Candice Csaky, INHHC

The Truth About Fermented Foods and Candidiasis


One of the most persistent concepts surrounding fermented foods is that somehow they are related to mold. In fact, this old school way concept used to be taught in holistic nutrition schools! And it proves the old expression “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing”  but nothing could be further from the truth.

As people continue to joke that fermented foods are “rotting foods”, it is clear that some science education may help clarify the matter.

But first let’s discuss what Candidiasis is for those who do not know. We have naturally occurring yeast in our intestinal system along with beneficial bacteria (good) and pathogenic bacteria (bad). They all live as one big happy family as long as the good bacteria is in charge.  Most of the yeast strains are harmless and some are even beneficial. One of them, though, candida albicans, is particularly nasty and worse, it is adaptable.

When the balance with good bacteria is disrupted, especially by antibiotics, the yeast has an opportunity to grow. Candida albicans are tricky because they can feed certain strains of bad bacteria, which they like to do after a course of antibiotics, to give the bad guys a helping hand to regain their numbers.  But they do not help the very beneficial lactobacillus family of good bacteria. Why? Because the lactobacillus family can inhibit them and are a key factor at keeping the candida numbers low.

The other insidious thing about candidia albicans is that it can morph, like a shape shifter, into a fungal form and this is when it causes us a lot of symptoms both in the intestines and throughout the body.

This is the subject of a lot of current research. Many MDs will tell you candidiasis does not exist yet this fungal form is known to be prevalent in several conditions such as yeast infections, sepsis and recently it was found in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients.

Food sensitivities, headaches, joint pain, brain fog, immune and fungal problems are just a few of the possible issues that are not recognized as connected but do go away when the candida albicans are brought down to normal levels.

This brings us back to fermented foods. Because people assume that fermented foods have something to do with mold or fungus, people are told to not consume them on a Candidiasis protocol. The truth is many fermented foods are extremely beneficial for helping the body get rid of excess yeast and more importantly, mold and fungus are not part of the picture.

The beneficial bacteria found in fermented foods are anaerobic, meaning they live without oxygen. Bad bacteria, mold and yeast need oxygen to thrive. Most fermented food techniques seal out the oxygen allowing carbon dioxide to be produced by a specific strain of good bacteria. This creates a vacuum inside the container while the good bacteria strains develop over time. Bad bacteria, yeast and mold cannot grow in a vacuum. Hence, no mold or unwanted bacteria present.

Some might mention kefir, kombucha and sourdough as examples of yeast and good bacteria thriving synergistically together. Surely, these foods must not be good for those with Candidiasis. The truth is, the yeast strains in these foods are unique to them and are not the yeast strains present in us. They certainly are not candida albicans – these do not exist in foods. More importantly, these yeast strains can help feed the good bacteria that is native to us, which is out of balance and this imbalance is the cause of the Candidiasis in the first place. So foods that may help the balance be restored are essential.

Milk Kefir, in particular, is helpful at inhibiting candida albicans. One study found that the kefir added to a sugar broth – that is right, I said sugar broth inhibited bad microbes. Candida albicans were added along with several strains of bad bacteria such as salmonella and e. coli and the kefir inhibited all of them.

Studies of kombucha and sourdough show that they do not aid the growth of Candida, but they also do not inhibit the way kefir does.

Sauerkraut is another fermented food that research has found to inhibit candida alibicans. There may be more but the research needs to be done. What is known is that they are all antimicrobial to some degree and are not connected to mold. More importantly, they can help support the health of the gut plus they all have major benefits for other aspects of our health.

This is not to say that fermented foods are a simple solution for Candidiasis. The truth is that without ingesting antimicrobials and antifungals such as oil of oregano or caprylic acid (found in coconut oil), it will be difficult to get the good bacteria back into the power position. It also takes time for the body to heal and restore the balance of the good bacteria.

There are individuals whose intestines are so messed up, that they react to many foods, including fermented ones. These individuals need to start with probiotics and anti-microbials supplements to give the intestines a jump start to better digestion.

There is only one way to know. Try the fermented foods and see how they make you feel. Eventually, as you know more about these amazing foods, not only will you want them in your diet consistently, you may even want to learn the simple techniques to make your own so they taste just how you like them. Just be assured, you are not ingesting mold or bad bacteria.

 
Think you might have a Candida overgrowth?  Sign up here for our free Candida Questionnaire!

Fermented Green Smoothie Recipe

green smoothie
Prep Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

1 cup raw spinach

1 tbsp hemp seeds

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 tbsp ground flax seed

1/2 crushed ice or 1/2 cup cold water (to adjust consistency)

1/2 cup sauerkraut

1 tsp arame

1/2 tsp schizandra powder

Juice of 1 orange

2 tsp raw honey 

 
Directions
 

Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. 

 
Notes
 
Ingredients can be adjusted to taste.

References

Antimicrobial activity of broth fermented with kefir grains., Silva KR1, Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2009 Feb;152(2):316-25

Current trends in Candida albicans research. Datta A1, Ganesan K, Natarajan K., Adv Microb Physiol. 1989;30:53-88.

Fermented Sauerkraut Juice as an antomicrobil agent + invitro studyPundir Ram Kumar et al, Int. Res, J. Pharm 203, 4(12)

Candida albicans and Bacterial Microbiota Interactions in the Cecum during Recolonization following Broad-Spectrum Antibiotic Therapy Katie L. Mason et al, Infect Immun. 2012 Oct; 80(10): 3371–3380.

