Build Your Immune System

With all the fear and crazy toilet paper buying that’s happening right now… I thought I should give you some helpful suggestions on how to build your immune system and stay healthy is flu season.

One of the most important things you can do is, “Don’t Panic“. I’m not saying you shouldn’t prepare. You may want to buy some extra veggies and stock your freezer… that’s totally up to you.

But I am saying… there are some commonsense things you can do.

#1Wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds. Try singing happy birthday TWICE. That’ll give you 20 seconds.

#2Don’t touch your face! Your mouth, nose, and eyes, are open gateways into your body.  

#3Eat whole foods!

#4.  Meditate.  Stress weakens the immune system.

Okay, so about #3… What should you eat?  

Here’s a list of foods that are important to include in your diet anytime you want to build your immune system. That means it’s a good list for right now, but also it’s a good list to follow every flu season.  Copy and print it off.  Put it someplace safe that you’ll remember turning cold seasons. 

Build Your Immune System With Foods 

Garlic – you can add it to almost everything, (I even had garlic ice cream once.) It’s antimicrobial, antiviral, and immune-boosting.

Ginger – Makes a great tea. And it can be added to many recipes. It’s antimicrobial, antiviral, and immune-boosting.

Citrus fruits – Great source of vitamin C.

Red and yellow peppers, Thyme, Parsley, Kale, Kiwis, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Lychees, Papayas, Strawberries, are all foods high in vitamin C.

Fermented foods – Most of our immune system lives in our guts. And by adding fermented foods, you add probiotics and balance the gut bacteria. Foods like; sauerkraut, kombucha, yogurt, kefir, tempeh, pickles, miso, kimchi, and sourdough are all in the fermented category.   

Turmeric – Antiviral and anti-inflammatory. 

Vitamin A – especially if you are feeling like you’re coming down with something. It improves your immune system.

Vitamin D – It fights disease and works with vitamin A.

Liver – eat it twice a week OR eat Cod Liver Oil.

Zinc – for building the immune system. 

Propolis – A great natural throat spray. Antimicrobial and Antiviral 

Honey – Antimicrobial and Antiviral 

Okay, print that out and save it. But more importantly, follow it. Add everything in the list that you can. It may be the difference between getting sick and staying well this season and every future flu season to come. 

I hope that helps! 

10 Ways to Use Essential Oils

I’ve been asked to do a bit of research into essential oils. I don’t have a lot of personal experience using them. Which may surprise a lot of you.  

But I do have some experience.  

Like when I first started public speaking I would add a couple of drops of organic peppermint essential oil to the bottom of my feet, on my neck, and directly under my nose. I had read it would help keep me calm when doing something that made me nervous. It helped me to feel alert and able to face the crowd. Did it help? Seems like it did. Was it a placebo effect? Maybe. But even if it was, it worked, so I’m good with that. 

Now, I no longer use that trick because I enjoy public speaking.  

I have used organic orange essential oils in making raw food cookies. They were delicious.  

And back in the days of being a massage therapist, I used to use essential oils on some of my clients to reduce stress. They swore by it.  

My favorite is using organic eucalyptus essential oil on a cloth or pillowcase when I have a cold. It does open up the sinuses!  

That’s the extent of my personal experience. So, to address the request for information I had to search the internet.  

Here’s what I found:

Essential oils are the oils extracted from flowers, herb roots, and fruits.

10 ways to use essential oils

1. Energy.  As mentioned above, peppermint oil can increase alertness and also a person’s mental and physical energy. 

2. Sleep.  Lavender has SO many uses. One of those uses is adding a couple of drops to your pillow to relieve tension, stress, and help a person fall asleep. 

3. Muscle pain.  Using one, or a mixture of, Lavender, Black pepper, Arnica, Helichrysum, and Peppermint helps reduce inflammation and muscle soreness.  

4. Skin Care.  Adding Grapefruit essential oil is said to help reduce cellulite. Carrot seed essential oil to reduce wrinkles. And Frankincense essential oil is said to be antibacterial and anti-inflammatory which is great to help fight acne.

5. Relaxation.  Lavender, Rose, and Chamomile are all lovely for using during a massage, yoga, or simply when you’re trying to relax and chill out from the day’s stress.

