Keep the Germs at School!

[wpdevart_like_box profile_id="" connections="6" width="300" height="550" header="0" locale="en_US"]This month’s theme is “Leave the germs at school”, so I wanted to address how the body trains its immune system to deal with anything we may encounter out in the world. I will also provide you with a bit of information on how to support healthy immune function.
Unborn babies have an immune system which resembles an un-programmed computer in need of instructions. Babies are exposed to mom’s immunity and good bacteria as they vacate the womb through the birthing canal during a normal birthing process. They also get to learn from her life experience through the antibodies she shares in breast milk.
Ever noticed how babies tend to put everything in their mouths? They are partially exploring their environment, but because humans have strongly developed other senses like smell, sight, sound and touch some things could be learned in other ways. I believe that babies are instinctually exposing their immune systems to organisms that will help them develop appropriate immune regulatory actions.
Those who grew up in more sterile environments (and probably those of us that are first-borns!) have more of a tendency for something called atopic immunity. Our immune systems didn’t get much practice so it tends to perceive everything as a threat and overreacts. These are the individuals that tend to develop allergies (air and food borne), asthma and auto-immune conditions.
This is all well and good, but school just started and what you really need to know is how to bolster your kiddos immunity NOW, right?
In general, plain soap and water is best to clean with. You’re not performing open-heart surgery, right? Ensure your little ones know that they should wash their hands after using the restroom. They should lather for about 20 seconds, or going through “Happy Birthday” about twice. When running water is unavailable, using essential oils is best and alcohol-based gels are a good last resort.
Change into “hang-out” clothes when they get home and train them to toss those school clothes right into the laundry bin in the room where you wash rather than where they sleep or the bathroom.
Ensure they are getting plenty of rest/sleep. You know your child best; some need more than others and at differing times of the day. In addition, if your child is experiencing a growth-spurt try to limit their activity as much as you can so that they are able to get the rest they need.
Reduce stress. Kids have their own stress and most definitely pick up on yours. Assess your lifestyle/schedule and do the best you can.
Because I am passionate about nutrition, of course I have to talk about the importance of nutrients! The diet we eat directly impacts our body’s ability to handle any contaminants we encounter. In general, eating a balanced, whole-foods diet is best.
After school recipe: http://foodapparel.com/pepitas-cranberries-chocolate-mix/

The following can support a healthy immune system:
• Whole-foods based diet: reduce/eliminate processed foods (did you make it?); ensure not ingesting reactive foods (most common are dairy, gluten, peanuts, soy); sufficient protein (meat, eggs, nuts/seeds); sufficient produce (lots of organic fruits & veggies!)
• Reduce sugar: reduce/eliminate processed foods and or added sugars (read labels…if it ends in “ose” it’s a sugar)
• Maintain good gut bacteria: probiotics like organic kefir, kombucha or supplements
No problem with kids. Ha! Yeah, right! This is where supplements come in. We literally can’t get all we need from our foods these days, even if you live in Alaska and are providing all of your own foods off of the land. Unfortunately we have degraded our environment to this state.
Luckily, I am offering 50% off of Douglas Lab’s Children’s Daily…IN STOCK; comes in grape or orange flavors. Contains NO yeast, gluten, soy, dairy, corn, sodium, starch, artificial colorings, flavors or preservatives. Normally $21 for a 30 day supply; Now $10.50 + tax!
Get yours NOW to get the best discount! Once I am sold out, it goes down to 25% off…
Will continue special through end of month…25% off of Douglas Lab’s Children’s Daily…ON ORDER. Normally $21 for 30 day supply; Now $15.75 + tax.

