Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Back to the Basics of Organic Nutrition..

So I have done posts before about cutting the costs on healthy foods, I have links to healthy resources all over the home page, and I am constantly promoting a healthy lifestyle. However, as I was updated my outside reading page this morning it hit me! I have never really addressed the basics of what healthy food shopping actually entails! How silly of me! Oh well...at least I have the topic of a new post for you all...

As Stephanie Selene Anderson states in her book Put Your Money Where your Mouth is "Superior nutrition can simply be the difference between a raw salad and overcooked vegetables. It is possible to get used to and familiar with healthy foods. Begin by setting your sights on superior nutrition and it will direct your shopping cart up and down the aisles to healthier choices (Anderson 4)." OK so what exactly is Superior Nutrition? Well lets break it down...

First of all Processed foods ARE NOT Superior Nutrition. Refining removes parts of the food that will spoil from the food. Unfortunately these removals are parts that are packed with important nutrients. IN addition stripping the food of these parts requires additives to come in to play such as flavorings and preservatives. These items are often times devoid of nutrition and can often be harmful. The following are things to look for and to try to eliminate from your diet:
  • Refined and bleached grain products
  • Hydrogenated, partially-hydrogenated, refined or synthetically altered oils and fats
  • Chemically fed and chemically processed meats and eggs
  • refined sugars and artificial sweeteners
  • pastuerized and homogenized dairy products
  • canned, prepared and overcooked foods
  • all foods made with chemical additives.

Fresh Foods contain:
  • Living enzymes
  • intact nutrient complexes
  • beneficial microbes and bacteria
If you can only make one nutritional change then buying fresh over processed will get you a long way.

Second There are different types of food at our disposal. Certified Organic label is the BEST type of course but let me differentiate between the different available levels the USDA provides:
  • USDA NATURAL: refers to what has been added to a food after it is harvested.
  • NATURAL: indicates the food might be entirely free of added artificial ingredients but it might have been grown using conventional methods (using pesticides, questionable livestock treatment, and genetically modified organisms or GMO's)
  • ORGANIC: Ensures that the food is at least 95% organic. "Organic foods give life to the ecology because the methods used to grown them build nutrient rich soil and respect the nature of earths dynamic life-styles (Anderson 7)."
  • CERTIFIED ORGANIC: ensures that the plant or animal was raised from the ground up and processed without toxic chemicals
Organic foods are:
  • Grown and processed w/out fertilizers
  • grown within a safe agricultural system
  • do not pollute the soil, water or life in our environments

***Remember that no labeling system is perfect and that our environment is heavily toxic so it is nearly impossible to avoid at least trace toxicity in any form of food. However, by using organic foods you are reducing the toxicity levels exponentially that are entering your body and the bodies of your loved ones.
***It is also important to learn to read labels. Just because something is labeled organic doesn't mean that it is devoid of sugar and full of nutrients. Even some sodas are labeled organic so be wary.

Third is Learning how to Shop Healthily on a Reasonable budget. here is what you should do according to Anderson:
  1. First stock up on raw fruits and vegetables. They are great snacks and the most complete source of nutrition in that form due to the lack of processing and temperature changes (cooking, freezing etc)
  2. Wild Fish: shop for higher quality, deep ocean, lower polluted waters, and avoid freshwater fish alltogether. Avoid farm raised
  3. Meat: Search for local sources, cook meat as rare as possible, or medium rare (important to get organic so that you avoid disease etc) cooked protein is denatured protein so the rawer the better if organically raised.
  4. Eggs: use a local farmer whose practices you can be sure of and whose freshness is superior
  5. Raw Dairy: Pasteurized Dairy products are dead foods. Check labels for raw milk products (Cheese, etc) and use cultured milk products like kefir, yogurt, sour cream, buttermilk, etc. make sure they are organic
  6. water: drink water that has been put through a cycle of reverse osmosis. De-ionization purifies the water TOO MUCH as it also strips the source of vital minerals. You can get reverse osmosis water at your local health food store inexpensively.
  7. Whole grains: when buying pasta avoid refined flour or flour with synthetic vitamins.
  8. Crude Oils and Fats: Olive Oil is the easiest to find in organic form. The best level is Cold Fresh Pressed organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil. However, if you go to Whole Foods or Earth Fare or even a local health food store like Harmony Farms you can find everything from hemp seed oil to flax seed oil. Just check the cooking temperatures on these oils so that you do not denature them.
OK so that is all I have for now but if you would like to find more information on this subject please refer to the Outside Reading section of this blog and check out the nutritional information.

