Are You Looking For Targeted Skin Support?

There should be more emphasis placed on “loving the skin your in”.  Many fail to comprehend that their skin is the largest elimination organ their body houses.  Our skin is the 1st barrier of protection!

I also advocate that you need to support your skin nutritionally from the inside out too, however, there are times when topical solutions are a very real and needed thing.  When that is the case there is a product that I highly recommend and often reach for and it’s Pau D’Arco Lotion :  

 

paudarco lotion

BENEFITS:

  • moisturizes & soothes the skin
  • is non-greasy
  • absorbs fast
  • contains NO parabens, fragrances or dyes
  • is safety-, allergy- and dermatologist- tested

One of the key ingredients is Tabebuia heptaphylla bark extract which is derived from the pau d’arco tree, which grows in humid climates.  Yet somehow this tree does not grow fungus on its bark.  Scientists studying the bark have found that it contains lapachol and beta-lapachone, two compounds that help this tree provide important antifungal properties.  These compounds are noted for their activity against fungi and microbes. This bark also contains a significant amount of the antioxidant called quercetin.

Ingredients:
Water ( PURIFIED WATER),

alcohol (ETHANOL this allows the liquid extract to flow easily through the formula) ,

cetearyl alcohol (VEGETABLE OIL, stabilizer of fatty alcohol that provides texture),

caprylic/capric triglyceride( COCONUT OIL  skin conditioner commonly referred to as Fractionated coconut oil which is a fatty acid that moisturizes the skin),

glycerin( VEGETABLE OIL humectant which is plant based),

pentylene glycol(SUGAR CANE/CORN skin conditioner moisturizes the skin & enhances delivery of ingredients to the skin) ,

c13-15 alkane(SUGAR CANE aesthetic enhancement provides  luxurious feel with light texture without the use of synthetic silicones),

Helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil,

glyceryl stearate( VEGETABLE OIL, emulsifier keeps water based and oil based ingredients together),

potassium olivoyl hydrolized oat protein (POTASSIUM, OLIVE OIL & OAT  provides additional moisturizing & emulsifying benefits,

Tabebuia heptaphylla bark extract( PAU D’ARCO TREE replenishes the skins moisture barrier, prevents damage to the skin & promotes skin elasticity),

behenyl alcohol( VEGETABLE OIL emulision stabilizer keeps water based and oil based ingredients together),

xanthan gum ( FERMENTATION, thickener enhances creamy feel),

Butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter,

Cocos nucifera (coconut) oil,

hydroxyacetophenone (found in certain trees, works as a preservative, antioxidant, antiirritant, emulsion stabilizer and protects the product from contamination; protects the skin from free radicals & irritation; a good source of antioxidants),

glyceryl oleate (VEGETABLE OIL),

benzyl alcohol (cassia oil PRESERVATIVE KEEPS PRODUCT FREE FROM CONTAMINATION),

sclerotium gum (Fermentation stabilizer and thickener, enhances creamy feel),

lecithin(NON-GMO SOYBEANS emulsifier),

pullulan(fermentation, stabilizer & thickener),

Macadamia ternifolia seed oil,

Olea europaea (olive) fruit oil,

Olea europaea (olive) fruit unsaponifiables,

sodium phytate (RICE BRAN, skinconditioner and chelator moisturizes the skin and helps keep product stable),

sodium hyaluronate( Fermentation, skin conditioner and provides deep hydration).

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OTHER KNOWN PROPERTIES LISTED BELOW

Other Known properties of PauD’Arco:

  • can be beneficial for helping the body to purify the blood
  • its properties help reduce inflammation
  • it’s antibacterial

So what conditions would this cream be helpful for?

  1. Age spots
  2. athlete’s foot
  3. cradle cap
  4. dermatitis
  5. eczema
  6. fungal /yeast infections on the skin
  7. herpes break outs
  8. acne break outs

This lotions is fortified with Tabebuia heptaphylla bark extract which is derived from the ancient pau d’arco tree, it will replenish the skin’s moisture barrier, prevent damage to the skin & promote skin elasticity.  This is also great for winter dry skin which flakes and itches.

Bottom line as a practitioner, I “LOVE” the stuff !

Healthfully yours,

Dr. Jodi Barnett N.D.

Harvested Health LLC

For more wonderful products that I recommend in my practice you can go to www.harvestedhealth.mynsp.com

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It’s NOT IF You’re Toxic, But How Toxic ARE YOU!

Many people are struggling with a variety of health issues that don’t fall into a specific diagnosis category YET… but they know they don’t feel well, they are not sleeping well, they have nothing for energy.  There is a truth that is being sorely overlooked…..

IT’S NOT IF YOU’RE TOXIC, BUT HOW TOXIC ARE YOU….

The truth is that we are exposed to 6 million pounds of mercury and 2.5 billion pounds of other toxins in our air, water and food supple each year!

Unfortunately, these toxins and more end up in our bodies.  In fact. the Center for Disease Control found that the average person has 420 chemicals known to be highly harmful in their bodies.  These toxins negatively affect the function of our bodies in ways we are just now beginning to understand, making it difficult to achiever and maintain optimal health.

According to “science”… We are only 10% human.  Up to 90% of the cells in our bodies are actually bacteria, fungi and other microbes, and most of them live in and are influenced by our gut.  In turn, these microbes influence many key body functions, including cardiovascular, respiratory, neurological, glandular and immune function, as well as blood sugar, skin, weight, emotions, energy and more.

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TOXIC WORLD – TOXIC GUT – TOXIC HEALTH

The toxic burden of our modern world, together with stress, poor diets and lifestyles, disrupts the healthy balance of bacteria in our gut, leading to poor health.

As bad bacteria dominate the gut, they produce “endotoxins” that weaken and damage the lining of the gut, allowing food and toxins to escape.  Many refer to this as “leaky gut syndrome”.

As these toxins spread throughout the body, they impair healthy function and create a fertile path to poor health.

“Before starting Purify 2.0, I was in pretty good shape. But felt tired and sluggish.  Now I have way more energy to play with my kids and enjoy life! My blood sugar levels and bad cholesterol (LDL) went way down, and my skin issues cleared up.  Being healthy feels good mentally and physically.”  Bryan R., Ohio

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RISE ABOVE THE POLUTED WORLD!

What if I told you that there is a clinically studied, 30-day program designed to detoxify the gut and body, eliminate heavy metals and restore balance to the gut, clearing the way for optimal body function and total health?

 

Well, there is and it’s called Purify 2.0, the clinical study found that Purify 2.0:

  • Increased heavy metal elimination up to 76%
  • Lowered gut inflammation by 35%
  • Reduced cardiovascular risk by 22%
  • Improved liver function by 21%

Purify 2.0 users also reported a 42% improvements in their energy, mental focus, general health and well-being.

Best of all participants saw benefits in as little as 7 days!

Don’t allow a toxic life to keep you from your best!  Purify yourself and live a vibrant life.

Implementing this program is NOT complicated, there is not mountains of pills to choke down.  No complicated dietary recipes to struggle with.  It is easy to fit into your already busy lifestyle.

Folks this program is for REAL, and it is generating REAL results…..If this sounds like something you’re ready to embark on…. Let’s schedule a consultation either in my office or this can be scheduled as a phone consultation too.  go to http://www.jodibarnett758.com and click on services, pick the service tab marked Purify2.0 program.

Healthfully yours,

Dr. Jodi Barnett N.D.

Harvested Health LLC.


Are You Addicted To Sugar?

This is a question everyone needs to ask themselves…. why?  Well because I am of the conviction that the majority of us are held hostage by our taste buds!

Many don’t take the time to realize that they rely on sugar for emotional comfort and  sugar in a variety of forms are used for celebrations of all sorts:

  • foods with sugar in them are pleasant of course to our taste buds
  • sweet foods are associated with FUN (i.e. birthdays, holidays, weddings, in fact every social celebration has a dessert table)
  • sugar is also associated with love

What about Children and “sugar”…. well:

  • Sugar appears to calm children down, at least temporarily
  • hospitals give sugar (glucose) water to infants… “why” ?
  • parents placate and reward their kids with sweet treats
  • sugar has a sweet, almost innocent reputation and to most people depriving kids of it is considered to be punishment by many

My youngest son had intussusception at 6 months old that required surgery.  Its a telescoping that often blocks foods/fluids from passing through the intestines.  It can also cut off blood supply to parts of the intestine. Hence, he struggled every time we tried to introduce solid foods until he was almost 3 years old.  For his 1st birthday party where it is typical to offer the child their own smash cake loaded with frosting, my son had plain yogurt.  The relatives in attendance just couldn’t wrap themselves around that factor.  Of course I had cake for everyone else, but I found that every time I turned my back someone was trying to offer him frosting on their fingers because they felt it cruel.  Yet none of them took the time to understand the depth of what was happening inside his digestive track.

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There is a general view of sugar in our society both from a scientific stance and a general connection.  What do those look like?

  1. Sugar = energy (this is true but there are other forms of sugar other than the white stuff)
  2. source doesn’t matter, refined sugars are no different than the sugars found in foods
  3. the only real problem is “too much”.
  4. sugar alone is not responsible for diabetes, it’s just one factor.

These are what most hang their choices and justification on and they are leading themselves down a rabbit hole of misinformation to justify why they continue to eat it.

  1. Sugar = energy they body NEEDS sugar for energy conversion and lots of foods we eat are in fact converted into a form of sugar for that reason, grains, veggies and fruits.  We call them carbohydrates and there are both complex and simple carbohydrates.  Simple carbs convert faster, whereas the complex carbs work more like a time release.
  2. Source doesn’t matter, refined sugars are no different than the sugars found in foods is hog wash… they are not even in the same category.
  3. The only real problem is “too much”. when the truth is a variety of different sugars are added to and hidden into even what is labeled as “health foods”.
  4. Sugar alone is not responsible for diabetes, it’s just one factor, well there is some element of truth to that statement but also leaves the wiggle room for personal justification.  So many diabetics USE their insulin as a means to justify their ends.  Meaning they choose to eat that sleeve of cookies and  adjust their insulin intake in the attempt to fix the imbalance which places them on a vehicle that is heading out of control.

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There is an epidemic in our country it’s called “DIABETES”…. According to the National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2017; as of 2015 an estimated 30.3 million Americans had diabetes (9.4% of the total population, 12/2% of adults)

There are also about 7.2 million folks who have diabetes and they are not even aware yet that they do.

The amount of children being diagnosed is becoming staggering.

Diabetes is on the rise.  It is no longer a disease of predominantly rich nations, in fact, the prevalence of diabetes is steadily increasing everywhere, most markedly in the world’s middle income countries.

Globally, there are an estimated 422 million adults who were living with diabetes in 2014, compared to 108 million in 1980.  The global prevalence (which means “age-standardized) of diabetes has nearly doubled since 1980, rising from 4.7% to 8/5% in the adult population. This reflects an increase in associated risk factors like being overweight or obese.

There are several dietary practices that are lined to unhealthy body weight and/or type 2 diabetes risk, which includes high intake of saturated fatty acids, high total fat intake and inadequate consumption of dietary fiber.  High intake of sugar sweetened drinks, which contain considerable amounts of free sugars, increases the likelihood of being overweight or obese, particularly among our kids.

recent evidence further suggests an association between high intake of sugar sweetened drinks and increased risk of type 2 diabetes.  The new choice of sweet drinks for our kiddo’s are the energy drinks! Which are also leaching the calcium from their bones while also bathing their bodies with ridiculous amounts of refined and artificial sugars.

The WHO Dietary recommendations and the Food and Agriculture Organization states that for the prevention of type 2 diabetes one should include:

  • Limiting saturated fatty acid intake to less than 10% of total energy intake
  • get adequate intake of dietary fiber through regular consumption of wholegrain cereals, legumes, fruits and vegetables
  • Reducing ones intake of free sugars to less than 10% of total energy intake and suggests that further reduction to 5% could bring additional health benefits.

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Here’s a more accurate view of Sugar and it’s connection to the health issues that go with it:

  • Sugar is potential energy which REQUIRES vitamins and minerals to process it into usable energy in the body.  Refined and artificial sugars do NOT supply any vitamins or minerals.
  • The form or source of the sugar makes a BIG difference
  • Refined carbohydrates are the primary cause of diabetes

The truth is that nutrients are required to process sugar into a form of energy that the body can actually USE.