Candice Csaky, INHHC

Unexplained Weight Gain? Discover Why Calories In, Calories Out is So Old School


You are positive that you're not eating more food or “junkier” food but you're still gaining weight. 

Is this possible? 

Yes!  And You are NOT crazy! 

Here's why. 

We both know that the whole “calories in, calories out” argument is an overly simplistic, antiquated view of weight. 

There's definitely more to the story than just what you're eating, right? 

A lot of this comes right down to your metabolic rate which is affected by things like your activity level, history of dieting, body composition, and even what you eat. 

But, let's go beyond the “eat less and exercise more” advice and dive into some of the less obvious underlying reasons why you may be gaining weight even though you're eating the same. 

Things like:

●     Aging;
●     Hormones;
●     Sleep;
●     Stress. 

Aging 

Funny things happen the older we get.  People commonly experience lower energy levels, more digestive discomfort, weight gain, as well as aches and pains. 

Aging can result in hormonal changes for both men and women.  And these can contribute to loss of some lean muscle mass, as well as increases and changes in fat storage on our bodies. 

The good thing is that, this is very common and not your fault one bit. 

Hormones 

Your thyroid is the master controller of your metabolism and can be a massive contributor to your weight gain.  There are several things that can affect it and throw it off course. 

When your thyroid gets off course and produces fewer hormones your metabolism slows down.  And when your metabolism slows down you can gain weight.  Even though you're eating the same way you always have. 

Pro Tip: Getting your hormones and cortisol levels tested to take a deeper look at what may be causing your health challenges may be a good idea. We are currently offering this testing to our clients when indicated.  To find out more, book your complimentary session here.  You can also dive in, like many other people in our community have, and take the 7 day Healthy Hormone Challenge. You can sign up and grab your free download here >>> 7 day Healthy Hormone Challenge. Talk with your doctor about having your hormones tested.  Oh, and try the thyroid-friendly recipe that I created for you at the end of this post. 

Sleep 

There is plenty of research that shows the influence that sleep has on your metabolic rate.   

And as we age it can become harder and harder to get a good night's sleep. 

The general consensus is to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night to help avoid weight gain. 

It's true!  Lack of sleep is linked with weight gain. 

Who ever thought you can sleep off your weight? 

Pro Tip: Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night.  The first place to start is by implementing a calming before bedtime routine. 

Stress 

It seems to be everywhere!  So many things that can cause stress responses in your body. 

What you might not know is that stress hormones are not going to help you sustain healthy habits or maintain a healthy weight, right? 

While you can't necessarily change your stressors you can try to adjust your stress response to them. 

Pro Tip:  Try meditation or yoga.  Or even mindful eating.  What about those new adult colouring books that are all the rage now? 

Conclusion: 

There are lots of factors that can affect your weight, even if you're eating the same way you always have.  Aging, hormones, stress, and sleep are all interconnected to each other and can all contribute to weight gain, even if you're eating the same way you always have. 

Recipe (Thyroid friendly iodine): Seaweed Sushi Bowl

 Serves 2

avocado sushi bowl_copy


1 cup cooked brown rice
1 avocado (thinly sliced)
½ cucumber (diced)
½ red pepper (thinly sliced)
1 green onion (chopped)
2 tablespoons dried seaweed (arame, wakame, or crumbled nori sheets)
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons gluten-free tamari sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon sesame oil
½ garlic clove
dash salt and pepper
 
Split the first seven ingredients into two bowls. 

Mix the rest of the ingredients together to make the dressing. 

Pour the dressing over the sushi bowls. 

Serve & Enjoy! 

Tip:  This is a great lunch to take on the go.  Keep dressing in a separate container so you can give it a shake before adding it onto the sushi bowl. 

References: 

https://authoritynutrition.com/lose-weight-in-menopause/ 

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/sleep-stress-and-fat-loss

Candice Csaky, INHHC

5 Reasons You Bloat More After Age 45


Bloating is generally the result of not being able to properly digest foods.  These not-so-digested foods feel like they're just sitting around causing discomfort and a general feeling of being stuffed and “gassy”.


It can happen at any age but if it seems to be more frequent as you're getting older it can very well be because of your stomach's reduced ability to produce enough acid for proper digestion. 


Normally, when we eat food, cells in our stomach release more acid which is important for so many digestive processes like breaking down foods and activating enzymes.  As we age this process can become less efficient and the result can feel like it's wreaking havoc on the rest of the digestive system.


Unfortunately, this can have wide-ranging effects on all of our digestion abilities “downstream” and that can result in bloating.


Bloating Reason #1:


Sometimes our bodies are (or become more as we age) sensitive to the fiber in certain fruits or veggies.  This can also occur when we introduce new ones into our diet as it may take a while for our body to get used to them.

 
Pro Tip:  Try chewing your vegetables more thoroughly, or lightly cooking or steaming raw ones.  If a fruit or veggie seems to be consistently related to bloating try eliminating it for a few weeks and monitor your symptoms.

 
Bloating Reason #2:

 
Decreased stomach acid can reduce the activation of a key protein-digesting enzyme “pepsin”.  This means that the proteins you eat aren't broken down as much and they can pass through your system somewhat “undigested”.

