How to Prepare for the COVID Vaccine

With vaccine availability now broadening to more groups, you may be wondering what steps you can take to prepare yourself for the shot(s). In this blog, I’ll describe some do’s and don’ts to consider. It’s important to note that these are not short-term solutions but ways to reach optimal health which will support the vaccine response and also protect you from illness.  

Stay away from processed foods

In this peer-reviewed study conducted by the Environmental Working Group, it’s been shown that a food preservative known as tert-butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), commonly used in packaged foods like Pop-Tarts, Rice Krispies Treats, Cheez-Its and over 1,000 processed foods, has been found to harm the immune system. Unfortunately, chemicals like TBHQ were approved by the FDA decades ago and there has been no re-assessment of the safety of food chemicals. So, it’s “buyer beware” and all the more reason to stay away from processed foods and eat WHOLE.   

Eat an...

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Inflammation and How to Reduce it with 9 Super Herbs

In some of my previous blogs, I noted the importance of inflammation and how it impacts our health including heart disease, diabetes/obesity, pain, insulin resistance and even skin conditions. In this blog, I’ll share some natural ways to manage inflammation so our body has just enough (but not too much) to support our well-being.  

First, what is inflammation? Inflammation is the body’s natural response to protect itself against harm, and there are two types: acute and chronic. Acute inflammation happens when you cut your finger or bruise your elbow and your immune system kicks in to protect the area with white blood cells which can cause swelling and/or redness. This type of inflammation is essential as it protects your body from infection or further damage. Chronic inflammation is also a response to unwanted attacks but is the more insidious type as it could evade detection for a long time and can manifest in a wide range of symptoms. For starters, you may have chronic low-grade i...

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How the Gut Affects Fatigue

I recently listened to a webinar interview featuring Dr. Michael Ruscio, who has conducted a lot of clinical research in the area of digestion and been widely published in peer reviewed journals. He is the author of Healthy Gut, Healthy You and is a guest speaker at the Fatigue Super Conference. He discusses the importance of good digestion and ways to achieve optimum health through a healthy gut. From my own personal experience dealing with fatigue and energy issues, I was happy that he validated a lot of what I’ve been through and the research I’ve done to date. Here are some key points from his interview: Energy and mood are inextricably linked. When you are tired, you feel depressed. This happens to me – when I have good energy levels, I feel like I can conquer the world. When I’m tired and fatigued, I get depressed and feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders. This has to do with inflammation and the small intestine. The small intestine is the most immune-active area o...

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Heart Disease and the Role of Cholesterol

Cholesterol has certainly gotten a bad rap over the years – remember the low fat craze where butter and eggs were considered ‘bad’ for vascular health? Fortunately, medical organizations have reversed their position on cholesterol but many of us are still not looking at the whole picture.

In an interesting podcast by Dr. Elizabeth Boham on the Doctor’s Farmacy, she discusses how cholesterol is only one factor in cardiovascular disease and in lieu of looking at cholesterol as a symptom of heart disease, we need a more comprehensive and balanced approach in considering all the risk factors. So in this two-part blog, I’ll highlight: 1) factors that contribute to heart disease and cholesterol’s role in it, and 2) natural ways to manage heart disease risk factors.

Cholesterol is critical for our body to function – it not only makes essential hormones to keep us alive but one quarter of the body’s cholesterol is in our brain so it’s what keeps us mentally sharp. In fact, several stu...

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11 Natural Ways to Lower Your Blood Pressure

The American Heart Association estimates that over 100 million American adults have high blood pressure or hypertension. If left untreated, this can lead to serious health conditions. There is evidence that suggests that the risk of cardiovascular disease doubles for each additional 20 mg Hg systolic and 10mg Hg diastolic reading above 115/75 mm Hg. So getting blood pressure under control may be one of the best ways to protect your health.
Blood pressure is measured as the force that is exerted by the blood on the artery walls. The systolic reading (top number) indicates the force of each heartbeat and the diastolic (bottom number) indicates the force in between the heartbeats. The clinical guidelines for “elevated” blood pressure is above 120mm Hg systolic over 80 mm Hg diastolic.
In this two part blog, I’m going to share some evidence-based tips on natural ways to manage blood pressure. 

Bay Leaves
Bay leaves are popular herbs to include in recipes such as soups and stews but d...