These included:

  1. vitamins which is why white flour has to be enriched, they processed all the naturally occurring vitamins out of it to make it WHITE.
  2. minerals
  3. amino acids
  4. without these nutrients energy cannot be extracted from sugar efficiently.
  5. natural foods contain these nutrients, refined carbs do not.

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The Nuts and Bolts:  SUGAR IS ADDICTIVE!

I often encourage my patients to try this test:

  1. don’t eat anything with refined sugar in it for 2 weeks (many struggle big time because that means they have to look at their salad dressings, their condiments like ketchup, soups, gravies, chips with coatings/flavors, barbecue sauces, chicken and beef broths ) start reading labels and you will see where it’s all hidden right under our noses.
  2. if they have kids, I also tell them to not let them have anything with sugar for a few days ; and you will see all the classic symptoms of withdraws.

The truth has been proven through science that sugar stimulates the reward centers in our brain, causing a release of dopamine.

Dopamine neurons are what motivate and reward us for pursuing worthwhile goals in our life.

This part of the brain is also stimulated by drugs like nicotine, cocaine and amphetamines.

Regular sugar intake overstimulates dopamine causing the neurons to be blunted which create the cravings.

Actual brain scans have shone how the reward centers in the brain light up like a pin ball machine when sugar is consumed!

 

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Food Manufacturers have done their research and KNOW that sugar is addicting so if they add it to their products it will keep you coming back for more.  The truth is that sugar is often combined with other stimulants to increase their effects:

  • caffeine in tea, coffee and sodas
  • flavored alcoholic drinks
  • cigarettes: YEP, the addition of sugar to tobacco not only increased tobacco sales, it appears to have made them more addictive.

So the bottom line is that source matters and its way more than just a “chemistry” thing.

It’s not just a matter of nutritional density (lack of vitamins/minerals). The refining process denatures the sugar so it no longer has a compatible energy with the body and acts more like a drug than a food!

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Here’s another experiment you can try at home. This is another piece of homework I like to give my patients:

  1. Cut up some sweet fruits you like, like apples or bananas (both are popular choices), KEEP eating them until you lose the desire to take another bite.  Your stomach will probably not be physically full, but you will get a feeling like you just cannot eat another bite.  The body exhibits a response like an automatic shut off switch.
  2. Next take some foods you like with refined sugar, candy, cookies, cake.  Eat them until you lose the desire to eat any more.  Chances are you can continue to nibble on these foods even if you are physically full.  You can eat the whole package of cookies, you can eat several BIG pieces of cake with frosting, you can eat the lions share of candy bars.  You see when the Vitamins/minerals are absent, it interferes with the way the body was designed by God to know when to say when!

Think about this, have you ever found yourself “making room” for desert even after your stomach feels full from a meal?  The mechanics that tell you to stop eating, you have had enough doesn’t seem to work with sugar.  It acts more like a drug than a food, the more you eat the more you crave!

The initial effect of sugar is “pleasure” remember the dopamine release.  This is not an actual increase in energy production, but an increase in energy discharge which is why the let down usually follows and brings with it some irritability, anxiety, fatigue and for some mild depression, and many “a nap”!

Those celebration events we all attend, ever pay attention to those kiddo’s after the cake and ice cream has been served?  They usually get loud, rowdy, we call it hyperactive and then irritable within less than an hour.  They start to whine, cry, even pick fights with each other.

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Ok So now I’m gonna get to the heart of the matter…. WHY QUIT?  I mean lets face it; an alcoholic isn’t going to quite drinking and a smoker isn’t going to quit smoking until they see a reason to… right?

Same reason no one is willingly going to quit a sugar habit until they recognize the benefits of doing so!  So let me offer you some of those benefits:

  1. weight-loss usually follows refraining from sugar intake
  2. energy levels climb and become more stable
  3. the immune system gets stronger and many with autoimmune issues start to see less flare ups
  4. improved digestion
  5. reduced risk of degenerative diseases, like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and neuropathy, and less periodontal gum disease issues!
  6. more positive and stable emotions
  7. less anxiety
  8. less anger/irritability
  9. better memory
  10. better focus/concentration
  11. greater mental clarity
  12. lower blood pressure
  13. healthier skin/sugar is connected to many forms of acne issues
  14. reduction in headaches including migraines
  15. reduced muscle/joint pain
  16. reduced inflammation issues
  17. improved hormone balance
  18. relief from PMS and erectile dysfunction
  19. improved sexual drive/performance

There’s a whole host of benefits attached to walking away from refined and artificial sugars! please don’t think substituting an artificial sugar for the refined sugar is the answer either because most all of those are excito-toxins which have a horrible effect on the central nervous system.

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Let me show you some basics “STEPS”. Remember we need to walk before we run!

So where to begin?

  1. eliminate all refined sugars, high fructose corn syrup, white flour and other refined carbohydrates
  2. Satisfy your sweet tooth with more natural sugar sources like:
  • frush fruit
  • dried fruits
  • raw honey preferable with the pollen still in place
  • real grade A maple syrup
  • molasses
  • Xylitol
  • Stevia (the herb which will be “GREEN” not the “white” form which is over processed)

Xylitol is not a natural sugar per se.  What it is is an isolated sugar alcohol that is derived from corn cobs or birch bark.

It contains 40% less calories than sugar and has a low glycemic index and can be used as a one to one ratio in place of table sugar where you don’t want the taste of honey, maple sugar bleeding through your recipe.

Using it to activate yeast however, WONT work.

It naturally carries some antibacterial properties to it so it won’t contribute to cavities which is why it’s now being used in lots of toothpastes and mouthwashes.  It can also help inhibit sinus issues and ear infections.

 

Where are some of the places Sugar is hiding as an additive?

  • Beverages: soda, energy drinks, sweetened tea/coffee, fruit juices that are bottled,
  • canned fruits
  • breads
  • pasta sauces
  • ketchup/BBQ sauces
  • salad dressings
  • energy bars
  • flavored yogurts
  • soups/gravy that are canned
  • chicken, beef, vegetable broths
  • flavored chips that have any sort of coatings for flavor

These are the popular choices, and our health keeps paying a higher price for convenience!

 

Ok, so what is the second step?

Eat more healthy fats and proteins:

  1.  Good fats reduce appetite and balance blood sugar levels.  So good fats include organic butter/cream, coconut oil, Extra virgin olive oil, avocados/nuts
  2. Avoid processed vegetable oils, margarine and shortening
  3. Protein intake also helps.
  4. Eggs
  5. organic meats
  6. nuts/nut butters
  7. beans/legumes

Step Three:

Refined carbohydrates encourage the growth of yeast and bacteria in our intestines.  These are unfriendly foe that send signals to our brain that causes us to crave more sugar.  So balancing this which is called dysbiosis in the intestinal tract helps reduce sugar cravings.

How does one start to regain lost ground for improving the good microbes in the gut?Helpful herbs would be:

  1. goldenseal,
  2. barberry,
  3. berberine
  4. cinnamon
  5. Peppermint oil (enteric coated to take in pill form)
  6. anti-fungal formulas to kill the yeast overgrowth
  7. fiber supplements to help move the bowels
  8. probiotics are a MUST!

Step Four:

What helps reduce the cravings, remember sugar is addictive and the body is used to giving into the addiction so many need help with shutting off that signal.  Some herbs that have proven to be helpful from a nutritional perspective:

  1. spirulina
  2. chlorella
  3. licorice root
  4. eleuthero or Korean ginseng
  5. garcinia,
  6. chromium

Step Five:

Blood sugar balancers

  1. Chinese Yin-Increasing formulas
  2. blood sugar balancing formulas
  3. single herbs: cinnamon
  4. fenugreek
  5. nopal
  6. bitter melon
  7. Minerals: Chromium
  8. vanadium
  9. zinc
  10. magnesium

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Ok so in closing, the truth is that many need help walking away from sugar.  It’s almost easier for someone to quit drinking alcohol then it is to give up sugar.  I mean lets face it you can avoid being in environments where people are drinking if you are trying to give it up.  But sugar is everywhere, it’s at every get together, every restaurant, you are bombarded with commercials on television, it’s laced in common food snacks we all have grown to love.  Its a real BATTLE!

The best way to approach this is side by side with someone who has had the same battle to overcome!  If you are interested in a personalized nutritional program tailored to your specific needs vs. a one size fits all approach.  Lets get an appointment scheduled.

Go to http://www.jodibarnett758.com and click on the services tab, pick the desired service and it will take you where you need to begin.

As always,

Healthfully yours,

Dr. Jodi Barnett N.D.

Harvested Health LLC


PAIN & INFLAMMATION: What Can Nature Bring To The Table Of Relief?

One of the most purchased products are ones designed to relieve pain and inflammation.  We experience both for a variety of reasons, but our nation is stuck in the middle of a crisis of opiate abuse. Opiates cover a pretty big variety of drugs, that range from legal like fentanyl, codeine and morphine to the illegal ones like heroin and opium.  You may recognize these from the trade names of Oxycodone, Oxycotin and Percocet to name a few popular ones.

The reason these are dangerous is that opiates manage pain by depressing our central nervous system.  So when they are abused and someone has become addicted, proper signals sent through the central nervous system can cause the key body systems to function at a very laxed state causing death.

When we have folks intentionally causing their own bodies harm to convince their doctor to prescribe more pain killers, leaves no doubt of the depth of the addictive qualities these drugs bring to the table.

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ARE THERE HERBAL ANTI-INFLAMMATORIES THAT “WORK”?

I’m going to cover 10 common herbs that have long histories of use for managing conditions that involve inflammation, redness, pain, swelling, muscle/joint injuries.

My first stop for these ailments should always be treated with RICE:

R – rest

I – ice

C- compression

E- elevation (depending on the location of the injury of course)

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List of Herbal choices:

  1.  Arnica: The flowers of this mountain dwelling plant are used in cream and gel form to apply topically to ease joint aches, prevent swelling and bruising at an injury site.  It also is available in Homeopathic pellets.  BOIRON GEL (click here), and BOIRON PELLET PACKS (click here)
  2. Boswellia: Is taken from the frankincense tree of Three Wise Men fame, this ancient remedy has been found to shrink the inflamed joint tissue that marks arthritis. (Click here)
  3. Bromelain: This pineapple based enzyme helps reduce inflammatory reactions resulting from injuries and arthritis and serves as a digestive aid too.  To fight inflammation it works best when taken on an empty stomach. (click here)
  4. Grape Seed: Is a powerful antioxidant that helps reduce swelling especially swollen ankles associated with circulatory difficulties and interferes with histamine, the inflammatory agent responsible for allergic reactions. (Click here)
  5. Devils Claw: The root of this vine is native to the Kalahari desert in southern Africa.  It most often is used for arthritis relief but has helped folks with lower back pain as well.  works best when taken 30 mins. before a meal. (click here)
  6. Calendula: Which widely grows as a garden flower, is from the marigold variety and is used in creams/lotions to prevent skin damage caused by sun and wind.  Also to soothe insect bites and inflammation caused from poison ivy, oak and sumac. This formula can be applied topically and taken internally as a Flower remedy (click here)
  7. Marshmallow root: Original source of the candy which no longer contains any actual marshmallow; it’s slippery nature allows it to coat and soothe irritated membranes in the mouth and throat. It works wonderfully to ease digestive inflammation and irritation too. (click here)
  8. Willow Bark:  Everyone is familiar with aspirin, which is a synthetic form of salicylic acid. Willow barks primary components, unlike aspirin, willow doesn’t cause stomach upset when used for headaches, toothaches or arthritic issues.  It’s pain relieving ability is powerful. (click here)
  9. Turmeric:  Has gained much popularity lately, it’s bold yellow orange color is familiar to anyone who has eaten curry as the primary anti-inflammatory herb in Ayurevedic medicine, turmeric is used to treat arthritis, bursitis and tenderness. It is another powerful antioxidant that supports healthier circulation and blood pressure issues too. (click here)
  10. Ginger root: Has long been considered and essential item for healers as well as cooks throughout Asia.  This well known spice has been employed as a remedy for arthritis and any inflammatory health ailments.  It is also great for settling nausea, indigestion, morning sickness, car sickness and great for settling stomachs when dealing with the flu. (click here)

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There are unique differences between incorporating the use of herbal remedies vs. prescription & over the counter remedies.  The herbal remedies assist the body with it’s built in healing processes whereas the prescription and over the counter remedies are designed to trick the body or mask the symptoms giving a false sense of relief and healing.

