Category: Wellness

Supercharge Your Workouts with This Key Protocol! Plus, discover the 5 best nutrition tips from Blue Waters Resort trainers!

Recently, I returned from a fabulous vacation with my mother and two teenage daughters. We were in Antigua at the Blue Waters Resort enjoying a living wellness retreat, and I must tell you, what an invigorating experience that I will gladly repeat! I returned feeling full of energy and my body is tighter and more toned after my workouts with my wonderful trainers, Kristin and Fatima. Not only did they help me focus on physical exercise, but we also discussed healthy lifestyle habits that I will share with you in a moment.

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If you’re feeling depressed, anxious, and your mood is out of sorts, you may be suffering from an imbalance in neurotransmitters.

Neurotransmitters sound like a hard-to-understand technical term, but it isn’t. This chemical substance is important as it allows your brain to communicate with the human body. Based on cells called neurons, the information is conveyed. Neurotransmitters affect your weight, mood, ability to sleep and concentrate.

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New Year Wellness: Vaginal Health

Vaginal health is an area that is not given too much attention to. It can be confusing to some healthcare providers just knowing if a woman should have her annual exam or not. So that you’re not left in the dark, the answer is “yes.” Although the Pap smear many not be indicated

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Is your Leaky Gut making you sick and fat?

What’s impacting women’s healthcare is a shift in the gut flora.

23 million Americans suffer from autoimmune diseases and this shift in gut bacteria is one of the major causes. It is also the cause of the rise of obesity in the United States and the formation of belly fat follows the same course.

Do you know if your chronic disease is caused by leaky gut syndrome? Chances are it is if you’re taking chronic pain medications and unnecessary antibiotics, which lead to antibiotic – resistant bugs. A leaky gut occurs when the cells lining the walls of the small intestine are permeable to pathogens because the lining of the intestine is weakens. These germs or toxins that are normally eliminated in our waste are now able to enter into the blood stream. When these pathogens or toxins enter the blood stream after being absorbed from the gut it begins a cascade of problems that lead to an inflammatory response.   The inflammation then disrupts normal cellular behavior and the immune system responds and goes into action mode and begins to create antibodies against it’s own tissue. This chronic overstimulation of the immune system leads to chronic inflammation and disease.

A proinflammatory environment triggers the immune system to produce antibodies and this begins a cascade of events inside the body. This proinflammatory state is created from fluctuation from hormonal changes, particularly a decrease in progesterone and estrogen, poor diet, digestive conditions like constipation, low digestive enzymes (occur when your gallbladder is removed) and poor gut motility. These things contribute to intense permeability of the gut leading to leaky gut syndrome. Other influencers include stress and environmental factors such as pesticides and herbicides.

Weakening of the gut lining is further compromised with the chronic use of pain medication like over the counter NSAIDS, prescription pain medications, antibiotics, and antivirals used over an extended period of time. Most patients will present to their healthcare provider with GI complaints and as a result may be given GI medications like acid reducing medications and this further damages to the GI track.  Diets high in processed foods and GMO’s, pesticide laden foods, molds, yeast, bacteria an increase intake of refined sugars, caffeine and alcohol all influence the gut lining and contribute to Leaky Gut Syndrome. It takes many years to develop this syndrome but slowly damage is accruing and resulting in chronic diseases and autoimmune diseases.

Autoimmune diseases that result from a leaky gut include allergies, alopecia, chronic fatigue, chrone’s disease depression, diabetes, fibromyalgia, food allergies heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, sjogrens syndrome and vasculitis.

To keep this simple, the immune system fights off disease by producing antibodies. These antibodies attach to any organ system in the body, which triggers the destruction of tissue and organs, and create an inflammatory response. Over time the body’s natural defense to this stimulus is overburdened. The disease that occurs depends on the area in the body where the inflammatory response occurs. In the joints it creates rheumatoid arthritis, if inflammation sets up in the skin it creates eczema or other skin disorders, in the brain it results in chronic fatigue, in the lungs asthma, in the colon Crohn’s disease or perhaps irritable bowel syndrome and so forth.

Unless the gut lining is repaired the body cannot begin to repair the damage and a balanced immune system is the key to health and wellness.

The solution is to first heal the gut lining from inflammation and leaking and improve the absorption of healthy nutrients through the gut.

Eliminate triggers like GMO’s in your diet and process foods. Repopulate the gut with good bacteria that is supposed to be there with the use of probiotics. GI affects testing is available in the office, schedule your appointment today.

What affects Bacteria in your body?

