Testosterone Quagmire

“Men are from Mars and women are from Venus”

—John Gray PhD

 

Women and men are very different.  The concept seems fairly easy to grasp.  Most get it.  It seems obvious.  Even the science supports it.  However, this point seems to escape most in Medicine today.

 

The perfect example of this biochemical difference is found in Testosterone.  The effects and risks of Testosterone in women stand in stark contrast to men.   Low Testosterone is associated with an increased cardiovascular disease risk in men.  Yet, elevated Testosterone is associated with an increased cardiovascular disease risk in women.  A recent publication highlights the different Testosterone picture in women with obesity and Metabolic Syndrome (elevated Testosterone) and men with obesity and Metabolic Syndrome (low Testosterone).

 

Join Nan Sprouse as she discusses the quagmire of Testosterone in women in her latest video blog.  No opinion here, just science.

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the journey along the middle prong river trail to Health

It is hard!

 

Health is to hard.  Many don’t achieve it because it is to hard.  These were the words of a recent conversation I had with a friend and client.

 

Is Health hard?  Is Wellness really unobtainable?  I may surprise you with my answer—for many the answer is unfortunately yes.  The answer is not due to access to the ability to be Healthy and Well, but because they just don’t want to be.  They like being unhealthy.  In fact, the name of the disease that they carry is their identity.  You take away their disease, you take away their identity.  These individuals simply don’t want to make any changes necessary to achieve Health and Wellness.

 

But is Health that hard?  The answer is no.

 

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What is a Heart Healthy Diet?

What is a Heart Healthy Diet?

As I mentioned last month, I want to devote this blog to a healthy diet with an emphasis on heart health and disease prevention.  My hope is that I will encourage you to be your own best health advocate on what you should eat.  One word I want you to consider while reading this article is indoctrination.  As I research and study the many recommendations… low carb, paleo, low fat, vegan, Mediterranean and Myplate.gov. etc., I recognize that we have to be careful to sort out any bias and indoctrination of any possible profit motive information that would distort accurate research and information to benefit our health.  Keep in mind that there is not one perfect diet.  Many diets claim to be the one best way to eat.  A one-size-fits-all approach never works—nutrition is no different.  We must realize that we are in different stages of life and some of us are very healthy while others are struggling with compromised health.  From last month’s blog, I pointed out that the American Dietary Guidelines indoctrinated us into believing that an unhealthy low fat, high carb (also refined) diet was healthy even heart healthy.  Instead of improving health, statistics point to a declining health in Americans.  This can be found in the rising rates of heart disease, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes and other chronic disease states.  Let us take a closer look at the heart disease statistics.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

About 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year- that’s 1 in every 4 deaths.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.

Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease, killing more than 385,000 people annually.

Every year about 715,000 Americans have a heart attack.  Of these, 525,000 are a first-time heart attack and 190,000 occur in people who have already had a heart attack.

Coronary heart disease alone costs the United States $108.9 billion each year.  This total includes the cost of health care services, medications, and lost productivity.   Not to mention life, which you cannot put a price tag on.

Unfortunately, we are again indoctrinated into thinking that it is normal in our country for many to develop atherosclerosis and to die from cardiovascular disease—“fete de compli”.  Once cardiovascular disease is diagnosed, the only options for treatment are: medications, surgery and you guessed it, a low-fat, higher carb diet.  This belief will become reality if we consume the standard American diet (SAD) that most people eat today.  The SAD diet is typically high in sugar, processed foods, unhealthy fats and the usual frequent dining out.  But a significant number of research studies (published in Lancet, JAMA, American Journal of Cardiology, and Journal of Family Practice) have documented that heart disease is almost completely preventable and possibly reversible through a diet rich in plant produce and lower in processed foods and animal products.  Think of that.  A diet that prevents cardiovascular disease and a diet that heals.  Such a novel concept–nutrition to heal.

The surgical interventions commonly used to treat heart disease, such as angioplasty and bypass surgery have not shown to be very successful.  The COURAGE trial and other studies conducted more recently, have documented that patients undergoing these invasive procedures do not live longer nor do they have fewer heart attacks compared to those receiving medical therapy with modest lifestyle changes.  Surgical interventions are not long-term solutions to heart disease; they only focus on a small portion of a blood vessel, while cardiovascular disease continues to progress throughout the body’s entire cardiovascular system.

