Elimination Diets Part 1: Why

Posted: 2 days ago in Health Wellness

elimination-diets

There’s a LOT of brou-ha-ha about elimination diets out there.

Do you even know what I am talking about?!  Elimination diets are a way of testing to see if a symptom or condition might be caused by a particular food, or food group. By taking most of the common culprits out of your diet for a short period, and then reintroducing them, you can get a really good idea of whether or not certain foods disagree with you.

Here’s my take on where to start, how to navigate one and what to do once you know what you are sensitive or allergic to.

First of all – why should you consider an elimination diet?

If you are experiencing a chronic health issue, gastrointestinal upsets or just don’t feel like your best self, then you MUST try this! So many of my patients will initially report that they have great health, but upon prodding, will admit to things like allergies, headaches, digestive issues and the like. Be honest with yourself; are you really healthy, or just healthy “enough”?

The goal of a true elimination diet is to challenge how your body responds to most of the major food groups that cause sensitivities in individuals.

They include:

  1. Gluten (found in Wheat, Rye and Barley)
  2. Dairy
  3. Soy
  4. Eggs
  5. Fast/Processed Foods
  6. Alcohol
  7. Corn & Nightshade Vegetables (Tomatoes, Potatoes, Peppers, Eggplant)
  8. Citrus

The most common foods of those above that cause intolerance are dairy and gluten. If you just can’t imagine a few weeks without all of the above foods, you may want to start with eliminating those two groups. If you’re mostly committed, I recommend eliminating foods 1-6. However, if you truly are not well (or just love a big challenge), I would recommend going for the whole shebang.

I just got done with a gluten elimination diet, and let me tell you, my energy is through the roof! Or… at least it was until I caved yesterday and ate a slice of pizza. It was so delicious in the moment, but I slept poorly last night and have been sluggish all day.   Shame on me, I know better, and soon you will, too.

Stay tuned for how to get started!  

The Big O

Posted: 6 days ago in Sex & Relationships

thebig-orgasm

Yup. “That O”. As in Orgasm.

As in “Oh God Oh God Oh God……..YES!”.

I think it’s a bit unfair that the great majority of men can pretty much count on sex ending in orgasm for them. I’d venture to say it’s a given, isn’t it, barring any coitus interruptus from a three-year old barging into the room?

With a loving and attentive partner, and possibly a little help from a friend like Lelo, most women can hope to orgasm with sex, too…

…..after about 15 or 20 minutes.

You see, in the world of orgasms, men are the microwaves and women are the crock-pots. That’s not a bad thing, it’s just a different thing. Microwave popcorn is awesome, and so is beef stew that’s been simmering all afternoon.

The trick is how to have – uh – dinner ready at the same time when you are cooking with both appliances.

It just takes a little creativity. Perhaps the crock-pot should be turned on well before the microwave’s ‘start’ button is pushed. And – while you’re at it, make sure all the food in the crock-pot has really started to simmer and get nice and juicy, too. Only then should the microwave be turned on.

It’s all about the timing.

Bon Appetite (wink wink)

Never Put the Key to Your Happiness…

Posted: 7 days ago in Inspiration

pocket-happiness-quote

Sensory Processing Disorder

Posted: 8 days ago in Parenting

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Oy Vey. Sensory processing disorders. Yet another thing to worry about in our kids, right?

But – knowledge is power! And understanding what our kids might be going through is half the battle.

I’ve seen parents being driven to drink because their kids:

  • Walk around naked.
  • Cry and run from loud noises like fireworks or even the clink of silverware
  • Always have food on their faces
  • Will only ever eat 2 or 3 foods
  • Don’t know their own strength and walk into walls a lot

These kids are exhibiting signs of a sensory processing disorder. What does that mean in English? It’s when any or all of our 5 senses – touch, smell, sight, sound and taste – are working overtime or not enough.

The slightest stimulus – like normal sounds, light or the tag in a shirt – can be amplified exponentially in these kids. They can also be under-sensitive to things like pain and pressure.

I like to call these ‘silent’ syndromes. There are no outward signs of this processing disorder other than the behaviors, so parents often think their kids are just being unreasonable. And for the record, most young kids ARE unreasonable by nature, so sensory issues can be that much more difficult to diagnose.

In addition to being difficult to live with, these issues can result in a child feeling foreign in their own bodies, which can then lead to issues with esteem, learning, and socialization. A slippery slope for sure.

The good news is there are conservative therapies and strategies that can really make a difference for these kids. Such as:

  • The Out of Sync Child by Carol Stock Kranowitz is a terrific resource that helps address sensory processing disorders through simple and fun activities.
  • Occupational therapists commonly see and treat children and adults with this disorder with wonderful success.
  • Sometimes a come-to-Jesus meeting with the parents helps diffuse the tensions around dealing with this. I mean – does it really matter if your kid refuses to wear socks? Or if they wear earplugs to July 4th fireworks? Or if you have to do that spit-on-a-hanky thing to wipe the schmutz off of their faces umpteen times a day? So be it.

What you may find with sensory processing disorders is that ultimately they aren’t fixed, but they are managed. This may not seem like a lot, but it does diffuse the stress of dealing with it until the child overcomes the different challenges they face.

And they will overcome them.

Flu Shot…. or Not?

Posted: 12 days ago in Health

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It’s that time of year again:  “Doc, should I get a flu shot… or not?”

Well. That’s a great question.

I don’t – and can’t – counsel patients on the use of pharmaceuticals, as chiropractors don’t utilize drugs as part of our natural healing approach.

Let me share with you what I tell my patients.

If you have great health and practice good health habits to keep your immune system strong, you quite likely will not get the flu or any other type of winter nasties. Need I remind you of the good habits I am speaking of? Eating well, getting adequate sleep, exercising, managing your stress and washing those damn hands again and again! For more on this, see my article ‘The Non-Flu Season’.

Does this sound like you, or are you sheepishly averting my virtual gaze, because your car is littered with fast-food wrappers, you haven’t broken a sweat since “Magic Mike” came out and the last time you slept more than 6 hours was when your alarm clock failed? If so, I can promise you that your defenses are down, and if you are unlucky enough to come into contact with the flu, you are much more likely to get it.

Bottom line? People with healthy, strong immune systems are much less likely to get the flu than their less-healthy counterparts. They are also far less likely to have any adverse reaction to ingredients in the vaccine itself. Did you ever think about that? Immunocompromised folks – the young, infirm and elderly – are more vulnerable to the both the flu and reactions to the vaccine.

In fact these flu two studies made me go, “Hmmmm”:

studyChildren Who Get Flu Vaccine Have Three Times Risk Of Hospitalization For Flu, Study Suggests

 

studyCurrent Flu Vaccine Less Effective in the Elderly, CDC Says

 

The gist? Kids who get the flu vaccine are more likely to be hospitalized than their non-vaccinated peers. Vaccinated elderly adults are just as likely as non-vaccinated seniors to visit their doctors for flu-like symptoms. So what in the hell should you do?

You should make informed decisions about your health – always!

Here are some facts and figures to ponder on the flu:

The Truth About the Flu Shot“In a review of 48 reports including more than 66,000 adults, “Vaccination of healthy adults only reduced risk of influenza by 6% and reduced the number of missed work days by less than one day (0.16) days. It did not change the number of people needing to go to hospital or take time off work.”

Key Facts on the FluThe flu shot: Some minor side effects that may occur are: soreness – redness, or swelling where the shot was given – fever (low grade) – aches. The nasal spray: In children, side effects from the nasal spray may include: runny nose – wheezing – headache – vomiting – muscle aches – fever. In adults, side effects from the nasal spray vaccine may include: runny nose – Headache – Sore throat – Cough.

The last one did go on to say that these symptoms are ‘short-lived’, but still….

Another little tidbit that I found interesting is that each year’s flu vaccine is derived from prior years’ flu virus. For instance, the 2013 flu vaccine was made from strains from 2009, 2011 and 2012. That’s all well and good, except that the flu virus is a crafty little bugger, and mutates quickly and often. So something that may have worked against a strain in the past quite likely won’t work at all in future strains.

Again, hmmmmm. When all is said and done, read and ask questions, but ultimately, go with your gut. It will rarely lead you astray.

Be well!

Bedwetting

Posted: 15 days ago in Health Parenting

bedwetting
The official term for bedwetting is nocturnal enuresis.  

Sounds like an exotic animal, doesn’t it? If only it were so.  

Approximately 15% of children over the age of 3, and 2% of teens still wet the bed. Can you imagine wanting to participate in sleepovers and camps but being fearful that you will wake up wet?

The parents of kids who are bedwetters would do just about anything to help them. Most doctors would have them just wait it out, but waiting can create social anxieties that may last a lifetime. I mean, how would your social life be affected if you couldn’t control your urge to pee?

In addition to waiting it out, most docs will offer a medication called Desmopressin that will likely stop the wetting for the night. Although this solution is in no way curative.

divider2Assuming your child’s doctor has ruled out any physical reason or emotional trauma that has caused the wetting, you may want to check out some of these resources that dig a little deeper:

  1. Dr. Jacob Sagie has developed Therapee, an online behavior modification system coupled with a unique urine sensor pad, which together have been incredibly successful in eliminating bedwetting.
  1. It’s No Accident, a book by Steve Hodges, MD explores chronic constipation as a cause of bedwetting.
  1. If the nerve supply to the bladder is compromised because of birth trauma, childhood falls or sports injuries, chiropractic adjustments can be very helpful in the management of bedwetting. Find a pediatric chiropractor at www.icpa4kids.org.

divider2It’s never easy to see your child suffer; hopefully one of these solutions can offer solace to someone you love.

