Tag Archives: diet

Awareness Starts with Prevention

October is here again and with it comes an increase in pink donned by everyone from your next door neighbor to the players on the field each weekend.  This yearly tradition signifies breast cancer awareness month which emphasizes the importance of early detection and potentially life saving subsequent treatment.

But what if we took it a step further?

What if instead of simply looking to detect and treat, we placed the overwhelming emphasis on doing all we can to prevent it in the first place?

According to the WHO (World Health Organization), approximately half of all cancers are preventable if certain strategies are implemented (i.e. diet and exercise).  If this is accurate, we are talking about millions of cases of cancer prevented, ultimately leading to a decrease in death, suffering and expensive cancer treatments.

Yet for some reason the act of prevention through education and lifestyle modifications continues not to be the main focus.  Rather the detection of an already existing, potentially deadly disease. This train of thought which holds true for cancer, Alzheimer’s, and the current mainstream medical model can best be summed up in a 2,000 year old quote:

“Maintaining order rather than correcting disorder is the ultimate principle of wisdom. To cure a disease after it has manifest is like digging a well when one feels thirsty, or forging a weapon when the war has already begun.”

This is not to say that some of us may be more genetically predisposed to one condition or the other. Certain diseases do appear to be an ugly ornament upon the branches of many family trees.  However, as the field of genetics continues to lose more and more steam in implicating inherited genes as the decisive factor in the expression and development of disease, the research and focus is slowly diverting to lifestyle and environmental influences as that decisive factor.

I am once again speaking of epigenetics.  If you’ve read any past posts you know this is a reoccurring theme, and for good reason.  Mounting research (including the afore cited WHO proclamation) points to environmental influences as being the determinant of whether or not certain genes are expressed, turned on, or altered, thereby leading to disease.

This type of information can prompt a wide range of emotions and reaction.  If increasing research continues to point towards this being true, then the notion of being a helpless victim of your genetics goes out the window.  Also out the window goes a care free, over indulgent and indiscretion filled lifestyle.

In comes the notion of personal responsibility and accountability;

the acknowledgement that our daily, routine actions do indeed generate far reaching and severe reactions;

the opportunity to utilize the latest information to your advantage and play an active role in scribing your genetic destiny.

Intelligent decisions bathed in self discipline and respect for life.

Realizing that food truly is thy medicine and beginning to eat to live rather than the other way around; all part of the empowering picture.

One more note pertaining to your role in how your genes are expressed, and ultimately the expression, progression or regression of disease.  It has been noted that at any given time, our genes are expressing 20-40% of their potential. That leaves 60-80% dormant or silent.  With this recognition and subsequent action based upon the fact that environmental and lifestyle factors determine what 20% is expressed, the power lies in your hands.

Will you implement the strategies that foster genetic expression leading to a life health, energy and a zest for life, or will you choose to stay ignorant to, or simply refuse to make changes that current studies implicate have a real and positive effect on the expression of your genes?

So let’s talk specifically about the contemporary topic.  What can we do about breast cancer?  What are some strategies we can implement in order to stack the deck in our favor and keep the genetic expression that leads to cancer quiet?

First off is a change in deodorant, namely ditching the antiperspirant.  Using an antiperspirant that works by clogging the sweat glands leads to a toxic build up of chemicals and metabolic by-products that are intended to be released.  A good place to start is by eliminating deodorants that contain ingredients like aluminum, phthalates, parabens or any color followed by a number as these ingredients have been shown to be potentially carcinogenic as well as powerful endocrine disruptors (which is more serious and far reaching that you may think).

Another area to address is the diet, particularly getting a hold of your blood sugar and insulin.  Varying degrees of insulin resistance are all but commonplace in this country due to carb/sugar heavy meals and over indulging, coupled with a lack of physical activity.  There have been insulin receptors found on tumors which have been shown to facilitate tumor growth.  Thus if we have insulin spikes due to carb/sugar heavy meals or borderline resistance, we now have an abundance of insulin circulating, a portion of which can bind to a tumor and encourage growth.

To take this a step further, cancer cells have been shown to flourish off the broken down component of carbs/sugar: glucose.  One way to get the insulin in check and attempt to starve the cancer out is by incorporating a fat adapted or ketogenic diet.  This means our body switches over to using fat as the primary fuel rather than carbs, which emerging research is showing to not only benefit cancer patients, but actually lead to regeneration of brain cells, potentially preserving mental and cognitive health.

