Tag Archives: Hormones

A Heavy Metal Detox Juice for Your Next Cleanse

heavy-metal-detox-juice-768x1024Heavy Metal Detox Juice. What? And, no, I don’t mean like the music. Heavy metals, like mercury and lead, can accumulate in your system and cause all kinds of problems. You get them from the air you breathe, the water you drink, and the food you eat. You can’t avoid them. The problem is that they build up in your system and your body can have a hard time getting rid of them. Heavy metals have been implicated in hormonal imbalances, thyroid problems, neurological disturbances, learning problems, depression and food allergies.

Cilantro –  it’s also called Chinese Parsley, and, when dried, coriander – is a powerful natural chelator. Studies have shown that if you consistently eat small amounts of cilantro, you can reduce the heavy metal load in your system. You can do this in any way you want. Cilantro can be used in a multitude of foods from soups and stews to guacamole or Coconut Chicken with Lime and Cilantro.

One of my ways is to add some cilantro to this Heavy Metal Detox Juice.

heavy-metal-detox-juice-above-1024x768

Ingredients:

  • romaine lettuce – 1 bunch
  • celery – 4 stalks
  • parsley – 1 cup
  • cilantro – 1 cup
  • apple – 1/2 (optional)

Instructions:

Wash your greens thoroughly.

Put them through the juicer.
Drink.

If you find the juice too strong, add 1/2 an apple. That will take the edge off.

 

Originally published on my website, Tapp’s Tips.

Super Thoughts: 5 Ways to Make Yours Empowering

Beata Zita“Your mind is a garden. Your thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers, or you can grow weeds.” ~Author Unknown

I’m a long-time believer in the power of our thoughts, and I tend to focus on the positive. But, sometimes, those darn thoughts just spin out of control and go on their own little tangent, taking us along for the ride. This happened to me recently, but it served as a good reminder of just how powerful our thoughts are.

I was messing around online when an article caught my eye. There was a local headline about a fatal motorcycle crash. Eeek, bad news, for sure. Normally, I would avoid clicking on such an article just because I prefer not to fill my conscious with the gruesome details of the unfortunate things going on in the world. However, I couldn’t help but click this time. You see, my father sometimes rides a motorcycle and the crash happened within a few miles of his home. I felt a strong urge to read more. When I clicked on the article and started reading the details, my heart sank. While the identity of the motorcyclist was not released, the details of the crash had it taking place on a road, in a direction, and at a time that could have easily been my dad. I gulped. Very aware of my own body, I could suddenly feel my heart rate quicken and my breathing become more shallow as my chest tightened up. It was an uneasy, although not completely unfamiliar feeling. I started to feel a deep sadness and worry. I did not like it at all.

“Okay, wait a second,” I said to myself. I had no idea how many motorcycles drive down that road on a given morning, but it had to be a lot. It was a very busy intersection, after all. Plus, I didn’t even know for sure if my dad drove his bike that day, or if he even took that route. There was no real logic behind the sudden panic feeling. I was being crazy, and I knew it. In fact, I did confirm shortly thereafter that all was well with my father. Phew.

This example of the human mind at work is something we can all relate to. It’s just how we’re wired. From back in the caveman days, we were programmed with a “fight or flight” trigger, which used to have a very real purpose (you know, running away from dinosaurs and such). Though we have evolved quite a bit since then, our brains are still wired very similarly. The reaction I felt in my body was actually a defense mechanism. My brain was preparing me for danger. And, despite the incredibly low probability of that bad news actually pertaining to me, from a logical perspective, my brain treated it as if it was actually happening to me. In fact, the feeling was so real that it was indeed my reality for those few moments while the feelings took place. I had created my own illusion just like each and everyone of us go around creating our own illusions on a daily basis. Our perception is our reality.

I tell this story to help others become more acutely aware of their own thoughts and just how incredibly powerful they are. Isn’t it funny how our brains work? From worrying about something that hasn’t even actually happened to reliving a moment in the past to making assumptions that what other people do or say has anything to do with us at all – these are all ways that our mind likes to create illusions for us! And, yes, we are ALL a little bit “crazy” like this at times.

The good news is that as powerful as our thoughts are, we can work to take control of them and harness that power for good. Here are a few pointers on how to do just that.

