Posted on

Welcome to the Summer of Education

Let’s use this summer to learn more about our bodies, our health and easy ways to improve them both!

Welcome to the summer of education – So many of my patients and followers ask for resources and education to learn how to empower themselves and take charge of their own health. So I thought I’d take this summer to introduce you to some of my favorite reading and resources. I’ll even be starting a monthly book club where we can read a book as a group and start some lively discussions!

My first block of resources is focused on the Standard American Diet, how we botched it up, how to get back in check with what we’re eating/growing/producing and the drug companies that are making a fortune off of our misfortune.

Check out the list and see if any resonate with you to check out – If you’ve already read a few on the list let me know in the comments or comment on which one you’re going to read (you know for accountability 😉

Cheers –


2019 Summer Reading List
Posted on

Got Veggies?

Grow your own, grab some at your local Farmer’s Market, Local CSA Farm or even the Organic Produce section

 As the farmer’s markets are getting into full swing and everyone gets their gardens planted, this is a great time to talk about adding more veggies into our diets. I know, sometimes you get sick of hearing ‘eat more vegetables’ but without them you’d end up sick and we definitely don’t want that. The reason it’s so often repeated is simple–they pack a nutritional punch. A variety of vegetables in your diet will ensure adequate fiber (while skipping the grains) which keeps you feeling full (and less prone to snack on the bad stuff.) And, of course you know about all the vitamins and minerals, but did you know there’s a whole bunch of veggies that give you protein too?   Kale, for example.

But in case you need further motivation to ‘go green’ ,  cruciferous veggies like broccoli, kale, bok choy and cabbage also supply important nutrients the liver needs to help clean toxins out of the body.  Garlic is also detoxifying to the liver and the kidneys, plus it’s great for heart and circulatory health.

 When it comes your food – you are what you eat and quality does matter! Homegrown and local, farm grown is best. Even if your local farmer is not certified organic you can usually ask the farmer how it was grown and if he uses herbicides, pesticides or chemical fertilizers.  You’ll often find small, local farmers have higher quality and freshness standards than certified ‘organic’ produce at your grocery store but the USDA certification is just too costly for him (or her.) Get to know your farmer…and your food. Your health will thank you for it. 

But, however you do it, getting more vegetables into your daily diet is essential to good health. Salads for lunch are a good start. But challenge yourself to find more ways to sneak them in. My favorite breakfast is eggs with sauteed spinach. In the summer, we put vegetables on the grill in a saute pan or skewer them as kabobs.The addition of more greens (and yellows, reds, oranges, even purples) into your diet will guarantee better results with your health improvement program, and you may be pleasantly surprised at how much you actually enjoy them!!

Here’s to Healthy Noshing this Summer…

Posted on

Why YOU Need a Detox this Spring

Toxins are everywhere

You are exposed to toxins Every. Single. Day. There are approximately 80,000 chemicals registered for use in the U.S., and 800,000,000+ pounds of herbicides are used yearly on our crops. 1-3 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that hundreds of these chemicals are present in our bodies. Research shows that certain chemicals may affect our immune, endocrine, nervous, and reproductive systems.

In fact, your body produces its own toxins, or waste known as endogenous toxins, simply by functioning. Your body also encounters external (exogenous) toxins, or chemicals made outside of your body. They are in the air you breathe, the food you eat, the water you drink, and the products you touch.4,5  

External Toxins

  • Air and Water Pollutants
  • Cigarette Smoke
  • Certain Personal Care Products
  • Dyes and Paints
  • Heavy Metals
  • Household Cleaning Products
  • Pesticides and Insecticides
  • Preservatives and Additives
  • Trans Fats

Internal Toxins

  • Ammonia
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Free radicals

You become what you eat

The typical America diet favors processed foods that tend to be high in refined sugar, trans fats, and salt.  Processed foods often contain pesticides, artificial ingredients, and genetically modified organisms that can contribute to toxin build up in the body.6  Exposure to these toxins can overburden your system’s natural ability to detoxify.

