Do you feel tired by the afternoon?

Did you know there are at least a dozen reasons why you might feel tired in the middle of your day? And a person can experience one or more of those reasons all at the same time. Here is a list of some of those reasons:

Adrenal fatigue/Endocrine imbalance
Not enough sleep
Cortisol imbalance
Metabolism
Hormone imbalance
Protein malabsorption
Low Iron
Vitamin D deficiency
Food sensitivity or allergy
Nitric Oxide deficiency
Cytokine imbalance
Glucose imbalance

The above reasons require you to make a change…. such as a change in your diet, a change in your lifestyle such as sleep habits, or adding supplements. In some cases a few minor changes can make you feel ten times better. But, if you ingest caffeine or sugar to feel better, this is like getting on a hamster wheel you cannot get off because quick fixes often have long term consequences. Robbing Peter to pay Paul is ultimately not a solution. But, at the end of the day there is a solution and a chance to feel differently.

Try these quick tests:
1. To see if one of your underlying reasons is a cortisol imbalance….drink a shotglass (1 ounce) of Bragg apple cider vinegar on an empty stomach when you feel that afternoon slump. You can dilute with water if you do not like the taste. And if it works, you do not have to do the apple cider vinegar long term if you do not like the taste. Supplements that balance cortisol such as Integrated Therapeutics Cortisol Manager or adrenal support that supports cortisol such as Complimentary Prescriptives Adrenal Support Formula.
2. To see if one of your underlying reasons is protein malabsorption try a protein snack that does NOT include bad carbs or sugar with it. For example, a handful of roasted almonds with an apple is much better versus peanut butter on toast which might slow you down.

Seven Ways to Help Depression Naturally

  1. Reduce your sugar intake which interferes in serotonin production
  2. Increase exposure to sun which helps boost serotonin
  3. Eat high quality protein for amino acids that stimulate dopamine and serotonin
  4. Get consistent good night sleep to help balance cortisol and detoxify
  5. Avoid television late at night which gives the illusion of calm but only irritates the brain
  6. Keep a gratitude journal to help shift your narrative on a continual basis
  7. Try a holistic health plan to see if your digestive issues are blocking your serotonin production

Is the perfect diet good for us?

Are you undermining your physical health with the quest for diet perfection?

Preventative health measures involve more than just improving your diet and adding nutritional supplements. Overall wellness involves balanced nutrition, stress management and improved sleep habits. While most of my clients need to improve their diet and add nutritional supplements, there are  also a few individuals that need encouragement to reduce the quest for diet perfection. If you suffer from diet perfection than you may feel or think the following: 1. There is never anything to eat at a restaurant, 2. I can only shop at a health food market or my health or the health of my family will suffer, 3. I am completely overwhelmed and stressed every time I have to prepare a meal or snack, 4. I do not know how to socialize when food is involved, and 5. Everything we do revolves around the food I feel we have to eat.

While most people fail to take responsibility through their health through eating, if you find your quest for eating healthy is undermining your stress levels, then you may be going overboard. When eating healthy causes more stress than is warranted, your stress levels may be interfering with the chemicals in your body, even digestive juices causes your “perfect” diet to backfire on your physical health. Stressful restrictions if not medically necessary may undo the advancements you are trying to make at the table.  Heightened stress levels may interfere with cortisol levels which may interfere with stomach acid production. So, what can you do? 1. Understand that nothing is gained by striving for perfection. Strive for excellence which allows for mistakes, and balance which allows for exceptions to the rules. 2. Consider each situation independent of your food knowledge, and then decide what are appropriate choices that are balanced, and not perfect. For example, the family might be going to a pizza place. Choosing a local pizza place over a chain is helpful, and making sure everyone eats a  side salad to create balance is a better goal. Or, you can make sure that leading up to the pizza place, everyone has a piece of raw fruit or veggie. 3. Use dialogue with yourself and your kids about how important it is to eat as healthy on a regular basis, but there are “sometimes” foods that can be eaten occasionally. By understanding and teaching our children the difference between healthy choices that make up our foundation, and appropriate “sometimes” foods we will have less stress and also be parenting for successful decision making on the part of our children.

Hyperactive or Constipated: Do you really know the difference?