 
Pro Tip:  You may consider reducing the amount of animal-based foods you eat and see if that helps you out.  

 
Bloating Reason #3:

 
One thing that can seriously cause bloating is when your digestive system slows down.  Then things seem to be a bit stagnant, just hanging around in there a bit (a lot?) longer than you'd like.


Ginger has been found to help with digestion and reduce nausea for certain people.  And peppermint is thought to help your digestive muscles keep pushing food through, so it doesn't stay in one spot for too long.


Pro Tip:  Consider drinking a digestive tea like peppermint or ginger.  See my recipe below.


Bloating Reason #4:


All this lack of digesting in your stomach and small intestine puts extra stress on the large intestine.  The large intestine is the home of all of your wonderful gut microbes that have SO many functions in the body.  The problem is when undigested food enters the large intestine it can feed the not-so-great microbes.  These “unfriendly” bacteria produce waste material and gas as a part of their natural metabolism.  The more of these microbes you have in your system (they will multiply if they are constantly being fed by undigested food in the large intestine) the more gas that will be produced in the large intestine.


Pro Tip:  Try eating more fermented foods.  Fermented foods contain probiotics which will feed the good bacteria and microbes in your system to keep the bad guys at bay  This includes things like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi (as long as these don't cause bloating for you!).  Make sure they're unpasteurized and contain live cultures.  If you cannot tolerate dairy based yogurt and kefir dairy free options are available or you could make your own dairy free versions.

 
You can also consider taking a probiotic supplement. Just check the label first to make sure it's right for you. 



Bloating Reason #5:


With reduced stomach acid you also have a reduction of the “activation” of several of your digestive enzymes (protein-digesting pepsin being one of them).  In order for certain enzymes to go to work digesting your food they need to be activated.  This usually happens with the assistance of stomach acid.


Pro Tip:  You may consider trying an enzyme supplement to assist your body in digesting food while you work on reestablishing your own production of stomach acid (a healthy diet and lifestyle can do this!).  But before you do make sure you read the labels because some of them interact with other supplements, medications, or conditions, and may not be safe for long-term use.


Conclusion:
 

You can try the “pro tips” I've given you in this post or you can download our FREE Gut Rebuilding Plans for lots of free recipes to support the gut, from fermented foods to nourishing gut balancing foods, we've got you covered on our 3 day meal plan.  For our Omnivores, you can download your FREE Omnivore Gut Rebuilding Plan here.  For our Vegans, you can download your FREE Vegan Gut Rebuilding Plan here.

Maybe you'd prefer working with me in private one-on-one sessions where we can actually order health testing for food sensitivities, gut permeability and inflammation to find out what exactly is the cause of your digestive challenges.  If this is the case, I would recommend requesting an appointment here so that we can develop individualized protocols based on your own results, your goals and your own bioindividuality. If bloating is a serious problem, as an Integrative Holistic Nutrition Coach, I can help you.


Recipe (Tummy Soothing Tea): Ginger Tea
 
set-ceramic-teapot-cup-ginger-tea-86520527

Serves 1


Fresh ginger root (about 2”)

Hot water

Lemon slices (optional)

Honey (optional)

 

Pour the water into a saucepan and heat it on the stove.


Grate the ginger root into the saucepan.  Let it come to a boil, and then simmer for 3-5 minutes.


Strain the tea into a cup with a fine mesh strainer and add lemon and/or honey as desired.


Serve & Enjoy!


Tip:  If you don't want to use a grater and strainer then you can peel the ginger and thinly slice it into your cup before adding boiling water.  The pieces should be big enough that they will sink to the bottom.

 
References:

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-menopause

https://authoritynutrition.com/11-proven-ways-to-reduce-bloating/

http://www.dietvsdisease.org/how-to-get-rid-of-bloating/

http://summertomato.com/too-many-vegetables-how-to-prevent-gas-and-digestive-problems-caused-by-healthy-eating

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/elimination-diet

https://nccih.nih.gov/health/peppermintoil

https://nccih.nih.gov/health/ginger

Candice Csaky, INHHC

Should You Do A Detox?


Detoxes are very popular right now. Most involve drinking a series of juices and while you may temporarily feel better, it is very important to understand that you may not have accomplished as much as you think you have.

It is important to understand what the goal of detoxing is supposed to be. The idea is that by severely reducing your food intake and existing on raw juices, the energy that is not being used for digestion, can be used to remove toxins a person may have been storing in their fat cells.

The nutrients in the juices may also support the detoxification processes of the liver.

However, there is a flaw in this scenario. Juice does not contain fiber, which is essential for toxins that have been prepared, by the liver, to actually leave the body. No fiber, toxins do not leave.

Good gut health is also essential for successful detoxification. Before anyone undertakes a liver cleanse of any kind, they should be sure their gut is in a state to handle the toxins that will be coming its way, on their way out of the body. Even toxins that leave via the urinary system must travel through the small intestines on their way to the kidneys.

If there are not sufficient good bacteria, the toxins that are bound to a liver conjugate can detach and go back into the body. They will just head back to the liver but this just puts more pressure on the liver, which is already overworked, or you would not have so many stored toxins in the first place.

In a perfect world, your liver would remove all toxins and any excess hormones immediately. If we feed our liver correctly, it will have all the nutrients and energy to do the work daily.