Reducing your toxic burden can reduce your odds of asthma, cancer, Alzheimer’s, infertility, hormonal and period problems and so much more. Reducing your toxic load can help you lose weight, restore your energy levels and balance your hormones. It can help you conceive a healthy baby and raise a healthy child.

When the body is overloaded with toxins, these toxins cannot be eliminated from the body and they slow down cellular function. This translates to decreasing your body’s function; the brain won’t fire as quickly so you become foggy and forgetful. This can mean you gain weight or feel tired and/or unmotivated.  Many people experience symptoms of toxicity but don’t recognize what these signs really can mean.  How many of the symptoms below do you have?

Symptoms of Toxin Exposure

  • Fatigue or difficulty sleeping
  • Indigestion and other gastrointestinal upset
  • Food cravings and weight gain
  • Reduced mental clarity (brain fog)
  • Low libido
  • Skin issues – eczema, acne, dark circles under the eyes
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Headaches
  • Female hormone disturbances
  • Sinus issues
  • Water retention
  • Bad breath
  • Insomnia

Your Organs of Detoxification

My 28 day Reset Detox Programs are designed to stimulate specific detoxification organs in the body—the liver, kidneys, and intestines. With help from these organs, your toxic load can decrease, and your body can concentrate its energy on detoxifying and cleaning up. This can help you achieve optimal health by cleansing your body from the inside out.  The goal is to learn how to enhance your body’s ability to detox and remove these toxins on a daily basis. No matter where start, everyone can benefit from a detox program.

Liver

  • Filters toxins
  • Aids the body in metabolizing fat, protein, and carbohydrates
  • Helps transform many toxins into harmless agents

Kidneys

  • Filter waste and excess fluid from the blood
  • Regulate and release the right balance of sodium, phosphorus, and
    potassium for the body to function properly

Small Intestine

  • Digests food so that nutrients can be absorbed into the blood and transported to the liver
  • Provides a barrier that blocks toxins from the rest of the body

Large Intestine

  • Absorbs water and electrolytes, forming waste that is excreted from      the body
  • Produces antibodies for gastrointestinal health
  • Contains bacteria that create fatty acids and some vitamins for extra nutritional support

Why you may not be losing weight

If your body can’t release toxins through your intestines (poop) or kidney (urine) then they can be deposited and stored in the body.  Over months, years, or even decades these can build up in the body and create havoc.

One of the most common sites for us to deposit toxins is in our fat cells since many of the chemicals in today’s environment and food are lipotrophic, meaning that they LOVE FAT.  The challenge is that we have to release those stored toxins from the fat cells before the fat cells can shrink.  This is one reason why you may have been eating better and working out more but still seeing NO weight loss results. 

Where We Store Toxins

  • Fat Cells
  • Bone Marrow
  • Joints
  • Liver
  • Blood
  • Muscle
  • Central Nervous System

What the heck is metabolic detoxification anyway?

Metabolic detoxification is your body’s natural process of neutralizing and eliminating toxins from your body.  This three-phase process unlocks fat-soluble toxins and converts them to a water-soluble state that is easier for your body to remove. Your body needs key nutrients and phytonutrients to support each of these phases.

Three phases of metabolic detoxification

  • Phase I: Unlock – Stored fat-soluble toxins transform into an “unlocked” state that is more water-soluble, and in many cases, more toxic than its original form.  The foods and supplements recommended in the 28 day Reset Detox programs deliver nutrients that activate enzymes required for Phase I reactions. It also supplies antioxidants that reduce stress on your body, such as tissue damage sometimes caused by these enzyme activities.
  • Phase II: Neutralize – The highly toxic substances produced in Phase I convert to non-toxic molecules and become even more water-soluble. The foods and supplements recommended in the 28 day Reset Detox programs supply key nutrients and amino acids needed to support Phase II enzymes. These enzymes enhance the water solubility of toxins.
  • Phase III: Eliminate – Water-soluble toxins leave your cells, and your body eliminates them. The foods and supplements recommended in the 28 Day Reset Detox programs provide your body with plant-based fiber and water, which aid in toxin elimination.

