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Why Food Quality & Diversity is Important—It’s Not Why You Think

By Ron Veitel, BSc

As a nutritionist I have studied the topic of the nutritional value of foods for over 20 years. It has become increasingly more obvious to me that the most important topic regarding food today is its quality, or more appropriately, its decreasing quality. The second major issue I see regarding our food supply is the decline of agrobiodiversity, which is the diversity of edible foods available in the marketplace. These two issues are connected to each other and even developed side-by- side since the inception of the agricultural revolution 10,000 years ago. This relationship between food quality and food diversity has led to the steady, and now rapid, decline in the health of the US population.

During the Paleolithic era, which lasted between 40,000 BC to 8,000 BC, our ancestors were hunter-gatherers. In all actuality, they were more gatherers than hunters consuming upwards of 300 different plants for food and medicine. This wide variety of plant consumption made it significantly easier for them to meet their nutritional needs and experience a high degree of health and well-being. Even today, modern hunter-gatherer societies do not suffer from chronic degenerative diseases such as diabetes, heart disease or obesity. But something happened about 10,000 years ago that changed everything, the agricultural revolution.

The agricultural revolution was the beginning of humans domesticating plants and animals, which has been a double-edged sword for humanity. The benefits of this revolution were that foods could be produced in large quantities and stored, which meant the capacity to feed more people. The downfall was an over dependence on less nutritious foods, a decrease in food diversity, and a decline in overall health.

There is an abundance of evidence that shows compared to the hunter-gatherers before them, skeletons of agrarian societies indicate a significant increase in enamel defects, iron-deficiency anemia, bone lesions, and degenerative spinal conditions.[1] The agricultural revolution was the first big step towards our current state of poor quality food and decreased health.

The next major mark in food history came with the industrial revolution. Through mechanization it became possible to start processing grains, using tractors for farming, and increasing yields of specific foods like wheat, corn, and soy. When grains are refined, they are stripped of key nutrients making them calorie dense and nutrient poor, which means they provide an abundance of calories but little nutritional value.

The other two factors mentioned led to what isknown as mono cropping, which is exemplified in the Midwest with its miles and miles of either corn, soy or wheat. Such farming is chemically intensive with high use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, all of which disrupt the nutrient and microbial balance of the soil and therefore the overall health of the soil and the plants grown it.

One of the major effects of mono cropping has been the drastic reduction in agrobiodiversity. Since the early 1900s we have lost over 75% of our plant genetic diversity, 30% of livestockbreeds are at risk for extinction, more than 90% of crop varieties have disappeared from farmers’ fields, and of the 300,000 or so edible plant species that exist humans only use 150-200 of them, with just three (wheat, rice and corn) making up over 60% of our food supply.[2] This is a dramatic decrease in phytonutrient consumption compared to our ancestors and we can trace this decline with the steady decline in human health.

What’s the Solution?

This may all sound quite dire, and it is, but there are steps we can take to work against the current trend. We can begin by eating by what I like to call a rainbow diet. The more colorful your diet is, the more nutrients, antioxidants and phytochemicals are consumed, which will help with meeting your nutritional needs and providing your body the reserves it needs to function at an optimal level. Along with incorporating a rainbow of colors into your diet you can make the foundation of each meal vegetables.

I like to recommend to patients that at least half of their plate is comprised of high quality, nutrient dense vegetables. Support sustainable and regenerative farming practices by either growing your own garden or shopping at your local farmer’s market, as these farmers are doing the best they can to care for the soil and the health and well-being of the foods that they grow.

An added bonus is that the produce is much fresher than anything you’ll get at the grocery store, unless where you shop carries local produce. And last but certainly not least, get to know the wild edibles that surround you. Some that exist in this region are miner’s lettuce, chickweed and dandelion. These can be found in your yard, in wild fields and in your garden. Don’t pull them to kill them! Harvest them. This can increase the variety and quantity of phytonutrients you consume and many times such foods are actually more nutritious than their domesticated relatives.

Phytonutrients help maintain balance in the body. They provide us the nutrients we need for organs to function at optimal levels. When our organs function at optimal levels, we have increased resistance to disease.

If you are interested in learning more about this subject and how to create a diet that meets your own personal needs, please join naturopath Dr. Halsey and myself for a 6-week course entitled My Nutrition Map. In this course we will cover the key topics for creating a diet that is right for you as an individual, which is the only right diet that exists.

