We've never had so many choices or variety at the grocery store. And we've never had so many options that seem unbearably tantalizing. I know we all want to eat well...but what does healthy eating even mean? What is eating normally?
Throughout the centuries people have been eating food (duh). Even in the 1800s, people were creating dishes and looking for ways to make eating more enjoyable and easier. And around the world this can look vastly different, can't it? Sometimes we tend to look backwards and think they had things figured out better in the past. But did they know more? Or was food just way more simplistic? How do we know what the right way to eat is?
Thankfully there is some science involved in nutrition that has strived to answer this question. And what we have learned so far can be simplified to this: that artificial foods are not so great, but real food contains what our bodies need.
So try not to overcomplicate it. Just eat whole, real food and don't even bring home the artificial stuff, because we all know it's just too hard to resist.
Need some recipes? You can order your own "A Recipe a Day -12 ingredients or Less - 2021 Calendar" simply by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Nutrition for a whole year for only $25 (15% off)! For more information, just visit my website at www.drkatherinemasters.com!
Around this time, some people are starting to think about year-end giving. I know there are so many amazing organizations for supporting people who need it, and today on American Thanksgiving I am grateful for all the generous people who give of themselves and their resources to other people! But today I just want to highlight one idea that I think is worth our consideration.
Do you know what place in the world is currently facing the largest humanitarian crisis of our time? Two-thirds of the population of this country is at risk of starvation, including around 2.4 million children. There has been a war in this country for the past 5 years and many of the schools and hospitals have been destroyed. Most of the children are not attending school and almost a fifth of them have lost their home. These people are not worried about Covid-19 at all despite its widespread impact. What they need is food, water, and safety. But because of Covid, much of the help they had been receiving has been cut off. Have you guessed what country this is? It’s Yemen. If you have any resources to help, please consider this country on your donation list.
A couple places you can donate towards this effort include:
-In Yemen: monareliefye.org
-In Canada: www.partners.ngo/ca
But please do your own research first.
Thank you for reading!
We don't always need to have the next step planned out before moving forward. Sometimes it's ok to be unrehearsed and unbound to the road map. This is where excitement, surprises and stories are often found! Who knows that life is more like flowing water than a highway anyway?! Embrace your journey with its bumps and turns and find the beauty within it.
pregabalin (Lyrica) and Lorazepam (Ativan) without the unwanted side effects. Of course the dose and source of this essential oil is important but overall the studies are clearly proving the effectiveness of this beautiful botanical!
The second exciting piece of research out of BMC Psychiatry looked at the effects of using hyperthermic baths as an adjunctive treatment for depression (i.e. hydrotherapy!) What they found was that this was a treatment that patients were much more likely to comply with in place of other beneficial treatments for depression, namely, exercise therapy (only 2 people dropped out of the hot bath group vs 13 dropouts in the exercise group). After just 2 weeks of 15-20min head-out-of-water-immersion in a bath at 40C 2x/week, these patients had a mean difference of 4.3 points on their Hamilton Depression Rating Scale score and had no adverse events.
Who else thinks we need more treatment options that are side effect free?!
Natural medicines have been available in nature since the beginning of time - it’s just a matter of knowing what’s there and how to use it! (Ask your ND!)
1.Muller, W.E. et al. (9 Nov, 2020). Pharmacological basis of the anxiolytic and antidepressant properties of Silexan, an essential oil from the flowers of lavender. Neurochemistry International, Nov 2020, 104899. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuint.2020.104899.
2. Neamann, J. Et al. (11 Nov, 2020). Effects and feasibility of hyperthermic baths in comparison to exercise as add-on treatment to usual care in depression: a randomized, controlled pilot study. BMC Psychiatry, 2020; 20:536. doi: 10.1186/s12888-020-02941-1.
This is one of my favourite go-to school lunch recipes. It can be hard to find a store-bought granola bar that doesn't contain high fructose corn syrup (my top most disliked ingredient that hides under so many different names). They are nut free and easy to make! You can cut them into squares, roll them into balls, or press them into mini cupcakes. And they are versatile- you can use various types of cereal and add or swap out ingredients (I added pumpkin seeds this time). I substitute the peanut butter for either sunflower or pumpkin seed butter and forgo the chocolate chips. You could almost think of them like healthy rice crispy square. The recipe is from Angela Liddon's "The Oh She Glows Cookbook". Enjoy!
Starting to look for Christmas presents for an aging parent or friend? I have an idea for you!
Do you know what the queen honeybee eats?
It’s something that the nurse worker bees who take care of her produce from their glands - specifically for her: Royal Jelly.
The make up of Royal Jelly is truly astounding and has all kinds of health benefits. But one recent study zeroed in on its use for cognitive aging and Alzheimer’s disease. There is still a lot more research that needs to be done in this area, but pre-clinical studies have shown much promise!
