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So, how is that low fat diet working for you?

  • Written by Cindy Hilliard at Revitalize Clinic /Woodinville
Americans have been on a low fat diet for over 20 years, yet the CDC states that in that time obesity in adults has increased over 60 percent and more than tripled in children.

Low fat food makers often replace the fat with carbohydrates to make the food taste better.

Carbohydrates make us fat, so eating low fat foods can actually prevent you from losing weight or even make you gain. Carbohydrates are also linked to type 2 diabetes.

We think low fat foods are healthier for us therefore it’s OK to eat as much as we want, wrong. They are usually highly processed and contain weird chemicals, not to mention they don’t taste as good as the real thing.

Maybe it’s time to realize low fat foods don’t work!

Our body is creating too much insulin to process the excessive amount of sugar and carbohydrates we eat. This is the leading cause that makes us fat and increases our risk of serious health problems.

We get fat by eating foods that lack nutrients —  because we end up eating more to get the nutrients that we need.  Lack of sleep and stress can also be contributing factors to not losing weight.

If you want to lose weight, don’t be afraid to embrace fat, fat is not the enemy.  Our brains need fat to function correctly, fat helps our bones to absorb calcium, feeds the heart and reduces inflammation.

Eating natural foods instead of highly processed food is much more nutritious and satisfying, therefore we eat a lot less. Eating a low carbohydrate diet is the key to losing weight.

Giving our bodies a well-deserved “carb break” allows our bodies to use fat and protein as its fuel source and you will lose weight.

So have a slice of cheese or a hand full of nuts and enjoy foods that are good for you and taste good.

Pilartis or the ‘chicken skin’

  • Written by Sima Rafii ARNP, Sima Medical & Cosmetic Clinic
Keratosis pilaris or “KP” is a very common skin condition often referred to as “chicken skin.”

If you have KP you’re not alone.

Forty to 50 percent of the adult population and 50 to 80 percent of all adolescents have varying degrees of KP. Most people with KP don’t know they have it.

While KP resembles goosebumps, it is characterized by the appearance of small, rough bumps on the skin.

Primarily, it appears on the back and outer sides of the upper arms, but can occur on thighs and buttocks or any body parts except palms and soles.

It is often confused with acne.

KP is unsightly but harmless.

KP tends to worsen during the winter months or other times of low humidity when the skin dries out.

Eventhough there is no cure for KP, there are available treatments to reduce the build up of keratin (the hard protein in the skin, nails and hair).

Could hCG be your New Year’s resolution for healthy weight loss?

  • Written by Dr. Elizabeth Thybulle

Unhealthy excess body fat is directly correlated to most chronic diseases in the United States.

Why is that?

Aside from the vanity aspect of successful weight loss, one can also focus on the prevention of most chronic diseases that are caused by obesity. When you lose excess, unhealthy body fat you can reduce your cholesterol, reduce your fasting blood sugar, reduce your blood pressure, reduce joint and back pain and increase energy. When you commit to a healthy lifestyle you can prevent the risk of high blood pressure, Type II diabetes, heart disease and chronic joint pain.

USA.GOV shows four of the top 10 New Year’s resolutions have to do with health. Now is the time of year to start thinking about how you are going to be proactive about your health for 2012.  Are you going to talk about the weight that crept up on you the last couple of months in 2011 or are you going to commit to your health, yourself, and make positive long lasting changes?  Instead of making New Year’s resolutions that last for six weeks, think about how healthy you will feel at your “goal weight.” It’s a great time of year to focus on a healthy lifestyle and how you can make that happen starting January 1, 2012.

As we gobble, gobble our way from October 31st through Thanksgiving, and then through all of the festivities of December we may lose track of how our indulgence affects our health.  It does not have to mean that we can’t zip our skirts or pants on January 2 when we return to work or school. It is actually possible to enjoy a family dinner or holiday party without packing on the pounds. How is that possible?  You can eat a light healthy meal of soup or salad before you go to the function so you will not be starving and feel the need to eat everything that is presented to you. It is also possible to eat foods that you know are high in fat or sugar, but stop after only enjoying 3 bites of that food.

Don’t forget that alcoholic beverages, and eggnog, are very high in calories and sugar as well. To decrease the amount of calories you consume start with your favorite beverage, and then have a glass of sparkling water in between each beverage.  Not only will you reduce the calories you consume, it will also make you safer behind the wheel if you happen to be driving home.

Unhealthy excess body fat is directly correlated to most chronic diseases in the United States.  Using hCG is an excellent method for weight loss since it is safe and effective when done under medical supervision.

The hCG program involves the use of a hormone called Human Chorionic Gonadotropin. It helps to mobilize deep, stored fat while on a very low calorie diet. Most people assume that a very low calorie diet should help you to lose excess fat. But, if your metabolism is not working properly due to years of blood sugar imbalance or other diets, then simple caloric restriction or exercise is usually not successful. Although it’s proven to be a successful weight loss program it is not for everyone.  It is a very strict protocol and my not work with many people’s schedules and lifestyles.