My Nutrition Map starts August 17th and meets every Thursday until September 21st from 6-7 p.m. in our new classroom at Siskiyou Vital Medicine. This series is FREE FOR MEMBERS, $125 for non-members and $35 for drop-ins. Space is limited so you’ll want to reserve your spot soon. We look forward to seeing you there!

  1. Diamond, Jared (May 1987). “The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race”. Discover: 64–66.
  2. FAO. 1999b. Women: users, preservers and managers of agrobiodiversity (available at www.fao.org/FOCUS/E/Women/Biodiv-e.htm).

Ron Veitel is Siskiyou Vital Medicine’s resident nutritionist. He is life scientist whose passion for physiology, nutrition, medicinal plants and esoteric studies spans more than 20 years. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from the Union Institute and University and is a Certified Nutrition Consultant by the American Association of Nutritional Consultants, as well as a Certified Metabolic Typing Advisor,

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Dr. Halsey, ND | 5 Ways the Microbiome Contributes to Health…Or Dis-ease

Hello Rogue Valley! I am so excited to be joining the Siskiyou Vital Medicine (SVM) Community. It’s been so wonderful receiving such a warm welcome from patients and co-workers over the past couple of weeks. Please check out my “About” page on the website to learn more about my naturopathic practice!

I’m currently accepting new patients and you can sign up for a FREE 15 MINUTE CONSULTATION by going to the website or calling the office at (541) 210-5687.  I look forward to meeting you and being a part of your wellness journey!

As a sneak peek of SVM’s upcoming 6-week course on nutrition and our relationship to food, this week I would like to talk a little about how the microbiome (the bacteria living in the gastrointestinal tract) effects our health.

5 Ways the Microbiome Contributes to Health.. Or Dis-ease

The digestive tract is home to the vast majority of our microbiome. An estimated 4 to 5 pounds of bacteria live there, with the majority of our gut microbes residing in the large intestine or colon (the last few feet of the digestive tract), and a comparatively much smaller number living further up in the small intestine and stomach.

There is a large and ever-expanding body of research confirming that the complement of bacteria making their home in the colon has EVERYTHING to do with our health. It not only affects our digestion, it dramatically influences many aspects of wellness throughout the body. Dysbiosis is the term used for imbalances in the gut ecosystem, whether from the wrong types of bacteria, overgrowth of yeasts, or the presence of harmful viruses or parasites.

5 Aspects of Health Influenced by the Microbiome:

1.   Mood
Certain bacteria are responsible for stimulating our gut cells to produce proper levels of serotonin (mood regulating neurotransmitter).  In mouse experiments, if these bacteria are absent, serotonin levels fall by 60%! And the research shows that this is likely true for humans as well (1).  Disruption of this process is one of the ways that dysbiosis plays a role in depression.  Another way is that dysbiosis contributes to leaky gut, which leads to body-wide inflammation including the brain.  Brain inflammation can lead to depression, mood disorders, brain fog, memory loss, and other neurodegenerative diseases.

2.   Nutrition
Certain types of bacteria manufacture vitamin K and several B vitamin on-site in the colon, which are absorbed for our use in the body (2).  Also, some types of bacteria ferment cellulose, the fiber found in many plant foods, which does not get broken down by our digestive process.  This fermentation process produces short chain fatty acids, which nourish the cells lining the large intestine and can decrease your risk of colon cancer (3).

3.   Inflammation
Certain less helpful forms of bacterial actually produce inflammation in the colon, contributing to leaky gut and body-wide inflammation.  This can lead to heart disease, asthma, allergies, eczema and autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and more (4,5).

4.   Hormone Balance
The liver processes all excess hormones, whether from your own endocrine system, birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, or xenoestrogens (chemical compounds that act like estrogen in the body).  After these hormones are used, they are attached to carrier proteins to keep them water soluble and dumped into the bile for elimination via the stool.  However, if you have dysbiosis, the ‘bad bugs’ produce excess enzymes that allow the estrogen to be reabsorbed into the body.  Elevated estrogens in the body contribute to menstrual cramps, acne, endometriosis and hormone related cancers.

5.   Immune System Function
Certain bacteria help to educate and stimulate your immune system so that it functions optimally.  Without proper immune system education, conditions such as allergies, asthma and eczema crop up, and autoimmune disease becomes more likely (6).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Unfortunately, keeping your GI ecosystem healthy is not as simple as taking a probiotic pill each day, but there are so many things we can do to cultivate a healthy ecosystem!

