What The Keto Diet And Chiropractic Have In Common

Keto Diet and Chiropractic

What is the Keto Diet?

The ketogenic diet aka the Keto Diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet for which research is showing to have many health benefits.  Over 20 studies demonstrate that this diet can help drop fat and improve your health.  Furthermore, Ketogenic diets may do more than help you shed a few pounds by offering other health benefits preventing diabetes, cancer, epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease.

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17332207
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2633336
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11581442
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1819381
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2367001

Keto and Chiropractic?

It may be difficult to see the connection between the Keto Diet and chiropractic however, as your chiropractor will tell you, a well-adjusted spine allows your brain’s signals to easily and effortlessly get to all parts of your body through your central nervous system.

I learned this when I was 26 and first started to see a chiropractor. Since then, I’ve been going to a chiropractor regularly for almost 24 years now.  Remember, if the brain isn’t functioning properly, one of the things it cannot do is send the proper signals down that central nervous system to your organs and your other body parts.  This is where ketones can help in addition to your chiropractic adjustments.

how to improve brain health

“When Your Brain Works Right, You Work Right”

 Dr. Daniel Amen, #1 New York Times bestselling author, double board-certified psychiatrist, professor and brain health expert.

What Is Fueling Your Brain?

Despite the fact that your brain is only 2% of the weight of your body, it uses up 20% to 30% of the total energy your body uses every day. So, how are most people giving their brain the energy it needs to keep it running efficiently? Well, most people’s diets consist primarily of carbohydrates and some proteins.

Unfortunately, not enough of those carbohydrates are coming from fibrous good carbohydrate vegetables and people are not eating enough healthy fats. Infact, many calories that are used to fuel the body are coming from processed foods and refined carbohydrates (sugar). This wreaks havoc on your body’s ability to manage your energy needs and thus the energy needs of your brain.Eventually your body resists the onslaught of all these refined sugars. But how does this affect your brain?

We have all heard of type 2 diabetes and how it wreaks havoc on our bodies. However Type 2 diabetes is not only a disease of the obese. Click here to read, Why Children Living With Type 2 Diabetes Is Drastically Increasing .

“Normal-weight people are getting diabetes at the same rate as the obese …”

– Dr. Robert Lustig

Mayo Clinic Minute: Is Alzheimer's Type 3 diabetes?

Have You Heard Of Type 3 Diabetes?

Now being referred to by doctors and researchers as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other brain diseases, type 2 diabetes is your body’s inability to get enough energy from carbohydrates due to insulin resistance (carbohydrates cannot be used for energy unless they are escorted into each cell by insulin).

Insulin resistance also affects your brain’s ability to get energy from carbohydrates. So, if your brain is not getting enough energy to function properly you can suffer from brain fog, forgetfulness and tiredness, to name a few of the more obvious symptoms. Also, if your brain is not functioning properly, it won’t send proper signals down your nervous system to your organs and other body parts which can affect you mentally and physically.

ketogenic diet

Ketones And The Keto Diet

You may have heard a lot lately about ketones and the keto diet. How ketones fuel your brain better than carbohydrates. But what exactly is this magical ketone? Well it’s what your body creates when it burns your fat and what your body uses for energy when it’s not using carbohydrates.

What ketones have been shown to do is to fuel your body better than glucose (carbohydrates/sugar) and to create much less waste in the process (making them more efficient). Put simply, your body just runs better on ketones. Ketones have a neuroprotective effect and they reduced inflammation. Neurons are found in your brain, spinal cord and in your nerves. Chiropractic is all about your nervous system.

antioxidants

Antioxidants And Their Effect On Your Brain

We have all heard of the many benefits of antioxidants. How important they are to reduce the damage done by our food choices and the environment on our bodies. But what about our brains?

“Ketones preserve brain metabolism in the face of an oxidative challenge”

– Dr. Domenic D’Agostino

Most people’s bodies never run on ketones because the food industry provides us with an abundance of low-quality processed sugars (simple carbohydrates) either directly or hidden in processed foods and we don’t have enough of the right fats in our diets.

The keto diet is fast becoming mainstream news. However there are few who can maintain the lifestyle longer term. This is because many find it difficult to eat so few carbohydrates (we are not referring to vegetables) with today’s carbohydrate-rich grocery stores and fast-food outlets.

But with the help of a grant from the U.S. Military Navy Seals, smart researchers at the University of South Florida found a way to make a ketone supplement that is identical to what the body makes when it’s burning fat.

