Breakfast Ideas

I regularly counsel patients not only on eating breakfast, but eating a nutrient-dense breakfast.  Breakfast should be one’s biggest meal of the day for several reasons.  As the name indicates, breakfast means “breaking the fast.”  Upon waking in the morning, most people have not eaten for 8-12 hours.  In order to properly fuel the body for the day (and not stress it out), breakfast is critical.  However, many of my patients skip breakfast or eat a high carbohydrate breakfast.  Feedback I’ve received from my patients is that when they have a healthy breakfast they have less food cravings during the day, have greater concentration and energy, plus they ultimately eat less during the day.  Additionally, many sleep better at night!

I’ve compiled a listing of some of my favorite foods to eat for breakfast.  You don’t have to eat traditional breakfast foods for breakfast.  Having chicken and veggies, soup, or meatloaf for breakfast is just fine.  I encourage you not to be limited by tradition!  I do believe that a nutrient-dense breakfast has more protein and fat than carbohydrates and that any carbohydrates consumed should be complex i.e. veggies, fruit.  You may notice that my list of recipes is almost entirely grain free.  I believe people eat too many grains and that imbalances the body throughout the day.   I’ve tried most of these recipes myself.  I find them easy to prepare and yummy.   Some recipes listed are dessert-like but since they are higher protein and less sugar, I feel good about including them here.

Egg based:

Quick Quiche Cups

Frittata

Egg Pancake with Vegetables

Breakfast Casserole with Spinach, Leeks, Cottage Cheese and Goat Cheese

Kale, Bacon, and Cheese Breakfast Casserole

Frittata with Bacon, Onions, and Cheese

Mexican Baked Eggs with Black Beans, Tomatoes, Chiles

Broccoli Cheese Breakfast Casserole

Breakfast Burrito

Black Bean and Egg  BurritoApple & Spice Dutch Baby Pancake

Blueberry Clafouti (any fruit can be substituted)

Beverages:

Smoothies

Pumpkin Smoothie

Orange Julius

Fruit Smoothie

Misc:

Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes

Grain Free Granola

Crepes

Nut Butter Muffins

Banana Caramel Sticky Buns

Sausage Sticks

Pudding

Red, White and Blue Cupcakes

Almond Power Bars

Honey Nut Bars

Breakfast Bars

Homemade Lara Bars

Cranberry Walnut Bread

Chocolate Almond Joy Bars

Lemon Coconut Bars

Chocolate Chickpea Cake

Black Bean Brownies

Crustless Pumpkin Pie

Peanut Butter Blondies

Dry Skin Brushing

Dry Skin Brushing

There are many ways to detoxify the body.  But, why does the body need to detoxify?  We are exposed to hundreds of chemicals on a daily basis.  The chemical company DuPont coined the slogan “Better Things for Better Living…Through Chemistry” in 1935 as it was introducing chemicals and plastics to the world.  DuPont was part of the emerging chemicalization of America. In her book, Hormone Deception, Lindsey Berkson, writes, “Since World War II approximately 87,000 new chemicals have been synthesized in the U.S. alone.  New ones are being invented at the rate of 2,000 per year.”  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that hundreds of these chemicals are present in our bodies and can interfere with the body’s immune, endocrine, nervous, and reproductive systems.  These chemicals include air/water pollutants/caffeine, cigarette smoke, cosmetics, body care products, heavy metals, household cleaning products, pesticides/herbicides, plastics, pharmaceuticals, and preservatives.  Wayne Ott, a long-term employee at the Environmental Protection Agency has said, “What the public doesn’t understand is that your house is the hazardous waste site.  All of the things in your house are made from the same chemicals that are on the hazardous lists.”

While it is best to minimize or eliminate your exposure to chemicals, detoxifying your body can help minimize the damaging effects of chemicals.  In my opinion, the best way to detoxify the body is through the Standard Process Purification Program.  However, there are daily activities you can do at home to strengthen your body.  Castor Oil is very helpful as well as dry skin brushing.

