Friday, February 17, 2012

Time for a Little Spring Cleaning!

Ok, its that time of year again... time to start thinking, or perhaps starting, some spring cleaning. I'm talking about spring cleaning our bodies here, not our houses, although that's on my mind as well. Its a good idea to do some sort of "cleanse" at least once a year, if not twice. I usually recommend spring and fall and, just like in cleaning our houses, you can either do just a bit or really go all out. If you do a search on the internet for cleansing you will most likely be bombarded with hundreds of ideas as well as multitudes of products. You can use products if you like (I like the RenewLife line of cleanses); however, no need to. The simplest thing you can do is to give your body a break from sugar, caffeine and processed foods. Try eliminating these for a week (better yet, two weeks) and you will feel the difference. The first couple of days most people report symptoms such as headaches, nausea, light-headiness, and perhaps fatigue. These are all normal and will go away and most people report feeling really great later on. Its amazing how many people don't realize how bad they are feeling once they start feeling good!
A really simple way to boost your cleanse is to add lemon water. You can do this on a daily basis for as long as you want or you can do it as part of your spring/fall cleanse. First thing when you wake in the morning, squeeze the juice of a fresh lemon into a glass of room temperature water and drink. Do just start with a few drops of lemon juice and each day add a little more until you're at half a lemon. This works to help cleanse the liver and any bile that was produced during the night as you were sleeping. The liver plays a huge role in our body's natural ability to cleanse itself. As a Holistic Nutritionist the liver is generally one of the first areas that I would address with a client. Finally, you can go all out as well. I usually suggest the Brown Rice Cleanse which is a more stringent cleanse that eliminates all dairy, meat, sugar, processed foods and caffeine for 14 days. Depending on the client, I sometimes allow fish such as salmon. It really isn't as bad as it sounds... well, perhaps. If you would like more information on this type of cleanse, please feel free to contact me.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Inspired By Nutrition: The See-Saw Effect

Inspired By Nutrition: The See-Saw Effect

The See-Saw Effect

One of my favorite supplements to take is a Magnesium/Calcium powder that I put in a mug of hot water each evening and drink like a tea. The calcium in this is in a citrate form which is, in my opinion, the best absorbed form of calcium. To counter-balance it is magnesium (also in a citrate form).
Did you know that many minerals have a "see-saw" affect in the body? This means that if you take too much calcium, for example, magnesium levels will be depleted and vice versa. Calcium and magnesium work together just like a see-saw and the correct balance is needed. With so many people taking calcium supplements, poor magnesium is often left behind and this can have detrimental affects on the body. Almost all of our magnesium supplies come from the vegetable kingdom, although seafood has fairly high amounts. Most nuts, seeds and legumes have high amounts as do dark green vegetables, soy products and whole grains. Unfortunately magnesium, like other minerals, may not be present in high enough amounts in the soil that the plant is grown in. If this is the case, the plant will not have adequate amounts of this vital nutrient. As well, soaking and boiling foods can leach magnesium into the water (drinking this water can supply you with magnesium and other minerals). Magnesium elimination is increased in people who use alcohol, caffeine or excess sugar, or who take diuretics or birth control pills. For these reasons, and others, many people get insufficient magnesium from their diets. Magnesium helps me sleep! It also helps with leg cramps and muscle cramps in general. It is considered the "anti stress" mineral (which is probably the biggest reason I love it so much)! While calcium hardens things in the body - think teeth, bones - magnesium works to "soften" the muscles (remember, the heart is also a muscle)and helps things to run more smoothly (yes, like our bowels). It can help prevent kidney stones, PMS, hyperactivity, anxiety, fatigue, atherosclerosis, hypertension.... etc. etc. etc. It also is a great antidote to a hangover!