Ara Wiseman

Month: September 2015

Are you Constipated?

Are you Constipated?

(Written by Natalia Hnatiw) Chances are that most of you are constipated to some degree. Did you know that the average 45-year-old person has about 10lbs of built up fecal matter in their colon? That’s a lot of poop. This lack of elimination can largely be blamed for years of inadequate water and dietary fiber intake, as well as the predominant SAD (Standard American Diet) that many people adhere to. Other factors that lead to constipation include drug use, iron supplements, environmental toxicity, lack of exercise and stress. It’s no wonder that the majority of us constipated. Are you under the perception that Everybody is different, and there is no set “normal” when it comes to passing stool? If you’re eating three regular meals a day, you should be going three times a day. If you’re going less than that you’re constipated, plain and simple. Not eliminating as much as one should leads to a buildup of toxins in the body that have nowhere to go, and these toxins simply circulate throughout the body. The sad fact is that many people are constipated their entire lives and think it’s normal. The way your poop looks is also very important in determining how healthy you are. Here’s a chart to put it in perspective: http://www.healthworks.my/infographic-shit-poop/ The Many Problems of Constipation The interesting thing about the colon is that it is a reflex organ, meaning that each section of the colon corresponds to a different part of the body. Did you know that the majority of migraine headaches are caused by a toxic colon? Over 90 percent of all human illness and disease begins with a congested colon, which is why it is so important to keep ourselves clean. Constipation can lead to many conditions including: Anxiety Appendicitis Body Odor Bowel Cancer Bronchitis Depression Diverticulitis Fatigue Gas, bloating Halitosis (bad breath) Headaches Heart problems Hemorrhoids Hernia Indigestion Insomnia Irritability Liver spots Lower Back pain Malabsorption Obesity PMS Skin, hair, nail problems Varicose veins So what can you do to keep yourself regular while decreasing the risk of any of the above conditions? The first thing I tell my clients is that they need to drink enough water and eat fiber-rich foods. Sounds simple enough. Fiber is important because it gets things moving, but if you’re not drinking enough water, it can have the opposite effect and clog you right up. On a side note, how much water should you be drinking? The average person should drink about 2-3 liters of filtered water every day, depending on their weight and activity level. If you’re eating a well-rounded diet that is predominantly fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains, you’re probably getting the allotted 25 to 40 grams of fiber that is recommended for optimal health. If you are still having trouble, you could be low in magnesium. This important mineral relaxes the muscles in the intestines and helps stimulate peristalsis in the colon. Magnesium also attracts water in the colon, which helps to soften stool and makes it easier to pass. I recommend supplementing your diet with magnesium glycinate as it is the most absorbable. If you are still experiencing irregularities, there a certain herbs and fiber supplements that can help normalize the process. Colon Toning and Cleansing Herbs: Cascara Sagrada is one of the most popular colon cleansing herbs used today.  It contains the compound anthraquinone that works as an herbal laxative. This herb also helps to stimulate bile production in the liver, which speeds up the removal of toxins from your system. However, there are some adverse effects with cascara that you need to be aware of. According to the United States National Library of Medicine, use of cascara in the recommended doses for a limited period of time has been associated with a few side effects, most of which are mild and transient. With longer term use of high doses of cascara, there have been several cases of liver damage. Slippery Elm is an all-purpose herb that is beneficial for the entire intestinal tract. It is very effective for both constipation and diarrhea. This amazing herb normalizes the stool while it soothes, coats and heals the lining of your intestines. Turkey Rhubarb, traditionally used in Chinese medicine, also contains anthraquinone which promote bowel movements. This herb also contains tannins, which relieve diarrhea and reduce inflammation in the colon.  Colon Friendly Fibers: Psyllium contains a category of fiber called mucilage. When mucilage enters the digestive tract it absorbs water. It then swells, making the stools in the colon bulkier. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day while taking any fiber supplement. If you don’t, you run the risk of obstructing the colon and making your constipation worse. Ground flax and chia seeds are both soluble and insoluble fibers and are very soothing to the digestive tract. Want proof? Just add a little water to them and wait a few minutes. They turn into a gel solution that glides easily through the body and helps with colon cleansing. Flax and chia also contain healthy fats, which are important for regular bowel movements and overall health. What about bran? I know some of you may be under the impression that bran is the best fiber out there, but that is only because it has been heavily marketed as such. How many of you eat All-Bran cereal on a daily basis and still experience digestive/intestinal issues? Bran is actually the leftover waste from the processing of wheat. It is low in nutritional value, and as a fiber supplement, does more harm than good. It is an irritating roughage that can cause damage to the intestinal lining. Bran also contains phytic acid which can leach minerals from the body, including calcium. This is definitely a fiber you want to avoid. What’s as important as the frequency of your bowel movements is the ease in which you move your bowel.  If you need to push or strain, then something is wrong, it should be easy and not too messy. Pay attention to any