What you eat

As you age

Chronic medications

Your lifestyle

Where you live

Breast-fed vs bottle fed

Pets in the home is helpful

Born by cesarean section or vagginal

The most powerful influence on your microbiome is your diet and you can support your micro biome with prebiotics and probiotics.

Probiotics:     stimulates the growth of microorganisms, especially those with beneficial properties (such as those of the intestinal flora).

Prebiotics:       fibers found in foods that feed the probiotics

Eat foods that are alive not cooked, not nutrient deficient foods. Eat more cultured and fermented foods.

Probiotic rich foods:

Olives

Cheese

Wine

Yogurt

Sauerkraut

Pickles

Uncultured vinegar

Kambucha

Kefir

Kim Chi

Raw unprocessed honey

Black tea

Prebiotic rich foods:

Ginger

Onion

Garlic

Asparagus

Beans

Eggplant

 

Intestinal permeability testing is available in the office. Use the form below to request an appointment:

Office Hours:

Monday – Thursday 8am – 4:30pm
Friday 8am – 2pm

Phone: (937) 384-8780

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10 Secrets to Surviving College

Going off to college is a milestone in your life, it can be scary and exciting at the same time. For a lot of women, it’s the first time they have ever been away from home and the feeling of new found independence can be overwhelming. This may be the first time you’ve ever been away from home or ever been alone, but don’t let the excitement disguise the fact that you are now an adult and responsible for yourself.

Ready or not, you are now a woman with her own mind and her own feelings, so don’t let the fear turn you into someone who follows the pack. Blaze your own trail and take this opportunity to grow into the wonderful woman you are becoming.

The media may portray college as either a full time joy ride or the hardest chapter in your life, but don’t worry. This is a time of growth and endless possibilities, so take this time to come out of that cocoon and develop into a butterfly who will set the world on fire. Be fearless. Be brave and remember that you are beautiful.

Here are 10 tips on how to make this transition more comfortable, easier and stress free while enjoying your new freedom. These are the tips that I have shared with my own daughters, and although they aren’t leaving the nest quite yet, I thought I would share with all the daughters who may need some encouragement in this time of great change.

10 Secrets to Surviving College

  1. Eat good clean food, don’t get trapped in endless pasta and pop in the cafeteria. It’s easy to grab something quick and easy, but remember: you are what you eat. Be proud of your body and your health, and give yourself the gift of good nutrition.
  2. Sleep is more important now than ever before to keep you level headed and your mind sharp. Keep to your schedule and don’t get caught up in the spontaneous partying. Avoid the toga parties if you must, but if you do decide to pledge a sorority, remember that you don’t have to follow the herd. Choose your education over a temporary good time.
  3. Exercise. Get it in. Do not stop, and make it fun. Join or create a group that walks daily, or join the gym. You’ll meet like-minded individuals who have the same goals. Fitness is important.
  4. Don’t hold anything in, express yourself freely. You will regret it if you don’t, or even get sick. This is a major cause of stress. And stress is the root of all evil. Be your own beautiful self.
  5. Be true to yourself. Your opinion matters because you matter. Don’t limit yourself from trying new things, but choose things that represent the real you. Don’t change to please others.
  6. No means No. Period! In every situation.
  7. This is not high school, nobody cares about your shoes or your purse. You don’t have to dress like the cool kids or have the latest and greatest of technology. Adults don’t care what brand of shoes you wear.
  8. Choose your friends wisely. A lot of the people you meet in college will be lifelong friends and the network you create in college will be an important part of the rest of your life. Find your tribe and support other women. Real women never tear each other down, but encourage and lift up their sisters.
  9. Players gonna play; if he’s on the Football team headed for the NFL he may not be the best marriage material. Guys like to party, and they like girls who party, but those parties end when the real world begins. Find your soulmate, not a “Good Time Charlie.”
  10. Just do YOU and be your own woman. Find your voice and use it. Don’t worry about the others on campus, worry about yourself and what you want to represent to the world. Choose a life you can be proud of.

 

Being independent for the first time can be scary, but remember that you are YOU, and don’t change to please others. You will find your way, but always remember that you are loved and can always call home for support and encouragement. I encourage all mothers to share this message with their daughters who are embarking on this new chapter in their lives.

To all the young ladies reading this, congratulations! Your life awaits.

While all of the signs may be there, this one is most often overlooked, especially if you’re using fillers to fill in your eyebrows. The eyebrows hold an important key for health care providers that can better assist them in making a proper diagnosis. However, if you’re covering up your brows, your doctor can miss this clinical sign.

