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Superhero Snack Company!

"Are you ready? Because there has never been a bar like this before. As an Olympic athlete I ate a lot of bars, I depended on them, they were literally a part of my daily life and job! As an athlete I thought of food as fuel or energy, boy was I wrong. Too focused on the numbers I wasn’t even paying attention to what I was eating. Piles of protein powders, concentrated sugars like brown rice syrup, chemically processed things like sugar alcohols and things like natural flavors...whatever those are! Sure they were calories, they gave me “energy”, they allowed me to run around for a bit longer...but where was the nutrition?"

- Kristen Buchanan, Founder & CEO GoodOnYA

GoodOnYa Bars    “Every question you will ever have, the answer you will find in nature.”
    - Bryce Courtney, The power of one

I love that quote, nature is an awesome example of balance. We can all get so out of whack in our lives. Friends, love, diet, exercise, you…. Life…. They all need balance. There is even a new disorder, Orthorexia, an obsession with eating healthy. I can fall into this at times because honestly, the more you know about our current food system the worse it is. Do I wish I could just take a pill like in the Matrix and go on eating GMO’s, pesticides and fluoride in my water? No, I don’t. But if you constantly worry about it to the point where it causes you stress then all the healthy food in the world won’t keep you healthy. Stress trumps it all.

I founded this company in 2001 after a playing field hockey for the US National Team for 11 years. As an Olympic athlete healthy food was obviously a big part of my life. But back then, as an athlete, I equated being skinny and fit with health. Sure exercise is a big part of it, but in my quest for gold (and coming in 5th) I trashed my adrenals, joints, muscles and ended up with a full blown auto immune disease of the thyroid. A low fat, high carb diet is what we thought was healthy.  And lots of energy drinks with food colorings, synthetic salts and sugar. (yeah, a LOT of sugar)  Boy what I would give now to go back and make sure I had pastured meats, raw dairy from grass fed animals, good fats from nuts and coconut and better water! Well, actually I wouldn’t go back, I much prefer yoga and surfing now. But I do hope to help educate athletes, moms, kids, everyone on the benefits of real food. I often say “it’s not just about selling bars for us”, and it isn’t. If it was we would have made a very different bar.  One that could retail for .99 and we’d source the cheapest ingredients, add a boat load of sugar to make it taste ok and market the heck out of it. That’s just not who we are.

 

GoodOnYa

Here at US Wellness Meats we are honored to carry all four varieties of the GoodOnYa Bars, packed with real, whole foods and rich flavors.  If you haven't tried one yet, you don't know what you're missing!  These are some of the very best health bars that we have found, and they are a personal favorite of the US Wellness Meats staff. 

The breakfast bars are delicious with your morning coffee, but are just as tasty any other time of day.  The rich flavors of both the peanut butter & honey and peanut butter & chocolate bars are second to none, a hands-down favorite to anybody who tries them.  The Superhero bar is their newest addition and as it's name indicates, is a true super-food.  All can be found on our website:

 

Breakfast Bar

Breakfast Bar:  Organic hemp seeds, organic brazil nuts, organic sprouted flax, organic pure maple syrup, organic raisins, organic sunflower seeds, organic cacao liquor, organic vanilla, organic coconut oil, & Celtic Sea Salt

 

 

PeanutButterHoneyPeanut Butter Honey: Organic peanut butter, organic raw honey, organic sprouted flax, organic sesame seeds, organic hemp seeds, Celtic Sea Salt, organic vanilla

 

 

 

PeanutButterChocolatePeanut Butter Chocolate: Organic peanut butter, organic raw honey, organic hemp seeds, organic sprouted flax, organic sesame seeds, organic cacao liquor, Celtic Sea Salt, organic vanilla

 

 

SuperheroSuperhero: Organic cashew butter, organic ground chia seeds, organic goji berries, organic cashews, organic raw cacao powder, organic raw honey,  organic lucuma, organic coconut oil, organic coconut butter, organic vanilla, Celtic Sea Salt and Sol Raiz organic maca

 

These powerful nutrition bars are all certified Organic, Gluten-Free, Kosher, and Non-GMO Project Verified.  They are all free from: Soy, Dairy, Grains, Sugar Alcohols, Natural Flavors (corn) or anything that does not grow on the earth.

Any variety pairs well with your morning coffee, is a great afternoon-snack, and kids love them as well - so throw a few in their lunchboxes!

 

KrisFillatMuch thanks to GoodOnYa Founder Kris Buchanan for her expertise and help with this blog post & for sharing her wonderful products with us.  With her long athletic history and first-hand knowledge of health and nutrition, she has built a successful company based on the idea that "Every Ingredient Matters".  You can find more information on her company on their website.  You may also want to check out their revolutionary new sports drink line: GoodOnYa Hydrate.


Estro Cancer

By: Dr. Al Sears, MDShopping

Did you ever wonder why women can shop all day, and for men it drives them nuts? Did you know there are hormonal reasons for that? It’s not just culture, it’s evolution.

Women have traditionally been responsible for doing the gathering. They get a surge of the feel-good hormone serotonin, and it gives them energy. The more they shop and gather, the more energy they get. They come home energized.

For a man, you can see what happens out in the malls. After about a half hour, he needs to go get a cup of coffee, or else he just sits pathetically, slumped in a chair looking miserable. Being the hunter, he wants to bag the kill. So to have game in front of you that you don’t get to catch zaps you of your male hormonal drive.

The idea that men are from Mars and women are from Venus has always been part of our nature … until now. Because that difference is disappearing fast.

The unnatural world we’ve created isn’t just society taking away the man’s hunter instinct. Or modern stress taking away a woman’s gatherer energy…

We’ve created a world full of feminizing chemicals that act like estrogen. The result of that is even worse than male breasts and mega-menopause for women.

These things are causing cancer. For example breast cancer rates are rising for women … but today, more men than ever are being diagnosed.(1)

The good news is even though getting cancer is more likely because of our modern environment, it’s also more likely than ever that you can have successful treatment of it.

Even better, there’s a lot you can do to prevent these kinds of cancers, and I’m going to show you some of them in a minute. But it won’t be what you might hear from the cancer societies or your family practitioner.

We’re not getting more cancer because Aunt Jenny had cancer and it’s in the genes. This higher rate of occurrence illustrates something the cancer societies and family practitioners miss when they talk about cancer. Higher rates illustrate how far we’ve strayed from our natural environment.

We’ve changed the nature of the world we live in. Many of the chemicals and processed foods we eat increase estrogen in the body. Now, cancers that affect parts of your body with estrogen receptors are on the rise, even though other cancer rates have stabilized.

Which makes a lot of what those mainstream sources advise for “lifestyle changes” dangerous. Most of what they want you to do isn’t pleasant, isn’t natural to you, and isn’t helpful.

The most important thing you can do to prevent male and female breast cancers, and prostate cancer for that matter, is to stop the accumulation of excess estrogen.

How do you do that? By promoting the C-2 pathway of estrogen metabolism, instead of the C-16. That might sound complicated, but it’s really pretty simple.

