Posts Tagged ‘Health’

Alert! 2014-2015 Flu Mutation

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Well, the news is out. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has just announced that there has been an unexpected mutation in one of this season’s flu viruses. Thus far, this flu strain has resulted in particularly strong symptoms. Because of the mutation, they expect that this season’s flu vaccine will be less effective. While the CDC still recommends the vaccine, they have strongly advised physicians to include early response anti-viral drugs as a reinforcement for the vaccine.

Whether you decide to vaccinate or not, don’t forget that the most important factor in your ability to avoid the flu (or any infectious disease) is the strength of your immune system. Key factors in keeping your immune system on ready alert are: 1. keeping stress in check 2. reducing your refined sugar intake 3. keeping yourself well hydrated 4. moderate exercise 5. restful and restorative sleep. The list goes on, but these are high on the list of importance and are items that you can immediately implement without professional help. Should you want to take even more steps to bolstering your immune system, consider a visit with an herbalist/acupuncturist, naturopath or clinical nutritionist who can make recommendations that are very specific to your body and personal biochemistry. Of course, if you do find yourself coming down with symptoms, consulting with a physician or one of the above practitioners may reduce the duration or intensity of your symptoms.

To your health!

Fall Total Health Tip

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

I, like so many overscheduled parents, appreciate the “respite” that comes when the kids go back to school. However a feeling of trepidation sets in with the onset of cold and flu season. Starting with Halloween and continuing through the holidays, the deluge of sweets and sugary delights, accompanied by a change in the weather, can send our immune system back on vacation. Patients often ask me what I do at home for myself and my family during this season, so I’ll share some of our personal practices with you so that you too can stay as healthy as possible.

The number one preventive action is to eat a clean, as close-to-the-source diet as possible and specifically, cut out any excess sugar. Four teaspoons of sugar (the amount in 1/2 can of soda) significantly decreases the effectiveness of your immune system for up to four hours. So, if you think about the massive sugar increase that typically begins to happen at this time of year (and many people are on a continual “drip” of sweets) the immune system is in a constant state of stress. Throw in a quick exposure to all of the bugs “shared” in the office and the classroom and you’ve got a recipe for the perfect storm.

The second is an addition to the hackneyed ol’ adage “Wash your hands!”  Washing is very important, but what it comes down to, is not putting those little buggies anywhere near your mucous membranes. Try to become aware of how much you actually touch your face and then train yourself out of the habit. Most people do this hundreds if not thousands of time each day giving those viruses a free ride.  Flu viruses are easily picked up on any hard surface and can be introduced to your system when you handle your food, so it’s important to wash and avoid touching your face.

Third, in my family I don’t like to take any chances so we do some active immune building. One of my favorites for prevention is Echinacea. The root is the part of the plant that contains the most concentrated and effective of the active ingredients responsible for modulating the immune system. To see whether the brand you are buying will be effective, place a bit on your tongue. If your tongue is not tingling or feeling partially numb, chances are that it will not be as effective. I carry a brand of Echinacea in the clinic which is tested for pharmaceutical consistency so I know I’m giving my patients and family the product which is going to get the job done.

As a last note, sometimes, in spite of all our efforts to maintain balance, the bugs do actually get in. If this is the case, Andrographis can significantly reduce the severity and duration of many infections by quickly ramping up your immune system. If I start to feel a tickle in my throat or a little sniffle, I’ll start taking Andrographis tablets right away. As with Echinacea, make sure that it has a significant effect on your tongue to ensure that it contains enough of the active ingredients.

I’d love to hear from you about your health concerns.  I may even address them in an upcoming newletter.   Email me at info@sbtotalhealth.

My greatest wishes to you for a healthy and joyous holiday season.   David

Free Lecture in September at Total Health

Thursday, August 25th, 2011


BUILDING A STRONG IMMUNE SYSTEM FOR COLD AND FLU SEASON

Strengthen your digestive health as the root of your body’s immune system.