Jen’s Nutritional Basics dates/links:
Sept 7th https://www.facebook.com/events/1121687847918598/
10th https://www.facebook.com/events/1618215951810718/
21st https://www.facebook.com/events/1763804983889742/

Soap

Toxic. Toxins. When these terms comes to mind my brain immediately jumps to a nuclear waste site that is dripping with green goo. Ok, so perhaps that is more the storyline for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but all joking aside toxins are a real problem and one that we all face every day. The human body is a unique system that is equipped with its own top of the line defense system. When functioning correctly the immune response is swift and without mercy and quickly gets the system back up and running full speed. Unfortunately in today’s fast paced environment the human body is facing many more toxins that come in so many forms that it is almost impossible to count them all. At this point you may be wondering what exactly I am referring too?

I urge you to go to your bathroom and open a cabinet or look in the shower. Like most people you will probably see shampoo, maybe conditioner, body wash, a beauty bar, deodorant, toothpaste, perhaps mouthwash and more than likely a few bathroom cleaning supplies as well. Pick your shampoo bottle up and turn it over, look down past the witty sales pitch that reminds you to rinse and repeat and look at the ingredient list. Read through it. Now be honest. Do you even know what half of the ingredients are? Where they come from? Or how they are wreaking havoc on your body?

That is the type of toxins I am refereeing too. Today I would like to dive in deeper into Soap specifically. On your bathroom tour you may have grabbed several items you would refer to as “soap”. Here is the catch, none of the items you may call soap, are actually real soap. Even the bar you bought at the store is labeled as a beauty bar or similar name on its packaging. This is because none of these items are true soap.

For a company to label an item as soap the FDA requires that the product go through a saponification process that results from natural plant or animal fats (oils) chemically reacting to lye (another natural product) and resulting in very real and true soap. Your shampoo, conditioner, body wash or beauty bar are NOT soap, rather they are a chemically (often man-made) filled detergents more similar to a laundry detergent than a true soap.

I specialize in making real old fashion soap similar to the way that Laura Ingalls Wilder writes about in Little House on the Prairie. The process in its most basic manner includes water, fats (I prefer coconut, olive, and sustainable palm), and lye. The recipes that I make are supper fatted to 5%. This means that 5% of the fat is left out of the saponification process so that it can actually nourish the skin, or hair (think shampoo soap bar), rather than stripping the body of all its natural oils the way a “normal” detergent body wash or shampoo would do. Three ingredients that is all you need to make soap. If you want to be fancy and add a scent then look no farther than essential oils. Chemically man made scents are not needed!

So ask yourself would you prefer a product with an ingredient list like this:

Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate, Stearic Acid, Sodium Tallowate or Sodium Palmitate, Lauric Acid, Sodium Isethionate, Water, Sodium Stearate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Cocoate or Sodium Palm Kernelate, Fragrance, Sodium Chloride, Tetrasodium EDTA, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891)

Or would you prefer to save your body a few toxins and go with this: Coconut Oil, Sustainable Palm oil, Olive Oil, water, lye, orange essential oil.

Toxic Toxins

We are faced with toxins on many more fronts than we may think.  We are constantly exposed to toxins through air, food, water, and medications.  Toxins accumulate gradually and damage the cells of the body and toxicity may go unnoticed until disease develops.

Heavy metals displace vital minerals like zinc and calcium, act as direct carcinogens, and damage the nervous system.  We are exposed to heavy metals via lead in bones: water, air, cigarettes, leaded gasoline and paint; mercury: fish, coal, vaccines, dental fillings; cadmium: tobacco, mining, fertilizers, air pollution; aluminum: antiperspirants, antacids, and carbonated sodas.

Other toxins that pose health risks include anaerobic bacteria in our root canals and opportunistic bacteria in our gut.

We are also exposed through the food that we eat via packaged foods which contain chemical additives, preservatives, and are deplete of nutrients.  Fresh fruits and veggies are potentially harmful if genetically modified.  Peer reviewed studies show potential toxicity and harmful effects in lab animals fed GM food:

Organ damage

Altered blood biochemistry

Stomach lesions

Immune disturbances, response and allergic reaction

Enlarged lymph nodes

Disturbed liver, pancreas and teste functioning

Disturbed enzyme functioning in kidney and heart

Liver and kidney toxicity

Altered gut bacteria and intestinal abnormalities

The major genetically modified offenders are But-toxin (insecticide) and Roundup Ready (herbicide) varieties.  Bt-toxin is made from soil bacteria that punch holes in the gut lining of certain insects.  When genetically ingrained into cells, it is more potent than the spray which is safely used.   When ingested it has been found in fetal cord blood, and has known allergenic properties.