6. Cleaning. Lemon essential oil is antiseptic, antimicrobial, and also antibacterial. It’s good for cutting through grease and grime. You can use it in your kitchen and your bathroom. Lavender can be used to fight viruses, bacteria, and fungus on your home’s surfaces. And Orange essential oil is great for cleaning. You’ve likely noticed it advertised on some cleaning products in your local grocery store. It has antiseptic, anti-fungal, and antibacterial properties. 

7. Illness.  Thieves is a pre-blend that is used in a lot of massage therapy locations to help fight off germs between clients. It’s great to fight against the flu. I had forgotten I used to use it to stay healthy in the cold and flu season. (I’ll be picking some up now 🙂 ) Peppermint can help reduce a cough and cold. 

8. Bug repellant.  You may have purchased Citronella candles before? They’re known to help keep the mosquitoes away. Also, Lemongrass, Rosemary Geranium, and Spearmint are good for fighting off pesky bugs.

9. Hair growth/health.  Clary sage essential oil and also Tea tree essential oil are both said to help improve hair health and growth. Ylang-ylang is good if you have dry scalp, but it’s best not to try it if you have oily hair.

10. Mood-boosting and health. Bergamot reduces blood pressure. Peppermint aids in relieving indigestion, nausea, and headaches. Lavender gets rid of lice and fleas on dogs… plus it smells great. And it also helps reduce blood pressure. Clary sage, Caraway and Lavender are among the many essential oils that improve mood.

Overall, essential oils seem to be a great source of clean remedies. But they do have a downside. I didn’t find scientific evidence of these claims, although I have experienced and used some of these and find them to work.


Some essential oils are dangerous for pregnant woman and children!

Some essential oils are toxic to dogs and cats! 

If you decide to delve into the world of essential oils, find organic. Purchase from a reputable company; so you know what you’re getting is real. And follow the instructions they give you. Essential oils are potent and too much can cause the person harm.  

Some essential oils can be used internally, some ONLY externally. Ask before you use! 

Mountain Rose Herbs is a great company. (I have no affiliation with them. I simply trust the company). They have reasonable prices, use top-grade products and are organic.

I hope this help! 

Cathy Ostema 


5 easy steps to quieting the Acid Reflux Volcano


The number one complaint I hear from new clients is heartburn, GERD, acid reflux, gas, and/or burping. They come in frustration and pain and they’re desperate to find a solution.

Here are 5 easy steps to help eliminate your pain.

  1. Chew your food. That may sound simple but the average American chews their food about six times before swallowing. Our stomachs are not designed to digest large chunks of food. Chew your food until its a slurry.
  2. If you’re stressed or feeling rushed, wait to eat. Skip that meal. Save it until you can sit down and calmly enjoy your food. When we’re in flight or fight mode, our bodies are not able to digest our food. Eating while stressed/rushed is a great way to create indigestion.
  3. If you feel the need to drink with your meal, only sip at your drink, don’t gulp it down. We need stomach acid to digest our food. It’s a misconception that we have too much acid. Drinking water with your meal dilutes your stomach acid and can cause indigestion.
  4. Try sipping raw apple cider vinegar (ACV), (1 or 2 tablespoons) in about a half-cup of water with your meal. This will increase your stomach acid and help prevent any discomfort. If the ACV causes discomfort, you may have an ulcer or H. Pylori. In that case, discontinue the ACV. You’ll need a different approach. Contact me for help.
  5. Eat smaller meals. Try eating five times a day rather than the standard three. Eat the same amount of total daily food, only spread it out throughout the five meals. And don’t graze throughout the day. Your body needs time in-between meals to digest.

There are certainly more ways to lower acid reflux. And the explanations for each of these suggestions is more involved than what fits in a small text. Feel free to ask me for explanations on any of these suggestions.

Read my previous blog post on Acid Reflux for more information.

May your volcano be silent.

Do you know where you parked the car?

Do you or someone you care about live with cognitive decline, dementia, or Alzheimer’s? Would you like to reclaim your lost memories, or remember where you parked the car? What would you give to have your mom remember your name? 