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Cancer and the Host – A Functional Medicine Perspective

I recently listened to a fascinating series of podcasts called The Longevity Roadmap offered by Dr. Mark Hyman and his Ultrawellness Center. In one particular episode, Dr. Hyman and other specialists spoke about the specific approach that Functional Medicine (FM) takes on cancer. Here are the highlights: Obesity has overtaken smoking as the number one cause of cancer worldwide and in the US, up to two thirds of adults and one third of children are overweight/obese (BMI over 25) which is contributing to the growth of many cancers. In the younger population, there is an increased rate of colon cancer and it’s now known that obesity and toxins from foods and the environment create inflammation and shift our microbiome which can trigger cancer growth. Sugar is a trigger for inflammation and it not only fuels obesity but puts us at risk for 13 types of cancers. It’s becoming commonly known that the main underlying causes of all age-related disease (including cancer) is insulin resistance – ...

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What is Circadian Rhythm and How Does it Impact Our Health?

I’ve mentioned in several of my blogs about the importance of maintaining a good circadian rhythm for optimal sleep and wakefulness. In this blog, I’ll describe how this master clock in our body influences our daily pattern and its importance in keeping this internal rhythm balanced and healthy.

Your circadian rhythm is your 24-hour cycle that is part of your body’s internal clock that carries out essential functions and processes. It is controlled by your hypothalamus and translates signals from the environment to your body. Your rhythm is influenced by external factors like light and your body can regulate temperature and metabolism to keep you alert or help you fall asleep.

Your sleep-wake cycle is part of your circadian rhythm and during the day, light exposure sends signals to your brain to be awake, alert and active. When your brain detects darkness at night, it stimulates the production of melatonin which is a hormone that promotes deep sleep. And it is this alignm...

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Anti-Aging Skin Care Hacks Part 3 – Oils & Serums

I’ve always been a strong believer that beautiful skin starts from within, so you have to start with a healthy diet, incorporate lots of movement and get adequate sleep to stay looking youthful. Having said that, I’m also a disciple of not aging gracefully, so in this blog, here are some topical treatments I personally use to not look my age. Sun protection Did you know that there are natural substances that when applied topically or even taken internally, can prevent the detrimental effect of sunlight on your skin? Squalene is in a class of compounds called isoprenoids which are fats /lipids. These isoprenoids are now known to have impressive bioactive properties that can protect you from cell dysfunction, including cancer formation in early stages. Squalene is not a sunblock like a typical sunscreen but works to protect your skin at a cellular level against harmful UVA, UBV and visible light. Squalene also has protective effects against lipid free radical formation which contributes ...

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Preventing Heart Disease the Functional Medicine Way

I listened to a fascinating series of podcasts called the Longevity Roadmap offered by Dr. Mark Hyman and his Ultrawellness Center. In one episode, a group of specialists provided a short summary on the causes of cardiovascular disease, how to identify the root cause, adequate testing and ways to protect and support the heart using functional medicine approaches. Here are the highlights: The endothelial system lines the inside of every blood vessel in the body and the one cell thick layer called the endothelium is found in the inner walls of our arteries. The proper function of the endothelial system is intimately tied to our health – it delivers oxygen and removes waste. It needs to be able to relax to allow blood to get to all the different tissues in the body. If it doesn’t relax, blood pressure will go up and inflammation of the system leads to cardiovascular disease (CVD). Oxidative stress can damage the endothelial layer and abdominal visceral fat is an inflammatory trigger for d...

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Natural and Alternative Options for Managing Pain

It’s estimated that over 150 million of us in the US live with chronic pain and take prescription and over-the-counter painkillers, both of which provide only temporary relief, have limited efficacy and come with side effects including potential addiction. This leaves us looking for safe and effective analgesics to manage pain – so in this blog, I’m going to cover some evidence-based alternative and complementary solutions that can provide natural pain relief. It’s important to note that while you can find relief from these options, looking into the root cause of the pain is the key to long-term wellness. And this may require a dramatic shift away from pro-inflammatory habits (affecting your diet, sleep, exercise and mind) which I’ll cover in another blog. 
Acupressure
Acupressure – a traditional Chinese medicine technique dating back more than 2,000 years – is still popular today as an inexpensive and non-medical intervention without side effects. This stimulating practice sends ...

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