High Blood Pressure: 21 Natural Remedies

PhotobucketWhat are the Best Natural Medicines for High Blood Pressure?

By Dr. Nicole Sundene, Naturopathic Physician

High blood pressure or “hypertension” is a tough nut to crack with natural medicines. Of course, there are many etiologies to this common disease; however, most cases are because we have gotten fat, old, and out of shape. Yes, there are exceptions to the rule, so don’t be hitting the contact form to send me hate mail.

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Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

How ANYONE Can be a Naturopath in 10 Simple Steps

shutterstock_10382539By Dr. Nicole Sundene

One day a student from UW Med School followed me around on my Bastyr Internship Rounds and said, “is being a Naturopathic Doctor all about fish oil and probiotics?”

To which I responded, “pretty much.”

As much as this is a little tongue in cheek humor for my colleagues, I hope you all will be reminded of the pillars of health.

Plus I don’t have all the time in the world to nag everyone on the planet so here is how you can help Dr. Nicole on her nagging mission:

#1 Tell everyone to investigate and TREAT THE ROOT CAUSE of their health problem. Remember that “Disease is Our Teacher” and symptoms are the only way the body can send messages that something has gone haywire. Read more

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Superfoods! Superfoods? And Superfood Supplements?

By Dr. Jody Stanislaw, Naturopathic Physician

shutterstock_11241226Superfoods! I’m sure you’ve heard the buzz. But what exactly is the buzz all about anyway? What are superfoods? Do you really need to eat superfoods? What are the benefits? How do you choose which superfoods are best for you? Well, wonder no longer. Lets get right to the answers…

No surprise to anyone is the fact that humans today are busier and have more on their plate, so to speak, than ever before. We eat on the run, often literally standing up. We grab ready made meals as we rush to our next appointment. We finish meals in minutes, gulping down food that not only have we not been fully present for as we chew but have barely even chewed fully before swallowing. Read more

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Super Foods!

By Dr. Nicole Sundene

Introducing favorite superfoods and their recipes is an occasional feature here at the Kitchen Table. By gradually “making friends” with the most healthy foods from nature and learning how to incorporate them in to your diet you should notice a remarkable improvement in your health.

Most superfoods are simply high in anti-oxidants and thus slow down the natural destructive process of the tissues in our bodies. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants will help to prevent aging as well as a myriad of other chronic complaints and inflammation.

Other superfoods are super because they are rich in certain vitamins, minerals or other nutrients that benefit the body in a significant way.

Read more

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Dr. Nicole’s Pediatric Advice to New Parents

June 12, 2009 by Dr. Nicole Sundene  
Filed under Kitchen Sink, Pediatrics

by Dr. Nicole Sundene

The other day I joked on Twitter, “Oh my gosh I got so busy Twittering I forgot a baby on the scale! BRB (be right back)” and my doctor and nurse friends all thought that was pretty funny, because some days in a family practice or pediatrics setting we get so busy we literally feel like this.

Don’t worry… I am on a break from seeing patients while I prepare to move  down to Arizona.

A decade ago, I spent my first week medical assisting in pediatrics for the hospital, I weighed and measured so many babies that I would have nightmares that one would roll off the counter and fall on the floor. I would wake up in a panicked cold sweat from the new responsibility of parents entrusting the care of their precious child in my hands.

Read more

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Autism: Eight Questions Dr. Nicole has for Parents

June 4, 2009 by Dr. Nicole Sundene  
Filed under Autism, Kitchen Sink, Pediatrics

thankyousignBy Dr. Nicole Sundene

I won’t even pretend to be an expert on autism, but since this great group of autism blogging moms found me here at the kitchen table, I have a few questions of my own….

Below is a brief interview I did with one parent of a child diagnosed with autism, and if you would like to copy and paste the questions in to the comments section and share your own answers either anonymously or publicly it would greatly help me while I research the latest biochemistry on autism, vaccines, diets, vitamins, low homocysteine, and so forth.  Also other doctors and health care professional subscribed to my website will benefit.

Please share any other info you think would be helpful beyond my very basic questions, please by all means do so…I sincerely believe that the parents are the experts on this topic and even though April is “Autism Awareness Month,” author Tara McClintick and I decided that autism continues 365 days a year….so we are going to keep talking about this important and ever growing “epidemic” at the kitchen table.

#1 Did you have a difficult time getting pregnant?

Yes. We were childless for 9 years and I had two or three unsuccessful cervical bypass procedures. I also had one ectopic pregnancy prior to the birth of my daughter. I did manage to get pregnant on my own without drugs or other procedures. I was 29 when she was born.

#2 Was the pregnancy complicated or simple?

Very simple. Very little morning sickness, nothing major.

#3 Any problemss at birth?

Not at all. However, I was induced and was in labor for almost 17 hours.

#4 Normal APGARS?

Yes.

#5 Did your child exhibit any signs or symptoms before diagnosis physical or otherwise?

Yes. She was unable to nurse (could not latch on). She had poor eye contact, few words by age 2, echolalia when she did speak, repetitive behavior (such as stacking books), wandering, not pointing, not always responding to her name, sensory sensitivity, tantruming

#6 Was the onset around the time of the MMR vaccine?

I don’t recall when this vaccine was administered, but we definitely knew there was something wrong by about 18 months.

#7 Was your child vaccinated on a full schedule or partial schedule?

Full, at least I think so. She was vaccinnated as the schedule required in 1997-98.

#8 Any other factors going on with the family before or at the time of onset?

No.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen table to share your story.

Related reading:

Autism Awareness Month

Autism: 10 Strategies for Implementing Diet Changes

The Autism Diet Connection

Autism: 10 Tips for Everyone

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Top Ten Tips to Get Kids Playing and Loving Music

by Jeremy Dion

1. Keep it fun – nothings shuts down one’s inherent musical expression like a drill sergeant for a “teacher.”

Goof around, laugh, and know when enough is enough. Sometimes effective practice is done before the egg timer goes off.

2. Play music in the home – make sure you make time to play your favorite music, your child’s favorite music, and new music.

Take the time to explain to them why you love a particular piece of music. They may get it, they may not. But at least they begin to understand that music has unimaginable depth.

3. Sing with and to your child– normalize this mode of expression to combat the “American Idol” message that only polished, perfect singers should sing.

4. Explore rhythm – Our first experience is of our mother’s rhythmic heartbeat while in the womb. We ARE rhythm – our own heartbeat, our breathing, our walking, speaking, circulation, etc. Drum, dance, use pots and pans, etc.

