Prenatal Vitamin

prenatalI’m not sure I’ve ever been this excited about a new product from USANA.  My wish has been granted with the addition of the USANA prenatal vitamins  This new prenatal version of USANA’s Essentials contains the same great quality as the Essentials, with the added benefit of optimal levels of the nutrients you need for a healthy Mommy and Baby.  This newly registered prenatal will be added to the Physicians Desk Reference Manual in 2014.  As usual, only the best from USANA.  Read more about it here.

The Natural Anti-Inflammatory

gel capsulesYou’ve likely heard about the many health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. Are you getting enough of them in your diet?

According to experts, probably not. And most people you know — your spouse, your toddler, and your mom – probably aren’t either.

“Pretty much everybody’s diet is deficient in omega-3s,” says David C. Leopold, MD, director of integrative medical education at the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine in San Diego. “I think that’s why adding them back in seems to have so many health benefits. We’re just balancing out what’s normally” there.

Omega-3s are rapidly becoming an important tool in mainstream medicine. They seem to have health benefits for every age group – from before birth to old age. There’s conclusive evidence that they protect against heart disease and lower triglycerides. There’s also some research showing that they might help with dozens of other conditions, too.

To help you better understand the benefits — and some of the risks — of omega-3s, here’s a primer on using omega-3 fatty acids.

WHAT ARE OMEGA 3’s?

Omega-3s are essential fatty acids — we need them for our bodies to work properly. One of their most important benefits is that they seem to have an anti-inflammatory effect.

“A lot of diseases, like heart disease and arthritis, seem to be related to an inflammatory process,” says Leopold. “Omega-3s can tune down the body’s inflammation, and that may be how they help prevent some of these chronic diseases.”

So how do omega-3s benefit people at different ages? Here’s the rundown on the research.

CHILDREN:

Omega-3s are important for children’s health right from the start – actually, before they’re even born. Here’s some of the evidence.

  • Cognitive development. Some studies show that infants fed formulas enriched with the omega-3 fatty acid DHA show improvements in hand-eye coordination, attention span, social skills, and intelligence test scores. Studies have shown that children born to mothers who took supplements of omega-3s (DHA and EPA) during pregnancy and the during the first months of breastfeeding scored higher on cognitive tests at 4 years of age compared to children whose mothers did not take supplements of DHA and EPA.
  • Asthma risk. A 2008 study found that the teenage children of women who took fish oil during pregnancy were less likely to have developed asthma.
  • Growth. There’s some evidence that when omega-3s are added to formula, it promotes growth and brain development in premature infants.
  • Preterm labor. A 2003 study found that women who ate eggs enriched with omega-3s were less likely to go into premature labor than women who ate standard eggs.

***Although none of these studies are conclusive, there’s good reason to make sure that infants – and pregnant women — are getting their omega 3s.

CHILDREN AND TEENS:

Some of the childhood conditions that have been studied include:

  • ADHD. Kids with ADHD may have lower levels of omega-3s in their bodies than normal, and a few small studies have looked at fish oil supplements as a treatment. They found that the supplements might improve behavior, reduce hyperactivity, and boost attention in kids under 12.
  • Depression. Fish oil is often used as a treatment for depression in adults; there have been a few studies in children too. One small 2006 study of fish oil in depressed 6- to 12-year-olds found it helped their symptoms significantly.
  • Diabetes. One small study looked at kids who were at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The researchers found that those who ate a high omega-3 diet were less likely to develop the condition.
  • Asthma. Omega-3s may reduce inflammation in the airways, which could benefit those with asthma. One small study of 29 children with asthma found that those taking fish oil for 10 months had fewer symptoms than those who didn’t. However, other studies of omega-3s as an asthma treatment have not found consistent evidence that they help.

YOUNG ADULTS:

As an age group, young adults tend to be pretty healthy. But it’s a good time to start thinking ahead and considering your health in the long-term. So how can omega-3s help?

  • Cardiovascular health. Studies have found that people who eat fatty fish twice a week have lower rates of heart disease. One study found that fish oil – in foods or supplements – cut the risk of death from cardiovascular disease by 32%. People with documented heart disease are advised to get about 1 gram of omega-3s from fish oil per day or to consider EPA plus DHA supplements.
  • Cancer. So far, the evidence is not very strong. But a number of studies have noted that people who take in higher amounts of omega-3s seem to have lower levels of certain cancers. These include cancers of the breast, prostate, colon, ovaries, esophagus, and others. Are the omega-3s really responsible? It’s impossible to say. But the evidence is promising and more research needs to be done.
  • Depression and other psychiatric conditions. There’s some fairly good evidence that omega-3s can play a role in brain chemistry and a number of studies have found some benefits. Several studies have found that blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids are lower in those who suffer from depression .

