Posts Tagged ‘ditch the meds’

  1. Cozy Nuttiness Cereal

    May 6, 2017 by Heather

    Cozy

     

    Truth be told, I am a hot cereal fan.  However, oatmeal and I are just not friends.  It is way too high glycemic for me first thing in the morning with insulin resistance as a result of cortisol issues.  But I confess I am in love with this new combination.  It’s creamy, cozy, and filling but also has a nutty chewiness that is very satisfying.  Unlike oatmeal, this combination is high in protein and loaded with healthy fats as well.  An excellent choice  in particular for those seeking a lower glycemic diet (e.g. diabetes, weight loss, hypertension) but crave carbohydrates for breakfast.  Most of these ingredients are available in the bins at Whole Foods Market or Sprouts– cheap!

    • 2 Tbsp toasted buckwheat groats
    • 1 Tbsp hulled hemp seeds (aka “hemp hearts”)
    • 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed (not whole; they won’t be digested well)
    • 1 Tbsp hulled sesame seeds
    • 1 heaping tsp chia seeds
    • dash of himalayan salt
    • 1/3 cup coconut milk (“light” version, in the can.  Note, a whole can will conveniently last you a workweek for this recipe!)
    • 1/3+ cup water
    • optional (any or all of these!):  1/2 tsp vanilla or 1/4 tsp cinnamon or dash of nutmeg (If you’re lucky enough to have some on hand, a pinch of actual vanilla beans*
    • optional:  a few drops of stevia or 1 tsp honey or 1 tsp  maple syrup*

    Ideally, combine all ingredients in a small bowl the night before and stir well.  You can cover the top with a plate or lid and just leave at room temperature overnight.**  The next morning, stir the ingredients and pour into a small saucepan. Cook on high heat for ~2 min (it should be gentle bubbling).  Turn heat to low and continue cooking for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking/burning (if necessary, add an extra Tbsp of water).  Serve hot, perhaps sprinkled with a few pumpkin seeds or a few currants or some crunchy banana chips.  Fantastic on a frosty morning!

    *A couple of friends tried this recipe and shared their faves…  One loved it with honey and the pumpkin seeds.  Another one skipped the sweeteners and added a Tbsp of dried currants. Another one topped it with frozen organic blueberries; stirred in well, they melt quickly and give off delightfully summery juices.  Still another used a few drops of stevia, cinnamon, and stirred in a heaping Tbsp of organic brown rice protein powder. And one other loved mixing in some almond butter.  Yum!!

    **  If you forget or don’t have time to soak overnight, no worries!  Simply combine and cook in the morning.  Soaking the seeds overnight will make your cereal creamier and also reduce the phytates (minerals binders) in the mix, making more nutrients available for you to absorb.

    If you try it I would love to hear from you! Let me know if you made any modifications and what those were!!


  2. Health Dynamo or Demon: Coffee Myth Busting

    February 27, 2017 by Heather

    fee Myth Busting

    Today I want to do some myth busting on coffee!!  I know so many of you love it and wonder if it’s good for you!

    So much of the health media promotes extreme viewpoints that leave you thoroughly confused. Depending on where you get your data, vegetarianism is either touted as the best or the worst dietary solution for obesity. Soy either directly causes breast cancer or definitively prevents it. Oatmeal reduces risk of heart disease or directly contributes to it. Of course, sensationalism sells. And many sources (especially on-line) are just based on opinion and personal experience. But especially when these headlines are touting sound biochemistry (and perhaps clinical study results as well) to back up their claims, it makes you wonder how and why scientific inquiry comes up so often with opposed findings.

    The truth is that the correct answer to the question often asked of me, “Is this healthy or not?” is almost always “Well, it depends.” Unfortunately we like generalizations; we want to have a short list of healthy choices that everyone can follow without further inquiry. The truth is that nothing is healthy for everyone all the time. Some people thrive as vegetarians; others become exhausted and anemic. Oatmeal helps some to lose weight; others become insulin resistant and gain more belly fat. Yogurt for some can help to heal an irritable gut; for others, it directly causes inflammation. We are all different. In my practice, the focus in our client work is on customizing solutions for each unique person given their goals and the full set of dynamics happening in their body. So yes: coffee is indeed a health dynamo for some and a demon for others.

    Here are some truths. Coffee is a beverage brewed from the roasted, ground seeds of the coffea plant. Coffee is loaded with a rich variety of phytonutrients, including a particularly high level of polyphenols, the same class of antioxidants for which we trumpet the cardiovascular health benefits of red wine and olive oil. Much of the world’s population gets well over half of their daily intake of polyphenols from coffee or tea (another study write-up). There are however, hundreds of specific nutrients in coffee (not just polyphenols and caffeine), and people may have a varying response to them.