Much luck, love, and support.

The Non-Flu Season

Posted: 16 days ago in Health

FLU-SEASON
Fall is notoriously known as the ‘flu season’ because it’s the most common time of year that people get sick.

Doesn’t that name put such a damper on one of the best times of year?  I think so.

Well, screw it, I’m calling this the ‘non-flu season’ pending everyone does a couple things to up their immunity. And clearly that does not involve getting a flu shot, since I’m very much not a proponent of the flu vaccine.

Here’s what WE can do to safeguard ourselves a little more than usual this time of year.

  • Drink Lots of Water! Water helps to keep mucous membranes moist, so when they come into contact with bacteria, the bacteria are imprisoned in mucous and sent outside the body via an orifice. Without mucous, your body is like the police without handcuffs; suckers are running rampant. So, drink up.
  • Take Vitamin D. Turns out being outside in the sun helps to up your immunity for common viruses, and a lack thereof results in susceptibility to infection. Supplementing with Vitamin D is one of your surest defenses.
  • Drink Emergen-C. Upping your Vitamin C intake is crucial to the fight against viruses inside of your body. These delicious little packets will have your immunity up to grade level: steel when you’re done with them. Plus you mix them with water, so more kudos to my first bullet point.
  • Check Your Lifestyle. If you find yourself doing the following more often than not, you might want to check it: smoking, eating empty-calorie foods, drinking alcohol, getting negligent amounts of sleep, not exercising, not washing your hands regularly. These things, when done frequently, will make you sick.
  • Take Pro-biotics. The war over sickness in our bodies is predominantly fought between good and bad bacteria in our gut. Help your body in the fight by sending reinforcements of the good kind; aka pro-biotics. The fastest way to do this is by taking a pill form of pro-biotic but you can also eat yogurt — just make sure it’s a kind with live bacteria inside.
  • Don’t Stress. This is one of the more subtle ways that sickness jumps up on folks. If you’re stressed out, your body is going to have a hard time handling your emotions and fighting off illness. If this is you, find more time than usual this season for rest, relaxation, and good solid sleep.

If in the instance you do end up getting sick, well, there’s nothing like a good virus to get you back into your skinny jeans. Am I right? Of course it goes to say, be careful what you wish for!

Bugs and viruses come at the worst possible times, don’t they? Save yourself the trouble with the steps I’ve listed above. There are a million other things you can do to stay healthy, but pick a few and stick to them.

For me, it’s supplements, hydration, and sleep.

And if by chance you fall victim – and I do hope that it’s a loooong time before you do – yank those skinny jeans off the shelf while you’re home sick from work, so at least you’ll have something to look forward to.

Happy non-flu season!

Wall Angels (Exercise)

Posted: 19 days ago in Wellness

I’m Listening…

Posted: 20 days ago in Sex & Relationships

Imlistening
After years of running a practice, meeting and talking with people day-in-and-day-out, I think I’ve come to an understanding of what it takes to really connect with someone.

This, coming from a girl whose inner child is as introverted and shy as can be – but as a doctor, you almost have to be outgoing. Think about it: how could I help others without first asking them questions about themselves? You can’t, so that’s exactly what I do. I spend a lot of time asking my patients about their health and any concerns they are having. What I find is that this mentality clears the path for them to share even more about themselves, and about their lives.

The secret, my dear readers, is in asking questions and then listening!

Can you believe it? One of the greatest skills in becoming a people person isn’t necessarily what you have to say about yourself. Instead, it’s the questions you ask others, and then, how well you listen to their answers!

Not to mention, it gets you off the hot seat. When you ask someone – anyone, a question about themselves and then truly listen, you can learn a lot about them. After all, everyone has a story they’re just dying to tell, if only someone would ask.

If anyone says I’m a good conversationalist, it’s only because I asked the right questions. Asking someone, “where did you get that cool looking yoga mat?” or, “what do you think of this conference so far?” – all of these things get people to open up, ultimately sharing their realities with you.

Don’t be calculated, either. Just be truly curious about people! There is nothing more awkward than sitting in a room full of people who aren’t talking. So I challenge you! Be the person who breaks the silence. Find something that you like about someone else, or something that intrigues you and then use that as a way to spark up a conversation.

You’ll be surprised at who you meet and what you learn. Good stuff!

Don’t Nibble on Mediocrity

Posted: 21 days ago in Inspiration

someone-quote