  1. What are you thinking? Notice whenever your mind starts reeling and also take note of the physical changes in your body. Knowing really is half the battle. A mentor of mine, Angela Jia Kim of Savor the Success, says there are really only two types of thoughts: empowering ones and dis-empowering ones. Simplify it to that level, and learn to ask yourself in any given moment, how is this thought serving me?
  2. Check Yourself. Don’t get me wrong sometimes we really are in danger … but, usually not. Is there really a “dinosaur” chasing you? Is it really about you? Give your self an ego-check. In addition to trying to protect us from (often imaginary) danger, our ego likes to make us feel really special and like everything is about us. But, upon a little logical reasoning, we can realize that whatever dis-empowering thoughts we are having are not actually about us or even real at all. With this awareness in hand, we can then work towards changing them.
  3. Just breathe. This simple nugget of wisdom can be applied to just about any uncomfortable situation. Breathe it out. Deep breathing actually has a physiological effect on our nervous system that sends out neurohormones to basically tell the stress hormones to take a chill. Visualize as you practice breathing. Inhale peace slowly and deeply through your nose into your diaphragm and exhale stress slowly and completely out through your mouth. Continue this until you feel calmness restore.
  4. Fill your consciousness with positive and uplifting ideas. Since thoughts are energy and they turn into our reality, why not feed your brain with some good stuff? From the articles you read to the people you hang out with, to the TV you watch (or not), you are setting the stage for what kind of thoughts will go into that beautiful little noggin of yours. Fuel your mind with knowledge that empowers you. Surround yourself with people who lift you up.
  5. Practice Mindfulness. I can’t recommend a mindfulness practice enough. It helps us become so much more aware of our thoughts and what’s going on with our bodies. It keeps us connected with our core being and intuition. While meditation is definitely at the top of the list of becoming more mindful, there are many other ways you can practice. Yoga is another wonderful one. However, it can also be taking an introspective walk or doing your favorite in-the-flow activity: maybe painting, sewing, or playing an instrument. Regularly practicing these mindfulness enhancers will help you stay grounded, and to keep those crazy thoughts at bay.

Learn to harness the power of your thoughts and enjoy the reward of unlimited peacefulness and joy!

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photo by: ckaroli

5 Quotes From Dr. Christiane Northrup That Will Make You Proud to Be a Woman

 

christiane_prodPeriods, PMS, menopause, morning sickness… Is there any aspect of the body’s cycles women can be proud of? According to the media and mainstream Western culture, women have more to feel ashamed and plagued by than proud of when it comes to their bodies. With messages of body positivity only barely making a dent in women’s overwhelmingly conflicted relationships with their bodies, something has got to give.

Enter, Dr. Christiane Northrup, the women’s health expert shaking every belief we’ve held about the female body for decades. Northrup’s reality check: Menstruation is a sacred experience that demands rest and self-regeneration. So-called “PMS” is really a flourishing of creative energy that surges through the female brain at certain points in her cycle. Menopause is a process of transformation, during and after which women can experience the best sex of their lives.

If any of the above statements contradict your own feeling about your body, then read on. In these 5 soul-shaking quotes from an interview featured in the latest issue of Spirituality & Health Magazine, Northrup offers a rallying cry for women to embrace the powerful bodies they inhabit:

1. The key is to understand that every woman has the keys to the kingdom inside herself, and those keys are found in doing those things that she loves to do.

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2. You [women] have a cycle where you bleed in tune with the moon. It is the cycle responsible for all human life on earth. It is the cycle that connects you to your creativity and to the very essence of the tide coming in, the tide going out, the seasons, the sap going into the roots and then rising up, and we have been taught for 5,000 years to be ashamed of that cycle.

~

3. Did you know that we have as much erectile tissue inside our pelvis as men have? only, theirs is on the outside. What we have is the clitoris, which is the only organ in the human body whose sole function is pleasure.

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4. Menopause is when you really move into your goddess energy in a big way. You’re no longer losing your blood, so you move into this phase now where your FSH and LH hormones in the pituitary gland are at the same levels as when you’re ovulating. and for many women that is their peak time
of sexual desire.

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5. What we women are sure of is that there’s a man out there who will complete us. That’s what every movie tells us. But what it’s really about is doing that inner work of completing oneself.

Only as complete, proud, self-loving individuals can women experience the fullness of life that they deserve. Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!

*****

 

SH_JulyAug_CVR_lrgSpirituality & Health is a magazine for people who want to explore the spiritual journey and wake up to our capacity for self-healing, vitality, and resiliency. Read the entire conversation with Christine Northrup in the July-August edition of Spirituality & Health, on newsstands now! Get your first issue FREE here.

Would you like to win a FREE year-long subscription to Spirituality & Health magazine?

This month, Intent is giving away 5 year-long subscriptions to Spirituality & Health magazine. To enter, simply comment below with your favorite empowering quote. Be sure to include your name and email so we can contact you if you win.

 

Angelina Jolie Got a Double Mastectomy – Should You? 10 Alternative Preventive Measures.