Unfortunately, drugs that treat hypertension and elevated cholesterol also carry many risks that need to be considered.  These medications do not stop heart disease from progressing.  Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs are known to increase the risk of diabetes, cataracts, liver dysfunction, kidney injury, and impair muscle function.  Each different class of blood pressure-lowering medications have side effects as well.  ACE inhibitors usually can cause a persistent cough; diuretics are linked to a higher risk of diabetes; beta blockers are associated with increased likelihood of stroke; calcium channel blockers may increase your risk of heart disease and breast cancer; and finally Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBS) are associated with a higher risk of lung cancer.  And don’t forget all the drug induced nutrient depletions and drug to drug interactions.

Sound scientific research shows that modest lifestyle changes emphasizing whole foods high in plant produce and minimizing processed foods and animal products reduces cardiovascular disease.  What are we waiting for?  A heart attack?

No poly-pharmacy.  No pill-popping.  No cutting required.  Just modest lifestyle changes are required.  If you do make a decision to make modest lifestyle changes, including a change in diet and you are on medications, please do not make any changes to your heart medications without first talking to your physician.

There is variability in what is the best eating plan for each individual.  Your Seasons team takes this very seriously.  At Seasons, we create customized wellness plans founded in nutrition and science.  Our goal is the best lifestyle changes to bring about the best health outcomes for our clients.

In general, focus on daily:

Goal of one pound of raw vegetables such as broccoli, variety of lettuces, kale, Bok Choy, Swiss Chard, cabbage, green, yellow, red, orange peppers, carrots, onion, celery, sprouts, cucumber, radish, tomatoes, spinach, etc.

Goal of one pound of cooked vegetables such as squash, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, green beans, eggplant, kale, onions, peppers, spinach, Brussels sprouts, etc.

2-3 servings of starchy vegetables/grains such as winter squash, corn, sweet potatoes, quinoa, brown rice, non-Asian.  (Avoid GMO wheat)

1-2 cups of cooked legumes/peas.

3-4 servings of organic, preferred whole fruits such as apple, pears, berries, oranges, grapefruit, banana, pineapple, mango, kiwi, etc.

1-2 servings of nuts/seeds such as walnuts, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, flaxseeds, etc. raw or unsalted lightly roasted without fats added.

Modest amounts of fats such as unrefined organic coconut/oil, avocado/oil and organic olive oil.  Avoid processed fats.

If non-vegan then focus on organic, wild-caught, non-Asian, non-GMO and free range animal proteins such as wild salmon, Icelandic cod, organic turkey/chicken.  Keep red meats and eggs to a minimum and if consumed, keep it too organic and grass-fed. Limit animal proteins to one serving per day, preferably only 3-4 servings per week.

If non-vegan for dairy- minimal and organic/grass fed such as butter; low-fat yogurt and kefir, plain or sweetened with fruit. 3-4 servings per week.

Carolyn Burris, MS, Nutrition

 

blk-bean-mango-salad3Here is a heart healthy recipe to enjoy!

Three Bean Mango Salad (adapted from dr.fuhrman.com)

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups cooked cannellini beans or 1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (low sodium preferred 

1 1/2 cups cooked kidney beans or 1 (15 ounce) can no-salt-added or low sodium kidney beans, drained

1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans) or 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained (low sodium preferred)

2 mangoes, peeled, pitted and cubed 

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

1/2 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup cider vinegar (organic 

1/4 cup raw almonds

1/4 cup raisins (organic)

2 teaspoons whole grain mustard

Whole salt/pepper to taste, minimal salt

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (optional)

10 ounces mixed greens, (organic)

Instructions:
In a large bowl, mix the beans, mangoes, onion, bell pepper and parsley. Blend water, vinegar, almonds, raisins, mustard and oregano in a high-powered blender until smooth. Add dressing to beans and toss to coat. Chill in the refrigerator for several hours, to allow beans to soak up the flavor of the dressing. Serve on top of mixed greens.

Per Serving:

CALORIES 307; PROTEIN 15g; CARBOHYDRATES 55g; TOTAL FAT 5g; SATURATED FAT 0.5g; SODIUM 44mg; FIBER 12.5g; BETA-CAROTENE 780ug; VITAMIN C 45mg; CALCIUM 136mg; IRON 5.1mg; FOLATE 235ug; MAGNESIUM 106mg; ZINC 2.3mg; SELENIUM 3.9ug

 

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Eat to Live–Fruits and Vegetables

As we have visited the Farmer’s Market or vegetable stand, we are reminded how colorful and fresh the produce has been during the summer season.  However, even with the wonderful variety we have had, I find that few appreciate and understand how vital this food group is to our health. Unfortunately, even the USDA food plate recommendations fall short in providing a truly nutrient dense diet that can potentially prevent many of the chronic disease states we are battling in the United States.  According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), as a nation, 75% of health care dollars goes to treatment of chronic disease such as heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune disorders and cancer.  Some of these persistent conditions could have been prevented including lifelong disability, compromised quality of life which then strains our burgeoning health care.

