Helpful sleeping tips to enhance your nighttime shut-eye that’ll improve your overall health!
By: Rachel Bright, ND – June 13, 2019
I can’t sleep!” I hear this a lot in our practice. Most of you know by now that a deep sleep can stave off a myriad of chronic diseases, aids in weight loss, supports detoxification and your immune system, decreases your risk from neuro-degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, ALS and so forth. So, what are the practical steps you can take on your own to enhance your sleep? (If you are still unable to maintain a steady state of sleep after implementing my suggestions, consult with a natural health care practitioner or contact our office as it could be mineral deficiencies, adrenal issues and etc). Below are my top suggestions:
- Make your room your sanctuary – remove electronic devices (TVs, cell phones), add in spider plants (they help soak up toxins in the room and increase oxygen in the air). The bedroom is really just for sleep, relaxation and romantic time.
- Purchase blackout shades – if that isn’t an option, buy a sleep mask. My favorite one is the Unimi 3D Eye Mask: Unimi 3D Eye Mask for Sleep
- Ditch the blue light– blue light is emitted from all electronic devices and disrupts the body’s melatonin production (a hormone that helps promote deep sleep). I usually put my phone away at least an hour before bedtime. If you need to be on your phone or computer, purchase a set of blue-blocking glasses. Ideally, though pick up a magazine or book and help your body settle into relaxation for a good rest. Here’s an inexpensive pair: Gamma Blocking Eyewear
- Relax and unwind – the body doesn’t just go into sleep mode with the snap of a finger. It needs to have some time to wind down. After dinner you might try watching an uplifting program, read a book, listen to soft music, dim the lights – prepare your body for relaxation.
- Eat lightly – going to bed on a full stomach is NOT the approach for optimal sleep. In fact, this is the time when the body is actually detoxifying and digesting material from the entire day. Seriously – it’s the best time for fat burning too! Suggestions: eat a small snack, if you find you need the additional blood sugar support. This snack is different for every person. The best rule of thumb: absolutely zero caffeine products (no chocolate, coffee, green or black tea). Sticking to plant proteins and/or a glass of warm milk (if no lactose sensitivity) are shown to help blood sugar levels and sleep.
Upper digestive complaints? Your issue may be from not enough stomach acid!
Written by Rachel Bright, ND – May 23, 2019
Disclaimer: Please read the information below with an open mind.
Let’s just dive in: High stomach acid is typically not the culprit of acid reflux or indigestion. In actuality, these symptoms usually indicate that there is not enough stomach acid.
You might be thinking by now: “Whoa, whoa – put on the brakes! You mean that taking heartburn medication or Tums may not be the long-term solution?”
Well, maybe for a short time and then they are less effective over time and may contribute to new health issues. In fact, many of the medications to treat heartburn have been shown to create negative effects in your body – some of them being a contributor to heart disease, lower calcium levels, low B12, muscle weakness, severe leg cramping, and hindering your ability to digest protein and other nutrients.
Below are reasons why you want your stomach acid pH between 1.5-3.0 (which is quite acidic):
- Stomach acid helps you to digest and extract the nutrients from your food to FEED your cells. Do you see why just from this fact that stomach acid is important?
- Stomach acid kills harmful bacteria and pathogens that may enter your body through your mouth. This is your first line of defense by stopping any harmful invader from entering the rest of your digestive tract and then bloodstream!
- If you are B12 deficient, not having enough stomach acid could be contributing to your body not making enough intrinsic factor to extract B12 from your food.
While too much acid can happen too, it’s not typically a common, modern day concern. Nowadays, it is mostly too little stomach acid that is the culprit to your upper digestive concerns.
What can you do to maintain healthy stomach acid levels? Bitters. I get mine from the Greenbrier Herbalist. We sell them in the office too.
Herbal Dandy Bitters: Put 10 drops of Herbal Dandy Bitters on your tongue 10 minutes before eating. Yes, they’ll taste bitter, but overtime, you’ll notice less indigestion, gas and bloating after eating.
Word of caution: If you do in fact have a known ulcer, DO NOT use the remedy listed above. Speak with a natural health care practitioner on how to heal your ulcer.
Before we say goodbye, I have one more piece of important information to add:
Simply drinking ACV or taking bitters isn’t the end-all-be-all approach to correcting your upper digestive tract complaints; it is just one piece to provide relief and help restore your stomach’s pH balance. The other pieces would be looking at food triggers (high fat diets, refined sugar, tomato products, all alcohol, and dairy products), losing weight and balancing emotional upset before or during eating.
Words of “digestive” wisdom: Be open to listening to your body’s whispers and it will lead you in the right direction in terms of looking dipper at food and emotional triggers to your upper digestive complaints.
Are seasonal allergies nagging you?
By: Rachel Bright, ND Posted on May 1, 2019.
As most of us are aware, this allergy season has been reported to be the worst versus previous years. When the body is functioning properly and well adapted to its environment, it does not experience allergies. The question then becomes, “how can you support proper function to help your body adapt to its environment?” Below are some of my top suggestions that you can start immediately.
Tip 1: Hydration. Your cells only really become hydrated with plain, filtered water (feel free to add in lemon or lime juice and sweeten with stevia, if you wish). Tea and coffee will dehydrate you- avoid them if you’re seeking to hydrate your cells. To determine your daily water intake: Take your weight and divide it by 2. EX: 150 lbs/2= 75 fl. Oz a day.
Tip 2: Keep your blood sugar levels balanced. This means avoiding refined sugar and always eating a carbohydrate with either protein or fat. EX: an apple with nut butter or a piece of hard cheese.
