proteins. As a result, oxygen levels increase almost immediately, thus breathing improves. It is now proven that Ivermectin does the same thing. First line treatment recommended by Dr. Ardis is use of any one of the following: EDTA (inhibits venom), nicotinic acid from chewing nicotine gum or other, Ivermectin (1 ml liquid for every 110 lbs in water) or CDP Choline.
Science also tells us that there are nicotinic receptors on brain, heart, kidneys, intestines, testes and ovaries; which are all the organ systems that are documented in hospital cases as targets from this viral venom. All organ systems respond with the above first line use. Following response it is advisable to add supplementation with N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC), Vit C with bioflavinoids at 2000 mg or more per day, and zinc (viral venom acts on zinc to remove it from our bodies). Note: Hair loss from having had Covid is an indication that zinc has been depleted from the body. Taking zinc up to 50 mg per day can arrest this process. Findings are that hair loss can continue up to 3 months after resolution of the virus so start taking zinc right away.)
Symptoms of venom virus prolonged in our bodies are black toes and fingers (lack of circulation), lymph enlargement, blood clots, inflammation, neuro needle-like sensations throughout the body. All of these are symptoms we see in Covid patients and post vax clients.
It is projected that 100,000 people will get Covid this coming year. Be ready, know what to do!
We have flu protocols and protocols for pneumonia which is one of the most prevalent symptoms resulting from Covid infection in the initial stages. You need to know what to do if you have a pneumonia episode before you go to the hospital and get involved with questionable treatments of Remdesivir and respirators.
Although the Covid flu puts most people to bed for a few days and can be extremely fatiguing; with immediate attention, bedrest and the right things on hand, most people recover in a few days to a week. Beginning to supplement as soon as symptoms appear even without a positive test will put you in a better position to fight off the initial infection immediately. DON'T WAIT. If it turns out not to be Covid, you have done yourself no harm. If continued symptoms as described above are present after a week or more, its time to start treating for long covid.
One of the first line treatment herbs we use for early onset Covid is Andrographis Paniculata with amazing success. "An adaptogen Dr. Saleeby often recommends for COVID-related conditions is Andrographis paniculata; both research and his own clinical observations have found the herb to be effective for preventing COVID-19, treating COVID-19, long Covid, and also for spike injuries. The main bioactive component of A. paniculata is andrographolide, which is known for its broad anti-viral and anti-inflammatory effects. Studies have shown it can work against common cold and fever as well as more threatening viruses including influenza virus, SARS-CoV-2, dengue virus, and HIV. A laboratory study showed that andrographolide can bind to spike protein as well as the other proteins of the COVID virus, to prevent viral entry and spike toxicity. Another laboratory study on human lung cells showed that A. paniculata and andrographolide could prevent and fight off COVID-19 infections."
For long Covid, we also recommend proteolytic enzymes, bromelain serapeptase, & fulvic acid which break up any circulating covid spike proteins. Unlike regular digestive enzymes, these enzymes break up 'alien proteins' that are part of the virus structure, and send them out of the body via the waste stream. Taking Vitamins A, C, D and omega 3s are important to protecting heart and cell function (mentioned above as part of the long haul problem) as well as some other supplement choices to work against blood clots & mast cell activation (inflammatory flares). These need to be evaluated on a client by client basis so that any compromised conditions can be considered in choosing the right additional supplements.
There are other factors like herbal adaptogens that can be used for "comfort measures" in the midst of resolving long haul symptoms. Scutaleria Canadensis, Berberine, Cats Claw, Astragalus and magnesium are some examples of additional supplements that can help the body "cope" with discomfort, fever, and recurrent infections from long Covid. Be sure to chose the right one for you per your personal physician.
**If you need help finding a Functional Medicine Doctor in your area, finding appropriate and reliable products, or advice about next steps; or if you cannot open any of the attached links, please do not hesitate to call or email us at Healing Leaves Center. You may also be interested in reading last month's blog where we talk about flu virus in general and what you can expect in any one year.
We are not here to scare or coerce any of you, nor to belittle those who may have had any vaccines or boosters. But if you had vaccination or are experiencing long-covid symptoms after being vaccinated, you should know what to do for next steps to stay well and build your immune system back. You will basically need to follow the same protocols for long haulers with some caveats for your personal symptoms and compromised health issues. The ‘scary’ part is not knowing what to do should you find yourself in this position.
