Posts Tagged ‘exercise’

Rethinking Cholesterol

June 8, 2011

I was at my Internist’s office yesterday discussing my shingles improvement, when he asked about my getting blood work–specifically a cholesterol test as mine was from years ago.  My answer was: the research I’ve done seems to support the fact that the numbers are not nearly so important as whether or not our cholesterol is oxidized, and if it is nice and plump or really small particles. He looked at me a moment and replied: we (the practice he is part of) discussed this very situation last year. Evidently there isn’t (yet) a decent blood test for that purpose. Can you imagine my shock at being heard with an alternative view…that maybe is not really so out in left field after all….we only have drugs when there is a test to prove we need that drug.

This does not mean that cholesterol is unimportant. Too much or too little (yes, you can actually have too little! Hormones and your nervous system and all cells need cholesterol) can certainly negatively affect our health. So here a few of the basics:

Solution #1 – Stop Forcing Your Liver to Manufacture Excessive LDL cholesterol     This is basically a 2 part process: first, remove the junk food from your diet (sugar, fried fats, fast food, ingredients you can’t pronounce), and secondly (and this one is the kicker) don’t overeat good food either.

Solution #2 – Decongest Your Stagnant/Fatty Liver     This step is about losing weight around our middle, eating more fiber, and de-gunking our liver (ooh, back to the detox section).

Solution #3 – Stabilize Cell Membranes, Reduce Inflammation      Here we are asking ourselves to do some serious stress management, eat more fresh food (especially leafy greens and berries), and look at how we can bring balance into our lives so that our over-all inflammatory markers stay down. All these steps, by the way, are from an article I will highlight at the end of this post. This article goes into greater detail about:  explaining cholesterol and how it works in our body and what strategies and supplements to use to assist us in following these steps.

Solution #4 – Restore Cellular Oxygen Utilization, Fix Thyroid Problems      We gotta keep moving! Exercise is not just about going to the gym…our ancesters didn’t have gyms. We worked. We walked and lifted, and moved around A LOT. Recently I read that for those of us who are sedentary (at that computer all day) were much more likely to have heart attacks because we weren’t moving around enough.

Solution #5 – Reduce Your Toxic Burden, Especially from Your Own Digestive Tract     We’re back to more detox, as well as adding plenty of probiotics to our diet. This can include yogurt and supplements, but also fermented foods like (unheated) sauerkraut and kim chi.

Piqued your interest? Want to get off statins? Want to address/ balance your cholesterol numbers? You can click  HERE to read the entire article. Any one who, after reading this article, would like to order any of the supplements mentioned, call me toll-free @ 877-286-2970, and we can talk about excellent quality at excellent prices.

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Internal Cleansing: Our Organs of Elimination

March 23, 2011

If fasting is about paying attention to what goes into our body (and any kind of detoxification program starts with what food we eat), then cleansing is paying attention to the other end of the equation: what comes out (or not), as well as what gets assimilated in between.

This week I’m going to briefly describe how 5 of our major organs are always involved with detoxification, which is just a part of life. We eat, we digest, nutrients are (hopefully) absorbed, and we deal with the by-products (wastes) of innumerable chemical processes throughout our bodies.

The colon hosts several pounds of friendly (ideally 85% of the total)  bacteria that are true workhorses: they help digest food, manufacture vitamins, and play a major role in our immune function. Our colons also do the heavy lifting of eliminating solid waste. Most problems in our colons (including constipation) develop when we are out of balance: too little fiber; too much “toy food” and not enough real food; too much sugar (which feeds the “bad” micro-organisms like Candida) and not drinking enough water.

Our kidneys filter waste from our blood in an amazingly complex dance. Good nutrition is essential for their job; too much animal protein (especially the poor quality of corn fed confined animals fed antibiotics) stresses the kidneys as they labor to remove excess uric acid. Sometimes lack of Vit. K and other nutrients can result in the back up of inorganic minerals, causing kidney stones. Again, we are talking about a healthy body in balance, and the health of one organ affect the health of all organs.

I recently read that if we had to build a factory to represent our liver, that physical plant would cover 2,000 acres! This is because our liver performs so many complex tasks: making antihistamines, cleansing blood, neutralizing and eliminating toxins, metabolizing fat, dealing with the cholesterol process, making and storing red blood cells, and helping with digestion, bile, our immune system and the balancing of hormones. No wonder out deeply toxic environment is putting such a strain on this precious organ. If we strive to lower the chemical burden, through eating organic real food and filtering out water, we will assist our liver greatly.

Our lungs provide us with a process that is constant from our first breath to our last: the bringing in of oxygen to the red blood cells, and the removal of waste products like carbon dioxide. A good practise is to slow the breath, breathing as deeply as possible, and completely exhaling the air, including that bit that seems to hold on at the bottom of our lungs. You may have to use your diaphram consciously to do that.

Not everyone realizes that our skin is an organ of elimination. And yet not only is it our largest detoxifier, it can act like another set of kidneys and cleanse up to a pound of impurities a day. Our skin also assists our lungs in respiration, doing about 15% of the intake of oxygen and release of CO2 that our bodies need. Our skin tone, elasticity, lack of or appearence of cellulite (which is toxic waste lodged in the skin’s fatty tissues, often due to a sluggish lymphatic system), and lack of or appearance of acne/excema, etc. are all indicators of our entire body’s health. Problems that show up on the skin can be caused by food senstivities, allergins, problems in our lymphatic system, an over-burdened liver, poor food assimilation (and that can be due sometimes to the lack of digestive enzymes), and auto-immune disorders.

Last but never least is our lymphatic system, which is not a discrete organ but a network of lymph vessals and glands throughout the body that helps detoxify and drain areas of our body that are not well perfused with blood. Many of us find as we age that our lymphatic systems get a little sluggish, perhaps due to not enough exercise (the ‘pump” of this system is our legs striding and our arms swinging). A 20 minute walk per day will help, and some folks like to do dry brushing as well (using a dry natural bristle brush, lightly brush your skin from the extremities toward your heart). This is especially beneficial before a shower as it helps remove dead skin.

Tune in next week for herbal specifics (tinctures, teas, essential oils) to assist our bodies’  in their daily detoxification. And happy Spring!