Let me wrap this up by saying that there is no full proof plan. You have your outliers on either side of the equation.  You have the individual who lives life to a tee health wise yet still winds up suffering from a horrible disease. You also have your aunt who smoked a pack a day while drinking a pint of whiskey yet lived into her 90s.

These exceptions to the rule remain somewhat of a mystery, while simultaneously serving as an excuse for others to ignore the power of daily habits and lifestyle choices.  Fueling their fire for no discipline and a hands up, life happens, victim approach.

However, the tide is turning.

The information is available.

The choice is ultimately yours and these choices made on a daily basis will lead to consequences, either good or bad in the future.

I ask again, wouldn’t you want to do all you possibly can to stack the deck in your favor?

 

 

 

 

Autoimmunity: Are You One of the 50 Million Plus?

In keeping with the theme of our last post, we will delve into the puzzling and agonizing world of autoimmunity and how it relates to functional medicine.  The first couple of  eye opening paragraphs below were scribed by Dr. Datis Kharrazian and could make a substantial difference in quality of life.

“Autoimmunity has become a growing epidemic and many individuals seeking care in the healthcare system are suffering from autoimmunity.  Autoimmunity is basically the loss of self tolerance, or the inability for the immune system to recognize self-tissue from foreign or pathogenic organisms, leading to an attack upon oneself.”

(I’d be remiss here if I didn’t briefly touch on one of the reasons why our trusty immune system may turn on us and it comes down to what we knowingly put in our bodies. When the food we eat leads to issues within our gut, lending to leaky gut or intestinal permeability, one of our main barrier systems of our bodies becomes compromised and foreign and undigested particles are allowed entry.
Our immune system sees this and does it’s job and attacks.  Problem solved.

The issue arises when the presence of unwanted invaders persists and the immune system must continually attack.  This puts the immune system on hyperactive defense mode and eventually, due to the similarity in structure between certain tissues and certain foods, the up regulated immune system begins to also attack our own tissues.

This can lead to the start of rheumatoid osteoarthritis as the immune system attacks the joints and breaks down cartilage, or diabetes 1 as the pancreas is attacked (studies now illustrating the similarity in structure of the beta cells of the pancreas and the casein proteins found in milk), MS as the protective covering of our central nervous system, myelin is broken down, or hypothyroidism (Hashimotto’s) as the thyroid is attacked (similar protein structure between thyroid tissue and gluten).

While diet is a major player in the development or facilitation of an autoimmune reaction, the list of catalysts goes well beyond that including many other environmental toxins.)

“The loss of self-tolerance and the development of autoimmunity is a major reason why many individuals notice a rapid decline in their health and seek consultation with a healthcare professional.  Unfortunately, autoimmunity leads to a destructive process to various tissues over several years, and early autoimmunity may be easily overlooked in the current healthcare model.

In the current system, autoimmune disease is not diagnosed until the tissue has already been destroyed.  In other words, an individual may have cartilage antibodies for several years and suffer significant pain, but they will probably not be diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis until they have severe joint deformity.
Another person may have subtle autoimmunity to myelin and present with diverse neurological symptoms, but they will not be diagnosed because their MRI does not show enough destruction to be sensitive to MRI findings.  It is now clear that the antibodies to tissues appear years before total destruction is obvious, and during these years, individuals suffer from symptoms associated with the destructive process.”

In the all too common scenario like the one above, a person suffering from the early stages of autoimmunity seeks consultation and since they do not have total tissue destruction, they are not diagnosed with any conditions.  At this point many individuals end up seeking alternative medicine, as conventional models offer them very little support in the early stages.

Functional medicine looks at autoimmunity through a different lens, classifying it into three stages.

1) Silent Autoimmunity: antibodies present, but no symptoms.
2) Autoimmune Reaction: antibodies AND symptoms present, BUT not enough tissue destroyed to be diagnosed as an autoimmune disease.
3) Autoimmune Disease: antibodies present, symptoms may or may not be present, enough tissue destruction to diagnose.

So what can you do with all this empowering information? Well, speak with a healthcare professional who goes beyond the black and white and looks at things from a functional perspective.  A review of history and symptoms will be done along with an exam.  Appropriate  blood work can be ordered and analyzed and if need be tests looking for specific antibodies can also be obtained.

With this information the appropriate nutritional, dietary and lifestyle modifications can be made in order to potentially delay progression or keep symptoms quiet by lessening inflammation, controlling the immune system and addressing any other systems specific to the individual.

