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

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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

 

 


The Call of Addictions….

I felt the need to talk on this topic… well because it’s a big topic and it affects not only the people who struggle with addiction; but those connected too the person who struggles with addiction.

When it comes to interacting in this world, NOTHING is ever just about one person, there is and always will be a ripple effect, everyone our lives touch especially those we love, are draw into any addiction phase on some level if not on many levels.

There are many area’s  that people can find themselves held hostage:

  •  Emotional addictions,
  • alcohol dependency,
  •  caffeine,
  • prescription drugs,
  •  tobacco,
  • sugar, foods;

anything that draws us to a point where we don’t feel we can function without IT, whatever IT is for that person.

What might emotional addiction look like? Well… emotions control a lot of what someone either feels passionately about or is crippled by .  Yet emotional addiction can also fall in a place where someone gets addicted to being treated in a particular way, they have to have it in their life or they seek to create the atmosphere. I believe sexual addiction blends into the emotional slot, because I believe most are drawn into sexual addiction due to emotional addictions.

  •  OCD issues, which means control; most of these actually function from some element based in “fear”, fear of being alone, fear of crowds, fear of being away from a particular daily routine, fear of starting anything new, fear of failure that hinders them from ever sticking their toe in the water to embark on anything new, fear of rejection, fear of feeling loved, fear of not being loved. It ends up feeling like a perpetual cycle of one sorts or another.

Addictions really are all around us, and they are terribly difficult for folks to want to acknowledge let alone talk openly about them.

An addiction really is a dependency that creates any compulsive or habitual need to repeat a particular experienceSome addictions fall into  mild up to sever, socially acceptable to unacceptable.” (Steven Horne AGH)

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HOW DOES SOCIETY ACTUALLY MAKE ADDICTION A SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE FORM OF LIVING?

There are addictions that fall into the socially acceptable zone, like tobacco & alcohol, and sexual addictions, they seem so common place today most folks don’t waste a second blink when the topic comes up.

Yet it’s socially acceptable for folks to go out to drink  to spend time together, and folks laugh about who drank so much they couldn’t remember the evening, or was so sick they called off work the next day.  No big thing in society, it’s called socializing!
Those who smoke cigarettes already know that it’s causing some form of damage to their lungs, heart, cardiovascular system. Not so long ago smoking was allowed on prime time programs, and commercials. Certain brands through advertising tried to glamorize the hunky, handsome cowboy smoking their  brand.   It is wonderful that things are changing where smoking is concerned, and more and more states are making it illegal to smoke in public places to protect everyone, and more and more people are finding the strength to eliminate the habit .

Ok alcohol and tobacco are obvious addictions, what’s another socially acceptable one….

Caffeine Oh man, it’s a biggie, coffee shops popping up all over, and if you think getting a fancy mixed drink can end up being pricey, well, have you gotten any fancy expresso, frappuccino or latte  coffee lately  $5 dollars and up per cup.   Peeps just cannot get their day started without the java, and it’s socially acceptable when someone admits “I can’t  even think about conversation  UNTIL I’VE HAD AT LEAST MY 2ND CUP OF COFFEE”… means, their brains don’t feel like they can socially connect without it, now toss in the mix caffeinated pop’s, energy drinks and popular energy caffeine shots sold at every single gas station in America.  Think we have a caffeine issue in our country?

 

Move onto the socially acceptable addiction with foods/sugars more than 80% of the people in our country fall into the overweight

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DO COMPULSIVE BEHAVIORS CLASSIFY AS ADDICTION?

What about behaviors…. are those really addictions?  Well, you decide, we have television programs that showcase folks who need help with hoarding , they suffer from being compulsive about having certain things. Then there is:

  • gambling,
  • shopping,
  • sex, these behaviors again fall into the emotional addiction because much of our behavior is guided by open or buried emotions.
  •   When we have any behavior that we cannot bring ourselves to stop, even when we know its damaging to ourselves and those in our lives, its an addiction!

 

Why does it seem like having a issue with an addiction is so easy to fall into and so difficult to pull out of?
It’s the human desire to “feel” good!  When people become addicted to certain substances or behaviors certain neurotransmitters are released in their brain & nervous system, like endorphins, dopamine or epinephrine.  Most addictive substances either mimic or trigger the release of these chemicals, they elevate moods and do what they are supposed to do, “make us feel good !”  Then our body comes to depend on this outside trigger to release these chemicals and the circle of dependency begins.

Our human nature, and its driven need for ritual, love of pleasure, cravings, these  are deeply carved, making moderation for many, easier said than done.

Then you have many well-meaning folks who think , ” if it’s not good for you, just have the will-power to say no”!  It is critical to understand that to overcome addictions by willpower definitely  won’t be everyone’s way to achieve success, the proof is in the relapse numbers.  There has been a chemical imbalance that some of these substances are meeting a need for physically.  There is a nutritional deficiency in place that needs addressing, and many need assistance addressing repressed  emotional triggers.
Support and accountability are key in overcoming any sort of addiction issue. As is nutritional balancing they both need to go together!