Hi, I’m Cathy Ostema and I’ve created a program to give you back what you’ve lost. Join me as we work together finding the cause of your memory concerns.

Did you know there are three main causes of memory loss? 

  1. Heavy metal toxicity
  2. Vitamin and/or mineral deficiency
  3. Inflammation/oxidation

Did you know there are test you can take to find out which one, or combination, of these causes are hurting those you love? 

Would you like help working your way through the jungle of confusion to find you are able to work again? 

Would you like to be able to think clearly and make your own decision without the fear of losing another part of yourself?

I know, I lost more than one loved one to this horrible issue. It led me to years of research and study until I found I was able to actually help others regain what they had lost.

What would it feel like to hear the doctor say, “You no longer have cognitive decline”?

Let me help you too. 

I’m getting ready to open the doors to a passion of mine. And I need your help.

I’m in a serious fight against mild cognitive decline, dementia, and Alzheimer’s.

I lost my grandmother, my mother, and my mother-in-law to this mind stealer and I’m mad! 

I cannot explain how devastated and angry I am inside about this. It tears me up every single day.

To combat this disease I began studying everything I could get my hands on. I am determined to stop this mind theif. 

It’s reversible!

I know we can stop this disease from stealing our loved ones, of this I have no doubt! I am confident I can help those who are already diagnosed with any one of the three; mild cognitive decline, dementia, or Alzheimer’s. 

Here is how you can help. 

I need three people who are experiencing symptoms, preferably already diagnosed. These people will be individual clients and not work in a group. All information will be private unless they agree to share that information. Each individual will work with me to help reduce/reverse all symptoms. I am going to offer this at an incredibly low price. Because of the hours I will need to devote to each client in one-on-one and in research, I am forced to charge a small amount to cover my expenses. The client will also have to pay for testing. I will instruct the client on which test I need, and there will be several test needed. It’s up to the client to find a local lab or order online to get the test completed but I can help them find a lab or online link if needed. They must be willing to follow my recommendations which will be on an individual basis according to their test results. This may take anywhere from three months to a year to work through depending on the client’s health status.

The recommedations may include, but not limited to: dietary changes, emotional work, meditation, exercise, and/or taking supplements. 

If you, or someone you love, would like to take part in this, please send me a private message, so we can discuss your health status and requirements. 

Thank you for your help. Together we can heal! 

C​athy Ostema 


Your brain is made of fat, do you deprive it of its main structural component?

And how’s that working for you?

Do you, or any of your loved ones have foggy thinking, memory loss, or cognitive decline? Do you want to help them, or yourself, restore that loss?

Did you know that the brain is made up of 60% fat? Let me restate that. Your brain is made up of 60% fat!

Think about that for a minute. Let it sink in.

And how do you get that fat into the brain?

There is a difference between healthy fat and unhealthy fat. Do you know which you are consuming?

I’ll answer that in a minute.

Your brain weighs in at around 3 pounds. Not much, right? And it has a tremendous responsibility. It’s our thinking center. It’s our cherished memory center. And it tells our body to function while we go out living life and not thinking about all the nitty-gritty details involved; like breathing. 🙂

Things you can do to maintain healthy cognitive function.

1. Your brain is also about 75% water. Do you stay hydrated? You can’t think clearly when you don’t feed your brain. You have 100,000 miles of blood vessels in your brain. Maybe an extra glass of water will help all that blood flow better?

2. Your brain also uses 20% of your total oxygen to run efficiently. It needs oxygen to work. Slow down and take a deep breath. Have you ever noticed that when you’re relaxed and your breathing is calm you feel like you can make better decision? You’re more creative? You can think more clearly? Because when you’re stressed out and flustered you take shallow breaths and deprive your brain of oxygen.

3. And a big question, have you ever thought about the fact that what you eat is feeding your brain? What are you feeding your brain today? There was a study done with 1 million students in New York. The study looked at those who ate clean, meaning no artificial flavors, preservatives, or dyes and those who did not eat clean, and ate foods with artificial flavors, preservatives, and dyes. Those who ate clean did 14% better on IQ test. Something to think on while you’re enjoying your lunch today.

