Archive | Healthly Living

RSS feed for this section

What No One Ever Told You About the Flu and Your Immune System

  By Dr. Navaz Habibflu

This article was originally published on The Hearty Soul.

There is no such thing as Flu season.

Contrary to popular belief, Influenza viruses do not go on vacation in the summer and check back in with us in the fall. The viruses are opportunistic, which means that they are simply waiting to attack us when our immune systems become weaker. This year, let’s start Immune Booster season, making our immune systems strong year round so that the opportunistic bad bacteria and viruses don’t have as much of a chance to spread.

We have all heard of the immune system. This system is the second line of defense that our bodies have to invaders (the first line is our skin and gut lining). If an invader gets through our skin or through our gut lining and into our internal environments, then the immune system is activated to protect us from the effects of these invaders.

Our immune system is constantly active, fighting off potential invaders. A well-functioning and BALANCED immune system is very important in our overall health and well-being. If our immune system is weak, invaders such as viruses and bacteria can get in and spread, causing infections. If the immune system is too overworked, it can make mistakes and start attacking our own cells. This is called autoimmune disease, and can include conditions like Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac disease.

Imagine for a moment that the immune system is the security staff at an important government building. Lazy security personnel that don’t do their job correctly could let invaders enter, which can cause problems for the government – in the same way, a weak immune system cannot stop all the opportunistic viruses and bacteria from potentially causing infections in our sinuses, lungs, blood vessels etc.

If the security staff are too overwhelmed and not well trained, they may start to incorrectly attack internal problems in the government building. This would cause chaos inside the government building leading to many issues internally. In the same way, autoimmune disease is our defense system, fighting against our own cells, leading to chronic inflammatory conditions.

So how do we make sure that our immune system is working well and is balanced?

Not so well known fact: 70-80% of your entire immune system is located in your gut lining. When the immune system is not functioning correctly, the cause can often be attributed to the gut and our digestive function. Improper gut function is a common cause of immune system imbalance.

Here are some steps to fix our gut health, and boost our immune system function:

  1. Eat Healthy, REAL Foods

These foods include lots of vegetables (leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, zucchini, Brussels sprouts, sweet potato and squashes) and some fruits (high in antioxidants)    Aim for 3-4 servings of fruit and 4+ servings of vegetables daily.

  1. Drink plenty of CLEAN Fluids

Water is the most important fluid that our body requires. In the colder months, a nice glass of water, a warm herbal or green tea or homemade soup or broth is a great way to get important fluids and stay warm. If possible, filter your water and avoid high sugar fruit juices and soda.

  1. Avoid Sugar and Processed Foods

Sugar and processed foods which contain sweeteners have been shown to depress the immune system for hours after they are ingested. This means staying away from candy, chocolates, cake and holiday sweets as they can, and will cause immune system depression. Also cut down on gluten and dairy products, which have been shown to cause leaky gut syndrome and dysfunction in the gut lining.

  1. Add a little Spice to your Life!

There are certain spices that help to boost your immune system function. These spices include garlic, ginger, oregano and turmeric. Garlic and onions actually have

  1. Have Protein at every meal

Proteins are the building blocks of the body, including your immune and detoxification systems. Organic, clean and lean animal protein as well as plant-based protein (legumes, nuts, seeds) are important to have at each meal and can even be a great snack option.

  1. Get Plenty of High Quality SLEEP

Sleep is our bodies way of repairing and restoring our body to optimal function. Our terrible sleep habits are often contributing to high emotional stress levels as well as improper function of our bodily defenses. Try to get 7-8 hours of high quality sleep and awake feeling rested and ready to go!

  1. Get Regular Exercise

30-45 minutes of mild to moderate exercise has been shown to help boost immune system function. Avoid overexerting yourself as high stress exercise can decrease immune function.

Chickpea and Artichoke One-Pot Wonder

Bliss in a Dish

serves 4-5

Dreena Burton’s Bliss in a Dish (Chickpea and Artichoke One-Pot Wonder) is a hearty and satisfying plant-based casserole. The recipe is a combination of all of our favorite wholesome ingredients, including chickpeas, artichokes, potatoes, tomatoes, red bell pepper, garlic, and olives, that are then tossed with a variety of herbs and baked to perfection. Bring your loved ones to the table with a dish that will fuel them with nutrients and show them how much you care.