A Simple, Effective Answer is HERE!

You can create more efficiency around detoxification by modifying your daily food choices, and habits to support your body’s natural ability to detoxify.  If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above or feel like it’s just time for a reset, I encourage you to check out my signature 28 Day Reset Programs.  The 28 Day Hormone Reset Detox is designed for balancing hormones and the 28 Day Autoimmune Reset Detox is specially created for those with autoimmune issues.

My hope is to provide you with easy, effective tools to help you liver YOUR. BEST. LIFE.

Cheers,

Author:

Dr. Stephanie Zgraggen, DC, MS, CNS, CCN is a licensed chiropractor, certified clinical nutritionist, and owner of Lime and Lotus, LLC in Charleston, South Carolina.  She utilizes saliva testing, herbs, and whole food supplements to correct female hormones imbalances in her patients.  Download her free guide: Dr. Stephanie’s Naughty List – The Top Five Foods that Wreck Your Hormone Health here

References:

  1. “About,” National Toxicology Program, US Department of Health and Human Services, accessed March 13, 2018, https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/about/index.html.
  2. Arthur Grube, David Donaldson, Timothy Kiely, and La Wu, “Pesticides Industry Sales and Usage 2006 and 2007 Market Estimates,” Washington, D.C.: United States Environmental Protection Agency, February 2011, PDF e-book, http://www.epa.gov/sites/production/iles/2015-10/documents/market_estimates2007.pdf.
  3. Michael N. Antoniou et al., “Concerns Over Use of Glyphosate-Based Herbicides and Risks Associated with Exposures: a Consensus Statement.” Environmental Health 15, no. 1 (2016): 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12940-016-0117-0.
  4. Romilly E. Hodges and Deanna M. Minich, “Modulation of Metabolic Detoxification Pathways Using Foods and Food-Derived Components: A Scientific Review with Clinical Application,” Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism (2015): 16. http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/760689.
  5. Joseph W. Thornton, Michael McCally, and Jane Houlihan, “Biomonitoring of Industrial Pollutants: Health and Policy Implications of the Chemical Body Burden,” Public Health Reports 117, no. 4 (2002): 315-23, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1497458/pdf/12477912.pdf.
  6. Ian A. Myles, “Fast Food Fever: Reviewing the Impacts of the Western Diet on Immunity,” Nutrition Journal 13 (2014): 1. https://doi.org/10.1186/1475-2891-13-61.

Posted on

This is why we can’t have “rice things”

Arkansas passes “truth in labeling” act to prevent sale of Cauliflower Rice

In light of the growing trend and popularity of Paleo and Keto diets we are seeing more foods on the market like cauliflower rice, and almond milk.

This week Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed a “truth in labeling” bill into legislation that effectively prohibits manufactures from misleading consumers into thinking their products are something they are not.  This law will go into effect to protect Arkansas’ meat and rice producers.

“This law only affects people who want to deceive the public about how their food originated,” bill sponsor Rep. David Hillman told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette . “And if you’re not trying to deceive the public, this will not affect you or any of the outlets who sell these products.”

The law, which takes effect 90 days after the 2019 session ends, will come with a $1,000 fine for every violation. Companies labeling non-rice as rice in food packaging will be liable for a $1,000 fine for each violation.

Arkansas is the sixth state to pass such legislation, and the only one to include rice. Missouri was the first state to pass legislation regulating meat substitutes.

Personally, I’m all for any type of labeling laws that will create more transparency and truth in what is EXACTLY in our foods, products and toiletry items.  We have a long way to go still on full and truthful labeling but this may be a step in the “rice” direction.