Tip 3: Getting your essential fatty acids daily. They’re called essential because they can only be obtained through food. Supplement source: Nordic Naturals DHA and EPA (1 tbsp a day). Food sources: Wild-caught salmon, walnuts, and flaxseed oil.
Tip 4: The most obvious – clean up your diet. By eliminating engineered foods, refined sugar and inflammatory fats (canola, rapeseed, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, margarine), you’re already making a voluntary effort to control how many toxins you put into your body. This is half the battle!
While over-the-counter medications help in the short-term, their long-term and short-term side effects have negative consequences – just look at the small, fine print on the label! Following my suggestions will already help fuel your immune system with the nutrients it needs to do its job properly, along with other supportive therapies that a skilled practitioner can do. There are always natural remedies to use for short-term allergy support. They are homeopathic remedies and food-based supplements. Call our office for further information, if you wish to explore a natural approach to allergies.
Traveling Soon? Make your next travels healthier and happier 🙂
By Rachel Bright, ND on March 13, 2019
Many patients lately have asked, “what do you pack when you travel?” After many trips across the country and overseas, I’ve found items that make traveling a bit easier and allow me to feel my best even when away from home. Listed below are my top essential foods to pack, along with specific supplements and herbs to keep your immune system strong. Plus, a BONUS! My organic instant coffee recipe! Bon Voyage!
- Amazing Grass – single packets– Insurance for being away from my blender. Just stir in to a water bottle and drink!
- Justin’s Classic Almond Butter Packets– I like to eat this plain or on a banana, apple, stuffed into a date, or on top of Jilz Gluten Free Seed and Grain Crackers
- Qi’as SuperFood Instant Oatmeal – Superfood made easy. Delicious bites of buckwheat groats, chia seeds and hemp seeds mixed with almonds and cranberries. SO YUMMY.
- Quick Oats – I make pre-made ziploc packs of organic oatmeal (a mixture of rolled oats and quick oats). It’s the perfect breakfast when your options are limited.
- Cinnamon – For the oatmeal.
- Dates – I love snacking on dates, but these are also one of the ingredients I have to use in my oatmeal. I add one chopped date to oatmeal before I add hot water.
- Raw Walnuts – Use in your own homemade trail mix or to top off oatmeal.
- Raisins – Toppings for oatmeal and for trail mix.
- Raw Almonds – For snacking or for trail mix.
- Yogi Tea – Variety packs – My favorite tea company (along with Yogi Tea) and I always take my own organic tea wherever I go. Don’t forget the Smooth Move Tea (if constipated)
- Smart Sweet Gummy Bears– My “gummy candy” of choice. It’s Non-GMO, Vegan and stevia sweetened!
- Garden of Life Protein Bar – My favorite organic protein bar at the moment, try any flavor! (Typically this is for adults).
- Dang Keto Bars – great for kids and adults. High in nourishing fats!
- Mary’s Gone Sticks & Twigs – Pure addiction. I’d rather eats these than any other salty chip on the market.
- Go Raw – Coconut Cookies – Crunchy cookies that don’t crumble and contain no added or refined sugars.
- Trail Mix – Pack Homemade trail mix – Carob or Lily’s Chocolate Chips, Almonds, Walnuts, pumpkin seeds, goji berries and Raisins can last forever in your suitcase and can be a real pick me up.
Less Perishable Goods:
- Oranges – Juicy fruits are great hydrators for long plane trips.
- Apples – Because they pack well.
- Bananas – To combine with almond butter.
- Siete Flour Tortillas – If I take these, I will pack a cooler to keep them fresh until I arrive at my destination. Find at Wegman’s, Whole Foods or online! I tend to find a local grocery store and make tortillas with hormone-free chicken or turkey deli slices, lettuce, avocado and tomatoes J
- Pre-cut veggies – carrots, celery, peppers, zucchini, squash, peapods, etc. – Because I love veggies and I sometimes get bored on the plane and need to munch. Dip in hummus!
Supplements (your natural health care medicine cabinet)!
- Probiotic – this will help keep you regular and potentially avoid traveler’s stomach upset! Call our office and see which one will best be for you, if you don’t already take a probiotic!
- Activated charcoal – Let’s say you do come down with a stomach illness. This is your saving grace to slow down diarrhea! Dosing varies between adults and children. In extreme cases, seek an emergency room.
- NOW magnesium citrate capsules– helps keep you calm during your airplane ride and keeps your bowels moving too.
- True Lemon Packets with powdered stevia packets. Great way to detoxify and enjoy a healthy lemonade! Helps with travel bloat too!
- Gastrex– prone to overindulging? This will stop heart burn in its tracks. Ask our office about this product – it is a standard process product.
- Bach Rescue Remedy drops : if you or your child is overly anxious about traveling, try 10 drops under the tongue or in a little bit of water – you can take this does up to 4 times a day.
- Kids Echinacea Buy a small 1 oz bottle. Adult Rapid Immune Boost Give the proper dosing to each child and adult as listed on the label for the first week of your trip. Always put herbs in a bit of water before taking. NOTE: if any allergy to the herbs, do not take them.
- Ginger Chews – this is a must for any person who is prone to getting nauseous on the plane ride or needs some tummy comfort from a heavy meal.
Coffee lover? Here’s my favorite travel recipe! Always stick to organic, when possible
- 1 teaspoon Anthony Organic Instant Coffee
- 1 teaspoon coconut milk powder
- 8 ounces hot filtered water
- ***Add more coffee if you like it stronger, or add more coconut milk powder if you like it creamier – have fun experimenting to find the perfect combination for your preferences. ***
- Add instant coffee and powdered coconut milk to a coffee mug.
- Pour filtered hot water over the top and stir.