“We have studies showing that countries that have healthier diets — with more vegetables and fish — tend to have a lower incidence of depression than western countries,” says Ronald Glick, MD, medical director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

At least a few studies have found that adding omega-3s supplements is beneficial for those suffering from depression. For instance, fish oil does seem to boost the effectiveness of some antidepressants. There’s also some early evidence that omega-3s might help with schizophrenia and the depressive symptoms of bipolar disorder. There’s some  evidence that omega-3s may help with other conditions — ranging from skin conditions to painful menstruation to Crohn’s disease and inflammatory bowel disease.

MIDDLE AGED AND OLDER:

As you get older, the risks of serious conditions like heart disease grow. The good news is that omega-3s have their best established benefits in people of this age group.

  • Heart health. “Omega-3s have enormous benefits from a cardiovascular standpoint,” says Erminia M. Guarneri, MD, a cardiologist and medical director of the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine. Not only do they help prevent problems in healthy people, they also cut the risk of complications and death in people who already have heart disease. Omega-3s seem to help keep the heart rhythm steady. One study found that people who had already had a heart attack and took fish oil had a 45% decrease in the risk of heart-related death. Fish and fish oil also seem to slow down arteriosclerosis and lower the risk of strokes.
  • Triglycerides. The omega-3s — DHA and EPA — can slash triglyceride levels by 20% to 50%. The effect seems to depend on the amount, so your doctor might recommend fairly high doses. The effects of omega-3s on other types of cholesterol are less clear.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. While the evidence isn’t conclusive, a number of studies have found that fish oil can reduce rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, like morning stiffness and pain. High doses – of 3 to 4 grams — may be necessary. No one should be on such a large dose without the supervision of a doctor.
  • Osteoporosis. Studies have found that people who eat higher levels of fatty fish than average have greater bone density in the hip. One study found that fish oil – in combination with calcium and primrose oil – increased bone density in older people with osteoporosis.
  • Memory, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Several studies have found that diets high in fatty fish may help prevent memory loss and lower the risk of dementia in older people. However, other studies have not found a benefit. Recent studies have also evaluated whether the omega-3 supplement DHA can slow the decline seen in people with Alzheimer’s dementia or in age-associated memory impairment. One recent study showed that DHA can be a beneficial supplement and may have a positive effect on gradual memory loss associated with aging.

WHERE TO GET OMEGA 3s?

What’s the best way to get your omega-3s? Improve your diet and add a supplement, experts say.

Fatty fish are a good source of DHA and EPA. Although there are plant sources of omega-3s – in foods like flax, olive oil, and some leafy greens – they don’t seem to be quite as effective. Plants contain a fatty acid called ALA, which has to be broken down into DHA and EPA in the body.

Unfortunately, when it comes to Omega supplements one must be careful of the toxins that can build up in some seafood, such as shark, swordfish, and tile fish. By eating smaller fatty fish – like salmon and trout –  you can limit your.risk of toxins, but not completely.  Therefore, a pure Omega 3, like USANA’s BiOmega is the perfect alternative.

lg-122-US-BiomegaWhat makes BiOmega exceptional is that it has all the benefits of fish oil in a convenient gel capsule, and it is free of harmful contaminants like mercury because of its double distillation process. It also contains concentrated doses of DHA, a beneficial fat that supports memory and learning, and is greatly recommended for pregnant women. And BiOmega contains an additional dose of vitamin D, a nutrient found deficient in the average diet. BiOmega is also formulated with lemon oil to kill the fishy aftertaste found in other fish oil supplements.

AND FOR KIDS…

lg-144-US-BiomegaJrUSANA offers BiOmega Jr. Nearly 80 percent of children in North America are estimated to be deficient in omega-3s. Fortunately, it’s easy to give your child a smart start for lifelong good health with USANA’s high-quality omega-3 supplement for kids, BiOmega Jr. This delicious orange-pineapple flavored gel offers a highly absorbable form of omega-3 fatty acids EPA plus DHA in a delicious, creamy gel that that kids love. And because it comes in single-serve packets, it’s easy to give kids on the go.

