Archive for December, 2012

champagne“Happy New Year, buds!!! Let’s drink a barrel of champagne!”

I guarantee your liver is not saying that… your liver is really saying “damn. I don’t know how much longer I can keep this up!”

It’s not like alcohol is rain that just splashes down your gutters and drains harmlessly out of your body. Your liver and kidneys and blood and brain and stomach and lymph are all involved in the acrobatics required for detoxifying alcohol, which is a poison.

Yeah, I know that studies say 1-2 drinks/day are healthy. But do you know why? Yes, red wine has some healthy phytochemicals in it because of the grapes. But the main reason a little alcohol is healthy is because it’s a poison. This concept is called hormesis.

Hormesis is a phenomenon where a little of a mildly bad thing stokes the body’s protective mechanisms so it is primed and ready to fight more of worse things (like bacteria, viruses & cancers).

Other examples of hormesis are the radiation in the sun (too much radiation is really not that great but a little is very health-promoting (with a bonus of Vitamin D)) and exercise. Yes. Exercise actually creates inflammation in the body, so a little is good, too much is not so good.

Your liver asked me to remind you that: 1) hormetic stimuli are helpful intermittently. A little of a bad thing is good, but a lot of the same bad thing is terrible. And, 2) hormesis observes no holiday.

Still, if you’re going to drink yourself silly, these tips may make it a more pleasant experience:


  1. Chlorella, a delicious algae, eaten before drinking can help prevent a hangover. This is infinitely preferable over using aspirin/tylenol, which are mega abrasive to the gut and can cause serious damage with repeated use, especially on top of lots of booze. Besides aiding in detoxification and lowering inflammation, chlorella contains tons of B vitamins. It’s important to get a chlorella with “broken cell walls” (Mercola’s is of high quality). Take  4-5 grams BEFORE drinking. A tiny little study showed this prevented 98% of hangovers in subjects. Another smaller study (done by my cousin) was 100% successful. Of course, chlorella doesn’t give your liver super powers- you can’t get away with drinking much more than you usually do- but it can make the next day less miserable.
  2. Don’t freaking drive. Just please don’t do it. Really dumb.
  3. If your friend really went overboard, keep a close eye on him/her. Besides holding back his/her hair, you can make sure s/he doesn’t choke on vomit. (Thanks, Janey!)
  4. Carb up. Starchy carby foods will absorb alcohol. I’m not suggesting you put a baked potato in your pocket before going to a party… or am I?
  5. Before you go out, prep a homemade electrolyte drink to be chugged when you get home from the party. Chew some more chlorella while you’re at it, eh?
  6. Every day, or 2x/day, for the next couple weeks after drinking too much, take a good probiotic. Alcohol is tough on your gut flora and trust me, you really don’t want to be without them.
  7. Don’t drive. Bring a contact case & your glasses and crash on the couch, or stow a sleeping bag in your car. Don’t get yourself a DUI, or eternally worse, hurt someone or yourself! Bribe a friend to be the designated driver, put phone numbers for taxi companies in your wallet in case your phone dies, plan to crash in a hotel room with a handful of friends, bribe a friend to let you sleep on their couch. Don’t drive.

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fireworks free from shutterstockThe New Year has the potential for making you feel squeaky-clean and full of potential… so why take on the burden of a new resolution you’re not going to keep anyway? Inspired by the near miss we had with end-of-days :), I’m choosing to lighten up instead.

{ As a nutritionist, I’m supposed to urge you to resolve to cut out sugar or to exercise more or to eat local produce*… those are great ideas but I’m not that kind of nutritionist. You do what you want! I’m eager to help you if that’s what you want. }

I know I’m not the only one who makes resolutions, fails at them and then feels like a putz for it… that’s why I haven’t made one for years! But I still manage to feel like a putz sometimes for other reasons…

…with those reasons in mind, this year I’m turning the concept of resolution on its head.

