Archive for January, 2011
In the world of high fashion models there are certain physical traits that you expect to find in the men and women strutting down the catwalk. But every once in a while an unlikely superstar emerges. These individuals generally don’t possess the typical characteristics found in other “supermodels”. They may be heavier, shorter or just downright “unique” in appearance. A similar phenomenon is found in the field of naturopathic medicine. There are plenty of remedies derived from beautiful sources such as echinacea flowers, lavender buds and milk thistle. However other popular supplements are extracted from decidedly unattractive reservoirs. Read more »
Tags: Chlorella, Pregnancy, Spirulina
Posted in Diabetes, Exercise, Nutritional Supplements | 9 Comments
I’m a firm believer in the concept that holistic medicine can benefit virtually every aspect of one’s life. This may sound like a rather grandiose claim. However I know that it’s not. Today’s column highlights a recent illustration of how changing your diet and lifestyle can have “far reaching consequences” in the best sense of the phrase. What’s more, the benefits often extend far beyond those achieved by the individuals making the changes in the first place.
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Tags: Arthritis, Astaxanthin, Fish Oil
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Bone and Joint Health, Nutritional Supplements | 9 Comments
Every now and then a story appears on the news about the house that’s the neighborhood eyesore. The lawn is dying and overrun with weeds. A rusted, broken down car is parked in the driveway. Paint is peeling from the walls and windows are boarded up. In such instances, the lack of care of that residence impacts the entire “health” of the neighborhood. The same is true of the human body. If one part of the anatomy isn’t properly cared for, it frequently affects many of the neighboring organs and systems. Read more »
Tags: Carotenoids, Heart Health, Insulin
Posted in Dental Health, Exercise, Food and Drink | 7 Comments
In years past, nutritionally oriented physicians would often administer Vitamin B12 injections to patients with fatigue of unknown origin. There were spoken and unspoken justifications for doing so. The official use of intramuscular B12 was to address an underlying deficiency which could manifest itself as a number of symptoms associated with poor vitality: cognitive impairment, lack of energy, mood changes and sensory disturbances. The unofficial reason for providing B12 during office visits is that it serves as an excellent placebo. For one thing, it’s a rather dramatic procedure. Having a bright red liquid pumped into your bloodstream by a doctor or nurse gets your attention! In addition, it’s well established that B12 is relatively non-toxic even when given in therapeutic dosages. (1,2,3,4,5)
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Tags: B Vitamins, Depression, Medications
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Mental Health, Nutritional Supplements | 9 Comments
Glaucoma is an eye condition which affects approximately 2.5 million men and women in the United States alone. It is characterized by increased inner eye pressure which can cause damage to the optic nerve and, thereby, result in vision loss. Fortunately, the combination of two nutraceutical ingredients has recently shown a reduction in intraocular pressure and an improvement overall eye health. (1) Read more »
Tags: Blueberries, Eyes, Pycnogenol
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Nutritional Supplements | 3 Comments
Sometimes knowing too many details can be maddening. If you’ve seen newspaper or television exposes about the astronomical number of germs found on everyday objects (doorknobs, money, restaurant menus, telephones, TV remote controls, etc.) you probably know what I mean. Or perhaps you’ve stumbled across science programs that provide a microscopic view of what’s actually living in the carpeting of average households. Do we really need to know all of this?! I don’t know about you, but I’d rather just know a few practical ways that minimize the risks associated with the colorful microbes and organisms present in the examples above. So rather than frighten you with the details about what’s floating around in the air in our households, I’ll just tell you about a practical way to improve indoor air quality.
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Tags: Detoxification, Inflammation
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Heart Health | 2 Comments
As a child of two Italian parents, I can tell you that one of the most difficult dietary changes I’ve made is to eliminate pasta from my life. The one thing that capellini, fettuccine, linguine and spaghetti all have in common is that they’re traditionally made from wheat flour. That, in and of itself, excludes them from my menu plan. Even reduced-carbohydrate pastas and countless others don’t work for me because they typically contain gluten – a protein found in grains that can provoke allergic reactions and other health consequences. But rather than give up on pasta altogether, I’ve opted to rediscover it in a slightly different form.
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Tags: Gluten, Low Carb, Vegetables
Posted in Food and Drink, Nutrition, Recipes | 12 Comments
Sometimes the best way to draw attention to a specific issue is to simply lay out the stark facts and figures. It is estimated that nearly 50,000 people will die in 2009 from colorectal cancer in the United States alone. If you look at the combined incidence of colorectal cancer in both men and women, it is the second leading cause of cancer related mortality. In the US, that means that over 106,000 people will be diagnosed with colon cancer and about 41,000 will learn that they have rectal cancer. What’s more, governmental statistics estimate that the lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is about 1 in 19 or 5.3%. These numbers may seem shocking because these forms of cancer simply do not receive as much attention as breast or prostate cancer for instance. But the news about colorectal cancer isn’t all negative. According to the US Centers for Disease Control, the “death rate” from colorectal cancer is on the decline, perhaps due to better screening and removal of pre-cancerous colon polyps. But, as always, I believe the most promising avenue in the field of cancer research involves the safe and judicious use of “preventive medicine”.
