Your Heart and Dental Health

February is heart health month. Many of us are aware that heart disease  is the number 1 killer of both men and women in the U.S claiming around 610,000 lives each year (Center for Disease Control).  Did you know that research has found a link between this deadly disease and the health of your gums?  Periodontitis , the swelling, bleeding, receding gums caused by some species of bacteria in our mouths, may raise the risk of a number or serious health conditions. That list includes stroke, respiratory illness, and cardiovascular disease.  Infection and inflammation in the mouth may also worsen adult onset (type 2) diabetes or cause premature birth.

For the first time in my life, I recently needed the expert advise from a periodontist.  I had an unfortunate situation with an implant and crown.  It caused me undue inflammation and pain.  I was referred to a periodontist who educated me about implants and how the gums and teeth react to this type of procedure.  Implants don’t work like regular teeth and therefore you need to do a bit more manual cleaning around the gums since they can hold more bacteria.  I learned more about different types of floss, picks and mouth washes that I ever knew existed.  I realized this was bigger than just alleviating the pain.  It was about keeping bacteria at bay.  I am now more than religious about flossing with a specific type of floss or pick  and to avoid certain foods that can get trapped.

A recent Scientific America Custom Media **journal discussed how inflammation around the gums triggers our immune system that fights bacterial invaders in the gum tissue.  The problem is that these bacterial microbes can slip into the bloodstream, settling into the arteries around the heart or may be inhaled into the lungs, causing pneumonia.  There is research that continues to explore the association between periodontal disease, inflammation and various medical conditions.

An awareness around the epidemic of poor dental health is now being sparked. The notion that the  mouth is not separate from the body and oral health is vital to general health and welfare is on the forefront of dental and nursing schools. Dental disease is not just limited to adults, but worldwide to babies and children.  How can you become proactive with your own healthcare and that or your family?

Start with prevention:

  • Brush teeth a minimum of 2 times a day for 2 minutes
  • floss at least once a day ( use a floss with a bit of texture)
  •  annual checkups are very important
  • decrease sugars, candy and  soda,
  • drink water to rinse out the mouth
  • don’t smoke
  •  eat real foods and chew chew chew- apples, celery, carrots

Not only will you have healthy gums and clean teeth  you will also have a beautiful smile and a healthier heart.

 

Happy Health Month,

Be Well,

   Mary

 

 

 

 

 

 

Metabolic Detoxification for Energy and Wellbeing-No Fasting!

Detox in a Box!  The 10-day Clear Change Program from Metagenics is safe, effective detoxification without the hassles OR hunger.  This is not a fast!  You will eat real food while using nutritional supplements and a balanced dietary drink  made from pea and rice protein in a variety of flavors to choose from. This program includes science based nutritional recommendations for balanced metabolic detoxification support along with a simple eating plan that removes common foods that can increase burden. This is a great time to get rid of the sludge and regain drained energy.

Before engaging in this program take a moment to watch a short informative video that will answer your questions about the Clear Change Program.  Some people experience a day of fatigue or minor aches and pains. Most experience weight loss and getting back on track.

If you are ready to take the 10 days to feel energized again, you can order this product via my nutritional Supplement page of my website through Emerson Ecologics ( at a 15%savings for the month of January) or a 20% discount for first time users through Metagenics Nutraceuticals.

If you have any questions, contact me, I can help.

**Individuals should contact their doctor before engaging in detoxification programs. Some individuals with health concerns, may be better suited for the slower paced, 28 day Clear Change Program.

?’s Contact me.

Be Well,

Mary

What do Telomeres Have To Do With Your Health

I have had a lot of people ask me about telomeres.  In the past few years it has been discussed a lot because of it’s importance on aging.  There was a very good article from The Wall Street Journal that summed up information about telomeres. Telomeres are stretches of DNA at the end of our chromosomes that protect them from damage, like little protective caps.  In time, the telomeres wear away each time the cells would divide.  This becomes a problem when the telomeres become too short and the chromosomes can then fuse together and malfunction, causing the cells to die, which contribute to disease.

