Surprisingly Simple Ways to Detoxify

In this day and age, we are well aware there are toxins we are exposed to in our food, water, and air. We need ways to detoxify the body and here are a few easy things you can do.

  • Take A Probiotic

A high quality daily probiotic supplement is a great way to get a huge number of the essential good bacteria we need to keep our gut healthy and happy. But, you don’t need to take a pill to do that. There are many cultured foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, yoghurt, and kombucha that you can include in your diet to promote a healthy microbiome. Probiotics actually help us break down food such as gluten (in wheat) and casein (in dairy), and chemicals such as pesticides.

  • Breaking A Sweat

Exercise is essential to release uplifting and regenerative hormonal and neurochemical secretions, as well as activating the lymphatic system. Although you don’t need to actually sweat to have a benefit, sweating does have a great benefit by eliminating various heavy metals and chemicals to help detoxify the body. Antiperspirants and deodorants block that channel of detoxification, so when you can, do a workout without using them so your body can sweat the toxins out!

  • Fasting

This one seems intimidating, but in reality a fast can be as simple as not eating after sundown and skipping breakfast. A period of 10 to 12 hours overnight is a good way to rest the digestive system and help boost your metabolism. Some people do it daily, others once a week or for a determined period of time, depending on your goals and overall health. Fasting has been around for thousands of years, but it seems to be gaining popularity more recently as we are learning ways to use ketones as the body’s fuel source instead of glucose (the keto diet, as an example). I’ll write more about that in an upcoming blog post.

  • Spice Up Your Life!

There are spices you probably have in your cupboard or ingredients commonly found in your kitchen that can be added to many dishes to stimulate bodily detoxification. Things like garlic, turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon and ginger, among many others, are amazing at naturally detoxifying the body and adding beautiful flavour to meals.

  • Avoid Chemicals

This seems obvious, but often we do things that directly put harmful chemicals in our body without even knowing it! Anything you put on your skin like lotions, sunscreens, and cosmetics are full of toxins that are absorbed directly into your bloodstream through your largest organ…the skin. I use coconut oil as a moisturizer, avoid sunscreen unless I absolutely have to, and buy organic products without parabens, chemicals, mineral oils, etc. to put on my face.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but I wanted to bring some awareness of some of the little things we do that we can do better. Health comes in many facets, so keep it simple and change the easy things you can first and the rest will follow.

Some of this information is taken from an article “8 Surprisingly Simple Ways to Detoxify” written by Sayer Ji of Green Med Info.

Seven Tips to Boost Your Child's Attention Naturally!

With back-to-school time fast approaching, kids will be transitioning from the freedom of the outdoors to the confinement of a classroom. This would be a hard transition for anyone, so here are a few tips taken from Dr. Elisa Song, MD to help your kids with their concentration this September.

#1: Take Out the Wrong Foods

Avoid artificial dyes, flavours, and preservatives in processed foods. This will require you to read labels. If you can't pronounce it, don't buy it! And if it says "natural flavours", put it back on the shelf since this can be a code word for monosodium glutamate or MSG. Aim for whole, unprocessed foods as much as possible. 

#2: Keep That Blood Sugar Balanced

Think proteins, healthy fats, complex carbs. Start kids off right with a healthy breakfast to avoid blood sugar spikes like seen with simple carbs and sugar (pancakes and maple syrup, cereal, etc.). Try eggs, or pancakes made with a scoop of protein powder and topped with nut butters instead of syrups, greek yoghurt with fruit, or smoothies/protein shakes. Proteins and fats slow down how sugar is absorbed in the body and will even out those sugar/insulin spikes. Healthy whole food snacks like fruit/veg and nuts will fuel the body between meals as needed.

#3: Load Up on Good Fats

Fat is good for the brain! Great sources in our diet can be salmon, eggs, coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds. Consider supplementing your child's diet with an omega 3 essential fatty acid (fish oil). Studies show this can decrease ADHD by as much as 50%! 

