Balanced Living » Sept./Oct. ‘14

Fewer Hot Flashes

The Mediterranean diet, which includes lots of fruits, veggies and whole grains, has been linked with healthier hearts, but did you know it could also reduce hot flashes during menopause.  Women on the diet are 20 percent less likely to report night sweats and flashes than those not on the diet.  Research suggests that the high fiber in the diet can help stabilize the estrogen levels, which lessen the symptoms.  This diet can also regulate blood sugar, which relieve menopausal symptoms too.

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint Oil is great when you are congested but it also works great on keeping the bugs away from your garden.  Just spray on plants for a natural deterrent.  But remember to wash your greens before eating them
otherwise they will be minty.

Organic Farms

There are 17,000 certified organic operations and more than 4 million acres of organic farm land.  Organic farms provide jobs in the US: 53 percent of organic farms hire labor in comparison to 22 percent of the entire farm sector. —Pesticide Action Network North America

67 Calories

67 Calories: the amount of calories you save per meal by eating slower. Take smaller bites, saver the taste and be sure to start eating before you’re famished.  It doesn’t seem like a ton of calories but over a year you can save yourself from eating more than 48,000 calories by eating lunch and dinner slower.  That’s 13 lbs. by just taking your time.

Soap Nuts???

Eco Nuts® Soap Nuts are a berry shell that naturally contains soap. They grow on the Sapindus mukorossi (Soap Berry) tree in the Himalayas.

The natural soap found in these berries is called saponin. Saponin is a natural cleaner that works as a surfactant, breaking the surface tension of the water to penetrate the fibers of your clothing, lifting stains from the fabric, and leaving dirt suspended in the water that is rinsed away.

Eco Nuts Soap Nuts are gentle on both clothes and skin, making them ideal for those with sensitive skin, eczema, allergies and psoriasis. Because they are so mild, they are perfect for baby clothes and even cloth diapers. All-Natural Eco Nuts Soap Nuts are also great for septic and grey water systems. Unlike commercial soaps, that have artificial foaming agents, soap nuts do not produce lots of bubbles or foam. While commercial detergents and soaps have marketed heavily around that visual, foam simply is not an indicator of cleaning power.

Soap berries growing on a tree.
All Soap Nuts by Eco Nuts are wild-harvested, meaning they are gathered from wild trees grown without any kind of chemicals, fertilizers, or pesticides. Saponin actually tastes bad to insects so no pesticides are needed, and the trees naturally love poor uncultivated soil. They are organically grown by mother earth and certified USDA Organic by Oregon Tilth. To bring you the very best product, soap nuts are both de-seeded and sterilized – the only soap nuts on the market that are both!

To see them in action and find out more information check out econutssoap.com

Snack Before You Shop

If you go to the grocery store hungry you are likely to buy 20 percent more food than if you had a nibble before you left.  Plus, a Cornell study states that when you’re hungry higher calorie foods seem to look more appealing. So eat something first, your waist and your wallet will thank you.

Pesticides

Today’s children are sicker than two generations ago.  According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, early exposure of pesticides can increase childhood cancers—decrease brain function—and behavioral problems.  Overall incidence has risen 25 percent since 1975. —Pesticide Action Network North America

Super Recycling and Waste Stats

• One third of our waste could be composted. The EPA estimates we waste 33 million tons of food annually. The average American wastes around 230 pounds of food every year. Composting at home is now trendy, so help reduce waste and learn to compost. Find more information at www.2.epa.gov/recycle/composting-home.
• Supermarkets are getting better at reducing food waste. Some supermarkets are recycling their food waste by donating it to food pantries, feeding it to animals, or composting it.
• Recycling one glass bottle provides the same amount of energy as is needed for browsing the Internet for half an hour. Just think what recycling a whole case could do. Glass does not lose its quality during the recycling process as some other materials do. Bottles can be made into new bottles over and over again.
• You use around six 40-foot trees’ worth of paper annually. Trees 1) take years to grow and 2) help balance the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that leads to global warming. To save trees, use recycled paper whenever possible. Also, look for ways to reduce your use of paper, for example using washable cloths instead of paper toweling.
• About one million plastic bags are used every minute. According to www.reuseit.com, it takes 1,000 years for a plastic bag to degrade. A recent study identified over 15,000 drop-off locations around the country and determined that over 70 percent of Americans have one of these bins available in their community. It’s easy to obtain two or three cloth bags, too, to carry your groceries or other items.
• Steel recycling rates are about 92 percent. Steel is the most recycled material in North America. Automobile recycling is an impressive 94.5 percent. We can accomplish a lot of reuse through strong participation in recycling programs!