    Plenty of major institutions have published comprehensive research summaries (e.g. this one from Harvard’s School of Public Health, which is quite well-written) to demonstrate that “generally”, “overall”, or “for the majority of the population”, coffee consumption up to a few cups daily is safe and perhaps even protective against a number of chronic, inflammatory diseases.

    A situation in which I am likely to actually recommend coffee is for those with cognitive impairment, including dementia and early signs of Alzheimers.

    Genes can play a large role in determining how coffee might affect you. Coffee contains caffeine, and the stimulatory effects of coffee can vary dramatically depending on whether one is genetically a fast or slow metabolizer of caffeine. For example, research shows an increased risk of heart attack if slow metabolizers consume two or more cups of coffee daily, while fast caffeine metabolizers will reduce their risk of heart attack if they consume at least one cup daily. Similar studies have come to the same conclusion regarding coffee consumption and the risk of hypertension; genetic variation in caffeine metabolism is a key differentiator in whether intake is potentially harmful or harmless. That’s not conflicting science; it’s the devil in the detail. Increasingly, interested consumers are able to learn a bit more about their genetic make-up via at-home test kits such as that offered by 23-and-me.

    But there can be devil in the detail – and thus confusion about the best personal health choices – on many other fronts. Here are some specific circumstances in which I definitely don’t recommend regular intake of coffee (or black tea):

    Ulcers and gastritis or acid reflux (GERD). Coffee is very acidic and can exacerbate existing erosions in the protective mucosal lining of the stomach. It’s important to make dramatic dietary changes when gastritis is first detected, in order to prevent eventual ulceration. I recommend a very specific supplement for my clients in order to heal the stomach lining. Coffee is also a known trigger for acid reflux and should be avoided by anyone with ongoing GERD challenges, so that the true root causes can be identified. We have also seen several clients eliminate 80%+ of their GERD simply by giving up coffee! So definitely worth the exploration.

    Adrenal fatigue. Cortisol is a vital stress hormone in the body which protects us from the damaging effects of stress. Chronic levels of mental/emotional stress or physiological stress (e.g. unaddressed allergies or food sensitivities) can cause sustained, elevated cortisol which eventually wears out adrenal function and drops levels of cortisol output to unhealthy lows. Low cortisol can also cause immune system imbalance and increase allergy, asthma, and autoimmune activation. While these individuals may be attracted to caffeine as an “energy boost”, in truth coffee just accelerates the metabolism of cortisol and worsens the root cause of the problem. We also need adequate cortisol in order to allow thryoid hormone to be active within our cells (as an aside, low cortisol is one of the major reasons why one’s thyroid hormone levels can be mid-normal or better and one can still struggle with hypothyroid symptoms).

    Type 2 diabetics. Similar to the above situation, T2Ds may be drawn to coffee for an energy boost because insulin resistance prevents their body from receiving the appropriate fuel source within their cells. Plus there is evidence that coffee or caffeinated beverages exacerbate blood sugar after meals, especially for those with poorly-controlled diabetes. Until the insulin resistance can be addressed at its root, these clients usually get much better relief by adding more medium chain fatty acids (MCFA – likely coconut oil) to their diet. MCFAs are readily metabolized in the cells, unlike other fats, when there is insulin resistance.

    Insomnia – even mild. Despite myths otherwise, the stimulating effects of caffeine can be quite long-lasting. The half-life of caffeine in the body is up to 6 hours, which means it takes up to 24 hours for it to be fully excreted from your body. This means that your late morning cup of coffee can be a major reason why you struggle to go to bed early enough or why you don’t sleep as deeply as you wish. Many of my clients over the years have been surprised to learn that even their single, early-morning cup of coffee was actually a major contributor to poor sleep.

    Anxiety. This one is probably obvious, but many people who struggle with anxiety still choose to consume caffeine to counter the fatigue coming from anxiety-driven insomnia. This is of course a vicious, never-ending cycle, and in our experience the only way out – to real wellness – is withdrawing from the caffeine.

    Indeed the devil and the dynamos for wellness are often hidden in the details for each of us as unique individuals! As you look for new ways to increase your vitality and well-being (feeling fantastic most days!), if you are used to drinking coffee daily, consider stopping coffee for a full month and seeing how you feel post-withdrawal. Many are afraid of withdrawal, but in my practice, with adequate hydration and additional magnesium support, withdrawal usually only lasts 3-5 days.

    I’d love to hear about your coffee experience!  Feel free to comment below or reach out to me to chat personally or to set up a consult!