This year, instead of making a resolution & adding a new thing to juggle, I’m downsizing & streamlining. Letting go of old baggage. Scraping off peeled paint. This will take 3 main forms:

  1. FORGIVING. First on the list is myself for all the silly stuff I’ve done. Next comes everyone else: the kid who rode over my foot with a Big Wheel in 2nd grade; the high school boyfriend who cheated on me with his coworker, the french fry frier, at McD’s; my dog who tore the head off my Raggedy Ann doll in 8th grade; my supposed best friends in 9th grade who secretly wrote love letters from me to the class nerd who showed up at our first date excited… and alone (i still haven’t forgiven myself for being too insecure to give those friends hell when I found out)… and other much more important stuff.
  2. DUMPING. In the coming months, Goodwill & Craigslist will be seeing a lot of me. Or, maybe the creative hOUR economy folks will have organized some kind of FreeCycle program. Whomever the donor, I’m going to streamline my material possessions.
  3. SHEDDING. Dead skin cells be GONE! When I lived in Seattle I’d go to this awesome Korean spa where I laid down on a stone slab and a lady scrubbed the *&$# out of my skin with a special washcloth. It hurt a lot!! I could see the dead skin balling up and falling away (gross? sorry.)  All worth it because when she was done, I felt like a cross between Cat Woman & a newborn baby! You can do this at home with much less pain. Maybe also consider a hair cut (many salons to choose from in Staunton- I entrusted Grail @ The Shop and he did a great job!)

The material bit in #2 is easy to understand: If you’ve cleaned out your garage lately, or donated a pile of “another person’s treasure” to a charity, you know the lighter, freer feeling that this Up-cycled Resolution can give you. But the emotional & energetic aspects of #s 1 & 3 are much more beneficial. Get ready for a liberating lightness, a soaring understanding of possibility, a gasping relief, a solid knowing that everything is in its place.

staunton wall

#1, Forgiveness, is the most important. Forgiveness is something you do for yourself. The other person does not need to be involved… they may not want to be and that doesn’t need to stop you. This is much harder than it sounds, though… much more than a little note written to all your exes saying “no hard feelings, dum dum”. True forgiveness goes much deeper and requires that you look at yourself intently… and forgive yourself for what you see. It takes bravery but, like the stone slab at the Korean spa, it’s enormously worth it.

Though I’m far from a guru and have lots to unlearn, I have some suggestions for achieving #1 in a painless way. The tricks I have up my sleeve have worked really well for me. And, of course, the mind and heart communicate better when good nutrition is on board… if you want help, I’d love to be there for you and tell you more!

The biggest advantage of the lightness gained from doing all this downsizing & streamlining is agility. A person made lighter from forgiveness and material/energetic purging is better able to respond to the world with compassion (instead of reacting for protection) and be more fully a part of it. A lot of people try to sell you new tricks and new information in order to be a better person… but I know that we’re all amazing people- it’s just that some peoples’ amazingness is buried deep underneath painful stuff. The key is not to get more info/skills/resolutions. The key is to get to the basics of who we are… and that begins with forgiveness.

Happy New Year!!!!!

*If you do want to eat more local produce, that’s easy @ Nu-Beginning Farm’s retail store!

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ImageDiscover your risk of certain diseases, sensitivity to drugs and ancestry by spitting in a tube and paying only $99 (price is down from $300)! This is your way around conventional medicine’s typical strategy of “eh, let’s just see what happens.” 

Each person is 100% unique. We all have 46 chromosomes (23 from each parent). Each chromosome is full of our genes. Sometimes wires get crossed and a genetic flaw results. Other times that genetic flaw that may increase health risk in one area decreases it in another. Either way it is what it is.

But, your genes are NOT the end of the story. You’re dealt specific cards, but they all needn’t be played. A new field of genetics, called Epigenetics, demonstrates that the environment has a profound effect on whether or not a certain gene will be expressed. For example, someone may have a gene that codes for a terrible disease. But that disease will only manifest if it is triggered by the environment. Environmental triggers include food, cigarette smoke, pollution, chemicals, radiation and (perhaps most powerful) emotions/thoughts.

The results are guaranteed to be interesting, but you may need help figuring out how to actually use them. BuzzNutrition can do that! Bring your test results in and I’ll help you translate them + create a nutrition-focused strategy for managing your genetic nuances.

 (PS. I am not affiliated with this lab- just fascinated by the possibilities for prevention & very excited to help you benefit!)

