Raising Healthy Children: Tip # 3

By Dr Jennifer Barham-Floreani: Tip # 3: TOUGH LOVE

Many parents lament that they can’t get their children to eat certain foods or meals that they prepare…

Despite their best intentions, many parents today arrive at a stand-of with their children; the children dictate what they will and won’t eat, and then the parents become distressed when their kids fall ill with frequent colds and flus, ear infections and asthma, to name but a few repercussions of poor diet. Or in ever-growing cases, children acquire seemingly mysterious behavioral disorders with long labels that require medication. Even then, the link is often not made between diet and health.

Sometimes it seems a whole lot easier to just give into children and throw into their lunchboxes that vegemite, peanut butter or jam sandwich, a packet of chips, or a cupcake. There is no doubt that this type of approach to lunches is quick, simple, and easy. But the question is:

Is life simple and easy when we have hyperactive, angry or unwell children?

NO, it isn’t…full report

 …Life is draining physically, emotionally and financially.

 

We cannot pour soft drinks or additives onto a potted plant and expect it to survive… the same applies to our body.

There is a direct relationship between what we eat and our quality of life and health. In Lunchbox Solutions, I discuss a variety of approaches to retraining fussy eaters.

Every family must negotiate guidelines and boundaries around many facets of lifestyle and behavior, but there are none as important as diet, because what your children eat has an ENORMOUS IMPACT on the whole family. It’s exhausting when they are chronically unwell when they are irritable and friends and family don’t want to spend time with them. So I’d encourage you to pick your battles and be clear that the “food battle” is one you want to win!

Even if your child appears quite healthy, remember that the impact of poor food choices may have a long-lasting effect on their health as adults. The cumulative damage of refined sugars and processed foods can be an enormous contributor to illnesses including diabetes and heart disease. It is our role as guardians to empower our family with proactive and positive habits. 

Since my boys were very little they learned that they need to eat primarily wholesome foods and at times “sometimes foods.” It is vitally important that children learn how they can strengthen digestive power through eating foods that are as close to their natural state as possible including a wide variety of fresh organic vegetables and fruits, raw or organic nuts and seeds, beans, whole grains; you get the idea.

Foods Cont.

Foods should nourish and heal the body. Eating foods in their most natural state ensures we receive the highest nutritional content. Whole foods contain naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, enzymes, essential fatty acids, amino acids and more.

Consuming food shouldn’t be a toxic event. By eating “whole foods” we also help our family to reduce their intake of harmful chemicals. Such as preservatives, synthetic nutrients, and other additives that are considered non-foods (which are added to most all processed foods.)

If you can — try to eat organic foods whenever possible. This will help to ensure you avoid harmful toxins such as antibiotics, synthetic hormones, pesticides, herbicides, GMO’s, and synthetic fertilizers. Purchasing organic food is not a luxury but rather an integral step in securing our health. Pollutants in our modern environment—for example, pesticides, heavy metals, herbicides and fumigants—have been linked to abnormalities in behavior, perception, cognition, and motor ability during early childhood, even when exposure is at so-called harmless levels.

The goal is to teach the child to make these good decisions themselves

Where possible encourage children to help you shop and prepare meals and take the opportunity to highlight the pros and cons of different foods and false foods.

Encourage your children from a young age to also be open to having supplements or “vitamin boosts” from time to time. For example, smoothies and homemade juices are a great way to add multi-mineral powders and probiotics into their weekly diet. High-quality probiotics can provide the necessary bacteria for a healthy gut, and they are an essential aid to digestive health for all children — I would recommend taking these a few times a week. It’s also a great habit to encourage them to randomly have zinc and vitamin C powder drinks or multi-mineral drinks particularly if they have been really busy or had a few late nights.

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Children Eating More Fruit, but Fruit and Vegetable Intake Still ...

Raising Healthy Children: Tip # 2 How?

By Dr Jennifer Barham-Floreani: How? Take an audit.

Whenever we want to set ourselves a new goal we have to know where we are starting. This allows us to look back in 6 and 12 months time and celebrate how far we have come. It’s hard work being a parent and it’s harder again to a parent who’s committed to healthy habits and rituals. So, it’s important to take stock and appreciate your efforts.

So let’s begin how to audit.

Q: How Much Sugar Do You Each Consume Daily

Without realizing it, most adults and children eat refined sugar for breakfast, lunch and dinner via processed cereals and grains. Most of us consume an average of 53 kg of sugar each year (approximately
29 teaspoons of added and natural sugar each day), and 75 percent comes from the packaged and convenience products we eat and drink.

I’d encourage you to investigate the health risks associated with eating too many sugars (in Lunchbox Solutions I discuss the dangers of sugars and outline what are healthier ways to sweeten recipes, so that’s a great place to start).

There are several reasons should we should avoid sugars, including that they raise our insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone
that our pancreas produces and its main function is taking up blood glucose (sugar) into the cells for energy. High insulin levels are thought to contribute to multiple health issues but for this post where we are focused on raising the health status of our children — let’s keep to three main issues.

Key issues with sugar

1 High insulin levels can depress the immune system weakening our ability to fight disease. This occurs because white blood cells need stacks of vitamin C to kill bacteria and viruses. So our white blood cells work to accumulate
and store vitamin C within the cell. The problem is that vitamin C and glucose have similar chemical structures so they then compete to enter the white blood cells. Guess what happens when we have lots of glucose in our blood from eating lots of foods that contain processed sugars? Glucose wins and our white blood cells become deficient in vitamin C compromising our ability to fight bugs.

2 Too many sugars also upset the integral balance of good and harmful bacteria in the gut. When we consume too many sugars we can create an overgrowth of harmful yeasts and bad bacteria which override our helpful “disease fighting” helpful bacteria — hindering our immune system.

3 Refined sugars also provide us with no vitamins or minerals. In order for them to be metabolized, they draw on the body’s reserves of vitamins and minerals, depleting our body’s nutrients.

ACTION: Start a food diary and observe just how much sugar find there way into your daily diet. Here’s a tip for when looking at products and packaging — sugars tend to be any ingredient ending in “ose” — sucrose, fructose, dextrose, lactose etc. Try it — it will shock you!

Drastically reducing sugar (initially this is not an easy task) not only lightens the load on your child’s immune system it also allows your children to get off the ‘blood-sugar rollercoaster’.

Here’s another tip — cutting back sugar … life just gets better. Sugar highs and lows, make us all irritable and grumpy.

Audit Cont.

Q: How many processed foods are in your pantry, fridge and child’s lunch box?
-Literally count the number of packaged items and take an audit. If a food item has more then 5 or 6 ingredients you can bet it’s refined, altered and damaged. If you can’t pronounce the names of the ingredients in the food item, mostly likely it’s full of chemicals. I’d encourage you to become a food critic and learn what all those numbers and complex sounding ingredients really mean. Please see “Become a Food Critic” and the “Poor Choice, Better Choice and Fabulous Choice” Table in “Empower Their Choices” in Lunchbox Solutions.

Q: How many pieces of fresh fruit and vegetables are you all currently consuming each day?

-Daily consistency is key here.

Q: How many glasses of water do you drink?

Q: What sort of water do you drink?
-And I don’t mean the wet kind. One of the simplest and most important things you can do is invest in a water filter to protect your family against chemically-treated water. Most of our drinking water today contains chlorine and chlorination by-products, as well as numerous other contaminants. Drinking good quality water via a high quality filter system — promotes detoxification, enhances nutritional uptake and ensures optimal hydration.

Help your children develop the habit of drinking water throughout the day rather than juices and soft drinks. A mere two per cent drop in our body’s water supply can trigger signs of dehydration: fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math and difficulty focusing on smaller print, such as a computer screen. Many children are frequently dehydrated, suffering with concentration issues, constipation and digestive problems.

