Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Adrenal Supplementation

Our adrenals manage our fight and flight response, they regulate certain hormones, aid in pushing blood out to our extremities, suppress our immune system and help our blood clot.

When our bodies are in stress or we exacerbate the problems, we become out of balance. We often will crave sugar, salt and caffeine for that instant pick me up. The problem is that we sku our blood sugar and then crash. That can lead to hypoglycemia. If left unchecked, the condition worsens and becomes hypoadrena, insulin resistance or even diabetes.

Balancing the diet is key. That means a diet in fresh fruits, vegetables, quality fats and proteins and not meal skipping is very important. We must be parasympathetic and relaxed. We must eliminate fast food, processed food, and chemical additives such as HFCS. Meditation, yoga, and reducing what we perceive as stress is critical. Living our lives in happiness, creativity, and in integrity along with nature keep us grounded and balance our bodies.

I also recommend that most people who live in a stressed environment (such as a city) or have busy lives take an herbal adaptogen to help keep the adrenals on an even keel. Rhodiola, licorice and siberian ginseng are excellent for this. Stress depletes B vitamins as do many drugs (including birth control). B and C vitamins are also a must. Essential Fatty Acids also promote a healthy inflammation response, create strong cells, and regulate hormones.

Food for Thought...eat with SOLE (Seasonally/organically/local/ethically) purpose. Eat sustainably. Be conscious and mindful of our planet and become sustainable.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Nutritional Therapy as a Healing Modality


A New Preventive Health Modality
by Jennifer Doctorovich

The question that I get most often is “what exactly is nutritional therapy?” Nutritional Therapy is based on the belief that disease is the result of nutritional deficiencies in our diet that accumulate over time. The body has the innate intelligence and ability to heal from any ailment provided we give it the appropriate nutrients to do so. Many of us come into ...this world having inherited nutritional deficiencies from our parents.

Nutritional therapy is part of the growing aspect of alternative medicine—like acupuncture, naturopathy, biofeedback resonance and Chiropractic, it is holistic in nature. By holistic, we mean to treat the whole rather than the sum of its parts. A holistic or alternative practitioner aims to correct the entire body as a system rather than just treating the symptoms. The basic philosophy of nutritional therapy is simple: The myriad of health problems that plague our modern world result from weaknesses in the body’s physiological foundations. This is mostly a result due to poor nutrition and chronic stress. An NT’s job is to help reverse the ill effects on the body from poor habits while supporting the basic foundations. We endorse a nutrient dense, whole food, properly prepared diet as well as adding necessary supplementation to balance body chemistry and correct deficiencies. The other aspect of being an NTP (nutritional therapy practitioner) is one of education and debunking certain nutrition myths…many of which are archaic and outdated. While most people are very smart, they are more likely ill informed and misdirected.

As an NTP, not only do I educate my clients on diet and nutrition as it pertains to health and wellness, but I take it a step further. I palpate points on the body (both neural lymphatic and neural vascular) to assess each person accurately. NTP’s believe that each of us is a biochemical individual. No two people are alike. Because of this, as we proceed to evaluate each person (a hands on evaluation as well as running a software program directed to the client to get the most accurate information), we are able to make decisions based on biochemical individuality. Thus, it allows us to individualize and prioritize a protocol that is best suited for that person. This includes a dietary assessment as well as a supplementation recommendation.

NTP’s look at the big picture rather than the symptoms accompanying an issue. What this is means is to not assume the problem is the actual “problem”. We become investigators going further and further back to find the root underlying cause. For example, we believe that obesity is not so much a disease, but a symptom of imbalance. There is no “one size fits all” approach nor do we (generally) endorse drugs as a first measure of defense. We simply seek to educate and use natural wellness as a way to create balance. However, as a disclaimer, it is important to understand that drugs may be a necessary course of action. And although this isn’t our scope, we try to work with the client’s health practitioner. It is important to remember that the body is often capable of correcting itself…if done with patience. If a client is working with their doctor, we support what they are doing with the GP. We recommend a balanced diet of whole, non processed foods and supplementation, and are NOT here to treat or diagnose disease. We will work with those who do have certain diseases, careful to follow their protocol yet support their foundations (digestion, blood sugar, mineral balance, fatty acids, and hydration).

I also stress other modalities as well as NT. This may include hypnosis, yoga, energy work, exercise, meditation, behavioral therapy or any other spiritual practice that calms the psyche and improves overall health.