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What is unclear: are short telomeres a sign of cellular age or do short telomeres cause advanced aging? Telomere shortening is determined by a few things; heredity, environment and lifestyle. The article suggests that exercising, maintaining a healthy diet and weight and not smoking, controlling inflammation ( heart disease, arthritis, gut problems, diabetes, obesity and more) can slow the rate of telomere shortening.  There is an enzyme that can add more length to telomeres called  telomerase, but it is mostly found in sperm, egg and stem cells and cancerous tumors.  There is also no evidence that telomerase supplements help.

It is difficult to measure telomere length to tell you how long you may live. Some experts say that the telomeres have to be extremely short before they contribute to disease. I do work with a company that offers a Telomere length test.  I generally do not recommend this  since there isn’t much to compare it with, unless you repeat it at various intervals, were your telomeres long or short to begin with?   yet, all information and education about your make up is of importance. The bottom line is the same for staying healthy and avoiding age related diseases- exercise, eat healthy real food, control inflammation by eating well and staying hydrated, and living a balanced life with socialization, recreation and relaxation.

Be Well,

Mary

Soon to comeWellavate – a dispensary where you can order high quality nutraceuticals, personal care products, family needs, homeopathic remedies, pet care and essential oils all in one place, and it will be easy! It is up an running- look for more information and specials soon.

Nutrition: Snacking Your Way Through the Day

Snacks are not only okay, they are an opportunity to obtain more nutrients into your diet throughout the day. They can be a wiStock_000015487653XSmallise move when you make conscious and planned decisions.  Snacks give you energy when you need it and help to keep your blood sugars level.  In doing this you avoid slumps and fatigue associated with low blood sugar.  Snacks keep you satisfied, mentally and physically, as long as you pick foods that will serve you well. Snacks can help with emotional cravings.  Try to notice if you snack because you are stressed, tired, angry or bored.  If you can identify your emotion you may tend to choose a healthier snack rather than snacks with empty calories.

When snacking try to eat as many ‘real’ foods as possible.  Having an apple with some almonds may not sound as exciting as a doughnut, but you will be rewarded with more energy and satiety (thanks to chewing and fiber).  Some other good suggestions for snacks:

  • yogurt with fresh fruit, granola or chopped nuts
  • raw veggies and hummus, try a red pepper or lemon variety for a little change
  • whole grain crackers and cottage cheese
  • flavored pumpkin or sunflower seeds and raisins
  • whole grain crackers and a ‘mini’ cheese
  • crunchy chick peas or edamame
  • there are many great snack bars- look for 8-12 grams of protein, low sugar and high fiber, under 200 calories

These are just some of the options you can try to get more vitamins and minerals as well as protein and fiber into your diet. Have a treat once in a while- but a snack is meant to be helpful, not hurtful. Treat a treat as a treat- like on a friday afternoon after a long workweek, you will enjoy it more since you really deserve it. Keep in mind, you could lose, or gain up to 20 pounds in a year just by avoiding, or using,  the vending machine!

If you could use  some guidance in optimizing your eating plan, contact me for a complimentary talk.

Be Well,

       Mary

wellbychoice@comcast.net


 

Holistic Nutrition: Digestion and Aging part 2

This blog is a continuation of  the discussion to develop optimal digestion, especially as we age.  Part 1 is available via my website. In this article  I will suggest a few other options that are easy to do and many have found great relief and results.

DGL, stands for deglycyrrhizinated licorice.  DGL is produced by removing glycyrrhetinic acid from a concentrated licorice extract. It is removed because it can raise blood pressure in some individuals. DGL is excellent in treating peptic ulcers.  It can also be used as an anti- ulcer remedy. DGL does not inhibit the release of acid, rather it stimulates the body to release normal defense mechanisms. It improves both the quality and the quantity of the protective substances that line the intestinal tract, increases the lifespan of the intestinal cells and improves blood supply to the intestinal lining. There are even some studies that it inhibits h.pylori bacteria.  Some studies have shown DGL to be more effective than Tagamet, Zantac or antacids in both short and long term maintenance therapy of peptic ulcers.

