Archive for January, 2012


Call it acid reflux, heartburn, or GERD, but having stomach acid splash back up into your esophagus is painful and distressing. Although researchers cite various causes, one that many doctors overlook is gluten, the protein found in wheat, spelt, rye, barley, and other wheat-like grains.

Studies link gluten with acid reflux

Research shows acid reflux symptoms more commonly affect those with celiac disease, an autoimmune disease triggered by gluten. One study found 30 percent of celiac disease patients had GERD compared to less than 5 percent of those not diagnosed with the disease. Another study found almost 40 percent of children with celiac disease suffer from esophagitis, inflammation of the esophagus and heartburn.

Gluten-free diet found to relieve heartburn

Fortunately, researchers also found a gluten-free diet relieved symptoms of GERD rapidly and persistently. Some people have found they also need to give up grains, processed foods, or other foods to which they are intolerant (such as dairy) to completely relieve acid reflux.

GERD could be autoimmune

Some research shows that stomach acid is not acidic enough to immediately damage the esophagus. Instead, it triggers an inflammatory reaction within the tissue of the esophagus, causing damage.

What does gluten have to do with this? Gluten has been shown to be very pro-inflammatory in many people, and has been linked with 55 autoimmune diseases. It’s possible acid reflux could be yet another inflammatory disorder triggered by gluten.

Antacids increase health risks

Most people relieve acid reflux by taking an antacid to neutralize stomach acid, with sales of the drug topping $10 billion annually. Not only does this fail to stop stomach acid from washing back up into the esophagus (one study showed protein-pump inhibitors actually induce acid reflux), it also impairs nutrient absorption.

Antacids may increase food poisoning risk

Stomach acid is vital to the absorption of minerals and vitamins, and protects the stomach from bacteria, fungus, and infection. Chronic use of antacids has been linked to increased risk for bacterial infections, candida (yeast) overgrowth, and food poisoning.

Antacids may increase osteoporosis risk

Chronic antacid use also impairs absorption of minerals, including calcium, which can increase the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.

Proper testing for gluten intolerance vital

With one in five people now believed to be suffering from gluten sensitivity, it’s important to know whether you are too, and whether undiagnosed gluten intolerance is contributing to heartburn.

The conventional tests to screen gluten intolerance are notoriously inaccurate. For cutting-edge testing, please contact my office.

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Day 8,9 & 10

Into week 2 of the cleanse! I have lost 7lbs! Nice bonus, of course some of that will come back after the cleanse is over. Busy weekend. Saturday morning/afternoon shopping at Ikea and New Seasons, just about took it out of me. A late lunch made me feel a lot better. Learned that you can wait TOO long to eat. Cleaning house for a Sunday visit, and prep work for our communal lunch took up most of the rest of the weekend. All time favorite Clean recipe: hummus crusted chicken! Easy and super tasty. Meeting with friends AND getting a MASSAGE made the weekend. Skin brushing every day. Meditation most days. Yoga and walking every day. Now that week two is here, I will be increasing the exercise. Emotions seem to be more at the surface, could that be a cleanse symptom? I am guessing, YES. Turning more and more people onto the Clean Program.

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Day 6 & 7

 Day 6

Really only day 6? Hmm, I am tired and need a massage (coming up on Saturday, yeah!). This morning I had to make our lunches before running out the door. I don’t recommend that. Fortunately, Bruce was helping, so we got it done. So guess what, tonight I am cooking. These clean lunches are really excellent. Today, we tried the fish tacos. Not something I ordinairly eat much, but with a mango salsa it was to die for! Busy day at work (the way I like it)….but it feels like I should slow down a little while on the cleanse.
Still going strong with morning meditation and light exercise, followed by a sensational skin brushing session (boy that wakes you up). Getting to bed before 11.00pm tonight. Oh, I had a spoonful of almond butter tonight…oops. It just helped with taking the edge off, no biggy.
Working on menu for next week, coming tomorrow.


Day 7!

