The medical and surgical weight-loss community and the natural health community seem to be divided on this topic. The former argues that juicing reduces the fiber content and therefore decreases the feeling of fullness gained by eating fresh, crisp fruits and vegetables (Ashley Barrient, clinician in Loyola’s bariatric department, Alternative Medicine, August 2013). Do a quick internet search, and you’ll find that the American Cancer Society and other reputable organizations, who are touted as the experts on health and wellness, repeatedly argue that juicing sacrifices fiber and can also be dangerous because of potential microbes in raw fruits and vegetables (The Disadvantages of Juicing, Livestrong, September 2011; Juicing, American Cancer Society, November 2008).
If you don’t have time to juice, grab a to-go kale juice at Whole Foods!
While consuming whole fruits and vegetables is always the highest nutritional recommendation, juicing is not without its benefits. Mainly, raw juices are second to honey in ease and speed of assimilation into the bloodstream. This allows vital nutrients to pass directly into the cells and help restore the immune system. Fruit and veggie juices also contain highly alkalizing minerals with no fiber to slow digestion. Therefore, your body can divert energy away from digestion and focus on cleansing or detoxing.
It’s not recommended to juice ALL the time, as a balanced diet should contain plenty of lean protein, fiber, and good fats. However, if you’re feeling a cold coming on or just sense your body could use a good ol’ detoxification, then “juice feasting” is a great choice. I did it recently when I got whomped by a massive cold, and I swear I overcame it more quickly than some of my counterparts, who caught the same bug. Between juicing, sweating in the infrared sauna, getting a Vitamin C IV, and laying low for a bit, I was better in just a few days.
And by the way, don’t spend a bunch of money on a fancy new juicer. My husband found one on craigslist.org that was only 50 bucks, and it works perfectly fine.
My favorite juice is:
1 bunch of parsley, 1/2 apple, 2 cucumbers, 6 stalks celery, 4 stalks kale, 1/2 lemon and 1 inch of ginger.* Watch out, this will knock your socks off, and it is not too sweeeeet!!
Here are some other combos that my new favorite blog My New Roots suggests.
*Try to buy organic and local as much as the budget will allow. For the fruits and veggies you should absolutely buy organic, check out the EWG’s Dirty Dozen/Clean Fifteen lists.
With the recent flooding in Colorado, mold is on everyone’s mind. And, rightly so. It is dangerous, and nothing to mess around with.
If your drywall was saturated with water, your risk of having mold increases greatly. If your carpet and carpet pad were soaked…get them out of your house! This is the perfect breeding ground for mold. Mold is something that you may not be able to see, or sometimes even smell, and can be there for a very long time. Many Colorado residents will say that they can’t have mold issues because our climate is so dry, but this is not true. A leaky faucet behind a bathroom wall, a leaking pipe in a basement, water coming into the house from outside pooling in your roof or under the foundation of your house are all possibilities for the growth of mold. Within 48 hours of water damage, mold can begin to grow. With the recent floods and saturation of materials in the home, it is important to gain an understanding of mold contamination, and it’s possible effects on human health.
Sleep is a major issue for millions of people, and over long periods of time, insomnia can weaken one’s constitutional health, immune system, and predispose one to illnesses. Many people take melatonin to help them regulate their sleep-wake cycle. Dr. Paula Whit-Enderby, MD, and Judith Balk, MPH, MD, two researchers,who have devoted much of their professional research careers to the effects of melatonin, have determined that melatonin does much more for women’s health than just getting them into a deep slumber. It has been revealed that melatonin induces a specific signal transduction cascade (or directs a series of proteins within the cell), which is responsible for melatonin’s differentiating effects inside the cell. In short, melatonin induces certain cells to become bone forming cells called ‘osteoblasts’. This finding has highlighted the importance of melatonin for bone health in women.
Melatonin is synthesized in the pineal gland in response to light and darkness–when the brain perceives darkness the pineal gland secretes melatonin, which is one factor in the induction of sleep. The primary function of melatonin is to regulate the circadian rhythm that is affected by the light dark cycle. The researchers have found that melatonin acts in a synergistic way with other hormones. So, in effect, melatonin can enhance a common intracellular signal, or by combining with another hormone or natural agent, it can enhance the desired outcome of both agents.
