Healthy Living, Uncategorized

Hot Flash! A Healing Season Women’s Wellness Report

HOT FLASHES-A Healing Season Women’s Wellness Report
By Shannyn Caldwell TND Candidate and Holistic Nutritionist
Hot flashes are the most common symptom of menopause and perimenopause. More than two-thirds of North American women who are heading into menopause have hot flashes. They also affect women who start menopause after chemotherapy or surgery to remove their ovaries.
Hot flashes start when blood vessels near the skin’s surface widen to cool off, making you break out in a sweat. Some women also experience a rapid heart rate or chills.

bamboo bamboo whisk board bowls
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
people sitting in front of bonfire in desert during nighttime
Photo by Tomáš Malčo Malík on Pexels.com

Conventional Medicine suggest that there is no prevention available, aside from limited triggering foods.
There’s nothing you can do to avoid hot flashes around menopause. But you can stay away from triggers that may make them more frequent or more severe. Common ones included on WebMD’s website include: Stress, Caffeine, Alcohol, Spicy foods, Tight clothing, Cigarette smoke,Sugar.
If simple adaptations like wearing breathable natural fibers and a cooling pillow do not bring a satisfactory result, the medical doctor is likely to suggest Hormone Replacement therapy. Side effect of such “therapy” include: a higher likely to have blood clots, breast and endometrial cancers, and gallbladder inflammation. Additionally, When you stop taking HRT, the hot flashes may come back.
For those wishing to avoid HRT, the MD offers there other “greatest hits” for you to try:
Prescription treatments include:
Low-dose depression drugs like fluoxetine (Prozac, Rapiflux), paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva), or venlafaxine (Effexor), Clonidine, a blood pressure medication, Gabapentin, an anti-seizure drug, Brisdelle, a paroxetine formula specifically for hot flashes, Duavee, a conjugated estrogens/bazedoxifene formula designed to treat hot flashes
Clearly, these offerings demonstrate a desire to “treat symptoms” not trace roots. I will not spend a lot of time tracing down side effect of each of these, for lack of space and interest.
A visit to your friendly neighborhood Naturopath will reveal a much less intimating set of options for your to consider.
Let’s look at some other choices that may help our bodies find ease in this transition.
Let’s consider the events in play that create this response in the body.
These include changes in reproductive hormones and in your body’s thermostat (hypothalamus), which becomes more sensitive to slight changes in body temperature.
Aside from menopause, other possible causes of Hot Flashes include:
Thyroid problems, such as hyperthyroidism, which causes an overabundance of thyroid hormone, can increase the body’s metabolism and lead to hot flashes and sweating. While hypothyroidism is the usual culprit in these cases.
Hormone-secreting tumors such as pancreatic tumors override the organs’ ability to help the body function properly and can lead to hot flashes and sweating.
We can bolster the endocrine system with proper nutrition, including adequate levels of B complex vitamins, vitamin E. (Mayo Clinic suggestion)
Super stars in the “help for hot flash” category can be found in Mother Nature as well.
The best known of these helpers:
Black Cohosh
(Actaea racemosa, Cimicifuga racemosa) This herb has received quite a bit of scientific attention for its possible effects on hot flashes. Studies of its effectiveness in reducing hot flashes have produced mixed results. However, some women report that it has helped them. Recent research suggests that black cohosh does not act like estrogen, as once thought. This reduces concerns about its effect on hormone-sensitive tissue (eg, uterus, breast). Black cohosh has had a good safety record over a number of years.
(menopause.org)
Vitex Agnus Castus has been particularly in demand because it has been proven in German studies to help women with their hormonal imbalance problems.
Vitex Agnus Castus works by increasing the number of progesterone hormones in the body. Vitex Chasteberry Tree contains compounds that have an influence on the pituitary glands. These compounds cause the pituitary glands to reduce their production of FS (Follicle stimulating) hormones and increase their production of L (luteinizing) hormones. This then causes the pituitary gland to produce more progesterone hormones.
Progesterone hormones are particularly important during menopause and with an increase it can help women to have balanced hormone levels. Consequently Vitex Agnus Castus for menopause can be extremely effective because it helps women to stay hormonally balanced, and to avoid the unpleasant signs and symptoms of menopause.

