Monthly Archives: June 2013

Meditation helps anxiety

A new study showing that meditation helps people with anxiety in as little as four days. Meditation can be as simple as quieting the mind and focusing on the breathing.
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/806288?nlid=31771_1301&src=wnl_edit_dail&uac=189251SK

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Anti-depressants don’t work well for older patients

This is an interesting article. I read it and thought to myself, hmmm… most of our serotonin, (the main neurotransmitter that is affected by anti-depressants), is produced in the gut.We need healthy gut bacteria to produce serotonin. Older people have less beneficial bacteria than younger people. Is it possible that depression in older people might often be gut and bacteria related? Maybe the focus should be on increasing good bacteria with this age group rather than medicating them? Add to that that the organs of detoxification in older people, (liver, kidney,), don’t function as well and have a harder time with medication clearance. Add to that that older people often live alone and are less motivated to eat well, and usually have a reduced income. Seems like it might make more sense to look at the person’t diet, teach them how to ferment food and give a nutritional subsidy if necessary. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/806285?nlid=31730_1301&src=wnl_edit_dail&uac=189251SK

The Top 6 Reasons Why You Have Not Seen a Naturopath Yet

1. I’m not sick. You don’t have to have a disease to visit a naturopathic doctor. We are great with preventative medicine and lowering your risk for chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. In fact, many patients I see have been told, “Your blood work is all normal, you are healthy”, and yet they feel tired, or have aches and pains, or stomach problems. THE ABSENCE OF DISEASE IS NOT HEALTH! Health is feeling and functioning at our mental and physical best.

2. I am sick and my medical doctor is taking good care of me. There are some great medical doctors out there. Doctors who spend more than five minutes in the office with you, who try to find solutions to what is really causing your illness and not just hand you another prescription. If you are happy with your medical doctor, great. If not…consider a second opinion. Naturopathic doctors won’t do anything that works against what your medical doctor is doing with you. We won’t take you off your pills, but rather work with you in establishing good nutrition and supplement what may be lacking. It is often possible that you are able to get well enough that you can go to your medical doctor and ask to reduce or discontinue your medication.

3. I don’t know if my work covers naturopathic doctors or not. Contact your insurance company, talk to your HR person, or read your policy manual. Most workplaces do provide coverage in the range of $300.00 to $500.00 a year. It’s a great benefit, you are paying for it, why not use it?

4. I have never been to a naturopath, I don’t know what they will do to me, or tell me to do. A first visit to a naturopathic doctor is very similar to a first appointment with a medical doctor. When I see a new patient, I take a detailed health history of their present concerns, past health issues and family health history. If they have brought blood work or other tests with them, I review that too. Then I do portions of a physical exam. Some exam components are standard such as blood pressure, pulse, listening to heart and lungs, and some may be a little different such as examining the tongue and fingernails. None of it hurts, and none of it is embarrassing. Finally I sit down with the patient and decide what our initial approach will be. I get your input too. If you are afraid of needles, I won’t suggest acupuncture. If you are on a strict budget, I will find inexpensive ways for you to get the nutrition you need.

5. I can just go to the health food store and they will tell me what to take. Naturopathic doctors have a minimum of 7 to 9 years post secondary training. We spend 4 years learning specifically about the human body, disease and natural treatments. We are licensed and regulated in many provinces and states, including Saskatchwan. A person working in a health food store is simply not qualified to advise you about what natural supplements you need. They know nothing about your health condition or what medications you are currently on. There focus is on selling products, not getting you better. Naturopathic doctors look for the reasons behind your health problems and find solutions for them.

6. I don’t have any work coverage, it’s just too expensive to go, my medical doctor is free. It’s interesting. I hear this from people who will spend hundreds of dollars a month at the health food store on supplements that aren’t working for them. Or close to a thousand dollars a year on a gym that is not helping them lose weight because they never go. Or thousands of dollars per year on cigarettes or alcohol, or drive through coffees and lunches out. It comes down to where your priorities are. A fist visit with a naturopathic doctor, depending on where you live, will usually cost between $150.00 and $250.00 for a 75 to a 90 minute visit. You will get so much useful information during this time about your health and a start on improving it, that that visit fee will pay for itself many times over in time you are not off sick from work, time you do not have to say “no” to playing with your children because you are too tired, and possibly even a few extra years to your life!

After Going Raw – a week later

Well, I have been back on my regular diet for a little over a week now, and I wanted to report how it is going. The first day back was a little rough, I was careful not to overdo but after a month of vegan eating my body took some time to adjust to my regular diet. I will be honest and say that my energy is not as high as it was at times during the first two weeks. I also don’t have diarrhea four times a day! I would like to find a way to have that high energy and a normal functioning system, though. Part of it is that this intestinal bacterial imbalance has not yet been treated. I had hoped that just the detox diet would be enough to take care of it, but it was not. I start natural medication for that early next week. I suspect that once it is cleared up, I will have less food intolerances and more energy. When patients see me and say that they are reacting to more and more foods, there is almost always an immune situation going on with the gut. When the gut is healed, the food sensitivities improve immensely and sometimes just disappear.

I am happy to report no fierce cravings for sugar or salt have happened yet. It is still quite easy for me to resist unhealthy foods. I am still enjoying several of the foods from the vegan diet such as the chia porridge and kale chips as well as the coconut amino seeds, just because I plain like them.

Today was fun. I drove down in the pouring rain and met my contest winner at Dad’s Organic Grocery and we spent a delightful hour chatting about healthy food.

Going Raw – Day 31

chocolate coconut barsThe final day. I just finished a whole month of vegan eating, the first two weeks 100% raw. I had never done all raw for so long before. Thank-you for following my posts. And now… the recipe my fellow chocoholics have been waiting for:

Vegan Chocolate coconut bars: (with raw version included)

For the filling:

2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
2 Tbsp Agave, or you could use Maple syrup or honey
1/8 cup coconut oil, melted – if you want to use this as a raw recipe, the dehydrator will melt the oil)
1 Tsp Vanilla extract, (raw – scrape the inside of a vanilla bean)

Put all in food processor and add a tiny bit of water if necessary, process with “S” blade until it will stick together. On a sheet of wax paper, form little bar shapes

For the coating:

1/4 cup cocoa or raw cacao powder
1/8 cup coconut oil, melted
2 Tbsp Agave (or honey or maple syrup)

On medium heat, stir the coating until it is a little fudgy in texture, but still pourable. For raw, just mix the melted oil, cacao and Agave together. Pour over the coconut shapes, let harden .They will be a little sticky still when hard, and if you don’t like very sweet things, you can reduce the sweetener in the filling and/or the coating. The taste is similar to the commercial chocolate coconut bars, but a whole lot healthier. Still a concentrated sweet, so be careful…but enjoy!

Here is what I ate today:

Breakfast:

Smoothie with kale , swiss chard, spinach, strawberries, chia seeds and lime
Leftover pancakes with blueberry sauce

Lunch:

Vegetarian taco chili with kidney beans, black beans, tomato sauce, organic taco seasoning
Leftover potatoes

Supper:

Flax crackers with guacamole – avocado, lime juice, Tamari, Himalayan salt
Steamed purple cabbage with olive oil, salt and pepper
Brown rice cereal with rice milk

Snack:

Smoothie as at breakfast