Please join Ron Veitel (Lead Nutritionist) and myself for a 6-week course called “My Nutrition Map” to learn more about the microbiome, including tips to cultivate helpful bacteria in the GI and how to keep them thriving! We will also be discussing many other awesome topics about nutrition and our relationship to food.  My Nutrition Map~ starts Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017.

All My Best,
~Dr. Sonja Halsey, ND

  1. Yano JM, et al. Indigenous bacteria from the gut microbiota regulate host serotonin biosynthesis. Cell. 2015;161(2):264-276
  2. Leblanc JG, et al. Bacteria as vitamin suppliers to their host. A gut microbiota perspective. Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2013;24(2):160-168.
  3. Sears CL, et al. Microbes, microbiota, and colon cancer. Cell Host Microbe. 2014;15:317-328.
  4. McLean MH, et al. Does the microbiota play a role in the pathogenesis of autoimmune disease? Gut. 2015;64(2):332-341.
  5. Kelly D, et al. Microbiome and immunological interactions. Nutr Rev. 2012;70.
  6. Purchiaroni F, et al. The role of intestinal microbiota and the immune system. European Review 2013;17:323-333.
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Restore Function, Reduce Pain and Avoid Surgery

Is there a better way to heal the body than to have it heal itself? I cannot think of a more perfect scenario. This is why I choose to utilize naturopathic therapies that promote self-healing, regeneration and strengthening.

One of the therapies that I use to help with regeneration of soft tissues like tendons, ligaments, and muscles is called Platelet-Rich-Plasma Therapy, commonly referred to as PRP.  PRP therapy cleverly uses the body’s own healing proteins called platelets that happen to naturally be loaded with healing molecules designed to repair damaged tissue. Platelets, when administered as an injection into an area of injury, stimulate tissue regeneration and repair through the recruitment of stem-cells, white blood cells and collagen producing cells called fibroblasts. Clinically, this treatment has proven to be a great option for restoring the structural integrity of chronically compromised ligaments, tendons, joints and spinal discs.

The Platelets used in this procedure are derived from the patient’s own blood by withdrawing whole blood and spinning out the platelets, using a centrifuge. Once the platelets have been separated they are combined with a local anesthetic and dextrose to be given via injection. This process takes little time and the injection is relatively painless when performed properly.

Inherently, this procedure causes an acute inflammatory response required for healing to take place so it is not advised that patients take any anti-inflammatory medications following treatment. Soreness in the treatment site is to be expected and signals the body is at work resolving the injury. Treatment results and healing times vary from patient to patient, so to improve desired outcomes, I encourage healthy blood and lymph flow through the application of heat and castor oil. I also encourage my patients to eat collagen rich foods, mineral and vitamin rich vegetables, and healthy fats to promote optimal healing. Positive results are typically experienced 2-3 weeks after treatment and follow up appointments are at six weeks post procedure.

Are you a candidate for PRP? PRP is a very popular treatment for amateur or professional athletes, outdoorsman, youth, workers, and retirees looking to restore function, reduce pain and avoid surgery.

PRP Therapy can treat a variety of diseases

  • Tendinitis
  • Back pain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Neck pain
  • Ligament injuries

I certainly cannot think of another healing process that is more believe the body.

 

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Low Fat vs. Good Fat

Eating a low fat diet is not resulting in a low fat nation when it comes to weight, nor is it resulting in better cardiovascular health, less cancer or fewer cases of diabetes. In fact, it seems to be doing the exact opposite.

So why is this happening?

Why is it that Americans spend more money on health care and yet we are nowhere near the top when it comes to international health rankings, and how can it be that Americans make up 6% of the World’s population yet we are responsible for 34% of the World’s biomass due to obesity? Whoa!

Eating Low-fat is to Blame

Well, surely we can blame some of the weight problems on hormones, environmental toxins, sedentary lifestyle and stress but I propose that eating a low-fat diet is largely to blame. When we avoid high quality fats found in nourishing foods we set ourselves up for decreased satiety and food cravings. These food cravings often lead us to eating more, eating more sweets and eating more carbohydrates.

The elimination of fat from our diet is essentially causing us to eat more sugar. Too much sugar causes increased blood insulin levels, increased production of adipose tissue (fat), and increased triglyceride levels, both of which result in obesity, insulin resistance, sexual dysfunction and increased risk for cardiovascular disease.