Sad truth …when trying to over-come one addiction another is usually substituted to take  it’s place, so spending time dealing with all root issues is paramount to success…. many reach for junk foods, sugars, etc. or some replace one behavior addiction with a different one.

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NUTRITIONAL SUPPORT KEY PLAYER

Beginning to nutritionally give your body what it’s been lacking, and bringing back a balance of nutrients, then the body has the ability to produce the chemicals that make one feel good by design.

Nutritional changes have to be incorporated for success, you can’t stop alcohol or drug dependency living on processed junk foods and expect positive results for any long term length of time.
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CODEPENDENCY

Then there are those who are drawn into this emotional addiction circle through someone else’s addiction.  We see this frequently when someone has been in a relationship with someone or a family member or friend who is struggling  with dependency on alcohol,  drugs even behavior addictions.

They can get emotionally addicted to trying to fix others that they have coping mechanisms that can end up being counter productive  for themselves and all involved. They are experiencing  their own heightened levels of stress and also need good nutritional  balance and an emotional  support outlet.

I believe that each and every person is touched by this category in one area or another, it’s epidemic in my opinion.  Which is why I chose to write about it.  Truth is, it’s touched my life since my childhood on multiple planes,  I understand the emotional rollercoaster of emotions that can be experienced watching people you love dearly struggle.

There is a depth of healing that takes place both from those who have the addiction to those that fall in the ripples zone.

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ALCOHOL

Lets move onto the alcohol.  For all basic purposes alcohol  is a refined carbohydrate, which contributes to hypoglycemia.

Over-consumption now well, that over a period of time we know damages:

  • liver,
  • brain,
  • nervous system,
  •  kidneys,
  •  pancreas,
  •  personal relationships,
  •  employment,
  •  It’s a big contributor in traffic accidents even fatalities while driving, which brings with it legal fees that further adds to the stress cycle of not being able to cope.
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NATURAL OPTIONS THAT MAY BE HELPFUL

So one can physically ease the craving for alcohol by improving the quality of nutrition that goes into their body.
When poor nutrition is happening; what might that look like? Well   replacing the alcohol with lots of sugar which is typically what happens because sugar can also raise dopamine levels in the brain,  increased use of caffeine, junk fast food . What happens as a result over time the craving for alcohol creeps back into being, refined sugars raise the blood alcohol levels especially when yeast overgrowth in the body is involved.

So balancing the blood sugar swings will be helpful:

  •  Chromium GTF (click on the product name if you want to read more about it) can help stabilize blood sugar levels in the blood and reduce alcoholic cravings.
  • A good B Complex Vitamin
  • evening primrose oil helps reduce the cravings for alcohol. It also is a source of Gamma-linoleic Acid, an important essential fatty acid that helps the immune system and supports the circulatory system.
  •  Vitamin C ascorbate daily along with large amounts of magnesium that the alcohol robs from the body.

Some find their nerves feel frayed and some get headaches:

An excellent formula to aid the recovering alcoholic

  • Kudzu  is a vine common to the southern states with the properties of reducing high blood pressure, relieving pain and cramps.  Studies have demonstrated it also posses the ability to help control ravings for alcohol.
  • St. Johns wort adds the benefits of bringing the nervous system back into balance and helps to dispel negative emotions associated with alcoholism.

One of the more addictive aspects where beer is concerned isn’t just about the alcohol; its the hops used in making the beer.  Hops is an herb that contains a sedative substance with a mild addictive effect.

  • Hops can be taken to reduce cravings for beer, providing a similar relaxing affect without the negative issues that go with the alcohol.

We have to include and talk about the liver here because this organ ends up working overtime to neutralize alcohol when levels are too high in the blood, its the liver that breaks down after long abuse.  We call it Cirrhosis.  The liver is one of those organs that can repair itself; all it needs is a break.

  •   Milk Thistle can be helpful for protecting the liver from the effects of alcohol, and helping the liver to heal.  When this organ has suffered sever damage due to alcoholism, Milk Thistle and
  • SAM-e along with topical application of
  • helichrysum essential oil over the liver area will promote healing.

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 CAFFEINE

Let’s move onto the caffeine, I bet this one would fall into the most widely used drug, partially because its not regarded as a one, yet it’s used in lots of over the counter headache meds.

I remember taking a medication as a teen-ager for migraine headaches called Cafergot,caffeine listed as top I gredient which caused me to go into convulsions and required a transport.

Caffeine isn’t regarded by most as dangerous.  Our nation is literally on use over load.

Adults use it freely, and kids are drinking it in their pop like Mountain Dew which has a high caffeine ratio.  In spite of the numerous jokes folks make about gotta have their caffeine or cannot function, excessive use of it can cause serious damage to the brain and central nervous system.

What happens is with continual habitual use of caffeine reliance, regardless if your fix comes from :

  • coffee,
  • pop,
  •  tea
  • , Red Bull, or other commercial energy drinks loaded with caffeine and sugar, when you use it for energy and  to sustain it, a regular pattern begins to establish.