#4: Boost Dopamine

Children with attention deficit issues have lower levels of dopamine (neurotransmitter or brain chemical that helps us focus, feel motivated, and find pleasure in activities). ADHD meds target dopamine, and behaviours like "thrill-seeking" or addictions to things like video games stimulate dopamine. The amino acid Tyrosine boosts dopamine levels naturally, so include foods like egg whites, meats, cheeses, nuts, seeds, beans, avocados, spinach, bananas, leafy green vegetables, and colourful fruits in your child's diet. Remember to eat the rainbow!

#5: Get Some Sunshine!

Kids with attention deficit are most often deficient in Vitamin D. Vitamin D affects the brain, immune system, mood, and hormones, so get in the sun when you can without sun screen and supplement in the fall and winter with Vitamin D3.

#6: Daily Exercise

We all need to move, but even more importantly children with attention deficit need to get their wiggles out. Exercise boosts dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain, which enhances the growth of new brain cells at any age! Even something as simple as a 10 minute run around the block or a session on the trampoline show significant benefits.

#7: Go To Bed

Lack of sleep decreases levels of neurotransmitters in our brain, including dopamine. Sleep deprivation can impact cognitive and motor performance similar to alcohol intoxication! Children especially need more sleep as they are developing both physically and neurologically. It takes kids longer to settle down and actually fall asleep, so start bedtime rituals early and allow enough time for a good night's sleep aiming for 10 hours by the time that alarm goes off in the morning.

The body is an amazing healing machine, so try these seven tips to naturally boost your child's attention and aim for a successful and happy school year.

 

Facts About Teething

For parents out there, we know every child goes through periods of growth and development at different stages. Some of these stages can be quite difficult and trying for parents. Teething is one of those stages.

Teething usually begins at four to five months, but can be as early as three months of age. Teething can last different lengths of time, from three hours to three weeks, so it can be easily misdiagnosed as other things such as cold or sinus infections, ear infections, cold or flu, or stomach/digestive disorders.

Symptoms that you typically see when your baby is teething are runny nose (but with clear mucous), irritated ear, mild fever, picky or fussy eating, disrupted sleep patterns, or irritated bowel.

We want to be careful about misdiagnosis, especially if an incorrect ear infection diagnosis is given and antibiotics are prescribed since bacterial resistance and disruption of gut flora is prevalent in our modern society. The best approach is a watch-and-wait approach.

Remember,  children benefit from chiropractic care, not only for wellness, but as a major support to the immune system. So get your child checked on a regular basis.

Earth Day - April 22nd 2018

It is our responsibility to be respectful to the Earth that we live in, and part of that respect includes awareness of some of the small things we can do to help maintain and restore our environment.  Let’s make the effort to add these little changes to our daily or weekly schedule to give many generations to come a beautiful and clean world.

Did you know that residential water consumption in BC is an average of 490 litres per person per day, not including industrial or agricultural water use? 

Turn the faucet off while brushing your teeth and fix any leaky faucets in the kitchen and bathroom.

Give up plastic (and paper) bags...millions of barrels of oil are used every year to produce plastic bags, and it costs 4 times the energy to produce paper bags.  Keep a few reusable cotton or nylon bags stored in your car or purse to use at the grocery store.

Did you know it takes 25 bottles of water to produce the plastic needed for a 1 litre bottle of water?  Buy reusable water bottles made of aluminum or stainless steel, or if you have to use plastic, choose plastics numbered 1,2,4 or 5 as they are less harmful.

Only 10% of the energy used by a typical washing machine powers the motor...90% goes to heating the water!  Most clothes will come clean in cold water.  For heavily soiled clothes, change it from hot to warm.

Use household items to clean with...baking soda’s mild abrasive action and mild deodorizing properties make it a powerful replacement for harsh commercial scouring powders.  Sprinkle baking soda on a damp sponge for bathtubs, vanities, kitchen sinks, etc.  For tougher stains, make a paste of baking soda and water, apply to the area and let it stand for 10-20 minutes before washing.  For slow-running drains, pour 1/2-3/4 cup baking soda into the drain, and dribble just enough hot water to wash the solution down.  Let stand for 2 hours to overnight and flush thoroughly with hot water.

I know most of us, especially those living in Whistler, are very conscious of making good choices when it comes to our environment, but let this be a friendly reminder we can always do more.  Happy Earth Day!

