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Nutrition for Health: A Client’s Story

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

This week I would like to share the story of one of my patients/clients. She came to me for acupuncture about 6 years ago, struggling with a number of issues. In addition to treating her with acupuncture and neurofeedback, I counseled her on nutrition. She began by engaging in some temporary trial and error with many of my suggestions; as time went on, she began to realize clear and significant differences in her symptoms and how she was feeling. Today she follows the nutritional approach that I introduced her to, sharing with others her incredible journey to the best health of her life.

-Steve

If you’re having digestive issues, mood issues, brain fog, pain, cravings, etc. consider your diet. Increase intake of REAL foods – mostly grass-fed meats and organic vegetables – and *decrease* your intake of processed, artificial, “food” – especially sugar, fake sugars, wheat, food coloring, words you cannot identify, etc. Also consider adding probiotic-rich foods to help repair the damage and promote gut health – which in turn promotes overall digestive health, good mood, focus, satiety (as opposed to cravings), and more.

I personally find that the drinkable kefir helps me a lot. I’ve taken to adding a few ounces to my post-workout protein shake, as well as after dinner as a way to seal the gut and curb evening cravings. I have found that when I am “craving” something it is usually a clear sign that something is off – and 9 times out of 10, drinking kefir or kombucha tea satisfies and re-balances my system, satisfying the sense of urgency to give in to cravings.

For years I struggled with my health, including intense joint pain, ADHD, depression, anxiety, and an eating disorder. I went through every medication available; I even underwent in-patient treatment. When I came to Steve for acupuncture, I was distraught, nearly hopeless. He began treating me with acupuncture and neurofeedback, as well as counseling me on nutrition. At the time I was eating egg whites and rice cakes much of the time, then having uncontrollable food binges where I consumed just insane amounts of wheat and sugar. My weight fluctuated drastically week to week, and my mood was… Inconsolable. I was depressed, anxious to the point of feeling trapped inside my own body. There were days that I couldn’t get out of bed, where I couldn’t even speak.

Steve encouraged me to add healthy fats into my diet. I started with a slice of avocado every afternoon. I gradually added egg yolks back in.

He encouraged me to limit sugar, and even consider giving up wheat.

I tried it for 6 weeks. My weight began to stabilize. My mood and focus improved.

The holidays came, and I began eating all of the baked goods and holiday treats that we’ve come to associate with Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hannukah.

For the next year I cycled up and down, until my weight climbed from the mid-140s to 178 lbs. Despite all of my efforts, I couldn’t get it back down below 165. I felt sick, sluggish, tired, moody, irritable. I was obsessively counting calories, living in the shame of an eating disorder.

I went back to the advice Steve had given me. I took a break from the dieting, from measuring and counting and obsessing. I began eating healthy, whole foods. Eggs and bacon for breakfast, meat and vegetables for lunch and dinner. The fog began to lift. The weight began to melt off. My overall health and state of being began to improve. And it has just gotten better from there.

Steve armed me with the tools necessary to get my health on track. He completely changed my approach to health, he has changed the questions I am asking. Now when I feel a symptom, I ask myself, what is my body trying to tell me? What am I missing, or consuming in excess? What am I doing differently? Have I taken any new medication that could be impacting my gut health? My health is what it is today because (1) I am asking the right questions and (2) I know the right answers.

If I eat unhealthy, i.e. bad oils, sugar, wheat, processed foods, I feel incredibly strong symptoms of depression, anxiety, ADHD, cravings/urges to binge, and an overall brain fog. I even find that I have difficulty with my coordination, dropping things, being clumsy. I suffer from bone pain as well.

If I eat healthy, i.e. healthy fats like coconut oil, grass-fed butter, full fat raw dairy, grass-fed meats, organic vegetables, and probiotic-rich foods like kefir and kombucha tea, with only a small amount of sugar or processed foods, I feel… Healthy. Energetic. Focused. Vibrant. Strong. Satiated. All of my issues resolve.

I would urge you to consider every symptom of your body – mental or physical – as a sign that something is missing or in excess from a nutritional standpoint, then work to bring things back into balance. This has resolved every symptom that has arisen for me, from intense bone and joint pain to feelings of depression, anxiety, OCD, lack of focus, brain fog, fatigue. The things is, the majority of our health concerns, physical and mental, are tied to nutrition. We can resolve many of our symptoms and complaints by cleaning up our diet. Steve is a major proponent of the traditional/ancestral diet, of eating real food, organic, grass-fed, free from chemicals, GMOs, pesticides. His food service Farm Fresh Direct 2U offers just that – he brings the best of the best from farms around the state right here to Orlando, Altamonte Springs, Saint Cloud, Windermere, Oviedo, all around Central Florida. He brings us the opportunity to improve our health from the ground up.

