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Intermittent Fasting–A Brief “Skinny”

May 12th, 2020

Intermittent fasting has been proposed as an effective means of supporting weight loss and well as helping maintain ketosis. It involves fasting up to 14 hours per day with the goals of supporting ketosis and calorie restriction. In and of itself, intermittent fasting alone will not support weight loss. Nutrient intake, nutrient diversity, nutrient density, and caloric balance are still required. In other words, intermittent fasting while eating bon bons remains unhealthy and unlikely to support weight loss.


My general recommendation for intermittent fasting is to avoid eating after dinner, and preferably finish dinner by 7:00PM. Fast overnight at least 12 hours—late night snacking can really complicate our metabolism. I also recommend avoiding snacking between meals. Changes in meal content—including lots of vegetables (especially leafy greens!), healthy fats, and small portion of healthfully raised protein sources—can sustain us between meals. Since this may be especially difficult for those with reactive hypoglycemia—please schedule an appointment to discuss dietary and supplement support.


The science in a nutshell: When we eat (especially carbohydrates but proteins, too), insulin is released. Insulin is all about getting glucose out of our bloodstream and STORING energy (AKA, fat!). When all is working as designed, insulin is secreted after a meal, keeping blood glucose levels optimal. Then blood glucose starts to dip and the liver releases glucagon (another hormone). Glucagon REMOVES energy from storage in order to keep blood glucose optimal between meals and during our overnight fast. If we are constantly eating, snacking, throughout the day, insulin remains the required hormone. When insulin is elevated, weight loss is impossible. If you do have a snack, be sure that it includes a healthy fat (nuts, seeds, avocado, etc.) and avoid carbs (crackers, chips, cookies, etc.).


Some meal ideas!


  • Breakfast:
    • Ground turkey seasoned with rubbed sage, garlic salt, and a pinch of fennel and caraway seeds. Add chopped celery or fennel bulb, cubed golden beet, and red cabbage. Sauté until vegetables are done.
    • Paleo granola (lots of varieties to choose from—just watch serving size!) with 1 tsp melted coconut oil or butter.
    • Egg scramble—Sauté leafy greens (Swiss chard, kale, beet greens and stem, romaine) with chipped carrot, and mushrooms. When almost cooked, pour off water released from the mushrooms and add egg. Scramble it up and cook until egg is done.
    • Sauté fresh vegetables (try new combinations) and add tempeh or cooked leftover meat (chicken, pork, beef, salmon)
  • Lunch:
    • Well, my favorite is leftover breakfast!
    • Mixed greens with sardines and olive oil/balsamic vinegar combo. I like Navidi’s options!
    • Leftover dinner J
    • Whole-fat yogurt with nuts and berries
  • Dinner:
    • Chicken roasted in crockpot with side salad (greens, radishes, cooked and cooled beets, etc) and olive oil/vinegar.
    • Salmon curry—combine coconut milk with 1 – 2 tbsp curry paste, add vegetables (carrots, turmeric, water chestnuts, celery, etc) and simmer until almost done. Layer fish filet on top, cover, and poach fish until cooked through. I usually turn the filets after about 3 – 5 minutes.
    • Homemade meatloaf using ground turkey or ground beef or tempeh. Omit the bread crumbs but add an extra egg to help it stick together. I like to add chopped onions and bell peppers, oregano, a little tomato paste, garlic. Serve with steamed broccoli drizzled with olive oil.


I’ll admit I’m a lazy cook. I make mostly plain proteins and serve with sides of sautéed vegetables and/or salad. Give a lot of variety in combinations later!

Some other important tips if you are trying to lose weight: watch portion sizes, use a smaller plate to help your brain “understand” portion size, eat at your dining table, chew food thoroughly, put your fork down between bites, savor your repast!

Photo by Casey Lee on Unsplash

Some Beauty for Today

April 28th, 2020

This camelia captured my attention because these blossoms seem to be hiding! I almost didn’t even take a pic of it but the idea of the blooms “playing” Hide-and-Seek brought a smile to my day. I hope it does for you, too!


What Do You Want to Learn?

April 22nd, 2020

My Facebook and Instagram posts have focused primarily on gratitude. There is a very good and scientific reason for this!  Gratitude actually calms our nervous system which then supports our immune function, calms our heart rate, and even supports healthy digestion! I hope that you are all keeping a journal of things that bring you joy and gratitude, too!!

