Dietary Fats – Signs you may need more!!

Many of us were brought up eating and drinking low fat foods.  Skim milk, no fat yogurt, low fat margarine and mayonnaise.  The list goes on.  Unfortunately, the low-fat craze has led to the fattening of Americans.

 

Finally, the pendulum has swung, and we have re-learned about the importance of fat in the diet, not all fats mind you, but the “healthy Fats” (see below fats to avoid)

 

So, what are some signs that would tell you to increase fat in your diet?

 

  • You are always hungry, or you are not completely satisfied after meals
  • You get cranky or angry easily
  • Your memory is not great, you experience brain fog
  • To increase your HDL (good) cholesterol
  • You have difficulty losing weight, or your weight tends to yo yo.
  • Your joints ache
  • You have dry skin and or dry eyes
  • You experience hormone imbalances

 

What are some examples of healthy Fats?  How do I add these to my diet?  If you want to add additional fat to your diet, you need to do it responsibility.  It is not a good idea to add fat by ordering a supersize french fries at a fast food restaurant.  We would also not recommend increasing your ice-cream intake

 

To add fat to your diet, try some of these ideas:

  • If you eat dairy, switch to full fat versions of cheese, milk, sour cream, cottage cheese etc.
  • Add some healthy fat to your vegetables and salads examples include:
    • Extra virgin olive oil (best when eating vegies raw, do not heat above 350 degrees
    • Add grass fed butter or ghee (clarified butter) to cooked vegetables
    • Sauté your vegetables in ghee or coconut oil
  • Eat avocados
  • Snack on nuts
  • Put butter on your toast
  • Enjoy some nut butter
  • Add a tablespoon of coconut oil to your smoothie
  • Enjoy some of the fat found on your grass-fed meats, leave the skin on chicken when you cook it. Eat fatty fish such as salmon

 

Fats to avoid (because they are processed) include: canola oil, any seed oil, margarine, corn oil, peanut oil, vegetable oil, hydrogenated oils (they are solid at room temperature).

 

Let us know if we can help you introduce healthy fats into your diet, we would love to help you feel better!!

 

Ann & Emily

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Minerals in the diet – are they important?

The answer is YES, but let’s start with some background info.  Some minerals are household names such as the macrominerals: Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium, and Phosphorus.  There are also microminerals that are present in much smaller quantities in the body including: Iron, Copper, Manganese, Zinc, Chromium, Selenium, Boron, Iodine, and Molybdenum.

 

Where do nutritional minerals come from?  Well yes, you can find them in the supplement department in your local store, but let’s talk about where they are found in nature.

 

Minerals are naturally occurring elements found in rocks and stones.  As rocks break down over time, they release minerals into the soil.  Plants, then absorb the minerals from the soil, and are then eaten by animals.  Therefore, us humans get our minerals from eating plants, and animals that eat plants.

 

Here is the problem today:

  • With conventional farming practices, crops are planted over and over again in the same soil. Plants pull minerals from the soil, but there is never an opportunity to replenish minerals.  Therefore, the plants, and the animals that eat them are mineral deficient
  • Highly processed foods (those shelf stable foods found in convenience stores and in the center isles of grocery stores) are depleted of minerals.

 

Are minerals essential?  Every human cell depends on minerals for proper function including energy production, growth and healing.  Minerals are also essential for the proper utilization of vitamins and other nutrients.  Minerals are required to heal and maintain health.

 

So, what to do? 

  • Eat as many different plants (vegetables, fruits) that you can. Organic farming methods replenish soil minerals so eat as much organic as you can.
  • If appropriate for you, eat a well-rounded diet which includes organic vegetables, organic fruits, sustainably harvested seafood, and a variety of grass fed, grass finished and responsibly raised meats and poultry.
  • Take mineral supplements as recommended by your healthcare provider. Look for Whole Food sources rather than supplements that are synthesized in a chemical factory

 

Happy Health!!

Ann & Emily

 

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Ancient Wisdom for Modern life: It’s not all about the hustle.

