Health Issues & body symptoms that indicate changes need to be made.

What is gluten and the associated health issues?

Gluten is a compound protein that composes about 80% of the protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Gluten can be found in many things such as; chocolate, imitation crab (surimi), deli meats, soy sauce, and other sauces along with vitamins and even some toothpaste. Gluten is also used in caking agents, malt beverages and soups. If you have a gluten-sensitivity or Celiac's, you must read all labels. I have a gluten intolerance and have been gluten-free for years and still read labels.

The 6 grains to avoid that contain gluten are: Wheat, Rye, Barley, Malt, Spelt and Oats (unless gluten-free),

What is Gluten Sensitivity versus Celiac Disease?

In general, an allergy is a reaction that triggers the release of antibodies that results in immediate symptom onset. A true food allergy causes an immune response that can affect multiple organs and in some cases, be severe or even life threatening. Food sensitivity (intolerance) symptoms are delayed and are typically limited to digestive problems, but they can lead to chronic inflammatory health issues.

70-80% of the US population has some type of food intolerance; 4% have food allergies

According to the CDF (Celiac Disease Foundation): Celiac disease (CD) is an autoimmune disorder that can occur in genetically predisposed people where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine. When you have CD, gluten damages those villas (we have finger like villa in our small intestine that are supposed to move freely to absorb vitamins and nutrients) and you stop absorbing nutrients and that is why we see over 300 symptoms in CD where it can be hard to diagnosis.  It is estimated to affect 1 in 133 people worldwide, and 83% of Americans are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed so they are at risk for long-term health complications.

Gluten sensitivity symptoms include: foggy mind, depression, ADHD, abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, headaches, bone or joint pain, and fatigue, plus others include depression, mood swings and anxiety. A 2009 study published in the journal BMC Gastroenterology  found a positive link between gluten sensitivity and recurrent mouth ulcers. Food sensitivities in general are caused by several factors or why do immune cells attack food particles:

  1. the body is restricted in it's ability to detox
  2. it reacts abnormally due the the excess of chemicals in the foods & environment
  3. the intestinal function is not balanced
  4. immune dysregulation results in some food particles not be recognized by the body and considered harmful

Gluten sensitivity is a lifelong condition and impacts skin and mucous membranes including the bladder lining in some individuals know as Interstitial Cystitis.

Gluten causes gut inflammation in at least 80% of the population. It is estimated that 30% of Western population is gluten sensitive.

What are the components of Gluten?

Gluten (protein) Gluten is actually made up of two components 1. Glutenins  2. Gliadins

Gliadin (the protein part) and glutenin (the sticky part). The gliadin protein is believed to be the immune-reactive component. A positive gliadin antibodies test indicates the immune system is mounting a defense against the protein.

  • Deamidated Gliadin  You may have heard, "our bread today is not your mother's bread" as it has been processed, manipulated and no longer natural. Today's gluten is being made in a lab instead of by nature.

By way of a process called deamidation, food manufacturers alter the gliadin protein in order to make it more water soluble and easier to mix with other foods and liquids. This deamidation process also occurs naturally in the intestines, which can be a problem within itself. But the use of deamidated wheat isolates in our food supply has become a hidden source of food allergy. In fact, immune T-cells respond more readily to deamidated gliadin than non-deamidated gliadin.

  • Packaged processed gluten-free can make you fat. Some people who go off gluten to lose weight end up gaining weight instead. That's because they consume gluten-free packaged products that are often just as high in saturated fat, sugar and sodium as other junk food, and these products often contain high-glycemic refined ingredients like white rice flour or fillers like potato starch that can affect your blood sugar and trigger cravings. Consider this: Gluten-Free God’s way

Testing Options:

  1. Self Test: eliminate gluten for a few weeks and gradually reintroducing it is the one way to assess your body's response to gluten and determine your own gluten threshold. By gradually introducing gluten-containing grains and other foods, you'll get an understanding of which of these foods, or how much of them, your body can process without triggering symptoms.
  1. ALCAT Blood/serum testing: By monitoring white blood cells, the ALCAT can  determine sensitivity, intolerance, or other reactions to more than 350 different foods and chemicals. With the help of the ALCAT test, modifications to your nutrition can be fine-tuned to your individual needs. B Renewed can help you with this anywhere in the U.S. by drop shipping a test kit.  

So remember these tips if you are considering a gluten-free elimination or diet:

  1. Read your food labels
    • Gluten can be hidden everywhere
  2. Do your own research and educate yourself.
  3. If you have Celiac Disease be cautious about cross – contamination
    • Ask your server questions when dining out
    • Tell your friends and family so they are respectful of your disease or sensitivity
  4. Remember the 6 grains to avoid ; Wheat, Rye, Barley, Malt, Spelt and Oats (unless gluten-free)
  5. Gluten-free God’s way is the best versus buying manmade gluten-free, sugar/preservative laden products
    • Eat naturally GF grains like quinoa or organic rice
    • Organic foods such as fruits, vegetables and meats are all naturally gluten-free
  6. If you have any questions, give us a call as we have personal experience with both Celiacs and gluten-sensitivity!