Melatonin also plays a major role in improving the circadian rhythm disturbance that menopausal women often experience. Both researches created a trial to study the specific effects of melatonin called MOPS (Melatonin Osteoporsis Prevention Study published in 2012). Primary outcome measurements were on bone health in peri-menopausal women. The results showed a trend toward normalization of bone marker activity (osteoblasts- those cells that build bone and osteoclasts- those cells that break bone down). Secondary outcome measures were sleep quality and menopausal quality of life. The study used 3 mg melatonin at night and subjects reported significant improvements in physical symptoms of menopause compared to women taking placebo. Melatonin appeared to lengthen the length of cycles and decrease the number of menstrual cycles. Women reported feeling better and researchers presumed this was due to getting better more regulated sleep.
In addition to the effects on sleep and bone health for peri menopausal and menopausal women, melatonin has been shown to have anti-cancer benefits by slowing down cell growth, scavenging for free radicals, reducing levels of estrogen, and enhancing cell adhesion. One thought is that, as women age, there is a dampening of the nocturnal surge in melatonin, changes in light exposure and in hormonal status, which may contribute to diseases like osteoporosis and cancer.
Side effects and toxicity studies of melatonin reveal that it is a safe substance to add to one’s regimen. The most common side effect is sleepiness and grogginess.
Starting Sunday, April 7th, Yoga Loft and I will be launching our Day-to-Day Detox program, a month-long detoxification program that meets every Sunday in April for 2 hours. I will spend part of the time lecturing on such things as the 5 roots of elimination, foods and recipes that support detoxification, and how to identify and eliminate environmental toxins in your life, and the rest of the time will be devoted to a sweaty, toxin-rinsing yoga flow with Nikki Rogers. Whether you do cleanses several times a year or have never done a cleanse in your life, this program offers something for everyone and provides the added benefit of access to my expertise and guidance throughout the entire month.
Check out Boulder Daily Camera’s article Spring Cleanup, which features the upcoming program and offers further insight into what detoxification truly means.
Interested in signing up? You can click HERE and still save 20%!
Lifestyle choices are widely known to play a role in the onset of many cancers. By making some key changes in how you live your life and the food you eat, you can dramatically reduce your risk. Smoking contributes to over 30 percent of cancer cases, and it has been suggested that another 30 percent of cases can be prevented by eating a healthy diet. Research from the American Institute for Cancer Research and the American Cancer Society suggests that over half of all cancers could be prevented by simple lifestyle changes.
While the link between diet and cancer is not yet definitive, there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that diet can indeed play a role in cancer prevention.
Research has shown that a diet high in antioxidant-rich foods is linked to a lower incidence of cancer. Those following a vegetarian diet, for example, are less likely to experience conditions such as breast or ovarian cancer, and the risk of other types of cancer is also reduced. Antioxidants are found in a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, and prevent damage being done to the DNA by chemicals known as free radicals. These are mostly located in and just underneath the skin, so peeling the fruit before eating means that you will derive fewer benefits from it. Foods such as garlic, berries, and green tea contain high levels of antioxidants.
Increased intake of carotenoid chemicals have also been linked to a reduced rate of cancers, and these can be found in foods such as carrots, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes.
Isolating the specific compounds in fruits and vegetables that help prevent cancer is difficult and has, thus far, been somewhat unsuccessful. Regardless, we do know that ensuring antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals are present in your diet can only be done by eating whole foods, where they are found naturally.
Cancer is a complex disease that is caused by the interplay of many different factors, including genetics, environment, and lifestyle. However, it is safe to say that eating a balanced diet, consisting mostly of whole foods, some lean protein, and good fats, can go a long way toward preventing the onset and progression of the disease.