Unfortunately, the medical system is usually set up for patient’s visits to be in a forced quick paced conveyor belt method due to insurance constraints and the pressure to bring in as many patients as possible to offset costs and produce profits. This lends to little interaction with the patient’s concerns and no time for a much needed diet intake review.   I am, though, grateful for these doctors because there is a place for their intervention.  However, they are caught up in a system that is set up to not provide personal assessments and true preventative help.  Here at Seasons, however, there is more care for the patients, with time and personal health evaluations given, thereby providing a more comprehensive plan that includes a nutrient dense diet that emphasizes fruits and vegetables.

Fruits and vegetables are an essential and integral part of your diet.  There is no other food group that can provide what these super foods can.  They provide antioxidants and phytochemicals that maximize preventative protection against the chronic disease states that we are struggling with.  In fact, fruits and vegetables are the two foods with the best correlation with longer life in humans. Not whole wheat bread or bran, nor even a typical vegetarian diet shows as powerful a correlation as a high level of fresh fruit and raw green salad consumption. The National Cancer Institute has reported on at least 337 different studies that showed this information to be validated. ( Nelson, NJ. Is chemoprevention research overrated or underfunded? Primary Care and Cancer 168:29-30)

What are the best nutrient dense fruit and vegetables (though not all inclusive) that provide these protective compounds that do phenomenal changes in your health and immune system?

  • Dark green leafy vegetables ( highest) – kale, spinach, Swiss chard, mustard, collard, turnip greens, arugula, watercress.
  • Other green vegetables – romaine, red/green leaf lettuce,  green peas, green beans, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, bok choy, snow peas, celery, green peppers.
  • Non-green nutrient-rich vegetables- beets, eggplant, mushrooms, onions, radishes, bean sprouts, red, orange and yellow bell peppers, raw carrots, tomatoes, artichokes, radicchio, cauliflower, garlic.
  • Fruits – berries, apples, pears, oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes, kiwi, melons, etc.

These foods should be added to your diet at each meal, and eating a variety of these essential foods will definitely improve your health decreasing your risk of chronic health conditions.  You want to eat at least 9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.  Always include green salads with a variety of greens–optimally lunch and dinner.  Organic, non-GMO, raw as well as lightly steamed or sautéed in a small amount of a healthy fat (olive or coconut oil) are your best ways in eating your fruits and vegetables!

Here is a fresh fruit and veggie salad to enjoy!

 

Green Salad with Fresh Fruit10467242-fruit-salad-with-fresh-fruits-and-lettuce

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, organic
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar, organic
  • 1-2 tablespoons of filtered water
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole mineral salt
  • 2-3 cups torn fresh spinach, organic
  • 1/3 cup chopped apple, organic
  • 1/2 cup broccoli florets
  • 2 tablespoons raisins, organic
  • 2 dried apricots, organic, chopped (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Directions

  • In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the oil, vinegar, water, honey and salt; shake well. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat. Yield: 1 serving.  Note: all organic is preferred and you can add your favorite herbs and spices in the salad dressing as well.

 

5 Skin Perfecting Fruits + Acne Fighting Tips

Apples are an all-American success story-each ...

Will eating healthier make it easier to achieve superior skin health? If you’ve had a nutritional consultation at Seasons, then you already know the answer. Yes! The food you put into your body has a direct effect on how you feel and look.

Being diligent about applying SPF and regularly visiting your skin care specialist for rejuvenation treatments are two great ways to keep your appearance in tip-top shape, but consuming the right foods is also important to the health of your skin. After all, you are what you eat!

The following fruits are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients that can help you live longer, look better, and even prevent disease. Here are our picks to keep your skin looking beautiful, healthy, and hydrated this summer!

  1. Cantaloupe. Consider cantaloupe your secret weapon for smooth, younger-looking skin. You can thank the Vitamin A and its derivatives for boosting cell reproduction. Cantaloupe also increases antioxidants in your body which increases your ability to absorb free radicals and decreases your risk of skin problems.
  2. Oranges. Like Cantaloupes, oranges are chock-full of antioxidants. Oranges and other citrus fruits are said to be among the best foods for your skin’s health because they are rich in Vitamin C. Vitamin C can help protect your skin against sun damage which reduces your risk of skin cancer.
  3. Peaches. Not only are peaches great for reviving your skin, but they have benefits that include aiding weight loss, preventing heart disease and high blood pressure, and they contain an abundance of antioxidants.
  4. Blueberries. Ranked number one in antioxidant activity by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, blueberries can protect your skin from premature signs of aging.
  5. Apples. An apple a day may keep more than just the doctor away. Apples are rich in pectin – the starch essential in driving away acne! And don’t throw the skin in the trash! Apple skin contains phenols which provide important UV-B protection. 

