The University of Colorado Boulder is offering a free online course this fall all about your gut bugs. If you would like an in depth exploration of this very important part of your body, and a better understanding of how it's health impacts your brain, immune system, nutrition, and much more check it out! It looks interesting, and it's free! Click here for the course description.
There may be many problems with the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer in the U.S. but today I just want to make you aware of 2.
1- Many experts believe that some of the cellular changes being labelled as prostate cancer are not cancer at all and should not carry that label. There is also a push for relabeling some breast cancers for the same reason. The "C" word is scary, if these conditions do not meet the criteria for a definition of cancer, adding the stress and worry that label brings seems not only unnecessary, but cruel, and it can lead to unnecessary treatments. Here is a link to a New York Times piece about this.
2- Patients with some types of prostate cancer are being treated very aggressively by some doctors, and the treatment is not only unnecessary, but carries risk, and can seriously reduce quality of life. These risks include increased chances of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as impotence, muscle weakening, and osteoporosis.
I saw this article today and wanted to share it. It explores recent evidence that many men are being diagnosed and treated aggressively for prostate cancer when such treatment does not improve their prognosis. To be clear, prostate cancer is real, and I do not recommend ignoring it. What I do recommend is finding a doctor who understands this and is giving you advice based on your own specific condition, its risks, and prognosis, not based on how much money they may make from your treatment. For the CNN health article click here.
Food Hygiene what is that? Sounds like keeping your food clean, and while that is important, what I mean when I say food hygiene is something else. I learned this term in Naturopathic medical school. What it means to me is putting the ritual back in eating, and eating in such a way that it helps your body get the most out if your food physically, and emotionally. Food should nourish us on many levels, but for it to do that we need to pay attention to how we eat not just what we eat.
Good digestion is not just about your stomach; it requires the participation of your nervous system, your emotions, your nose, your jaw muscles, and a vast array of chemicals in your body.
There is a complicated soup of chemicals involved in digestion, not just stomach acid. There are enzymes and hormone signals, which tell you when you are full, and tell your intestines to move food along and make room for what is in your stomach.
One of the problems we often encounter is eating too quickly. When you eat too fast you can get ahead of that signal that tells you when you are full, and by the time the message gets to your brain you have eaten more than you would have if you had eaten more slowly and the message had a chance to get there.
Our nervous system has 2 complimentary divisions called the sympathetic or “fight or flight” division, and the parasympathetic also called the “rest and digest” division. When the “fight or flight” system is engaged we produce cortisol and epinephrine and our body prepares to fight off a tiger or run from a bear. All sorts of stressors including work deadlines, arguments, and getting cut off in traffic trigger this system. The key piece to understand is that when the “fight of flight” system is turned on or dominant, the “rest and digest” system is shut down. There would be no need to digest your food when you are trying to run from a bear right? This means that when we are stressed out about work, or rushing to pick up the kids at school and eating on the run, our rest and digest system is often turned off. This not only keeps you from digesting your food well but it will also interfere with your bodies chemical signals that tell you when you are full. The good news is our nervous system is very elastic and research shows it only takes a moment to shift us from sympathetic to parasympathetic dominance. So how do you do that? You take a deep breath and sit still for a few seconds. Take a moment to be present and think about the fact that you are about to eat food. Smell your food, and take a moment to let your brain and body register that it is time to slow down and eat. As you might imagine this is near impossible to do while driving, or watching the nightly news. So sit down, take a minute to think some words of gratitude, say grace, or simply think about digesting your food well and all of its nourishment getting to you cells. Then chew each bite of food until it is a liquid before swallowing, eating slowly and enjoying the benefits of improved digestion!
