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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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.

 


The “COME HITHER”, call of sugar…

There is a massive “love affair”, sweeping our country!  I believe the harlot’s name is called “sugar.”

Once you’ve tasted her, it only makes ya want more.  Yet for years, the concept of sugar addiction was dismissed by most scientists and doctors.  Research, however, is forcing this concept to be reconsidered.

Experts used to explain “sugar cravings” as the result of spikes & crashes in blood sugar levels.  Now of course this contributes, hence sugar and refined carbohydrates, which are easily reduced to sugar, are calorie dense and are rapidly absorbed by the body.  These foods 1st elevate the blood sugar levels, but are processed fast, leaving you feel unsatisfied and still hungry for more sugar.  This hunger is NOT driven by a need for caloric energy, but by a need for a stable blood glucose level.  Foods that are high in protein and fiber have a slower absorption rate and keep one satisfied longer.  All carbohydrates do eventually convert into sugar once inside the body, but more complex carbs do so at a much slower rate than simple carbs.

The word “addiction” has many connotations.  People laugh about all sorts of vices they consider themselves to be addicted too: sex, coffee, tobacco, alcohol, gambling, internet, video games, shopping….. Yet, there truly is no definitive test for addiction.  You cannot go to your doctor and have him swab your throat and come back and tell you that, yes, you have tested positive for addiction.  Mental health professionals usually diagnose addiction, and the definition is somewhat subjective.  A person’s quality of life, rather than their biochemical state is assessed.  Most agree, however, that a loss of control, along with the presence of tolerance and withdrawal, are the most notable features of addiction.

The”Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV”, the manual used by professionals to formally diagnose mental disorders, lists the criteria for diagnosis of addiction as meeting three or more of these factors:

  1. tolerance; the need for increased amounts of the substance to achieve the desired effect, or a diminished effect when the same amount is consumed.
  2. withdrawal symptoms when the substance is not taken
  3. a greater use of the substance than intended
  4. unsuccessful efforts to control the use of the substance
  5. a great deal of time spent using the substance or recovering from use
  6. a reduction of social, occupational, or recreational activities because of the substance
  7. continued use of the substance despite knowing that it causes social and physical problems.

When you base the above criteria alone, there is no doubts that sugar, as well as any other substance or action, can be considered addictive.  But can a person be addicted to sugar in the same fashion that someone can be addicted to drugs or alcohol?  For some, sugar does seem to have tangible effects in the brain, leaving them in a neurochemical state similar to drug addiction.  Although sugar does not exactly mimic the brain activity of addictive drugs, alcohol or nicotine, some similarities have been discovered.  If you’ve ever known someone who was recovering from alcoholism or drug additions, most of those folks are reaching for “chocolate, coffee, even cigarettes.”  Why might that be?  Well the endogenous opioid system is the brains mechanism for controlling pain.  Normally, pain is adaptive, letting us know that a part of our body needs attention & rest.  Persistent or excruciating pain, however, is maladaptive.  To manage pain, the body produces brain chemicals called endorphins.  Endorphins, also called opioids, work by binding to special receptors on our brain cells, called opioid receptors, and blocking a complex cascade of reactions, leading to the perception of pain. So when you hurt your back, and the doctor prescribes pain medicine, that medicine is blocking the brains pain receptor signal so you can’t quite “FEEL” the pain.

Research has suggested that SUGAR has a similar effect on the endogenous opioid system.  Of course “rats” were used for the study, but the study was to determine if excessive sugar intake could lead to tolerance and withdrawal, so the rats were placed on a cycle of bingeing on a glucose solution in addition to eating regular rat food.  After 8 days, the rats had increased their intake of glucose solution from 30mL to 79mL per day, and were eating more food.  At this point some of the rats were administered a drug called Naloxone which is used on folks who have overdosed on an opiate, because it blocks the opiate molecules from binding to the opioid receptors, and, by the same blocking, can induce withdrawal symptoms in an addict.  So they precipitated a withdrawal in some rats and the others were taken off the glucose solution and given saline injections.  Both rats experienced similar withdrawal symptoms.  If sugar did not have an opiate like effect on the brain, the naloxone group would not have displayed withdrawal symptoms.  In addition, further analysis of the rats brains found that the naloxone group had decreased levels of brain chemical dopamine and increased levels of the brain chemical acetylcholine.  This dopamine/acetylcholine imbalance is characteristic of morphine and nicotine withdrawal.

This same study determined that both sugar and morphine had a similar effect on dopamine levels in the brain, first increasing the amount of dopamine and then causing the dopamine to be down regulated, so that the absence of sugar and/or morphine left the rats lacking adequate dopamine.  Dopamine imbalances are found in schizophrenic and cocaine abusers.  Now with this being said; not everyone who consumes sugar will have an addictive effect  because not everyone experiences the same neurochemical effect, just like not everyone who drinks alcohol will become an alcoholic.

Biologist Sarah Tanksley believes that a “lack of serotonin is a factor in many mental disorders, including clinical depression.  Sugar and other refined carbs increase the level of serotonin in the brain.  Serotonin plays a key role in the pathway of pain management by inducing their release of opioids.  It would seem reasonable to conclude that a person with depression may resort to bingeing on sweet foods to increase serotonin, release opioids and feel the addiction process.”

