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Book Review: The Gut Balance Revolution by Gerard Mullin, MD

19 November 2015 - Posted by Kathryn Kos

Dr. Mullins writes an eye-opening piece about the correlation between obesity and an imbalance in gut flora. He starts by sharing a very raw story about his own experiences struggling with obesity, and dealing with shame and blame from his own Doctor. Dr. Mullins wanted to dig deeper and understand the mechanism behind obesity. He knew there was more to it than diet.

Obesity is not just about overeating, and this book teaches us the science behind why this is the case. Dr. Mullins explains the 7 pathways to dysbiosis or gut flora imbalance, and the impact this has on our immune system and the regulation of our metabolism.

Your gut flora represent a highly diverse ecosystem whose composition is as unique as your fingerprint. The more diverse it is, the healthier you are. Your gut ecosystem is delicately balanced between many friendly symbiotes, and a limited number of potentially harmful pathogens that are prevented from gaining a foothold and triggering an aggressive immune response.

The type of flora in your gut has a profound influence on your weight. Diet influences gut microbiome. In this book, Mullins discusses how “leanless” is transferrable, in a diet that promotes the growth of healthy flora. He also covers fecal transplants and the ability to acquire leanless through the fecal bacteria of a lean individual. It is fascinating to understand the impact of our gut bacteria on the health of our body as a whole.

One important topic that Dr. Mullins discusses is birth and breastfeeding. Infants actually swallow bacteria from the vagina at birth, and this helps to inoculate the infant with good bacteria in their gut. Babies born via C-section start life with few healthy microbes in their gut. This results in a higher risk of developing disease and obesity later in life. He goes on to explore the hygiene hypothesis, and how over sanitizing and avoiding exposure to dirt also impacts the gut flora and overall health of our children.

Dr. Mullins goes on to explain other pathways by which our gut flora is affected, such as inflammation and autoimmunity, our specific gut-bug type or “fingerprint” and the influence that has on our immune health, as well as our diet, SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) and the gut brain connection.

The factors that lead to weight gain and weight loss are far more reaching and include genetic predisposition, phenotypical influences (like diet, lifestyle, and stress), blood sugar and insulin balance, hormone regulation, inflammation, energy metabolism, and more.

Dr. Mullins not only details what the mechanisms are behind gut dysbiosis, but then goes on to explain how to counteract these effects, and re-establish a healthy gut microbiome.

Dr. Mullins details precise ways to increase healthy gut flora, thus changing the health of the body. This book is helpful for both practitioners trying to find answers for their struggling clients, as well as the general public struggling with weight loss and other related health issues.


Probiotics Have A Shelf Life!

8 October 2015 - Posted by Enviromedica

Did You Know Most Probiotics Need to be Refrigerated?

Unlike supplements, most probiotics have a short shelf life and should be refrigerated to ensure their potency. Supplements contain nutrients, while probiotics contain living bacteria, the kind that is good for you and your body. This is a key factor to remember, because it is up to you to keep the bacteria in your probiotics alive, even before the expiration date found on the bottle.

How do you do that? It depends on the type of probiotic you purchase. For Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains found in the most common store-bought brands, refrigeration is your only option. Because these bacteria die at room temperature, they must be refrigerated to maintain efficacy. At room temperature, the rate of loss in a typical probiotic can be as much as 10-15% per month!

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Book Review: The Symbiont Factor: How the Gut Microbiome Redefines Health, Disease, and Humanity

8 October 2015 - Posted by Kathryn Kos

There is nothing more valuable than health, and yet choosing health appears to one of the more difficult decisions for people these days.

Do you only see bacteria as harmful? Did you know that you are more microbiome than human?

In The Symbiont Factor, Dr. Richard Matthews teaches us a completely different perspective when it comes to understanding the human microbiome. He provides a wealth of very detailed information, written so that both health professionals and health enthusiasts alike can understand it.

The Symbiont Factor by Richard MatthewsIf you are looking for a comprehensive review of scientific literature, this book is not for you. This book is an introduction to the life-changing concept of symbiont bacteria and how it can help prevent disease processes from occurring. Although it is not written as a review of literature, the information Matthews presents is backed by thousands of research studies regarding symbiont bacteria.

Matthews begins the book by discussing the marketing of pharmaceuticals and how the cultural focus is on prescription drugs (all of which have severe side effects) rather than focusing on making healthy choices. He discusses the impact of this paradigm on our health as a society, as well as the impact on our gut microbiome.

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Did you know: Eating Raw Honey Seasonally Can Help with Allergies

28 August 2015 - Posted by Kathryn Kos under

Raw local honeyDid you know that consuming wild, raw, local honey may offer a gradual desensitization to your seasonal allergies?

Bees pick up the pollen from their environment. This is the same local pollen that may be contributing to your seasonal allergies. When you go to an allergy clinic and get multiple shots, you are actually slowly building up your tolerance to the specific allergens contained in the shot itself. Each time you visit, you are injected with more of the allergen. In some cases the allergy can be alleviated altogether, and you stop reacting to that specific allergen.