I have never been healthier than I am now. My entire quality of life has changed. I am forever in gratitude to Steve. With every delicious bite of grass-fed brisket and every creamy sip of drinkable kefir I say thank you.

-Jade Alexandra

Holiday Eating: Tips to Beat the Post-Holiday Blues & Weight Gain

Monday, September 19th, 2016

As summer gives way to fall, the holiday season begins gleaming from just around the corner. Shelves are filled with holiday lights and trees, gifts and goodies. The holidays mean so much in so many different ways, family, togetherness, tradition, gratitude and giving – and let’s be honest – over-indulgence. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s, days are filled with holiday gift baskets and gift exchanges while nights ring with the toasting of cheers, coupled with decadent holiday treats.

Many people find that they end up suffering from post-holiday blues (and weight gain!), a sort of emotional drop after the celebratory craze of Thanksgiving, Hannukah, Christmas, and the like. What most people don’t consider is why they end up feeling this way. In fact, the post-holiday letdown seems to be offhandedly attributed to perceived social or cultural elements. What most fail to consider is that it is in fact the huge spike in indulgent eating and drinking from the end of November to the beginning of January.

High sugar, wheat, and alcohol, food coloring from red and green everything, and even more sugar – this is the true culprit for the post-holiday blues – and of course, weight gain.

Here are some tips to help you avoid, minimize, or at least bounce back from the holidays:

  • DO make moderation your friend. DON’T make November to January a free for all.
  • DO choose a few key days or events to allow yourself to indulge, i.e. actual holidays and holiday parties. Keep your in between eating extra healthy and SATIATING with grass-fed butter, meats, and eggs, organic greens, and fermented foods.
  • DO keep your gut health in check. Sugar, wheat, alcohol and processed foods wreak havoc on the gut, which in turn wreaks havoc on neurotransmitter functioning, which leads to cravings, brain fog, moodiness, irritability, and digestive complaints. Increase your intake of probiotic-rich foods like kombucha tea, grass-fed kefir, fermented sauerkraut and kimchi. Grass-fed bone broth is also highly beneficial to gut health and the digestive tract.
  • DO skip low-fat, high sugar, processed foods as much as possible – and opt for high quality fats such as grass-fed butter, pastured eggs, grass-fed meats and coconut oil. Not only will they keep you satiated but they will help manage potential blood sugar spikes from all the sugar and alcohol. Enjoy a bullet coffee or some grass-fed butter on butternut squash before heading out to your next holiday event. By going in with a high quality fat in your stomach you won’t be as tempted to high tail it to the dessert table – especially if your gut health is in check.
  • DO consume extra probiotics and omega 3 fatty acids after indulging. They will help repair some of the damage done and can help get you back on track so that one bad meal doesn’t turn into weeks of over-indulgence.
  • DO ask people to bring non-dessert items and/or non-traditional foods to holiday gatherings. Pinterest has so many cute, festive ideas using healthy foods. Enjoy a nice warm seasonal butternut squash soup or sweet potatoes with grass-fed butter. Make a holiday scene out of organic fruits and vegetables. Make a pumpkin yogurt dip using raw honey and grass-fed yogurt.

What tips or tricks do you use to get through the holidays without excess weight gain or post-holiday blues? Send us your suggestions!

Kombucha Tea

Thursday, April 14th, 2016

Lifestyles have changed dramatically in recent decades. We are constantly on the go, over-stimulated, and way over-stressed. Though our stress response is one of our most valuable defense mechanisms during real times of crisis, over-activation of this response wreak havoc on our system.

Incorporating relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, and mindfulness are helpful. Proper, restful sleep, exercise, enjoying nature, time with good friends, unplugging from our gadgets and electronics, also helpful.

But here’s one handy helper that you didn’t know about: Kombucha Tea.

Besides being an adaptogen, Kombucha tea supports healthy digestion, which in turn supports healthy brain functioning, cognition, and mood. Kombucha tea is also chock full of B vitamins and Vitamin C. B vitamins have been found to help stabilize mood, regulate anxiety, improve concentration, and even help fight depression. Vitamin C suppresses the release of cortisol – that pesky stress-hormone that has been linked to stubborn belly fat, impaired mental clarity and functioning, hypertension, and depressed mood. What’s more, these vitamins are highly bioavailable, unlike make supplements.

