How Can We Cope With Forest Fire Smoke?

Forest fires throughout the BC interior have exposed us all to health risks from breathing smoky air and many people are concerned about the potential harm to their health. Humans have been dealing with smoke from fire for eons. As a result, there is a wealth of indigenous information as well as modern science from which to draw advice. A recent study done on sheep showed that smoke inhalation can deplete Vitamin E.  Another study showed that the amino acid L-Arginine had a protective effect on the lungs after inhaling smoke. We know that Vitamin C has a protective effect on the lungs.   Vitamin A and zinc are two other well known agents of tissue repair. To maintain the integrity of the alveoli in your lungs, think of them as little soap bubbles that remain flexible, strong and elastic if they have enough surfactant., which is a lipid or fat.  The best fats for building healthy alveoli are the saturated fats found in animal foods, (butter, lard, etc.) and in tropical oils such as coconut and palm oil, and in olive oil.  One should avoid the trans fats found in partially hydrogenated oils such as margarine, shortening, (often in commercial baked goods), and deep fried fast foods.  Trans fats compromise the integrity of the alveoli. What are some best foods for supplying important nutrients for your respiratory health? Beets help to digest good fats and supply lots of minerals and vitamins needed for repair. Betaine is a very useful enzyme found in beets and is also in most dark leafy greens. Perfect timing for the home gardener. Some good...

Sun Smarts for Your Health

Sunshine time is here and like all living things we need it. Much as plants harness the sun’s rays through photosynthesis, our bodies benefit from sun exposure in many ways, probably only some of which we are aware. For example, we know the UVB radiation in sunshine stimulates increased production of vitamin D which is needed to build bones, quell inflammation, and bolster the immune system against many of today’s diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, depression and asthma. Most people have heard of the studies that connect sun exposure to skin cancer. But there are many studies that suggest sun exposure plays a role in decreasing risks of at least 16 different types of cancer including lung, pancreatic, breast, ovarian, prostate, and colon cancers. While UVB radiation is responsible for making vitamin D, the UVA, thought to be responsible for most of the skin damage, also helps modulate your immune system. UVA and UVB in combination improves beta-endorphin production in your skin, which makes you feel good. Sun exposure on bare skin also produces nitric oxide and carbon monoxide that cause relaxation of the blood vessels, improves wound healing, and helps fight infections. The blue wavelength of sunlight is particularly important for regulating your circadian rhythm improving your mood, and reducing symptoms of depression. Light therapy has been shown to be effective not only against seasonal affective disorder (SAD) but also non-seasonal major depression. Clearly, sun exposure provides a wealth of health benefits over and beyond mere vitamin D production. So how do we maximize the benefits of sun exposure while avoiding the risks of damage from too much exposure? Here...

Managing Your Cholesterol

355 million prescriptions for statin drugs were written world wide last year for lowering serum cholesterol to reduce the risk of heart disease.  However, heart disease remains the number one killer after decades of statin use. There is no doubt that statin drugs do lower cholesterol but what if cholesterol is not the risk factor of heart disease we have been taught to fear? Here are some facts you should know about cholesterol: Cholesterol is the key molecule that allows us to have mobility and a nervous system. Without it we would cease to move and we would die. Cholesterol is absolutely essential to the cell membranes of all of our cells.   The brain desperately needs cholesterol to function.   Cholesterol helps you build vitamin D3 and vital hormones. The liver produces 75% of our body’s cholesterol.  So even if we ate no cholesterol we would still have it, thankfully.  Diet contributes the other 25% of our total cholesterol. How did cholesterol become demonized? In the early 1900’s a German researcher found plaques in the arteries of corpses and theorized that cholesterol was the cause.  Over the 20th century, the theory snowballed, gathering momentum from flawed studies and statistics until we had the big dietary cholesterol scare and resultant low fat diet in the 80’s. It is time we laid the myth to rest. Here is what we now know about arterial plaque: We have been taught that low density lipo proteins (LDLs). are “bad cholesterol.”  LDLS are particles whose job is to carry non-water-soluble vital nutrients such as fats, cholesterol, vitamin D and anti-oxidants through the blood stream.  ...

WINTER BLUES BE GONE!

