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SKIN FOOD

I felt like I was in the music video for Jonny Diaz’s song called Breathe this morning. My brain was running a million miles an hour before my feet touched the floor. And I felt behind schedule rushing out the door, so I skipped whipping up one of my usual fresh fruit and vegetable drinks! I know I need the continued support for healthy skin internally and externally, so I maintain a supplement schedule that includes 3 Regeneplex per day. When I’ve missed my part, the preparing part, I simply take 3 additional capsules! It’s an easy way to stay consistent and give my skin the support it deserves. I feel great taking it because it’s a clinically studied systemic skin health product that works from the inside out. By combining key ingredients from whole foods with complementary ingredients, this formula synergistically supports my body’s natural tissue-healing processes associated with the normal effects of aging. Something that fresh vegetable juice and a clean diet can do, but this fills in the gaps when I have been neglectful. Benefits of Regeneplex include:
1) Targeting all three layers of skin. Supporting the circulatory AND digestive systems, AND cellular structure and functions!
2) Provides a supportive nutritional foundation for healthy skin!
3) Supports skin elasticity and appearance while helping address fine lines around the eyes. Clinically and anecdotally proven!
4) High in antioxidant vitamin C (ANTI-RUST function)

I definitely prefer to eat my vitamins and minerals but when I can’t (or haven’t), I love knowing that I have a back-up plan for balanced health and slower aging!

Living Well Spine Center proudly retails Standard Process products. We research and investigate options for our office and have determined that Standard Process is the best supplementation support for our patients, our staff and ourselves! Let us know if we can help develop a personalized nutritional protocol just for you!

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IN ME ON ME

What a beautiful day to be alive! I received some life-changing products yesterday and I am excited to share my story with you.

I have always been a make-up girl! When I was a teenager, I used it to hide behind… to provide a mask to my insecurities. I experimented with many types…. drugstore varieties and the more expensive department store brands. I had typical breakouts, and was highly allergic to acne medication, so I constantly wore layers of make-up and concealer to cover up the redness and the blemishes. It was a vicious and sometimes ugly cycle. After college, I worked for Clinique as an account rep for a couple of years before Terry and I were married. I would travel to the Lazarus stores in the Columbus area, and train counter girls and customers on skincare and make-up application. I LOVED helping other women feel prettier and more confident, and at that time, Clinique had a pure reputation amongst it's competitors, so I loved knowing they were actually caring for their skin too. After I left Clinique, and we moved to Iowa, I continued to use it myself. I believed in the products, and resonated with their cosmetic philosophy. As I got older and we had our own girls, I used makeup to provide much needed personal time as I prepared myself for our very full days together, but had started to become a label-interpreter and began to realize the impurity of those ingredients. I used fewer products than I had previously, but still felt put-together and ready to face the world even if that world was piles of laundry and homeschool work done in our basement. :)  And now in an effort to love my “mature” skin, and continue to simplify my life, I use it as a protectant against the elements and to polish my appearance. Just 4 products: foundation, blush, eyeliner, and mascara. Less is definitely more at this point in my life.

I selected the best of what I had to choose from, even though I knew in my heart that it was not for my highest benefit, and multiplied my efforts doing all the good things that we knew to do… feeding my skin from the inside out… focusing on the healing powers of the food that God created! Like this delightful drink to counteract the environmental toxicities that we endure each day:  

Cleopatra’s Elixir:

I call it this, because legend has it that the magnificent Cleopatra used Fresh Aloe on her skin daily to increase her beauty and radiance, and ate it to prevent aging! This is what is in my body: 

4 stalks of organic celery

2 cups of organic cilantro

2 organic oranges peeled

2” piece of fresh aloe vera, peeled

2” piece of organic fresh ginger root, peeled, and sliced

Blend all ingredients together in a high speed blender, or Vitamix, with 1 cup of pure water until smooth. Drink within 30 minutes of preparing it.

Benefits include, smoother skin, high energy, reduced inflammation (under eye issues) and stress, immune-boosting, weight loss, liver and gallbladder detoxification, elimination of joint pain, balanced blood sugar, elevated brain function, high in electrolytes, and increased cellular hydration (think plumper skin cells!) Plus it’s delicious! 

As we became more knowledgable about our health, and the toxic environment that we live in, the trickier it was to find clean skin care products and cosmetics that performed in a way that I was accustomed to. Good coverage, long lasting, non-oily, natural colors. I always felt like I was compromising… UNTIL LAST MONTH, when Lily happened upon a brand-new cosmetic company that was everything we had been waiting for!  

Finally some congruency in my cosmetics. This is what is on my body:

Foundation 03: Water, Caprylic Triglyceride, Aloe Leaf Juice* [cleopatra's anti-aging magic], Glyceryl Caprylate, Dimethicone [skin protectant], Silica, Stearic Acid, Mica, Shea Butter*, Beeswax*, Rice Powder, Glyceryl Stearate, Tocopherol [Vitamin E • Non-GMO], Rose hip Oil* [most bioidentical, bioavailable source of vitamin C], Vitamin C [anti-inflammtory], Oregano Leaf Extract* [natural anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal agent], Thyme Extract* [anti-viral], Olive Leaf Extract* [anti-inflammatory and anti-aging], Rosemary Leaf Extract* [anti-bacterial], Lavender Flower Extract* [disinfectant and soothing}, Goldenseal Root Extract* [powerful astringent}, Vanilla Fruit Extract [sweet smelling aphrodisiac]

A recipe that I could practically make in my kitchen! They feel fantastic, last all day, and are gloriously “clean” and toxin-free!! 

