nutrition

Natural Help for Parkinson’s & Other Neurological Problems

 

HS_13by Gale Maleskey, MS, RD

 

If you are seeing a neurologist for peripheral neuropathy, multiple sclerosis, stroke-related damage, migraine headaches, epilepsy, or a movement disorder such as Parkinson’s disease, you should know that good nutrition and certain nutritional supplements are proven to help these problems.

They can:

  • reduce pain
  • slow the progression of nerve damage
  • help you reduce your drug dosage
  • remove toxins from your body that may be contributing
  • to your health problems

 I have helped a number of people with neurological problems, working with them and their doctors to safely combine their medical care with natural, nutrition-based treatments.

If you have peripheral neuropathy, for instance, consider taking alpha lipoic acid, a nutritional supplement that can work as well as the drug Neurontin–without the side effects. Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin B12, folate and Coenzyme Q10, which can help relieve some forms of neuropathy. And if you’re taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, you need to be aware that these drugs greatly increase your risk for developing neuropathy, and can also cause muscle weakness and mood changes. Getting your cholesterol down with a healthy, plant-based diet can help you lower your dosage of statin drugs and reduce your risk for developing these troubling symptoms.

People with MS often do better when they start on an anti-inflammatory diet, getting more omega-3 fats and fewer omega-6 and saturated fats. They also benefit from other nutrients: vitamins D, E and B12, n-acetyl-cysteine, phosphatidylserine, CoQ10 and alpha lipoic acid.

People with Parkinson’s disease often have had exposure to toxic chemicals, such as solvents, herbicides or pesticides, and may benefit from an evaluation to reduce ongoing environmental toxin exposure. They also often improve by following a detoxifying diet and supplements to help their bodies break down and remove brain and nerve-damaging toxins.

People who’ve had a stroke, who have high blood pressure, or who are at risk for having stroke because of clotting problems can reduce their blood pressure with a diet high in potassium, magnesium, calcium, vitamin D, getting more omega-3 fats, and cutting back on sodium and saturated fats. This kind of diet can also help restore normal heartbeat in some people who have heart arrhythmia problems.

People with migraines and epilepsy sometimes find that they are reacting to certain foods or food additives.  A little detective work can help pinpoint these foods, but sometimes people need to get food allergy testing to figure out what is going on. I’ve found people often improve once they stop eating foods, or, especially, food additives like sulfites and MSG–and aspartame−that are making them sick.

Parkinson’s Patients & Care Givers are welcome to enjoy a relaxing day in a peaceful surrounding where they will discover simple, natural ways to improve their balance, reduce tremors, ease muscle tension, increase liver and brain function and much more!

Parkinson’s Retreat

Patients & Care Givers

Saturday, March 18, 2017

9:15 am – 4:30 pm

Lunch and light refreshments will be served

$35, to register call:

Dr. Tom Wachtmann 610-841-3395

Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center

628 Twin Ponds Rd., Breinigsville, PA 18031

www.TwinPondsCenter.com

Joints hurt? Arthritis is NO fun!

 

Nutritional counseling, a priority treatment for arthritis, can greatly reduce the painful symptoms.  Most people with arthritis don’t realize how much nutrition can improve the way they feel.

Nutrition Counseling and  Lifestyle Coaching are your first line of defense against disease. They teach you that self-care is the “finest health care.” Then you realize that doctors have a very small role to play in your staying healthy.

Of all the different types of arthritis, the two most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. As anyone with arthritis can tell you, osteoarthritis sufferers truly suffer as their knees wear down, rheumatoid arthritis can twist and deform the fingers, and gout can make the simple act of walking agony.  Chiropractic care is a great modality to help with painful joints.

Eliminating the following will help:

·        Fried & Processed Foods

·        Sugars & Refined  Foods

·        Alcohol & Tobacco

·        Salt & Preservatives

·        Genetically modified oils (Omega-6) – soy, corn, cottonseed, sunflower, and canola                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Ease your painful symptoms of arthritis by eating plenty of foods and ingredients that naturally reduce inflammation such as these:

Omega-3 Fats – The best foods for omega-3 fatty acids are salmon (wild, fresh or canned), herring, mackerel (not king), sardines, anchovies, rainbow trout, Pacific oysters, flaxseeds (ground and oil), chia seeds, and walnuts.

Vitamin C – It is important to make vitamin C-rich foods — such as guava, bell peppers (yellow, red, orange, and green), oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, pineapple, broccoli, kidney beans, kiwi, and cauliflower — a part of your daily diet. (High-dose vitamin C supplements can actually be harmful for osteoarthritis sufferers, so talk to your doctor about what’s right for you.)

