Archive for April, 2010

Healthy Picnic Alternatives

April 30, 2010 Written by JP

Summer is quickly approaching and that means picnics aren’t far behind. The standard fare at such outdoor feasts often includes a plethora of unhealthy foods. Chief among them are hot dogs preserved with nitrites, potato chips and sugar-laden sodas. Today I’m going suggest a few healthier options that will hopefully satisfy your taste for the old favorites while at the same time supporting better health. Read more »


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Posted in Food and Drink, Nutrition | 8 Comments

Chewing Gum, Honey and Vitamin D

Written by JP

The first stop on today’s Twitter tour is a visit with Dr. Andrew Weil to get his two cents about the relative merits of honey as a sweetener. Then two new contributors to Twitter Thursday – Nancy Onyett, a certified family nurse practitioner, competitive bodybuilder and director of the Pyramid Preventative Medicine and Dr. Bill Yates, a Tulsa-based physician with a keen eye for interesting neuroscientific research. Finally, we’ll round out today’s column with some input from a few familiar Twitter sources: Neatorama and Dr. Wayne Dyer.
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Posted in Diabetes, Diet and Weight Loss | 3 Comments

Arnica Montana for Pain Relief

April 28, 2010 Written by JP

I recently received an e-mail from a reader who inquired about the scientific evidence surrounding a popular homeopathic remedy known as Arnica montana. In order to answer this inquiry, I first need to address the issue of homeopathy in general. Homeopathy is a controversial holistic treatment that centers around the theory that “like cures like” – an admittedly unconventional view. Homeopathic remedies are also fodder for vigorous debate in the scientific community because they contain extremely diluted amounts of medicinal elements. In essence, the underpinning theory is that the lower the dosage, the more potent the effect. This claim goes against the generally accepted laws of chemistry and physics. Nevertheless, many consumers and select physicians are stalwart supporters of this esoteric practice. Read more »


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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Bone and Joint Health | 13 Comments

Healthy Turkey Meatballs Recipe

April 27, 2010 Written by JP

The lessons we’re taught in childhood often stick with us throughout our lifetime. Some of what’s picked up along the way helps us to live happy, value-based lives. However some lessons hinder our potential or otherwise cause us inadvertent harm. In the context of nutrition, there are a few cultural concepts that I feel are problematic. The first is the notion that each meal needs to include a starchy component, whether bread, potatoes, rice, etc. The second is the idea that most meals should end with a dessert or something sweet. Read more »


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Posted in Food and Drink, Nutrition, Recipes | 8 Comments

ADHD, Psoriasis and Stress News

April 26, 2010 Written by JP

Natural remedies often differ from synthetic medications with respect to how quickly they provide symptomatic relief. For instance, if you take an aspirin to relieve muscle soreness, you’d expect to notice a reduction in pain in short order. However if you opt for a natural pain reliever such as curcumin or fish oil, the effects tend to manifest themselves more slowly and are, therefore, more appropriate for chronic inflammatory conditions. This doesn’t mean that the holistic options are less effective or powerful. It simply illustrates that many of them work like slower acting medications including many antidepressants. Furthermore, some dietary strategies and nutritional supplements do, in fact, work on the spot. Read more »


Posted in Children's Health, Mental Health, Nutritional Supplements | 4 Comments

Arthritis, Depression and Eye Health Updates

April 23, 2010 Written by JP

I watched a tragically sad piece on last weekend’s edition of the news program 60 Minutes. A series of patients with life threatening illnesses fell prey to a con artist who claimed to be able to heal them via natural remedies and stem cell treatments. This segment really hit home because it was a stark reminder that hope must be doled out judiciously. I believe the defining difference between well placed and false hope can be summarized in one word: evidence. Hope with a foundation that is evidence-based can be constructive and sometimes yields dramatic outcomes. On the other hand, false hope leaves patients vulnerable to exploitation and heart break.
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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Bone and Joint Health, Nutritional Supplements | 4 Comments

Longevity Twitter Tips and More

April 22, 2010 Written by JP

There are two new contributors in today’s edition of Twitter Thursday. This week I’ve included entries by Dr. Belleruth Naparstek, a psychotherapist and world renowned expert in guided imagery and Fredrick Hahn the author of the best selling books, The Slow Burn Fitness Revolution and Strong Kids Healthy Kids. In addition we have a few returning figures from the Twitter health scene: Dr. Jonny Bowden, Rick McGuire and the LA Times.
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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 4 Comments

Natural Health Updates April 2010

April 21, 2010 Written by JP

Every column I write contains the most accurate and current information of which I’m aware. However, the research I provide is simply a snapshot of what is known at that given time. I’m well aware that soon after I post a blog, there’s more data that could and should be added to the mix. That’s why from time-to-time, I revisit some of the more popular topics and build upon the previously reported research. This is part one of a two part update that will conclude on Friday of this week.
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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Bone and Joint Health, Food and Drink | 5 Comments