Smell Good Naturally

It’s no secret that our personal care products are laden with chemicals and they are bad for us. As with anything you put in or on your body, you need to know what is in that product. We have to be very vigilant consumers and learn to read the ingredients, not just the pretty words on the front of the product packaging. There is no regulation for “natural”— and that’s no secret. The fun part becomes learning what to look for and how to avoid those things.

In addition to shampoos, lotions, soaps, and sun screens, deodorants are on the must-know-what’s-in-them-before-I-put-them-on-my-body list. Here are some choices you can breathe easy about.

1. Lemongrass Spa Deodrants —We looooove their Grapefruit Lily!
2. Erbaviva’s Jasmine & Grapefruit — This is a great natural spray.
3. LaVanilla in Vanilla Grapefruit is seriously good fragrance, naturally!
4. MiEssence Deodrant in Tahitian Breeze is aluminum free.  Bring on the smell of the beach!
5. Exactly Organic Deodrant Geranium and Ylang Ylang = Happy!
6. Tom’s of Maine in Natural Powder is the easiest to find in most grocery stores and works good too.

Green Pages » Sept./Oct. ‘14

ChiroElite Chiropractic + Rehab

ChiroElite Chiropractic + Rehab is a locally owned chiropractic clinic in Altoona, opened by Dr. Thomas Pellatt. Dr. Pellatt grew up in Eau Claire and went to Regis High School where he played center for the varsity football team. It was while playing football and sustaining an injury that Dr. Pellatt was first introduced to the benefits of chiropractic. He experienced a quick healing time and noticed increased performance on the field after starting a regular treatment regimen.

He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 2007 and decided to go on to Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa for his doctorate of chiropractic. After graduation, Dr. Pellatt moved to Chicago where he treated patients in two large chiropractic firms over the course of three years. Dr. Pellatt worked with some of the very best chiropractors in Chicago and became specialized in many different techniques including Active Release Technique, Chiropractic Biophysics, Activator, and many more.

He decided to bring all that expertise and experience back to his hometown residents of the Chippewa Valley by opening a practice. ChiroElite is different than most chiropractic clinics. After working in insurance-based practices and seeing how expensive care still was for patients, Dr. Pellatt decided to make a change when he went out on his own. Rather than going through insurance, ChiroElite is strictly a cash practice. This decreases practice overhead for billing and non-covered services and passes savings on to the patients. Being a cash practice is not unique in itself but what sets ChiroElite Chiropractic + Rehab apart is memberships. One of the many possible payment options is the monthly, unlimited membership for either individuals, couples, or families. For a low, flat fee patients are able to schedule whenever they’d like and as often as they need for chiropractic care.

The membership serves two purposes. It makes receiving regular chiropractic care very affordable while at the same time incorporating a wellness approach to care. Healing and wellness through chiropractic takes time and multiple visits to have the best impact on a patient. Monthly memberships allow for patients to come and go as they please just like a gym and get the best possible value for their care. For those who have busy schedules, there are also punch cards and pay-per-visit options to accommodate just about any individual, couple, or family.

ChiroElite is also active in the community and hosts the Average Joes Evening Running Group every Wednesday at 5:30 PM. This is a group focused on improving cardio and endurance for beginning and intermediate runners. ChiroElite Chiropractic + Rehab is located at 903 S. Hillcrest Parkway, Altoona, WI 54720. They can be reached at 715-832-9725 or visited on the web at www.chiro-elite.com.

Parsley Medical Clinic: Is a direct pay practice right for you?

Parsley Medical Clinic, SC is a new direct pay Family Practice and OMT (osteopathic manipulative treatment) clinic in Eau Claire. Direct pay practices are a growing trend nationwide and in Wisconsin. Parsley Medical Clinic opened to help provide care for individuals and/or families with high deductible insurance, health savings accounts, or no health insurance. This type of practice cuts out additional cost and markup by not billing insurance companies or federal or state health programs, which reduces office overhead in the process. This simplifies the process, and the savings are passed along to the patient by reducing charges for office visits, labs, and procedures, and offers traditional services that most primary care offices provide, such as physicals, sick/injury visits, minor office procedures, and medication refills when needed.

Direct pay practices, like Parsley Medical Clinic, take the guess work out of medical cost by making prices available before the visit. Payment is expected on the day of service after the visit, so there is no bill to worry about later. If requested, a coded receipt will be provided at checkout for patients to submit to their insurance for possible out-of-network benefits. If you have questions about reimbursement, call your insurance company before scheduling an appointment.

Jennifer Parsley, D.O., is an osteopathic physician who is board certified in Family Practice and is also one of seven board certified specialists of neuromusculoskeletal medicine (NMM) practicing in Wisconsin. In addition to treating all ages in her Family Practice clinic, she also specializes in the treatment of musculoskeletal problems and uses a holistic treatment approach by combining her medical knowledge with manual manipulation (OMT) to treat problems like back pain, neck pain, and headaches.

“I enjoy making health care accessible and affordable to individuals who work hard to provide for their families but still have a tight budget. By simplifying our process, it allows me to take more time with my patients and improves patient satisfaction.” Osteopathic physicians offer their patients the most comprehensive care available in medicine today. Dr. Parsley adds, “Although we prefer you call ahead for an appointment, we currently welcome walk-ins too.” Parsley Medical Clinic is located in the Atrium Building at the corner of W. Clairemont Avenue and Highway 37. If you have a medical or musculoskeletal problem and would like more information, call our office at 715-514-3680 or visit the website at parsleymedicalclinic.com.

Eau Claire Creates a Sustainability Commission

In December of 2013 the Eau Claire City Council created a new citizen commission called the Advisory Commission on Sustainability (ACS). Eight community members and one City Council member were appointed back in April. Members represent broad background in the environment, business, academia, and public arenas. Specific areas of knowledge brought are energy, waste, air quality, climate change, remediation, buildings, housing, food, and environmental public health.

After considering numerous projects, the commission recently developed an annual work plan. Continuing from the city’s previous Sustainable Bag Committee’s efforts, they will be devising an educational campaign to reduce, reuse, and recycle disposable shopping bags in the city. These recommendations will be considered by the City Council in early 2015. Other projects the commission is undertaking include: drafting a pollinator honeybee-keeping ordinance to protect the food supply, encouraging water efficiency and conservation measures, evaluating a construction and demolition waste ordinance to reuse salvaged materials, promoting or requiring green buildings, and increasing support for affordable community solar. Both Xcel Energy and Eau Claire Energy Cooperative are investigating solar projects. The ACS intends to conduct a survey in the fall to help gauge public interest in receiving power from a solar facility. The city is considering siting a larger solar electric array facility at the former Sky Park Landfill site.

Meetings of the commission are open to the public. If interested in attending, full commission meets in Eau Claire’s city hall at 1:00 p.m., the second Friday, every other month. Their sub-committees meet at 1:00 p.m. on the fourth Friday of every month, at the same location. Visit the city’s website to learn more and keep up with proceedings, or call the Community Development Department at 715-839-4914 for more information.

Massage Therapy Awareness Week

Have you ever wondered if massage could be beneficial for your health condition?   What type of massage do you need to have to help manage your health issues?  Did you know that not every type of massage is good for all health conditions?  Sometimes there are contraindications to doing a specific technique or maybe one technique will offer better results for your condition than another. Wouldn’t you like to know which is which?

Massage Therapy Awareness week is October 19-25 and Globe University, local massage therapists and the YMCA are pairing up on October 23 at the YMCA on Graham Ave., downtown Eau Claire, Entrance A.

This day will include sample massages for a variety of health conditions, runners assessments, informational brochures and chair massages will be offered by donation with all proceeds going to the Livestrong program at the YMCA.

The LiveStrong program is a FREE program tailored to fit the special needs of cancer survivors who would like to improve their quality of life before, during and after treatment.  Personal trainers who have undergone specialized training in the elements of cancer, rehabilitative exercise and supportive cancer care will work with individuals one on one or small group.

You don’t have to be a member of the YMCA to attend the general public is welcome.

Affordable Energy Conference

November 8, 2014 from noon to 5:00 pm • Chippewa Valley Technical College in Eau Claire • No cost to attend

Conference Goal and Audience: Solar Power Wisconsin: Affordable Energy Conference is designed to promote solar  electric installations in the Chippewa Valley and Wisconsin. Speakers will address issues for businesses, organizations and individuals considering solar energy.  Attend to learn how solar energy can profit you, how to achieve a community solar project, and  about energy conservation.

Keynote Speaker: Tyler Huebner, Executive Director of RENEW Wisconsin

Breakout Sessions Include:
• Solar Installations for Homeowners
• Solar Installations for Businesses
• Solar Installations for Churches and Organizations – Community Solar
• Energy Conservation
• Utilities Panel Discussion
• Current Solar Policy

Estrogen Dominance and Your Health

Estrogen dominance, two words that represent a normal situation for any female. Yet dominance of any hormone can create havoc with the functions of other hormones that are being overshadowed. Estrogen, a steroid hormone formed from cholesterol, is responsible for many of the feminizing characteristics of a female. Estrogen comes in three forms, estrone (E1), estradiol (E2), estriol (E3).  Estrone declines much slower than estradiol and can convert to 4-hydroxy and 16-hydroxyestrone which may promote cancer. It is therefore the least desirable of the estrogens to be elevated. Estriol, the weakest of estrogens, can block the cell proliferative (accelerated cell growth) properties of the other estrogens, especially estrone. So estriol has the benefits of estrogen without the risks.

Functions of estrogen include:
• Female characteristics
• Monthly cell formation in the uterus and breast tissue
• Hormone signaling for follicles in the ovaries
• Slowing bone loss
• Stimulation of brain function with roles in mood, stamina, memory, and sleep
• Increase in body fat in hips, abdomen, and thighs

These are just a few of the major functions estrogen plays in women and to some degree in males as well.

So how does this all go wrong? Balance is the key here, and the yang to the yin is progesterone. If estrogen is too high or progesterone is too low, estrogen dominance occurs.

Causes of estrogen dominance include:
• Stress (no one has that!)
• Poor progesterone production (common in peri-menopause starting around age thirty-five)
• Use of oral or injected contraceptions
• Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) medications
•  Adrenal fatigue (stress again)
• Low thyroid function
• Diet especially high in carbohydrates
• Xenohormone exposure like pesticides, animal hormones, and plastics
• Obesity (fat cells make more estrogen)
• Nutritional deficiencies (magnesium, zinc, copper, and B Complex vitamins)

Once estrogen balance is disrupted, the wheels start to come off the menstrual cycle cart. Heavy bleeding, cramping, bloating, and water retention are some of the wonderful symptoms that start to occur. Other premenstrual symptoms include headaches, weight gain, breast tenderness, mood swings, and depression. On the other spectrum heading into menopause, ovaries don’t always release eggs. When this occurs, progesterone production in the latter half of the cycle does not happen, and estrogen dominance again occurs. Symptoms like memory loss, hot flashes, irritability, uterine fibroids, decreased sex drive, adult acne, and insomnia are common. More important is the high, uncontested estrogen, which in itself is a cell proliferator. Of concern is the fact that mostly all female cancers are estrogen receptor rich. The last hormone one would want to be elevated is estrogen.

The ideal way to truly know of estrogen dominance is to test hormone levels. The best way to evaluate active sex hormones in the body is via saliva testing. Saliva testing has many benefits compared to other testing. Saliva tests the free fraction of hormone (the active portion), it is convenient to do at home, and it is less expensive than blood testing. Once estrogen (all three fractions) and other sex hormone levels are known, like progesterone, true hormone balance can be determined.

So now that hormone levels have been determined, where does one go from here? Removing excess hormones and balancing the rest is the way to better health. Certain nutritional supplements and herbals are excellent for decreasing excess estrogen. A detoxifying diet initially is usually best especially if the cause of excess is due to the use of birth control and HRT. Vegetables in the cruciferous family are excellent additions to helping the process of detoxification and should be a mainstay for most females to promote good hormone balance. Cruciferous vegetables and garlic have been ranked in the top two foods for cancer prevention and for good reason, they promote hormone balance.

Managing hormones can be a tricky process and sometimes requires patience over a period of time. With the proper testing and nutritional/dietary intervention, the results can be excellent. Balanced hormones allow the body to perform the normal processes it needs and can lead to a long, healthy, and happy life.

Dr. Dan Czelatdko is a board-certified clinical nutritionist from The American Clinical Board of Nutrition. He has been practicing nutrition and chiropractic for the last twenty-three years with an emphasis on hormone health at Tenold Chiropractic in Eau Claire.

Farmed and Dangerous: A Film About Big Agriculture vs. Sustainable Agriculture

In February of this year, Chipoltle Mexican Grill launched the first episode of their four-part webisode called Farmed and Dangerous.  The film uses comedy to underscore worrisome Big Food practices while also highlighting the benefits of sustainable agriculture. All four parts of the film can be viewed for free on Hulu at farmedanddangerous.com. Each episode is about twenty-two minutes.

Chipoltle made the film hoping to motivate people to think about where their food comes from, and the company views its efforts to promote sustainable agriculture and the humane treatment of animals as “values integration.” Chipoltle began to change the types of foods used in its business about a year or so ago, after a food blogger complained that the company did not offer a list of the ingredients used in its products. Soon after, Chipoltle called the blogger, and then the company began listing all its ingredients and then began using some different, healthier ingredients.

In the film, a fictitious industrial agriculture company called Animoil invents and starts feeding cattle “petropellets,” which ironically are made from petroleum directly rather than the meat being produced via the oil consumption required to raise, process, and ship meat to the consumer. There’s only one problem with the cattle eating the petropellets: it causes the animals to spontaneously combust. Animoil doesn’t care, though, because it will be a huge money-saving method for them overall.

The episodes explore, through satire, the basic arguments from both camps, Big Ag claiming sustainable agriculture can never feed everyone in the world, and the sustainable ag folks saying that there are hidden costs to society and to individuals in the current practices of industrial farming. The issue of why Big Ag so greatly uses antibiotics is mentioned too.

Dr. Joseph Mercola states that of the meat and poultry sold in your local supermarket, most is coming to you compliments of Big Ag. “If it wasn’t raised in a factory farm, it will typically bear a clear label stating it’s ‘grass-fed’ or ‘USDA 100% organic.’” Because the animals are raised in very crowded conditions, many of them become ill. That is why Big Ag needs to give the animals antibiotics, and to make it easier, even the healthy animals receive the antibiotics. The antibiotics and other additives get transferred to you when you eat meat that comes from industrial agriculture.

In a study released in 2011, Mercola says, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) “found antibiotic-resistant bacteria in 81 percent of ground turkey, 69 percent of pork chops, 55 percent of ground beef, and 39 percent of raw chicken.” The Centers for Disease Control report that two million Americans contract illnesses related to antibiotic-resistant bacteria every year.  The lead researcher of the EWG study warned that spreading antibiotic resistance “threatens to bring on a post-antibiotic era where important medicines critical to treating people could become ineffective.”

To assure that you and your family are eating healthy meat and other foods, be sure to purchase it from local, organic farms that grass feed the animals and treat them humanely. Also, seek to support local sustainable agriculture through farmers markets, community supported agriculture, and even growing your own food!

Cowschwitz: Confined Dining

Have you heard the term factory farm? Basically, it is a farm that is more like a corporation, operated to achieve a grand bottom line, often cutting corners and being more lenient on principles in order to first and foremost make a profit. This becomes a problem when animals are involved, because cows aren’t pieces of machinery. Factory farms are run quite differently than the average family farm or smaller-scale farm is.

Here are some things that are important to know regarding factory farms.

1. They are only inspected every ten years.
Dina El Boghdady of the Washington Post recently reported that although the Food and Drug Administration is supposed to be inspecting these farms more regularly, and Congress has in fact urged the department to do so, they simply don’t have the money needed to do so. So, the best they can afford to do is to address outbreaks of disease and other issues after they occur, rather than preventatively.

2. They often have widespread infection.
Roughly half of the dairy cows at these farms have had mastitis, a bacterial infection, as a result of unsanitary environments and a lack of good hygiene in caring for the cows. Mastitis is difficult for the animals and it lowers the nutritional value of that cow’s milk.

3. The horns of the dairy cows are removed.
To save on space and to avoid animals hurting each other, the dairy cows are dehorned. The process is not pleasant. On young cows, a hot iron cauterizes their emerging horns, while on adult animals, saws or clipping tools are used—usually both without anesthesia. The beef industry has for the most part transitioned to breeding hornless cows, but the dairy industry has not.

4. Most of the milk for public consumption comes from huge conglomerates.
Even though the Big Ag industry uses pastoral imagery in their advertising, these factory farms aren’t so peaceful or pleasant. Sustainable Table reports that just 2 percent of farms now raise 40 percent of all animals in the United States. This makes it hard for family or smaller-scale farmers to thrive, and leaves most of the power in the industry to the big, corporate-owned factory farms.

5. Conditions on factory farms lower cows’ life expectancy by 75 percent.
Usually a dairy cow will live about twenty years. However, those on factory farms become fatigued more quickly, only living about four or five years.

How Can You Help?

Here are some simple ways you can be supportive of a healthy life for dairy cows.

Buy Local: Only purchase your milk from local farmers who practice ethical treatment of their animals. You should be able to find out what their cows eat, how they’re treated, and whether they are subjected to dehorning.

Opt Out: Another way to protest practices you don’t support is to choose not to buy the products of the factory farms. Besides buying from local, ethical sources, you might decide to go dairy-less altogether, using soy, almond, or rice milk instead of cow milk, and choose non-dairy alternatives for cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products.

Help Small Farmers: To show your support for family and smaller-scale farmers, show your support for a fair Farm Bill, so that small-farm farmers get the support they need from the federal government. With a fair farm bill, Big Ag will not have a monopoly.

CAFO’s Uncovered

In regulatory lingo, meat factories are called “concentrated animal feeding operations,” or CAFOs. (Pronounced “cay-fo.”)

Union of Concerned Scientists, CAFOs produce about 65 percent of our country’s manure, or about 300 million tons per year—that’s double the amount of poo generated by all the people in the United States.

In its 2008 report, CAFOs Uncovered, the Union of Concerned Scientists wrote, “Although they comprise only about 5 percent of all U.S. animal operations, CAFOs now produce more than 50 percent of our food animals.”

The EPA reports that CAFO waste has polluted over 35,000 miles of river and groundwater in 17 states.

See more at: http://civileats.com/2012/10/03/confined-dining-a-primer-on-factory-farms-and-what-they-mean-for-your-meat/#sthash.PyELBDoZ.dpuf