  • 2 cups chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups artichoke hearts, quartered
  • 2 cups Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1 cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/3 cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced in half
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or grated
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Place potato cubes in a large pot of water. Cover and bring to a boil, then lower temperature to medium-low and cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain. (You can also steam potatoes)
  3. Transfer potatoes and other ingredients (except vinegar) into a large bowl and toss to combine.
  4. Place mixture in a large casserole dish and cover with foil. Cook 20 minutes then stir.
  5. Replace foil and cook an additional 20 minutes until potatoes are fully tender and other vegetables are soft.
  6. Add vinegar, stir, then bake an additional 15-20 minutes.   Remove from oven and serve hot.

Traditional Eating: Raw Milk

raw milkRaw milk that is not pasteurized or homogenized and is from grass-fed pastured cows is one of nature’s perfect foods.

Raw milk is good for you because it contains many components that kill pathogens and strengthen the immune system. These components are largely inactivated by the heat of pasteurization and ultra-pasteurization.

Raw milk stimulates the immune system, builds a healthy gut wall, prevents absorption of pathogens and toxins in the gut and ensures assimilation of all the nutrients.

More Information.

Chiropractic – Many Levels of Healing

Chiropractic care can help your body function in many chiropractic can jump start your healthways.

Chiropractic can help promote detoxification, relaxation, emotional healing and a deeper connection to oneself and others.

Chiropractic care helps people become more physically balanced. This often increases their energy and permits them to relax – both physically and emotionally.

The mental/emotional benefits of chiropractic have been noticed since chiropractic’s inception. Correcting subluxations was noticed to improve mental function and relieve depression.

Retracing

One of the most powerful phenomenon of healing is retracing, – where old pains, diseases or trauma come “to the surface” to be released. Retracing is one of the signs of complete healing and even though it may be (temporarily) uncomfortable, it leaves in its wake a stronger, healthier, happier person.

Start (or jump start) your healing journey with chiropractic to begin a healthier all-around lifestyle. Let your chiropractor be your healthy lifestyle coach.

Give us a call and start your journey now!

Warning – Step Away from That Computer!

Computer Stretches for the Overworked!

  • Yes, it’s the posture police. Well, don’t worry, we won’t arrest you; this is something to do for yourself.
  • If you’ve been reading this at your computer (or even a hand-held device), step away from that computer keyboard or device and straighten up.
  • Give yourself a rejuvenating office stretch. Here’s how you do it: stand facing the corner of a room, raise your hands to shoulder height and place your elbows, forearms and hands against each wall. Now lean inward and hold the stretch to flex your chest and back muscles. Hold for 15 seconds.
  • Now don’t you feel better?

computer stretches

3 FOOD MYTHS BUSTED

Christopher Gardner, a nutrition professor at Stanford University and a long-time vegetarian, debunks common misconceptions about healthy eating.

Now that the holidays have come and gone, it’s time to hunker down and commit to the resolutions we’ve made. For many of us, this means striving for, and more importantly sticking to, a healthier diet.

Unfortunately what that actually entails can be hard to pin down. We live in the age of fad diets: Nutrients, foods, and entire regional cuisines are dismissed as unhealthy, only to be re-embraced shortly thereafter.   With that in mind, I’ve decided to dispel some fundamental misconceptions about how we approach healthy eating.

Carbohydrates

The anti-carb/low-carb craze has gone too far. No matter the health philosophy you prescribe to — be it veganism/vegetarianism/pescetarianism, or a Paleo/gluten-free/low-carb/high-fat diet — you’re likely in favor of eating a wide variety of delicious and vibrantly colorful non-starchy vegetables, such as heirloom tomatoes, butternut squash, carrots, mixed salad greens, swiss chard, and sweet red bell peppers. For carb watchers, the irony here is that these are all carbohydrate-rich foods (65% to 90% of their calories come from carbohydrates). For the record, beans, whole grains, fruits and all other vegetables are carbohydrate-rich foods, too.