Olive Oil Contains a natural compound called oleocanthal which may help prevent arthritis-related inflammation. This compound blocks the same inflammatory pathways as ibuprofen and aspirin, medications commonly used to fight arthritis pain

Carotenes beta carotene: found in foods like cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, kale, butternut squash, and spinach; and beta-cryptoxanthin, found in foods like winter squash, pumpkin, persimmons, papaya, tangerines, red peppers, corn, oranges and apricots.

Anthocyanins Some of the best foods include: cherries, blackberries, black currents, blueberries, eggplant, elderberries, raspberries, boysenberries, red and black grapes, strawberries, and plums.

Spices Among the most promising anti-inflammatory spices: turmeric, the Asian mustard yellow spice found in curry, and ginger because it contains chemicals that work similarly to some anti–inflammatory medications.

Many people with arthritis don’t realize how much their food choices and lack of exercise can worsen the pain or, on the flip side, improve the way they feel. It is important to work with a professional to get the support, encouragement, and knowledge to make the diet and lifestyle changes that will enable you to lead a pain free, productive life.

Call today for an appointment with Gale Maleskey, MS, RD.

 

 

Nutritional Counseling, Wellness Coaching, and Chiropractic Care (incl. Functional Medicine) are offered for arthritis sufferers at Twin Ponds Integrative Center 610-395-3355

8 Steps to Mindful Eating

“Do you eat mindlessly?”

“One of the easiest things we can do to promote health is to eat in a calm, mindful manner.”

What is Mindful Eating?

Mindful eating is an ancient practice of bringing one’s full attention to all the tastes, smells, colors, textures, temperatures, sounds, thoughts, and feelings that arise
around eating and food. It is eating with intention and attention by bringing
awareness to our automatic and reactive responses to food without judgment.

Through the practice of mindful eating you can learn to experience the natural joy of eating, develop a more compassionate attitude toward your body, and quiet your critical mind.

Is there a Benefit?

Some of the benefits of mindful eating include reduced occurrences of over eating, increased enjoyment of food, improved digestion, and being satisfied with less.

Other benefits may include:

  • Increased self-esteem and acceptance
  • Increased confidence and ability to reach your goals
  • Tools for living a healthier life and losing weight
  • Insight into patterns and habits that lead to poor health and overweight
  • Increased awareness of what you experience in your body, thoughts and feelings
  • Help in recognizing and handling stress and your reactions to it

Now that you know the benefits, here are my 8 simple steps to mindful eating:

1. Rate your hunger before you eat

2. Choose food that will satisfy both your body and mind

3. Sit down

4. Eat without distractions and stop multi-tasking

5. Eat like a Foodie

6. Slow Down

7. Pause

8. Notice how you feel when you’re finished eating

Old habits die hard.  It may be challenging to practice mindful eating within your hectic lifestyle, especially if you are always on the run.  Don’t try to make drastic changes.  Lasting change takes time, and  is built on many small changes. Start by choosing one meal or snack per day to eat mindfully.

Gina Consalvo, MA, RD, LDN, NCC
Eat Well with Gina, LLC
Nutrition Counseling & Consulting

Good Bone Health

Osteoporosis:
A Serious Silent Condition!

Osteoporosis is a common condition in postmenopausal women that can reduce mobility, quality of life, and lead to other serious health problems. In fact, you may have osteoporosis and not even know it!

A broken wrist may be the first sign of osteoporosis. See your doctor and find out if an underlying problem could be making your bones brittle.

Osteoporosis is a childhood disease, even though we may not see the effects until we are older. Encourage young people to build strong bones by choosing calcium-rich food and getting lots of exercise−two key elements to building healthy bones.

Losing two or more inches in your height—something often chalked up to normal aging—could be a sign of spinal fractures, a marker for serious bone loss.  Healthy bones are slightly flexible and are meant to withstand most impact. Freak accidents aside, bones aren’t supposed to break.

Diabetes, breast cancer, gluten intolerance, Crohn’s disease, hyperthyroidism, and depression have all been linked to bone loss. If you have any of these conditions, you may be at higher risk for fractures.

Preventing hip fractures should be as important as warding off cancer. One in five women and one in three men will die within a year after suffering a hip fracture. Because they commonly occur after age 75, hip fractures are often the catalyst for severe health declines. But rarely are they taken as seriously as cancer or heart disease

If you don’t fall you won’t break your bones. Improve your stability and reduce your risk of falling with core work and resistance training.

Improve and maintain good bone health with regular weight-bearing exercise and proper nutrition, with an emphasis on protein, calcium and vitamin D (it helps the body absorb calcium).  A simple blood test can check your vitamin D level.

