Living with Bacteria and Viruses

Bacteria and virus have ruled the earth for over a billion years. We have TRILLIONS of bacteria and viruses living on and in us. Without them, we could not survive.

What we have with bacteria and virus is called a symbiotic relationship. We work together.

Because of diet, the standard American digestive system has 1-3 strands of good bacteria with hundreds of bad bacteria.  I feel most of our illnesses and pain start with an unhealthy microbiota. Microbiota..small animal life.

How can we strengthen our troops in this relationship with the bacteria and viruses?  On our largest organ, skin, we need to use natural products like grapeseed, argon, and coconut oil. Did you know coconut oil is anti-fungal, anti-viral and antibacterial? And coconut oil has an spf of 10. Add a little mint essential oil and you will love applying it every day.  Stop paying 100 at the spa to have a facial with pumpkin, avocados and cucumbers, all with antibacterial properties, and make them at home weekly.

The most common food born bacteria e coli can be combatted by adding foods like garlic, ginger, honey, echinacea and oregano each day to your diet.

In digestion, most herbs like oregano, thyme, mint, echinacea have antibacterial properties.

Fermented foods like kombucha, kefir, miso, kimchi, sauerkraut and brined vegetables are probiotic with live cultures. Eat fermented foods every day.

Raw Apple cider vinegar, unprocessed, is a must have for hair skin digestion. Take a tablespoon in a glass of water or tea 2 times a day.

If you need to supplement, make sure you buy refrigerated and alive probiotics. When feeling a little under the weather, eliminate white sugar and artificial sugars that bacteria feed the most from.

When a Sugar Molecule is Not a Sugar Molecule

This discussion on the chemistry makeup of sugar is to empower you to eat with knowledge. It is a foundational look at sugar and how it is recognized by the body. It is not a lecture on how much sugar you eat, but to give you insight on how sugar bonds with other nutrients and is absorbed.

Sugar makes us feel good because it activates the dopamine hormone, and processed sugar goes more immediately and acutely. A shot of processed sugar gives us quick energy, like if you drink a soda, but then a crash of tiredness comes. This is because sugar’s original bond has changed.

 A sugar molecule is C12H22O11.                  

Carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.  We are bombarded with opinions and misdirection that how you eat sugar whether natural or processed, the chemical makeup is the same. Sugar found in natural form, like an apple, is encased with elements like calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. So when you bite into an apple, you get a slew of elements bonded to C12H22O11.   Cane sugar is unprocessed and wrapped in other elements. When researching what exactly is being stripped away, you find countless blogs stating only “impurities.” Those impurities are other elements bonding with the sugar.  We know the benefits of beets, and beet sugar comes with minerals, nutrients, and vitamins; yet we are taught that sugar is sugar.

The package of how sugar is delivered into our body is different. Our body recognizes sugar in fruits and unprocessed foods. When sugar is stripped of its “impurities,” the body must adjust to utilize this processed sugar. This brings on inflammation and pain causing havoc through the body in ways including high blood pressure, digestive issues, and headaches.

Very different molecules look similar. Like a sugar molecule is C12H22O11.  A fat molecule is C54H108O6. Caffeine molecule is C8H10N4O2, and a cocaine molecule is C17H21NO4.

Even the slightest difference in a molecule is important.  Like with the sugar molecule, you cannot extract just the oxygen and use it to breathe, nor the hydrogen and oxygen for water.  3 of the most abundant elements in the universe are carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. They are bonded in an infinite number of ways to create the planets, comets, animals, and life in the universe!

Your body is all about chemistry and natural food bonds should stay together.

Many times, patients tell me they do not think they eat too much sugar. Absolutely I agree. I agree that they don’t realize it.  Pasta, bread, yogurt, cereal, energy bar, salad dressing, instant oatmeal and even dried fruit can have added processed sugar.

Sugar is not the enemy in its natural bond.  Enjoy sugar options like raw cane, beet, molasses, honey, stevia, coconut, monk fruit, maple syrup.