Curious?

Want to know more?

Have some specific questions?

Call us anytime (321-848-0987) to explore the liberating possibilities.

Healthy Alternatives: Open Faced, Grain Free, Grass Fed Burgers

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This is an additional variation of a post my wife added awhile back.  Feel free to check our NUTRITION AND RECIPES section (located along the top menu bar) for that and more ideas.

Another disclaimer on this post: we actually don’t eat red meat that often.  This may be a once a week thing, and it usually comes on a Friday or Saturday when we’re being creative; hence the posted recipes.

Regardless, the following is another way to enjoy a classic without any guilt or negative after effects.

 

INGREDIETNS:

1 lbs. Grass Fed Beef

1 Green Pepper, Onion and Mushroom (preferably organic for optimal health)

2 Haas Avocados

1 Organic Egg Plant

Non-Pasteurized, Raw Sauerkraut (or another variation of it, i.e. kim-chi.  What is kim-chi? A fermented mix of vegetables and spices with Oriental dissent.)

2 Organic Roma Tomatoes

Desired Spices for the Meat (cumin, garlic, ground pepper, and oregano)

 

STEPS:

Preheat large pan on Med-Low to Med, lather with coconut oil (unrefined).

Dice green pepper, onion and mushroom and mix it, along with your seasoning (cumin, garlic, ground pepper, and oregano)  with the meat.

If you really want to set it off, you can put in the time and make some home made guacamole as we did. (We’ll unleash our favorite recipe for our beloved guacamole at a later date.)  However, slicing up avocados will do if you don’t have the time.

Dice the Roma tomatoes.

Slice the eggplant in slices approx. 1/4″ to a 1/2″ thick, and fry them in the preheated, coconut oil lathered pan.  Continue to flip, frying both sides and removing before too much of a browning reaction takes place on the eggplant.

Set the eggplant aside and reapply coconut oil if needed.  Shape the meat/veggie/seasoning mixture into patties of your desired thickness. (Make sure you pack it tight so it doesn’t crumble when maneuvering in the pan and consuming).

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Cook the burgers in pan to your desired temperature, again constantly flipping in an effort to avoid too much of a browning reaction on each side of the meat.

As the burgers near ready, spread a thin layer of your fermented, non-pasteurized sauerkraut on the eggplant.  Place the burger on top and cover with your delicious guac (or simply sliced avocados if you’re lazy…I mean pressed for time) and diced tomatoes.

And there it is; healthy classic treat without the dairy, grains or pro-inflammatory Omega 6s.

(If you LOVE picking your burger up and eating with your hands, feel free to cut the eggplant thicker and double the amount so you can close that bad boy up and enjoy the meal mentally as well.)

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Hampered by Habitual Heartburn?

Heartburn. Indigestion.  Acid reflux.  These are annoyances that plague millions of Americans.  The prevalence of this condition is so frequent that the sales of OTC (over the counter) antacids is in the billions.  I even saw Larry the Cable Guy pitching some Prilosec on a commercial, urging that we don’t let heartburn get in the way.

Dr. Cable Guy has it partially right. You shouldn’t allow heartburn to get in your way.  However the answer is not to mindlessly pop a side effect laden pill in order to silence your body’s cry for help. Especially not on a regular basis, as even the manufacturers warn to caution long term use.

So what to do? Well, with this situation as with all, the optimal solution is to search for the cause of the dysfunction.

What’s the problem?

A burning sensation somewhere along your upper digestive tract. What’s the cause? Well, if you’re like many pill popping Americans, you may believe the issue is too much stomach acid. Drugs like the aforementioned Prilosec work by inhibiting the production of stomach acid, when in fact too little acid may actually be the issue.   Moreover, the issue may have nothing to do with acid volume at all, but rather nervous system dysfunction leading to discordination of the sphincters designed to prevent the back wash of potent stomach acid.

To our first point, a condition called hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid) can actually be the counterintuitive root of acid reflux.  We need our stomachs to secrete hydrochloric acid in order to protect us from harmful invaders hitching a ride with our food, and as a mandatory early digestive aid.  Without it, proper digestion cannot occur leaving one susceptible to nutrient and mineral deficiencies, as well as gut irritation, inflammation, infection and permeability.  And if you’ve read any other posts on this site or are up on the current research, you’re aware this can set the stage for a host of issues including autoimmune diseases.