So instead of stripping out all carbs from your diet, which would mean eliminating healthy and delicious foods such as the veggies listed above, focus on reducing your intake of added sugars (i.e. sugars not naturally found in fruits and other plant foods) and refined grain.

The average American consumes far too much of both. While the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends that less than 10% of our daily calories should come from these sugars, the typical American exceeds that benchmark. This is true across all age groups but particularly for children two to 19-years-old. On average, boys and girls in this demographic get around 16% of their daily calories from added sugars. Because the body breaks up and absorbs sugar very quickly, a sugary diet floods the bloodstream with high amounts of glucose. Over time, this can lead to a range of metabolic problems including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

In addition to sugar, as a nation we’re eating far too much refined flour, the main ingredient in household staples such as white sliced bread, cereals, cookies, crackers, and pastries. Unlike whole grain flour, refined flour grain is milled to remove its bran and germ, which also removes most of its nutritional value, leaving behind the starchy carbohydrates. Because starch is essentially just long strings of glucose, a diet high in refined flour can lead to the many of the same problems as a diet packed with added sugars.

Bottom line: Instead of vilifying carbohydrates, focus on eating whole, unprocessed meals and avoiding processed foods that often contain refined wheat and added sugars.

Protein

Judging from the explosion of protein products — a category that includes bars, smoothies, even protein water — you’d think our national diet is deficient in this basic food component. Which, frankly, boggles my mind. As a country, we consume more protein per person than any other nation.

While some demographic groups do fall short of protein recommendations, including teenage girls and the elderly) others greatly exceed it. Teenage boys and adult men, for example, average 100 grams of protein a day, nearly double the recommended 56 grams.

In reality, it’s not hard to find naturally protein-rich foods. This goes for vegetarians and vegans as well.

(Side note: Stop asking these folks where they get their protein. They are fine, really!)

While lean meats such as chicken and salmon are good sources of the stuff, protein is also found in plant foods. And despite the widespread misunderstanding around the topic, it’s possible to get all 20 amino acids (including the nine essential amino acids not synthesized by our bodies and thus supplied only by our diets) from a combination of legumes, whole grains, nuts, vegetables, and fruits

Bottom line: Our obsession with artificial protein products is a distraction. In lieu of seeking out protein powder, bars, etc., focus on eating a balanced diet (think lots of vegetables, legumes/beans, nuts, seafood, whole grains and fruits, and less processed snacks and foods high in saturated fat, salt and sugar).

Related: Here’s Why You Can’t Stop Procrastinating

Fiber

What with all the attention being paid to carbohydrates and protein, it’s easy to forget about fiber. We shouldn’t, though. Fiber, which is a form of carbohydrate that we can’t digest and thus can’t be absorbed in our upper small intestine, travels on to our lower intestine and feeds the microbial community living in our colons. This may sound gross, but it’s important: A slew of recent research has connected the health of our gut bacterial populations, known as the microbiome, to our overall health, impacting everything from digestion, to weight, to mental health.

In the absence of enough fiber, the microbiota chew on, and subsequently thin, the colon’s protective mucus lining, which wreaks havoc with our immune function and promotes an inflammatory state that can contribute to a variety chronic conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer.

If you’ve noticed a theme in this column, the trend doesn’t stop here. The solution to getting enough fiber is simple: eat more whole foods, especially nutrient-dense vegetables and other plant foods that are rich in fiber.

The final word: Don’t buy into the industry-driven hype. Stop fearing carbohydrates, and stop obsessing over protein products. Healthy eating isn’t about adding supplements or avoiding entire nutrient categories. Instead, it’s about consuming plenty of carbohydrate-rich (which usually means fiber-rich) plant foods, and balancing those with smaller amounts of grains, dairy, meat, and the occasional treat. Love your food, and let it love you back.

Vitamin D Fights Cancer

Vitamin D Fights Cancer  woman sitting in a field of flowers in the sunshine

The most powerful cancer fighter ever discovered is naturally-occurring vitamin D. One study found that low vitamin D significantly increases overall cancer risk.  While another study showed that the vitamin D you make from sunshine lowers your chances of dying from 15 kinds of cancer.

