Are You Eating Gluten-free Bread?

With all the concerns about wheat these days, many people are turning to gluten-free bread. Gluten is one of the proteins in wheat. It helps make bread dough elastic, and gives bread a light soft texture, instead of the heavy, chewier texture of whole grain breads.

What is it about bread that is so hard to give up? Toasted, snuggling up to sandwich ingredients, or slathered with butter, bread is a comfort food for many of us.

Modern commercial wheat has been genetically modified, laced with pesticides and stripped of nutrients. Even people who are not allergic to gluten, or to wheat, are turning to other flour choices for bread and crackers.

It is also possible to have sensitivity to other grains, or to grains in general. If eating grains in the form of bread, pasta, or crackers causes bloating, gas, constipation, indigestion, or changes in your stool, consider that your body may not do well on grains. Buckwheat, wild rice, and quinoa are not grains, and are good substitutes. One cup of quinoa contains 222 calories, 39 grams carb, 8 grams protein and 3 grams fat. It also has some vitamins and minerals, making it a healthy food. But the carb content means you should limit serving size. It is a better choice than rice for carbs and protein.

In order to mimic the light soft texture of standard American bread, manufacturers have turned to ingredients like tapioca starch and potato starch. Tapioca is a root and was often used to make a pudding in the past. It is the high starch content of gluten-free breads which can sabotage blood sugar and cause weight gain. Starch is metabolized like sugar, so can spike and drop blood sugar just like cake. Udi’s Gluten-free Bread has tapioca and potato starch as the first ingredients. For 140 calories (2 slices) you get 22 grams of carbohydrate. My personal favorite is Food for Life Gluten-free Bread. The first ingredient is rice flour, and it has safflower oil instead of canola oil. Two slices are 110 calories.

There are other healthy choices, especially if you bake at home. Gluten-free flours from Bob’s Red Mill or Pamela’s, coconut flour and nut flours have less starch and higher protein generally. They will not mimic soft white bread, but they can be used for cookies, baked goods and crackers. Here is an easy recipe to try.

If you are trying to lose weight, the best thing is to break the bread habit completely, and that can take some time. It really calls for some creative solutions to drop out the sandwich and toast habit. Bread and flour products are very filling, so your body may try to tell you that you are hungry, even if you have had plenty of calories. Add some more healthy fat to your diet, and that will help satisfy your appetite. You can also eat veggies in bulk, maybe with some healthy dip, like guacamole or hummus. Sliced jicama, celery, and cucumber can be used as dippers or carriers for things normally eaten with bread, such as tuna salad or nut butters.

How to know how much bread, pasta and starchy carbs you can eat? If you can eat starches without gaining inches or weight, your activity level and metabolism can handle the starch. If you are at all over-weight, you are eating beyond your body’s metabolic needs. Even if you are eating “whole grain” wheat and bread, you may be getting too much starch that turns to sugar. Ezekiel bread is still too high in carb content for many, if not most. Our activity levels just do not support high grain diets these days. The nutrition benefits are not balanced by any weight-gain that signifies a sugar metabolism problem.

If you are concerned about your gluten tolerance, come in for a blood spot test that will identify your true food sensitivities. You may be surprised by the foods that your body can’t tolerate that you may not have suspected.

For a detox or blood sugar program that helps break the bread/starch habit, come see us or call the office. 818-562-1400.

It has been said that man does not live by bread alone, and you can prove it to yourself by breaking the bread habit.






Brain Trust

You probably don’t play football, but this blog has something to do with all of us. I am in Chicago, where the NFL Draft is taking place as I write this. On the airplane flying here, I saw the film “Concussion” starring Will Smith as the medical coroner and researcher who first identified head trauma as an identifiable condition for athletes. The New York Times just published an article by Scott Martelle, citing a study released by the American Academy of Neurology, which found that 40% of retired pro football players suffer from some degree of brain injury.

If you saw “Concussion” you know that the explanation is that the human skull was never designed to withstand repeated blows. Some mammals that boast horns and antlers also have shock absorbers built in so that head butting does not cause brain injury. Apparently humans were not designed with this same protection, so multiple small bleeds can occur, and certain proteins get released. In a webinar on the subject I learned that these proteins might turn on an inflammatory response in the immune system.

Over time, this produces a type of dementia because the neurological connections in the brain are interrupted. Think of it like pouring coffee on your keyboard. The software is not damaged, but the connections are interrupted.

Caught early enough, and treated with the correct natural medicine, the damage could be minimized, according to the webinar. But so often the damage is extensive before symptoms appear.

This is perhaps even more dangerous for younger players, whose developing brains may put them more at risk. Chiropractors have warned against kids playing football for years, because of the intense strain on tendons, muscles and bones, which could introduce a young boy to a lifetime of difficulties. And now there is even more reason to re-think football for young players.

