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Saturday, June 7, 2014


We’re Biologically Programmed to Love the Taste of Sweet

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has five tastes: sweet, salty, sour, pungent and bitter. The “sweet” taste corresponds to the energy of the earth, which is “nurturing and maternal” – and helps explain why a bad day invites ice cream and other desserts – humans are looking for comfort and what “feels good”. 
Fruit (nature's candy) was a crucial part of our ancestors' diet.  They ate a lot of fruit when it was available in the summer and fall, since they were about to enter a period of famine during the winter.

 “Sweet” is nature’s way of signaling that the taste is safe.  It also tells you that the food contains energy.  Mother’s milk is sweet and many of the safe herbs are sweet - such as:  stevia, basil, tarragon, astragalus, wild yam, ginseng, licorice, etc.  
Sugar isn’t only sweet, it’s a Narcotic
If you are battling ongoing sugar cravings, there is something else going on.  It’s not as simple as “I don’t have enough willpower” or “I need to stick to a certain diet.”  If you’ve been fighting a losing battle with the highly addictive “white powder” (sugar) you will need to recognize that it once was a plant (sugar beet or sugar cane) - - which was processed into a white powder.  This processing made sugar becomes as addictive as cocaine (which also came from a green plant and was turned into a white powder). 
Physiological Causes of Sugar Cravings
Refined sugar (and refined flour) create a dangerous blood-sugar cycles and problematic reactions in the body: (1) blood sugar goes erratic, resulting in false hunger pangs, (2) the pancreas notices the higher blood sugar and secretes insulin in order to create homeostasis, (3) it sets off an alarm in the body to re-stabilize the blood sugar, (4) which turns on an appetite, which is an unhealthy pattern, (5) a quick fix is refined carbohydrates because to help our body raise our blood sugar quickly - - but these refined carbs go in too quickly, which re-creates a hypoglycemic cycle and keeps turning on hunger.  Horrible! 
Sugar makes our bodies release dopamine and opioids – neurotransmitters that bliss us out (just like drugs).  Our prefrontal cortex (where we reason) is diminished in its ability to help us, and we become addicts.  It’s a lifetime struggle.
Candida is passed in utero to children from their mothers – or it can be created from diets high in sugar and yeast.  Fungal overgrowth in the digestive tract (Candida albicans) can trigger sugar cravings.  Candida (yeast) is fed from sugar and grows throughout the body, causing many physical and emotional problems, such as:  yeast infections, emotional imbalances, adrenal exhaustion, etc.  The fungi feed on sugar and give you the sense that your body is in need – because they must have some!  They are running the brain, and it’s time to take control again!  Candida overgrowth and other medical conditions can be diagnosed by a qualified naturopathic doctor. 
Some herbs and essential oils that help to kill candida are:  Pau d’ arco, Oregano, Thyme, Tea Tree, Lemon and Rosemary.  Redmond Clay and DE (diatomaceous earth) are also very helpful.
Nutritional Causes of Sugar Cravings
Most people who crave sugar really are needing protein.  Their bodies would do best with regular meals (3 hours apart to prevent low blood sugar), with sufficient fat, water and real foods (not processed).  Protein can be obtained in plants – such as avocados, nuts, beans, legumes, eggs, or they can be found in seafood, chicken, turkey, pork and beef.
Water detoxes our cells and prevents dehydration, irritability, sluggishness and cravings.  It is easy to mistake dehydration for hunger!   Food cravings are often a sign of nutrient deficiency so munching on carrots, celery, cucumbers, apples, bananas, and other REAL foods will provide minerals and vitamins that will give the body-signals of satisfaction and satiety.
For a Nutritional Bio Scan that will show you deficiencies in minerals, vitamins, protein, amino acids, digestive weakness and much more – email me at mywellnessaz@gmail.com    www.millenialwellness.com
Lifestyle Reasons for Sugar Cravings
The three major lifestyle reasons for sugar cravings are lack of sleep, lack of exercise and stress.  All three insufficiencies create blood sugar roller coasters which are notorious for awakening sugar demons.  Chronic stress and lack of sleep both cause an increase in cortisol (the fight-or-flight hormone).  When cortisol rises, so does blood sugar.  High cortisol often results in a jittery, anxious sensation, and in that state it’s all too easy to grab cookies, ice cream or some chocolate to medicate. Whether or not you do that, a crash inevitably follows a blood sugar spike, prompting you to reach for a “treat” to get your energy back. It’s a vicious cycle!
Emotional Reasons for Sugar Cravings
People often use sugar to cope with difficult emotions or unmet needs that they may not have even been aware of.  Becoming aware of your emotions and needs is a key first step in ending emotional eating.  Feelings aren’t something you can reason your way out of or simply deny—they need direct attention and compassion.  When we ignore our emotions, they get louder and louder, forcing us to resort to more and more extreme measures to silence them.
If you have an out-of-control sugar demon and you’ve ruled out medical conditions, the only explanation is an emotional reason or habit for eating sugar.  We don’t eat in a compulsive way if everything in our lives is okay!  So if you have found that, despite repeatedly trying various tactics, you continue to return to sugar, consider how your emotions may be impacting the way you eat.
An excellent way to address emotional eating is with an EVOX session.  Email me at mywellnessaz@gmail.com for a one-hour appointment.  See www.millenialwellness.com
Kick It to the Curb Tips
• Don't think you can just say, “I’m never going to have sweets anymore”, because it leads to feeling deprived, which is likely to set off even more sugar intake.  Instead, stop using refined white sugar and experimenting with natural sweeteners such as stevia, honey or maple syrup. Natural sweeteners don’t create the intense physiological reactions and often come packed with minerals and enzymes that support the body’s cellular processes.
• Eat small protein meals throughout the day including meats, vegetables, grains and fruits. 
Also learn to cook nutrient-dense traditional foods such as bone broth, fermented veggies and organ meats.  Make sure each meal includes protein and fat, and keep water close by. Contrary to popular opinion, eight glasses a day is not for everyone. Instead, divide your body weight in half and drink that many ounces.  Caffeine also deregulates blood sugar, which can create cravings – so avoid caffeine.
• If your lifestyle needs an overhaul, start by setting small, manageable goals so you can have success. Then build from there.  Go to sleep at 10 pm each night – for starters.  Then add 3 days of 15 minute exercise per week.  Walking can reduce stress, as you breathe deeply and evenly – focusing on breathing.
• Try meditation.  Sit in a quiet place, take a few deep breaths in and out through your nose, and close your eyes.  As you continue breathing, bring your awareness to any physical sensations that may be occurring in your body. Observe them without judging and without trying to “fix” them.  Spend some time with these sensations, and track them as they shift and change, or as they dissipate, or even increase.
As you keep breathing, now notice any emotions that may be associated with those sensations. Again, just observe with compassion, without trying to figure out, “Why am I feeling this way?” or, “What do I do about it?”  This isn’t about thinking—it’s about feeling.  Spend some time with these emotions. Notice any memories or images that might arise, or whether the emotion shifts and changes.
Putting an essential oil on your toes or by your nostrils will help you associate “feeling good” and bring peaceful and satisfying emotions to replace cravings.  Whenever you are “craving”, reach for your favorite essential oil.  My favorites are:  Bergamot, Geranium, Ylang ylang, Frankincense, Pink Grapefruit, Balsam Fir or blends that contain multiple uplifting essential oils.
An EVOX session (or several sessions) may be just the answer that you are looking for, if you find that your sweet tooth stems from emotional issues or unmet needs.  Check it out at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVj2fKWCZkY 