David will discuss:

Simple nutrition tips, formulas, herbs and home remedies that are effective.

Myths and truths about staying healthy this season.



TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13TH

7:00 PM

At The Maes Center for Total Health

9 East Mission Street, SB, 93101


rsvp: elizabethgaynes@sbtotalhealth.com or 805-682-6492

Is Your Sweet Tooth Killing You?

Friday, August 27th, 2010

Join us in September as we continue our FREE Total Health lecture series.

This discussion will help you to navigate the world of sweet.  From high fructose corn syrup to stevia, we’ll examine what is really damaging to your body and which are acceptable and even beneficial sources of sweetness in your diet. We’ll look at artificial sweeteners and talk in more detail about the “low carb craze,” what are necessary carbs and which ones are better left out from your diet. If you are confused by all the information and products out there or are just not sure what is right for you, join us for an engaging hour of food, fun and your optimal health.

TOTAL HEALTH FREE LECTURE SERIES
Wednesday, September 15th
7pm
Total Health (in the Maes Center)
9 East Mission Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Feel free to forward this invitation to friends and family.  Please let us know if you will be joining us.  Space is limited and we will keep a waiting list after spaces have been filled.

Call or email Elizabeth to rsvp: 805-682-6492, or elizabethgaynes@sbtotalhealth.com.

The Power of Fish!

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

If you ever read the news or any sort of health magazine, you have undoubtedly heard about the benefits of fish oil. To recap (and maybe add a few):

1. Fish is a great source of protein that is easily digestible and like other forms of animal protein, the more fat in the fish the better it is for us.

2. DHA, one of the very beneficial components of fish oil, is a necessary nutrient for human health.  In scientific studies, DHA in adequate dosages has been show to arrest the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. If you want a smart kid, supplementing with fish oil rich in DHA is a great way to stack the cards in favor your child’s intelligence.

3. Fish oil has a profoundly beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system by improving the ratios of HDL and LDL.

4. It also significantly improves the function of the eyes.

I am a big fan of having variety in the diet. I think it gives us the greatest opportunity to include many different types of nutrients in our diet.  Getting stuck in a food rut and consuming basically the same diet day in and day out can be a nutritional disaster if the components of your diet are not really well rounded.  Because of it’s price and availability, for many of us our default protein source is poultry, mainly chicken.  Yes, it’s a good form of protein, but consider the variety principle.  Fish on a semi-regular basis is a good way to switch up your diet and living in close proximity to the ocean give us easy access to a fresh bounty on a regular basis.

Concerned about the mercury content of fish? Certain varieties of fish contain more mercury than others. Check out  ewg.org for a list of fish that’s safer to eat.

There are, however, a number of ways that you can help keep the mercury from being absorbed into your body. Mercury is considered a heavy metal and is a potent neurotoxin. It  can be very detrimental to human health. If your body is flush with with minerals, it makes it more difficult for mercury to bind to human tissues as it competes with other minerals for binding sites. If your body is looking for minerals because it’s deficient, it will take the next closest thing….another metal. So start by making sure that your are getting a good source of minerals. Organic leafy greens are a rich source of these minerals. Chlorella is a type of algae and is sold as a food supplement. It has been shown to bind with and aid the removal of toxic metals from the body. Cilantro will also help to remove mercury and other metals from nervous system tissue. Garlic, while not specifically acting on the metals, will help the body to detoxify by moving toxins out of the body especially through the kidneys. Lemon juice which will neutralize the fishy smell in fish also seems to have a beneficial effect on keeping the toxic metals out of the body.

If you have questions about sources for chlorella or you are wondering if heavy metals may be affecting your system, feel free to give me a ring or e-mail me.

To your good health!

David

Food Labels – The Real Scoop

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

For those of you who missed David’s lecture on Reading Labels, here are the notes.  We are planning to repeat this lecture due to popular demand.  In the meantime…

Total Health Series – Reading Food Labels

Food processing and chemical additives have been created to increase the shelf life of food. This technology is great for business, but in most cases it is detrimental to your long term health and longevity. You are in control of what you consume.  Here are some guidelines when shopping for foods for you and your family.