Author:

Dr. Stephanie Zgraggen, DC, MS, CNS, CCN is a licensed chiropractor, certified clinical nutritionist, and owner of Lime and Lotus, LLC in Charleston, South Carolina.  She utilizes saliva testing, herbs, and whole food supplements to correct female hormones imbalances in her patients.  Download her free guide: Dr. Stephanie’s Naughty List – The Top Five Foods that Wreck Your Hormone Health here

Chicken Cauliflower Rice Recipe – Keto and Paleo Friendly

Below is one of my favorite Cauliflower Rice recipes – this one is great if you love Asian inspired flavors.  This recipe substitutes coconut liquid aminos for soy sauce and cauliflower rice for the real thing so its low carb, paleo and keto friendly and if you leave off the Sriracha and egg it’s also AIP friendly too.  The links in the recipe are for the exact ingredients and tools I use in my own kitchen at home – Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 small head of cauliflower, riced
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 pound uncooked organic chicken breast, cubed
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 inch ginger, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons coconut liquid aminos, divided (tastes like soy sauce)
  • 2 cups broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 egg
  • 2 stalks green onion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Remove core and leaves from cauliflower. Cut into florets and place into food processor. Pulse until rice-like texture, set aside in large bowl. You can also use a bag of pre-riced cauliflower, if preferred. Approx. -4 cups.
  2. In skillet over medium heat, place coconut oil. When melted, add onion, garlic and ginger to pan and sauté until fragrant.
  3. Add chicken to skillet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté chicken until cooked through and golden.
  4. Pour sriracha and half of liquid aminos into pan to coat chicken.
  5. Add broccoli and water to pan and cover. Allow to steam for about 5-7 minutes, until it begins to soften.
  6. Place cauliflower rice in pan, sprinkle with a little salt and add remaining liquid aminos.
  7. Gently stir so cauliflower rice is coated. Continue cooking for about 10-15 minutes until broccoli is fork tender and cauliflower rice is soft.
  8. Push the cauliflower rice and veggies to the edges of the pan leaving a hole in the center. Crack the egg open in the center of the pan. Let it fry, breaking the yolk apart with a fork.
  9. Once the egg is completely cooked, gently mix it in with the cauliflower rice. Garnish with sliced green onions and sesame seeds, if desired.
Posted on

Here’s to Your Health AND your Heart

What you do today, will affect your heart health tomorrow.

Cardiovascular disease is a growing problem and financial burden costing the United States approximately 214 billion dollars a year.  Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is the most common form of cardiovascular disease.  Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to other health problems such as congestive heart failure, stroke, heart attack, and death.

Alarming statistics show that over the past 50 years, cardiovascular disease has been the number one cause of mortality in the United States, but 100 years ago it was not even ranked in the top ten causes of death.  In other countries that have diets lower in salt, cholesterol and fat people have a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease.  Most high blood pressure has no identifiable or secondary cause and is considered essential hypertension.

Some causes of essential hypertension include obesity, congestion of the liver, kidneys, or gall bladder, stress, and adrenal fatigue, hypothyroidism, high alcohol consumption, food allergies, and unbalanced essential fatty acids.  Only a qualified healthcare professional can test for the causes of high blood pressure and put you on a specific protocol that would best suit your needs, but the following are tests and recommendations to consider with your healthcare provider.

Tests to check for the causes of hypertension

  • Lipid profile:  Many people with high blood pressure and cholesterol have been linked with thyroid problems as well
  • Complete thyroid profile
  • Liver enzyme profile
  • Fatty acid blood profile:  breaks down the ratio of omega 3-6-9 and determines what specific nutrient(s) you are lacking

Steps that may help naturally control hypertension

  • Aerobic exercise:  at least 30-60 minutes 3-7 days per week
  • Detox programs:  These can help with clearing out the kidneys, liver, and gastro-intestinal system of any congestion and aid in weight loss (only do with the permission and guidance of a qualified healthcare professional)
  • Replace regular table salt with a sea salt
  • Increase intake of calcium, potassium, antioxidants, CoQ10, and essential fatty acids but make sure that you receive these nutrients in a food based formula, not from synthetic supplements.
  • Learn relaxation and stress management techniques
  • Herbs that are heart helpers include Hawthorne, Coleus, and Garlic.