Calorie 411

“In terms of the energy they deliver, all calories are created equal.  However, the body uses each macronutrient differently.  The RIGHT amount of calories from each source is very important to ensure that the body can function properly”

This is another reason I LOVE USANA’s Nutrimeal.  It has just the right balance of good fats, good carbs, and protein.  It gives you the calories you need, and is low glycemic keeping your blood sugar steady, your energy high and your stomach satisfied.  And it’s perfect for the busy lifestyle.  It’s convenience food you can live with!

The Connection Between Your Cholesterol Levels and Your Liver Health

Do you have high cholesterol, but have been unable to affect your levels positively with a change in diet alone?  Are your doctors suggesting statin medications?  Before you choose to go on a statin, learn more about the connection between your liver health and reducing cholesterol.


Did you know…
Your liver synthesizes cholesterol from fatty acids and removes excess cholesterol from the bloodstream as required through LDL receptor sites.

Then why do some people end up with high cholesterol?

1.  Inherited Genetic Disorder Familial Hypercholesterolemia – person is born with zero or diminished number of LDL receptor sites.  In this case statin drugs are necessary because the liver can never clear excess cholesterol.  Therefore, cholesterol production needs to be inhibited.  ***Note- this only affects 1 in 500 people.

2.  Years of excess dietary cholesterol and other toxins  has clogged up the liver, inhibiting the LDL receptor sites, and prevents them from doing their job.  In this case, statin drugs are NOT the best option.  Instead, the clogged liver should be addressed through a safe healthy liver detox plan along with an adjustment in diet.

If you have high cholesterol, chances are you fall into category #2 and your liver LDL receptor sites are not doing their job.  Years of toxins and excess dietary cholesterol has debilitated the ability of your liver to work effectively.  Before you take a statin (which is a biochemical called 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase) that stops the formation of cholesterol all together, consider a safe healthy liver detox plan.  Remember that “cholesterol” is not a bad word.  Cholesterol in balanced amounts is critical to the function of our bodies, and is pinnacle to cellular nutrition.  It is the most abundant and essential fat-soluable steroid we have.  It is responsible for the formation of many important compounds in the body including Vitamin D, Progesterone, Estrogen, Testosterone, and Adrenaline.  It aids in the production of bile (healthy digestion), and insulates our nerve fibers.

Do you need help managing your cholesterol?  I’d love to help you find healthy cholesterol levels and give you more information on a specific plan.

Headaches

For years I suffered debilitating headaches.  My 8th grade year of school I spent more time home with a severe headache than I did at school.  After ruling out serious causes, like tumors, it was decided that I was dealing with severe migraine headaches.  My vision was distorted, I couldn’t keep any food down and the only thing that would eventually help was if I got myself to sleep so I could “sleep it off.”  This was a tough feat with the amount of pain I was in daily.  Eventually, I figured out my triggers and was able to do my best to avoid them.  Diet, irregular sleep patterns and fluorescent lighting ended up being major triggers for me.  Yet, I was still put on a major barbiturate in order to control the daily headaches.

As I’ve grown up, I’ve realized how many have similar stories to mine.  Migraine has become a buzz word, and certainly there are those that use it synonymously with a “bad headache” when they don’t actually have a migraine.  Still, why do so many suffer with debilitating headaches these days?  What is it in our environments, our diets, or bodies that is creating this headache prone world?

I’ve had 3 different clients who suffered from debilitating headaches that have found a considerable reduction in their headaches with the use of supplements.  Just by taking a quality pharmaceutical grade multi-vitamin and the additional antioxidant CoQ10, my clients have seen major changes.  Much research has been done on the usage of CoQ10 for headache sufferers.  And many of those using CoQ10 have found up to a 50% reduction in their headaches in both frequency and severity.  I have found the same with my few clients and have been encouraging my other friends and family who face headaches to try the same.  Why are people so much more willing to take handfuls of painkillers, over trying preventative measures?  CoQ10 naturally occurs in your body and has many benefits.  Just make sure you’re using a bio-available form of CoQ10 that is fully soluble and free of crystals… then you can experience firsthand its amazing effects.

USANA’s CoQuinone 30 contains a full 30 mg of CoQ10 and 12.5 mg of alpha lipoic acid per soft gel capsule. USANA’s unique formulation provides these important antioxidants in a natural mixture of lecithin and vegetable-derived glycerin monooleate in a base of medium chain triglycerides. Clinical tests performed in USANA’s laboratories show that CoQuinone 30 delivers CoQ10 in much higher quantities than from solid formulations or from competitive liquid formulations, making CoQuinone 30 more bioavailable than other CoQ10 products.