So the herbal remedies in some instances may take longer with use for the person to “feel” relief.  The best part is none of them carry addictive qualities or side effects from taking them.

If you’d be interested in a more unique personalized nutritional approach incorporating the use of herbs and orthomolecular application.  You can check out my services at http://www.jodibarnett758.com.

Healthfully yours,

Dr. Jodi Barnett N.D.

Harvested Health LLC


KID HEALTHY!

monounsaturated fats

 

Probably the #1 complaint I hear on a regular basis from my patient’s who are parents:  I cannot get my children to want to eat healthy foods!  Here is typically how I respond:

 

Begin slowly, replacing all snacks with fruits.  Then replace one meal a day with salad and a baked potato.  Serve a smoothie for breakfast with some raw nut butter mixed in for protein and to make more filling, instead of box cereal or toast.  Keep expanding the options.

It takes fortitude, but you must be lovingly firm.  If your child wanted to drink a 5th of vodka, would you give it to him?  Of course not you know it would be harmful to him.  Yet, it is the same concept with unhealthy foods and snacks.  Why give your child candy, pastries or hot dogs, when you know they are not good for them?  Does it matter that the damage takes years to manifest?   You may have allowed them to eat these unhealthy foods before, but now that you are learning better, trust me when I tell you that you will begin to see health & behavior changes little by little knowing as a parent that these are good!

When I work with families to begin to reduce the amount of proteins they are consuming because it makes our bodies too acidic.  (We live in a society that is OBESSED with protein intake). Many parents fear that their child will not be consuming near enough protein to grow and be healthy.  Yet with all the questionable issues surrounding our meat industry and the artificial chemicals being pumped into the animals… the REAL question should be IF we cut down or cut our meat in our diets all together, how will we get adequate amounts of protein?   LET ME SHOW YOU!

Here is a quick eye-opener about the percentage of protein that comes from these whole foods:

PROTEIN PERCENTAGES BELOW:

Vegetables: 1/2 cup to 1 cup serving

  • spinach   49%
  • broccoli   45%
  • Kale   45%
  • Leafy lettuce 34%
  • zucchini  28%
  • tomato 18%

Fruits: 1/2 cup to 1 cup serving

  • honeydew 16%
  • cantaloupe 9%
  • orange 8%
  • apricot 8%
  • grapes 8%
  • banana 5%
  • apple 1%

Grains/nuts/seeds: 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup serving

  • sprouted wheat 18%
  • Buckwheat 15%
  • walnuts 13%
  • almonds 12%
  • cashews 12%
  • pumpkin seeds 21%
  • sunflower seeds 17%

Given this brief breakdown, clearly protein is not an issue as many fear when they embark on a more whole food even raw diet.

So let’s consider “calories”:

The National Academy of Sciences has set the recommended daily dietary allowances for children as follows:

Ages 1-2               900-1800 calories

Ages 4-6               1300-2300 Calories

Ages 7-10             1650-3300 Calories

Then we start moving into adult ratios for calorie intakes

The wide range for each age group is due to variances in height, weight and activity levels.  Not all calories are created equal.  Many children that eat the Standard American Diet consume vast amounts of calories, far exceeding these recommended guidelines.  The calories consume are also empty calories, providing not a whole bunch if any nutritional value.  As a result, they may be receiving enough calories to fill the body’s energy needs, but are nutritionally deficient because the calories consumed are not providing the nutrients the body needs to maintain and optimize other functions.

 

Kids who “eat all day” and seemingly cannot get enough food, are experiencing their body’s signals for nutrients, NOT calories!  When we eat mostly cooked foods, (especially if it includes refined flour products, sugar and other empty calorie substances) the body doesn’t feel full because it’s hungry for nutrients.  When the body signals with hunger, asking for more nutrients and is given these nutritionally deficient foods, it keeps signaling, demanding what it needs.  The result is a body that is overweight (excess calories, but, nutritionally starving).  Sadly, this is the state of most of our society today, adults and children alike!

When you change the types of foods, the body is allowed to purify, and is receiving abundant nutrients from fresh fruits and vegetables, it becomes amazingly efficient at assimilating these nutrients.  The results are a decreased appetite nd better functioning of the body and mind.  It will amaze you at the decreased amounts of food you will need once you start eating a diet higher in raw fresh foods.  Reduce the amount of cooked meals you consume and at the beginning of this transition , you could be hungrier than you were before but, after a couple of weeks,  your appetite levels should adjust to the higher quality of foods being consumed.  (Don’t be expect to see miracles in a couple of days!) Changing habits takes repetition!

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THE DIET-BEHAVIOR CONNECTION:

I don’t believe that any of us need scientific studies to tell us that the foods our kids eat affect how they behave.  Attend a typical birthday party, an hour after cake and punch is served you can see it for yourself in living color… Any teacher will tell you the weeks after Halloween and Easter are the worst times of the year.  Typically, sugar has been the culprit blamed for hyperactivity and unruliness.  I have discovered that there are many more subtle and far reaching things that are affecting our children through their diets!  I have been surprised to learn what should have been apparent all along; that when we eat anything that is altered from its natural state it alters US from our natural state because the body has to make adjustments to accept what has been consumed.  Perhaps, we don’t even know who o ur “real” children are; having never experienced their company, and seen their potential expressed through a pure and detoxified body with genuine emotions to go along with it?

The behavior our children exhibit directly influences how others treat them.  When a child is not given the chance to experience a pure, functioning physical body, he is ot able to relate to those around him in a way that builds strong, loving relationships.  Of course, we love our children, but, what parent can’t relate to the frustration of dealing with a demanding, high-maintenance child on a daily basis?

Many times these children will go through their entire childhood unaware that what they are eating contributes to or caused their problems.  Unfortunately, these children usually receive a label such as hyperactive, difficult or slow, which follows them through their entire school years and influences how they view themselves leading to low self-esteem.  Many times the parents don’t realize there is a problem having grown so used to these behaviors and devising various methods of dealing with them, (sad to say many parents out of frustration add to the problems by giving in to food choices to suffice an out of control child to get a moment of peace).  It is usually not until others (i.e. teachers, siblings, and friends) perceive the child as a problem because of the behaviors, that real perception is reflected back to the child.  It becomes the child’s perception of self now@.  If the child constantly operates in a fog, unable to grasp fully the world around them, their educations suffers, setting them up for future difficulties as they go through life.  This is why it is so important to understand the diet/behavior connection and to understand that what the child eats not only influence their behavior but how others treat them and how they view themselves and their place in the whole of the society they live in. (anyone been watching the news in the past 10 years or so and see our children/teens making smooth transitions into society?  or are we hearing of more and more violence at the hands of these young people?)  Bullying, teasing, name calling, children feeling isolated lashing out…. How can there not be a connection folks, the motor is only as good as the quality of fuel being pumped in the tank!

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MEAL IDEAS

Most of us are used to preparing meals for our families with the basic food groups in mind.  There is usually a main dish (meat, or a protein sources), a starch and a veggie.  This is how we learned to cool.  When you adopt a more raw approach you can forget all of that.  Simplicity is the key.  It is perfectly alright to sit down and eat three bananas for lunch.  If you make the preparation of raw food meals into your routine overly complicated… YOU HAVE MISSED THE POINT!  This is especially important if there are others in your house who are not following a whole food/raw diet.

If you are trying to prepare two different meals for your family’s dinner you are setting yourself up for disaster.  Try to get away from the idea that each meal has to be so different.

BREAKFAST:

The idea that breakfast is the most important meal of the day comes from the advertising of the cereal companies.  It is actually better to have some freshly juiced produce or fruit until the noon meal, or to skip breakfast allowing the body to continue its fast (detoxification) which began during the sleep period. Some children will need a bit extra protein which can be given simply in the form of 1/2 cup of raw nuts of their liking.

A heavy breakfast ties up the body’s energy, making us sluggish and tired.  The two things your body expends the most energy on is digestion and elimination. If your child struggles with constipation issues, guess what their body wants to devote the most energy to, digestion OR elimination?   If you guessed elimination you were right!

In the morning, you can make vegetable juice made from a juicer.  This can include carrot apple, kale, celery and/or a variety of produce choices.

If you feel something more substantial in the morning is needed, you can have some sprouted buckwheat as a cereal with some fresh juice.  You can opt for sliced fruit or sprouted buckwheat cereal with raisin.  you can serve melon, a smoothie and fresh berries in the summer or soaked dried fruit in the winter.

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LUNCH:

At lunch you can let your family decide if they want fruit or a green salad.  A heavier meal like an apple dipped in a raw nut butter is tasty.  If your family is not totally raw you can provide a bowl of vegetable soup or steamed vegetables.  The hardest thing is to wean your family away from the typical lunch time sandwich.  Cooked starch (bread) is one of the most difficult addictions to give up.  I refer to cooked starch as an addiction because I believe the chemical reaction in the body after eating cooked starch acts as a drug, releasing a dopamine provoking  sedative effect.

This has been my own experience after going for some time without bread, then eating it again.  If you doubt the addictive quality of bread, try going without for several days, I mean having zero baked starch.  Then sit down and eat some and watch how your mental clarity changes or your digestive system reacts.  (YES this includes gluten-free products)

Try using cabbage or lettuce leaves instead and place veggies, like avocado, sprouts cucumber, tomato, grated zucchini etc. and roll these up like a burrito. (If your child is used to lots of sweets, grate up an apple or chop up some dried fruit and add to the vegetables to sweeten as you wean their palates.

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DINNER:

This zone can get tricky for many as dinner is that one meal where everyone tends to come together, especially when the children are still smaller.  For this reason dinner seems more “official” and carries more meaning as we prepare the food we are to share with ur loved ones.  Let the kids help prepare the evening salad, it adds to the one on one with your kids.  You can serve a large salad, be creative include raw nuts, sprouts and raw cheese and on occasions some pasta on the side.  Have a plate of lightly steamed veggies or soup or baked potato.  Change your mind set that dinner has to be a 7 course blown out meal that our digestive system struggles to break down because it is too much.

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IS IT EXPENSIVE TO EAT THIS WAY?

Many clients complain that they would love to eat this way but it is too expensive.  Like we talked about before, you are used to the volume of food consumed when eating over cooked, processed, empty calorie foods.  Once you switch to more raw/whole food choices, it may take a week or two for your body to adjust but you will find your family is snacking less and consuming less  volume of food.  How many of you can sit down and eat a 3LB bag of apples at one sitting?  Your body will not allow it, the type of natural fiber and the way it reacts with our digestive process will automatically cause a gag reflex to stop you from overeating.  Try that with a 3 ob. bag of potato chips, you can eat the whole bag and still be hungry.

The next question is organic is so expensive… yes it does cost more, and not all produce needs to be organic, you can look up the dirty dozen and try to buy the produce that tends to have higher pesticide loads, and do non organic on the ones that do not.  Reduce cost by planting a garden n the spring and include the kiddo’s when caring for it to instill a love for how food is grown you will be teaching them a valuable lesson.  Over all for a family of 7, we can spend anywhere from $325.00 per  month to $400.00 per month on groceries depending on the season.  We don’t buy a whole bunch of junk food products (my hubs likes some of his junk snacks, especially ice cream). Making some of those items from scratch will always be cheaper and healthier options for treats.  We also buy in bulk the basic staples which is more cost effective.  I found out early on that when we were still buying half cooked food items and half raw items, we spent almost $700.00 tp$750.00 per month.  The cost of fresh food is still considerably lower than processed and convenience foods.  The cost of packaging (cans, bottles, boxes, freezer packs etc…) is costly to the pocketbook and the planet with waste.  Buy the convenience foods adds to your expenses in other ways as well, when you consume more of those items your family us usually not as healthy and more frequent trips to the doctor for illness is normally incurred as well.  Buy in bulk when possible.  Invest in a large freezer and a juicer.  Two of the best appliances you can obtain toward improving not only the quality of health and vitality for your family but it will save you money in the long run too.  Another appliance that is useful is a dehydrator.  You can dry your own herbs and vegetables for winter use.

