Looking to start 2021 with a clean slate? This blog isn’t about setting resolutions (although we can always help you do that if you desire), but rather giving you some tips on how to start the new year with a fresh body. The old saying “you get out what you put in” is very accurate. The Christmas break is notoriously full of rich, indulgent food, too much alcohol and not enough moving! Our bodies can cope with this for a short period, but long-term it begins to dislike us. Here’s how to clean-up and give your body the chance it deserves to be its best, for you.
Tips for cleaning-up your act
The following tips are just some of many pieces of advice we could give you to clean-up your act and start feeling alive again:
1. Eat foods rich in antioxidants
This is a great way to start helping your insides detox. All of those sugary, fatty foods, soft drinks, alcohol and sleepless nights over the festive period will have left your body with a build-up of toxins. Now you need to rid your body of those toxins to begin feeling normal again. Eating foods rich in vitamins and minerals are a great way to increase your antioxidant intake. In particular, try to eat foods rich in the following vitamins and minerals to clean out the system:
• Vitamin A: Liver, kidney, oily fish (e.g. mackerel), carrots, red capsicum, tomatoes, spinach
• Vitamin C: Chilies, kiwi fruit, citrus fruits, guava, mangoes, papaya
• Vitamin E: Almonds, hazelnuts and peanuts, sunflower seeds, corn and wheatgerm oil
• Copper: Nuts, cereals, meat and organ meats (i.e. liver and kidney)
• Zinc: Lamb, shellfish, leafy green and root vegetables, milk, eggs, whole grains
• Selenium: Brazil nuts, poultry, fish, eggs, meat and organ meats (examples above)
2. Drink water, water, and more water!
Water is life-giving. Without it, we die within 3 days (depending on the person). That’s a pretty scary thought. Our bodies are also somewhere between 60-70% water, and they rely on us to replenish our water stores regularly and daily. All of the internal chemical processes that occur in our bodies (without us even knowing they are happening) require water for them to occur. When the body is low on water, these internal processes begin to struggle, and we begin to feel pretty terrible. Water is purifying for the body and it’s a pivotal part of any clean-up or detox (whatever you want to call it). We don’t think we need to give you any more reasons for drinking lots of water every day, so get to it. To help the system a bit more, reduce the amount of caffeinated, alcoholic and sugary soft drinks you are consuming and try to concentrate on just water. Your body will love you for it.
3. Exercise daily
What better way to purify the body than literally sweating it all out!? Get into an exercise routine for the new year, or just pick up where you left off if you slumped a bit over Christmas. If you’re not a fan of jogging, running or weight, then try a walk a day. A stroll in the park surrounded by lots of trees and fresh air is great for the mind, body and soul.
We don’t want to overload you with stuff to try, so we’ll leave it there for now. Give some or all of these a go and come and let us know how you feel after a few weeks. We think you’ll love the results!
Happy New Year! Oh… and now would be a great time to come see us for a new year full body check!
Weight loss: the larger picture
For every 5 points on the BMI scale above 22.5-25 BMI you have a 30% increased chance of mortality. That means if you have a BMI of 35-40 you only have a 60% chance of reaching the age of 70. This is due to all the comorbidities associated with obesity. The most common associated complications include: Type 2 Diabetes, sleep apnea, asthma, joint degeneration, fatty liver, high blood pressure, acid reflux, incontinence, depression and gout. The OMA has listed 57 comorbidities of obesity.
Here’s the most common situation for my weight loss patients: a patient sits across from me and I ask them “What brings you in today?” and they reply “My doctor told me to lose weight”. Unfortunately, they are then left to figure out how to lose the weight, which is a big feat on its own. Not only are you trying to do one of the most difficult things: lose weight! But you are also trying to navigate the expanse of literature on weight loss. Which diet?… Which exercises? And far too often people just give up.
What I want to tell you is that each person is different! What worked for your bestfriend may not work for you. There are so many other factors to weight loss that these diets and plans do not account for. Here are some other important factors we need to look at when wanting to lose weight:
- Sleep – a good night of sleep causes 25% less cravings and you will be 25% less hungry. Sleep allows your body to reset all the hormones associated with weight including insulin, leptin, growth hormone and cortisol. Good sleep consists of getting enough sleep, creating a sleep routine and getting the right kind of sleep.
- Stress – did you know hidden infections, blood sugars imbalances, food intolerances, nutrient deficiencies and gut bacterial imbalances are all chronic stressors on the body. When you think of stress, most people think of the perceived stress, such as a busy lifestyle. There are so many other things that will cause stress in our body and have negative impacts on pathways that will cause weight issues.
- Insulin resistance – insulin is necessary in the storage of sugars, and these stores are necessary for times of fasting. Insulin resistance is when the body no longer recognizes insulin and we then start to produce a lot of insulin. When we have too much insulin, fat gets trapped!
- Thyroid – the thyroid hormones regulate your metabolize, someone who produces less of these hormones will have a slower metabolism and will burn calories slower therefore will start to put weight on or may have issues losing weight
- Food sensitivities – intolerances to food unlike allergies can cause a wide range of symptoms, inflammation in the gut is one of the most common, this inflammation can cause you to improperly digest food, it also starts an immune response where the body recognize food particles as a foe and attacks it causing stress in the body and stress makes it harder to lose weight
This is just a short list, there are so many other factors that can play into weight loss issues, but these are the most common after diet and exercise. Your Naturopathic Doctor does an extensive intake to go over all the potential factors that are preventing you from losing weight. They will send you for pertinent lab work and then make a personalized plan with you which may include dietary/lifestyle changes, herbs/supplements and potentially acupuncture.
By Dr. Matthew Pace, N.D.
Inflammation: The Silent Killer
Inflammation is the bodies response to damage from infections, injuries and toxins. When one of these damages the body, the inflammation process is initiated and the immune system releases antibodies and other chemicals in an attempt to heal the body. This is acute inflammation and is what most think of as inflammation; Hot, Red, Pain, Swelling.
What happens when this does not resolve? When either the body cannot heal itself or when the root cause is not removed. We get chronic inflammation, and the effects on the body may surprise you!
Chronic inflammation may be caused by poor diet, smoking, chronic stress, lack of sleep, Autoimmune disease or untreated acute inflammation
In Chronic Inflammation we may not see the usual symptoms of hot, red, pain and swelling. More common symptoms are fatigue, insomnia, anxiety/depression, GI issues, weight issues, frequent infections, fever, sores and pain.
These symptoms may not be affecting your activities of daily living but long standing inflammation may contribute to other major diseases: cancer, diabetes, arthritis, IBD, allergies, COPD, alzheimer’s, kidney and cardiovascular disease. These are more serious complications and further investigation is required.
We can test for Chronic inflammation, your Naturopathic doctor can refer you for blood tests that can diagnose inflammation and determine the impact the inflammation has had on the body. This may include CBC, hsCRP, ESR, thyroid panel and fasting insulin/glucose to start. Autoimmune markers, glucose challenge and other organ health labs may also be added. If there is a correlation to food a Food Sensitivity IgG test may also be requisitioned.
Once the root cause of the inflammation is determined a treatment plan can be formed and may include the following: high fiber/low glycemic diet, supplements (curcumin, fish oils, glutamine, probiotics, magnesium, zinc), and exercise.
A Naturopathic Doctor can guide you through the investigation of inflammation and then design a personalized plan to prevent the development of several diseases that are linked to inflammation.
Written by: Dr. Matthew Pace, N.D
Reference: Pahwa R, Goyal A, Bansal P, et al. Chronic Inflammation. [Updated 2020 Aug 10]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493173/