Take as directed.  For the best results take 20 minutes before meals. It takes aprox. a month for significant results.  My experience has been to use DGL when traveling when my gut is not happy with various foods, or at times when I experience some acid reflux. I try to remember to take prior to meals, but have taken even between meals and have found some relief.  Since this is derived from the licorice root it not a chemical, but an herb.  Licorice tea can also be a great remedy for digestive concerns.

Digestive Enzymes decrease as we get older.  They come from the pancreas.  If you have heartburn, abdominal bloating and discomfort and gas with in the first 15-30 minutes after eating, it is usually due to lack of HCL recreation., BUT if it happens more than 45min after eating, its is usually a sign that you are lacking pancreatic enzymes. Digestive enzymes products are the most effective treatment of pancreatic insufficiency. Some of the products you may see include enzymes from free hog pancreas (porcine), or vegetarian sources such as bromelain and papain from pineapple and papaya, as well as fungal enzymes (mushrooms).   Many times a mixture from  the vegetarian and fungal can offer excellent results.  They appear to be more resistant to digestive secretions and offer a broader range of activity in the gut. It is most effective taken 15-20 minutes before a meal. You may notice results immediately or it may take a week or more for you to experience a change, depending on how severe the symptoms.

Probiotics are also a supplement I often suggest my clients to take, regardless of age, but it is even more important as we age.  There are major changes in the type of probiotics that inhabit the intestinal tract.  These changes are brought about as a result of many influences on the digestive tract including: diet, prescription drugs (mainly the use of antibiotic or antacid use) and the decline of digestive secretions. Some recent studies suggest that as we age we may want to increase the levels of the Bifidobacteria species of bacteria. Some of the improvements in supplementing with bifidobaceria include improved bowel function, ( reduced constipation, and or diarrhea), improved immunity and reduced inflammation.  Keep in mind the greatest amount of immune enhancing cells are in the digestional tract. One of the main reasons we need to keep our gut happy and healthy. You want to use a formula that has at least 3 billion bifodobacteria  per dosage.

Fish oils for a healthy gut.  Fish oils from Omega-3 fatty acids such as those that came from fish oil can help alleviate symptoms of IBS.  The average American diet has a ratio of 20:1 – omega -6 to omega -3 fatty acids.  The optimal ratio is 1:1.  Increase your omega -6 fatty acids y increasing  foods such as nuts, seeds, beans and whole grains.  Or simply take a high quality supplement to improve your ratio.

The key to a healthy gut is first to be aware of what is going on.  Keep a simple food diary for a week or two and notice when you have distress.  If you think you suspect the offending agent – eliminate it for at least 4 days.  Foods can stay in your system for 3-4 days.  Currently, I am tracking a digestive upset from something I ate 2 days ago. Don’t get in the trap of  feeling that being uneasy, queazy or subpar is the norm, it isn’t.  Of course, we should expect change as we age, but understand why and find some natural alternatives to address the problems.  Many prescribed drugs are masking the issue and can cause other side effects.

If you want to address it further, contact me to go over your eating style and habits.  It could be a simple solution or even a food sensitivity. It  may take a bit of mindfulness and exploration to address the underlining cause.

Some suggestions for products which can be purchased via my website through Emerson Ecologics or Metagenics Nutraceuticals are:

DGL

  • Licorice Root-V  by Douglas Laboratories
  • DGL Ultra by Enzymatic Therapy

Digestive Enzymes

  • SpectraZyme Metagest by Metagenics (vegetarian)
  • SpectraZyme Pan9x  by Metagenics(with porcine)

Probiotics

  • UltraFlora Balance – Metagenics
  • Ultra Flora IB – Metagenics
  • UltraFlora Acute- Metagenics

 

Hope this helps and your digestive health thrives!