Bryan Ardis - countering venomation https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?tab=rm&ogbl#inbox/FMfcgzGrbHsKLvkGZKdvGrtvLgrdSkMM
Virus carrying venom - treat for venom
More Data Suggestions to Read
The following are a few sites that you might be interested in that can help clarify where we are with Covid treatment at this point in time. More actual scientific data continues to be made available to the public.
Brave: Reloaded 9 Part Docuseries https://braveseries.com/sneak-peek-2/
Starts TODAY – Nov 29
MASKS????????? Despite the myriad of information that masks do not keep germs from spreading, some businesses and especially the medical community are still requiring them. It's a matter of personal choice whether to push back on this one, especially if you are in need of medical care, but scientifically there is no need to wear them out of fear or concern that it will keep you well. Here is a link to an article by Tom Renz, legal council for physicians attempting to get the truth about this virus to the public. google.com/FMfcgzGqRZjdZmZqxWMmbnlpwSQhNtMV
If you have not seen the hour long documentary "Died Suddenly", here is the link. This is an eye-opening account of what funeral home embalmers are now finding amongst those dying of Covid. Again, you need to understand the truth behind the number of deaths by vaccination. With good treatment and follow up these do not need to be happening. https://rumble.com/v1wac7i-world-premier-died-suddenly.html
Ed Dowd is also head of The Humanity Project found at this link:
over 2,400 Americans are dying each day — almost certainly from vaccines — which comes to about 900,000 Americans killed in a year. Across the population, Ed Dowd explains in the interview, excess mortality is running about 32%. Around 7,700 Americans routinely die each day, and 32% of that comes to 2,400+ deaths per day. That’s only counting America. Global deaths are, of course, far higher. From <https://www.naturalnews.com/2022-11-16-excess-mortality-over-2400-americans-are-dying-each-day-vaccine-mandates.html>
Dr. Peter McCullough is a practicing internist, cardiologist, epidemiologist managing the cardiovascular complications of both the viral infection and the injuries developing after the COVID-19 vaccine in Dallas TX, USA. He has dozens of peer-reviewed publications on the infection, multiple US and State Senate testimonies, and has commented extensively on the medical response to the COVID-19 crisis in The Hill, America Out Loud, NewsMax, and on FOX NEWS Channel. He states, "There are over 1000 peer-reviewed papers in the preprint server system and or in the National Library of Medicine (PUBMED) describing side effects after mRNA or adenoviral DNA COVID-19 vaccination. One of the most dreaded complications is vaccine-induced thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT).
Because the Spike protein produced in response to the vaccine genetic code causes hemagglutination and micro blood clotting, there is excessive antigenic presentation of platelets to the spleen and reticuloendothelial system. As a result, the body produces auto-antibodies directed against a platelet receptor (PF4) which has homology with an endothelial protein. This causes autoantibody “pinning” of platelets to the lining of blood vessel cells resulting in consumption of platelets, blood clotting and bleeding at the same time.
Unfortunate victims are fine for a few weeks after vaccination. Then bleeding from the oral and nasal mucosa associated with bruising under the skin occurs commonly with serious blood clotting within the brain and elsewhere in the body. Most patients are hospitalized in critical condition as doctors try a variety of medical and interventional maneuvers to combat simultaneous clotting and bleeding."
Be wise – “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind.”
As time has passed and the scientific research has been done on the CoV2 virus, we have a better idea of how to prevent and detox from the hidden or long-term after effects in its aftermath. It no longer needs to be a scary, unknown disease.
As children go back to school and begin to exchange viral germs, we begin to see an increase in colds and flu; as well as other viruses easily transmitted in close contact. Look back over history and you will see that it has always been this way; so this year should not be a surprise.
Companies market their products during this time of year in order to take advantage of the parents who are stocking up watching out for their family's health. It is a good time to stock up, not just for when we get sick, but before we get sick. Prevention is even better.
Then there are the predictions about what kind of flu season this might be ahead of the game. How do they know, and who are 'they'? What factors do they look at to come up with those conclusions? Building immunity so that we don't get sick, or our bodies deal with sickness quickly is a better approach. We have to think ahead. In this article, we will look at items to stock up on and why?