I also have loads of other information I would like to share–from immune support, to stress management, to recipes (meals, tinctures, and more). So, would you please let me know what you are interested in these days?? Please email me at with your ideas! We are on quite the journey together!!

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

We Are Here for You!

April 21st, 2020


We want you to know that we are thinking of you and hoping that you and your loved ones are well!! To continue to serve you and your health goals, we remain open but with changes set to reduce risks of exposure.

  1. We are encouraging telemedicine visits instead of in-office visits whenever possible. Dr. Brown has initiated use of a HIPAA-compliant platform for your security. And while we miss seeing you in person, these virtual visits are quite helpful to connect and continue your health plans. Simple, too!! You just call the office at 360-882-1339 and Adina sets up your appointment as usual, but then sends you the link to the virtual appointment. You get to remain in the comfort of your own home!
  2. If you feel that an in-office visit is necessary, rest assured we are taking precautions. In addition to disinfecting after every visit as well as hourly, we are spacing appointments further apart, limiting entry to only one person at a time (or with one family member), maintaining 6′ physical distancing as much as possible, and wearing appropriate personal protective equipment.
  3. We are still available for your supplement refills, too. Please call the office to pre-order and pre-pay for your supplements. Then when you arrive, Adina will bring them to the suite door for you. Most are really loving the convenience of this! Please also know that Dr. Brown has been utilizing Fullscript for online orders so you can “stay-at-home”. If you are interested, you can either click on the Fullscript link on this website or call us at 360-882-1339. Dr. Brown will then add your prescribed supplements, and Fullscript will send you an email. You then get to order what you need, when you need it, at your convenience. And shipping is free for orders over $50.

We also invite you to follow Natural Family Medicine via Facebook or Instagram. It’s a fun and informative way to stay connected! Currently focusing on gratitude–did you know that stress reduces immune function, while peace and serenity support it? Being mindful of all that we can be grateful for can help support our health!!

To Your Health!

Dr. Brown and Adina

Modified Office Hours

March 23rd, 2020

It is with reluctance, yet hope, that we have modified Natural Family Medicine’s office hours. For the week of March 23rd – 27th (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday), we have abbreviated hours: 9AM – 2PM. Dr. Brown remains available via her after-hours number for telephone consultations–Adina can help arrange this for you. If you need to purchase supplement refills, please call ahead, too, at 360-882-1339. Adina will package them up for you and present you with them at the door.

We apologize for this inconvenience but hope that anything that can be done to support social distancing will also help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Stay tuned for additional updates–we will revisit the situation on Friday.

And most importantly, we hope you and your loved ones stay well!!

Amidst the COVID-19 Concerns

March 23rd, 2020

With so much fear about COVID-19, I’ve been trying to determine what might be helpful to share without bogging down all that you are already reading. I’ve decided to share some of the things I do to support my health, hoping that you find them helpful as well. PLEASE NOTE, there are NO known cures to the Coronavirus. The Coronavirus family along with the Rhinovirus family are responsible for the common cold–still no cure unless you want to try Granny’s cure (from the Beverly Hillbillies–1 single teaspoon of her concoction and folks were well in 10 days, hmmmm). And COVID-19 is clearly NOT a common cold so additional measures should be taken.

First and foremost, follow CDC guidelines:
o WASH YOUR HANDS frequently.
o Keep your hands away from your face
o Stay home if you are sick–this is best for your recovery as well as to prevent spread of any illness.
o Call your doctor if you are ill and need medical attention–they will guide you on where and when to go.

Some additional things that may help–keeping in mind that there are no known cures to date:

