Archive for December 2011

Travel Tips

Travel natural health–       If you are flying into a different time zone, check out how to limit the effect of jetlag by clicking here.

–       To avoid catching someone else’s cold or flu when flying, make your own anti-viral aromatherapy spray. Mix 100% pure lavender and tea tree essential oils in purified water in a glass spray bottle. Spray the blend into your face and inhale deeply while on the plane. Not only will it keep your nasal passages moist and help stop you from getting sick, it’ll also smell pleasant and help you relax.

–       Drink lots of water when on the plane and avoid alcohol.

–       If you worried about getting “Montezuma’s Revenge”, bring some grapefruit seed extract and some oregano oil (both are anti-parasitic, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral). You can use the grapefruit seed extract to wash your fruits and vegetables. Remember to use boiled or purified water. Oregano oil is a powerful remedy that you can take orally. It tastes horrible, but it really does help! NOTE: Pack both in plastic baggies because you don’t want either bottle leaking on any of your stuff in your bag or suitcase!

–       Bring digestive enzymes if you are going to be eating different (or more) foods and your digestive system is challenged.

–       Probiotics (choose the kind that don’t need to be refrigerated) can also help avoid digestive ills.

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Foods for Dealing with Stress

Keeping meals simple and balanced is best.

Plan simple meals for a day or a week at a time (e.g. easy dinner leftovers re-worked for lunch the next day or making larger amount and freezing extra for future meals).

Make sure to drink enough water or fluids throughout the day.  Camomile tea is calming and ideal for the evening.  Avoid caffeinated drinks, but if you need a boost, try yerba mate or green tea (they contain less caffeine than coffee or pop like Coke).  Green tea also contains L-threanine which helps release chemicals in the brain that promote a feeling of alertness with calmness.

Avoid sugar and sugary foods as they cause sugar highs and lows and put stress on your body.

Try eating more fish like wild salmon, sardines, and herring as these supply the essential fatty acids DHA and EPA, important omega 3 fatty acids that feed the brain and thus help to regulate emotions.

Green veggies are rich in magnesium which restrains the “anxiety peptide”, a complex of amino acids in the brain which seems to play a role in anxiety.  Magnesium also helps calcium work properly in the heart and nerves.
Unrefined complex carbohydrates (e.g. brown rice, whole grain pasta, whole grain bread, etc.) maximize the presence of L-tryptophan in the brain which aids in the formation of the neurotransmitter serotonin.  Serotonin is required for calming the mind and promoting sound sleep.  L-tryptophan is found in most foods, but other amino acids in high-protein foods compete with its use in the formation of serotonin, so carbohydrates are your best source. Eat in moderation.

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Stress Less

When I ask patients if they are impacted by stress, many say “As much as always.” In other words, yes, but that is normal for them. Stress is important. It is key to survival. Fight or flight reaction causes blood to pump to the big muscles of the limbs, the lungs, the heart, and the primitive reactionary brain. This helps when trying to run away from or fight an attacker. The problem is that this same reaction takes blood away from the immune system, the digestive system, the reproductive system, and the “thinking” brain.

How can you get yourself out of a chronic stressed state? Check out some basic suggestions and a breathing exercise by clicking Stress handout.

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