Sarah went on to say: ” Perhaps a better understanding of the effects of sugar on our brains can lead to treatments for eating disorders such as binge eating and bulimia.  Many therapists treat eating disorders as addictions, and the endogenous opioid system may be the mechanism at work.  The binge eater will consume hugs amounts of food in a short amount of time, seemingly without limits.  A bulimic will eat large amounts of typically sugary, starchy foods, and once the desired opiate like effect is obtained, will purge the food to avoid weight gain.  Since bingeing on sweets, prolonged starvation and vigorous exercise all activate the endogenous opioid system, it is easy to see how a person could become stuck in an addictive cycle of starving, bingeing, and purging, through vomiting and/or exercise.”

These findings also make sense when you consider smokers who will gain weight after they quit smoking, and heroin addicts who suffer a loss of appetite when using the drug, then crave sugary candy during detoxification from the drug.  Eating disorders, bulimia in particular, have a high co-morbidity with alcoholism and other drug additions, according to Sarah Tanksley Biologist.

What makes it difficult to refrain from sugar is the fact that it is so readily available.  You don’t have to go to a bar or a special store to buy candy like you do other addictive elements.  It’s NOT illegal either.  In fact, eating sugar is often encouraged, we give candy as gifts, as rewards and treats to our children, sugary treats are elevated as gifts of acknowledgement and as expressions of love and kindness. Heart shaped boxes filled with chocolates are given for Valentines Days, Christmas, Easter etc.

There is a whole host of physical issues that also accompany a sugar addiction:

weight gain

candida/yeast over-growth

immune system weakness

brain-fog

insulin imbalances (hypoglycemia & diabetes)

digestive issues

Constipation

inflammation

Cancer: ( sugar creates a very acidic pH internal environment which is like fertilizer to cancer cells)

I get clients who when I’m working nutritionally with them and their children, I cannot tell you how many mothers “ask”, when can they have sugar again?  We get emotionally attached to what we offer through our foods, meaning, cooking a nice meal for someone has become a way of exhibiting “love” for another, especially when its their “favorite.”

Folks, food and eating is meant to FEED and NOURISH the body, there are other ways to show your love for someone.  Don’t make food a reward, it is a basic need.  One example that drives that point home to me is how many have ever watched any of those shows where folks are dropped off in the middle of no where to survive.. like ” Naked and afraid”,  the people participating in those do or die situations, when they run across something that can be eaten, they are not elaborating in their minds about how it LOOKS, what kind of plate its served on, what side dish will they serve with it.  The truth is they are hungry!  When you can change and adapt your mental connection as to what role food is meant to play, I believe you can begin the healing process of being able to abstain from all the overly processed foods that create these addictive cycles that are destroying our health, and especially the health of our children.

The amount of sugars and carbohydrate overload that our youth are consuming on a daily basis is and should be totally SHOCKING!  Yet those foods (which I hate even categorizing them as), are easy to serve, they are quick convenient. Although, grabbing an apple is quick and convenient, how about a handful of grapes, or strawberries, a banana, are NOT all of those quick and convenient too?

I believe there is a PRICE to pay for the simplicity of quick and convenient. We are developing a generation of over-weight, underactive people who struggle to stay emotionally balanced, cannot cope with even simple stressors, even technology is jumping on board to fill in the anti-social gap, even though we refer to it as “social media”, “text messaging”, and all the other communication “apps”, sure we are able to connect with people all across the globe now, but think about something,  those connections are emotionally unattached, and impersonal.  Try calling a teen-ager or young adult on their phone today and most will let it go to voice mail.  But text message them and it’s answered within seconds, look at groups of people in social gatherings and  how many are physically making eye contact with the folks they are with?  Most have their heads down buried in their cell phones.  Lack of serotonin production, dopamine levels that are off, all the neurotransmitters that allow us to FEEL our emotional connections are off and just spend some time people watching and tell me I’m wrong.

We need to also realize we have been conditioned over the years by commercials/advertising.  Ever notice that all the junk foods tend to cost “less” than wholesome fresh foods?  Well that is because those junk foods can grace the store shelves for 3+ years, I don’t think an apple/orange or banana would pass that test. But you are wasting your money on those junk food items because they offer the body ZERO in the nutritional elements, so you are eating empty food items. So why waste your money?

So for any of my readers who may still be wondering: “Is my body addicted to sugar?”  if you find yourself asking the very question, your answer probably needs to gravitate to a yes!!!  Is there a way to navigate yourself away from that addiction?  Yes there is, but it will be a process, the body needs to be built up nutritionally for balance.

Healthfully yours,

Jodi Barnett N.D.

Harvested Health LLC

Resources:

Wellbeing journal Vol,. 14, NO.2

Sarah Tanksley, Biologist.


ABC’S easy as 1,2,3….approach your health simply!!!!

What I feel to be the “beauty” of what I offer in my practice thru Natural healing is not relying on the disease diagnosis/treatment model. I do not diagnose diseases or prescribe any treatments for them. What I do offer is the model to help balance the body so it will heal itself. I utilize certain basic therapies that remove underlying causes of disease and use them to help the body heal itself. These basic therapies fall under the titles:
• Activate
• Build
• Cleanse
• Direct Aid
I was taught these principles, I have applied them in my own life and I encourage my client’s to apply these same tools.
I believe that the Activate therapy is a very critical step in the healing process. I encourage my client’s to begin by visualizing and believing that they can be well. Effective natural healing acknowledges the simple truth that the body has been fearfully & wonderfully made with a built in natural capacity to heal itself. That is evident and has presented itself throughout our life thus far. Have you ever cut yourself? Did you have to go crazy with major assistance for that cut to heal? Have you ever broken a bone? Even if you had that broken bone set in a cast, the cast itself offered zero healing benefits, it just kept the broken bones in alignment while the “body” went about mending the area that was broken. So there is positive proof that the body in fact is made by design to keep itself healthy, repaired and running well.