What they found in this review was that Royal Jelly “has a potential to recover cognitive deficits and increase glial and neuronal cell survival in experimental models of advanced aging and Alzheimer’s Disease. Royal Jelly demonstrates neuroprotection against Aβ and tau pathologies via enhancement of the antioxidant system, suppression of inflammation, augmentation of neurotrophin production and synaptic signal transduction, all of which promote healthy neuronal structure and function.” Of course this cannot be the only treatment used. The article discusses the disappointing drug options for these conditions as well as the benefits of addressing the microbiome, oxidative stress, inflammation, and metabolic dysregulations in the cases of cognitive aging. This is just a snapshot of the paper but you can read all the details at the reference cited below.
And perhaps Royal Jelly could prove to be a solid addition to someone’s Christmas list!
Amira Mohammed Ali and Hiroshi Kunugi (Sept 2020). Royal Jelly as an Intelligent Anti-Aging Agent – A Focus on Cognitive Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease: A Review. Antioxidants, 9(10), 937; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox9100937
In one study made up of mostly college students who were receiving counseling services for depression and anxiety, the participants were broken up into 3 groups: the first wrote one letter of gratitude to another person each week, the second wrote about their deepest thoughts and feelings about negative experiences, and the third did nothing. It was the first group reported significantly better mental health at 4 weeks and 12 weeks after their writing exercises had ended.
So take some time to write down what you are thankful for this weekend and have a very Happy Thanksgiving!
Y. Joel Wong et al. (2018) Does gratitude writing improve the mental health of psychotherapy clients? Evidence from a randomized controlled trial, Psychotherapy Research, 28:2, 192-202.
The World Naturopathic Federation represents naturopathic organizations around the world and helps to provide education about the value of naturopathic medicine to the health of all people. With the help of more than 40 naturopathic researchers, practitioners, and content experts, they have produced several rapid reviews on various naturopathic recommendations for acute viral respiratory infections. These include N-Acetyl Cysteine, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Multivitamins, Zinc, Quercetin, preventative health behaviours, yoga, Echinacea spp, Sambucus nigra, Hendra helix, Honey & bee products, sea buckthorn, and Eucalyptus & Thyme essential oils. You can find these reviews and further resources at http://worldnaturopathicfederation.org/covid-19-resources/.
Of course it must be said that the naturopathic profession acknowledges that at this time there are no proven treatments for Covid-19.
What do you think? Would you agree?
Dr. Linus Pauling is the only person to have received two unshared Nobel Prizes. I'm not sure exactly how he came to this specific conclusion about nutrition but I'm sure it has some merit. If I could change it though I would say "nearly all disease can be traced to a NUTRITIONAL DEFICIT or EXCESS." And this is what I am always looking at with my patients.
Nutrition is SO important. And if it is done well from the start of life to the finish, I believe a huge number of health concerns could be avoided. However, none of us are that perfect and that's okay. But that is part of my job - to help bring people as close to optimal health as I can from wherever they are at today.
If you are interested in trying out some new healthy recipes, I have a 2021 recipe calendar available on my website called "A Recipe a Day". It is written by Canadian Holistic Nutrition Professionals and each recipe involves only 12 ingredients or less. Check it out at here!
Lung health is on many peoples minds these days with respect to Covid-19. And now there is forest fire smog in the air to add to that equation. So let's talk about it a little bit. Exposure to smoke can have a big impact on lung health. For example, after acute inhalation it may cause oxidative injury, airway edema, bronchoconstriction, decreased forced vital capacity, or increased inflammatory cytokines, to name a few things. Not every person will have the same experience, but some may develop difficulties.
Two important consequences from smoke exposure that I’d like to mention are Reactive Airway Dysfunction Syndrome (RADS) and Bronchial Hyper-responsiveness (BHR). Both involve inflammation in the lungs. And neither can be treated with beta-agonist or corticosteroid inhalers. RADS will follow irritant exposure and will present with new onset of cough, wheeze, chest tension, and labored breathing. BHR presents as easily triggered tracheobronchial spasm. Your doctor would need to take a history, do a physical exam and may order some special testing or imaging to confirm one of these diagnoses.
How can your Naturopathic Doctor help with these conditions?
· Chest physical therapy – such as percussion/tapotement, hydrotherapy, deep breathing, controlled coughing, and exercise therapy
· Orthomolecular prescriptions at therapeutic dosages such as Vitamin D, quercetin, boswellia, bromelain, anti-inflammatories, and botanicals
· IV Magnesium therapy
We would also be happy to help if you are feeling down or stuck due to this added restriction in this crazy 2020 year.
If any of this information is not something your ND is familiar with, feel free to send me a note and I’d be happy to pass more information on to them.
With your best health in mind,