Be Well,

   Mary

 

 

 

 

Holistic Nutriton: Aging and Digestion- part 1

Many people don’t realize that digestion slows down as we age, causing discomforts  that you may not have had at an earlier age.  I often hear common complaints about burping, heartburn, indigestion, bloating and gas.  Many times, the eating patterns haven’t changed , however, the digestive juices have.  Take for example, GERD,acid reflux or heartburn, basically all the same, the little purple pill is meant to take care of it, right? Not necessarily.  That little purple pill is to reduce gastric acid.  What is most likely happening is that you have too little stomach acid. A lack of gastric acid excretion is actually a more common cause of indigestion and heartburn.  If that is the case for you, you could be making the situation worse.  You need gastric acid to break down your foods to get the nutrients from the food  and assimilate them into your system.  If you are not breaking down your foods the results will be burping, heartburn, indigestion, bloating and gas etc. Foods will sit in your gut and ferment, and cause irritation and inflammation.  Beyond the above mentioned,  impaired gastric acid secretion may include, food allergies, diarrhea, constipation, cracked or peeling fingernails and iron deficiency. There are other diseases that have been linked with insufficient gastric acid output including asthma, celiac disease, diabetes, chronic autoimmune disorder, lupus, osteoporosis and more- but don’t jump to conclusion.

One way to discern if you have decreased gastric acid is with a detailed gastric acid analysis, provided by your doctor. Many insurances don’t cover this service.  A more cost effective and simple way is to determine your need for acid is to use  hydrochloric acid (HCL) supplements.  This may take a few days to figure out what the correct dose may be, but you would find relief in a relatively short period of time IF you have insufficient gastric acid.

Process: start by purchasing HCL at a reputable store or via my website ( Metgest from Metagenics)take one tabletop capsule containing 500-600 mg of HCL with a large meal. If it doesn’t aggravate your symptoms, try upping the dosage- one tablet with your first meal, two with the meal after that and three with the next meal and so on.

Continure to increase the dose until you reach seven tablets or until you feel warmth in your stomach, whichever occurs first.  A feeling of warmth in the stomach means that you have taken too many tablets with that meal and you need to take one less for a meal of that size.  You may want to repeat the same dose a couple of times in order to feel the ‘warmth’. After you have determined the dose, stick with that for the larger meals and then reduce the dose for smaller meals.

As your stomach start to producing enough HCL on its own, you will notice that warm sensation again, when this happens reduce your dosage accordingly.

This may seem a bit tedious, but it works and will help you to get on a healthier path of digestion.

Do NOT stop taking any medication without the approval of your medical practitioner.  If you want off the little purple pill (it is only meant to be used for a short time- not forever, get to the root cause of the issue!) discuss it with your doctor and possible more natural solutions.

My next blog will be other ways to address ways digestive complaints. If you have any questions, please contact me.

Be Well, Mary

Nutrition News: Hearts and Chocolate

When we think of February and Valentines day- what comes to mind? For many it is hearts, chocolate and flowers and that is a good thing. More and more studies are showing that moderate amounts of chocolate are actually good for your heart. You may have already heard this and recent studies are supporting it to greater lengths.

From the Harvard Health Publications, recent results from a study out of England were published in the medical journal of Heart. Some of the findings are showing a link between eating chocolate and a lower risk of heart disease. Chocolate which comes from cacao beans, is abundant in flavonoids, which is an antioxidant produced by plants. Flavonoids are also found in other foods you may enjoy such as tea, red wine, blueberries, apples pears, cherries and nuts. Flavonoids in cocoa have been shown to help lower blood pressure, improve blood flow to the brain and heart, prevent blood clots and fight cell damage. Studies are also showing that they also help with thinking skills.

Beware; there can be a few drawbacks with any good thing. Most of the studies are indicating choosing dark chocolate (70%), and avoiding the extra saturated fats and calories from additives: marshmallow, caramel or candy bits. The more processed the chocolate is through fermentation, alkalizing ,roasting etc., the more flavonoids are lost. Most commercial chocolates are highly processed. The good news is that major chocolate manufactures are looking for ways to keep the flavanols in their processed chocolates.

What about the fat? The fat in chocolate is from cocoa butter and is made up of equal amounts of oleic acid (heart healthy monounsaturated fat also found in olive oil), steric and palmitic acids. Stearic and palmitic acids are forms of saturated fats. Yet, research shows that stearic acid appears to have a neutral effect on cholesterol, neither raising it nor lowering it. Although, palmitic acid does affect cholesterol levels, the good news is that it makes up only a third of the calories found in chocolate. This should make you realize that you cannot consume all the chocolate your heart desires.