Essential Oils are also a handy tool to keep at the ready.
Phytoestrogens
Phytoestrogens are plant-based estrogens. Essential oils containing phytoestrogens may help balance hormones.
Since many of the changes associated with menopause are due to declining estrogen, phytoestrogens may improve a range of symptoms, including mood swings, hot flashes, and irregular periods.
Clary sage, fennel, cypress, angelica, and coriander oils may support hormone balance, according to one study.

Citrus
Citrus oil aromatherapy is said to have a number of health benefits for women experiencing symptoms of menopause. Researchers in a 2014 study found the postmenopausal women who inhaled this essential oil experienced fewer physical symptoms and an increase in sexual desire.
In addition to a decrease in systolic blood pressure, they also experienced an improved pulse rate and estrogen concentrations.
Citrus also has anti-inflammatory properties, which may help with any aches and pains you may be experiencing.
Geranium used as an essential oil has also been found to help menopausal women manage hormonal changes.
Basil
If you’re looking for ways to increase your estrogen levels or to help improve your mood, consider adding basil aromatherapy to your daily regimen. Basil can also be helpful against hot flashes when diluted and applied to your feet or rubbed across the back of your neck.
Rose
Some researchers have proposed that rose oil strengthens the uterus, potentially addressing menstrual cycle issues. In menopause, rose oil may improve mood and reduce hot flashes by balancing hormones.
What a wonderful way to rebrand this often-maligned season in life.
Menopausal Hot Flashes: A bouquet of roses… geranium and clary sage.
Cool!

 

Learn more about Shannyn Caldwell and The Healing Season at www.thehealingseason.com

and join the Holistic Wellness Group at www.facebook.com/healingseason 

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Healthy Eating, Healthy Living, Recipes, Uncategorized

“Gerson Therapy Cookies”

About a year ago, I became a student of Traditional Naturopathic Medicine at Genesis School of Natural Health. I was interested to see that the first phases of the program dealt, in large part, with the issue of Cancer in the body. There is plenty of reason to be encouraged at how nutritional and life-style can reduce your Cancer risks and reverse the progress of the disease. As Naturopathic Doctors work with Alopathic Doctors, I am hopeful in the progress in overall wellness that can be make and at little to no cost to the individual seeking health and healing.

And it’s not just in the arena of cancer that this holds true. Hippocrates was being literal when he said, “Let your food be your medicine.” Real, organic, nutritious food really can be strong and powerful agents of healing. And so it is with the first book I studied while a student with Genesis: The Gerson Therapy by Charlotte Gerson and Morton Walker, D.P. M. This is the brain child of Max Gerson M.D. who, while a student, was looking for a way to help with his personal malady’s. What he landed on was a dietary protocol which seems to be at least, helpful and at best, miraculous. If you have a loved one who is seeking to heal Cancer, this book is a must read.

The Therapy is a combination of cooked and juiced fruit and vegetables. You would find, after following a daily (let alone weekly, monthly or yearly) Gerson diet would result in a vast remain of apple and carrot pulp. While some of the high end juicers approved by The Gerson Institute leave very little pulp behind, lets be realistic. Many, if not most, of us are using a more conventional juicer. This means that until one has the means to invest in the more high end juicer, they will, when following the Gerson Diet, have a LOT of pulp. Composting is an obvious option, but it seems a bit of a waste, when there is clearly so much life, health and good ol’ yumminess left in this pulp to just toss into the compost heap.

So, in an effort to make something good and something…good…I created this little treat:

Gerson Therapy Cookies is what I’m calling them, although they are in no way endorsed by the Gerson Institute. While they are free from that nasty white stuff, the sugar content is not really in the zone anyone would recommend from someone with Cancer of any other illness. But if you find yourself in a situation like mine, with a family member following the Gerson Therapy for healing and me, with a bunch of left over pulp, this may be for you.

