Have you ever lain awake at night wondering why oh why sleep eludes you? Have you ever spent the night, wide eyed, tossing and turning, your mind replaying every last moment of the day which has just passed. . . or racing with every ridiculous detail of the day to come?
If you're no stranger to insomnia, chances are you may be lacking in melatonin, a hormone produced by your pineal gland, which is located in the centre of your brain. Increasing melatonin production is the #1 strategy for ensuring a good night's sleep. Most melatonin production occurs at night, between 1:00 - 3:00 a.m. There are things which interfere with this production. Fortunately, though, there are things which enhance it, too. We'll get to both in a moment, but first...
Optimal levels of melatonin can convert Arrrggh to Zzzzzzz! However, it does more for you than assure you a sound and peaceful night's...
To eat - or not to eat - meat? THAT is the question I'm often asked, by cancer clients and prevention-seekers alike.
It's a GOOD question, too. My answer? "It depends."
First, it depends on your answers to 3 other questions:
1. Is your digestive system equipped with sufficient hydrochloric acid and enzymes to break down and assimilate the health-building proteins and minerals found in meat? (Most people, especially after a "certain age", are sorely lacking in stomach acid...)
2. Are you free of food allergies or sensitivities to the meat in question? If you've got sensitivities, you may be setting yourself up for inflammation... and, therefore, disease (no matter how much you love yourself a good steak!)
3. Are you eating a fiber-rich diet? All animal products (meat, dairy, eggs, fish) are completely devoid of fiber. (Yeah, I know, shocking!) That's why vegetables, fruits, legumes, and seeds, in addition...
The rain has stopped. The sun has poked its smiling face through the parting clouds revealing its splendor, and inviting me to bask in its comforting warmth.
Should I accept its invitation?
The sun - FRIEND or FOE? What's your take?
I know Robert Nuttall's take.
“Nobody is safe from the sun," says Nuttall, Assistant Director of Health Policy with the Canadian Cancer Society. "Canadians need to know how to protect their skin by checking the UV index daily, covering up, wearing sunscreen and using safer sources of vitamin D such as supplements and diet."
In other words, avoid sunlight exposure. Sheesh.
He does have a point though. We DO need to avoid overexposure and to protect our skin from damage caused by sunburn.
But we also need to expose our skin - and, in fact, our entire bodies - to the sun. Sunlight is our friend... with benefits.
So, before we run for cover, let's chat...
You add a new food to your diet or begin taking a certain supplement because, you have learned, it can boost your health.
You take it for a week… maybe two… faithfully. Not because you enjoy it. But because “it’s good for you”.
Then, anytime between the two week and two month mark, your enthusiasm begins to wane. Sigh. You still take it, only now reluctantly… intermittently.
Eventually, your best intentions hit the gutter. That food item no longer makes the cut on your grocery list. The supplement bottle disappears into the back of your cupboard. Forever.
Haven’t we all been there? But we can recover. . .
When I was in my mid-twenties, at a time when my digestive system was a bit out of whack, my health practitioner advised me to take a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed in a glass of water before every meal.
It was helpful advice. But, it...
When I was in third grade, I read a fable entitled, “The North Wind and the Sun”. This story made a big impact on me as a kid. Now, over fifty years later, its message resonates with me more than ever.
The storyline is simple, as all third grade stories are. In case More Streets and Roads was not on the reading list of your Early Childhood Education Curriculum, the story goes like this:
One day, the North Wind boasts to the Sun how strong he is. The Sun responds with a smile and says, “Yes, you are strong, but not stronger than I am.” Then, the Sun challenges the North Wind to a contest to see who is strong enough to make the traveller, who was walking far below them, take off the woolen cloak that he was wearing.
You can probably predict the outcome of this story:
The harder the wind blows, the colder the man gets – and the more tightly he wraps his cloak around himself. When the Sun gently shines down on the...
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate doctors. I like them. I even almost married one… once upon a time. To this day, some of my best friends are doctors, allopathic and otherwise.
As for my own family physician – good humored and humble, concerned and conscientious, knowledgeable and just plain NICE – I have nothing but respect for him, largely because I have always felt that, despite all my quirkiness and my preference for non-conventional approaches to health, he has always respected me.
This, I have come to learn, is not everyone’s experience.
Here are 3 ridiculous things some of my clients have been told by their doctors:
DUMB THING #1: “Don’t take any antioxidant supplements during chemo.”
Yet I hear this ALL the time…
There are a number of reasons why this advice is not only dumb. It can also be dangerous. Anyone (including doctors and pharmacists) with a basic...
There is, really, only one thing I hate about my job as a Cancer Coach.
Well, maybe “hate” is too strong a word. Let’s say “really don’t like”. Really, really, REALLY do not like.
Want to know what that one thing is? It is the almost inevitable conversation with my client that begins: “My doctors told me not to take any supplements.”
I hear this ALL the time…
Nutritional supplements in general, and antioxidant supplements in particular, are one of those hot topics over which allopathic medicine and natural medicine frequently butt heads.
Antioxidants, in case you’re wondering, are nutrients which can prevent or slow the oxidative damage to our body. Examples of commonly known antioxidants are vitamins A and C, beta-carotene, and selenium.
And how exactly, you might also be wondering, is this oxidative damage generated?
Well, when our body cells use oxygen, they naturally produce by products called...