For the average person, this is a much easier way to get ketones into their bodies rather than to try to reduce their carbohydrates low enough to allow their bodies to switch to burning their own fat. Why is this important? Because if your brain can run on ketones, you get heightened brain function and your brain just runs better.  Even your brain volume increases.

“Brain mapping shows that the volume of the brain increases with a ketogenic diet.  When you eat the right fat, your brain gets bigger.”

How Ketogenic Diets Improve Memory and Brain Health, Dr. Venter, MD

healthy nervous system

Final Thoughts

A more efficient brain can send better signals through your central nervous system, which makes your whole body run better. Ultimately that’s the goal of chiropractic and hopefully of everybody in the medical field.

I resisted the urge to put a lot of the relevant science on ketones in this article. So, if you have any questions or would like more information about ketones or healthy eating, feel free to send me an email or follow me on Facebook.

Best Essential Oils – These Are More Than Just Herbs

best essential oils

The culture of medicine is changing. There has been a huge movement in the past decade towards natural healthcare. We see droves of people heading to their local health store in search of natural ways to take care of their health such as the best essential oils. Of course there is always a time and place for modern medicine, but the two can work hand in hand.

Essential oils are one of the many options available to anyone looking for a natural alternative. While the mainstream use of essential oils continues to grow, oils have been around for centuries. The Egyptians used plant extracts for health and religious reasons. In fact, Jean Valnet used oils to successfully treat injured soldiers in WWII. Today we use these as simple and effective solutions for wellness and a healthy lifestyle.

Be The Healer In Your Home

For those of you who may not be familiar with essential oils. You may be asking yourself, “How can these drops of oil help?”.  Oil use is spreading like wildfire because more and more people are learning about research being done, and are finding out that essential oils are legit! Your life can be powerfully affected by these oils. Even if you don’t know much about them yet.

Essential oils are more than just herbs! They are volatile aromatic compounds that are up to 70 times more potent than herbs. Using essential oils may seem foreign, but with the right guidance they can be a simple and rewarding addition to every medicine cabinet. With proper use there are no side effects and they work quickly and effectively.

Click here to read, “5 Ways To Heal The Mind & Body By Using This One Oil!”.

essential oil blends

Best Essential Oils

When your child wakens during the night with an upset stomach, you can feel confident reaching for essential oils to settle them. Bug bites, burns and most common ailments and so much more can be supported with these amazing drops of oil. For example;

Peppermint Essential Oil

A single drop of certified pure peppermint oil can be all you need to tackle your next headache, digestive or respiratory discomfort, or maybe just your bad breath!

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender is widely know for its calming and relaxing qualities. However it is such a versatile oil that it is also used for many skin conditions such as;

It can be particularly useful with sleep and stress. With proper dilution essential oils can be used for everyone in the family.

Lemon Essential Oil

Lemon can be used to cleanse and purify the air using a cool-mist diffuser. It is an uplifting and energizing oil that can help improve mood. Lemon essential oil can naturally cleanse the body and aid in digestion. When combined with lavender and peppermint, it can support those with seasonal discomfort.

Choosing The Right Oils For You

There are more than 90 essentials oils. Each of which contains hundreds of different compounds, providing versatile abilities to combat threats. Understanding their potency and safe usage practices is important for everyone just starting out. There are many resources about essential oils that can help you on your journey. But note that not all essential oils are created equally. So do your research before picking up your next bottle.

For more information, click here to read, “Have you heard of this miracle oil? You should be using it!”

You may also enjoy, “What Exactly Is Homeopathy?”

Dangers Of Vaping

E-Cigarettes Found to Have 10 times More Cancer Causing Ingredients than Regular Cigarettes

Recently the dangers of vaping has been all over the news and social media. Vocalizing the hidden risks after reports of numerous deaths and illness that incurred to seemingly healthy individuals.

Where It All Started

There have been many products developed over the years to help people quit smoking.  In fact, vaping was initially introduced for that exact reason. However, recent reports are stating that;

e-cigarettes will impose similar long-term cardiovascular and pulmonary risks as those associated with conventional cigarettes.

How Vaping Works

E-cigarettes are designed to deliver nicotine to a user in the form of vapour. Typically via a rechargeable battery-operated heating element. Hence where the word vaping came from.

The cartridges filled with nicotine and chemicals inhaled by the user are replaceable. However, the FDA has not evaluated e-cigarettes for their safety.

Dangers Of Vaping

Originally, E-Cigarettes became popular because of their ability to provide a hit of nicotine. Supposedly without the worry of added chemicals and toxins found in regular cigarettes. However, vaping cannot be considered risk free.  Reports are now surfacing stating that vaping can cause harm to the lungs and attribute to disease including COPD.