5. Praise their playing, rather than criticizing their “wrong notes.” Blessed is the child who sings what she feels with abandon rather than the child with perfect pitch who is too afraid of criticism to utter a note.

6. Find a music teacher who really connects with your child. Like psychotherapy, the relationship is 90% of the battle. If your child likes the teacher (for reasons other than his or her musical prowess), the practice comes a lot easier.

7. Dance. With reckless joy, dance. With and for your child. Give them the experience that expression, no matter how “ridiculous” it may be labeled in other circles, is fun, free, and healthy.

8. Improvise, improvise, improvise: instead of spending all the time learning songs by rote, stretch. Put up pictures instead of music on the stand, and play a “thunderstorm” on the piano, or “a newborn child.” Take chances and risks, stretching the psyche’s ability to express.

So often we hear, “I can’t sing,” or “I can’t play.” Don’t believe it! It’s just that our cultural standards of what it means to sing and play have been hijacked by popular media. Everyone can play, everyone can sing. Embrace it, and pass it along to your child. In other words, what is life other than a daily improvisation?!

9. Attend live performances. In addition to supporting the arts, we should put our money where our mouths are. Don’t expect them to love their first showing of “The Nutcracker” during the holidays. Take them to local performances, open mics, anything that will help them understand that this mode of expression (playing an instrument, singing) is shared by many, and touches all.

10. Let go of expectation. If you are the one in a million parent who has a musical prodigy for a child, so be it. Nothing will stop him or her from following that path. For the rest of us, the goals and expectations around our child and his or her musical endeavors are best organized around expression, fun, creativity, and joy. When I use musical expression as a way to connect with (instead of to critique) my child, we are rarely more connected.

To purchase Jeremy Dion’s CD’s you can visit www.JeremyDion.com. You can also add Jeremy as a Myspace friend, load his songs to your Myspace profile, and follow Jeremy’s tour updates on Facebook.


Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Dr. Nicole’s Opinion on Your Kid’s Facebook Profile

By Dr. Nicole Sundene

Since I am a doctor of a younger Facebooking generation, I understand social networking like Facebook, Myspace, Friendster, Twitter and so forth, better than the average bear.

I also use a few of them myself to promote Kitchen Table Medicine.

At a recent family gathering the topic of kids on Facebook came up.

As my sister stated, “I think the age group for Facebook is about 35 and under,” and she is somewhat right.

Since I am on Facebook to promote Kitchen Table Medicine (please become a fan of my group so I can “look cool” to my sponsors…I know – shameless!) I have come across some odd characters…even for me!

For an adult, it is as simple as “X”ing them out of my world or hitting the delete button.
With 800 “friends”, I never hesitate to delete someone who is negative or has possible ill intentions; however, your child should not have these “cyberfriends” – they should only be allowed to be friends with people they know in real life (RLF if you want to sound hip!)

Facebook Do’s:

  • Do allow your fourteen year old child to have an account that you monitor until they are 18 years of age. Since “everyone else is doing it” now, being too stringent may cause consequences stemming from over-parenting; try to compromise.  Obviously the safest choice is to keep them offline completely. Make sure they understand it is a joint account that you have the right to log in to every day and check out if you wish. The more transparency that exists between you and your child, the safer your child is from internet predators.
  • Do ask a friend or family member that spends a lot of time on the site your child wants to be on to request them as a friend and check in on their page every day if it is something you don’t have time to do. For all my little cousins….Dr. Nicole is WATCHING YOU!!!
  • Do keep your computer in an open family room area, so that whatever they are doing online is seen by everyone else in the household.
  • Do have access to the log in and password to their account. Remember as I stated in “How to Keep Your Kids off Drugs” any illegal actions they commit on the internet, or otherwise, you may be held legally liable for until they are 18. Furthermore, your child may not even be aware they are committing a crime. Common sense rarely sets in before teendom!
  • Do check out all their friends and make sure they are the friends you know.
  • Do be stylish about it! Coco Chanel, the queen of simple accessories, has it right when it comes to accessorizing your child’s Facebook account. Do not allow for multiple pictures, and definitely do not allow for any personal information, such as the school they go to or the town they live in, on their profile. If they argue about this, settle for allowing their school as their only bit of “info” aside from their “about me” section.
  • Do have adequate anti-virus protection on your computer. As I discuss below, these social media sites are filled with pedophiles, internet thieves, phishers and scammers. So watch out. I would use one computer for online banking/purchasing and keep the family computer out in the family room, kitchen, or most popular area for everyone to share.  Educate your child on these phishing scams and tell them to ALWAYS check the browser to make sure they are logging in to www.facebook.com and not something that looks very similar to that.
  • Do add your own helpful Facebook tip for other parents struggling with these same issues.

Facebook Don’ts:

  • Don’t let child under the age of 14 have an account. A seven year old child does NOT need to be social networking, and anytime you post pictures of your children on the internet they are that much more susceptible to pedophiles, freaks, kidnappers, who knows?!?!?!? Call me paranoid but we have to weigh the checks and balances.
  • Don’t allow your child to be “friends” with someone they don’t know in real life. If they get such a request, it should be deleted or shown to you promptly. From just ONE message or comment exchange, an internet predator can use your IP address to locate your home and your child….isn’t that terrifying?
  • Don’t allow for profile pictures that are too cute, cutesy, seductive, fun, or otherwise. If it were my child, I would not even allow for them to use their photo as their profile photo. The name should be enough for those that actually know them. A flower, favorite food, vacation spot or pic of the family pet is your safest bet.
  • Don’t allow your child to bully you on this topic. You are the parent and having these accounts should be always viewed as a privilege. If they don’t like it read through these rules that I have composed. Let them hate me….heck I don’t care!  I am on Facebook, and I am just looking out for them. I encounter creepy people all the time because I use Facebook to promote Kitchen Table, and never hesitate to delete anyone negative, stalkerish, or someone who gives me a bad vibe. Better to be safe than sorry right?
  • Don’t ever forget that this is your house they live in, you are legally responsible for any problems they create, and worse ye,t emotionally responsible for a bad outcome with Facebook, Myspace, etc as happened with some cyberbullying on Myspace that resulted in a child committing suicide and the other child and parent were sued and held accountable.
  • Don’t use passwords used for business related matters. Never ever ever forget that these profiles are perfect ways for ID theft to occur, so tell your child not to click on anything that looks “fishy” ie “phishing scam” where internet thieves are searching for people to log in to a “fake profile page” and once the scammer has your log in password they can then use it to gain credit card, banking, and even IRS information, or just completely hack your computer altogether.