Better day today. I think I am getting used to this rhythm. At first dinner seemed just so plain (we like to make a lot food and keep it interesting), but now 1 bowl of soup suits me just fine. Tonight I had to scramble a little with lack of ingredients, so I made a beet/cashew cream soup. I think it was a winner. Lunch chicken/plums/waterchestnuts/red cabbage dish, again very tasty. 
Skin brushing might have just become my new favorite thing. I’ve ordered some brushes for anyone who is interested. I hope that those who are not in the class get something out of my daily reports. Week 1 is done (2 more to go). I say it is very doable, and my detox is not all that intense. I probably lost at least 5lbs and feel wonderfully light. Weekend is here, and I would like to do a whole lot of nothing, but that’s not going to happen. Stay tuned.

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Day 3,4 & 5

Day 3

A work day on the cleanse. This morning’s smoothie seemed small, but as it turned out that was just the right size. In my mind 1 smoothie didn’t equal my usual caloric intake, so I had been doubling the recipes. Mistake! Who would have thought that a smoothie could be so filling.

No headaches today! That’s a relief. I need all my faculties when I am working.
We have a few inches of snow. After meditation I hiked up the driveway and got our cars “de-snowed”. Babysitter needed a ride up the snowy hill, and I was taking the 4-wheel drive car to work today. Seemed like a lot to do before work.

Lunch was uberly delicious. Perhaps I ate too much (supposed to fill up to 80%). Brought liquid dinner to work, and ate it before our Monday class. People in the class seemed calmer and clearer than the week before.
Another fresh juice at home, and that’s it for “food” until tomorrow. Day 3 was relatively easy. My energy stayed up and I felt generally good. 

Day 4

Hi there,

I am guessing we have 6 inches of snow AND still more coming. After meditation this morning it was still dark, got my gear, sledded to the car, cleaned off the car, met a friend, drove up the mountain to ski for about 45 minutes. I could tell I hadn’t had my smoothie. Just couldn’t resist not to x-country ski (even though it’s pretty heavy exercise), the snow is perfect.

Here is a video on how to skin brush. http://​www.greensmoothiegirl.com/blog/​2011/12/05/​how-to-skin-brush-oasis-part-12​-of-13/ I really like it, and feel even more committed to doing it DAILY.

BTW, when I was talking about my juice yesterday, I forgot to mention that I also put in 1 granny smith apple. That is what makes it so tasty.

I have attached my notes from yesterday.

Hope your day 4 (or whatever you are on) is going well

Day 5

Starting the day with wading thru 1.5 feet of wet snow is quite a work out. 1 Hour later up again, this time with a sled full of stuff (incl. lunch). Oh, and I forgot, NO POWER, either. It was quite a morning. Luckily we have a generator, so I was able to blend our smoothies just fine. Lunch was partially prepared on the wood stove. No problem. It was the first day on the cleanse that I got hungry before lunch. Spending a lot of energy going up and down the driveway. I am getting used to less food options, and smaller portions. Although some foods sound appealing, really I don’t have a lot of cravings. I feel very good, just a little darkness under my eyes, but otherwise liking this cleanse a lot. 
Already, brushed my teeth (since I won’t be snacking), ready for a good night’s sleep.

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Overtraining-adrenal cortisol-belly fat

Mary was a mother of two who began a vigorous exercise program of weight lifting and running, one to two hours a day, six days a week. Not only did she fail to lose weight, she actually gained weight, and found herself battling fatigue, irritability, and constant colds and flus. As it turns out, Mary was exercising too much.

Overtraining weakens the body

While regular exercise is vital to good health, studies show overtraining can actually deplete hormones, depress immunity, lead to bone loss, increase the risk of injuries, slow healing, increase inflammation, and cause a general feeling of burn-out.

Sufficient recovery between exercise sessions and exercising at an appropriate intensity will get you fitter faster without compromising health.

Overtraining and high cortisol

Overtraining causes your body to pump out extra cortisol, a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands that helps us cope with stress. High cortisol can cause bone loss, and muscle breakdown, create belly fat, increase sugar cravings, and lead to insulin resistance, a pre-diabetic condition that causes high blood sugar.

Overtraining and low cortisol

Some people who overtrain suffer from low cortisol, which can lead to weight gain, fatigue, low blood sugar (with dizziness, light-headedness, and irritability), muscle weakness, difficulty recovering from workouts, and poor immune strength.

American life is already stressful

Clearly, neither high nor low cortisol produces the desired effects of an exercise regime, and both cause a chronic inflammatory state that ages you quickly. Throw in other factors of modern American life—stressful lifestyles, too little sleep, poor diets, too many sweets and caffeine—and overtraining can be the tipping point into cortisol-driven disorders.