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Some quick ideas:

Salads: (Be creative) there is no wrong way to really make one.

  • sliced tomato or several cherry tomatoes
  • sliced cucumber
  • celery
  • carrot
  • sugar snap peas
  • red cabbage shredded
  • numb bean, lentil and alfalfa sprouts
  • jicama
  • zucchini
  • broccoli/cauliflower
  • bok choy
  • mushrooms
  • avocado
  • olives
  • sunflower/pumpkin ,pecan/almond nuts and seeds

With so many things to choose from in the veggie world it is hard to get bored with salads if you are not afraid to be creative! Make your dressing from raw ingredients and buy organic bottled dressings made with cold pressed oils.  Otherwise, a 1/4 up of raw apple cider vinegar with 1 cup cold pressed olive oil, some Italian spices and the juice of 1/2 lemon and a hint of fresh apple juice mixed in is an excellent dressing!

Taco salad:

  • chopped romaine lettuce
  • chopped tomato
  • olives
  • sliced cucumber
  • sprouts of choice
  • guacamole in the center and fresh salsa of your choice over entire salad.

Buckwheat cereal:

Buckwheat is one of the softest grains.  It is moist and sprouts fast and easily.  Soak3/4 cup raw hulled buckwheat groats for 5-6 hours.  Drain and rinse several times till water runs clear.  Turn jar upside down in a drainer.  Repeat this rinsing several times thru the day.  You will notice sprouts appearing after one day.  Continue to rinse several times a day for 2 days, the sprouts will be about 1/4 inch in length.  They are now read to eat.  Place desired amount of sprouts in a bowl it won’t take much thee are dense and filling and top with raisins of fruit of your choice.  Add raw nut milk.  This is a good recipe for transition because it is filling and substitutes for a processed cereal so many kids at are used to.  You can store the sprouts jar and all in the refrigerator up to 3 days.  The sprouts will continue to grow, they may still be eaten.

Raw Hummus:

This is a great dip for raw veggies or to spread on dehydrated crackers or sprouted breads.  you can add as much tahini as you like creating a smoother texture.  Bu sure to process using a food processor for a creamy texture.

  • 2 cups sprouted chickpeas also called garbanzo beans
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 TB minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup rat tahini blended sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup olive oil or avocado oil
  • Braggs liquid Amino to taste

Blend all ingredients in food processor or blender until creamy.

 

Chocolate Shake:

This tastes like a chocolate milk shake.

Blend in a blender and serve:

  • 1 fresh banana
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 4 pitted dates
  • 1TB carob powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 1TB raw tahini
  • you can sub nut milk in place of the water and you can also toss in 2 TB of flax meal for additional fiber and omega 3 benefit
  • This is a guarantee to satisfy a sweet tooth or chocolate craving and no need to feel guilty.

Obviously this topic can dive much deeper;  I offer raw food & juicing classes and I also have different consultation packages available.  You can go to www.mkt.com/harvested-health-llc and see what services would work for you.

Remember folks, WE are the example to our children,  the old saying “do as I say NOT as I do” didn’t work for you as a child and it will also fail to work for your children.  Children are sponges, they will watch and imitate you and what you do.  IF they see you sneaking food they will too.

Also don’t use food for a reward system.  You are setting them up for emotional connections to those foods, which lets face it are NEVER centered around, Oh honey you got straight A’s,  lets celebrate with a big bowl of broccoli…. seriously.  Reward them with a movie, or a special trip to the theme park etc.  Don’t center it around junk food rewards!

Thank you all for your continued support and for liking, sharing and reading my posts.  It is much appreciated…

Till next time…

Healthfully yours,

Dr. Jodi Barnett N.D.

Harvested Health LLC

http://www.jodibarnett758.com

 

 


ARE WE WIRED FOR “STRESS”?

Stress…talk to any given person and you will come to realize nobody is immune from some element in their lives that contributes to their stress level.  When we take the time to also understand what is affected in our body as a result of stress, we can open the door towards understanding and a starting place where many  health issues set-up their roots.

Every part of our body is interconnected by a communication system of nerve cells, referred to as neurons, their job is to send messages through a combination of electrical impulses and chemical messengers.  This system is our nervous system, a set of wires that allows every body function to do their job!

This nervous system of ours is incredibly complex, especially the brain, which contains about 100 billion neurons.  In fact, the brain houses 98% of the neurons in our body. This control center is protected by the skull and its importance is demonstrated by the fact that although it makes up only 2% of our body’s weight, the brain uses about 25% of our oxygen supply and as much as 20% of the sugar we take in.

The brain has very high metabolism and it is highly affected by what we eat.  Although modern medicine has historically tended to discount the role of nutrition in mental health, studies have begun to show strong links between our nutritional intake and various neurological and psychiatric conditions.  Research has also shown that food choices made during pregnancy, lactation ad early childhood may have long term consequences on a child’s mental development.  Other research suggests that good nutrition can improve your brain function and reduce your risk of brain disorders.

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YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT!

If you typically follow my blog, you will start to see a pattern… and it’s a pattern that you can CHOOSE to deny, but that denial won’t change the truth of the evidence.  I believe that saying “you are what you eat” applies particularly to our brain.  A junk food diet short circuits the mental attitude and emotional responses, creating, in effect what I refer to as a “smash” brain!  Ever been to a child’s birthday party and witness for yourself the transformation in all the kiddo’s AFTER the cake and icecream?  They get lit up with super charged energy then the crash and burn sets in and the temper tantrums, crying/whining phases begin.

When we look at the typical poor diet of the people in our country, it’s no wonder that nervous system issues like stress, depression, anxiety and insomnia affect millions of people.  Its also why we are seeing an increase in the amount of folks struggling with Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, and dementia.  We are trying to run our built in computer system on the wrong voltage setting and we are winding up feeling frayed, frazzled and even fried.  Simply put… A good mind is a terrible thing to waste, and we need to start caring for our brain and nervous system better.  Keep reading and lets go over the HOW part….

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YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND YOUR NERVOUS SYSTEM

Our nervous system consists of:

  • the brain
  • spinal column
  • peripheral nerves

These 3 parts literally regulate everything that happens in and with our bodies.  Whether you realize it is happening conscious or unconsciously trust me it never get a vacation.  There really are two parts that play a vital role:

  1. The conscious or voluntary part of the nervous system is what allows us to perceive information through our senses, analyze and remember information and it’s what allows us to move our skeletal muscles to regulate conscious actions.
  2. The unconscious or involuntary branch of our nervous system is known as the” autonomic nervous system”.  It takes care of what we don’t have to think about, like the heart beating, digesting our food, regulating our body temperature and making sure we breathe.

The autonomic nervous system is further divided into two more branches:

  1. Sympathetic nervous system: when we are excited, stressed or scared, the sympathetic nervous system tenses our muscles, makes our heart beat faster and moves blood away from our digestive organs to our muscles.  It gears us up for action, but shuts down digestion and elimination.  This helps explain why stress and anxiety make us tense, stress our heart and raise our blood pressure, give us indigestion and make us constipated.
  2. Parasympathetic nervous system: is what is in charge when we are relaxing and trying to unwind; it moves blood to the digestive organs, relaxes muscles and aids elimination.  There is a reason why people have traditionally made mealtime a time for relaxing and socializing.  It aids the digestion process.  Our body initiates healing and self-repair in the parasympathetic mode.

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Our nerves work by a combination of electrical impulses and chemical messengers referred to as “neurotransmitters”.  When a nerve cell gets stimulated, it fires an electrical impulse that moves down the length of the cell.  At the far end of this neuron (nerve cell), the electrical impulse causes the nerve to release neurotransmitters into the gap (known as the synapse) between this nerve and the next one.  The neurotransmitters cross the synapse to the next nerve cell and either stimulate or inhibit it from firing another electrical impulse. 

We know that sleep, mood, appetite and behavior are all influenced by the different types of transmitter chemicals being released in our brain and nerves.  Depression, addiction, mania, schizophrenia, Alzhiemer’s Disease, Parkinson’s disease and ADHD are some of the major disorders now known to involve imbalances in neurotransmitters.

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WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT NEUROTRANSMITTERS AND WHAT DO THEY DO?

Serotonin:  is most commonly associated with alleviating depression. Serotonin receptors have been found to also control hunger, sleep, pain response, seizure and peristalsis as well as function of the limbic system and brain.

Acetylcholine: is involved in memory and muscle movement, making it a primary neurotransmitter in the voluntary nervous system.  Alzheimer’s disease is now believed to be caused by a destruction of the neurotransmitters in the brain that produce acetylcholine.

Epinephrine and Norepinephrine: these are referred to as “catecholamines” along with dopamine.  Catecholamines are responsible for the peripheral nervous system which effects (elevated blood pressure and blood sugar, muscular contraction and the release of a thyroid stimulating hormone from the pituitary) as well as central nervous system responses involving respiration and psychomotor activity.  They are the primary neurotransmitters in the sympathetic nervous system.

Dopamine: another catecholamine, responsible for sexual arousal and muscular coordination.  It is the neurotransmitter that is deficient in those who suffer from Parkinson’s Disease.  Again, destruction of the brain cells that produce this neurotransmitter is thought to be responsible.  Where there are low levels of glutathione (an intracellular antioxidant) or there is an excess amount of iron, dopamine degrades into free radicals.

GABA: is best known as the inhibitor of presynaptic transmission, or it keeps the brain from being “trigger happy.”  When in balance, GABA prevents anxiety and increases mental clarity.  Anxiolytic drugs of the benzodiazepine family (valium, Xanax) work off of the soothing effects of GABA receptor response.

There are some other neurotransmitters, like histamine, endorphins, enkephalins, substance P, and nitric acid.  I will save discussion of those for a later blog post.

Synapse

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WHAT BASIC CARE SHOULD WE BE INITIATING TO NOURISH AND PROTECT OUR BRAIN AND NERVES?

I want to go overboard to be emphatic “our nervous system is the most nutritionally sensitive system in our body.”  Long before we develop actual physical conditions from poor nutrition, we will feel the mental and emotional effects of a lack of good nutrition.  What does that look like:

  • fuzzy thinking (brain fog)
  • absentmindedness,
  • mental confusion
  • nervousness
  • insomnia
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • memory loss

DID YOU KNOW? Exposure to heavy metals and other toxins are now being linked to a variety of neurological symptoms, ranging from depression to autism!

 

I am hoping to bring some understanding as to the biochemical make-up of the brain and nerves so we can better understand how to nourish these the right way.  The brain is  70% water, so it is super sensitive to being dehydrated and let me state that 3 out of 5 people I see in my office/practice are clinically dehydrated!  So, if you really want to think clearer and protect your gray brain matter, start by drinking half your body weight in ounces every day of clean pure water.

Key Point: many things we drink actually contribute to “dehydration”, Coffee is the biggest culprit, as is alcohol, and carbonated drinks!  Drink one cup of Coffee and urinate the equivalent of “three” out!

Moving on… 50-60% of the dry weight of our brain is made up of fat with 35% of that being omega-3 fatty acids.  So if you want to keep your brain healthy you need to be a “fat-head” by eating the right kinds of fats.  The most abundant omega 3 fatty acid in the brain is DHA, which the brain needs for function and it’s found in fish oil, especially the cold water fish.  DHA is available as a single supplement and is also found in a variety of Omega-3 products.

Understand too, if you are on prescription medications for cholesterol, it is depleting the Essential fatty acids in your body too, so be sure to “supplement” these in the diet!

On the flip side, you want to avoid hydrogenated oils like shortenings and margarine and trans-fatty acids from processed and dried foods.  These fats do not do the brain good!

The brain also needs a strong supply of amino acids from protein.  The neurotransmitters I talked about earlier are built from amino acids.  Meals that have adequate protein tend to increase levels of dopamine and norepinephrine which results in more alert mind and better moods. Many get hung up on the protein part and end up over eating the most common form of protein which is from animal meats and neglect getting  a balance from :

  • Nuts
  • Beans
  • legumes

Foods high in the B-vitamins are essential for lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia.  B-vitamins are involved in helping the formation of neurotransmitters like dopamine, epinephrine, and serotonin.

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WHATS THE REAL SCOOP ON “SUGAR”?