Furthermore,  there was a CDC study published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research;

“More than a quarter of a million youth who had never smoked a cigarette used electronic cigarettes in 2013. This is a three-fold increase from 79,000 in 2011 to more than 263,000 in 2013.”

Here at Family Health Advocacy, we’re all about living the most healthy lifestyle that you can. Eating well. Enjoying movement. And eliminating toxins.

vaping

Are You Ready To Quit Smoking & Vaping?

Follow these tips:

1. Stop Buying Them!

They are harder to get your hands on if they’re not in the house. Also, the inconvenience of going to purchase them may allow you enough time to convince yourself not to buy them!

2. Load Up On Fruit & Vegetables

I know this sounds lame.  However the vitamins and minerals your body has lost from smoking must be replenished.  Helping yourself to reduce cravings.

For further information, click here to read, “Nutrition and Smoking: Foods to Help You Quit!”

3. Antioxidant Diet

According to research, eating a diet high in antioxidants, especially those found in tomatoes can help to repair lung damage caused by smoking.

4. Talk To Your Natural Health Practitioner

Your natural health practitioner can put together solutions customized specifically for you. There are many herbs and natural remedies that can support your body through this difficult transition.  Although natural, they are also very powerful to help you quit smoking.

Try these solutions for yourself.  Avoid the dangers of vaping, smoking, JUULing. QUIT TODAY!

How To Encourage Children To Eat Vegetables

Getting your kids to eat their vegetables can be one of the greatest daily struggles for parents.  Building healthy eating habits takes a lot of effort for parents to sometimes battle it out with their children.

Start Small & Tackle One Meal At A Time

First, start off with breakfast and work on getting sugary cereals, pastries, and dairy off the menu.  Substitute cereals for oatmeal and fruit.  Pastries for homemade muffins (recipe below), and dairy milk for almond or coconut milk to use in smoothies.

First and foremost, parents need to set the example to their children on how to eat properly.

Children easily pick up on the habits of their parents and will gravitate towards the eating style presented at home.  Take a minute and think about the kind of example you are setting for your children.  Ask yourself the following;

  • Do you make meal time a priority?  Preparing regular healthy meals as a family?  Or are you picking up takeout on the way home from work because you are exhausted?
  • What is your attitude towards food and your body image?
  • What messages are you consciously or unconsciously sending your children?
Encouraging your children to take care of their health is one of the greatest acts of love a parent can give their child.

Mindset around meals and snacks can easily be shifted to a more positive experience.  Involve the family in weekly meal planning and grocery shopping for the ingredients that will be needed for those meals.

Older children and teens can also take part in meal prep by washing vegetables and helping to prepare dinner.  Giving children a voice around their meal choices will help with encouraging healthier eating habits.  Provide your children with a choice of what vegetables they are going to eat each day.  In addition, add one wild card vegetable to the menu each week that they may not like, but are willing to try.

Click here to read, “Are You Eating Enough Colour?”

Tips & Tricks To Add Vegetables To Every Day Meals

green pineapple smoothie
  1.  Throw a handful of spinach or kale into smoothies.  Yes, the smoothie will be green, but the flavour and texture of the spinach is masked by all the fruit.

For a a fantastic green pineapple smoothie, click here to read, “Happy St. Patrick’s Day Recipes”.

cauliflower rice

2. Use the food processor to turn cauliflower into the texture of rice.  Sauté the cauliflower “rice” in a tablespoon of olive oil and season to taste.

zucchini noodles

3. Use a spiral slicing tool to turn zucchini into noodles.  It will resemble pasta and can be topped with your favourite sauce and veggies.

Grilled spaghetti squash

4. Use spaghetti squash instead of pasta to make traditional spaghetti with meatballs (remember to use grass fed beef for the meatballs).

Click here for “The Ultimate Guide For How to Cook Spaghetti Squash”.

fruit salad ideas

5. Rather than ice cream for dessert, serve a plate of fresh fruit.

Almond-Berry Muffin Recipe

As promised, below is a recipe for healthy muffins that freeze well and are easy to serve as part of a healthy breakfast.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups raw almonds, ground
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen berries (raspberries, blueberries)
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 12 muffin liners

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Grind raw almonds until fine.
  3. Mix eggs, coconut oil maple syrup, vanilla and apple cider vinegar in a bowl. Add ground almonds and baking soda. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Fold in berries and sprinkle with chocolate chips.
  5. Evenly distribute batter between 12 muffin cups.
  6. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes.
  7. ENJOY!!