What’s the Solution?

I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t eat low fat, eat good fat. Good fats can be found in a variety of places like sustainably harvested wild caught fish, grass fed beef, free range poultry and organic-locally grown plants and nuts.

Finally, eat mindfully, enjoy your meals with your friends and family, move your body every day and laugh often.

For more information on how to eat healthy, schedule an appointment with Siskiyou Vital Medicine’s very own Nutritional Therapy Practitioner  Stacey Bailey, NTP. You may also join us at Natural Grocers for a FREE evening of cooking, eating and connecting.

In Health,
McClane Duncan, ND


Dr. Duncan received his Undergraduate Degree, Bachelor of Science in Biology, from the University of Houston-Downtown. He earned his Doctorate Degree as a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University and his Post Graduate Training in Prolotherapy, Neurotherapy, and Ozone therapy from the Klinghardt Academy. He is also trained in Anthroposophical Medicine. His medical approach is rooted in Vitalism, a system of medicine that focuses on cure using the body’s own innate ability to heal. He employs time tested natural therapies as well as the latest medical technology to develop sustainable health plans that empower his patients to take control of their health. It is his intention to make complex medicine simple, reconnect people with their bodies, and teach his patients the foundations of health.

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Holiday Comfort Treats

Christmas is just days after the winter solstice, which is the shortest day, and longest night, of the year. By Christmas, we’ve entered wintertime and our stores of energy from the sun and fresh foods are beginning to run low. This time of year can also be stressful, for the many reasons of which we are all aware.

Almost all of us start looking for comfort from outside of ourselves. And when we start looking for external comfort, that often involves food. And when comfort food is involved, sugar and flour seem to take the stage. The problem is, hollow foods made of processed sugar and flour are only going to lead to further depletion and physical stress.

So, here are some nutrient-dense, heart-warming, super comforting recipes to try out, for you and yours. Cheers to happy, comforting and truly satisfying holidays!

Chai Tea

The following recipe uses all ground spices for simplicity…

1 Tbs              Cinnamon
1 Tbs              Turmeric
1 Tbs              Ginger
2 tsp              Black pepper
1 tsp               Cloves
1 tsp               Nutmeg
1 tsp               Cardamom
¼ C                 Loose leaf rooibos tea, or 4 rooibos teabags
½ gallon         Water

  1. Combine all ingredients in a lidded pot and bring to a boil
  2. Simmer for 15 more minutes
  3. Strain through a fine strainer or cheesecloth
  4. Add desired milk and/or sweeteners

For an extra special treat:
Blend tea with sweetener, desired milk, and a little ghee or butter. Whir in a blender until frothy. Sprinkle with turmeric, cinnamon and black pepper. Take a break, you deserve it!

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

4                      Ripe avocados
½ C                 Coconut oil, melted
½ C                 Honey
½ C                 Cocoa powder

  1. Blend Avocados and oil until smooth
  2. Add honey & cocoa powder and blend until smooth
  3. Chill for 1+ hours
  4. Garnish with fresh berries, if you would like that
  5. Enjoy!

Nutrient-Dense Cookies

1 ¾ C              Almond Flour
½ C                Arrow Root Flour
¼ C                Coconut Flour
½ tsp              Sea salt
1 tsp               Baking soda
1                     Egg
½ C                Honey
½ C                Coconut oil or butter, melted

  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor
  2. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 1+ hours
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°
  4. Optional: Get creative! You can separate the dough and add different ingredients as desired. This recipe is really flexible! Add some cocoa powder, peanut butter, chopped nuts, cinnamon & ginger, etc. to make any kind of cookie you would like
  5. Divide the dough into 1 Tablespoon portions. Roll into balls and flatten slightly (or make them into any shape you want!)
  6. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 9-11 minutes, allowing the cookies to become golden brown on the bottom and edges

This blog was written by Siskiyou Vital Medicine resident nutritionist Stacie Bailey. She has formal training as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and as a GAPS Practitioner. Stacie has extensive experience working with gut healing diets and creating delicious gut healing recipes. She works in the world of nutrition from the ground up as an organic gardener, certified nutritionist, fresh food chef, fermentation artist, and real food advocate & educator. 