Estrogens that go down the C-2 pathway are weaker, and those that go down the C-16 pathway have much more damaging physiological effect.

Studies show that people who metabolize estrogen on the C-16 pathway have much higher rates of prostate and breast cancer than those who metabolize on the C-2 pathway.(2)

There are two things I recommend for estrogen detox:

1.  This first one is for men. One of the most important things you can do is to reduce the action of a molecule called aromatase because it turns testosterone into estrogen.

  • You can use minerals like selenium and zinc to reduce aromatase.
  • But another powerful group of nutrients is citrus flavonones. Flavonones seek out and bind to aromatase molecules. Studies show this action of flavonones can help stop the development of estrogen-related cancers.(3)
  • Flavonones came mostly from oranges and grapefruits. Though juices can be a good source of flavonones, they also contain a lot of sugar. So if you want the flavonones, eat grapefruit and oranges instead of drinking the juice.

2.  If you’re a regular reader, you already know some of the nutrients that support estrogen detox.

  • The B-vitamins detoxify your body of estrogen down the C-2 pathway.
  • DIM (Diindolylmethane), which you can get from eating broccoli, is also effective.
  • Other important nutrients that can help your body naturally move the excess estrogens along the detox pathway and out of the body
  • SAM-e (S-adenosylmethionine) Besides being an antioxidant, SAM-e promotes bile circulation, which enhances estrogen’s excretion out of the body. It’s also effective at negating the effects of estrogen in the body by preventing estrogen toxicity.(4)  I recommend you take 200 mg a day to start. You can take as much as 800 mg twice a day if your estrogen is particularly high.
  • Another notable antioxidant that can stop estrogen from damaging cells is alpha lipoic acid. A recent study shows that alpha-lipoic acid can protect your reproductive organs from the estrogenic effects of estrogen-mimicking chemicals like BPA (bisphenol-A).5  Taking 250 mg a day of alpha-lipoic acid is a good place to start, and you can take up to 600 mg a day.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

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Resources:

1. Bushak L. “FDA Requests More Volunteers For Male Breast Cancer Research, Hopes To Boost Awareness About Disease.” Medical Daily. medicaldaily.com. Retrieved July 21, 2014. 2. Falk R, Brinton L, Dorgan J, Fuhrman B, Veenstra T, Xu X, Gierach G. “Relationship of serum estrogens and estrogen metabolites to postmenopausal breast cancer risk: a nested case-control study.” Breast Cancer Res. 2013;15(2):R34. 3. Hatti K, Diwakar L, Rao G, Kush A, Reddy C. “Abyssinones and related flavonoids as potential steroidogenesis modulators.” Bioinformation. 2009;3(9):399-402. 4. Frezza M, Tritapepe R, Pozzato G, Di Padova C. “Prevention of S-adenosylmethionine of estrogen-induced hepatobiliary toxicity in susceptible women.” Am J Gastroenterol. 1988;83(10):1098-102. 5. El-Beshbishy H, Aly H, El-Shafey M. “Lipoic acid mitigates bisphenol A-induced testicular mitochondrial toxicity in rats.” Toxicol Ind Health. 2013;29(10):875-87.

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Digestive Issues? Avoid These Specific Carbohydrates

By: Kelley Herring, Healing GourmetCarbs

Do you ever experience bloating, acid reflux, cramping, indigestion or other digestive distress?

If so, you’re not alone.

In fact, it is estimated that up to 70 million Americans suffer from some form of digestive issue – ranging from chronic constipation to serious and even life-threatening conditions, such as Crohn’s disease.

And while digestive issues can stem from a wide variety of causes, there’s one factor quite often overlooked: Carbohydrates.

The Link Between Specifi Carbohydrates & Digestive Problems

Carbohydrates come in several forms - monosaccharides, disaccharides and polysaccharides. Of these three types, the monosaccharides (“mono” – meaning one) are the only type of carbohydrate that doesn’t require an extra step during digestion to fully break down. On the other hand, polysaccharides and disaccharides have additional chemical bonds, which make these forms of carbohydrates more complex – and therefore more difficult to fully digest, especially for some people.

Unfortunately, this partial digestion of carbohydrates can lead to many uncomfortable and even dangerous results – beginning with an overgrowth of bacteria and yeast in the gut.
Although bacteria and yeast are a natural and important part of our individual microbiomes, problems can arise when the delicate balance of microorganisms that live inside you is disturbed. As harmful bacteria and yeast (like Candida) begin to proliferate unchecked, toxins are released and the pH of the digestive tract changes.

This can lead to irritation and inflammation, damaging the cells in the gastrointestinal tract. In addition to chronic discomfort, the end result can be a variety of issues, including leaky gut, food allergies and even autoimmune disease.

And this vicious cycle will continue as long as the offensive carbohydrates - poly- and disaccharides – are being consumed.

Breaking the Cycle: The First Step Towards Better Digestive Health

Eliminating those specific carbohydrates can help to break the cycle of inflammation and cellular damage, allowing the microbiome to regain a healthy balance and the gut to heal.
Not surprisingly, the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) is very close to the diet enjoyed by our ancestors. Like the Paleo diet, it is grain-free and unprocessed. It encourages regular consumption of bone broth, healthy fats like tallow and lard, and a wide variety of grass-fed meats and wild fish.

But SCD also eliminates starches and sugars that can be problematic – including many foods like sweet potatoes, parsnips, sunflower seeds, chocolate, jicama, okra, maple syrup, kohlrabi, plantains and many others that are often considered “approved” foods for those following a “Paleo Diet.”

If you’ve been following an ancestral diet – and yet you still experience digestive problems – the Specific Carbohydrate Diet may be just the tweak you need to achieve complete digestive wellness and relief from uncomfortable symptoms.

How to Start the Specific Carbohydrate Diet

Interested in trying SCD? Start with Dr. Elaine Gottschall’s groundbreaking work - Breaking the Vicious Cycle; Intestinal Health through Diet. In her book, you’ll learn about the foods to avoid as well as those to include.

You’ll also learn what to include on the “intro diet” - a jumpstart plan that is comprised of foods that are very easy to digest. This provides your body with deep nutrition while giving the gastrointestinal tract a chance to heal. After this first phase, more complex foods are reintroduced, as you discover how well your body tolerates them.

Because every individual is unique, SCD can be tailored to your personal intolerances and ability to digest certain foods to create a plan that is right for you.

Have you tried the Specific Carbohydrate Diet? If so, what was your experience?   

______________________________________________________________________________

ED NOTE: Kelley Herring is author of more than a dozen books on nutrition and natural healing. She is also the co-founder of Wellness Bakeries, which has just released their newest product - Better Bread - a 100% Paleo bread mix you can whip up in 5 minutes flat.