I have scheduled a summer cleanse class! It will be every Wednesday evening 5-6pm at my office July 2nd to August 6th. If you are ready, or almost ready to make a change in your diet, lose some weight, gain some energy, end the aches and pains or arthritis, clear up your skin, detoxify, or generally just feel more awesome consider a cleanse. I love doing this 6 week class where we meet for one hour a week and I walk you through an elimination and challenge diet to identify hidden food sensitivities that may be causing you to keep weight on, giving you pain, or sapping your energy. You eat real food, no shakes or supplements, and you learn about metabolism, blood sugar regulation, inflammatory foods, and lots more. It's a boot camp for healthy eating, and revving up your metabolism. The cost is $200 for all 6 weeks, bring a friend and get a $25 discount. See me at the farmers market or give me a call if you have questions.
I remember learning about glyphosate herbicide (brand name Roundup) when I went to Virginia Tech in the late 90's. We were taught that the chemical became inert when it hit the soil and was not dangerous to groundwater or aquatic ecosystems. Then in the early 2000's when my job controlling exotic invasive plants required that I spray glyphosate, I read up on the product again. Again, I was told it was safe. It would not get into the water or into our bodies and bioaccumulate- which means stay in our bodies and build up. Turns out that wasn't true… Monsanto's assurances that this poison was "safe" have been called into question by some recent evidence of Roundup in breast milk. This means that the most common herbicide used in agriculture and on homeowner’s lawns is accumulating in our bodies and being literally fed to our children. The increase in "roundup ready" GMO crops promises only to increase the amount of this chemical in our bodies.
What can you do? Stop using Roundup at home, in fact, stop using all pesticides at home. There are great non-toxic alternatives, answers are an internet search away. Buy organic food which has not had synthetic herbicides and pesticides sprayed on it. Push for labeling of GMO foods, and support your liver with foods and herbs that help it to detoxify this and other dangerous chemicals we encounter every day. For more on the evidence of Roundup in breast milk see this article.
How is your blood pressure? Please stop in on Wednesday in downtown Carbondale at my farmers market booth between 10 and 3 for a free blood pressure check and some Naturopathic tips on maintaining a healthy blood pressure! I will also be giving short presentations at 10:30 and 12:30. Learn about foods and herbs that help regulate blood pressure, and how little salt really has to do with it!
Processed foods often have hidden GM sources (unless they are organic or declared non-GMO). The following are ingredients that may be made from GMOs.
Aspartame (also called AminoSweet®, NutraSweet®, Equal Spoonful®, Canderel®, BeneVia®, E951)
canola oil (rapeseed oil)
cobalamin (Vitamin B12)
fructose (any form)
high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
hydrolyzed vegetable protein
modified food starch
mono and diglycerides
monosodium glutamate (MSG)
soy protein isolate
sugar (unless specified as cane sugar)
textured vegetable protein
tocopherols (vitamin E)
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) although usually derived from corn, is probably not GM because it is not likely made in North America.
Come by the Carbondale Farmers Market for more information or to sign the petition to get GMO labeling on the ballot.
Please come and visit me at the Carbondale Farmers Market starting June 11th!
I will have a booth this year at the downtown Carbondale Farmers Market every Wednesday from 10-3. Each week I will prepare a new topic to share with you. Stop by for a weekly health tip, a custom Bach flower remedy, or to ask any questions you may have.
The topic schedule for June is:
June 11th What is a Naturopathic Doctor?
June 18th Free Blood Pressure checks and Naturopathic tips to lower high blood pressure
June 25th Teething Tips
Wednesday May 21st 5:30-7pm Carbondale Chamber of Commerce after hours at 1101 Village Rd.
Please stop by for Happy hour! Free beer and wine, snacks and deserts. A free raffle drawing with prizes from businesses in the building including a free Custom Bach Flower Remedy from yours truly. Lyn will be hare offering free Reiki sessions. You can't go wrong! Did I mention its free:)?
