fort collins nutritionist

Be Kind to the Skin You're In!

Did you know that your body absorbs and "eats" whatever comes in contact with your skin?  Chemicals, irritants, and nutrition can all be absorbed and taken in by your body's largest organ - the skin.  Knowing this, it's important to think about what you purposefully come in contact with each day as far as your purchases and products are concerned. 

We've compiled a small non-exclusive list of healthy and simple options and tips for skin care to help you simplify and feel good about what you use on your skin. 

Product Guidelines

  1. If you can't pronounce the ingredients, most likely it's not that great for you!  
  2. The simpler, the better.  Products with fewer ingredients you are familiar with are usually the way to go!
  3. Organics, non-GMO, and fair trade are key!  Your money and purchase power matter.  You vote every time you spend, so support sustainable and fair products and companies trying to give back to the planet.
  4. NO Palm Oil!  The palm oil industry is rapidly causing decline of natural environments, displacing species, and threatening endangerment or species extinction.  There are other, more sustainable choices.

Simple Substitutions for Lotions and Scrubs

Coconut Oil
  1. Organic Oils: Coconut (cooling), Sesame (heating), Olive, Jojoba
  2. Organic Butters: Shea Butter, Coco Butter
  3. Coffee Scrub (Ground coffee, coconut oil, whiskey - hydrating, great for oily skin, antiseptic for combo or acne prone skin, and wonderful for reducing wrinkles and cellulite due to the caffeine support)
  4. Sugar Scrub (Brown sugar, coconut oil, essential oils of choice, and honey is supporting dry skin - moisturizing and exfoliating)

The Connection between ADHD and Diet

ADHD help fort collins

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): is a chronic condition marked by persistent inattention, hyperactivity, and sometimes impulsive behavior in otherwise high functioning children. 


Two generations ago that was the definition and the belief. Today, we know better. And we know more. A Lot more. 

What ADHD is

Today, ADHD is viewed as a multifaceted condition triggered by varying behavioral, biological and environmental factors, including certain foods and food additives. The hallmarks of ADHD are an inability to focus and/or impulsivity that is not developmentally typical for a child's age. Symptoms fall on a spectrum from predominantly inattentive on one end to predominantly hyperactive at the other end. Certain criteria must be met for a doctor to diagnose a child as having ADHD. 

The Role of Food in ADHD 

While there are many ways to use "food as medicine," for some children, food and its additives can actually trigger ADHD. Because diet plays a crucial role in ADHD, it's important to examine issues such as food intolerance, food allergy, and the additives and chemicals associated with food production. There are various tests to determine both food allergy and intolerance. Your holistic practitioner can advise you about the most appropriate test and then help with interpretation and treatment. 

Artificial food colors (AFCs) are widely used by manufacturers to create visually attractive food products. The FDA certifies, for purity and safety, the use of these dyes. However, the amount certified has risen from 12 mg/capita/d in 1950 to 62 mg/capita/d in 2010. 

AFCs are not natural to our food system, and surely not to our bodies. These artificial molecules can bond to food or body proteins, which means they can "hide in the body," avoid detection, and disrupt the immune system. This can have significant immunological consequences that affect gastrointestinal function, auto-immunity and even brain and behavior. For some children, ADHD can be triggered and worsened by synthetic colors, flavors and preservatives. 

The Feingold Diet for ADHD 

In the 1970's, Benjamin Feingold, M.D. studied the effect of food chemicals and the role of nutrition in addressing learning disabilities and behavior disorders. He pioneered an elimination diet that removed food dyes from the diets of children. Over the years, Dr. Feingold extended the elimination diet to include petrochemical preservatives BHA and BHT. He has reported rates of 30-70% improvement in children with ADHD, depending on the diagnostic criteria used and adherence to the diet. 

Over the decades, studies in Europe and the U.S. have tested the Feingold and similar diets. While research has not established a direct cause-and-effect, the evidence indicates restriction/elimination diets have value and can bring about a change in behavior if properly followed. In response to concerns that children will dislike the Feingold Diet, families can find a wide range of tips for adjusting recipes and food selection, making it easy to incorporate changes and still enjoy favorite foods

In addition to eliminating AFCs, BHA, BHT and food allergens/sensitivities, additional support may be needed for some children. This may include educational adjustments, behavior modification or counseling, nutrition supplements, and additional dietary changes. Like any medical or behavioral intervention, treatment benefits will vary based on many factors, such as when a child is diagnosed, the ADHD symptoms present, co-occurrence of other immune or medical conditions, and ability to adhere to dietary changes. 

