Gluten Intolerance & Food Sensitivities in 60 seconds….

Food Sensitivities are not the same as Food Allergies. A Food Allergy is a peanut causing anaphylaxis. A Food Sensitivity (or Intolerance) is about inflammation. It is a slow, internal process that causes global inflammation all over the body.  Inflammation causes discomfort and symptoms. It spreads to other parts of the body and destroys delicate tissues. It causes cancer.

What does this look like? Digestive Issues – people with constipation, diarrhea, and diagnosis of IBS or Crohn’s. Headaches. Fatigue. Inability to lose weight despite diet and exercise.  Any inflammatory condition (arthtiris, aching joints, and so forth). Skin problems like acne, psoriasis, eczema, or rashes.  Allergies (sinus infections, ear infections, sneezing, cough).

What foods would most likely cause this? Well, the “heavy hitters” of Food Sensitivities are Gluten, Dairy, and Sugar. Each of those are actually not a single item, it’s a category. Example: Gluten is actually: Barley, Brewer’s Yeast, Gliadin, Gluten, Hops, Malt, Oat, Rye, Spelt, and/or Wheat. Dairy is: Caesin, Cow’s Milk, Egg Yolk, Egg white, Goat’s Milk, Sheep’s Milk.  And if you’re thinking that you don’t even eat these items, think again. Cow’s milk is ice cream. Sheep’s milk is the primary ingredient in yogurt. Eggs are in practically anything that comes in a wrapper or box.

Why do you need a test to find all of this out? Simply because it would be extremely difficult to choose one item at a time and test it out to see if removing it makes a change. AND, if you can be sensitive/intolerant to Cow’s Milk…. Why couldn’t you be to Broccoli? Or Olive Oil? It’s not just foods that are “bad” for you – it can be anything and everything. The testing I use is the gold standard, and it even includes household chemicals, medications, herbs and supplements.


How to Juice for Dollars a Day (Part One)

This is a question I get asked often. “Okay, I want to start juicing so I can improve my health and resolve my (fill-in-the-blank) problem… now what do I do?”

The very first step is to learn more about the health benefits of juicing, and why one would want to do this. If you’ve already done this, keep reading… if not, please click here to watch a brief video.

The next step is to choose your equipment. A juicer is not the same as a blender, so you will need to make a purchase. There are a variety of machines and price points out there – from $35 to over $500. The first juicer I ever owned cost about $35. I would never discourage someone from juicing if this is the level of financial commitment you can make at this time…because doing some healthy things are always better than none!  However, I will say that this is one of those situations where you get what you pay for. This juicer (by Cuisinart) was loud, made of cheap plastic, hard to clean, and was broken in about 6 months. If you are going to start juicing, I would recommend planning on spending about $100-200. At this price point, you will look at a Jack Lalanne, Omega, or Breville, which are available at major stores and online. I have had a positive experience with my Jack Lalanne Power Express, and in fact, I would suggest this over a Breville which I have used as well. Comparably, I found the Jack Lalanne to be sturdier and more powerful. Around the $500 price point, you will encounter the holy grail of juicers – the Vitamix. It is so powerful that it leaves no leftover pulp behind. It even comes with a cookbook and a 7 year warranty! I have yet to meet a person (including myself) that has not fallen in love with this piece of kitchen equipment. 

Now, we need to explore the recipes. Start with simple recipes that have minimal ingredients! Keep your focus on vegetable recipes (as opposed to fruit) because that is where the health benefits are!

Please read Part 2 of this article next week as we continue to explore the beginning stage of becoming a healthy juicer…. And don’t forget to leave a comment or question!

Allergy Season and Your Neck…

You may be wondering what the spine would have to do with allergy season?  A lot, in fact! We know that the brain is the master control center of our entire body… it controls every organ, tissue, muscle, and cell. The system by which the brain communicates with everything else is called the Nervous System, which is housed inside the spine. So, when the spine is out of alignment, our brain cannot communicate at 100% with the rest of the body.

In Chiropractic, we bring alignment to the spine to allow the optimal function of the Nervous System. You may be surprised to learn that the spine and Chiropractic isn’t just about back pain! Let’s take the example of having allergies and see how this system works.

The neck (cervical spine) is where the nerves that control our face/head are located. So when the brain wants to send the message to your sinuses, nose, eyes, and ears, that message must go in this order:

Brain > Nervous System> down the spine/neck > message arrives at the sinuses

And conversely, the messages from the sinuses, telling the brain that it’s having difficulty processing outside allergens, go in the opposite order back up to the brain.