I firmly believe that we have a right to make an educated choice about everything that goes into our bodies, and the bodies of our children. I want to know what is in my food, so I can make an educated choice. This is why I am supporting the Colorado Right to Know campaign for labeling of GMO foods in our state. I have a petition in my office, and if you are a registered voter in Colorado I invite you to stop by and add your support to get the measure on the Colorado ballot for this November so the citizens of Colorado can vote on whether they want foods with GMO ingredients to be labeled. We need 90,000 valid signatures by July to get the measure onto the ballot, so please stop by my office for the Carbondale Chamber after hours event Wednesday the 21st, or come to see me at my Carbondale Farmers Market booth if you would like to sign.
If you only eat whole foods- meaning only one ingredient like an apple, potato, or broccoli, and you know that the seed source is non-GMO, you can rest assured you are not eating GMO's. However, many of us eat some processed foods, whether out of a package from the grocery store, or when we eat out. Without GMO labeling, unless you’re buying 100% organic, non-GMO verified foods, or whole foods without any processing which are not GMO there’s really no way to tell.
The Non GMO project website estimates that 80% of the food in America has GMO ingredients. Why is this number so high? Because #1 there are a HUGE number of processed foods in our food supply, and #2 processed foods are likely to contain ingredients like corn syrup and soy lecithin, which are most likely to be from GMO crops. The current American crops with Genetic Engineering include; sugar beets, soy, corn, canola, cotton seed, Hawaiian papaya, zucchini, yellow crock neck squash, and alfalfa.
For more information on which foods contain GMO ingredients click here to get the Non-GMO shopping List.
What is the big deal? Animal studies and the experience of farmers feeding GMO grains to their animals has given us more than enough reason to be concerned about Genetically Modified Organisms in our food. Farmers have seen their pigs become completely infertile after a switch to GMO feed, people have been made sick by GMO foods, most industrialized countries have banned or labeled GMO foods to protect their citizens from their unknown effects. They are watching and waiting to see what happens to America's children before they allow themselves to be guinea pigs. We do not have any idea the long-term effects on the health of people, animals, ecosystems, and our agricultural system, from the use of GMO's. Adequate research was not required before they went into wide scale use, but the effects we have seen so far are reason for concern. This is why there are efforts all over the country to label foods with GMO ingredients. We get to know how much fat, cholesterol, sugar, and high fructose corn syrup are in our foods, why not GMO's? As my sister says follow the money. The companies manufacturing GMO foods, and profiting from their sales are pumping millions into lobbying and advertising to convince us that there is no difference for our health between GMO food and non-GMO food. If there isn't any difference then what are they afraid of? Take some of that money and fund some studies by unbiased parties to show that GMO foods have no negative side effects… That’s not what is happening. Instead these companies are dumping billions into fighting labeling with legislation like H.R. 4432. More on that in another post.
For more information about GMO's please go to Jefrey Smith's website Seeds of Deception.com
For information on how to tell which foods have GMO ingredients get the non-GMO shopping guide here.
I am very pleased to announce that Lyn Byars has offered discounted Reiki sessions for all of my patients! As you may know Lyn is a Reiki master, and recently started practicing here at my office. I can tell you from my own first hand experience as well as that of my patients that he has a gift for this type of healing and has helped people make some wonderful healing discoveries, and find better emotional and physical health. Lyn is graciously offering an incentive for you to add Reiki to your healthy living plan at an incredibly affordable rate, just $60 per session! For more information on Reiki go to http://www.reiki.org. To schedule a session call Lyn at 970 948 8228.
My friends Dawne Vrabel and Stephanie Syson have teamed up to offer a fabulous opportunity for you to incorporate products lovingly made from local organic and biodynamically grown herbs into your health and beauty routine. They have both been growing herbs and hand crafting medicines and skin care products for years and now they are sharing them with the community through a CSA. It is a great concept. You sign up for $200 for the year, and receive 4 boxes, each with 5 different medicinal and skin care products. Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter, you can enjoy fresh local products prepared with love and wisdom to nourish yourself and your family. Please go to their website www.DynamicRoots.com.