Our brain consumes more blood sugar than any other organ and takes this sugar directly from the bloodstream without the need for insulin.  The amount of sugar in your blood directly controls the amount of sugar reaching our brain.

If we have too much sugar the results look like:

  • agitation
  • irritability
  • nervousness

If we have too little sugar the results look like:

  • mental confusion
  • irritability
  • shakiness
  • fatigue
  • cold nose and limbs
  • cravings for sugar

So actually, blood sugar issues are linked to:

  • forgetfulness,
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • mental confusion
  • age-related cognitive decline
  • dementia
  • Alzheimer’s disease

Although our brain needs sugar as a key energy source, simple sugars actually contribute to the brain fog and mental decline.  Consequently, selecting complex carbohydrates, like fruits, vegetables and whole grains over foods that contain refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup, white flour and other process grains is where a major shift for most folks needs to begin.

Be sure to include high quality protein and fats with your meals as these will help stabilize blood sugar levels and keep our brain working better!

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WHAT ARE SOME OF THE WAYS WE ARE ACTUALLY “POISONING” OUR MINDS?

We are hearing more and more about “toxins” and where they fit into our daily lives.  Some of these toxins can seriously damage the brain, especially the ones that are fat-soluble like petrochemical solvents.  Since the nervous system is made up primarily of fats, anything that will dissolve fats and oils such as stain removers, gasoline and other solvents can easily penetrate the skin and they affect our nerves.

The renowned toxicologist Warren Clough was one of the chemists who went into the Nazi chemical plants at the end of WWII and collected their research on chemical weapons.  This technology, originally intended to  harm and kill enemy combatants, was later used to develop pesticides and herbicides.  The primary reason was that pesticides kill insects  by disabling their nervous systems.  Its not too difficult to connect the dots that the potential effect of pesticides on us humans, who ingest small, but continual dosages of these chemicals in our foods leave a time released damaging effect on our neurological system, of which we are beginning to see surface in the higher numbers of people being diagnosed with neurological diseases.

Many people are exposed to heavy metals on a daily basis.  The definition of heavy metals by chemists is actually problematic because there are heavy metals that fall in the category of necessary nutrients like iron, manganese and zinc.  Other heavy metals however, like mercury, plutonium and lead, are toxic.  There are also metals that are actually physically light, like aluminum, yet are also toxic to our body.  Some chemists suggest that the metals that damage the body should be called “toxic metals”.  For our purposes, heavy metals are defined not as metals that are heavy, but as metals that have a heavy burden effect on our body.

The toxic effect of heavy metals is a well-known issue because of their health ravaging effects on the workers in factories that manufacture products using these metals.  In a list of 38 symptoms associated with exposure to mercury, cadmium, lead, aluminum and arsenic, only 7 of these symptoms were NOT associated with the nervous system.. That means about more than three-fourths of health issues associated with heavy metals directly affect our nervous system.

Here’s a list of some of the substances to avoid IF you want a healthier nervous system:

  1. pharmaceutical drugs (long term use)
  2. excessive consumption of alcohol especially from aluminum cans
  3. chemical solvents (stop cleaning your homes with these heavy hitting cleaners)
  4. pesticides and herbicides
  5. excessive consumption of coffee, black tea, and caffeinated sodas if you are going to drink coffee make it “organic”.
  6. refined sugar and white flour
  7. hydrogenated oil
  8. animal fats from commercially raised animals.

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SPECIFIC NERVOUS SYSTEM PROBLEMS

The stress response is a normal and healthy response to danger.  To describe this, experts often use the example of being chased by a bear.  If you were ever to come face to face with a bear, you would want your body to generate as much energy and strength as needed to run away from or fight of the bear.  That is why the stress response is also called the “fight or flight” response.

The stress response involves a shift in our nervous system that strongly activates our sympathetic nerves, releasing more epinephrine, and inhibits the parasympathetic nerves.  This causes our pupils to dilate, to let more light in for clearer vision.  The digestive process stops because this is not the time to be sitting down for lunch!  The bladder and rectum contract because there is no time for a pit stop.  And the heart rate increases to get lots of oxygen and nutrition to our muscles since the body senses we need to run or fight for our lives!

These responses are supported by our adrenal glands, because the sympathetic nervous system also stimulates the adrenals to release stress hormones, including more epinephrine and cortisol.  Our brain is affected by all of this because our higher brain centers where we have our cool/calm and rational thoughts shut down, causing us to react instinctively from lower brain centers.  If you have ever swerved without thinking to avoid an accident on the highway, this is what just happened.

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WHAT QUALIFIES AS UNHEALTHY DAMAGING STRESS?

Truth be told, most of the “dangers” in our modern lives are not actual physical dangers like encountering lions, tigers and bears, (oh my)… But a stack of unpaid bills can feel like a threat to our survival, but  that situation doesn’t allow for an instinctive physical response.  Instead, most modern issues require us to calmly and rationally make decisions about how we can solve the problem.

 

This is where stress transforms into anxiety!  When the fight or flight response is triggered by situation where there is no really physical danger, it inhibits our memory and our ability to think clear.  Test anxiety is an example of this.  When a student comes face to face with their own fright of taking an exam, epinephrine and cortisol levels rise and the student is unable to access old memory.  So often we hear students say I knew the answers before I walked into the room, but when I took the test, my mind just went blank!

 

In addition, unlike swerving to avoid a car accident, these dangers of modern society often last for months and for some people years!  The continuous activation of the stress response, over and over again has a cumulative effect, which leads to a feeling of “burn-out”, a state of emotional and nervous exhaustion.

 

This burned out feeling is common to soldiers who faced constant real stress on the battlefield.  It was called shell-shock in World War ( and battle fatigue in World War II.  Today, it is called Post-traumatic stress disorder.  Whatever you choose to call it, you don’t need to go to war to experience the battle fatigue, or post traumatic stress disorder, you just need to experience poorly managed stress over an extended period of time.

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DID YOU KNOW?  Caffeine is the #1 enemy to our nervous system!

Public Enemy #1 for our sympathetic nervous system activity and cortisol levels is “caffeine”. This is how it wakes us up and puts us on alert.  If we are in parasympathetic mode, caffeine returns us to a state of sympathetic fight or flight chemistry.  What is so sneaky about caffeine is that when we are in a relaxed state an we are presented with a potential stressor like an overdue bill, we are less likely to perceive the overdue bill as stressful.  But when we are in stress chemistry already, we are more likely to perceive the overdue bill as stressful.

This means that when we are happy, potential problems tend to roll off of us and don’t overwhelm our happiness.  But once we are in sympathetic mode, potential problems are taken over the top serious and our stress escalates, putting us into a downward spiral.  Knowing that caffeine can cause this it seems more intelligent to forego the caffeine and choose to achieve the same alertness with an adaptogen like Eleuthero and just skip the stress and anxiety altogether!

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HOW CAN WE MANAGE OUR STRESS THAT HELPS VS. HURTS?

Studies are all over the place that prove that stress has a negative impact on our body and yet stressful experiences happen to everyone.  Truth is STRESS isn’t going anywhere, it’s been here from the beginning of time.  What we need are the tools and skills that can help us manage the effects of the stress in our life so we can bounce back!

 

#1: STOP AND TAKE A DEEP BREATH

The fastest way to activate the parasympathetic nervous system to restore calm ad clear thinking is to breathe deeply.  Sympathetic breathing is the direct opposite, it is rapid and shallow, so breathing deep activates the relaxing side of the nervous system.

A simple technique:  breathe in while counting to four…. and exhale counting to four, and keep repeating this until you “feel” yourself calming down.

#2  INCORPORATE ADAPTOGENS?

There is a class of herbals referred to as adaptogens.  they mediate the output of our stress hormones so you feel calm and more relaxed.

#3 USE  B-COMPLEX 

B-vitamins are particularly important for the nervous system and for energy production.  By depleting these vitamins, refined carbs, increase our anxiety and nervousness.  To satisfy those carb cravings, look for products made with whole grains and unrefined sugars, and consider taking a good anti- stress vitamin and mineral supplement. ( I will post my suggestions at the end of this post complete with links for you)

#4 PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

Remember when I said that the body produces specific stress hormones and the body starts pumping more blood to the muscles to equip the body to “run”.  The body is being primed for action.  So doing some sort of physical action will help burn them off.  Ever noticed how just taking a walk when you feel stressed helps relax you?  So do what ever physical activity you enjoy:

  • walking
  • swimming
  • golf
  • yoga etc.

#5 PAMPER YOURSELF

According to Dr. Paul Pearsall, author of The Pleasure Prescription” a pleasurable experience does more good for the body than a stressful experience does harm.  Pleasure enhances health, energy and emotional well being.  It causes muscles to relax and even triggers healing.  So rather than waste your time trying to a void stress, plan time for pleasure.  Go get a massage, learn a hobby, soak in a hot tub, listen to soft music, diffuse calming essential oils. Surround your self with soothing softer colors and avoid primary colors even the color choice of your clothing makes a difference.

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WHAT ARE SOME OF THE EFFECTS OF CHRONIC STRESS CYCLES?

DEPRESSION: I think everyone has felt down in the dumps at one time or another.  Feeling down, sad, tired or unmotivated because of a temporary los or setback is actually normal.  However, some people can hit those lows and just can’t get back up again and they become clinically depressed!

If you are suffering from depression,  know that you are not alone. Statistics suggest that about 18.8 million folks suffer from depression, which is just a tad shy of 10% of the adult U.S. population.  Adults are not the only ones suffering from depression.  It is becoming increasingly more common in our teens and children too.

The modern medical world treats this with drugs called antidepressants.  The most commonly used anti-depressant drugs act as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and include:

  • prozac
  • paxil
  • zoloft

These SSRIs create a false sense of detachment and the excess serotonin creates an elevation of mood.  There is some evidence to suggest that they are linked with violent and antisocial behavior too.

Fortunately, we can increase serotonin levels with nutrition.  Serotonin production is directly linked to levels of L-tryptophan, which is an amino acid in the brain.  Eating more complex carbs, like whole fruits, veggies, and whole grains help stabilize L-tryptophan levels in the brain.  Refined carbs and simple sugars give a quick fix. they life the mood but drop it like a rock shortly there after.

AGE-RELATED MEMORY LOSS

The brain is sensitive to damage from inflammation and free radicals, so another part of feeding the brain is to eat plenty of antioxidant rich fresh fruits and veggies, organically grown where you can. 5-9 servings a day of these health protecting foods daily.

When we can’t get adequate amounts of fruits and veggies, a whole food supplement that features antioxidant rich fruits and botanicals is a convenient substitute. A blend to reach for should contain naturally occurring antioxidants which include polyphenols, flavonoids, xanthones and vitamin C.

I will list choices I recommend at the end of this post.

SOMETHING TO TRY AT HOME…

The eye’s pupil contracts under the influence of the parasympathetic nervous system and enlarges under the sympathetic nervous system.  So one can tell whether a person is in sympathetic or parasympathetic mode by looking at the pupils.

Examine the eyes of a friend or loved one to see what nervous system mode they are in.

 

To make this activity even more fun have friends or family members smell different essential oils to see whether their pupils enlarge or contract.  Different essential oils affect the nervous system in different ways.

 

Oils like lavender, ylang ylang and chamomile typically activate the parasympathetic nervous system, making one’s pupils become smaller.  Oils like lemon, rosemary and pine will activate sympathetic nerves making the pupils larger.

All the suggested Essential Oils can be found at: www.harvestedhealth.mynsp.com

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RECOMMENDED SUPPLEMENTS TO SUPPORT THE NERVOUS SYSTEM:

NERVOUS SYSTEM PACK( 30 day):

Benefits:
Feeds and soothes the nervous system.
Builds the body’s ability to adapt to stress.
Helps calm nerves and supports restful sleep.
How It Works:

Stress-J contains a powerful blend of four calmative herbs known to help support proper nervous system function. It promotes relaxation and well-being.
AdaptaMax provides adaptogenic herbs that help the body combat stress and adapt to stressful situations, including stress on the immune system, fatigue and stress-related aging. Nerve Eight helps support proper nervous system function, reduce cellular stress, promote sleep and provide digestive support. Nutri-Calm provides B-complex vitamins, antioxidants and other essential nutrients that support and calm the nervous system and encourage restful sleep.

