My Top Wellness Books

World Book Day is this Monday and I could not resist sharing some of my favorite books on health and wellness with you. I have to admit I’ve always been a book junkie. I love curling up with a good book. I can be reading anywhere from one to three books a week.

 

If you’re interested in picking up a book to do a deeper dive into improving your health and wellness here are some books to check out:

 

  1. Dirty Genes by Dr. Ben Lynch. A great read. I gobbled this one up in a day. The great thing about the genes he talks about is how we can clean them up and get them functioning better to relieve a lot of symptoms and/or health issues we may be experiencing.

 

 

  1. Food: What the Heck Should I Eat? by Dr. Mark Hyman. Dr. Hyman does it again with yet another best-selling book. He gives a really good general account of what you should be eating and dispels many misleading myths in the food industry.

 

  1. No Grain No Pain: A 30-Day Diet for Eliminating the Root Cause of Chronic Pain by Dr. Peter Osborne. This was a game-changing book for me. If you want to learn more about gluten and gluten sensitivity and how it’s affecting you this is a must-read.

 

  1. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. Did you know clutter can stress you out and affect your health? I used this guide to do a serious tidy up in our apartment and my mom’s house. If you need some relief from clutter this is the book for you.

 

What You Can Learn From My Health Journey

This past year has been a big year for me especially healthwise. I’ve been missing in action and for good reason.

I’m all about eating healthy and leading a healthy lifestyle. I eat a lot of organic foods and a lot of veggies. I meditate and manage my stress well. Sleep is a huge priority for me. Yet I felt something was off and what I was already doing was not enough. Little signs cropped up that made me think there was more to it.

Signs like feeling tired for no real reason. I thought I just needed to slow down. I only wrote a few pages a day for my upcoming book and limited my speaking engagements. But that still wore me out. Not normal.

I needed to dig deeper. I started first by getting my gut tested. I also got tested for toxins, heavy metals and mineral deficiencies. My tests revealed A LOT. I found out I have:

  • A gluten sensitivity
  • Gut dysbiosis
  • Copper toxicity
  • Arsenic (it can be found in our drinking water and rice. Eating brown rice was a daily must for me)
  • Mercury (I love sushi so I’m not surprised. Even eating wild caught fish doesn’t help)
  • Severe mineral deficiencies for zinc, potassium, sodium, and magnesium to name a few. (My blood test only showed low zinc)

In short, my energy levels were like a car with its tires stuck in the mud. I was stuck.

To say the least my health was a hot mess. Healing has become my #1 priority. I’m following a protocol designed especially for my unique needs right now. It’s a journey. Being healthy is a lifelong journey, not a destination where you stop once you reach a specific goal. It’s ongoing.

What can you do?

I encourage you to listen to your body – really tune in. What signs and symptoms are you getting? Dig deep and become the CEO of your health. Find out what might be at the root cause of your problems. Everyone is different. What works for one person may not work for you.

Become your own health advocate. Educate yourself and ask tough questions. I certainly do. While I’m working with a great team of functional medicine and wellness practitioners I update them on what I’m experiencing and what I know and have learned about myself and challenge them. 

This is an investment in your time and efforts. If you feel off despite your best efforts to lead a healthy life it’s worth it. You are worth it and most of all you deserve it.

How to Know If You Are Really Gluten Sensitive (It’s Likely Not What You’ve Been Told)

An estimated 30% of the population has a gluten sensitivity. Could you be one of them? The symptoms differ from person to person and are far-ranging, affecting your brain, skin, gastrointestinal tract, muscles and hormones. You can experience headaches, brain fog, bloating, gas and stomach pain just to name a few of the most common signs.

 

Personally, I struggled to understand if this has affected me. Sometimes eating pizza or splurging on a cookie once in a while would leave me feeling groggy, lightheaded, dizzy and irritable – telltale signs of a gluten sensitivity, but not always.

 

It was hard to pinpoint if I was reacting to the wheat or something else like lack of sleep, too much coffee or even the pesticides, molds or mycotoxins found in grains. Doing an elimination diet didn’t help me determine this either.

 

And it wasn’t something I wanted to give up right away either. I didn’t eat a lot of gluten that typically comes from sources like wheat, barley, and rye, but, sometimes, I wanted to splurge on a cookie, slice of pizza or croissant. 80% of the time I ate healthy the other 20% was reserved for a so-called cheat meal or treat, which meant having something like pizza once a week. How could I give up pizza – my all-time favorite food? No way. It was too hard.

 

Yet, I had a feeling that something was off, despite it not being clear if it was gluten or not. I went through multiple tests, including a genetic test for gluten sensitivity. According to Dr. Peter Osborne, author of “No Grain, No Pain”, the best way to find out if you are truly gluten sensitive is genetic testing, not a trial diet. If you have the genes for it, you have it no question.

 

My results shocked me. I found out that my immune system is very low, I have serious mineral deficiencies and major gut dysbiosis. The greatest discovery was that I have been gluten sensitive from the womb. I have the gene for gluten sensitivity.