  3. New and Improved Pumpkin Pie

    November 22, 2016 by Heather

    clean

    New and Improved Pumpkin Pie
    Alternative to the traditional Thanksgiving dessert. Gluten-free, dairy free and much lower in sugar than your typical Pumpkin pie. Give it a try! It is absolutely delicious
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    For the crust
    1. 1.5 cups almond, walnut or pecan meal
    2. ½ cup ground flaxseed
    3. 4 dates (pitted)
    4. 2 Tablespoons organic, grass-fed butter/ghee or coconut oil (soft but not melted)
    5. Pinch of sea salt
    6. 1.5 tsp cinnamon
    For the filling
    1. 4 eggs, free-range and organic
    2. 1/2 cup real maple syrup
    3. One -15 ounce can organic pumpkin puree
    4. 1 tsp real vanilla extract
    5. 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
    6. 2 tsp ground ginger
    7. 1/2 tsp sea salt
    8. 1/4 tsp nutmeg
    9. 1 cup full-fat coconut milk, from a can (not a carton!)
    10. Optional: 20 drops of liquid stevia extract
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Grind and blend first 6 ingredients in a food processor until blended.
    3. Using your hands (and lightly wet fingers) press nut mixture into a 10” pie plate, preferably glass (just makes a thicker crust on a 9” plate).
    4. Bake crust for 10 minutes (be very careful not to burn).
    5. Remove from oven and allow to cool fully.
    6. Meanwhile, put eggs, maple syrup, and stevia in food processor (or bowl with hand mixer) and blend well. Add remaining ingredients & blend just until combined, scraping bowl sides at least once.
    7. Pour into room temp crust and bake until an inserted knife in the middle comes out clean, 45-60 minutes. Allow to cool fully before eating to allow custard to set.
    Fit With Fibro http://fitwithfibro.com/

  4. Why Use Supplements?

    November 13, 2016 by Heather

    why-supplement_

    Over the years, I have worked with clients who have a very wide array of attitudes, assumptions, and beliefs about dietary and therapeutic supplements. The supplements I recommend for each client are fully customized. Whether it’s a specific vitamin, mineral, herbal extract, essential fat, or hormone, every recommendation I make to my clients is driven by their unique health history, physiology, genetics (in some cases), dietary choices, current biochemical imbalances, and goals.

    There is no standard program I use with my clients.  All supplement recommendations are completely customized to the individual. I am focused on very thoroughly understanding their symptoms, their history, and in particular, their labwork in terms of understanding what their unique body needs. I see all sorts of level of comfort in my clients. Some people are happy to take 50-60 supplements a day with no problem and are very engaged with and focused on the value of them. Other clients are much more hesitant and more questioning.  A question I get very often is, “if I eat well, then why do I need a supplement?” And I’ll answer that in just a moment. But most of my clients are somewhere in between. We often talk about supplement tolerance.  Some people are are only willing to take four or five things on a given day and other people are perfectly willing to take much more than that.

    It would be great if we could get everything we need nutrient wise, to not only survive but to thrive, from food.  It was that way for man for a very long time. Unfortunately, we today, live in an environment where, I think it is virtually impossible to get everything you need to thrive just from your food.  And there are a few reasons why. First of all you’ll notice I used the word thrive vs. survive.

    I love this quote by Dr. Mark Hyman:

    “In a perfect world, no one would need supplements but given the stress of our modern life, the poor quality of our food supply and the high load of toxins in our brains and bodies, most of us need a basic daily supply of the raw materials for all our our enzymes and biochemistry to run as designed. One of the largest drivers for supplementation in today’s modern age is our exposure to toxins and the likelihood of us struggling to keep up with that and therefore the possibility that we struggle with downstream inflammatory effects, either from continued exposure and/or stored toxins.” ~Dr. Mark Hyman MD
     