Angelina Jolie arrivingSo, Angelina Jolie got a double mastectomy as a preventative measure, in order to reduce her risk of breast cancer.

Should you do the same?

Angelina apparently had a particularly strong genetic tendency as well as a strong family history. Angelina made a brave choice that may have been the best one for her, but it is worth careful consideration around whether this preemptive strike is the right choice for any woman who carries the BRCA1 gene.

Genetic risk is real, but epigenetics has the potential to trump genetic risk. Epigenetics literally means “on top of genetics.” Epigenetic “tags” sit on top of our genes and turn them on and off. These tags are influenced by our experiences and environment. What we eat, how much stress we undergo, and what toxins we’re exposed to can all alter our genes. We are not at the mercy of our genes as much as they are at the mercy of our diet and lifestyle choices.

Here’s an example that should strike hope into our very souls: Dr. Dean Ornish has conducted research that found a vegan diet caused more than 500 genes to change in only three months. How? Epigenetic tags turned on genes that prevent disease and turned off genes that cause a variety of illnesses, including breast cancer, heart disease, prostate cancer, and other illnesses.

I think the term “Holistic Medicine” has been used so much that it has almost lost it’s meaning. What might be a better term is “Context-Driven Medicine.” Our bodies—our hormones, organs, tissues and systems—do not act in a vacuum. They respond to our environment and thoughts. Thought creates biology. So does environment. When we are afraid, our chemistry changes. When we inhale pollutants, our
chemistry changes. Conversely, when we enjoy whole food, fresh air, good company, and feed ourselves inspirational thoughts and ideas, we affect our thoughts, emotions, environment, epigenetic tags and, ultimately, our genes.

So what about mammograms?

Prevention is different from early detection. Early detection doesn’t stop breast cancer from arising. Prevention does. When we better our lives, our breast health can improve in response.

Here are some simple (but sometimes hard to hear) tips to support breast health:

  • Avoid alcohol. There is not safe level of consumption. For a good summary of this, check out this video. We like to drink alcohol for relaxation and, in some cases, to support heart health, but there are better, more effective ways to support heart health without increasing the risk of cancer.
  • Eat lots of veggies. Changes in diet may prevent 30-40 percent of cancer cases, or 3 to 4 million cases annually. Veggies protect against many types of cancer by enhancing cancer-protective capacity, deactivating carcinogens and blocking tumor development.
  • Have an exercise routine that is right for you.
  • Avoid too much coffee, especially non-organic. Coffee seems to have an affinity with breast tissue and women with sensitive breasts around their period might do well to avoid it.
  • Breastfeed! This increases circulation in the breast tissue. Women who nurse have lower risks of breast cancer. This decreases the potential for stagnation in the breasts. When we are not breastfeeding we can increase circulation in our breasts by massaging them on a regular basis.
  • Avoid the use of antiperspirants. They don’t allow the release of waste products from the local area.
  • Breathe deeply. This opens the chest area and reduces stress.
  • Eat organic, when possible. Especially meat and dairy, if you consume them. They concentrate pollutants that act as bad estrogens and are carcinogenic.
  • Avoid environmental pollutants. If you happen to be in an environment that is polluted from off gassing of carpets, paints, plastics, construction materials, etc. maybe fill the room with houseplants. They help to purify the air.
  • Don’t smoke. Please.

There’s more information on breast health and why all these things are important in Chapter 13 of my book Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life.

Has Science Discovered the Answer to Eternal Youth?

Scented PinkOurs is a culture that values youth and childlike beauty above anything else, even to the point of neglecting our elderly population. Not only do we covet the strength and flexibility of a spry body, but we obsess over youthful beauty and go to inordinate lengths to maintain it well into aging. Well, forget about plastic surgery and face creams – what if there were a way to not only live longer and look younger, but to actually stay young throughout your life?

We aren’t making any promises, but Nature science journal recently published findings linking the activities of the hypothalamus to the process of aging. Early trials have been conducted on mice, but if applied to humans it could change the way doctors approach age-related illness and measures for increasing longevity. The study has discovered correlations between inflammation, stress responses, and aging all localized in the hypothalamus, which could suggest that reducing the one would alleviate the other, etc.

The hypothalamus is a region of the brain that regulates hormones associated with temperature, sleep, hunger, blood pressure, sex drive, and moods, as well as the release of hormones from various glands, including the pituitary gland. The complex nature of the brain is such that we can’t draw a simple line between stress and aging or even inflammation and aging, when a host of hormones and neurological factors are at play. Several things can be said, though, about the effects of stress on the body, which meditation and other mind-calming techniques have been shown to help alleviate.

