A Gentle Detox to Cleanse Your Body

A Gentle Detox to Cleanse Your Body

As a Naturopathic Doctor I am always searching for pathways to healing for myself and my patients. In all my years and travels around the globe, I have found that there are two basic pillars required to successfully turn a hopeful health goal into a reality:

  • A good plan, which serves as a map and provides structure.
  • An understanding that your body is nourished by your kindness and devotion to its feedback by you.

Annually I like to change up my detox based upon what I have found during that year, to be the most affective and most gentle approach while achieving optimum solutions. After much exploration in 2020, I discovered this particular plan by Orthomolecular labs known as Core Restore®. One of the many benefits is that it’s simple! It’s a strategic plan that provides three active formulas–Core Support®, Alpha Base®, and PhytoCore®—that function synergistically to support Phase I and Phase II pathways of liver detoxification to help neutralize environmental pollutants, hormone disruptors, unhealthy estrogen metabolites, xenoestrogens (synthetic compounds that imitate estrogen), and other harmful toxins. Basically, for anyone suffering from PMS, fibroids, perimenopause, menopause, PCOS or any hormone imbalances for that matter, it’s a wonderful kick start as well as for anyone else!

 

What’s Included in Core Restore®

 

1. Core Support®

Core Support® powder enhances Phase II detoxification by providing clean protein, gentle fiber, and specific nutrients which help eliminate toxins during the seven-day detoxification program. Core Support® provides nutrients needed for Phase II detox including N-acetyl cysteine, glycine, taurine, lipoic acid, green tea extract, ellagic acid, and a unique blend of vegetable phytonutrients. The antioxidant activity of this unique blend of nutrients is protective against cell damage by free radicals and helps induce Phase II enzymes which facilitate the removal of toxins from the body and scavenge free radicals.

2. Phyto Core®

PhytoCore® is added on the third day of the Core Restore® program to stimulate Phase I activity once Phase II has been established. The specialized blend of nutrients in PhytoCore has been shown to stimulate Phase I and II biotransformation and support the body’s natural liver cleansing function during detoxification. Each capsule includes silymarin, artichoke extract, curcumin, methionine, choline, inositol, garlic, and dandelion root. These botanicals and plant extracts include phytonutrients, antioxidants and other compounds that protect plants from environmental challenges including exposure to radiation and toxins, and defend your body against them.

3. Alpha Base®

Alpha Base® provides a multi-nutrient foundation to ensure the liver has adequate amounts of important trace minerals and vitamins needed for the energy/nutrient intensive process of detoxification. Nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and the B vitamins are required for cytochrome P450 activity. In addition to vitamins and trace minerals, carotenoids are included to help scavenge free radicals and protect cells while toxins are removed.

This powerful trio of specialized formulas provides essential micronutrients, phytonutrients, and a source of easily digested, low- allergen protein that help to purify the liver. We all want vibrant bodies, loads of energy, and a clear mind. Because many of us are lacking in vital minerals, nutrients, phytonutrients, and healthy fats, the Core Restore Program® emphasizes nutrient-dense shakes to help rebuild your body while you cleanse. These nutrients will help build your mineral reserves, support liver detoxification, and maintain consistent energy while eliminating harmful toxins.

core restore detox program

 

Whether it’s the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, or the products we use, everyone is affected by the thousands of chemicals in our internal and external environment. These chemicals can inhibit the proper functioning of our bodies and make us feel run down. What’s more, much of the food we eat today is low in minerals and nutrients, high in refined sugars and starches, and void of adequate fiber. Many of these common foods can produce inflammatory responses throughout the body which, over time, can degrade the quality of our digestive system. The Core Restore Program® works by removing the most common food allergens while lightening up your diet, so your body can spend its energy cleansing and healing.
And all of this is for 7 days only. Remember the second part of healing involves listening to your body, so seven days is long enough for most us to provide that gentle, yet loving approach that our body craves.
If you’re ready to begin the Core Restore Program®, simply click here.
Here’s to a kinder, healthier 2021!
Stress, Immunity and Hormones

Stress, Immunity and Hormones

We have an increasing number of things that demand our time and attention every day. Many of us aren’t sleeping as well as we should and we lead fairly sedentary lifestyles. And many more of us consume a diet filled with chemical additives, preservatives, flavorings and sugar, all which leave us feeling even more stressed and fatigued. We have gadgets that allow us to be accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There is seemingly bad news everywhere you turn. We are increasingly becoming a society that is stressed out, overwhelmed and burnt out!