Avocado Salmon Recipe

April 20, 2010 Written by JP

When I consult with a client about nutrition, I generally ask them to keep a one-week food diary. This not only gives me an idea about their typical nutrient intake, but also yields a seemingly unrelated point: most people tend to eat a relatively limited selection of foods on a regular basis. This is important to note when asking someone to eliminate specific foods from their menu plan. In essence, this strategy shows my clients that we can put together a delicious and practical list of meals and snacks that is more varied than their normal diet. One of the best and simplest ways to do this is to mix and match healthy recipes. Read more »


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Posted in Food and Drink, Nutrition, Recipes | 9 Comments

Probiotics, Soy and Yoga News

April 19, 2010 Written by JP

Alternative and complementary practitioners differ from most conventional physicians in that they tend to take a more global view of wellness. To them, a symptom is just a sign that the body as a whole is out of balance. Therefore, simply prescribing a medication to address a specific symptom doesn’t quite cut it as far as alt-med providers are concerned. They believe that you must consider the totality of what’s going on with the patient. Is diet playing a direct or indirect role in the current circumstances? Are there certain nutritional supplements that may address an underlying deficiency? Could exercise improve the overall function and structure of the patient’s body? Do mind-body or stress management techniques have any role to play in the recovery process? No stone is left unturned and no treatment option is off the table. Read more »


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Posted in Exercise, Memory, Nutritional Supplements | 2 Comments

Sea Salt Surprise

April 16, 2010 Written by JP

Throughout the ages there’s always been a clash between the norms of past and present generations. We see this is in the way people dress, the music they listen to and even the way they talk. And while there are always groups on both sides of the debate, there are also bystanders who watch on and think: “The more things change, the more they stay the same”. That argument can be logically made in the cultural arena. But I don’t think it holds water when it comes to dietary shifts that have largely taken place over the past few centuries. One of the more pronounced differences in the dietary composition of modern man vs. Stone Age dwellers is a shift in the ratio between sodium and potassium. Read more »


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Posted in Food and Drink, Heart Health, Nutrition | 35 Comments

Saving Lives, Saving Money

April 15, 2010 Written by JP

What’s good for the individual is good for society. That adage may not always be true, but it often is with regard to health care. But even if you accept this principle, you still have to establish the meaning of the word “good” in the realm of medicine and nutrition. This past week on Twitter I discovered several examples of “good” advice from a varied group of health experts. Some of the recommendations presented may very well surprise you. Read more »


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Posted in Children's Health, Diet and Weight Loss, Heart Health | 14 Comments

Dr. Krista Varady Interview Part 2

Written by JP

In part two of my interview with Dr. Krista Varady of the University of Illinois, Chicago we address some of the finer points about alternate day fasting (ADF). The truth of the matter is that research into ADF is still in its infancy and Dr. Varady is the first person to admit it. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that this form of eating is quickly becoming one of the hottest topics in the realms of anti-aging and preventive medicine. In essence, we’re getting a sneak preview into what may well be one focus of health care in the future. Read more »


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Posted in Interviews, Nutrition | 9 Comments

Sugar Free Blueberry Cheesecake

April 13, 2010 Written by JP

Today, I’m going to attempt the impossible. Simply put, my goal is to make the case that cheesecake can be a health food. You read that right! Cheesecake is a health food. Of course I’m not just talking just any kind of cheesecake. There are a few substitutions that need to be made. But the good news is that the end result will hopefully be as equally pleasing to your palate as the unhealthy version to which most people have become accustomed. Read more »


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Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Nutrition, Recipes | 14 Comments

Natural Remedies in the News

April 12, 2010 Written by JP

What do the following conditions have in common? Age-related memory decline; high-grade gliomas (brain tumors); hyperlipidemia (elevated cholesterol and triglycerides), polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and stroke? According to several recent studies, all of these health concerns may be responsive to natural therapies. Read more »


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Posted in Memory, Nutritional Supplements, Women's Health | 7 Comments

Topical Magnesium Trial

April 9, 2010 Written by JP

Some people “age better” than others in terms of external measures of beauty and youth. But regardless of outward appearances, you can count on this: if you’re lucky enough to grow old, significant changes will occur in the internal nooks and crannies of your body. Cursory examinations of older patients sometimes miss some of these shifts. An example is detailed in the December 2009 issue of the journal Magnesium Research. A group of Italian scientists reveal that “plasma magnesium (Mg) concentrations are remarkably constant in healthy subjects throughout life, while total body Mg and Mg in the intracellular compartment tend to decrease with age”. The authors go on to say that “dietary Mg deficiencies are common in the elderly population” and are likely a result of excess urinary loss, poor intestinal absorption and reduced bone stores of Mg. The relevance of this lack of magnesium cannot be underestimated as it may contribute to the likelihood of many health concerns such as asthma, chronic fatigue, inflammation, muscle loss (sarcopenia) and more. Read more »


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Posted in Diabetes, Mental Health | 14 Comments