The Benefits of Bone Broth (& Recipe)

Bone broth has been getting a lot of press lately and you may think it's a new fad, but in reality, bone broth has been around for hundreds and hundreds of years!  Bone broth is basically homemade chicken soup, but can be made with beef bones as well.  You can buy it in powdered form if you don't want to make it, but the following recipe you'll find to be very simple and easy to make.  Give it a try!  

Bone broth is rich in nutrients like gelatin and glycine, it helps to protect and heal your gut lining, skin and digestive tract, supports the immune system, boosts detoxification, and aids metabolism.

Vietnamese Pho Recipe

For the broth:

  • 2 chicken thighs
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 large celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1" piece of fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 chili pepper, chopped finely

In a slow cooker, add the ingredients above and fill with water allowing to cook for 8-10 hours.

To serve:

  • 8 ounces dried rice noodles
  • 3 scallions or green onions, chopped
  • 1 lime, squeezed
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 eggs

Boil the noodles and add the raw egg into the boiling water to cook for a few minutes.  Add with the above ingredients to a large bowl of broth and enjoy!

There are many variations of this recipe, but this is a beautiful marriage of big flavours that work wonderfully together.

Rebooting Your Nervous System!

Have you ever seen a healthy newborn baby appear bored? Of course not. Babies radiate awe, joy, wonder, vitality, energy, life, and rejuvenation. It’s their natural state. But it’s your natural state, too. You are always in touch with the vitality of life. As long as there’s life, there’s still a spark of this healing vitality.

This incredible ability you have to heal and auto-regulate body functions is due to an inner intelligence that you are born with. According to Lewis Thomas, M.D., “…a kind of super intelligence exists in each of us, infinitely smarter and possessed of technical know-how far beyond our present understanding.” This is your innate intelligence, the inborn wisdom of your body. This intelligence allows your body to constantly adapt to its ever-changing environments. For example, it knows how to digest your food after you’ve eaten. You don’t have to think about it. It also heals the cut on your finger. It keeps your heart beating, and it kicks your immune system into high gear when your body requires it.

Innate intelligence resides everywhere in your body. It is mediated by your brain, which communicates with every muscle, gland, organ, and cell in your body via your nervous system. Chiropractors are the only doctors who, as a profession, formally recognize this inborn wisdom or intelligence. They work on, and with, the body so that our innate intelligence can express itself as near to 100 percent of its capacity as possible. And that’s where the practical foundations of chiropractic come in.

Because your brain and the rest of your nervous system mediate your innate intelligence, it stands to reason that this system must be optimized to its highest potential if true health is to be achieved. Your nervous system really is your master computer. It regulates all functions of the body every second of your life. When it’s out of sync, you’re out of sync.

The Value of Chiropractic Adjustments

Your brain communicates vital messages to all systems in your body through the primary conduit of the spinal cord. Your spinal cord is protected by 24 moveable vertebrae. Spinal nerves exit between vertebrae and branch out to deliver the messages sent from your brain through your spine to each muscle, gland, organ, and cell of your body. And through the same system, messages are returned.

Your spine is the most likely place for nervous system interference to occur. If your spinal vertebrae get out of alignment, even slightly—which injuries, poor posture, and many other life stresses can cause—the vertebrae may act as resistors to the distribution of your nervous system energy. The misalignments interfere with the transmission of nervous impulses and diminish the body’s ability to stay healthy. Chiropractors call these vertebral misalignments, or displacements, subluxations. When a vertebral subluxation impairs a spinal nerve, it only takes a pressure as light as the weight of a quarter for three minutes to reduce the function of that nerve by 60 percent. Moreover, degenerative changes in the nerve begin to take place within three hours.

My responsibility as a doctor of chiropractic is to locate subluxations in your spine and gradually coax your vertebrae back into place so that normal nerve function is restored and other damaged tissues in the region can begin to heal. This will allow the nervous system to effectively communicate with and control bodily functions once again. Greater health and wellbeing is the result.

by Bradley Kobsar, DC Pathways magazine

Can Early Food Trauma Affect Our Brain Decades Later?