Top 10 Ways to Kick Colds & Flu Forever

Sick childColds, flu, and sinus infections have been a part of history for our family. For me, it has been over 15 years since I've experienced any of these unpleasant conditions. Some of the benefits of less sick time include more quality time with my family, productive time in my business, hundreds of dollars saved in toxic over-the-counter and prescription medications and much less misery in general!

Obviously there are no guarantees but these are things that have worked for me and many others have experienced the same success. I don't buy into the germ theory as I'm around sick people quite often. And, if this theory were true, then why is it I no longer get sick like I did for the first forty plus (unhealthy) years of my life? I can tell you it is not because I'm getting a flu vaccine or any of type of "preventative" vaccine. I've learned to put the right (whole, clean food) stuff in and let my body do the rest! And, I thank God for creating such an amazing work in us that this process can and does happen!

  1. Eat predominantly organic and non genetically engineered foods to eliminate toxic pesticides and herbicides. Not sure you understand the dangers of genetically engineered foods? Watch Genetic Roulette.
  2. Eliminate or greatly reduce dairy and gluten. Both are extremely difficult for most people to digest and therefore, can stress the immune system.
  3. Replace toxic personal care and household cleaning products with natural, safe, nontoxic versions. This includes products such as antibacterial soap, hand sanitizers, toothpaste, laundry detergent and cleaners. Note that antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers contain highly toxic chemicals and destroy the good bacteria that we need. Regarding personal care, which includes cosmetics, shampoo, deodorant, etc, consider switching to an organic product line.
  4. Reduce dining out and become a vegetarian when you do. Animal products are loaded with antibiotics, hormones and genetically engineered chemicals.  Unless you can locate a restaurant that serves grass-fed meats (highly unlikely in the tristate), become a temporary vegetarian!
  5. Read ingredient labels on food and supplements. Even organic foods can be loaded with sodium and sugar. Because supplements are unregulated, most contain genetically modified ingredients and synthetic ingredients.
  6. Grow your own food. Vine-ripened produce grown organically provides the highest nutrient values possible. Produce that has been picked green and sat in a store for a week, can lose up to 50% of its nutrient values. We grow all year long with an aeroponic vertical growing system.
  7. Eat more plants than animals. Plant-based foods are naturally anti inflammatory, alkaline and contain antioxidants and fiber.  Animals do not meet this criteria which is a key to health and ease digestion.
  8. Use a plant-based whole food concentrate to bridge the gap between what you aren't able to eat every day. Getting the 7-13 servings organic, vine-ripened, fruits, vegetables and berries a day is almost impossible for most of us. Juice Plus whole food concentrates are the only product with proven clinical research which is what we use.
  9. Take a plant-based digestive enzyme with each meal especially if you are over forty years of age. Most of us have consumed enough processed food, alcohol and medications to reduce our natural production of enzymes.
  10. Reduce or eliminate alcohol, caffeinated coffee, soft drinks and drink filtered water instead. The best filter system is reverse osmosis.

So, I know many of you may be thinking that this sounds expensive, hard or just plain not fun. In my opinion, what is hard, expensive and not fun would be having triple bypass surgery, being diagnosed with cancer or leaving a void in my family.  You have to value your health and life first and then the rest is easy. Your body truly is a temple so please treat it as one. YOU are worth it.

Natural Solutions to Adrenal Fatigue

In 2013, a client came to me sharing that she had been diagnosed with adrenal fatigue.  I had worked with clients that had various health challenges but this was a new one. She was already eating clean and working with an Integrative MD so this was going to be a challenge. The only unique factor was her stress level was extremely high as she was experiencing extreme burnout in her career.

To be honest, her symptoms were puzzling.  I kept trying to figure out exactly what it was she was feeling but I just couldn't connect to her symptoms. Usually my clean eating, resting and supporting the digestive process was the answer but in this case, it wasn't enough. I left it to "I can't help everyone".

Then approximately a year later I started to experience signs of extreme fatigue and emotional sensitivity. I remember the thought of performing simple household chores like changing the linens on our bed was equivalent to running a 5K. Some days I couldn't even perform these simple tasks. When and if I did, I had to lie down and rest.

Ironically, about that same time I decided to add saliva hormone and neurotransmitter testing to my menu of services. So the first thing I do with a new service is to put myself through the test and this was no exception. I received the results that I was in Phase 3 Adrenal Fatigue and was devastated. It was at that point I started reading and researching everything I could find on Adrenal Fatigue. I also connected to a private Facebook group of fellow Adrenal Fatiguers. I did learn quite a bit from the group but the negativity was so overwhelming that I decided to stop following. The majority of the group seem to be strong Type A, overachievers and/or controllers which makes sense why many end up here!

So what is Adrenal Fatigue? It is not a proven medical condition but a "syndrome" where fatigue and other symptoms are caused by a poorly working adrenal gland in people who are under chronic mental, emotional, or physical stress.  The medical community does recognize "adrenal insufficiency" which states that only drugs can be used to treat it and that supplements could be harmful. So I asked myself, are my adrenals in need of more toxins to "treat" it or should I use whole food and clean sources of supplementation to balance my body? For those who know me, you can guess the answer.