As we continue to live our lives to the best of our ability according to God’s Divine Plan, knowing that we are making choices that are pleasing to Him, caring for these bodies that are on loan to us, and helping others live their best lives, we have found a purposeful path! There's plenty of room for those seeking the same!

Looking to elevate your health inside and out?? We can help with these three options:

1) Join us on March 23, 2017 from 7-8 for a Living Well Beautifully workshop where we will share the products, color match for those interested in toxin-free foundation, energy test your own products to see what's most beneficial for you, and enjoy food and drink and social time!

2) Check the website: www.crunchi.com/lisamccoskey. Explore and shop to your pure heart's content!

3) Check out the web-site and also join us for the Beautifully workshop on March 23. We would love to chat with everyone and share thoughts and ideas and questions. 

If you'd like to attend our special event, please RSVP by emailing lisa@livingwellspinecenter.com

 

[Side note: For those of you who understand the value of energy testing, these are the only products that I have ever tested strong for and I am thrilled about it!]

 

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Cashew Cream with Wild Blueberries and Toasted Flake Coconut

I love to cook and prepare food, but more than anything I love to serve and nourish people. Our family is certainly not perfect when it comes to nutrition, but we excel at making health a priority. We are continually learning about new ways of eating, combining foods, and maximizing those nutrient dense foods in our daily lives. This is one of those recipes that is delicious and makes me feel happy and fulfilled serving it to the ones I love most!

These nourish bowls are layered with cashew cream… made from raw organic cashews, organic medjool dates, vanilla bean paste, and Colima sea salt. Cashews are loaded with vitamins and minerals. They are rich in protein, have more magnesium than almonds, and are full of heart healthy essential fat. They are also high in selenium which functions as a co-factor for antioxidant enzymes such as Glutathione, known to many as a “fountain of youth” agent. And Zinc which is a micronutrient that regulates growth and development, digestion, and DNA synthesis. Medjool dates add sweetness to the cream, but have their own nutritional benefits such as balancing blood sugar, reducing candida overgrowth, regulating urinary issues, eliminating headaches, brain fog, and ringing in the ears, as well as, digestive disturbances. The vanilla bean paste creates little bursts of flavor… it’s known to be an aphrodisiac, but it is a storehouse of vital minerals as well. 

I like to top the cashew cream with blueberries... not just regular blueberries though. These are organic wild blueberries from the eastern coast of Canada and they should not be confused with their plump-er cultivated cousins. While both are high in antioxidants, the adaptogenic properties that are inherent in the wild variety and their innate intelligence will actually read the body, monitor stress and toxicity levels, and assess how best to nourish us. This is only possible because of the struggle that the wild plants have faced as they survive and thrive in some of the most inclement weather on the planet. The difference is like comparing farm-raised salmon to wild caught salmon, or industrial grain-fed beef to free-range grass-fed beef. These tiny berries are effective heavy metal detoxifiers, powerful brain food, potent prebiotic, and superstar healers. We should eat 1/2 cup a day for maximum benefit. Check your grocery store freezer section, and read the labels for their origin. I found these Organic Wild Blueberries at our local Trader Joe’s!

I balanced my power lunch bowl with coconut, because I love coconut. I love the deliciously sweet, larger flakes from this brand. And I like to toast them for about two minutes under the broiler before I eat them. It adds a depth of flavor that I adore. Most people are aware of the immense benefits associated with coconut oil, and coconut water. Both enhance the benefits of any other foods that they are combined with supercharging them for our well-being. The meat of the coconut is valuable as well. It is high in lauric acid and is a helpful addition when in need of an antibacterial, antiviral food. Plus it’s a medium chain fatty acid that helps break loose other fats aiding waste removal. It is also helpful in balancing our emotions, reducing inflammation, chemical sensitivities, and fatigue. Those are just added bonuses, I eat it because it’s yummy!

Here's the recipe for the cashew cream. It can be layered and topped with an endless variety of fruits, nuts and nutritional elements. And for cashew “milk” simply add additional water for a refreshing stand-alone treat.

 

Cashew Cream

2 cups organic raw cashews, soaked in 4 cups of pure water for 4-6 hours

4-6 whole dates, stem end removed and pitted

2 Tablespoons vanilla bean paste

1 teaspoon Colima Sea Salt

1 cup of water

Drain cashews and rinse. Place cashews in Vitamix or other high speed blender. Add 1 cup of water, the pitted dates, vanilla bean paste, and salt. Blend on high speed for 1-2 minutes, tamping as necessary, until cashews become creamy and light in color. If needed, add additional water to create the right consistency for you. Spoon into glass containers. Cover and refrigerate. Best if eaten within 4-5 days. 

Spoon out 1/2 cup of cashew cream into a bowl. Top with blueberries, and toasted coconut. Enjoy as you delight your taste buds and nourish your body!

Note: To make cashew “milk”, simply increase the water to 5 cups. Blend for 1-2 minutes. Bottle and keep refrigerated. 

 

So simple! Please share your creative combinations with us! We'd love to hear from you!

 

 

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WHAT IS MUSCLE TESTING??

