Simplify. Use your whole brain.

Making decisions about health can be complex and frustrating. How can you possibly know what is the right thing to do?

The complicating factor is that most of us make decisions with only one-half of our brain. For example, suppose you want to know what is the best diet. Your left brain will have a field day. You can listen to interviews, read blogs and books, ask family and friends. You’ll find masses of eating rules, opinions, and theories—many of them conflicting.

With all of that to consider, your left brain may be driven to distraction trying to determine the pros and cons of these various approaches. It may seize on something and make a plan with great enthusiasm, only to have it fail shortly after you implement the plan. That makes no sense to you because the idea or theory was such a logical conclusion from the information you found. Frustrating? No doubt!

Here’s the missing piece…

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Something to try…for a general tune-up

In the spirit of being the director of your own study-of-one, here’s an experiment for you. This activity takes about 3 minutes and engages parts of your body that improve energy flow and oxygen to the brain. According to Dr. David Jockers, it has dramatically improved the health of many people with ADHD, dyslexia, anxiety, depression, brain fog and dementia.

It’s a fast, simple, and drug-free method of improving brain function, according to the doctor interviewed in the following news report.

The next video is Dr. David Jockers demonstrating how to do SuperBrain Yoga. He mentions that a person with limited mobility can make adaptations. They aren’t demonstrated, so here’s his description from near the end of his article. This uses visualization in the same way that high-performance athletes do.

Science shows that visualizing a technique can actually result in positive benefits as if your body physically performed an exercise or experience. …adults with limited abilities to squat should sit in a chair with feet grounded and hands [holding earlobes the same as if standing]. While performing the same breathing patterns, visualize the exercise…

I did this every day for about 3 weeks and didn’t notice cognitive difference, but my knees sure improved, even though they emphasize this is not about exercising muscles. However, in my world, that’s a substantial benefit because I haven’t been able to squat down very far for years. At the 3-week mark, I got a cold, didn’t feel up to doing it,and hadn’t picked it up again. Prompted by writing this post, I did it again and was shocked how much of my knee mobility I’d lost. That’s good enough incentive to keep me going.

So…I’m curious. If you try it, what happened for you?

Brain on Sugar

This photo is not me having a bad-hair day. It’s how things felt inside my head before I stopped eating sugar and greatly reduced other carbohydrates. I managed to keep functioning and sometimes smiling, but it was hard work. And I’m not sure I fooled everybody, although I tried.

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Within a few months of eating no sugar or grains, I realized my brain was feeling like this…

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…and I began smiling more, even in a Canadian winter.

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I’m not the only one…

A couple weeks ago, I posted about new research showing that Alzheimer’s can be reversed. The success of the program comes from using a whole-system approach to discover the causes of disturbed brain function in each individual. To do this, they look at 36 factors in the areas of diet, environment, toxins, activity, and stress. Sugar is one of those factors. Continue reading

Partying With Health-Conscious Friends

Hosting a party can be complicated these days. Here’s a musical description of the dilemma…then some of my practical suggestions for coping.

First, a quick primer…

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Using Less Sugar in Holiday Sweets

It’s not surprising that we over-use sugar in this culture. As I discussed last week, the sugar industry long ago  manipulated public perception to believe that fat is really bad for our health and there is no need to be concerned about sugar. That isn’t actually true.

You can find lots of information about why to avoid sugar. Google it and you’ll see discussions of insulin resistance, inflammation, triglycerides, hypertension, fatty liver and, of course, diabetes.

And then this came from Dr. Alan Christianson in a mailing about not getting sick during the holidays. White blood cells are part of the immune system and when they are weakened, we are more likely to come down with a cold or the flu. Continue reading

Food matters.

Three years ago, I decided to educate myself as part of a self-designed program of recovery from complete thyroid impairment and endometrial cancer. I wanted to know what would give me the best shot at repairing the physical devastation I’d experienced.

It was my good luck that this decision occurred just when on-line health summits hit the Internet. I watched. I listened. I took notes.
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What to eat !??

My recent posts have covered a lot about the mental-emotional aspects of becoming well. But without doubt, the food we eat plays an equally important role. That will be my focus for the next few weeks.

What to eat…and why?

That’s not a simple question. It depends on your individual constitution and condition. And even if you’ve got a handle on that, you’ll find conflicting opinions among practitioners.

I’m going to start by giving you a chance to listen to Dr. Sarah Myhill. Then in the next few weeks, I’ll unpack some of the concepts she introduces and questions they might raise.

Dr. Myhill is a conventionally trained medical doctor in the UK. She was in general practice with the National Health Service (their version of medicare) for twenty years…and left to set up a private practice when the system did not allow her to practise the holistic, functional medicine that she is passionate about.

She was frustrated by the conventional approach with its focus on symptom-suppressing medications.  When patients had chronic illnesses, there was no opportunity to investigate why the person was in this condition—in other words, what were the mechanisms causing the illness and what could be done to address them?

You’ll get two things from watching this video

  1. Well-considered answers to a wide range of questions from an experienced practitioner.
  2. An excellent example of functional thinking about why our bodies may not function well and what can be done about it.

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Why functional and integrative medicine?

Today is the first of a series of occasional posts featuring a video or article that says something I couldn’t say as well. This is Dr. Russell Jaffe, a conventionally trained medical doctor who came to practise functional and integrative medicine as a result of trying to debunk those very philosophies. Let him tell you about it in this 5-minute video…

One of my favourite spots was when he said the essence is to live in harmony with your nature. I’d be interested in hearing what struck a chord with you.

Financial Literacy: Crucial for all of us

November is Financial Literacy Month in Canada. This annual event acknowledges the need to educate ourselves in a crucial area of life—how to navigate the consumer culture without being consumed by it.

This initiative came out of the work of a task force that travelled the country to assess the state of financial literacy in Canada.  My submission to that task force expressed the view that all post-secondary students should be required to complete a personal finance course in order to graduate.

I was pleased that the final report of the task force recommended that “…all provincial and territorial governments integrate financial literacy in the formal education system, including…post-secondary education and formalized adult learning activities.”

Realistically, this is unlikely to happen. But Continue reading

Like gift-wrapping a tap-dancing elephant…

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My friend Maggie has a way with words. She says that attempting to describe my book is like trying to gift-wrap a tap-dancing elephant. She’s captured the dilemma perfectly! Continue reading