Ingredients:

Each packet contains 2 Stress-J capsules, 2 AdaptaMax capsules, 1 Nerve Eight capsule and 1 Nutri-Calm tablet.

Recommended Use:

Take the contents of one packet in the morning with breakfast, and one packet in the evening with a meal. Follow this pattern for 30 days.

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NUTRI-CALM:

Benefits:
Supports the nervous system
A natural formulation designed to maintain a sense of calm and peace of mind
May be used for occasional stress
How It Works:
Nutri-Calm is a unique formulation, containing C and B-Complex vitamins along with natural extracts, designed to maintain a sense of calm and peace of mind.
Ingredients:
Provides vitamin C, thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin, B6, folic acid, B12, biotin and pantothenic acid, plus schizandra fruit, choline, inositol, bee pollen, PABA, lemon bioflavonoids, valerian root extract, passionflower flowers extract and hops flowers extract.

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BRAIN PROTEX:

Benefits:
May help block the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, helping to prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter.
Supports circulation throughout the body as well as to and within the brain.
Protects capillaries and strengthens the blood–brain barrier.
Helps support and protect proper brain function.
Neutralizes free radicals.
How It Works:

This formula is designed to give the brain protection against free radical damage. It is especially helpful for those who desire extra support for brain health, nerve function and alertness.
Brain-Protex combines protective herbs, antioxidants and phospholipids that favorably impact age-related memory loss, boost mental acuity and curb free radical damage to the brain. Huperzine A is a substance that occurs naturally in Chinese club moss, a plant used in traditional Chinese medicine. It may help prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine, which seems to be an indicator of overall memory function. Ginkgo supports cerebral circulation, which may promote proper concentration, memory and alertness. Alpha lipoic acid may also play a role in long-term memory. This formula also contains the powerful antioxidant lycopene.

Ingredients:
Soybean lecithin complex (phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphatidylinositol), ginkgo leaves, lycopene, alpha lipoic acid and Chinese club moss whole plant extract.

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STRESS RELIEF TCM:

Benefits:
Nourishes the nervous system.
May optimize gastric function.
Supports circulatory health.
How It Works:
Chinese Stress Relief TCM Concentrate contains the same combination of 14 herbs found in Chinese Stress Relief but in a highly concentrated blend. These herbs and natural substances are used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to support emotional balance and calm a stressed fire constitution. The Chinese call this formula an shen, which can be translated to mean “to pacify the spirit.” These herbs may help to nourish the nervous system and subsequently help improve gastric function and strengthen the urinary system. The key ingredients are oyster shell, haliotis shell and fushen. In Chinese medicine, oyster shell is considered to be calming and is used to relieve anxiety. Haliotis has properties similar to oyster shell. Oyster shell and haliotis are principally made of calcium carbonate, which may support gastric and circulatory health. Fushen is used in Chinese modalities as a stabilizingherb for restlessness and to relieve anger.
Ingredients:
Concentrated extract of oyster shell, albizzia bark, polygonatum rhizome, haliotis shell, fushen sclerotium with root, acorus rhizome, curcuma root tuber, ginseng root, jujuba seed, polygala root, coptis rhizome, cinnamon twig, ginger rhizome and licorice root.

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DHA:

Benefits:
Supports healthy brain development and function.
Provides circulatory system support.
How It Works:
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is a fatty acid that is absorbed into the fatty perimeter of cells. There it exerts its biochemical properties. DHA is highly concentrated in the brain and retinal neural tissues. It is required for brain development and important in maintaining and protecting the neural tissues.
Ingredients:
250 mg docosahexaenoic acid, 50 mg eicosapentaenoic acid and natural lemon oil.

Thank you for liking, sharing and following my posts…. If you are interested in scheduling an appointment you can do that by going to http://www.mkt.com/harvested-health-llc and click on the desired service.  I’d be honored to take this healthy journey together!

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SUPER OMEGA-3 EPA:

Benefits:
Promotes brain health
Encourages healthy circulatory function
380 EPA / 190mg DHA per capsule
Supports the cardiovascular system
How It Works:
Omega-3 fatty acids are one of four basic fats that the body derives from foods. While many of the other fats are harmful, omega-3s benefit the body and are especially good for the heart. Super Omega-3 EPA is a source of two fatty acids, EPA and DHA. Super Omega-3 EPA softgels contain approximately 1,000 mg fish oil, with a ratio of 33:16 EPA to DHA (380 mg EPA, 190 mg DHA) per softgel. It also contains lemon to significantly reduce the aftertaste from fish oil and to reduce gas. (Contains fish such as anchovy, sardine and mackerel.)
Ingredients:
Eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid.

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Healthfully yours,

Dr. Jodi Barnett N.D.

Harvested Health LLC

www.jodibarnett758.com

 


Why Is The Digestive System So Crucial?

I work with lots of clients who come to me with a variety of symptoms and  with almost all of them I recommend digestive system support and they are confused..

Getting folks to realize the road to good health is paved with good intestines… is tricky business.  There are more organs in your digestive system than in any other system in the body.  Up to two-thirds of all your body parts are used just for digesting. You also use up to two-thirds of your daily energy just to complete the process of digesting.  The two things the body expends the MOST energy on is “digesting” and “elimination”.

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The digestive system is complex and intricate, it plays a major role in the health and well being of the body.  It provides the means by which the body transforms the food we eat into energy to feed the “machine”.  It consists of:

  • mouth
  • esophagus
  • stomach
  • small intestine
  • liver
  • pancreas
  • gallbladder

The first stop is what happens in the mouth. When we chew the food the body produces saliva, which comes complete with an enzyme called ptyalin (amylase).  This enzyme helps to start dissolving food making it easier to swallow. Once the food is then swallowed, it travels down the esophagus to the stomach.  The stomach then works like a washing machine churning the food into a pasted referred to as “chyme”.

The stomach uses hydrochloric acid (HCL) which the Adrenal glands contribute to encouraging the stomach to produce, and the enzyme pepsin to begin breaking down proteins.  When we eat something with sugar or drink water, those are absorbed directly into the blood stream while in the stomach.  The food that is not absorbed moves on down the line to the pyloric sphincter which is at the very end of the stomach.  this sphincter serves as the gateway to the small intestine.  When the food eaten has been broken down well enough, it is released into the small intestine, which is made up of three parts:

  • duodenum,
  • jejunum
  • ileum

The small intestine is where the MAJOR digestion and ABSORPTION of nutrients takes place.  These nutrients are then absorbed into the blood stream and some are transported to the liver.

The average peep, eats from 40-50 tons of food in their lifetime… Did you know it takes your mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, gallbladder, pancreas and liver JUST to digest a glass of milk?

Other organs that play a major role in digestion include:

  • pancreas
  • gallbladder
  • liver

The pancreas is a gland located behind the stomach and it manufactures various enzymes and hormones: amylase for breaking down starches, and insulin and glucagon for blood sugar regulation.  These are pumped directly into the duodenum.  A duct also connects the duodenum to our gallbladder.  This pear shaped sac squeezers out bile, which bile is basically our body’s version of a detergent agent that contains acids that dissolves fats.

Our liver is the largest organ in the body, and the body’s main chemical factory.  It performs more than 500 different functions.  Besides producing bile, the liver:

  1. processes nutrients
  2. converts dietary proteins into new protein needs for the blood system
  3. stores fats, carbohydrates, proteins and vitamins
  4. releases proteins, carbohydrates & vitamins as needed
  5. absorbs poisons and toxic substances before neutralizing them

Once the food makes it past the small intestine, any remaining matter is then passed into the cecum, which is the beginning of the large intestine, or colon.  It is in the large intestine that fecal matter is formed.  Water is reabsorbed, B-vitamins are absorbed, and the matter itself is moved along through the rest of the colon.  The large intestine ends at the rectum and anus.

The length of the digestive tract is some 30 feet.  There is about 25 feet of small intestines and about 5 feet of large intestine.

There is a major purpose for the digestive system and it revolves around “CHANGE”.  The digestive system changes carbohydrates into simple carbohydrates or sugars.  It changes proteins into smaller molecules called amino acids which are building blocks for our body.  It changes fats into fatty acids/glycerin.  Whole foods are changed into usable forms called nutrients, which are directly absorbed into our blood stream.  It is often said, “You are what you eat,” but I say “You are what you are able to absorb!”

DID YOU KNOW?  

  1. The liver can function even if as much as 90% of it is removed
  2. after you eat, it usually takes 24 hours in healthy adults to complete the  process of digestion

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WHAT ARE SOME PRIMARY PROBLEMS and INADEQUACIES  WITH THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM?

#1. TRANSIT TIME:

One of the most common issues associated with the digestive system is transit time.  Transit time is a measure used to denote how long it takes for food to be broken down and roll through the 30 foot system from end to end.  Normally, it is about 24 hours, it takes around 3-6 hours for a meal just to be converted to nutrients.  Problems occur when transit time is either too slow or too fast.

Muscles all along the digestive tract contract in an action called peristalsis which is what propels the food through the process.  These propulsive waves also force waste to move into the rectum for elimination.  This should happen from 3-4 times a day…. (HOW MANY TIMES ARE YOUR BOWELS MOVING?)…I always say “think babies and puppies”. Typically they have to eliminate shortly after eating.  Usually once most of us hit our late teens and I’m seeing this much sooner now in my practice, that we no longer eliminate like babies/puppies… Folks are lucky if they have a bowel movement once a day.  So now think about the fact that the digestive system can only process 3-4 meals a day!  So when you eat the next meal the very 1st one should be ready for exit.

I frequently tell my patients that if they are only having one bowel movement a day they ARE constipated.  I hear over and over again.. but one bowel movement a day is what is “Normal” for me… But this is NOT the case if you have more than one meal a day!  Folks, our current health system deals mostly with drugs & surgery.  They tend to prescribe laxatives that can be habit forming and fibers that contain food dyes known to be carcinogens.  If we have digestive issues, it is also common to use antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, antacids, steroids, and/or intestinal removal.  What we really need is a better understanding of how the digestive system functions, and how We can care for it naturally.

TEST YOUR TRANSIT TIME: drink just beet juice or liquid chlorophyll. after you drink it, it should take about 24 hrs. to see red coloring in your stool.  If your red transit time is too fast like 12 hours, you are eliminating too fast and not absorbing all your nutrients  if it is too slow, say 48 hours, your constipated and leading to toxicity.

#2. INADEQUATE ENZYMES

Food has to be properly digested to allow absorption.  This only happens with the help of enzymes.  without digestive enzymes, which speed up the digestive process food would take the same amount of time to digest as it does when rotting in warm open air.  By design, we do have sufficient enzymes to ensure digestion. but what is not generally known is that today our enzymes have to combat shelf-life food.  Modern foods did not exist when our Creator originally figured out our lifetime supply of enzymes.

Foods today are processed, boxed, canned refined, heat treated, pasteurized, radiated, microwaved, and packaged.  Our enzymes were designed for food that is fresh, partially digested by nature, and alive.  That does not describe shelf-life foods.  Preservatives, chemicals, additives, and heat also destroy any additional natural enzymes present within food, not to mention the natural enzymes we were born with.

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DID YOU KNOW?

  • The lining of the stomach has 35 million tiny glands that pour out two to three quarts of gastric juice daily?  When food is introduced the juice flows faster.

Enzymes are also needed for detoxification. They turn fat-soluble materials and waste into water for easier elimination.  We see that fewer enzymes equals more toxicity.  Enzymes help ensure the removal of harmful allergens, pollution, heavy metals and toxins from the body.  Enzymes also maintain a normal pH level in the digestive system, which is critical in reducing inflammation.

 

#3. LACKING SYSTEM PROBIOTICS

We are hearing more and more about the need for probiotics. They are similar to enzymes, our body produces and needs friendly bacteria. They participate in digestion and absorption. They stand guard to also do battle in our defense against harmful organisms from making our digestive system their home.  Probiotics even help supplement our diet by manufacturing vitamins and providing immunity.