.We get this question often, so we hope that this blog post clarifies what muscle testing is:

Muscle Testing is another term used for kinesiology.

"Kinesiology is a holistic system of natural health care which draws on a blend of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western Techniques to assess the whole body.  It uses muscle monitoring to communicate directly with the body and assess a person's response to any stimulus.  Drawing on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine kinesiology evaluates body function through the muscle-meridian relationship and establishes connections between imbalances, prioritizes them and then determines the most effective protocol."

Simply stated, the body has within it and surrounding it an electrical network or grid. If anything impacts your electrical system that does not maintain or enhance your health and your body’s balance, your muscles, when having physical pressure applied, are unable to hold their strength. (Muscle power is directly linked to the balance of the electrical system.) In other words, if pressure is applied to an individual’s extended arm while his body’s electrical system is being adversely affected, the muscles will weaken and the arm will not be able to resist the pressure. The circuits of the electrical system are overloaded or have short-circuited, causing a weakening of that system. However, if pressure is applied while his electrical system is being positively affected, the circuits remain strong, balanced and capable of fully functioning throughout the body. The muscles will remain strong, the person will easily resist and the arm will hold its position.

This electrical-muscular relationship is a natural part of the human system. It is not mystical or magical. Muscle testing is the established method for reading the body’s balance through the electrical system at any given moment, and anyone, including children, can learn how to do it.

When working in a co-creative partnership, nature answers your yes/no questions by projecting a positive energy or a negative energy—whichever is appropriate—into the electrical circuit that you have created by your fingers especially for the kinesiology testing. The "yes" or "no" that nature projects registers in this one electrical connection and not throughout your entire electrical system. The special connection created by your fingers allows you to use the kinesiology technique without adversely impacting your electrical system or your body’s balance. Only one circuit is being used, and this circuit is artificially created by you for the testing and is not a part of the normal function of the electrical system throughout your body. The answer you are able to discern through the testing is from nature. It is not an answer that has been derived by you.

Remember the overall concept behind kinesiology... what enhances our body, mind and spirit makes us strong. Together, our body, mind and spirit create an environment that, when balanced, is strong and solid. If something enters that environment and challenges the balance, the environment is weakened. That strength or weakness first registers in the electrical system, and it can be discerned through the muscle-testing technique: kinesiology.

For more information or to schedule a nutritional assessment, or a Body Code session, please call our office, or email Lisa at Lisa@livingwellspinecenter.com.

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Do-Little, Get a Lot

Have you ever wondered how your pet is really feeling, or why they are the way they are? Especially recently, as buying from a shelter instead of a breeder or pet store is becoming more popular. If there were a way to release emotional baggage from their past, would you want to know? If so, continue reading. If not, perhaps a buzzfeed quiz would be a more entertaining way to pass some time! 

No, I'm not talking about voodoo, or animal communication or other special psychic powers. The technique I'm referring to is called The Body Code, which allows us to identify and release imbalances, negative emotions and traumas that get trapped within our bodies or our pet's bodies. These trapped emotions and traumas, both physical and psychic, can manifest themselves as pain, or what we perceive to be misbehavior. The required information is gathered through muscle testing the individual by asking a series of simple questions, and relying on the ever-wondrous subconscious mind. I know, I know. Stay with me here.

I first learned about the Body Code from my mother, who has since become a licensed Body Code practitioner for people. After learning about this work and sharing her successes, she began encouraging me to take this work to the animals. If I'm being perfectly honest, I resisted it for quite some time. It wasn't that I didn't believe that animals feel emotions just as we do. In fact, my perception is that dealing with humans creates more challenges for them. Probably my biggest deterrent was the label that came along with this type of work. People would certainly think I was crazy. How would I explain all of this? What if it doesn't even work? Since I am a fairly straight-forward young woman, I admit to the craziness of it all. I can't really tell you how this works any better than how my wifi signal goes from some tower somewhere, through my home and to my phone. But something clicked for me and I decided to start practicing on my own animals. 

As I began to work, I was stunned. Stunned by the accuracy, and the intricacy of the program, it was so bizarre I couldn't make it up. After seeing the positive (and miraculous) changes in my own animals, I decided to share the service with my fellow animal lovers. I've looked back through my notes and decided to select  some stories that I've found most interesting to share with you today!

Hiccup

Hiccup, our 1.5 year old Great Dane pup, has always been terrified of men. We've known him since he was 8 weeks old, with no known cause for his fear. He has to warm up to any stranger, but he could barely look at a man, even after he'd met them several times. It was like starting over each time with each encounter. I began to feel bad taking him to town to socialize because it was so stressful for him, never seeming to improve. We didn't understood why, as his breeders were such kind people, and his parents were both sweet dogs, though his mom was a little timid. We wanted to find answers for Hiccup, because we saw the lovable boy he was, and new people and strangers are drawn to him even when he is resistant to their affection. I knew this wouldn't hurt him and that it was worth a try.

A few days after his first session, one of Graham's buddies came over. After about five minutes of hesitation, a switch flipped for Hiccup. He was finally able to be as friendly as he had wanted to be from the start with anyone he met. He was almost obnoxiously excited, but I took it as a positive change. I've worked on him a couple more times since then. Recently we took him for a New Year's Day family hike. He was confident and happy to see my brothers-in-law and my dad. People he would eventually warm up to, but would always greet with a big, alarmed bark, and possibly "hiding" behind me. Once we were on the trail, he was excited to meet men, women, children and other dogs. No barking, no hiding. Needless to say, I'm thrilled to see how peaceful he's becoming! 