In a healthy body, once the stress has passed and cortisol levels decrease, the hypothalamus signals to the pituitary and adrenals to stop hormone production. But this doesn’t happen when chronic stress is involved.  It becomes a loop of continual release of all of the stress hormones. The result is dysfunction in the HPA axis (hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenal). When levels of these hormones, particularly cortisol, remain elevated in the body, specific symptoms will begin to occur.

Symptoms that indicate that stress is causing a hormone imbalance include:

 

1. Poor digestion

When cortisol is released, digestion slows down. This happens so that energy can be conserved and diverted to where it’s needed.  The production of HCL also slows along with the digestion process.  This can often lead to acid reflux, H.Pylori, ulcers, and Leaky Gut.

2. High blood sugar levels

When faced with stress, the body releases glucose to help provide fuel to the body.  This increases blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels remain high for an extended period of time, such as during periods of chronic stress, it can result in blood sugar dysregulation. And the higher the fat in your diet, the less sugar is able to get into the cell to fuel it. This sends signals to your pancreas to release more insulin to get the glucose into the cell, resulting in insulin resistance.

Also high levels of fat in your blood put a major strain on your liver, pancreas, and adrenal glands, which work together to manage your blood sugar levels. With high-fat diets (such as in a Keto and at times Paleo Diet) they can make the liver sluggish and unable to store and release glucose as it should. Excess fat burdens your pancreas because it needs to release enzymes to aid fat digestion. And this also impacts your adrenal health because they flood the body with additional cortisol when your body senses higher levels of fats in your blood. Your body tries to compensate with  excess adrenaline to help move the fat out of your blood, which can also tax the pancreas, reducing its ability to produce enough insulin (and enzymes)  to keep your glucose levels in check. Ultimately leading to a vicious cycle of a burdened liver, pancreas and adrenals.

4. Lowered immune system

When you first deal with a stressor, the body actually stimulates the immune system. This is a defense mechanism that is designed to protect you against infection and help to heal wounds.  But ultimately, the longer the chronic stress remains a problem, the weaker the immune system becomes, because it just can’t keep operating on overdrive forever. The immune system becomes so weak that it leaves you susceptible to viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungal infections. And if the liver is over burdened due to an unhealthy diet, this decreases its ability to detox toxins from your body..so what does it do with them? The toxins get stored in your brain, bone, fat and other organs (including your liver, pancreas and thyroid.

5. Loss of fertility and libido

When cortisol levels are elevated, other systems of the body are put at a level of minimal function and the release of certain hormones is suppressed. This is true for the reproductive system. When stress and Cortisol are high, sex hormone production is kept at a minimum. This causes a loss of reproductive function and libido.

6. Weight gain

While in the midst of a continual stress response, the appetite will increase along with the release of insulin. When facing stress, after the release of Cortisol by the adrenal glands, the body believes that it needs carbohydrates or fatty foods that can easily be stored as an energy reserves in the form of fat. So with chronic stress, your appetite for carbs and fatty food increases….and so does your waistline. Cortisol induced weight gain tends to happen around the abdomen, where the fat cells are more sensitive to the effects of Cortisol. Others have an opposite effect of a lack of appetite from the result of chronic stress. Skipping meals forces your body to use up your liver’s glucose storage, driving the body to run on adrenaline reserves which may be little to none, which can damage your pancreas and lead to insulin resistance as it looks for any type of fuel it can get.

8. Memory loss

When stress becomes chronic, it has a damaging effect on the brain. Production of new brain cells slows or even ceases completely and the brain actually begins to shrink. Cortisol damages the hippocampus…the part of the brain that is responsible for memory, learning and regulating emotions. The result is memory loss, decision making problems and loss of impulse control. Let’s not forget (pun intended) a lowered immune response from stress also allows for other viruses, bacteria or fungus to “come out and play” or seek further refuge in the brain leading to brain fog or memory issues and potential neurodegenerative issues such as Parkinsons, Alzheimer’s or ALS.

 If you’re struggling with any of the above issues, it’s time for you to get to the root cause and heal your body for good. This is why I created the Regenerative Health Program™. It uses my custom-tailored labs to help you finally understand why symptoms are showing up, despite what others are telling you that everything is “normal.”