Symptoms of overtraining

How much exercise is too much? This varies from person to person. Overtraining for one person can be another person’s warm up. An adrenal salivary panel will show you your cortisol levels, but it’s especially important to pay attention to signals from your body, which is harder than it sounds for the driven athlete accustomed to pushing the envelope.

Symptoms of overtraining include persistent tiredness, worsening strength and stamina, sleep disturbances, slow recovery, aching joints or limbs, injuries, and frequent illness, to name a few.

Exercise should boost energy, not drain it

Appropriate exercise boosts your energy and your sense of well-being. And while some muscle soreness is normal, you should experience energy, mental focus, and a good mood during recovery periods between workouts.

Ask us about an adrenal cortisol panel to help you establish and appropriate intensity level for your workouts.

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Starting with 6.30 am meditation and yoga (way too early for a Saturday morning). Breakfast smoothie was Favorite Green Smoothie from the recipes online. The Maca in the smoothie proved not to suit me (and my husband) not too well. We both got headaches and nausea. In retrospect, I think we ate too much smoothie (the full recipe each).

Lunch was wonderful Seared Tuna salad (although I made it with Cod) and Basic Quinoa salad. Simply delicious.

Between lunch and dinner I had the luxury of a sauna on a cold day. I could smell my skin exuding something odd smelling. Dinner we had the Chestnut Bisque. Now that was filling and delicious as well. Before dinner I made a green juice with some blueberries in it. We both felt slightly too full (guess we went over the 80%). Gave my husband a massage, as he felt bloated and just not too well. A little ginger for his stomach and he felt much better! (just like the hungry catepillar..parents know what I mean).

Off to bed by 10.00pm. Yes, I was tired and wanted to sleep of the headache. Woken by Isabella at 11.15pm….ahhh, just getting into my deeper sleep. Life as a mom. Rest of the night sound asleep.

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A new study found older women who take cholesterol-lowering statin drugs increase their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by almost 50 percent.

Statins diabetes cholesterol naturally

Researchers say it isn’t clear why the drug raises the risk of diabetes, and that the findings could be applied to men.

Many people don’t realize that inflammation, not a statin deficiency, underlies high cholesterol, and that the condition usually can be managed naturally.

The study looked at data of more than 150,000 women ages 50-79 for over 12 years. Interestingly, the risk was greater for Asian women and women of a healthy body mass index.

Statins most commonly prescribed drugs

Darlings of the health care industry, statins are the most commonly prescribed drug, accounting for $20 billion of spending a year. About one in four Americans over 45 take statins, despite such common side effects as muscle weakness and wasting, headaches, difficulty sleeping, stomach upset, and dizziness.

Beware low cholesterol

As a result, lab ranges for healthy cholesterol are skewed too low. Not only do statin users grapple with side effects and raise their risk of diabetes, but they also risk symptoms of low cholesterol. Cholesterol is necessary for brain and nerve health and to manufacture hormones, including the sex hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.

Low cholesterol can imbalance hormones and increase the risk for anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders.

In functional medicine, we don’t like to see cholesterol go below 150 mg/dL.

Statins do not address cause

Although statins lower cholesterol, they do not address the underlying cause of high cholesterol, which is typically inflammation. The body uses cholesterol to patch up damage caused by inflammation. In fact, research shows inflammation is the primary cause of heart attacks and strokes, not high cholesterol.

Hypothyroidism, a condition estimated to affect more than 20 million Americans, raises cholesterol. Many find a gluten-free diet lowers cholesterol, as gluten is inflammatory for so many people.

Research also shows diets low in fat and high in carbohydrates increase the “bad” form of LDL (there are two to look at) and decrease the protective HDL.

Lowering cholesterol naturally

Functional medicine is highly effective for the person wanting to lower cholesterol naturally.

Management includes an anti-inflammatory diet, exercise, and rooting out causes of inflammation. These include hypothyroidism, autoimmune disease, bacterial infections in the digestive tract, poor blood-sugar handling, or other chronic health issues.

By addressing the cause of high cholesterol not only do you avoid the dangerous risks and unpleasant side effects of statins, but also you journey into your golden years with improved energy and well-being.

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