 

Lucy

I first met Lucy about five years ago when I was working at a farm in Springfield. My first day on the job "Uncle Dave", who worked on the farm at the time, pointed out this beautiful red mare way out in a field. "See that one way out there," he said, "She's been buckin', kickin', throwing a fit and nobody can figure her out. Why don'tcha throw a saddle on her and see what you can do." So my relationship with her began. Lucy had absolutely no interest in people, running away any time she thought she was being approached. Our friendship began to grow, though, and eventually, I bought her. My original plan was to put a few miles on her and resell her, but I soon realized that we were in this for the long haul. We'd worked so hard to build our relationship, and I couldn't bring myself to risk her feeling abandoned. In the time I've had her she's certainly progressed, but I'd always felt that I was just scratching the surface. She was always fearful and defensive, particularly in the beginning of our time together. Everything was a monster, and she was not easily convinced otherwise. When you spend time around horses and pay close enough attention, you can feel when there's something deep inside them. Something that you hope won't be revealed when you are on their back. 

In her first Body Code session, she was literally broken-hearted. Yes, that comes up in the Body Code System. I've found that a lot of animals have broken hearts, which breaks my heart. She also had an imbalance in her somatic nervous system, which controls the "fight or flight" instincts. Things started to make sense to me and I felt tuned in to her in a way that I had been searching for. In her next session, she had a psychic trauma, or a bundle of emotions, that occurred in the same event, trapped in both of her eyes. Emotions like anxiety, horror, and overwhelm, along with several others, and the event that caused this occurred at a young age. All I could imagine was that everything she saw, she saw through this traumatizing filter... this cloud of negative emotions. Like a little kid thinking that the shadow of a tree branch on the wall must be a monster. Three weeks went by since I had ridden her and during that time I was able to have several Body Code sessions with her. Our last ride had been a good one, quite positive. Nevertheless, I had gone longer without riding her than I had since I'd owned her. It was a windy, chilly day. Leaves blowing, trees swaying, horses in an adjacent field running crazy, but she was so quiet. Never a flinch, never so much as a flick of an ear at any of these things. Our next ride was equally as positive, despite a big, scary branch being down next to the arena. She certainly noticed it, but the time it took for her to figure out that it wasn't gonna kill her was minimal. And I started to think there must be something to all of this Body Code stuff.

 

Buddy

Buddy came to the Riding Centre about a month ago, bought to be a school horse to use in lessons. Very cute, very sweet, but he had some issues. And although I've never ridden a llama, I imagined that it felt just like riding Buddy! His head would be straight up in the air most of the time. And it looked like his neck was on upside down. All the wrong muscles were developed. Nevertheless, he's a kind creature with a good attitude and a will to please, so we set up a riding schedule for him to see what we could do. During these riding sessions with him, I realized he was pretty happy and did pretty well as long as he wasn't getting pulled on, though that is true for most horses. But for Buddy is was extreme, and any pressure at all on the reins would cause him to get quick and hurried and worried and llama-like. Those qualities do not bode well for a horse whose job is to forgive students with unintentionally rough hands.

After talking with  Carolyn, the manager of The Riding Centre, about the experiences I've had with my previous body code sessions, she asked about "working my magic on Buddy", which of course I happily agreed to do. What could it hurt? 

He, too, had a broken heart. When this is identified, we begin exploring the underlying causes in order to release them, which allows the heart to mend and become re-connected. For Buddy, the main cause was a misalignment of one of his posterior neck muscles, due to a series of psychic traumas. In the rest of that session, and the two following sessions, all of the imbalances were in his spine... starting in the cervical vertebrae down through his thoracic vertebrae. Some of the culprits were excess adrenalin, psychic traumas and even physical traumas that the emotional damage had caused. No wonder his neck was in the shape that it was! I rode him after his second session and noticed a change. Suddenly I could pick up the reins without him being so bothered. To be sure I wasn't imagining things, I asked one of the girls that had ridden him when he first came to the barn to ride him again. She had a very positive ride with him as well.  After the third session, a long-time student of Carolyn's had come home for the holidays and rode him. Following her first ride on him, she claimed he was "flawless". And finally, after hearing Buddy's stories, the true test came. Carolyn wanted to ride Buddy and feel for herself the changes that others were experiencing. He was calm, steady and quite literally level-headed. 

Of course, there can always be other factors. Buddy, and the other animals I've worked with so far, would still progress without the Body Code. I do not claim to be a healer, or share this as a cure-all of anything. It is simply a means to get rid of any emotional baggage that is keeping them from being the best that they can be as quickly as possible. While I can't say it's very scientific, it is very methodical. I'm certainly excited to be sharing this work with the animal kingdom.

Until next time!

Grace

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Pediatrics

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Pediatrics

A favorite thing of mine to do on Wednesday mornings (when we typically don’t see patients) is to dive back into the research literature and today I stumbled across a gold mine for pediatric care. The study is titled, “Kinematic Imbalances Due to Suboccipital Strain in Newborns”, that was published in the Journal of Manual Medicines.

Sometimes research literature has impossibly difficult to understand titles, but this one can be broken down fairly easily.

Kinematics is motion. So here we have an imbalance in motion.