So what other do/don’ts can you recommend to help out other parents challenged by this topic?

Read more: Pediatrics

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Parental Alienation

PhotobucketBy Dr. Nicole Sundene

I am sure that many of us have witnessed parental alienation first-hand, and it wasn’t until Dr. Phil’s expert labeled it as “child abuse” did I realize it is my obligation to be a “mandated reporter” when I witness an ugly divorce battle between two parents.

Much of what I do as a naturopath is counsel and work to “undo” that which happened during a divorce or other childhood trauma.

Recently, I have been following the story of David Goldman, a man who has been estranged from his son for the past four years, and it got me thinking about the core wound that parental alienation can create in a child.

Children experience the world much differently than adults do, and I would like to invite all parents to consider how important it is to allow both parents be involved in the child’s life, regardless of whether he is a “worthless bum” or she is a “cheating lying witch.” Really, I have heard it all. Divorce is tough enough but the delicate emotions of the children should always be the prime directive.

Nothing makes me more sick to my stomach than parental alienation. This is when one parent uses the court system to push another parent out of that child’s life in an ugly custody situation. Occasionally these acts are necessary and done out of safety, but mostly they are done by one parent, whether consciously or unconsciously, to punish the other parent for cheating, giving up on the marriage, or whatever other reason.

Taking a child away from their parent is the cruelest of punishments of course, but who is suffering the most? The child. The child is suffering, and parental alienation without good cause is emotional child abuse.

If you are doing this, or if you see someone doing this, what you are witnessing is, technically, child abuse. Physicians and teachers are “mandated reporters” which means that it is our duty to report child abuse to CPS when we see it happening.

Of course it is always best to try to talk to the parent that is instigating the alienation first, if possible. But if you don’t feel comfortable doing that then you should make a call to CPS so that your information can be added to the court’s custody decisions. Many states automatically favor the mother and give fathers little to no rights. Being a parent is more than just one Wednesday a week and every other weekend.

The court may set the schedule, but the real decision should be made by your own children. If they need more time with a specific parent then that is what they should get. A child’s mind sees parental alienation as abandonment. “My daddy left me, he doesn’t love me or care about me,” is the typical thought process of the alienated child.

After working with kids and babies for eight years, my advice for new parents when asked is always the same thing, “this baby was born perfect and you are going to mess it up. Every parent messes up. Sometimes trying too hard to be such a perfect parent messes your kid up more than anything, so just relax and enjoy the process.”

But, parental alienation is a preventable mistake. If you are doing it, if you see a friend or family doing it, try to talk some reason in to them. If there are concerns about the parent and they are under investigation, or a restraining order is present, then the visitation can and should still be conducted supervised. The child should be allowed to see the estranged parent at least twice a week, or as often as they need.

If a child is being beaten or sexually molested, they should of course be alienated from the abusive parent; however, a child needs both a mom and a dad if not “a village,” in order to be healthy, and I can guarantee that the worst thing you can ever do to a child is alienate it from either it’s mother or father.

I don’t care how crappy a parent they are. I don’t care if they are a “useless unemployed alcoholic bum,”all parents are perfect in their child’s eyes (well until they become teens.) The interesting psychological aspect of parental alienation is that the child notoriously bonds with the parent they were alienated from and secretly holds a grudge or becomes estranged from the parent that did the alienating. Karmic retribution perhaps.

We need to always be thinking about what is best for our kids, not for ourselves.

Sorry, tough love today, maybe some of you don’t want to hear this from me, but children everywhere are being abused by our court system and all I can do is speak up and encourage parents to open their hearts to what is the absolute best thing for their children.

For more information on parental alienation visit: DivorceSource.com

~Dr. Nicole

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Seafood: Don’t Listen to the FDA!

December 18, 2008 by Dr. Nicole Sundene  
Filed under Diet Tips, Kitchen Sink, Pediatrics, Pregnancy

shutterstock_3176257.jpgIs the FDA going to start recommending that pregnant women drink a beer and smoke a cigarette every night too? Recommending mercury laced seafood to pregnant women in my opinion is just as seemingly ridiculous and irresponsible.

Trust me, I am all about moderation, but when I read articles like this one, “FDA Urges Pregnant Women to Consume More Mercury Laced Seafood,” I feel like just packing up and quitting!

How can the FDA feel good about potentially favoring the failing seafood industry at the risk of exposing unborn fetuses to toxic mercury that is known to cause birth defects and neurological damage? No amount of known mercury consumption during pregnancy should be labeled as “safe” or “healthy.” There is no guarantee that a woman’s cytochrome p450 detoxification pathways will be working while pregnant, and worse yet a common problem in pregnancy is constipation which just perpetuates heavy metal poisoning as the main elimination pathway slows down.

Honestly this crazy rough draft recommendation from the FDA doesn’t surprise me though. I could ramble on for hours about many other instances as to why we should no longer listen to the American FDA, and this is merely one of them. The FDA simply has big business in America at heart, and with the seafood industry nearing extinction in the next few decades as our oceans become increasingly polluted this dietary recommendation is simply a warning sign that the FDA is scrambling to protect the inevitable demise of the seafood industry.

The FDA makes blanket recommendations that promote businesses while potentially jeopardizing the health of individuals. The rough draft report awaiting approval by the white house argues, “that nutrients in fish, including omega-3 fatty acids, selenium and other minerals could boost a child’s IQ by three points.”

Yes! Children will need those extra three IQ points if they were exposed to mercury as a fetus, a heavy metal known to cause neurological disorders.

Keep in mind when you hear health recommendations from the FDA that they are made basically to cover government regulated food programs such as provided for prisoners. Imagine the cost to our government if the FDA actually insisted on high quality organic food for all prisoners?

Such a costly recommendation would certainly burden these government food programs, but it may solve the health care dilemna. We are the second most unhealthy country only to Finland, yet we spend the most on health care, and the least on high quality food. We should try modeling after our European and Asian counterparts that place a cultural priority on quality food consumption. Americans will eat any old cheap refined food garbage they can purchase several month’s supply of at a cost saving warehouse. Europeans shop several times a week from a local produce stand.