Pearls of Wisdom

 

Health care  providers have the tools to determine if your high blood pressure is related to a specific hormonal deficiency. Typically, a normal blood pressure is around 120/80. The elevated top number is referred to as systolic blood pressure. The bottom number is referred to as diastolic blood pressure. In the case of diastolic high blood pressure,  if elevated and  associated with signs such as the inability to focus properly, a lack of energy and cold hands and feet, an abnormality with this small gland may be the underlying cause. It can also be the underlying cause for some individuals to be unable to lose weight, even if you watch your diet and exercise. This disease can affect approximately 15 percent of the public at present.

The gland in question produces a hormone that I refer to as synergy. While it’s not estrogen, it does do a lot to create a form of synergism throughout the body. It can also help regulate sex hormones such as testosterone, progesterone and estrogen.

eyebrow2 eyebrow3

How would you like to be able to lose weight when you diet and exercise, have warm hands, improve your energy and obtain better mental clarity? Clinical correlation is the clue! A healthcare professional can check for clinical signs where the outer edges of the eyebrows are missing. A detailed physical exam can help confirm signs that may be staring you in the face. I often tell my students when all else fails look at the patient.

Testing this hormone level is easy and involves a series of five different testing levels. To properly determine your individualized care, all levels should be thoroughly checked to ensure the right solution.

This important hormone should be given the special attention that it deserves. In order for it to work properly, you need to give it exactly what it needs and eliminate disruptors that prevent it from functioning properly. Fluoride toothpaste, high concentrates of chlorine in your drinking water and using brominated flour to cook with work against it. However, you can do your part to ensure its proper functioning such as trading brominated flours for almond, quinoa or rice flour. In addition to being great for cooking and baking, they are also gluten free. Other factors that can hinder it from working properly is smoking, dieting, iodine deficiencies, insufficient amounts of selenium and mental and physical stress.

Have you figured out the hormone that I’ve been talking about yet? If you said Thyroid Hormone, you’re right and deserve a gold star!

Your Thyroid
Approximately 1 in 8 women will experience problems with their thyroid during the course of their lifetime. Thyroid disease can prevent you from losing weight even if you diet and exercise. You may also feel too tired to get moving. Other clinical signs of an abnormal thyroid includes constipation, swollen ankles, dry skin, anxiety, memory loss, insomnia, bulging or frog eyes and more. You don’t need to experience all of these symptoms to be formally diagnosed.

The thyroid hormone is produced through a small gland that is located in the neck. When the thyroid gland is over stimulated, it may grow into something called a goiter. While the normal size of the thyroid is similar to that of a butterfly, there are four other smaller glands that are attached to it.  The parathyroid glands.  They are responsible for regulating calcium throughout the body. If you have had all or part of your thyroid removed, regulating calcium may be a problem for you.

Elevated TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) is known as hypothyroidism and found to be most common in women. Decreased TSH is commonly known as hyperthyroidism.

Thyroid disease can affect your adrenal gland.  Your adrenal gland produces cortisol, your stress hormone.    These two hormones work hand in hand. If you have decreased thyroid hormone, it creates a stressful situation in your body and a natural response it to increase cortisol production.   Your  overworked adrenal gland  can cause you to develop adrenal fatigue.  This could leave you feeling exhausted even before you’ve had a chance to get out of bed and start your day. Keeping up with the demands of an active lifestyle can be exhausting.

Your healthcare provider may find no issues with your thyroid if your TSH alone is normal range. However, you could actually have subclinical thyroid disease. This means that while the labs are normal, you still have the symptoms.

Abnormal thyroids could lead to Alzheimer’s disease. According to the World Health Organization, iodide deficiency is one of the most common preventable causes of mental retardation. Low Iodine can result  in the lack of adequate production of thyroid hormone. While it’s not conventional medicine  to check the iodine levels, testing is available through specialty labs in the office.

Other important minerals and vitamins necessary for the thyroid to function properly include copper, zinc, oleic acid, selenium and vitamins A, E and C. Until your thyroid levels have been thoroughly checked, I don’t recommended beginning a vitamin regimen to treat thyroid disease.  Seek your health professional’s help.

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Just Breathe

Enlightenment in nature - yoga
Silhouette of a woman doing yoga on the beach at sunset

My first Yoga experience with my daughter turned into a breath taking moment for me.   The following day while at work she texted and me and shared that a male friend asked her out for lunch and what should she do?   She has never opened up to me like this. I believe it’s because I shared Yoga with her. Yoga has a way of opening space for creativity. And she enjoyed this new activity together and I loved it even more.

