The Third Pillar of Health: Beating Stress

In August, I wrote separate posts about the first two pillars of health: Nutrition and Toxin Removal. Now that kids are back in school (whew!), let’s talk about the next pillar of good health: Stress Management. Stress is on the rise for many, but I would venture that this is especially true for women. Child-bearing, motherhood, careers, home care, volunteer work, and financial concerns all add to our stress levels and chip away at our health and mental reserves. The beginning of the school year is a great example of how stress creeps into our lives. During the summer months while trying to keep children from boredom and assault, I try to eliminate all lessons and most appointments. I do this so our calendars can be free to go on trips and wander through our days without any need to rush to be somewhere else. My favorite days are the ones that have nothing, zero, zip, nada on the calendar. When I see a day like that, my heart sings. I know I can be blissfully unstructured for a whole day. Once school starts however, that all changes. There are no empty days. Kid’s school drop-off and pick-up, extra-curriculars and doctor appointments, along with my work tasks and house responsibilities (why does something always need fixing that requires a four-hour waiting period?) mean that stress creeps in faster and faster each new school year. For those of you who work full-time, I know that an empty day is about as rare as a unicorn sighting. If you do get a day off of work, you usually have to cram...

The Second Pillar of Health: Detoxification

In my last post, we discussed the first pillar of health: Nutrition. In this next post, we will discuss the second pillar of health: Toxin Avoidance and Removal. The world we live in today is vastly different from the one our grandparents and great-grandparents experienced. The amount of chemicals we are exposed to everyday has increased dramatically in recent decades. On The Dr. Oz show in spring of 2014, Mehmet Oz reported that pesticides on our food have increased 100 fold in the past ten years. And that doesn’t begin to cover all the other areas of chemical exposure in our lives. For example, this morning you probably woke up after a night of sleeping in a mattress full of flame-retardant chemicals shown to cause irritation to the human body. Your little ones may sleep in the same flame-retardant covered pajamas and on a similar mattress. These same children are exposed to mercury in vaccines and silver fillings, as were you, their parents. As you slide on your glasses, you probably have no clue that they contain BPA, a known carcinogen. After realizing the house smells a little “off” you may spray some unwanted phthalates into your home in the form of air freshener. Next you might slather on some make-up that unknowingly contains parabens which are known to disrupt hormone function. And all this happens before you eat breakfast. You may not realize that the constant exposure to noxious substances can slowly start to build up in your body. Some of the results of toxicity is the human body are: allergies fatigue gall stones migraines depression cancer insomnia infertility Within your...

The Four Pillars of Health: Starting with Nutrition

Through years of searching and studying about human health, I discovered four undeniable factors that create the foundation of a healthy, happy life. The path to this discovery was winding and long. But by taking the long road, it seared these four factors into my brain and understanding. Over the month of August, we will cover these four items in depth, with a new topic each week. This week we will discuss the first pillar of health, and arguably the most important: NUTRITION. I’m not talking about eating a salad at lunch and feeling like you’ve done your job for the day. I’m talking about in-depth, concentrated-nutrient nutrition – the kind Americans simply don’t get anymore. This has occurred in part because several generations have been taught what to eat by marketing campaigns and TV commercials. The good news is that by making small changes, you can make a huge difference in your overall health and vitality. You just need to know what they are. Here’s the truth: organ meats, butter, lard, and bone broths are some of the most nourishing things you can include in your diet. I know the thought of liver is not appealing to most people, but it holds amazing amounts of concentrated nutrition for the human body and protects us from stress and toxicity. Butter and lard have perfectly designed fats that help vitamins and minerals get to where they need to go. Without the right kinds of fats in your diet, many of the nutrients you ingest are not properly utilized and end up leaving the body unused. Bone broths heal the lining...

X-Men and Your Genetic Inheritance: Phase II Detoxification

Previously, I wrote about Phase I detoxification genetics and how your very own genes determine your strengths and weaknesses in removing toxins (not unlike the genetic polymorphisms in the X-Men series). Click here for the Phase I detox rundown. Now it’s time to understand what happens when Phase II detoxification begins. Basically, Phase I breaks down toxins part of the way and Phase II finishes the job. Once Phase II has worked its magic, the body can remove the offending substances from the body through the colon or urinary tract. There are four areas of clearing: Methylation, Acetylation, Glutathione Conjugation, and Oxidative Protection. Since the test speaks for itself, I invite you to peruse the results below.   Genova Diagnostics reports that this test has not been cleared or approved by the FDA. Nor do they claim this test is 100% perfectly accurate. Just as in many scientific tests, there is the chance of false negatives. In their words, “Negative findings do not imply that your patient is risk-free.” However, getting your own results can help you understand where some of your “weak links” reside. In the above example, the plus minus result for NAT2 R197Q explains why this person should never smoke. The risk of lung cancer is substantially higher in someone with compromised NAT activity. Have you ever wondered why some people smoke their whole lives without it affecting their health while others end up with lung cancer and emphysema? It’s all in their toxin removal genetics. Another interesting example is found in the COMT gene results. This patient has a polymorphism in this area. COMT stands...

Pre-Release Book Party in Charleston

I have the good fortune to live in Austin, Texas, but must admit that part of my heart resides in Charleston, South Carolina. The scrolling ironwork and expansive porches have an unmistakable charm.  On Saturday mornings, the farmers market in Marion Square is full of amazing produce and low country wares while the kindness of strangers abounds. The food is amazing just about everywhere you turn, and to sail on the Charleston harbor is one of life’s gifts to the soul. Charleston is also home to an avid group of foodies and farmers who know just how important farm-fresh food really is. One of my favorite restaurant owners there hosted the pre-release party for Broken Vessel Restored at The Park Café on Rutledge Avenue on July 7th. Karalee Nielsen Fallert supplied our celebration with plates of local pickled vegetables, mussels, roasted cauliflower, and a local head lettuces salad that was to die for. The conversation about the book touched on nutrition, thyroid issues, hormones, and toxicity. Personal stories were shared and favorite doctors discussed. With amazing food and a wonderful group to share this moment with, it was yet another memorable night in Charleston. Thank you to the many people who came out to support the upcoming release of Broken Vessel Restored!...