If the neck is out of alignment, that message can’t get through. You might be wondering “well, my neck looks and feels normal – how bad could it be?” Studies show that the weight of a dime sitting on your skin will decrease a nerve’s ability to function from 100% to 40%. Meaning – when your brain sends the message to the sinuses to get rid of that congestion and mucus – it’s only working at 40%. As Chiropractors, this is what we do – we allow the Nervous System the opportunity to function optimally at 100%.

Studies also show that Chiropractic care boosts the overall immune system, making us less susceptible to getting sick. If you suffer from allergies, get sick each year, and have tension in your shoulders – I’d look to the spine as a potential cause of your suffering!

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Does Motion Sickness Affect Your Family’s Vacation?

Recently a patient was telling me about their upcoming summer vacations plans, and asked if I had any natural tips for delaing with motion sickness. I thought I’d share them you with below…

1. Use natural food remedies to your advantage

Peppermint and Ginger are great for nausea and motion sickness. Stash some peppermint candies or ginger chews in your bag. Medicinal teas are also available in these two “flavors” for at home use.

2. The power of smell

Essential oils are a powerful tool for nausea in general. Get a small bottle of organic peppermint essential oil from your local health food store, and apply a dab on the inside of your wrist and sides of your neck. Breathe deeply and slowly! Note: some esential oil companies will even create blends of oils designed for traveling, in convienient roll on applicators.

3. Speaking of breathing… 

My favorite deep breathing technique is called “Four Square Breathing.” It’s very simple and can be done discreetly at any time. For a count of four, breathe in deeply through the nose, and out through the mouth for another count of four. The breathing should be slow, and deep down into the belly. This breathing activates

our Parasympathetic Nervous System which in turn tells the body to get into

“rest and digest” mode; literally instructing our body to calm down.

4. Acu-Points

Stimulate the Acupressure Point located in the soft web between our thumb and first finger. Hold moderate pressure here for thirty seconds at a time, and repeat!

If you have any natural tips for travel or motion sickness, please share. Happy traveling everyone!

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You’re going to drink WHAT?!

I’m going to drink my veggies. Beets, Aloe, and Lemons, oh my! And I’ll tell you why ….

The actual definition of health, according to reliable sources such as Gray’s Anatomy (the textbook serving as the basis for the entire medical community, not the TV show) and Webster’s Dictionary is: The ability to function at 100% physically, mentally, and socially. So, health IS our ability to function. Health is not about symptoms, its about how well our body works for us. It would also logically follow that health is therefore not available in prescription bottles, it comes from what’s happening within.

I am notorious for saying “FOOD IS FUEL” – like gasoline to our cars. It’s what makes our bodies run, down to the the cellular level. When we eat/drink, our body breaks down that food, uses the nutrients as building blocks for our cells, and processes the waste. What do those important cells even do ? Good thing you’ve asked…. They can either promote health by repairing tissues and working as an incredible machine, or …. they can destroy health by being damaged and disease ridden. So what we eat/drink is actually quite important.

The typical American diet is seriously lacking in nutrients and quality. One of my favorite ways to bring large amounts of macro nutrients from veggies into the body is Juicing!  Juicing can reduce your risk of cancer, improve the immune system, remove toxins from the body, improve digestion, and help you loose weight. Sounds good right?

But, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “Well I am healthy already, I eat plenty of fruit.”  The truth is that we should not be consuming much fruit at all. FRUIT IS SUGAR, no matter how natural or healthy or organic. And what does sugar do in the body? It slows its function down, leading to a lower quality of health, and converts into FAT. Vegetables are the most important food we can consume, and have the most valuable nutrients to promote health.

Why is Juicing better than consuming vegetables by chewing? It allows your body to absorb more nutrients, as well as giving it a break from the work of breaking down and digesting food.

Juicing is not as difficult as it sounds. I find that my juicer is quiet, easy to use, and easy to clean. The majority of my recipes are actually quite tasty too!  I’ll share two of my favorites below….

“The First – Time Juicer”  is 3 parts apple, 3 parts carrot, 1 part ginger. Note: This is a great recipe for an upset stomach, or promoting clear skin. 

“The Detox Juice” is a great recipe for detoxing the body:  1/2 green apple, 1 lime (can leave skin on),  1/2 beet (raw with skin on),  2 carrots, 2 celery stalks, 1” piece of ginger.  Note: Ginger is great for digestion! Beets (use sparingly, they can be dangerous) help our liver to detox toxins and waste from the body, and carrots are great for the eyes and skin. 

Advice in these articles does not substitute working with your physician on your personal nutritional status. Please comment with questions or recipe suggestions!

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