Fighting acne? Food choices are a huge factor contributing to this dreaded skin problem. Like the rest of your body, what you eat directly and indirectly affects your acne. This is one factor that we can easily control by being mindful of what goes into our bodies. So, here are five things to remember:

  1. Take your vitamins. Whole food multi-vitamins taken daily are a good choice to fight acne. Acidophilus B and garlic are also great acne fighters.
  2. An apple a day. Eat red or golden delicious apples daily.
  3. Drink water, water, water.
  4. Clear is better. You shouldn’t drink sodas for a whole slew of other reasons; but if you must drink a soda, remember that clear is better. The ingredients that make sodas dark can make acne worse.
  5. Go natural with your sweets. Too much refined sugar can aggravate acne. This means stay away from candy, sodas, cakes and pies! Try to use natural sweeteners, like honey or stevia!

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Something “Fishy” Is Going On: GMO Salmon, Mislabeling of Fish, and a Healthy Trout Recipe! 

Seasons ~ March Nibble on This

Seafood is a popular and healthy food choice for many Americans. The United States, trailing only behind China, is the second largest fish consumer in the world. The American Heart Association, as well as the 2010 dietary guidelines from the U.S. Government, both advise eating eight ounces of seafood, or two seafood meals a week, particularly because of their “heart healthy” omega-3 levels.

However, U.S. consumers are often given inadequate, confusing or misleading information about the fish they are actually buying. There are two major areas of concern for consumers looking to keep fish in their diets: genetically modified fish and proper labeling of fish.

Genetically Engineered Salmon

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently (and quietly) approved genetically engineered (GE) salmon. A new biotech company claims that its GE salmon, which is designed to grow twice as fast as unaltered fish, will be “safe, healthy, and pose little threat to the environments.”

But according to leading experts, there are many potential and threatening problems that may cause significant harm to the environment and to people consuming GE fish. Their GE salmon would be raised in farms and would most likely have many of the same nutritional differences that unaltered farmed salmon already have in comparison to wild salmon. These differences include:

  • lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids and higher levels of contaminants like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) according to a report from Environmental Science and Technology.
  • different vitamin, mineral and amino acid levels than non-GE salmon, and slightly higher levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGI-1), which has been shown to increase the risk of certain cancers according to the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Volume. 92, No 18, September 20, 2000.

In addition, GE foods have also been shown to cause allergic reactions. Because there have not been any long-term studies on the safety of eating transgenic, the consequences of approving the GE salmon as a food for humans unknown.

The company plans to raise only sterile fish. But the FDA has called this claim “potentially misleading” because up to 5 percent of these fish may be fertile. The company claims that the fish will be raised in closed facilities and pose no threat. But if this type of GMO farming is done in Asian countries, how will they regulate and keep these fish from being released in the wild? Worldwide, the primary method of raising salmon is in open-net pens in the ocean, and millions of farmed fish escape these facilities every year. These escaped fish may easily out-compete with wild fish for food, space, and mating opportunities, as they often exhibit higher aggression and risk-taking than wild fish. These GE salmon are designed to eat more and grow faster than wild salmon potentially leading to the extinction of both wild and transgenic fish in that region according to the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 58(2001) at 842-3.

Mislabeling of Fish

Another problem shown in recent news concerns the seafood labeling fraud in the United States. From 2010 to 2012, Oceana conducted one of the largest seafood fraud investigations in the world to date, collecting more than 1,200 samples from 674 retail outlets in 21 states to determine if they are truly the seafood they claim to be.

DNA testing showed that one-third, or 33 percent, of the 1,215 seafood samples were mislabeled, according to the U.S. FDA guidelines. This study was restricted to retail outlets, including restaurants, sushi venues and grocery stores. Whether on the boat, during processing, at the retail counter, or somewhere else along the way, these would be the venues where the fraud could originate. The key results include:

  • Mislabeling was found in 27 of 46 fish types tested (59%).
  • Salmon, snapper, cod, tuna, sole, halibut, and grouper were the top collected fish types. Snapper (87%) and tuna (59%) were the most often mislabeled fish types.
  • Only seven of the 120 red snapper samples were genuine red snapper.
  • Between one-fifth to more than one-third of the halibut, grouper, cod, and Chilean sea bass samples were not labeled properly.
  • 44% of all the grocery stores, restaurants, and sushi venues visited, sold improperly labeled seafood.
  • 84% of the white tuna samples were actually escolar, a species that can cause serious gastrointestinal issues for some individuals who eat more than a few ounces.