    There is a certain bare minimum of nutrients needed in order to keep people from having deficiency type diseases. In fact, many people are surprised to learn that, for example, the U.S. Governments recommended daily allowance (RDA) of a nutrient is not even close to the optimal amount of a nutrient. It’s actually the bare minimum that you need to not get deficiency diseases for specific nutrients. So, for example, the RDA for Vitamin C is not what you need to have an optimal immune system and to not get sick and to thrive.  It’s what you need to not get scurvy. Or the amount of Vitamin D that is recommended as the RDA is not what you need in order to help your body to avoid cancer, or to again, have a good, strong balanced immune system that helps you to avoid allergies and asthma and that kind of thing. The RDA is the amount of Vitamin D you need to not get rickets. Well most of us don’t want to just barely survive and avoid scurvy and rickets. Most of us want to thrive and the amount of nutrition needed to not only avoid those diseases but to feel well much less fantastic are usually substantially more than the RDA.  On top of that, the amount of nutrients you need has to be balanced against how much nutrition is actually in your food. And unfortunately, as much as I wish it wasn’t the case, our food is getting less and less nutritious over time.  Thanks to a number of different large scale not only domestic American but even international trends, our food has much less nutrition in it than it did in the past.  And when I say in the past, I’m even meaning 75-100 years ago, much less 500 or 1000 years ago. Today, even if it’s organic food, very often it is produced in very large scale farms where there is not natural fertilizer or cover crops or animal grazing that would allow nutrients to be put back in the soil. And of course if there aren’t minerals in the soil there can’t be minerals in the food that was grown in that soil. In general, there is a global crisis with topsoil erosion which is where the real nutrient dense soil is found because of the decay of natural organic matter (bugs, insects, leaves), all sorts of organic breakdown that creates nutritional fodder for plants and animals to take that nutrition and deliver it to us via the food. Many of my clients are shocked to find out that a certain nutrient is less than half as prevalent in say an apple or stalk of broccoli than it was as recently as the 1970’s. So our food is not as nutritious as it used to be, not even close. You could pretty much count on animal foods to have good amounts of Omega 3 fats up until a hundred years ago but now because of the manner in which livestock is raised for food, it is highly unlikely, except for wild fish, that your food has substantial Omega 3’s in it. So, there’s nothing wrong with the food.  It’s what we’ve done to the food in terms of modern scale and practice in agriculture.
     
    The other key tenet that I think is important to understand is that today we live in an environment that has unprecedented levels of stress and toxins. I think you could easily argue that today the average Westerner adult encounters more toxicity through the air she inhales, through the water she swallows, through the food she chews and swallows, through the things that get rubbed on and absorbed in her skin; more toxicity probably in a given day than the average human adult encountered in a lifetime 100-200 years ago. We are asking our entire physiology to not only manage and process and excrete much higher levels of toxicity but when we don’t do that our bodies suffer dramatically from the inflammatory effects and the oxidative stress and damage effects of that toxicity downstream.  That whole biochemical dynamic is why a number of my clients are working with me, in order to get to the bottom of that toxicity.  Some of my clients have particular genetic variants, things you can’t really do anything about, that impair their bodies ability to conserve or use certain nutrients that impair various types of detoxification or impair various oxidative management pathways in the body. And so all of this contributes to my answer to the question of why do I need supplements. Because I want to help my clients thrive, not just to barely survive. My clients come to me in an effort to really feel fantastic, which is really what my goal is, to not just to help them get by but to help them to get truly well and stay well.
     

    Do you use supplements?  I would love for you to share your experience below!

     
     
     

     


  5. Going Gluten Free!

    September 12, 2016 by Heather

    going

    Have you just found out you have a gluten allergy or sensitivity or celiac disease and you have no clue where to start?  The majority of my clients are those with auto-immune dynamics for which I recommend a gluten free diet, 100% cold-turkey, no excuses.  You see, those with an auto-immune disease have intestinal permeability (aka leaky gut), which, in most cases was one of the exacerbating causes of that dynamic.  Gluten, along with being inflammatory for most, will exacerbate intestinal permeability in those with auto-immune diseases.  How you ask?

    Gluten is implicated in intestinal permeability especially in those with auto-immune because it triggers a protein called zonulin.  Zonulin as a substance is natural in the human body. It promotes an opening up of spaces in the villi in the intestines and is triggered on purpose. Zonulin is one of the bodies heavy duty immune response activities which should be limited to cases of virulent infection.  It is the bodies strategy to create more intestinal permeability so the bodies immune soldiers can come to the scene of the infection and help to wipe it out.  When zonulin is triggered when say someone eats wheat bread, then the process becomes inappropriate. 

    Ok so your eyes might be glazing over about now, right?!  No worries!  Just know that gluten is no good for you and you should remove it!  😉 Of course, there are many other things I do with my clients to help get to the root causes of why they got the auto-immune dynamic in the first place, heal their intestinal permeability, get them feeling their best etc.  Did you know that if you don’t get to the root causes of why you got the first auto-immune disease you are 6x more likely to get a second and third auto-immune disease?! But I digress…..  The point of this blog post is to give you some ideas on how to eat gluten free.  Here goes!!!

