Carb Cravings? 5 easy tips

Craving carbohydrates and don’t know how to get them under control?

Here are 5 easy steps to help put you back in control.

  1. Test your Candida levels.
  2. Eat a meal with protein and healthy fats
  3. Eat within your 30 min glycemic window after exercise
  4. Eliminate processed foods
  5. Deal with your stress.

Candida?

If your Candida abicans levels are out of balance, you will find you have an insatiable sweet tooth, always need something sweet after a meal and suffer from a mix of possible symptoms like brain fog, headaches, sinusitis, join pain, skin rashes, bloating, gas and diarrhea. These crazy critters can actually yank on your nervous system chain, send messages to your brain saying “I want sugar”!! So, don’t blame your self wholly, however it is you who has to take responsibility. Just like saying to a child “no, you can’t have a cookie right now” you have to put your foot down and say the same to yourself. Or those terrible little Candida critters who are running your world right now. How do you know if it’s you or them? How do you get rid of them?

A simple 15 minute test in our clinic will help you get a sense for your levels of Candida. Email drlaura@forwardhealth.ca. Getting your micro biome back in balance will also reduce inflammation and restore nutrient absorption. With scientifically proven therapies, my patients are able to reduce Candida albicans levels and re-set many micro biomes within 1-3 months of therapy.

Boost Nutrient Density

Sometimes when we crave sweets we actually need to eat something with protein and healthy fat to increase nutrient density and satiation. For example, try eating a handful of almonds and an apple or a slice of chicken or turkey with some avocado – then wait 5-10 minutes and see if you still crave the sweets.

30 Minute Glycemic Index

After an intense workout, you have depleted the glycogen stores in the muscles. To optimize energy for your next workout and balance your carb intake later, eat something with carbohydrates in it within thirty minutes of working out. For some this means a quick protein drink with some carbs in it, an orange or a banana or a healthy homemade nutball. Eating a full balanced meal with in two hours of your workout will also help balance your blood sugar and keep you from craving carbohydrates.

Ditch the Processed Foods

Processed foods often have little fibre and a lot of sugar. This means the sugar from the food gets quick access to your blood stream. what results are spikes in your blood sugar levels, triggering an influx of insulin to quickly get the levels under control. Consequently,   your blood sugar quickly drops and you feel like you need to have more to eat. On it goes, the sugar craving roller coaster. Instead, try to eat foods high in fibre, with some proteins and healthy fats so your blood sugar levels are more regulated.

Get Stress Under Control

Serotonin and dopamine are feel good neurotransmitter which get depleted in stress. Eating carbohydrates helps boost these neurotransmitters. This is why, when we feel stressed, we crave comfort foods, which are carbohydrate based. Secondly, elevated cortisol will increased the demand for carbohydrate consumption because it blunts the desire for proteins and vegetables. Learn how to emotionally regulate and manage your stress and you will find it easier to naturally make healthier food choices.

From the heart and mind of Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND

 

Feeling Stuck?

If we miss or get stuck at a point in our life, there is potential for emotional buildup that may present as sickness in the body.

When a person is “stuck” at a certain level, a homeopathic remedy, acupuncture, a Chakra clearing, yoga exercises, focused breathing, or other therapeutic efforts may “lift” the person and help them better perceive and move on from their current situation.

Understanding the Stages of Life

Whether we look at Erikson’s Stages of development, Scholten’s Homeopathic Table of Elements, Maslow’s Hierarchy, the Chinese Five Elements or the Chakra system, we can see the natural progression of development we embark on through our journey of life.

Erikson_Stages
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Often, it is a combination of acupuncture, a Chakra clearing, yoga exercises, focused breathing, massage homeopathy or talk therapies that gets us on our way and eventually to the top of the mountain. What is most important is to enjoy some sights on the path along your journey.

Chakras

The common thread of our personal development is woven from ancient yogis, Chinese Medicine, psychologists and psychotherapists. We all need to have our basic needs of life met before we can develop an element of safety. We need to know who we are as individuals and how we belong into our society before we can further develop the area of our heart and be able to share it interdependently with others.

It is when we can be comfortable with ourselves, we can then withstand the swell of the tide of outside influences.

Keeping the mind steady and calm while the world swells around us, is the first stage of actualization.

Once we have mastered the space of a calm and equitable mind, we can then practice the ability to let all the world go and connect with and allow our spiritual self to unfold.