The following are some key liver foods you should consume frequently to keep your liver happy:

Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage or kale, Calcium d’glurcurate foods such as apples and grapefruit, bitter foods like dandelion or collard greens, sulfur-rich foods such as garlic and onions, and high antioxidant foods like berries, carrots, tomatoes, asparagus and other fruits and vegetables. Jerusalem artichokes are extremely good for the liver. Milk thistle tea is also very beneficial.

Another easy way to help you detox is to do what is known as daily detox. This requires that you do not eat anything for 14 hours between your last meal in the evening and your first one in the morning. Again, liver foods are needed to be consumed daily in order to support the detox function during the night.

A safe detox option is the 7-Day Hormone Reboot Challenge. It is designed with a combination of fiber-filled raw foods, gut health foods and some cooked foods to keep you grounded and satisfied for the first fours days, then three days of healthy eating. This is a very responsible way to do a detox. Food amounts are not limited in order to make sure participants are not to hungry. Detox reactions may occur but they should not be too severe unless you are really toxic and you have been eating virtually no liver foods.

Give it a try – by supporting your liver with this challenge, you will feel better and it gives you foods that are good for all hormones so it will be a great start to re-balancing your system.


You can download our free 7-Day Hormone Reboot Challenge here.
 

Candice Csaky, INHHC

Menopausal Women: Do This Before You Take the Meds Your Doctor Prescribed

Of course, listen to what your doctor says.


And also listen to what your body says.


We both know that what you eat and how you move can make a HUGE improvement in some of the symptoms of menopause.  Not to mention how common it is for ladies to gain weight at this time of life. (Ugh!)


And as we both know eating better and moving more can help you stave off other issues like heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis.


What do I specifically recommend to help you “eat better and move more”?


Seven things.  Here goes:


First - Hydrate:


Drink more water.  

 
The general consensus is to drink 8-10 glasses per day.  And, if you don't feel you need that much you definitely need to at least drink enough throughout the day so that you're not thirsty.


I know that's easy to say but really it's also easy to do.


Try having a full glass first thing in the morning before you eat or drink anything.


Don't like plain water?  Add in some berries or chopped frozen fruit.


Prefer tea?  Steep some sliced lemon and/or ginger or your favourite caffeine-free herbal teabag.  This counts toward hydration as well.


You can also keep a large bottle or mug beside you all day wherever you work so it's always easy to grab and have sips throughout the day to make sure you're not getting thirsty.

 
Second - Bump up your intake of whole plant foods:

 
Things like (yes, you guessed it) vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts and seeds.  We're going for quantity here.  Try to include them in every meal and even most (if not all) of your snacks.

 
Want another reason to eat more plants?


Plant-based diets are associated with fewer hot flashes.  Bonus!


Plus, my recipe below is your “no excuse” solution to getting more veggies wherever you go.


Third - Don't forget high-quality protein:

 
While you're chomping your plant foods don't forget to include some good quality protein (and healthy fats) from eggs, fish, meat, nuts and seeds (and their butters). 


With animal foods we're aiming for quality so try to get organic, wild, and/or pasture-raised if you can.

 
Fourth - Some things you want to cut back on:


Reducing and/or eliminating alcohol, caffeine and processed foods can have a tremendous impact on balancing your hormones naturally without the help of pharmaceutical medications.

 
With those increases in hydration, whole plant foods, and quality protein, you simply won't have as much room for alcohol, caffeine, and processed foods with added salt and sugar. 


You already know that's good news, right?

 
Fifth – Move:


If you don't do this already try to move up to 5 hours per week.  You can gradually increase that over time, and believe me, you will thank yourself!


To do this, include things like walking (especially outdoors in the sun, if possible), or even some weight-training. 


You've heard the saying that the best exercise is the one you'll actually do?

 
Well, go ahead and do it. :)

 
Sixth - Get enough sleep:


I'm talking 7-9 hours per night.  Seriously!

 
Sometimes menopause can bring on (or ramp up) sleep problems.

 
The most important thing to do is set a daily routine where you're relaxing with no screen-time (computers, tablet, phone, tv) a couple hours before your bedtime.  Electronic devices emit strong blue light which can prevent the release of melatonin, your sleep hormone.  Try reading a book or having a bath.  It's also important to have dim lights in your surroundings to reduce your exposure to blue light before bed.  Regular indoor lighting is usually blue light.  Ideally you would use amber or red lights, or even be ultra-stylin' with blue-blocker sunglasses.


Seventh - Find great stress relieving activities:

 
Do whatever works for you.  Just make sure you do it regularly as a preventative measure to avoid accumulated stress.


Have you tried meditating, deep breathing, or having a warm bath?  What about the newest craze of colouring?


Bonus points for using exercise as a form of stress relief.


Conclusion:

 
You now have an arsenal of great ideas to stave off those menopause symptoms naturally.  

 
Now go ahead and make two of these mason jar salads to eliminate any excuse of not being able to get fresh veggies when you're out and about.

 
Recipe (Veggie): Mason Jar Salad

mason jar salad


 
Serves 2

 
3 tablespoons almond butter

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice

1 tablespoon maple syrup

2 teaspoons sesame oil

½ granny smith apple (diced)

4 radishes (sliced)

2 celery stalks (diced)

4 tablespoons of your favourite nuts or seeds (walnuts, slivered almonds, pumpkin seeds, etc.)