Q: How many prescriptions has your child had in the last twelve months and over their lifetime?
-With regular chiropractic care and addressing these other tips for raising healthy children, many parents delight in no longer relying on antibiotics and instead being able to rely on their child’s own immune strength.

Q: How many sessions of sweaty exercise would each family member perform each week?
-Ideally each of us should be raising our heart rate 5 times a week.

Q: How many harmful chemicals are in your personal care and cleaning products?
-Source brands that are genuinely wholesome — free of nasty chemicals and toxins which are readily absorbed through the skin and tax our body and its defence system.

It can be a “reality slap” to take an audit and look at where you currently sit along the “healthy” and “not so healthy” scale. Where you sit on the “fresh” and “disastrously preserved” scale. Remember though that every moment we make choices and have the opportunity and capacity to influence both our child’s — short and long-term health.

 

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Should I Quit Drinking?

The debate of whether a certain amount of alcohol is good or bad for you has been a long-standing one. Some of us enjoy the glass of wine with dinner. Others have a few beers on the weekend.  But do you need to quit it altogether to change your body or your health?

If you’re thinking that alcoholic beverages tend to show up a lot in life you’re not alone. Alcohol has become a huge part of the culture in New Zealand and in other countries around the world. Whether it’s a nice cold beer at the end of a workday or a bubbly champagne on New Year’s, it tends to add up. But how does that affect your health goals? Well, it’s kind of complicated.

You may have heard that drinking can be good for you as research has shown that moderate alcohol intake is associated with a lower risk of diabetes, gallstones and coronary heart disease. There have even been studies indicating that drinkers live longer than people who don’t drink.

However, it’s important to know that experts recommend that if you don’t already drink, don’t start. Why? Because no one actually knows if ANY amount of alcohol is good for you.

I’m not going to tell you not to drink. But it’s important to know that most of the research on the potential benefits of drinking alcohol doesn’t actually prove anything due to how the studies are designed. The research tends to be large, long-term population-based studies that can’t say that it CAUSES anything, but rather that it CORRELATES with something.

So what is a “moderate alcohol intake”?

  • Women: 7 drinks/week, no more than 3 in a single day
  • Men: 14 drinks/week, no more than 4 in a single day

In my opinion, this type of moderation will land you in a host of health problems. Let’s take it down to 1-2 times per week with only 1 drink per setting. That’s better 🙂

A single drink can be a 330 ml can of 4% alcohol beer or a 100 ml glass of 12.5% alcohol wine.

Chances are, if you’re a human, you’re most likely underestimating your alcohol consumption. The occasional happy hour or birthday dinner can quickly take you from moderate to heavy drinker without you even realizing. The health risks for heavy drinking are much higher for major health problems, such as liver cancer, alcoholism, osteoporosis and a host of other diseases.

So how do you find a nice balance? What amount of alcohol gives you enjoyment while giving your body a chance to respond and recover from processing it? MY moderate alcohol intake guideline is a good start along with the following tips:

  • Keep track of your drinking habits. Do this for a week or two and ask yourself:
    • Am I drinking more than I thought? (Did you forget to count those couple of beers you like to have on Sunday afternoons?)
    • Are there patterns in my drinking? (Does your stressful job trigger your end-of-week binge drink?)
    • Is it helping me enjoy life or stressing me out? (Are you not sleeping well or feeling worried about drinking?)
  • Tune in to your body’s signals:
    • Do I feel good?
    • Am I recovering?
    • How do I feel afterwards?
  • Switch it up and experiment to break your routine:
    • Delay your next drink for 10 minutes and see if you still want it after.
    • Savour your drink. Look, sniff, and taste it.
    • Quality over quantity. Drink less, but have the good stuff.