Balancing the “fight or flight” (sympathetic) and the “rest and digest” (parasympathetic) nervous systems helps gain access to this blissful balanced state of what Heart Math people call “coherence”. It is not only reserved for yogis, meditation artists, super-energetic or “smart” people. It is for us all to climb mountain, at our own pace, with our own challenges and with our own set of earthly and heavenly guides.

The fact is we are all able to achieve this pinnacle of self-actualization, however we are all also susceptible to fall and crumble back down to the basic needs of life. We may actually experience many rises and falls over the course of a lifetime. In each rise and fall, it is like a breath in and out, so long as we live, our breath will rise and we will too again. Hopefully, overall, we are making steady progression up the mountain.

Sometimes it takes intense focus in one area of our life, while the others lay dormant for some time. That is, we can invest heavily in school or career while putting family life or personal relationships on hold. If we excel strongly in one area of our life, without giving time for balance in others, we miss out on the cross-training type of personal development that we need in order to rise to our greatest potential. It is important to loop back and catch ourselves to keep a steady progress in all areas of our life. Sometimes we need the chance to develop one aspect of our being before we are ready and hold the wisdom to get on to the next.
Wisdom is more precious than gold, as we learn from Soloman in the Book of Proverbs and if we do not learn from our mistakes and move forward, then this is the greatest crime.

5elementshealingtherapist

In Chinese Medicine the circles of life go on a 7 year cycle for women and an 8 year cycle for men. At age 7 the vitality of the young girl is vibrant, 14 she begins to menstruate and the governing and conception vessel are primed. Age 21, a woman’s essence peaks, she has reached her physical limit of growth and the wisdom teeth come in. Age 28 the tendons and bones of a woman are strongest and the hair flourishes. Age 35 the Yang channels weaken and the woman’s complexion withers and hair begins to fall. This progresses and the hair grays at age 42. Age 49 the conception and governing vessels are empty and the uterus closes and infertility sets in. This is a time now for more creativity and personal embarkment of growth as the energy is no longer needed to tend the womb. Menopause offers a later life fire that is more than just about hot flushes!

Later Life Fire

™Time to get moving on what you have put off:
–Careers
–Fitness goals
–Relationships
–Talents
–Travel
–Personal development

For males, the Chinese Medicine 8 year cycle begins similarly with abundance of energy at age 8, mounting at age 16 when the sperm arrives and Yin and Yang are harmonized in the male making him capable of producing a child. At age 24, the male’s physical energy peaks and the wisdom teeth arrive. At age 32 his  tendons and bones are strongest and by age 40 the hair begins to fall and teeth become loose. At 48 year old man’s Yang Qi is exhausted and his face darkens as his hair turns gray. At age 56 the male’s liver energy (testosterone) is weakened and tendons stiffen and the sperm dries up. At age 64, from the ancient Chinese circles of life, the hair and teeth are gone.

We can calm the storm within and age more gracefully

Eat well
Sleep well
Control stress
Limit excessive sexual activity.
Thai Qi, Qi Gong and Yoga and HeartMath incorporate breathing exercises that help increase the vitality and essence of our aging being.

From the heart and mind of Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND. Dr. Laura offers personalize lifestyle coaching and professional means to help you Move Forward in Your Health.

Picture credits: pinterest.com, healingtherapist.com

How Body and Emotional States Relate

Experience the State of Calm Energy

Can you really change your emotional experience by changing the expression on your face or the shape of your body? How does an actor cry on demand?

Is it possible that the very tools you need to bring yourself into a state of calm energy are with you where ever you go?

Emotions and physiology are undeniably linked. We see it when the blood pressure rises in anger, the heart beating rapid before we get on a stage, and muscle tension when we are holding mental anguish.

The ability of the nervous system to engage the metabolic resources in response to external pleasure or pain is crucial to our survival.

From such simple examples to complex paradigms, how can we deny the relationship between body, mind and also the spirit?

How do our body actions and energetic states relate?

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Do you find your shoulders constantly up around the ears, eyes squeezed and darting back and forth, thoughts circulating around being emotionally attacked? You are in a state of fear. Fear can often be paralyzing.

If you take a moment to observe your breath, is it shallow, do you maybe even feel light headed or dizzy from hyperventilating, are your muscles tender and sore from being tense? You are likely in the company of an old friend named anxiety.