Dry skin brushing is a simple and easy way to help detoxify the body.  The skin is the largest organ in the body and plays a major role in body detoxification – as much as one-fourth of the body’s daily detoxification.  Many refer to the skin as the “3rd Kidney” because of the skin’s powerful detoxification ability.  However, body care products such as body soap/lotion, deodorant, sunscreen, and synthetic fabric like polyester can not only prevent the skin from breathing appropriately but also block the ability of the skin to release toxins.  When this happens, the toxic burden on the liver and kidney increase as well.

The best type of brush for dry skin brushing is one with a long handle and natural bristles.  The brush should always remain dry for the best effect.  Natural food stores usually sell this type of brush. I recommend dry skin brushing in the morning before bathing.  Start by brushing the feet, then up the legs, the back, the belly and into the chest.  It is most beneficial to brush toward the heart as this facilitates proper lymph flow.  The body’s lymphatic system is an important toxin removal system.  As you reach the mid-chest, then brush up the arms, down the neck and into the mid-chest.  Avoid any area in which the skin is broken or irritated.  Do not brush your face. Brush gently but firmly.  It may take a few treatments to get used to the natural bristles.  The process takes less than 5 minutes.  After completing the brushing, shower off the dead skin cells. Generally one will feel more alert

Detoxification is not the only reason to dry skin brush.  Many report that dry skin brushing softens the skin and can help with in-grown hairs.  However, one of my favorite reasons for dry skin brushing is that it feels good!

Whole Body Purification

Center for Chiropractic and Wellness is hosting a workshop next Wednesday, May 11 on the Purification Program from Standard Process.  We’ve been using this powerfully effective detoxification program in our office for several years now and we invite you to learn more. 

 You may be asking yourself, “Why do I need the Purification Program?”  Unfortunately we live in a toxic environment.  We are exposed to environmental and internal toxins on a daily basis.  Here are some unfortunate statistics:

  • Approximately 87,000 new chemicals have been created and introduced into our environment in the US since World War II. 
  • Two thousand new chemicals are added every year!  Additionally, tap water is contaminated with chlorine, trihalamethanes (environmental pollutants), lead, cadmium, plus medications and hormones. 
  • Body care products such as shampoo, shaving cream, deodorant, makeup, hair styling products, sunscreen, and perfume contain xenohormones.  These hormone-like chemicals wreak havoc on the body’s hormones, nervous system, and general cellular function. 
  • The average American home contains over 60 hazardous products, most of which are lawn/garden and cleaning supplies.
  • The average American consumes 14 lbs of food additives, 160 lbs of sugar, 8 lbs of salt in a given year.

I could go on but needless to say, we live in an environment that is not conducive to health! 

 But other reasons why patients choose to do the Purification Program is that they want to feel better.  So many people are plagued with weight gain, brain fog, allergies, insomnia, acne, menstrual irregularities, poor digestion, sugar and/or salt cravings, pre-diabetes, eczema, low libido, etc.  The purpose of the Purification Program is to stimulate the liver, kidneys, small intestine and large intestine so as to allow the body to lighten it’s toxic load and cleanse itself from the inside out. 

 The Purification Program is a 21-day cleanse that involves eating whole, organic (if possible), unprocessed foods, taking whole-food supplements and drinking plenty of water (filtered or spring).  We have scores of recipes available to help patients create flavorful and exciting food during the cleanse. 

 The Purification Program is also backed by research demonstrating it as an effective tool to lessen cardiovascular disease risk.  Research published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine (September 2008) reported  a total cholesterol decrease of 47 points after the 28 patients in the study completed the 21-day Purification Program.  Additionally the patients experienced decreases in triglycerides, LDL, HDL, and VLDL cholesterol during the program.  As an added benefit, weight loss was also noted for all 28 patients!  To read the research article, please click here.