1. We know that those who are deficient in certain nutrients can be more susceptible to illness and/or complications of illness. Sufficient nutrients such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and zinc are important. Ensuring that you are at least getting these in a multivitamin may be helpful. Vit. D at 2,000 iu – 6,000 iu temporarily may be helpful. Higher doses of other nutrients may also be indicated–check with your doctor.
2. Avoid sugar! The equivalent of one can of soda has been shown to suppress immunity for up to 8 hours!
3. Include lots of leafy greens, colorful vegetables, and fruit in your diet. So far, I’ve noticed that the produce departments have stayed fairly well-stocked with the exception of spinach (try kale, swiss chard, beet greens, turnip greens, dandelion greens, even carrot greens!).
4. But AVOID oranges and bananas if you have any congestion as they can thicken mucus secretions and aggravate congestion. Dairy and soy can do this, too.
5. Bone broths and vegetable broths are nutrient-packed–make them into some nourishing soups. Include garlic, onion, rosemary, thyme, sage, oregano–these each have antimicrobial properties and make for some delicious meals, too!
6. NAC has been shown to reduce congestion–if you are sick, you may want to try a 600 mg dose between meals and see if it helps you.
7. Warming socks hydrotherapy–This is one of my favorites since it supports circulation (including that of your white blood cells that fight infection) and reduces congestion. You will need a pair of cotton socks as well as a pair of wool socks (at least 80% wool). Wet the foot part of the cotton socks in cool water and wring them to just damp. Place them on your bathroom counter next to your dry wool socks. Warm your feet in a footbath, tub or shower. Pat your feet dry, put on the damp cotton socks, then the dry wool socks and go to bed (go directly to bed, “Do not pass Go, do not collect 200”). If you are active after applying this treatment you may get chilled. If you do get chilled (for any reason), remove the socks and warm your feet. Do NOT do this treatment if you have reduced sensation in your feet or compromised circulation–check with your doctor first.
8. Steam inhalation–with or without essential oils. If you don’t have time to complete steam inhalation, inhaling the scent of essential oil may reduce congestion and support recovery.
9. Get plenty of sleep! There is no substitute for adequate sleep.
10. Stay well-hydrated!

Ditch the Plastic Tea Bags–Try Loose Leaf Tea Instead!!

September 30th, 2019

So researchers have found that “billions” of plastic micro-particles are released each time we brew a cup of tea using a plastic tea bag. That is right, BILLIONS not millions. I know that sounds discouraging, but there are a couple of easy remedies! You can still get tea in paper tea bags, whew! But also consider loose-leaf teas–you can either put them in a muslin tea bag, in a stainless-steel tea basket, in a stainless-steel tea ball, or, my new favorite, use a matcha tea straw! I love using my bamboo tea straw since all I have to do is pour hot water over my favorite loose tea, let it cool a bit, then sip it through my straw. Do be sure that your tea is not too hot or you may burn your lips (the same is true if you are sipping hot tea, of course). I’ve see stainless-steel versions of the tea straw, but prefer the bamboo since it does not get hot. Check them out! This is an easy way to reduce your plastic use and still enjoy delicious teas!!

Influenza Vaccine?

September 17th, 2019

So we are entering into flu season. While many people can get the recommended flu vaccine, others cannot for a variety of reasons. So, this is a great time to boost your health to reduce your risk of succumbing to winter “bugs”! First, a wellness examination is advised if you haven’t had one recently. Testing for iron and Vitamin D deficiencies (either of which can reduce your immune function) is recommended. A course of high-dose Vitamin A support is also very helpful. Of course, too much of any of these nutrients can be dangerous so please consult your provider first. Elderberry and vitamin C are another two of my favorites, along with bone broths, and lots of fresh herbs and spices! I also coach patients on appropriate hydrotherapy techniques, customized teas, and homeopathics. Here’s to your happy, healthy winter season!


PFA’s — Known Toxicity “For Years”

September 9th, 2019

EWG has just released a list of documents that confirm knowledge about the risks of PFA’s to health–this link will connect you with a long list of reports. PFA’s have been associated with cancer, endocrine disruption, immune system dysfunction, and liver compromise. Items that contain PFA’s include non-stick cookware, water-resistant clothing, food packaging, and stain-resistant carpet and upholstery. Ditch the non-stick cookware–use cast iron or stainless steel. Think twice before getting that take-out meal. Take your own glass or stainless steel container to a restaurant for your leftovers. Consider wood floors and natural untreated fabrics or carpeting. PFA’s are cumulative so avoid them wherever you can. Here is another link for more information to support your health from PFA’s.

Banned Substances in Your Groceries??

June 3rd, 2019

There are a number of banned substances that make their way into our food supply. Fortunately there are options available to minimize exposure. Check out this fun article–it even has an interactive “grocery store” that lets you “check out” some groceries as well as find out how to avoid the exposure. also lists their “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” to help with our grocery budgets.

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