Stress can increase blood pressure, slow digestion, increase heart rate, and cause muscle to tense, along with other problems. And the latest research on meditation, the brain, and overall health suggests that the practice may reduce these stress-related effects, as well as improve the immune system, cognitive function, and control of the nervous system.

We look forward to further research on this subject! We hope that in the near future much will be uncovered about the potential to reduce age-related suffering, whether through mindfulness practices like meditation, or even through manipulating hormones in the hypothalamus. After all, wrinkles and grey hair are marks of wisdom and rich life experience, but we could just as soon do without the pain and illness that often goes along with aging.

What do you think? Take a look at the studies on your own and let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

Menopausal Women No Longer Need to Fear Estrogen

Every day, nearly 6,000 women turn 50. And one question most will ponder is whether or not estrogen is safe. Before 2002, estrogen and progesterone were common medications given to nearly half of menopausal women. But ten years after the publication of two Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) studies on the risks and benefits of estrogen plus progestin in healthy postmenopausal women, millions of women stopped their hormones and suffered with menopausal symptoms because they feared the risks. The two WHI studies scared the hell out of women and many of their doctors (see below). But over the past 10 years, newer studies have disproven many of the original findings.  But harm was done for women; the fear prevented many women from taking estrogen that could have prevented terrible symptom. I want to help you make sense of these important studies.

First, let’s look at what the studies were supposed to do.

At that time, estrogen plus progestin (notice, not progesterone which is the natural hormone, but progestin, a synthetic substance that the woman’s body responds to similarly to how it responds to progesterone) were being recommended for all women in menopause to lower the risk of heart disease as well as treat symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness. Postmenopausal women ages 50 to 79 (mean age 63) were given different formulations of the most common estrogen and progestin medications in use at the time.

Giving hormones to older women, they thought, would lower their risk of heart disease and so the study didn’t take into account how old the women were, how long it had been since they started going through menopause, or if they were at risk for any other diseases. Hormone Therapy (HT) was considered both good and safe.

There were two hormone studies that were started about the same time. The first involved giving some 16,000 women either estrogen and progestin (Prempro – the most commonly used hormone of this type at the time) or placebo. That study was stopped 3 years early because the risks were greater than the benefits.  Not only did HT not protect women from heart disease, the study reported an increased risk of blood clots, stroke, heart attack and breast cancer. There was however, an equally lower risk of colon cancer and risk of breaking your hip.

The second study also followed a large number of women. But this group of women had their uterus removed (hysterectomy) as well as their ovaries. Women who have their uterus removed do not need to take progesterone or progestin – only estrogen. Once again, the study was stopped early because the women taking estrogen had an increased risk of stroke compared to those who took a placebo. However, compared to the women in the first study who took estrogen and progestin, these women who took estrogen only didn’t have an increase of breast cancer or heart disease.

As mentioned above, postmenopausal women threw away their estrogen in droves and endured a very challenging window of time. So challenging in fact that many of my patients who initially went off their hormones called me up and within 3 to 6 months, wanted to get back on them. But in that year after the WHI was first published, between 25% and 72% of women stopped taking HT.

Over the past decade since those initial WHI studies were done, many of their conclusions have changed. Here are my thoughts on the highlights.

HT is not for everyone. Many won’t be interested or will look into alternatives. But if you are interested in taking estrogen and/or progesterone or want to consider it as a possible treatment for your symptoms, talk with someone who is knowledgeable about these medications. It isn’t the same as going in for an antibiotic – it will take time for the health professional to understand your personal risks, explain what the benefits and risks are for you, and provide you with an explanation of your options. When I see patients for these types of discussions, I allot nearly an hour to go over everything. Make sure you find the right person to work with you.

To help you prepare, click here for a free book about how to take estrogen.

I Am Addicted to CrossFit!

If you told me a year ago that I would be doing Olympic Weightlifting and gymnastics and loving it, I would have told you were a bit crazy! 🙂

I love to play outdoors.  I love to backcountry ski, downhill ski, trail run, hike, mountain bike, sail, kite surf, dirt bike, snowshoe…you get the picture!

Going to the gym is not one of my favourite activites so when a friend suggested I check out CrossFit, I resisted.  After doing some research on this CrossFit business, I decided to give it a go as this  type of training would help increase my growth hormone which, after being tested, is quite low due to the concussions I had when I ski raced.

I went to the first free intro which was great!  I then signed up for the CrossFit Fundamentals Classes where I learned all the CrossFit techniques.  I will back up and explain what Crossfit is!  Here we go…

What Is CrossFit?