Also, try this recipe breakfast muffins. It’s another great healthy breakfast idea that you can prepare in advance!

Adrenal Fatigue? 7 Tips to Fight Back Naturally

adrenal fatigue

Everyone has felt stress at some point in their lives.  That feeling of being so overwhelmed and overworked that you can’t eat or sleep.  Unfortunately, stress has become ingrained in our culture.  We associate it with hard work and success, assuming that we can’t have one without the other.   Though some stress is necessary, we often bite off more than we can chew.  We fail to realize that the more stressed we are, the less efficient we are.  We ignore the negative effects stress has on our bodies but unnecessary stress can lead to a multitude of symptoms including:

  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Exhaustion
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep disturbances

.

adrenal glands

What Are Adrenal Glands And What Do They Do?

The adrenal glands (also known as suprarenal glands) are the triangle-shaped endocrine glands that sit on top of your kidneys.  The adrenal glands are hormone producing glands similar to ovaries, testicles and the thyroid.  They are the regulators of your body as they’re responsible for regulating stress responses and play an important role in the maintenance of a healthy immune system.

Adrenal glands are key contributors to:
  • Proper thyroid function
  • Balance of hormones
  • Maintaining one’s ideal weight
  • Stabilizing emotions
  • Controlling cravings

Multiple studies have proven that the health of the adrenal glands will dictate the health and recovery of many types of chronic illnesses.  Since chronic stress is the main cause of overactive adrenals, it’s important that we find a way to control and eliminate stress.

Click here to read, “CFS – Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms & Natural Solutions”.

Moreover, proper nutrition, adequate rest, and exercise is also very important. Unfortunately, an astounding amount of people suffer from adrenal fatigue due to lifestyle factors that are often overlooked.

What is Adrenal Fatigue?

Adrenal fatigue is a common side effect of stress and has three phases:
  1. The Alarm Phase – when the body is acknowledging stress
  2. The Resistance Phase – when the body is trying to fight stress
  3. The Exhaustion Phase – when the adrenals become tapped out.

Depending the phase a person is in, the levels of cortisol (produced by the adrenals) will range from high or low at different points in the day.  Cortisol levels should be at their peak in the morning.  So, when we wake up we feel refreshed and ready to go.  Alternatively, they should be at their lowest at night when it’s time to go to bed.  Any variation of these levels will affect a person’s well-being.  Especially if stress is experienced for long periods of time.  Hence the last phase being exhaustion.

Click here to read, “Bedtime Woe’s? – 5 Simple Tips For Blissful Zzzz’s”.

Other than exhaustion, additional symptoms of adrenal fatigue include:
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Cravings for salt
  • Chronic infections
  • Low blood pressure
  • Low blood sugar
  • Muscle twitches
  • Lack of libido
  • Light headed
  • Poor concentration
  • Sleep disturbance (typically waking up between 2-4 am)

So what can you do?  There are numerous natural ways to support the adrenals.

adrenal fatigue

Are Your Adrenals Fatigued?

I see the following scenario regularly in my practice.  A busy mom with a demanding career comes in complaining of;

  • Hot flashes
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of libido
  • Inability to lose weight
  • Feeling low

For the last 15 years she has been dealing with;

  • Work deadlines
  • Kid’s sports
  • Homework
  • Cooking
  • Cleaning

She goes from morning to night with little sleep.  Her adrenals are tired but she pushes through the chronic fatigue and insomnia.  She notices other symptoms such as headaches, inability to lose weight, and mood swings.  This common scenario is what many natural health professionals refer to as, “adrenal steal”.

Unable to function properly due to years of stress, the adrenals are forced to steal key hormonal building blocks from other hormones like:

  • Progesterone
  • DHEA
  • Estrogen
  • Testosterone

Hence contributing to hormonal imbalances and a slew of side effects that come with them.  Keeping the adrenal glands in check is the best way for women to avoid fatigue and keep their hormones happy.

How to Fight Adrenal Fatigue

chiropractor

See a Chiropractor – Chiropractic care plays a crucial role in adrenal health.  Physical, chemical or emotional stressors can cause stress on the spine and nervous system.  The goal of chiropractic care is to balance and optimize the entire nervous system contributing to healthy adrenal function in addition to a multitude of other health benefits.

early to bed

Go to Bed Early – You should be sleeping 7 to 8 hours and preferably going to bed before midnight.  Make sure you allow some time to wind down and relax to help your cortisol level lower before bed.

clean eating

Eat Clean – Avoid processed foods and sugar.  Focus on good fats, moderate protein, and tons of veggies that are phytonutrient rich.  You are what you eat, so feed your body the right fuel.

vitamins

Take an Adrenal Support Supplement – Consuming whole, organic foods rich in phytonutrients is great for adrenal support.  However, supplementation is sometime needed to support proper adrenal function.