Roundup Ready products are derived from DNA supposedly from bacteria found growing at a waste dump of Roundup chemicals.  Its DNA has been found in the only human feeding study performed on GM’s.  Another component, glyphosate, may interfere with Cytochrome P450 enzymes involved in liver detoxification and neurotransmitter production in the brain.

Preapproval of GM’s is not required by the FDA who considers them GRAS (generally recognized as safe) and substantially equivalent to non-GM foods.

Hidden toxins can be found in: conventional meat and dairy, antibiotics, growth hormones, animals fed GM products, homogenization and pasteurization of dairy products, healthy foods a person is allergic or sensitive to, rancid oils or cooking with inappropriate oils, processed foods, mold or bacteria on grains and nuts.

Consider your environment; toxins can be released or ‘off-gassed’ from bedding like mattresses & pillows, carpets, furniture, building materials, and soft vinyl floors. We must also consider office supplies like copy machines, correction fluid and cosmetics.  Visit http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ to determine the toxicity level of the beauty products you use.

Is detoxification even needed? Many experts say that the body detoxifies daily as part of our normal functioning, but disease begins as a breakdown in the biochemistry of the body’s cells. If toxins are not effectively removed, they contribute to the breakdown.  Lack of nutrients and insufficient oxygen contribute to waste accumulation.  Because we are exposed to far more toxins than our ancestors were, I believe a regular detoxification regime is warranted.  Depending on the person and overall toxin exposure, performing a semi-annual or quarterly dietary detoxification is encouraged.

Symptoms of Toxicity:

Indigestion

Poor concentration

Sluggishness

Headaches

Bad breath

Poor skin (acne, eczema, itching, and hives)

Fatigue

Body odor

Muscle pain

Frequent constipation

Irritability

Nasal congestion

Bodily systems that detoxify:

Liver

Intestines

Kidneys

Skin

Lymph/Spleen

Blood

Lungs

Supporting your body’s natural detoxification systems can be achieved by cleaning up your diet and supporting the above referenced bodily systems by applying other techniques like deep breathing and sauna’s.  Contact me for more details as a dietary detoxification is not recommended for everyone!