The research scared me. Stats like it takes up to five years to recover or some cases lead to adrenal cancer as well as Addison's disease. JFK had Addison's which one symptom is a golden bronze skin pigment. Now I understood why people were asking me if I had been to Florida recently or why my skin was so bronze in the middle of winter!  Again, all the piece's were coming together along with test results which was a wake up call for me.

So how did I end up here? Two reasons, one was opening a brick and mortar (physical location) business which we were renovating as well. The second was that my son was struggling with serious health and financial issues. In my quest to take care of him and my business/clients, I failed to take care of myself and ended up in severe adrenal fatigue (Phase 3).

I remember sitting at the table crying and saying, "I don't think I can do this anymore." "This" meaning taking care of everyone else and everything. My dream of opening a wellness center and serving others started to feel like a nightmare. My temper was short and breakdowns were not uncommon but all behind the scenes.  Instead of taking a "why did this happen to me" approach, I saw as a way to serve others with the same challenges.  God again blessed me with another health challenge so I can share and serve others.

The light at the end of the tunnel is that it isn't going to take me 5 years to recover because I had access to the best holistic health experts in the world and access to the best supplements and herbs.

So what was my life changing adrenal fatigue protocol? Only products that were clean, nonGMO and gluten-free sources of plant-based herbs, enzymes and food.

  • Adrenal ProtocolMy mornings started with Sole water which is a solution of Himalayan salt and water.
  • Juice Plus whole food concentrates, triple the recommended serving of six by taking two or three times daily.
  • Green smoothie with Juice Plus Complete plant-based protein powder each morning with various greens such as kale, spinach, dandelion, etc. plus two tablespoons of either flax, hemp or chia seeds.

The following supplements are from Pure Encapsulations. I use this brand because they are truly pure, using nonGMO, no additives or preservatives and gluten-free ingredients:

  • B Complex Plus - 2 times/day with food,
  • ADR Formula- 2 in am 1 hour before food,
  • Dopa Plus - 1 in a.m. 1 hour before food,
  • Ashwaganda - 3 times/day with food and
  • Liquid Vitamin D *4-5000 (4-5 drops) based on my test results

From Enzyme Formulations/Loomis Institute I used:

EFI Digestive Enzymes, 2 before each meal (Formula 2 was specific to my needs, please utilize 24 Hour Urinalysis testing to determine yours)
EFI Organic Iron blend and Female Herbal blend after each meal

Plus, Organic Excellence Progesterone Cream - 1 pump or 20 mg 30 minutes before bedtime.

Again, these are products that worked for me based on the current condition of my body and health. There is not a one size fits all approach for any health challenge. It is recommended that you utilize nutritional testing to determine the state of your health and a Naturopathic Doctor or Holistic Wellness Coach.  Contact me if I can help as we can ship test kits anywhere and help you across the miles.

And if you have experienced Adrenal Fatigue, I'd love to hear from you.

Health Concerns with Genetically Engineered (or GMO) Foods

In the late 1990's I was diagnosed with a plethora of health issues, from allergies, asthma, Irritable Bowel Syndrome  (IBS), severe hormonal imbalances and depression plus ongoing bouts with flu, sinus infections, etc.
Ironically in the 1990's, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) or Genetically Engineered foods were introduced to the public.

Genetic engineering (GE) is where scientists take genes from bacteria, viruses or other sources and inject them in the DNA of a plant. A plant that humans would consume. 80-90% of soy, corn, canola and sugar beets produced are GE and these are found in 75% of our food supply. Another concern in our food system is the level of herbicides, some of which are being injected in the seeds of our food. Glyphosate is the chemical constituent of Roundup and used in conjunction with GE crops. The Cornucopia Institute concluded a study finding glyphosate "exerted proliferative effects in human hormone-dependent breast cancer".

According to World Health Organization, GMOs are "probably carcinogenic to humans". Furthermore, studies were conducted and published in 2012 led by French Molecular Biologist, Gilles-Eric Saralini, as one of many scientists concerned over GE crops.  Rodents tested consumed a diet of GE/GMO food and from the research it included data such as:

--tumors

Research from French Biologist Gilles-Eric Seralini

Research from French Biologist Gilles-Eric Seralini

-- inability to reproduce by the 3rd generation
-- immune system responses & toxicity
--stomach lining showed excessive cell growth, this can correlate to cancer
--organ lesions, altered liver & pancreas cells, and changed enzyme levels

As a Naturopath and a Digestive Health Specialist, the change in enzyme levels resonated with me. Enzymes are vital to life specifically to digestion, assimilation and thus a strong immune system. A strong immune system prevents chronic disease such as cancer.

According to Dr. Don Huber, professor of plant pathology at Purdue, glyphosate draws the vital nutrients out of living things. It removes the nutritional value from GM foods. Therefore, I don't think it was a coincidence when I removed GE/GMO along with glyphosate inundated foods from my diet, that every health issue went away.

For the past 15 years I've maintained a predominantly whole, clean diet and shared this concept with others to see them experience the same. To show you a visual of this from one of my client's, see the before and after of Jane's legs.  Jane was eating a conventional GE/GMO glyphosate diet when we met. Four months later, her legs are healed.
Although this may be a minor inconvenience, it could have developed into a major chronic illness.Janes Legs B4 11-25-14 Janes Legs after 4-2015

What do you think, coincidences or correlations? I would love to hear your experience with GE/GMO foods.

