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KNOW YOUR POOP, IT CAN TELL YOU A LOT

It’s time for a poop talk. I always ask my clients about their bowel movement. I realize it’s not the most comfortable question but poop can be an important marker of health or disease. It can tell you a lot. Is it soft, hard, smelly, yellowish, back, fatty, with mucus, with blood or with undigested foods? Next time you poop, pay attention to what comes out! We can observe our body, our body fluids (blood) and our body secretions (urine, feces, saliva) for signs of dysfunction. Some parameters can only be measured by a laboratory but you can also be your own detective and learn how to distinguish a healthy bowel movement from an unhealthy one. What you need to look at in terms of poop? Color, consistency and smell are the key parameters. Normal, healthy poop is brown (from light brow to dark brown), well-formed (sausage like) and has no repelling smell. What’s your poop color like? Healthy human feces is brown. The color can change after eating some foods (red beets, spinach), after taking certain medications (iron for example) or it can also be an indication of a health issue. – Black or a very dark color can be related to the use of certain medications, supplements (iron, activated charcoal), foods (black barriers, red wine). It can also indicate a blood loss from stomach or (small) intestine, or can be a sign of inflammation, ulcer, polyps, or cancer. Constipation may promote darker stools. A black stool with a very strong abdominal pain can indicate an internal bleeding. – Red, eating red beets can color your stool red.... read more

Combat your sweet tooth

Why some people do have sugar cravings whereas others do not? Have you ever wondered why or have envied people who say easily “no” to a chocolate bar or a deliciously looking cake?  Why some can say “no” without feeling deprived and others can’t? It’s a combination of factors, it’s partly because of your genes and partly because of your environment which includes what you eat, how you sleep, how stressed you are, how you feel emotionally, physically and mentally. People who crave carbs have following in common: Low serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that quiets the brain. Most of it is produced in your gut. One explanation you may be prone to low serotonin lies in your genes.  For example, by having a single nucleotide polymorphism a so called SNP (pronounced “snip”) in a MAOA gene (monamine oxidase), you may be more susceptible to carb cravings. This gene plays a role in metabolism of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine and therefore relates to mood swings and carb cravings. If you have a “fast” MAOA gene, you will process serotonin quickly resulting in low serotonin which can make you feel down, helpless, and pessimistic. Low serotonin will make you crave carbs and sweets to get a temporary serotonin boost. The precursor of serotonin is tryptophan.  Blood glucose swings. Western diets rich in simple sugars and starch (grains) lead to unhealthy glucose blood swings and high production of insulin which has negative short and long term effects on health. When you eat foods made up of simple carbohydrates (sugars and starches), your blood glucose rises and your body releases insulin, a... read more

ABDOMINAL BLOATING nightmare

Many people suffers from abdominal bloating and if you are one of them you know that’s no fun. Majority of people that come to see me struggles with it, therefore I decided to give it a brief attention. If bloating interferes with your daily life, your work, your social of recreational activities, it’s something you need to look into. Symptoms Your abdomen feels bloated when your GI tract increases its volume due to presence of air or gas. It is a nasty feeling of fullness, swelling, tightness, or hardness. You may also experience pain, flatulence, abdominal distension, nausea, burping, belching, or gurgles. Some people feel like they “look pregnant” when bloating strikes. What are the most common causes of abdominal bloating? There can be various causes of being bloated, some of which are quite easy to tackle and some may need a professional help. Consider following if you feel regularly bloated: Eating and drinking too fast. Eating too much. When you eat and drink fast you may swallow too much air and promote gas formation, also rushing while eating impairs digestion. Chewing gum, smoking may also worsen the problem. Our digestive system has certain capacity to digest efficiently, if we eat too much food (too fast) it will obviously not be able to digest optimally. Eat slowly, not too much and chew your food thoroughly for better digestion. Diet rich in starch and/or nuts. Overconsumption of starch (grains), nuts, processed foods, sugar, difficult to digest meal combinations such as high starch and high protein content in one meal. Overconsumption of starch intensifies the complaints related to candida and intestinal... read more

HOW TO BOOST IMMUNITY all year long

Winter is not over yet and as every year many people around get sick. If you are one of them, you may wonder how you can support your immune system and minimize the risk of getting sick. Below I share with you my proven tips. One of the most important aspects of avoiding catching a cold or flu is by boosting the immunity. There are many factors determining whether you get sick or not, such as your genetics, the condition of your immune system, your nutritional status and your health, the type and the virulence of the infectious agent. Some of the factors we can influence whereas others we can’t. Now, let’s focus on the ones we can influence which are primarily related to adopting the healthy-living strategies. Superfoods for super immunity Since about 75% of your immune cells are located in your gut, this is the place you want to nourish by knowing what you put in your mouth. For a healthy immune system you want to: Eat Real Foods. Real Foods equal health. Invest in meals made from real foods and not factory packed food like substances. For example real plant foods, apart from being a source of nutrients (protein, carbs, fats, vitamins, minerals and water), are complex packages of biologically active compounds, a so called phytochemicals or phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are bioactive compounds primarily important for the growth and survival of the plant but they also support you, they are indispensable for the optimal function of your immune system. Think of herbs such as oregano or thyme and their powerful anti-microbial properties. Human beings rely on these... read more

ARE SUPPLEMENTS USEFUL OR USELESS?