______________________________________________________________________________

REFERENCES
1.    Elaine Gottschall. Breaking the Vicious Cycle; Intestinal Health through Diet. August 1994
2.    American College of Gastroenterology 2013 Annual Scientific Meeting. Rush University Medical Center, SCD Study

Drugs & Anti-Aging

By: Dr. Al Sears, MDdescribe the image

Sometimes patients come to me with what they call “symptoms of old age.” But often they’re not symptoms at all. They’re side effects.

Here’s what I mean: Prescription drugs cause side effects that look a lot like “aging.”

Research shows some drugs cause major cellular damage. They attack the mitochondria, the tiny energy generators in each cell of your body.

Why is that important?

Damage to the mitochondria is related to many diseases we think of as occurring in the elderly. Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, coronary artery disease … even strokes and diabetes.

One of the reasons these synthetic, man-made molecules cause aging is that mitochondrial damage shortens telomeres.

Telomere shortening causes cells to go into repair mode to fix the shortened DNA. All that repair activity going on while your body tries to fix your DNA and damaged mitochondria generates a lot of free radicals. They cause oxidation, which can shorten telomeres more. And the cycle continues.

You can trace mitochondrial damage back to statins, pain medications like acetaminophen, and a long list of psychoactive drugs. These cross the blood–brain barrier and can age brain cells.(1)

Other drugs directly shorten telomeres. Especially chemotherapy drugs. They also slow down the activity of telomerase, the enzyme that repairs telomeres.(2)

Most doctors wouldn’t think to blame premature as a side effect of medical drugs. They are taught that becoming older and more feeble is normal. They might even prescribe another drug to treat your new “symptoms.”

How can you protect yourself?

Here are a few of the drugs that age your body the most, and what you can do as an alternative:

1) Corticosteroids: Worse than arthritis pain. Some of my least favorite drugs are corticosteroids, like the hydrocortisone cream your doctor might prescribe. This is a family of anti-inflammatory medicines many doctors use to treat arthritis, asthma or a skin rash.

These drugs turn off your body’s natural repair and rejuvenation mechanisms, causing you to age more quickly. Fortunately, there are alternatives.

For Asthma: Try daily breathing exercises, massage therapy, and omega-3 fatty acids.

For Arthritis: Guggul and meadowsweet relieve osteoarthritis. Guggul is a Southeast Asian remedy which studies showed to be highly effective in reducing the symptoms of osteoarthritis.(3) Meadowsweet is a great example of why no matter how many times we think we’re smarter than nature, nature is better. Meadowsweet stores its active anti-inflammatories as inactive compounds. So when you ingest them, they go past your stomach intact. Then your liver safely converts them into the healing inflammation-dousing compounds that really work.

For Eczema or Skin Rash: My patients report great results with vitamin D oil while others prefer chamomile oil. Both are very effective.

2) Beta blockers: Shortcut to old age. Lopressor, Tenormin, Inderal, Corgard, or Normodyne and other beta-blockers age your heart more than almost any other drug. And in a recent study people who received beta blockers after having surgery that wasn’t even heart-related were at higher risk of dying or having a stroke.(4)

Here’s what you need instead:

CoQ10: This is my go-to supplement for my heart patients. It is the most important heart nutrient. Half of my patients have their blood pressure return to normal with CoQ10 alone. And it cures congestive heart failure.(5)

Garlic: This herb not only reduces triglycerides, which protects your heart, but it can also significantly reduce diastolic blood pressure.(6)

Hawthorn: This is the heart tonic of the ancients and it really works to relax the blood vessels.

3) Bisphosphonates: Perfect way to create old brittle bones. The bone drugs like Fosamax, Actonel and Reclast work by poisoning the cells that remove old bone. This disrupts natural bone remodeling so you get bones that are denser, but have weaker cells. If you take these drugs, your bones get more brittle and more prone to fracture, not stronger.

Before you take a bone drug, consider these natural alternatives that will harden your bones:

Natural D: The D3 form of vitamin D is the hormone that directs bone building in your body. Vitamin D also increases telomerase, the enzyme that lengthens telomeres.(7) Get 5,000 IU a day, preferably from direct sunlight.

Vitamin K2: This forgotten vitamin aids with your bones’ absorption of calcium to help make them stronger. The other benefit of vitamin K2 is that it rescues damaged mitochondria and cures mitochondrial dysfunction.(8) This helps prevent telomere shortening. You can find K2 in a variety of different foods including egg yolks, organ meat, and organic milk. I recommend 90 mcg a day if you supplement.

To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD

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Resources:
1. Neustadt J, Pieczenik SR. “Medication-induced mitochondrial damage and disease.” Mol Nutr Food Res. 2008 Jul;52(7):780-8.

2. Li P, Hou M, Lou F, Björkholm M, Xu D, “Telomere dysfunction induced by chemotherapeutic agents and radiation in normal human cells.” Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2012;44(9):1531-40.

3. Singh B. et al., The effectiveness of Commiphora mukul for the osteoarthritis of the knee: an outcomes study. Alternative Therapies 2003 May/Jun; 9(3): 74-79.

4. Devereaux PJ, Yusuf S, Yang H, Choi PT-L, Guyatt GH. “Are the recommendations to use perioperative b-blocker therapy in patients undergoing noncardiac surgery based on reliable evidence?” Canadian Medical Association Journal 2004; 171: 245–7

5. Langsjoen H., et al. Usefulness of Coenzyme Q10 in clinical cardiology: a long-term study. Mol Aspect Med 1004; 15 Suppl: s165-75

6. Andrianova I., et al. Hypotensive effect of long-acting garlic tablets allicor (a double-blind placebo-controlled trial).Ter Arkh 2002; 74(3): 76-78.

7. Zhu H, Guo D, Li K, Pedersen-White J, Stallmann-Jorgensen I, Huang Y, Parikh S, Liu K, Dong Y. “Increased telomerase activity and vitamin D supplementation …” Int J Obes. 2012;36(6):805-9.

8. Vos M, et. al. “Vitamin K2 is a mitochondrial electron carrier that rescues pink1 deficiency.” Science. 2012;336(6086):1306-10.

Do You Need a Sugar Detox? (4 Easy Ways to Tell!)

By: Kelley Herring, Healing GourmetSugar

  • Do you ever find yourself needing something sweet as a “pick me up” during the day?
  • Do you experience deep cravings for foods like chocolate or ice cream… or have trouble stopping once you start eating sweets?
  • Do you have difficulty saying “no” to dessert or candy when it’s offered at work or social gatherings?
  • If so, you’re not alone. In fact, most people find that they have a love-hate relationship with sweets. And the reason might surprise you.

Sugar: The Taste of Sweet Survival

We have a primal urge to eat sugar. In fact, humans are evolutionarily hard-wired to crave sweets.

You see, when the food supply was very unpredictable – and caloric energy was difficult to come by – calories were an evolutionary advantage. Sweetness represented energy, and energy meant survival.

Of course, in the days of our ancestors, sweet foods were uncommon, available only at certain times of the year or they took a lot of effort to obtain (picture yourself climbing a tree or cliff face to gain access to a bees nest). There was also competition for sweet foods from animals and others in your tribe.