Learning about the mineral ZINC in the body can be a help for those struggling with Thyroid imbalances.  Zinc is required for building and repair in the body.  It is important for healthy hair, nails and skin growth.   When there is lack of zinc there is poor wound healing, mouth ulcers and spots on the nails.  It is also important for bone formation and is used to make the hormone called calcitonin that breaks bone down.  What I used to remember zinc's uses when studying nutrition was "FEET STINK, THINK ZINC"!  It's true ... people with stinky feet are usually zinc deficient.

Zinc is very important for the immune system and people who are deficient often seem to catch one thing after another.  There are studies that show taking zinc can reduce the duration and severity of ills and chills by 50%.  Zinc is an antiviral agent, which is released into the saliva providing a first line of defence against any ingested bugs.  It is depleted rapidly in viral infections as the body uses it quickly to inhibit virus replication, as well as for many other immune defense functions

Signs of Zinc deficiency are white spots on fingernails, hypoglycemia, food and environmental allergies, joint pains (especially knee pain), fatigue, headaches (especially migraine headaches), bowel dysfunction (such as irritable bowel syndrome), easy bruising, dizziness, insomnia, poor memory and difficulty concentrating.  Poor stress control, nervousness, anxiety, mood swings, severe inner tension, episodic anger, poor short-term memory and depression are other common symptoms.

It is well recognized that anxious or angry people have high pyrroles and low zinc.  People with violent behaviors usually have ZINC DEFICIENCY. 

Zinc is essential for hundreds of processes in the body and is particularly important for healing, immune function, digestion, neurotransmitter activation, physical growth, memory, insulin balance and control of blood sugars, DNA replication and more.