4. Sleep is also important. Your brain works 24/7. Even while you are snoozing away in deep blissful sleep; your brain is working for you. In fact, that’s its favorite time to package up and store all your memories you created today. When you get a lack of sleep you make it hard for your brain to keep those memories. So, my question for you is; which part of your day did you want to lose forever? Hopefully that was the part that was lost, instead of that really cool thing that happened. Or you could schedule yourself more sleep. Lack of sleep affects memory.

Okay, now we can talk about healthy fat vs unhealthy fat.

We need healthy fats. To explain, let me start with cholesterol. Cholesterol is produced in the liver. Only animal (including humans) livers can produce cholesterol. That means you can only get cholesterol from animal products not plants or minerals. You cannot survive without cholesterol. It’s the bases for every sex hormone you have. It makes bile so you can digest foods that have fat in them. Cholesterol is a part of the makeup of every single cell in your body. There is a long, long list of what it does for you, but my favorite one is: it’s so important for the function of the brain that the brain gets to have 25% of your cholesterol so it can function optimally.

Did you know that in the elderly, those with the best working memory functions are those with the highest cholesterol?

Now, I’m not saying to let your cholesterol go ramping up a ladder and who cares about your numbers! But I am saying that cholesterol is vitally important for your body and your lifespan.

Most of your cholesterol is produced in the liver. The body is so smart that it sees how much you are getting in your food and it makes up the difference for you by using the fat you ingest.

Eating healthy fats helps the body function better on all levels.

Consuming non-organic meats filled with hormones and antibiotics, trans-fatty oils such as canola oil or soy, corn, or sunflower oils, or peanut oils are not healthy. These oils may be healthy when they are delivered to the oil factory, but they don’t stay that way. Take canola oil, they heat it so high and actually bleach it, and then steam it so the color is appealing, and the odor is removed, that what you end up with is a trans-fat oil. I recommend you don’t go there! These do more harm than good for your body.

Eating olives, olive oil, avocados, avocado oil, coconut oil, nuts, and seeds are all healthy oils. And so is eating small fatty fish. Write this down. SMASH sardines, mackerel, anchovies, salmon (wild caught), herring. That’s your list of healthy fish. This list of healthy fats are all good for the brain and can enhance your memory function and help you think clearly.

So, the answer to the question, “How do you get that fat into the brain?” is by eating healthy fats. Your body will transport the healthy fat molecules across what’s called the brain barrier for you so you can go enjoy life and not worry about it. And the next day you can recall that funny thing that happened at the office.

Feed your brain what it needs to function. It’s the only one you have. And brain replacement parts are hard to come by on this planet

There are many causes of cognitive decline. There are also solutions for the different causes. If you or someone you love or care about is experiencing memory concerns let me know, so I can help you.

Can your fruit and veggies be making you sick? How about making you fat?

A lot of us have been told that fruit was a healthy snack. Is this true or simply outdated information?

While most plant foods are good for us, we are all different individuals with different microbiomes (the needed bacteria in the gut) and in different stages of health.  For some people a vegetarian diet helps them to feel great, they thrive on it.  For others, they are much healthier adding meat into their diets.  There simply is not a one diet fits all.  

Science has figured out that we are bio-individuals.  Bio meaning life or living body, so we are individual living bodies. Bio-individuality is a term referring to the fact that each person’s unique body has different needs and requires different foods.

The same is true for fruits and veggies… to a point.  Some people thrive on all the veggies this wonderful planet has to offer, while others have reactions to some plants/fruits. 

There is a class of vegetables that can cause inflammation and allergies.  Nightshades!  

Have you heard of nightshades?  

Maybe you’ve heard of them but don’t really know what they are.  Nightshades are a class of vegetables that cause a negative reaction in some people.  The most common nightshades are bell peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant.  That’s a list of healthy and yummy veggies for most of us.  For others, they are a source of joint pain, bloating and they can lead to chronic inflammation. 

People with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, or other joint problems should avoid eating any nightshades. 

When inflammation is not controlled it can lead to insulin resistance and that is the beginning of a long list of diseases. So if you experience sinus issues, unexplained weight gain even though you’re eating a lot of veggies, fluid retention, irritable bowel syndrome, depression, you get a lot of headaches, or joint pain, you many be experiencing a reaction to your food. 

