Category Archives for "2014 Newsletters"
This edition will focus on Connective Tissue. Are you aware that you have an amazing body?! In terms of The MELT MethodTM you have an Autopilot which greatly affects longevity and optimal aging.
Your Autopilot is that aspect of your nervous system that keeps you upright against gravity and maintains your postural balances (or imbalances). If you are unable to lay on the floor without pain you need this!
Your connective tissue is the most abundant tissue in your body. It is embedded with the majority of your sensory nerve endings; more than your muscles! On an architectural level, your connective tissue is your support system. It is what holds you up against gravity using something called tensional integrity. You would be a heap on the floor if not for your connective tissue providing tensional support. When damaged anywhere in your body you can have pain, dysfunction, and postural imbalances anywhere else in your body. In other words, your area of pain may be caused by a completely different place in your body. Where you think it is, it ain’t.
Look at this body model of tensegrity (tensional integrity) by Tom Flemons. If you put stress in one area you will deform another area. That is what happens in your body.
You have a neurofascial system (your nervous system and connective tissue system working together) that provides connection, repair, and protection. It has been only recently studied (past five years) in depth. On a cellular level, this system provides your body with the ability to adapt, anticipate movement, and respond to vibrations.
Look at the beauty of this nerve cell that is capable of profound communication throughout your body! This complex structure is injured by: poor nutrition, inadequate water intake, lack of proper sleep/rest, exercise habits, stress, injury, pregnancy, and aging. When cellular injury occurs in your connective tissue your overall efficiency to move and adapt to your physical environment is hindered; creating pain and dysfunctional postures.
You have phenomenal cells called fibroblasts (see below) that are responsible for creating fibers like collagen, extracellular fluid components, and microvacuoles.
Microvacuoles ensure there is space between structures to protect them during movement. Your fibroblasts are directly affected by compression and dehydration and die when the compression is prolonged, like sitting for hours at your computer. The good news is that they can be stimulated to actually increase in number for optimal pain-free function. When you MELT anywhere on your body you stimulate the production of fibroblasts which produce fluid which then hydrates and lengthens your fasica (a type of connective tissue).
Fascia surrounds all your muscles, bones, vessels, and more. You literally have one muscle separated by ~700 compartments made up of fascia. When your connective tissue has efficient connection you have a major component to optimal health and pain-free function. To put it simply, you need to hydrate and lengthen your connective tissue (MELT) to ensure your neurofascial system is fit for a pain-free life. Learn how to MELT today!
Eliminate pain, the need for medications, and reclaim your life. Contact Eileen Kopsaftis or call 518-496-1265 for a comprehensive consultation. You deserve a long, healthy, pain-free life!
HLW Recipe of the Month: Coconut Macaroons w/ Chocolate Ganache
These are my family’s favorite cookies every Christmas! Use chocolate ganache to drizzle or dip or just use a chunk of non-dairy chocolate to push into the top just after baking. What goes better with coconut than chocolate?!
Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-12 minutes
Servings: ~ 48 cookies
1/3 cup Earth Balance, softened (vegan butter)
1 package (3 oz.) vegan cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
½ small banana, mashed well
2 teaspoons almond extract
2 teaspoons orange juice
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 cups MOUNDS Sweetened Coconut Flakes, divided
Preheat your oven to 350’F.
Beat Earth Balance, cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until well blended. Add banana, almond extract and orange juice; beat well. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in 3 cups coconut.
Cover; refrigerate 1 hour or until firm enough to handle. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll balls in remaining 2 cups coconut. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven. Cool 1 minute; carefully remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.
2 tablespoons vegan butter
2-4 tablespoons non-dairy milk (less for more firm chocolate, more for a softer result)
6 ounces vegan chocolate chips
Heat butter and milk over low heat, until butter is melted. Stir constantly. Add chocolate chips, still stirring, until melted. Once melted, remove from heat immediately and let cool for ~10- 15 minutes, where the ganache can be handled without getting burned, but not yet set.
Pour ganache on top or dip cookies and place on waxed paper until set. Store in air-tight container. Be careful, these cookies can be addicting!
HLW Tip of the Month: Center Your Meals Around Healthy Starches!