This is an interesting concept...read it with an open mind.  This article was taken from the magazine Pathways To Family Wellness and written by Mark Brady, Ph.D. (PW#50).

Shortly before he abandoned our family, one of the last memories I have of my father is an incident at the dinner table. I had just turned 4 years old. My mother had made something that I didn’t like, so I didn’t eat it. I left it on my plate. “You’re not leaving this table until you eat everything on that plate,” my father declared. I refused and pushed the plate away. My father pushed it back in front of me. And so it went, for what seemed like hours and hours. My memory is that I finally wore them out and we all went to bed with my plate “unclean.” I was promised the same fare for breakfast. Fortunately, in the morning the plate was gone and the incident was not brought up again.

And what was the offending food that I refused to eat?

Spinach.

When I think of how traumatic memories get formed and stored unconsciously in implicit association memory networks in the brain, it begins to make total sense that my body would react adversely to spinach. The triggering cue is the taste along with the seeing— dinner at a table. A critical piece that made the experience traumatic for a 4-year-old is the demand that I not leave the table—effectively a demanded, forced “freeze response.” Unable to fight or flee, it became the only option available to me at that point. And the freeze response, as we know from polyvagal theory, highly correlates with adverse traumatic experiences.

If I think about all the food allergies I’ve had over the years—chocolate, milk, strawberries—I can associate traumatic experiences from childhood to each one of them. 

This incident, and similar ones involving early trauma later surfacing due to present-time triggers, have convinced me that much like wounds to the body, early insults to our immature brain networks are constantly attempting to be repaired and restored throughout our adult lives and returned to full integrative functioning. Just as with a cut or a bruise, the keys to an effective healing are a restorative environment and nurturing, understanding relationships. 

Four Essentials of Life

There have been found to be four basic essentials to life, as we know it.  The difference in excellence of these four things gives way to a respective quality of life.  Of course, it is left up to you to choose this higher quality, leading you to live longer and happier, instead of just existing!

-Food-

The body can live approximately 30 days without food.

The nutrients gained from food give the body energy, supplying fuel for movement as well as healing and self-sustaining actions (breathing, blood flow, muscle contractions, etc.).  It is the quality of this food that determines how much nutrition the body receives.  Also determined by this factor, are what toxins the body must "weed out" in order to gain nutrition altogether, many vegetables and fruits are covered in pesticides or are genetically engineered.  This just presents the body with yet another obstacle, taking away valuable energy from the body to rid itself of such toxic junk.  Make a choice, choose organic unprocessed foods, the way nature makes them, and minimize the toxins in your lifestyle.

-Water-

The body can live approximately 4 days without water.

You body has an average of 60 to 70% total make up of water.  Your brain is 83%, muscles 75%, and bones 22%.  Infants are approximately 70 to 80% water.  So really we all just need to drink more, but what about the quality?  There are things lurking in our water supplies today.  In fact many cities send out alerts as to the local water contents.  It is best to start drinking filtered water, and because your skin is an absorptive organ, possibly filter the water in which you bathe!

-Air-

The body can only live for a matter of minutes without air (about 4 minutes).

Some people have trained hard to gain larger lung capacity.  However the world record for holding ones breath is still a matter of minutes.  It is the oxygen in our air that allows the body to thrive, a major part of the chemical cycle that produces energy for all the body’s functions.  Do your part to help keep the air as clean as possible!

-Nerve Supply- 

The body can only live a fraction of a second without nerve supply!

The Nervous System has two main parts, the Central and the Peripheral systems.  The entire nervous system acts as a master system, it controls everything that you do, and don’t think about doing.  That is to say, not a single thing happens without your nervous system first initiating an action.  In fact it is so important that it is the first thing that is created when a fetus is growing and it is entirely encased in bone for protection.  Every action, healing, hearing, seeing, breathing, blood flow, temperature maintenance, originates in the brain.  A message travels down the spinal column and out into the body.  Subluxations block and slow these messages, and the only way to remove the interference caused by subluxations is to get adjusted. 

It is about quality of life!   In order to be at 100%, your body must be functioning at 100%!  It all begins with your Nervous System!  Health comes from within!