Another concerning point is that more than 90 percent of the seafood consumed in the U.S. is imported, and less than 1 percent is inspected by the government for fraud and safety concerns including the high levels of pesticides, banned chemicals, and toxins found in often unregulated Asian seafood.

With all this in mind, what can consumers do to reduce and avoid these potential health risks?

  1. Do not be afraid to ask more questions, including what kind of fish it is, if it is farm raised or truly wild, and where, when and how it was caught.
  2. Be sure to check the price. If the price is really cheap, it probably is fraudulent and not the quality of seafood that it states it is.
  3. When possible, purchase the whole fish which makes it harder to deceive you and swap one species for another.
  4. Go fishing! Check out your local lakes and fish the cleaner lakes (i.e. Norris and Douglas Lakes). Be sure to avoid the bottom dwellers and larger fish where more contaminants are and longer exposure to harmful chemicals/pollutants. You will need a fishing license and a trout stamp if fishing for trout.

For Oceana’s full national seafood fraud report, you can check it out here.

Here is a recipe using a local variety of an omega-3 rich fish we can purchase locally or catch ourselves!

Enjoy!

 

Lemon-Herb Baked
Rainbow Trout

Minutes to Prepare: 5
Minutes to Cook: 14
Number of Servings: 3

Ingredients

  • 1 large Rainbow Trout fillet (16 oz.)
  • 1 lemon , sliced and organic preferred
  • 1 tbsp. Tarragon
  • 1 tsp. Marjoram
  • 1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ¼ tsp. garlic and/or onion powder
  • Salt (whole mineral) and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees with the rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper and spray briefly with nonstick spray. Place fish fillet in center of baking sheet.
  2. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper to taste. Arrange lemon slices on top of fish fillet. Sprinkle tarragon and Marjoram on top of fish fillet and lemon slices. Drizzle olive oil onto fish fillet.
  3. Place in oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until fish flakes well with a fork and is opaque in the center. Remove from oven.
  4. Divide fish into three even pieces and serve. Goes great with organic brown or wild rice and some fresh steamed vegetables or as part of a salad over fresh greens with a organic balsamic vinaigrette.

by Carolyn Burris
MS, Nutrition Counselor at
Seasons of Farragut

Carolyn Burris, an east Tennessee native, earned her Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Community and Public Health Nutrition at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her passion for helping those with nutritional needs brought her to Seasons. Carolyn particularly loves encouraging those struggling with food intolerance, obesity, fibromyalgia, and fatigue.

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Dining Out & GMOs: The Real Price We Pay

It’s a fact: Americans love eating out. We blog, Tweet, and post about it. It’s very gratifying to share a meal with friends or family while taking a break from cooking at home. Even while on a diet, you may give yourself a pass to “treat yourself” or overindulge while dining at your favorite restaurant. But have you ever thought about what you are eating and where the restaurant purchased their food? Well, it is quite eye-opening!

main thumb shutterstock_21770500-thumb-615x300-80817Dining out will make you fat and very unhealthy! Unless you are dining at a health food type restaurant (which are few in number), the average restaurant meal is usually between 1,000-1,500 calories. Studies show that we eat about 40 percent more when we are in groups as opposed to eating alone. However, the main reason we eat more is due to the portion size at restaurants, usually much larger than we would consume at home.

The goal of most restaurants is to make a profit, not to provide healthy foods that will reduce your risk for heart disease, obesity, and cancer. Because they want you to come back, most restaurants will provide foods that simply taste good but are high in fat in forms of processed oils, trans fat, butter and lard. Even the healthier options can still be loaded with calories. And don’t forget the high amounts of sugar including high fructose corn syrup, a cheap form of sweetener.

Since profit is the main goal, most restaurants are not serving high quality food.  Unless they advertise themselves as providing truly healthier options like grass-fed/organic meats, USA or Canadian wild-caught fish or organic grains, fruits and vegetables, they are likely serving you genetically modified foods (GMOs). Since 60-75 percent of grocery foods are genetically modified, the likelihood is pretty great that these cheaper sources of food will be found in restaurants.