    Gluten-free foods:

    • Potatoes
    • Buckwheat
    • Oats (*must be labeled gluten-free to avoid cross-contamination)
    • Corn/ maize (some people with gluten issues have a cross-reactivity to corn-always buy non-GMO)
    • Rice
    • Quinoa
    • Amaranth
    • Teff
    • Millet
    • Beans
    • Nuts and nut butters
    • Eggs
    • Fresh fruit
    • Fresh vegetables
    • Herbs and spices
    • Meats and fish purchased without sauce or seasonings
    • Home-made soups (avoid bouillon cubes, barley malt, and all types of pasta)
    • Juice (all-natural, 100% fruit juice)

    Foods to avoid:

    • Wheat
    • Kamut
    • Spelt
    • Rye
    • Barley
    • Oats are generally avoided because they are almost always processed in mills that process grains containing gluten
    • Modified food starch
    • Barley enzymes (found in majority of breakfast cereals), soy sauce, and distilled vinegar (malt vinegar)

    Tips for avoiding contamination:

    • Clean out cutlery drawers; they are great crumb collectors
    • Replace old wooden spoons and cutting boards
    • Wash dish rags/sponges frequently
    • Use a new toaster for gluten-free foods only or buy toaster bags (do not use a toaster that’s already been used to toast regular bread)
    • Use squirt bottles for condiments like mayonnaise, mustard, jelly, etc. to avoid contamination
    • Mark containers with “GF” on the lid of gluten-free items.
    • Clean food prep areas
    • Dedicate shelves and cabinets in your kitchen and refrigerator to “gluten-free food only”

    Recipes:

    Gluten-Free Flour Mix (All-Purpose)

    (Makes 12 cups)

    8 cups rice flour (preferably brown)
    2 2/3 cups potato starch
    1 1/3 cups tapioca flour

    Gluten-Free Flour Mix (Light)

    (Makes 12 cups)

    4 cups rice flour
    4 cups tapioca flour
    4 cups cornstarch
    4 tablespoons potato flour

    There is an awesome recipe on this site for gluten free bread that doesn’t taste like cardboard!!  Just type gluten free bread in the search bar and it should come up. 

    If you’d like help on getting to the bottom of why you are suffering, I would love to be a part of your journey.  I help those with Fibro, CFS, auto-immune, diabetes etc. get to the root causes of why they became ill and wipe them out.  If you are interested in feeling your best, set up a consult with me today!  It is your destiny to live your best self!!!

    If you have any great gluten free recipes you’d love to share feel free to post them in the comments or email them to me!

    Peace & Love,

    Heather

     


  6. Purple Poison

    August 10, 2016 by Heather

    Purple Poison This little purple pill looks so innocent doesn’t it?  Let’s have a little chat about why it isn’t so innocent. 

    I have written before about the importance of getting to the root causes of anything you are struggling with.  Getting to the root cause of your acid reflux is no exception.  And PPI’s are not the answer.

    Many of today’s most popular (and profitable) drugs are designed to mask chronic symptoms without providing any real healing. They keep us from feeling the effects of our lifestyle choices. They keep us from hearing the signals from our body that something is wrong. Symptoms are a blessings my friends.  Think of them as a warning signal. 

    Nearly all drugs are designed for temporary use to provide temporary relief.  PPI’s are no exception.  In fact, that’s what the FDA originally approved proton pump inhibitor (PPI) medications to do: provide temporary relief to those with ulcers. They were designed to be used for several weeks at most. Why? Because long-term use of PPIs like Nexium, Prilosec, and Protonix can deplete your body of critical nutrients and lead to a wide variety of diseases. 

    Many of us have insufficient HCl (stomach acid).  This is called hypochlorhydria.  HCl is required to isolate key minerals like iron, magnesium, and zinc for absorption as well as for breaking down proteins.  Strong stomach acid is also particularly necessary to allow the body to absorb Vitamin B12, a critical nutrient for energy, nerve function, and red blood cell formation. If we have insufficient HCl, we can consume plenty of healthy food yet still become malnourished over time because of poor digestion. All our hard work, right out the window!  Insufficient stomach acid can result from a variety of dynamics, including adrenal issues, dybiosis, Candida, hypothyroidism, H. pylori, age, and medications.  Medications include, you guessed it, PPI’s!!!

    PPI’s reduce the amount of HCl our stomachs can produce. When PPI’s are used for acid reflux they make gastric juices less acidic, so it isn’t as painful or damaging when the juice bubbles up into our esophagus.  Without getting into a lengthy physiology review, the stomach is a critical part of our digestive tract. It is lined with parietal cells which are responsible for secreting hydrochloric acid (HCl) via tiny proton pumps. When you chew food (or sometimes even just smell it), parietal cells are triggered to release this acid. In an optimally healthy body, we secrete strong amounts of stomach acid.  However, if you are using PPI’s, those PPIs attach to the tiny proton pumps in our parietal cells and stop the flow of acid. Thus, our gastric juices become less acidic and less effective affecting our ability to absorb nutrients. For short-term use, this can be a wonderful thing for triage. For example, if you had an ulcer or a short-term bout of acute stress that gave you gastritis. Ulcers are lesions in the stomach wall, and they need short-term relief from acid in order to heal.  However, long-term healing and prevention of both ulcers and acid reflux requires lifestyle change.  Studies have shown that long-term use of PPIs may make you dangerously deficient in key nutrients.  Recent clinical research findings point in particular to the danger of B12 deficiency in those using PPIs on an ongoing basis.

