Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Healthy Diet’ Category

Dr. Shawn Morris, ND

Estrogen & Progesterone

During and after menopause, many women experience symptoms related to progesterone and estrogen decline. This is a timeherbs for menopause Seattle WA where there are also changes in types of estrogen, which may cause inflammation. Many women experience migraines, hot flashes, brain fog, and irritability during this period. In the short term, balancing hormones with supplements, herbs and minerals supports healthy transition into menopause. Long term, it is possible for most women to balance hormone levels through diet and lifestyle alone.

Hormone balance through diet, lifestyle, & herbs

Although progesterone is not found in foods, there are many ways to balance progesterone with nutrition. Primarily, if the body is in an estrogen dominant state, balancing excess estrogen metabolites is the first step. Post-menopause, too much of 4 and 6 hydroxy-estrogen is inflammatory, and also antagonizes remaining progesterone. To reverse estrogen metabolite dominance, weaving in nuts and seeds can support healthy estrogen and progesterone levels. If you are approaching menopause and still have an active cycle, then adding flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds days 1-13 will boost healthy estrogens, then shifting to sesame and sunflower days 14-28 will boost progesterone. After menopause, including all seed types in the diet is beneficial.

Foods high in selenium support the corpus luteum, which is the region of the ovaries where progesterone is formed. Adding four Brazil nuts to the diet will provide enough selenium, or supplementing with 200 mcg per day.

Vitamin B6 also supports the corpus luteum in the ovaries. To build levels, supplement with B6 in the short-term. Then, add in foods rich in vitamin B6, which include turkey, wild-caught tuna and salmon, beef, chicken, pistachios, chickpeas, potatoes, eggs, and dark leafy greens. Adding in 3-4 servings per day of high B6 foods will help sustain healthy levels. Beyond progesterone, B6 also supports serotonin balance and melatonin conversion, promoting sound sleep and balanced mood. Speaking of sleep, getting enough sleep supports neurotransmitter and hormone balance, along with healthy weight. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night.

Herbal medicines can help with menopausal transition and treating symptoms as well. In particular Vitex, or chasteberry, supports progesterone production and decreases symptoms of menopause in clinical trials. Black cohosh and blue cohosh balance estrogen dominance and decrease hot flashes. Raspberry leaf is a gentle tonic that supports the female the reproductive system. Talk with your doctor about an individualized herbal and nutritional approach that works for you.

Focus on healing the GI. If you have a history of GI symptoms and inflammation, soothing the digestive system is a key step in hormone support. Healing the GI is vital to allow for nutrient absorption. Food provides the building blocks for our hormones, neurotransmitters, and tissue health, laying the foundation for overall wellbeing. To heal the GI, avoid fried foods, refined ingredients, excess acidity, and heavily processed foods. Focus on fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, complex grains, and adequate protein (around 60 grams per day). Specific foods that heal digestive function include aloe juice, coconut, cinnamon, turmeric, peppermint and chamomile tea, and probiotic foods like yogurt & kefir.

Get regular exercise. Gentle exercise supports immune system health, metabolism, and healthy weight, which helps balance estrogen and progesterone. Try hiking, light jogging, eliptical machines, swimming, and resistance exercises. For simple home resistance exercises, pick up a theraband for upper and lower body workouts. However, avoid overexercise, as this places stress on the body that decreases pregnenolone and hormone synthesis. Long distance running, Cross-Fit, and intense cycling classes may cause more harm than benefit when dealing with low hormone function.

Natural progesterone cream. While implementing these lifestyle steps, adding in extra hormonal support may be necessary for a short period. Natural progesterone creams containing bio-identical progestins help replenish levels. Monitoring progesterone levels is important once per month to keep progesterone in a healthy level. Long-term, use of progesterone cream is tapered down. Yam and soy based creams are not effective. Taking pregnenolone and DHEA also supports progesterone by providing the building blocks for production.

Xenoestrogens and phytoestrogens

Along with managing hormones in the body, monitoring input of hormones from the environment is also key. Xenoestrogens are synthetic estrogen-like compounds produced in manufacturing. They are commonly found in makeup, packaging, pesticide residue, and plastic products. Certain xenoestrogens act as estrogen-disruptors by blocking or binding estrogen receptors. They have detrimental effects on the immune system, bone health, and the female reproductive system. To avoid xenoestrogens, choose additive-free makeup and bath/body products, organic produce, and glass bottles versus plastic.