The Benefits of Laughter

Did you know that when you make someone laugh that you very well may be helping them strengthen their immune system, reduce food cravings, or even increase their threshold for pain? There’s even an emerging field known as “humour therapy” that is helping patients heal more quickly after surgery. Laughter reduces the level of stress hormones like cortisol, epinephrine, adrenaline, and dopamine. It also increases the level of health-enhancing hormones like endorphins, and neurotransmitters. Laughter has also been found to increase the number of antibody producing cells and enhances the effectiveness of T cells within the body. All this creates a stronger immune system and better ability to ward off the effects of daily stress.

A good laugh also exercises the diaphragm, contracts the abs and even works out the shoulders, leaving muscles more relaxed afterward. Some research suggests it even provides a good workout for the heart. Laughter shifts our focus away from anger, guilt, stress, and negative emotions that can create more discomfort and stress within our lives. Laughter is contagious. If you bring more laughter into your life, you will not only help others around you to laugh more, but you will realize these same healthy benefits yourself. So it seems that laughter really is the best medicine but how do we increase our dosage? Here are a few ideas…

Start with a shift in your perception. Studies show that our response to stressful events can be altered by whether we view something as a “threat” or a “challenge.” Humour can give us a more lighthearted perspective and help us view events as “challenges,” making them less threatening and more positive.

Slow down. Slowing down and spending time with others is vital to bringing more laughter into our lives. We can’t make someone laugh if we don’t take the time to engage them or genuinely care about them. Tell a joke. Here’s a good clean one from my 5-year-old: Q: Why did the cookie go to the doctor? A: He felt crummy.

Say “Thank you.” Send someone a note just to say “thanks”...maybe for no reason at all other than for being a part of your life. Be encouraged to laugh like a child. Make someone laugh and know that their laughter is not only making them feel good but improving their health (and yours as well).

by Daniel Decker Pathways magazine Issue #17

A Little is Okay, right?

Today we are hearing more and more about the side effects of the additives in the foods we eat.  These are the same additives that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has easily deemed “safe” for us, the Canadian public at large, to ingest. 

Safe is defined by Congress as “reasonable certainty that no harm will result from use of an additive.”  The list is 700 items long and includes the most common artificial sweeteners such as Aspartame, Splenda, NutraSweet, and Equal.  It also contains hydrogenated oils and artificial colourings as well.  All of these additives are human made and the FDA has either okayed them in full or is limiting their use.   But even this limitation is by only allowing 1/100th of what is considered to be dangerous into any one portion of food.  Which may have been okay, but much of the damage that comes from these additives is accumulative.  That means it builds up with each and every exposure!

So you say, “How does this affect me?”  Well do you ever read the labels of candy, ice cream, protein bars or any other pre-packaged foods?  Most of them not only have preservatives for a long shelf life, but have colourings to make you think the food is pretty and artificial sweeteners which are many times sweeter than sugar!

Did you know that the long term side effects of such additives have been linked to different cancers

And short term side effects include the following;

hearing impairment, vision distortion, tinnitus, headaches, dizziness, sleepiness, depression, irritability, inability to maintain focus, breathing difficulty, bloating, aggression, diarrhea, decreased fetal body and placental weights and brain development, etc.  The list does not end there. 

So if the list does not end there for the short term, meaning you could experience any one of these things with one use, and the long term gives way to a possibility of having a deadly disease, what amount is worth it all?

Is a little okay?

Remember the real damage is accumulative.  So how much is okay?

Well the FDA knows many of these additives are not healthy, hence the limitation of their use in single portions.  But is the FDA going to tell you how many portions over your lifetime that you can have?  Are they going to govern what you actually eat? 

Just take one portion that you may eat on a basis of 3 times a week.  Multiply it by 52 weeks in a year and you have eaten 156% of the amount that is considered to be dangerous, in just one year with just one food item of your diet!

Just think the average Canadian drinks 55 gallons of soft drinks per year.  Soft drinks are also the biggest culprits of osteoporosis.  Do you think this is a little amount?

You have to look at the big long term picture on a daily basis!

And you have to be the one to decide what is safe for you to eat!  Don’t leave it up to the FDA.