Evaluate how drinking fits in with your goals. If you want six-pack abs, then that might mean skipping out on a few drinks at the bar. Taking part in Friday night “Happy Hour” means pushing back your Saturday morning workout. If you’re aiming for a more moderate alcohol intake then you’ll have to find a way to say “no” to certain stress/social triggers that make you want to drink more.

 

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Eating During Pregnancy

What you eat during your 9 months of pregnancy matters. The food you consume affects you and your baby, so always mind that you’re eating for two! Pregnancy means that you’re building life, so make sure that you supply all the necessary building blocks.

 

How much should you eat?

Since you’re eating for two, you’ll need extra calories and nutrients as your body builds your baby’s bones, tissues and organs. And just because your waist disappears, it doesn’t give you the all clear to load up on ice cream and sweet treats! Eating 3 regular meals a day? Then add 2 healthy snacks such as fruit, nuts or veggies to meet your higher caloric needs.

  • If you exercise regularly: add 500 calories.
  • If you don’t: add 300 calories.

How much weight should you gain?

You need to gain the appropriate amount of weight so that your baby can too.  If you come up short, then so will your baby. You’re in this together.

  • If you’re underweight: your goal should be to gain 15-20 kg.
  • Normal weight: aim to gain 10-15 kg.
  • Overweight: aim to gain 6-12 kg.
  • If your height is 157 cm or shorter: aim to gain 6-12 kg.

What should you eat?

Protein

  • Eat 2.2 g of protein per kg of your body weight (ex. if you weigh 70 kg aim to consume 154 g of protein).

Omega-3

  • You can get this from walnuts, chia seeds, linseed (flaxseed), hemp seed, seaweed, algae or fish oil supplement or avocado.

Vitamin D

  • Get 20-30 minutes of sun exposure 2-3 days a week.

Zinc

  • This can be from legumes (such as beans and lentils) or dark and leafy veggies.

Calcium

  • Many things can provide calcium such as dark and leafy veggies, legumes, bokchoy, tofu, nuts and seeds.

Vitamin B-12

  • You can get this from a high quality Vitamin B-12 supplement or fortified foods such as tofu, soy milk etc.

Iron

  • Get this from seeds, whole grains, nuts, dried fruits or dark and leafy veggies.

 

What should you minimize?

Caffeine

  • Aim for less than 300 mg per day.

Cured lunch meats

  • This can include ham, hot-dogs and the like.

Artificial sweeteners

  • These should be avoided as much as possible during pregnancy.

High sugar intake

  • Do NOT use cravings to justify poor choices.

 

What should you avoid completely?

The Ministry for Primary Industries of New Zealand has a list of types of fish that should be avoided by women who are pregnant due to higher mercury levels.

  • Cardinalfish
  • Dogfish (excluding rig)
  • Lake Rotomahana trout
  • Lake trout from geothermal regions
  • School shark (greyboy, tope)
  • Marlin (striped)
  • Southern bluefin tuna
  • Swordfish

Tobacco

  • It increases the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) so it’s best to .steer clear.

Soft cheeses

  • This includes mold-ripened, blue veined, and unpasteurized cheeses.

Raw or undercooked animal foods

  • This includes meat, seafood (ex. SUSHI), and eggs.

 

What supplements should I take?

Your GP may prescribe prenatal vitamins and if not, it’s a good idea for you to seek some out yourself. Make sure the following is included:

  • Vitamin B-12 (3 ug/day)
  • Folic acid (400 ug/day)
  • Vitamin D (1000 IU/day) especially if you lack sun exposure

 

By following these guidelines, eating right and monitoring your weight, you’ll know that you’ve done everything in your control to lead up to a successful pregnancy.

 

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Low Back Pain and Pregnancy

Just when you think being pregnant is enough to deal with, nature has to throw in the curve-ball of a higher risk of low back pain. Not only that, but statistically, it’s said to start early on in pregnancy and increase over time. This can put a lot of stress not only on the mother, but everyone around her as well. So what causes it? How does it affect your baby’s development? And what can you do about it?

