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...

X-Men and Your Genetic Inheritance: Phase 1

X-Men in the comic book series and movies have genetic anomalies that give them specific strengths and weaknesses. Similarly, your genetics determine your own gifts and flaws. For every gene pair you have in your body, you were given one half by your mother and one half by your father. Hopefully you have lovely, optimized gene pairs that allow you to lead a lovely, optimized life. However, if you did not inherit perfectly partnered genes, it may be a clue as to why you struggle with health issues, depression, and hormone imbalances while others sail through life seemingly unscathed. The good news is that there are ways you can combat a less-than-perfect genetic inheritance – you just need to know what they are. And in today’s world, your first concern should be your genetic detoxification pathways. There are two phases of detoxification within humans. The first phase has its own particular line-up of enzymes and actions while the second phase takes the refuse of phase I and turns it into something the body can eliminate easily. Below is a sample of a genetic profile done by Genova Diagnostics (www.gdx.net) covering Phase I genes. This particular profile shows the person has anomalies on 2 genes: the CYP1B1 and CYP3A4. But why does that matter? Because it explains why this person has problems clearing estrogen and metabolizing many pharmaceuticals. Translated, it explains difficult menstrual cycles and why some medicines just don’t seem to work right for this person. Apparently, eating lots of cruciferous vegetables and increasing the intake of herbs and spices would help this patient greatly. I have a hunch...

When is it Our Turn?

    As women, we sometimes wonder if we will ever get a chance to do what we long to do. A career, hobbies, or travel may be put on the backburner as time ticks by and we take care of everyone else. Having been completely sidelined by health issues for over a decade, this feeling is not unfamiliar to me. In fact, it often rears its ugly head at the most inopportune moments. I often feel an overwhelming sense of frustration that everything I seemed to have worked so hard to gain evades my grasp at the last moment. But there is one truth that sticks with me through the struggles and trials of life. It helps to calm the storm when despair rears it ugly head. Time and time again, I remember this: sometimes it is simply not our turn. We may have to wait in line while it’s our children’s turn, or our spouse’s turn, or while our ailing parents or extended family need our help. We may despair as our dreams go seemingly unfulfilled – and time keeps marching on. But remember this: just because it is not our turn now, doesn’t mean it will never be our turn. We can hone our skills and plans in our precious free time. We can take baby steps towards our goals. And there is an upside to the wait: patience, compassion, empathy, experience, and understanding are all inevitable results. While we think we are simply serving and waiting while life passes us by, we are gaining the most precious of characteristics. It is not the reward we receive at the end of this life...

Around the Corner

    I run because it keeps me sane. It helps me sleep at night and feel better during the days when I summon the energy to do it. But, being honest, there are a lot of days where I just don’t want to go. On those days, I often force myself to get dressed and just try running for a bit. Sometimes it works. I start running and I realize I had more energy than I thought. Other days, I wish I had just stayed at home. It was on one of these days that I realized I am an “around the corner” girl. What does that mean, you may wonder? It means that if I know another runner is behind me or has passed me going in the opposite direction, I will run to the next corner and turn out of view before I walk (or perhaps, collapse – depending on the day). Out of pride or stupidity, I have to make it to the next corner just so that other runner won’t see how pathetic my stamina and pacing really are. Sometimes I walk for a looooong time before I start to run again. How many times have you made it around the corner before you collapsed so others wouldn’t know you were struggling? I have a hunch people do it more often than you would think. You could apply this principle to lots of areas of life – career, family, income levels… There are lots of others I will leave to your imagination. But do know this – just because it seems like someone is running faster than...