What do I mean by intentional detox? You may or may not realize that we are bombarded by thousands of toxic substances in our air, food, and water every day. We have seen anti-biotics lose their effectiveness over time as the bacteria mutate and become resistant. We now know that 'throwing' anti-biotics at every symptom of infection is not always the best way to take care of the problem. We also know that anti-biotics do not address viruses, which have a different structure & function than bacteria. More recent research by folks like Dr. Stephen Buhner, who wrote the book, Herbal Antibiotics, have provided in depth understanding about how this takes place. Recent research by professionals in their field, especially in Europe where herbals and alternatives are more readily accepted as first line defense against disease; have revealed that there are other proven ways to address these issues with herbs, supplements and nutrition. The general consensus has been that the best defense against sickness and disease is a well maintained immune system. One of the things we need to keep in mind when we talk about intentional detox, is adopting into our lifestyle, habits that continue to strengthen the immune system and eliminate any toxic substances that may also be present. This can be different for each individual based on personal need and compromising factors; but there are still common denominators. It becomes a part of our lifestyle rather than an afterthought when symptoms overwhelm the body. It certainly takes more time than just taking an over the counter product; but the results of good energy and lack of fear when the cold & flu seasons hit is worth the peace of mind it provides.
When it comes to dealing with the flu, each year is a little different. There are many strains of flu and each year CDC and others look at trends, age and changes (mutations) in a variety of flu strains from years past to see what viruses are declining or advancing; and they make a decision as to which one(s) might be more prominent so that a vaccine can be provided for the coming season. Those decisions are worked out in the spring of each year in order to manufacture enough vaccine for the following fall season. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't.
What they don't tell you is that there are minute particles of 'carrier' substances in flu vaccines intended to stimulate your immune system to react quickly to create antibodies (example: Thiomersal (INN), or thimerosal (USAN, JAN), is an organomercury compound. It is a well-established antiseptic and antifungal agent.) But for many people, these substances are too toxic and overstimulate your system which begins to attack itself or inflame areas of the body that are already compromised by poor health or poor lifestyle habits. With a weakened immune system, things get worse.
What DOES work is flexing your immunity muscles with nutrition and supplements ahead of time to maintain your health and take care of personal outlying diagnoses that compromise and weaken your general health. That means developing a lifestyle of eating healthy to give your body systems all the best nutrition available so that they can do what they were created to do. It also means adding supplements to provide vitamins, minerals and amino acids that your body is lacking. Drs. Ardis, Mercola, McCullough, Littell, Kory and others all state that prevention and a healthy immune system is the best defense against sickness and disease.
How do you do this? Learn from a reliable source about an alkaline or anti-inflammatory eating style. We talk about this a lot here at Healing Leaves and have written a number of back articles for review. Another good source is www.liveenergized.com, where you can get free information, recipes and food lists. Inflammation is a major initiator of disease in your organ systems. The more you can eat anti-inflammatory foods, the more you can remove the sources of inflammation in your body. Symptoms of disease begin to give your body signals that something is wrong; pain is your body speaking to you that you should pay attention. A good functional medicine doctor can begin to help you discover where the originating source of the inflammation is so that you can begin to address it. The sooner the better. Proper testing, eating changes, and adding herbs and supplements that 'feed' the organs that are declining so that they begin to function the way they were intended can help bring your body back around. This includes those things that help your body eliminate any accumulated 'residue' in body organs caused by toxic overload from inflammatory substances. That, my friends is intentional detoxing.
Where do toxic substances come from? A few examples are hair dye, nail lacquer fumes, food additives, herbicides in soil, petroleum emissions, nano-plastics in the water. They all circle the globe continually adding layers to the environmental soup that gets deposited along the way. It's time to incorporate into our lifestyles, an intentional daily habit that helps our bodies continue to detox these substances and strengthen our own body's miraculous ability to get
well before they become resident in the tissues of our bodies.
So what are the best supplements to take to keep your body in top shape?