When food is not hit with a proper dose of hydrochloric it begins to go rancid and putrefy in our gastrointestinal tract. The body, in all of its infinite wisdom, tries to refuse this ball of rotting nastiness and directs it towards the nearest exit. Unfortunately due the early juncture that this takes place along the digestive process, this ends up being your esophagus, where it irritates the delicate tissue and causes your classic heartburn.

Now if you chose to go the OTC route you will most likely experience some temporary relief, as it blocks the acid that is normally back washed into your esophagus. Unfortunately all you did was shove a dirty old sock in your body’s mouth as it attempts to inform you that something isn’t right.  So what happens? Well, next feeding the symptoms return and you learn to pop another pill as it now becomes your standard appetizer or dessert.

Not to pick on Prilosec, but since Larry gives’er the nod let’s hear some of those potential side effects that increase the longer you rely on them in order to enjoy that funnel cake with Mr. Cable Guy.  Those listed as common include headache, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and flatulence. More serious possibilities include fun things like pancreatitis, hepatic (liver) impairment, gastritis, nephritis (kidneys), and blood disorders.

Most importantly you need to keep in mind that you’re inhibiting the function of the entire digestive process.  While this may give you the short lived gratification of enjoying a taste, you are setting yourself up to be nutrient deficient and plagued by the laundry list of possible issues that can occur from that leaky, inflamed gut. So what can you do to break the cycle?

Well, first find a practitioner that is willing to go beyond the knee jerk reaction of prescribing something to decrease the stomach acid.  (In many cases supplementing with HCl (hydrochloric acid) actually brings relief.)

You’ll want to undergo a thorough consultation, exam, and perhaps some blood work in order to discover whether the causative factor is something like your thyroid gland, adrenal glands, or based in the brain.  You’ll have to be willing to make the necessary lifestyle changes, especially when it comes to diet in order to heal the gut and identify any possible food intolerances that may be causing constant internal stress and leading to esophageal sphincter dysfunction.

If you suffer from chronic heartburn or another condition that you’re tired of being on meds for;

If you’re tired of feeling like you’re running in circles;

If you’re interested in a natural and holistic approach described in the paragraph above;

if you believe the body is a complex matrix of interconnected systems and not isolated compartments;

if you are sick and tired of being sick and tired; then please give us a call (321) 848-0987.  It would be our pleasure to collaborate with you in your journey towards optimal health.

Supplement Series: The Good Fats

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ESSENTIAL SUPPLEMENT OF THE MONTH

OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS (aka Fish Oil)

  • Literally thousands of studies have demonstrated that a deficiency in Omega 3s can contribute to:
    • DEPRESSION
    • MEMORY and CONCENTRATION PROBLEM
    • HEIGHTENED RISK OF ALZHEIMER’s:
    • Our brains are 60% fat, and require an adequate source of the Omega 3 fatty acids: DHA in order to function properly.
    • WEIGHT GAIN
    • CANCER
    • HEART DISEASE
    • ALLERGIES
    • ARTHRITIS
    • DIABETES
    • INFLAMMATION (pain, swelling, etc.)
    • ATHEROSCLEROSIS and BLOOD CLOTS

Ideal to have 1:1 ratio of Omega 3: Omega 6 for better HEALTH and LONGEVITY.

Unfortunately due to our lifestyles and dietary choices, the ratio favors Omega 6s, which tilts the scale in favor of a PRO-INFLAMMATORY environment and all of the conditions listed above.

Food sources of Omega 3s are inferior due to toxic accumulations in wild fish, the pro-inflammatory Omega 6 rich diet fed to farmed fish, and the additional step required to convert the ALA found in plants (flax, chia, hemp, etc.) to the desired Omega 3s (EPA and DHA).

That’s why REGULAR SUPPLEMENTATION with a good source of OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDs is imperative to HEALTH, WELLNESS and LONGEVITY.   

At Clarke Chiropractic and Wellness we encourage all to obtain our nutrients from whole food sources.  However, we also recognize a few supplements that appear to be so beneficial that supplementation may be advantageous.

We carry and recommend that most patients regularly supplement with Omega 3 Fatty Acids.  However, this is always based on the patient’s individual condition and health status.  You should never start or stop any supplements and/or medications without consulting with your trusted healthcare professional first.

If you are interested in confirming whether or not you are a candidate for some Omega 3s or any type of supplements in your life, feel free to give us a call (321-848-0987) and we’ll sift through what you need and don’t need.

Live Life.