Stacie’s focus as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, GAPS Practitioner, and chef is directed toward the digestive system, the roots of our health. Digestive health is foundational to overall health, and focusing attention here results in thorough, lasting improvements in health. Approaching health foundationally, from the roots up, inspires a lifestyle change that brings us closer to the earth, our community and ourselves. Stacie provides the guidance, support and recipes needed to enact these lasting nutritional habit changes. After all, a nourished belly makes a happy life.

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The Dirt on Building a Robust Immune System

Well folks it’s that time of year when your kids are sniffling, co-workers are sneezing, and you’re just hoping to get through the next few months unscathed. Yep, it’s flu season and resistance seems futile. So what is your flu season plan? How are you going to protect yourself and if you get the flu (aka the crud), how will you reduce the severity and shorten the time you feel like sh#%*t? Luckily, I have a few tricks up my sleeve to help prevent, fight it if you have to, and detox from the flu. 

Prevention is key and it starts with avoidance. If you’re imagining yourself isolated from friends, school, work, or family for a few days you’re correct. Because not exposing yourself is about the only sure way you won’t contract the flu. If you must be around those who are ill, consider washing your hands frequently and diffusing essential oils in common areas. “Thieves oil” and “On guard” are great antimicrobial blends that smell nice, too.  

If you do become ill and have to fight, fortify your body’s terrain, bolster your immune system, and optimize your detoxification ability. To fortify your terrain, use skin moisturizers, keep your mucous membranes moist, take probiotics with meals, and eat nourishing foods like chicken broth seasoned with turmeric, chives, and salt. Oh, and don’t be afraid to get dirty or even give your dog a kiss. Doing so will actually make you more resistant to “bugs”. Bolstering your immune system can be achieved by introducing medicinal mushrooms like chaga and reishi into your diet and taking breaks to meditate and rest.  Finally, optimize your detox ability by having bitter foods that stimulate digestion at the start of meals. I like mustard greens or arugula. You’ll also want to stay hydrated with pure water that hasn’t been overly processed. Dr. Willard’s water formula is a great addition as it can rejuvenate tired, processed water.  

These tips really only skim the surface of what you can do to protect yourself. I’d like to share more with you now but I’m going to take my own advice and get some rest. Come visit us at Siskiyou Vital Medicine to learn more. 

Be Well.

Dr. Duncan

Dr. Duncan received his Undergraduate Degree, Bachelor of Science in Biology, from the University of Houston-Downtown. He earned his Doctorate Degree as a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University and his Post Graduate Training in Prolotherapy, Neurotherapy, and Ozone therapy from the Klinghardt Academy. He is also trained in Anthroposophical Medicine. His medical approach is rooted in Vitalism, a system of medicine that focuses on cure using the body’s own innate ability to heal. He employs time tested natural therapies as well as the latest medical technology to develop sustainable health plans that empower his patients to take control of their health. It is his intention to make complex medicine simple, reconnect people with their bodies, and teach his patients the foundations of health.

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THANKSGIVING: HOW TO AVOID FEELING LIKE A STUFFED TURKEY

Potential causes of the holiday belly blues, and suggestions on how to avoid it:

TOO MUCH STARCH

Starch-laden foods like potatoes and bread can challenge the digestive system when eaten in large quantities, and when we’re in the holiday spirit, feasting can be expected. Give your digestive system some slack by replacing some of these starchy foods with delicious alternatives such as mashed cauliflower “potatoes,” or biscuits prepared with coconut flour. Make colorful meals with vegetables as the foundation, rather than one of grain.

MASHED CAULIFLOWER
1 head Cauliflower, cored
2 cloves Garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon Sea salt
1 quart Chicken or beef broth
2 tablespoons Butter, ghee or olive oil
¼ cup Parsley, chopped
Sea salt & crushed pepper to taste

  1. Place cauliflower, garlic, sea salt & broth in a lidded pot
  2. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the vegetables are very soft
  3. Drain broth from the vegetables. Enjoy the broth as a snack
  4. Using an immersion blender or high-powered blender, blend the cauliflower and butter or oil until very smooth
  5. Stir in chopped parsley, and salt and pepper to taste

GRAIN-FREE BISCUITS
1 C Almond Flour
¼ teaspoon Sea salt
1 teaspoon Baking powder
4 Egg whites
2 tablespoons Very cold organic butter or coconut oil (cut into pieces)
1 teaspoon Garlic or spices (optional)