Some thoughts to consider while optimizing your healthy chocolate indulgence:

  • Limit yourself to 1-2 oz. of chocolate a few times a week
  • Go for dark, minimally processed 70% cacao
  • Avoid cocoa powder that has not undergone Dutch processing which changes the natural acidity
  • Avoid milk chocolate that has added fats and sugars
  • Indulge in a variety of foods that contain flavonoid antioxidants such as apples, pears, red wine, tea, onions, peanuts, cherries and cranberries.

It might be a great choice to have a piece of dark chocolate with cranberry and peanuts, along with a bouquet of your favorite flowers.

Enjoy with your heart and soul.

Happy Healthy heart Month!

Be Well,

Mary

 

Visit my updated Metagenics store, www.yourchoice4wellness.com,  and get 20% off you first order at the new store with FREE shipping.  Recurring orders always receive 10% discount. Great deal! Check it out! For questions, contact me, wellbychoice@comcast.net

Nutrition News: Clean Up Your Act with Some Nice Discounts

Happy 2016! This is the time of year when many people do a cleanse or detox to get rid of the excess sugars, fats and indulgences from the holidays.  I am offering some specials through February to support  you, if you choose to clean up your act and get back in the swing of feeling energized and eating healthier.  The 10-day Clear Change Program is a terrific program where you eat real food,  is very easy and clear to follow, you are not hungry and it helps to curb the sweet tooth as well as gets your mind focused on food choices for health.  This is not a restrictive plan – however you are restricted in some of the foods you can eat.  Check it out via my website store: www.yourchoice4wellness.mymetagenics.com.  

If this is not for you, try some of the following suggestions that will help you regain your choices for a healthier lifestyle:

  1. Drink lots of water – add a little lemon juice or Bragg’s Apple Cider vinegar to aid digestion.
  2. Increase your greens- kale, spinach, swiss chard, parsley, brussel sprouts; they support your digestive system, and  liver for natural detoxification and benefits of a lot of fiber.
  3. Cut back on red meat to one time a week, or totally for a few weeks – and only eat grass fed. Try substituting beans, fish, organic chicken or vegetarian meals for easier digestion.
  4. For one week remove all sugars, white floor, processed foods from your diet. This includes most breads, baked goods, processed foods, candies, chips.
  5. Quit coffee for a week or more, substitute herbal teas instead.
  6. Remove artificial sweeteners, like Equal, Splenda etc, use stevia instead.
  7. Get sleep- a minimum of 7-8 hours a night, take a 20 minute nap daily, sleep in if you can.
  8. Do some type of exercise every day for 30 min(or more) – walk, swim, yoga, dance,pilates do something different.  It will lift your mood and act as a stress buster.
  9. Try a few minutes of deep breathing, mindfulness meditation or muscle relaxation every day for a week or more.  Download an app ( try One-Moment Meditation free app) see if it helps you to unwind and clear your head.
  10. Play, have some fun, do something different. Go skating, take a hike, go to a museum, attend a lecture or some local music, call an old friend.  Bring life into your life.

If you were to pick just one thing to do, you would be assisting yourself in developing a healthier lifestyle. Try it!

Some specials that may interest you: 10% off the following through the month of Feb.

  • 10 day Clear Change Program
  • PhytoMulti- multivitamins plus  protective phytonutrients
  • Ultra Flora Balance– daily probiotic for immune support
  • Ultra Energy Bars – New! 3 flavors
  • ImmuCore– for immune support during cold and flu season or all year long.

Go to www.yourchoice4wellness.mymetagenics.com.  , register if you haven’t registered and use code  –jumpstart16– when you check out for your discount.

Good Luck- make a small change to make a BIG difference.

Be Well,

 Mary

For further support or information, contact me; wellbychoice@comcast.net

Nutrition:Lifestyle Change: Tape Measure or Scale?