First in importance is to make sure your digestive tract, bowels and elimination are functioning well. This includes good bacteria in the bowel promoted and maintained by a good variety of probiotics, eating alkaline to feed good gut flora and create good breakdown and absorption of nutrients, and a bowel maintenance supplement that cleans debris from the bowel and stimulates one to two elimination movements per day. Once your digestive tract is working well, detoxification can take place. Without a good elimination system to take toxins out of the body, any detox system you use will be a waste of money. I recommend using probiotics and digestive enzymes, especially if you are beginning to build your body back from ill health. The greater the variety of strains the better and I recommend having at least two different probiotic formulas with differing strains in order to get the most variety possible. Digestive Enzymes taken
with your meals will help break down food particles into the smallest possible size for best absorption. Too big food particles that are not broken down well will cause inflammation in the gut and help lead to leaky gut. If you are working your way back from health issues, I recommend taking these 2 things on an ongoing basis.
After that the following supplements are worth consideration to replenish and sustain your body's immune system for nutrients not easily obtained by food or the ones most deficient in the average healthy person:
Vitamins D3 4000 IU
Vitamin C w/ bioflavinoids at 2500 to 3000 mg per day taken in 3 separate doses. Quercetin, which has been
recommended for a preventative for CoV2 is part of the bioflavinoid complex of Vitamin C, or you can purchase
Magnesium citrate or maleate 500 mg per day along with good calcium containing foods and herbs
N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC) 600 mg 1x per day to help your liver work efficiently as the elimination organ in your body that
takes the toxins out of your blood and sends them to the large bowel to be removed.
Selenium 200 mcg or a chelated multimineral supplement containing all the major and important minor minerals
Zinc 20-50 mg per day with food
Any medications cause deficiencies specific to the medication (example: high blood pressure medication, anti-hypertensives, may cause depletion of magnesium, sodium, potassium, zinc, pyridoxine, thiamine, and vitamin C). If you are on prescription medications, be sure to find out what nutrients they may deplete and supplement for them.
What's being reported right now is CoV2 virus, the flu, RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus, which is an infant virus), and various colds. All of these have a respiratory component to them so building up and being prepared for respiratory symptoms will be important. For many years I was susceptible to respiratory illness until I began to work on my respiratory immune system. If you have a weak respiratory systen you're going to want to follow the above gut clearing and then add a good Vitamin B100 or B200 complex, higher amounts of vitamin C, continue with probiotics and digestive enzymes & eat alkaline. Herbs like mullein for decongesting sinus & lungs, Eleuthero with Andrographis for colds are good to have on hand. Vitamin C at 3000 mg per day, plus echinacea - 2 half droppers & NAC 4x a day will take care of the average cold and maintain your energy without brain fog and lethargy.
As far as the flu (including CoV2) preventative doses of andrographis and eleuthero, once a day, every 3 or 4 days is good immunity strengthening. You can take these before large gatherings when you know they will take place. The research is now showing that any one of the Ivermectins, Hydroxychloriquines (taken as directed) and the herbs andrographis & eleuthero (taken at 2 half droppers 3x a day for 5 to 10 days) are still the best choices if you come down with Covid. For the general flu Elderberry syrup, bedrest, analgesics or meadowsweet for body ache. Remember if you have a fever, let it do its work unless it gets up over 102 degrees. And warm, not hot, epsom salt baths can help some of the detoxification through your skin, and can be a nice way to relax.
We also have the protocols from Dr. Bryan Ardis and Dr. Mercola for detoxing from CoV2 virus and any side effects of the jab. For example, are you still experiencing lack of taste and smell? Research shows that the substance nicotine, counteracts the effects and chewing nicotine gum, will in most cases, return these senses within a few days. If you would like a copy for yourself, feel free to email us a request. If you need more specific information regarding what to do for your compromised health issues, where to get supplements, good probiotic strains, how to begin your personal
detox, etc.; feel free to email us at Healing Leaves (email@example.com).
There is much more to know. This information will certainly get you started in the right direction. After a break for the holidays, we will begin putting together online zoom Study Groups in 2 hour segments. This would be a good subject to pursue. There will be more information coming out on this as to cost, times and topics. In the meantime, if you would like to study something in particular, send me your requests and we will see if we can incorporate them into the Study Group curriculum list.
Meantime, I give thanks for each one of you as November is here and pray all your gatherings with families and friends will be filled with love, laughter and great health!