In addition to harmful GMOs, you may also end up eating industrially bred and raised food loaded with hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides. There are alarming and unhealthy practices that go on at a CAFO facilities (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation). The problem begins at the massive CAFOs where cows, chickens, and pigs are fed genetically modified corn, soybeans, and excessive grains in general (not their natural diet, i.e. grass), along with many other unbelievable feed ingredients such as:

  • Plastics: this is used for many animals whose digestive systems need more roughage to pass through them, thus CAFOs are now feeding them plastic pellets.
  • Manure and animal feces: this can include cattle manure, swine and poultry waste. It also can include wood, sand, sawdust and other non-food substances.
  • Roxarsone: more commonly named arsenic, which until recently was put into chicken and pig feed to control parasites, though Nitarsone (another arsenic-based poultry drug) is still approved. Chicken litter (containing the arsenic that passes through the birds) is also collected from chicken CAFOs and is fed surprisingly to feedlot cattle.
  • Animal byproducts: categorized as “animal protein products,” this includes hair, skin, hooves, blood, internal organs, intestines, beaks and bones, dead horses, euthanized cats and dogs, and road kill.

Fast foods do not fare any better, and are usually chemically laden for shelf life and profit. Two examples of synthetic chemicals in popular fast food chicken nuggets are:

  • Dimethyl polysiloxane: a type of silicone with anti-foaming properties used in cosmetics and variety of other goods like Silly Putty
  • Tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ): a petroleum-based product that has antioixidant properties.

Due to all of the processing (added sugars and other ingredients), studies have shown that eating fast food just twice a week, can cause you to gain excess weight, but even more alarming is that it doubles your risk of developing insulin resistance, the driving force behind many chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

Try these strategies for making healthier decisions while dining out.

  • Reserve dining out for special occasions, not a bi-weekly habit.
  • Seek out healthier-minded restaurants using seasonal, sustainable, non-GMO, organic, free range, or wild-caught ingredients and dedicated to preparing meals with healthy fats in mind.
  • Ask questions about where they buy their foods.
  • Avoid fast food as much as possible unless they advertise a truly healthier option as mentioned earlier.

AsianLettuceCupsReady to regain control over the food that you put into your body? Here is a recipe for a delicious, Chinese-inspired appetizer or meal that will surely impress your friends and family! Enjoy!

Asian Lettuce Cups

  • 1 1/4 lb. 93% lean, free-range/organic ground turkey
  • 1 Tbsp cold pressed/organic oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp. ground ginger (can use fresh equivalent if desired)
  • 2/3 cup thinly sliced organic green onions (about 4)
  • 1 (8 oz) can sliced water chestnuts, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 12 Boston lettuce leaves (or organic iceberg)
  • 3 Tbsp hoisin sauce (recipe below)
  • 2 Tbsp lower-sodium organic gluten free soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp organic rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp. roasted red chili paste, organic if possible
  • 1/8 tsp. whole mineral salt
  • 1/8 tsp. ground organic black pepper

 

Homemade Hoisin Sauce

  • 4 Tbsp. lower-sodium organic gluten free soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. organic white vinegar (or lemon/lime juice)
  • 1 tsp. organic sesame seed oil
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted organic unsweetened peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp. organic/raw honey, molasses or brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp. hot sauce/chili sauce (this will vary depending on your preference)

Mix together until blended.  (Note: may need to slightly heat the sauce to disperse the peanut butter more uniformly)

Directions

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add turkey, garlic and ginger to the pan and cook for about 6 minutes or until turkey is browned. Stir to crumble. Combine turkey mixture, onions and chopped water chestnuts in a large bowl, stirring well, and set aside.

Meanwhile in a small bowl, whisk together hoisin, soy sauce, rice vinegar and roasted red chili paste, salt, pepper and drizzle over the turkey mixture. Toss to coat completely. Add about 1/4 cup turkey mixture to each lettuce leaf, serve, and enjoy!

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Pulling Back The Curtains On Dr. Oz: The Truth About IV Nutrition Therapy

Dr. Oz ShowRecently on his daily television show, Dr. Oz discussed IV nutrition therapy. I was very disappointed when Dr. Oz questioned the validity, benefit, and safety of this invaluable therapy. He had a guest physician on his show to defend IV therapies, but his guest talked in generalizations with no specifics and no scientific data. Dr. Oz’s conclusion at the end of the show, and I will paraphrase, was: “I guess if the Hollywood celebrity types are doing it, there must be some benefit.”