 

 

I’ve made it my summer project to study one of the classical Chinese medical texts, The Yellow Emporer’s Canon on Internal Medicine. Sounds exciting right? It actually is quite interesting and although I read it while in school it’s much more applicable to practice now that I have a few years of real world experience under my belt.

 

Right in the first chapter I found something I wanted to share. The book is a series of questions from the emperor, and subsequent answers from his Taoist master/court physician.

 

The emperor asks” I am told the people in ancient times could all survive to more than 100 years old, and they appeared to be quite healthy and strong in actions, but the people at present time are different, they are not so nimble in actions when they are only fifty, what is the reason?”

 

The Master answer was very insightful and I think could be of value to modern day people. I will break it down into bullet points for you:

 

  1. The people of ancient times kept their daily behavior in accordance with nature.
  2. They lived their daily life in harmony with the way of recuperating the essence and vital energy.
  3. Their behaviors were all kept in regular patterns such as their food and drink were of fixed quantity and their daily activities were in regular times.
  4. They never overworked.

 

What the master is saying is that these people who were healthy and strong up to age 100 lived a life of balance. They knew when it was time to work and time to rest. There are seasons for planting seeds, seasons for those seeds to grow, a harvest and then a season for the soil to rest.

 

They constant go-go of modern life can be unavoidable. To me the modern version of what the master is saying is that it’s ok to not always be in hustle mode. That hustle and rest must be in near equal proportion. That rejuvenation and self-care are essential to thriving throughout our lives. Do you have any rejuvenating activities you do on a regular basis? Do you have a self-care routine?

Stay tuned for tips and suggestions on how to establish a self-care routine!

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Depression or Sadness, is there a difference?

Normal life has its ups and downs, and sadness is a part of life for all of us.  Perhaps you are sad because you have a romantic or family relationship that is not working out, you have not gotten the job or promotion you desire, you are lonely or isolated.  If you have recently lost a family member or someone you care for deeply, you may feel profound sadness.  There are countless reasons to experience sadness and you may ask, am I depressed?

Sadness is a normal response to a difficult time, it is normal to be sad, and sadness is not a disease state.  Sometimes the terms sadness and depression are used interchangeably.  You might feel sad or “depressed”, but if this is due to a tough incident or event, it is not the same as the clinical disease called Depression.

Depression on the other hand is an overwhelming sadness about everything.  It is a medical condition that goes beyond life’s ordinary ups and downs.  People with severe depression do not just pull themselves together after an episode of sadness.  In fact, when experiencing clinical depression, you may feel sad for no identifiable reason.

So, if you are feeling sad, we will make several recommendations.  Get outside, spend time in nature, exercise, spend time in quality social interaction, volunteer, eat foods that are nourishing, take care of yourself, however that is meaningful for you.  Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal medicine will also help you process sadness so that you can move on with your life.

Treating depression takes a more multifaceted approach.  Treatment may include therapy, medications, lifestyle modifications.  Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine are helpful in this multifaceted treatment plan.

Please let us know if we can be of help

Ann & Emily

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The Cook At Home Diet!

 

 

We are often asked what is the best diet?  How do I lose weight and get healthy?   Should I eat Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian, Keto, Low Carb?????

The diet we most often recommend is the “Cook at Home Diet”.

What is this radical new diet all about?  It’s about getting healthy, saving money, and taking control of your nutrition.

So, with the Cook at Home Diet, you do not have any food restrictions, you just focus on preparing the highest quality food you can get, you control your portion size (no more Cheesecake Factory type portions made for 300 lb. football players), and you control your budget.  Win Win Win.