Cutting corners with our food is is not the answer. Trust me, my heart goes out to the seafood industry, but we have to make ethical decisions when it comes to health. The pollution of our oceans is an unavoidable reality.

Larger carnivorous fish are naturally more polluted than smaller ones. Older fish are also more polluted than younger fish. The best fish to consume are Alaskan Wild Salmon and similar deep water fish. Do NOT eat farm raised fish unless they are crustaceans grown in controlled tanks. Farm raised salmon is toxic with PCB’s to say the least. PCB’s are known carcinogens that cause cancer, and farmed fish is thus banned in Europe for that reason. Why isn’t it banned in America? Money of course.

It is simply irresponsible on the FDA’s behalf to consider recommending that pregnant women and children eat more fish that we KNOW are toxic with mercury. This just doesn’t make sense, and I hope that pregnant women are not going to fall victim to this ridiculous advice that clearly has the interest of big business in America at heart and not the health of developing human beings.

Reference: www.EWG.org

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Aura Cacia’s Lavender Harvest, Mommy’s Secret Weapon

PhotobucketBy Kat Lee

I have friends whose children drop off to sleep peacefully, alone, and fast; and I must confess that I secretly hate them. Okay, hate is not really the right word, but I seriously envy them.

My children require ninja mommy skills when bedtime arrives. If your children are like this, then you totally know what I mean by that.

You carefully arrange everything: mood, lighting, temperature. Then, you must sit nearby (or completely underneath and entangled between) your children until they become unconscious.

Now comes the tricky part – extricating yourself from this situation so that you can watch Heroes. You slowly twist and pull and wrangle yourself free from the children, then quietly tiptoe out of the room like a midnight assassin.

Sound familiar? If so, then I have just discovered a secret weapon that you may be interested in: Aura Cacia’s Lavender Harvest essential oil. The other night I placed one of their neat pocket diffusers (full of lavender) into the kids’ bedroom a bit before bedtime.

They lay down, as usual, and I sat nearby (not even an arm around them!) to see what would happen. They chatted a bit, then quieted down… then they fell asleep. I tiptoed out of the room in utter amazement. Who knew something as simple as lavender could be so effective?

I can assure you that this ninja mommy will never be caught without a supply of lavender oil again. That and Benadryl (just kidding).

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Recipe: Organic Sports Drinks

sportsdrinks.jpgMost sports drinks are just pollutionfests chock full of Kitchen Table Villains such as High Fructose Corn Syrup, food colorings, additives, preservatives, and artificial flavorings and colorings. With just a few simple kitchen ingredients, you can make your own homemade sports drinks.

The two widely available sports drinks I commonly recommend for athletes and those that are at risk of dehydration are Emergen-C and Recharge.

If you do not have these readily on hand, you can also easily make your own sports drinks at home.

Making your own sports drinks is fun, cost effective, and MUCH healthier than most alternatives.

Ingredients for Homemade Organic Sports Drinks:

  • Pure Organic Fruit Juice (No High Fructose Corn Syrup!)
  • Water or Green Tea
  • Organic Sea Salt

Directions: Fill your sports bottle with half juice and half water. Add a pinch of organic sea salt, shake, and enjoy!

Sports Drink Variations and Information:

  • You can use table salt, but organic sea salt is best to use as an electrolyte source as the minerals of the sea are very similar to our own electrolyte composition in our blood. Sea salt contains 84 minerals. Aside from sodium, you are receiving potassium, iodine, magnesium, calcium, zinc, manganese, and more!
  • A small pinch of sea salt is sufficient for most, a larger pinch should be used for endurance athletes, and convalescent care to stave off hyponatremia, the dangerous condition of low sodium levels that can cause muscle weakness, confusion, slurred speech, and more.
  • The RDA for sodium depending on your age, ranges between 1200-1500mg daily.
  • Most athletes lose around 1000mg of sodium per hour, depending on how much they sweat, you do not have to replete all of this at once though, doing so may result in gastrointestinal distress such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
  • Most sports drinks contain around 20-60mg of sodium per 100 mL.
  • One teaspoon of salt contains 2400mg of sodium. For hard core endurance athletes such as Ironman triathletes, that are in need of strict sodium regulation, I would aim for about 1/8 of a teaspoon of salt an hour for starters. If you get cramps or weakness in your muscles then you probably need more sodium and magnesium. If you get an upset stomach, chances are you need less sugar and electrolytes. These are just basic guidelines, the best formula is the one that works for you!
  • Soups like chicken and vegetable broth can also be enjoyed as electrolyte sources.
  • Green tea can be used for athletes wanting a little bit of a fat burning or energetic edge.
  • Honey and sea salt can be added to green tea or your favorite herbal tea if fruit juice is unavailable. Enjoy hot or chilled.
  • Try adding an Emergen-C packet to your room temperature green tea for an energizing, fat burning sports drink! Let the tea cool a bit because vitamin C is heat sensitive.
  • Herbal teas can also be used in this formula as a simple way to deliver herbal medicine to sick children.
  • Hydrating foods such as watermelon, cucumbers, honeydew, cantaloupe, and other such water packed fruits and vegetables are also excellent sources of water, sugar, and electrolytes. They are “Nature’s Sports Drinks”! Keep them in your refrigerator and serve them up cold to kids that have been actively playing in the warm summer sun.

Reference: Exercise Associated Hyponatremia, Cape Town, South Africa 2005. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine. 15(4):208-213, July 2005.

Enjoy, and thanks for stopping by my kitchen table!

~Dr. Nicole

Naturopathic Physician

www.KitchenTableMedicine.com

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Children are Eating their Weight in Sugar Each Year

By Dr. Scott Olson

Research shows children are eating their weight in sugar each year!

That bag of candy your child lugs home after a long night out trick-or-treating is certainly heavy, but, if your child is typical, that amount of sugar is only a small portion of what they are going to eat throughout the year.

Children, it appears, are eating their body weight in sugar every year.Recent research looking into what children are eating has found that they are eating more sugar than ever before and that the major source of all that sugar is exactly what you might guess: fruit juice and soda.

When all tallied, a typical child in America is eating somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2 pound of sugar a day, that means somewhere between 100 to 150 pounds of sugar end up in their little bodies each year.

A study released by the journal, Pediatrics, looked into how much sugar children are getting from their drinks (soda and fruit juice); and here is what they found:

  • Children get 10 to 15 percent of their total calories from these two drinks (soda and fruit juice).
  • Children aged six to nineteen drank an average of 30 oz of soda or fruit juice every day.
  • Two to five-year-olds drank an average of 15.5 oz of juice or soda a day.
  • The size of an average drink a child consumes has climbed 46 percent (almost double) sine 1972.