The suboccipital area is a group of muscles that begin at the base of the skull and attach into the upper neck bones or the ‘upper cervical spine’. When one of these muscles becomes strained or damaged, it alters the movement and position of the head, among many other things...

There are some basic outward signs you can look for in your own child to determine if they may be affected by this kinematic imbalance:

·         Is your child’s head consistently tilted to one side?

·         Does your child curl towards one side like a “C” when lying on their back?

·         Is there an asymmetrical muscle pattern in their glutes, face, or in the folds of their skin on their legs?

·         Once your child is old enough to stand and walk, is one shoulder lower than the other?

Who is at risk for this?

Honestly, any child who is born could be at risk for damage to this area of the body as it is widely recognized as a point of weakness for the developing fetus and newborns, however, certain things can place them at greater risk:

·         Was your child delivered by C-section?

·         Was the use of an extraction device utilized during the delivery? This could include vacuum extraction, forceps, and even manual traction to the head and neck to aid in delivery.

·         Was there multiple fetuses, as in twins, or was the child ever in a breech position?

·         Was the labor prolonged and difficult?

What can you expect to see in terms of symptoms or secondary conditions in regard to this kinematic imbalance? (This list can vary greatly and is far from being complete).

·         Chronic Ear Infections

·         Seizure activity

·         Colic

·         Bedwetting

·         Digestive issues such as reflux

·         Pathological reflexes

·         Torticollis

·         Foot deformities

·         Headaches

·         Constipation

·         Asthma

·         ADD & ADHD

·         Developmental delays

If your child or someone you know is affected by any of these conditions or is displaying outward signs of kinematic imbalance, we strongly encourage you to have them evaluated by a chiropractor who can gently correct the underlying imbalances to promote healing and development.

-In Health,

Dr. Andrew R. Burns

 

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Stress Access, Process, and Progress...

I am a high energy, highly functioning individual! I admit it! Happy most of the time, able to manage stress successfully without feeling overly burdened or "crazy", able to stay up late and get stuff done (GSD) then ready to start the next day with vigor... until recently. I started to notice that I needed to go to bed earlier, and would wake fatigued. I felt like I needed a nap in the afternoon, and my metabolism was failing me. I was having indigestion several hours after eating, and felt "frazzled" and unable to focus my attention adequately to accomplish simple tasks like laundry or a menu plan and grocery list. Thinking felt like a burden. Hot flashes that had been managed with ease kicked up with a vengeance. Everything just felt out-of-control!

And then it hit me... my poor little adrenal glands were miserably sad. Most people are aware that they have adrenal glands. They are part of the endocrine system and produce a variety of hormones including adrenaline, DHEA, progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, cortisol, and aldosterone, among others. These hormones mobilize the body's "fight" or "flight" response, our survival instincts. We count on them to get us through a crisis and then they are allowed to relax again, but in our high stress society, they stay stuck in high alert mode more times than they should. They are responsible for regulating our immune system, balancing body fluid, and they manage our blood sugar in conjunction with the pancreas. They regulate our body's inflammatory or anti-inflammatory response depending on the body's need. They are about the size of a walnut and sit atop each kidney. They are vital and they are essential for vitality. Something that I was severely lacking.

Besides the symptoms that I was experiencing, adrenal fatigue symptoms can include sugar and salt cravings, allergies, digestion problems, weight gain especially in the tummy, decreased ability to handle stress, frequent illness and longer recovery time, slow to start the day, mood swings, increased PMS, and feeling overwhelmed and/or depressed. I knew that I needed to change course swiftly or my body would struggle to regain it's balance. And I definitely do not have time for that!

So I refocused on the essentials... twice my body weight in ounces of water each day, increased healthy proteins and fats... quinoa, grass-fed beef, and wild-caught salmon, reduced simple sugars and starches, and herbal tea to help relaxation. Maintaining a regular sleep pattern, light exercise, activity balance (aka knowing when to say "No"), surrounding myself with the ones I love, including lots of extra laughter, and laser focus on my relationship with God are the lifestyle commitments. To give my adrenal glands the boost that they needed, I started a supplement schedule of Standard Process Adrenal Tonic, Adrenal Desiccated, and some support for my thyroid in the form of Thytrophin PMG. I am on my way to having happy adrenal glands, and functioning at the high capacity that I know that I am capable of, getting stuff done (GSD) efficiently and effectively...

and most importantly, Living Well once again!

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Little Swiss Miss is poisoning us!

As the weather turns frightfully colder, and coming in from the weather to enjoy a steaming hot cup of chocolate is on everyone's mind, I wanted to share this information once again. The recipe is SUPER simple and it helps us all be a bit more nutritiously responsible, even though it is hot chocolate. :) 

Public Service Announcement:  After I nearly poisoned my grandson with artificially sweetened Swiss Miss hot chocolate, I decided to create a delicious organic version that I felt happy serving to him after his playful adventures in this snowy wonderland! Here is the recipe (with hyperlinks to the products through amazon.com) that you can share with your family:

This product contains the neurotoxin, Acesulfame potassium, and also the artificial sweetener, Sucralose. This was their Classic Hot Chocolate mix. It is not their diet product.

This product contains the neurotoxin, Acesulfame potassium, and also the artificial sweetener, Sucralose. This was their Classic Hot Chocolate mix. It is not their diet product.

The very BEST home-made Hot Chocolate!

