Cost: Nothing!!! Get a chance to receive some FREE goodies that day as well!
It’s that time of year again – presents, stockings, sugar and spice! It’s also the time that we start making New Years resolutions. Why not combine the two?
This year I’ve decided that in lieu (or maybe in addition) to the random gift requests of bourbon, winter coats and a Go-Pro I’d add in some healthy alternatives. Below is a list of my favorite healthy must haves. If someone in your life has a resolution to get healthier in 2018 maybe add something below to their stocking – or put them on your own list!
#1 – Vitamix
Anyone that’s heard me lecture or has attended one of our workshops knows how much I love the Vitamix! It’s a must have kitchen gadget because it replaces so many other tools. A blender, food processor, baby food maker, the list goes on! I use it every morning to make my protein shake and every evening to make baby food. I use it at least weekly to make recipes for lunch or dinner including fresh soups, egg “cups” and healthy salad dressings. I use it monthly to make fresh nut butters and even salsa!
I could go on and on but honestly they sell themselves. If you’re local to Chicago register for one of our upcoming Vitamix workshops.
#2 – Native Deodorant
This is Dr. Jade’s number one so of course it’s my number two. (The perks of being the older sibling!) If you’re looking for a natural alternative to traditional deodorant – look no further. They pride themselves on the following: Made in the USA – They never test on animals, except humans. Aluminum Free – Native Deodorant fights odors and wetness, and is made without aluminium. Native Deodorant is made with ingredients you can pronounce, and is paraben-free. And how do you beat free shipping and returns? Trying it is practically risk free!
Direct from Dr. Jade: “Over the years I have tried almost every natural deodorant out there and was yet to find one that worked. I stumbled upon Native and thought it would be like all the others. What I got was a cute package, with an inspirational quote and a deodorant that smelled great and worked all day regardless of having a hard workout or day with patients. My favorite scents so far are coconut & vanilla as well as lavender & rose. “
If you’re not familiar with this makeup and skincare line you’re missing out. They put together a Never List™ – The Never List™ is made up of more than 1,500 questionable or harmful chemicals that we never use as ingredients in our products. This includes the over 1,400 chemicals banned or restricted in personal care products by the European Union, plus additional chemicals screened by Beautycounter and found to be of concern.
Your skin is the largest organ in the body and since it’s porous it absorbs whatever you put on it. According to the Huffington Post “The average woman puts 515 synthetic chemicals on her body every single day without even knowing. And 60 percent of what we put onto our skin is absorbed into our bodies”. My resolution this year is to eliminate some of those chemicals to I’ve switched my makeup routine to BeautyCounter and I’m loving it.
Who would have thought that we’d go from growing our own organic produce to sitting down at our electronic device to order it and have products shipped to our house? I have to confess I’m a relatively new member but I think they’re onto something here. I promised to bring dessert to Thanksgiving – I decided on a gluten free, dairy free cheesecake. A few of the supplies I needed were not found at my local Whole Foods so I stumbled upon Thrive Market. Thrive Market is a membership community that uses the power of direct buying to deliver the world’s best healthy food and natural products to our members at wholesale prices, and to sponsor free memberships for low-income American families.They have a small annual membership fee but their goal is for you to save 25-50% on your products compared to a traditional retailer. They offer free shipping on orders over $49 and you can find some great natural, raw, vegan products. You can even find beauty products and items for pets!
I have to confess – I do not currently own one of these but it is at the top of my Christmas List. Being Italian it might be innate but sometimes I have a craving for pasta. I’ve tried gluten free varieties but I don’t want to replace the gluten with random chemicals so I’m going the more natural route – if I can fake my brain into it! I’m a big fan of spaghetti squash with marinara so I thought I’d expand my vegetable spaghetti options.
According to the website The Spruce, “The Best Overall Spiralizer of 2017” is The Paderno World Cuisine Spiralizer Pro, but it appears to me to have quite a few parts and a large storage container. The Spruce also ranked The KitchenAid Spiralizer up there in the top so I might stick with that since I already have the kitchenaid it will be easy to add a few attachments to my pantry. If you’re not ambitious enough right now to jump into this at home run to your local market – I’ve seen a few carrying already spiralized vegetables from beets to carrots to zucchini. Mix up your meals a little and feed your gut some healthy fiber and a dose of healthy instruction for your cells.