Before you go for the day please check out the new link I put under "General Healthy Information" entitled "Natural, Healthy Cleaning Products..." It will definitely help you get a head start on cleaning the natural way. This is so so important, especially when cleaning the conventional way actually INCREASES the toxicity of our homes!

Ta Ta for now! ;o)


Friday, February 22, 2008

Tuina: Chinese Medical Massage

Part of my position here at CCW is to create a heightened sense of awareness surrounding all the services our practitioners offer in office etc. One of these therapies that seems to fly suprisingly low "under the radar" is Tuina, an Oriental Massage practiced by both our acupuncturists (Brian Kramer L.Ac and Andre Tse L.Ac). I myself indulge in this amazing service once a week so I thought i'd let you lovely folks in on the details. Here is a brief explanation of Tuina written up by one of our acupuncturists...

Pronounced: Tway Naah
Also called “An Mo” meaning to Push and Grasp.
One of the oldest forms of massage and physical therapy in the world dating back 15,000 years ago and recorded in Classic Chinese texts early as 100BC.
Tuina in China is a specific modality of Chinese medicine and is taught separate from acupuncture and herbal medicine.

Based on TCM theory of channels and collaterals, qi, blood, yin and yang.
After a condition is diagnosed from a TCM standpoint, Tuina can be used to treat the underlying condition using acupressure, trigger point therapy, manual massage techniques, and gentle stretches.
The goals of tuina are to re-establish the correct balance of energy in the body, to correct the positioning of the musculo-skeletal system, to relieve muscle spasms, and to promote the recovery of muscles.
Tuina also includes Reflexology (foot massage) and pediatric tuina.
Tuina is not used for conditions involving compound fractures, external wounds, open sores or lesions, phlebitis, or with infectious conditions such as hepatitis. Tuina should not be performed on the abdominal portion of a woman in menstrual or pregnant periods, and it is not used for treatment of malignant tumors or tuberculosis.

Various hand, finger, forearm, elbow, techniques are used as well as gentle stretches and traction.
Tuina increases blood circulation and temperature locally to promote recovery, increases the pain threshold, lengthens the muscles, separates adhesions, and certain techniques of tuina can change the position of bones and joints.
Often times, the practitioner may use linamints, heat therapy, salves, and herbal patches during treatments to accelerate the healing process.
Most acute problems generally take 3-6 treatments to treat and chronic or persistent problems may need a more preventative approach such as 1-2 times a month.

Tuina is an effective and safe alternative to acupuncture, and is especially beneficial for those with a fear of needles.
Tuina can be used for constitutional treatments for those that want preventative treatment and/or for generalized whole-body stress reduction. Tuina treats various musculo-skeletal conditions such as frozen shoulder, tennis elbow and carpel tunnel, etc., as well as treats internal diseases such as stress, headaches, and digestive problems.

Just call the office with more questions or if you'd like to set up a session!


Saturday, February 16, 2008

Saturday Acupuncture Clinic Running Smoothly!

Hello fellow wellness buddies!

Sorry I have been so neglectful of my posting duties, it has been enough for me to just keep up with all the changes i'm making to the blog itself to keep you all informed (i.e. check out the patient testimonials, and outside reading links that I have added, as well as the ever growing Recipe Index). I'll try to get better about multi-tasking :o). Now that I have a moment to breathe however, I thought i'd go ahead and give you a legitimate update.

Let me begin by saying that, although the Saturday Acupuncture Clinic has had a lot to contend with (events wise) it is running quite smoothly nonetheless. So far patients have reported great results with the group setting and are very happy to have a weekend option that suits there many varying needs. Please do come in if you are an established patient to "give it a go," and if you are not established with Brian or Andre then you can always get your one time 30 minute Health Screening done during the week in order to participate on any or all Saturday Clinics. It is a great way to start the weekend with a nice relaxing "bang!"

In other news let me reiterate that on March 4th and 11th CCW doctors and guest Cindy Karas will be leading a two part Stress Management Seminar with topics ranging from nutrition and diet to emotional factors and meditative practices all meant to create a heightened awareness around ways to manage stress that is often times debilitating and health hindering. Our society is literally plagued by stress and this seminar series is a great way to get you on the right track!