Even if you are not a parent, or a player, there is something to consider about these new findings. If you have never seen anyone with Alzheimer’s or dementia, you may not realize the devastation wreaked by these brain disorders. Not only does the person affected have a declining quality of life, they may become violent and difficult to handle. Instead of being loving parents and grandparents, enjoying their elder years, they can become almost unrecognizable in temperament and personality.

Alzheimer’s made the news recently when Will Farrell pulled out of a comedy film based on President Ronald Reagan’s struggle with the disorder. Here is what Reagan’s daughter, Patty Davis, wrote to Will Farrell, “Alzheimer’s is the ultimate pirate, pillaging a person’s life and leaving an empty landscape behind,” Ms. Davis, 63, wrote in her blog Thursday. “It sweeps up entire families, forcing everyone to claw their way through overwhelming grief, confusion, helplessness, and anger. Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have — I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.”

So, we all need to protect the health of our brains, and it is not too late to start. are a few basics you can apply now.

1) First, stop using any personal products or cooking utensils that contain aluminum. When I researched the effects of aluminum on WebMD, there were dozens of studies documenting the horrific effects of this toxic metal on nerve and brain healthy. Choose porcelain, stainless steel, glass or iron pots and pans. For non-aluminum deodorants, shop at Health food stores or see a list here.

2) Eat organic and unprocessed foods to avoid toxic chemicals and pesticides, which are neurotoxins. The only way to escape from a sea of neurotoxins in our food supply is to get smart about the foods you choose. Neurotoxins disrupt or destroy the capacity of our nervous systems to pass information along nerve and brain pathways. That is the wiring for how our bodies are run. If someone cuts that wires from the electrical control panel in your house, there is no surprise that the lights won’t come on. Eating foods containing neurotoxins is like letting someone erode away at your internal wiring. The lights don’t just go out at death. They can become dimmer and dimmer. And toxins can also affect mood and attitude towards life, so if you are suffering, you may need a detoxification program.

3) Eat plenty of healthy fats. The brain contains a lot of fat and the nerve cells are protected by an envelope composed of fats. So, one theory about the current epidemic of brain disorders is that we have not been eating enough of the right kinds of fats for the past 60 years since the non-fat craze started. Corn oil is pro-inflammatory and Fish Oil is anti-inflammatory. Eliminate corn and canola oil and include coconut, olive and fish oil in your cooking. Be sure to eat fats raw and uncooked as well, such as organic butter and raw nuts. Frankincense Essential Oil may provide some health benefits for the brain.

4) Watch alcohol, drug and medication use. Not only do drugs and alcohol affect the brain, but they strain the detoxification pathways in the liver and kidneys, causing the whole body to be more toxic as a whole.

5) Maintain a healthy weight and balanced blood sugar levels. An overweight or obese body is usually a body with inflammation and insulin resistance. The earlier this is handled, the better. Inflammation means that the immune system is constantly “on” and does not get a chance to calm and switch off. This is a perfect recipe for burnout, and we all need all the help we can get from our immune systems.

Healthy brains begin in the womb. For all of us, taking care of the brain has become a priority, given the rising epidemic of brain disorders. To keep your wits about you, be smart and do a detoxification program and follow the tips above. By the time symptoms hit you, it may be too late to reverse the damage. We have plenty of grey matter, and brains should easily last a lifetime. To stay connected to your loved ones, you have to keep your own wiring in working order. We can help. Call us. 818-562-1400.



Stop a Runny Nose!


It is not just colds and flu that can make a nose run. Cold weather, sugary/fatty foods, congested liver/gall bladders, or allergies can also cause you to reach for a tissue. Just when you want to look your best for the Holidays, and not compete for the Rudolph contest, a runny nose can spoil your fun. Fight back with these healthy strategies.

Here are some tips to dry up quickly.

1)   Massage the points on the sides of your nose where the curve of your nostrils meets your cheek. Tap under your eyes, in the hollow, and down towards your cheeks and sides of the nose. Alternate these points, massage and then tapping.

2)   Find the point halfway between the bottom of your ribs on the right side, and your belly button. Massage the area firmly to release the gall bladder.

3)   Take “Cold Calm” from Boiron Homeopathics. This safe, natural medicine can stop a runny nose for a few hours, and can be used for children.

4)   Take Zypan and Multizyme for digestive aids. Sip some apple cider vinegardiluted in water. Sufficient stomach acid helps the liver/gall bladder work better. And extra digestive help may help you to sleep after feasting.

5)   Get plenty of sleep. If you feel stressed, or traveling, take extra adrenal support. Fatigued adrenal glands can produce symptoms that mimic a cold or allergy. If you suffer from any type of allergies, your adrenal glands are weak and need support!