Twin Ponds Center offers multiple services to help keep your bones strong: Nutritional Counseling, Pilates, Fitness Training, and Functional Medicine. Please call 610.395.3355 today to learn more about how you can strengthen your bones!

Raw Food Diet

Help for Digestive Problems, Diabetes, Nutrient Deficiency, Aging & Weight Gain

Have you ever mentioned “Raw Foods Diet” to anyone? If you have, you probably saw them turn up their nose and heard them say. “I can’t eat that way.”  Well, it isn’t what you think!

A raw food diet isn’t limited to living on salads and smoothies. Some of the types made are Italian, Middle Eastern, Asian, Latin American, all American, breakfasts, and, of course, desserts. They are not only delicious and easy, but exotic and comforting. Aromatic herbs, warming spices, and pungent flavors are used just like any other delicious food preparation.

Any appetite will be satisfied, especially when it comes to desserts. The raw desserts are great for those who love sweets, but want to avoid refined carbohydrates, sugars, dairy products, and unhealthy fats. They are divine, rich, and sweet!  Just sample a raw dessert and you will say that it has more flavor than baked desserts. It will be hard for you to believe that it didn’t come out of the oven…and your next word will be, “Wow!”

The raw food diet is based on the belief that the most healthful food for the body is uncooked. Although most food is eaten raw, heating food is acceptable as long as the temperature stays below 104 to 118 degrees.

Cooking food can diminish its nutritional value. For example, the cancer-fighting compounds in broccoli, sulforaphanes, are greatly reduced when it is cooked.  Also, certain vitamins, such as vitamin C and folate, are destroyed by heat.

According to raw foodists, enzymes are the life force of a food that helps us digest food and absorb nutrients. If we over consume cooked food, our bodies are forced to work harder by producing more enzymes.

If you want to find lasting health from better food choices, investigate the Raw Food Diet. Join our fun, delicious, and informative classes.

Instructor: Brook Ockerman is a certified Raw Chef & Instructor with an additional certification in Raw Pastries.

How to stop food cravings!

Shaving the Food Cravings!

-“Super Brain” by Deepak Chopra

These strong feelings called cravings can make any dieter a failure. Research tells us that cravings light up the same pleasure and emotion-driven areas of the brain that are activated by cocaine and nicotine.The important thing is to know your triggers and how to avoid them.  When a craving does strike, have your plan ready so you can stay in your rational mind and ride it out− eat sensibly and feel a sense of control.

The following suggestions will help:

  1. Practice “out of sight, out of mind.” Keep them out of your house.
  2. Don’t watch commercials. Tape shows and fast-forward commercials. Create your own affirmation such as, “I eat only healthy foods.”
  3. Eat healthy food throughout the day. This will improve blood sugar, control, and provide the nutrients needed for proper brain chemistry.
  4. Be aware of the stages cravings go through. They will pass in about 15-20 minutes. Focus on something else, drink a glass of water, or take a short walk.
  5. Use the executive part of your brain. Practice mindfulness eating daily – brings your attention back to what you are doing.
  6. Watch your sugar intake. It may be your comfort food, but it can trigger all sorts of cravings. Satisfy your body with fresh organic vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and healthy protein. This will help balance your blood sugar and stabilize your energy levels, appetite, and mood.
  7. Get enough exercise and sleep. This will help you maintain a normal hormonal balance which helps with mental clarity to focus. This is needed not only to maintain a healthy weight but an overall healthy lifestyle.

Deepak Chopra, MD, says in his book, “Super Brain,” that when you have trained your brain to recognize emotions, impulses, and the non-satisfaction attached to overeating, you reach a turning point where you are confident about using your brain instead of letting it use you.  You will easily choose not to overeat!

Check out our food and lifestyle offerings including: Ayurvedic Wellness Coaching, Macrobiotics & Chinese Medicine, Nutritional Counseling & Wellness Coaching, Whole/Plant Based Foods, Whole/Raw Living Foods. For  more information, call 610.395.3355.

Get Natural Help for Neurological Problems

If you’re seeing a neurologist for peripheral neuropathy, multiple sclerosis, stroke-related damage, migraine headaches, epilepsy, or a movement disorder such as Parkinson’s disease, you should know that good nutrition and certain nutritional supplements are proven to help these problems. They can reduce pain, slow the progression of nerve damage, help you reduce your drug dosage, and remove toxins from your body that may be contributing to your health problems. 

I’ve helped a number of people with neurological problems, working with them and their doctors to safely combine their medical care with natural, nutrition-based treatments.