    As stated above, PPI’s deplete the body of magnesium. In fact, there is now a black box warning by the FDA on the package about PPI’s and their role in depleting magnesium!!  In 2010, the FDA issued a warning of the increased risk of wrist, hip, and spine fractures with high-dose or long-term PPI use.  Very recent research has also identified another method by which ongoing PPI might increase the risk of cardiovascular disease by damaging the protective, inner lining of our blood vessels.

    If that weren’t enough reason to steer clear of these not so innocent pills, here is another.  Powerful stomach acid is crucial for our bodies defense against microbes, including dangerous bacteria, fungus/yeast, and parasites.  Without it, we are vulnerable to foreign invasion. Microbial imbalances often cause gastrointestinal disease (e.g. IBS), but the inflammation generated in the gut can wreak havoc on the body in places far distant from the gut (e.g. arthritis).  Remember, disease begins in the gut!!

    Along with B12 and the minerals stated above, there are many more key nutrients that are dependent on strong stomach acid to be absorbed.  I won’t go into them all here but deficiency of these nutrients create downstream effects that create further disease processes in the body. 

    The unfortunate thing is the drug companies have found a way to make us dependent on these PPI’s.  A study in 2009 showed people were likely to remain on PPIs indefinitely because drug withdrawal caused even worse heartburn than the patient experienced initially.  This continues to amaze me, that a drug company would profit from someone’s suffering.  Repeat after me…the only long-term solution for relief is lifestyle change and getting to the root cause of the problem! 

    I specifically work with my clients on getting to the root causes of why they are suffering.  This includes weaning off medications if they so choose.  Everyone’s journey is different but I would be remiss if I did not educate on the real dangers of the use of these seemingly innocent pills.  Please remember that weaning off any medication is crucial and should be done under a qualified practitioner’s care. 

    I’d love to hear your story if you have used PPI’s and your experience with them.  Feel free to share below or send me a message!

    Peace & Health,

    Heather


  7. Don’t Give Up!

    July 16, 2016 by Heather

    fitwithfibro.com

    I received a message this morning from a client that was so excited she lost 15 pounds, even after being on vacation! This was huge for this particular client because she has been having difficulty losing weight due to the inflammation in her body.  I know her internal struggle.  I’ve been there for the tears.  This made my morning. When we are very inflamed, weight loss, will be the last thing to go as a result of addressing the inflammation.  I know sometimes this is hard to hear. 

    It occurred to me after receiving that message that often, as practitioners, our clients journeys closely mirror our own.  There are no accidents.  This message today started me thinking about my own journey and how it mirrors hers since moving to New Mexico.  If you read my last blog post you know the story of my stressed out existence prior to my big move here.  Soon after I moved, I started putting on weight and couldn’t figure out why.  Sometimes, as a health coach, it is hard to be objective with yourself.  It is not as easy to unravel your own puzzle than it is to unravel a clients.  Let’s look at the onion and peel its layers back.  I was in an abusive relationship, lived in another stressful situation when I left that abusive relationship, moved twice (one across the country), went of birth control pills, increased my thyroid meds and stopped my antibiotics for the Lyme.  My poor adrenals!  My confused body did not know what end was up. I know what I would say to client.  Not so easy to have that talk with yourself.  I’m patient with my clients.  I meet them where they are at.  So very hard to do when it is you.

    I can see how my clients can get frustrated.  I’ve been in this situation before myself.  Why work out and eat right when I continue to put on weight, or at least am not able to lose it?  This is the mentality that lurks in the back of my head.  And I’m sure it lurks in the back of my clients heads.  And for those of you that know my story, weight gain for a person with a history of eating disorders is equally devastating. 

    But I continued on, doing my daily workouts and eating clean, confident that I would unravel the mystery.  Thank goodness for my boyfriend that didn’t throw me out of the house!  😉  Sometimes, as practitioners, we need to step outside of our own demons to see the bigger picture.  Sometimes our clients that are going through similar things help us to do that.  At this point, I’m pretty confident I’m on the right track and have answers with the help of some recent labs.  This morning I went for a run and was faster and less tired than I was last week, validation that what I’m doing is working, maybe just not as fast as I’d like.  Hey I’m human! 

