May 16th, 2014

Glutathione: The Great Protector

Find out why this little-known antioxidant is key to fighting toxicity and premature aging – and warding off chronic disease. And, try some of these easy ways to maximize its production and activity. 

March 21st, 2014

Revolutionary Truth #1: The Way We Are Living Is Crazy.

The United States currently produces more obese, chronically ill and depleted people than it does vital, fit, resilient ones – and this trend is worsening.

Two out of three U.S. adults is overweight or obese. At any given time, half of us are contending with at least one chronic disease. A growing number of us are reliant on pharmaceuticals whose side effects and interactions undermine our health and quality of life

Our children, too, are becoming ill and prescription dependent at ever-younger ages, and their life spans are being shortened as a result. Enough already!

Our collective lack of vitality has become an oppressive source of misery and waste, one that threatens to impede our lives, our liberties, and our pursuit of happiness.

We can change this. We must change this – together.

February 26th, 2014
Mental Health for EverybodyJust as we should follow a daily regimen that keeps our hearts, skin, and other organs flourishing, we should also be mindful of nourishing our brains, even if we don’t suffer from mental illness. The following tips are designed to keep the jewel in our crowns healthy, and — since everything is connected — may well clear up other problems below the neck.Eat more healthy fats: Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids are salmon, herring, sardines, and anchovies, as well as pasture-raised meats and eggs, flaxseeds, walnuts, and omega-3 fish-oil supplements, especially those containing eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).Get more protein: A healthy brain depends on the steady creation of neurotransmitters. The basic building blocks for these transmitters are amino acids that come from the protein in our diets. Experts suggest that 20 to 25 percent of our diets should come from high-quality protein like meat, eggs, dairy, beans, and legumes. And it’s a good idea to begin the day with a solid helping of protein. “I tell people to have dinner for breakfast,” says naturopath Ray Pataracchia. “You might get sick of eggs every day, so you have to change it up and be inventive.”Avoid sugar highs: The brain has an enormous need for glucose, and our blood supplies this essential fuel as it circulates through the brain. This supply needs to be slow and steady, without the peaks and valleys caused by simple sugars found in junk food. Stick to the complex carbohydrates found in vegetables, whole grains, and many fruits.Buffer stress with B and C vitamins: Stress bombards even the most ordinary lives, both from the outside — a hectic schedule, an angry coworker, commuting to work in heavy traffic — and from the inside, such as when our bodies battle infection and illness. A steady stream of cortisol and other stress hormones can weaken neurotransmitters. Protect them with vitamins C and B — especially niacin, or B3 — which together can regulate and protect these neurotransmitters. The official minimum daily-requirement numbers, says natural-health educator Andrew Saul, PhD, are laughably low: “For someone with a reasonably good diet, a couple hundred milligrams of supplemental B3 would be wise.”Stay connected: Robert Hedaya, MD, at the National Center for Whole Psychiatry, compares human beings to neurons: The more connections one neuron has with other neurons, the more vibrant it is. When the connections are severed, a solitary neuron can shrivel and die. Similarly, humans need a connection with other humans and with nature to flourish.Develop a spiritual practice: “Fear creates stress,” Hedaya says. “Whatever it is that you’re stressed about, your cognitive framework is going to treat things as more or less stressful. With a spiritual practice, you develop the perspective that there is meaning to life and that we’re not alone. I think the importance of this is highly underrated in the psychiatric field. If you feel as if everything in life is up to you, that’s a lot of pressure. When you add to that the way that so many people live in isolation, that’s a toxic recipe.”

Mental Health for Everybody

Just as we should follow a daily regimen that keeps our hearts, skin, and other organs flourishing, we should also be mindful of nourishing our brains, even if we don’t suffer from mental illness. The following tips are designed to keep the jewel in our crowns healthy, and — since everything is connected — may well clear up other problems below the neck.

Eat more healthy fats: Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids are salmon, herring, sardines, and anchovies, as well as pasture-raised meats and eggs, flaxseeds, walnuts, and omega-3 fish-oil supplements, especially those containing eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).

Get more protein: A healthy brain depends on the steady creation of neurotransmitters. The basic building blocks for these transmitters are amino acids that come from the protein in our diets. Experts suggest that 20 to 25 percent of our diets should come from high-quality protein like meat, eggs, dairy, beans, and legumes. And it’s a good idea to begin the day with a solid helping of protein. “I tell people to have dinner for breakfast,” says naturopath Ray Pataracchia. “You might get sick of eggs every day, so you have to change it up and be inventive.”

Avoid sugar highs: The brain has an enormous need for glucose, and our blood supplies this essential fuel as it circulates through the brain. This supply needs to be slow and steady, without the peaks and valleys caused by simple sugars found in junk food. Stick to the complex carbohydrates found in vegetables, whole grains, and many fruits.

Buffer stress with B and C vitamins: Stress bombards even the most ordinary lives, both from the outside — a hectic schedule, an angry coworker, commuting to work in heavy traffic — and from the inside, such as when our bodies battle infection and illness. A steady stream of cortisol and other stress hormones can weaken neurotransmitters. Protect them with vitamins C and B — especially niacin, or B3 — which together can regulate and protect these neurotransmitters. The official minimum daily-requirement numbers, says natural-health educator Andrew Saul, PhD, are laughably low: “For someone with a reasonably good diet, a couple hundred milligrams of supplemental B3 would be wise.”

Stay connected: Robert Hedaya, MD, at the National Center for Whole Psychiatry, compares human beings to neurons: The more connections one neuron has with other neurons, the more vibrant it is. When the connections are severed, a solitary neuron can shrivel and die. Similarly, humans need a connection with other humans and with nature to flourish.

Develop a spiritual practice: “Fear creates stress,” Hedaya says. “Whatever it is that you’re stressed about, your cognitive framework is going to treat things as more or less stressful. With a spiritual practice, you develop the perspective that there is meaning to life and that we’re not alone. I think the importance of this is highly underrated in the psychiatric field. If you feel as if everything in life is up to you, that’s a lot of pressure. When you add to that the way that so many people live in isolation, that’s a toxic recipe.”

December 24th, 2013

Back from Burn Out.

Burnout is a telltale malady of our times. Learn to recognize the signs of serious depletion and chronic stress — and how to restore your inner fire.

December 23rd, 2013

Ancient Healers: Adaptogens

Adaptogenic herbs like ginseng are great for battling stress and boosting your overall immunity, strength, and resilience.

Here’s a rundown of the better-known adaptogens.


October 4th, 2013

Chemicals in personal-care products might be one reason that the majority of autoimmune sufferers — 78 percent  — are women.

According to consumer advocates at the Environmental Working Group, the average person is exposed to more than 126 chemicals before even leaving the bathroom in the morning (shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, soap, deodorant, sunscreen, etc.).

How many personal-care products do you use in a day?

For more on the rise of autoimmune diseases, read “Autoimmune Disorders: When Your Body Turns on You.”

September 26th, 2013

20 Things Overheard at the Functional Medicine Conference

  1. Parkinson’s disease: “Parkinson’s disease is an environmentally induced illness. Period.” — Robert Rountree, MD
  2. Chemicals safety: “Since WWII, over 85,000 synthetic chemicals have been registered with the U.S. EPA. Only a couple hundred have been tested.” —Robert Rountree, MD.
  3. Gut problems: “70% of Americans have gut symptoms or diseases.” —Thomas O’Bryan, DC
  4. Eating: “Chronic disease is a food-borne illness. We ate our way into it, and we need to eat our way out if it.” —Mark Hyman, MD

    Read the rest of the list.
September 6th, 2013

Awesome snapshots of what students learn at schools with wellness-oriented curriculum.

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