All posts filed under: Fundamentals of Wellness

Cancer saved me… really.

One of my fellow health coaches posted a TED video today called “What Almost Dying Taught Me About Living” and it got me thinking about the road between perfectly healthy and gravely ill. If you think about it, ALL of us are on that continuum, and some days are much closer to the ill end than others. For me it wasn’t days, it was decades. In 2005 I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. (I’m not sure why I capitalized that, but for me it was a pivotal event in my life). It was a game changer. It stopped me and my family in our tracks. We rallied, but my view of life as I knew it was over. You look at everything differently from that moment forward, and sometimes that is a good thing. And you are never that same Pre-Diagnosis person again. You simply cannot be. Your view on mortality shifts. I was lucky, it had not spread to my lymph nodes, but I still opted to go through both chemo and radiation treatments. …

Vaccine Prep: Protect your child BEFORE vaccinations.

This very excellent article was posted earlier this month on Dr. Kara Fitzgerald’s blog, who is a Functional Medicine Provider I follow as I believe she researches things very well and this one is particularly timely. In Wisconsin, we are facing an epidemic of measles — and we aren’t alone. Measles Cases in 2019. From January 1 to May 24, 2019, 940** individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 26 states. This is an increase of 60 cases from the previous week. This is the greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since 1994 and since measles was declared eliminated in 2000. CDC/Cases and Outbreaks, updated quarterly As a health coach, I tell clients that I believe the answer to whether to vaccinate, like ANY medical and drug intervention is individual and should be made by the physician and the patient, or in this case the parents. But Dr. Fitzgerald’s staff member Romilly Hodges goes a step further: she makes an excellent case for things we SHOULD be doing to PREPARE our children …

Healthy Recipe? …NOT!

Yesterday, I got the above in a newsletter from our health insurance company, and I was intrigued… Until I read the fine print, and I realized that they basically just sabotaged their clients with REALLY bad information. This is what I think of this “healthy recipe advice”. First rule: Don’t be fooled by “sugar free”. So, several things jump out at me here: It uses sucralose, which is NOT HEALTHY OR OK. Sucralose has been associated with all kinds of issues, from decreasing gut flora (the good bugs that help you), to breaking down into harmful chemicals when heated, to causing brain fog, to increasing insulin and glucose levels in already obese people. (Yes, obese people using Splenda have a blood sugar and insulin increase despite it being “no calorie”. Study here) At this point, in 2019, the only artificial sweeteners I personally use are monkfruit (100%, no other ingredients) or stevia leaf (again 100%, no other ingredients). Both made from natural plants. This cake has 3 ¾ cups of ALL PURPOSE WHITE FLOUR! WTH? …

What hunger REALLY means.

One of the things I teach when I do my Food As Medicine Classes is that hunger doesn’t just mean you’re hungry, it means MUCH more. Your body is giving you a signal it wants MACRO and MICRONUTRIENTS! In fact, I use this slide: An article in a recent Huffington Post was so well written, I’m going to link it below. Please read it. It hopefully will change the way you look at junk food. And it explains why you can eat a large meal of junk and still be hungry! Here’s Why You Don’t Feel Full After Eating Junk Food You can eat an entire sleeve of Oreos or a bag of Hot Cheetos and still not feel satiated. It’s because your body knows things your brain doesn’t. By Katy Severson 03/05/2019 09:25am ET You’ve just eaten 10 Taco Bell tacos and a frozen Mountain Dew and you feel… suspiciously still hungry. You’ve consumed about 1,880 calories, but your body isn’t satisfied. What’s happening? Studies show that satiety, the mechanism that stops us from …

Low Carb Confusion

There is so much confusion about low carb diets. The choice is individual. See how they compare, without the hype.

Why you should know your reverse T3

Read this and ensure your thyroid function get evaluated properly.

Update on Fats: 2019

Since I first posted this in 2013, we’ve gotten even more research, especially about saturated fats, and the news is good:  they help decrease heart disease and they truly help inflammation. Here is the latest: You need fats.  Do NOT try and lose weight by turning to low fat options.  Guess what they trade for fat so that the product tastes ok?  SUGAR = CARBS.  The trade off is that you’re hungry in an hour!  Why?  Your insulin just spiked. How many times have you eaten a meal only to feel hungry in an hour or two?  Fat gives us satiety, the feeling of “I’ve had enought to eat”.  So, fat is your FRIEND, especially if you want to lose weight.  Here’s simple guidelines for fat consumption.  Did you know you don’t absorb certain vitamins without fat?  Vitamins A, D, E and K are considered “fat soluble” and are absorbed MUCH better when paired with fat. List of “Good” Fats: vary where they come from, add them to your meals, and find you’ll stay full …