But all of that has changed. Where sweets were once scarce and difficult to obtain, today they are cheap and ubiquitous.

While the landscape of our food supply has changed, the hard-wired survival instinct to consume sugar has not.

Sugar Addiction & Deafening Leptin's Message

The result? A vicious cycle of sugar addiction.

Some people say that eating sweets is like “opening Pandora’s box”. Once they have that brownie, cookie or any form of sweet treat – it’s difficult to stop.

But it’s not just about a lack of willpower. Your hormones are also to blame.

After eating a sugar-sweetened treat, blood sugar levels rise. The hormone insulin (often called the fat-storing hormone) is called upon to mobilize sugar from the blood. As blood sugar levels fall, signals are sent to the brain that available energy is dwindling. Hunger ensues.

And what do you reach for? That cookie… or brownie… or sweet treat – the very food that put you in the hormonal hunger cycle in the first place.

But there’s more to the equation than just blood sugar and insulin.  Eating sugar actually deafens the message sent to your brain that you’re full. And it does this by causing leptin resistance.

Leptin (also known as the satiety hormone) is an important regulator of hunger. It monitors the amount of energy we consume and provides feedback to our brain. When leptin works properly, our eating is in control. But as we become resistant its signals, this important biofeedback mechanism is compromised.

The result is not just that we become hungry again faster after eating a sweet treat – it’s also that we tend to eat more on the rebound because we’re not satisfied.

Of course, the most visible result of sugar addiction is weight gain. But a high sugar diet is also closely correlated with every chronic disease.    

Chronic Disease & A High Sugar Diet

In addition to promoting systemic inflammation and speeding up the aging process, a high sugar diet is associated with heart disease, declining brain health, cancer and more.

And while I could fill a book with the studies that establish this correlation, I’d like to share two recent ones that I think are particularly meaningful:

•    Sugar and Declining Brain Health: In a recent study published in the journal Neurology, researchers found a direct relationship between brain shrinkage and blood sugar. They also found a direct relationship between memory loss and elevated blood sugar. What’s more, it wasn’t just “diabetic” levels of blood sugar that caused these effects – even relatively moderate elevations caused harm to the brain and memory.

•    Sugar and Heart Disease: The Journal of the American Medical Association published a report this month entitled Added Sugar Intake and Cardiovascular Diseases Mortality among US Adults. Researchers evaluated how added sugars in the diet related to the risk of death from a cardiovascular event. The study showed a direct correlation between the amount of added sugar in the diet and the risk for death from a cardiovascular event. What’s more, when the researchers compared people whose added dietary sugars accounted for less than 10% of their total calories to those whose added sugar exceeded 25% of daily calories, those consuming the most added sugar had a 300% higher risk of death from a cardiovascular event!

How To Do A Sugar Detox

Detoxing from sugar and adopting a long-term, low-sugar lifestyle isn’t just important to improve body your body composition: it’s absolutely essential to prevent chronic disease.
Doing a sugar detox is especially important:

•    If you ever feel controlled by cravings for sweets and carbs – or you just can’t say no
•    If you become irritable or have mood swings based on blood sugar
•    If you feel you need sweets or carbs for a boost of energy during the day
•    If you just can’t stop once you start eating sweets

Did you answer “yes” to any of these questions? If so, your health would greatly benefit from a firm commitment to completely QUIT sugar for at least three to four weeks.

When I say sugar, of course I mean processed foods containing sugar like candy and soda. But I’m also talking about natural forms of sugar – honey and maple syrup – as well as starches that are rapidly converted into sugar.

And while many “sugar detox” programs still allow some level of carbohydrate and even fruit as part of their detox program, this strategy typically isn’t sufficient to fully elicit the important metabolic and hormonal changes that can help you break your sugar addiction including:

•    Resetting your metabolism from a “sugar burner” to a “fat burner”
•    Eliminating wild fluctuations in mood and energy levels
•    Resetting appetite and reducing leptin resistance
•    Resetting your taste buds so you no longer require sweet foods to feel satisfied

In fact, most people find they achieve the biggest benefit and quickest results by focusing their consumption solely on grass-fed meats, pastured poultry and eggs, wild fish, bone broth and stock, healthy fats (lard, tallow, grass-fed butter, duck fat, coconut oil) and non-starchy vegetables.

Here’s what your sample sugar detox daily menu might look like:

Breakfast: Pastured eggs with grass-fed butter or coconut oil, pastured pork sausage and avocado

Lunch: Atlantic mackerel or wild salmon burger or grass-fed beef burger, mixed green salad with olive oil and vinegar

Dinner: Duck breasts, leafy greens and bell peppers sautéed in duck fat with garlic

Snacks: Bone marrow, bone broth, olives, Brazil nuts

(Please Note:  My sample menu is a very low carb/potentially ketogenic menu that may not be appropriate for everyone.)

I want to hear from you! Have you done a sugar detox? If so, what were your results… what did you experience… and what foods did you enjoy during that time?

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Ed. Note: Kelley Herring is author of more than a dozen books on nutrition and natural healing. She is also the co-founder of Wellness Bakeries, which has just released their newest product - Better Bread - a 100% Paleo bread mix you can whip up in 5 minutes flat.

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REFERENCES
1.    Lucia Kerti MA, A. Veronica Witte PhD, Angela Winkler MA, Ulrike Grittner PhD, Dan Rujescu MD, Agnes Flöel MD. Higher glucose levels associated with lower memory and reduced hippocampal microstructure. Journal of Neurology. November 12, 2013
2.    Quanhe Yang, PhD; Zefeng Zhang, MD, PhD; Edward W. Gregg, PhD; W. Dana Flanders, MD, ScD; Robert Merritt, MA; Frank B. Hu, MD, PhD. Added Sugar Intake and Cardiovascular Diseases Mortality Among US Adults. JAMA Internal Medicine. February 3, 2014  
3.    Banks WA1, Coon AB, Robinson SM, e al. Triglycerides induce leptin resistance at the blood-brain barrier. Diabetes. 2004 May;53(5):1253-60.

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Super Fish

By: Dr. Al Sears, MDSalmon

I admire the strength and supernatural endurance of Pacific salmon.

Their trip to the spawning ground may cover more than 2,000 miles. They travel day and night upstream against powerful swift currents.

They even swim UP waterfalls. They have to outrun predators like seals, orca whales, bears and human fishermen.

And amazingly, during this entire journey the salmon never eat. Instead, they live off the fat stored in their bright pink muscle tissue. In fact, their pink flesh is the secret to their physical power… and the incredible health benefits you can get from salmon.

Not to mention the taste. I’m a huge fan of wild-caught salmon. I try to cook some on the grill at least once or twice a week.

Salmon get their color when they feed on marine algae. They contain a red carotenoid called astaxanthin.

It’s what provides legendary endurance to salmon. And it can boost your energy and physical performance, too.

Astaxanthin is the most powerful antioxidant in the world. It’s 6,000 times more effective than vitamin C. It’s hundreds of times stronger than CoQ10 and vitamin E.(1) Here’s why.