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Tags: Antioxidants, Apples, Cancer
Posted in Detoxification, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 4 Comments
As luck would have it, one of the biggest snow storms in recent history coincided with our stay in Paris in December 2010. On one particularly frigid and icy afternoon, we stopped into a gastro pub located only a few blocks away from our hotel. It was just too cold to walk much further! There, Mrs. Healthy Fellow and I enjoyed a steaming bowl of cream of cauliflower soup and a dozen escargot gently cooked in garlic-parsley butter. During our meal, a lady seated at the table next to us politely commented on our food selection. She mentioned that she wished she could indulge in similar cuisine. However the diet she was on didn’t allow it. The dietary regimen in question, The Dukan Diet, is perhaps the most popular weight loss program currently making the rounds in France. My hope is that one day soon a similar scenario will unfold with someone telling me, “I’m on the Zest for Life diet”. Read more »
Tags: Cancer, Mediterranean Diet, Wine
Posted in Food and Drink, Interviews, Nutrition | 1 Comment
Mrs. Healthy Fellow and I recently went on a business trip to France. While there we visited as many historical sites as time and weather would permit. One of the most memorable destinations was the lively Organic Farmer’s Market in Paris. If you’d like to take a visual tour of the Marche Biologique Raspail, click on the following links (a, b, c, d, e). We also had the pleasure of visiting several natural food stores and restaurants that showcased healthy, local cuisine. During our travels we became aware of a unique advocate of just the sort of foods we enjoyed while in “The City of Lights” and the countryside. It’s my pleasure to introduce you to Conner Middelmann Whitney.
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Tags: Cancer, Mediterranean Diet, Recipes
Posted in Interviews, Nutrition, Women's Health | 5 Comments
The history of hemp products in the natural health industry has been one largely dominated by uncertainty. So it didn’t surprise me when a client recently asked me about them. I offered a brief summary and my best opinion. Needless to say, it differed from what he had previously been told. This is a common occurrence in my chosen field. For every health topic, there are numerous opinions. Some are generated by the conventional medical establishment. Others are promoted by the makers of hemp products, the media and health food store employees. The likelihood that all of these disparate sources will agree on anything is infinitesimal. Read more »
Tags: GLA, Hemp, Protein
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Nutrition, Nutritional Supplements | 4 Comments
The world would be a much different place if our external appearance reflected the content of our character. In such a scenario, some prized beauties of the past and present would lose their luster. Likewise, the covers of glossy magazines and important newspapers would feature unassuming figures who truly make the world a better place. For better or worse, that’s an alternate reality that I don’t think will ever come about. However, there is a way to enhance outward beauty by changing what you put on your dinner plate.
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Tags: Antioxidants, Carotenoids, Skin Care
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Diet and Weight Loss, Nutrition | 12 Comments
You’ve probably been told by family, friends and possibly even a physician or two to eat yogurt to counteract some of the adverse effects of antibiotics. The justification is that probiotics in yogurt replenish many of the healthy bacteria that are wiped out by such medications. But there’s another fermented dairy product on the block that you might also want to consider. Kefir is a drinkable source of probiotics that generally contains a higher proportion and broader range of active cultures than yogurt. This reality forms a strong theoretical basis for considering kefir during and after any antibiotic regimen. Read more »
Tags: Digestion, Probiotics, Yogurt
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Food and Drink | 12 Comments
Have you ever flipped through cable TV late at night and stopped at one of the stations that regularly broadcasts documentaries about UFOs or other supernatural phenomena? It doesn’t much matter whether you believe in the subject matter or not. What’s interesting about the programs is that they’ll often feature noted professors, scholars and even theologians who offer rather involved theories about how and why extraterrestrials or extra-sensory powers could be plausible. These intricate explanations often call upon historical records and even scientific principles to bolster credibility. Naturally there are always opposing experts who can and do dispute these controversial points of view. However the hashing out of information and/or the debate along the way can be rather fascinating. Read more »
Tags: Cholesterol, Cranberries, Inflammation
Posted in Heart Health, Nutrition | 7 Comments
Salvia hispanica isn’t exactly a household name. But when it’s referred to as “chia seeds”, the recognition factor increases substantially. In prior decades, that coupling of words would bring to mind a novelty item that would grow into a Chia Pet. However these days, Salvia hispanica is more likely to be mentioned at your local health food store. It turns out that the seeds of chia are noteworthy for being more than just a gag gift.
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Tags: Chia Seeds, Fiber, Heart Health
Posted in Diabetes, Nutrition | 7 Comments
My first job in the natural health industry was as a sales clerk in a health food store. A desire to sell dietary supplements and health foods wasn’t the underlying reason why I chose this line of work. It’s true that I needed to earn money. But I could have made more working as a tutor, waiter or at countless other jobs. Looking back, I now understand that the reason I selected this path was in order to have some face-to-face time consulting with customers. I knew what it was like to be a consumer asking for guidance at health food stores. Since I was often disappointed with those experiences, I subconsciously decided to correct that flaw via my own conduct as a health store employee. Read more »
Tags: Arginine, Citrulline, Erectile Dysfunction
Posted in Heart Health, Men's Health, Nutritional Supplements | 1 Comment