You have heard from a myriad of sources to stay away from starches. “They are bad for you. They make you gain weight. Stop eating them and you will lose weight.” These are lies from the pit of hell! Healthy starches are just what your body and your brain need for optimal functioning and good health. Oils and fats make you fat! Healthy starches provide fiber, nutrition, and carbohydrates that are needed without fat and excess calories. Your body goes through very unhealthy processes to use excess proteins and fats to provide energy when you are not eating enough healthy starches. Yes, there are unhealthy starches: cookies, cakes, donuts, white bread, etc. You need WHOLE PLANT foods for good health.
WHAT TO EAT
• Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes
• Whole Grains (brown rice, millet, etc)
• Unrefined Flours
• Whole Grain Pastas (rice, corn, wheat)
• Roots (turnips, beets, yams, parsnips)
• Winter Squashes (butternut, acorn, spaghetti)
• Beans (canned are ok & time saving)
The evidence is profound. Whole food, plant-based eating is how to nourish your body for good health. You can actually reverse common conditions like cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes. Experts have shown their patients how to do this for decades! There are fabulous websites with reams of information to show you how and why to do this. My favorite site that is loaded with research, videos, and recipes (all free) is www.DrMcDougall.com
If you have no idea how to do this I will be happy to show you how. Sign up for Nourish Your Body for Life Series and you will get to taste all kinds of delicious foods, learn the details behind food, health, and disease, and be empowered for lifelong wellbeing. In just four weeks you can decrease your Chronic Disease Risk Score by ~50%! I have seen this happen in every class series I teach.
Eat Healthy Starches to Have LifeLong WellBeing!
This edition will focus on Sugar. Sugar has been both sanctified and villainized in our society; depending on the source and agenda. I intend to clarify the pertinent facts and show the science; but please remember I only have one page to do this.
First, let’s be perfectly clear, sugar is not a health food! It is highly refined, has no protein, no vitamins, no minerals, no essential fatty acids. Sugar is empty calories that can be toxic when ingested in high doses. Let me explain. Excess sugar (including fruit juices) increases your triglycerides which increases your risk of heart disease. Excess sugar suppresses your immune system. Ever notice that cold & flu season occurs around the “candy holidays”? And, can you say tooth decay? However, science has proven sugar does not cause obesity or diabetes. The fat you eat is the fat you wear and fat leads to insulin resistance, not sugar.
There are levels of sugar consumption that are ok. Staying at or below 6 tsp/day (18 lbs/year) is not shown to confer illness and disease. Unfortunately, average sugar intake is 22 tsp/day (69 lbs/year)! As you can see from the graph, we have certainly increased the sugar we eat! Average insulin levels are 3x higher than normal. There are 56 names for sugar and 80% of our foods have sugar added. This is one very important reason to eat whole foods, not processed foods!
Let’s look at some science about artificial sweeteners: Sweet n’ Low, Splenda, and Equal. If you are consuming these thinking they will protect you from weight gain think again! Studies show increased risk for cancer, diabetes, neurological disorders, and weight gain! They actually cause what you want to prevent; weight gain! Glucose dysregulation occurs when you eat artificial sweeteners. They change the composition of your gut bacteria leading to altered glucose metabolism. This means glucose levels in your body rise higher than normal after eating and decline more slowly than normal leading to weight GAIN vs weight loss. These sweeteners also stimulate your appetite! Sugar does not.
The only natural sweetener with no negatives is Stevia. It comes from a plant, is 200-300x sweeter than table sugar and has no calories.
The experts I study under agree that “a little” sugar used so you will eat and enjoy healthy starches is perfectly ok. A little molasses in your baked beans or BBQ sauce on your potatoes is ok. A teaspoon of brown sugar on your bowl of oatmeal, a little syrup on your whole grain pancakes, or a little jam on your whole grain toast in the morning will keep you on track with fiber-filled nutrition setting you up to eat healthier all day long. Remember studies show you will eat 987 calories more during the day when you don’t start your day with fiber!
An occasional dessert (no dairy, low fat) with some form of sweetener (not artificial) is ok. We are not talking moderation! We are talking maybe once a week, birthdays, and holidays (the actual day of the holiday, not for weeks before and weeks after!)