On another note, and an EXTREMELY EXCITING one at that, I am ecstatic to officially make you all aware of our next endeavour here at CCW...the implementation of the Standard Process Purification Program in to a supportive GROUP program. This detoxification "bootcamp" will help patients who are interested in detoxifying their bodies, losing weight, decreasing seasonal allergies, and more to go through the program in a group setting that not only creates a support system for each member but also allows for informative sessions that will keep everyone involved on the right track. Each of the 5 sessions throughout the 3 week program will include healthy and tasty recipes that are in line with the detox protocol, health tracking and stage adjustments, question and answer sessions, and more. On a personal note, both Dr. Greenfield (for the second time) and I (for the first time) are going through this protocol currently in order to gain more insight and experience in to the detoxification stages and possible problems, barriers, and more. I have learned more in the past 3 weeks than in the past 3 Months about nutrition (and I work in a nutrition focused environment, not to mention the fact that I am constantly reading and researching new options) simply because it is MY BODY going through this experience. I would reccommend that everyone at LEAST come to one of two informational sessions we will be having in March (call the office for exact dates and times). The benefits of this program for me have been amazing. Not only have I regained the energy I lost from my last bout of anemia, my intestinal lining is repairing, and I just feel healthier in general. Please feel free to email me with questions at ccwwellness@gmail.com

I'll be posting the schedule for the purification program soon so be on the look out for that. In the mean time however, don't forget to check out Cindy's weekly recipe contribution (Fruit Salad with Sweet Dressing) on the Recipe Index. As always healthy is TASTY when cooking with Cindy!

UPDATE: the schedule has been added to the Purification Program Link. Information Sessions Start March 19th so get READY!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Oh What a Night!

Just wanted to give a huge THANK YOU to all of the wonderful guests at CCW's Open House on Thursday. The turnout was great, the conversation was stimulating, the food was fantastic, and the night was one to remember....thanks to all of you! We hope that you enjoyed yourselves as much as we did, and if you didn't get to come then we missed you but there are upcoming events posted on the right of the blog home page that you can be a part of as well...

I want to give a special thanks to all of our guests who volunteered for demonstrations. You really helped us show our craft and it is MUCH appreciated!

Our next event will be the first "Learn It to Live It" event entitled "Stress Management: a two part learning adventure." For details make sure to call the office at (919) 845-3280 or email me at CCWwellness@gmail.com...it is going to be AMAZING, and our lovely Cindy Karas is going to be joining our staff in the first session to give some amazing culinary tips that can directly affect your stress level (with free samples of COURSE!) so DON'T MISS IT!

Speaking of the lovely Cindy, it is Friday so I have posted her weekly recipe on the recipes homepage so don't miss out on it (it sure looks tasty!)

Thanks again everyone!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Recipe Update...snack time!

For all you football fanatics, superbowl-watching stars, and plain ol' party planning fools this post is for you...

...and anyone who likes good food of course...

Superbowl Sunday is around the corner and we all know what the kitchen gears up for on that special day...SNACK FOODS!

Unfortunately, traditional american snack foods tend to be loaded with extra salt, trans-fats, unhealthy oils, refined sugars...think bags of potato chips, bean dip, cookies, candy, processed cheese dips, sodas, and lots of alcoholic beverages...This means many things. Besides waking up with indigestion, fatigue, and general regret after a night of this sort of "diet" this sort of eating is simply another testament to the unhealthy eating patterns wearing out the bodies and minds of the America people and all of those affected by our culture.

So...what do we do?!

The answer is easy, fresh, and tasty...we make a commitment to protect our health by categorizing the typical snack foods as the unhealthy alternative to what snack food SHOULD be.

  • Canned Bean Dip and Fritos???
    • Wouldn't You rather try some organic corn tortilla chips and homemade fresh guacamole!
  • Chili Fries loaded with grease, and a side of indigestion?
  • Doritos?
  • Oreos?
    • Nope i'm craving some raw organic nutritional and simply "sinful" fudge and truffles
  • Soda, Soda, and More Soda?
    • I'd rather have some sparkling water with a touch of pomegranate juice....mmmm punch!

Look at it this way folks...eating the wholesome, nutritional, and purely taste bud tempting way is much better than the ...alternative...YUCK.

So check out some of my recipe links, get creative, and enjoy your sunday night this week without the Monday Morning Guilt and Regret. And don't forget to check out our very own Cindy's new recipe editions this week!

One last note: don't forget to RSVP for our OPEN HOUSE on Thursday Feb. 7th (THIS WEEK!). It is going to be a blast!