Understanding Heartburn

Many people live with chronic heartburn. A cycle of keeping your head up in bed or limiting any of the fun foods like pizza, coffee, spice, tomatoes, carbonation, alcohol….. it is an almost impossible way to live. You torture yourself eating boring foods, and as soon as you eat a “trigger food” are back to pain again.

When You take Antacids it just diminishes the acid temporary, but your stomach need acids. That is how the stomach breaks down food. And if your stomach is unable or insufficient in breaking down your food, nutrients do not get out to the body.

….and there is a reason why your stomach is in an acid war zone.

When you integrate your diet with natural foods and supplements you can have a well run digestive system.  Healing from chronic pain, inflammation, headaches, and sleep issues all start with your stomach health. The digestive system working properly is vital in absorbing nutrients from your food, out to the body.

Food habits can be hard to break… and good news, you probably just need a few simple modifications.

So since acid breaks down our food, then the goal is to not neutralize the acid, the goal is to add other things that also break down food. Understanding your body should be simple. If you research acid reflux, you will get a slew of diagnosis from stress to cancer. But if you think about is basically, acid breaks down food, if you have too much acid, your body is having a hard time breaking down your food. Basically. Things like processed foods and meats require more help to break down food. Some hearty raw vegetables need more to break down also. What we lost in our food refinement and industrialization are digestion catalysts. Natural things in our food to assist in the digestion. Here are 2 vital things to add to your diet everyday, and at least 2 times a day when healing.

Incorporate Food enzymes in your diet. Enzymes break down food.. Foods like bananas, avocado, pineapple, kiwi, papaya, ginger, garlic… garlic for any ailment right?!

Fermented foods give your body some good bacteria needed to help break down foods… Fermented foods include saukraut, kimchi kombucha, brined vegetables, miso, yogurt. We have trillions of bacteria that live in our digestive system. Publicized that most Americans have 1-3 good strands of bacteria and over a hundred bad strands of bacteria in their digestive system.

Remember heartburn is just one symptom of the problem.

Talk with your physician about supplements to assist you with your heartburn or other digestive concerns.

Herb Spotlight!

Having an “herb garden” doesn’t mean investing in a bunch of herbs and creating this garden masterpiece. Start one herb at a time and put in a pot on the windowsill or patio. Eat a leaf or 2 a day! Better absorbed than vitamins and supplements.

Top 10 things to bring for a healthy travel

Stay strong by sleeping  well, and eating nutritiously…. However, when we travel, it is very difficult to maintain all the comforts of our routine.

Attached are my favorite 10 things I learned to bring with me and my family on trips! I have found these items will help provide comfort and peace of mind so you can enjoy your journey! This set of reusable bags are perfect for travel to keep everything organized and clean.

Let me know your travel favorites!

1. Reusable tea bags

You can bring along nut mixes, supplements, spices, teas, and treats. They will fit nicely in these tea bags and are easy for individual portions for family members. These airline sized servings are easy to store in your carry on.

I found 2 types I like, disposable tea bags that I use once. I put herbs to heal an upset stomach, calm a headache and help relax for a better nights sleep.

The other type is a reusable tea bag that I put snacks in, or tea for my 7 day cleanses, and they rinse out easy to use again. Also great for the environment.

In my other favorites I will mention importance of teas and properties to heal, along with some healthy snacks that provide nutrients you may miss on travel.  Here are the best reusable tea bags I have found

And here are disposable tea bags

2. Organic raw honey in travel sizes

Organic and raw honey is full of antioxidants, antibacterial, anti-fungal, heals wounds, good for irritation eyes, soothes skin, and lowers cholesterol.  A travel pack of raw organic honey is easy to take on the plane or keep in suitcase. If you don’t use honey daily in your regimen, think again how it can be of value in your health. And your kids love honey. On the plane or in a restaurant, let your children have soda water and put the honey in. Garnish with citrus and it meets their sugar need, also tasting delicious!

Click here for what I found was the best deal in raw honey travel packs great for travel, hiking, lunches and sports.

