7
February

Nutritional Yeast “Superfood”

Nutritional yeast is perhaps one of the most life-changing foods for plant-based eaters. These affordable, easy-to-use flakes can be sprinkled on anything to produce an authentic cheese flavor without the need for any processed vegan cheese alternatives. It might not melt the same way on a pizza, but it will produce a cheese flavor so amazing, you won’t even care. Its commonly used in everything from salads, to wraps, sandwiches, sauces, dressings, burgers, sprinkled on fries before baking, mixed into salsa for a vegan queso dip, sprinkled on roasted veggies, used in hummus, and just about any other way you can think of.

But nutritional yeast isn’t just beneficial for flavoring your food. While it’s definitely an all-star in that department, it’s also one incredibly healthy food for anyone, especially those on plant-based diet or those with testy blood sugar levels.

First though: What are the requirements for healthy blood sugar levels? Eating enough fresh food, low-glycemic foods, eating regular meals, getting adequate anti-inflammatory proteins in the diet, and consuming a little fat throughout the day are all crucial for taking care of your blood sugar. These are the main principles that will help prevent those blood sugar swings, intense sugar cravings, and prevent symptoms associated with blood sugar imbalances such as: moodiness, anxiety, fatigue, and headaches. However, you also need to focus on specific nutrients to take care of your blood sugar too.

Asparagus-and-Mushroom-Risotto

Most nutrients needed for healthy blood sugar levels are found abundantly in normal, everyday plant-based ingredients. A few others, such as nutritional yeast, also happen to contain the right nutrients, all in just a couple tablespoon servings.

Check out what nutritional yeast can do for you besides satisfy those cheesy cravings:

1. Complete Protein Source

Amino acids are said to be the building blocks of life; they form proteins in our body that support nearly every single aspect of our mental health and metabolism. Amino acids also help work with blood glucose levels to prevent blood sugar swings and can help the carbohydrates we eat digest more slowly when we combine protein with carbohydrates in a meal. Nutritional yeast is not only a great source of amino acids, but also a complete protein source. It contains all the essential amino acids that the body can not produce on its own, along with all the amino acids that the body can produce on its own. Nutritional yeast boasts a whopping 8 grams of protein in 2 tablespoons, which is the same amount found in 1/2 cup of most types of beans and legumes! It’s also only 45 calories per 2 tablespoons, making it one of the lowest calorie sources of protein out there.

2. Fiber

Fiber is another helpful nutrient that slows down the absorption of natural sugars from our food into the bloodstream. In the meantime, it also sweeps out harmful fats and cholesterol, along with toxins in our bloodstream that keep our hearts healthy too. Nutritional yeast contains 4 grams of fiber in just 2 tablespoons, which is equivalent to 1/3 cup oatmeal, 1/2 cup broccoli, and 1 1/4 cup cooked kale. Not too shabby, right? You should be sure to still eat your vegetables too, of course, since we need between a minimum of 25-30 grams a day to stay healthy.

3. Minerals

Nutritional yeast is a good source of several minerals that also contribute to healthy blood sugar, including magnesium and zinc. Magnesium is particularly one of the most important minerals for your blood sugar of all. This powerhouse nutrient is involved in almost 400 different reactions in the body and is crucial to maintaining good heart, metabolic, mental, bone, and digestive health. Some of the best sources include: beans, grains, greens, legumes, and some other foods like cacao and coffee beans, almonds, cashews, along with coconut, avocados, and some fruits and vegetables. Nutritional yeast contains 24 milligrams of magnesium which is decent for such a small serving, but zinc is the real mineral star found in nutritional yeast. Zinc optimizes the metabolic performance of carbohydrates in the body to use them for fuel. This is incredibly important for not only your blood sugar, but also your overall energy, immune health, and weight. Nutritional yeast contains 20 percent of your daily zinc needs, boasting 3 milligrams in just 2 tablespoons.

