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Posts Tagged ‘Digestion’

What Should I Eat?

health appleBeing a health care practitioner, I have come to believe that most of the health issues my patients are experiencing are to some degree related to their diet.  I’m defining the word diet very broadly to mean “what you eat.”  The health issues I started to experience while in my 20s were absolutely related to the way I ate.  My health journey has evolved from being a junk-food vegetarian to eating the nutrient-dense whole foods diet I currently enjoy.  Since it’s hard to know where to start when making dietary changes, here are some resources.  This post will the first in a series addressing the question, “What should I eat?”

I’ve always liked Michael Pollan’s quote, “Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.”  My goal is to help people achieve that.

Fundamentally (and ideally), one’s diet should be nutrient dense, free of refined foods and sustain life rather than contributing to chronic/degenerative diseases such as heart disease, cancer, auto-immunity, Alzheimer’s, to name a few.  The Paleo “diet” which is really a lifestyle, is a good place to start.

The Paleo/Primal lifestyle is for those seeking general health & wellness, weight loss, greater hormone balance, and longevity etc…  Although the definition of “Paleo” is evolving (read a good article here), it is generally defined as gluten-free, dairy-free (controversial), healthy fats (including saturated fats), and plenty of vegetables with some fruit.

I like Diane Sanfilippo’s definition of Paleo in her book  Practical Paleo.   She writes, “the lifestyle is simply about (1) practical paleoeating whole foods that provide better fuel for your body and (2) avoiding processed, refined, nutrient-poor factory foods.  This means avoiding grains, legumes (beans), refined sugar, and pasteurized dairy products. ”

Practical Paleo is a comprehensive, colorful, engaging resource outlining the Paleo lifestyle but also has great recipes.  I recommend the book highly.  Diane’s website is also a great resource with recipes, links to her podcasts, and general motivational help.  She provides guides on her website detailing what to eat – very helpful.

The following website links are a good introduction into some of the more well-known Paleo authors.  Once you peruse their sites, you can determine if you’d like to learn more in of the their books.  This is not a comprehensive list but merely an introduction.

Loren Cordain aka the Founder of the Paleo Movement

Robb Wolf 

Mark’s Daily Apple

Chris Kresser

PaleOMG

Deliciously Organic

Paleo Slow Cooking

meal planningPaleo Meal Plans:   The links listed below vary widely in what they offer for menus but are useful for those needing a bit more guidance on what to eat for each meal within the Paleo lifestyle.

PaleoPlan

Caveman Strong

Elana’s Pantry

Paleo Table

 Multiply Delicious

Next in the series, I’ll explore another nutrient-dense, whole-food diet/lifestyle based on the principles of Weston A Price.  If you’re eager to learn more, you can visit the Weston A Price Foundation website.

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Raleigh Chiropractor Recommends Castor Oil Packs

December 14, 2010 2 comments

One of the most useful home therapies I recommend to patients is the use of castor oil packs. I’ve read that humankind has been using castor oil packs for about 3000 years. During the Middle Ages, castor oil was known as the Oil of Christ.

I recommend castor oil packs for their detoxification and anti-inflammatory properties. The packs can be applied to the lower abdomen for assistance with digestive distress (constipation, IBS, chronic indigestion and bloating), menstrual cramps, uterine fibroids, UTI prevention, cystitis, as well as to the breasts and liver. The heat provided by the castor oil pack helps to provide warmth to organs that are over-stimulated. The pack also has strong detoxifcation qualities and has been known to assist with bile flow in the liver and inflammation in organs or joints. I do not recommend using the packs on the head.

To make a castor oil pack, you’ll need a good quality castor oil, a wool flannel, hot water bottle/heating pad, plastic and rags/towels. Most natural food stores sell both the castor oil and wool flannel

First, cut in half a plastic grocery bag and lay flat. Pour or soak the flannel in the castor oil until saturated but do not let it drip. Lay the soaked flannel across the abdomen and place the open plastic bag on top. Next, place a rag or old towel on top and then the hot water bottle/heating pad. Lie still for 45-60 minutes. When finished, remove the flannel and wash the area with a solution of baking soda and water. Beware that castor oil can stain so keep away from clothing.

I generally recommend the castor oil pack every 2-3 days until symptoms improve.

Jennifer Greenfield D.C.

4 Ways to a Healthy Digestive Tract

Digestive distress is extraordinarily common in the American population.  This distress ranges from indigestion, gas, bloating, to more severe disease states such as Celiac’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis, and Crohn’s disease.  Regardless of the diagnosis, some tried and true methods exist for restoring balance to the digestive tract.

The “4R” Program is one I have been following for several years now.

1.  Remove irritants to the digestive tract such as caffeine, alcohol, food allergens, and/or over-the-counter pain relievers.  I use manual muscle testing as well as saliva testing to determine food sensitiviies or allergens.  Or, you can use a rotation diet to help you identify if any foods are making you ill.

2.  Replace what the body is missing i.e hydrochloric acid from the stomach, pancreatic digestive enzymes, or bile salts from the gall bladder.  When the body is missing these essential elements to digestion, they body cannot digest the food it consumed.  This sets the stage for any number of digestive ailments.

3.  Reinoculate by re-introducing the beneficial microbes/bacteria into the digestive tract.  These include Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Saccoromyces boulardii to name a few.   My preference is to use kefir, kombucha, fermented veggies, and/or yogurt as the food sources of these beneficial microbes.  However, when necesssary, I use Standard Process whole food concentrates to re-inoculate the gut.

4.  Repair the damage to the gastro-intestinal lining.  Inflammation of the digestive tract must be repaired, otherwise the body will never properly heal.  I recommend homemade bone broth, castor oil packs, fermented veggies, cabbage juice, slippery elm, and glutamine to address the inflammation.

My preference is always to use foods as the basis for healing, but at the same time, I regularly use whole food vitamins to facilitate the healing process.

Jennifer Greenfield D.C.

Raleigh, NC