After a long day of travel, I mix equal parts honey and filtered water, (the amount fits on a plastic spoon) and I drop it into the inside corner of my eyes. I then lay down for about 10 minutes. You don’t realize how irritated your eyes get from traveling.  Check out this link if you want to learn some great benefits of honey drops in eyes.

3. Tea/herbs are for healing and building immune system

I can not tout enough how herbs will help you. And especially on vacations where we may indulge more than we should (which is totally ok!)  You should have teas everyday because they are powerhouses of nutrients.   Herbs can warm, cool, energize, relax, purge, nourish and heal. Herbs are typically stronger than vegetables and fruits with their healing properties. Herbs from oregano to lavender have individual properties to keep your body strong!

Prepare to feel good on travel by bringing with you the important companion of herbs. Here is a list of my favorite teas to bring on travel and  a description of why they may be what you need. Herbs are so important to feel good! Ideally if you want to fix a chronic illness or an acute attack of things like allergies, you should talk with a Traditional Chinese Medicine or an herbalist. They are trained and licensed to understand the right herbs for your body.   Buying a few different herbs that you need in bulk and loose means you can create your own tea blends for you and your family needs. The taste and benefits are richer also because you bagged them.

You will notice some similarities with herbs because they share many properties and topping the list are anti-carcinogens and bad bacteria killers.

Here is a list of my favorite herbs I make everyday. At home I make about a half gallon of tea that I keep in the fridge. I suggest 1-2 glasses a day prepared warm or cool, but never with ice.

Mint on travel serves many benefits.  It is antibacterial so helps to strengthen immunity.  Mint helps with digestion, bad breath (which originates from the stomach) helps you breathe better, reduces inflammation,  and relieve cold and flu. Good for nausea and turbulence.

Hawthorn is loaded with antioxidants and is number 1 in Chinese medicine for break down of food in your stomach. Also known as shan zha, when you are on travel and eating “fun foods,” you need hawthorn in your arsenal for digestive issues and immunity.

Ginger is one of the most powerful healing herbs. We use the root of the flowering plant. It is a powerful antioxidant and anti inflammatory.  After a long day of travel, ginger will help you recover fast and warm up joints and lower back that gets tight after sitting in planes and cars for hours. Ginger is also very healing for digestion, reducing nausea and helping fight the flu and common cold.

Green Tea is an important herb to lower cholesterol, reduced risk of stroke, lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes,  weight loss, inflammation, memory, and preventing Alzheimer’s.  Green tea has also been studied in prevention of cavities, stress, chronic fatigue, and arthritis.

Chai is full of antioxidants, digestive, weight loss, detox, blood sugar, stress, heart, inflammation, tumor growth, menstrual cramps, constipation, healthy bones, anti-fungal  and antibacterial.

Hibiscus is a great plant year round to seep in your tea as it is full of antioxidants, and wonderful for inflammation, heart health, digestion, immunity, kidney stones, and as a liver detox.

Lavender use lavender for relaxing, headaches, it is anti bacterial and viral. Breath in to open up the lungs for a deeper breath.

Painful Joints and Anti-inflammatory In theory aches and pains are caused from trauma, cold and/ or  blood stagnation. Unless the joint is warm to touch, you don’t want to use ice on your joints. You want to move the blood and warm the blood in your joints Adding turmeric, ginger, clove or cinnamon to your tea mix will keep your body feeling good by moving blood. Not only your joints, but an aching back and neck from lifting and sitting  long periods on travel.  Blood moves throughout the body so treat all your blood quality and not just a location.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar

Yes you can take organic raw apple cider vinegar with you on travel.  And here is why you need to. Apple Cider Vinegar is

5. Diatomaceous earth food grade

Diatomaceous earth food grade is a source of silica.  Silica is an important nutrient for treating high cholesterol levels, for treating constipation, and for improving the health of skin, nails, teeth, bones, and hair.