4. B Vitamins

B vitamins not only help our bodies use carbohydrates for energy, but they also help prevent blood sugar swings as a result. One of the most well-known benefits of nutritional yeast is its wealthy stores of B vitamins. Two tablespoons of nutritional yeast contains: 9.6 milligrams of Thiamin (640 percent) , 9.7 milligrams of Riboflavin (570 percent), 56 milligrams of Niacin (280 percent), 9.6 milligrams of Vitamin B6 (480 percent), 240 micrograms of Folate (60 percent), 1 milligrams of Pantheonic Acid (10 percent), and 7.8 micrograms of Vitamin B12 (130 percent). This should come as no surprise, since all soil-based yeasts (versus air-born yeasts) are rich sources of natural B vitamins since they are grown on B-rich bacteria within the soil (such as Vitamin B12). Please be warned, however, you should not look to obtain your Vitamin B12 from nutritional yeast alone. Everyone should be taking a sublingual or liquid form of vitamin B12, which your body absorbs more easily since these enter the bloodstream directly and don’t have to go through digestion first. However, it’s a smart choice to eat as many other B vitamins as you can instead of relying on lots of supplements to give you what you need. See more sources of food-based B vitamins here if you’d like to see just how easy that really is!

5. Low Glycemic

Finally, nutritional yeast contains no added sugars and is a very low carbohydrate food. It contains 5 grams of carbs, 4 of which are fiber (which has no negative impact on blood sugar levels and leaves the body undigested). Low glycemic foods are important to manage blood sugar since the body can only use so much of one nutrient at any given time. What it can’t use ends up remaining in the bloodstream and cause the pancreas to produce too much insulin as result to try and get rid of those glucose stores. This is essentially what leads to blood highs and lows, though skipping meals, and eating unhealthy foods can also cause these issues. To best manage your blood sugar, eat a variety of whole food, fiber-rich, plant-based foods and leave processed foods out of the equation as much as possible.

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How to Choose the Best Type of Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast makes an excellent addition to this type of diet, and should never been seen as just a simple condiment. Be sure when you purchase nutritional yeast that you purchase a high-quality brand to get the most nutrients since some off-brand names may use a blend of yeasts instead of pure nutritional yeast. Some of the best brands include Bragg’s, Now, Bob’s Red Mill, Red Star, Frontier Naturals/Organics, and Kal brand. All of these will provide the benefits listed above and are all easy to find in stores and online.

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15
January

Nutrition, Celiac and learning disabilities

Hi Friends, Happy New Year !

If you live in a colder climate you may be taking time to hibernate a little, keeping warm is what it’s all about this time of year, and it’s also a time of year to catch up on our sleep.

If you have read any of my blogs previously you know that I have an interest  in researching information about health and healthy living.  I recently completed  a program in nutrition and it answered many of my questions in regards to how we digest foods and how important that is in providing nutrients to our body.  I thought i would share a little about an experience years ago that may help someone with the the same issues right now.

Years ago my young one was very sick.  She was having a terrible time focusing in school and her eyes were always dark.  When i took her to the pediatrician several times, the doctor kept insisting and replying, and i quote…”some children just look that that way when they’re young”, really?  I couldn’t stop thinking about this and i was sure this doctor was wrong.  Nothing she was saying resonated with me at all it didn’t make any sense.  My daughter would fall on the floor in pain some mornings and was having difficulties focusing in school.  I was told by her kindergarten teacher in grade 2 (french immersion) that my child wasn’t focused in class and should be taking a prescribed medication.

I was also referred to another physician in a public school which i won’t disclose but this doctor had me fill out a form from which he assessed her and all took approx 1 hr.  He wrote a prescription for her right then and there at the school.  Most of the questions on this form in my opinion could have been relevant to any active child,  not specifically just to a child with ADHD.  Of course i threw the prescription in the garbage.  He also prescribed Ritalin.