    I know sometimes it would be easier to throw in the towel, to sit on the couch with a bag of pretzels.  Trust me, it was tempting.  But if I hadn’t continued to move, if I hadn’t continued to eat clean then I would be worse off than I am.  It is so easy to keep going when you are seeing forward progress.  It can be so frustrating when you are working hard and not seeing the results you’d like.  But once your body catches up and once you address the issues that are causing your body to hang onto the weight and inches, you WILL see the results and all the efforts of clean eating and exercise will have paid off. 

    If you’d like help getting to the root causes of why you are stuck, I’d love to help.  I know my journey has been helpful to many of my clients but their journey’s have equally blessed me in helping my own self to heal. 

    I’d love to hear your story.  Feel free to send me a message or share in the comments below!

     

    Peace & Love!

    Heather


  8. Tahini Sauce

    June 26, 2016 by Heather

    Tahini

     

    Tahini Sauce
    A wonderful alternative to the typical pre-made dips full of cheap ingredients and chemicals that you might find at your July 4th gathering!
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    Ingredients
    1. 1/2 cup tahini
    2. 1/4 cup water
    3. 3 tablespoons lemon juice - preferably fresh squeezed
    4. 2 Tbsp braggs aminos
    5. 2 Tbsp maple syrup
    6. 1-2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
    7. Himalayan salt and pepper (to your taste)
    8. pinch of cayenne (to your taste)
    Instructions
    1. In a bowl briskly whisk together the tahini and water until combined.
    2. It will look separated at first: just keep whisking!
    3. Add remaining ingredients and whisk until combined. Keeps in the fridge for up to a week. Delicious atop sautéed greens like kale or a whole grain side dish like quinoa. Also great for a dip for your July 4th parties!
    Fit With Fibro http://fitwithfibro.com/

  9. Can’t get to sleep???

    March 3, 2016 by Heather

    Sleep Hygiene

    Are you having trouble falling asleep?  Staying asleep?  Follow these tips below for a better night sleep TONITE!

    #1 Avoid Caffeine, Alcohol, Nicotine, and Other Chemicals that Interfere with Sleep
    Avoid these 4-6 hours before bed. Although alcohol may help bring on sleep, after a few hours it acts as a stimulant, increasing the number of awakenings and generally decreasing the quality of sleep later in the night.

    #2 Turn Your Bedroom into a Sleep-Inducing Environment
    A quiet, dark, and cool environment can help promote sound sleep. To achieve this try earplugs or a “white noise” appliance. Use heavy curtains, blackout shades, or an eye mask to block light. Keep the temperature comfortably cool, between 60 and 75°F, and the room well ventilated. And make sure your mattress and pillows are comfortable as well as your sheets.
    Keeping computers, TVs, and work materials out of the room will strengthen the mental association between your bedroom and sleep.

    #3 Establish a Soothing Pre-Sleep Routine
    An hour or so before bed participate in some relaxing activities. Take a bath, read a book, have a cup of herbal tea, meditate or practice relaxation exercises. Avoid stressful, stimulating activities such as doing work, discussing emotional issues etc. Physically and psychologically stressful activities can cause the body to secrete the stress hormone cortisol, which is associated with increasing alertness. If you tend to take your problems to bed, try writing them down in a journal.

    #4 Go to Sleep When You’re Truly Tired
    Struggling to fall sleep just leads to frustration. If you’re not asleep after 20 minutes, get out of bed, go to another room, and do something relaxing, like reading or listening to music until you are tired enough to sleep. The same thing holds true for if you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep. Just make sure to keep the lights dim during this time. The worst thing you can do is watch the clock. It can increase your stress level over not being able to sleep. Try turning it away so you cannot see it.

    #5 Keep a Consistent Sleep Schedule
    Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day sets the body’s internal clock to expect sleep at a certain time night after night. Try to stick as closely as possible to your routine on as well. If you did not sleep well the night before, try to get up at the same time to maintain your schedule and keep your internal clock set.

    #6 Nap Early
    If you feel like a nap is necessary keep it short and before 5 p.m. If you nap too late it may affect your ability to sleep later.

    #7 Lighten Up on Evening Meals
    Eat your dinner and try to keep it lighter than your breakfast and/or lunch. A small snack before bed is alright if you have issues with low cortisol/low blood sugar during the night.

    #8 Balance Fluid Intake
    Drink enough fluid at night to keep from waking up thirsty but not so much and so close to bedtime that you will be awakened by the need for a trip to the bathroom.

    #9 Exercise Early
    Exercise can help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly but don’t exercise too late in the day. Exercise stimulates the body to secrete the stress hormone cortisol, which can keep you awake.