Many children today suffer from hyperactive behavior, the inability to focus and pay attention. Easily distracted, many children struggle with the demands of home and school. Some of these children struggle with aggression as well. Interestingly enough, many of these children I work with for their hyperactivity and focus/behavioral issues invariably suffer from constipation as well. The mistake most parents make is believing that having a bowel movement every other day, or a couple of times a week is acceptable. Most parents believe constipation means the child cannot go to the bathroom for days at a time. A healthy digestive and detoxification system will move its bowels twice a day. If your child suffers from behavioral issues and does not move his or her bowels at least twice a day, there may be a magnesium deficiency. Here is where it gets a little tricky. Sometimes a simple dosage of a calcium magnesium supplement is not enough, and sometimes a simple dosage of extra magnesium is not enough for these children. Sometimes it is necessary to ramp up on magnesium until two bowel movements are achieved. I recommend supervision to this process by scheduling an appointment with me. Just know, before you jump to conclusions about your child’s behavior….you may want to address the nutritional deficiencies that may be a combinational result of diet and genetics. For more information contact our office at 972-468-9114.

Sugar Blues

Once a person consumes too much sugar they can over feed naturally occurring fungus in the body. Once this fungal yeast feeds it becomes overgrown and may generate a waste substance that can enter the body via the large and small intestine. When this happens the stomach may suffer a reduction in stomach acid production from the stress placed on the digestive system. Once stomach acid production is depleted, proteins are not digested efficiently. When proteins are not digested efficiently then the body can become imbalanced in amino acids. Once amino acids are depleted certain aminos such as 5HTP and l-glutamine can become deficient. 5 HTP is responsible for the production of serotonin which can assist in making us feel good and also helps keep sugar cravings in check. L-glutamine is responsible for gut integrity and the control of sugar and refined carbohydrate cravings.  Hence, once the proteins are improperly digested and aminos are depleted, then sugar and carb cravings can increase feeding a vicious cycle. This cycle can seem impossible to break. If you suffer from sugar and refined carbohydrate cravings you may have digestive imbalance that makes it impossible to stay disciplined. Impossible to find the path to overall health and wellness. There is help when you feel this way. There is a path to wellness.

Celiac vs. Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity

One of the most common mistakes I see in my practice is individuals believing they have Celiac when they do not, or individuals believing they have no issues with gluten because they tested negative for Celiac. Here is the scoop. You can have an issue with gluten in the following ways: 1. An allergy which is typically registered as an elevated IgE antibody, or 2. A sensitivity with an elevated IgG or IgA antibodies or 3. Your digestive system may have difficulty with breaking down carbohydrates. Digestive issues can be determined in a comprehensive digestive stool analysis, but may cause an allergy or sensitivity test to be normal and fool you into thinking there is no issue with gluten, or 5. You can have Chronic yeast issues which causes problems digesting gluten, and finally 4. You can carry the gene for celiac.

Celiac is an autoimmune disease where the fibers of the small intestine are attacked by the ingestion of gluten. Even the smallest molecule of gluten can cause a reaction. The important thing to realize if you test negative for celiac this does NOT mean you have no issue with gluten, it just means you do not have an autoimmune disease.  Also, if you test positive for celiac and you have been advised to watch or limit the gluten, this is WRONG. If you have Celiac you need to avoid all forms of gluten, period.

The majority of people with digestive issues have some issue with gluten. Every person that has tested positive for some kind of autoimmune disease has some issue with gluten.

For more information on your personal issues with gluten, make an appointment to see me!

Healthy Tips for Grocery Shopping

by Laura Kopec, ND, MA, CNC

© copyright 2013. Kopec Naturals, Inc. All rights reserved.

Do not duplicate without permission.

 

• Plan Ahead. It is always important to go with a plan so you are not seduced by impulsiveness. It is also important that you do

not go to the store hungry as this will shift thinking from your brain to your stomach. Eat a handful of almonds or a piece of

fruit just before entering the store to curb hunger and keep your focus straight.

 

• Approaching Mindset. Approach the grocery store as if you are at a Farmer’s Market. Look for items you would find in a

natural setting such as the Farmer’s market.

 

• Keep Outside. Most of the processed food, although not all, reside in the center aisles. Most of the natural foods are kept

around the perimeter. Produce (fruits and vegetables), fresh meats and seafood, eggs and dairy, and bakery are kept along

the outside. Avoiding the center aisles unless you have specific items you are getting will help you avoid processed foods.

 

• Read Labels. When you do purchase a packaged food, make sure you are reading the label. Avoid food containing transfat

(hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil), aspartame, food dyes, high fructose corn syrup and nitrates.

 

• Alkaline Heavy. Make sure you have a significant number of alkaline foods (fresh or frozen produce) in your grocery cart to

help make the most of your meals. Fresh fruits and vegetables, almonds, oats, olive oil, and coconut oil are great alkaline foods.

 

• Snack Ideas. Remember healthy snack ideas include apples, almonds, plain organic yogurt, blueberries and hummus.

Making a commitment to healthy snacks will help guide you away from chips, candies and donuts.

 

• Remember the Point. Most of all remember what you eat either adds to your health or takes away from it. You decide.