Over past 3 years I have learned a lot about supplements and I still do learn. Before I became a parent, I was never rigorously taking any supplements, once in a while perhaps I got a low quality multivitamin from a drug store. Of course I have never noticed any significant effect. After my second daughter was born, I was not only deficient in sleep, I was deficient in various vitamins, minerals, and trace elements. At one point I decided to try a mineral and trace elements formula, of high absorption. And I was blown away, on the days I took it I felt and functioned much better, and I even looked much better. My nutrient deficiencies became obvious then. It was the time when I realized that proper supplementation can be quite powerful. With the knowledge and experience I have now, I am quite critical as to what I supplement myself and what I recommend to my clients. I always look for high quality, high purity, high bioavailability products, and preferably hypoallergenic. No trash supplements are on my list. In general, I think that it does not make sense health wise and wallet wise to take poor quality supplements. If you do use supplements, do it wisely. Take the supplements that have the potential to help you. The first question many of you might have: Do we need to take supplements at all? If we lived in a perfect world, ate nutrient dense foods, had no chronic stress, no sleep issues, no environmental toxins and chemicals, if we had plenty time to relax, if we were born naturally... read more

Could dehydration be the missing link in your diagnosis?

The easiest way to stay healthy: HYDRATE YOURSELF PROPERLY Let’s talk about the most basic nutrient: WATER, something so simple yet so powerful. I am constantly amazed how proper hydration helps me and my clients to feel better and to function better. Proper hydration is key to your overall health. Water is a major compound in the human body. About 70% of what we have within our bodies is water. Water is essential for our life. We can’t live without. When we provide too little water we will function but function poorly. Water facilitates many important processes to keep our body and mind in shape. I start my day with a large glass of (warm) water with a bit of sea salt or Himalayan salt dissolved in it (you can add a pinch of salt in your glass of water or if you want to be more precise about a quarter teaspoon of salt per 1 liter water. Do not overdo salt however; your total daily salt intake on average should not exceed 2-3 grams) or with a glass of warm water with a freshly squeezed lemon juice. It sets a good hydration start for the rest of the day. Sea salt enhances hydration, helps to balance electrolyte levels, and offers many other benefits. Through the day I will have a smoothie, drink more water (with and without salt), will have 2-3 herbal teas, and on some days a soup or bone broth. I recommend drinking ambient temperature water or warm water. Why do you need this basic nutrient? Water is your: It serves as a solvent for ionic... read more

WHY YOU NEED STOMACH ACID AND WHY IT IS GOOD FOR YOU

I want to share with you some stomach acid know-how essentials. It may surprise you that many health issues, not only digestive ones, are related to low stomach acid. Many people who come to see me have low stomach acid. I used to have it as well, without realizing it. Changing my eating habits and using some of the tips below helped me to restore my gastric acid production and as a result to feel better. Why do you need this acid for? Gastric acid (hydrochloric acid HCl) found in your stomach facilitates digestive enzyme secretion and protein digestion. Your stomach (muscular sac) acts as a sort of blender breaking your food physically (churning action of the stomach muscle) and enzymatically (the right gastric pH and activity of digestive enzymes). Low pH (1,5-2,5) of gastric acid is essential for digestive enzymes to become active and to digest. Apart from facilitating digestion, we need gastric acid as a first line of defense against food poisoning (Campylobacter, Salmonella), parasitic (Giardia, worms), bacterial (Helicobacter pylori, Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth), and fungal (Candida) infections. Without adequate acid, we do not digest our food, we are at risk of mineral and vitamin deficiencies, and we are more vulnerable to various infections. Low stomach acid compromises our immunity. Therefore, you need stomach acid and it’s good for you. Low stomach acid (hypochlorhydria) has been associated with many common health problems. What symptoms to look for in association with low gastric acid? Bloating, burning, burping, and flatulence right after meals Abdominal fullness after meals Poor appetite Stomach upsets easily Diarrhea or constipation  Undigested food in stool... read more

MANAGE YOUR ACID REFLUX WITHOUT MEDICATIONS

At first, let’s clear one common misconception about acid reflux: acid reflux is not necessarily that you have too much gastric acid but rather acid is in the wrong place. The majority of people suffering from acid reflux have rather hypochlorhydria (lack of or too little stomach acid) than hyperchlorhydria (too much stomach acid). Acid reflux is a common gastrointestinal complain with symptomology of heartburn, a burning pain in the lower chest. It’s driven by stomach acid flowing back up to the esophagus (the food pipe). It can happen for example when increased intra-abdominal pressure overpowers the lower esophageal sphincter (LES, a ring muscle), as seen in people with hiatal hernia or obesity. The esophageal sphincter acts as a valve preventing stomach acid, stomach content from backing up into esophagus. When this system fails we may experience the symptoms of acid reflux. Noteworthy, reflux of gastric contents into the esophagus is normal physiology. However, when reflux (occurring frequently) leads to symptoms, esophageal mucosal injury, or both we talk about gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Symptoms Heartburn is a common symptom and some patients perceive this as angina-like chest pain. Functional heartburn has the same symptoms without signs of reflux. Some people experience regurgitation which is a rise of gastric content into the mouth with sour/bitter tasting, without associated nausea or retching. Other symptoms of reflux may include hoarseness, cough, and asthma as well as pharyngitis, sinusitis, pulmonary fibrosis, recurrent otitis media, and sleep apnea. Some individuals will also experience bloating, burping, difficulty swallowing, hiccups, or nausea. Interpret these symptoms as your body sending you signals that there is something going... read more

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