Beneficial supplements Include:
  • B complex
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Omega 3 fatty acids

Also beneficial are botanical adaptogens.  They can be taken to help support the adrenal glands throughout the stress response process.

Examples of botanical adaptogens include:

  • Ashwagandha root
  • Rhodiola rosea extract
  • Suma
  • Schisandra chinensis berry extract
yoga, meditation

Exercise – Regular exercise is known to combat stress, which helps to improve adrenal function.  But be aware that if your adrenals are exhausted, intense exercise may be more detrimental than beneficial.  Try yoga or meditation.

Click here to read, “Put A Little Namaste In Your Life”.

cortisol saliva test

Get Tested! – Measuring cortisol levels can help determine adrenal health.  The Cortisol Saliva Test also know as the Adrenal Stress Test, has become the preferred way of evaluating cortisol levels.

A newer test, the DUTCH test, is another method one can use.  The test involves a urine steroid hormone profile.  This measures hormones and hormone metabolites (called conjugates) in a dried sample.

Heart Rate Variability (HRV) technology used by chiropractors, is another way to evaluate stress.  It measures and tracks a patient’s autonomic nervous system state.

Think your adrenals are suffering from adrenal fatigue?  Start by taking an inventory of your life stressors and see which ones you can kick to the curb following the 7 tips above.

What The Neck? Are You Short-Circuiting?

Have you ever thought about how how much you strain your neck throughout the day?

You look down to:

  • Text
  • Reply to your email
  • Check Facebook
  • Send a tweet
  • Type on your keyboard
  • Read
  • Speak with your children

…And the list goes on and on!  This can potentially add up to several hours each day that your neck is tilted forward and/or down.

Why Does This Matter?

Your neck is the connection between your brain and the rest of your body.  The messages your brain needs to send must travel through your nervous system which is encased by the bones of your spine.  Therefore, if the spinal bones in your neck are continually forced into a forward (or looking down) position, it puts a great deal of pressure on your nervous system.

This interference causes “electrical problems”.  Whereby, the information that needs to flow freely in the nervous system can no longer do so.  It can cause a “short-circuiting” effect in your body.  This is where certain areas of your body develop illnesses or issues because they are lacking all of the information they need to function at 100%.

Additionally, these misalignments can lead to Forward Head Posture.  This is a serious condition that must be addressed by a chiropractor.  The doctor must work on bringing the carriage of the head back into alignment with your neck and shoulders.

alignment

What Is The Proper Alignment For Your Neck?

If we look at you from the side, your ears should be centered on your shoulders.  This gives your cervical spine (your neck) the correct curve to allow your nervous system to function properly.  Free of any misalignments.

However, if your ears are lining up closer to (or surpassing) the front of your shoulders, your neck is no longer in proper alignment.  This means you are experiencing a significant loss of curve in your neck.  Therefore aren’t able to allow the messages to travel properly within your nervous system.

This is a very serious problem, because even a loss of curve by 1 degree puts significant pressure on your nervous system, never mind the potential for a couple of inches.

Misalignment can actually develop into a loss of curve, or even a reversed cervical curve and can put immense strain on your health.

This Condition Can Lead To Experiencing:
  • Migraines
  • Breathing problems
  • Heart disease
  • Various nose, throat and ear problems
  • Learning difficulties
  • Emotional problems

This is such a critical area of your spine that must be free of misalignments to allow your body to express real health.

Have you noticed this problem in your spouse or your children?  It is especially worrisome for children to have reversed cervical spines, as it can compound into many problems throughout their lives.  And as we all know, when problems are left unaddressed, they tend to get worse, not better.

As we are spending more and more time on our devices and computers, the unnatural strain we are putting on our necks becomes even more prominent.

Click here to read, ” Is Today’s Technology Destroying Your Health?”

What Is The Solution?

Find a chiropractor in your area that can help you to express optimal health.  Follow the care plan laid out for returning the proper curve to your spine.  Especially in children as the rate of complete correction can be quite high, as they are growing and developing quickly.

The Brain in Your Gut

You live your life through your nervous system. Every sound, sight and touch is filtered through your brain so you can make sense of the world. Your perceptions – filtered through your nervous system – are your reality. We hear a lot of talk about your central nervous system – your brain and your spinal cord. But think about the last time you felt sick to your stomach because you were nervous, scared or anxious. This is evidence of a whole other division of your nervous system at work, called your enteric nervous system, which is intrinsic to your gastrointestinal tract. Research is now bringing to light the critical role this system plays in pretty much every aspect of our health and well-being.