Yoga means to “add”, “join”, “unite” or “attach” it its literal sense, and since our first class together I feel that we have united in a way that I never thought possible. If you have never taken a yoga class, I encourage you to give it a try because the sense of calm and serenity you will experience is a gift you give to yourself. Too often women with busy lives don’t take the time to slow down and think of their own wellness and today’s culture and the feeling of “having it all” lends to this disconnect within ourselves. Take time to take care of yourself. Your body needs this time and many stress related reactions to life can be avoided by just sitting quietly, clearing your mind and focusing on your breath.

It all begins with your mind. You may think that you are not flexible enough for yoga, but it’s your mind that is inflexible, not your body. The most important thing you can do first is to open your mind and introduce positive thoughts. Mind over matter is truth, and once you make up your mind to do something, nothing can stand in your way.

Your body is your garden and your will is your gardener. Your heart and lungs are your most important organs and although we cannot control our heart functions, we can control our breath. Take a deep breath and hold it. You have that control and deep cleansing breaths in will fill you with the best of kind of clarity – now exhale and blow out all of the negativity you have been collecting. Let it all go. Your body knows what it needs and you will find that if you listen, it will tell you. Today it is so easy to go through McDonald’s to grab dinner and sit in front of the TV after your daily activities, but your body wants clean. Clean air, clean water and clean food. We live sedentary lives in this day and age but that doesn’t mean we can’t clean up our temples, right? Develop your own rhythm and enjoy these moments of silence and breath and you will feel lighter as the weight of the world slips away.

YogaA lot of women experience difficulties due to stress incontinence and find themselves shying away from exercise and stretching because of this. Don’t let that stop you. This condition can be fixed by a simple procedure and help you to enjoy activities and stop worrying about your leaky bladder. Too often I hear that women stop taking care of themselves in the form of exercise because of the embarrassment and simply do not want to deal with this situation, especially in the public. This is called stress incontinence and when you exercise, the stress causes those little leaks that can make you feel like it isn’t worth the hassle, but you are definitely worth it.

Sharing yoga with my teenage daughter has been one of the best experiences in my life and I am so glad that I did. I feel united and more connected in a way that has really showed me how important sharing this story is. Don’t let anything stand in your way to true wellness or sharing a deeper connection with other women in your life, you won’t regret it.

Did you know that yoga can make you look more youthful? Practicing yoga helps to reverse increased oxidation and acidity in our bodies, as well as cell damage and inflammation. Research has shown that it can lead to younger looking skin. We all want to age well and yoga can help with that. Increasing breath and blood flow will make your skin glow and who doesn’t want that?

 

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Your Thyroid and You

Your Thyroid Can Cause More Than Just Weight Issues
The thyroid is a small yet powerful gland in the body. In addition to affecting your metabolism, it can also regulate the temperature of your body. When the thyroid is at the abnormal stages, you may experience fatigue, constipation and cold intolerance. A wacky thyroid could also affect the way you handle stress.

Hormones are produced in the thyroid gland, and the active amount is typically in the 20 percent range. The other 80 percent has to be converted. However, in order for this to happen, you need key ingredients such as selenium, iodine, zinc and normal progesterone and cortisol levels. The amount of active thyroid produced is decreased when your body gets too much fluoride. You can give your thyroid what it needs to function properly by eating a diet rich in all of these essential nutrients. From low sodium sea salt, kelp and cranberries, to oysters, pumpkin seeds, seafood, milk, eggs and oats, you’ll have the opportunity to feel better, maintain your ideal body weight and give your thyroid a fighting chance at a better life.

Iodine Rich Seaweed Smoothie Recipe
Iodine Rich Seaweed Smoothie Recipe

Seaweed is such a good source of iodine that they use it to make iodine supplements and going organic is important when selecting your seaweed. Opting for organic is always the best choice because the water in which it was harvested will be much cleaner.

Put all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve immediately.

What You Need:
1/2 cup Organic Kelp, chopped
1 Organic Apple, sliced
1/2 Organic Avocado
1 cup Coconut Water or 1 cup of plain yogurt

A good ratio to follow is 1/4 to 1/3 cup of liquid per each cup of solid ingredients. Feel free to experiment!

You can also use spinach for this recipe as it may be easier to find than seaweed.

Other iodine rich foods include:
Milk
Plain Yogurt
Cranberries
Strawberries
Bananas

For non-dairy smoothies, substitute 1 cup rice milk for the milk and yogurt. Or, use soy yogurt or milk instead of dairy.