 

Probiotics are found in both the small and large intestines.  But the colon contains the majority of these friendly buggers.  A normal peep should have about 1000 trillion of these good buggers in the intestine.  They can even account for 10% of total body weight!  The most familiar strains are:

  • lactobacillus acidophilus
  • bifidobacterium longum (acidophilus & bifidophilus)

They have some specific jobs to perform and those would be:

  1. producing additional enzymes
  2. producing antibiotic substances to fight bacteria bad guys
  3. forming B-vitamins
  4. reducing liver stress
  5. preventing constipation
  6. boosting immune system

What is happening is many are functioning with a very reduced population of beneficial probiotic colonies in their gut due to the over use of antibiotics (which our commercial meats are loaded with), chemical exposure, and overly processed fast/boxed/microwaved foods.  Which is why EVERYONE would benefit by supplementing daily with probiotics.

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#4

HIATAL HERNIA

Many are misdiagnosed with digestive symptoms with something called a hiatus.  The diaphragm, which is our breathing muscle separates the chest from our abdomen, contains an opening called the hiatus.  This is where the esophagus passes through to reach the stomach.  Occasionally part of the stomach protrudes through the hiatus, creating a hernia that permits the black-flow of acid or chyme up in to the esophagus, or we call it acid reflux disease.  Doctors can confuse heart disease or ulcers with a hiatus hernia because the symptoms are very similar.  Sometimes they simply trat the issue with antacids.  A hiatus hernia can cause great pain, difficult breathing, heartburn, etc.

#5. HYDROCHOLORIC ACID (HCL) IMBALANCE

We have been fed that stomach acid is bad, if you take a look the antacid industry has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry.  Although antacids can be helpful, they are not the answer for what causes heartburn or indigestion in the first place.  Stomach acid, or hydrochloric acid, breaks down protein ad fights off microbes.  It stimulates the pancreas and small intestines to produce additional enzymes, as well as bile.  The truth is that treatment aimed at neutralizing stomach acid can actually make your digestive issues worse not better.  The other connecting factor is most are also dealing with adrenal fatigue issues too, and the adrenal glands also participate in sending proper signal to the stomach for proper HCL production.  So it’s usually a two-fold issue happening.  Which is why when someone is dealing with major stress issues, the digestion is affected.

DID YOU KNOW? The small intestine can be likened to a second brain.  It contains as many neurons as your spinal column, and 95% of your serotonin which is the brain’s mood regulating chemical is contained in your small intestines, elaborate network of nerves.  That’s why we feel strong emotions like fear, love and anticipation in the gut as well as our minds.  The intestines can also be affected in the same way that the brain is from lack of serotonin.  Inadequate serotonin in the bran can cause depression; in the gut, it can lead to irritable bowel syndrome.

Many are fearful when I recommend they need to take a HCL + pepsin supplement for reflux or bloating issues after they eat.  They are afraid it will contribute to more burning, Yet the stomach has a mucus lining which forms a barrier between the stomach wall and the acid produced.  This is natures’ ways of protecting the stomach from the strength of its contents.  The lining of the stomach sheds cells at the rate of half a million every minute  They are replaced so rapidly that the stomach has what amounts to a new lining every three days.

The question we should be asking… should we be trying to stop HCL production with antacids?  As we get older, (usually after age 40), we tend to make less HCL anyway.  Add to that a poor diet, overeating, and inhaling your food, and you may find you have digestive and immune issues.  Low levels of stomach acid can produce protein malnourishment.  This leads to acidic blood (a pH imbalance), setting the stage for toxins, illness, and disease.  It can also lead to mineral deficiencies.  As the blood becomes acidic, your blood will look for minerals anywhere in the body to counter the pH issues.  It will even steal the mineral calcium from the bones, which contributes to osteoporosis.  and when do most folks notice osteoporosis or osteopenia is an issue?…. over the age of 40!

 

Here is a basic equation for this type of digestive issues:  low stomach acid= acidic blood=low minerals.  Symptoms of this cycle looks like these symptoms:

  • bloating
  • flatulence
  • heart burn
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • acne
  • chronic candida
  • food allergies
  • immune problems

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WHAT DOES “NATURAL’ SUPPORT OF YOUR DIGESTIVE SYSTEM LOOK LIKE?

For optimum health, the digestive system requires:

  1. improved diet
  2. exercise
  3. plenty of clean water
  4. fiber
  5. detoxification
  6. and boosting the nutritional deficiencies with supplementation

DIET: this area is where most folks miss the mark in a major way.  Properly balancing what you are eating is important. It doesn’t mean you can’t ever eat out, or have a piece of cake etc. It means those choices should be occasional not habitual.  The body needs clean proteins, carbohydrates and fats.  so fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains ad seeds have to be included in the mix.

Proteins need to be lean, clean and high quality.  Carbohydrates are better when they are complex vs. simple.  Fats should be unsaturated and essential fatty acid choices.  Which fall into the Omega 3,6,9 categories.

  • flaxseed
  • fish oil
  • avocadoes
  • black currant oil
  • borage oil
  • greens
  • nuts seeds

All have Essential fatty acid elements.

We also have the most amazing tool to aid in digestion that is both powerful and inexpensive, that would be our TEETH… most folks fall into the WOLF my food category, they chew what they are eating maybe 5-10 times as virtually swallow the rest whole.  You want to concur over eating?  Take the time to chew 25 times before swallowing, I don’t expect you to physically count your chews, but use your tongue and feel what is in your mouth, if you cannot feel chunks, then swallow.  You will thank yourself with better digestion, and you will end up eating less.  It takes approx. 25 minutes for the Vagus nerve to send signal to the brain that you are full.  So the longer you take chewing and swallowing you will find you end up eating less.

 

EXERCISE:  This is a touchy subject for lots of folks.  Yet the truth of the matter is we spend more time sitting than any of us care to admit.  We sit while driving, while watching TV, while we are on our computers, Cell phones etc.  Exercise of ANY kind is beneficial to assisting the peristalsis and improving the muscular integrity of your abdomen.  The body is designed to move, we have lots of “hinged” body parts for that very reason.

WATER:  o avoid being constipated, we have to properly hydrated.  Many people believe they drink plenty of water throughout the day, but they ignore some elements they may be also doing that naturally dehydrates the body, like coffee, alcohol and carbonated drinks.  So for every cup of those you drink you need to add an additional cup of water to compensate.

FIBER: It is a proven fact with todays standard go to diet choices that people are not coming close to getting near enough fiber in their diet.  supplementing with fiber is highly recommended.  There are five kinds of fiber:

3 soluble fibers:

  1. pectin
  2. mucilage
  3. gum (not chewing gum by the way)

2 insoluble fibers:

  1. cellulose
  2. hemi cellulose

Introducing dietary fiber through supplementation is highly recommended but to add gradually and it’s important that you are drinking enough water at same time.

DID YOU KNOW?

The average person carries between 5 – 25 pounds of undigested fecal matter in their bowels at all times.  It contributes to the “pouch” look that most of us don’t want to have.

AND…

Heartburn is not the result of excessive stomach acid; it is the result of not enough!

BENEFITS OF ADDING FIBER:

  • causes us to feel full
  • decreases appetite
  • helps with weight-loss
  • eases/speeds bowel movements
  • reduces bad cholesterol
  • delays blood sugar absorption
  • grabs onto toxins
  • sweeps feces out of the body
  • lowers chance of colon cancer and hemorrhoids.

DETOXIFICATION:

The cleansing or purging of the intestines or detoxification actually dates back to Egypt.  The Greeks also used it, as did the American Indians.  Detoxification has been around for ages.  But never has it become more important in our history than it is right now./  Foods have become denatures, devoid of enzymes, overly sugared, and just plain poisoned.  As food and water are steadily more toxic, our digestive systems are becoming  more overloaded.  The need for detoxification of the digestive system is paramount.  The number one reason today for most doctor visits is for digestive issues.

PRODUCT RECOMMENDATIONS:  In my practice I have like any practitioner my “favorite” go to products.  I’ve listed links to those products below.

Digestive System Pack (30 day supply):

Benefits:
Supports healthy digestion by breaking down all types of food.
May promote immune system health.
Supplies friendly bacteria to help rebalance the population of flora in the gut.
Aids in the elimination of toxins.
How It Works:
Proactazyme facilitates digestion and improves nutrient absorption. Anti-Gas TCM supports both the digestive and detoxifying functions of the body and supports the natural elimination of excess moisture and toxins. Bacillus Coagulans is a self-stable probiotic that is blended with prebiotics conducive to the growth of friendly bacteria.
Ingredients:
Each AM packet contains 3 Proactazyme capsules. Each PM packet contains 1 Anti-Gas TCM and 2 Bacillus Coagulans capsules.
Recommended Use:
Take the contents of one AM packet throughout the day before meals (one capsule before each meal). Take the contents of the evening packet with your evening meal. Follow this pattern for 30 days.

FOOD ENZYMES:   (these are on special the rest of this week)

Benefits:
Supplements the body’s production of important enzymes.
Provides a blend of enzymes to digest proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
Provides hydrochloric acid and bile salts to help digest proteins and fats.
Helps relieve occasional indigestion.
How It Works:
Enzymes break down food into compounds for absorption into the bloodstream. This combination of enzymes offers more complete digestive support when taken with meals. This formula includes pepsin, which is used for pre-digesting proteins in the stomach. Betaine HCl helps create an acidic environment to facilitate the activity of pepsin. After food reaches the small intestine, the enzyme pancreatin further digests protein, carbohydrates and fats in the small intestine. Pancreatin also helps to support the pancreas. Alpha amylase digests starches. Bile salt makes fats soluble, preparing them for further digestion by lipase. The enzymes bromelain and papain aid in the digestion of proteins. One capsule will help you digest a minimum of 30 grams of protein, 30 grams of carbohydrates and 20 grams of fats.
Ingredients:
Betaine HCl, bile salt, bromelain, lipase, alpha amylase, pancreatin, papain and pepsin.

NATURES THREE:

Benefits:
Provides intestinal systems support.
Provides naturally occurring fiber from psyllium hulls.
Promotes regularity in maintaining healthy bowel movements.
Relieves occasional constipation.
How It Works:
There are two basic types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber, found in foods such as fruits, seeds, brown rice, barley and oats works mainly by helping to produce a softer stool. It also chemically prevents or reduces the absorption of certain substances into the bloodstream. Insoluble fiber, found in whole grains, vegetables, legumes and the outside of seeds, works like a sponge, absorbing many times its weight in water and swelling up inside the intestines. The result is elimination that is more efficient.
Nature’s Three provides: Psyllium which has the highest level of soluble fiber known—more than eight times that of oat bran. Oat fiber –a wholesome source of water-soluble fiber. Apple fiber – provides a host of health benefits. Each 10-calorie serving provides 2 g of dietary fiber.

Ingredients:
Psyllium seed hulls, apple fruit fiber and oat inner husk bran.

CLEAN START DETOXIFYING MILD PROGRAM (14 DAY):

Benefits:
Supports the natural, everyday cleansing of waste from the body.
Gently moves intestinal contents through the digestive system.
May help to maintain natural energy levels.
Promotes a feeling of well-being.
How It Works:
Environmental pollutants can build up in the body, slowing natural cleansing and detoxifying processes. CleanStart® is our most popular cleanse to help support the primary detoxifying processes of the body. This flagship product is available in a mild formula for those seeking complete yet gentle cleansing support. CleanStart Mild contains Bacillus coagulans to support the friendly bacteria in the intestinal tract. Use CleanStart Mild to help “jump start” your cleansing and detoxifying program. After cleansing, try Detox Basics™ daily detoxifying program for ongoing detoxification support.
Ingredients:
Each Cleansing Drink Mix packet contains psyllium hulls, vegetable fiber, natural wild berry flavor, potassium citrate, aloe vera whole leaf, malic acid, carotene extract, stevia leaf extract, sodium copper chlorophyllin, bentonite. Each capsule pack contains 3 capsules of Gentle Move® and 1 capsule of Enviro-Detox™.
Recommended Use:
Take contents of one cleansing drink mix packet 15-30 minutes before breakfast and 15-30 minutes before dinner. Take contents of capsule packet with breakfast and dinner (twice daily).

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If you’d like a personalized nutritional program put together for you and your health needs.  You can go to http://www.jodibarnett758.com and click on the services tab, when you click on a specific service it will take you to the shopping cart to pay for your services and we can get you on my appointment schedule.   You can also click on the “products” tab and it will take you to over 500 + products that as a practitioner I use and recommend in my practice.

Thank you for taking the time to read, like and share my posts.

Healthfully yours,

Dr. Jodi Barnett N.D.