Everyone can benefit from nutritional therapy. The sad fact is that it is virtually impossible to get all our necessary nutrients from food now. Our soil is depleted, our food is highly processed and our environment is filled with toxins. Chemicals and pesticides plague us on a daily basis. Most diseases can be prevented. Our medical system is irreparably taxed and our doctors don’t have the time or energy to help us when we don’t feel well. Sadly, so many go round and round desperately trying to find an answer to their problem, whilst slowly despairing for lack of money and knowledge. But there IS hope and this is where taking a natural approach is most effective if you can trust in your practitioner. We are ultimately responsible for our own health and for being informed. Many of my clients reveal they are suffering from lethargy, depression, mood swings, poor digestion…and feel like the batteries are draining and they aren’t “plugged in”. They’ve even been told that this is a normal process of aging! Rest assured, it isn’t and that many of these issues can be corrected. NT, while certainly not a cure, is advantageous at protecting us from sliding down that dark hallway. It can even help to find an answer to a “lost question”— Nutritional therapists can help discover the real reasons to an underlying problem. It is a fantastic complementary modality that can be used to balance the body whether it is a digestive imbalance, blood sugar regulation, endocrine issues, diabetes and insulin resistance, allergies, weight loss, depression, joint pain, PMS, and general detoxification…to name a few.

One more advantage: It is a very affordable way to garner information about the body. Prevention is always substantially affordable in the long run.

There is a growing call to arms needed regarding education and holistic prevention in our health care system. NTP’s are dedicated to helping healthcare professionals understand this importance in order to reverse the travesty of disease in our world.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Nutritional Therapy Conference

Once a year, our annual conference brings the NTP's of the world together to talk shop and explore one particular theme. This year the Conference is focusing on natural hormone and fertility health through clean food and supplementation. We have the Conference in beautiful Vancouver, Washington. Besides great fish and fresh veggies indigenous to the area, it's always fun to touch base with what other practitioners are doing with their clients, new research and new protocols.
I will have much to share after these next few days. Tomorrow we will see Chris Taylor's Food Fight and have a talk back with Thetis Sammons and Chris Taylor. To learn a little more about nutritional therapy, check these sites:


A Votre Sante!


Monday, March 15, 2010

A Visit to Home Sweet Farm

Three weeks ago I had a chance (along with my Pura Vida Tribe friends) to visit a lovely farm in Brenham. What made the experience so unique was that we all brought food for a healthy, farm fresh potluck. Everyone brought natural foods in, from raw milk and cheese, pasturized chicken, salad, fresh greens, grains, meats, eggs...it was fantastic. And it was a very conscious attempt to stay close to nature and eat as whole and as pure as possible. After lunch, Brad and Jenny, the couple who run the farm, along with their children, took us on a tour of the farm. We received great lessons on what the animals do and how each element contributes to the prosperity of the farm. Lessons on how chickens eat, what free range means, why a donkey benefits the farm (animal security from cayotes), how soil is turned, and the greenhouse's need for very specific temperatures. Honestly, I said to a friend, "I had no idea farming could be so cool." And it is interesting. At the end of our tour we bought produce, cheese, eggs and played with the baby goats. For anyone concerned about eating animal products it was also a lesson on how to eat animal by product ethically. When the animals are treated well and more important, living how nature intended for THEM to eat and live, we automatically live and eat in integrity.

I encourage everyone, especially families, to take a day trip to this extraordinary farm...eat well, play hard, laugh, and learn! The Stufflebeams take great pains to nurture the land and do this with love and care. You will rejuvenate your spirit and your attitude about food!

Go to www.homesweetfarm.com for more information and directions. They are approximately an hour and a half outside Houston in Brenham. Brad and Jenny Stufflebeam are also the chapter leaders for the Weston A. Price Foundation in Texas.

A Votre Sante!


Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Paleo Challenge

This month a few of the Pura Vida Tribe (for more information contact Jared Maidenberg) decided to try the Paleo Diet.  For those of you who are asking, "What exactly is this diet?  Are you eating dinosaurs???"  Well, not exactly.  But we are eating as close to nature as possible.
There are many diets out there.  Some work, some don't, some are gimmicks, and some have great information.  The most famous (and doable) diets seem to be South Beach and The Zone.  So here's the deal:  Be careful of fad diets and dramatic detoxes, etc...if someone is telling you to try the "20 donuts a day diet", you probably have to wonder what the merit is.
A strict Paleo diet is great for one month as it can tell you what you are sensitive to...it may even help with allergies, immune, blood sugar and digestion.  We do live in an urban environment, so it may not be realistic to be strict ALL THE TIME. But for a month, it's pretty useful.  So what exactly DO you get to eat?  Everything in nature! If you haven't been to the Farmer's Market, now is the time to get to know your farmer...think local and seasonal.  You can eat nuts and seeds, meats, chicken, fish,  fruits, veggies, eggs, bone broth soups...you get it.  And yes, you can eat butter and coconut oil for fats.  The idea is to reduce processed foods, sugar, dairy (non strict means raw milk and fermented only) , and even grains.  Grains and Legumes are only 5-6000 years old and not considered a paleo life.  I recommend reducing grains as a way of life as it can be very hard to digest and turns to sugar.  The pancreas works overtime and this can lead to insulin resistance.
So what do I eat for breakfast when I always ate cereal?  You might want to try a green paleo shake (with quality protein powder), and eggs.  I do like a little Kefir as well with nuts b/c that is fermented.  Eat your leftovers.  Breakfast should consist of fats and proteins...long, sustainable energy.
Snacks are nuts, nut butters (not soy or peanut as they are legumes and soy is often GMO) with fruit or veggies.  Two books I recommend are Cordain's The Paleo Diet/Paleo Diet for Athletes. and Mark Sissan's Primal Blueprint.  Another great book is called Primal Body/Primal Mind by Nora Degaudus.  Look for cookbooks that feature information on the hunter/gatherer lifestyle...our true anscestors.   Sally Fallon wrote a great book and a wealth of information, called Nourishing Traditions. Eating from nature could greatly reduce the possibility of food related diseases like diabetes, autoimmune disorders and cancer.  
It doesn't mean that you can't have your occasional sweet or treat...just make it quality!  Eat dark chocolate, or cacao, which is rich in antioxidants.  Nor does it mean you can't have wine or coffee.  But pulling yourself off of addictive substances to "retest" later, can give you an indication of your sensitivities--something you can't really know if you are on them.  Our bodies adapt to foods and our environment but it doesn't necessarily mean we don't have a sensitivity or an irritation.  So I recommend one month of "do your best" paleo with one cheat day in the week.  The by products are great:  clear skin, more energy, positive attitude, you sleep better, and you may even lose weight.  If you are athletic, you may find yourself having longer and better workouts with more endurance.
A Votre Sante from Pura Vida!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Absolute Alternative Army

I want to start a coalition of sorts.  This is not your mother's  AAA.  This is about healthy choices, integrity and staying conscious in the wake of change.  I have many friends who want to do great things.  Jared's Farm2FrontDoor movement is going to take off.  He is pushing eating locally, seasonally and mindfully.  Sheri in an entrepreneurial acupuncturist as is my brother, who is also exploring energy work.  And I am a nutritional therapist and cycling instructor always looking for the next energizing workout.  My goal is to educate my clients about food and supplementation. But there is also meditation, Buddhism and yoga which have been inflential in keeping me calmly energized and focused towards my personal goals.  But what if we added other like minded people?  People who want to make the world a better place.  Spirituality allows us to bond with nature.  Supporting local Farmers engages us in a dialogue regarding being mindful about where our food comes from.  Then there is Beaver's Chef, Jonathon Johnson who supports the local movement and buys organic produce for his kitchen.  If you are reading this, twitter me at holhealthgirl and add your name.  Join the movement of entrepreneurs who care about prevention, holistic health, outdoor exercise, and bonding to nature and a clean environment.  Make this a year to start the Army moving forward!

A Votre Sante and Happy New Year!!!!


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Knowing Your Sources

The other night, I had the pleasure of a terrific (and private) fine dining experience.  Chef Jonathon Johnson (PapaBeav from Beavers) and Randy Rucker (Rainbow Lodge and Greensandbeans) came to a private residence to prepare a wonderful 6 course dinner.  We also were served (at least) 6 different Riazul Tequila cocktails to compliment each dish.  We had everything from Seviche to smoked Rabbit,  pulled pork and beans (Carnitas) , corn polenta with a mustard green marmalade, pumpkin Shrimp/flounder bisque and Churros with chocolate for dessert.  Each dish seemed more delectable than the next.  
When I talked to the chefs, they took me through the timeline of preparation.  The flounder and the fish was caught 2 days before and was very fresh.  In fact, Randy himself caught the fish in the Gulf.  And to that end the flounder was amazing.  Jonathon shops for fresh produce (Monica Pope's T'afia) when he prepares his menus.  He uses organic eggs, meat, and vegetables.  His goal is to support the local farmers and farmers markets in the area while of course, getting the freshest, best quality produce.  And yes, I CAN taste the difference!
Beavers uses grass fed beef in their food and offers a vegan selection on their menu.
This is a perfect example of looking for a dining experience where a chef values organic cooking and knowing the source of your food.  That being said, the carnitas had a great deal of fat, but it  had been marinating for many hours.  The meat was tender and the flavor pure heaven.  However, saturated fat IS good for you, so I say, "It's the holidays!  Have a little fat and be HEALTHY!!!"
For more information on your local farmer's markets, go to www.urbanharvest.com

A Votre Sante!