When you are on a trip, your stomach and digestion can be vulnerable.  Diatomaceous Earth is great for most acute abdominal and digestive issues from poor yet fun diets that can occur on travel.  Use Food grade diatomaceous earth is your home routine too. Read more about the benefits here.

Here is a link to a good brand and price of diatomaceous earth

6. Sea Salt

Instead of the white processed salt in the shaker, bring some Himalayan Sea Salt. Especially in warmer regions, salt is an important compound for contracting and relaxing muscles and maintaining proper fluid balance.  Salt is important for preventing dehydration, for sending nervous system impulses and preventing low blood pressure.

7. Silicone Cup
Cupping is the lifting of the fascia and getting blood flow in an area stagnant. When we have knots in our back and we use this “suction cup”, we will almost always feel pain relief, and it is good for inflammation and relaxation.

8. Goji Berries
Nutritious, antioxidants, anti-aging, ant-cancer, sugar control, boost energy, cholesterol levels and immune system are just the top things adding goji berries into our diet can do for us. They taste a bit like raisins and many Asian cultures add to their daily glass of water like we would a lemon.

9. Essential Oils

10. Guasha stone

No Guilt Top 10 Sugar Choices

What To Do To Stay Sweet!

Sometimes you just want a little something sweet. Maybe sometimes a lot. Having sweets are not bad, it is the sweets you are choosing!

That sounds promising right? So let’s rip the bandage off. No White Processed Sugar. Just eliminating white sugar could possibly keep the world from getting type 2 diabetes. And forget about artificial sugars made in a laboratory, they give you no nutritional benefit, and case studies show it can cause an overgrowth of bad bacteria in your digestive system.

Maybe you have heard of the glycemic index. This is an index describing the relationship of how sugar affects your body in the blood and interacts with insulin.

You want to stay under 100 a day but it is nearly impossible to count glycemic loads all day. And who would want to. I could give you a list of high glycemic foods, but they all include white sugar and high fructose corn syrup. If a package just says sugar, it is white sugar.

Eliminating white and artificial sugar will without a doubt bring on healthier blood, alleviate much of your chronic pain and strengthen all of your organs.

Overwhelmed by sugar …it can addict you

Also packed with nutrients, now a list of the top natural sugars to use daily as your sweetener.

  1. Raw Cane Sugar
  2. Stevia
  3. Coconut
  4. Maple
  5. Molasses
  6. Honey
  7. Dates
  8. Real Fruit
  9. Raw beet sugar
  10. Licorice

Not only do these sugars meet our craving, but each sugar molecule is encased with nutrients. So your body uses the nutrients with the sugar for good health. Processed sugar is a chemical and causes inflammation and an addiction. Do you ever notice that if you don’t have your sugar fix you get a headache? Try a natural sugar and you won’t have that “let down” headache.

If you like to bake or eat baked goods like cakes and cookies, make them yourself. Compare 5 ingredients that you have heard of to 23 in boxed mix, you can imagine it is now a guiltless pleasure!

Top 10 Things to Have in Your Sport’s Bag

1. Sea salt
82 essential trace nutrients includes vital minerals like sodium, potassiumcalciummagnesium, bromide, chloride, ironcopper, and zinc among other beneficial elements. Good for muscle cramping (Charlie horses), energy during activity, headaches, post workout recovery, waking up in the night, night sweats. Take a pinch with or without water during activity depending on how much you are exerting. Better than an electrolyte drink.

​2. Magnesium oil

Magnesium  is in every organ in the human body. It is a vital mineral for over 300 biochemical reactions that regulate our health.

Good for: Arthritis, Joint pain, muscle pain and cramps insomnia, energy, and stress. You can make magnesium oil with equal parts Epsom salt and water. Put in glass jar and shake until dissolved. Put on topically before play in areas of concern and after.

​3. Apple cider vinegar probiotics
Good for energy, acid reflux, anti-bacterial, deodorant, varicose veins, anti-fungal, lowers blood pressure, soothes sunburn. Orally, you may need to vary it depending on how much you sweat and the hotter it is, but a couple tablespoons a day in a glass of water should be enough. Topically you can keep some in about a 2 ounce glass spray bottle in your workout bag and spray when needed.