If you have peripheral neuropathy, for instance, consider taking alpha lipoic acid, a nutritional supplement that can work as well as the drug Neurontin–without the side effects. Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin B12, folate and Coenzyme Q10, which can help relieve some forms of neuropathy. And if you’re taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, you need to be aware that these drugs greatly increase your risk for developing neuropathy, and can also cause muscle weakness and mood changes. Getting your cholesterol down with a healthy, plant-based diet can help you lower your dosage of statin drugs and reduce your risk for developing these troubling symptoms. 

People with MS often do better when they start on an anti-inflammatory diet, getting more omega-3 fats and fewer omega-6 and saturated fats. They also benefit from other nutrients: vitamins D, E and B12, n-acetyl-cysteine, phosphatidylserine, CoQ10 and alpha lipoic acid. 

People with Parkinson’s disease often have had exposure to toxic chemicals, such as solvents, herbicides or pesticides, and may benefit from an evaluation to reduce ongoing environmental toxin exposure. They also often improve by following a detoxifying diet and supplements to help their bodies break down and remove brain and nerve-damaging toxins.

People who’ve had a stroke, who have high blood pressure, or who are at risk for having stroke because of clotting problems can reduce their blood pressure with a diet high in potassium, magnesium, calcium, vitamin D, getting more omega-3 fats, and cutting back on sodium and saturated fats. This kind of diet can also help restore normal heartbeat in some people who have heart arrhythmia problems.

People with migraines and epilepsy sometimes find that they are reacting to certain foods or food additives.  A little detective work can help pinpoint these foods, but sometimes people need to get food allergy testing to figure out what is going on. I’ve found people often improve once they stop eating foods, or, especially, food additives like sulfites and MSG–and aspartame!–that are making them sick.

Gale Maleskey, MS, RD, is an Integrative Nutrition Counselor and Certified Wellness Coach

 

There is never enough food for a hungry soul!

Many of us realize that we are overweight and/or recognize that we are driven by food cravings that lead to unhealthy food choices. And most of us are aware of the impact of being over weight or obese – lethargy, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and gastrointestinal problems are just a few of the major complications. So, why do we continue to overeat and make unhealthy choices about food?

Ultimately, it’s not about the food, it’s about the lack of fulfillment (the hungry soul) inside us. It drives us to eat to satisfy an emotional not physical need.

How do we bring greater fulfillment to our lives and make healthier food choices? A good place to start is with positive lifestyle habits such as exercise and meditation.
Effortless Meditation™ changes our brain and improves our thinking; brain waves
become more coherent and orderly during our meditation.  The state of restful alertness in our meditation brings peace and serenity to our lives. Adding this revitalizing experience, ideally as a daily practice, works wonders.

Try one month of feeding your soul daily by quieting your mind with meditation. I suspect you will quickly notice that you are developing a growing awareness and sensitivity about your need or lack of need for food. Making healthier and smart food
choices comes more easily, almost automatically with growing awareness.

With greater mental clarity and awareness, you will be better prepared to improve the quality of the food that you are consuming. Just as a high performance engine does best on high octane fuel, we thrive when our food is packed densely with nutrients. In
contrast, if we eat foods that are mostly “empty calories” (e.g. soda, white flour and highly processed nutrient sparse foods) we will continue eating and consuming excessive calories in order to get the nutrients that your body needs. Nutrient dense foods energize us and satisfy our hunger with fewer calories.

Be gentle with yourself, meditate, get some exercise, and eat well.

Greg Schweitzer, Director of Stress Reduction Resources and Effortless Meditation™ Instructor for more than 30 years

THE SUGAR-CANCER CONNECTION AND HOW TO GET AROUND IT

Some of my patients, determined to get sugar out of their diets completely, have gotten me to take a closer look at the sugar-cancer connection.  I’ve never been a big fan of sugar. Like many people, I have a hard time avoiding it entirely and always felt that advising people to do so would take away much of their enjoyment in eating.  I’ve compromised, but over time, have edged closer to the no-added sugar (or high-fructose corn syrup) side.

Here’s how the sugar-cancer connection is laid out, based on current research:

Cancer cells do rely on sugar (glucose) to produce energy but all cells use sugar. Cancer cells are no different in that regard except that they use even more sugar than regular cells because they are so “energetic.”

It’s high insulin levels that really seem to promote cancer cell growth. High insulin levels are most likely to come from insulin resistance, where cells can’t allow insulin to bring glucose into the cell. As a result, the pancreas makes more insulin, until, finally, it poops out and you need to take insulin injections.