 

Those aches, pains, brain fog or lack of energy is not a normal part of aging. There is a hidden cause that has yet to be addressed and I’m here to help you discover and heal it.

By investigating your biochemistry and analyzing your diet and current symptoms, I will help you find out if you’re eating based on your genetics and assess which stage of dis-ease you’re experiencing.

And…you’ll discover if your hormones are out of balance, and find clues to gut issues such as hidden infestations such as viruses that your body has been harboring for years.

You’re here right now because your body is trying to get your attention. It’s time to start listening to what your body needs. It’s not about treating the symptoms, but about understanding what your body requires to heal.

When you’re ready, I’m here to walk with you side by side on your path to your very best self!

Healing Bone Loss Naturally

Healing Bone Loss Naturally

Preventing Osteoporosis

What Causes Bone Loss?

Bone is living tissue that undergoes a continual self-regeneration process which removes old bone and replaces it with new bone. Which means your bones are alive!

With aging this balance shifts to favor greater bone removal and less new bone formation. When this happens osteopenia or osteoporosis can occur. Actually bone density peaks by the time you reach about thirty and progressively declines afterwards.

There are a variety of factors that can accelerate the loss of bone density and strength. And menopause is one cause, but also the use of drugs likecorticosteroids and proton-pump inhibitors, smoking, drinking excess alcohol, and a high inflammatory or refined sugar diet.

Bones need hormones to grow and maintain their strength. The major regulator of bone remodeling in both men and women is estrogen; while bone density is influenced by testosterone, DHEA, and growth hormone. So with aging, many of these hormone levels plummet and accelerate loss of bone density, which is often what I see in my perimenopausal patients. Their bones become weak or begin losing mass in osteopenia.

 

Restoring Bone Integrity

There isn’t one single therapy that can protect against bone deterioration, but a more holistic approach can do wonders.

  1. Diet
    1. Reducing the consumption of high sugar foods should be the first step. Sugar creates an acidic environment in the blood, when this happens the body’s natural response is to make it more alkaline. How does it do this? By pulling calcium from the bone to buffer the blood. Consider incorporating more alkaline foods in your diet such as green vegetables, grapefruit, avocado, black radish, alfalfa grass, barley grass, cucumber, kale, jicama, wheat grass, broccoli, cabbage, and celery.
  2. Minerals
    1. The body needs more than just calcium to grow. As a matter of fact, it requires magnesium, boron, vitamin D, strontium and vitamin K to build bone density. Your oral supplementation should include all of these nutrients to be most effective.
  3. Exercise
    1. No matter what age you are, incorporating some sort of weight baring exercises are vital to building healthier bones. When you are putting resistance on your muscles, this pulls on the tendons attached to your bones which actually creates a bit of damage. But consider this a good thing (in small amounts) because it stimulates your bone to create more bone from the microtears!
  4. Hormones
    1. Hormonal changes and imbalances, especially low estrogen and testosterone levels in women can also decrease bone mass. Women suffer from osteoporosis more than men largely because of a decrease in hormones after menopause. Staying on top of your hormone health is vital. Getting your hormones checked every 3 months can help you know exactly what’s going on when it comes to your hormone health.

When considering how to treat your osteoporosis or osteopenia, please remember that it’s not just about treating the one thing, but more about addressing the root cause of your bone loss and why it occured in the first place . My Naturopathic approach is to treat theunderlying cause and when it comes to restoring bone health, it usually involves healing the gut, finding your ideal diet, and balancing hormones. They’re all linked.

Why Your Hormones Need Carbohydrates to Function

Why Your Hormones Need Carbohydrates to Function

Why Carbs are Good for Your Hormones

 

Low carb diets are all the rage right now in the nutrition and health world. And it’s true, cutting carbs can help with weight loss and health improvements for some people, mostly because of the caloric restriction.But for many people – women especially – keeping carbs too low for too long can have pretty unhealthy consequences, especially if you work out with any level of intensity. And even more so if you have hormone-related health issues like HPA axis dysregulation or hypothalamic amenorrhea, PCOS, hypothyroidism, adrenal fatigue and Hashimoto’s.