How to Prevent Seasonal Mood Changes

As I write this, the weather is cold and gloomy. A steady rain is falling. Don’t even get me started on the fact that it gets dark here at 4:30 p.m., now.  I just want to hunker down and nap on the couch with my blanket and my pets.  What about you?  Do you find yourself struggling as the days are shorter and you are exposed to less and less sunlight?

It is not unusual to experience some changes in energy levels as we get into wintertime. However if you find that your symptoms are pronounced and you are having trouble functioning, you might be suffering from seasonal mood imbalances.

One plausible cause for mood imbalance is a decrease in serotonin, a neurotransmitter (aka “brain chemical”) that is responsible for the overall sensation of well-being, as well as modulation of the sleep-wake cycle.

Yet another cause can be a Vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is not really a vitamin at all but a group of steroid-like substances that we can make from cholesterol if we have adequate exposure to sunlight. In the winter time, we often don’t get enough exposure to UVBs from sunlight in such a way that we have the opportunity to make enough Vitamin D. A lack of Vitamin D3 can therefore lead to depressive symptoms, as well as compromise our ability to absorb critical minerals like zinc, magnesium, calcium, iron, and phosphate.

At B Renewed Wellness Center, we can offer safe methods to help you conquer the blahs and blues. One natural method for achieving balance is by using Infrared Heat/Light.  Sessions in our Spa Room allow you to relax on our Far-Infrared (FIR) heating pad, while also under the HTE Infrared Dome.  Research has shown that infrared light is effective in increasing production of serotonin, that feel-good brain chemical we discussed earlier.

We also encourage you to have your Vitamin D levels tested and learn more about the documented benefits of Vitamin D supplementation.  If you know your levels are low and are suffering from the winter blues, then please contact a holistic wellness professional. We utilize an  easy to take, liquid Vitamin D3 for our clients' supplementation needs.

In addition, please keep in mind that if you eat fish and eggs, you can get some of the vitamin D that you need from clean, wild caught fatty fishes like salmon, and mackerel, and the yolks of eggs from pastured chickens that haven’t consumed genetically modified feed. However, with severe Vitamin D deficiencies, food may not be enough to bring your levels up to balance your body.

Are you impacted by seasonal mood imbalances? If so, what have you found that helps?

Do You Know Your Intestinal Age?

How healthy is your digestive system?  Is your intestinal age older or younger than you expected?

Find out by taking this Digestive Health Quiz.

The purpose of this questionnaire is to determine how healthy your digestive system is.  It is interesting to know if your actual age matches your intestinal age.  If your intestinal age is older than expected then it's time to look for a healthy life style change and take action with good enzymes that will benefit and help your digestive system.  If it's younger or matches your age, then it's time to take good care and maintain your young digestive system with good supplements.  Please be honest with yourself when taking the questionnaire, as it will help to determine an accurate intestinal age reading, which will help you to better understand where your health is today and how to improve it.

Assessment Questions: Please check the following boxes that relate to you.

Eating Habits

□  Often do not eat breakfast

□  Breakfast is usually short and quick

□  Eat meals at irregular times

□  Inadequate intake of vegetables

□  Like to eat meat

□  Like to drink milk and eat dairy products

□  Eat out more than 4 days a week

□  Like to drink soft drinks

□  Often eat late at night

□  Drink alcoholic beverages

 

 

Bowel Habits

□   Often 'strain' when having a bowel movement

□   Don't feel completely empty even after a bowel movement

□   Difficult to have a bowel movement (ex.constipation)

□   Stool is hard and resembles pebbles

□   Stool is very soft or experience diarrhea

□   Stool is a dark color

□   Stool and gas have an awful smell

□   Irregular bowel movements

□   Stool sinks to the bottom of toilet

 

Living Conditions

□   Often smoke

□   Facial skin tone is dull and you appear older than you are

□   Rough skin, acne or other skin condition

□   Lack of exercise

□   Often feel stressed

□   Feel panic or rushed in the morning

□   Often have difficulty falling asleep at night

□   Lack of sleep due to staying up late

□   Often feel tired after waking up

 

 Your RESULTS: If you checked:

0 boxes: Your Intestinal age is younger than your actual age. Congratulations, your intestinal health is outstanding!

1-4 boxes: Your Intestinal age = your actual age + 5 years. This means your intestinal age is slightly older than your actual age. You may need to start paying attention to your intestinal health.

5-10 boxes: Your Intestinal age = your actual age + 10 years. Your intestinal age is older than your actual age which means you need to pay more attention to your diet and try to get better rest.

11-14 boxes: Your Intestinal age = your actual age + 20 years. Your intestinal age is much older than your actual age so you must completely change your eating and living habits.

16+ boxes: Your Intestinal age = your actual age + 30 years. Your intestinal health is very poor. Please seek professional help immediately.

 

 

 

 

12 Ways I Survived Allergy Season

I suffered with severe seasonal allergies and asthma for years.  My symptoms ranged from annoying to debilitating at times.  I had itchy eyes, runny nose, and fogged brain.  I was just plain miserable!  Sound familiar?  I went the conventional treatment route, but the side effects were as bad if not worse than the side effects of the allergies/asthma.