 

Deep down a part of me didn’t want to be gluten sensitive. I wanted to eat on my terms. I was in denial and defiant, feeling like I could take on anything, even if that meant eating gluten. How bad could it be?

 

But I thought about all these years my poor body had been under attack by gluten.

Gluten was at the root of my health issues.

 

My body was setting its own terms. I needed to listen to those terms and not what my brain was telling me I wanted.

 

I love and respect my body. I need to nourish it by giving it what it needs. That means no more gluten – ever. Not one single morsel.

 

Instead of thinking I can’t have this or that, I focused on what I could have and what I could substitute for wheat and other gluten-containing foods. There are still so many great options that taste so good, like grass-fed steak and roasted sweet potatoes.

 

This mindset shift alone has helped me steer away from gluten. After cutting it out completely, I now feel sharper and calmer.

 

Are you interested in finding if you are gluten sensitive through a genetic test? Most labs only look at one gene for gluten sensitivity when there are more. To find out how to get a solid genetic test done download “6 Wellness Trends You Need To Know Right Nowhere that includes specific resources.

Can’t focus? 3 Fixes to Get You Back on Track

Can’t focus on your tasks? Or what your colleagues and especially what your boss is telling you?

 

The answer to getting your focus back up could be in your gut. It goes without saying our gut is our second brain.

 

There is a two-way communication between your brain and gut. Each gives and receives feedback to the other – the good, the bad and the ugly. The network of nerves in the gut is so large that is second only to the brain.

 

Your gut also produces most of your body’s neurotransmitters like serotonin, acetylcholine, and GABA – all essential for your brain. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that helps in learning and memory and GABA has a calming effect. More specifically it relieves anxiety, improves sleep AND improves focus.

 

If your gut is scrambled your brain will be too.

 

Here are 3 things you can do to have a healthier gut:

 

  1. Avoid Gluten. Next time you’re reaching out for that bagel, cookie or slice of bread think twice.

 

According to Dr. Alessio Fasano of Harvard, the world’s leading expert on gluten non-celiac gluten sensitivity is a real  ailment. Anyone who eats gluten is not doing their gut a favor. It creates leaky gut and inflammation regardless. Even if you are not celiac, gluten isn’t something you should eat regularly.

 

The Fix: Healthy, gluten-free foods are the way to go. Processed gluten-free products are best to avoid since they are chock full of sugar, preservatives, and additives. Here is a really easy gluten-free brownie recipe I absolutely love. It includes almonds and cacao full of great antioxidants like magnesium that is so good for your energy levels and brain.

 

Yummy Gluten Free Brownies

Total: 35 min

Yield: 9 brownies

 

Ingredients

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 pinch ground cinnamon

1 cup almond or cashew butter

1/3 cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons melted butter or coconut butter or oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, mix together the almond butter, syrup, butter, vanilla and eggs. Mix the wet into the dry and then fold in the walnuts. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake until the brownies are firm but still soft in the middle, 20 to 23 minutes.

 

  1. Chew your food. Do you wolf down your food just so you can get back to what you were doing? Take a good hard look at your chewing.

 

According to a study those who chew less, allowing larger particles to pass through the body, provide opportunistic bacteria and fungi with a source of fuel during their transit.

 

Digestion starts in the mouth with your saliva. It helps break down your food especially the carbohydrates. It’s not just about WHAT you eat it’s HOW well your body absorbs it. Make it easier on your stomach and small intestine and chew your food well. It also makes your food more alkaline, which creates less gas.

 

The Fix: Give your gut a break and chew every mouthful of food at least 30 times. Sound hard? Start with at least 15 and work your way up. Enjoy your meal and your food. Savor the flavors and textures in it. Your gut will thank you for it.

 

 

 

  1. Keep Your Phone Away from Your Stomach (and any other WiFi device).

 

Why? The answer lies in something called EMF (Electro Magnetic Field) radiation. What is considered a “safe” amount of EMF exposure from WiFi devices is holding your phone 1” from your head for only 6 minutes a day. And by the way, you have to be a 220 lbs 6”2’ man.

 

Have you met someone who fits these criteria? I sure haven’t.

 

Not only has EMF radiation been known to weaken the lining of your blood-brain barrier, allowing more toxins and pathogens into your brain it is very likely that it is doing the same to your gut.

 

What we know from sure from studies is that EMF signals are very disruptive to the delicate beneficial bacteria in your intestines (gut flora). They slow down their growth, while possibly making the viruses, superbugs and harmful bacteria that are trying to take over even stronger.

 

The Fix: Do you carry your phone near your waist? Consider putting it on airplane mode –when possible – to avoid radiation. Also, create as much distance as you can (preferably at least 1 foot) from your phone, tablet or computer and gut when it makes sense. Another way to protect yourself if you’re sitting and using a tablet or laptop is this blanket that shields you from 99.9% of the radiation: https://www.bellyarmor.com/belly-blanket/