It is astonishing to think that 10 to 15 percent of the calories these children are getting are coming from just soda and fruit juice, because that 10 to 15 percent doesn’t included added sugars from what they eat for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, or the cookies, candies, ice cream or other sugary snacks they consume. It also doesn’t include the hidden sugars in crackers, chips, peanut butter or fast foods they eat.

Total sugar amounts become even crazier when adding all the additional foods they eat that act like sugar in their bodies such as starchy vegetable (such as potatoes) and many grains.

It is clear that our children are overdosing on sugar.

Really? A Half a Pound of Sugar a day?

Whenever I write that children (and, yes, adults too) eat between 1/4 to 1/2 pound of sugar a day, people always question the amount. Let’s see how easy it is to make eat that much sugar every day.
In order to make this calculation, you have to remember that 30 teaspoons of sugar is equal to 1/4 pound of sugar.

Look at how many teaspoons of sugar are in typical foods:

  • Twelve ounces of soda contains 8 teaspoons of sugar, a 16oz soda contains 10.5 teaspoons.
  • Breakfast cereals contain 4 to 6 teaspoons of sugar (more than that if they sprinkle sugar on top).
  • Donuts contain between 8 to 20 teaspoons of sugar.
  • Cookies have between 2 to 4 teaspoons of sugar (each).
  • For a more complete list, look here: Percentage Of Sugar In Common Foods.

Look how easy it is to get that 30 teaspoons (or 1/4 pound) of sugar:

  • Three sodas almost gets you there.
  • A few donuts would do the same.
  • Breakfast cereal, a soda, peanut butter, a few cookies and desert means you hit your quota for the day.

Who’s Responsible?

The most surprising revelation in the article in journal, Pediatrics, was that fact that children are getting the bulk of this sugar at home. Most (55 to 70 percent) of sugar-sweetened beverages were consumed in the home, while only 7 to 15 percent in schools. Preschools and Daycare tilt the percentage away from parents as they typically hand out more sugary drinks than a regular school.

These results show that parents actually have a lot of influence over what their children are eating and need to consider these facts with every trip to the grocery store.

Is Everyday Halloween?

Yes, parents should be concerned about how much sugar their children are eating on Halloween, but this holiday is far from atypical when we are talking about sugar consumption. Kids are eating a lot of sugar every day.

The long-term affects of sugar-eating are many and children are especially susceptible to sugar as is shown by the incredible rise in childhood obesity and diabetes.

Parents can do a lot to determine the health of their children and help them to make better choices about sugar. Since the majority of the sugar eaten by children happens at home, it should be easy for parents to curtail its use. The first best step is to stop buying soda and fruit juice, which may cause a mini-revolt, but is in the best interest of everyone.

Reference: O’Connor TM, Yang SJ, Nicklas TA. Beverage intake among preschool children and its effect on weight status. Pediatrics. 2006 Oct;118(4):e1010-8. PMID: 17015497

~Dr. Scott Olson
Naturopathic Physician

Dr. Scott Olson is a Naturopathic doctor, expert in alternative medicine, author, and medical researcher. Spurred on by his patients’ struggles with sugar addiction, he was determined to discover how addictive and harmful sugar can be and ways to overcome that addiction.

The result of that study is his book Sugarettes, which details the addictive qualities of sugar and the harm that sugar does to our bodies.

Dr. Scott also maintains a blog which highlights the latest in health and healthy living. Subscribe or stop by to check out his latest research on sugar addiction.

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

55 Healthy & Cheap School Lunch Ideas

I smelled it in the air the other night.

That first cold crisp taste of autumn after a hot summer day.

That nervous tension quivering around me.

That bustling sensation in the air that can only be caused by millions of children and parents simultaneously scrambling to gather last minute glue sticks, scissors, trapper keepers, and lunch boxes.

What will I wear?

Who will I sit next to on the bus?
What will my schedule be like?
Will I be able to find my classroom?
Will my friends have my same lunch schedule?
Are those big bullies going to be there?
I hope I like my teacher!

Oh my gosh I feel SO STRESSED!

What is that?

Oh, wait. That’s right. I don’t have to go back to school anymore. I guess I can just relax. I can hold off on trapper keeper shopping for now.

Phwew!

Back to school time, can be quite stressful for children as they adjust to a new schedule, new teacher, or new school. Keeping the home schedule consistent is prudent during this time. You can also ease the stress by packing them a healthy lunch from home.

A home-made lunch ensures your child is properly nourished to cope with these new stressors, while also providing a bit of the comforts of home. I still remember hanging up my lunch bag in the coat room, a cozy symbol of comfort, waiting there for me if I needed it.

The key ingredients to a successful school lunch are protein and fiber. They will serve to keep your child’s concentration up, and stress levels down, as explained in my article What to Eat for Better Concentration. Also, parents really need to understand that most lunch meats are processed with sodium nitrites that are implicated in increasing rates of childhood cancers as discussed in my article Hot Dogs: Foe of Kitchen Table.

Be sure to try these new lunch ideas at home first before leaving your kids stranded in the cafeteria with some freaky lunch that other kids may make fun of. For the first few weeks of school, pack all their most familiar and favorite foods before making any major changes.

I have collaborated with my sister, a teacher and mom, and my friend Heidi the author of “Healthnut Mom Wannabe” to develop this simple list of whole foods lunch menu items that most kids will eat.