How to survive Holiday Parties

Have you lost weight and want it to stay off? Are you actively trying to lose weight… or, are you a good weight but don’t want the upcoming months, holidays and winter to add on the post-holiday ten pounds? One of the hardest things is dealing with food and social gatherings.   No matter what holidays you celebrate, food is pivotal in all of them.  Here are the guidelines that work well for me. The basic thing to avoid is the one component that makes your insulin shoot up, making you WANT more food:  CARBOHYDRATES! Here’s a good strategy:  Be absolutely sure you eat protein.  Chicken, shrimp, beef, fish, nuts.  Buffets often have smaller portions, so pick your selections so you get your 4 oz. serving by end of night.  EAT FAT.  Yes, I said EAT FAT.  That’s what will satiate you.  So, dips, cheese (if you can tolerate dairy), bacon, dressings that aren’t loaded with sugar.  Fat will make you feel full.  AVOID CARBS AT EVERY TURN.  Put dip on veggies, not crackers.  Skip the …

Illness and Childhood Trauma

Make sure you tell your physician if you’ve had childhood trauma. Ongoing adversity in childhood leads to a chronic state of “fight, flight or freeze.” Researchers at Yale recently demonstrated that when inflammatory stress hormones flood a child’s body and brain, they alter the genes that oversee our stress reactivity, re-setting the stress response to “high” for life. This increases the risk of inflammation, which manifests later in cancer, heart disease, and other autoimmune diseases, and often death decades earlier than our non-traumatized counterparts. Donna Jackson Nakazawa has studied autoimmune illness and chronic illness extensively, partly because of her own history.  She also wrote the book “The Auto-Immune Epidemic” which helped me understand my mercury toxicity much better. This new study on traumatic childhood experiences is groundbreaking and every doctor should add the questions about childhood trauma to their initial intake/history. This blog post I’m linking to below shows the power of functional medicine and intelligent questioning.  Instead of writing more of a post, I am choosing to share it in it’s entirety.  Please take …

The Essence of Functional Medicine

Because I am a nurse, I know a lot of people in the medical community and as they learn my story and I get healthier, I’ve often been asked what functional medicine is. This image below sums up completely what a patient’s experience with functional medicine is like: Patients have evolved since the 1950s and they’re much more informed and want to participate in their care compared to decades ago. They often want to know why they have whatever illness it is they have. Unfortunately  during those same decades, conventional medicine became more specialized, and, at least where primary care is concerned, it took a turn away from what was important: seeing the entire person and trying to figure out how the symptoms come together and solve a puzzle. Don’t misunderstand me — patients are being treated more efficiently and quicker than ever before, the problem is that chronic illness is exploding in a way that we’ve never seen in history.  So, despite having better drugs and more efficient technology, we are getting sicker faster …

10 Days, 10 Ways to Lower Carbs, Day 10

Ok, Day 10 of 10!  For my “finale” (thank God, this has been hard to post 10 days in a row!),  I’ll talk about supplements to add to your regimen and some general guidelines and links to articles that I think have important information about insulin resistance, weight loss, and staying healthy.   Here are a few supplements that can help stabilize your insulin levels and lower your blood sugar: It’s important you take a good multi-vitamin, even if you are eating totally healthy.  (read why here and more here).  I take Multigenics Phyto Multi which contains vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.  It is widely available. Vitamin D is not really a vitamin, but plays a very important role in metabolism.  Many of us are Vitamin D deficient.  As you doctor to check your level.  Taking 1,000-5,000 units/day of Vitamin D3 is considered pretty safe in most people. read more here There are a few other things that can help your insulin levels stabilize if you’ve struggled with your weight, or if you want to lose …

10 Days, 10 Ways to Lower Carbs, Day 9

Today is simple.  The next time you want to reach for potato chips, try one of these low carb snack alternatives!  In general, I’ve avoided cheese because I don’t eat dairy.  You can add cheese in small amounts if you can tolerate dairy. The key for a snack is this:  you MUST have some protein, some fat and some flavor!  Then, you won’t feel deprived! Protein  +  Good Fat = Good Snack! Olives – high in healthy fats, they’ll keep you feeling full. Celery with Nut Butter Cucumber chips with guacamole Hard Boiled Egg!  A little salt and pepper and you’re set A handful of almonds, cashews, pecans or walnuts. High fiber, low carbs, good fats ½ cup berries, and if you can do dairy, ½ cup greek plain yogurt One or two of my strawberry cookies! Half an avocado with tuna or chicken salad (home made if possible) Half an avocado with ½ tomato with salt and pepper Organic lunch meat without fillers (read your label) with asparagus or dill pickles Egg salad in …