How do you Define Nutrition?

by Laurie on March 8, 2015

We are constantly bombarded with headlines on TV and social media claiming the benefits of some new and radical diet. The number of diets is more than can be listed. So where should you start? What is the optimal diet that has been scientifically proven to reverse chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, autoimmune diseases among others and maintain an optimal weight?

First, let’s define what your body needs to maintain ideal health. Your body requires certain macronutrients called protein, carbohydrates and fat, but also needs micronutrients including vitamins, minerals and trace elements. Macronutrients are required in large amounts and provide the body with energy through calories. Micronutrients are required in small amounts and are essential for chemical reactions to occur in the body. Deficiencies of macro or micronutrients can lead to malnutrition and a variety of diseases. Many Americans eating the standard American diet are unknowingly suffering from malnutrition due to their poor diet.

The healthiest foods will contain a high nutrient density to a low calorie ratio, thus supplying the body with required nutrition without excess calories that can lead to obesity. This means foods should have many nutrients for every calorie, instead of empty calories such as processed foods that are high in calories and low in nutrients. Now, which foods contain the highest nutrient density? The answer is simple and is supplied to us by nature, unprocessed whole plant foods especially dark green leafy vegetables such as kale and collard greens.

Whole plant foods are vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans or legumes. A healthy diet will contain all of these foods every day and contain colors that cover the rainbow. This will ensure that all the nutrients required for optimal health will be consumed on a daily basis. Animal derived foods such as meat, poultry, fish, milk and dairy products are full of saturated fats and cholesterol with a low nutrient density per calorie. Thus, to getting the biggest bang for your buck, focus on plants!

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The Doctor Weighs in on the Measles Vaccine

by Laurie on February 3, 2015

Measles, What You Need to Know

It is hard to imagine that just over 50 years ago there was not a measles vaccine available in the United States and most children contracted measles by age 15. That means that approximately 3 to 4 million Americans were infected annually, that 400 to 500 died, 48,000 ended up in the hospital and 4,000 developed encephalitis which is swelling of the brain according to the CDC. Even though measles was declared eliminated (absence of continuous disease transmission for greater than 12 months) in the United States in 2000 we continue to have outbreaks with the largest occurring last year with 644 cases. This year we already have 84 cases that have been linked to an outbreak at Disneyland in California. Although, the investigation is ongoing it appears the majority of infected individuals were not vaccinated.

The vaccine is 97% effective after two doses of the vaccine, the first at 12-15 months old and the second at 4 to 6 years old. Only 3 out of every 100 people vaccinated will contract the measles and the disease is typically much milder than those who are unvaccinated. So your best protection is vaccination.

Here are the facts about measles.
• Symptoms appear 7 to 14 days after exposure.
• Symptoms begin with high fever up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit, cough, runny nose, and watery eyes.
• Two to three days later small white spots may appear in the mouth called Koplik spots.
• During days three to five the trademark rash will appear, starting as flat red spots at the hairline spreading downward to the neck, body and then outward to the arms, legs and feet.
• The flat red spots may become raised and then the spots may run together as the rash spreads.
• Symptoms may last up to a week.
• The measles is spread through coughing, sneezing and contacting a contaminated surface as the virus can survive up to two hours outside its human host.
• The measles is highly contagious infecting up to 90% of unimmunized people who come into contact with an infected person.
• Infected individuals are contagious for four days before and four days after the rash appears.
• Complications of the measles include pneumonia, encephalitis, diarrhea, ear infections and death.
• A very rare and serious complication is subacute sclerosing pancephalitis (SSPE) that occurs 7 to 10 years after a person has contracted and recovered from the measles. It affects the central nervous system and is fatal.

Remember vaccination is your best protection and if you are unsure if you are immune or had the vaccination ask your doctor for laboratory confirmation that you are immune or you can get the vaccine. There is no harm in receiving the vaccine again if you did as a child. You will need to receive two doses of the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine separated by 28 days.

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Skip the New Year’s Resolutions and Instead Focus on Lifetime Commitments

January 3, 2015

Who among us has not made a New Year’s resolution only to watch it drift away over a course of days to weeks, never accomplished? The gyms are full the first few days of the New Year only to be empty the following week. How do the few who make serious changes in their lives […]

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Surviving the Holidays without Adding to your Waistline

December 2, 2014

Who doesn’t love the joys and thrills of the holidays? Celebrations of thanksgiving, gift giving, seeing family and friends, traveling, beautiful decorations, and of course mouth watering food will surround many of us, tempting us to consume more calories in one meal than we need in a day. Here are some tips to help you […]

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No Dairy, No Oil, Pure Goodness Butternut Squash Soup

October 22, 2014

As I am sitting here waiting for my second batch of butternut squash soup to simmer I thought I would write up this simple recipe for you. This stuff is highly addictive and deliciously good for you. I made a huge batch last time and it was gone in 24 hours, but I’m doubling that […]

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Ebola or the Flu? Which should you be more concerned about?

October 5, 2014
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Don’t Become a Statistic

April 8, 2014

Here are a few sobering facts you should know about America’s health trends. According to the CDC or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention more than one third of adult Americans are obese (34.9%) and the estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the US was $147 billion in 2008. Obesity related conditions include heart […]

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Decreasing Your Risks for Colon Cancer by What is on Your Fork

March 10, 2014

This month we celebrate National Nutrition Month and Colorectal Cancer Month and we will discuss how they are intertwined.. According to the Centers for Disease Control of cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States and the third most common cancer in […]

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Delicious Lettuce Wraps that are Gluten and Soy Free

February 12, 2014

What you need. ½ cup brown rice (not cooked) 1 cup + 2 Tbsp. Water ¼ cup Veggie Broth or Water 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced ½ cup Red Onion, Diced ½ cup Red Bell Pepper, Diced 1- 15 oz. Can of Black Beans, Drained and Rinsed 1 cup Baby Spinach 1 Chopped Roma Tomato ½ […]

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Thursday Fitness Challenge

February 6, 2014

Good morning everyone! I hope this week has been a blessing for you! Today is Fitness Thursday and I love to encourage people to move in any way possible. So I want to teach you about non-exercise activity (NEAT). Basically, it is the goal of increasing your movement through out the day as much as […]

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