Swap your morning coffee for Kombucha and start enjoying these and other benefits.

FarmFreshDirect2U.com currently carries the following delicious, homemade Kombucha tea flavors: Blueberry, Cherry, Grape, Lemon Ginger, and Plain

With multiple pick-up locations all around Central Florida, we offer Kombucha tea, pasture raised eggs, grass-fed meat, and countless other farm fresh foods available for order and pick-up just minutes from Orlando, Altamonte Springs, Longwood, Maitland, Kissimmee, Windermere, Winter Garden, Casselberry, and Oviedo.

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Kick Sugar for Good – Tips & Tricks for a Healthy Life

Saturday, August 15th, 2015

Our last article explored the dangers of sugar. This week we are sharing some tips and tricks to help you cut sugar out of your diet and get healthy. By minimizing sugar, wheat and processed foods and not depriving yourself of healthy, grass-fed, and whole food sources, you should find that your weight naturally stabilizes. You may even find your overall health improve, including mood, focus/concentration, digestive health, inflammation, and even pain.

Tips to Cut Sugar:

Craving chocolate? Have some magnesium!

Nourish your gut flora with probiotics – grass-fed/pastured and fermented, unpasteurized food sources are best, including grass-fed kefir, pastured cheese, and sauerkraut, though high-quality probiotic supplements can help as well; improved gut health has also been associated with better mood and even increased feelings of willpower. If you can’t absorb and process the nutrients you are eating, than your body and brain can’t function properly. Gut health is strongly linked to neurotransmitter functioning, as well as absorption and processing of vital nutrients.

Increase healthy fats like coconut oil, avocado, grass-fed meats, pastured cheese, grass-fed butter  – they are nutrient rich and satiating – and contrary to popular belief, health fats don’t make you fat – but sugar and processed “foods” do!

Increase your grass-fed meats and pastured dairy products – they are much lower in saturated fat and significantly higher in vital nutrients including magnesium, omega 3’s, B vitamins, and conjugated linoleic acid which has been found to reduce cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and body fat.

Go cold turkey – because eating sugar, wheat and processed foods makes you crave more sugar, wheat, and processed foods. It also makes you hungrier.

Have a protein-rich breakfast.

Choose healthy carbohydrates and pair them with healthy fats and proteins. Enjoy a sweet potato with grass-fed butter and a delicious grass-fed steak.

Be prepared – pack healthy snacks, prep meals for work, plan out your menu for the week.

Eat when you’re hungry, and don’t get obsessive about calorie counting – instead, focus on eating foods that are real, whole, and natural. Get back in touch with your body’s natural hunger cues – and listen to them! Eating healthy fats and protein with healthy carbohydrates will naturally be more satiating – the worst thing you can do is starve yourself of nutrients, especially when trying to clean up your diet.

Rest and destress – try yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, acupuncture, massage, etc. to stave off stress-induced binges. Make sure you are getting adequate rest, as not sleeping enough can throw off leptin and ghrehlin levels which are responsible for appetite/satiation.

Don’t punish, guilt or shame yourself for making mistakes, just take a step towards getting back on track, and another step, and another. Before you know it you will be making progress towards a sustainable healthy lifestyle.

If you feel a craving and want to give in, wait it out. Sit with the feeling for 5 minutes, no judgment, just feel it. Just because a feeling arises doesn’t mean that you have to act on it, this too shall pass.

Raw versus Processed Milk: Why Raw Milk is a Superfood

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Raw versus Processed Milk: Why Raw Milk is a Superfood

Grocery store milk is pasteurized and homogenized

Raw Milk is raw, unpasteurized, non-homogenized

Note: When referring to “raw milk,” we mean raw milk from healthy cows, i.e. grass-fed on organic grass, raised in humane conditions, and properly milked, is the best raw milk.

Which would you prefer, pasteurized, homogenized milk from factory raised cows, or unprocessed milk from pastured cows who are free to graze on their natural diet, soak up the sunlight, and live in humane conditions while naturally producing a true superfood?