If you’re sedentary, your carb needs are generally lower than someone who is active. Those who don’t train regularly might be able to get away with less carbohydrates overall. And even if you do work out regularly, you probably won’t immediately feel the consequences when you first cut most carbs from your diet. It may take a few months to see the long-term impact, but at some point, you might start to feel spaced-out, sluggish, cranky and sick.

 

Low Carb Diet & Your Hormones

Eventually, restricting your carb intake too much can lead to many hormone-related issues such as:

  • decreased thyroid output (hypothyroidism)
  • increased cortisol output (abdominal fat)
  • decreased or increased testosterone (low libido and osteopenia)
  • impaired mood and cognitive function (brain fog)

If you already had a pre-existing hormone related condition before cutting carbs, such as hypothyroidism, PCOS, missed or irregular periods, or adrenal fatigue; eating too few carbs will only exacerbate your condition.  And if you’re under a lot of stress already, going too low carb can cause further HPA dysregulation and increase its symptoms.

Your carbohydrate intake is a critical part of the equation when it comes to balancing your sex hormones, losing weight, recovering from exercise, supporting your thyroid, boosting your energy, and so much more. You may be wondering how carbohydrates affect your adrenal health. Reducing carbohydrates excessively can affect stress hormone production in many people, usually causing a significant increase in cortisol. This will directly impact your energy levels causing them to plummet and eventually worsen pre-existing adrenal fatigue.

 

The Basic Chemistry of Blood Sugar

Any time we eat, our food is broken down into macronutrients, micronutrients, and water. This complex process allows us to derive energy from our food, obtain essential vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, and collect the building blocks needed to make our immune cells, hormones, and neurotransmitters.

Carbohydrates are found in many different foods, and in different forms. After we eat, blood sugar rises as carbohydrates are digested and absorbed. This triggers the release of insulin, which helps shuttle glucose out of the bloodstream and into our cells. Insulin is considered an “anabolic hormone,” meaning it promotes the storage of glucose and the conversion of any excess into its long-term storage form: fat. We also have hormones that help us tap into stored glucose or generate more. This occurs when our blood sugar is low or when we have increased energy demands.

So, what does this mini biochemistry lesson have to do with adrenal fatigue?

As the name implies, adrenal fatigue involves a dysregulation in our body’s stress response. Initially this leads to elevated cortisol, a stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands. As adrenal fatigue progresses, the dysregulation often leads to low cortisol. Now here’s the catch: Low carbohydrate diets have also been shown to be a stressor on our adrenals.

 

Common Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue

-Tend to be a “night person”
-Difficulty falling asleep
-Slow starter in the morning
-Tend to be keyed up, trouble calming down
-Calm on the outside, troubled on the inside
-Tendency to need sunglasses
–Chronic fatigue or get drowsy often
-Crave salty foods

Any time that you are not meeting your body’s needs for energy with adequate fuel, you put stress on your adrenals, since they act as your body’s shock absorbers (allowing your body to adapt to stress). This means that any caloric abuse or nutrition neglect is something that your adrenals have to make up for– by producing stress hormones (cortisol and adrenaline) to get you through the day. Usually, the more severe the adrenal dysfunction, the longer the adrenal stress has been going on.

Additionally, when you inadequately fuel your body, it stimulates the use of glycogen (stored sugar in the liver) for energy. Once your glycogen stores are depleted, tissue breakdown begins (the breakdown of proteins and fat to make glucose [sugar] for energy). This process of muscle catabolism releases amino acids such as cysteine, methionine, and tryptophan, which are all anti-metabolic to your thyroid. This happens because it’s the body’s way of being very intelligent,  by communicating with your thyroid, and telling it to turn down the conversion of active thyroid hormone in order to save your body from running itself into the ground.

 

How Many Carbs to Eat?

Here are my general starting points of the percentage of carbohydrates for hormone related health issues. But please keep in mind that your activity, stress, genetics and hormone imbalance will influence these recommendations:

  • For most women, I recommend a minimum of 25% of calories from carbs, particularly if you’re active.
  • For patients already dealing with an HPA Axis issue (“adrenal fatigue”), I start them at 30-40% calories from carbohydrates.
  • For women who are dealing with health issues surrounding fertility and hypothalamic amenorrhea, I recommend 40-50% of calories from carbs.

 

How do I  Know What MY Carb Needs May be?