2 cups organic powdered sugar

1 cup organic cocoa powder

2 1/2 cup organic non-fat dry milk powder

1 teaspoon celtic sea salt

2 teaspoons organic cornstarch

1 Tablespoon organic vanilla powder

Hot water

Combine all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk together. In a small pot, heat 1 cup of water or milk.

Fill mug halfway up with the mixture and pour in the hot water. Stir to combine. Seal the rest of the mixture in an airtight container to use another time. 

Top with fresh whipping cream, or these delicious marshmallows. Serve with lots of love, and an abundance of kisses!

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21 Day Purification: From Detox to Retox

Well, here we are. We've seen the end of our purification! I can't speak for Graham, but I think it went by rather quickly. Granted, we made it an 18-day purification due to our good friends getting married. We justify it by figuring that it was all in the name of love! Though, we've tried to largely keep our purification habits anyways. 

Here are some of my final thoughts:

It makes your body happy!

Now, I know that this is not a groundbreaking discovery. When you're eating mainly veggies, some fruit and meat, how could your body not feel streamlined? I would say that in gaining health, Graham has lost about 20 pounds, and I've lost about 15-20. I'm happy to say that I'm fitting into jeans that I haven't fit into for almost two years, who doesn't love that? The best part about it was that calories never even crossed my mind in this whole process! I was the kind of girl that would have a piece of cake in lieu of an actual meal for lunch and justify it by telling myself it was less calories, therefore not as bad as I ultimately knew it was. Yikes. How refreshing to not be bothered with counting calories! There is no need to feel starved on this purification! 

Your wallet may or may not like it.

The only downside to this purification was the money spent on groceries. Outside of the purification, I would spend an average of $100 a week on groceries. During the purification, it was certainly more. I think I spent about $200 the first week, and learned as I went. It seemed like I was living at Kroger. Depending on how often you go out to eat, I'm guessing we probably spent the same amount of money, it was simply spent differently (better). Either way, worth it! 

It's been an excellent reset button!

As I mentioned before, I've always had a huge sweet tooth. I mean huge. It was an almost constant craving, from breakfast to after dinner. And it's so easy to arbitrarily munch, isn't it? A little piece of candy here, a cookie made by coworkers there. We do it without even thinking about it, and that's the problem. When you're on this cleanse, there is no willy nilly. No mindless munching. It's fuel, and it's been wonderful to feel it as such. Even now that we're done, when it comes to sweets, I can take it or leave it. Both Graham and I got to where we were fantasizing about our first day beyond the purification. When the day came, I felt a surprising amount of guilt. Here I'd spent the better part of three weeks making my body love me again, and I had a hard time stuffing anything beyond the cleanse bubble down my throat. That didn't stop me from dipping my toe in the retox pool, though. I will say, the first sip of beer was heavenly. We also went for "high tea" at an adorable place called Central Perc (hello, Friends fans!), and everything we had on our three-tier platter of goodies was spectacular. On the other hand, there have been plenty of things that I've tasted post-detox that made me wonder why I thought they were so great in the first place. Honestly! 

Okay, now I'm about to divulge likely way too much information to you about myself, and I've gone back and forth as to whether or not I should even include this on this post. But in order to hold true to "keeping it real", I decided I should. Maybe there are some ladies out there that can relate to this, so here goes.

Fellas, skip this last bit if you wish, even though I'll never understand why something most of you are obsessed with is also totally disgusting to you for five days or so a month. Gory zombie or shoot-em-up movies rule, but don't talk about tampons. Anyway, I digress. 

Let me preface this by saying, I don't want to brag, but I'd like to think I have a pretty high pain tolerance. For instance, after a three day stay in the hospital after breaking my jaw when I was thirteen, I left and never took so much as an aspirin for the pain. However, for several years now, on the first day of my period it's pretty standard for me to take 10-12 Advil within a 24-hour time frame. Yes, you read that right. The chiropractor's daughter takes about double the recommended limit of Advil in a day, once a month. And this was simply in order to be functional. I know I'm not the only one who has things that need to get done. No matter what, the horses need fed, 25 stalls need cleaned, 20 bales of hay need thrown out of the loft and stacked where it belongs. A lady can't be rendered essentially paralyzed on the couch, who has the time? 

Now the good news. It just so happens that "the day" was toward the end of our purification. Guess what? Two Advil were taken, and no struggle. I wondered if I could make it without any, and I was hoping so, but I caved due to the aforementioned tasks at hand. I was shocked and delighted! This could easily be my favorite result of this entire cleanse! Seriously. A simple change in diet, and I needed about 1/6 of the medicine. It's almost like we're continually being fed garbage on purpose... 

But that's another post.

To wrap things up, I highly recommend the Standard Process 21-Day Purification for anyone who feels the need. Don't think you can't do it, because you absolutely can! It all starts with a thought, and then a choice. Personally, I know that while I may not always be squeaky clean with my eating, there are lots of good habits that I'll be taking away from this experience. 

Here's to health! 

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21-Day Purification: Week Two (Weak, Too)

Well, folks, this purification journey has marched and continues to march on! We're on day 12 now, and while the sailing is continually smoother, I'd be lying if I said it's been a total breeze to uphold our willpower in the midst of temptation. 

We've been plugging along, doing our best to spice up our salads and quinoa, and the weather is finally feeling a little more autumnal, so we've enjoyed some soup as well.