Wow! Now that’s scientific (insert sarcasm). We live in day where we have instant access to data and scientific research, and that is his closing statement?

As physicians, we often forget that we are scientists. Our testing and therapies should be based on science, not opinion. Yet, neither Dr. Oz nor his guest presented any scientific data to support their statements in favor or opposition. So, allow me to do the job that Dr. Oz and his guest did not.

Intravenous nutritional therapy has been around since IV vitamin C was first used for treatment of polio in 1949. Is it something everyone needs? Of course not. Should everyone take insulin? You get my point.

At Seasons, we evaluate a client’s needs based on symptoms. The symptoms lead us to extensive metabolic testing to determine the specific presence and severity of deficiencies of amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, etc. Only then do we recommend IV nutritional therapies using the metabolic test results combined with the client’s symptoms. That is what medicine is all about – using the art and science of medicine for the patient’s benefit.

Another reason to use IV nutritional therapy is that for most Americans, our guts are a wreck (and that is putting it mildly). Absorption problems are a major concern for Americans. If you can’t absorb a vitamin or nutrient, it doesn’t matter how good the source or the dosage of therapy is, it just won’t be absorbed. If you are dealing with severe deficiencies, then you’ll never catch up.

woman administering iv nutritional therapyHow about an analogy to paint a clearer picture? A patient seeks help from a physician for severe dehydration. The patient just can’t keep anything down. Is the physician going to give the patient a pat on the back, tell them to just drink more water, and send them on their way? Of course not. The physician knows that the patient cannot tolerate oral therapy at that point. The deficiency is severe. The physician knows that he/she must catch the patient up, and then instruct the client to drink more water. And how does the physician “catch” the patient up? Well, IVs of course.

Does Dr. Oz question the safety, validity, and benefits of this therapy? Of course not. That is because it is standard practice. Standard practice is defined as: whatever everyone else is doing. I remember my mom often asking me, So…if everyone else jumps of a cliff, are you going to do that too?

And the testing to determine dehydration? Very limited. Usually, a urinalysis, complete blood count test (CBC), maybe a general chemistry, and of course a physical exam. From experience and training, I can tell you that the IV fluids are started based on the physical exam, before the test results get back. That is not how we approach IV nutritional therapy at Seasons. Dr Oz gave the impression that people just walk into a Doctor’s office to order IVs as one would a hamburger at a fast food drive-through. We customize therapy to specific needs and match it with their specific metabolic demand.

So, what does the science say about IV nutritional therapy? The science is overwhelmingly in favor of IV nutritional therapy.

The research below looks at surgical patients. It is well known that poor nutritional status of the patient undergoing surgery effects outcome. These studies showed that IV nutritional therapy improved outcomes. This is not total peripheral nutrition (TPN). TPN is therapy to replace all nutrition. Intravenous nutritional therapy is just to replace vitamins, minerals, and maybe some targeted macronutrients.

So, what about the other benefits of IV nutritional therapy?

During Pregnancy

First trimester miscarriage

Viral illnesses

Critical Illness

Liver Damage

Pain

Cancer

Blood Pressure

Autoimmune Disease

Parkinson’s Disease

Neuropathy

As you can see, the benefits of IV nutritional therapy are abound. That is not my opinion, but scientific fact.

How safe is IV nutritional therapy? The studies below showed the safety of IV nutritional therapies in all states of health, including pregnancy.

Just because Dr. Oz (the great and powerful, Dr. Oz) says it is so doesn’t make it so. I hope I’ve helped pull back the curtain and expose the real science supporting IV nutritional therapy.

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An Apple a Day? Healthy Choices vs. Inflammation

My pre-60th birthday journey to improve my previous test results from Seasons of Farragut continues! This month I decided to focus on the first tenet in our Seasons wellness regimen – nutrition!

About two years ago I took the ALCAT test and was astonished at my lengthy list of reactive foods! The ALCAT is a fascinating food sensitivity test in which white blood cells are introduced to a variety of foods, chemicals, and herbs. The severity of the reaction determines if a substance is mild, moderate, severe, or normal within my body. Since knowledge is power, I decided to receive the news that gluten and dairy were on my “severe list” as a positive indicator rather than “buyers’ remorse” for having performed the test!

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Here’s To A Healthy 2013: Simple and Practical Tips To Improving Your Health

Seasons ~ Nibble on This!

 

Here’s To A Healthy 2013: Simple and Practical Tips To Improving Your Health

by Carolyn Burris

MS, Nutrition Counselor at

Seasons of Farragut

After the holidays, most of us like to start anew by establishing health and wellness goals for the New Year. A few important questions to answer after you’ve established your goals are:

  • Are you willing to make the changes permanent?
  • What are your stumbling blocks for being healthy?