Here’s what you learn from the test:

Learn about your Personal Disease Risk

  • You may or may not want to know your disease risk… that’s a personal choice. But, if you choose to know, you may get some news that butt-kicks you into making those lifestyle changes that you’ve been considering.
  • Some diseases that are in the report: Cystic Fibrosis, Hemochromatosis, Macular Degeneration, Asthma, Alzheimer’s, Bipolar, Celiac, Various Cancers, Crohn’s, Hashimoto’s, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Schizophrenia and Diabetes
  • You can also learn a great deal about your methylation pathway. This is the biochemical cascade that’s responsible for detoxification and energy production. (Flaws in the MTHFR gene are a common & are implicated in heart disease, depression and miscarriage.)  Many flaws in this pathway are easily compensated using the right form of B vitamins. The medical field isn’t focusing on this, perhaps because Big Pharma can’t make money on a B vitamin. This is where BuzzNutrition can offer a great deal of help!
  • Full list available here.

Learn about your Sensitivity to Drugs

  • Are you okay with being a guinea pig, or are you interested in knowing ahead of time how your body will react?
  • The 23andme test helps you understand ahead of time how you react to certain drugs. This allows you to adjust your dose up or down to get the best result. 
  • Some of the drugs you’ll learn about: alcohol, antidepressants, caffeine, metformin, naltrexone, birth control pills, statins, warfarin.
  • Full list available here.

Learn about your Ancestry

  • What % of your DNA is from Neanderthals??!?!!?!
  • “Venture back 10,000 years, and discover your unique history from over 750 maternal lineages and over 500 paternal lineages.”
  • “Find out if you share an ancestor with famous figures such as Marie Antoinette and Thomas Jefferson.”
  • You may even be able to locate a few long-lost 2nd cousins!

Click here to get the test! When your results come back (takes 2-3 weeks), call for an appointment with me and we’ll translate your genetic nuances into action-items to prevent disease and create more vibrant health! It’ll be fun!

 *You might consider using a fake name when you send in the test. Genes don’t change so an insurance company might could use the results against you… can’t ever be too private these days.

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ImageIf you’re trying to avoid gluten but also want to go to a holiday party, you might feel stuck. In order to avoid feeling left out, bring your own gluten-free deliciousness!

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Holidays can either be a time of total hedonistic abandon (the world’s ending tomorrow anyway, right?) or an opportunity to appreciate the holidays for what they really are: a time to spend time with loved ones and appreciate all the beauty out there.

While food is under the umbrella of “all the beauty out there”, bloating and gas and indigestion is less than gorgeous.

Here are some tips to avoid feeling uncomfortable (and heavier) after the holiday frenzy has passed.

I wish you a happy holiday!  :)Anne

  1. Start now with probiotics. These little guys work non-stop to help you in many ways, one being keep digestions working normally.
  2. Keep it simple. Some stomachs get overwhelmed when asked to digest lots of new & different foods at once. The most common food combo that people have trouble with is fruit + meat. So if you’re having fruit, eat it first and wait about 30-45 minutes before eating the the meat… or skip the fruit. Just be sure to eat some green veggies! And skip fruit-based desserts.
  3. Put fennel seeds in your pocket before going to a party- chew on them after your meal and they’ll help settle your stomach. You might recall seeing a bowl of fennel seeds and other herbs at the entrance of an Indian restaurant… that’s why!
  4. Alternatively, come prepared with digestive enzymes and hydrochloric acid (HCl) supplements… swallow with first bites of food. Save the HCl for your first bite of meat.
  5. Hydrate well during the day between meals and don’t drink too much while you eat. The liquid will dilute the digestive juices in your belly and make food sit there longer. Of course, this nutritionist did not just fall off a turnip truck- other holiday wine/brew is going to go down your gullet… it is the holidays after all!
  6. Keep your hands full. Carry a camera or a hand clutch (fancy-dancy purse). The more you have in your hands, the less you’ll be able to grab and put in your mouth.
  7. Try to skip foods with gluten/wheat. I know, you’re wondering what foods DON’T have gluten/wheat! Meat, veggies, sweet potatoes, fruit, nuts, seeds. Lots of good things.*
  8. Share the gluten-free love: Bake your own dessert and bring it to the party. That way you’ll be able to enjoy some cookies/brownies PLUS you can introduce the deliciousness to your friends/family… and you won’t feel left out. Find some recipes here!

*Why avoid gluten/wheat? It’s inflammatory, spikes blood sugar and can kickstart the immune system, which can cause damage… plus the wheat we eat is only 50 years old!… our bodies don’t know what to do with it. Tune into a live webcast all about gluten on 1/9 to learn more!

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