Also, taking phytoestrogens has a protective effect. Phytoestrogens are plant-based estrogen-like compounds that occupy receptors and prevent xenoestrogens from binding. Moderate amounts of soy, alfalfa, brassicas, and clover taken in the diet as sprouts, food, and supplements protects the endocrine system.

By working with nutrition, herbal medicine, and lifestyle, it is possible to support the body while transitioning into menopause. This is a natural part of the lifecycle, and in most cases the body’s intelligence knows what to do. When extra support is needed, there are safe and effective treatments available.

Dr. Shawn Morris is a native of Whidbey island where he lives with his wife and son.

Shawn Morris Naturopath Seattle WA

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Now that the warm weather is final here boost your skin, hair and overall health with a delicious mocktail packed with Kombucha rapsberry mocktailantioxidants.

 

Ginger simple syrup

  • 2 tablespoons ginger
  • 1/4 cup organic sugar
  • ½ cup water

Raspberry Ginger Kombucha

  • 6 oz. organic Raspberries
  • 2 oz. lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
  • 6 oz. vodka (optional)
  • 6 oz. raspberry Kombucha
  • Ice
  1. Start by making the ginger simple syrup. Combine organic raw sugar and thinly sliced ginger in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil while stirring. Reduce the heat to a simmer for 10 minutes, strain and cool.
  2. Combine raspberries, lime and ginger in a blender and blend until pureed.
  3. Strain.
  4. Combine 2 tablespoons raspberry puree, 1.5 oz of simple syrup and 1.5 oz vodka (optional.)
  5. Shake and pour pver ice.
  6. Add 1.5 oz kombucha and serve garnished with raspberries

Nutrition Facts:

1 cup raw raspberries provides 54% of daily  vitamin C, 12% vitamin K, 6% of folate, 5% vitamin E, Iron and potassium, and 41% of manganese.

Ginger helps relieve nausea and vomiting and has regulatory effects on the digestion. Gingerol is the main compound in ginger, responsible for much of its anti-inflammatory properties.

Kombucha is a great source of probiotics as well as beneficial acids to support liver function. It does contain some caffeine and trace amounts of alcohol.

 

Read Full Post »

Spring is in full swing but you can still find fresh, tender nettles for harvest. Nutrient dense and delicious these local “weeds” are a culinary delight. Touted as a tonic herb, nettles are rich in minerals and cleanse the kidneys. They are astringent and provide relief from water retention, promote lactation, treat diarrhea and help control blood sugar.

The best leaves are the tender new growth of the top 3-4 leaves. Makes sure your wear gloves as the sting of nettles is no joke! The best plants are 1-2 feet high.

Two of my favorite ways to use fresh nettles are in tea and in pesto. Enjoy these seasonal delights!

Fresh Nettles Tea

  • 4 cups nettle leaves
  • 4 cups water

Boil water and then add leaves. Simmer for 5 min. Strain. Tea may be sweetened with honey if desired. It will have a grassy, green taste.

Makes 4 cups, enjoy 1-2 cups daily

 

Nettle Pesto or Pesto D’Urtica

 I love making pesto. It’s fun to make it with greens other than basil too! Right now in my garden I have some Italian parsley that has over wintered. It makes delicious alternative or addition to a traditional pesto.  It could easily be added to this recipe in place of some of the nettles for a fresh, healthy taste.  I also use walnuts instead of pine nuts but feel free to substitute pine nuts if you wish or even pecans for a sweeter flavor.

  •  3 cups nettle leaves (You can use the same ones that you reserved from the nettle tea otherwise simmer for only 1 minute and place in an ice water bath. Squeeze out all the water)
  • 1 cup basil ( Optional: this will impart some of the traditional pesto flavor)
  • 1 cup walnuts, pan toasted
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 T lemon juice

Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until creamy.