Inflammation is really an entire article all by itself.  Here’s a quick rundown of what it is.  When you bump your toe and it hurts and turns red, you’re jumping around yelling, OUCH, your body has a biological response. It rushes to the area to attack whatever is hurting you and it starts trying to heal the location.  That includes when you eat something you shouldn’t have or inhaled a cold bug.  That’s inflammation which is a good thing.  We need inflammation at times like that.  Then, after we’ve cleared up the invader the body settles back down.  

But when things get out of balance in the body and our body sees food as an invader there can be a build up of inflammation that just keeps coming and doesn’t get the signal to settle down.  That’s when it’s out-of-balance and bad things can start to happen.  Okay, that’s the quick explanation of it. 

So, as I was saying, one of the many things inflammation can cause is insulin resistance.  And that can lead to metabolic syndrome and diabetes.  Science is now finding that Alzheimer’s starts with inflammation. They have started calling it Diabetes III.  

What should we watch out for?  We should watch out for foods that have a high glycemic load (GL), (That’s different from glycemic Index, see side note.)

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Foods that have a high glycemic load can raise a person’s blood sugar.  For the average healthy individual, our blood sugar can go up and down and the body handles it.  We adjust internally as the body sends out insulin to transport the glucose into the cells for energy.  Any glucose that isn’t needed can be stored in the liver and muscles for later use.  We go about our day unaware that this is all happening inside of us.  For others, it’s not that simple.

Repeatedly raising our blood sugar can be traveling down a slippery road.  We have what are called insulin receptors that help with the transport and when bombarded with a constant overload the receptors get a bit tired and start refusing to collect the glucose (sugar). High blood sugar, also called hyperglycemia, leads to pre-diabetes, diabetes, pancreatitis, Cushing’s syndrome, pancreatic cancer, and more. Some medications can cause hyperglycemia while on the medication.  Speak with your doctor if you experience the following; dry mouth, frequent urination, increased thirst, fatigue, lightheadedness, blurred vision, headache, nausea and weakness.

High blood glucose levels are also associated with cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s.

Two of the highest GL foods include baked russet potato and microwavable potato.  This is really sad because I really enjoy a good baked potato. 

To get the most of your veggies eat low glycemic and eat seven to nine servings of vegetables a day, making a good portion of them leafy greens.  Seven to nine servings averages about four cups. 

See the side notes for a list of veggies to include in your diet and the ones to limit or avoid. (Sidebar is not currently functioning. Notes can be found at the bottom of this article.)

As for the fruit, we were told they were healthy snacks.  Don’t get me wrong, fruit contains a lot of good stuff like fiber, vitamins and phytonutrients.  Sadly, some of them can also raise your blood sugar.  

Who doesn’t love a sweet juicy fruit for a treat? I know I do.  I’m not saying you shouldn’t eat fruit, you should eat it, but I am saying it’s best to limit how much you eat and which kind of fruit you eat.  Grapes along with most of the melon varieties are the top offenders for raising our blood sugar. And once again, that leads to inflammation, and inflammation can result in weight gain.

If you’ve started eating fruit to save yourself from eating ice cream and cookies you may simply be swapping out one sugar for another.

Years and years ago, fruit wasn’t as sweet as it is now.  We’ve taken what was growing wild and manipulated it into the perfect looking, and sweeter tasting, fruit we now find in our supermarkets.

Ok, after all that negative talk about fruit, let me say, fruit is healthy.  Try to pick fruits that have an 11 glycemic load or lower.  Pick fruits with fiber so the sugar doesn’t spike as fast. Fruits contain antioxidants, they are anticancer, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory. Berries are the best choices for a healthy diet.  While delicious and healthy, it is still best to limit your fruit to two servings a day.  

Avoid canned fruit, all fruit juice (that’s an article in itself), dried fruit, bananas, grapes and melon for the most part. 

What’s better, fresh or frozen? 

One way to increase the nutrient value is by buying frozen fruit. I’ll bet that came as a surprise.  Buy frozen, it’s often better for you, (and that goes for veggies as well as fruit), and it’s generally cheaper.  When they freeze fruit they pick fruit that is at it’s peak ripeness and freeze it right away.  It holds its nutrition while frozen.  Whereas, fresh fruit needs to be picked prior to ripening so it can ripen in route, which can be over a thousand miles.  And ‘ripen in route’ really means it’s starting the rotting process. 