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Book Review: The Honey Cure, by Aubrey Azzaro

28 August 2015 - Posted by Kathryn Kos under

The Honey Cure, by Aubrey AzzaroHoney is a pretty amazing real food! In this book “The Honey Cure”, Aubrey Azzaro discusses some of the many health and personal benefits to consuming raw honey. Aubrey describes in detail, 28 beneficial uses for honey. This book is simple, easy to read, and informative. It is great for people who are seeking alternative ways to increase their health, rather than relying on western medical interventions. She also reveals some fun uses for honey, such as a hair-moisturizing mask.

This book first describes some of the basic components of honey, such as: amino acids, minerals, vitamins, and enzymes. Raw honey also contains a small amount of probiotics, or beneficial gut bacteria. The author discusses that there are over 300 types of honey, depending on the pollen collected from the bees and the region the bees come from. Therefore, the components of the honey vary based upon the region. The darker the honey, the more nutrients are in it.

Each section of the book focuses on  a different therapeutic use for honey. The section begins by describing how honey is helpful for that particular condition, why it is helpful, and how to use it for the best benefit. Honey can help with things like eczema, seasonal allergies, acne, scarring, and dandruff. It also acts as a natural energy booster, and can be used for more simple things like moisturizing the hair.

This book is short, straight to the point, and provides in-depth and concentrated information about the benefits of honey and applies them to a wide variety of conditions. If you are looking for some easy information to get started with honey, this book is a great start for you. It flows nicely, and has some very valuable information. Get your copy here.


Adjust Your Circadian Rhythm to Sleep Better

29 July 2015 - Posted by Kathryn Kos under

Sleep betterSleep is just as important for our health as nutrition and exercise. Culturally we tend value work over sleep. However, quality sleep can make a huge difference in the quality of the work you produce. Sleep affects every aspect of our lives and should be taken more seriously. Lack of sleep affects our mental health, our emotions, and our physical performance as well.

During the summer we get plenty of sunshine, and sunshine helps to produce quality melatonin, a hormone that helps to induce sleep. During the long days of summer we fall into a “summer rhythm” with our sleep. Come fall, the days start getting shorter and we get less daylight. So how can we adjust our internal clock to ease into the darkness and still get sound, quality sleep?

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Book Review: Sleep Smarter, by Shawn Stevenson

27 July 2015 - Posted by Kathryn Kos under

Sleep Smarter: 21 Proven Tips to Sleep Your Way to a Better Body, Better Health, and Bigger Success,
by Shawn Stevenson

High quality sleep fortifies your immune system, balances your hormones, boosts your metabolism, increases physical energy, and improves the function of your brain. Without all the essential benefits sleep is providing, you will never, I repeat never, have the body and life you want without giving your body the right amount of sleep.” – Shawn Stevenson

Sleep Smarter by Shawn StevensonIn our culture sleep is not respected; working hard is. However, there is a big difference between doing work and doing effective work. Sleep is necessary for our work to be of quality. In this book, Shawn Stevenson explains all the benefits you reap from getting a quality night’s sleep, and teaches why we need to place more value on sleep in order to perform better in all other aspects of life.

Stevenson not only details the importance of sleep, but also teaches ways to improve upon your sleep, such as getting sunlight during the day in order to produce melatonin. He also discusses magnesium as a necessary mineral for sleep, and discusses why transdermal magnesium is the best form when it comes to inducing quality sleep. Stevenson leaves no stone unturned when it comes to learning about sleep. He covers caffeine, alcohol, computer screens, having a sleep “sanctuary”, exercise, nutrition, and even how having an orgasm can be as a good way to help induce quality sleep.

One of the takeaway messages from this book that resonated the most was the need to place more value on sleep. We value material things. We value friendships. We value nurturing our bodies with quality food, and we value exercise. It’s time we really start to place value on sleep. We know it’s important, yet as a culture we tend to make it a last priority. Let’s work on making sleep our first priority, and then we can reap the benefits we feel when we are truly rested.


Book Review: I Love Dirt! By Jennifer Ward

7 July 2015 - Posted by Kathryn Kos under

I Love Dirt by Jennifer WardIt is important that children experience nature, and learn to love the natural world around them. However, for many this is not an easy feat. Children nowadays are struggling with what is now known as “nature deficit.” The struggle is more difficult in this day and age, with constant screen based distractions, and academia being stressed from a very early age. I Love Dirt is a great resource for parents and educators to learn how to incorporate an appreciation for, and understanding of, nature and the natural world. In just 5 minutes you can take a child outside, and turn their world around. This book teaches us how to do just that!

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Natural Sunscreen Alternatives

7 July 2015 - Posted by Kathryn Kos

Natural Summer Skincare

Natural sunscreen alternatives

Sunscreen is typically seen as the go-to method of protection against sunburns and skin cancer. However, most conventional sunscreens block our ability to absorb Vitamin D, a necessary nutrient for many functions in the body. Sunscreen also contains chemicals that can penetrate the skin and disrupt hormones. There are natural ways, through nutrition changes and supplements, to protect our skin yet still get the sunshine we need. This article includes dietary recommendations, lifestyle changes and best food sources to up your skin protection in the hot summer sun!

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Let Them Eat Dirt!

5 June 2015 - Posted by Kathryn Kos under

Child with dirty handsLetting your children taste their “dirt creations” might not be a bad thing! Childhood is all about exploration and play. Many of our fondest childhood summer memories involve going barefoot, and playing in the dirt. Did you know that cultures all over the world actually eat dirt, and it is perceived as completely normal?

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