So a few things we recommend to all patients is to be aware of their toxic burden, take time to meditate or be grateful as well as drink copious amounts of water. The above FREE apps will help you do just that! The Think Dirty® app is the easiest way to learn about the potentially toxic ingredients in your cosmetics and personal care products. Just scan the product barcode and Think Dirty will give you easy-to-understand info on the product, its ingredients, and shop cleaner options. The Water Drink Reminder app is the easiest way to track exactly how much you’re drinking as well as a mini reminder to drink (or record your intake) of water. It was voted the best of 2016 App, Top Trending App and Best Self-Improvement App selected by Google Play. Obviously we have great taste!! And the best part – the reminder sound is like a little gurgling faucet (you’ll have to download to enjoy!). Finally the insight timer. I am by no means a master of meditation but I’m trying to learn. I’ve installed the Insight Timer on my phone and appreciate the ease of use. Upon signing in the screen shows how many other people are meditating “right now” – am I the only one that pictures Deepak and Oprah in the classic meditation pose when they see this?
As of September 2017 the Number Two Prescribed Drug in the U.S. was Atorvastatin (Lipitor). It is a statin drug used to treat high cholesterol. Prior to its release as a generic atorvastatin in 2011, it was considered the top drug by sales for most of the previous decade. Meaning if you the reader on not on it – I guarantee you know someone that is. Statins are not without some serious side effects – they decrease hormones (20% decrease in testosterone). They affect mood, how the brain processes information as well as cause polyneuropathy (weakness, numbness, burning pain in roughly the same areas on both sides of the body). Studies have shown an 86% increase in diabetes with statin use. So are you looking to improve your cholesterol without a drug and these scary side effects? Have you looked into Bergamot? Salutogenic Life has an amazing Bergamot product that helps to maintain healthy cholesterol levels as well as provides antioxidant and inflammatory balancing properties to help preserve coronary arteries.
As always speak with your functional medicine physician before starting any supplements and DO NOT stop any prescription drugs unless under the supervision of your physician.
#8. Konjac Sponge
Originally designed for baby’s skin the konjac sponge is what you should be using to achieve and maintain beautiful skin – both face and body. They are proud to carry the Leaping Bunny and Vegan Society symbols as signs of our commitment to producing natural, cruelty free skin care. All the sponges are tested for authenticity and purity, “We created the original Konjac Sponges with pure Konjac fibre and nourishing mineral-rich extracts. Deeply cleanse, exfoliate and refine your skin for a radiant complexion. Gentle enough for sensitive skin and babies, our velvety Konjac Sponges are the ultimate tool in natural, effective skincare.”
I haven’t tried this one but came across it while researching healthy alternatives to current loofa’s and sponges. It aligned with my goals to decrease the toxic load I experience daily so it looks perfect for my list.
We’ve all heard the saying, “what gets measured-gets done”. Or does it? Some of us like the simple accountability of a device on our wrist and others need the specific steps and miles we’ve completed. Either way finding a fitness tracker that works for your lifestyle. After some extensive research (my facebook friends!) we’re at a stalemate for the best fitness tracker. Some like the fitbit, others the garmin. The important thing to note is does it make you change your behavior? Are you parking a little further away from the door? Are you taking the stairs instead of the elevator? Are you competitive with your friends and sharing your results? If the answer is yes then it’s doing its job.