4-6 cups of your favourite greens (spinach, kale, mixed greens, etc.)

 
Add first four ingredients to a small bowl & whisk until smooth.

 
Add apple to dressing (so it's covered and won't brown) and divide between two mason jars.

 
Layer the radishes, celery, nuts/seeds, and greens on top and seal.

 
When ready to eat shake up the jar, open and enjoy or pour it into a large bowl to mix more thoroughly.

 
Tip:  Wide-mouth jars work best for this ah-mazing way to bring veggies with you wherever you go!

 
References:

 
http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-menopause

 
https://authoritynutrition.com/11-natural-menopause-tips/

 
https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/menopause-time-change/what-can-you-do-hot-flashes-and-other-menopausal-symptoms

Candice Csaky, INHHC

3 Supplements You Should be Taking if You're Over 45 Years Old


While I always say that it's better to get your nutrients from food first, sometimes supplements are a necessary part of a healthy diet. With factory farming and huge deficiencies in nutrients and minerals in our current food supply, getting the right supplements in is key. 
 

Unfortunately there are just some all-too-common nutrients that we simply don't get enough of.  And they're absolutely critical to optimal health and wellness.  Especially as we age.
 

Here I sifted through the supplements that are available on the market and boiled them down to three that can have the best effect for us.

 

Supplement #1: Vitamin D

 
If you live in North America or the UK or even much of Europe, chances are you are low in vitamin D.  It's the “sunshine vitamin” and we just aren't able to hang out in shorts every day of the year.  Even if we did, we'd wisely use a bit of sun protection too. I've linked my favourite one for you here. 

 
Vitamin D is very important for everyone but especially women over 45.  Want to know why?
 

It helps to protect our bones!

 
Vitamin D helps our body absorb and keep the calcium we get from our food and drinks.  And we all know that calcium is one of the main things our bones are made of.


Want to know something funny about vitamin D (but it's true, I swear)?


People who get enough vitamin D tend to fall less frequently.  Especially as we get older.

 
Seriously!


Vitamin D can help your bones stay strong and help you fall less.  Win-win!  My number one favourite supplement and recommendation for my clients for their Vitamin D source is CytoActives by Isagenix. CytoActives contains 4,000IU of Vitamin D and most (if not all of my new clients when they first come to see me), are deficient in this important nutrient!


This particular supplement also contains an age-defying formula of CoQ10, Vitamin D3, and resveratrol that promotes heart, brain, kidney, liver and muscle health.* CytoActives uses technology making their CoQ10 800% more absorbable than dry powder. Isagenix lipid-solubilized stable CoQ10 had a 12-fold increase in bioavailability.* 


Supplement #2 - Magnesium

 
Magnesium is an essential mineral needed for over 300 reactions in your body.

 
Yes, 300!

 
As with vitamin D it's very common for us to simply not get enough.  Not even the 320 mg per day that's recommended.

 
Low levels of magnesium have been linked to high blood pressure, diabetes, low bone density, heart disease and even migraines.

 
Magnesium is found in so many healthy whole foods like beans, nuts, seeds and green leafy vegetables.  In fact, the magnesium element is central to a plant's chlorophyll – it's actually what causes green plants to be green!  And most of us just don't get enough green plants into our bodies on a regular basis.  (You know I have a recipe with green leafies for you below, right?).

 
Magnesium is a very common supplement and is often added to multivitamins.

 
Supplement # 3 - Omega-3s

 
We've all heard that we need to get more omega-3 essential fatty acids, right?  They're good for our hearts, brains, and help to reduce inflammation.

 
These are all good things when it comes to our health and wellness.

 
But not all of us are ready, willing, and able to eat fish three times per week.

 
While fish oil supplements contain the “brain healthy” fats called EPA and DHA, those two are not technically the “essential” fats.  The plant omega-3 known as ALA is essential and that is because our bodies can convert ALA into EPA and DHA when necessary.


Omega-3 supplements can be found in forms of flax oil, algae oil, fish oil, or even fish liver oil. Our number one recommendation for a good, cleane and pure fish oil that has been extensively tested for purity and potency is the Isagenix, IsaOmega Fish Oil Supplement. Each batch is third-party tested to ensure it's free of heavy metals, PCBs, and dioxin. Isagenix fish oil is sourced from the deep unpolluted waters in Norway and goes through a molecular distillation process that creates one of the most concentrated oils available.  I've personally used and recommended this oil to my clients for years.   There is absolutely NO yucky after taste with this and the results are noticeable.


Pro Tip:  Fish liver oil (e.g. cod liver oil) also contains vitamin D so check your labels and add the amounts together to know how much vitamin D you're actually getting.


Conclusion:


Three supplements to consider now that you're 45 are: vitamin D, magnesium, and omega-3s.

 
Always read the supplement labels to see if there are warnings that would make them inappropriate for you.  And, of course if you have any medical conditions or take medications or other supplements it's always a good idea to speak with your doctor before starting anything new. 


Recipe (Vitamin D, Magnesium & Omega-3s): Salmon Quinoa Buddha Bowl

quinoa



Serves 2


4 cups baby spinach

1 cup quinoa (cooked)

1 can wild salmon

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

½ red onion (diced) (optional)

2 tablespoons sesame oil

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

dash salt and pepper

 
Split spinach, quinoa, wild salmon, sesame seeds, and onion (if using) between two bowls.

 
Mix sesame oil, rice vinegar, and lemon juice together and pour on top of prepared Buddha bowls.

 
Add salt and pepper to taste.


Serve & Enjoy!

 
Tip:  When looking for canned salmon try to get the ones with the most vitamin D and make sure cans are BPA-free.  Good quality canned fish is usually in the “natural foods” section of many large groceries.


* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


References:
 

https://authoritynutrition.com/11-natural-menopause-tips/

 
https://examine.com/supplements/Vitamin+D/

 
https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-Consumer/

 
https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Omega3FattyAcids-HealthProfessional/

Candice Csaky, INHHC

Lost Your Sex Drive?

Libido is such an interesting (and complex) experience.  Because of this it can be affected by so many things.  And we're not just talking about the obvious sex hormone testosterone here.

 

Although testosterone levels can have a big (yes BIG) effect on sex drive there are a lot of subtle things that can be going on too. 

 

In this post we'll dive into a bunch of key diet and lifestyle factors that have been shown to increase testosterone and libido.

 

Body fat:

 

Did you know that low testosterone is linked with high body fat?

 

Particularly visceral fat which is associated with a large waist circumference.  You see, with more fat there is more of an enzyme called “aromatase” that converts testosterone to estrogen.  And what you want is to keep that testosterone not convert it.

 

Losing excessive weight and keeping it off has so many health benefits including increased libido!

 

Diet:

 

Certain nutrient deficiencies can contribute to low testosterone.  Not only zinc and vitamin D but if you're not eating enough protein and healthy fats that can also have a negative impact too.

 

Not to mention eating way too few or way too many calories.  These aren't going to help you in the bedroom department either. 

 

So make sure you're eating enough food to sustain your resting metabolic rate (RMR) and that you're getting enough protein and healthy fats; not to mention the essential vitamins and minerals too.

 

Exercise:

 

Did you know that men can experience increased blood levels of testosterone after a bout of intense exercise? 

 

For some reason this doesn't seem to be the case after endurance exercise and endurance exercise may actually reduce the levels of circulating testosterone.  Nor do women seem to have this increased testosterone after a workout.

 

For a temporary boost men can try some weight lifting or a HIIT workout.

 

Sleep:

 

Sleep is critical for just about everything our bodies do.

 

If you're not getting 7-9 hours each night you're going to want to prioritize that for your health (and sex drive).  Try it.  You just may thank me.

 

Stress:

 

No one can deny that your moods can affect your sex drive, right? 

 

Too much stress, sadness, and worry can take over your mind and push that drive to reproduce right to the backburner.  So you want to try to minimize that stress hormone cortisol.

 

How about some tips?  Make time to do things you love, workout, spend quality time with your family and friends, meditate, relax with a great book, or take a long bath.  And don't forget to laugh.

 

Consider maca:

 

Have you heard of the Peruvian herb called “maca” (Lepidium meyenii)?

 

It's a plant in the cruciferous family (think: broccoli) and its root has been traditionally used as an aphrodisiac.  It's usually ground into a powder and dried.

 

Believe it or not there are a few studies that actually show an increased libido for those who supplement with it.  Scientists don't know exactly how it works, but it seems to work for both men and women and it doesn't seem to impact your hormones (not even testosterone). 

 

Maca is an antioxidant and seems to be protective of mens' prostate.  New research suggests it may also be helpful for our brains and bones.

 

It has a bit of a “dirt” flavour so most recipes don't call for the same amounts as in the supplement.  But trust me, you'll love the recipe below and if you're considering supplementing you should know:

 

●     Maca (as do many supplements) interacts with some medications so be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking maca supplements.

●     Because it can affect your moods you should be very careful taking maca if you have anxiety or depression.

●     It's not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

 

Recipe (libido-enhancing): Maca Hot Chocolate

 

Serves 2

 

2 cups almond milk

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 tablespoon unsweetened cacao powder

1 teaspoon maca powder

½ teaspoon turmeric (optional)

1 tablespoon maple syrup

4 dashes cinnamon

1 dash sea salt

1 dash cayenne pepper (optional)

 

Heat almond milk and coconut oil in a saucepan.

 

Add all ingredients to blender and blend until frothy.

 

Serve and enjoy a cup with your significant other!

 

Tip:  Adding cayenne pepper is a traditional South American way to add a bit of spice to chocolatey foods and drinks. 

 

References:

 

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/doctor-detective-low-libido

 

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-testosterone

 

https://authoritynutrition.com/8-ways-to-boost-testosterone/

 

https://examine.com/supplements/Maca/

 

http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/monoReq.do?id=1903&lang=eng

 

Candice Csaky, INHHC

Hey Men, Lost Your Sex Drive? This Could Be Why


Libido is such an interesting (and complex) experience.  Because of this it can be affected by so many things.  And we're not just talking about the obvious sex hormone, testosterone here.
 

Although testosterone levels can have a big (yes BIG) effect on sex drive there are a lot of subtle things that can be going on too.  
 

In this post we'll dive into a bunch of key diet and lifestyle factors that have been shown to increase testosterone and libido.
 

Body fat:
 

Did you know that low testosterone is linked with high body fat?
 

Particularly visceral fat which is associated with a large waist circumference.  You see, with more fat there is more of an enzyme called “aromatase” that converts testosterone to estrogen.  And what you want is to keep that testosterone not convert it.
 

Losing excessive weight and keeping it off has so many health benefits including increased libido!
 

Diet:
 

Certain nutrient deficiencies can contribute to low testosterone.  Not only zinc and vitamin D but if you're not eating enough protein and healthy fats that can also have a negative impact too.


Not to mention eating way too few or way too many calories.  These aren't going to help you in the bedroom department either.  
 

So make sure you're eating enough food to sustain your resting metabolic rate (RMR) and that you're getting enough protein and healthy fats; not to mention the essential vitamins and minerals too.



Exercise:



Did you know that men can experience increased blood levels of testosterone after a bout of intense exercise?  
 

For some reason this doesn't seem to be the case after endurance exercise and endurance exercise may actually reduce the levels of circulating testosterone.  Nor do women seem to have this increased testosterone after a workout.

 

For a temporary boost men can try some weight lifting or a HIIT workout.



Sleep:



Sleep is critical for just about everything our bodies do.



If you're not getting 7-9 hours each night you're going to want to prioritize that for your health (and sex drive).  Try it.  You just may thank me.
 

Stress:



No one can deny that your moods can affect your sex drive, right?  

 
Too much stress, sadness, and worry can take over your mind and push that drive to reproduce right to the backburner.  So you want to try to minimize that stress hormone cortisol.



How about some tips?  Make time to do things you love, workout, spend quality time with your family and friends, meditate, relax with a great book, or take a long bath.  And don't forget to laugh.



Consider maca:



Have you heard of the Peruvian herb called “maca” (Lepidium meyenii)?



It's a plant in the cruciferous family (think: broccoli) and its root has been traditionally used as an aphrodisiac.  It's usually ground into a powder and dried.



Believe it or not there are a few studies that actually show an increased libido for those who supplement with it.  Scientists don't know exactly how it works, but it seems to work for both men and women and it doesn't seem to impact your hormones (not even testosterone). 



Maca is an antioxidant and seems to be protective of mens' prostate.  New research suggests it may also be helpful for our brains and bones.



It has a bit of a “dirt” flavour so most recipes don't call for the same amounts as in the supplement.  But trust me, you'll love the recipe below and if you're considering supplementing you should know:

 
●     Maca (as do many supplements) interacts with some medications so be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking maca supplements.

●     Because it can affect your moods you should be very careful taking maca if you have anxiety or depression.

●     It's not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

 
Recipe (libido-enhancing): Maca Hot Chocolate

maca hot chocolate



Serves 2

 
2 cups almond milk

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 tablespoon unsweetened cacao powder

1 teaspoon maca powder

½ teaspoon turmeric (optional)

1 tablespoon maple syrup

4 dashes cinnamon

1 dash sea salt

1 dash cayenne pepper (optional)

 
Heat almond milk and coconut oil in a saucepan.

 
Add all ingredients to blender and blend until frothy.

 
Serve and enjoy a cup with your significant other!

 
Tip:  Adding cayenne pepper is a traditional South American way to add a bit of spice to chocolatey foods and drinks. 



References:

 

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/doctor-detective-low-libido

 

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-testosterone

 

https://authoritynutrition.com/8-ways-to-boost-testosterone/

 

https://examine.com/supplements/Maca/

 

http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/monoReq.do?id=1903&lang=eng

Candice Csaky, INHHC

Schizandra: Nature’s Hormone Food


When it comes to hormone health, picking key foods that have multiple benefits for balancing hormones is helpful. Schizandra berry is just such a food and may be a true anti-aging food as well.

In China it is known as a “five-flavor fruit,” because it contains the flavours sweet, sour, salty, bitter and pungent which, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, all represent various health properties. This may also explain its funky taste.

Schizandra-3

Research has confirmed that compounds found in the berries, called schisandrins, help with supporting nervous system issues, liver issues and coughs. Much of this research, which includes controlled clinical studies with humans, is in China, unfortunately.

Even more specifically, with regard to supporting the nervous system, animal studies have found that schizandra can counter the stimulating effect of caffeine.

Taking schizandra, while either cutting down on coffee or going cold turkey, lessens the nervous, shaky and anxious symptoms that come with withdrawal. It also helps keep the blood sugar stable and lessens the severity of the headache that always accompanies caffeine withdrawal.

It further supports the nervous system by supporting the adrenals. It is a known adrenal adaptogen, making it a perfect food for the body during times of stress.

As for the liver, schizandra can protect it from toxic substances in a similar manner to milk thistle, the most well-known liver protective supplement. It may be helpful in the recovery from hepatitis and acts as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory to help protect the liver. One double-blind placebo study looked at 12 racehorses, all of similar age, weight, temperament and training and all with high liver enzymes and low performance issues. After fourteen days, the horses on schizandra had lower liver enzymes in comparison to the placebo. Fifty percent of the horses on schizandra also had improved appearance and performance. And while we are not race horses, we certainly often conduct our lives like we are.  So some schizandra could really help us with our performance issues.

Digestively, it may be helpful for proper peristalsis (gastric muscle contractions), stress-induced gastric ulcers and regulating stomach acid. It can also help with diarrhea.