But let me walk you thru what happens in the body, caffeine stimulates epinephrine production, which speed up the function of your central nervous system.  When you rely and habitually use caffeine as your source for revving up your inner engine, it causes :

  • adrenal fatigue,
  • anxiety,
  • nervousness,
  •  insomnia and other nervous symptoms.

Since it depletes the adrenals, which causes fatigue, one needs to begin to rely on more caffeine intake to keep from dropping due to exhaustion, or the mid day crash and burn while at work.

 

We are seeing more and more young people having heart attacks, and being hospitalized due to cardia related symptoms who are drinking lots of energy drinks that are heavy in the caffeine load.

 

Prolonged caffeine use is linked to:

  •  Ischemia,
  •  cyanosis,
  • EKG changes,
  •  muscle pains,
  •  tachycardia,
  • bradycardia,
  • hypertension,
  • numbness,
  • tingling,
  •  vertigo,
  • neurological issues,
  •  vascular headaches. (hint, caffeine dehydrates body tissue and dehydration contributes to lots of these symptoms too).

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NATURAL NUTRITIONAL OPTIONS

There are some herbal options that strengthen the adrenals like:

  •  licorice root,
  •   Adrenal Support and 
  • Nervous fatigue formula these can be helpful with helping one thru caffeine withdrawal.

These same herbal products can also prove helpful with sugar addiction which is often like hand in glove to caffeine addiction.

There are healthier pick-me ups that won’t damage the adrenals, cause the headache from hell like caffeine,

  •  Energ-V,
  • Solstic Energy (just pour one packet in your bottle of water shake and go)
  • Target Endurance, these are healthy safe ways to increase energy levels.
  •   I love, love , love, Liquid Chlorophyll ES added to my water for a natural energy boost.  I frequently put in the water bottle I take to the gym.

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DRUGS

Lets move to the drugs that cause addiction,  there is a list of these that I am not going to go into depth by name or category with in this post because there are so many.

What I want to point out is drug addictions are a compulsive psychological and many times a painful physiological craving.

Withdrawal from drug addiction requires BOTH detoxification and nervous and glandular system support!

Professional assistance should be sought after for help with drug withdrawal, but GOOD nutritional and supplements can be helpful, they are only one piece of the puzzle towards recovery.  Emotional, physical, and nutritional aspects have to be dealt with!

Whatever the drug, one thing is certain.  It will become a burden on the liver.  So, herbs which help to detox the blood and strengthen the liver are probably central to any nutritional program for drug withdrawal.

  •  Milk Thistle Combination
  • , All Cell Detox or
  •   Enviro-Detox. Although the amounts will vary from person to person based on the advice of your Practitioner.  It is important to drink lots of water to help flush the drugs from your system.

Anyone withdrawing from drugs is going to experience mental and emotional stress.  so a nervine formula such as :

  • Stress-J 
  • Stress Relief, or
  • Nervous Fatigue Formula would be helpful during the withdrawal phase.

As with alcohol & tobacco addiction, adrenal support can prove helpful because blood sugar imbalances are often part of addictive behavior.

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SUGAR

I also want to briefly tough  on the addiction with sugar/foods…

The compulsive urge to eat sugar usually comes from a glandular imbalance.  Yep when there are adrenal and pancreatic imbalances what happens is there ends up being a deficiency of protein or a lack of proper protein digestion and metabolism.

Many also lack good fats and trace minerals in the diet.  Yeast infections usually play a huge role too.  Food addictions in general signify glandular and biochemical imbalances.

Folks are also emotional eaters, people are taught as children that food is a reward system.  Get good grades let me bake you some cookies, or something to celebrate lets go get cake or pie, (how do we celebrate birthdays?  with what?) why and how did that cycle ever come into being that cake is what needed to be symbolized for celebrating a birthday? No I really didn’t want to research that part.

People compensate using different foods, i.e. snacks, for various emotional highs and lows in their lives.  Excessive cravings for sweets or food in general can also come from a fealing of lack of sweetness (joy) in ones life which causes one to seek pleasure thru their foods.

So dealing with addiction in this area definitely requires taking the time to bring the body back into balance, digestive enzymes can be helpful, as would probiotics.  Considering a yeast detox thru diet and/or food elimination.  Adding Essential fatty acids, higher fiber, lots of water and some good whole food multi-vitamins.

Each person is unique and the beauty of working in the field of Naturopathy, I treat each person as an individual and allow the body to be the messenger, vs. a one-size fits all approach.

I really didn’t want this post to be this windy and stretch out this long, yet when I started writing, there were things that just felt important to place in it.  I will write more individually on each of these areas so I can dig in deeper.

If you’d like help with your Nutritional Battle Plan in tackling any of these addictions.  You can go to http://www.jodibarnett758.com and click on my services tab.

Any of the products I spoke of in this post can also be found thru the products link there as well.

Thank you all…

Hebrews 11:1 NLT ” Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.”

With addictions there IS HOPE, have the FAITH to reach for it…

Healthfully yours,

Dr. Jodi Barnett N.D.

Harvested Health LLC.