Serve over polenta, pasta, or on grilled veggies

Serves 4

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

 

Read Full Post »

Turmeric is one of our all-time  favorite spices for decreasing inflammation. It’s tasty, IMG_7319boosts digestion and gently warms. Adding more salmon into your diet is anti-inflammatory and full of healthy fats. Paired with sautéed greens full of antioxidants this is a delicious meal full of health benefits.

 

½ lb wild caught salmon fillet

1 T turmeric powder

½ t garlic powder

salt and pepper to taste

1 can organic coconut milk

1 in chunk of ginger peeled and grated

organic dark green winter greens, chopped

½ lime juiced (about 2 T)

Rub salmon with turmeric, garlic powder, grated ginger, salt and pepper and half the lime juice. Place in coconut milk and bring to a boil. Poach salmon for 10 min. Add greens for last 7-8 min. Serve Salmon over greens with rice and remaining lime juice.

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

Read Full Post »

Shakes are a great way to get a good dose of protein and nutrients in the morning. In the IMG_7317winter they can sometimes feel too cold and damage the digestive fire. We solve this problem but adding a healthy amount of warming spices to aid in digestion. Great for your health and delicious too.

1 cup brewed Rooibos tea

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

1 in piece of fresh ginger peeled and grated

½ cup almond milk

1 tablespoon raw organic honey

2 tablespoons sunflower butter

1 scoop Medclear powder by Thorne or protein powder of your choice

Blend and enjoy.

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

Read Full Post »

 

It’s that time of year again when our thoughts turn to with new resolve towards our IMG_7315health. Many will opt for diet and lifestyle changes, some of which are too harsh for this time of the year. Juice cleanses, smoothies, and fasting can injury the digestive functions if done incorrectly. We solve this problem with the following 10 steps.

 

1.) Work to consciously warm your body by taking warm baths, or try our infrared sauna to ramp up your detox game.

2.) Bundle up! Wear warm clothes that cover your neck both inside and out. East Asian tradition holds that colds and flu are more likely is the back of the neck is vulnerable to wind and cold. -Make sure to keep your feet warm as well.

3.) Cook with warming spices like ginger, turmeric, and cinnamon. Great for circulation and to revitalize the body they are also antiviral.

4.) Try our Elemental Detox! Recipes, daily mantras, and more. 3 weeks of yummy food and transformative supplements

5.) Revive your body with tea. There are a myriad of teas that support cleansing. Experiment with trying a new blend. Nettles, dandelion, and cinnamon are great choices.

6.) Book yourself a Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage. Gently moves toxins out and benefits the immune system. It’s also so relaxing and gentle.

7.) Calm your mind with mediation. Just 10 min a day can detox all the media and screen time in our lives. Add incense to your practice with one of our mediation blends. Choose from Awareness, Power, Balance,

8.) Spend time outside. When it’s cold out it can be easy to stay inside but the benefits of fresh air and light exercise cannot be overemphasized for a fresh perspective.

9.) Set an intention. Remember your thoughts shape your life. The winter is a great time to go deep, find what really nourishes you and set your mind on it.

10.) Focus on hearty and nourishing soups. Great for improving digestion, soups are a mainstay of winter cleanses. Try our Replenishing Soup Herbs for a potent and warming tonic.

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

Read Full Post »


Time to stoke the fires within as we approach the coldest, darkest point of the year. The Winter Solstice isFire Cider Seattle WA the perfect time for an invigorating, warming, tonic beverage. Fire cider is a traditional beverage that we think is perfect for invigorating health in the Pacific Northwest. Ours is made with a base of apple cider vinegar with warming herbs and spices added. We like garlic, ginger, onions, and hot peppers but you can adjust the ratio to your own taste or to use what you have fresh. Conveniently, I had one jalapeno pepper plant that I moved inside at the end of the summer that had fresh hot peppers ready for use. Combine all the ingredients and let them sit for at least a month. The flavor is intense but leaves you feeling that your internal fire is stoked. Add a shot to honey and fresh lemon for an immune system boost. Add to soups for added flavor and health benefits. Enjoy!

 

2 cups apple cider vinegar

1 jalepeno sliced thinly

½ cup garlic (cut into halves)

½ cup ginger

½ cup onion

1 tablespoon turmeric

½ orange

1 lemon

1 tablespoon black peppercorns

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

 

Makes 32 oz

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: