Healthy Choices: Safeguarding against Seasonal Stress

By Dr. Lynn Thompson

Stress is defined as the organism’s response to environmental pressures or demands either internal or external. The causes of stress in humans can include any event that the individual perceives, consciously or unconsciously, as a threat. It has been reported that at least 90 percent of all diseases are related to stress and the lack of the coping skills to alleviate the long-term reactions. This particular time of year has special risks for uncontrolled stress.

This time of year we find to be more stressful from lack of sunshine, increase in sugar consumption, and “family” or community traditions. We live in an area around the 45th north latitude and as such are very limited on the direct sunlight during the winter months. Stress can present as depression (also increased in the winter months). When the skin does not have enough sunlight, Vitamin D is not manufactured. If you do not have adequate sun exposure, you should include good sources of Vitamin D in your diet from egg yolks; raw cow milk; fatty fish like sardines, mackerel, salmon, and herring; shrimp; chicken liver; and orange juice.

Ironically, orange juice is very high in sugar. In a one cup serving (8 ounces), OJ has 124 mg (milligrams) of Vitamin C (more than 100 percent of the US government’s Recommended Daily Intake of about 60 mg/day. Research dating back to 1999 recommends an increase to 120 mg/day). Dr. Linus Pauling discovered that Vitamin C is needed by the body to fight bacteria and viruses. Glucose (simplest form of sugar found in the body) and Vitamin C have similar chemical structures. There are times when the body can confuse sugar and Vitamin C. When the blood sugar level reaches 120mg/dl, the body’s ability to destroy the bacteria and viruses is reduced by 75 percent for the next four to six hours. Here are some not-so-sweet facts about sugar, just to name a few.

 

  • The average American consumes 100 pounds of sugar per year. Crazy, right?  It is even crazier when compared to the mere 8 pounds of broccoli the average American consumes annually.
  • The other white powder. Sugar is more addictive than cocaine.
  • Sugar is hidden almost everywhere, especially in processed foods.
  • Sugar in disguise:  corn syrup, sucrose, dextrose, maltose, glucose, fructose—watch out for the “ose” at the end of the word!
  • Refined table sugar (aka sucrose) lacks vitamins, minerals, and fiber.  In fact, your body has to tap into its precious mineral and enzyme stores to process it.
  • If your body does not properly digest sugar (and simple carbs for that matter), it contributes to candida overgrowth. If you are not familiar with candida, it is worth a Google or Bing search.
  • It feeds the bad guys. Sugar contributes to an acidic environment, which cancer and other diseases love!
  • It contributes to Type 2 diabetes.

This time of year, many of us celebrate religious holidays and overindulge in spending, eating, and lack of sunshine. Rather than participate in activities that increase stress levels, take a deep breath, go for a walk, have an attitude of gratitude, enjoy a hearty laugh, and share a healthy, low-sugar meal made with love and joy.

A cheerful heart is good medicine.
Proverbs 17:22

Dr. Lynn Thompson holds doctorates in chiropractic, naturopathy, and homeopathy. She has been involved in healthcare for forty years. Dr. Lynn resides in Foster with her husband, John, and travels extensively around the United States presenting classes on health and wellness utilizing essential oils and nutrition.

Natural Sinus Help

by Debbie Koteras, Owner, Mother Nature’s Food, Inc

“My nose is all stuffy so I cannot get a good night’s sleep and I feel awful!” At some point this has probably happened to you. This happens when the mucous membrane lining of the nasal cavity becomes swollen or inflamed due to cold or allergies. The channels can become blocked, making it difficult for the sinuses to drain correctly. This can lead to infection and inflammation of the mucous membrane. Below are some natural alternatives to try when you find yourself in this situation.

Essential oils have been around for many years and continue to be recognized more and more for their medicinal properties. Oils like eucalyptus, helichrysum, peppermint, melaleuca, and rosemary, to name a few, are all oils that may be helpful in opening up those sinus cavities. Knowing the quality of your essential oils is very important when deciding how to use them. Diffusing them into the air or inhaling directly from the bottle are both ways to enjoy these oils. With many oils, in order to apply them topically, they may need to be diluted in a carrier oil first so that it will not be too irritating to your skin.

Bio-Active Silver Hydrosol in a convenient vertical spray is another option to help clear out those passages. For thousands of years, silver has played an essential role in safeguarding human health. With the development of technologically advanced refinements in the production of silver colloids, the particle size is so small that it allows for easy absorption and excretion from the body.  I know people who get yearly sinus infections that have used this product and have been able to prevent a sinus infection from happening.

Xlear–you may be thinking I spelled something wrong, but I did not. This is a product that combines purified water, xylitol, and grapefruit seed extract in a nasal spray. Now some of you may use xylitol for your oral health, and you would be right to do so. But xylitol also helps ensure that beyond just cleansing the nasal cavity, it also moisturizes and protects the delicate tissues. Xlear Nasal Spray is gentle enough for infants but effective in adults as well.

Have you ever been swimming in the ocean and gotten salt water in your nose? If you think back to it, if you had a stuffy nose before that you probably felt better afterward. A neti pot is something that you can use in the privacy of your own home to give you the same effect. I recommend trying it the first time when in the shower because most people do not love the thought of putting salt water into their nose, but in the shower it does not seem as odd. By doing this it is obviously helping to flush those irritants out of your nasal passage.

Without getting into homeopathy and how it all works, I have to say that Sinus Relief by NatraBio was actually my first experience with sinus pressure and using a homeopathic blend to relieve that pressure. I have talked to my share of sceptics where homeopathy is concerned, but I have a handful of homeopathic products that I always keep in my home and would not be without because they have worked so well for me.

There are many more options out there, and I guess my hope is that after reading this, you will do your research, and if you find yourself or a loved one having sinus issues, that you will think about a natural alternative to relieve the symptoms and help rid yourselves of the irritant that is causing the problem. Getting to the root cause instead of just covering up the symptoms will ultimately leave a healthier you!

 

For more information, call 715-834-2341, or stop in at 2434 London Road, Eau Claire.

Not Sold on Fluoride? Try Some of These Natural Options

► Baking Soda
This has got to be one of the most popular natural toothpaste alternatives. Like sea salt, you can just dip your toothbrush in baking soda and brush like normal. Or you can dissolve it in water first and use the brine forbrushing (just like the sea salt). A lot of people use baking soda as a base for homemade tooth powder. You mix it with a few drops of peppermint essential oil and stevia to give your mouth a minty fresh feel.

► Dry Brushing
It doesn’t get much more simple than this. Tired of looking for a natural toothpaste alternative? According to some, there’s no need to use anything at all: dry brushing does the job. But while it does seem to work well enough, there’s no minty mouth feel (like we’re all used to, of course) and might feel a little strange.

► Tooth Soap
For those who aren’t keen on using actual soap in their mouths, there are quite a lot of brands of specially designed tooth soaps on the market as a natural toothpaste alternative. Just try to find one without additives.

► Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is another great natural toothpaste alternative. Its antifungal and antibacterial properties come in handy for mouth cleaning. Coconut oil can be used alone and combined with other ingredients listed here (like baking soda and essential oils).

► Essential Oils
These can be bought at a local health food store or from a reputable online store. Use a drop or two of peppermint oil on your dampened toothbrush if you want a quick and easy way to get your mouth feeling clean and minty fresh.

For more information on holistic dentistry, contact Health Centered Dentistry at (715) 426-7777

Ease Holiday Stress with Essential Oils

Is the issue lack of information, lack of motivation, or just not sure where to start? We know education is power. Not just in flexing yourbrain but also in the knowledge of the basics to care for yourself and your family. How do we deal with the emotions of the holidays? Too many health issues that were reserved for the “older” citizens are now trickling down to our children and grandchildren. Arthritis, diabetes, obesity, increases in allergies to everyday foods like peanut butter, nuts, breads, and so much more. What were once considered rare diseases are now becoming common place like autism, ADD/ADHD, or even juvenile auto-immune diseases. There is so much information available, but you have a difficulttime in deciphering what is true and what is in error, what is pertinent and what is hype. Does anyone have any reasonable answers? All you would like is to feel better and take care of your family. Not too much to ask…right? What if I told you that there are answers, and you can take back your control and responsibility for you and your family’s health in a logical, science-based manner without breaking the bank and without needing  a doctorate?

Please join us on Tuesday evenings at Unity Christ Center for FREE educational classes. Please  contact me if you would like further information. Drlynnthompson1@gmail.com

Balanced Living » March/April ‘12

Yogurt Cups Get Their Day of Glory

If are like me, you always feel guilty throwing away cottage cheese, yogurt, and three bean salad containers. Thinking there has to be a better way!  There is! As of January 1st, Veolia Waste Removal started taking ALL plastic containers! All of them! So no longer do you have to store #5s to take them to Whole foods the next time you’re heading to the cities. No more saving them in your basement to send to Gimme 5, where you pay the shipping. No more guilt for eating your Stoneybrook Vanilla every morning. Plus they also take the deli containers that your ham spread or potato salad comes in, which are generally #7. So begin noticing people! Look at your plastics and if it’s #1-#7, you are free and clear to take it out with your trash.  And enjoy the feeling of doing one more good thing today!

Who Would Have Thought …

That olive oil is a great makeup remover. It is cheaper than cosmetic removers and serves as a great moisturizer.  That is about as organic as you are going to get.

Keep Recycling Those Batteries

A whopping 13.1 percent increase over 2010, totaling more than 7.6 million pounds of rechargeable batteries collected for recycling.

Since 1994, Call2Recycle has diverted more than 70 million rechargeable batteries from landfills with the help of a network of 30,000 drop-off locations.

Sprint Goes Greener

Sprint announced in early January that it will require all new phones to go through third-party testing to improve repairability, recyclability, and energy efficiency.

The testing criteria, includes materials used, impact on health and environment, energy management, sustainable innovation, performance, and product stewardship.

Through the 2012 standard, which includes packaging as well as product design criteria, Sprint will also introduce a line of sustainable packing materials for its phones. To up the green factor of its packaging, the company plans to eliminate plastic laminate, print with vegetable-based or low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) inks and use water-based or eco-friendly adhesives.

New packaging standards are expected to encourage the reduction of packaging volume and size, increase the use of recycled fiber and post-consumer waste, and minimize the use of glues, inks, labels, and plastics.

To learn more about green phones visit Earth911.org.

Woof Woof Wash

GOOD TO KNOW: A helpful blend of essential oils made just for our four-legged friends! This soap is sure to get rid of those pesky fleas and keep mosquitoes away! Gentle enough for sensitive skin.

ELEMENT: Water, Fire
$4.00, mycleanaura.com

Spinach Strength

We all know where Popeye got his strength from, but did you know it may have kept him skinny too? Swedish researchers have discovered that spinach contains thylakoid, a substance which slows down metabolism. When fed to rats, those who ate the spinach with thylakoid gained less weight and had lower blood sugars and blood fats.

Sweet Dreams

Did you know that our sleep duration and quality depends on our sex, race, and socioeconomic status? University of Chicago researchers discovered that African Americans sleep less than Whites and men sleep less than women. The mean scores are as follows: Time spent in bed: 7.5 hours; Time to fall asleep: 21.9 minutes; Sleep duration: 6.1 hours; Time spent sleeping: 80.9 %.

We have all experienced those sleepless nights. Give these ideas a try the next time you are counting your 276th sheep.

Guided Imagery: A study in 2007 in Brazil found that 12 insomniacs slept better after listening to guided imagery CDs for 5 consistent weeks.

Herbal Tea: Many herbs like passionflower, chamomile and skullcap have sedative properties.  Look for them in tea form at your natural health food store and relax with a cup about an hour before you head to bed.

5-HTTP: This is a new drug that is derived form tryptophan, which helps up serotonin levels, a brain chemical that helps regulate sleep. Natural Medicine doctors recommend taking 1 capsule of 100 milligrams nightly.

Smart Tips

Tired of sweeping out the soot in your fireplace?
Add ½ cup of salt to natural wood every time you burn; the sodium chloride forms a weak acid that dissolves the creosote (black soot) that is left after a fire.

Have a dresser knob that won’t stay tight no matter how many times you’ve tried?
Unscrew the knob and coat the screw with clear nail polish. Reassemble while wet. When the nail polish dries, the knob will be glued in place.

Clean candleholders are right around the corner.
Mist the inside of a candle holder with cooking spray and a few drops of water before inserting your candles. The oil stops the wax from sticking to the sides of the glass, and the water provides moisture, which allows the burned candle to be easily removed.

Good Stats

HEALTHIER FOR ME AND MY CHILDREN: Number one motivator cited by parents for choosing organic for the third consecutive year.

78% of U.S. families are buying organic food, up from 73% in 2009.

Four in Ten families are buying more organic products than they were a year ago.

Seventy Two Percent of parents are familiar with the USDA Organic seal, up from 65% in 2009.