As research continues to explore the relationship between diet, food and behavior, we anticipate that many more children - and adults - with ADHD will be helped by the medicinal power of food. 

If your family struggles with the consequences of ADHD, ask us for suggestions and guidance. You do not need to walk this path alone. 

This information should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider. Always consult with your physician or other qualified health care provider before embarking on a new treatment, diet or fitness program. You should never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of any information contained within this newsletter.

References:

Lyon, M. & Murray, T., "ADHD."as cited in Pizzorno, J. E. & Murray, M.T. Textbook of Natural Medicine: 4th Ed. (2013) Chapter 150, p. 1252-1259.

Verlaet AAJ, Noriega DB, et al., "Nutrition, immunological mechanisms and dietary immunomodulation in ADHD." European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (2014 Jul) 23:7, p. 519-29. doi: 10.1007/s00787-014-0522-2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24493267

Vojdani & Vojdani, "Immune reactivity to food coloring." Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine (2011) 21 Suppl, p. 1:52-62. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25599186#

Stevens, L.J. et al., "Amounts of artificial food dyes and added sugars in foods and sweets commonly consumed by children." Clinical Pediatrics (2014 Apr 24), p. 1-13. Accessed 9 April 2017: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0009922814530803?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori%3Arid%3Acrossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub%3Dpubmed&

Nigg, Joel T., & Holton, K. "Restriction and Elimination Diets in ADHD Treatment." Child and adolescent psychiatric clinics of North America 23.4 (2014), p. 937–953. PMC. Accessed 9 April 2017: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4322780/

Feingold.org. Feingold Diet List of Research Studies. Accessed 9 April 2017: http://feingold.org/resources/studies/adhd/

Bell, C.C. A Comparison of Daily Consumption of Arti cial Dye-containing Foods by American Children and Adults. (2013, March) Master's Thesis Eastern Michigan University. Accessed 12 April 2017: http://www.feingold.org/Research/PDFstudies/Bell2013-open.pdf

Infertility and Natural Medicine

Did you know…
The air we inhale is approximately 20% oxygen, and the air we exhale is approximately 15% oxygen.  Therefore, about 5% of the air consumed in each breath and converted to carbon dioxide. Therefore, a human being uses about 550 liters of pure oxygen per day.
 

Infertility and Natural Medicine

infertility and nutrition

Both men and women describe infertility as heartbreaking, more stressful than losing a job or getting divorced. Across the United States, approximately 7.5 million women age 21 to 44 have an impaired ability to get pregnant or carry a pregnancy to term; about 5 million men have a fertility problem.

 

Most male infertility is due to low sperm counts, poor sperm quality or sperm mobility. Other problems are similar to those women face, such as structural issues with the reproductive organs, anatomical conditions, hormone imbalances, genetic factors, and environmental toxins. "When it comes to uncovering the root cause of infertility," says women's health expert Dr. Judith Thompson, N.D. "a common misconception is that it is hormone levels and if we adjust the hormones enough, a couple can get pregnant." In reality, several interrelated factors influence fertility.


In assessing infertility, natural medicine physicians evaluate a patient's overall well-being: the effect of stress on hormone levels; diet and exercise habits; exposure to environmental toxins; the function of the endocrine, digestive, and immune systems; and the unique design of a person's reproductive anatomy and physiology. They evaluate the man's sperm and test for hormone imbalances in men and women, as well as thyroid function, vitamin levels, and metabolic function. They then work with patients to correct imbalances and create an optimal environment for conception and pregnancy.
 

Five Ways to Enhance Fertility:


Nourish your endocrine system. Support the ovaries or testes, thyroid, and adrenal glands by eating organic, whole foods including nuts, seeds, fish, and avocados, as well as foods high in vitamin C. Oysters, rich in zinc, enhance male fertility and bolster a woman's immune system.