Sugar! We have known for years that too much sugar contributes to any number of health problems. Some of us have cravings that we just can't get past and continue to reach for the sweets and treats we love. Some of us find a happy medium where we only indulge in goodies during special occasions. Did you know that one of the worst times of the year for people to get colds and flus is right after the first of the year and the Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year celebrations of eating and drinking good cheer? Science tells us that sugar uses the same pathways in the brain as opioid drugs giving us a sense of comfort, while provoking addictive responses for more. You don't have to be a diabetic in order to be negatively affected by too much sugar. The average American consumes 20 teaspoons of sugar a day. This equates to 142 pounds of sugar a year. Is the solution really that we need to get our lack of willpower under control and give up the fun and camaraderie of sharing delectable morsels together?
Answer is - NO! As we approach harvest time and the season of Thanksgiving and family reunions, we need to use our creative and adventurous spirits in the kitchen; and craft some new methods of food prep, by educating ourselves on the numerous other substitutions for sugar. So instead of using the word 'sugar', for starters, we will now refer to the addition of 'sweeteners' to our culinary repertoires. I find when trying to change a habit, changing the word picture created by many generations of culture can adjust our perspectives. Sugar is only one source of sweeteners available to us today. As we look at the alternatives, please remember that they should still be used in moderation.
Honey - a natural sweetener used for decades, it is sweeter than sugar and so you need less. Raw honey contains enzymes, minerals & vitamins and is one of the best sweeteners for building up immunity to common local allergens. It may not work well in certain baking applications where a granular sweetener is needed.
Maple Syrup - This is syrup and granulars made from boiling the sap of maple trees to eliminate the water content. It has much lower fructose content than agave. It is full of minerals and is sweeter than sugar. The darker the grade the stronger the flavor and more mineral content. Granular maple sweetener is great for baking applications where the consistency of finish is important.
Molasses - is a very nutritious sweetener from sugar cane or beets. Made by clarifying and blending extracted juices, the longer it is boiled, the less sweet
Stevia - A very sweet herb that has become popular grows in South America and has been used by them for centuries. It can be 100 to 300 times sweeter than sugar, can be used in baking, and does not have any significant effect on blood sugar levels. It can be purchased in powder or liquid (the liquid is quite concentrated). Green or brown liquids or powders are best, as the white forms are highly processed. I find a slight after taste with its use, although most people find it unobtrusive.
Coconut Sugar - Made from flower buds of coconut palm. Heated until the water evaporates and caramelized, dried and ground into crystals. Good source of potassium, iron, & vitamins. It has same number of calories & carbs as regular sugar but a lower glycemic index. It is a good baking sugar to maintain good texture results.
Date Sugar - Finely ground dehydrated dates keeps the vitamin, mineral and fiber content. Can be used as a direct replacement for sugar in recipes and comes in granulated form. It can clump and doesn't melt, which will not work in some recipes.
Monk Fruit - The sweetener is created by removing the seeds and skin of the fruit and crushing it to collect the juice, which is then dried into a concentrated powder. Monk fruit contains natural sugars, mainly fructose and glucose; however, unlike in most fruits, the natural sugars in monk fruit aren’t responsible for its sweetness. Instead, it gets its intense sweetness from unique antioxidants called mogrosides. During processing, mogrosides are separated from the fresh-pressed juice. Therefore, monk fruit sweetener does not contain fructose or glucose. Beware, because this extract may be 100–250 times sweeter than table sugar, many manufacturers mix monk fruit sweetener with other natural products, such as inulin or erythritol, to reduce the intensity of the sweetness. It comes in crystalized and liquid forms.
Barley Malt Syrup - Half as sweet as refined sugar, it is made from soaking, sprouting, mashing, cooking and roasting of barley. It moves through the digestive system slower than other refined sugars. Made up of 65% maltose, 30% carbs & 30% protein, it comes in thick brown syrup or powder form.
Brown Rice Syrup - The rice is ground and cooked, converting starches to maltose. Tastes like moderately sweet butterscotch. Replace each cup of refined sugar with 1/4 Cup rice syrup & reduce the amount of liquids. Contains 50% complex carbs, 45% maltose & 3% glucose, of which glucose is immediately absorbed and rest is much slower to be absorbed so that steady energy is a result.
What About Tree Syrups
Agave - made from the agave cactus, it is a liquid and often touted as a good alternative to refined sugar because it has low effect on blood sugar for diabetics. But beware - it is high in fructose and affects the leptin hormones which increases overeating and weight gain. Use conservatively if at all.