  1. Preaheat oven to 400°
  2. Grease a cookie sheet or muffin pan with coconut oil or butter
  3. Whip egg whites until very fluffy
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the making powder into the almond flour
  5. Cut in the butter and salt with a fork
  6. Gently fold the dry mixture into the egg whites
  7. Dollop the dough on to the cookie sheet and bake for 11-16 minute

TOO MUCH SUGAR

Oh, the dessert table. We always dream that it won’t win us over, and over, and over. But it simply does. Too much sugar, especially baked goods containing little protein or fat and large amounts of processed sugar and grain, dysregulate our appetites, making us crave more. Enter repeat visits to this suddenly conveniently-placed spread. If you truly want to avoid this trap, a plan is necessary. Plan ahead by preparing some treats made with whole, unprocessed ingredients. This way, you’ll get the nutrition that your body craves, wake up without a sugar hang-over, and also truly enjoy yourself. Pairing sweets with healthy fats helps to slow the absorption of sugars.

FRUIT CRISP
¼ cup Ghee, butter or coconut oil
1 tablespoon Cinnamon
Honey as desired

  1. Preheat oven to 400°
  2. Melt ghee or coconut oil in a small saucepan
  3. Once melted, add honey and cook until it just barely combines
  4. In a large bowl, toss chopped fruit in honey combination with cinnamon
  5. Place fruit mixture in an even layer in a glass baking dish
  6. Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until the edges of the fruit begin to brown and the fruit is soft
  7. Serve with whipped coconut cream, whipped cream, or whipped homemade sour cream

DATE & CASHEW DELIGHTS
1 cup Dates, pitted
1 cup Cashews
½ cup Shredded coconut

  1. Blend the cashews in the food processor until they are chopped very fine
  2. Add the dates, and blend until very combined and the mixture is smooth
  3. Roll the mixture into small balls, about 1 tablespoon of mix each
  4. Roll the balls in coconut flakes & serve

OVEREATING

Do not “save room” for the impending feast by starving yourself all day! This is a very bad idea if you do not intend to plow through food until you feel ill once the long-awaited feasting time arrives. Make sure that you eat a rounded breakfast, and even lunch if your clan usually feasts in the evening.

MINI CRUSTLESS QUICHE
1 lb Meat (ground meat, chopped bacon, chopped chicken, etc)
1 Onion, chopped (white, green, red, leek, etc.)
1 teaspoon Sea salt
1 Bunch Greens, stems removed then chopped (kale, chard, collards, etc. )
¼ lb Cheese, grated
12 Eggs
1 tablespoon Butter

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Sautee the meat and onions in butter & salt until the meat is cooked through and the onions are beginning to brown
  3. Add the greens and cover the pan to wilt the greens. Allow the meat mixture to cool
  4. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the cheese
  5. Combine the cooled meat mixture to the egg mixture
  6. Spoon into lined muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a dry fork inserted into the center of the quiche comes out clean
  7. Allow to cool and store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Warm up 2-3 quiche in the toaster oven for a quick, nourishing breakfast.

Avoid snacking between meal times. With hors d’oeuvres and samples a standard feature of the holidays, it’s easy to look back and realize that you have been eating all day. Sticking to a (loose) meal schedule will help you to enjoy all of the amazing foods, in adequate quantities.

TOO LITTLE DIGESTIVE CAPACITY

If you often feel overly full, or have digestive discomfort after eating rounded meals, you may have a deficiency in stomach acid, slow moving bile holding up fat digestion, or an enzyme deficiency. Resolving this issue will help you with holiday feasting, and long-term health in countless ways. You can work with a practitioner who is trained in improving digestive capacity, and the work you do here could very well change your life.

For general support, adding a probiotic food to your meal works as a beautiful digestive aid. Cultured foods help to regulate stomach acid levels for adequate protein digestion. These foods also provide an array of probiotics, which will keep your gut happy and healthy. A small amount of cultured food as a condiment works wonders. Try this amazing cultured cranberry sauce provided by Tamara Mannelly, blogger at Oh Lardy!