My goal as a natural practitioner is to champion my client’s towards believing in that built in healing capacity. Positive thinking goes a long way, the next steps we incorporate is to enhance that built in self-healing ability which resides in all of us.

I want to touch on faith…. Even those who don’t have a strong religious foundation actually have to begin to admit that they initiate faith each and every day. We take it on faith that a new day is going to be there for us when we go to bed & open our eyes the next day. We take it on faith that when we inhale we are taking in life giving air. We have to lay a hold of the fact that what we do not already have as if we actually already have it. The strength of that inner faith is what can move mountains and display what others claim to be as miracles. There are people who were told after an injury they would never walk again, and by sheer faith & determination they proved that statement wrong, yet there are others who are given the same statement and they never walk again. What may be the turning point from one to the other, possibly their level of faith to believe in the strength & healing power of their own bodies.

You have to be willing to employ a positive attitude and have positive emotions. Those thoughts & emotions radiate a vibrational energy that like a stone tossed in a pond carry a ripple effect, that ripple can be negative or positive, that is all down to the thoughts & emotions of the individual. So glass half empty or half full that becomes a personal choice. My job as my client’s practitioner is to encourage my client to be the champion I know they can be, however, I cannot heal anyone, I can equip them with tools, but their willingness to apply those tools rest in their hands. I always want more for my client’s than I sometimes believe they may want for themselves. However, in all honesty, I have no “skin in the game” so to speak, what I do have though is MY integrity to my work, my belief in what I offer because I have applied it in my own life and seen and experienced the benefits of incorporating the very same tools for the improvement of my own health.

So I want to address what positive thinking may look like. When we have positive thoughts it actually provides an electrical stimulating impulse that moves through our nervous system and can activate the healing energy of our tissues. (we are totally electrical beings, without that nervous system, our muscles and organs won’t work).
Negative thoughts however send a totally different kind of stimulation to our tissues, which can result in them working in a dysfunctional manner. Truth be told most of us have to work extra hard on manifesting more positive speech as the negative seems to come so much easier.
• My spouse drives me nuts
• My neighbor makes me sick to my stomach
• My friends are against me
• I feel stabbed in the back
• That makes me want to throw up

You have to get rid of the negative talk.
I think you get the idea I’m trying to make. When we continue to repeat in our thoughts and speech with such a negative barrage our body can literally respond to these subtle messages by causing the very pains & illnesses our thoughts are telling us to create. That’s why it is so important for healing that we don’t identify directly with a named disease. When we see disease for what it is, which is a process demonstrating that one’s system is out of balance, it is easier to heal.

When we on the other hand see the disease as something that is part of us, something that has taken over or control of us, then a feeling of helplessness and hopelessness, then gets the opportunity to take over. Statistics have proven that cancerous tumors grow faster once someone has been told they have cancer. This is because that person’s fear and worry actually depresses the immune system, which in turn makes the disease worse. So here are a couple basic activating therapies you can use to promote healing in the body.

#1. Affirmation & visualization:

Affirmation simply put is being in the present tense that affirms what you want as if you actually already had it. So I I had a broken bone and I wanted to speed up the healing of that bone I would state & affirm “my bone is whole & strong.” Notice the present tense “my bone IS”. This is so vital to making positive affirmations work because it is laying hold of what you desire in the present tense. If you say, “ my bone will be whole and strong,” this puts the fulfillment in the future, not the present and doesn’t convey the same power. If a direct statement like that is difficult to use, then a less direct but equally effective statement would be, “my bone is healing as it should.”

So this is what positive affirmation should look like:
• My body is healthy & strong
• My body is healing as it should
• I am fearfully & wonderfully made
• You body is recovering nicely

Visualization actually involves getting into a more relaxed state & breathing deeply while you picture the final result you desire in your mine. It is super important to actually see yourself having what you want right now, not in the future.  Many Cancer Clinics have their Cancer patients  practice visualizing their white blood cells gobbling up the cancer cells & destroying them. It has been proven in studies that employing visualization actually enhances the immune system.
When you use both of these techniques they are enhanced when you practice deep breathing & relaxation. When you breathe deeply, tissues receive more oxygen, which fans the spark of life & increases the flame of life throughout the body. Breath is called the “breath of life” because it is intimately connected with the vital life force within us. To breathe is to actually connect with feelings of being alive, shallow breathing causes a person to stifle their feelings by deadening the body.

So start your healing process by breathing deeply & allowing your body to relax. Then you can pick one of the next methods for “laying a hold” on the health you want before you actually have it.

#2 Stress Management:

I think we can all identify with what stress looks like which is:
• Worry
• Tension
• Fear
• Frustration
It feels like pressure. The world we live in makes it difficult to avoid stress. There are bills to pay, our car breaks down when it is the least convenient, overload with responsibilities at work (overworked & underpaid syndrome), marital issues, stress with the children  the list seem never ending and each new day can present another element of something to feel stressed out about. It’s estimated that up to 90% of all visits to the doctor is for stress related health issues. So learning how to manage what obviously is always going to be around, makes sense.
Before you can manage something you actually have to understand what it is. When our brain perceives stress it sends a chemical message to the pituitary thru the hypothalamus which triggers the release of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). ACTH then prompts the adrenals to start producing hormones like epinephrine (adrenaline) and cortisol. Epinephrine actually doubles as a hormone & neurotransmitter. It tenses our muscles, increases our heart rate & blood pressure, dilates the bronchial tubes & speeds up our breathing, shuts down the digestion & other functions not essential to immediate survival, and  prepares our body for action mode.