Raw Milk Processed Milk

Alkaline                                                                     Acidic

Fat Soluble Vitamin A                           35% reduction in Vitamin A

Fat Soluble Vitamin D                           25%-77% reduction in Vitmain C

Fat Soluble Vitamin K2                         25%-77% reduction in Vitmain C

Short Chain Fatty Acids                        14% reduction in Vitamin E

CLA                                                         66% reduction in Iron

Omega-3’s                                               70% reduction in Zinc

Calcium                                                  38% reduction in B-complex vitamins

Magnesium                                            21% reduction in Calcium

Potassium                                             100% Destruction of Enzymes

Immunoglobulins                                Damage to Immunoglobulins

Whey Protein                                        Damage to Whey Proteins

Probiotics

Benefits of Raw Milk

Higher levels of fat soluble vitamins A, D & K2

Heart healthy, cancer killing, fat-soluble vitamins that support the brain and nervous system, bone density, hormonal balance, focus, development, and brain function.

Short Chain Fatty Acids, CLA and Omega-3’s

Raw milk is high in CLA and Omega-3 fatty acids, as well as butyrate, a short chain fatty acid that aids the body in the regulation of inflammation, slow metabolism and stress resistance. Emerging research suggests that butyrate may be a viable treatment for inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s and IBS.

One of the highest sources of the minerals calcium, magnesium and potassium

These minerals are crucial for cellular function, metabolism, circulation, hydration, building bone density, detoxification and muscle health. Unfortunately, many Americans are deficient in these vital nutrients.

Rich in Probiotics: kefir, cheese, yogurt

Raw milk is a source of probiotics, but when you ferment it, the good bacteria increases exponentially. Cultured dairy products are the richest source of probiotics available. They line your gut, support nutrient absorption, and protect you against bad bacteria like E. coli. They are best in their natural state from raw milk products like kefir, yogurt, and cheese.  Gut health has been linked with countless health issues, including both physical and mental. By infusing the gut with high quality probiotics, countless people have found relief and improvements from a range of health problems, including:

  • Obesity
  • Allergies
  • Skin infections
  • Depression & Mood
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Colon cancer
  • Colic (in Breastfed babies whose Mothers took probiotics)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Intestinal infections
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Diarrhea
  • Tooth Decay & Gingivitis
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Weakened immune system
  • Urinary track infections
  • Vaginal yeast infections
  • Respiratory Infections

Whey Protein and Immunoglobulins

Whey protein is a must for anyone looking to burn fat and build lean muscle. It is loaded with immunity boosting enzymes and proteins including:

  • Alpha-lactalbumin
  • Beta-lactoglobulin
  • Bovine serum albumin
  • Immunoglobulin

Processed Milk: the pasteurization process kills nutrients

  • 35% reduction in Vitamin A
  • 25%-77% reduction in Vitmain C
  • 14% reduction in Vitamin E
  • 66% reduction in Iron
  • 70% reduction in Zinc
  • 38% reduction in B-complex vitamins
  • 21% reduction in Calcium
  • 100% Destruction of Enzymes
  • Damage to Immunoglobulins
  • Damage to Whey Proteins

What’s more, much of the remaining vitamins in processed milk are so degraded from their original state that they are not available for the body to process and utilize.

Are you lactose intolerant? Perhaps only to processed milk. The enzyme lactase is greatly reduced in processed dairy. Lactase is the enzyme necessary to break down and absorb certain nutrients. The destruction of this essential enzyme in the processing of pasteurized, homogenized milk is an explanation as to why so many people are lactose intolerant – to store-bought milk, that is. As raw milk is abundant in the enzyme lactase, previously intolerant people find that they are able to enjoy raw milk without any of the digestive issues or side effects they suffer when drinking processed milk. In fact, a study done by the Weston A. Price Foundation found that 80% of the 700 families they reviewed stopped having symptoms of lactose intolerance when they switched to raw milk.

The bottom line, raw milk is good for:

The Farmer – Farmer to consumer direct supports the local economy and small businessman

The Cow – Natural diet, able to graze and life a long life in their natural environment; they don’t get sick from being overcrowded in cages and factories, so there is no need for growth hormones or antibiotics

The Environment – Pastured cows do not create the toxic manure that industrial factory farms create

The Consumer – You get a product that is superior in health and nutrition from a farmer who takes pride in providing you with a safe, quality, and nutritious product

References:

http://hartkeisonline.com/2011/03/17/woman-achieves-increased-bone-density-with-raw-dairy/

http://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/rawmilk/raw-milk-questions-and-answers.html#history.

http://draxe.com/raw-milk-benefits/

http://www.realfoodkosher.com/three-facts-you-should-know-about-raw-milk/