CrossFit combines weightlifting, sprinting, and gymnastics. CrossFit says that proficiency is required in each of ten fitness domains: cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, agility, balance, coordination, and accuracy.  Workouts include kettlebell swings, rope climbs, pull ups, jump rope, row, run, Olympic Weightlifting and much more!

Each workout consists of a warm up, skill development, and a WOD (Work Out Of The Day). What I love the best is that everyday is completely different!  Trust me, you will never get bored.  Plus there is a real community in all Crossfit gyms.  Everyone is so friendly so it makes working out fun.  I love the gang at my gym!

The Results

As mentioned above, I had my own reason for going to CrossFit.  Well, the results came in and my HGH (Growth Hormone) is heading upwards!  My preventive health doctor says this is definitely due to the CrossFit training, along with other things that I’ve implemented such as having a whey protein shake every morning and melatonin at night.

This wasn’t the only positive result.  My percentage of body fat is going down and muscle mass is going up!  I am much stronger now so when I head out skiing, ski touring, hiking, dirtbiking etc, I can go for much longer than my pre-CrossFit days which is fantastic!

Listen To Your Body

I have a few friends who stopped going to CrossFit because they hurt themselves.  I know that there are many people who hear of these stories and, therefore, don’t give CrossFit a chance.  Always remember that YOU know your body best.  If you feel like something is too heavy for you or an exercise is hurting you – don’t do it!  You ultimately know what your body can do – not someone else.  Always emphasize technique over weight.  Once you get the technique down, you’ll notice your weight/strength goes up.  And as hard as this may be, be competitive with yourself when it comes to weights.

You also need to remember that you have to stretch after these workouts and to rest when you feel your body needs it.  CrossFit recommends supplementing with Fish Oil to help with a faster recovery as Fish Oil is an anti-inflammatory.

CrossFit On Vacation

We go to a warm kite surfing destination every fall and last year was Maui.  My CrossFit addiction was in full swing by this point so I hunted down a Crossfit gym in Maui.  It turns out I had more fun going to Crossfit Maui Upcountry than I did kiting on this trip (the wind wasn’t great)!  It was great to workout with a local group and meet new friends.  Doing WODs in sugar cane fields is pretty cool too…so you can take CrossFit on the road with you which is pretty awesome!

Of course, it is not for everyone.  But if you are so inclined, check out your local gym and do the 1 free intro.

If you want to learn more about Crossfit, check out the main Crossfit Website.

Have fun!

Kim Duess
You Be Healthy
You-Be-Healthy.com
Twitter.com/kimduess
Facebook.com/youbehealthy

Dr. Steven Hotze speaks about Benefits of Progesterone

Did you know that a progesterone deficiency may lead to breast cancer, PMS symptoms, weight gain, migraines, inability to focus and depressed moods?

Dr. Hotze has a natural solution (bioidentical hormones)!  I first learned about bioidentical hormones in Suzanne Somers’ book, Breakthrough.

Here is the video link of Dr. Steven Hotze speaking about the benefits of progesterone:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Zc84zjhywo

To your health,

Kim Duess

You-Be-Healthy.com
Twitter.com/kimduess
Facebook.com/youbehealthy

The Dangers of Sugar to Women Over 40 – Dr. Christiane Northrup

I absolutely love Dr. Christiane Northrup!  She is an incredible writer, speaker and doctor (OB/GYN).  Her views on the mind/body/spirit connection to good health are empowering and inspiring.  “Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom” and “The Wisdom of Menopause” are just two of the fantastic books she has written.

In the video below, Dr. Northrup speaks to Jorge Cruise, author of “The Belly Fat Cure”, about the dangers of sugar to women over 40.

After 40, we can’t get away with what we did in the past as sugar intensifies the hormonal shifts that are going on in our bodies. It is time to clean up our poor eating habits ASAP!

Dr. Northrup states that the top dangers of sugar to a woman over 40 are:

1) Intensification of heart disease
2) Increased risk of cancer
3) Increased risk of hormonal imbalance

She says that all the above can be reduced dramatically by simply reducing the amount of sugar in our diets.  Simple!

Loss of bone mass is a concern in women over the age of 40 and Dr. Northrup explains that a diet high in sugar creates an acid condition in the body which is the real cause of osteoporosis.  Osteoporosis has almost nothing to do with dairy products and calcium (wow!!!).

She also says that fat doesn’t make us fat, sugar makes us fat and explains why.

Please watch the great video below to learn about many other health issues:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_mc47Y83hY

To your health,

Kim Duess

You-Be-Healthy.com
Twitter.com/kduess
Facebook.com/youbehealthy

 

 

Reference: http://jorgecruise.com/freeemailclub/2010/1/29/the-special-dangers-of-sugar-to-women-over-40.html