 

Cause

 

Low back pain on it’s own is a complicated condition. Muscles, ligaments, discs, and tendons are all potential culprits, but sometimes even your brain itself perceives dysfunctional patterns and sends pain signals as a response.

As the baby grows, the lower back will gradually start to increase its curve as the pelvis tilts. The shoulders move back to compensate for the shift in the centre of gravity. Finally, the head takes on a more forward position, a condition called Anterior Head Syndrome. All this happens as the body releases a special hormone to relax the ligaments in the pelvic area to allow for easier birth and movement of the structures as the uterus enlarges.

All of these shifts and changes increase stress and strain on the low back, so it’s no surprise that low back pain is expected during pregnancy.

 

Baby Development

 

The low back pain itself is not the concern when it comes to the baby’s development. However, it does throw a wrench in the works when you’re trying to maintain an optimal, healthy environment for your baby. It can make it hard to stay on track with movement and exercise, get high quality sleep, prepare healthy meals (to avoid eating out and consuming processed, innutritious food), and manage stress levels.

 

Solutions

 

  1. Walking: 30 minutes a day should do, just to get some motion in the pelvis and avoid uninterrupted sitting.
  2. Foam Rolling: working on the fascia and muscles will help your soft tissue adapt to all the structural changes that your body is going under.
  3. Strength Training: developing strength, especially within your core stabilizing muscles, can help immensely with low back pain and overall health.
  4. Structural Chiropractic: a structural chiropractor can act as valuable asset in the health care team of any pregnant woman. They can keep the body functioning optimally as well as address conditions such as Anterior Head Syndrome and low back pain. We usually find pregnant women to have the speediest recovery at our office.

If you’ve got a baby on the way, try these out and benefit from a better and more comfortable pregnancy. If you have any questions about pregnancy, low back pain or other health concerns, feel free to bring them up with your Structural Chiropractor.

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Pillar No. 4: Stress Less, Be Well

Introduction

“The best time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.”

I think we can all relate with this quote. You find yourself halfway through the week swamped with a long list of to-dos and no end in sight… Except for maybe a vacation here and there, but let’s be honest, most of us fill those vacations days with just as much stuff to do as when we’re not on vacation.

I’ll let you in on a little secret to “The Art of De-Stressing”: building daily recovery time. Now the key word here is “building” because you won’t be able to do it all at once to begin with… If you’ve always been on the go, it’ll actually be a bit of a challenge for you to stop for a bit. So start with a little bit of downtime and build from there until you find a way to fit all your other stuff around your daily rest time.

 

Tips to stress less

 

Why rest?

Now for the important question: why do we want to build in daily rest time? Well it has to do with our brain, because you see, our brain function can be broken down into two categories: sympathetic activity (“fight or flight” activity) and parasympathetic activity (“rest and digest” activity).

Most of us tend to be in too much of a sympathetic state, whether it be from our jobs, the kids, our relationships, the bills and any other stressor that takes us to that state. When our body’s are in this “fight or flight” state our adrenal glands produce high levels of circulating cortisol and adrenaline, which are good for short term bursts of energy when trying to get away from a threat like a lion chasing us. But when stress is chronically high it can interfere with certain body functions, such as our digestion, metabolism, immune function and reproduction. If this continues it can result in our hormones being thrown out of whack, reproductive dysfunction, muscle loss, fat gain and even chronic fatigue, which does not make for a happy you at all.

 

Now, what can we do to prevent this sympathetic overdrive from happening in the first place?

Keyword: balance. There’s no way you can reduce all the stressors in your life. In fact, you don’t really want to because a certain amount of stress is actually good for us. Instead, you want to focus on finding more activities that promote your parasympathetic state.