Birch Sugar & Syrup - Formally referred to as xylitol, this is a concentrated liquid that is shown as safe for diabetics because it does not convert to fat. It is alcohol derived and as such too much can cause the same bloating, diarrhea and gas and refined table sugar because it causes fermentation in the gut in the combined breakdown with other carbs.
Erythritol - Derived from the fermentation of sugar cane and corn starch and does not affect blood sugar. It does have the same bloating, diarrhea and gas affect that Birth syrups have.
Rapadura - This is a brand of "raw" sugar in that it is from extracting the juice of the sugar cane, evaporating the water and grinding into powder. It is unrefined and organic, but it is still sugar with high glycemic and all the other effects we get if we eat too much.
Sucanat - Another brand of mechanically processed sugar cane juice so that it is unrefined and maintains the vitamins and minerals. It has a grainy texture for baking. Again, it is still sugar with all the affects if overused.
Turbinado - Another brand of unprocessed, crystalized sugar cane, it is similar to brown sugar but with all the other negative health effects of sugar in general.
Equivalents for Cooking
If you are hesitant to tread into new cooking territory, here are a few equivalents for some of the above sweeteners as they compare to 1 cup of white sugar in a recipe:
Agave - 2/3 cup
Barley Malt - 1 to 1 1/4 cups
Birch Sugar/Syrup - 1 cup
Molasses - 1/3 cup
Brown Rice - 1 to 1 1/3 cups
Coconut Sugar - 1 cup
Date Sugar - 2/3 cup
Erythritol - 1 to 1 1/4 cup
Honey - 1/2 to 1/3 cup
Maple Syrup/Sugar - 1/2 to 3/4 cup
Rapadura - 1 cup
Stevia - See manufacturer's label as it varies by concentration
Sucanat - 1 cup
Turbinado - 1 cup
How to Stop Sugar Cravings
Last but not least, here are a few techniques for getting off the sugar addiction roller coaster. For those of us with a sweet tooth, we find the temptation to grab another cookie hard to resist. While it is with intentionality that we empty the house of sweet things and go on a fast for a while to break the attraction, one taste of a sweet can start the whole mess over again. The suggestions below are intended to help us make better substitutes so that we stay away from the 'dangerous' sweeteners; while at the same time learning to cook with less harmful sweeteners. Just knowing that refined table sugar is processed with lime, carbon dioxide, extreme heat, acid calcium phosphate, phosphoric acid, blood albumin from slaughter houses, twice boiled, filtered with boneblack (animal charcoal) and then bleached was enough to make me stop. In light of this information, refined sugar has absolutely NO nutritional value and fits the definition of a toxic substance. Need I say more!
Coconut Oil/ MCT Oil - MCT oil is a smoother form of coconut oil and can come in flavors. A lot of folks will use a teaspoon to a tablespoon in morning smoothies, as flavoring for coffee or just integrating into a recipe that calls for oil. Coconut oil has some unique health advantages in that is healing to the gut lining, is a good fat that used in the morning routine gets your Keto (fat burning for fuel rather than glucose) off to a good start for the day. It is a good immune booster on its own and satiates the desire for sugary snacks. Taking a teaspoonful when you get a craving, can help stop the desire.
Use Good Salts - There are numerous salts that our body can use because of the mineral content that they supply; sodium bicarbonate is an example. Buying organic sea salts or Himalayan pink is a good way to get trace minerals into our diets and keep the blood pressure down (often the case with bleached, processed commercial table salts where all the minerals are gone).
Protein/good fat breakfast - This is part of the Keto eating habit. The first principle is to start the day with protein and fat (see picture) and eliminate the carbs. If you start your day with fat, it is more satiating and you don't get the low sugar dive mid morning. It triggers your body to look for fat as it's fuel source. If you start your day with carbs (toast, juice, cereal, pancakes…..) you trigger your body to use and look for glucose. As glucose is metabolized much faster than fat, your body begins to look for another source of fuel within 2 to 3 hours of your last meal, beginning the process of insulin resistance (diabetes). For more on a Keto Diet, see some of our articles on Keto and the 15 Day Challenge.
Cinnamon for sweetener - there are certain spices that have a sweet taste that can be used to counter that desire for something sweet. Cinnamon is one of them, which also has the advantage of being an insulin balancer. Vanilla is another one.