What exactly causes insulin resistance isn’t known. The big risk factors are the same ones that cause type 2 diabetes: obesity, lack of exercise, lack of muscle, and a high-carbohydrate, high-sugar, excess-calorie diet. Even some nutrient deficiencies, like magnesium, chromium, vitamin D and B vitamins are associated with insulin resistance. Not surprisingly, a high-sugar diet depletes your body of these nutrients.

How does insulin promote cancer?  According to Craig Thompson, M.D., a world-renown cancer researcher, and now, president of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, the more insulin they get, the better cancer cells do. Cancer cells rely on what’s called “insulin signaling” to develop, and they can develop mutations to take full advantage of insulin, increasing its influence on the cell.  Dr. Thompson has said he believes that many pre-cancerous cells would never acquire the mutations that turn them into malignant tumors if they weren’t being driven by insulin to take up more and more blood sugar and metabolize it.

So the bottom line, as I see it, is how do we reduce insulin resistance and high insulin levels? The same way we control or even reverse type 2 diabetes. Here’s what I tell my patients to do:

Get regular exercise, both aerobic and muscle-building.

  • Attain a normal body weight, or, at least, a weight at which you can be physically active and feel good.
  • Avoid concentrated sources of sugar, such as soda, sweetened fruit juices and teas, candy, and desserts. Even be careful how much real fruit juice you consume (no more than 6 ounces a day.) Eat fruit instead.
  • Get away from refined carbohydrates such as white flour. Focus on whole grains, beans, lentils, brown rice, sweet potatoes, nuts and seeds, and vegetables like carrots for your carbohydrates. If you think you are intolerant of gluten, don’t eat it!
  • Replenish micronutrients as needed.  You may benefit from supplements of magnesium, chromium, vitamin D, B vitamins and other nutrients found in a multi-vitamin if your diet or absorption ability has been lacking.

By Gale Maleskey, MS, RD

 

CAN A PLANT-BASED, ALKALINE DIET BE EFFECTIVE AGAINST CANCER?

In the past, I tended to discount the idea that what you eat or drink has much influence on your body’s pH, or acid-alkaline balance, since your body so tightly regulates it.  Your blood pH tends to stay in a relatively narrow range, because your body actually takes minerals like calcium from your bones to buffer, or alkalinize, the blood. That’s why an acidic diet weakens bones. But could an acidic diet contribute to other health problems? I was skeptical about that.

Then I read that that researchers at the University of Arizona have received a $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the effect of baking soda–yes, simple, cheap, acid-neutralizing baking soda–on the progression of breast cancer, particularly triple-negative breast cancer, a kind that is hard to treat with hormone-suppressing therapies.  I was even more intrigued when I found that, in animal studies, baking soda has proven helpful in reducing the spread of breast and prostate cancer to the lungs, brain, and bone. I interviewed three of the main U.S. researchers in this area,  Robert Gillies, Ph.D., at the Moffitt Cancer Treatment Center, in Tampa, and Mark Pagel, Ph.D.,  and Ian Robey, Ph.D., both at the Arizona Cancer Center, in Tucson.  Here is what I found out.

Cancer tumors are very metabolically active, and produce lactic acid, the same stuff that makes your muscles burn when you use them hard. So the cells in tumors and the tissue around tumors are acidic compared to the rest of your body. This acid destroys surrounding tissue, which allows the tumor to grow, invade surrounding areas, promote angiogenesis (new blood vessel formation) and allows cancer cells to metastasize–to travel through the bloodstream to other areas of the body and form new tumors.

Baking soda is the opposite of acid–it is alkaline and can neutralize acid. If you consume enough of it, baking soda increases your body’s buffering capacity, which allows it to neutralize acidity around a tumor and reduce its capacity to spread.  At least, that’s the theory. That’s what researchers will try to find out, along with other things, like safe but effective dosages and how best to measure a tumor’s pH, which can vary.

Those research findings won’t be available for some time, and we don’t recommend using baking soda without medical supervision. It’s too easy to overdo it. The safest way to make your body less acidic and more alkaline is to change how you eat, these experts say. An alkaline diet limits high-protein foods (meat, eggs, cheese) sugar, salt, soda, alcohol, and caffeine, and includes lots of vegetables and fruits. It follows the basic principles of a plant-based diet.

By Gale Maleskey, MS, RD

Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center offers a:
FOUR-WEEK PROGRAM IN PLANT-BASED NUTRITION taught by Hilary Smith, RN, Certified in Whole Plant-Based Foods from eCornell University.

In addition, if you’d like PERSONALIZED NUTRITION COUNSELING to help your body fight cancer, reverse bone loss or reduce inflammation, please call Twin Ponds Center and ask for an appointment with me–Gale Maleskey, MS, RD