 

Luckily for you, there are all sorts of activities that can help with this:

  • Yoga and Pilates: certain types are known to be very parasympathetic.
  • Meditation: offers huge help with rest and recovery.
  • Spa: can help you achieve a deep parasympathetic state.
  • Jacuzzi/Sauna: much like the spa can help you deal with stress.

 

Even if those aren’t feasible options for you due to affordability or time, there are many activities that can be done at home:

  • Reading: find a quiet spot to read 30 minutes before bed.
  • Zoning out: drink warm tea and watching an episode of your favorite Netflix series is a great way to wind down.
  • Music: listening to relaxing music before bed.
  • Bath and Candles: light some candles while having an Epsom salt bath before bed.

Just remember that it doesn’t matter what activity you choose, as long as you achieve a nice parasympathetic state while doing it. Find the activities that can help you get 30 minutes of quiet, restful, worry-free parasympathetic activity every single day and it’ll do wonders for getting control of your stress.

 

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Healing the Adrenal Glands Naturally

Introduction

Before we dig deep into how you can heal your adrenal glands naturally, let’s quickly go through what can cause adrenal fatigue in the first place.

 

Causes of Adrenal Fatigue

  • Stressful experiences like death of loved one, divorce or surgery
  • Exposure to environmental toxins and pollution
  • Prolonged stress due to financial hardship, bad relationships or work environment, and other conditions that entail feelings of helplessness
  • Negative thinking and emotional trauma
  • Lack of sleep
  • Poor diet (including crash diets and inconsistent nutrition) and lack of exercise
  • Pain
  • Food sensitivities
  • Surgery
  • Reliance on stimulants like caffeine or energy drinks
  • Rheumatoid arthritis.

 

 

Natural ways to heal adrenal glands

1. Follow the adrenal diet.
what to add and what to avoid in adrenal diet

– Caffeine: This can interfere with your sleep cycle and make it hard for your adrenals to recover. If you must drink coffee or a caffeinated beverage, then have a limited amount in the morning before noon. I would highly recommend lowering your caffeine intake to 1 per week overtime if you need to. Try to drink herbal or green tea instead.

– Sugar and sweeteners: Includes avoiding high-fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners as well. Avoid sugary foods, cereals, candy, sweets, etc. Be aware that sugar is an additive in many breads, condiments and dressings. Try to avoid as much extra sugar as possible. Seek the benefits of stevia as an alternative, and always moderate your use of sweeteners of any kind.

– Processed and microwaved foods: First of all, the microwave has its own dangers, but additionally, most microwaveable, ultra-processed foods have many preservatives and fillers that are hard to digest and wear out your body’s energy and digestion cycle. Try to buy food on the outer walls of your grocery store and prepare your own food whenever possible.

– Processed meats and dairy: An overload of protein can stress your hormones more than you might think, and the added hormones and lacking nutrition in conventional, processed meats (particularly red meats like beef and steak) can throw your system out-of-whack in quick succession. We usually consume way too much animal products in our diet these days which are all the cause of the most deadliest diseases known to human such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Eat these protein-heavy meats only in moderation.

– Hydrogenated oils: Vegetable oils like soybean, canola and corn oil are highly inflammatory and can lead to adrenal inflammation. Try to only use good fats such as coconut oil, olive oil.

 

2. Add nutrient-dense foods that are easy to digest and have healing qualities.

Some of the top superfoods for adrenal health include:

  • Coconut
  • Olives
  • Avocado and other healthy fats
  • Cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, etc.)
  • Nuts, such as walnuts and almonds
  • Seeds, such as pumpkin, chia and flax
  • Kelp and seaweed
  • Celtic or Himalayan sea salt
  • Fermented foods rich in probiotics
  • Chaga and cordyceps medicinal mushrooms
  • Fruits
  • Whole grain gluten-free carbs.

A strict no-carb diet can stress the body, even more, worsening adrenal burnout. Of course, I’m not saying please go and eat cookies and cakes, but rather quinoa, lentils, and buckwheat.