Steps to Health

Steps to Health

Become more mindful of your thoughts. If you are thinking negative thoughts, remind yourself of the things you are grateful for. When you are grateful you can’t be miserable! Studies have shown that negative thoughts can lead to compromised health and shortened lives. The power of our mind and emotions influence the overall health of our body by affecting our immune and nervous systems. Find your passion and do what you love. What you are passionate about is often your purpose. According to Wayne Dyer, “Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life.” Manage your stress. Try journaling, go for walks in nature, practice deep breathing exercises and eat nutrient rich foods. Pay more attention to your posture. If your neck is leaning forward or you are hunched over, the quality of your breathing will be impaired, affecting your overall health. Yoga helps to keep your body in proper alignment. Have a raw salad every day with lots of vegetables and dark leafy greens. Kale, spinach and collard greens are all packed with antioxidants that help fight free radical damage and inflammation. Start juicing on the weekends. Play around with different combinations using beets, carrots, dandelion, parsley, kale, collards, celery, apples, lemon, cilantro, ginger and anything else you can think of. Have a fresh fruit smoothie everyday. Add 1tbsp of sunflower lecithin for improved brain function and cellular health. Cut out animal protein. Switch to plant based protein sources. Switch to organic dairy products and reduce your overall dairy consumption and work towards cutting it out completely. It is best to buy organic, especially when it comes to the fruits and vegetables that have the highest pesticide residue levels according to the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 chart. (See chart at http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/clean_fifteen_list.php) Incorporate beets and celery into your salads and meals. Beets help to relax blood vessels and improve oxygen efficiency. Celery is helpful for blood flow. Have three Brazil nuts a day for optimum selenium intake. MSG, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, isolated soy protein and aspartame are all neurotoxins that affect the brain. Avoid these at all costs! Avoid using vegetable oils. When you heat these oils they oxidize and become rancid and the oxidative damage ages us. Use low sodium vegetable stock to cook your food. You can use a little flaxseed or hempseed oil for salads. Heal Your Gut. Take probiotics daily to help your digestion and improve the balance of healthy bacteria in your colon. This will reduce inflammation and boost your immunity. Start adding fermented foods to your diet. Eating fermented foods restores the intestinal flora balance by feeding your gut the beneficial bacteria it needs. Try foods such as natto, tempeh, miso, sourdough bread, kimchi, coconut kefir or poi (fermented, mashed taro root). Incorporate Omega-3 fatty acid into your diet. It is found in ground flaxseeds, hempseeds, chia seeds, raw walnuts and green leafy vegetables and is important for healthy, youthful skin. Your skin absorbs everything you put on it. Be mindful of the type of products you use, especially the ones you apply on a daily basis. Whether it’s personal hygiene or cleaning supplies, read the labels and choose natural brands. Get into the routine of dry brushing and rebounding every morning to get your lymphatic (immune) system moving. Studies have shown that incorporating a spiritual practice, such as believing in something outside ourselves and having faith that everything is happening for a reason, has been shown to increase longevity. Stress causes inflammation and premature skin aging, so you want to do whatever you can to de-stress your mind and body. Set aside some time for yourself every day. Practice meditation, exercise or take a bath. Aromatherapy with lavender essential oils is a great stress-reliever, and your skin will thank you. Infrared saunas relax your muscles and help your skin eliminate toxins that may be contributing to wrinkles. Listen to your body. If you are experiencing symptoms such as headaches, constipation, acne/rashes/eczema, trouble with your memory, brain fog, pain or lack of energy, you have an imbalance. Book a nutritional consultation to address any imbalances you may be experiencing. Your health is your wealth! ©2018 Ara Wiseman Nutrition & Healing. All Rights Reserved.