Quinoa & Sweet Potato Chili

Quinoa & Sweet Potato Chili

Before and after: sweet potatoes, parsnips, and golden beets

Before and after: sweet potatoes, parsnips, and golden beets

 

Day 11 is when you're supposed to change over our supplements from the SP Cleanse to the SP Green Food, and moreover, introduce meat back into our diet. Let me tell you, all I wanted was a piece of succulent roasted chicken. Graham was sick of "rabbit food". And so, on day 7, it was unanymously decided that we needed meat. Not a heap, but enough to satisfy us. As I mentioned in the previous post, we aren't perfect. But at least we didn't go out for a Big Mac! We did, however, enjoy some deer steaks from the buck Graham got last year. Holy moly, what a heavenly meal.

 

Since then, life has been better. I certainly don't eat meat at every meal, but we do highlight our days every now and then with yummy things like quinoa chicken burrito bowls (heavy on the lettuce), a nice big salad with some roasted chicken with a dash of hot sauce, and I made some chicken and wild rice soup in the crock pot that's pretty darn tasty! 

Still, over the past couple of days we've had to take our purification bubbles out into the real world. The family functions, the shindigs with friends, all filled with yummy things that are beyond the bubble. It's not easy. Somehow we've sailed from the first couple of rough days, to feeling so much better, to being far enough into this whole process that we can teeter between feeling good and feeling good enough to burst the bubble.

Tip #3: If you're going out and about, say, to a party with all sorts of cheesy, fried, gooey, or chocolate-y kinds of goodies, do NOT go hungry. Eat beforehand, and eat a lot. Because let's face it, I don't care what you put on your salad, it doesn't stand up very sturdily as you watch people smoosh their teeth into a nice slice of pepperoni pizza, or crunching into a chip overflowing with creamy buffalo chicken dip. But the salad prior to it helps. 

It's time for confessions. The weekend has been a struggle for Graham, as he had a two-part high school reunion. The first part was an evening at a sports bar, and while Graham isn't much of a sports fan, he is a tequila fan. Alcohol has been Graham's temptation. I would like to stress the fact that he's never been a guy who has to have a drink, it's nothing unhealthy like that. But he does like to be social, and often times when 20-somethings get together, we usually have a drink. Who knew? He indulged in one shot, and a sip of beer. I managed to find a loop hole and had a virgin bloody mary, which was still delicious.

 

A couple days later, at a family birthday party, we were surrounded by fried chicken, BBQ cocktail weiners and mini meatballs in marinara. I caved and had a few meatballs, justifying that it was probably better than something fried or covered in sugar. And guess what? I felt awful after I ate them. My guts hated me, my body asked why in the world I would do that after such a nice stretch of good fuel.

Lessons learned. The purification continues.

Until next time, happy eating!

G + G

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21-Day Purification: The Purge

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21-Day Purification: The Purge

"I feel healthier already!" Said Graham, who had just rolled out of bed on day 1 of our Standard Process 21-day Purification. Cut to a few moments later, when we at first eagerly, and then very hesitantly, poured water into our SP Complete Vanilla shake. "F*@&!" Said Graham, who forgot to close the lid on his shaker, exploding room-temperature vanilla/earth-smelling shake all over the kitchen.

Tip #1: if you don't have a blender, get one. Add fruit, veggies, whatever it takes. You can actually blend up a pretty tasty way to start the day. My personal favorite is strawberries, pineapple and banana, with carrot and orange juice. Some spinach wouldn't be a bad idea either! What can I say? I'm a work in progress.

Next came the supplements. You'll be taking a grand total of 27 capsules in a day, and these, too, are.. Shall we say.. "Earthy". If you have trouble taking pills, you'll be a pro in no time. If you're a baby like me, you're sure to have a chaser handy to tackle the aforementioned earthiness. No big deal, easy enough. I only gagged a little and made Graham leave the room when I took them. It's gotten better since then. We haven't been bolting to the bathroom, but I gotta tell ya, these things will clean you out in the best way!

Tip #2: prepare. I made the mistake of waiting until the first day to go to the store, which sent Graham to work with less than an ideal amount of snacks to get him through the day, and I was left with carrot sticks for lunch given my usual barn runaround and, again, lack of prep.

I will say this. For myself, the first day was not as tough as I'd imagined. When I knew that my caffeine habit was going to be kicked to the curb, I dreaded what I was sure to be the worst headache of my life. There was not much headache for me, but I did feel mentally foggy and a little tired. Graham, on the other hand, was miserable with a big headache. We both were in bed by 8:30. 

Much to my surprise, I woke up on day 2 feeling great. It's been pretty smooth sailing, and now we're on day 5. Almost 1/3 of the way done already! Call me crazy, but I'm breaking it down by three weeks rather than thinking 21 days. For some reason a smaller number makes it seem easier. After all, this is by majority a mental game.

Not even a week in, and I can already tell a difference in fueling my body rather than just eating whatever sounds good, which is what I've done for a while now. The benefits are already very evident, if nothing else the self control. It's a lot easier for us to get out of bed in the morning, and we both have a lot more energy throughout the day. My body feels happier.

Something else I've gotten out of the past few days is joy in cooking, albeit simple cooking. AKA sautéing, if I'm not enjoying my veggies fresh. Still, there's something quite nice about chopping, tossing, feeling the freshness of your food. Going beyond opening a box or can. It isn't boiling water, bringing processed food back to life. It's all real. Don't get me wrong, I think processed food is delicious. But I already feel so much better without it. 