Other antioxidants can only handle one free radical at a time. But astaxanthin is like a super-hero. It takes on more than 19 bad guys at once. It forms an electron cloud around itself. Free radicals get absorbed into the cloud. It neutralizes multiple attackers at one time.

That’s really important for athletes or anyone who keeps physically fit. You see, exercise has a ton of health benefits. But it also creates a lot of free radicals. You can’t really avoid them.

The harder you work out, the more free radicals you produce. If you run a marathon you could generate 12 times more free radicals than when you’re resting.

Astaxanthin helps your body recover from that damage. It patrols your muscles for free radicals. Then it eliminates them. Studies show it provides excellent recovery from muscle and heart damage following exercise.(2)

And it improves endurance. In 2008 Swedish researchers studied 40 male students. Half received 4 mg of astaxanthin every day. The other half received a placebo.

They measured muscle endurance by the number of deep knee bends the men could perform before becoming exhausted. After 6 months, the placebo group could only do 20% more squats. The astaxanthin group increased their squats by 55%. They performed three times better than the placebo group.(3)

Researchers also tested it in competitive cyclists. They gave bikers either 4 mg of astaxanthin a day or placebo. In four weeks, the astaxanthin group became over 5% faster. They cut more than 2 minutes from a 20 kilometer ride. The placebo group cut a paltry 9 seconds.(4)

You don’t have to be an elite athlete to benefit from astaxanthin. It can help boost the benefits you get from doing just moderate exercise, gardening, or my P.A.C.E. program. It allows you to work longer without getting tired. Over time that can add up to better strength and stamina for everything in your life.

Natural astaxanthin is produced only by microalgae. We can get it by eating pink sea creatures that feed on the algae. These include some trout, red sea bream, crab, lobster, shrimp, and other pink seafood. But salmon – especially sockeye salmon – is by far the richest source. Just make sure it’s wild-caught.

A typical 6-ounce serving of Atlantic salmon only gives you about 1 mg of astaxanthin. The same serving of wild Pacific sockeye salmon gives you 4-5 mg. Still, you’d have to be eating wild-caught salmon every day to get enough.

Supplements are available. But avoid the cheap brands. They’re usually synthetic, which is 20 times weaker than the natural version. They won’t give you the performance benefits you expect. It’s worth paying the extra money to avoid taking a worthless petrochemical pill.

Most studies show doses of 4 to 16 mg per day are effective. I recommend taking at least 10 mg per day of a naturally derived form to support strength and endurance. You should see results in about four weeks or less.

Keep in mind that astaxanthin is fat soluble. Take it with a meal or snack containing some healthy fats like butter, coconut oil, or eggs. The fat will help your body absorb the astaxanthin.(5)

And try to take it with your krill or fish oil. It will boost your heart, brain and immune system health.

To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD

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Resources:

1. Pandey, S. et al,”Anti Aging Therapy: Various Alignments to Control Premature Aging.” International Journal of Pharma and Bio Sciences 2010;V1(2).
2. Aoi, W., Naito, et al. “Astaxanthin limits exercise-induced skeletal and cardiac muscle damage in mice.” Antioxidants and Redox Signaling, 2003;5, 139-144.
3. Curt L. Malmsten and Åke Lignell. “Dietary Supplementation with Astaxanthin-Rich Algal Meal Improves Strength Endurance. A Double Blind Placebo Controlled Study on Male Students.” Carotenoid Science, 2008;Vol.13.
4. Earnest CP, Lupo M, White KM, Church TS. “Effect of astaxanthin on cycling time trial performance.” Int J Sports Med. 2011;32(11):882-8. PMID:21984399
5. Mercke Odeberg J, Lignell A, et al. “Oral bioavailability of the antioxidant astaxanthin in humans is enhanced by incorporation of lipid based formulations.” Eur J Pharm Sci. 2003;19:299-304.

Can a Gluten-Free Diet Increase Your Risk of Arsenic Poisoning?

By: Kelley Herring, Healing GourmetRice

Although most people don’t know exactly what arsenic is or what it does inside the body… just about all of us know that it is a deadly poison. In fact, just saying the word “arsenic” can conjure up images of a skull and cross bones or a vial full of poison.

So, what in the world are high levels of this deadly poison doing in so many common foods – many of which are specifically marketed as “healthy” and some of which are made just for babies?

The truth is that it is virtually impossible to avoid arsenic entirely. Because it is a chemical element found throughout the earth’s crust, it is often present in soil and groundwater. It is not uncommon to find minute traces of arsenic in everything from leafy greens and fruit to seafood and tap water.

But certain foods are especially high in this deadly poison. And what is even more troubling is that while the Environmental Protection Agency has established safety standards for arsenic in drinking water at 10 ppb, no safety standard has been set for arsenic in food.

The result? According the independent analysis conducted by Consumer Reports, some common food products contain more than 90 times the arsenic that’s allowed in drinking water!

And the food that should cause the greatest concern is rice…

Arsenic in Rice Products Far Exceeds “Safe” Arsenic Limits

Rice plants take up silica to help them stand up in water-logged soils. But to the rice plant, arsenic “looks” very similar to silica. So any arsenic that is in the soil is easily taken up by the roots of the rice plant. In fact, rice pulls more arsenic from the soil than any other grain.

Another part of the problem is where the rice is grown. Much of the rice grown in the southeastern US is land that was once used for growing cotton. The pesticides that were previously used on cotton crops (many of which contain arsenic) persist in the soil and groundwater, thus increasing the arsenic available for uptake.

In the Consumer Reports investigation, all of the rice products tested contained some level of arsenic. Brown rice contained more arsenic than white rice. And concentrated forms of rice – like brown rice flour, brown rice syrup and certain processed foods – contained the highest levels of all.

This is of special concern for people following a gluten-free diet, because rice is often used to replace wheat. And because brown rice flour is typically the main ingredient in gluten-free baking mixes, breads, crackers, chips and pasta, just one daily serving of these foods could significantly increase the risk of arsenic poisoning.

Signs of acute arsenic toxicity include blood in the urine, severe stomach pain and convulsions as the poison damages the lungs, skin, kidneys and liver. But keep in mind that very small doses of a poison generally do not cause acute symptoms.

Instead, their toxic effects build up and accumulate over time. The symptoms chronic low-level arsenic consumption can be very mild at first, including headaches, brain fog, diarrhea, and drowsiness. Often, these symptoms are discounted as general malaise.

However, studies show that these chronic low-level exposures can lead to heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic respiratory illness, and even diabetes.

And while arsenic is dangerous for adults, it is an even greater concern for infants and children, whose brains and bodies are still developing. Arsenic exposure during these early years is associated with delayed brain development, speech and motor impairment and neuro-behavioral problems… as well as chronic diseases (including cancer and lung disease) in adulthood.