Water and Sleep Quality, Making the Connection

Sleep like a babyEight glasses a day, and 4-6 hours don’t cut it anymore. Some of you may remember the “good ol’ days.” A time when drinking water meant putting your face up to a garden hose and hoping your little brother didn’t smash your face into the cool clean liquid that poured onto the grass. A time when you got up with the sun and sometimes went to bed with it. Oh how times have changed. First off, we’re lucky to see kids playing outside much less drinking from a garden hose, or better yet from the kitchen sink. Today, we come home late, stay up later and hope to fall asleep quickly in order to get up earlier and do it all over again. I’m all for working hard to get where you want in life, it’s the reason my practice is here today, and of course, because of the amazing patient like you! Possibly though, have we taken it too far? Where it’s considered ‘healthy’ to get the MINIMUM 6 hours of sleep per night, and MINIMUM 8 glasses of water per day and yet our country is in the biggest health crisis its ever seen. Call me crazy, but minimum is not enough. Quality counts when it comes to both water and sleep. The days of drinking water from hose are over, partially because children don’t play like we used to, and partially because we now know all the harmful chemicals used to ‘clean’ that water have left a lovely presence that we don’t want to ingest. Water from a plastic bottle isn’t much better I’m afraid. Sorry to tell you, but you’ll be glad to know that when you buy bottled water and the plastic has those ridges in it, that’s the manufacture’s way of ensuring the containers don’t break open through the extreme temperature changes the bottles are exposed to during transportation across the country. The other bottles that have smooth edges, ensure that the plastic is not intended to be frozen and heated up to the extremes of other bottles that likely have BPA and other harmful chemicals in them. These chemicals often mimic the estrogen hormone which has serious links to cancer.
While our water quality has changed, our sleep needs have NOT changed. Decades ago, the idea of getting less than the recommended 8 hours was less than once per month. Any more than that and you had a problem. Now, it’s a regular occurrence to function on less than 6! I’ve even read business books that encourage this craziness! Sleep fuels the brain, it’s your best defense against colds, flu, and other infections…other than the chiropractic adjustment of course. In chiropractic college we were told that sleep would be our best weapon, especially during finals when we took well over 7 tests in a week.
How can we improve? Start small. If I were to tell you to drink a MINIMUM of a gallon of water per day, would you be overwhelmed? What if I told you to start going to bed before 9:00 PM every night? Those are some big leaps not just for your schedule but for your body. When I first started to increase my water intake, I was easily drinking at least 32 oz (one Nalgene bottle) every day. I made my goal to have it gone before lunch. Some days were more successful than others. Now, I drink two before lunch and at least another in my afternoon shift. Usually before dinner a fourth is down the hatch. This took more than 6 months to accomplish. The same is true for sleep, which I still struggle with. Because my job is so active I rarely have a difficult time falling asleep once I’m in bed, but most of my patients (maybe you) struggle with this the most. I encourage these folks to turn off the stinkin’ TV! Read a book, and move! Exercise can wear you out physically, take your mind off all the stress you’re experiencing giving you a mental break, and studies show emotionally healthy people exercise on a regular basis. Oh, and go to the chiropractor!
In PEAK Health,
Dr. Peake

Health by Chance?

Earlier this year I was visiting with a patient about the misfortunes of bad health. He proceeded, in all his elderly wisdom, to inform me that “it’s all by chance.” No rhyme, reason, or understanding behind why one of his brothers gets struck by cancer, the other by heart disease and yet why he’s still here talking to me instead of lying in a hospital bed. Maybe, just maybe the fact that he’s under regular chiropractic care has just a little something to do with that? Maybe? They were all raised by the same parents, lead similar lifestyles, got married, had kids, the whole gambit and yet why dis-ease strikes one and not the other is left up to “chance.” Forgive me sir, but I just can’t help but believe otherwise. Over the past several decades heart disease and cancer have been passing the first place trophy back and forth, and quite frankly why would I do what I do if this were all up to chance? Why would I take the time to talk to a mom about the benefits of breast feeding if it didn’t matter, and help a runner get their knee back in proper position if the importance of cardiovascular health meant nothing? If it really is our genes that determine our destiny, why do identical twins have a completely different fate? Their birthdays are the same and yet their funerals can be decades apart? Genes are an expression of their environment not a death sentence.
I may beat this to the ground; but why on earth would I be found to be a “PERFECT” bone marrow match to my sister who underwent chemo and radiation therapy at the age of 21 and I, five years older was considered in great health to donate to her? All of our major genetic markers were found to be the same, and yet, she was “sick” and I was “healthy.” Truth be told, while we were raised in the same household, we were raised by different parents. Same mom and dad, different parents. By the time us two older siblings left the house, Emily was given free rein to come and go as she pleased, eat what she wanted, and go out for sports…or not. She chose the latter. By college Emily was quite the over achiever, much like her oldest sister. She was taking on more than a full class load, serving as the student body president, working a full time job where she was promoted to manager, and living the typical college lifestyle. By her junior year, she was pushing 300 pounds and continually using the drive through as her means of food due to her busy schedule. I lived a similar busy lifestyle and strove for success much like my youngest sister, however, fast food wasn’t a habit and exercise was. Not that my parents did a bad job with her, they just had an easier time handing her $10 to grab dinner than handing 3 girls (plus whoever we adopted that day) $40-$50 to grab something quick on the way home. Same genes. Different outcome.
The same questions can be asked of our reactions to different medications and treatments. We’ve all had the conversation of witnessing either ourselves or someone else on various high dose narcotics. How one person may respond to morphine the other relates more to Vicodin. If a treatment is effective for one patient and not the other, does this deem it insufficient? Perhaps such side effects should be considered and carefully evaluated. Along with the statistics of response.
I absolutely LOVE James Chestnut’s talk on gene expression. He very passionately explains that the genetics of an eye cell are exactly the same as those in the toenail. What makes the cells differ are the expression of their environment. Somehow, some way these cells know how to differentiate themselves after conception. Amazing! Yet, why one cell becomes diseased and other remain healthy, we can’t explain either. Being the science nerd that I am, I remember being so excited about the human genome project in my late years of high school and into college. We thought we were going to find all these genes that were the root cause of every disease known to man! Well, either science is lying for population control reasons or the entire theory that our genes determine our destiny is a total bust. I chuckle every time a new publication emerges about how a new cancer gene is discovered. When will we learn that it’s not our genes but our environment that determine our health? Will it take 1 in every 2 people instead of 1/3 of our population getting a devastating diagnosis of cancer? The same is true for heart disease.