Zinc is naturally present in food such as oysters, meat, poultry, dairy products, eggs, fish, beans, whole grains and nuts.  Other good sources are pumpkin and sunflower seeds which are great toasted and are cheap and tasty to throw on your salads.  For vegetarians kelp and spirulina would be great sources.
Zinc is important for the thyroid in creating thyroxin and converting T4 to T3
Zinc and B6 are essential for production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin (our happy hormone), melatonin (our sleep hormone), GABA (our relaxation hormone), and acetyl choline (important for memory). They are also involved in production of our steroid hormones such as cortisol (our anti-inflammatory, anti-allergy hormone and stress hormone) and the conversion of oils in the body (fat metabolism, liver and gall bladder issues and weight control). The oils EPA/DHA but mostly GLA are found to be low in those with Pyrrole disorder and are damaged by oxidative stress/free radicals/toxins created by pyrroles. 
Pyrroles are classed as 'nerve poisons' and as such can cause damage to your nerves, nerve cells and tissue, your brain and they can interrupt messages being sent along your nerves especially within your brain.
Pyrrole disorder, also known as pyroluria, kryptopyroluria, kryptopyrole or Mauve disorder is a biochemical imbalance involving an abnormality in hemoglobin synthesis that can be genetic or acquired through environmental and emotional stress and especially from ‘leaky gut syndrome’ (also known as intestinal permeability, a condition whereby microscopic holes occur in your intestinal wall and allow undigested food, bacterial by-products, poisons and toxins to pass into your blood) and the over-use of antibiotics.
Stress of any kind will increases production of pyrroles/HPL which in turn decreases zinc and B6.
Unfortunately Pyroluria is not understood or treated in mainstream medicine - due to the fact that the only way to rectify the problem is by improving the sufferer’s nutritional status, diet, digestion and reducing stress levels.  Allopathic (western) medicine relies on drugs to suppress a symptom or relieve suffering and this form of treatment will not work for a person who has a Pyrrole disorder so most sufferers of Pyroluria fall through the cracks and are often misdiagnosed and given medication or drugs that do nothing to rectify the underlying problem. 

Herbs that contain high Zinc:
Parsley is a common herb used both as a garnish and a flavoring for food. One tbsp. of dried parsley introduces 0.09 mg of zinc into your diet. Because you need 8 to 11 mg of this mineral each day, pair parsley with other zinc-rich foods, including beef shanks, pork shoulder or tenderloin, chicken legs and chickpeas. Zinc positively influences your body's ability to heal after you sustain an injury, so make sure you get the full amount of zinc you need each day for this purpose.
Eat a 1-tbsp. serving of fresh rosemary and you consume 0.02 mg of zinc. Supplement your zinc intake by adding rosemary to pork, chicken breast and fish such as flounder or sole, all of which also provide zinc. Consuming enough zinc is not only linked to good health for you, but is particularly important during pregnancy as it helps support fetal growth. During pregnancy, a woman needs an intake of 11 mg of zinc daily.

For a nutritional bio scan email me at mywellnessaz@gmail.com

Friday, June 6, 2014


Mosquitoes are known to carry many infectious diseases from several different classes of microorganisms, including viruses and parasites. Mosquito-borne illnesses include Malaria, West Nile Virus, Elephantiasis, Dengue Fever, Yellow Fever etc. These infections are normally rare to certain geographic areas. For instance Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever is a viral, mosquito borne illness usually regarded only as a risk in the tropics. However, cases of Dengue Fever have been popping up in the U.S. along the Texas-Mexican border where it has never been seen before.

Mosquitoes can ruin the enjoyment of your summertime enjoyment!  Chemical insect repellents can be absorbed into your bloodstream, bug zappers don't always get the mosquitoes that are after you, and the smoke of incense or candles is irritating to some.

Taking B Complex vitamins (double the dose) and staying away from eating sugar are definite good choices (especially for those with A-blood type! 

Also, mosquitoes don’t like a few easy-to-grow herbs. Grow these six plants around patio areas or keep the crushed leaves in a small container on your patio to repel mosquitoes:

• Catnip (Nepeta cataria). A perennial for some gardeners and an annual for others, catnip has been found to be 10 times more effective than DEET at keeping mosquitoes away. Cats will crush this plant if it is in a garden bed and it has a tendency to become invasive, but keeping a couple of plants in hanging containers helps avoid both problems.

• Marigold (Tagetes spp.). This sun-loving annual also repels aphids and is an excellent companion plant for your vegetable garden. Marigolds are an easy-to-care-for border plant and the simplicity of collecting seeds for next year’s planting makes this plant an affordable addition. Note: Do not rub on skin.

• Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis). The oil of this shrub is heavenly to most humans, but disgusting to mosquitoes. It’s an attractive plant for container or herb gardens that requires little water and also is delicious when used for cooking meat, soups and egg dishes.  It thrives in Arizona!

• Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus). This plant has a lemony scent that mosquitoes hate. With a little patience, it can be grown from stalks sold in the market. It prefers full sun and good drainage. Keep in mind that this tropical plant won’t tolerate freezing temperatures.

• Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium). This perennial has silvery foliage and can be grown in full sun in most zones. Makes a unique border plant and the pungent odor keeps mosquitoes at bay. Note: Do not rub on skin.

• Mint (Mentha spp.)  Many mints’ oils are unpleasant to mosquitoes, so keep a pot or two of these hardy and aromatic plants around. Since they spread easily, mints are best cultivated in containers.

Except for marigold and wormwood (which can cause contact dermatitis) you can rub the crushed leaves on your skin for added protection. 

If you do get bitten, immediately apply Ravensara essential oil - plus a blend of Rosemary, Tea Tree, Lemongrass, or Thyme onto the area.  Peppermint and Lavender help reduce the itch.  Have a happy mosquito-free summer!!!

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