Friday, December 26, 2014

3 Steps to Beat Cravings and Temptations to Cheat: Holiday Menue Included

I appreciate your friendship and readership, this time of year and all year. So I want to wish
Best Ever Pumpkin Pie- dairy free- GAPS friendly
you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas and blessed New Year. It's a time for caring and sharing, and JOY! Allow the good things to shine and patience is the operative word. Be on your best behaviour because you never know who is watching you, and is going to emulate you. Gluten sensitivity runs in families and there are others who have trouble with cravings, not just you. 

Be a leader and change any foods that you traditionally might serve, but are too processed, to real food with blood sugar stabilizing fibre and low fructose and no sugar.(only scant natural sweeteners such as honey and only in small amounts) artisanal agave and maple syrup. And lower the temptations for everyone. "It's Christmas" isn't going to cut it as one sugar filled "cheat" can trigger craving and hormonal changes that can last weeks (because of the changes in the microflora!). 

Here are 3 great practical tips from one of my mentors, Hyla Cass MD, integrative physician, author of "8 Weeks to Vibrant Health,”  These tips will lower your cravings for the wrong foods, especially bad carbohydrates, which will also stabilize your mood and make you happier. 

A 3-Step Formula to Beat Cravings by Dr. Hyla Cass MD (my bold) 

I'll bet you know exactly what you need to do to lose weight and improve your health, but every once in a while (or perhaps often!), something in the pantry calls your name… and you just can't resist.

Does that sound familiar?

Many people blame themselves, thinking cravings are the result of a character flaw or lack of willpower. Sometimes they eat even more to relieve the guilt. I want you to know that cravings are not the result of some kind of psychological shortcoming.

What decades of study, research and thousands of patient cases have shown is this: Cravings are the result of a chemical reaction in the body. (And are preventable)

When we eat, sugar is released into the bloodstream either slowly or quickly . If it’s slow, you'll have a steady, stable blood sugar and a controlled appetite. If it’s quick, your body uses up the fuel faster and your blood sugar spikes. When it drops back down, your body cries out: “I need fuel now!” That’s a craving, and it’s as if you're a puppet on strings with no sense of control.

Compare this to a healthy appetite. A healthy appetite is being hungry for foods you decide to eat as fuel for your body. You choose what, when and how much to eat and then you’re satisfied. There is also a sense of personal fulfillment that comes with a healthy appetite because you're in control.

Let me offer you a simple system to help you defeat cravings and enjoy a healthy, controlled appetite.
1. Add Fiber

To combat cravings you need a steady delivery of fuel coming into the body, and not a sudden surge. How do you bring that about? With fiber.

Eating the right amount of fiber and the right variety at the right times leads to a gradual release of fuel into the bloodstream. That keeps blood sugar levels steady, leaving you with fewer cravings and a more stable feeling of energy.

Blackberries (only organic are recommended) are high in soluble fiber and low in fructose and they are one of the best fruits to add to your morning plate. For insoluble fiber, eat chia seeds (not flax seeds), which are also rich in protein, minerals and calcium.  With lunch and dinner, I recommend adding to the menu healthy carbohydrates, such as (unprocessed, fermented ) beans and legumes (use for guidelines on how to introduce, soak and cook legumes safely in the Gut and Psychology Syndrome scientifically proven way). You'll also want good fats, such as those in fish, seafood (not farmed fish or seafood), raw nuts and seeds.

2. Drop Fructose

Step 2 is to limit your intake of fructose. Fructose is a unique type of sugar because the liver has to do extra work to process it. This causes your blood sugar to drop and cravings to occur.

To decrease your fructose intake, cut down on sodas and candy, and yes, you heard me… fruit. The high amounts of processed fructose in our diets and the toxins we are exposed to, have left our livers less tolerant of good fructose. If you've got cravings, I recommend staying away from fruits such as pears, apples, cherries, blueberries and bananas, including fruit juices, especially in the morning. Have about a quarter cup of blackberries with breakfast instead.

3. Gain Freedom

If you add fiber and drop fructose, the result is freedom. You actually don’t have to do anything at this step! When your blood sugar levels are steady, you don’t fall victim to cravings. Instead of losing control and then grabbing for high-sugar foods to refuel, you'll be able to choose what you eat. You'll enjoy a more balanced mood and energy level and you'll feel more vibrant. Plus, you’ll feel greater self-esteem because you won’t be in a constant battle with yourself and your food.

You don't have to be a victim of cravings. Add a few fiber superheroes to your diet, drop out a few fructose culprits at the right time, and enjoy the freedom of a healthy, controlled appetite. You’ll lose weight and feel better, and that’s just the beginning!

If you have found out you are gluten sensitive, it is important to follow the improved specific carbohydrate diet, called Gut and Psychology Syndrome protocol. Every day. This will promote long term health benefits, in an attempt to gain back 20 healthy years. 

There are lots of festive, GAPS friendly delicious recipes available in books like Breaking the Vicious Cycle, or Eat Well Feel Well  by Kendal Conrad or online.

For a holiday menue, with links for appetizers, crackers, mashed cauliflower (delicious), squash with brussel sprouts and chestnut, and cranberry sauce go to Elana's Pantry's.

For a chicken or turkey gravy go here

For a dessert cheese cake here is Elana's. It is made with yogurt, but not everyone can do yogurt even when fermented 24 hours. Please use only artisanal agave or honey. 

I recommend Best Ever Pumpkin pie because it is dairy free, and it's been family tested and should be called "pumpkin pie that pumpkin haters like".