Cortisol reduces inflammation, which is meant our body to deal better with injury & pain. Although its role in reducing inflammation is important, when to much cortisol is released it can causes premature aging, depress immune function & extended over production can cause the muscles to waste including causing the brain to shrink so many will notice memory loss, brain fog aspect. These stress hormones also cause a rise in our blood sugar levels & increases the blood clotting factors which makes the blood thicker.

So it’s easy to see how chronic long term stress can become a major player in tons of health problems, including poor digestion, constipation, tension headaches, neck & shoulder pain, low back pain, ulcers, high blood pressure, blood clotting, increased risk of infections, asthma, diabetes, excess weight and even cancer & autoimmune disorders. In fact, I’m willing to go out on a limb and suggest that a large percentage of all the illness we experience probably has a stress connection. So, reducing stress is one of the basic things we can do to improve our overall health. In fact, relaxation is critical for the healing process.
It’s apparent that to eliminate stress from our lives probably isn’t going to be a reality, but learning how to reduce it’s impact on our health is doable aspect. What are some of the avenues that can be applied for coping better with the effects stress can have on you physically:
I’ll offer you:
• #1. Breathe: I mean breathe deeply, it’s simple, it’s free and you can do it anywhere. If you stop and take stock of what happens when you are feeling stressed, you will notice that you re either holding your breath or breathing very fast & shallow. When you concentrate on breathing slowly & deeply, you will activate the parasympathetic nervous system and help reduce your stress levels. Repeat in your mind while breathing in…. I am and while thinking as you are breathing out relaxed.
• #2. RELAXATION RESPONSE:
• Dr. Herbert Benson in 1975 published his book titled “The Relaxation Response.”, He showed a simple, non-religious meditation technique that could help patients with insomnia, heart problems, high blood pressure & chronic pain. He took the mystery out of the subject, showing that all one needed to do was consciously relax the muscles, breathe slowly & deeply and find a repetitivbe phrase to keep the brain occupied (i.e. repeating the word “one” over & over in one’s mind). Just taking 20 mins. A day for this exercise will dramatically reduce your stress level. Start by getting comfortable and sit or lie down. Visualize all your muscles in your body relaxing. Start breathing slowly & deeply while counting your breath (in, one, two, three, four & out, one, two, three, four). Then pick a single focus for your mind, such as the word “one” or “peace”, You can pick what ever one word resonates with you. But what this does is it will quiet that “monkey brain” to stop & quiet the mind. When we are in the thick of a stressful moment, I find our mind is either in the past going thru all the coulda, shoulda, woulda, regretful thoughs, or we have tossed ourselves into the future already worrying about all the what if’s yet rarely does any of those what-ifs come to be and we wasted all that time focusing on them, realize ALL power is in the now, The past is history, the future is still a mystery, but the actions you take today is where the power resides because the actions of today will shape your future. The past cannot be changed so let it go, just let it go, I have personally found that when I force myself to be present in the moment most of my fear melts away and I actually feel empowered because I can’t change the past, I can’t read the future, but my here and now, I can deal with…
• #3. SUGAR & CAFFEINE:
• It amazes me how when we are under stress mentally the majority of us crave comfort foods which typically are going to be “junk foods”. Sugar & caffeine top the list for most people. They may give you that brief pick me up, but they are going to drop you like a rock just as fast. Coupled with the fact that they add more stress on the adrenal glands which are already tired and then you end up on that conveyor belt called burned-out. So avoid those sugar treats, and carbohydrate snackies and instead go for the protein and quality fats like nuts. If you feel like you cannot function without your caffeine, realize your adrenals need some system support and supplement with Adrenal Support: http://www.harvestedhealth.mynsp.com
• #4. H2O:
• Yep water.. many of my client’s are what I label as clinically dehydrated, our body needs water, you can go days and days without food, but water is essential, yet people are drinking stuff all day long, unfortunately it rarely seems to be water. Drinking more water can actually make you feel calmer and you sleep better. When you are dehydrated your anxiety levels increase.
• #5. Exercise:
• Why does our body produce those stress hormones? Well, they are gearing your body up to take action, physical action and that’s what makes modern stress such a big problem. The stress hormones gear out body to run, fight or physically work to fight the problem, but our sedentary lifestyle doesn’t offer us the ability to burn off these stress hormones in physical activity. So exercise gives the opportunity to “work off’ those stressful feelings. You don’t have to go join a gym if money is an issue, clean out a closet, go for a walk, scrub the shower or the kitchen floor, clean the garage, wash the car, even better wax the car. Do something physical.
• #6. FEED YOUR NERVES
• Our nervous system a.k.a. Nerves, they need nutrition just like any other part of our body. What do they need? They the healthy fats, butter, coconut oil, nuts, olive oil, flax seed oil avocados, Omega-3 essential fatty acids. The vitamins they require are the B-vitamins which when we are under stress we burn them up like crazy. Vitamin C & pantothenic acid are needed to support the adrenals. Nutri-Calm (www.harvestedhealth.mynsp.com) is a great combo product that supports the health of our nerves. HSN-W (www.harvestedhealth.mynsp.com) has silica which helps the nerves become more resilient because it strengthens the myelin sheath that is the protective coating on our nerves, I refer to it like the protective coating on our electrical plugs that house the wires, if that coating gets damaged and wires are exposed the current running thru the wires can arch out and cause a fire. Same thing with our myelin sheath and our nerves.
• My clients have heard me talk about adaptagenic herbs and what they do is the modulate the signals that are sent from the hypothalamus and pituitary glands causing a reduction of adrenal output of adrenaline and cortisol, which lowers stress levels. They help to break the damaging fight or flight chain reaction patterns in which the body can get stuck due to chronic stress. So by reducing the cortisol levels, these herbs also help boost the immune system. Eleuthero root (www.harvestedhealth.mynsp.com) is an adaptagen. Studies have proved it helps increase stamina, endurance & energy, improve concentration &stimulate male hormone production.
• Gotu Kola, American & Korean Ginseng, Suma, Schizandra berries are all adaptagens. Some of these are in a combination form in the supplement Adapta-max (www.harvestedhealth.mynsp.com), Nervous fatigue formula (www.harvestedhealth.mynsp.com) and SUMA Combination (www.harvestedhealth.mynsp.com). Adding some of these herbal adaptagens can literally make you feel more at ease.
• #7. REST & RELAXATION:
• This one is not to be underestimated. We’ve pretty much determined that you probably won’t be super successful at avoiding stress, but there are ways to reduce how it effects you. When we do something that is pleasurable our body releases hormones & neruotransmitters that counteract the effects of stress. Doing something that gives us pleasure creates more positive benefits than a stressful experience can cause harm. So instead of reducing stress, we should be deliberate in creating pleasure & enjoyment in our lives.
• Anxiety issues are off the charts in our world. Part of that reason is we are overloaded by “choice”. That may not please most of you but the truth of the matter is, we are. We are constantly on the go and truth be told most of us don’t make time for pleasure & recreation. You have to plan time to do things you enjoy it is super important to your emotional and physical health.
• When I bring this up to clients who have just ran down their list of I can’t spend time in the kitchen to eat better because I have… blah, blah, blah… Most of us are too busy to be sick too, but when sick shows up and knocks you off your feet guess what your doing, you are in bed, or stretched out on the couch and where are all those things that you stated you couldn’t move or change, they are waiting for you. I promise…. Steven Horne (AHG), gave an example “ If a wood cutter doesn’t take time to sharpen his saw or his ace, he will find himself working harder & harder while becoming less & less productive. Rest & relaxation is “saw-sharpening” time, it makes you more productive with the rest of your day. If you are busy, you can’t afford to not take time for rest & relaxation.”
• And let me assure you that saying you relax while watching television that really doesn’t count. Majority of TV programs are going to stimulate not relax, they are loaded with action, drama, stimulating background music, or topics too close to our own already stressful lives that just keep our thoughts on the stress when we relate to what we are watching. So TV doesn’t count folks, sorry. Instead, soak in a hot but, go for a massage, listen to relaxing music, take a walk in nature. Laugh and giggle. Take the time to eat slower and actually taste and enjoy your food vs. inhaling and barely chewing. Anything thing that makes you happy, brings you pleasure is going to counteract the effects of stress and reduce your anxiety.