So, by all means eat fruit, just choose low glycemic load and high fiber fruits.  They really do make a healthy and delicious snack.  

You can find a list of fruits to eat and to avoid in the side bar. 

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Fruits and veggies are some of the best nutrient based foods available to us.  Please eat plenty of them.  But if you’re someone that has a reaction to foods, pay attention to the foods that seem to be affecting you and try to eliminate them for a few weeks to see how you feel.  

For questions or more information please contact me.  

Cathy Ostema

Mountain Sun Healing 

Glycemic Load –

Refers to how much and how fast a particular food will raise a person’s blood glucose level after they have eaten it. It determines how much carbohydrate is in the food which turns into glucose in the body and how much insulin will be released into the system. So a food that has a high glycemic index may actually have a low glycemic load and be healthy to consume.

Glycemic Index –

Is a measure of how much a food, once eaten, causes the level of glucose in the blood to rise. It however, does not calculate the insulin production of a food. So two different foods could have the same glycemic index but produce different amounts of insulin in the body.

It’s best to consume veggies with a glycemic load of 11 or less.

The following list for glycemic load came from, What the Heck Should I Eat? by Mark Hyman, MD

Fruits with a low glycemic load –

Apricots – 3
Oranges – 3
Watermelons – 4
Nectarines – 4
Wild blueberries – 5
Golden Delicious apples – 6
Pineapple – 6
Kiwis – 7
Mangoes – 8
Cherries – 9
Black grapes – 11

Fruits with a high glycemic load

Bananas – 16
Dried figs – 16
Raisins – 28

Veggies to eat freely –

Salad greens
Bok Choy
Tomatoes (unless you shouldn’t eat nightshades)
Peppers (unless you shouldn’t eat nightshades)
Eggplant (unless you shouldn’t eat nightshades)
Brussel Sprouts
Swiss chard
collard greens
turnip greens
beet greens
mustard greens
purple or red or white fingerling potatoes
rainbow carrots
Jerusalem artichokes

Veggies to avoid –

Iceberg lettuce
White potatoes
raw white button mushrooms
alfalfa sprouts
Nightshades if you have arthritis or inflammation
Baked russet potato
microwavable potato

The Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean Diet is considered, by many, to be one of the healthiest diets on the planet. Although it is not for everyone, it does fit for most people. And it’s certainly a tasty diet with recipes from the entire mediterranean region.

One of the reasons it’s so healthy is that it is not just about food. The editerranean diet is a lifestyle that has been around for thousands of years. It’s about food, being social, happy, and physically active.

The people of Greece, Crete, southern France, and parts of Italy are known to follow this lifestyle. They live longer, and that is partly because of the food they eat, but also because of the way they eat and interact with others. They believe in sitting down and taking their time eating. They enjoy eating with others as a social event. And because they are chatting and relaxing they get full sooner than most people and don’t tend to eat as much. They believe in exercising every day. This can be walking, working around the house, gardening, biking, hiking, what ever the person enjoys. They tend to see life from a relaxed stance. They don’t worry and make themselves sick with fast deadlines that pump up the adrenaline. They breathe deep and stay calm.

Their diet is also full of rich omega-3 fatty acids. We tend to eat a lot of omega-6’s from packaged and prepared foods and fail to balance it out with enough omega-3’s. We need both. Omega-6’s are pro-inflammatory. And as that sounds bad, we need some inflammation. Omega-6’s are important for cell growth, they strengthen the brain, produces hormone messengers, and are important for our nervous system.

But in order to stay healthy we need to balance omega-6’s with omega’3’s which are not pro-inflammatory. The problem is when we let this balance get ‘out-of-balance’, the omega-6’s can become deadly. When we have an imbalance, omega-6 can create massive amounts of inflammatory issues in the body, including coronary heart disease which can be a silent killer.

Omega-3’s can counter depression and anxiety, improve eye health, reduce symptoms of ADHD, lower triglycerides, lower blood pressure, can raise “good” HDL cholesterol, help prevent blood clots, help prevent plaque build up, and reduce inflammation. So eat your omega’3’s!!!