In general, everybody has different dietary carbohydrate needs primarily depending on their activity levels and genetics, but also dependent on their age, gender, stage of life, and goals.

As I mentioned earlier, if you are sedentary you can likely eat fewer carbs and feel fine. However, if you regularly participate in intense, glucose-demanding activities like Crossfit, heavy powerlifting, and/or high-intensity interval training (HIIT), your body will begin to rely on stress hormones like cortisol to produce the glucose the brain and muscles need. When this happens, you may eventually develop symptoms associated with hormone related health conditions such as amenorrhea, hypothyroidism or adrenal fatigue.

 

Which Carbs are Best for YOU?

A hormone-supportive diet isn’t just about the quantity of carbohydrates. It’s also important to consider the quality of carbohydrates and the timing of when you’re eating them throughout the day. Choosing high fiber carbohydrates, such as those found in whole grains, legumes, and vegetables provide the essential nutrients needed to support proper hormone function. Also, the fiber in carbohydrates also helps slow the release of carbohydrates into the bloodstream, thus keeping blood sugar more stable. Whole grains are an incredible source of prebiotic fiber and have earned their rightful place in a diverse, healthy hormone based diet. They do this but maintaining your gut integrity, feeding your healthy probiotics foods they need to replicate and in turn create healthier hormones.

Another way to balance blood sugar is to make sure carbohydrates are paired with protein and/or fat at every meal and snack. Spacing carbohydrates out throughout the day is also important for adrenal function. This prevents blood sugar from dipping too low, which will also increase demand on the adrenals to release cortisol.

But to truly know which carbs are best for you, I’d recommend the Nirvana Diet™. I created this Diet to know exactly which foods, and in this case carbohydrates, you should be eating based upon your genetics. It takes the guess work out of knowing which foods are best for balancing your hormones!

The takeaway? Carbs are not the enemy. Eating quality carbs in balance with a whole food diet, can be supportive of all of your hormones in helping to regulate your body’s ability to stay balanced, happy, and regenerating stronger cells.

MTHFR Defects and Estrogen Dominance

MTHFR Defects and Estrogen Dominance

The Link Between Estrogen & MTHFR

MTHFR is an enzyme that adds a methyl group to folic acid to make it usable by the body. The MTHFR gene produces this MTHFR enzyme that’s also important for proper metabolism, muscle growth & glutathione production. If you have a mutation in MTHFR, you may have trouble effectively eliminating toxins from the body or balancing hormones.

 

How Does this Manifest in your Body?

  1. High cholesterol
  2. Difficulty getting pregnant/birth defects
  3. Estrogen dominance
  4. Low energy

But if you suffer from bloating, abnormal periods, acne, mood swings, fibroids, blood clots, endometriosis, PCOS or irritability, these symptoms are signs of Estrogen Dominance. And your body removes estrogen through the process of methylation. So if you have a defect in the MTHFR gene/enzyme, estrogen builds up making your symptoms worse.

 

What can You do to Help?

Though it isn’t possible to change a gene, there are things that can be done to minimize the potential for problems.

  1. Focus on gut health – It’s important to focus on gut health so that the body can absorb the nutrients from food as effectively as possible. This also helps avoid candida, which can make MTHFR related problems worse.
  2. Get your Bs – Supplement w/methylated form of B vitamins so that your body doesn’t have to “deal with the defect” & work around it. And if you’re in the area, stop by my office for a Mega Shot™!
  3. Detox – Give your liver a much needed boost to help with the clearance of hormones quicker. My Detox IV is perfect to help a sluggish liver get the necessary nutrients to eliminate easily and quickly.
Getting Rid of Your Belly Fat, Naturally

Getting Rid of Your Belly Fat, Naturally

Welcome to Regenerate You, I’m Dr. Nirvana!

Where fat ends up is influenced by several factors, including heredity and hormones. ​Calories matter, but hormones matter more. In particular, reducing your belly fat involves the reset of the belly fat ​hormones which I’ll be discussing during this episode. I’ll share my basic strategies that you can implement to burn the fat around your abdomen, naturally!​​​ 

If you’re looking for additional advice, feel free to visit my blog here. You can also stay connected with me on my Facebook page @DrNirvanaHeals or on my Instagram @DrNirvana.

Please remember to subscribe and to please leave me a review as well!

 

And remember, when you regenerate, there’s a new you every day!