​4. Silicone cup
Similar to cupping at your Eastern Doctor, these are made from silicone and can be purchased online. Good for improving blood flow, pain, circulation. Squeeze, place, let go..They suction to your skin.

​5. Coconut oil

Good for immunity, dry skin, hair, heart, bones mental fatigue, sun protection spf10, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, bruises, energy. Use topically or ingest a tablespoon a couple times a day depending on your deficiency.

​6. Theracane
Curved plastic cane with knobs to massage your back shoulders legs​

​7. Tennis ball
When you are training and get a pain in your back, lie down with the ball underneath you and directly under the pain. Not for the spine, but for knots in the upper back and lower back and leg muscles it works great. Sit in the car driving on the ball and can help release muscle binding that can cause sciatic pain.

​8. Natural Warming cream/analgesic cream
Important to warm up any soreness and injuries to promote blood flow to the area.

9. Essential oil spray
Make your own spray with your favorite oils, witch hazel and water. Good for deodorant, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, refresher, bug repellent

Essential oil recommendations for workout: peppermint, lemongrass, lavender, frankincense, myrrh.

​10. Large towel
Obviously a big towel can do more than a small towel. Wrap your sweaty face in a large soft towel. People bring a small dried up uncomfortable towel to workout or to play a tennis match. Don’t settle. A large towel can dry both shoulders at once. Try it next time and let me know.

Why We Love Red Wine in the East and the West

Why We Love Red Wine

East meets west head to head on the benefits of wine and why we love it. Sometimes even crave it. And dare I say on occasion to excess.  According to the US Wine Consumer Reports, in 2016 sales in the US topped over $38 billion in just sales from US wineries.

A search for wine benefits, with at the top of the list, is the American Heart Association stating that 1-2 4 ounces a day will provide countless benefits for you and your heart.  For starters wine is loaded with antioxidants.  Antioxidants we know destroy free radicals. Free radicals are unstable and unpaired electrons looking to be stable. Antioxidants give electrons to  stabilize free radicals while remaining themselves stable.

From the skin of the red grape we get resveratrol, and in many studies, including one from university of Virginia, it inhibits the growth of cancer cells. Resveratrol is also known for boosting brain power and weight loss by binding to insulin receptors.  Polyphenols give blood vessels flexibility. 

So wrapping up Western/ American doctors researched benefits on red wine are: Inhibit growth of cancer cells, lower cholesterol, weight loss, strengthen immunity, blood sugar levels, and boost brain power. No wonder wine is relaxing!

Now the Traditional Chinese Medicine view on the benefits of red wine. 5 element theory dates back to the Warring States period 476 BC.  Red Wine relates to the Fire Element. Color: red Taste: bitter, Organ: Heart, blood vessels, Emotion: Joy and passion, Emotions as pathology: vulnerable, irritable, discouragement. Times of the heart channel are 11-1pm and the pericardium which protects the heart is 7-9pm.  Consider having a glass of red wine at lunch while the heart channel is at its peak action potential.

What I love about Traditional Chinese Medicine is how it fits with Western medicine and deepens the understanding of what is going on with our body.  This is just one example, and one of my favorites.

7 Misconceptions of Chinese Medicine

Trying to find a way to be healthy can be pretty complicated. So many rules and too many blogs from experts that are not experts just opinions that can be based on facts redirected to pursue you. Gosh that sentence was even complicated.Well Traditional Chinese Medicine is not complicated. It gets lumped into a whole category of mystical fantastical medicines. And when renowned Western Hospitals start including Traditional Chinese Medicine, it gets called quackery by some “real doctors.” It is a shame they are so afraid to share the value of healing and discount medicine they don’t understand. As a person with a body, there is room to share healing modalities! So here are 7 misconceptions about Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which includes use of Acupuncture.