And unfortunately, rice cereal is one of the first foods consumed by many infants. Consider these numbers reported by Consumer Reports (and keep in mind that the EPA upper limit for drinking water is 10 ppb):

•    Gerber Rice Cereal - 264 ppb
•    Earth's Best Organic Whole Grain Rice Cereal - 274 ppb

And that’s not all, because many children’s snack foods – like gummy fruits, fruit leathers and other fruit snacks – are sweetened with brown rice syrup, an even more concentrated source of contaminants.

Or consider the surprisingly high levels of arsenic reported in these common gluten-free foods:

•    Arrowhead Mills Organic Sweetened Rice Flakes - 963 ppb (!!)
•    Della Basmati Brown Rice - 568 ppb
•    Arrowhead Mills Organic Brown Rice Flour - 565 ppb
•    Trader Joe's Organic Brown Rice Pasta Fusilli - 389 ppb
•    Great Value Brown Rice (Walmart) - 360 ppb
•    365 Everyday Value Long Grain Brown Rice (Whole Foods) - 282 ppb

Unfortunately, arsenic cannot be entirely avoided. But by staying away from foods that are known to have high concentrations – rice and especially products made from brown rice – you’ll do a lot to reduce your exposure.

Reducing Dietary Arsenic Naturally

If you do consume rice, opt for white Basmati rice grown in California which has been shown to have a very low level – roughly 1.6 ppb – of arsenic per serving. Also, be sure to rinse rice thoroughly before cooking and discard any water that remains after cooking.

If you are concerned about previous exposure and your body burden of arsenic, focus on boosting detoxification.

1.    Support Methylation and Sulfation Detox Pathways: Get sufficient vitamin B6, B12 and folate in your diet. These vitamins are essential to activate these two key detoxification paths. Free range chicken and turkey, grass-fed beef and bison, and wild seafood provide ample amounts of vitamins B6 and B12 while leafy greens, asparagus, avocado and broccoli are excellent sources of folate.

2.    Boost Glutathione: Boost your body’s “master antioxidant and detoxifier” with high quality protein. Good choices include grass-fed whey protein (non-denatured like Vital Whey), grass-fed beef, bison, free range poultry, eggs and wild seafood.

3.    Optimize Selenium and Iodine: Deficiencies in these two minerals has been found to increase the uptake and storage of arsenic in the body. Eat raw Brazil nuts for a superior source of selenium and boost iodine levels with wild shrimp and lobster.

Unfortunately, no food is entirely without risk. Arming yourself with information and adhering to the native grain-free diet of our ancestors is the best way to protect against the contaminants found in the modern day food supply.
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ED NOTE: Kelley Herring is author of more than a dozen books on nutrition and natural healing. She is also the co-founder of Wellness Bakeries, which has just released their newest product - Better Bread - a 100% Paleo bread mix you can whip up in 5 minutes flat.
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Resources:

1.    Consumer Reports Magazine, November 2012. Arsenic in Your Food  - Our Findings Show a Real Need for Federal Standards for This Toxin. PDF
2.    Tseng CH, Chong CK, Tseng CP, et al. (January 2003). "Long-term arsenic exposure and ischemic heart disease in arseniasis-hyperendemic villages in Taiwan". Toxicol. Lett. 137 (1–2): 15–21.
3.    Smith AH, Hopenhayn-Rich C, Bates MN, et al. (July 1992). "Cancer risks from arsenic in drinking water". Environ. Health Perspect. 97: 259–67.
4.    Chiou HY, Huang WI, Su CL, Chang SF, Hsu YH, Chen CJ (September 1997). "Dose-esponse relationship between prevalence of cerebrovascular disease and ingested inorganic arsenic". Stroke 28 (9): 1717–23.
5.    Hendryx M (January 2009). "Mortality from heart, respiratory, and kidney disease in coal mining areas of Appalachia". Int Arch Occup Environ Health 82 (2): 243–9.
6.    Navas-Acien A, Silbergeld EK, Pastor-Barriuso R, Guallar E (August 2008). "Arsenic exposure and prevalence of type 2 diabetes in US adults". JAMA 300 (7): 814–22.
7.    Kile ML, Christiani DC (August 2008). "Environmental arsenic exposure and diabetes". JAMA 300 (7): 845–6.
8.    Andrea Raab, Christina Baskaran,  Joerg Feldmannb, Andrew A. Meharg. Cooking rice in a high water to rice ratio reduces inorganic arsenic content. J. Environ. Monit., 2009,11, 41-44

Nothing a Good Dose of Vitamin-C Can’t Cure

By: Dr. Al Sears, MDOranges

We have plenty of scientific evidence that proves the value of nutrients and supplements … but look at what happens when you take that evidence to a standard doctor.

A patient of mine didn’t want to make a long drive to my office for a little cold. So he went to see his primary care doctor. When he got to the physician’s office, his doctor was hassling him. “You haven’t been here for a visit in over two years.”

“But I never get sick,” he said. “I take Dr. Sears’ supplements and they work. I’ve shown you the research…”

“Look,” his doctor said to him, “I will give you any drug you want, but I don’t care about these natural supplements. And all those research articles that you’re bringing to me? They mean nothing to me.”

How can you tell a patient scientific research means nothing to you? It’s as if he thought the subject matter was not his concern. It’s as if he were saying, “This means nothing because it’s about supplements and that’s something I don’t and shouldn’t care about.” So he left and came to see me.

He had an acute viral syndrome or possibly even flu. He got the symptoms midway through a cruise, and it had been hanging around for 2 weeks. It’s nothing a good dose of vitamin C and eucalyptus can’t cure. And that’s the very least of what supplements can do for us.

The evidence that supplements are not only effective, but necessary to combat deficiencies caused by our unnatural environment are so plentiful they fill entire medical journals. Look at meta-analyses of saw palmetto. You can clearly prove, better than any drug that’s ever been sold, that saw palmetto is an effective treatment for prostate enlargement (BPH – benign prostatic hyperplasia). And the evidence comes from a lot of varied sources that don’t have a commercial interest.

So instead of a drug company doing one study, we’ve got over 60 studies from around the world on saw palmetto’s effectiveness. Vitamin C been marginalized as unnecessary and ineffective. But it has over eighteen thousand studies showing its benefits just in the PubMed database alone. Studies also find a link between low levels of vitamin C and risk of stroke.

Men with the lowest vitamin C in their bodies have a 240% greater chance of stroke than men with higher vitamin C levels.(1) Researchers at the University of California analyzed the vitamin C intakes and death rates of more than 11,000 men and women.(2) The study showed a dramatic decline in death from heart disease among the men with the highest vitamin C intake, especially among those who took a vitamin C supplement. And vitamin C, like vitamin E, has another benefit that we’ve only discovered recently, but which could be one of the reasons these antioxidants help you live better for longer.