There are preventable measures to be taken for such times as these. It’s damn near impossible to find pure organic food unless you own several acres of land and know how to milk a goat. However, the more we vote with what we buy at the grocery store, the more we educate ourselves and friends about the toxic effects of utilizing toxic products the better off we as a society can become. Until we decide this matters. That we are sick of being a sick culture. We will continue down this same path of death and destruction. I hope you’ll join me in the fight.

Chiro and Cardiac Health

Chiropractic is not about curing an ailment.  It’s about allowing the body to function at its optimal potential.  However, one of the first “ailments” ever known to be helped by chiropractic other than back and neck pain was blood pressure.  Just shy of a decade ago, WebMD posted an article about the effects of an atlas (the first vertebra in your spine that articulates with the skull) adjustment on this rising health care issue.

“Allowing the body to function at its optimum potential,” simply means that the body is doing what it’s supposed to do without the use of outside sources.  My favorite question to ask new patients is, “how does it make you feel knowing that your body doesn’t work correctly without…insert whatever drug, supplement, treatment, etc here?”  After they’re done being offended it usually turns into an amazing conversation.  We have been brainwashed into thinking there’s a pill for everything.  Even caffeine has us convinced we focus and perform better while under it’s stimulation.  As much as I hate to admit it, even continually seeing a chiropractor for the same thing over and over again throughout the course of a year or more is considered a failure in my office.  My goal is help patients maintain their state of wellness, not come in every two weeks for the rest of their lives for chronic headaches.  Sometimes, after trying everything from dietary changes, to Botox shots, patients come in kicking and screaming, only to leave (hopefully) with the first real relief in years.  Sometimes we adjust, and we adjust and we adjust some more, and sometimes it’s not a structural issue.  Sometimes it’s structural and diet, or muscle, or outside stress, or hormone imbalances.  And sometimes they need to see someone else.  This is why we have multiple practitioners in the office.  So we can converse, learn, and hopefully make a difference in the way the world views health.  I truly believe that an optimally functioning nervous system under regular chiropractic care is the best way to live a healthy life, and more times than not, we get great results.  When we need additional support, we have it.

What is best?

Chiropractic works by removing the nerve interference from the heart and blood vessels to the brain in order to allow the control center of the body to keep the blood flow at a normal pressure.  When these nerves cannot function, due to pressure, inflammation, lack of nutrition etc. signals cannot get to the brain to tell the heart to slow down or not pump the larger amounts of blood.  Most of the anatomy and physiology books from college report high blood pressure as “the silent killer,” however, subluxation has an even more wide spread reach in the body and goes undetected from birth on, and should more correctly be labeled as such.   The reason being, that the majority of hypertension diagnosis are idiopathic or unknown.  Chiropractors and other natural health care providers don’t consider hypertension as the problem.  Instead it’s viewed as a symptom to poor diet, lack of exercise, heart arrhythmia, etc.  The American Heart Association says to limit the amount of alcohol. Then a study comes out saying to utilize red wine for your benefit. Who do you trust?  The best way to determine what information is good versus what should be ignored is to determine who is doing the research.  I always joke that women came up with the idea that wine and dark chocolate were good for cardiovascular health.  If this is true, I can’t say for sure, but from the basics of anatomy and physiology I can’t help but just toss this concept out the window.