I”m sure you have heard of the drug called “Ritalin”…the grade 2 teacher told me that all of her children were taking it and that my child should probably be taking it also.  A simple solution, yes. but when i searched for the side affects…

  1. Common side effects of Ritalin include nervousness, agitation, anxiety, insomnia, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, palpitations, headache, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, and psychosis.

I had also observed my nephew while taking this drug and I remembered how he had to see an addictions specialist to detox from Ritalin to get it out of his system and it took months…Studies have determined that the affects of Ritalin are very similar to taking Cocaine…(Ref, below)

At that time there was not a lot of information about Ritalin and I assumed there had to be a more natural way to resolve the problem. So, off we went to a place called Nutrichem to test all nutrients in her blood. During this time it was also recommended that additional stool samples be taken to rule out Celiac disease which came back positive.  The nutrient testing determined that due to the gluten problem she was not able to digest her foods efficiently enough for the nutrients to be present in the blood and absorbed throughout the body, hence the learning disabilities and stomach pain.  She has been on a gluten free diet for years now and never eats sugar or processed foods and recently has begun to eat more organic, simple, whole foods.  I see a huge change when she eats this way.  She is more relaxed and able to focus now but it isn’t that simple.  It took a very long time to correct this problem.

It’s never too late to change your diet and your health by avoiding foods containing toxins or processed foods.   Avoiding foods with too much Omego 6 and foods that are acidic and with less Saturated Fats is best.  These foods can be the cause of illness in the body, including the brain.  Fats are another topic which I will touch on in my next blog. So until next time:) Thanks for reading.

Article by L. Graham January 15th 2015

Reference Sources: DrugFacts: Stimulant ADHD Medications – Methylphenidate and Ampetamines
PubMed:Recreational Use of Ritalin on College CampusesPubMed: Methylpenidate Abuse and Psychiatric Side Effects

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10
January

Psychogenic illness: What happens when the mind causes real pain? The Globe and mail…

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Kylee Taylor was distraught. For nearly two years, her teenage son, Kieran Porter, had seen multiple doctors and undergone countless medical tests, but none provided an answer for his alarming and mysterious illness.

Starting in December, 2009, at the age of 12, Kieran suddenly developed strange, uncontrollable muscle twitching in his limbs, which, almost overnight, progressed to full-body seizures. He suffered from unpredictable bouts of ballism (violent flinging of the limbs), dystonia (painful and debilitating muscle contractions), tremors and hypokinesia, in which his entire body would lock up, paralyzing him for several minutes to as long as two hours at a time. Even more bizarrely, these symptoms would change and disappear before flaring up again.

Speaking from her home in Sydney, Australia, Taylor recalls that the first specialist assumed that Kieran’s condition was life-threatening and that nothing could be done to help him. “The first specialist basically [said], ‘Just take him home and love him for whatever time he’s got left,’” she says. “Another one told me that he was faking it to try to get out of school. And another one just laughed at me any time I asked what it was.”

Taylor, who is a nurse and paramedic, scoured the Internet, reading medical texts and reaching out to experts for advice, before finally stumbling on the answer: Kieran’s illness was psychogenic.

Psychogenic illnesses, formerly known as “hysteria” and also known as “conversion disorder,” are illnesses that may involve a range of neurological symptoms, from movement disorders to blindness and pain, but for which there are no physical explanations.

Once considered a rare medical phenomenon, psychogenic illnesses, believed to be triggered by psychiatric or psychological issues, are more common than thought, some specialists suggest. And research is proving that there are clear differences in the brain activity of those with psychogenic illnesses, providing evidence that people’s thoughts and emotions can have a profound effect on their physical state. In other words, ailments that have often been disregarded as being “all in your head” may, in fact, legitimately stem from there.

Yet because psychogenic illnesses are so ill understood, patients can go for years and through millions of dollars of medical testing without a proper diagnosis. Worse, many medical practitioners dismiss their ailments as imaginary.