Back to School

Back to School

(Written by Natalia Hnatiw) Whether you’re a student or a teacher, the transition from summer vacation to a regular schedule and heavier workload may cause you to place less focus on your health and wellness. Putting diet and exercise on the back burner can quickly catch up to you if you don’t pay close attention…the “freshman fifteen” is not solely for new college students. Here are some tips to keep your body and mind healthy all year round. NUTRITION Learn proper portion size. To avoid eating too much of even the healthiest foods, keep track of how much you’re consuming. The proper amount of whole grains can range from 1-2 cups, depending on your size and activity level. Meat servings should be about the size of a deck of cards, while a serving of nuts and seeds is only about ¼ cup. Fibre-rich nutrient dense foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables, can be eaten in unlimited amounts. Eat breakfast. Whether you’re rolling out of bed at noon or up at the crack of dawn for class, make sure you start your day with a balanced meal comprised of healthy carbs, protein, fat and fibre to keep your blood sugar stable and your energy high. A good example would be organic oats with ground flax, raw nuts and seeds, topped with fresh fruit. Pack a lunch. It can be easy to cop out and head to the cafeteria or a nearby fast food spot in between classes, but your body and your wallet won’t be thanking you in the long run. Save your health and your money by making your own food and taking it with you. Prepare dishes like hearty soups and stews in bulk and portion them out for the next few days to save time. Cook a big pot of quinoa and add your favourite veggies and healthy fats like nuts and seeds and you’re set for the next several days. Eat variety. It can be easy to eat and prepare the same foods everyday, but to get all the essential nutrients your body needs it is important to eat a variety of foods. The easiest and most economical way to do this is to eat seasonal and to shop at a local farmers market. Don’t be afraid to try new things and experiment with new flavours. Make it convenient to eat right. Stock your fridge and pantry with healthy foods to ensure they are the first things at hand when you get hungry. I always carry Lara Bars and apples or bananas with me in case I get hungry or am too busy too have a proper meal. Drink enough water. Drink enough water to hydrate your brain and body. Drink at least 1 litre of pure water for every 40 pounds of body weight. Drinking enough water can help boost your concentration and keep you from overeating. The easiest way to make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day is to bring distilled or filtered water with you wherever you go. Limit caffeinated beverages. Caffeine is the world’s most popular psychoactive drug. Avoid all caffeine sources within 10 hours of going to sleep, including coffee, tea, green tea, chocolate, and caffeinated soft drinks. Instead, drink decaf, herbal tea or water. Limit alcohol consumption. College students are known for their partying, but there’s no easier way to pack on the “freshmen fifteen” and deplete your adrenals than by drinking empty calories on a regular basis. Plus, hangovers are not a good idea when you have papers to write and classes to attend. If you do choose to let loose once in a while, make sure to properly hydrate and supplement with B vitamins. Supplement. Even if your diet was perfect, it can still be difficult to ensure you’re getting (and retaining) all the nutrients your body needs. Investing in a good quality multi-vitamin and probiotic is a good idea to cover your bases. EXERCISE Stretch first. Help yourself avoid injuries by stretching each time you exercise. Simple stretches before and after you work out or engage in physical activity can help keep you active and pain-free. Head to the gym. Most schools provide students and staff with gym facilities they can take advantage of for free. Head to the gym in between classes or first thing in the morning, whenever you can fit it in. Ride your bike. Instead of taking the bus or driving to class, try biking instead for as long as the weather allows. This will give you some exercise and save you money on gas or transit. Play a sport. One way to get yourself motivated to exercise is by joining an intramural team or playing recreational sports through your school. Get active and have fun at the same time. Incorporate different kinds of exercise in your routine. If you only stick to one kind of workout it can be easy to get bored and lose interest. Incorporate strength training, cardio and yoga into your routine to make it well rounded and fun. Bring a friend. With someone else relying on you to show up, you’ll be much more likely to make the effort to work out. Working out with a friend can be a good motivator and fun. SLEEP Get a full nights rest whenever you can. While the amount of sleep each person needs varies, most people need 7-9 hours to feel fully rested. While this may not be possible every night, try to sleep a full night whenever you get the chance. Take naps. If you have the time during the day, a short nap can do wonders for your energy levels. Just make sure not to nap for too long or too close to bedtime. Don’t work in bed. Working in bed can make getting to sleep harder. Keep your workspace separate from your sleep space. Stick to a schedule. With different classes and work hours each day it can be hard to stick to a schedule, but keeping sleep times consistent

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