Have Healthy Snacks Available - If you have these in your refrigerator ready to eat, you can train yourself to reach there instead of the cupboard for chips and cookies. Suggestions; fruit slices, organic peanut or almond butter balls, celery & carrot sticks with hummus dip or other assorted healthy dips….
Get Enough Sleep - Science now proves to us that good sleep is a must! The facts show us that a good majority of people suffer from some form of insomnia. A rested body, is one that detoxes and replenishes energy during those sleeping hours resulting in a body that maintains good energy and does not have as many highs and lows.
Exercise - Good for circulation, detoxing lymph, and stabilizing metabolism; we need to keep moving no matter what age we are. It sets us up for good sleep, burning excess fuel and stabilizing the body's call for more fuel.
Stay Hydrated - Keeping all the good fuels circulating & feeding our organs and eliminating accumulated waste products. Make sure it's good, filtered water and not sugary/salty sports drinks or fad soft drinks loaded with more sugar.
Get Rid liquid sugars.
. Sports Drinks
. Sweet Tea
Don't OD on Fruit - Though fresh, ripe fruit is a good source of natural sugar, too much can be and overdose. If you are drinking commercial fruit juice, there is sugar added to these drinks; and fruit not ripened on the fine is devoid of the good stuff. If you are a smoothie drinker, limit your recipes to 1 fruit and the rest veggies for a much better, less sugary, and energy promoting drink.
We will be sharing more articles in the next couple of months about building your immune system for the coming season. Start with the sugar and get that under your belt and the next article will be something you can add to your lifestyle to keep colds and flu out of your house.
And I don't mean computer chips!
What's in a chip? I did a study while I was in the grocery store recently looking for my favorite brand of tortilla chips. As I turned into the chip aisle, I suddenly became aware of how chips have multiplied. Then I started to read labels and look at choices.
Potato, tortilla, pea, veggie, kale, cheese, BBQ, vinegar, sour cream and onion, corn and on it goes in many combinations. With all these choices, you would think that there are some that are better and best. Whether you use chips as your go to snack, your dinner on the run, as a side for a great sandwich, or to entertain guests, the variety and appeal of crunchy chips & all the creative ways to use them is an interesting culture of its own.
Now I hate to put a wet, soggy blanket on your established menus; BUT, after taking a hard look at ingredients, there are a LOT of hidden downfalls that weigh heavily on our health.
Bad fats!! This is the biggest one. There are many food items that can have a negative effect on our health, and bad fats are some of the worst. Not only do they add to elevated cholesterol numbers, but they add to our middles, and contribute to those waves of fatigue that are making mid-day naps a comeback. Even the bags that promote good health and get you thinking your eating healthy, are not as healthy as you think. Here's a list of the oils I found in the chips I looked at that are NOT healthy oils: canola, rapeseed, palm, sunflower, safflower……. If your eating chips made with anything but avocado or coconut oil, you are doing a slow dance with ever increasing sludge in your system. The bad oils are easily hydrogenated, which means infused with oxygen so they can sit on the shelf longer. Oxygen in this form acts like "rust" on a car in our own systems; increasing free radicals and inflammatory responses in veins and arteries, heart, digestive tract and liver to name the biggies. The more we eat, the more sluggish we become.
Chips are not the only favorite foods that contain these bad oils. Commercial crackers, pastries and other processed snackfoods as well as most of those foods found in your local restaurants and eateries because those bad fats are much cheaper on a large scale.
There is hope. If you go on line and search, you will find a few companies that use only the best ingredients; and the oils they use are grapeseed (not rapeseed), avocado and coconut.
The other bad ingredient in chips is food additives. All those wonderful flavors are mostly made with chemicals and no real food at all. These food additives overstimulate adrenal responses and cause more inflammation. All that adds up to a drag on your energy over time and results in other problems, like high cholesterol and heart issues, that are much harder to "fix". All that said, there are companies that use flavors made from real food, cheese, herbs, etc.
So look carefully, read labels, and do some on line research into which companies use real ingredients. You are not likely to find them in the commercial grocery store but in health food stores; and even then be sure to read labels.
Check out the recipes for making crackers from scratch in last month's blog, as it coincides nicely with this article, in case you missed them. It may be worth trying a couple. Like anything else, once you get used to making them, they're really very easy and really nutritious.
Happy chip hunting!!!
Over 40 years of Herbal and nutritional experience.