But for many of us, the number one benefit for schizandra may be the research that states it has anti-aging properties. This would include the fact that it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory abilities, two important elements in preventing age-associated issues.  Studies have also shown it may help with age-related memory loss, and act as a tonic for the heart. It can supply us with more energy, help with depression and help support the immune system.

And finally, for the vanity in all of us, schizandra may help our appearance by giving us a clearer complexion, improved skin elasticity and diminished the appearance of scars or wrinkles. Does it get any better than that?

What is the issue? Getting a good source of the product may be difficult. Harmonic Arts is a great Canadian company that you can get the powdered form from and they have free shipping on orders over $100 within Canada (if you wanted to stock up on some other goodies).  Nature’s Way has a great capsule that is available in the US only right now and can be found in most health food stores or on Amazon. St. Francis makes a good tincture. Organic Traditions has a dehydrated powder in a jar that is 6x concentrated. You can also find loose berries in health food or Asian stores. These can be ground in a coffee grinder and added to a smoothie or made into a tea. 

If buying a supplement, watch out for standardized extracts. Although many science types might recommend this as the preferred version, a standardized extract is usually just one phytochemical found in a plant and does not represent all the chemicals found in the whole plant or in this case, the berry. There are 40 different phytochemical compounds in schizandra – there would have to be for it to do all the amazing things it is credited for. This is what we should be consuming – the whole berry – if we want to get the most from it.

References:

Hancke, J., et al. “Reduction of serum hepatic transaminases and CPK in sport horses with poor performance treated with a standardized Schisandra chinensis fruit extract.” Phytomedicine 1996, 3 (3):237–240.

Ip, S. P., et al. “Effect of a lignan-enriched extract of Schisandra chinensis on aflatoxin B1 and cadmium chloride-induced hepatotoxicity in rats.” Pharmacology and Toxicology 1996, 78 (6):413–416.

Ko, K. M., et al. “Effect of a lignan-enriched fructus Schisandra extract on hepatic glutathione status in rats: Protection against carbon tetrachloride toxicity.” Planta Medica 1995, 61 (2): 134–137.

Lu, H., and G. T. Liu. “Anti-oxidant activity of dibenzocyclooctene lignans isolated from Schisandraceae.”Planta Medica 1992, 58 (4):311–313.

Nishiyama, N., Y. L. Wang, and H. Saito. “Beneficial effects of S-113m, a novel herbal prescription, on learning impairment model in mice.” Biological Pharmaceutical Bulletin 1995, 18 (11):1498–1503. Song, W. Z., and P. G. Xiao. “Medicinal plants of Chinese Schisandraceae and their lignan components.” Chinese Traditional and Herbal Drugs 1982, 13 (1):40–48.

 

 

 

 

 

Candice Csaky, INHHC

Men and Women are More Different Than We Knew

Do you think the differences between men and women is just about X and Y chromosomes and estrogen and testosterone levels? Well, science is starting to shed even more light on the subject and it seems our gut bacteria are different, too.

Current research is focusing on learning the connection between gut bacteria and various health conditions. The goal is to learn how to use the new understanding about different strains to develop strategies to help people recover from health conditions. Inflammatory conditions including IBS, colitis as well as diabetes, heart disease and depression are just a few conditions that can benefits from healthy gut flora.

One key area of focus is looking at diet to help manipulate the gut microbes to help these conditions. And here is where a monkey wrench has been thrown into the process. Apparently, the gut microbes of males and females react differently to the same food.

In a recent study published in Nature Communications, researchers found several key pieces of information:

For too long, the influence of the diet has been assumed to be the same for men and women.

Sex hormones may be influencing gut microbes and directing the preference for one strain over another.

This new information means it is no longer as simple as telling people to eat more vegetables.

Research is going to have to focus on genetics, environment, diet and now hormones and how they all interact. Normally research looks at each of these one at a time. This is no longer enough.

And finally, in looking at mice studies, it was found that diet does not vary gut microbes between sexes the way it does in other species such as humans. Since most research is done initially on mice, we must not take any results regarding diet as gospel and wait for the human studies.

That being said gut bacteria from males can make a difference when transplanted into females, according to mice. In a study, female mice, with a 90 percent risk of developing Type I Diabetes (the autoimmune condition), were given gut bacteria from healthy adult male mice.

The females saw increased testosterone, yet their levels did not reach that of males. However, the increase in testosterone did deliver enough active testosterone signaling the ability to prevent Type I Diabetes.

This makes the issues of what to eat more confusing. It certainly should make you think twice the next time you pick up a book that is trying to tell you what is right or wrong about food. And it definitely means we should reconsider a lot of the information we have received in the past.

We know we need nutrients for our body and for our microbe friends. However, we need to develop more intuition for listening to our body and apparently, to our microbes, which are working hard to communicate with us, about what we should eat.

References:

 

Individual Diet Has Sex-Dependent Effects On Vertebrate Gut Microbiota, Daniel I. Bolnick, Lisa K. Snowberg, Philipp E. Hirsch, Christian L. Lauber, Elin Org, Brian Parks, Aldons J. Lusis, Rob Knight, J. Gregory Caporaso, Richard Svanbäck, Nature Communications, 2014; 5

Sex Differences in the Gut Microbiome Drive Hormone-Dependent Regulation of Autoimmunity, Janet G. M. Markle1, Science 17, Jan 2013

 

 

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