 That has been our experience at CCW as well.  Last week I spoke with several patients who had recently finished the Purification Program.  One woman lost 15 pounds and her heel pain disappeared.  Another female patient lost 8 pounds, had clearer skin and resumed a “regular” menstrual cycle, which previously had been absent.  Other patients of mine have reported being pulled out of depression, sleeping better, increased energy, decreased allergies, regular bowel movements, improved digestion, clearer thinking, increased vitality, mood stability and a general positive outlook. 

 Even if you are unable to attend the workshop but are interested in the Purification Program, please call us at 919-845-3280.  Here’s to your health!

Under the Cloud of PMS

Many of my child-bearing age female patients suffer from PMS.  I’d like to take a few moments to discuss PMS but in order to understand PMS, it’s important to first understand a normal, healthy menstrual cycle.

You can think of the menstrual cycle as a dance or interplay between many different hormones.  Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) are both produced by the pituitary gland located in the brain while estrogen and progesterone are primarily produced by the ovaries.  The interaction between these four hormones creates the menstrual cycle.  Other hormones such as oxytocin and testosterone are involved but are less significant.

Day 1 of the menstrual cycle is the onset of bleeding and this continues generally for 3-7 days.  Upon completion of bleeding, FSH levels begin to rise.  This is necessary for ovarian follicles to mature as well for the ovaries to begin producing more estrogen.  Estrogen serves many purposes:  it sends signals to the uterus to develop its endometrial lining (for potential egg implantation) as well as suppressing FSH but also increases LH levels near ovulation.  Estrogen should be highest prior to ovulation and then should decrease until menstruation.

As LH rises in response to rising estrogen, body temperature increases and ovulation occurs within 12-48 hours.  Ovulation takes place when a mature follicle releases an egg.  The empty follicle then becomes the corpus luteum, which produces progesterone until the onset of menses 14 days later.

Between ovulation and menstruation, progesterone should be the dominant female hormone.  Progesterone has many functions including maturing the uterine lining for implantation and pregnancy, helping to calm and focus brain activity, relax muscles, increase sex drive and assist in fat burning.   If implantation of an embryo does not occur then progesterone and estrogen levels fall.   This signals the onset of menses and the cycle continues.

As you can see the hormones are intimately interrelated and dependent upon one another; if one hormone is imbalanced, the likelihood of other hormones becoming imbalanced increases.  When one cycle fails to function properly, the following cycle is affected and it becomes a downward spiral of dysfunction.  PMS is related to the cyclic dysfunction.

PMS is considered a “multifactoral” condition that can have different causes, and not every woman with PMS will have the same symptoms.  Emotional symptoms can be aggression, anxiety, confusion, depression, irritability, and emotional withdrawal.  Physical symptoms can be abdominal bloating/cramping, back pain, breast swelling/tenderness, fatigue, heart palpitations, nausea, food cravings, migraines, and insomnia.

One underlying cause of PMS that I see in my office is called Estrogen Dominance (ED).  ED is when estrogen, instead of progesterone, predominates in the second half of the cycle (between ovulation and menstruation).  Estrogen and progesterone are both necessary for a healthy cycle and they need to be in the correct proportion with one another.  Estrogen stimulates brain function so when it is not balanced by progesterone irritability, anxiety, and general moodiness can result.  Remember that progesterone calms and focuses the brain.  For many women, progesterone drops off too quickly prior to menstruation or isn’t produced at all because no ovulation occurred.  This results in inadequate levels of progesterone to balance the estrogen at the end of the cycle.  Emotional and physical symptoms can result.  And depending on when the progesterone drops off, symptoms could last 3 days of 10 days.  It may be different for each woman and each cycle.

In my next post, I will talk about how to correct Estrogen Dominance.  Stay tuned.

High-Fructose Corn Syrup Continues to Be Bad For You Even When It is Called Corn Sugar!

