Monday, 22 August 2016 – Your Health Magazine – Loudoun/Fairfax, VA
The Diet Dilemma
We are not cavemen and have plenty of fake and convenience foods. Our culture has trained us that weight control is a matter or our diet, but it is only one piece of the puzzle. “The current epidemic in obesity cannot be explained solely by alterations in food intake and/or decrease in exercise… Indeed, the level of chemicals in the environment is purported to coincide with the incidence of obesity, and examples of chemicals that appear to cause weight gain by interfering with elements of the human weight control system – such as alterations in weight-controlling hormones, altered sensitivity to neurotransmitters, or altered activity of the sympathetic nervous system – are noted. Indeed, many synthetic chemicals are actually used to increase weight in animals”, according to Jarrold Heindel, PhD, of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. (Heindel, 2003)
Losing stubborn fat is about chemical control, because our endocrine system requires nutrients, not chemicals. The wrong chemicals can jam up our receptors and act like fake hormones. Is it any wonder there are so many women and men with hormonal balance issues?
Instead of looking for the perfect diet, isn’t it time to try balancing your body instead? The body is similar to an engine – it requires the correct fuel but also needs basic maintenance, like gentle detox routines and other natural remedies to keep all systems working in harmony. The parts should last longer and it should work more efficiently and smoothly for a long, healthy life.
Monday, 18 April 2016 00:00 – Your Health Magazine – Loudoun/Fairfax, VA
Psyllium Does the Body Good
There are many “nutritional foods” that are great for the body. Nutritional foods offer extra benefits and are usually added to the diet for those benefits. You might know about aloe vera juice, spirulina, chorella, wheat grass, chlorophyll and plant oils like flaxseed, hemp, and pumpkin seed.
But how much do you know about Psyllium? Psyllium, which is an all natural plant used mainly for colon cleansing, and as a “bulk forming” laxative, or, just as a soluble form of plant fiber, has many other added health benefits. According to some sources, psyllium can affect your heart by lowering blood pressure, improving lipid levels, and strengthening heart muscle. So, why not add a little psyllium to your daily diet and see what beneficial changes you notice?
Psyllium is quite readily available in almost every grocery store chain, as well as drug stores, and online. It is probably the cheapest, easiest, perhaps most beneficial nutritional food to increase body health, including bowel function, heart and even skin health. It assists in natural body detoxing, allowing toxins to exit, which affects virtually every bodily function. In addition, the skin is the largest detox organ, so people with skin issues should always look at their bowel health.
You might think of the body’s inner waste system as a “pipe” and psyllium as a “rooter router” because it gently helps to clean out your pipes. Some people refer to it as a natural scrub brush for the inner terrain.
Psyllium is mainly used as a dietary fiber, which is not absorbed by the small intestine. Its mechanical action works to absorb excess water while stimulating normal bowel elimination. Although its main use has been as a laxative, it is more appropriately termed a true dietary fiber and as such can help reduce the symptoms of both constipation and mild diarrhea. The laxative properties of psyllium are attributed to the fiber absorbing water and subsequently softening the stool. It is also one of the few laxatives that does not promote flatulence.
As a general rule, it is safe to add it to your daily diet and it works best with lots of liquid. It is probably the easiest, cleanest, and safest body cleanser available.
Healthier and Gluten-Free Food Choices: Fresh and Easy
Gluten free diets are all the rage now, and many of us are wondering if this is something we should be doing. Obviously, it’s a good decision for people with celiac disease (about 1% of the population), but you may be surprised to hear that an estimated 80% of people with celiac disease are unaware of it. For this reason, it’s important that you discuss any concerns with your medical professional, so you can be correctly diagnosed. Gluten sensitivity is tougher to diagnose so the numbers are less certain, but some studies show that 6-8% of people have this problem.
There is also evidence that gluten can possibly affect your health negatively, even if you don’t have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Gluten is a sticky protein molecule that can cause digestive problems, especially if it’s absorbed in excessive quantities. For example, studies were conducted on people with irritable bowel syndrome, and it was found that some cases of IBS were caused or exacerbated by gluten. Bottom line, it may be in your best interest to look into a gluten-free diet.
Removing gluten from your diet may not be easy, but you should look at this as an opportunity to start removing unhealthy and possibly addictive high-carb items like donuts and bread from your diet. This doesn’t mean you should yank vitamin-enriched and whole grain foods from your diet and replace them with gluten-free brownies – instead you should focus on integrating fruits, vegetables, lean protein, dairy, and gluten-free grains like amaranth and quinoa. Often, the reason why people feel better after removing gluten from their diet is because they’re eating real food instead of ultra-processed packaged food. Many stores offer gluten-free foods (i.e. Trader Joe’s rice/quinoa pasta) and juicing is another great choice for healthier nutrients. This could also be an opportunity to grow your own healthy and gluten-free foods.
Help your kids live healthier lifestyles, too, by showing them how to eat smarter and better. Here are some great choices to help you grow your own healthy food:
Visit a garden store and purchase a planter, containing different kitchen herbs. Place it in your kitchen and pick herbs when you cook and enjoy fresher, healthier herbs and foods.
Start with a large pot in the kitchen, and add some organic or heirloom herb seeds. Or, buy some organic herbs from the grocery store, bring them home and use fresh herbs when cooking. It’s cheaper, fresher and tastier.
Grow berry plants, grapes or lemons in a pot on your deck. Small, fruited plants usually grow well in pots if you have limited space.
Hydroponics – small, reasonable kits, available online/store, that come with everything necessary to grow food. You can easily grow your salad right in your kitchen this way.
Graduate up to a small, 4 x 8 raised bed garden, filled with organic soil. Add some herbs, and vegetables like tomatoes and lettuce. Eventually, you could add enough vegetables to grow your own organic dinner.