As of today, I have not used a conventional allergy medication or my inhaler for 15 plus years! How did I do it?  It may be hard to believe, but I simply eliminated the foods in my diet that created inflammation and built my immune system back up.  The most important time to start is LONG before allergy season begins.  Depending on where you live, seasons may vary, but it is typically March-April.

 Here are the top 12 strategies that worked for me.

1. Switched from drinking cow's milk to almond or other plant-based milks.  I use certified organic or non-GMO sources.  Greatly reduced or eliminated other sources of dairy such as cheese, cottage cheese and yogurt.  I made those "sometime foods" instead of consuming them daily.  Dairy products (lactose) do not break down well, for most, and create mucus in the body.

2. Used food sensitivity testing to determine what foods, herbs, and chemicals created inflammation.  Even healthy foods, for me, were creating inflammation like lemons, avocados, coconut and turkey.

3. Once I learned that I had a mild intolerance to gluten, I switched to eliminating or using the gluten-free grains. Grains that contain gluten are wheat, rye, spelt and barley.

4. Not only did I eat my greens, but I also started drinking them! I drink a green drink every morning.  Greens, fruits and vegetables in raw form are natural anti-inflammatory foods.  Check out my video on how to create a Green Drink.  In addition to tasting delicious, this drink builds and boosts your immune system, by adding much-needed antioxidants to your cells.

5. When I did experience seasonal irritations, I found natural solutions that didn't cause my body harm. Using plant-based enzymes between meals also works well for seasonal discomfort.  We carry healthcare professional grade plant-based non-GMO enzymes that are much more potent than conventional enzymes. Contact us if we can help.

6. Switched my in-between meals snacks from crackers and chips to fruit or raw veggies (without ranch dressing!).  Again, fruits and vegetables act as natural anti-inflammatory agents. Fruits and veggies should come from the whole food either fresh or frozen, never canned. Canned foods are void of enzymes and nutrients, which are essential in reducing inflammation and building the immune system.

7. I started taking Juice Plus Whole Food concentrates. Let's face it, most days; we are not getting the recommended 7-13 servings fruits/vegetables.   Juice Plus makes it easy and affordable to get 26 fruits, vegetables, greens and grains for a fraction of the cost of buying organic produce. These products have been clinically proven to reduce inflammation and are simply food, not more synthetic supplements.

8. Buy and consume certified organic or naturally grown produce. Herbicides and pesticides can create respiratory issues and create more inflammation in our body.  Today, almost every grocery store carries thousands of items to enable you to eat clean. It is worth the time and money to go the extra mile.

9. Vacuum your home more frequently, especially in your bedroom  and if you have pets. Wear a mask or hire someone (children assuming they do not have allergies) to do this for you.  Keep your windows closed during peak pollen seasons as well.

10. Eliminate chemical cleanings, dryer sheets, detergents, soaps and shampoos.  Consider making your own detergents and choose personal care products that are free of chemicals that aggravate your skin and cause inflammation. I clean with simple products like baking soda and/or vinegar.  Recently I created a Homemade Dishwasher Detergent blend, which I was quite proud of!  I'm not very domestic, so creating things in my home, is a big deal!

11. Drink purified or reverse osmosis water. Your body is 70-80% water, so replenish it with the good stuff.  City/tap water contains heavy metals that block nutrients. To learn more about what pure water really is and bring an affordable system into your home, go to The Water Evangelist. I've learned so much from these wonderful folks.

12. Tongue Scraping. As crazy as this sounds, this ritual has really helped my allergies. Purchase a stainless steel scraper as I feel they work better than the plastic versions. Scrape your tongue each morning before you brush. I start in the middle and then scrape both sides rinsing your scraper at each section. Using your toothbrush (which is what I used to use) doesn't remove the bacteria but can drive it in. Since 70% of bacteria reside on the tongue, scraping can help keep you healthy and reduce allergy symptoms.

Understand that when you experience unpleasant symptoms your body is temporarily out-of-balance. Allergies and asthma are not necessarily a lifetime condition if you are diligent and disciplined with your diet and lifestyle.  If I could rid my body or greatly reduce them, you can too!

 

 

Use Whole, Clean Foods to Balance Hormones

Since 85% of women experience Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) symptoms (some can be severe) and about 75% suffer with menopausal symptoms, let's discuss what we can do to prevent or reduce such unnecessary discomfort! I suffered with excruciating pain and discomfort with PMS as I didn’t know that my diet and lifestyle choices were causing it. Menopausal symptoms however, have been virtually nonexistent as I now consume a whole, clean food diet.

Infertility is another growing issue in the U.S. which impacts 11% or 6.7 million women. Sadly, the medical community is not considering diet and lifestyle as a solution.  Changing these thought processes could save billions of dollars and provide safer options for mom and baby.

PMS symptoms occur during or before the menstrual cycle which can include bloating, weight-gain, aggression, cloudy thinking, head or backaches, cravings, anxiety, mood swings and more. PMS is correlated to the body being out of balance, specifically the hormones progesterone and estrogen.