 

3. Herbs and Supplements.
Herbs and supplements
– Adaptogenic herbs ashwagandha, Rhodiola Rosea, Schisandra, and holy basil: Research indicates that adaptogen herbs may help to lower cortisol levels and mediate stress responses within the body. By using these herbs in food preparation, you can alleviate some of the strain on your adrenal glands

– Licorice root: This spice is available in extract form and helps to increase the DHEA in your body. Licorice root is associated with some side effects and may sometimes be avoided by taking DGL licorice. Pregnant women and those with heart, liver or kidney problems should avoid licorice root. Don’t take it for more than four weeks at a time.

– Omega 3 fatty acids (EPA/DHA): There are a large number of benefits of increasing your omega 3 fatty acids intake through natural sources such as chia seeds, flaxeeds/linseeds and hemp seeds. Several of these include counteracting a number of adrenal fatigue-related symptoms and complications, such as diabetes, mental dysfunction, arthritis, immune system function, skin issues, weight gain and anxiety/depression.

– Magnesium: For some time, magnesium has been understood as one of the necessary nutrients for fighting adrenal insufficiency, While the mechanisms of this aren’t fully understood, you may benefit from supplementing with magnesium if you are suffering from adrenal fatigue.

 

4. Vitamins and oils

– B-Complex vitamins: Research has found that vitamin B12 deficiency may be associated with stress on the adrenal cortex in some animals. Vitamin B5 is another commonly deficient vitamin in people with adrenal stress. It may serve you well to take a high-quality B-complex vitamin supplement.

– Vitamin C: Known as a “stress-busting” nutrient, vitamin C has been found to minimize the effects of stress on people as well as reduce the time necessary to bounce back from stressful events.

– Vitamin D: In addition to maintaining homeostasis between magnesium and phosphorus in the body and supporting strong bones, Vitamin D has also more recently been seen to have impact on other conditions, including adrenal dysfunction and disease.

– Selenium: At least one animal study has found that selenium deficiency can negatively impact adrenal function.

– Lavender oil: Human and animal studies show that lavender essential oil has a calming effect that can reduce stress. Research also suggests that it may lower high cortisol levels when inhaled.

– Rosemary oil: Rosemary essential oil (along with lavender) can help to decrease cortisol concentrations and reduce oxidative stress on cells.

 

5. Other things you must pay attention to for healthy adrenal glands:

What else to pay attention to

– Go to bed early.
Getting to bed before 10-11pm is a must in any stage of adrenal fatigue. Many people get a second cortisol surge after 11pm, which further disrupts sleep patterns.

– Focus on hydration.
Dehydration is also a hallmark of adrenal fatigue. You can take a multi trace mineral supplement so more water is absorbed into your cells. You can also add fresh lemon juice or Himalayan sea salt to your water instead.

– Build rest into the day.
Practise Iyengar Yoga at least 2 x week and take two 20-minute rest breaks a day (time outs alone to breathe and restore).

– Change your perspective.
Is your definition of success killing you? In many cases, what you perceive as success is driving you into adrenal overload. Try to internalize the idea that “it” doesn’t have to be perfect to be great.

In some cases hormone therapy can be helpful, and if someone has an autoimmune disease called Addison’s, it can be necessary. But for most people who live their way into stage 1, 2 or 3 adrenal fatigue, it’s just a matter of living their way right back out of it and into balance with their bodies.