Avoid GMO containing foods, as well as soy, which may have a negative effect on reproductive function in certain individuals. "It is important to avoid foods that are stressful to the body," says Dr. Thompson. "One of the biggest culprits is coffee. It dehydrates and depletes vital nutrients from the body. It puts the body into a higher alert mode, which decreases the body's ability to become pregnant."

Make wise lifestyle choices. Forego high intensity exercises like hot yoga, Cross fit, marathon running, and triathlons. "Intense exercise puts the body into high stress mode. It sends the body the message that there is a lot of demand for resources and it is not a desirable time for pregnancy," says Dr. Thompson. Opt for slow yoga, walking, swimming, and bicycling.

Don't smoke, as it decreases oxygen to tissues and affects the placenta. Avoid alcohol. Make time to meditate because it relaxes all nerve signals and allows the body to function better.

Use quality nutritional supplements. The herb Aletris farinosa (aka True Unicorn) supports a toned uterus and minimizes possibility of miscarriage. Calcium-d-glucarate helps maintain a healthy estrogen and progesterone balance, increasing chances of pregnancy. Other supplements, including pre-natal vitamins, may be recommended by your health practitioner.

Establish strong emotional supports. Stress, Anxiety, and Fluctuating emotions: they increase cortisol production, which can affect the ability to become pregnant and also interfere with a baby's development. Seek out a counselor who specializes in fertility issues, a fertility support group, or a faith-based group to help you manage difficult emotions.

Support your spirituality. Whatever form your spirituality takes - attending church, participating with a nondenominational group, exploring nature, meditating, or being artistic - do something that takes you away from the daily to-do list and allows you to be fully engaged in the experience. "When this kind of heart-centered energy and awareness is present," says Dr. Thompson, "it opens doors for new creative energies to come through, and creative energy is a big part of fertility.

"Working with fertility is about getting to know yourself and your needs - physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, while healing the things that need healing and nurturing the parts that need nurturing."
 

 

Natural Supplementation

Caldium-D-Glucarate

nutrition fort collins

You've likely never heard of Calcium-D-Glucarate (CDG), a salt-based substance produced naturally by humans and animals and found in many fruits and vegetables. It's most abundant in oranges, grapefruit, and cruciferous vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts (Recipe coming in Part II), broccoli, kale and cabbage.


When treating infertility, natural medicine physicians will use CDG to facilitate liver detoxification, a process directly linked to estrogen metabolism. According to Judith Thompson, ND, this is especially relevant for women who have conditions such as PCOS or endometriosis in which metabolism may be impaired due to a buildup of estrogen levels. In response to this "excess estrogen" the body perceives progesterone levels to be low and may respond by "thinking" it doesn't have enough progesterone to maintain a pregnancy. Other medical conditions (e.g., damage to ovaries, ovulation problems) are associated with excess estrogen and thus can hinder pregnancy.

By supplementing with Calcium-D-Glucarate, the ratio of progesterone and estrogen can be brought into balance through optimal detoxification. CDG can affect how the liver metabolizes other medications. Therefore, it should be used under the careful supervision of a qualified health practitioner. 

 

Women's Fertility Herb: True Unicorn (Aletris farinosa)

infertility fort collins

Stargrass, Blazing Star, True Unicorn… quite magical names for this wildflower with its tall, sturdy round stem from which a cluster of tiny, white urn-shaped flowers blossom. True Unicorn has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to support women's reproductive health, including menstrual disorders and infertility. In native cultures, the herb was given to women with a history of miscarriage.


True Unicorn is most commonly used with women who have a "weak uterus," meaning they have very light menstrual flows or have anemia. This herb helps to tone and strengthen the uterus before pregnancy and is good for balancing hormones. It has been used to help women get pregnant and to help maintain healthy pregnancy. However, it has estrogenic properties and is not used during the course of pregnancy.

When used by qualified practitioners, only very small doses are prescribed. Since there have not been any published human clinical trials on True Unicorn, clinicians base their recommendations on case studies and the long history of use in traditional medicine.
 

 

References
The information offered by this newsletter is presented for educational purposes. Nothing contained within should be construed as nor is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. This information should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider. Always consult with your physician or other qualified health care provider before embarking on a new treatment, diet or fitness program. You should never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of any information contained within this newsletter.