Even the infographic below recognizes some easy remedies for headaches and supplements makes the list.

 

Some New Recipes

As chillier Fall air made its way to my area, so has the desire for warm, comfort food.  My latest obsession is homemade soup.  This week, I’ve made two soups and both turned out fabulous.  I put them in my crock pot, which was even better.  My home smelled heavenly all day, and I did the work in the morning, not touching it until we were ready to eat.  Yummy!

Crock Pot Chicken Noodle Soup

  • 2 lbs chicken breasts or chicken pieces (I used hormone free, organic free range chicken)
  • 4 cups of water
  • 4 cups of chicken broth (I used Imagine Natural’s Free Range Organic Chicken Broth bc it has no MSG or additives and is low sodium)
  • 2 Organic Chicken Bouillon cubes (I used Trader Joes brand)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 3 carrots chopped
  • 3 stalks celery chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • egg noodles

Mix all ingredients (but the noodles) in your crock pot (I put my chicken in fresh and uncooked.  You could also do cooked or frozen and just adjust cooking time).  Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.  If you used chicken on the bone, remove chicken and take the meat from the bones returning to the broth.  If not, just break up your chicken breast into small pieces.  It should break apart easily.  For the last hour of cooking, add your egg noodles.  Serve when noodles are soft.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • 1-2 lbs Chicken breast or chicken pieces (I used hormone free, organic free range chicken breasts)
  • 1 lb fresh tomatoes peeled
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 chopped green chile peppers
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 package frozen corn (or 3 cobs of corn, cut off the cob)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups chicken broth (I used Imagine Natural’s Free Range Organic Chicken Broth bc it has no MSG or additives)
  • 1 can or envelope Organic Enchilada Sauce (I used Simply Organic’s mild enchilada sauce)

Mix all ingredients and cook in your slow cooker for 6-8 hours stirring occasionally.  Shred chicken when done and add back to the soup.  Top with corn tortilla chips or make your own by cutting tortillas into strips, brushing with oil and cooking until crisp at 400 degrees in the oven.

**To note – The Chicken Tortilla Soup was a little spicy for the kids and next time I will reduce the amount of cumin and chili powder so that they can enjoy it.  Although my husband and I loved it!  As far as the Chicken Noodle Soup, it was one of the best I’ve ever had and even my 1 year old gobbled it up.  I had intended to freeze some leftovers, but there were none.  I’ll be making another batch to freeze for use on one of our busy nights.

What Does Your Breakfast Look Like?

We’ve heard the phrase that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” but do you believe it?  I was a perpetual breakfast skipper, and if I grabbed something for breakfast, it was always some sugar or carb loaded junk. A healthy breakfast should have the right balance of protein, complex carbs and healthy fats.  It should also be high in fiber.  Check out the research below showing how important breakfast is, not only because of the meal itself, but also because of how it affects our choices the rest of the day.  Those that eat an unhealthy breakfast or skip breakfast, continue to make unhealthier decisions throughout the day.  This is primarily linked to how your blood sugar is affected.  A balanced breakfast also balances your blood sugar, which in turn satisfies your appetite for longer and curbs cravings for unhealthy items.  You feel great, have energy and are set up to succeed with your food choices for the rest of the day.

I don’t know about you, but I find it difficult on a hectic morning to make a nice breakfast.  This is why my USANA Nutrimeal is indispensable to me.  It’s low-glycemic and packed with nutrition and all the right balance of good fats, complex carbs and protein.  Most importantly, it tastes great and satisfies my appetite for hours, giving me energy to start my day right.

Coconut Oil

For years, there has been debate about coconut oil and whether or not it had any health benefits.  After all, how could something that was completely fat, be good for you?  Yet, in recent years and new studies, the benefits of coconut oil have been numerous.

Most recently, they even found it to fight tooth decay.  Let’s get rid of flouride and replace it with coconut oil!!!

What are some of your favorite ways to use coconut oil??

The Case for 5 Meals a Day

It’s been proven that eating less, more often is better for your body.  This keeps your body fueled and happy and subsequently drives your metabolism to be efficient.  If you’re like me, it overwhelms you to think of 5 healthy meals, when planning out 3 meals a day was hard enough.  To give yourself the kick-start you need, try USANA’s RESET program.  It’ll ease you into your 5 meals a day and balance you blood sugar, giving you energy while also cleansing you of those unhealthy cravings.

**Until they’re gone, I am offering my last 4 RESETS out of my inventory for $85.  This is $35 off of retail.  Email me or message me on FB for more info.