Another study found that vitamin D can lower the chance you’ll get cancer by 77% and production in the skin decreases the likelihood you’ll get the following cancers:

  • stomach
  • colorectal
  • liver
  • gallbladder
  • pancreas
  • lung
  • breast
  • prostate
  • bladder
  • kidney cancers

Vitamin D also enhances mood; boosts your immune system; prevents bone and muscle weakness; fights heart disease; prevents diabetes; fights arthritis, pain and inflammation; prevents Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis.

The easiest, safest and cheapest way (it’s free) to increase the amount of vitamin D your body produces is through regular exposure to sunlight, which is not easy, especially during the winter months. Many nutritionists therefore recommend 5,000 IU every day with the D3 form especially important.

Foods that Contain Vitamin Dbeautiful breakfast of eggs and toas laid out for a picnic in a sunny field

Nutritional sources of Vitamin D include:

  • fatty fish (like herring, sardines, tuna, mackerel, and salmon)
  • beef liver
  • cheese
  • egg yolks

Forget New Years Resolutions: Set New Year INTENTIONS Instead

Is this you?

“Now that Christmas is over, I’m going to eat healthier, but first I need to eat all the junk food and leftovers in the house, so it’s not there to tempt me.”

New Year’s ResolutionsA road with START written on it

What was yours last year? How long did that last, one day, two weeks or maybe a month?

Then you feel guilty as hell and so pig out on the first chocolate cake to cross your path. Why do we insist on setting New Year’s resolutions only to fall off the wagon as soon as a friend invites us over for a BBQ or out for dinner?

As for that exercise goal, yep going to get fit!! Buy day four your body is that sore you need a week’s rest, by then another great goal has flown the coop.

Resolutions are defined as a definite action, a firm decision to do or not to do something. Also known as the false hope syndrome, it’s out of alignment with our views of ourselves.

Setting Intentionswomen meditation to set intentions

Setting intentions gives you wings to fly, realigns us to be more mindful of our goals and dreams. Intentions are an understanding of what is evident, your energy and thoughts create an energy flow to manifest into your reality.

WE BECOME WHAT WE WANT TO BECOME BY CONSISTENTLY BEING WHAT WE WANT TO BECOME.

INTENTION: I will be more mindful of what I eat.
Eating is a natural activity, we need to eat but in this food-abundant culture, eating is often done in a mindless fashion. Mindful eating is eating with intention.

  • Fuel your body by giving it what it needs to nourish and heal.
  • Notice the effect food has on your body.
  • Keep a food/mood journal as a way to help be more aware about what you’re eating.
  • Eat slowly, without distractions, savor every mouthful, taste the food, feel the texture.
  • Enjoy your food as it nourishes your body.
  • Learn to recognize your hunger clues, are you hungry or thirsty, are you satisfied or full.
  • Chose food for enjoyment and nourishment, fuel your body so that you can live the life you crave.

Soon and with practice your focuses will become on why your eating rather than just eating.a piece of cheese cake with a bit take out
A cheese cake is sitting in front of you. You just ate a healthy dinner of chicken and salad.  Think about it–are you satisfied? Can you walk away?  Or will you feel the need to eat a large slice of cheese cake, devouring it like there is no tomorrow and within 20 minutes feeling so full and uncomfortable?

Or could you just have sliced a little, ate it more slowly and savored each bite, felt the texture, really taste the smooth creaminess, and walked away feeling satisfied?

INTENTION: I will exercise more.
Don’t go out and run 10k and lift weights and then the next day go run another 10k.  Your body will just burn out. Your intention is to exercise for fitness not deadness. Small steps add up to further distance along the path.

  • Get up from your computer every 15 min and walk, move.
  • Dance for 2-3 minutes.
  • Put on a favorite song and dance like no one is watching.
  • Start out walking/jogging 10 min every other day, build on that, add 5 min every time.
  • Try yoga every morning.
  • Walk to work.
  • Take the stairs.

man doing a push upMake a clear intention for what you are about to do:

  • 10 push-ups, run 5k or yoga.
  • Make a note of what you will achieve, listen to your body.
  • Start out laying the ground work for your intention to manifest.
  • Focus your mind on what you’re doing, how your feeling, thus increasing your chance of success.
  • Explore and find your own exercise routine, there are many paths to the top of the mountain, find one that suits you and that you will enjoy.