 

***Adrenal Support Tea link***
Rest and Relax Tea

 

***Adrenal Support Tea Recipe***

Cacao Orange Rejuvenator
Ingredients
1/2 tsp ginseng root
1 tsp roasted chicory root
1/2 tsp orange peel
1/2 tsp licorice root
1 pinch per cup cacao powder
1 drop per cup orange essential oil

This will serve 2–3 cups of rich and rejuvenating tea.
1. Put the ginseng in a pan with a lid. Add 7 ounces cold water and simmer with the lid on for 30 minutes. Add the roasted chicory root, orange peel, and licorice root to the pan along with 14 ounces freshly boiled filtered water. Leave to steep for 10–15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the cups by adding cacao powder to each one.
2. Once the tea has steeped, strain and pour it onto the cacao powder in the cups. Whisk and finish each with a drop of orange essential oil. (If you’re short on time, you can skip simmering the ginseng or leave it out.)

 

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Fertility and Coffee. Friends or foes?

Introduction

One of the most common phrases I hear from my patients is, “As soon as I get pregnant I will stop drinking coffee and alcohol.”

The trouble with that strategy is that the pregnancy may never happen if the liver is compromised.

Did you know that coffee constricts blood vessels while tea opens them? In order to ensure the optimal functioning of a woman’s reproductive organs, there must be adequate blood flow.

“It’s not what you do once in a while, it’s what you do every day that makes a difference in your health.” Dr. Libby Weaver.

 

So how much coffee can you have without compromising your fertility?

1-3 cups of coffee per MONTH is what I would consider “once in a while” and a very low risk to your fertility.
If you are drinking more than that, consider asking yourself these questions:

  • How many cups does it take for you to feel buzzed? Is that number slowly increasing?
  • Do you feel like it would be very hard to cut down? That’s a good sign that it’s necessary to do so.
  • What is a cup of coffee giving you that you can get some other way?

From a Traditional Chinese Medicine point of view, our Liver Qi is responsible for orchestrating the menstrual cycle. It also plays a crucial role in women’s fertility.

When our cycle goes smoothly, there are no cramps, no mood swings, no breast tenderness. There is a moderate flow of deep red blood for 3-5 days with no clots, and little spotting, which means our Liver Qi is healthy and balanced. (And, yes, that’s possible!)

Unfortunately, most women experience the opposite of the period described above. This is a sign that your Liver Qi is stuck and needs some help to flow more smoothly.

Coffee and alcohol temporarily relieve stress and make us feel better. Or as we say, “smooths out the Liver Qi.” However, in the long run, these temporary salves can cause more Liver Qi Stagnation which makes us crave more alcohol and more coffee. It can then cause more PMS symptoms and potentially lead to fertility issues.

From a western medicine perspective, coffee and alcohol are considered “liver loaders”. That means they are processed in the liver and too much of either one can compromise the liver’s healthy functioning.

Interestingly, estrogen, one of the most important women’s fertility hormone, is made and eliminated from the body via the liver. So, you can imagine, if the liver is working overtime to process coffee and alcohol, that this will affect the proper estrogen balance in the body, potentially leading to compromised fertility.

 

How to substitute?

Here are some healthy alternatives to get your liver and your fertility back on track:

  • Teeccino, a wonderful coffee-like substitute made with chicory root which is high in potassium, giving you a natural energy boost that also promotes bowel movements, just like coffee! And I love the rich taste.
  • Green tea actually helps to smooth the Liver Qi, from a Chinese Medicine perspective, and the small amount of caffeine can help you with the transition from coffee.
  • Swiss water process decaf coffee is much healthier than other decaf coffee made via toxic chemical processes.
  • Pomegranate juice and sparkling water in a wine glass is a wonderful substitute to fill that void in your hand when socializing or enjoying dinner.
  • De-stressing or “me” time rituals like journaling, taking a bath, meditation, yoga, reading a good book, going out with friends, making a cup of tea, or getting a massage can all help to satisfy the feeling we’re looking for when we reach for our most loved vice.

Coffee and pregnancy

 

Looking for a Chiropractor in Auckland?

Contact Revolution Chiropractic – Leading  Sports Chiropractor Auckland

To Schedule your FREE CONSULTATION at Revolution Chiropractic E-mail or Call us on 09 418 3718.  

You can also book online here!

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