6)   Lay off sugar. Sugar stresses the body in every way, from depleting minerals to lowering stomach acid, to weakening the immune system. Use Stevia and Xylitol for sweet treats that don’t compromise your health.

7)   Don’t overdo coffee, which also stresses your adrenals and dehydrates your body. Try Teecino herbal coffee, sip herbal tea, and drink extra water. Not a water fan? Try a naturally sparkling water like Pellegrino and flavor it with cucumber or fruit slices or flavored liquid Stevia.

8)   Come in for some soft tissue work on your liver. The sinuses are very affected by the ability of the liver and kidneys to detoxify. There are acupuncture reflexes and acupressure points that can offer relief, and even help a real cold or flu to move through quickly.

9)   Consider food intolerance testing if the runny nose is chronic. Keep a food journal, but know that it may take 48 hours before a food issue shows up in your nose.

10)   Avoid toxic people. Today someone asked me if I thought her body was allergic to the guy she is seeing. When she described his behavior to me I told her that it is probably not her body that is allergic, but SHE may be allergic to how he treats her!

Once you find out how well natural medicine can work for you, a runny nose won’t slow you down. It is just a symptom of a need to move something through your body more quickly.

May all the running in your life involve kids, dogs, and running around with people you love, and not your nose. And keep in mind that these tips work on people of all ages.



What's In a Flu Shot?

Nobody wants the flu. But getting a flu shot is like eating last year’s Christmas dinner for this year’s Thanksgiving. The current flu vaccine was made months ago, long before anyone knows what kinds of flu viruses will hit this year. The vaccine manufacturers try to guess what kinds of flu we will have. Based on what? Crystal ball gazing? There is absolutely no scientific way to guess what flu virus will make the rounds. So, you are exposing yourself to a new set of flu viruses that you might never have been exposed to.

Then there are vaccine additives that are highly toxic to human bodies. Ethylene glycol (also known as anti-freeze), Formaldehyde (used on dead bodies as a preservative and a known carcinogen), Aluminum (documented to cause neurological disorders), Mercury (one of the most toxic substances for humans in minute amounts), just to name a few.

Many flu vaccines are grown on eggs, so watch out if you have an egg allergy. I just found out that I have an allergy to egg yolk, which was a big surprise. Ask me about our new food allergy testing.

For more on the documented side-effects of flu vaccine see here.

In fact, the flu vaccine is only considered to be 56% effective across all groups and only 9% effective in seniors over 65. That may explain why you hear such varying reports from people, with some saying that the vaccine works and others complaining they had the worst flu ever after the vaccine. And don’t forget that the most common side-effect is flu-like symptoms. Isn’t that just like getting the flu?

If you choose to skip the vaccine, boost your immune system naturally. Most of my patients tell me that their immune system is much stronger on their supplement program and they can escape the flu even when everyone around them is sick.  A personalized program is best.

Here are some general tips:

Vitamin D is part of a good defense. Take a high quality fish oil supplement. Make sure it contains Vitamins D and A, which is how Nature always packages Vitamin D. Remember that it is not the dose that counts with vitamins, but how much your body can assimilate.

One of the strongest defenses against flu virus is to get enough sleep and eat a healthy diet. Many offices have candy and pastries shared daily, and sugar will lower your immune system for hours after consumption. The white blood cells that patrol for pathogens become lethargic after sugar consumption. Excess coffee and alcohol will also dehydrate you and lower your immune system.

Poor digestion will make you more susceptible to flu or any disease. The stomach acid needs to be strong in order to help you absorb minerals. Minerals help to keep cells walls strong. Viruses are not alive. They need to invade through cell walls and use the cell’s own mechanism to create more viruses. Digestive enzymes that contain Betaine HCL improve stomach acid. Apple Cider Vinegar is an old remedy for increasing stomach acid, as well.

The intestine is where the immune system resides mainly, so Probiotics may help to keep your gut flora stronger. Eating processed foods like white flour and junk foods gunks up the system and creates an environment for candida and other unhelpful organisms to grow out of control and take over. This is like having your garden over-run with weeds. Doing a gut detox before colder weather sets in would be a perfect way to prepare yourself for a healthier winter.

Adrenals are key for the immune system. Those little glands over the kidneys are involved in your stress response, whether stress is physical or emotional. If you have any allergies or asthma, your adrenals need support.

There are several supplements you can take to keep yourself stronger. Immuplex can be taken like a multi-vitamin. Herbal supplements like Echinacea Premium and Astragalus have immune support and anti-aging properties, as well.

We are here to help you stay well, not just in the winter, but all year.  This is a perfect time to do a Detox program, so get 10% off Detox supplements before November 5. That will give you enough time for a Detox by Thanksgiving. Or do a 10 Day Blood Sugar Balance program to get a grip on sugar cravings. You will sleep better and have more energy.

Be well!