The recipe is simple:

 

 

Gerson Therapy Cookies
Author: Shannyn Caldwell
Recipe type: Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Corn-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Yeast-Free
Prep time:  
Cook time:  
Total time:  
Serves: 24
Dairy-free, grain-free cookies made with carrot and apple juice pulp.
Ingredients
  • 3 cups carrot, apple juice pulp (made from approximately 4 carrots, 2 red apples.)
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ cup liquid coconut oil (can omit if desired)
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup real maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon black strap molasses
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla liquid stevia
  • 2½ tablespoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon allspice (optional)
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons gluten free baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup flax meal
  • 2/3 cup organic oats
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • ½ cup chopped dried fruit (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 380F. In a food processor, place the juice pulp, pitted dates, egg, olive oil, water, and chopped pear or apple. Turn the food processor on until the mixture is well incorporated and smooth.
  2. Add the cinnamon, cloves, allspice, salt, vanilla liquid stevia, baking soda, baking powder, and flax. Periodically, stop the food processor to scrape the bowl with a spatula. Keep mixing the batter until the mixture is thoroughly incorporated. It will be very thick. Once the batter is mixed, scoop it into a large mixing bowl.
  3. To the mixing bowl, add the oats. You an also add chopped, dried fruit, if you want to. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, incorporate the nuts, coconut, and dried fruit into the batter.
  4. Liberally grease two mini muffin trays or cookie sheet (that contain 12 muffin molds, each) with coconut oil. Mold each cookie, by hand: using a spoon, fill each mini muffin mold, half way. Then, take a second scoop of muffin batter, and form it into a mound shape. ** The muffins in this recipe will not rise; therefore, you need to shape the muffins yourself before you bake them**
  5. Use your hands to help you to mold the muffins into muffin shapes.
  6. Place the muffin trays into the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes.
  7. Once baked, you want the muffins to be a deep brown color. After baking, cool the muffins on a baking rack. Let them completely cool before you sample them.
Notes
Juice Pulp – You can freeze carrot, apple pulp in 3-cup portions. When you’re ready to make cookies, just place the frozen juice pulp in a pan, and place it in the preheated oven. It will thaw in about 4-5 minutes.
Stevia – You can substitute 2 tablespoons of coconut sugar for the vanilla liquid stevia.
Storage – Do not store these muffins in a tightly sealed container. They are too moist. Just place them on a plate, covered loosely.

 

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Healthy Eating, Healthy Living, Uncategorized

Sweet Ways to Lower Blood Sugar

It’s National Diabetes Awareness and Prevention Day!

My family tree has an over abundance of Diabetes- my mom, aunty, grandma and even great grandma were (are) all Diabetic.

Not this girl!

It was years ago that I was blessed to have a massage (I know, swoon) and at the end of the massage, I asked the therapist if he noticed anything that was out of line.
“Nope” he said, “All the bones and muscles are in right order, but you eat too much sugar, that’s why your back hurts RIGHT THERE” as he pressed into the spot on the right side of my middle back that ALWAYS hurt.

“What? What do you mean?” with a shrug of his shoulder he gave me insight that would change everything for me.  “That’s not a muscle hurting” he explained “That’s where your pancreas is. It’s inflamed. Don’t believe me? Cut out refined sugar for a week and see if you notice a difference.” He further explained that I didn’t even have to cut out all sugar, just the white stuff. Switch to raw sugar or honey, he said.

I did. And guess what! No. More. Back pain!

So let’s start there. If you have a pain in the right side of your middle back, cut out white sugar for a week and see if anything changes.

Beyond that, there is so much you can to to keep your body humming along, healthy and even with the worst genetic pool, be encouraged. You don’t need to receive the diagnosis plaguing so many in our Nation today.

veggies

 

Here are a few simple things that you can do today to help your body stay healthy or even return to the health it was created for.

1-SAY NO to fake food! GMO foods are not real food. Even if your tongue thinks they are, your cells not better. Don’t eat them. Kick them to the curb! Corn, Soy, Canola oil are the most common offenders with any hydrogenated oil fast behind. Skip the fake stuff, including dyes and bleaching agents.

2-FEED Your Body the good stuff! Macro’s are key. Good fiber helps your body do the happy dance. They slow down the rate at which your body absorbs glucose and help detoxify your system. Some great fiber choices that are nutrient rich are Artichokes, Avocado, Nuts and Seeds (especially Chia and Flax) Healthy fats (like coconut oil) can help level out your blood sugar therefore helping out your pancreas. Good clean protein is also key. They work to slow the absorption of sugar. So, if you eat meat, get good grass-fed organics, wild-caught fish (which are packed with Omega-3’s to reduce inflammation) or reach for lentils or eggs!