Here is the list of healthy whole foods lunch ideas to feed your children:

  1. Leftovers from last night’s dinner can be quickly packed in a thermos. Fill the thermos first with hot water to ensure the meal stays warm through lunch time. Here are some favorites to try:
  2. Spaghetti.
  3. Your family’s favorite casserole.
  4. Salmon, veggies, and brown rice.
  5. Chicken, veggies, and brown rice.
  6. Chili and rice or whole grain crackers.
  7. Stir-fry and brown rice.
  8. Soup in a thermos with whole grain crackers. Kids especially love:
  9. Chicken noodle soup.
  10. Vegetable soup.
  11. Minestrone soup.
  12. Tomato soup.
  13. Yogurt, fruit, granola, and nuts.
  14. Cottage cheese and fruit.
  15. Chicken and bean burrito on a whole grain tortilla.
  16. Pita bread stuffed with hummus, sprouts, and tomato.
  17. Guacamole and blue corn chips.
  18. Turkey sandwich on whole grain bread.
  19. Vegetarian BLT sandwich (use veggie bacon).
  20. Almond butter, bananas, and a dash of honey on whole wheat bread.
  21. Veggie burger.
  22. Whole grain bagel and cream cheese.
  23. Vegetables should always be included. Here are a few favorites:
  24. Carrot sticks.
  25. Celery (add almond butter, or cream cheese, and raisins).
  26. Snap peas.
  27. Edamame (soy beans).
  28. Broccoli and ranch to dip it in.
  29. Sprouts can be added to sandwiches.
  30. Smear avocados on sandwiches for essential fats.
  31. Red pepper slices.
  32. Cucumbers.
  33. Whole grain crackers are a great source of protein and fiber. Pair them with:
  34. White cheese or cream cheese (yellow cheese is high in saturated fat).
  35. Hard boiled eggs.
  36. Nitrite free lunch meat.
  37. Hummus.
  38. Nut butters like cashew and almond butter. (Peanuts are highly allergenic, try to rotate your nut butters to prevent allergy).
  39. Nuts are an excellent source of protein, fiber, and fat. Try to do raw nuts if possible:
  40. Cashews.
  41. Almonds.
  42. Pistachios.
  43. Mixed nuts.
  44. Trail Mix.
  45. Fruit is always a school lunch favorite. Here are a few that pack well:
  46. Apples.
  47. Oranges.
  48. Peaches.
  49. Pears.
  50. Cantaloupe.
  51. Honeydew.
  52. Bananas.
  53. Raisins.
  54. Dried blueberries, apricots, pineapple rings, or other favorite dried fruit.
  55. Water, rice milk, soy milk, or 2% cow milk. Kids don’t need juice!

Please do add your favorite healthy lunch ideas to the comments section, for all to enjoy!

Remember, if you don’t want your child to become yet another American diabetes and obesity statistic, it is imperative that you gradually switch your family to a “Whole Foods Diet”. Develop healthy habits in your children NOW to prevent disease.

Don’t let the media pressure you in to buying unhealthy junk “designed for children”. Put an end to those crummy cheese and cracker processed “Junkables” that are so tempting to send your kids off with. The reality though is that most processed meals intended for children are exactly what are causing the childhood obesity epidemic in America.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen table, please share these simple lunch ideas with any other parents that will benefit!

~Dr. Nicole Sundene

www.KitchenTableMedicine.com

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Vegetarian Lunches and Snacks for Children

September 21, 2008 by Dr. Nicole Sundene  
Filed under Guest Posts, Pediatrics, Vegetarian

I interviewed my friend Heidi, the author of Healthnut Mom Wannabee for some ideas of what vegetarian items she packs in her children’s lunches.

Be sure to try these new lunch ideas at home first before leaving your kids stranded in the cafeteria with some “freaky lunch” that other kids may make fun of as discussed in my article “55 Healthy School Lunch Ideas”.

For the first few weeks of school, be sure to pack all their most familiar and favorite foods before making any major changes.

Heidi, what are your ultimate goals with a vegetarian lunch menu?

Thank you so much for asking me about my kids healthy lunches and snacks. Both of my daughters (2 and 5) are very particular about what they eat so sometimes I have to be creative and convince them that blueberries are just as delicious as candy.

Both of my daughters are vegetarians and I do try to buy most everything that I can afford organic for them as I read and believe that since children have faster metabolisms, and less varied diets they are more prone to damage. I do my best but there are days when despite my best efforts they want Doritos.

Heidi, what are your girls’ favorite vegetarian lunches?

  • Whole wheat tortilla with vegetarian refried beans, organic cheese and salsa-quick, easy and delicious.
  • Peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat bread, Banana and organic cheese puffs (make sure to read the ingredients on the breads because some aren’t exactly as they read). I always make sure the jelly is 100% fruit and if possible organic.
  • Hummus with pita bread, apple and a piece of organic cheese-simple and delicious!
  • Vegetarian chili loaded with vegetables in a thermos, a bagel and her favorite fruit of the day-one of Ava’s favorite lunches.
  • Vegetarian bologna,turkey or ham with a slice of organic cheese, lettuce and tomato on whole wheat bread, granola bar and blue corn tortilla chips.
  • Vegetarian BLT on whole wheat bread with provolone cheese (morning star veggie bacon), dried fruit, spinach salad with nuts. To be fair, neither of the kids like the spinach salads so I am slowly trying to introduct them.
  • Guacomole dip with blue corn tortilla chips,bottled natural fruit smoothie (can’t remember the name, and nuts.

Thanks so much Heidi, for stopping by the kitchen table to share that with us!

Remember that your children don’t need meat at every meal, they just need a balanced protein source such as beans and rice, beans and corn, or nuts and whole grains to ensure the full complex of essential amino acids needed to support growth.

Please leave any other suggestions or links to vegetarian school lunches in the comments sections for other parents to enjoy!

For more of Heidi’s great healthy eating tips, simply stop by her website at http://www.healthnutwannabeemom.blogspot.com

Resources: “Vegetarian Sources of Protein”, “The Top Five Nutrients Vegetarians Should Watch Out For”

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen table!

~Dr. Nicole Sundene

www.KitchenTableMedicine.com

img_7478.jpg

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Hot Dogs and Childhood Cancer

watermelonkid.jpgBy Dr. Nicole Sundene

I came across this story about hot dogs at the Chicago Tribune and thought, “Oh dear! What is this world coming to? Hot dogs still? REALLY?”

“A whole recipe contest for the ‘wonderous wienie’?”

“Oh my!”

Hot dogs are not a healthy friend of the kitchen table.

A while back I stopped by the grocery store and was asked to buy a hot dog to support breast cancer.

Always the first to write a check for some Girl Scout cookies, I was forced to unfortunately say “no thank you” to the hot dog fund raiser. What I did do though, was immediately call my sister, a fellow health food freak to discuss the deep dark irony of hosting a hot dog fund raiser for cancer. (My sister and I are pretty much the female version of the finicky, persnickety duo Fraiser and Niles Crane on a Whole Foods Diet).

She suggested that I sell cigarettes to raise funds for lung cancer research.

We had a good laugh over the silly satire of the situation, and thought up a bunch of other ridiculous fund raisers. I couldn’t help but hang up and still feel gloomy and defeated that our American Sickcare System is so tangled up in hype, blinders, and microscopic thinking.