Tomorrow, I’m going to cover the “B” which is building…. If you are connecting and relating with what I’m covering and you’d like detailed help & assistance with applying these tools in your life to improve the quality of your life using a more natural approach. I’d be honored to work with you, you can start that process by going to http://mkt.com/harvested-health-llc which is my service website and you can book your 1 hr. consultation when I get notified, you will get my schedule, we get YOU scheduled and we are rolling forward. So as always, thank you for liking, and sharing my podcasts.

As always,
Healthfully yours,
Jodi Barnett N.H.C.
QFA Clinician, Nutrition coach,
Raw Food coach, Student:Doctor of Naturopathy

Harvested Health LLC


Understand What High Blood Pressure is and why it’s a problem….

This post is a bit lengthy, however…. so many people are walking around with high blood pressure, I felt this was a topic that really needed to dig beneath the surface in hopes of empowering more people to realize they have options and elements of control over the quality of their health.  So please read thru this article I think you will find some helpful & useful suggestions and information.

Many people today find themselves on prescriptions to control the aspects of their blood pressure when it continues to float in the “too high” zone.  Talking to client’s many actually state this fact like it’s as common as breathing.  Going thru their health history most don’t skip a beat, “oh yeah, I’ve got high blood pressure been on meds for years”… and they float right onto the next topic.  So I wanted to address this…

What is High Blood Pressure.. well it is a symptom that tells us that other areas are imbalanced within,  so in reality High blood pressure is not a disease in it’s own category.  What contributes to hypertension (High Blood pressure)?

Here’s how it usually goes…. When there is lots of arterial tension, the heart (a.k.a blood pumper) has to work harder to pump the blood to reach our extremities, fingers/toes….This actually results in the blood pressure reading coming in “high” and is when most end up on medications.  My real question is how many people feel their high blood pressure issues truly are cured because they take those medications?  “High blood pressure medication is not caused by a lack of high blood pressure medications and… the medication prescribed isn’t designed to cure it either” so stated .. (Tree of light publishing, Steven Horne, Registered Herbalis (AHG)

It’s meant to artificially “control” the issue but certainly not to fix the problem.  Many just take the medications and don’t question, or  change a whole bunch of anything in their daily lives or health routine.  It’s like a “fix it & forget it syndrome”, I take this pill so I’m doing my part routine.  It is symptom MANAGEMENT, but isn’t addressing much else.