#10. Gym Membership
Since we have readers from all over the country I didn’t want to pigeon hole this one but you get the idea. Join a gym! We have a family membership and workout individually as well as spend our weekends at our local facility. Since I recently registered for the Chicago Marathon I will be spending much more time there! Find a friend and sign up together-accountability is key. It doesn’t have to be a full fledged gym, buy a few classes to Soul Cycle or Core Power Yoga (my two personal favorites). Attend a few free classes around town and find out what you like – yoga, spin, weights, HIIT, or pilates to name a few. Commit to a race – maybe a local 5k for a charity you support. I’m running the marathon for the Chicago Chapter of the ALS association. I remember my first race – I ran to support a girlfriend that had quit smoking. We walked more than we ran but we finished together and it lit a fire in me to enjoy the sport. Prior to that I always said I would run unless I was being chased by a bear or running after Bradley Cooper. I guess I changed my tune. Beyond just joining make sure you schedule time to use your membership. I add my workouts to my google calendar and prioritize them. If you need suggestions please reach out to us – we’re happy to connect you with some amazing facilities we trust and would recommend.
I hope the above suggestions inspired you to get out and be healthy. Change one thing each day to improve your health. Park further away from the door, carry your groceries instead of pushing a cart, write down 3 things each night that you’re grateful for, add in one different or unique vegetable each day. Life is about creating new sustainable habits – make sure they’re good ones! If you enjoyed our list please share it with someone you love – if not please send us your suggestions for our next shopping guide! Happy Holidays!
I’m not sure about you, but about 3:30 pm every single day my brain decides to turn off and stop working. I tend to get tired and antsy at the same time, which leads to some seriously shameful unproductiveness. Seeing as the boss (as most bosses do), frowns upon dilly dallying till 5 pm, I decided that I needed to find some ways to boost my energy levels. Here’s a few simple ideas that I’ve found help keep you going till the very last second.
Yes, I know it sounds cliche, but seriously. Get up and go to the bathroom, empty your shred pile, or just take a lap around the office! Your body needs occasional movement to change channels and get oxygen flowing. You don’t need to be away from your desk for an hour but little breaks to stretch your legs here or there won’t hurt.Keeping your body warmed up will prepare you for whatever tasks your boss might throw at you.
I’ll admit that snacking is my weakness. I’ve found that when I sit at my desk and snack all day, I can barely function in the afternoon. Couple that with a large lunch and I’m done for. If this is something you struggle with, try to start strategic eating. Plan a few healthy snacks to get you through the day, my favorite being apples and almonds. Prepare your lunch the night before so you can make sure you won’t end up ordering out for lunch or grabbing something frozen. Don’t let a food coma stop you from reaching your #goals. There are many additives in food that may be making you drowsy. Dairy is a big culprit, but to find out for sure it may be time for a food sensitivity test!
If you’re an awesome person then you’re taking your multivitamins. If this is the case, then try taking them with your lunch and see if that makes a difference. I currently take Salutogenic Life’s Life Pack for Women, which has a couple different vitamins including a B vitamin which really helps with energy. If you have chronic issues with energy (even when you’re not at work), it might be a good idea to contact your practitioner to check your vitamin levels, you might find you have deficiencies such as iron or B12.
If you’re a multitasker, this is a good one for you to do while you’re taking your walk! If you can’t get away from your desk and you’re stuck staring at your screen all day, try to slip in a few neck and shoulder stretches. This helps fatigued muscles that have been stuck in one position and may also increase energy by decreasing muscle discomfort. If you’re starting to feel stiff, stretch it out!
GASP! Yes, I did just say that. I know coffee is the go to drink when you start to feel the brain turning off, but just hear me out. Two words. Green. Tea. This is such a great source of caffeine without getting the jitters! This allows me to be more productive without bouncing off the walls. Green tea also contains an amino acid called L-theanine that helps the brain. The combination of caffeine and L-theanine leads to improved brain function and the ability to focus. BOOM. I don’t think I need to say more.
So there you have it. I know not everyone has energy issues at work, but for those who do the struggle is real. As I mentioned before, if energy is something that is constantly a problem or if you’re just tired of dealing with it, give our office a call at 847.362.4476 for a free consultation.
Finding the reason for your low energy will allow you to find the proper treatment. Until then, try out these easy tips to help you out through the day!
When I started this blog and typed in probiotics into Google, I was overwhelmed with how much information there was about probiotics. From the top 10 brands to warnings about probiotics. With all of that information out there how do you know what is right? Does it really matter which brand to get?