Sometimes we easily lose track of the big picture with health, disease, diet, and lifestyle choices. No, hot dogs have not been shown to cause breast cancer at this prudent juncture, however, they ARE implicated in increasing the risk of childhood cancers.

The nitrites used to preserve hot dogs and other lunch meats form nitrosamines either in the cooking process or in our gut. Nitrosamines are known carcinogens implicated in cancers of the bladder, mouth, esophagus, stomach, and brain.

If hot dogs are associated with cancer even slightly, then why bother eating them I say?

If they are implicated in child hood cancers, and thought to increase your child’s risk of developing cancer NINE-FOLD when an average of 3 hot dogs per week are consumed, then WHY by all means are they even allowed to be served in school cafeterias, daycares, and hospitals? If one hot dog a week increases your child’s risk of developing brain cancer, why would any parent want to feed their child such a food?

Unfortunately most parents that I talk to are clueless to the hot dog conundrum.

Look at this innocent little guy eating watermelon in the above picture. Kids are just as happy with healthy foods, and it is our job to make educated decisions around feeding them. They don’t know any better.

Today’s Healthy Kitchen Tasks: Get hot dogs with nitrites out of your life. Ask the professionals preparing your children’s meals why hot dogs are being served to them if they are thought to increase the risk of childhood leukemias and brain tumors. Show them this article.

The bottom line is that institutions don’t want to pay for quality food. School cafeterias, prisons, hospitals, and other government run facilities have to work on a budget, and the budget they are expected to keep scarily determines MUCH of our “nutritional requirements”. The dietary RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) is set especially low so these government run programs can meet the bare minimums.

Something to think about the next time you send your child off to school to purchase a hot dog and some tater tots.

Hot dogs should not be the bare minimum.

Let’s stop and evaluate the big picture.

The more clean and moderately we live, the more disease we can prevent. Avoiding the consumption of hot dogs is crucial to clean healthy living. If our efforts prevent cancer in one child, then they are well worth it. Maybe your child won’t be affected, but it sure will matter a great deal to the parents of the one that is.

If you HAVE to have a hot dog, save it for a sporting event or carnival. Even Disneyland is moving towards healthier choices, and so should we. “When in Rome” is a good rule of thumb for hot dogs.

Needless to say, hot dogs should not be daily or even weekly guests at our kitchen tables. Look for healthier protein options that are NOT prepared with potential carcinogens such as sodium nitrites. Anything on the label that says “nitrite” or “nitrate” after it, means potentially carcinogenic. Cured fish, and bacon also contain nitrites. Purchase bratwursts and higher quality intestinal meats from whole foods markets. They won’t have as long of a shelf life, so keep them in the freezer.

Keep in mind that these low quality protein sources actually are extremely high in saturated fat which is not good for any inflammatory health condition (almost all disease is caused by inflammation), nor is consuming saturated fats in hot dogs good for PREVENTING disease such as the clogged arteries that cause heart attacks, strokes, and high blood pressure.

Best case scenario, though, let’s just remove the hot dog’s seat at the kitchen table. Who needs a nasty old hot dog sitting around at dinner time anyways?

For more information about today’s tirade, you can read an important question and answer series about hot dogs and cancer at PreventCancer.com.

If you have any ideas for any other “great” fund raisers. Feel free to leave them in the comments section.

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Cellulite Reduction: The Best Treatments

cellulitecure.jpgBy Bonnie Pfiester, Fitness Trainer.

Someone once asked me if I knew of anything that would help get rid of cellulite.

I am proud to say I do!

My answer isn’t a cream nor is it a complicated surgical procedure. My solution is something that has been around for years – diet and exercise.

Surprised?

You see, I don’t believe the issue is always the lumpy fat we call cellulite, but the problem can be magnified by the result of muscle deterioration. The unfortunate combination can leave skin loose and lumpy.

Let’s look at the facts. Women who do not exercise lose an average of 5 pounds of muscle per decade before menopause and a pound a year thereafter. Since cellulite is more common for women, this causes a couple of problems.

Each pound of lean muscle lost decreases your metabolism, making it easier to gain weight. If you already have a problem with cellulite, the slowing metabolism will only make matters worse. Weight gain causes the cellulite to be more pronounced as the fat cells grow.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the firm muscle that once supported the skin and fat is now shrinking. Lumpy fat cells are growing and smooth firm muscle is withering away. Have I scared you into working out yet?

Let me encourage you. Although diet and exercise may not get rid of all the cellulite in the world, it sure can make a huge difference. A low-calorie diet can reduce and manage overall body fat, affecting the size and visibility of cellulite.

Exercising to preserve or increase lean muscle mass can prevent, and even reverse, a lot of the problems. Building lean muscle not only increases your metabolism to help fight weight gain but it builds firm shapely muscle to support and smooth out our aging skin.

Some may argue, but I have seen too many transformations as a result of diet and exercise that are undeniable proof that it can work. Although diet and exercise may not always get rid of the problem completely, I bet it works ten times better than any cellulite cream on the market!

~Bonnie

Bonnie Pfiester is a Personal Trainer and owner of the health club Longevity Fitness. You can enjoy more of Bonnie’s fitness and beauty articles at www.BonniePfiester.com .

You are invited to leave your fitness and sports nutrition questions in the comments below for Bonnie to briefly answer or write about in future articles.

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Heart Healthy Herbal Cocktail

pomegranategreentea.jpgBy Dr. Nicole Sundene

With the hot summer months upon us (well not so much in Seattle today), I thought I would share my favorite herbal iced tea recipe to help you “Unleash your inner fabulosity”.

Mixing fat burning green tea with pomegranate juice is a most delicious delivery system for the heart healthy antioxidants, proanthocyanins, bioflavonoids, and polyphenols that protect our cardiovascular systems from the ravages of inflammation.

Ultimately these gifts from nature work synergistically to preventing heart disease and aging. Green tea is also a known fat burner, and can be consumed copiously by dieters for its thermogenic properties.

Ingredients:

  • 8 bags of Green Tea.
  • 1 cup pure Pomegranate juice (Trader Joes has a great organic one that I like).