What I’m about to say next is probably gonna rub some people the wrong way, but hey it is what it is… High blood pressure is a direct result of ‘LIFESTYLE”. Living in/on the fast lane, as in fast food, lack of sleep (over stimulate with caffeine), smoking, alcohol consumption, over processed “fake” foods, high stress environments.   In other countries especially the un-developed ones, high blood pressure is pretty much unheard of, why.. well, they are eating their native/traditional diets, and their lifestyles tend to less stressful.  Yet in America more than 60 million suffer with High blood pressure.

Now, when you have high blood pressure other diseases can become an issue, like we know having high blood pressure can increase your chances of heart attack, stroke, kidney issues even failure.  Most people believe that all they can change to try to get this under control is to just monitor their sodium intake.  That’s not true…. it’s helpful, but it’s not the only thing that needs to change.

There is a pretty high percentage of high blood pressure cases which classify in mild to moderate category which can really benefit with dietary & lifestyle changes.  Incorporating some herbs & dietary supplements can also be helpful.

Here are some tips I’d strongly recommend:

  1. 1.  start to drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces each day in the form of pure, clean water.
  2.  make sure you are increasing the amount of dietary fiber which helps to sweep toxins & debris out of the body.
  3. If you are over weight, start to take measures to get that extra weight off with diet & exercise.
  4. If you smoke… quit!!!
  5. the body was designed to move, which is why we have hinged joints, so give up some TV time, or computer game time and move it or lose it….
  6. give up using table salt, and change it up for sea salt and this gets easier to monitor when you stop eating pre-cooked foods, like canned soups and boxed instant & frozen dinners which tend to be loaded with salt.  I think the average Campbells soup contains like 900 mg. of sodium per serving. Yikes…
  7. get rid of caffeine (stimulants can raise blood pressure)
  8. over indulgence in the alcohol category doesn’t improve blood pressure either.
  9. lean on those essential fatty acids especially Omega -3 (helps keep blood cells from being too sticky, and thins blood plasma for smoother circulation)
  10. make sure you are getting enough calcium & magnesium, many think calcium but leave out magnesium, well you need the magnesium for the body to properly absorb the calcium.

Like I stated earlier; hIgh blood pressure is a symptom not a disease all by itself.  Yet many think the heart is defective when they are told they have high blood pressure.  The heart is a pump and it’s job is to do just that, pump the blood everywhere.  So when the heart is beating harder, the blood pressure goes up, I tell people these symptoms are like your dash board lights in your car alerting you to an internal problem that needs to be addressed.  When the heart has to work harder that means something is causing some sort of a restriction to how smoothly the blood is flowing.

So in my opinion, when you are going to rely on the medication alone to reduce the pressure, that is not fixing or getting rid of any obstructions that are interfering with the blood flow.  The end result is yes you’ve decreased the bloods pressure but you still have restricted circulation especially going to the hands & feet.  Many on high blood pressure have cold feet/hands.  Basically you have now just traded one health issue to take on board another one.

So basically we have determined that the heart is having to pump too hard to do it’s job of circulating the blood all over the body, so fix the cause and the heart will stop having to work overtime.  If you simply make it easier for the blood to flow, the blood pressure is going to respond by going down.

What are some of the things that contribute to high blood pressure coming from within ?

1.  Good ole hardening of the Arteries. – this is like getting the hard water deposit build up in your pipes, the deposits are going to make the size of the blood vessels smaller inside and restricts how the blood flows thru them.  So if you have been told you have hardening of the Arteries, understand that years of over eating starches & refined sugars have contributed, as the body pH has retained more of an acidic state, so getting the starches & refined sugars out of your daily routine is a plus all the way around.  You can also incorporate some herbal assistance with Mega-Chel which works like oral chelation.

Benefits:

  • Provides a powerhouse of nutritional support for the circulatory system.
  • Provides 100% or more of the Daily Value for 10 essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Promotes healthy circulation through maintaining circulatory passageways.
  • Promotes healthy circulation through maintaining arteries, veins and capillaries.
  • Balances the glandular system.
  • http://www.naturessunshine.com/us/product/mega-chel-120-tabs/4201/

Now lets address Vaso-constriction:  This is all about the muscular strength in the vascular walls.  Your blood vessels have muscular walls they squeeze & release which is what helps to move the blood thru them.  When they stay squeezed (tense), there is what is referred to as vaso-constriction.  The same sort of concept occurs when someone is having an asthma attack, their bronchial tubes begin to restrict the amount of air flowing thru them and they can’t breathe, this is the same concept when it comes to vaso-constriction in  the arteries.  What contributes to vaso-constriction?  I’m so glad you asked….