I am very excited about 2 classes I will be teaching in May 2014. One is my detoxification/cleanse workshop which runs 6 weeks where we go through an elimination and challenge diet to identify food sensitivities and learn all about the things that make us fat- inflammatory foods, and the things that don't- BACON woohoo! Read More...
I also have a class on the CMC continuing education schedule titled "Finding Your Best Diet". This will be a 13 week course on diets from the common to not so common, and the good, bad, and ugly about them from my perspective. It should be VERY informative and is suitable for those who just want to find their own best diet as well as those who teach others about diet and would like to learn my perspective as a Naturopathic Doctor. Read More...
I am so very excited to partner with CMC to offer a class on diet and nutrition. This class titled Finding your Best Diet, will begin Tuesday May 13th 5pm at the Carbondale CMC campus. It is a 13 week exploration of common and not so common diet plans with in depth discussions of their pros and cons from my prospective as an expert in clinical nutrition. I work with people on diet changes every day, not just for weight loss, but also to support fertility, skin conditions, gastrointestinal problems, arthritis, mood, growth and development, detoxification, and scores of other problems. Most of our information on diet comes from the media, and is not scientifically based. Please join me in a journey to uncover the truth about how what you eat impacts your health, and find your best diet. Free preview class May 1st. For more information and a syllabus click here.
Click HERE for a link to a well-referenced article on the National Vaccine Information Center Website on safety data- or lack of- on vaccines in pregnancy. The US ranks 50th in maternal mortality in the world- meaning mothers in 49 other countries are more likely to survive pregnancy and birth than US mothers. Maternal mortality in the US is double what it was 30 years ago. In the US we also have the highest infant mortality rate in the first day of life of all industrialized countries. We rank 31st out of all countries in the world in infant mortality. These sobering statistics warrant a good hard look at our standards of care and how they differ from other countries whose children and mothers have a better chance of survival.
Here is a link to a NY Times Article on a new risk calculator which if used could double the number of people with statin prescriptions. No surprise... Especially since cholesterol levels have never had a scientifically proven causal relationship to heart disease risk. Nice to see that a paper did get published in the Lancet showing that this latest "tool" to help doctors determine who should be on statin drugs tends to overestimate risk, and lead to recommendations that people without risk factors be placed on statin therapy. In case you didn't know pharmaceutical companies fund this well respected medical journal and papers which could damage drug company profits are rarely published. Spending on cholesterol lowering drugs was $19 billion in 2010, and if this new calculator comes into widespread use the number of people receiving statin prescriptions could double. As my sister says… follow the money.
Trained in both conventional and alternative medicine, Dr. Powell brings a completely different perspective to healthy weight management by identifying and treating the underlying causes of your weight loss challenges. Dr. Powell will explain how small metabolic imbalances, which your regular doctor may not consider significant, can have serious impacts on your energy, metabolism, and weight. Learn how your brain chemistry is affected by the foods you choose to eat. Learn how toxins in your environment cause you to gain weight. This is health and nutrition from a Holistic perspective, Naturopathic Medicine treats the whole person, physical, mental, and emotional. Learn how underlying emotional issues affect weight loss. Then learn what you can do about all of these challenges, and the tools that a Naturopathic Doctor has to help you change these factors, making way for a healthier, happier you. This class will also include an introduction to Dr Powell’s 6 week cleanse, food sensitivity detoxification and weight loss program which begins May 9th.
I am so happy to announce the Grand Opening of my Carbondale office! Please join myself and Lyn Byars to celebrate on Wednesday February 19th from 5pm-9pm. There will be fabulous coffee from Rock Canyon Coffee, gluten free treats from Mama Bear Organics, other happy hour appropriate food and drink, live music, free Reiki sessions, and much more! Please invite your friends and family and stop by to help us celebrate!
1101 Village Road LL1B- on Buggy Circle across from the saw studio.