For a Simple white cake with a dairy free icing try Comfy Belly's recipe. Or with a chocolate icing if you have healed and are at the end of the protocol and are able to do a little chocolate try this white cake dairy free cake.

Or maybe you want to serve a no cook chocolate mousse that tastes great and gives you great fats, lots of fibre and only 1.5 grams of sugar/glycemic load per serving (and it is sweet enough and delicious- I aim for less than 20 glycemic load points a day).

To Your Health
Dr. Barbara

Monday, December 15, 2014

10 Steps to Protect Yourself From The Flu from Awakening Potentials

It's flu season! For some, getting "the flu" creates mild flu symptoms, and for others with an impaired immune system, the flu can be fatal. 

Protect yourself by planning ahead. 

We had many people coming in lately that have suffered from the flu. So, it’s that time of year for us to help you get proactive. The symptoms of flu come on very quickly, so your best bet is to support your immune system before it gets sick. Fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscles ache, headache, fatigue diarrhea and vomiting are the symptoms for the flu. Not something you really want to put yourself through.

10 Steps To Protect Yourself From The Flu

So here are a few things that we at Awakening Potentials recommend you should do to protect and prevent the flu:

Wash your hands frequently
Sneeze into your elbow when the urge arises
Carry and wear a mask when around people who are coughing and sneezing
Drink plenty of water and make sure to rest.
Decrease the sweets (you shouldn't really have any
Get off the carbs and gluten
Eat 5 cups of green vegetables per day
Take the right supplements to help you prevent it
Exercise regularly
Think happy thoughts

Supplements to help strengthen your immune system:
Vitamin D3: helps support immune health.
Muco Coccinum: homeopathic remedy to help prevent flu and to take when first flu symptoms occur.
Citrigen: helps relieve symptoms of flu (you want to take this at first symptoms of flu or cold.)
Super Flavonoids: antioxidant for the maintenance of good health.
Immucore: enhancing the function of macrophages, natural killer cells and T cell.

If you want to read more on Vitamin D3 and how it is an antibiotic, antiviral agent proven to be more effective at preventing "the flu" in scientific studies read what Beyond Celiac has to say. 

US Federal officials from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on December 4th issued a health advisory to doctors. Here is a quote:
"Although the flu shot protects against several strains of the virus, one strain—H3N2—has evolved to the point that just half of patients infected with it would benefit from this year's vaccine."
You may want to keep this in mind and have a plan B where it comes to protecting yourself from "the flu".

To Your Health

Dr. Barbara

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Human Microbiome- Important Concepts for Optimal Health, video by National Public Radio- link fixed

I talk a lot about how our microbiota, the living organisms in and on us, protect us from all sorts of illnesses. Research has found that some probiotics protect us from depression, obesity, irritable bowel syndrome, C. Difficile, cancer, vaginal discharge, and so many more things. The microbiota can be damaged by lifestyle choices and the newborn's microbiota is mostly determined by it's mother's lifestyle choices.

Watch this entertaining and informative video (5 minutes, 28 seconds) about gut microbes from National Public Radio (NPR). This is a CRITICAL concept if you want to understand how to move toward optimum health.

You have the power to improve your health enormously, one way is  to grown great microbiota. 
The Gut and Psychology Syndrome book is a practical manual to stop the damage and to recover health. 

To Your Health.
Dr. Barbara

More GMO news; Russia Announces Ban on GMO Imports

As a physician who aims to help people by healing their bowel and microflora, and subsequently reducing inflammation over the whole body, I am frustrated as to how hard it is. 

Even with a pure gluten free diet, so many people have signs of inflammation, malnutrition and bowel malfunction. 

What do I suspect is going on when the person is following a pure true gluten free diet. Well there are lots of food additives that can cause problems such as carrageenan. Drugs can be a hinderance to healing, such as NSAIDs. However, the one prime suspect seems to be GMO in or on vegetables, grains, legumes, and in commercial meats and meat and dairy from animals fed the usual commercial feed with GMO corn and soya. 

Earlier this year, Russia’s plan to stop importing GMOs went into effect. According to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Russia has the means, and the space, to cultivate organic food, and therefore has no need for GMOs.

In a statement, the Vice President of Russia’s National Association for Genetic Safety, Irina Ermakova, asserts:

“It is necessary to ban GMOs, to impose moratorium (on) it for 10 years. While GMOs will be prohibited, we can plan experiments, tests, or maybe even new methods of research could be developed.

It has been proven that not only in Russia, but also in many other countries in the world, GMOs are dangerous. Methods of obtaining the GMOs are not perfect, therefore, at this stage, all GMOs are dangerous.”

Ermakova continues:

“Consumption and use of GMOs obtained in such way can lead to tumors, cancers and obesity among animals. Bio-technologies certainly should be developed, but GMOs should be stopped. We should stop it from spreading.”

Aside from imports, Russia does allow the production and trade of GMO foods within the country. If a certain product contains more than 0.9 percent GMO material, however, it must be labeled by the manufacturer.

Along with Russia, much of the world is fighting against the continued proliferation of genetically modified foods. China has repeatedly refused imports from the United States, due to the potential for GMO contamination, and last summer decided to end its production of GMO corn and rice altogether.

The Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico refused to allow the planting of Roundup Ready soybeans earlier this year. Northern New Zealand is working to ban GMOs, and, Bhutan has announced its plan to become the first fully organic nation on Earth. These are just a few examples among many.

In the United States, we're far from banning GMOs – we’re still working on labeling. Seems we’re a bit behind the times on this front.


To Your Health
Dr. Barbara