How do you improve the quality of the food you eat?  You start with baby steps.  Here is a list of ideas, you don’t need to incorporate them all, pick one or two and get started:

  • Avoid processed, packaged foods with multiple, unrecognizable ingredients, such as hamburger helper, packaged gravies and sauces,
  • Start incorporating some organic fruits and veggies. Check out the EWG Dirty Dozen List that identifies the most contaminated fruits and veggies in the US, and switch one or two of your favorites out for organic varieties.
  • Start incorporating meats from grass fed sources, organic free range poultry, sustainably harvested wild fish, organic free range eggs, you get the idea.
  • Select full fat dairy, organic sources are best
  • For cooking oils, select avocado, olive, coconut, ghee
  • Avoid sugary or artificially sweetened drinks
  • Avoid sugary baked goods

What does it cost to eat out on a regular basis?  The data varies, but the average is at least $13 per person per meal.  How does this compare to eating at home?  You can feed a family of four for as little as $10 per meal.  But let’s assume you want to splurge on ingredients sometimes, and allow for an average cost of $5 per person per meal.  For a family of 4, if you ate all your meals out, the cost at $13 per meal ends up with a total of $56,940 per year.  If that same family ate all their meals at home, the cost is $21,900.

Our suggestion, is to cook some meals at home, and go out and enjoy yourself once or twice a week.  If you did that, you would still save over $25,000 per year over eating out every day!!

Take care and enjoy eating at home.

Ann & Emily

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No Brainer Reasons to Visit an Acupuncturist – Reason #3 – Knee Arthritis

A study published in January 2017 identifies conditions with strong evidence supporting the effectiveness of acupuncture. Arthritis of the Knee, is one of the conditions that is very successfully treated with acupuncture – it’s a no brainer.

So, if your knee is really hurting, you might have been to your doctor searching for ways to relieve the pain.  Doctors will often give injections in the knee to relieve the pain.  For some, these injections can be quite helpful, but the relief is only temporary, typically lasting for months.

For a long-term benefit to the knee, one of the most effective strategies is to begin a strengthening program.  By increasing the muscles in your leg (especially the upper leg), you may reduce the pressure of the knee, thereby reducing pain.  One exercise that is great for strengthening the upper leg is a wall sit.  This exercise does not require any equipment, and can be done anywhere there is some blank wall space.  Here is a great example of how to perform this simple exercise: Wall Sit Exercise.

If you are carrying a little extra weight, it can be really hard on the knees, so working to loose that weight is a great strategy to eliminate knee pain long term.

Other strategies to help with pain on a shorter term basis include icing, heat packs (you can even alternate ice and heat), as well as taking anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen (Advil).

If you are looking for a medication free way to resolve the pain of arthritis in the knee, it might be time to consider acupuncture.  Acupuncture treatments will stimulate circulation, and ease inflammation, resulting in decreased pain.  Once the pain is reduced, you can increase your activity level, which helps keep weight down, and the knee joint lubricated and pain free.

 

Ann & Emily

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No Brainer Reasons to Visit an Acupuncturist – Reason #2 – Back Pain

 

A study published in January 2017 identifies conditions with strong evidence supporting the effectiveness of acupuncture. Back pain, whether it be acute pain (it just started today) or chronic pain (it’s been around for months or even years) is one of the conditions that is very successfully treated with acupuncture – it’s a no brainer.

So, what do you do between now and your acupuncture appointment to manage the pain you are experiencing?  Let’s give you some self-care recommendations.

If the pain is acute (it just happened): You can try laying down on the floor with your feet slightly elevated on a pillow.  Alternate between applying heat and then ice.  For example, 15 minutes with a heating pad and then 15 minutes with an ice pack.  There are some over the counter pain patches that might be helpful.

If the pain is chronic: try a self-massager (we have a shiatzu massager from Costco that we both use at home), do some basic stretching, nothing that hurts, here is an example of a stretching routine from Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CO3racIlTcg.

We are often asked; how long will it take for me to be better with acupuncture?  For acute pain, resolution is typically quick.  We may see you 1-3 times in a week and the pain should be gone or greatly diminished.  For chronic pain, resolution is often longer.  We will recommend an initial 4 treatment plan.  From there we will access your progress and come up with a treatment plan.

Whatever the cause of your back pain, once we see you we will make some individual self-care and/or life style recommendations to help the pain go away faster, and to keep it away.  We will also refer for additional care from a massage therapist, chiropractor, or orthopedic specialist if we think it is necessary.

Ann & Emily

 

 

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