6 steps for becoming alkaline


Your pH says a lot about the state of your health.  pH stands for power of hydrogen, which is a measurement of the hydrogen ion concentration in the body.  The total pH scale ranges from 1 to 14, with 7 considered to be neutral.  A pH less than 7 is said to be acidic and solutions with a pH greater than 7 are basic or alkaline.  Our ideal pH is slightly alkaline, 7.30 to 7.45.

The symptoms of an overly acidic body are weight gain, decreased energy, inflammation, increased toxins, mental fog, heartburn, digestive issues, acid reflux/GERD, cancer, gingivitis and osteoporosis.  When we maintain proper pH levels, injuries heal faster and health challenges improve more quickly.

The Standard American Diet is an overly processed diet full of acid-forming foods such as "polluted" meat, pasteurized dairy, genetically-modified modern wheat, foods with chemicals, artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, sugar and non organic foods full of pesticides.

Stress is also a huge contributing factor to having an overly acidic condition. 

Do you have any of the above symptoms or health concerns?

6 Steps for Becoming Alkaline:

The goal is to get your morning urine pH between 6.5 and 7.5.  You may be surprised to find that some of your favorite foods are actually acid-producing and the ones you think are acidic really aren't.  Additionally, your pH will vary depending on the time of day, what you ate or drank the day before and even your stress levels.

1. Pump up your produce intake.
2. Ban bread.
3. Chuck the condiments.
4. Boost your beans and seeds.
5. Get rid of artificial sweeteners.
6. Reduce alcohol, dairy (cheese too) and coffee.


Give it a try for just one week and see if you feel any shifts in your health and energy levels.  Contact Pamela via EMAIL or (303) 378-2689 for a consultation and help with your diet today!

 

Yoga for Your Plate: Mindful Eating

by: Pamela Ballard

*adapted from  Ballard Nutrition Blog
 

Fort Collins Nutritionist


The race is on: Cooking, cleaning, hosting, visiting, and tackling a holiday shopping list that is growing faster than last summer's weeds. Before you know it, the table is set and you're serving the holiday meal. This year, though, is going to be different--you're going to sit down and savor the abundance of flavors and the good company at your table. 

The art of Mindful Eating, with roots in Zen teachings, aims to reconnect you more deeply with the experience of eating and drinking. It's the process of deliberately paying attention to what is happening both within yourself and in your environment during mealtime. When you eat mindfully, you are in tune with where your food came from and with the aroma, taste, and texture of food. You become much more aware of your appetite - just how hungry are you? And, you become more sensitive to the feeling of fullness, so you'll be less likely to overeat. Mindful eating brings enjoyment back to mealtime.

 


1. Pause & Connect. 
After you give thanks for your meal, but before you pick up your fork, take a moment to connect with your appetite. How hungry do you feel? Of all the glorious food on the table before you, what are you truly hungry for? What flavors will nourish you and replenish your energy? Try not to choose foods out of habit. Fill your plate first with the foods your body is saying it most needs. Then, embellish your plate with smaller amounts of those traditional holiday favorites. 


2. Clear Digital Distractions. 
Although it's less likely at holiday time when family and friends gather from near and far, it's easy to forget to turn off the digital devices that are such a huge part of our lives. Sure, someone will complain about missing a "key play" in the big game, but what's more important? Everyone at your table should be in the moment for the main part of the meal and free of distraction. 


3. Take Bites, Not Gulps. 
Instead of shoveling food into your mouth, take smaller bites and focus on chewing and tasting it. Digestion begins with the act of chewing. Salivary enzymes break down food the moment it enters your mouth. Your taste buds awaken to flavors as you chew. Pause between bites to set your utensils down and breathe. 


4. Engage All the Senses. 
The taste of food is just one way to appreciate it. Throughout your meal, notice how food smells and how it looks on the plate. Notice the colors and the textures. Consider the nutrients that the food will provide for you. Appreciate every aspect of eating (and celebrating) the holiday meal. 


5. Be a Nonjudgmental Diner. Being a nonjudgmental diner is about paying attention to your needs for nourishment and not the person's next to you. And if you feel yourself on the verge of overindulgence, make it a conscious choice. Choose your favorite holiday treat and bring a focused awareness to eating it. Almost certainly, you'll so enjoy and be satisfied by that first piece of pie, you won't feel the urge for seconds.


Contact Pam to set up your consult today if you have questions or need a little guidance!