Waist or Weight Measurements?

Ever wonder how one of your friends can weigh more than you but are two sizes smaller? What about the person who works out all the time and eats well but is in the obese category of the BMI index (body mass index)? It is called body composition. When you have an optimal body composition, one that is a favorable ratio between leaner tissues, like muscle, and less fat mass, you are healthier. You are able to eat more because muscle is active tissue that needs fuel,fat does not. Your clothes fit better and your inches will decrease. Muscle weighs more than fat, and it is much more dense. Would you rather have a smaller waist and weigh more, or weigh less and have a thicker waist? I think I know your answer.

Muscle is a biologically active tissue that needs a far greater amount of caloric fuel to maintain itself, compared to body fat. Muscle burns calories. So maintaining your muscle through the foods you eat as well as exercising will promote a more efficient metabolism to burn more calories each day.

Muscle also helps us to heal. It is a major source of protein for important recovery functions such as wound healing, white blood cell production and antibody production. If your body composition is low in lean body muscle your system is already depleted and the body has less to draw on in case of illness.

Muscle mass and strength are the top two indicators of healthy aging. The most powerful way to manage the aging process and restore vitality is to improve your lean tissue –to –fat ratio by adding more muscle to your body.

There are some of us who are considered ‘skinny fat’. This term is related to those people who are not overweight, but may have too little muscle and too much fat. This condition is called sarcopenia. Sarcopenia can raise the risk of chronic diseases and accelerate aging in the same manner that gaining extra visible weight from fat can. Most people with this condition may experience lack of strength, reduced endurance ,achiness and generally reduced quality of life.

The message here may be to ditch the scale and pick up the tape measure. When eating whole foods, in the right combinations and amounts, along with total body exercise you will avoid losing muscle and up your metabolism. If you do not know what your body fat mass vs. lean body mass is, inquire at your local gym or contact me for a BIA.  ( BioImpedance Analysis). It will tell you what is going inside your body regarding your health. Reducing your waist even an inch will help reduce inflammation and improve your path to healthier aging. Your age and gender are important factors in calculating your lean to fat mass numbers.  You are looking to be less than a 35″ waist for women and less than a 40″ waist for men.  Central obesity is considered to be an indicator for many lifestyle diseases, including heart disease, diabetes and stroke.

If you are looking to make some changes, do it with a plan and a realistic goal.  If you need support along the way, contact me for a complimentary consult.

In good health,

  Mary

Nutrition News: Try a Natural Way to Reduce Inflammation

Looking for a natural way to reduce inflammation?

Tumeric/Curcumin is a member of the ginger family. It is a staple in Ayurvedic medicine and Indian cooking. It has a pungent smell and it is that distinctive deep earthy yellow hue. Tumeric’s active ingredient is curcumin, and preliminary research suggests that it may help reduce inflammation and cell damage, manage joint and muscle pain, improve digestive disorders (like dyspepsia and ulcerative colitis) decrease symptoms of depression and lower blood sugar and systolic blood pressure. That is a lot of good, from such a humble plant.

For anyone looking to take this ‘herb’, you can buy tumeric in it’s original form. It looks very much like fresh ginger, but a bit smaller in size. Many people do not indulge in Indian cooking and some people are not accustomed to the taste of tumeric. To get optimal amounts to help with the symptoms mentioned above, you would need to ingest a fair amount on a consistent basis. The alternative is to take a good quality supplement. One of my favorites is TheracurminHP by Integrative Therapeutics. (This can be purchased via Emerson Ecologics on my home page store www.yourchoice4wellness.com , follow prompts to register). There are other very good supplements and they are worth a try, if you would like further information, contact me.   Like all natural supplements, it may take a couple of weeks to start to notice the results, the rewards are subtle but sustaining. Taking natural supplements greatly reduces the side effects of over the counter medicines and prescriptions, which sometimes can cause more harm than good.

In the meantime, evaluate your food intake.  Too many  processed foods along with a sluggish lifestyle can also encourage inflammation.  If you have concerns, set up a complimentary phone consult.

In Good Health,

Mary