  1. Stress is a big contributor – Our body has built in stress responders, the adrenal glands….when you walk up on a spider (if you’re afraid of them), almost without thinking about it you can jump back, scream and in my case I’m doing an Irish jig, couple of things happen though, the heart starts to pound, you may even sweat, get light headed, skin can get tingly, why?  Well, the body releases some hormones and a neurotransmitter called epinephrine (or many know it as adrenaline rush). The body has nerve receptors that are designed to obviously react to the epinephrine.  There are really two types of reactors, the alpha & beta.  When the beta receptors are stimulated by the hormone, they cause blood vessels to contract and the heart beats harder.  Those who have been prescribed Beta-blockers take them to help lower their blood pressure, by blocking these beta adrenergic receptor sites from registering the hormone stimulation.
  2. caffeine can over stimulate the nervous system (sympathethic deals with the adrenals) which encourages high amounts of epinephrine to be turned loose.  So if your consume large amounts of caffeine during the day, some start with coffee, then graduate to caffeinated pops or energy drinks and drink very little water.  Some of the foods that jump on board with triggering this response: alcohol, tobacco, chocolate (yes I know, I’m sorry), cheese, refined sugars, your cured meats like pork, lunch meats which majority contain MSG, which contributes as an excito-neuro-toxin…
  3. Magnesium depleted – we are bombarded with advertising that shoves calcium intake down our throats, however I believe the top most mineral deficiency suffered is in fact magnesium depletion.  When a muscles contracts, calcium ions flow into that muscles cells; as the muscle seeks to relax there is an exchange of magnesium for calcium.  Calcium is what causes the contraction and magnesium causes the relaxation of the muscle.  Many who are depleted in magnesium suffer from lots of leg & toe cramps, or those twitches under the bottle eye lid.   There is also some prescriptions used here called calcium channel blockers can be given to lower ones blood pressure.  What these drugs do is block calcium from entering the muscle tissue, which causes them to be more relaxed.  But I have found that you can also take extra magnesium and create same result.
  4. Syndrome X – This can also contribute to high blood pressure,  What in the world is Syndrome X-  hIgh insulin levels in the blood.  When someones diet has been high in the carbohydrate & sugar zone, it causes the blood vessels to become inflamed which for obvious reasons is going tor restrict flow.  When the diet is high in refined sugars or simple sugars those sugars tend to react with proteins and this reduces how elastic the blood vessels are and they lose flexibility.  Many will see results of this long before its a problem in the form of spider veins in calves & ankles.  So reducing or even eliminating simple carohydrates can be super helpful.

Some of these herbal suggestions  can be incorporated to help if you have been told you have vaso-constriction issues:

Magnesium Complex can be used in conjunction with vaso-dilative herbs to dilate blood vessels & reduce blood pressure.Magnesium is an essential mineral. It is present in more than 300 enzymatic systems where it is crucial for energy production and other metabolic functions. The heart, brain and kidneys cannot function without adequate levels of this nutrient. Magnesium is used in reaction to form Tri Carboxylic Acid (TCA), which aids in the cells’ energy-producing cycle. It is also involved in smooth muscle contractions, affecting the heart, gastrointestinal, urinary and female reproductive tracts. http://www.naturessunshine.com/us/product/magnesium-complex-100-caps/1859/

Hawthorn & ginkgo have both been found to dilate peripheral blood vessels and improve flow. Ginkgo biloba leaf is one of the most popular and well-studied herbs in the world. Its ability to increase circulation has been documented in numerous clinical trials. Ginkgo is a powerful free radical scavenger. It helps protect blood vessels and optimizes the amount of oxygen supplied to brain cells. It may also help support blood flow to the extremities. Hawthorn berries contain flavonoids and other compounds that may benefit the circulatory system, especially the heart. They also contain volatile oils, saponins, alkaloids, vitamins and minerals.http://www.naturessunshine.com/us/product/ginkgo–hawthorn-combination-100-caps/909/

Garlic can reduce blood pressure. If you take garlic on a regular basis many have reduced blood pressure by 10-15 points.  Not to mention an added benefit of the garlic is it kicks butt on blood cholesterol & triglycerides too.  http://www.naturessunshine.com/us/product/garlic-oil-60-softgel-caps/1694/

Blood Pressurex which contains l-arginine, which is an amino acid that acts on a chemical messenger called nitric oxide which dilates blood vessels.  The main ingredients in Blood Pressurex are the powerful herbs Coleus forskohlii, olive leaf extract, hawthorn berries extract and goldenrod; the amino acid arginine; and the antioxidants vitamin E and a powerful, proprietary grape seed extract. These combine to help protect blood vessels, promote blood flow in the peripheral arteries and inhibit cell damage. Grape seed extract contains an array of bioflavonoids, antioxidants and polyphenols. Studies suggest that grape seed extract may be beneficial for maintaining blood pressure levels and may contribute to overall cardiovascular health. http://www.naturessunshine.com/us/product/blood-pressurex-60-caps/554/

Lobelia – which has lobeline that acts as a natural beta blocker.  It goes together well with capiscum and a small amount of black cohost to reduce cardiac stress and angian.  improves circulation to the heart, and lower blood pressure caused by stress/tention.

Benefits:

Then there are also Adaptagens which can also assist in reducing blood pressure issues.  Like

Eleuthero Root – American & Korean ginseng, schizandra these are found in Nutri-calm

Benefits:

Also Nervous Fatigue Formula:  his TCM concentrate contains the same herbs found in Nervous Fatigue formula but in a highly concentrated blend. Traditional Chinese Medicine would consider this a fire-enhancing formula. Its Chinese name yang xin translates to “nurture the heart.” Weakness in the fire element usually manifests itself in the digestive, cardiovascular or reproductive systems. Biota seed contains aromatic compounds that have a sedative effect. These compounds also have a mild laxative effect. Jujuba seed contains bitter compounds that help promote relaxation. Schizandra fruit, a supporting herb in this formula, allows the body to respond quickly to stress, thus increasing the body’s capacity to work. Its bitter compounds also support circulation. Ginseng acts as an adaptogen to help maintain balance in the body and help the body adapt to stress.http://www.naturessunshine.com/us/product/nervous-fatigue-tcm-conc-30-caps/1017/

Suma Combination – SUMA Combination supplies nutrients that support the body’s regenerative functions. It is a blend of six powerful adaptogenic herbs that bolster the immune system and provide energy and emotional support. Suma root is referred to as para todo in South America, meaning “for everything.” Suma is not a true ginseng, but it shares many of ginseng’s properties. Astragalus root is a Chinese herb that also shares many properties of ginseng and is known as an energy-booster.http://www.naturessunshine.com/us/product/suma-combination-100-caps/1088/

Next aspect that can contribute towards the high blood pressure problem is  “WATER RETENTION & KIDNEY FUNCTION”…..