Sugar (glucose) is meant to be eaten in the form of starches, vegetables, and fruits. These foods lead to wellness, not illness. Satisfying your natural urge for something sweet is easier after eating energy rich, fiber-filled starches. A meal full of animal flesh and fat actually increases your craving for sweets and makes it harder for you to resist!
HLW Recipe of the Month: Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Wonderful excerpt from Dr. John McDougall. “This time of year, the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays frighten many people who eat a healthy diet. They wonder how to socialize with friends and how to prepare a meal in their home. These two days are supposed to be the largest feasts of the year. Yet in fact, both dinners are the healthiest, most vegetarian-like, most McDougall-like meals people eat all year long. Traditionally, these holiday dinners consist of mashed white potatoes, roasted sweet potatoes, a bread stuffing, butternut and acorn squash, cranberries, and a variety of green vegetables, including Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, and green beans. For dessert, pumpkin pie ends the feast. That's a cornucopia of starches and vegetables. The turkey served is the leanest of all common meats. The truth is that every other dinner consumed by Westerners all year long is far richer in fat, cholesterol, salt and sugar than is eaten at these two traditional festivals. Therefore, if you are a healthy eater you will find Thanksgiving and Christmas the two most comfortable times of the year to socialize with all of your family and friends.”
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30-45 minutes
3 pounds sweet potatoes
1/2 cup plant milk
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
dash sea salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
Peel, cut and cook potatoes in water on the stovetop. Drain water, add plant milk, maple syrup and seasonings. Mash with a hand masher or electric beater (do not use a food processor).
Holiday Hints: Prepare your traditional dishes without the dairy (use plant milk), cut down on the fat (bake with applesauce/other fat replacers, eliminate butter in cooking, use veggie broth/plant milk in mashed potatoes) and don’t tell anyone I bet they won’t even notice!
Your guests will be asking for “more veggies please!”
HLW Tip of the Month: You Must Exercise 4-5 Days a Week!
You have learned a great deal about how food affects your health in the LifeLong WellBeing Nutrition Class Series. You may come to the monthly Advanced Nutrition Classes to continue learning as well as for support. It’s important you also have a clear understanding of your body’s need for consistent activity and movement. If you are not exercising regularly, you will have trouble achieving your ideal weight and you will age faster! Yes, you will age faster. Remember the study showing exercise was the Fountain of Youth; turning back the clock thirty years?!
Exercising 30-60 minutes, 4-5 days a week is as non-negotiable as drinking 64 ounces of water each day.
Exercise is critical because it:
• Changes/maintains good muscle to fat ratio
• Increases metabolic rate (burn more calories at rest!)
• Improves digestion
• Increases energy
• Improves cholesterol level
• Improves sleep
• Increases muscle strength
• Strengthens bones
• Reduces depression
• Lowers blood pressure
• Boosts your immune system
• Increases endurance/stamina
• Improves mental alertness
• Increases flexibility
• Improves self-esteem
• Increases positive attitude
• “demagnetizes” your fridge
Not exercising can lead to:
• Sarcopenia (loss of lean muscle)
• Slower metabolism/excess weight
• Increased risk of cardiovascular disease
• Sluggish immune function
“The best exercise in the world is the one you’ll do & a 30 minute workout is only 2% of your day!”
You Must Exercise to Have Lifelong Wellbeing!
I want to begin this first edition on the topic of Beneficial Flora. It has been brought to my attention there is a lack of clarity on this issue and I intend to correct that with more detail presented here.
Beneficial bacteria are necessary for digestive health (including regular bowel elimination), an effective immune system, proper absorption of vitamins and minerals, an acidic environment to keep pathogenic bacteria (the bad guys) in check, production of tiny amounts of some vitamins, and a barrier to keep matter that doesn’t belong out of your bloodstream.