  1. As a basic rule of thumb, consume real, whole food with as little processing as possible.  This will contain the greatest amount of nutrient in which to support your health and vitality.
  2. If it lasts more than week or two sitting out on your countertop without spoiling, you probably don’t want to eat it.
  3. Just because a company says it is good for you doesn’t make it so.
  4. Be extremely wary of foods that say, “low fat,” “sugar free,” “natural.”
  5. Funky fats: Many packaged foods contain fats/oils that are heated to high temperature. These heated fats can create major free radicals, cardiovascular problems and cancer promoting effects on the body. Be especially aware of any hydrogenated/partially hydrogenated oils. These have been transformed to extend shelf life without becoming rancid, however they are very dangerous for the body.
  6. Carbohydrate: Watch out for anything that contains white flour or “enriched” in the first 4-5 ingredients.  Look for “Whole Grain” ingredients as the first ingredient in any grain based product.

Avoid refined sugar and artificial sweeteners: high fructose corn syrup,  sucrose, glucose, dextrose, fructose, maltose, turbinado brown, sugar,  dextrin, maltodextrin, invert sugar, caramel, agave syrup.  Caution wth Fruit Juice Concentrate. It is usually sugar refined from fruit.

Better sources: (in small amts only) local raw honey, pure maple syrup, fresh or  dried fruits, date sugar, brown rice syrup, fig sugar, blackstrap molasses, stevia

  1. Watch out for preservatives in cured meats such as nitrates/nitrites: These are carcinogenic. Generally if you can’t pronounce it, or it doesn’t sound like food, it was probably synthesized in a laboratory rather than coming from mother nature.
  2. Be careful with synthetic flavorings: MSG is not just used in Chinese food. It goes by other names such as: hydrolized vegetable protein, vegetable protein extract, autolyzed plant protein, sodium  caseinate, textured protein, yeast extract, autolyzed yeast.
  3. Often a product will say it’s organic, but the whole product will not necessarily be organic.  Look at each ingredient.

David Gaynes    Total Health    805-682-6492     www.sbtotalhealth.com

Orange-Ginger Vegetables

Monday, May 24th, 2010

This is another quick easy and tasty vegetable recipe. You may use any quantity of veggies you like. For a family of four I generally cut up a large head of broccoli, one whole onion (cut into rings) and about 1/3 of a cabbage. Throw them into a skillet or pot. Add 3/4 cup of orange juice, approximately 2 Tbsp of Bragg`s Amino Acids and either fresh or powdered ginger to taste. Mix it all up and let it steam until done. When finished toss it all together so that the juices mix with the vegetables.

1 large head broccoli cut lengthwise with stalks

1/3 head of cabbage

1 onion cut into rings

2 Tbsp of Bragg`s Amino Acids

1 Tbsp of chopped fresh ginger or powdered ginger.

Kale Chips

Monday, May 24th, 2010

This simple little delight can almost take the place of a bag of potato chips. Once you start munching on these you won`t be able to stop until they are all gone. And, unlike a bag of potato chips, these things are seriously good for you.

The recipe goes like this:

–  1 bunch kale (washed and dried)

–   Whatever type of seasoning you like. (Can it be easier than that?)

If the center stems are large, remove them. Cut the remaining kale into bite size pieces. Toss with about a tablespoon of olive oil until the leaves are coated. Sprinkle with any of the following: Sea salt, pepper, cayenne, apple cider vinegar (about 1 tsp) or garlic powder. Spread the leaves out on a cookie sheet so that they are not overlapping. It is better if you can bake them for a longer time at a lower temperature. I use a convection oven at 180 degrees until they are really crispy. They should crunch like a potato chip… almost melting in your mouth. In my oven this takes a couple of hours, but in a standard oven it could take up to three hours.