When our body is retaining excessive fluid, it will also put pressure on our blood vessels restricting the flow issue.  Kidneys have an influence on the heart, So I believe the kidneys to be a major contributor to maintenance of our blood pressure.  Many times when someone is retaining extra fluid, they will be prescribed a diuretic to try to reduce the blood pressure.  There are some more natural versions that will act like a diuretic without the side-effects.  like the Chinese Kidney Activator –

Benefits:

We talked earlier about reducing your intake of salt, I’d again recommend trading regular table salt in favor of sea salt which can also help reduce fluid retention.  I have to say that kidney issues are usually not the 1st go to place of addressing high blood pressure, but when I have a client who says they have high blood pressure, I always encourage them to support their kidneys while making diet & exercise changes.

So there ya have it, if you are interested in scheduling a more detailed consultation based specifically on what your body says it needs, then please schedule a 1 hr. consultation (we can do these either by skype (no video) only audio, and or phone consult or in my office.  QFA Analysis is in office only, (urine & saliva).  go to. http://mkt.com/harvested-health-llc and sign up for your desired services.

As always,

Healthfully yours,

Jodi Barnett N.D.

QFA Clinician, Orthomolecular Nutritionist,

Raw Food Coach

Harvested Health LLC

http://www.harvestedhealth.wordpress.com

http://www.harvestedhealth.mynsp.com (High quality herbs & supplements)

follow me on : http://www.facebook.com/harvestedhealth

subscribe to me on you tube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW9rAc7tMZNM66au36754zA


I NEED ENERGY!!!!!!!!

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Does this feel like YOU most of the time?

Working with my clients, the chief complaint seems to be “no energy”, most feel like they are just pulling themselves thru their day and/or using caffeine or energy drinks to force what doesn’t seem to naturally be within them.

It is true that our bodies need natural sugar that it uses as a source of energy. Typically most lean towards starchy foods like the breads, pasta and potatoes, the digestive enzymes break down complex sugar (starch) into simpler sugars. So it’s a longer transition process for actual energy conversion and much stores in the fat cells due to incomplete digestion from the diet being overloaded with these starches, and these foods are void of needed vitamins/nutrients due to over cooking. Gums up the inner piping if you will.

Yet When fruits are eaten, the body uses the simple sugars (fructose) directly, without needing to break it down further. This differs from eating refined sugar, in which case the food is devoid of nutrients and fiber (which fruits contain).

Refined sugar enters the blood quickly, as it lacks fiber that would normally slow it down. White table sugar typically is refined from cane sugar and/or sugar beets, during which the natural nutrients and fiber end up being taken out. The calories found in sugar are “empty.” There are no vitamins or minerals, which means the body has to rob from “storage” – if there is storage – to aid and abet breaking down the processed sugar. So.. since foods contain calories and calories equal energy, when you are eating something that is void of vitamins/minerals and the body has to rob from storage, guess what doesn’t happen, no NEW energy is created to put some pep in your step, instead it is depleted even further, which is why when you eat something made with refined sugar as the body processes it you can feel like taking a nap, or mentally you cannot focus (brain fog).

When I conduct a QFA Analysis (Urine & Saliva), I find many of my clients are deficient in essential minerals which are critical for other processes in the body. Friends, you cannot borrow from an empty account. On the other hand, fruit is nutrient-dense. This means for every calorie it provides, it also contributes micro-nutrients in the form of vitamins and minerals. Yet many are told because fruits have sugar, they will make you fat, raise your Glycemic index, rot your teeth. NOT true!!! I have many diabetics that I encourage to consume lots of fresh fruits in the morning hours and they find not only does it energize them, it aids and assists in elimination as well. Fruits are the body “cleaners”, Veggies are the body builders. We NEED them both!

If you cut out most fruits, and most or all complex carbohydrates (which are different from simple carbohydrates) you will need to get your calories from other sources – proteins or fats. Which many people who are trying to lose weight seem to lean towards. It is difficult to gain sufficient calories from protein; and high-protein diets are generally recognized as harmful for health, and places lots of extra burden on one’s kidneys.  The high protein intake usually comes in the form of eating lots of animal meats which also makes the body pH overly acidic without a balance. Yes people lose weight on these high protein diets but at what price?

Many who jumped into the high-protein diets that were super popular in the 1990’s account for a huge climb in those suffering from kidney stones. There was no allotment that included enough fruits or vegetables. Also, the mentality behind those diets is strictly to lose weight. Yes, the weight loss was obtained, many relapse to their previous eating habits, making any changes temporary. Again, what is called for is a true change of lifestyle that can be reasonably sustained. Balance is the key.

For those interested in help/assistance in weight-loss, coupled with incorporating a more complete and balance eating plan. I’d be thrilled to work with you towards success. Simply go to https://mkt.com/harvested-health-llc and pre-register for your 1 hr. consult which can take place via phone or in person. Once you’ve registered/paid for your consultation, you will receive my schedule and we can get you on track with an appointment.

As always,
Healthfully yours,
The Health Nut,
Jodi Barnett N.H.C.
QFA Clinician, Orthomolecular Nutrition Coach,
Raw Food Coach, Student:Doctor of Naturopathy

Harvested Health LLC
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