Raising the level of vitamin C in the cells could slow down the shortening of telomeres up to 62%.(3) A landmark study from a university in Nebraska found that vitamin D has the potential to lower the risk of all cancers in women by 77 percent.(4) One study gave over 1,000 people either vitamin B3 (niacin) or a placebo and followed them for 15 years. 10 years after the end of the trial, doctors followed up and found that niacin had reduced the people’s chance of dying from any cause by 11%.(5)

In a study on the mineral selenium done at Harvard, the men who had the most selenium saw their prostate cancer risk dropped by 50%.(6) Recent research shows that people who get the least amount of magnesium have a 50% higher risk for heart problems.(7) These are some of the vitamins and nutrients that have the most evidence behind them, and you can find them all in a good multivitamin. I take one every day, and the one I have the most confidence in is Daily Power. I formulated it to provide the critical nutrients and co-factors that work together with the vitamins for your body to properly absorb them.

I encourage you to try Daily Power. But whichever multi-nutrient you choose, avoid the big box store and grocery chain brands. Not that I have anything against these stores, but when I checked into their formulas I found they use the cheapest, synthetic ingredients. And when it comes to your optimal health, this is one place where I don’t recommend cutting corners.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

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Resources:

1.Kurl S, Tuomainen TP, Laukkanen JA, et al. “Plasma Vitamin C modifies the association between hypertension and risk of stroke.” Stroke. 2002; 33(6):1568-1573. 2.Enstrom JE, Kanim LE and Kleim MA. “Vitamin C intake and mortality among a sample of the United States population.” Epidemiology. 1992; 3(3):194-202. 3.Furumoto K. et al. “Age-dependent telomere shortening is slowed down by enrichment of intracellular vitamin C via suppression of oxidative stress.” Life Science 1998, vol. 63, no. 11 pp. 935-48. 4. Lappe et al. “Vitamin D Status in a Rural Postmenopausal Female Population.”Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 2006; 25(5):395-402. 5.Canner P, Berge K, Wenger N, Stamler J, Friedman L, Prineas R, Friedewald W. “Fifteen year mortality in Coronary Drug Project patients: long-term benefit with niacin.” J Am Coll Cardiol. 1986;8(6):1245-55. 6.Li H, Stampfer M, Giovannucci E, Morris J, Willett W, Gaziano J, Ma J. “A prospective study of plasma selenium levels and prostate cancer risk.” J Natl Cancer Inst. 2004;96(9):696-703. 7.Reffelmann T, Ittermann T, Dörr M, et. al. “Low serum magnesium concentrations predict cardiovascular and all-cause …” Atherosclerosis 2011.

The Fatty Fruit You Need to Get Lean (and Stay Young!)

By: Kelley Herring, Healing GourmetAvocado

Did you know that there is a delicious fruit that can help you lose weight, reduce inflammation, fight cancer, protect against heart disease, slow aging and even absorb more nutrients from your food?

It might sound like I’m describing a newly discovered rare superfruit from the jungle – the kind you see in over-the-top ads for nutritional supplements. It turns out this food is actually quite common. In fact, you’ve probably eaten it recently.

And that’s a good thing… because the health benefits of this common fruit are remarkably uncommon!

If you haven’t already guessed, I’m talking about the avocado!

Want to Shed Fat? Add Avocado to Your Lunch

Unfortunately avocados got caught up in the low-fat craze of the 70’s & 80’s. Many Americans shunned it due to its reputation for being laden with fat and calories. But we know that’s a good thing, because avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats – one of the healthiest fats of all.

In fact, research is proving that these certified superfruits can be a dieter’s best friend!

A recent study, published in the Nutrition Journal, showed that eating just half an avocado at lunchtime stabilized blood sugar boosted satiety by 40% three hours after the meal.(1)  These are two key factors for losing weight.

But the benefits avocado eaters enjoy don’t end there…

Boost Nutrient Absorption… with Avocados

Adding avocado to your meals can also help boost your body’s absorption of powerful anti-aging, disease-fighting compounds called carotenoids.

Researchers at Ohio State University conducted studies to determine how eating 150 grams (or roughly 5 Tbsp.) of avocado affected the nutrient absorption of tomato salsa and salad (including spinach, lettuce and carrots).

Blood was drawn from the participants and nutrient levels were monitored for roughly 10 hours after the meal. Here’s what the researchers found:(2)

•    Participants who ate avocado with salsa absorbed nearly 4.5 times more lycopene than those who abstained from avocado.

•    Participants who ate avocado with salad absorbed 8.3 times more alpha-carotene and 13.6 times more beta-carotene than those who didn't eat avocado.

•    Participants who ate avocado with salad absorbed more than four times as much lutein compared to those who ate only salad.

Avocado doesn’t just help your body to maximize the nutrients you get from your food. It also helps to convert the beta-carotene found in plant foods into the biologically active form – vitamin A.

According to research published in the August 2014 volume of the Nutrition Journal, eating avocado was found to boost the conversion of beta-carotene to vitamin A by almost 500%!(3)   

This is really important because roughly 54% of American women and men do not get enough vitamin A from their diets, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)(4).

Getting more antioxidants in your diet – from absorption and more efficient conversion – translates to greater free radical protection. But avocados even go a step further...

Protect Your Cellular Powerhouses with the Alligator Pear

Research also shows that compounds in avocado oil have the ability to go deep into the mitochondria of the cell to halt oxidative damage.  The mitochondria is the powerhouse and very life force of your cells.

When our mitochondria become damaged, so does our ability to produce ATP, the body’s “energy currency”.  The result is fatigue, accelerated aging and an increased risk of chronic diseases, including cancer.(7,8)

Christopher Cortes-Rojo led the recent research into the ability of avocado oil to penetrate the mitochondria and to heal oxidative damage there. He says that many of the antioxidants in other fruits and vegetables are unable to enter the mitochondria, therefore:

"The free radicals go on damaging mitochondria. This causes energy production to stop and the cell to collapse and die. An analogy would be that, during an oil spill, if we cleaned only the spilled oil instead of fixing the perforation where oil is escaping. Then the oil would go on spilling, and fish would die anyway."

By guarding against free radical damage inside the mitochondria, you eliminate a key source of oxidation while simultaneously protecting these vital energy-producing structures.

Getting More Anti-Aging Avocado in Your Diet

If you’re not already enjoying avocados as a staple in your diet, now is the time to start. They’re an incredibly versatile food that can compliment almost any kind of cuisine. They can be enjoyed at any meal. And they are easy to “sneak” into foods for the avocado averse.

And because avocados are protected by a thick, inedible peel, it’s not critical that you purchase organic. Conventionally grown avocados are on the “Clean 15” with no concern for pesticide residues.

Here are some simple ways to add more avocados to your diet:

•    Whirl half an avocado into a smoothie made with VitalWhey and organic berries for a satiating protein and fat-rich breakfast on-the-go
•    Enjoy with pastured eggs and sugar-free bacon or pork breakfast sausage for a breakfast that will power you all morning long
•    Use as a healthy fat source in grain-free baked goods like brownies and cakes or puree with organic dark cocoa and a little stevia for a creamy and delicious, nutrient-rich pudding (great for picky kids!)
•    Make guacamole – the best-known avocado recipe – and serve with grilled grass-fed flank steak and organic salsa for a satisfying Mexican meal
•    Cube and toss with organic cherry tomatoes, artichoke hearts and olives, drizzled with high quality olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt for a delicious Paleo antipasto

Including avocados in your repertoire won’t just keep you feeling full longer and stave off the cravings that can lead to weight gain over time. They’ll provide deep cellular nutrition and antioxidant protection that will help you defy aging and thwart chronic disease.  

