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Archive for October, 2010

By Dr. Rachel Erikson

There are 5 sticky physical traits that are leading to serious health problems for some unfortunate people. What has been discovered is if you have 3 of these 5 traits, you are at an increased risk for Coronary Artery Disease, Stroke and Diabetes. Let’s look at what these symptoms might be:

1. High blood pressure

2. High fasting blood sugars

3. Large waist circumference

4. Low HDL cholesterol levels

5. High Triglycerides

Does this sound like you or someone you know? Statistics show that 1 out of every 3 adult men and women alike have metabolic syndrome and 1 out of every 10 kids!1 Weight is the one biggest risk factor for acquiring metabolic syndrome and obesity is on the rise. A United States statistical analysis showed that the average American male is on average 30 pounds heavier today than in 1960, and women an average 25 pounds heavier.2

So what to do now? If you aren’t sure when your last blood work was done, make an appointment with Dr. Erickson to get that done. If you are uncertain what your last labs say, she can explain them to you. If you think you are at risk, the biggest factor in reducing your risk for any of the above symptoms is by lowering your weight and participate in regular cardiovascular exercise. Count on the Glow team to help you meet your health and fitness goals.

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Glow’s ND Dr. Rachel Erikson forwarded this email to me today and I thought I’d pass it along.

The report, Mean Body Weight, Height, and Body Mass Index (BMI) 1960-2002: United States, shows that the average height of a man aged 20-74 years increased from just over 5’8″ in 1960 to 5’9½” in 2002, while the average height of a woman the same age increased from slightly over 5’3″ 1960 to 5’4″ in 2002.

Meanwhile, the average weight for men aged 20-74 years rose dramatically from 166.3 pounds in 1960 to 191 pounds in 2002, while the average weight for women the same age increased from 140.2 pounds in 1960 to 164.3 pounds in 2002.

Though the average weight for men aged 20-39 years increased by nearly 20 pounds over the last four decades, the increase was greater among older men:

  • Men between the ages of 40 and 49 were nearly 27 pounds heavier on average in 2002 compared to 1960.
  • Men between the ages of 50 and 59 were nearly 28 pounds heavier on average in 2002 compared to 1960.
  • Men between the ages of 60 and 74 were almost 33 pounds heavier on average in 2002 compared to 1960.

For women, the near opposite trend occurred:

  • Women aged 20-29 were nearly 29 pounds heavier on average in 2002 compared to 1960.
  • Women aged 40-49 were about 25½ pounds heavier on average in 2002 compared to 1960.
  • Women aged 60-74 were about 17½ pounds heavier on average in 2002 compared to 1960.

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Many of you know that I have a pear tree. Every year it produces abundantly and I have an Iron Chef Pear competition with myself. Joel helps out as well and it’s pretty fun.One of my best “invented” recipes to date is this soup. Feel free to vary the spices according to your taste. ( Less garlic and no chilies for those less inclined toward spice.)

2 large organic onions diced

2-3 medium organic pears cut in to 1/2 in. pieces

2 tablespoons butter

32 fl. oz. organic chicken stock (or veggie stock)

3 cloves garlic minced

1 teaspoon dried chilies

salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onions and butter over low to medium low heat until translucent ( Do not brown) I like to salt my onions a little too.

Add pears and garlic, and cook for 10 min.

Add chicken stock and dried chilies. Simmer for 1 hour uncovered, stir every 10 or so minutes. If you like a thicker soup use an immersion blender and pulse until desired consistency.

Variations: Add chicken for a rich stew, garnish with fresh fried sage or toasted walnuts.

Commentary:

This soup is perfect for fall not just because pears are in season. Autumn is the metal time of the year. Time to letting go, pulling inward,of pruning off that which is no longer fills us with life. It’s time to store up food and prepare for the coming winter.

In “Healing with Whole Foods”,Paul Pitchford says, “Everything in nature contracts and moves its essence inward and downward. Leaves and fruits fall, seeds dry, and the sap of trees goes into the roots.The earth’s grasses start to lose their deep green color turning lighter and drier.”

In Chinese Medicine the organs associated with the Metal element are the lungs and large intestine. It is a good time strengthen the immune system and regulate digestion for vitality. These organs can be easily damaged by “dryness” and pears are protective and nourishing. Cooling, sweet and slightly sour in nature they eliminate mucus, ease a dry cough and moisten the lungs and throat. They can be slightly cloying for the digestion which is why the onions are the perfect addition.

Onions are powerful immune system boosters. Again according to Pitchford, they are traditionally used to ease coughs and bronchial aliments, lower cholesterol, treat dysentery, induce sweating, inhibit allergic reactions, and as a cure for the common cold.

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Those of you who are Kombucha drinkers already know you are special. You know how much you look forward to your nightly “Booch,” you favorite flavor or brand, the familiar healthy “buzz.” So I know I wasn’t alone in my disbelief at seeing  my beloved beverage disappear from the shelves this past June. No one seemed to know much except that “certain” bottles had been tested with higher then labeled .5 % levels of alcohol.  Could it be that my healthy “buzz” was really an alcoholic buzz? No wonder I liked it!!

Why did my Kombucha get pulled from the shelves? I’d always been curious about the miracle that is Kombucha. Curious and a little wary that is. I knew it was easily brewed at home from a Mother. (Insert alien theme song here.) But exactly what are people brewing up in their basements anyway? No thanks. I’d rather pay for a nice GT created bottle of yumminess. That is until this was no longer an option. I decided to find out for myself why these products were pulled and when they’d be back.

I really nerded out about this friends. I mean really. I read for hours searching high and low for everything Kombucha. I’d lay awake at night thinking about things I didn’t quite get that I’d have to clarify later. It’s a complicated subject and like any form of brewing both an art and science. Most of what I now know can somehow be traced to Ed Hardy and his website happyherbalist.com. He’s been brewing kombucha tea, beer, vinegar, wine as well as other fermented products for many years. If you have a real interest I recommend starting with his info.

What does it taste like? For those of you who are Booch virgins or maybe just don’t like the stuff, here’s the skinny. I didn’t like it the first time I tried it either. But did you like beer the first time you tried it? Or stinky cheese? It’s really an acquired taste. At once sweet, sour, slightly bubbly, but waxing poetic aside I thought it tasted like the bottom of my compost container. Now? Ambrosia.

How do you brew it? It turns out that there is plenty variation in Kombucha taste and brewing techniques. I’ve come to believe that my favorite bottled variety is made in the tradition of Champagne kombuchas. It has a slightly higher alcohol content than the teas, highly effervescent and is a party in a glass. Other varieties I’ve tried lately are more in the tradition of kombucha tea and are like drinking slightly bubbly juice. Also pleasant, but not quite my thing.

Why is is healthy to drink it? Other side notes of my obsession, I mean “research”, include the discovery that the kombucha ” mushroom” is no mushroom at all, but a biofilm of bacteria and yeast. The mother, or SCOBY is a synchrinistic combination of yeast and bacteria. It ferments the tea and sugar to produce a beverage full of healthful acids and probiotics. A living tonic. The benefits (which are proported to be many) seem to be derived from the probiotics and acetic acid (see study done by Cornell), but it also contains gluconic acid. Gluconic acid is thought to cause the liver to secrete glucoronic acid and thus promote detoxification. All I know for sure is I sure feel good when I drink it.

Lindsey Lawson MS EAMP is an Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist and Clinic Director at Glow Natural Health and Seattle Fertility Acupuncturist. She is passionate about healthy , happy living and a regular blogger. For an appointment call Glow at 206 568 7545.

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