There are many reasons one might feel sad and gloomy these days.  Before you reach for the anti-depressant drugs, you could try these five dietary ideas plus one phenomenally effective energetic technique to help pull you out of the blues in a subtle but steady way. Dietary Factors: They help catalyze every reaction in the body so when your minerals are in balance, the nervous system is calm and everything works better.  The operative word here is “balanced” so try to avoid isolated, fractionated mineral supplements and start first with loads of green vegetables and fruits, and organic free range meats to provide you with nature’s balance. An example of a calming balanced whole food mineral supplement is one made from cold dried kelp and alfalfa. Fats – Omegas. Cultures that consume plenty of fish have the lowest incidence of depression. If you don’t care for ocean fresh fatty fish (do you like sardines?) find a good source of cod liver or flax oil and have some every day.  Good fats transport minerals to your brain. Nuts and Seeds are a good source of fats and minerals which help to stimulate serotonin (the feel-good neurotransmitter), Try brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds and sprouted plant seeds like alfalfa and mung. Green tea has an amino acid (L-theanine) that is readily absorbable and supports calming alpha waves in the brain. Add a little Turmeric spice which research shows is an effective anti depressant.  (Always add pepper to this spice as it is essential for assimilation) Balanced B Vitamins found in whole foods, especially animal protein. Buckwheat is a good grain source of...

Cathy’s Comfort Drink – a Secret Recipe, shhhh…

Are you or your loved ones feeling sluggish and unmotivated in the winter months, especially after the holiday excesses?  Could your body be trying to recover from too much sugar, flour, dairy, and alcohol and other toxins? Did you put on a few more pounds this year?  Have you been getting every cold that comes around?  Do you have achy joints, dry skin, bloating and gas? Instead of reaching for the coffee, tea or hot chocolate this winter, try this simple, inexpensive and convenient Comfort Drink that is loaded with benefits for your health. Cathy’s Comfort Drink not only tastes delicious, but helps your body get rid of many toxins that clog your organs, arteries and joints, helps your digestion, boosts your immune system, and even reduces your appetite. Here’s the Secret Recipe and why each ingredient is special: _________________________________________________________________ To a Large Mug of Warm Filtered Water add: 1   TBSP of Apple Cider Vinegar full of enzymes, good bacteria, helps devour starch, lowers blood pressure 1     TBSP of Freshly squeezed Lemon Juice helps balance blood sugar, alkalizes, contains Vitamin C 1 rounded tsp of Local Raw Honey loaded with B vitamins, boosts your brain, increases energy, is antimicrobial, a great healing agent, and oh so yummy! ¼ – ½  tsp of cinnamon number one blood sugar balancing herb, very high in anti oxidants and tastes delicious!! ¼ – ½  tsp of Ginger Ginger is an anti-microbial, anti-nausea, anti-inflammatory, supports digestion, helps with cramps and pain, muscle aches, weight loss…..don’t forget the Ginger. ¼ to ½  tsp of Cayenne Pepper Increases metabolism, circulation, helps with blood sugar ¼ to...

The Truth about Food Allergies May be Hard to Stomach

Do you have children or grandchildren with a food allergy? Have you experienced a food allergy? Does it seem like no family is left untouched by this food reactions epidemic? Hospital emergency rooms are kept busy with a reported 265% increase in allergy related visits since the 90’s.  Peanut allergy cases doubled between 1997 and 2002. One in three children are diagnosed with autism, and/or ADD related to food allergies.1   Do you remember when food allergies were almost never heard of?  That was before more than 80,000 man- made chemicals were dumped into our water, air and soil beginning in the 1980’s.2  It was before genetically modified foods hit the supermarket shelves in an estimated 30,000 products.3 There is such a strong correlation between the engineering of foods and the increase in reactions to foods that I personally find it difficult to ignore especially since my clientele dramatically changed from 10% allergy cases to 90% allergy related cases in the past 5 years. When you follow the money of food engineering you see a brilliant business revenue model yielding higher crop production for much less expense.   This is great for shareholder returns, but in my opinion, not so good for our stomachs, our health and our joy of living. In Quebec, doctors found that the Bt toxin found in Monsanto’s  “safe” GMO seeds which kills insects by rupturing their stomachs,  is found circulating in the blood of 93% of pregnant woman tested and 80% of their unborn babies.  Add the carcinogen glyphosphate from Monsanto’s Roundup (also found in breast milk) and you have to wonder about the skyrocketing...