CULTURED CRANBERRY SAUCE
3 cups Fresh cranberries (1 bag)
½ cup Honey or maple syrup
1 teaspoon Sea salt
½ cup Whey
½ cup Apple cider
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
½ teaspoon Ground cloves
Juice from one orange & one lemon
½ cup Raisins

  1. Combine all ingredients except raisins in a blender
  2. Pulse until the mixture is slightly chunky
  3. Mix in the raisins
  4. Put mixture into a one-quart mason jar
  5. Leave at room temperature to ferment for 48 hours

All of us at Siskiyou Vital Medicine wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

This blog was written by Siskiyou Vital Medicine resident nutritionist Stacie Bailey. She has formal training as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and as a GAPS Practitioner. Stacie has extensive experience working with gut healing diets and creating delicious gut healing recipes. She works in the world of nutrition from the ground up as an organic gardener, certified nutritionist, fresh food chef, fermentation artist, and real food advocate & educator. 

Stacie’s focus as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, GAPS Practitioner, and chef is directed toward the digestive system, the roots of our health. Digestive health is foundational to overall health, and focusing attention here results in thorough, lasting improvements in health. Approaching health foundationally, from the roots up, inspires a lifestyle change that brings us closer to the earth, our community and ourselves. Stacie provides the guidance, support and recipes needed to enact these lasting nutritional habit changes. After all, a nourished belly makes a happy life.

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MANAGING CHRONIC PAIN WITHOUT NARCOTICS

Like many of you I have suffered from chronic pain and after injuring my lower back I struggled to regain my quality of life before the injury.  For approximately two years I was no longer able to get comfortable, straighten my leg to walk, carry my children, drive, or sit for more than 10 minutes without severe pain. I struggled with the limitations the pain put on me and in my search for relief I found that my options were just as limited. 

Medical specialists offered anti-depressants, steroid injections, pain medications, and surgery but the options I was presented with didn’t resonate with me. I had seen so many become dependent upon medications and I didn’t want that to be my story too. Frustrated with conventional pain therapy and looking for answers, I began to explore alternative medicine. I discovered through my research that I was trapped in a chronic pain cycle and that the root of my pain could be resolved by breaking that cycle.

Becoming aware that the body can remain in a pain cycle prompted me to search out and utilize therapies that would stop the inflammation and initiate a healing response. Fortunately, I was introduced to two very innovative and alternative therapies that focused on disrupting the pain cycle, thereby eliminating chronic inflammation.

The treatments I had found were Prolotherapy and Prolozone therapy.  Prolotherapy and Prolozone therapy both induce an acute injury response in the body, facilitating cellular repair and regeneration at the site of injury. Both therapies not only addressed my inflammation and pain but they gave me relief without risk of addiction and debilitating side-effects.

Utilizing alternative therapies, I regained my freedom from pain and for the past several years as a Naturopathic Physician, I’ve provided non-narcotic pain therapy for others. The therapies I utilize are geared towards breaking the pain cycle, stimulating cellular repair, rejuvenating damaged tissues, and restoring normal function for almost any part of the body. I invite you to experience a natural therapy that may alleviate your pain and restore your freedom the way it did for me.

Some of the conditions that respond well to Prolotherapy and Prolozone therapy are:

  • Sciatica
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Back and neck pain
  • Tendon and ligament injury
  • Knee and Shoulder injuries
  • Joint pain
  • Shingles

To learn more about natural alternatives to pain call Dr. Duncan for a complementary consult at (541) 210-5687.

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Oxidative Therapy: A Counterintuitive Approach to Healing

If you’re like me, you have a few antioxidant supplements in your medicine cabinet.  This is probably because you’ve been trained to think that oxidation in the body is bad, leading to rapid aging, inflammation, and increased all cause mortality.  Is this actually true?  Is oxidation killing us and does supplementing with antioxidants or other supplements for that matter actually improve our health?

I would suggest that many of us are overusing antioxidants, misguided by our understanding of conventional toxicological drug models and fueled by our human tendencies to think that more must be better.

Widespread use of supplemental antioxidants began in the 1950’s.  Dr. Denham Harman MD, PhD, an anti-aging practitioner and major proponent for antioxidants usage, hypothesized that antioxidants quench the formation of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), responsible for accelerating the aging process.  Dr. Denham’s work and antioxidant research on the detrimental health effects caused by free radicals popularized indiscriminate antioxidant use among the general population.  Moreover, nutraceutical companies, health associations, and health practitioners have driven the use of antioxidants through prescriptions on the assumption they prevent or treat diseases commonly associated with inflammation.