February 22, 2011 3 comments

I read another article on high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) also known as corn sugar.  Some of the things I learned is that when  corn syrup is converted into high-fructose corn syrup,  it is genetically altered through a chemical process called glucose isomerization.  Because this is not a natural process, the body does not react to HFCS like it does to corn syrup.  When a  natural sugar is consumed, the pancreas releases insulin to get the sugar out of the bloodstream and into the cells to be used as energy.   At the same time, the brain receives a signal that the body is full.   There are certainly problems with this process when sugar is overconsumed but that’s another topic for another time!   When HFCS is consumed, the pancreas does not release insulin so the brain never receives this important signal.  This can result in continued overconsumption of the HFCS.   Additionally since the body does not recognize HFCS as a natural food source, the liver processes it like a chemical and converts into fat.  This is one reason why consumption of HFCS can lead to high triglyceride levels in the blood stream.

Other disturbing news about HFCS is that a study recently published by Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy in Minneapolis determined that in the 55 products it survey that contained HFCS as one of it’s first ingredients, 31% of the food products contained detectable levels of mercury! 

The food industry has created a slick advertising campaign trying to say that HFCS is just like sugar.  It is clearly not.  Don’t be food.  Be vigilant in reading labels.  Look for high-fructose corn syrup or corn sugar as ingredients.  Teach your children to read labels.  Eat a diet based on whole foods such as fresh vegetables, fruits, meats and whole grains.  As my favorite food writer Michael Pollan has said, “Don’t eat anything your great-great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.” 

Categories: Uncategorized

What’s for Breakfast?

I’m starting a new series of blog posts of food suggestions.  Regularly in my practice, I encourage patients to look at their diets and to explore healthier options.  Eating fresher, non-processed whole foods improves health on every level!  We’ll start with breakfast.  A great way to start the day is with a nutrient-dense, energy packed smoothie.  Smoothies are a perfect breakfast food because they can be made in the morning or the previous night and are portable.  There are endless, tasty combinations to explore.  Feedback I’ve received from patients is that smoothies are satisfying because they taste good and provide energy until lunch.  Patients have expressed more energy, greater concentration, and no mid-morning food cravings! 

Pick and choose from the following list to create your own smoothie masterpiece.  It’s important to get a healthy amount of protein and fat.

Liquid (1 Cup)*

Fruits**

Protein/Fat (1-2 Tbs)*

Optional

Veggies

 
Plain Yogurt 1/2 Banana Avocado Cinnamon Beets  
Plain Kefir Berries (1C) Hemp Protein Nutmeg Spinach  
Almond Milk Peaches (1C) Hemp Seed Oil Vanilla Kale  
Rice Milk Apples (1C) Almond Butter   Zucchini  
Water (filtered or Spring)   Natural PB      
Coconut Water   Coconut Oil      
Coconut Milk (1/4 C + Water) Flax Seed Oil      
    Coconut Flakes       
    Whey Protein      
    SP Complete      

Gluten Free Resources For Raleigh and Beyond

 

Here is a list of online as well as local resources for leading a healthy, happy gluten-free life. 

 

Blogs

 

www.thenourishinggourment.com

thenourishedlife.blogspot.com

www.elanaspantry.com

gnowfglins.com

glutenfreemommy.com

glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com

glutenfreeeasily.com

glutenfreegirl.com

www.bookofyum.com/blog

 

Local Resources

Rosie’s Plate www.rosiesplate.com 

glutenfreeraleigh.blogspot.com

http://www.urbanspoon.com/t/25/1/Research-Triangle/Gluten-Free-Friendly-restaurants

 

Grocery Stores

Harmony Farms

Earthfare

Whole Foods

Trader Joes

Ask your local chain grocery store where they keep the wheat/gluten-free items

 

Books

 

Check the library for wheat/gluten-free cookbooks to see which you like best.  Then buy the ones that work best for you.

 

Wheat Free Alternative Grains

 

www.wheat-free.org/wheat-free-flour.html