“I felt like I was the only one in the world with it,” Kieran, now 15, says, adding that it was particularly frustrating when doctors assumed that he was faking his symptoms. But when his mother matched his symptoms with what she had read online, they went to his psychiatrist, who confirmed her suspicions. Receiving a diagnosis of psychogenic movement disorder, he says, was “a huge sigh of relief.”

In London, researchers James Rowe of the University of Cambridge and Anette Schrag of the University College London hope that their findings from a new study on the brains of patients with psychogenic dystonia will help to dispel some misconceptions.

Their study compared the brain positron emission tomography (PET) scans of patients diagnosed with psychogenic dystonia, which caused painful muscle contractions in the leg, and patients with similar but organic, or explainable, dystonia of the leg, as well as those of healthy individuals.

What they found was that both groups of dystonia patients had abnormal activity in the motor cortex of the brain, which controls voluntary movement, and the striatum, which acts as a relay station. But there were marked differences between the two; patients with organic dystonia had overactive motor cortexes and underactive striata, while patients with psychogenic dystonia had underactive motor cortexes and overactive striata.

“Both sets of patients were very, very abnormal, [but] they were opposite in the way they were abnormal,” Rowe says.

He says these findings may help to develop a simple scanning method to diagnose psychogenic dystonia in the early stages of illness. (Psychogenic illnesses are often misguidedly considered what Rowe calls a “dustbin diagnosis,” applied when all other possible explanations have been eliminated.)

But most important, he adds, “it forces a change in the attitude as to how researchers need to start thinking about these psychogenic illnesses, recognizing that biology as well as the psychological factors both are needed, and trying to understand how it is that psychological factors can work with the brain to cause these symptoms.”

According to Rowe, at least a quarter of cases seen by neurologists are unexplained, and 5 to 10 per cent of total neurology cases are believed to be psychogenic in origin.

Canadian expert Anthony Lang, director of the division of neurology at the University of Toronto, says the prevalence of psychogenic illnesses may be greatly underestimated. Even patients who have organic neurological problems, such as Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis, often have what is called “psychogenic overlay” or “functional overlay,” where they experience enhanced symptoms or additional symptoms that are unrelated to their primary problem, he says.

Lang says scientists have reason to believe that those with depression and anxiety may be more susceptible to psychogenic movement disorders, but the actual cause is still poorly understood.

In some cases, the underlying psychological triggers are never found. For this reason, Lang and other experts are arguing that the label “psychogenic” should be scrapped in favour of the term “functional neurological disorders.”

The good news is that it is possible for patients to make a full recovery with proper treatment, which may include medication, psychotherapy and physiotherapy. But Lang notes that an early diagnosis is important; continuous testing and consultations tend to reinforce and prolong the illness, he says.

Since receiving a diagnosis, Kieran has discovered that his symptoms stemmed from his inability to handle stress and express his emotions. With medication and psychiatric treatment, he has made significant improvement. “I’m getting to school more regularly, I’m able to function more like a normal – I guess you could say – human,” he says.

“Once I learned that my emotions were behind what was causing all of this, I was rather surprised that the brain can convert my emotions into physical movements in such a strong and powerful way,” he says, noting that he has started a YouTube channel and Facebook groups to help spread the word about the little-known illness.

“I simply want to provide a sense of comfort, I guess, [to others] to know there’s someone else suffering with this out there.”

The psychogenic diagnosis

How can you distinguish psychogenic symptoms from organic ones, which have explainable physical causes?

One possible sign is the sudden onset and sudden resolution of symptoms, says Dr. Robert Chen, a professor of neurology at the University of Toronto. The symptoms may also be incongruent; for instance, patients may experience sensory problems that do not fit with known nerve distribution.