Directions:

  • Steep eight tea bags with seven cups of boiling water for about 15 minutes in a Pyrex container.
  • Remove tea bags.
  • Allow to cool to room temperature.
  • Add 1 cup of pomegranate juice (Or to taste).
  • Chill and serve over ice cubes.
  • Drink several glasses daily to prevent heart disease, and increase fat burning.
  • One eight ounce glass is only about 20 calories! If you are trying to get off diet soda, a Villain of the Kitchen Table, this Whole Foods cocktail should be your new best friend! Diet pop actually makes you fat, this recipe will burn fat.

Variations:

  • For parties add some festive garnishes: Mint, lemon balm, lavender, fruit, and edible flowers will surely make you look like Martha Stewart gone on a health rampage. Plop a few frozen blueberries or raspberries in there as well to make it look interesting, or chop a bunch of fruit and create an herbal non-alcoholic “sangria” for your guests.
  • Black tea is also high in polyphenols for those that don’t care about burning fat, you may also use Oolong, White Tea, or any herbal tea. Have fun with the ingredients you have readily on hand.
  • For stress relief, grab a box of herbal stress relief tea like Celestial Seasonings “Tension Tamer” or a “Night Night” tea and enjoy iced with your favorite fruit juice.
  • For diarrhea, mix heavily steeped black tea with blueberry juice. The tannins have an astringent quality on the gut that serve to stop diarrhea. For extra tannins, try a bit of cinnamon too if you like!
  • Add a pinch of sea salt and you have yourself an herbal fat burning organic sports drink! For long work out sessions you may also want to increase the amount of juice in the recipe.
  • For sick children, mixing pure juice and prescribed herbal teas (not caffeinated!) prevents dehydration while also treating illness. Add a pinch of sea salt for electrolytes.

If you have your own favorite herbal iced tea recipe, feel free to share it in the comments section.

Isn’t being healthy so much fun?

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen table!

~ Dr. Nicole Sundene

Naturopathic Physician
www.KitchenTableMedicine.com

img_7478.jpg

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Foxglove: Poisonous or Life Saving?

foxglovedigitalis.jpgDid you know those pink and white “Gnome Hats” lining our roadsides in the Pacific Northwest can either kill you or save your life?

Formally known as Digitalis purpurea, this beautiful plant contains a powerful herbal medicine that saves lives every single day for those with heart disease.

Now, one should never make any medicine on their own with foxglove, as it can kill you. Foxglove is a poisonous plant. However, the poisonous mechanism that the cardiac glycosides from Digitalis exhibit to cause cardiac arrest, actually improve contractility in the heart of those with congestive heart failure.

In small controlled doses, the medicine of this plant has smartly been synthesized by scientists to create the drug Digoxin, a pharmaceutical derivative of Digitalis. Digoxin is used to improve contractility of the heart in those that have congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation, supraventricular tachycardia, and paroxysmal atrial tachycardia.

Anyone doubting that plants contain medicine should in addition avoid the use of prescription pharmaceuticals, as many drugs that we commonly use such as aspirin also originate from nature. If you doubt herbs have medicine in them, then you should doubt the pharmacology of the prescription drugs you take as well.

Try arguing with a willow tree about its salicin and salicylic acid constituents. The salicylic acid found in willow bark was simply synthesized and buffered into “acetyl salicylic acid” which is what we commonly use as the drug “aspirin” for just about everything that ails us. The buffering agent was simply added to protect the stomach lining.

Aspirin is just glorified herbal medicine at its finest! Herbs are the original medicine. Money drives the bottom line behind the domination of pharmaceutical agents used by our country. A willow tree cannot be patented, but a buffered form of its derivative certainly can! Yet another reason why America spends the most money on health care, yet we are still only second to Finland as the unhealthiest people in the world.

*Dr. Nicole looks around, paranoid that she may be offed by a drug rep and their donuts*

Some herbs such as foxglove contain powerful medicines that can do a great deal of harm. But, when used appropriately and with the correct wisdom and intentions, herbs can also do a great deal of help. What we need to do with alternative medicine is quit wasting time arguing about whether or not plants can be used as medicine. Herbalists, scientists, naturopaths, MD’s, and pharmaceutical companies need to instead combine their intelligence to create more helpful drugs such as Digoxin.

If something as common as foxglove growing like a weed around us can save a patient with a weak heart, just think of what kinds of cures for cancer, AIDS, or other incurable diseases that we might be able to develop from the plants around us!

Who knows? Maybe the cure for the common cold is growing in your backyard right now; it has just yet to be discovered.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen table.

~Dr. Nicole

Naturopathic Physician

www.KitchenTableMedicine.com

img_7478.jpg

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

How to Get Your Kids to Eat More Vegetables

kidsvegetables.jpgAs a naturopath I have learned an appreciation for vegetables, and have had an easier time incorporating them into my diet.

Foods that I once perceived as evil, I actually now regularly eat.

I even eat seaweed!

Often I will read some scientific research on some piece of produce out there and think “Oh, well I guess I can eat that, I had no idea that broccoli was going to do all THAT for me!”

And so my Standard American Diet (SAD) has progressed from tuna casserole, Chef Boyardee, cereal, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to vegetables, brown rice, and flaxseeds.

Yes, I was once that annoying child that would sit in nightly combat with their parents over a Brussels sprout.

The rare exceptions that I would willfully eat vegetables were the summer months that my sister and I would spend “foraging” our backyard garden for carrots, green beans, tomatoes, herbs, radishes, raw corn right off the cob, fruit of the season and maybe even a freshly dug potato or two. I always freely ate those vegetables with a certain level of curiosity and adventure that a can of Brussels sprouts could never muster for me at the dinner table.

Personally I think the best way to get most children to eat, enjoy, and appreciate vegetables is to teach them how to grow their own. Growing vegetables is educational, fun and gives children a new found appreciation for food and how much work it takes to get it on their plate.

This is the perfect time to start a fun little gardening project like a children’s vegetable patch. You can even make a pretty decent kid’s garden in a big wooden planter. Simply fill it with fresh organic dirt so you know they will be safe to get their hands really dirty (and maybe their mouths too). Sprout seeds indoors and transfer them out to the patch when they are ready. Involve your kids with each step along the way. To learn more simply read my article on “How to Grow an Organic Kid’s Garden”.

Now most children that get the choice to be responsible for every part of the decision making process from which seeds to purchase, wear to plant, when to pick, and what recipe to make the vegetable in to, will have a tough time not being curious enough to want to sample and enjoy the final project.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen table! What is your favorite tip for getting kids to eat healthier?

~Dr. Nicole Sundene

Naturopathic Physician

www.KitchenTableMedicine.com

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

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