    #10 Shut down your devices early
    Shut down your electronic devices and hour or two before bed as they have been shown to affect melatonin.

    Have you tried any of these? If you do, or have, I’d love to hear how it went!  Leave a comment below or send me a message!

    Peace & Love,

    Heather


  10. Do you have enough stomach acid?

    January 8, 2016 by Heather

    Stomach acid

    How is your stomach acid?  Do you even know?  Today I wanted to bring attention to the importance of stomach acid and the role of Betaine HCL in increasing it.  Stomach acid really is good for you.  Without it, your health suffers.  Our digestion suffers and we are not able to absorb the nutrients from our food which results in further health issues.  In fact, gut issues are one of the root causes as to why we got sick in the first place.  Betaine HCL increases the level of hydrochloric acid in the stomach necessary for proper digestion and assimilation of nutrients from food. Normal levels of hydrochloric acid are required for complete digestion of proteins and absorption of amino acids. It’s also required for the extraction of vitamin B12 from our food. Betaine HCL helps to restore the proper acid levels in the stomach and maintain healthy GI function.

    So how do you know if you’re suffering from low stomach acid?  Here are some signs that you might be:

    Indigestion

    Gas

    Bloating

    Undigested food in your stool

    Acid reflux

    GERD

    Constipation

    Diarrhea

    Malabsorption

    Nutrient deficiencies

    I wanted to mention a few things about acid reflux.  Often we are prescribed proton pump inhibitors for this (pepcid, zantac, etc.)  This can cause a few problems.  If your acid reflux is as a result of insufficient stomach acid, the proton pump inhibitors will further decrease your already low stomach acid, further exacerbating the problem.  Proton pump inhibitors have also been shown to deplete B12 and magnesium, two things we, as Fibro peeps, are typically deficient in already.  

    So how can we increase our stomach acid?  One option is apple cider vinegar in the middle of a meal.  The other option is supplementing with betaine HCL with pepsin (make sure it has the pepsin).  A stomach that doesn’t produce enough HCL also won’t make enough pepsin.  Without pepsin, we can’t break down proteins into the peptides required for proper absorption. 

    Please note: those taking anti-inflammatory medication such as corticosteroids, NSAIDS etc. should not take Betaine HCL with pepsin unless they are working with a qualified practitioner.  These drugs can initiate damage to the GI lining that HCL might aggravate, increasing the risk of ulcer.  A safer bet, if on these medications, unless working with a qualified practitioner, is digestive bitters

    Here are a few tips on getting starting with Betaine HCL with pepsin.  If you are concerned or have questions, please reach out to me or contact your physician. 

    How to figure out your Betaine HCL Dose:
    Each person will have a specific supplementary HCL dosage. Unfortunately, there isn’t a special formula. It’s a case of trial and error until you get to the correct dosage. You must find the correct dosage. Failing to do so will be a waste of time and money.
    To figure out the right dosage:
    • Eat a meal that contains at least 15-20 grams of protein.
    • Start by taking 1 pill of Betaine HCL during the beginning of the meal.
    • Finish the meal as normal and observe your body for any changes in feeling associated with the stomach and belly button area. Things to look for: heaviness, hotness, burning, or other GI distress.
    • Stay at this dosage of 1 pill for another day of meals with protein and if you don’t notice anything on the 3rd day, try 2 pills.
    • Stay there for another day and then try 3 pills.
    • Keep increasing the number of pills taken with each meal until you notice some GI discomfort described above.
    • When this happens, you will know your ideal Betaine HCL dosage is 1 pill less.

    Things to note:
    If you eat a snack or meal without much protein, you won’t need as much Betaine HCL. For a small snack such as fruit, you won’t need any at all.

    When you experience the GI discomfort finding your correct dosage, you can mix ½ tsp of baking soda in 8 oz of water and drink it to help lessen the pain.

    A normal functioning stomach is capable of producing and handling extreme acid ranges. If your dosage starts getting extremely high without any GI distress, you must use your GI symptoms as a guide instead. These include burping, bloating, gas and stool consistency. In this case, try to find the minimum dose needed to help your GI symptoms.

    As you start to heal your gut, your bodies ability to produce its own stomach acid will improve. You may need to tweak your Betaine HCL dose from time to time to compensate for this. This is a good thing!!

    I’d love to hear about your experiences with Betaine HCL.  Feel free to reach out to me if you have questions or comments.  I also work with many clients on issues such as low stomach acid.  I’m here to help!

    Peace & Love,

    Heather

     

    Note: the above post contains affiliate links.  If you use the links to purchase the products I mentioned, I earn a small commission that goes toward running this site.  I only recommend products I use.