Dr. Anthony Lang, director of the division of neurology at U of T, says specialists can also conduct specific tests. For example, when asked to perform certain complex tasks, patients may experience a change in the frequency of their tremors, whereas individuals with organic illnesses, such as Parkinson’s disease, exhibit no change.

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10
July

Losing a parent

The Gift

© Lea Gomez

Dedication to my father, who left this world in June 2013…Those that new him loved him and he will be greatly missed…

 

I will never say goodbye to you my Father
because I know this is not the end for us to see each other.
You will only be going to a place where there’s no pain nor suffering.
I am happy for you, for you will be with God.
For now we need to go in separate ways.
I remember how your arms hold me and give me strength.
You were always there to listen, love, and defend me in everything.
You were my very best friend.
In my triumphs you were always proud.
I’m very grateful and proud to call you my dad.
Here deep inside my heart you’ll always be.
I would give up everything I have just to hug you one more time.
I remember the last time I held your hand and how you looked at me in the eyes.
If only I could turn back the time I would have never let you go.
I felt the world stop and my heart stop beating when they told me you were gone…….
How I wish I was only dreaming.
Just like the rain; tears fell down from my eyes, I couldn’t speak for awhile.
Thank you Dad….
For always understanding, listening, caring, and loving me your whole life.
The greatest gift God gave me was YOU…….. my Dad…
It’s difficult to let you go but I must…
I must return the gift God gave me…
Till then;
See you in Heaven………

 

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24
April

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE MAGAZINE calls Quantum-Touch “a significant breakthrough in hands-on healing”

Quantum touch is a mind-body healing modality that uses breathing, body awareness and light touch to amplify and accelerate the body’s innate healing capabilities. Since it’s inception 32 years ago, it has been hailed by doctors and health practitioners as a phenomenal healing modality that delivers extraordinary results. Quantum Touch has demonstrated success as a therapy for pain relief, cancer recovery, reduction of liver enzyme levels, infection, hydrocephalus, impaired eyesight, arthritis, injuries and many more health conditions.

It’s well known that chronic stress can trigger heart related problems such as stroke and heart attack, in addition, stress is now strongly suspect to increased risk of Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

When our life-force is low, we are susceptible to disease, illness, pain and emotional disturbances. Quantum-Touch revitalizes our life-force, raising our energy and directing healing to the source of our pain. Quantum Touch is a method of natural healing that utilizes light touch to focus, amplify and direct the flow of energy in the body (also known as “chi” in Chinese, or “prana” in Sanskrit), thereby promoting optimal wellness.

HOW DOES QUANTUM TOUCH WORK?

We need to visit the principle of physics to understand how Quantum Touch works. When two objects are vibrating at different rates they begin to vibrate at the same speed when energy passes from one to the other which is called “entrainment”. This theory is demonstrated clearly when two crickets chirp in unison and when a field of lightning bugs light up at the same moment. Entrainment works in relation to the same theory with Quantum Touch, as practitioners tap into high-frequencies of life force energy they are able to transfer that same life-force to patients. Focusing on the site of the pain or disease triggers the body to maximize its healing capacity. The patient’s life-force energy will then begin to match with the practitioners and the healing process begins.

After several studies, Dr. Norman Shealey, a prominent neurosurgeon and president of the American Holistic Medical Association found that Quantum-Touch actually affects brain wave patterns. His comments, “Quantum Touch appears to be the first technique that may truly allow us all to become healers.”

Breast Surgeon George R Webber incorporates Quantum Touch in his practice, claiming that, “pain is reduced, scars heal faster, spasms relax, depression and fear turn to hope and healing, and patients are aware that they are loved as well as receiving quality surgical care.”

Joanne R Boyer, RN, BSN, CRNA, Med, reports, “My partner and I have seen a spontaneous remission of primary liver cancer in a patient who was told she had 3 months to live. That was 2 years ago. We have seen a spontaneous remission of breast cancer. I have used it in asthmatic flair-ups. We have seen reversal in deformities of rheumatoid arthritis.

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