Harvested Health LLC

 

 



Because Breathing is NOT optional!

Help navigating this “cold/flu” season, Stay Healthy my friends

JodiBarnett758

During cold/flu and pneumonia season, many people realize how important the element of being able to take a breath can be.  You can live a few days without water & weeks without food, but you can only go a few minutes without air.  So doing all that you can to care for the health of the respiratory system just makes sense.

DID YOU KNOW:

  • the lungs possess almost 1,500 miles of airways and over 300 million alveoli
  • Aveoli
  • You will take probably 20,000 breaths & breathe about 35 lbs. of air each day.
  • Plants are our co-companions in breathing.  “We” breathe in air, our body uses the oxygen and releases carbon dioxide.  “Plants” take in the carbon dioxide & release oxygen.  Talk about team work!!!

Sinus

The actual anatomy of the respiratory tract includes the upper respiratory which include the nasal passages, sinues, pharynx & larynx, while the lower respiratory includes the…

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The Most Abundant Mineral In the Body… CALCIUM

Calcium is another mineral that is included in the Basic Metabolic panel blood test.  It is the most abundant mineral in the body, An average healthy male has 2.5 – 3 pounds of calcium, while an average healthy female has about 2 pounds.  Yet 99 percent of the body’s calcium supple is in the bones and teeth, which leaves about 1 percent in the cells and body fluids.  Just about everyone understands that calcium is essential for strong teeth and bones.  However, Calcium is “essential” for proper nerve impulse transmission, enzyme function, blood clotting and energy production.  The level of calcium in the body is regulated by what I refer to as a “phone type loop” a pathway that controls a certain physiological function – involving the parathyroid hormone (PTH), vitamin D, and calcitonin.  The amount of magnesium and phosphorus in the body also affects our calcium levels.

We should be getting calcium intake through the foods we are eating, the majority of people rely on the “dairy” category for their calcium ratio’s to be met.

  • milk
  • cheese
  • yogurt
  • Keifer

Another good source is from fish that have bones like salmon and sardines; and from the plant family sesame seeds and leafy green veggies have calcium too.  Understand, as we age, we need to maintain a balance and adequate intake of the mineral since both high and low levels can increase the chances of developing bone deterioration, like osteoporosis. Low calcium levels can affect the heart, kidneys, nerves and of course our teeth.  Taking proper care of your teeth is IMPORTANT, you cannot eat if you cannot chew your food.

However, another issue is referred to as “hypercalcemia” which means high calcium; which puts your kidneys at risk.

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A blood calcium test (also referred to as an ionized calcium test) indicates the amount of calcium in the BLOOD not the BONES.  This amount is reflected in the results of a total calcium test, which measures both the “free” (meaning circulating) and the “bound” forms of calcium in the blood.  The reference ranges for blood calcium levels, which are measured in milligrams per deciliter (mg.dL), are below.

Results that fall within the normal range generally mean that calcium is being properly metabolized, so there is NO specific target range for this one.

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REFERENCE RANGES FOR CALCIUM

Calcium (mg/dL)                                           Category

Greater than 12                                            Very high (moderate to severe hypercalcemia)

10.2 to 12                                                       High (mild hypercalcemia)

8.6 to 10.2                                                     Normal

less than 8.6                                                Low (Hypocalcemia)

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So if for instance, a person is exhibiting classic symptoms of kidney stones, a urine calcium test may also be ordered.  Men should produce less than 300 mg. of urine calcium per day, and ladies, less than 250 mg per day.  Amounts greater than 300 mg. per day may indicate that too much calcium is being consumed or, alternatively, being pulled from the bones.  High urine calcium levels may also indicate that too much calcium is being absorbed from the intestine, which occurs in certain diseases.  Leaking, or the loss of calcium due to having compromised kidney function, may also be one of the contributing factors.  In general, 100-300 mg. per day can be considered normal, depending on the person.

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WHY WOULD SOMEONES CALCIUM LEVELS BE TOO HIGH?

The medical term used to describe too much calcium in the blood is hypercalcemia, a condition that affects less than 1 percent of the population.  In most cases, hypercalcemia is caused by parathyroid disease or hyperparathyroidism, which is when an over production of parathyroid hormone is being released by the glands.  These glands, there are 4 lobes that sit on each side of your thyroid.  The number one cause of this issue ; the growth of benign tumors in the parathyroid glands, which are responsible for controlling the levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood.

 

Kidney disease can also cause the parathyroid glands to become overactive, as it disturbs blood calcium and phosphorus levels and, therefore, disrupts that telephone call, (when the body NEEDS something, it makes a phone call in a variety of ways to ask for what it needs and where it needs it.)

Other contributing imbalances would be:

  • adrenal gland issues
  • advanced liver disease
  • certain cancers, including breast, lung, leukemia and prostate with bone metastasis
  • dehydration
  • diet high in calcium (more than 2,000 mg. per day)
  •  a hereditary condition that hinders the body’s ability to regulate calcium as it should
  • high levels of vitamin A and or vitamin D
  • hyperthyroidism
  • kidney disease or failure
  • medications, like calcium containing antacids, lithium and thiazide diuretics
  • prolonged immobilization
  • tuberculosis

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Hypercalcemia can be detected and, in most cases, effectively treated, long-term issues are unlikely.  But there are several health issues that may be connected to hypercalcemia. like heart arrhythmias which is having an irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, intestinal issues like peptic ulcer issues, kidney stones, thyroid disease, vitamin D toxicity, and on some occasions, vitamin A toxicity.  You may also have low iron levels, magnesium, vitamin K and/or zinc, which share absorption sites with calcium in your intestines and, therefore, do not absorb as easily when calcium intake is too high.

High calcium levels are also associated with changes in the nervous system, that contributes to confusion and dementia.  Although, osteoporosis which is when the bones begin to thin, is more commonly linked to low calcium, it is possible to develop this condition as well as other bone diseases, as a result of having too much calcium over an extended period of time.

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ARE THERE SYMPTOMS YOU WOULD HAVE WITH HIGH CALCIUM?

Mild hypercalcemia usually doesn’t have symptoms, but moderate or severe cases can cause abdominal pain, constipation, depression, fatigue, headaches, nausea and in some vomiting.  Loss of appetite may also be an issues, while thirst and the urge to urinate increases quite a bit as well.

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SUPPLEMENTS THAT MAY HELP WITH CONDITIONS RELATED TO HAVING HIGH CALCIUM

Green tea extract: is reported to decrease kidney stone formation, which may be due to high calcium levels, as well as improve bone density in older women.

 

Magnesium: I recommend Magnesium aspartate, taurate, glycinate or amino acid chelate.  These support bone building and balance calcium intake.  The ratio of calcium to magnesium intake should be 2 :1

Magnesium has been reported to improve blood vessel function and insulin resistance, in addition to decreasing LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol and triglycerides.  Also essential for phase-I liver detoxification.

 

Eating foods like artichokes, asparagus, celery, melons, and parsley, have detoxifying properties and can help with cleansing your kidneys.

Drink more water, it improves your kidneys ability to filter

Incorporate more low calcium foods into your diet. like : apples, asparagus, beets, cantaloupe, chicken, cottage cheese, eggplant, grapes, pineapple, pinto beans, strawberries and tomatoes.

Limit your use of painkillers.  Like ibuprofen and naproxen sodium which can contribute to kidney failure with over use.

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WHAT ABOUT LOW CALCIUM ISSUES?

Low blood calcium has a number of causes, but the most common is hypoalbuminemia, which is a protein in your blood that acts as a carrier for calcium, so when levels are low, blood calcium also will be.  This is usually seen in someone who has been in the hospital recovering from an acute injury, illness or malnutrition.

Some other causes:

  • not gonna sugar coat it, but “age”
  • diet low in fat and high in fiber
  • excessive alcohol or caffeine use
  • high intake of phosphorus, which is going to be in carbonated drinks,  lunch meats, sea foods, cheeses, milk, whole grain breads and lots of processed snack foods.
  • under active parathyroid glands
  • intestinal malabsorption issues, i.e. Celiac’s disease
  • kidney disease or kidney failure
  • low intake of magnesium, protein and/or vitamin D
  • inflammation of pancreas
  • pregnancy

 

MEDICATIONS & LOW CALCIUM ISSUES:

Sometimes, low blood calcium is NOT caused by diet or health issues, but by prescription medications.  The following drugs may affect the level of calcium in your body that can lead to low calcium issues.

  • aluminum and magnesium antacids
  • antacids or anti ulcer drugs like proton-pump inhibitors called Prilosec, and histamine receptor blockers like Tagamet
  • Antibiotics, including aminoglycosides, fluoroquinolones, tetracycline, and isoniazid.
  • anticonvulsants like Tegretol, Dilantin, and Solfoton
  • Bile acid sequestrants, like Questran, which are used to lower cholesterol
  • Bisphosphonates, like Fosomax
  • Colchicine, a gout medication
  • Corticosteroids
  • Digoxin, which treats congestive heart failure
  • Diuretics like Lasix and potassium sparing Triamterene, or Dyazide and Maxide
  • EDTA, chelating agent
  • Levothyroxine, a hormone replacement to treat a underactive thyroid
  • Mineral oil
  • Salicylates

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ARE THERE SYMPTOMS YOU WOULD RECOGNIZE IF YOU HAD LOW CALCIUM ISSUES?

In early stages there typically aren’t any symptoms that would get your attention.  As the condition worsens, some experience abdominal discomfort, anxiety, tingling in their fingers, muscle cramps or spasm.  Irritability, lethargy, and even frequent bone fractures.  a symptom of osteoporosis.

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SUPPLEMENTS THAT MAY BE HELPFUL FOR LOW CALCIUM

Calcium: in a highly absorbable form like aspartate, or hydroxyapatite.  Citrate is NOT my favorite form in line with mineral co-factoring, as if any inflammation or irritation is already happening citrate can add to the irritation.

Magnesium: aspartate, taurate, glycinate, or amino acid chelate.  Supports bone building and balances calcium intake.  The ratio of calcium to magnesium should be 2:1.

Vitamin D3: is needed for proper calcium absorption. I want to add that taking a ridiculously high “I.U.” (international unit), of Vitamin D can increase the risk of hardened arteries, and high blood calcium levels. 4,000 I.U. would be a safe limit, and I always recommend taking in smaller I.U. capsules multiple times a day for better metabolism vs. one over the top large dose at one sitting.

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SOMETHING TO CONSIDER

So many people think no further than “dairy” for calcium intake.  I always try to encourage my peeps to think outside the box and broaden their horizons… Kale offers (100 mg. per raw serving,) Bok choy (74 mg. per raw serving,) and broccoli (21 mg. per raw serving,) these are all great choices of adding more calcium into the diet.

Dr. Norman Walker in “Fresh Vegetables & Fruit Juices”  states  “Juicing raw carrot ,beet, and cucumber juice is a benefit for gallstones, kidney stones and gravel in the gall bladder and kidneys are the natural result of the inability of the body functions to eliminate from the system the inorganic calcium deposits formed after eating concentrated starches and sugars.”  He goes on to say ” Vital organic calcium is needed by the entire system, and such calcium, the only kind that IS soluble in water, can be obtained ONLY from fruits and vegetables, and their juices when these are raw and fresh.  As such, it passes through the liver and is completely assimilated in the process of gland functions and cell and tissue building.” Later he also states that ” one pint of carrot juice, daily, has more constructive body value than 25 pounds of calcium tablets.”

 

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Ok, that covers Calcium, the next stop on the Basic Metabolic Panel will be Potassium.

 

Thanks to all of you who take the time to read, follow and share the topics I post about.  You are all helping me plant the seeds one post at a time towards helping people learn more about how to gain a deeper understanding of supporting their health by incorporating more natural applications through foods and high quality raw whole food supplements.

 

Healthfully yours,

Dr. Jodi Barnett N.D.

Harvested Health LLC

http://www.jodibarnett758.com

 

References:

James B. LaValle, RPh, CCn “Cracking the Metabolic code”

Dr. Kurt W. Donsbach; “The Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research”

N.W. Walker D. Sc. ; “Raw Vegetable Juices, What’s Missing in Your Body?”

Henry G. Bieler, M.D. “Food is Your Best Medicine”

Featured Image: http://www.Organicfacts.net