When patients follow the Health Moves medically supervised program for weight loss using hCG, they are taught exactly what to eat, what supplements are supportive during the program and when and how to inject the hormone. Blood tests check overall health, and an ultrasound body composition tests what their percent of fat is.

Once someone has completed the hCG program they are guided through the next phase of the protocol with a specific diet to assure that they stabilize at their new weight. The length of the program can vary from 21 – 40 days using the hCG hormone.  After the patient has maintained their new weight for a few weeks, it is possible for them to go through the program again if they are still working towards their goal weight.  Once the desired goal weight is met the patient is re-evaluated and results are compared to their initial results to assure that their metabolism is working properly.

Dr. Thybulle is a naturopathic doctor. She may be reached at Health Moves 17311 135th Ave NE Ste. C-800 Woodinville, WA 98072 Phone: (425) 402-9999 or www.HealthMoves.org  Most insurances accepted.

Have yourself a heartburn free holiday

  • Written by ARA

14469_B10_rgbFor frequent heartburn sufferers, the abundance of rich food and drink at the myriad holiday gatherings between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve can be trouble. Even those who suffer occasional heartburn can find their mild indigestion flares up more during the holidays.

Contrary to its name, heartburn, which affects 60 million Americans at least once a month, has nothing to do with the heart. It’s a digestive problem that is also called reflux esophagitis or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Gastroesophageal reflux occurs when contents in the stomach flow back into the esophagus. This happens when the valve between the stomach and the esophagus does not close properly.

Heartburn is most often described as a burning sensation behind the breast bone that moves up toward the neck or throat. This occurs when stomach acid irritates the normal lining of the esophagus. People may also experience acid regurgitation with heartburn, which is the sensation of stomach fluid coming up through the chest into the mouth. Less common symptoms that may also be associated with gastroesophageal reflux include unexplained chest pain, wheezing, sore throat and cough, among others.

According to some physicians, planning ahead and knowing which over-the-counter (OTC) treatments may help are essential to keep your gatherings merry and bright.

“I always recommend heartburn sufferers be prepared and bring along a few over-the-counter treatments, like antacids or H2 blockers, when they are heading out for a holiday party,” says Dr. Tom Rupp, a Michigan-licensed gastroenterologist. “With regard to specific medications or brands, I would actually recommend patients just go with a store-brand treatment. Store-brand OTCs have the same efficacy as national brands and are approved by the FDA, but cost much less.”

Allegan, Mich.-based Perrigo is a pharmaceutical company that manufactures and distributes most of the over-the-counter medications found under store-brand labels at leading retailers, grocers, club stores and pharmacies. According to Perrigo, these products are the primary treatments available over-the-counter for heartburn relief:

• Antacids. Antacids come as liquids and tablets like calcium carbonate (name brands: Rolaids and Tums)

• H2 blockers. Indicated for occasional heartburn, these medications are most effective when taken an hour before eating. Examples include famotidine and ranitidine (name brands: Pepcid and Zantac).

• Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). PPIs are indicated for people who have heartburn at least twice a week. Omeprazole (name brand: Prilosec OTC) won’t relieve heartburn right away  and may take up to four days for full effect  so they’re not helpful for immediate, temporary relief after you’ve already overindulged.

“For most people holiday heartburn is nothing to worry about. However, if you’re having ongoing symptoms, you need to see a doctor. The worst thing you could do is ignore chronic symptoms, hoping they’ll resolve in the New Year on their own,” Rupp says.

You can find more information about the symptoms and treatments for holiday heartburn at the National Institute of Health, or the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.

How does Santa keep his back healthy for Christmas?

  • Written by Dr. John P. Monahan, PT, DPT, Quality Care Physical Therapy, Inc.
Since Santa needs to travel a lot for Christmas he needs to keep his back flexible and strong.  He will need to keep his hips and hamstrings loose as he travels.  For his long sleigh rides he may pull his knees to his chest and hold for one minute to stretch his buttock taking tension out of his low back.

Another great stretch is wrapping his hands together in front of his knee while sitting in his sleigh and pushing his knee away with his arms stretched out straight, stretching and rounding his back out.

Again he would want to hold this stretch for one minute and would never want any stretch to be painful.

This is also a great stretch when he has no back support or if he is sitting on the edge of his seat in his sleigh.

Santa will also benefit with lots of stops on his travels because movement of his spine helps maintain healthy nutrition and flexibility in his discs and joint in his spine.  If Santa ever complains of back pain it will most likely be related to tightness in his back muscles and hamstrings.

Since Santa has to carry a heavy bag of gifts he needs to have strong core muscles.  He will be squeezing his abdominal muscles in anytime he is about to lift and move anything heavy.

He will do a transverses abdominus squeeze which works just like the wide black belt squeezing Santa’s belly.  As this muscle shortens with squeezing inward and pulling the belly in toward the spine, this creates a corset around the spine which provides support and stability for the spine to move in any direction protecting it from injury.

These exercises will help Santa have a merry Christmas.