Just as we have nerve cells in our brain and spinal cord, we have nerve cells in our intestinal lining as well. In fact, the central nervous system and the enteric nervous system were created from the same tissue during fetal development and they remain connected through the vagus nerve. There are actually over 100 million neurons that line the intestinal walls, which have led scientists to label the totality of them as “the second brain”. Not only is this second brain regulating muscles, immune cells, and hormones, but it is manufacturing 80-90% of the serotonin in our bodies, which is our “master happiness molecule”.

The connection between your gut and your brain is bidirectional. Just as your brain is telling your gut how quickly to digest the food or when to secrete acid in the stomach, the neurons in your gut are also communicating to your brain about the environment they are encountering. When your body is faced with a substance or an ingredient it doesn’t like, it will experience an immune response. Chronic immune activation and resulting inflammation from these stresses can lead to chronic disease, including brain diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and multiple sclerosis.

We cannot talk about the brain in your gut without mentioning the role of the complex internal ecosystem that exists inside of us, called the microbiome. It turns out that your microbiome is just as vital to your health as your heart, lungs, liver and brain. It is responsible for multiple tasks, such as aiding in digestion and absorption of nutrients, acting as a detoxification machine, and producing important enzymes, vitamins and neurotransmitters. Perhaps the largest role the microbiome plays is in your immune response. Your gut represents 70-80% of the body’s total immune system. This supports what we have known for a long time: your food choices have a tremendous impact on the state of your microbiome and, therefore, the state of your health.

So what can you do to improve the health of your gut?

1) Choose foods rich in probiotics, such as yogurt, kefir, kombucha tea, tempeh, sauerkraut or pickles

2) Avoid sugar, embrace high-quality fat

3) Enjoy wine, tea, coffee, and chocolate

4) Choose foods rich in prebiotics, such as raw garlic, raw leek, raw or cooked onion, raw asparagus

When looking at our health, it is important take a holistic approach. We know our body parts don’t work in isolation. All parts of our nervous system work together to determine how well we function. Taking care of yourself through proper nutrition, regular exercise, stress management, and regular chiropractic care is fundamental to living a healthy life.

_______________________________

Blog by Guest Author:

Dr. Lesley EvansDr. Lesley Evans is a chiropractor in Kitchener, Ontario. She is the co-owner of Bruce Street Family Chiropractic, alongside Dr. Adam Brookes. She graduated from Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, located in Toronto, Ontario. Dr. Lesley is passionate about helping others live the best quality of life that they can through chiropractic care and lifestyle choices.

Website: www.brucestreetfamilychiropractic.com

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brucestreetfamilychiropractic 

phone: 519 743 6339 

References:

1) Perlmutter, David (2015). Brain Maker. Little, Brown and Company.

2) Round, June & Mazmanian, Sarkis (2009). The gut microbiome shapes intestinal immune responses during health and disease. Nat Rev Immunology (May 9 (5): 313-323.

Detox Now: 287 Industrial Chemicals Found in Umbilical Cord Blood

Detoxify or Die

I was 22 years old, wearing a white lab coat in Colombo, Sri Lanka, with an acupuncture needle in my hand, I was trying to steady my hand because it was shaking a lot!  I was about to stick this needle into a patient’s eye!!  Ok, not really their eye, but just below their eye, but above the eye socket bone.  You may be asking, Why?  Because this was one of the acupuncture points that I had to needle for this patient, who apparently had a tumour in her brain that was putting pressure on one of the nerves in her brain that was affecting her vision.  Who told me to use this acupuncture point?  It was the great Dr. Anton Jayasuriya, who was by far the greatest and smartest person that I had ever met by that point of my life.  I was a second year chiropractic student and had come to Sri Lanka with some fellow classmates to learn acupuncture from this famous Dr., who was a Board Certified Medical Doctor and Rheumatologist as well as a Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Master.  We would come to his class every morning to learn about acupuncture and in the afternoon, we gained experience treating patients in his clinic.  And there was no shortage of patients!  They were lining up to see him from the early morning until late at night and they would come from all parts of the country!  It was an amazing experience!

The reason I tell this story is that there is one thing he said to us while we were learning there that I still remember today.  During one of our classes, we asked him to predict the future of medicine and to guide us by telling us what to focus on in terms of patient care.  He said the next major shift in medicine would be towards something called “Environmental Medicine”.  We all looked at each other and wondered what he meant.  He explained that the world today (and this was back in 1994) was full of toxic chemicals and pollution and that it would cause an epidemic of health problems and diseases that would be impossible to treat. 