The two most important types of bacteria are Lactobacilli – in your small intestine and Bifido bacterium – in your colon. When your “good guys” are not at a therapeutic level many issues can develop:
• Malabsorption of nutrients
• Chronic infections, including C-diff
• Stomach pain, gas, bloating
• Foul breath
• Hormone level imbalance
• Increased cholesterol levels
• Increased cancer risk
• Decreased production of digestive enzymes
The medical term for this imbalance is Dysbiosis which occurs when the pathogenic bacteria outnumbers the beneficial bacteria. This imbalance happens for several reasons. The most common is when using an antibiotic. Antibiotics are indiscriminate killers of bacteria, both good and bad. Other causes are NSAID’s (aspirin/anti-inflammatories), diets lacking in fiber and high in animal products, and birth control pills. C-sections and formula feeding create this issue in infants, often leading to colic.
Supplementing with a probiotic will resolve this problem. A probiotic is the actual beneficial bacteria in a supplement form. To be effective a probiotic needs to be of therapeutic dosage, protected from light and heat, and taken with food. There are many products out there and some are not the human strains necessary (or a high enough number of CFU’s/Colony Forming Units) to restore you to Eubiosis (a healthy, efficiently functioning population of beneficial flora).
A Prebiotic is an indigestible sugar (FOS, GOS) that ‘fertilizes’ the probiotic (beneficial bacteria) causing it to multiply and re-establish sufficient levels more quickly. You never want to take a prebiotic without a probiotic as it will increase your pathogenic bacteria and exacerbate your problems. Only take a prebiotic with a probiotic (to enhance repopulation) and then only if you do not have gas or bloating.
I do hope this has helped to clarify your knowledge. If you feel you would benefit from a probiotic I am happy to discuss this with you and recommend a brand that has proven research as well as the proper formula for your issues. I also offer individual in-depth consulting for a reasonable fee and have helped many people resolve their issues with correct nutrition and beneficial flora.
HLW Recipe of the Month: Quick and Easy Pasta Sauce
So easy and much better tasting than jar sauces. You can tailor it to suit your own tastes as well. Spice it up with red pepper flakes, sauté chopped red/green peppers with the onion, add chopped roasted peppers, chopped stewed tomatoes, or with whatever mood strikes you! It is without oil or sugar. Of course you want to put this delicious sauce over whole grain pasta for healthy fiber.
Minutes to Prepare: 5-10
Minutes to Cook: 20-30
Yield: 1 ½ quarts
Number of Servings: 8
Serving Size: ½ cup
1 12 oz. can of tomato paste 1 15 oz. can of tomatoes: crushed, diced, etc. 3 cups water (2 12-oz. cans; no dirty measuring cup)
2 tbl minced dried onion (OR ¼ cup minced fresh onion)
1/2 tsp dehydrated garlic (OR 3 cloves minced fresh garlic)
2 tbl dried parsley (OR same of minced fresh parsley)
1/2 tsp dried oregano (OR 1 tsp minced fresh oregano)
1 tsp dried basil (OR 1 tbl minced fresh basil)
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper Optional: 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
If using fresh onion and garlic:
Sauté onion in a medium saucepan in just enough water to keep from sticking for 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and continue to sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add tomato paste, water, and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and then let simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.
If using dried onion/garlic/herbs start here:
Put tomato paste in a pot big enough to hold at least 2 quarts. Gradually stir in the water. Add all the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and then let simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.
A great alternative to expensive pasta sauces!
HLW Tip of the Month: You must drink 64 oz of water every day.
You have learned a great deal about what foods to eat and not to eat. It’s important you have a clear understanding of the liquids you put into your body as well. The #1 drink of choice must be pure, filtered water. If you have municipally provided tap water it has chlorine and other toxins that do not bring health to your body. If you have well water it most likely does not need to be filtered. If in doubt, have it checked.
64 ounces of water every day is non-negotiable. Add 8 ounces for every extra 25 pounds you are carrying.
Water is critical because it:
Not drinking enough water can lead to:
“Dehydration slows down the fat burning process.”
Only water functions as water. If there is anything in it digestion is required. Drinks that contain caffeine cause increased water loss. Caffeine inhibits your ADH (a hormone that keeps you from losing water) so it makes you go to the bathroom more. Coffee, tea, colas, energy drinks all contain caffeine. Alcohol does the same thing to your ADH as caffeine.
Try to drink water between meals, not with meals, as it can dilute your digestive juices making it harder to digest your food.
Drink 64 ounces of water daily to Have Lifelong Wellbeing!