Already taking a prescribed Statin drug?  Recent research has shown that they upset the omega 3-6-9 ratios and they rob the body of CoQ10, which can then lead to fatigue and shortness of breath.  These individuals need to make sure that they are replacing the CoQ10 with food based supplements and making sure that their omega 3-6-9 ratios are balanced.  It is never too late to begin the journey of eating your way to a healthy heart.

Posted on

New Year, New You

Ring in the New Year with a Weight Loss and Detoxification Program

After the last few months of holiday festivities, overindulgence in the form of food, alcohol, and stress can be at the forefront of our minds.  With the New Year upon us, many people vow to change their lives and lose weight, drink less, and meditate more.  One avenue that most people do not consider after a period of overindulgence is detoxification to rid the body from the chemicals and impurities that accumulated over the holiday season.

Detoxification is defined as the metabolic process by which toxins are changed into less toxic or more readily excretable substances.  It can be compared to the “junk drawer” that most people have in their home.  Over time, more items collect in the junk drawer until it cannot even be opened anymore.  Your body collects junk in the same way with the food you eat, the water you drink, and the air you breathe.  This junk consists of pesticides, pollutants, preservatives, heavy metals, chemicals and caffeine.

The liver, kidneys, gastrointestinal system, and lymphatic system are all in charge of the handling and excreting of toxins from the body.  If these organs are overburdened, they can become inefficient just like a clogged air filter might.  Signs of toxicity include weight gain, fatigue, poor digestion, difficulty sleeping, food cravings, mental fog, dark circles under the eyes, moodiness, and low libido, just to name a few.

Many detoxification programs exist.  Here are a few key steps to follow when choosing the right program for you:

  • Always check with a licensed healthcare professional before you begin a detoxification program because people with certain diseases like diabetes, need to be monitored especially well while detoxifying.
  • Make sure that the program is made from food and is free of preservatives, chemicals, and artificial sweeteners and ingredients.
  • It is usually better to perform a detoxification program that is gentler on your body, so choose one that lasts for more than a day or two.
  • Buddy up…When you complete a detoxification program with a friend or family member it helps to stay focused and the results are usually more significant.

After the completion of a detoxification program, most people experience increased energy, improved health, weight reduction, improved digestion, clearer thinking, and removal of food addictions.  With all of these improvements the New Year can definitely begin the start of a New You!

Did you know that Dr Stephanie has created her own online detox program?  Her comprehensive step by step system will walk you through a 28 Day Hormone Reset Detox – Want to find out if it’s right for you?  Check out the program link here.

Posted on

Healthy Back to School Lunches

Happy Fall!  It’s that time of year when summer festivities are winding down and we all regain a more routine schedule even if we do not have children that are heading back to school.  Your nervous system as well as your brain requires whole food fuel – specifically fat and B vitamins in order to thrive.  If fatigue, memory, or mood are issues for you or your child, be sure to check out my easy tips to improve your health and probably your grades too!

  • Avoid refined sugar, genetically modified grains, poor quality dairy products and other highly processed foods like poor quality lunch meat. The foods on this list will have an array of negative health effects ranging from brain fog, fatigue and inflammation from sugary or processed GMO grains, to digestive upset from dairy products or poorly processed meat. To make sandwiches, replace your store bought bread with better ingredients like Bob’s Red Mill flours or make a lettuce wrap instead! Replace your lunch meats with a healthy meat like grilled chicken or a nitrate and preservative free brand. Buy and cook your own meat from a market or local farm where animals are raised in healthy and grass fed or pasture raised conditions. Cook your roast or breast and then slice it thin for your own, healthy lunch style meat.