Since then I have thought about what this great man said and looked at my own life to see how I could eliminate toxins. 

• I changed my toothpaste to a natural one without fluoride
• I changed my under arm deodorant to one without aluminum (and yes, I still smell ok!)
• my family and I invested in a home water filtration system that helps to remove chlorine from the water (it’s been found that we can absorb a lot of chlorine through our skin when we take a shower!!)
• we buy organic produce to avoid the harmful pesticides sprayed on our vegetables and fruit
• we switched to organic and grass fed meats to avoid meat from animals that eat genetically modified grains that are heavily sprayed with an especially toxic herbicide called Glyphosate as well as to avoid meat from animals that were given hormones and antibiotics during their life.

From the book, Detoxify or Die by Sherry A. Rogers, M.D., I read something really scary, it was the results of a research study by the Environmental Working Group that looked at blood taken from the umbilical cord of 10 babies born in the US in 2004 which found 287 industrial chemicals and environmental pollutants including pesticides, mercury, fire retardants, consumer product ingredients, teflon chemicals and waste from burning coal, gasoline and garbage!!! 

Of the 287 chemicals found, 180 of them have been found to cause cancer in humans or animals!! 

I thought to myself, if all these chemicals are found in the blood of newborn babies, who knows how many chemicals are found in you and me!! Dr. Rogers also wrote about how industrial smokestacks disseminate into the air chemicals like dioxins and PCBs (the most potent cancer triggers known to man) and then clouds carry these chemicals to every continent and every body of water around the world!! 

As I think back to my time in Sri Lanka, treating that woman with cancer and remembering what Dr. Anton said about “Environmental Medicine”, I can’t help but think he had a magical crystal ball because we are living in a world where diseases like Cancer are so prevalent and even childhood cancers are at an all- time high as it is the number one cause of death by disease in kids ages 1-15!!

So as a Chiropractor, you may ask, why do I talk about toxins and the need to detoxify?  Well if you look back to the founders of our profession over a 100 years ago, they discussed the concept of removing subluxations from the spine so the body can get well.  They also discussed 3 causes of subluxation which are emotional thoughts, physical traumas and chemical toxins!!  That is amazing that more than 100 years ago they mentioned chemical toxins!  So let me ask you, what are you doing to detoxify???

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Guest Blog by Dr. Suhill Samji, D.C. DABCN

Dr. Suhill Samji DC, DABCNDr. Samji has been in practice for over 20 years. He completed 2 years of his undergraduate degree at the University of British Columbia, after which, based on his academic performance was bestowed the honor of admission to the prestigious Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (Canada’s only English speaking Chiropractic college). Dr. Samji is a member in good standing with the B.C. College of Chiropractors which is the sole regulatory authority in British Columbia. Dr. Samji further expanded on his thirst for knowledge and higher education by immersing himself in a 3-year postgraduate study of the subspecialty of Chiropractic Neurology.

Dr. Samji is a Diplomate of the American Chiropractic Neurology Board (www.acnb.org) having studied under Professor Carrick of the Carrick Institute in the USA (www.carrickinstitute.org). The DACNB designation (although not recognized by the B.C. College of Chiropractors) earned by Dr. Samji, is one he shares with only 600 professionals worldwide. Dr. Samji has also undergone extensive training for the treatment of children and expecting mothers (www.ICPA.com) and can skillfully adjust the spine with his hands or gently with the use of an instrument. Dr. Samji’s office is conveniently located on the northwest corner of East Broadway and Commercial Drive. His clinic offers Chiropractic, Physiotherapy, Registered Massage Therapy, Acupuncture, and also has a Pain Medicine Specialist M.D. When not at the clinic, Dr. Samji can be found spending quality time with his wife and young son, and of course the 2 dogs, or playing soccer in North Vancouver’s Men’s League or practicing Yoga.

Find Dr. Samji at:

[email protected]

www.physiomedvancouver.ca

www.physiomed.ca

Healthy Summer Recipes

Healthy Summer Recipes

Summer is on its way – can you feel it? I certainly can. That warm breeze pouring in my windows has me on the edge of my seat for summer salsas, delicious salads and refreshing mocktails.

These are my favourite recipes right now!! I’ve personally created them and tested them with many family members, and they’re all a huge hit!