As a matter of fact; yes it does matter where you buy your probiotics. You can refer to a previous blog regarding tiers of vitamins as that applies to probiotics as well. It is imperative that your probiotics along with any vitamins you take come not only from reputable sources, but that the manufacturers are at a bare minimum cGMP compliant. At our office, we will only recommend physician grade supplements because they are the most highly regulated on the market. The manufacturers that we utilize test every batch for quality, safety and effectiveness. Not only that, but they are free of fillers and binders.
The question we get asked the most often is, “Why are your probiotics in the fridge and not out with the rest of your vitamin/supplement line? I can get them at Osco, Walgreens or other places right off the shelf.”
Probiotic products contain millions and even billions of live cultures of friendly bacteria and require appropriate handling to maintain their maximum activity during storage. Probiotics are essential to gut health but they also can help with allergies, decrease inflammation, improve auto-immune disorders and more.
The potency of probiotics can be adversely affected by prolonged exposure to high temperature and humidity, water and the amount of air it is exposed to. Don’t forget these are live bacteria! You should also avoid touching the capsules as much as possible. Pour the desired number of capsules into the cap so that any extra can be put back in the bottle without handling to avoid introducing moisture present on the hands into the product. Always use a clean, dry spoon to measure probiotic powders.
Can probiotics survive if they are not in the fridge at all times? Yes they can. If you are traveling or going to work, putting them in a separate container will be fine. They can be left at room temperature for a few weeks. After that the capsule will start to turn dark brown and they are no longer viable and should be thrown out.
There are some brands that have each probiotic individually wrapped. Each vegetarian capsule is sealed in nitrogen-purged aluminum blister packs to serve as protection from factors proven to compromise stability of probiotics such as heat, moisture, and oxygen. This is also a great way for each probiotic not to be exposed to each other and you do not have to worry about the whole batch. They are easier to travel with since they do not need to be in the fridge.
Probiotics are essential for gut health and immune health. They should have AT LEAST 25 billion CFU per capsule or serving. This is for broad spectrum use, meaning this type is great for basic everyday use. If we are treating specific conditions such as IBS, colitis, leaky gut, prolonged antibiotic usage, chronic yeast infections and others, we may use a more specific probiotic strain OR a probiotic with over 100 billion CFU per serving.
You can get probiotics from food including, but not limited to yogurt, kefir, kombucha, kimchi and other fermented foods. We have found in practice that it’s great to get a variety of probiotics. Adding some of those foods in your diet is a good start, and supplementing with a broad spectrum probiotic is the icing on the cake!
If you have any questions about probiotics please give us a call at 847-362-4476 for a FREE consultation with one of the doctors. Mention this blog to get 20% off probiotic capsules or powder today!
Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and eventually the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. Estimates vary, but experts suggest that more than 5 million Americans may have Alzheimer’s. This disease is currently ranked as the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, and it is the only one that can not be prevented or cured. Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia among older adults.
Changes in the Brain
It seems likely that damage to the brain starts a decade or more before memory and other cognitive problems appear. During this preclinical stage of Alzheimer’s disease, people seem to be symptom-free, but toxic changes are taking place in the brain. Abnormal deposits of proteins form amyloid plaques (abnormal clumps) and tau tangles (tangled bundles of fibers) throughout the brain, and once-healthy neurons stop functioning, lose connections with other neurons, and die. The damage initially appears to take place in the hippocampus, the part of the brain essential in forming memories. As more neurons die, additional parts of the brain are affected, and they begin to shrink. By the final stage of Alzheimer’s, damage is widespread, and brain tissue has shrunk significantly.
Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease
Mild: As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, people experience greater memory loss and other cognitive difficulties. Problems can include wandering and getting lost, trouble handling money and paying bills, repeating questions, taking longer to complete normal daily tasks, and personality and behavior changes. People are often diagnosed in this stage.
Moderate: In this stage, damage occurs in areas of the brain that control language, reasoning, sensory processing, and conscious thought. Memory loss and confusion grow worse, and people begin to have problems recognizing family and friends. They may be unable to learn new things, carry out multi step tasks such as getting dressed, or cope with new situations. In addition, people at this stage may have hallucinations, delusions and paranoia and may behave impulsively.