Vitamin D is a chemical that our bodies are able to synthesize from direct exposure sunlight, which is our best source of Vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency is a common worldwide problem, but we can overcome or avoid it by a balanced diet, supplements, and sensible sun exposure. Michael F. Holick, M.D., Ph.D., is a Vitamin D researcher and author of a book called The Vitamin D Solution (Hudson Street Press, 2010; Dr. Andrew Weil wrote the foreword to the book), and he developed a formula that helps you determine the amount of exposure you need year round. Dr. Holick advises estimating the time it would take your skin to turn pink in the sun and dividing that time by 25-50%, depending on your skin type and where you live. This is the total number of minutes of sun exposure you should have. So, if you are fair skin and live on the east coast, you would probably want to spend 20-30 minutes in the sun with arms and legs exposed (not your face) between the hours of 11a.m. to 3p.m. two to three times a week from March through May and September through October (Dr. Andrew Weil, 2010). In July and August, it is best to decrease this time to 15-20 minutes because the sun is more intense. After you reach your daily dose of exposure time, then you should apply sunscreen.
However, if you tend to avoid the sun as much as possible, you can still meet your vitamin D requirements through your diet. Oily fish (such as salmon), eggs, fortified cereal, and fortified dairy products (such as milk) are all excellent sources of vitamin D.
This vitamin is necessary to keep the teeth and bones strong. It helps to ensure that sufficient levels of calcium are absorbed, which is also essential for bone health. A lack of this vitamin leads to the condition known as rickets, if it occurs in children, and osteomalacia in adults. This will lead to pain, tenderness, and deformities of the bones.
Vitamin D can also provide long-term protection against osteoporosis, especially when combined with calcium. These two nutrients combine to strengthen the bones, delaying both the onset and progression of the condition, which is frequently seen in women after the menopause. Before menopause, the presence of estrogen helps to prevent the thinning of the bones.
Low levels of vitamin D can play a role in a number of other conditions, namely asthma, heart disease, and some cancers. Vitamin D is thought to provide some form of protection against these diseases and reduce the risk of them developing. However, as this has not been shown in clinical studies, the importance of vitamin D in preventing these conditions is not yet known.
Vitamin D deficiency is rare, but can occur in certain conditions. It is more likely to be seen in patients who are obese or have digestive tract disorders such as Crohn’s disease or celiac disease. A deficiency may also develop during pregnancy, due to its use in the development of the child.
The body uses vitamin E for a wide variety of different functions. It is a powerful antioxidant, which means that it can reduce damage that naturally occurs to your cells as a result of exposure to free radicals. Free radicals are chemicals found in the atmosphere that damage the DNA in your cells. This contributes to the aging process and can also lead to the onset of cancer. Antioxidants, such as vitamin E, can help to prevent this damage from occurring, reducing the visible signs of aging and your risk of cancer.
It should be easy to obtain enough vitamin E from your diet, as it is found in a wide variety of foods. If you are concerned that your vitamin E intake is too low, then think about cooking with plant oils rather than butter, as these contain high levels of the chemical. Nuts, seeds, and cereals are also good sources. It is recommended that women have 3mg/day and men have 4mg/day, on average. However, as excess vitamin E will be stored in your body (it is fat-soluble), you don’t need to worry about meeting the requirements every day.
Vitamin E deficiency is extremely rare, and will normally only be seen in those with genetic disorders that lead to low levels of the substance. It may also occur in premature babies if they have a very low birth weight, but the vast majority of children and adults are highly unlikely to experience a deficiency of this vitamin.
It is thought that vitamin E may play a role in delaying the onset of conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. Patients taking a regular dose of vitamin e seem to experience less memory loss than those not taking it. However, it does not appear to prevent the onset of the disease. Conditions of the eyes can also be improved by taking a regular dose of vitamin E, including macular degeneration and an increased rate of healing after surgery has been performed.
Vitamin E is found in a wide variety of foods, so the requirements can easily be met in the diet. Foods that you may want to consider eating include:
• Nuts and seeds
• Wholegrain cereals
It is recommended that you obtain vitamin E from foods, rather than by taking a regular supplement.
The consequence to us is that disease rates are on the rise, and we are seeing more chronic illness and co-morbidities in our population. And evidence seems to be placing the blame on our exposure to so many environmental toxins that we know little to nothing about. This film tries to find some of those answers.
I’ll keep you posted on when this film comes to Colorado, but in the meantime watch this short clip and take some time to explore their website. It’s pretty informative…