  • Eat foods for function! Foods that help sharpen your focus include a side of celery, sliced peppers, or carrots. These great veggies provide your body with Luteolin which helps to reduce inflammation and improve memory.

  • Don’t forget your B vitamins! Packing a side of steamed broccoli and cauliflower, eating eggs for breakfast, and packing a healthy meat can all provide a healthy source of Choline which can assist with brain development, boost cognitive function and improve learning and memory! Eggs, beef, and fish will also give your brain a B12 boost and help with memory!

  • Blueberries are a good option for fun finger fruits. Blueberries are rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals that improve learning, thinking and memory. If you or your child are a “hand-to-mouth snacker” – eating blueberries, one at a time, and thoroughly enjoying them may be a good side for your lunch! Add almonds for additional vitamin B and an enjoyable crunch!

  • Walnuts and pumpkin seeds provide an easily packed snack that is high in Omega 3’s which are good for the brain and memory.

  • Get to BED! No one will function well, have clear memory, feel energized, or be in a good mood if he/she is lacking the proper rest. Be sure that everyone in your household gets the appropriate number of sleep hours each night. Infants are recommended to have 16 hours; teenagers are recommended to have 9 hours; and adults are recommended to have 7 to 8 hours.

  • Finally, remember that vitamin D is important for the brain function and to combat stress. Ask your practitioner if you are consuming adequate vitamin D or if it needs to be supplemented throughout the winter. Vitamin D has also been linked to stronger immune systems which is always helpful with back to school!  Cod Liver Oil is one of my favorite and efficient ways to obtain Vitamin D for the body!

Dr. Stephanie Zgraggen, DC, MS, CCN, CNS is a licensed chiropractic physician, certified clinical nutritionist, and owner of Lime and Lotus, LLC.  Dr. Zgraggen has developed a successful method for determining the root causes of many of her patient’s health concerns, and she uses a combination of whole food and herbal protocols to restore health.

Posted on

What Should I Eat?

I am asked at least on a weekly basis, “What should I eat to maintain or improve my health?”  Although the answer to this question can be very specific for each individual’s needs, there is definitely an underlying theme for all of us in order to eat for health and wellness. 

The first and most obvious answer is EAT! The harder follow up question is WHAT DO I EAT?  To put it simply, we need to eat REAL FOOD, meaning foods that are free of preservatives, artificial flavors, dyes, colors, sweeteners, etc.  Many of these preservatives and additives have been shown to have undesirable effects on us like hyperactivity, increased heart beats, decreased energy, and much more.  Unadulterated foods like fruits, vegetables, pure dairy, butter, meat, fish, are all great places to start.

The beautiful thing about Charleston, South Carolina is that we have many outlets for us to enjoy where we can purchase unadulterated foods.  These include farmer’s markets, health foods stores, CSA’s (community supported agriculture), and even most big chain grocery stores are now carrying local and/or organic food choices.  There are also many chemical free farms in the area that you can drop by and even pick your own fruits and veggies.  For example, I love going blueberry picking at the beginning of summer.  I freeze them and use them throughout the year; this is a great way for me to support local business as well as receiving a high quality product at a reasonable price!

When shopping the grocery stores, I also suggest shopping around the perimeter of the store; meaning that you do not purchase anything that is in the aisles as these are where most grocery stores keep all of the processed foods.  By shopping the perimeter, you will find fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, meats, seafood, dairy, and eggs.

So to reiterate, get out of your house this summer and travel to one of the many local farmers markets in your area, or take a family outing to visit a local farm and pick your own fruits and vegetables.  You will see a difference not only in taste, but also in your bank account and most importantly, your health.

Dr. Stephanie Zgraggen, DC, MS, CCN, CNS is a licensed chiropractic physician, certified clinical nutritionist, and owner of Lime and Lotus, LLC.  Dr. Zgraggen has developed a successful method for determining the root causes of many of her patient’s health concerns, and she uses a combination of whole food and herbal protocols to restore health.