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ED NOTE: Kelley Herring is author of more than a dozen books on nutrition and natural healing. She is also the co-founder of Wellness Bakeries, which has just released their newest product - Better Bread - a 100% Paleo bread mix you can whip up in 5 minutes flat.

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Resources:

  1. Michelle Wien, Ella Haddad, Keiji Oda and Joan Sabaté12.A randomized 3x3 crossover study to evaluate the effect of Hass avocado intake on post-ingestive satiety, glucose and insulin levels, and subsequent energy intake in overweight adults. Nutrition Journal 2013, 12:155  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-12-155. Published: 27 November 2013
  2. Nuray Z. Unlu, Torsten Bohn,Steven K. Clinton, and Steven J. Schwartz. Carotenoid Absorption from Salad and Salsa by Humans Is Enhanced by the Addition of Avocado or Avocado Oil. J. Nutr. March 1, 2005 vol. 135 no. 3 431-436
  3. Rachel E. Kopec, Jessica L. Cooperstone, Ralf M. Schweiggert, Gregory S. Young, Earl H. Harrison, David M. Francis, Steven K. Clinton, Steven J. Schwartz. Avocado Consumption Enhances Human Postprandial Provitamin A Absorption and Conversion from a Novel High–β-Carotene Tomato Sauce and from Carrots. First published June 4, 2014, doi: 10.3945/jn.113.187674 J. Nutr. August 1, 2014 vol. 144 no. 8 1158-1166
  4. Community Nutrition Mapping Project, 2009, CNMap, Version 2. United States Department of Agriculture.http://ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm?docid=15656
  5. Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB). (2012, April 22). Avocado oil: The ‘olive oil of the Americas’?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120422162217.htm
  6. Mandavilli BS, Santos JH, Van Houten B. Mitochondrial DNA repair and aging. Mutat Res. 2002 Nov 30;509(1-2):127-51.
  7. Cadenas E, Davies KJ. Mitochondrial free radical generation, oxidative stress, and aging. Free Radic Biol Med. 2000 Aug;29(3-4):222-30.
  8. Singh KK. Mitochondrial dysfunction is a common phenotype in aging and cancer. Ann NY Acad Sci. 2004 Jun;1019:260-4.

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5 Ways to Reverse Autoimmunity That Have Nothing To Do With Food

By: Eileen Laird
Broth
When we follow the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol, food is foremost in our mind. We avoid the foods that exacerbate autoimmune disease. We look forward to the day when we can eat them again. And we go out of our way to eat healing foods, like bone broth and organ meats. The right food is essential, but healing is about more than just food. Lifestyle affects autoimmunity just as strongly. Healthy choices turn off inflammatory genes, while a stressed-out lifestyle turns them on. Here are five things you can do to help your body heal:

1.    Sleep: If you’re like most of us in the United States, you prioritize everything above sleep. You stay up late to “get important stuff done.” You rise early to squeeze more time into your day. Some people even pull all-nighters to meet a deadline. Here’s the thing: there is nothing more important than your sleep. That is when your body heals itself. The less you sleep, the less you will heal; this is a biological fact you cannot override. You also can’t “catch up” on sleep. Although you may feel less tired after 1 or 2 good night’s sleep, the inflammation you have ramped up in your body takes much longer to tone down. You need a minimum of 8 hours every night, and 10 is even better.

2.    Get Outside: In modern life, it’s easy to forget that human beings evolved to live outdoors. We are designed to make vitamin D from sunlight, and its deficiency is associated with many diseases, including autoimmunity. Our circadian rhythms are set by the natural cycle of day and night and affect our body on a genetic and cellular level. We are meant to move our bodies outside during the day, and sleep deeply in the dark of night. Modern life often has us doing the opposite, sitting inside all day and then finding it impossible to sleep at night. Our health suffers as a result. Do your best to get outside every day, even if just for a short while. Take a walk, lie in the sun, read in the shade, breathe in the fresh air, you can even work outside by answering phone calls and encouraging “walking meetings”. Remember there’s a world outside these walls.

3.    Learn to Say No: Let’s face it: healing takes time. Not just in terms of patience and reversing our symptoms over the long-term. It also takes an incredible amount of time every day: cooking our food, prioritizing sleep, and making time for other healthy activities like relaxation, exercise, detox baths, etc. It requires putting yourself first, which can feel very unnatural, especially if you have a family and you’re used to putting yourself last. It’s necessary, though. When you’re sick, your whole family suffers alongside you. Prioritizing your health helps everyone. So, where are you going to find the time? Answer: you need to say no to something else – several somethings, actually. Take a good look at your life and see what responsibilities you can let go and transfer to someone else. If you don’t think you can let anything go, consult an objective friend to help you prioritize.

4.    Learn to Love Your Body: With autoimmune disease, we’ve been told our bodies have betrayed us, are attacking us, and have become our enemies rather than friends. This simply isn’t true. The body’s whole purpose is to keep us healthy and alive, and they’ve done everything in their power to do so, until they could do no more. Symptoms are their way of telling us something is wrong, and autoimmunity is a miscommunication within the body, not an intentional war within. If we want to heal, it’s much more effective to realize that we are one with our bodies. We can’t live without them. When we get angry, blame and hate our bodies, we’re actually hating ourselves. That’s not a healing stance and often leads to bad choices. Practice loving your body (and yourself) instead. If your child is sick, do you get mad at them, or do you nurture them, and do everything in your power to help them be well? Don’t our bodies deserve that same unconditional love? Don’t we?
 
5.    Take a Computer-Free Day: I saved this one for last, because it gives you the chance to turn off your computer as soon as you finish this article. Have you noticed that your attention span is really short lately? That you can’t sit still, you lack focus, you bore easily, you feel anxious all the time, and are easily irritated? These are all direct effects of constant intermittent use of the computer throughout the day and night. This includes smartphones, tablets and desktops. Partly it’s how we use them – in small time fragments every few minutes throughout the day. Partly it’s the blue light they emit at night that’s over-stimulating to our brains and bodies. See if you can go 24 hours with no computer use whatsoever. It that feels overwhelming, start with 8. Here’s a tip: keep a notebook nearby and when you feel a compulsion to send an email, post to social media, or research something on the internet, write it down. You can do it tomorrow. As the hours pass, those compulsions pass too, and a deep relaxation sets in that you likely haven’t felt in a very long time. That deep sense of peace is incredibly healing, and it’s amazing to realize that just a few decades ago in our computer-free past, we felt that way most of the time.
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Eileen Laird

Eileen Laird is reversing rheumatoid arthritis with the paleo lifestyle and can be found on her blog Phoenix Helix: www.phoenixhelix.com.

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