Here are six effective ways to improve your health using simple and practical steps with an integrative emphasis.

Hold yourself accountable.

Keeping track of what you put in your mouth really works! By doing this you become acutely aware of what and how much you are really eating. Calories do add up. And carbohydrate, fat, and protein-rich foods need to be in a high nutrient dense category.

Eat raw food.

Many studies show that raw vegetables and fresh fruits offer the highest blood levels of cancer-protective nutrients and the most protection against cancer of any other foods. Cooking vegetables reduces their protective effects. Fat sources coming from raw nuts and seeds instead of oil will also enhance your health because they contain phytosterols and other natural substance that lower cholesterol. Another study showed that as the amount of raw fruits and vegetables are increased in a person’s diet, weight loss increased and blood pressure decreased in an effortless way. And as I’ve mentioned before, choose organic and non-GMO foods when meal planning.

Find a partner in wellness.

Make sure your health professionals are truly invested in your healthcare. Here at Seasons we strive to work with you to improve your health, not just maintain the status quo. As a functional medicine practice, we seek to identify and address the root causes of disease rather than just treating symptoms. Our patients leave with a healthy living plan designed to restore the body to optimal function.

Take a sugar break.

Remove certain common foods that you typically consume and see if your health and weight status improve. I would suggest removing sugar, artificial sweeteners sucralose and aspartame, dairy, and gluten for at least a 6-week period and keep a health journal which would track your weight, energy level and overall health. There is compelling evidence that these foods/substances can cause various health problems and potentially need to be removed from our diets forever.

Don’t skip meals!

Eating regularly, starting with breakfast, breaks your fast and jump starts your body’s metabolism. Drinking at least 8-10 cups of filtered water per day will also rev up your metabolism.

Be good to your body,

and it will be good to you.

From what I have observed and read, in traditional medicine there is an ingrained mindset that diet does not significantly help your medical concerns and that medication and surgery are advocated to be a “better” choice. Folks, the truth is in the literature and research. What you eat significantly affects your health! Make healthy choices.

It is my hope that these suggestions encourage you to make permanent changes in your diet and overall health. Here is a healthy Fresh Greens Salad with Avocado-Tomato dressing recipe to kickstart 2013! Happy eating!

Happy eating!

Fresh Greens Salad with Avocado-Tomato Dressing

Fresh Greens Salad

Ingredients

  • 4-6 cups fresh greens (spinach, romaine, green/red lettuce, etc.; organic preferred)
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped sugar snap peas
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber/zucchini/squash (any or all will work)
  • ½ cup chopped green onions, including the greens
  • 2 tablespoons raw sunflower or pumpkin seeds

Directions

  1. Place greens, chickpeas, carrots, sugar snap peas, tomatoes, cucumber/zucchini/squash and green onions in a large bowl.
  2. Sprinkle with pumpkin or sunflower seeds and toss gently with dressing. Remember, organic choices are optimal.

Avocado-Tomato Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1 medium avocado, pitted
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes, unpeeled, unseeded
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 – 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (whole mineral salt)
  • Add more seasonings to spice it up as desired.

Directions

  1. Cut avocado in half and remove the seed.
  2. Use a large spoon to scoop out the flesh.
  3. Place avocado and remaining ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  4. Add water to desired consistency
For a personalized nutrition consultation with Carolyn Burris, call Seasons at   865-675-WELL (9355) to schedule an appointment.


Carolyn Burris, an east Tennessee native, earned her Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Community and Public Health Nutrition at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her passion for helping those with nutritional needs brought her to Seasons. Carolyn particularly loves encouraging those struggling with food intolerance, obesity, fibromyalgia, and fatigue.


NIBBLE ON THIS ARCHIVES

» Maximize Your Nutrition With These Winter Fruits and Veggies

» Healthy Holiday Dishes: Don’t Forget your Veggies

» 4 Foods That Build The Immune System

» 10 Ways to Increase Your Water Intake and Enjoy the Benefits of Water

» The Truth About Buying Organic: Is It Worth The Extra Cost?

» The Amazing Chia Seed!

» Nuts over Walnuts!

» Get Your Plate in Shape!

» What’s for Breakfast ?

» Fresh Winter Produce

» Healthy Holiday Desserts!

» Staying on the Health Track through the Holidays

» Pumpkins: More Than Just Fall Decorations

» Gluten-Free Can Be Healthy and Tasty!

 

 

 

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