Here is your It’s-Almost-Summer-Let’s-Celebrate Recipe Compilation…

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I Feel Like I’m at the Beach Tropical Mocktail

To your high speed blender, add…

3 peeled oranges (leave them whole)
2 cups frozen pineapple chunks
5 large frozen strawberries
1 frozen banana
1.5 cups water
6 ice cubes

Blend and serve!! Enjoy this kick of immune boosting vitamin C, fat busting bromelain and packed in nutrients from these superfoods!

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Sweet and Spicy Summer Salsa

To a medium sized bowl, add…

1 chopped mango
2 chopped roma tomatoes
1/2 red onion chopped tiny
1 chopped avocado
1/2 chopped jalapeño pepper
1/4 tsp sea salt sprinkled over it
Then add juice of 1 lime (which will disperse the salt throughout)

Stir well and enjoy as a side to barbecued chicken, with as-healthy-as-you-can-find-or-make nacho chips or as a dip for vegetables.

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Summer Spinach Raw Vegan Caesar Salad

To a large bowl, add…

1 bunch shredded organic baby spinach
1/2 head of red leaf lettuce (or romaine – choose your favourite! This adds texture and different green nutrients)
1 sweet pepper – choose your colour and chop
1 roma tomato – chopped
1/2 cucumber – chopped
1 bunch of grapes – sliced in half

Raw Vegan Caesar Dressing

(Ditch the store bough chemicalized, food-like dressing and make your own!! This literally tastes IDENTICAL to Caesar dressing, it’s SO delicious!)

To a high speed blender, add…

1/3 cup raw cashews
2/3 cup water
2.5 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp garlic powder
10 shakes sea salt
6 shakes pepper

Let this soak for 15 minutes before blending to allow cashews to soften and make the recipe creamy. Pour over your salad bowl, mix and enjoy!

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How many pounds of pressure did your newborn withstand at birth?

How many pounds of pressure did your newborn withstand at birth?

Congratulations! You’ve just given birth and now you have a beautiful baby to cherish.

Let’s think for a moment about your personal birth story and how your baby arrived in the world.

  • how many hours were you in labour?
  • was your baby born at home, in the hospital, or at a birthing centre?
  • were there interventions involved?
  • was your baby in some way pulled or suctioned from you?

In many birth situations, the baby is often forced out of the mother. This puts an immense amount of pressure on the head and neck of your baby.

Imagine your 8 pound baby potentially experiencing anywhere from 60 to 120 pounds of pressure (tractional force) to its head and spine.

If we use 100 pounds of pressure for the ease of math, 100 pounds divided by an 8lb baby is 12.5 times his/her weight.

Now, what would happen if you pulled a 180 pound man across the floor by his neck at 12.5 times his weight? That is 2250 pounds of tractional force, by which he would most likely be killed instantly.

It takes only 120 pounds of pressure (or less) to sever a baby’s spinal cord, and doctors often apply nearly that amount pulling the baby free in delivery.

The spinal cord is the most important part of every body, without its function, you could not survive even one second.

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The spinal cord houses the central nervous system, which controls every single aspect of the function, development and healing of the body.

And when we realize the amount of trauma that your baby (and you!) have just gone through to have him/her arrive in the world, we can see the connections with lasting side effects of a potentially now-misaligned spine, called subluxations.

There are many symptoms that can indicate that your baby has a misaligned spine, but sometimes there are no symptoms. A partial list of symptoms can include:

  • strained breastfeeding (baby can’t turn his/her head one way or the other)
  • unable to latch on
  • colic
  • sleeping problems
  • reflux
  • vomiting

Now that we understand the lasting side effects associated with birth, we must take a moment to consider how we can help your baby to grow and develop.

The first step is to identify if your baby has subluxations present in his/her spine. The only way to do this is have him/her examined by a doctor of chiropractic.

Chiropractors are trained to identify and correct subluxations to allow your baby’s spine to return to the correct alignment and allow optimal health to be expressed.

To correct a subluxation, the chiropractor performs an adjustment – with very light touch – to shift the bones back into the correct alignment. Don’t worry, it’s nothing like you imagine from the movies. The amount of pressure that a chiropractor uses to adjust a newborn is the amount of pressure that you would use to touch your eye with your pinky finger.

Having a spine in the correct alignment sets your baby up for optimal development and a great start to their health.

Just in time to become a toddler – where he/she will fall 2000 times learning how to walk. So keeping up with baby’s adjustment schedule through childhood will maintain a healthy spine for his/her growth and development.

You can see where I’m going with this. Life-long chiropractic care is essential at every stage of life to maximize your family’s health.

So be sure that you also have your spine checked by your chiropractor to be sure that your spine is in the correct alignment after the trauma of giving birth as well.

With Sources From: The Effect of Subluxation at Birth