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Archive Year: 2019

Pesticide Exposure and Increased Risk of Autism?

March 26th, 2019

Studies are revealing a potential increase in the risk of autism to children born of mothers exposed to pesticides. Yes, this includes Round-Up. I’m attaching the article for you to read. I could wax poetic on the dangers of pesticides and herbicides, including the “inactive ingredients” that are also toxic (they are labelled “inactive” because they do not have the pesticide or herbicide effect, but are toxic none-the-less!). Choose organic as much as your budget permits–ewg.org can help with decision-making in your purchases. Do not use pesticides and herbicides in your yards–your home is the one place you have control over how the environment is treated. Love your weeds (OK, I am still working on this one–but I do love my dandelions, it’s just those “seed-popper” weeds that make me nuts! . . . OK, I’m on a tangent now . . .). My hope–for your health and that of your family and loved ones.

Carnitine and Choline–Friends or Foes?

March 26th, 2019

So, you may or may not have heard the buzz about TMAO (trimethylamine N-oxide). It is formed in by the gut flora from  TMA (trimethylamine) and has been associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. The resulting response was to recommend diets void of meats, eggs, and dairy since they are sources of TMA. But the answer is not quite that simple. For example, fish consumption is not associated with an increased risk of heart disease. And further studies are revealing that the conversion to TMAO is due to the gut microbiome more than the diet itself. Certainly, limit consumption of animal products to healthfully-raised, organic, and in limited quantities (ie, a 4 oz serving max); eat lots of vegetables (especially cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower); include berries in your diet; eat some walnuts; include fiber (vegetables again!) and fermented foods; get exercise; get adequate sleep. Eat whole food and avoid packaged and processed foods, period. I just don’t believe that eating should be as difficult as we are making it!

Lifting Weights–For Your Muscles AND Your Mind!!

March 26th, 2019

So the good news about exercise continues–including this article that is showing a reversal of muscle loss as well as increased mental acuity and mood! There is no substitute for exercise–find some activity within your body’s ability and try and grow from  there. A good trainer can be very helpful, too! To your health!!

Intermittent Fasting? Or Skip Dinner??

March 7th, 2019

Intermittent fasting has become a popular way to try and lose weight. Certainly, reducing caloric content and avoiding between meal snacking can support weight loss. However, interestingly, newer research is showing our metabolic rate is supported by having breakfast be the largest meal, then lunch, with only a light dinner. Better, yet, having breakfast be the largest meal followed by a mid-afternoon lunch and skipping dinner. They do point out that, during famine situations, eating the most calories at dinner may be beneficial. Oh, we have so much more to learn. But my favorite quote is of Michael Pollan: “Eat Real Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants.” To your health!!

Measles Outbreak, Flu Season, or Just a Cold

January 29th, 2019

If you live in the Portland/Vancouver area, you are likely aware of the current outbreak of measles. So far, most of the cases are in unvaccinated individuals. While most children will recover fully, there can be significant complications for others. Click here for more information on measles. I am not addressing the controversy regarding to vaccinate or not to vaccinate, but want to address the issue of what to do when you are sick.

If you are sick–fever, coughing, malaise, etc.–your best course of action is to stay home, rest, and recover! This goes against very real and powerful cultural pressures to “keep going”, “be strong”, “power through”, etc. The advent of all the medications to help dry up that runny nose and suppress that cough and reduce that fever have contributed to our perception of the ability to continue our daily schedules “as usual” when we are ill. This not only is a disservice to our own bodies, but to others whom we then expose. One of my favorite examples is from the book by Alvin Tresselt and illustrated by Roger Duvoisin, “White Snow, Bright Snow” published in 1947. The policeman caught a chill, his wife applied a mustard plaster, and he went to bed. I’ve attached a couple of the illustrations–but read the book, it is fun!

My hope is that we each can contribute to changing this cultural pressure–from pushing ourselves and children when we should be resting and healing to a culture that values our limitations and allows time for recovery. Yes, I know being sick is inconvenient and that recovery may be even more so.

And in this season of measles which is very contagious, please stay home if you have a fever, cough, runny nose. These will start even before the telltale rash. Just think, if everyone in Clark County could stay home for 2 weeks, we could end this outbreak! (OK, I know that is not practical 😉 ). Of course, call your health care provider if you are concerned about progression of your or your child’s illness!!

To your health!!

White Snow, Bright Snow