Or can you sense your breath to and fro from the abdomen, your body relaxed without being slack, feeling alive without feeling stiff, consciously in touch with the many blessings in your life? You are in the blessed state of gratefulness.

Have you ever been wrapped up tight in a ball and feeling weak and small? Try making your body into the shape a very big star – stand tall, step one foot sideways,  a little wider than shoulder width apart. Reach the hands up and then out to the sides. Ideally you are making your body take up as much physical space as possible. Take a very big breath in and out, then let the breath naturally rise and fall and you look up to the sky – stay here for at least 90 seconds. Do you feel free and strong?

When you visit a naturopathic doctor, your health assessment is medically focused however your emotional, spiritual, cognitive, physical aspects are holistically considered. Learn more about the Physiology of Emotions with Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND on Thursday May 12th at Goodness Me! in Guelph (at the corner of Gordon and Wellington).

Find out  your one of a kind, individualized treatment plan to help bring the paradox of calm energy back into you life by booking an appointment with Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND at Forward Health in Guelph (at the corner of Gordon and Kortright) today.

 

Massage Therapy for Heart Disease?

We hear it often enough….preventing heart disease involves making healthy lifestyle choices such as eating heart healthy foods, daily exercise and if you are a smoker…to stop, but there is one more component that is often overlooked….and that is a regular massage therapy treatments.  How and why you ask?  Well we know that massage therapy helps reduce stress and in turn helps decrease high blood pressure, but many are unsure of the link.

massagetherapy

So what is the link between stress and your heart?  For the answer lets look at the link between your heart and your nervous system…your autonomic nervous system that is. You know you have a central nervous system but you may not have heard of your autonomic nervous system. Let me tell you a little about it.

Your autonomic nervous system is made of two parts or states…..the sympathetic nervous system,  and the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest state).  This is the system that is tied to our cardiac health.

Sounding familiar to you…..not yet?…well what if I told you the sympathetic nervous system is known as our fight or flight response. This is the state we find our bodies in during stressful times.  Stressful times can mean many things for our bodies. Stressed bodies are those that are constantly suffering with chronic pain, those that are constantly under pressure to succeed or meet obligations, in addition to strong emotions such as fear or anger.  These strong stressful emotions cause the hormones epinephrine, also known as adrenaline,  and cortisol to be released into the bloodstream causing  an  increase in  heart rate, and blood pressure as well as increased muscle strength and contraction…otherwise known as tension. The vessels also constrict in this state causing the blood to flow faster.  With increased blood pressure comes cardiac arrhythmia’s, which is when your heart skips a beat as it can’t keep up and pumps less effectively, causing less blood to reach your brain and other organs. Staying in this stressful state or in a sympathetic state  for a prolonged period of time is a problem in this modern time which  increases the likelihood of developing heart disease.

What we need then is for our bodies to be in a parasympathetic state, also known as, as I mentioned earlier, our rest and digest state. How do we get our body to the state which is characterized by reduced heart and breathing rates and widened  blood vessels which allows our blood to flow slower through the veins?  Well this is where the fourth component of prevention comes in…..and that is a regular massage therapy regimen.

Getting a regular massage can reduce the risks associated with stress. It is an ideal addition to quitting smoking, eating healthy and regular exercise. With massage techniques of effleurage and kneading, the nerve endings in the skin are stimulated and send messages of relaxation to your central nervous system, inhibiting  those stress hormones we talked about earlier….cortisol and epinephrine, and causing vasodilation or widening of the blood vessels.  Blood pressure will drop and your heart rate will slow down; your body is in the parasympathetic state. Resting and digesting, relaxing allows your organs to get all the nutrients they need. Promoting this state helps with high blood pressure, which is  the most common contributor to heart disease. Regular massage helps decrease tense and contracted muscles. When this happens, muscles and soft tissue are lengthened and pressure is taken off the blood vessels again allowing blood to flow freely and without restriction.

Unfortunately being inactive is also a top risk factor for heart disease. However like regular exercise, regular massage treatments improves circulation, strengthens the heart and lowers blood pressure…and eases tension…which are all the factors in lowering heart disease.  So, if you are not as active as you would like to be, massage therapy treatments, although not a replacement for regular exercise, can be a valuable addition to preventing heart disease.