3-MOVE Your Body! Studies show that as little as 20 minute of light exercise 5 times a week can help prevent and even reverse type 2 diabetes.

food-salad-healthy-lunch.jpg

 

About 10% of the American Population has diabetes, including our kiddos.

How about we move that number down by moving our bodies UP and out for a nice walk and then a healthy plate of real, nutritious food. We can reclaim the health God gave us, one step, bite, choice at a time.

 

Shannyn Caldwell is a certified holistic nutritionist and author of The Healing Season.

Find her at http://www.thehealingseason.com

 

Healthy Eating, Healthy Living, Homemaking, Recipes, Uncategorized

From the Healing Season Kitchen

Last month, we welcomed an InstantPot into our kitchen.

Honestly, pressure cookers have always scared me a bit, with stories circulating through our family history of explosions and spaghetti sauce on the ceiling. But when all of American exploded at Christmas with blog upon blog and photo after photo of happy/healthy mama’s smiling next to their shinny little cooker-bots…I BIT!

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard that probiotics are a blessing for your belly, digestion and entire system. They are healing ninjas! I want an army of them!

Mostly, I wanted to be able to push a button that says “Yogurt” and then watch a tiny little miracle happen. And THAT’S exactly what I feel has happened.

yogurt

My Syrian grandma, Mary used to make her own yogurt. It was delish. Making is…GROSS, Grandma! But this…for realz, ya’ll. It’s “set it and forget it” goodness.

My husband says it’s the best he’s ever had. My son has requested I make it each week!

And…holy EASY Batman! So…if you are feeling adventurous or just want to up that pro-biotic count, this is for you.

I don’t know about YOU but for me, if it’s going into something called the “Instant Pot” it better be really, really easy. Dare I say Instant?

There are LOTS of recipes out there for homemade Instantpot Yogurt. So require boiling milk. Some require a thermometer! #aintnobodygottimeforthat. Because this is a coconut yogurt, no thermometer required! YES, LORD!

This is definitely easy.

Easy homemadecoconut yogurt

To create this Greek Yogurt textured pot of yummy, simply mix all the ingredients above (except the gelatin) together. Split the creamy goodness between your two clean ball jars and put them uncovered in your Instant Pot for 11 hours.  When your little pot sings it’s happy “I’m done” song it will read “Yogurt” on the display! That’s when you just pull out the jars, stir in the gelatin (or better yet, BLEND that goodness) and pop them in your refrigerator until they are cool.

And they are SO cool! I hope you enjoy this and thanks to the blogger at My Big Fat Grain Free Life for getting this idea started. (she doesn’t add the syrup so hers is a pure plain yogurt, while this is a tiny bit sweet)

Top with your favorites: Berries….MORE syrup? Have fun, sweet ones! Be well.

Shannyn Caldwell is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist and founder of The Healing Season: Holistic. Wellness. Community! http://www.thehealingseason.com 

 

Healthy Eating, Healthy Living, Homemaking, Recipes

Crazy Delicious (Gluten Free) Black Bean Brownies

I’ve got kids who DETEST it when I try to slide health into their food (something I do EVERY DAY)

So, when I made some like cheesecake with tofu or brownies with black beans, I keep it on the down low.

What happens in the kitchen, STAYS in the kitchen, right?

I just serve them up and what to discern the expression as “MMMMMMM” or “EWWWWWW”. These brownies are wheat free, gluten free and a slam DUNK every time.

Even AFTER if “spilled the beans” they are still a family favorite and one of my husband’s “love languages”

You won’t believe how EASY they are to make, how easy they are to EAT and how little guilt is involved in chowing down a pan of these brownies!

Dark chocolate black bean brownies

Yield: 10-12 servings

Ingredients:

1 15.5 oz. can black beans, thoroughly rinsed and drained
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar or Xylitol
1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
3 eggs
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules or 1 shot of espresso
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped, optional
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips, more if you like

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place parchment paper in the bottom of an 8X 8 pan. Grease the parchment paper. This will be your security blanket to make sure the brownies don’t stick to the pan!!

Place all the ingredients except chocolate chips and walnuts in a food processor or blender and pulse thoroughly until smooth and well combined.

Pour batter in the baking dish. Top with nuts and chocolate chips. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the top is dry and edges begin to pull away from the baking dish. Cool completely before cutting.

Black-Bean-Brownies