Stay tuned, guys. I'll be filling you in on our 21-day purification adventures as we go.

Have a beer for me, will ya?

 

 

 

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Measuring Risk of Disease

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Measuring Risk of Disease

Our perceptions of the world and the environment in which we live are sending us to early grave...

More on this in a minute.

There was a time when people roamed the Earth and they needed to constantly be on the lookout. If you happen to have young kids there’s a solid chance that in the past couple of years you have watched a movie called “The Croods”.

If not, it's about a family of ancient cave dwellers who have yet to discover fire. Every time they leave the cave, they are worried about being attacked by predators and in constant worry over where their next meal will come from.

They had every right to be cautious. Poisonous snakes, saber toothed tigers, and giant bears (as if regular sized bears aren’t frightening enough). The continuation of the family genes and ultimately the species relied on a certain amount of paranoia.

There was such a prevailing fear that to this day it is still hardwired into our genes.

This is to say that our default setting is to assume that danger could be right around every corner, when in reality, more often than not in modern day America, we are far removed from that danger.

Few places left on this gorgeous Earth are truly wild, yet we go out of our way to manufacture fear on a routine basis.

Despite what social media, mass media, the commercial industry (particularly the pharmaceutical industry) and our very own governmental organizations would have you believe, fear and loathing should be at an all time low, but because we already have a built in bias for fear, and because we have a hard time prying our eyes away from our smart phones and TV’s we live in a perpetual state of fear that eventually "locks" our brain and our body into fight or flight physiology. Once this occurs, we open ourselves up to all types of chronic disease, a weakened immune system, disregulation of hormones and a brain that reacts slower and less effectively.

Here’s where I can go one of two ways: 1.) I can dive heavily into the research talking about how the hippocampus and amygdala in the brain has a built in system for remembering fearful events and how this affects the prefrontal cortex, hindering our ability to think clearly, negatively affecting our hormones, and how it throws our autonomic nervous system into a state of disarray leading to cancer, cardiac disease, diabetes, stroke, anxiety, PTSD, depression and a plethora of other less than ideal chronic diseases leading to an early death while destroying our purpose in life, or 2.) I could take this information  and let you know that there are ways of reversing this damage?

I’ll go with option 2 (for those interested in option 1, here is a link to one of the best heart rate variability studies out there).

For decades, scientists have struggled to define stress. Because they couldn’t define it, they couldn’t accurately measure it. Because they couldn’t accurately measure it, they couldn’t effectively treat it. Those days are pretty much gone.

There is a device that measures heart rate variability which subsequently measures stress. Here's how it works: It takes readings from the heart via a pulse from a peripheral artery and then measures the minor variations in terms of milliseconds between each pulse. It then takes this information and determines how much or how little sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous control your heart is under.

The heart has dual innervation, partially under sympathetic control and partially under parasympathetic control.

Sympathetic control takes seconds to affect the inter-beat variance. Parasympathetic control takes only milliseconds. As a result, the Pulse Wave Profiler (the device we use to measure heart rate variability) can detect your dominant nervous innervation to the heart and also to what degree you are “locked” into a state of sympathetic or parasympathetic physiology. As with almost all things in this world, balance is the key! The farther you are away from having balance (meaning low heart rate variability), the closer you are to hearing that you have a disease there is no cure for.

So what the heck do you do if you have low variations in heart rate? Glad I asked.

  1. You have to cut off the source of your fears and threats and begin to change your perception! If that means giving up watching the news and scrolling through Facebook for hours on end, so be it. Maybe you need to quit watching those shows that put your state of internal physiology into panic, or you might need to ditch that abusive relationship or quit the job you despise going to everyday. At least this way you’ll have your health long enough to find new ones. Whatever your major stressors might be, the time is now to make them go away.
  2. You have to start moving to the point of sweating. If you haven’t done this in a long time, go slow and build up. This has to be done 3 times per week for at least 20 minutes. If you are capable, I recommend high intensity interval training (HIIT). This is getting long so if you are unsure of what I mean, this link provides not only some useful info about HIIT, but also a video demonstration that requires no equipment (Now what’s your excuse?). This type of movement will balance out the levels of serotonin, glucagon, insulin, cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine, while increasing levels of human growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor.
  3. You need to have a free and clear nervous system capable of adaptation. Find a chiropractor in your area who does heart rate variability testing. If they do more than that, great! Static electromyography, thermography, range of motion and heart rate variability are always tested in our office and are excellent tools for assessing your starting point as well as progression.
  4. Meditate. Quiet your brain at least once per day for about 15 to 20 minutes and do nothing but listen to your breath go in and out. Your mind will wander and won’t know what to do at first. That’s okay. It will eventually shut up. In the meantime, pay no attention to it and focus in on the breaths. Incorporate this with yoga or Thai Chi and you will greatly decrease the amount of time it takes to get your health back!

This is not an all inclusive list by any means but will help get you on your way. You should also understand that in order to get your health back, you will never find a microwavable version. There is no miracle cure for any type of lifestyle disease and simply covering up the symptoms does not equal a cure. If you have any questions feel free to comment and I will do my best to answer in a timely manner.

-In Health,

Dr. Andrew R. Burns

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