Severe: Ultimately, plaques and tangles spread throughout the brain, and brain tissue shrinks significantly. People with severe Alzheimer’s cannot communicate and are completely dependent on others for their care. Near the end, the person may be in bed most or all of the time as the body shuts down.
Most people with Alzheimer’s have the late-onset form of the disease, in which symptoms become apparent in their mid-60s. The apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene is involved in late-onset Alzheimer’s. This gene has several forms. One of them, APOE ε4, increases a person’s risk of developing the disease and is also associated with an earlier age of disease onset. However, carrying the APOE ε4 form of the gene does not mean that a person will definitely develop Alzheimer’s disease, and some people with no APOE ε4 may also develop the disease. It is recommended to perform 30 minutes of vigorous exercise a day to try and decrease the effects of the gene.
Research suggests that a host of factors beyond genetics may play a role in the development and course of Alzheimer’s disease. There is a great deal of interest, for example, in the relationship between cognitive decline and vascular conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure, as well as metabolic conditions such as diabetes and obesity. A nutritious diet, physical activity, social engagement, and mentally stimulating pursuits have all been associated with helping people stay healthy as they age. These factors might also help reduce the risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.
Treating Alzheimer’s Disease: Alzheimer’s disease is complex, and it is unlikely that any one drug or other intervention can successfully treat it. Current approaches focus on helping people maintain mental function, manage behavioral symptoms, and slow or delay the symptoms of disease. Researchers hope to develop therapies targeting specific genetic, molecular, and cellular mechanisms so that the actual underlying cause of the disease can be stopped or prevented.
Here at North Shore Pro-Active Health we offer vitamins and supplements to try and reduce, regress or prevent symptoms from occurring. Before making any changes to your current medication, consult with your doctor before stopping or adding to your daily regiment. Our doctors are able to offer a free consultation with you to see if we can help and if we are a good fit for you. Some things we have in the office are Ashwuaganda, Vitamin D, Bacoba/Vibrant Mind, Acetyl L Carnitine w/Alpha Lipoic Acid.
Please call the office with any questions at 847-362-4476 or stop on by at 112 W. Lake Street in Libertyville!!
~By Kristin Stromberg, Licensed Athletic Trainer
run into clients that are not regularly eating breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Just like most of you my schedule is hectic and limited. At least two days a week I’m out of the house by 6 am and do not return before 8pm. It’s imperative that I start with a healthy breakfast so keep me going on those 14 hour days. I often start the other 5 days with a 60-90 minute workout heavy on weight lifting. So how do I do it? How do I have time to make such a complete breakfast? What do I eat before/during/after workouts? I often get asked by clients and friends alike what goes into my protein shake. So here are the answers.
Base: I keep it simple and easy and start with water. Depending on the amount of frozen ingredients I’ll use between 4-6 oz of filtered water. If I’m making the shake for my husband or company I’ll sometimes substitute some of the water for coconut or almond milk – just to mix it up a bit.
Veggies: I like frozen broccoli, kale and spinach as my go to. Honestly, you can throw almost anything into your shake (if you have a vitamix like we do) and it will blend fully and silently make your shake crazy healthy. If you have veggies from last night’s dinner leftovers or ones that are about to turn bad throw them in as well!
Fruit: Don’t get carried away here. I will add 1/4 of a cup of frozen blueberries and 1/2 a banana at most to my shakes. If I’ve made a salad the night before and only used 1/2 an apple I might throw that it. I try not to add too much sugar here, so limit the amount of fruit you’re adding.
Supplements: Here’s where it should be more personalized. For our shakes I use the following:
Protein: I vary my protein intake between whey and vegan products. They both have their individual benefits so if you’re not opposed to animal protein sources I highly recommend having both on hand and alternating them each day.
When making your shake be sure to add the protein last and make sure everything is well blended prior to adding the protein in as to not alter the structure of your protein powder by blending it up too much.
Keep watching our other blog posts for what to look for when choosing a protein powder, why probiotics are beneficial and all the different uses for colostrum!