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Angelina, breast cancer and how to lower your risk

You’ve no doubt heard the news that Angelina Jolie underwent a preventative double mastectomy to greatly reduce her risk of developing breast cancer. Every year thousands of women face decisions like Angelina’s. But what if fewer women had to?

Decades of scientific evidence point to modern living as a major culprit. In our daily lives we are exposed to toxic chemicals in our food and radiation from a wide range of sources, including cleaning and personal-care products, plastics, food, air, water, medical treatments, our workplaces and our neighborhoods. So how do you lower your risk? Here are some tips;

Avoid drinking out of plastic bottles.

Eat a mainly plant-based diet. I recommend that every woman try to fill at least two-thirds of your plate with plant foods—colorful vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and beans—and no more than one-third with animal protein.

Only eat organic protein

Add fiber: Fiber is essential, flax seeds chia seeds and berries, cruciferous vegetables, may be particularly beneficial.

Drink 1-3 cups of green tea daily

Drink alcohol sparingly. Three to six drinks a week could increase your risk by 15 percent, two or more a day by 51 percent.

Eat folate rich foods, especially if you do drink, because low levels may leave you particularly vulnerable. Good sources are dried beans and peas, leafy greens, and fruits.

Avoid  charred grilled food/meat which can produce carcinogens. Marinate, precook, and grill at lower temperatures to keep it from charring. Cut your risk further by adding rosemary and cancer-fighting spices like turmeric and cumin.

Breast feed if you can. Protection is believed to come in part from a reduction in lifetime exposure to estrogen, a key factor in the growth of breast cancer tumors.

Avoid synthetic hormone replacement therapies. 

Eat red/purple organic grapes which contain resveratrol, which may block the development of breast cancer. Resveratrol is concentrated in the skin of the fruit, so juice doesn’t pack as much punch, and green varieties contain significantly less.

Eat flackers or use FLAXSEEDS in or on your food. Flaxseeds contain plant lignans, antioxidants that may have an anticancer effect. Add a tablespoon to cereal or yogurt, or sprinkle over a salad.

Snack on walnuts, s few day may reduce risk.

Check vitamin D level because a deficiency has been associated with breast cancer risk. A typical supplemental daily dose is 600 to 2,000 IUs.

Take OMEGA-3S. They may help fend off cancer, but make sure the supplements are from mercury-free fish; take 1,000 to 2,000 mg. each day.

Send daily healing messages to yourself…these simple tricks help; Smile a lot, laugh more, extend yourself every once in a while and help someone or a furry friend and finally feel grateful for what you have….

To your optimal health! Cheers…

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Spring Forward; Cleanse & Energize

Sprouts  happySpring is my favorite time of year. The grey and white world of winter blossoms into vibrant colors and greens. It is the perfect time to be thinking about a cleanse; to lessen our bodies’ burden of harmful chemicals and to refresh; restore balance and revitalize. By following these simple effective internal spring cleaning tips you can help your body detoxify and restore your systems’ balance, optimal health and abundant energy.

  1. Increase healthy liquids: Simply increasing healthy liquids, will shift your bodies’ balance strongly toward improved elimination and less toxin buildup. Healthy fluids help dilute and eliminate toxin accumulations, pure water being the most important detoxifier. It helps clean us through our skin and kidneys, and it improves our sweating with exercise. Try and eliminate all stimulants like coffee and chemical drinks, like sodas, alcohol and enjoy the purifying effects of healthier liquids such as water (1/2 your weight in ounces per day) along with herb teas, and teas high in anti-oxidants such as green tea or red tea (rooibios).You can also enhance the detoxifying benefits of water by adding a tsp of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and consume ten minutes prior to eating every meal.

 

  1. Fiber is a wonderful detoxification supporter, helping to cleanse and pull toxins from the intestines. I recommend adding chia seeds, fresh ground flax seeds or flackers to your daily menu. This will provide your body with excellent fiber, plant lignans and healthy fats known as omega-3 fatty acids. Other good sources of fiber are fresh vegetables and fruit, especially berries.

 

  1. To help maximize your spring cleaning program, increase your intake of organic fresh fruits, herbs and vegetables. Have at least three colors of vegetables with every meal, add medicinal cleansing potent anti-oxidants filled herbs to your food; cilantro, onions, parsley, dandelion, and garlic. To help promote optimal liver function, the main detoxification center in our bodies, I suggest 1-2 servings of artichokes and 2-3 servings of brassica family (broccoli sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, kholrabi) per day. These foods will promote healthy digestion, increase flow of bile and help with the elimination of harmful environmental chemicals and heavy metals.

And finally, get outside and play, enjoy and move your body. Your body will love you and you will feel fabulous!

To your optimal health,

Alison Levitt, MD

 

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Digest Well and Stay Chill Tips for this Xmas

With the holiday season in full bloom, food intake typically increases, healthy choices typically decrease, and lets face it, family events, big dinners and relatives can also be a tad bit stressful. All of this can increase your cortisol levels (the stress hormone), decrease DHEA, the hormone of well-being thus leading to decrease chances of a calm mind and calm tummy.
 
Here are some tips to create a healthy balanced Xmas;
 
1. Have an apple cider vinegar “shot” before your dinner
Apple cider vinegar is one of Nature’s gems health secret. It is fermented so it contains beneficial bacteria to help ease tummy woes. It contains plenty of amino acids, vitamins, minerals and salts to keep the body balanced, to aid in easing digestion and assist in washing away toxins from the body. Have 1 tsp in 4-6 ounces of water.
 
2..Stay well hydrated.
Nourishing and refresh your body by keeping yourself well hydrated this evening. I suggest for every glass of alcohol have a glass of water or a shot of coconut water to balance your system. This will help give you the energy you need to stay uplifted and feel vibrant.
 
3. Eat plenty of fiber; vegetables, fruits, flax seeds 
Veggies and fruits are low in calories and fats, but high in dietary fiber, which means they will provide you the nutrients needed to keep your GI system moving and healthy.
 High-fiber veggies include: avocado, beans, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrot, chickpeas, garbanzos, eggplant, kale, collard, lima beans, mushrooms, potato, pumpkin, peppers, rhubarb, spinach, sweet potatoes and of course don’t forget flackers!
 High fiber fruits include: apple, avocado, banana, berries, figs, raisins, guava, kiwi, orange, pear, prunes.
 
 4. Keep some digestive enzymes and probiotics on hand
 Digestive enzymes help our bodies break down the food we eat. They are found in our saliva, stomachs and small intestine. Receiving the proper amount of enzymes will help prevent gas and bloating and will make you less tired. Probiotics are “good” and “friendly” bacteria that live in our intestinal tract. they keep the environment of our digestive system fertile and thriving. They keep our pH levels conducive for absorption, as well as digestion. They also support in peristalsis, the muscular contraction that moves food and waste through our digestive tract as well as providing a “boost” to the immune system.
 
Breathe….

Stay calm by reminding yourself to take a few deep breaths every hour. Deep breathing lowers your cortisol level and increases the release of dhea so that you feel better, more balanced and calmer.
 
And finally, if you get to a point where you still feel anxious or frustrated or overwhelmed just remember how lucky you are that unlike some people, that you are blessed to even have the chance to celebrate, have crazy amounts of food, friends or family and /or furry friends near you!
 
Happy Holidays!
 
 
 
 
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Posted by on December 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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The happy mood grocery list

This season is challenging for me, dark and getting colder are not any of my favorite things! So anything that I can do to boost my mood, I say sign me up! It turns out that maintaining a healthy diet does more than just improve our physical health. Studies have shown that there is a strong connection between the foods that we eat and our mood.

T’’is the season to eat foods that will also help to boost your mood. Here is how you can do this. “Happy Foods”, as I call them, should be added to your grocery list immediately and become regulars in your kitchen. Here is a list of the few that are my favorites.

Chocolate (you knew this would be number one on my list right?)

A study in the Journal of Pharmacology found that eating a few ounces of dark chocolate per day improved people’s moods. Add to that the combination of the emotional response when eating chocolate – the velvety texture, sweet aroma, and good memories it produces – along with its dash of caffeine and its sugar content, which boosts serotonin levels, and you’ve got one fabulous ‘feel-good food’.

Dark chocolate is best for a few reasons; as you may already know, sugar is a contributing cause of the blues and is typically found in higher content in chocolate as the percentage of cocoa goes down. Cocoa on the other hand is very good for boosting our mood, so the higher the percentage of cocoa the better. The flavonoids found in cocoa and chocolate are full of antioxidants that help to lower blood pressure and improve blood flow to the brain and heart.

Other foods containing flavonoids: cranberries, apples, red wine, peanuts, onions

Flax seeds and Walnuts
A study conducted by researchers at Harvard University and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that an omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) found in flax seeds and walnuts,  alleviates symptoms of depression.

Flax seeds and walnuts contain some of the best sources for omega-3 fatty acids and walnuts have the bonus ingredient uridine, which in combination with each other, help improve communication between the neurons in your brain. This is the same action that some antidepressant drugs perform – just in an edible delicious  natural way!
Other foods containing ALA: soybeans, flackers, hemp seeds, chia seeds

Avocado
Soft, nourishing, and rich, this fruit is surprisingly rich in good fats, protein and fiber. While quite heavy in texture, it is gentle on your stomach, heart healthy, calming to your system, soothing to your skin and joints and creamy delicious. Avocados help to build strength and a healthy immune system.