1.Traditional Chinese Medicine says we have a magical Qi that is the energy in our body. TCM has been around over 3000 years. Descriptions are going to be different. The fact is we are very electrical. Signals are continuously moving from the brain everywhere in the body. And we know these signals can slow down and get blocked like in conditions of multiple sclerosis, neuropathy, and when intoxicated. So magical Qi? No, it is real energy signals moving through the body. When something as little as a gnat sits on a hair on your arm, you feel it within seconds. You bang your elbow and pain or energy shoots up and down. This is Qi. Not a mystery force. And to follow this is Acupuncture puts a thin lightening rod to signal the brain to say- come here, fix this.

2. Yin and Yang is some mystical force of balance. Yin and Yang is a phrase from thousands of years. In current time you could relate it to if you had 80 percent of a pie left, you ate 20 percent. Together it still makes a whole pie. Yang is the word for the movement and energy, with Yin being the rest and quiet. It is just how to relate anything to each other. We may not relate many things in medicine the same as back then but the philosophy was and is important in TCM. When you have a sore throat, this is excess yang, and most likely yin deficient. Your throat is out of balance and a Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor will try to help you get it back in balance. It is a philosophy to understand the health condition. Knowing how the body is out of sinc whether deficient, excess hot or cold is important to regain homeostasis.

3. Chinese Medicine gives organs an emotion and is not real medicineTraditional Chinese Medicine did not perform autopsies. They palpated, experimented and asked a lot of questions. In TCM, and in real life, organ systems are affected by emotions. In our culture, we lump anxiety and stress together but they are 2 different feelings that affect different parts of the body. Stress is situational. Like a stressful job. Anxiety is not being able to resolve something. You get anxious because you may not know how to figure out a solution, or maybe their is no solution and the situation stays in your mind day after day, causing anxiety. Many times Anxiety and Stress are going on at the same time. When you are stressed, it affects your stomach. Maybe you have had an acute stressful situation and you had a pain in your stomach. Chronic stress leads to acid reflux, gas, constipation. Then Anxiety. Anxiety grows. So many unresolved situations over the years that play like movie reels in the mind over and over. What happens is adrenal glands produce cortisol to work with the anxiety. Then the liver produces glucose for the adrenal glands. This over taxes the liver.
4. The Mind is not connected to the body for medicine and healing purposes

Comments like this insult who we are. To say we do not have feelings that affect us physically. Like we are superficial robots disconnected. We know when we are sad we barely breathe. When we are happy our energy goes up. And when we are anxious and nervous we can get palpitations, breathing difficulties, diarrhea etc. So if we can work on our emotions, it will help us breathe deeper, relax and digest our meals more efficiently, and reduce pain.

5. Herbal medicine is dangerous and has no value in healing

What an ignorant statement I have seen on the internet many times. I mean aspirin, come on, was derived from willow bark. Western medicine dates the discovery in 1763, but a greater back story is traditional Chinese medicine is willow bark, or liu shu pi, was used for thousands of years. We know herbs are a powerhouse of vitamins and nutrients. Parsley, Oregano, Thyme, to name a few. So Chinese Herbs are what were indigenous and grew in their region. Ginger, ginseng, turmeric.. hundreds of herbs. They all do somethings different. They are food, nutrients, not a hard stretch to understand. The body needs nutrients period. Herbs have particular vitamins and minerals that have been studied for thousands of years! If you believe food heals, herbs are food, they heal.

6. Acupuncture is a placebo and not real medicine

Acupuncture sends the signal for your body to focus on an area to heal. It causes a micro causation which brings the white blood cells in to heal. Look what they are doing with prosthesis and nerve conductivity. The body has billions of nerves so it is easy to understand how a thin needle placed close to a nerve would draw attention from the body.

7. Cupping marks are bruises and can be dangerous

Bruises are from impact. Cupping is not impact. Cupping lifts the fascia, and lets blood flow move under the skin. Old trauma leaves stagnant blood maybe for years under the skin. The “bruise marks” are actually old blood that gets cupped up to the surface and now able to move through the body and be released. Cupping is great for Chronic issues as well as acute pain.