As women age, levels of their hormones become imbalanced as the body produces less of them.  Estrogen and progesterone, the two primary hormones, work together to perform their many and complex functions.  Between the ages of 45-50, most women will cease to have a menstrual period. This marks the beginning of the official menopause phase.

Symptoms of menopause can include hot flashes, night sweats, moodiness and more.  During this time is usually when women seek the advice of their physician or natural health practitioner to help battle the changes.

Hot flashes are the most frequent symptom of menopause and premenopause as two-thirds of all women suffer with them. They occur when blood vessels near the skin's surface expand to cool the body. Hot flash symptoms may include a red face, sweating, increased heartbeat or chills. If they occur at night, they are called night sweats. Stress, caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods, tight clothing, heat and smoke from tobacco products can trigger hot flashes.

The fundamental element to putting the body back in balance is a diet of whole, clean, unprocessed food and especially fruits, vegetables, greens and essential fatty acids. What do I mean by whole, clean food? Whole, clean food is the stuff straight from God and nature without additives, preservatives, pesticides, herbicides, and not genetically modified. Chemical toxins combined with nutrient deficiencies are a major cause of hormone imbalance.

Ideally, the whole, clean food you consume should be vine-ripened (picked at peak nutrient levels versus being picked green) or certified organic. According to the USDA, half your daily intake of food should be from fruits, vegetables and greens, which is approximately 7-13 servings!  Are you getting a variety of these on a daily basis? If not, check out my secret weapon to bridge that important gap.

The second key element to balancing the body is sufficient essential fatty acids (EFAs). This includes the nuts and seeds (raw, unsalted) to supply fiber, protein and EFA’s that are crucial to hormone regulation.  Nature provides these through foods such as:

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil, cold pressed
  • Butter or ghee (from grass-fed, antibiotic, hormone free animals)
  • Borage oil
  • Hemp seeds or oil
  • Nuts and nut butters especially almond and walnut
  • Coconut Oil
  • Avocados
  • Flax seeds and oils

From seafood, we obtain EFA's from wild (not farm-raised) cold-water fish and oils such as sardines and salmon.

Consuming a minimum of 2-4 Tablespoons per day and a variety of each of the EFAs is crucial for hormone balancing, which supports fertility as well.

The body requires good fats or EFA's as they are a necessary basic component in hormones and the production of prostaglandins, which are the precursors to hormones.  Prostaglandins are important for the regulation of:

  • Inflammation, pain and swelling
  • Blood pressure and heart function
  • Kidney function and balance
  • Allergic response
  • Immune response
  • Nerve transmission
  • Steroid production and hormone synthesis
  • Blood clotting and red blood cell/platelet aggregation (stickiness)

The good prostaglandins prevent blood cells from sticking together, which leads to improved blood flow and reduced inflammation, therefore, reduced pain.

Eating whole, clean, processed foods and increasing or adding EFA’s are two key steps to balance the body and hormones.  What foods have you found help balance the body when it comes to hormone health or what foods have you learned to avoid?

Understanding Food Intolerance and Food Sensitivity

What do the following healthy foods all have in common?

  • ACORN SQUASH
  • BLUEBERRY
  • LEMON
  • TOMATO
  • WILD RICE
  • ZUCCHINI
  • SQUASH
  • EGG WHITES

These are foods that I learned through testing that I had a moderate or severe food intolerance to. This is important to know as food intolerances and food sensitivities cause chronic inflammation. Food intolerance manifests a wide array of symptoms from gastrointestinal, fatigue, headache, migraines, arthritis and brain fog. These types of sensitivities affect 80% of the population. However, food intolerance does not cause immediate allergic symptoms.

Two more foods that made it to my reaction list are gluten and casein, which seem to be quite prevalent. The scary part is that I was sure I wasn’t food sensitive to gluten. I’m really glad I conducted the testing and didn’t rely on my limited knowledge at that time.

Food intolerance and food sensitivity can vary based on stress levels, eating habits, medical conditions, nutritional status, hormone levels, medications, change of season and other factors that impact the immune system.

Intolerances and sensitivities can be measured via the ALCAT Test. It's a simple blood test for food and chemical sensitivities. ALCAT testing identifies food, chemical and herbal sensitivities where the symptom onset is longer (several hours to days) and varied (typical in chronic conditions). ALCAT testing does not identify immediate IgE food allergies.
This valuable testing answered questions for me as I was baffled why I was still having high levels of inflammation eating a predominantly whole, clean food diet.

I’ve attached a copy of my test results from the Platinum Comprehensive Panel, which tests for the following:

  • 200 Foods
  • 50 Functional Foods and Medicinal Herbs
  • 20 Food Additives/Colorings
  • 10 Environmental Chemicals
  • 21 Molds
  • 20 Antibiotics/Anti-Inflammatory Agents

Along with the comprehensive personalized results is included a 4-day Rotation Plan Guide. You can move foods around as long as you keep a food diary. Mild Intolerance foods can be eaten one day and then omitted in your diet for at least 3 days to avoid a cumulative sensitizing effect.

Another bonus of the testing is that you receive a consultation with a Nutritionist to review the results and help you with food rotation and planning.
There are vegetarian and pediatric testing panels.