As a Naturopathic Physician I practice medicine from a Vitalistic perspective, where I strive to stimulate the body to bring about healing and wellness.  As a result I utilize restorative medical therapies, one of which is Ozone.  Through my Ozone practice I quickly realized that the ROS were actually the agent responsible for instigating the healing process.  Yet, this was counterintuitive and in direct conflict with what I had come to believe about free radicals.  My realization spawned further research into oxidative healing mechanisms where I found more evidence supporting my conclusion that the body reacts positively to small amounts of oxidative stress.  Surprisingly, I also found a handful of research articles suggesting that antioxidant supplementation actually attenuates the health benefits of exercise(1), decreases insulin sensitivity(2), and increases the rates of all cause mortality(3). 

Through my Ozone Therapy practice I’ve found that in most cases a little oxidative stress is obligatory in triggering the body’s innate healing response.  This can be attributed to the oxidative stress prompting in vitro antioxidant production(4), improved mitochondrial function(5), enhanced cellular detoxification, and activation of vitagenes(6) responsible for healthy cellular stress responses. 

A New Toxicological Model to Consider

The Biphasic Dose Response model, aka, the Hormesis Dose Response model explains the effects that low dose applications of an agent have on biological systems.  The Hormesis model can in part explain the ROS healing phenomenon.  Hormesis research is showing us that dose is really the determining factor influencing physiologic responses to therapeutic applications of chemotherapeutic agents, ranging from bioflavonoids to nuclear radiation.  Exposing individuals to high levels of antioxidants suppresses the body’s own healing response.  Exposure to low levels of oxidants, even toxins, stimulates a stress reaction in the body akin to an athlete training to achieve better performance.  A little stress encourages the body to become stronger and more resilient, improving overall health and longevity.

Dr. Paul Kalnins, a professor at NCNM in Portland OR, and an expert in hormesis, suggests that some of the benefits we derive from our herbs, fruits, and vegetables are due to the fact that they’re poisoning us.  The medicinal compounds are irritating us just enough to trigger a healing reaction, resulting in stronger immune function(8).  Dr. Kalnins goes on to strengthen his position by reporting on epidemiological findings where those exposed to low levels of Radon gas are at lower risk for developing lung cancer(9).  

The pharmacokinetics of low doses as described by hormesis dose response models goes a long way in validating the Vitalistic approach to medicine.  Health practitioners who understand hormesis can begin to take comfort in knowing that homeopathy, herbal medicine, drainage, and cell salt therapies can have a big impact on a person’s health. These modalities are influencing the body to be stronger and more resilient.  Practitioners can begin to let go of the toxicological linear dose model that begs for higher doses, let go of the notion that all oxidative stress is pathological, and embrace the stimulatory effects of low doses.  

Sources:

1. Thompson, Richard E. Epidemiological Evidence for Possible Radiation Hormesis From Radon Exposure:  A Case-Control Study Conducted In Worcester, MA. Dose-Response, 9;59-75, 20ll.  http://dos.sagepub.com/content/9/1/dose-response.10-026.Thompson.full.pdf+html

2. K Zarse et al. Impaired Insulin/IGF-1 Signaling Extends Life Span by Promoting Mitochondrial L-proline Catabolism to Induce a Transient ROS Signal. Cell Metabolism. 2012 15(4): 451-465

3. Miller, ER 3rd et al. (2005) Metanalysis: High-Dosage Vitamin E Supplementation May Increase All-Cause Mortality. Annals of Internal Medicine 142(1): 37-46.

4. Sagai M, Bocci V. Mechanisms of Action Involved in Ozone Therapy: Is Healing Induced via a Mild Oxidative Stress?  Medical Gas Research. 2011;1:29.

5. Costanzo M, Cisterna B, Vella A, et al. Low Ozone Concentrations Stimulate Cytoskeletal Organization, Mitochondrail Activity and Nuclear Transcription. European Journal of Histochemistry: EJH. 2015;59(2):2515. 

6. C. Cornelius et al., Stress Responses, Vitagenes and Hormesis as Critical Determinants in Aging and Longevity, Immune Aging. 2013; 10(15)

7.  Kalnins, Paul, ND. Why Dosage Matters: Exploring the Concept of Hormesis in Medicine. OANP 2015.  

9. Thompson, Richard E. Epidemiological Evidence for Possible Radiation Hormesis From Radon Exposure:  A Case-Control Study Conducted In Worcester, MA. Dose-Response, 9;59-75, 20ll.  http://dos.sagepub.com/content/9/1/dose-response.10-026.Thompson.full.pdf+html