This is why people come into the office for headaches and give amazing testimonials about how their digestive tract now functions better.  Why children come in for their very first adjustment at less than a week old, and then never have the ear infections, allergies, colds and flu that their older siblings once faced as well.  This is why we do what we do.  Why we love serving, and striving for better.  YOU are our WHY!

love potion

Recipe of the Week: Congee

CongeeThis month Peake Wellness Center is all about detoxing the body, start the year off on a healthy note by resetting your body and ridding it of toxins from all of the holiday goodies that no one can seem to resist! While you’re detoxing, you might wonder what is good to eat that won’t throw off all of the progress you have made. Congee is a fantastic food to consume during the detoxification process.

Congees are Asian grain soups used in Oriental nutrition therapy to treat patients. Congees place very little demand on the body’s digestive system, thus you are able to absorb maximum nutrients with minimal bodily effort.  They are a popular Asian breakfast, but can be enjoyed any time of day.

 

  • 1 cup of gluten-free grain, usually organic brown rice (long grain)
    • Soak your grains in filtered water for at least 8 hours; discard water and rinse
  • 9+ cups of filtered water
  • Additional ingredients for liver detox
    • Dandelion greens, 2 cups+
    • Artichoke hearts, 9 +
    • Lemon, 1 whole cut up
    • Carrots, celery or parsnip for added flavor
  • Uncooked avocado slices and pine nuts are a nice condiment

Makes 10-15 servings

  • Add all ingredients together in crockpot
  • Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours (8 hours recommended)
  • Stir occasionally, add water if needed
  • Congee should be runny

Feel free to experiment with your ingredients; the above are specifically to support liver detoxification.

 

 

Nutrition Therapy Institute, 2013

Recipe of the Week: Hummus

Hummus

Who doesn’t love a good bowl of hummus with their vegetables and pita chips? This healthy hummus recipe calls for an extra ingredient most people probably don’t think to add – Lemon Essential Oil. Lemon oil has a couple beneficial uses for one’s digestive and respiratory system, as well as mood. Lemon, if ingested can help with seasonal respiratory discomfort, it can also cleanse the body and aid in healthy digestion. If diffused into the air it also has uplifting effects on one’s mood. Lemon oil in hummus – like the recipe below – provides one with a pleasant tangy undertone when eaten.

Intrigued? Try this recipe and let us know what you think!

Continue reading

What to Expect When You’re Detoxing

What is detoxification?

Toxins are anything that can harm our body tissues. Our bodies are constantly exposed to toxins in our    environment: toiletry/cosmetic products, air pollution, drinking/bathing water and even our food in the form of:Picture1

Pesticides, herbicides, hormones in food, chemicals from food packaging, household cleaners, detergents, food additives, heavy metals, pollution, drugs, cigarette smoke.

The body will eliminate toxins through the liver, kidneys, lungs, lymphatic system and our skin on a daily basis.  However because we are bombarded with a higher amount of    toxins than our ancestors, it is beneficial to aid our body in this process by periodically following a dietary detox plan.

A dietary detox can vary in length; in general 7-28 days is recommended.  It incorporates an increase of fiber and water to eliminate toxins by increasing bowel movements and   urination.  It also incorporates foods that provide vitamins, nutrients & antioxidants the body needs to support the detoxification process.

How do you know if you need to detox?

The cumulative load of the toxins in our body can lead to illness, hormonal imbalances, impaired immune function, nutrient deficiencies, and a sluggish metabolism.

Symptoms of a need to detox: Continue reading

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