ALCAT testing is also widely used for athletes who want the competitive edge. ALCAT results instruct them in personalized dieting to help increase strength and normalize weight.

Ready to get started or learn a bit more about how ALCAT testing can help you or your loved ones? Click here or call us at 812-473-2502.

See My Test Results

Health Issues from Busyness

Health Issues from Busyness

Most of us are busy.   We have packed schedules, commitments and are often quite overextended especially during the holidays. Daily life comes along with endless activities, opportunities and commitments. Before we know it we are exhausted, fatigued, anxious and possibly even depressed. All these can lead to a degradation of our immune system which naturally opens the door for chronic disease such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer.

Let's talk about the word "busy".  We wear it like a badge of honor or maybe an Olympic gold medal.  We compare ourselves to others thinking no one can be busier than we are!

Webster defines busy as:

1. engaged in action

2. full of activity

3. foolishly or intrusively active

4. full of distracting detail

My definition of busy (when used as an excuse for not doing what is best regarding health, business, etc.) is  the person has not made ____(fill in the blank with health, self-care, business. etc.) a priority in their life. Interestingly enough, when a client comes to me for weight-loss they struggle with making their health a priority and/or lack discipline.  However, with a client comes to me with cancer, they have all the time and resources needed to fight it. They are no longer "too busy".

This is why detoxing from busyness is a priority and why downtime is crucial as well.  Downtime is essential for our bodies as it allows us to relax, regenerate and heal. A body in a constant state of stress (busyness) is a body unable to heal itself. Lots of healing happens within the body while we lay idle under those sheets for hopefully at least seven to nine hours a night.
Instead of falling victim to excessive busyness this week, try to carve out some rest and relaxation time, for yourself. Resist the urge to go-go-go. Got to bed early one night, shut off the alarm clock and have a morning of sleeping in. Maybe even leave the day unstructured to continue the downtime and relaxation. Your body will thank you.
What do you do to stay out of the busyness trap?

Health Issues from Unwanted Organisms

Health Issues from Unwanted Organisms

"It is estimated that approximately 95% of the American population is infected with a unwanted organism of some kind."

Most people do not know the symptoms of unwanted organisms, this is how so many become infected and do not even know about it. To make identification even harder many organism infections can be dormant and then spring to life.

Identifying your risk level for unwanted organisms based on your lifestyle choices and preferences can be an extremely helpful tool, this is why I am sharing this article with you today. Knowing what increases your risk for unwanted organisms and knowing the possible symptoms of infection will help you to spot trouble and seek help.

About Unwanted Organisms:

There are hundreds of different unwanted organisms such as tapeworms, to pinworms to many others. Unwanted organisms can be amoeba, bacteria, fungi, molds, worms, spores or even ticks.

Be aware that symptoms of unwanted organism infection can come and go but they may still point to an underlying unwanted organism infection because of their reproductive cycles. The various developmental stages of unwanted organisms often produce a variety of metabolic toxins and mechanical irritations in several areas of the body. For example, pinworms can stimulate asthmatic attacks because of their movement into the upper respiratory tract.

To identify your own risk level for unwanted organisms answer the following questions and note the number of items you can answer "yes" to each one.

For Adults:

  • Have you ever been to Africa, Asia, Central or South America, China, Europe, Isreal, Mexico or Russia?
  • Have you traveled to the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Hawaii, or other tropical islands?
  • Do you frequently swim in freshwater lakes, ponds or streams while abroad?
  • Did you serve overseas while in the military?
  • Were you a prisoner of war in World War II, Korea, or Vietnam?
  • Have you had a elevated while blood count, intestinal problems, night sweats or unexplained fever during or since traveling abroad?
  • Is your water supply from a mountainous area?
  • Do you drink untested water?
  • Have you ever drunk from lakes, rivers, or streams on hiking or camping trips without first boiling or filtering it?
  • Do you use plain tap water to clean your contact lenses?
  • Do you use regular tap water that is unfiltered for colonics or enemas?
  • Can you traces the onset of symptoms (intermittent constipation and diarrhea, muscle aches and pains, night sweats, unexplained eye ulcers) to any of the above?
  • Do you regularly eat unpeeled raw fruits and raw vegetables in salads?
  • Do you frequently eat in Armenian, Chinese, Ethiopian, Filipino, Green, Indiana, Japanese, Korean, Mexican, Pakistani, Thai or vegetarian restaurants; in delicatessens, fast-food restaurants, steak houses, or sushi or salad bars?
  • Do you use a microwave oven for cooking (as opposed to reheating) beef, fish or pork?
  • Do you prefer fish or meat that is undercooked, i.e., rare or medium rare?
  • Do you frequently eat hot dogs made from pork?
  • Do you enjoy raw fish dishes like Dutch green herring, latin American ceviche, sushi and/or sashimi?
  • Do you enjoy raw meat dishes like Italian carpaccio, Middle Eastern Kibbe, or Steak tartare?
  • Do you have persistent acne, anal itching, anemia, anorexia, bad breath, bloody stools, chronic fatigue, difficulty in breathing, edema, food sensitivities, itching, open ileocecal valve, pale skin, palpitations, PMS, puffy eyes, ringing of the ears, sinus congestion, skin eruptions, vague abdominal discomfort, or vertigo?
  • Do you grind your teeth?
  • Are you experiencing craving for sugar, depressions, disorientation, insomnia, lethargy, loss of appetite, moodiness, or weight loss or gain?