Start the New Year With Intentions

Not quick fixes or unrealistic behavior! Fad diets don’t work, you just find yourself craving junk food. Lasting change isn’t a fad, it’s an intention to better for yourself, slowly, mindfully and enjoyable. This helps create long term change and you will find you chose to make healthy behaviors a part of your regular routine.

Grab a journal and start writing down your intentions for this year.

Whether it is losing weight, running a marathon, finding a new job, going for a holiday–whatever your heart desires– just send it out into the universe and watch as your intentions become your realities.

Have a wonderful 2017 everyone.   From the blog TEA BREAK.

Disease and Vaccines

The disease is over when we think we have itdisease-vaccines-boy

We know the names of what are referred to as childhood diseases: measles, mumps, chicken pox and whooping cough/pertussis. But did you know that by the time a child is said to “catch” these diseases of childhood with their characteristic rashes, skin eruptions, fever and general malaise (overall yechy feeling), the disease is over?

The natural way people get these diseases is that germs come in contact with the mouth and throat (nasopharynx) where your tonsils, adenoids and other immune tissues reside. They alert your body to the invaders and you mount an offense.

The symptoms are not the disease

The symptoms that we associate with a disease are not the disease, they are the body ridding itself of the disease waste. In the words of Hippocrates, considered the father of medicine:

“We call them diseases but they are the cure of disease.”

The disease is actually over; the body has confronted the germ invaders, has won the war and is doing cleanup.

The symptoms we associate with the disease are really the discharge of waste after the disease is over. The wastes leave through the skin (perspiration, rashes, pustules), are burnt up by fever, discharged by diarrhea, and take our energy so we feel fatigue and other unpleasant body expressions. We may dislike those symptoms, but they are good for us. The result is a healthier, stronger, cleaner person.

That’s why growth spurts, in body and mind, are often seen after a child experiences a childhood disease or even a fever. The body has detoxified and can now move on to a stronger level of health and wellness.

How does vaccination affect childhood diseases? disease-infection

Do vaccines prevent disease?

Vaccines inject viri and bacterium, toxins associated with the virus and other chemicals deep into the body, into the bloodstream where they are not supposed to be. Because it is so deep, the body is not able to mount a proper offense; the disease may never leave. Vaccines do not prevent disease; they drive disease deeper where more damage may occur.

That is why studies show vaccinated children are the ones who have autism, allergies, asthma, ear infections, arthritis, diabetes, ADD/ADHD, dyslexia, stuttering and other conditions. The vaccine toxins damage the nerve and immune system and the result is a less healthy child.

They still get the disease, but are unable to perform a detox so they don’t get the symptoms we associate with the disease. Therefore, they are sicker deeper in their body, longer (chronically) and often permanently.

Of course symptoms of body discharge must be respected – a child who is going through a post-illness detox must be properly nourished, given rest and have procedures promoting a complete detoxification and cleansing.

High-Fructose Corn Syrup: What it does to your body

Do you know whigh-fructose-corn-syruphat High-Fructose Corn Syrup does to you?

In one clinical trial, test subjects who consumed high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) developed higher risk factors for cardiovascular disease in just two weeks, demonstrating just how influential your diet can be on your heart and brain health in the long term.

Foods that Contain High-fructose Corn Syrup?high-fructose-corn-syrup

Be aware of where HFCS is often found: baked goods, canned fruits, dairy products, carbonated drinks and most sweetened beverages in the market today! Just look at the labels and find out. (1)

As you avoid HFCS and refined sugar, be aware that artificial sweeteners such as Splenda® and Nutrasweet® are also linked to serious problems including retinal detachments, weight gain and brain tumors. (2)


  1. Stanhope KL, Medici V, Bremer AA et al. A dose-response study of consuming high-fructose corn syrup-sweetened beverages on lipid/lipoprotein risk factors for cardiovascular disease in young adults. Am J Clin Nut. 2015;101(6):1144-1154.
  2. Walton RG, Hudak R, Green-Waite RJ. Adverse reactions to aspartame: double-blind challenge in patients from a vulnerable population. Biol. Psychiatry. 1993;34:13-17.