Avocados contain a wide variety of good healthy fats that can help to increase serotonin levels in the brain. 3 types of phytosterols are also packed into its nutrition profile, contributing to its natural ability to control inflammation. Enjoy with a dab of lime, pinch of salt and cilantro.

Other foods containing healthy fats: olive oil, nuts, and most cold water fishes

Seaweed: Rich in minerals, vitamins, and easily digestible protein, seaweed is almost a perfect food. I love it raw (after I soak it) on my salads or sautéed with garlic and sesame oil. Seaweeds can help keep your thyroid running smoothly and efficiently which is very important for maintain good energy levels and a balanced mood. This nutrient dense food is ideal for nourishing the entire body with a plethora of essential vitamin and minerals that offer the perfect nutrition to help you be energized and feel balanced. If you are frightened by the thought of trying seaweed start with a seaweed salad at any Japanese  store or restaurant. They have mastered the dressing so that the real raw taste is masked in a delicious form that you may enjoy.

Spinach
A study in the Journal of Nutrition showed that people who consumed the lowest levels of folate were 67 percent more likely to suffer from depression than those who took in the most. Popeye was right on with this one. Spinach is rich in folate, another nutrient that helps to boost serotonin levels in the brain. That’s incentive enough to stock up on this nutrient food.
Other foods containing high levels of folate: asparagus, broccoli, and beans

Bananas

A report from researchers at Oxford University found that women recovering from depression who were deficient in tryptophan had a higher chance of regressing back to depressive states. So if you’re feeling a bit down, grab a banana….Bananas contain the amino acid tryptophan plus vitamin B6, magnesium and potassium which, working together to help the body produce serotonin.

So make eating healthy, eating for energy and a balanced mood a priority today. Start with one or two of these items and enjoy them, experiment with them and most importantly watch the evidence ;  a happy , clear, strong mind and good health.

And the best part, we do not really have to compromise, I mean chocolate is on the list right? Sweet!!!

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Last Chance to Get an Olympic Body!

Aside from training ten hours a day for most of your life, an olympic looking body, firm, svelte, full of energy and flexible is not as out of reach as you may think! Here are some tips on getting there the Dr in The KItchen way!

1. Make sure that you are free of food sensitivities or allergies which can cause joint pain, bloating, fatigue and unnecessary weight gain.

2. drink half your body weight in ounces of water every day. Dehydration often presents as fatigue, so before you reach for the sugar, have a glass of H2o the reassess.

3. make sure that you get plenty of omega-3 fatty acids found in flax, hemp and chia seeds, walnuts and all cold water fish. This will ensure that your joints and tissue stay well lubricated and oiled up so that you are flexible and able to do those twists, turns and back bends

4. Fuel up on healthy carbohydrates and protein, not sugar!

5 and finally add a little fun to your workout, sing along to your music, add in a few skips or jump rope and stir things up with activities that make you feel light fun and youthful!

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Scrumptious Pie Crust; healthy, raw & gluten free

With berry and cherry season well on its way I know some of you out there must be making lip-smacking, scrumptious pies. I had a client ask me how to make a crust that is gluten-free and still tasty. I upped the ante: here is one that is gluten-free, raw, incredibly healthy and super delicious!

INGREDIENTS

1.5 cups Almonds Soaked  overnight

1 cup Walnuts Soaked  overnight

Rinse, pat the nuts dry

1 cup Dates, pitted, soaked in water

Dash of Sea Salt

Vanilla extract (optional)

In a food processor or high-speed blender, process all ingredients. You can even toss in a few cinnamon currant flackers for more omega 3’s and extra fiber. Use a tsp or a tbsp of water, if necessary to form dough texture.

 Press into a pie pan or plate and voila! Enjoy….

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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very cherry fourth flacker crunch

This is a superb fresh dessert and snack that is health giving and yummy.

What you will need: You can also half the recipe if you are serving only a few people.

2 pounds of organic cherries, pitted and quartered 
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract /1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 cup pitted dates 
3/4 cup slivered almonds 
1/3 cup chia seeds / 6 cinnamon currant flackers

Toss cherries with vanilla and 2 tablespoons of the orange juice. Spoon into an 8-inch-square dish and smooth the top. In a food processor, combine dates, almonds, chia seeds and cinnamon and process until coarsely ground. Pour in remaining 1 tablespoon orange juice and pulse until combined. Spoon chia mixture evenly over the top of the cherries and serve, or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days.

 
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Posted by on July 4, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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