For Children:

  • Does your child have dark circles under her eyes?
  • Is your child hyperactive?
  • Does your child grind or clench his teeth at night?
  • Does your child constantly pick her nose or scratch her behind?
  • Does your child have a habit of eating dirt?
  • Does your child wet his bed?
  • Is your child often restless at night?
  • Does your child cry often for no reason?
  • Does your child tear her hair out?
  • Does your child have a limp that orthopedic treatment has not helped?
  • Does your child have brassy, staccato-type cough?
  • Does your child have convulsions or an abnormal electroencephalogram (EEG)?
  • Does your child have recurring headaches?
  • Is your child unusually Sensitive to light and prone to blinking frequently, eyelid twitching, or squinting?
  • Does your child have unusual tendencies to bleed in the gums, the nose, or the rectum?

For Infants:

  • Does your baby have severe intermittent colic?
  • Does your baby persistently bang her or her head against the crib?
  • Is your baby a chronic crier?
  • Does your baby show a blotchy rash around the perianal area?

Interpretation of unwanted organism risk level:

40 or more: If you answered "yes" to more than forty items, you may be at high risk for unwanted organisms.

30 or more:  If you answered "yes" to more than thirty items, you may be at moderate risk for unwanted organisms.

20 or more: If you answered "yes" to more than twenty items, you may be at risk.

Some wonder why they should even care about unwanted organism infections, especially when they aren't suffering from any major health issues. Remember, unwanted organisms rob your body of precious nutrients and can even begin eating their hosts over time. Plus they definitely play a role in what you crave, what you consume and how well your body is able to function.

If your score was over 35 please consider taking a moment to book a telephone session with me so we can discuss your specific observations and get you on the path to improved wellness. Don't let parasites rob your body and destroy all the wellness work you are setting out to do.

Take the first steps toward better health and mental clarity today by booking a consultation today!

I started the 7-day detox Bonnie gave us in the Elite call, and I already can tell my physical energy level is up, including my stamina for my busy schedule. And I have already lost 6 lbs. from the cleanse. Thanks Bonnie!

Health Issues from IBS

Health Issues from IBS

I remember like it was yesterday waking in the middle of the night in extreme pain.   Many nights were spent lying on the bathroom floor in tears.  The dilemma was “not knowing which end was up” as my dad would say.  Would it be vomiting from the pain and constipation or would it be diarrhea?  The options were not good!  My life and career were impacted as I would schedule my travel dates around my menstrual cycle as I knew the symptoms would be most severe during these times. It seriously impacted my ability to function at home and at work.

What is IBS?

IBS is not a disease, it is a functional disorder.  This means that the bowel is not working as it should.  Women typically experience more severe symptoms than men due to menstruation.  IBS is also known as spastic colon and impacts about 20-50% of the population.

Symptoms of IBS

IBS is characterized by its symptoms:  chronic but intermittent lower abdominal pain or discomfort in association with diarrhea, chronic constipation, or both. Gas and bloating are common, but vomiting isn't, though it can occur due to nausea from the pain and constipation.

IBS attacks may strike suddenly at any time of day or night and may occasionally wake you from a sound sleep.  Unfortunately, for me, this was the norm.  So besides the painful symptoms, I was missing critical sleep which ensured the next day would not be good and was setting my body up for long-term health issues from lack of sleep.

So, what did I do to overcome IBS?

Again, this is what worked for me and each of our bodies are unique.  Well, the medications didn’t work.  They only added " insult to injury" by adding additional toxins to my body.  Although I could write a book on all my wellness lifestyle changes over the years, I will share a few key concepts to my healing.

First, I kicked the caffeine habit and removed soft drinks, black teas and coffee from my diet.  Caffeine creates an acidic environment in the body which increases inflammation and pain.  Caffeine also stresses the body which would escalate symptoms.

Second, I kicked the sugar out.  Remember, it is not just the obvious (cookies, candy, soda) that is the culprit.  It is the hidden sugars that we don’t consider or aren’t obvious.   Read ingredient labels on ketchup, salad dressings, bread, crackers, etc.  High fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, sucralose, aspartame, etc. are all forms of sugar.  White bread, rice and pasta convert to sugar in our body which creates inflammation.  Even certified organic foods may contain large amounts of sugar.

Next, I incorporated “raw and live” foods such as fruits, vegetables and greens which were either fresh or frozen.  At that time my idea of eating fruits and vegetables was canned corn and green beans.    Canned foods are “dead” foods because they lack enzymes and nutrients key to allowing our body to heal naturally.

Lastly, I started drinking more water.  At least 8-10 glasses per day of purified or distilled (NOT tap).  Water is a major component to healing and detox.

Again, these are just a few of the changes I made that made a difference.   There is no "magic pill" that will make it go away.  It takes positive and consistent changes to your diet.   If you want a comprehensive plan from someone who has been there and don’t want to figure it out the hard way, I would love to help.