Eating a diet rich in omega-3’s can counter the omega-6’s and this helps your body stay healthy and active. And the mediterranean diet is loaded with omega-3’s!

People that follow this diet have lower rates of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes than we do here in the United States.

What does the diet consist of as far as food? A lot of extra virgin olive oil. But make sure you are buying real olive oil; here in the States manufacturers are allowed to mix in canola or other transfatty oils to thin the olive oil out and they are not required by law to add that information to the label. And olive oil is healthiest when it is used raw. If you decide to cook with it, cook at low temperatures so you don’t end up turning it into a transfat.

The diet also includes seasonal fruits and veggies, unprocessed grains, and wild caught fatty fish. They eat dairy, (but avoid this if you have allergies), mostly the dairy they eat is from goats. They enjoy eggs and eat the white and yolk together, generally limiting eggs to 3 or 4 per week but this is about intuition rather than rules. If you don’t have food sensitivities go for eggs everyday if you like. For snacks they enjoy nuts and on special occasion they have desserts. As far as meat and saturated fats they eat in moderation and savor the meal. The diet enjoys a lot of legumes, oregano, and lemon. And best of all they like a glass of red wine with their evening meal and love a good cup of coffee. They enjoy their food, their families and their lives.

Foods they avoid are all processed and refined foods. They eat the way their ancestries ate.

So eat, move your body, enjoy life, laugh, love, socialize, and share a glass of wine!

If you have any questions about how to follow this diet don’t hesitate to contact me for more information.

Alzheimer’s May Not Be What You Think

The question was asked, what is Alzheimer’s and why am I losing my memory? So this is as simple an explanation as I could come up with. For those that would be interested in a more thorough explanation stay tuned for future articles.

So many baby-boomers are reaching the age that Alzheimer’s is sadly staring them in the face. It affects more and more every year. The question is what is causing it and how do we stop it?

If we sit back for a moment and think about it, it’s not a hard question to answer. Our parents and our grandparents ate mostly non-processed foods. They ate ‘real food’. They grew their own veggies and butchered their own livestock or they bought local and in season. Monsanto wasn’t spraying our fields yet, so the produce was healthy and full of nutrients. We didn’t need to worry about pesticides and all the harm those chemicals do to us.

We didn’t have cell phones or computers and spent our time outdoors being physically active. Walking to where we wanted to go was commonplace. Running and playing with the dog, the kids, each other, taking care of the animals, fixing our own cars and homes. We played and worked rather than sit in front of a computer for hours.

There weren’t factories on every corner spewing toxic chemicals into our air. There were factories, but not as many as there are now and the air was much safer to take into our lungs.

So what do we do? We can’t get rid of the factories, chemicals are going to be sprayed, life is going to move forward. But how do we prevent our brains from going backward? That’s the real question.

If you’re already experiencing some cognitive decline or little memory blimps here and there, you can breathe easier knowing it can be reversed.

Our bodies are fascinating and fantastic. There are no mistakes in the way our cells work. There is only overwhelm in those cells and that’s when things go wrong.

The body has smartly designed a defense mechanism to protect itself from infection or negative assaults. When an injury occurs in the brain or some sort of infection our brains go right to work creating what is called an Amyloid. (Explaining amyloid and its dangers are for a future post), for now, know that amyloid is being created in an attempt to protect your brain. And the results it ends up sort of downsizing our brain in order to save its ability to continue functioning. It’s a great system, but only if the attack is a one-time event. But when the brain continues to be attacked it goes into overwhelm and the amyloid becomes too much, causing that downsizing.

The attacks that the brain is on patrol to prevent include inflammation from infection, insulin resistance, hormone imbalance, nutrient depletion, and toxic exposure which includes mold, chemicals in our foods and air and the chemicals we put on our skin.

Even though Alzheimer’s is reversible, if precautions are started soon enough, it is not a ‘one size fits all’ solution. Each person can have one or a combination of the attacks happening in their brain. This makes the correction program a very personal one.

So, to narrow it down a bit, there are three different processes that are attacking the brain.

Suboptimal nutrients
Toxic exposures

To correct the issues, we have to identify which one, or combination, of attacks the brain is experiencing.

Then we have to:

Remove the items that are attacking so the brain can stop defending itself.
Replace what is missing, such as healthy nutrients that are missing or lacking.
And finally, remove the amyloid itself. This is where we rebuild the synapses that have been harmed or destroyed. (But I’ll leave that for another post.)

Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s is often at work for fifteen to twenty years prior to the person going in to see a doctor to be diagnosed. I’m not saying that is too late in the game to reverse it, it’s not. Even if you’ve been diagnosed, you can often still reverse it. But you have to be willing to make the necessary lifestyle changes to save your brain.

Inflammation and a shortage of proper nutrients are the largest culprits in this devastating disease. And both of these are linked to our metabolism. And that is directly linked to our diet, our activity level, and our genes. How you handle stress effects your inflammation level. All of this also affects our cardiovascular health, and our weight and our sleep are linked back to inflammation. Even obesity is linked to vitamin D deficiency and that’s a hormone that is needed for heart health and healthy blood pressure. It’s all connected and a bit mind-boggling, for now, just understand that reversal means becoming a healthy and happy individual.

So there is hope out there.

We need to prevent and reduce attacks. Inflammation is a killer. Stress is a killer. Obesity is a killer.

If you believe you have health issues that could lead you to Alzheimer’s it is in your best interest, and in your family and loved one’s interest, to seek help now before symptoms begin.

This is an extremely involved topic and will take several articles to cover it in a more thorough manner.

If you have concerns or questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or someone with Alzheimer’s knowledge.

More than a health coach

I was walking the dog this morning, and it dawned on me, that calling myself a health coach doesn’t really cover it. I’m a certified functional medicine health coach. I have helped people with a lot of different health issues such as constipation, headaches, sleep issues, acid reflux, skin conditions, memory problems, and more. But I have also helped people with relationship issues, job changes, loss of focus or energy, feeling like they don’t belong, confusion, loss of creativity, and more.

So, health coach doesn’t really say it all. I think it’s more encompassing than ‘health coach’.

For example, a person may come to me complaining that they are feeling a lot of anxiety when they find themselves in crowds and they get the jitters. I’ll ask if there are any other issues and they’ll tell me everything else is going fairly well.

We humans, tend to get used to our health issues, blaming them on age or “just the way it is”. Some will say, “just like my mom, she passed it down to me”. I’ll ask more questions, like questions about their job, relationship, and their life in general. I learn that they have heart palpitations, often feel tired, and sometimes a bit dizzy. A few years ago they started noticing some psoriasis but, “it runs in the family”. They have high blood pressure and tell me it’s to be expected, just an age thing. As long as they’re thinking about it, they would like to lose a few pounds, mostly around the abdomen and face. And the headaches have just started in the last couple of months. Oh, and maybe I could recommend something to help them sleep.

That’s a long list, I know. But it’s not uncommon. The more questions I ask, the deeper we get, and the more we both learn.

Their main concern when they walked in was their anxiety, but we find there is really a whole list of problems that have been accumulating through the years. Issues that had become ‘normal’ to them as time passed.

We end up doing some blood test and find their cortisol levels are off. That makes it hard to sleep without waking during the night. And low cortisol can cause every single one of those problems.

So what do we do? We look at their lifestyle. What are they doing to include joy in their lives? Where are they finding the time to relax, to get out in nature? Do they take the time to meditate or practice some yoga? In other words, we work on their stress levels and their lifestyle. Together we create a plan to work in some needed personal time. Once self-care is included in their life, they find they are sleeping better at night. The skin issues clear up. They don’t remember the last time they had heart palpitations and the doctor is lowering their blood pressure medicine. They come in a few weeks later and announce in an excited voice that they’ve dropped ten pounds. And of course, the anxiety was long gone along with all the other symptoms.

Along the way, we added in some temporary supplements and diet changes to help maintain the new health status.

All-in-all, we ended up working on life situation issues which helped to clear up the health issues, some of which the person had believed were simply inherited or due to age.

Now, back to my original premise. I am more than a health coach. I am a Holistic Life Coach.

I would love to hear what you think.