Simple Test to Short-cut Your Path to Weight-loss and Adrenal Health Recovery

Adrenal health is an area I work with every day in the office and preventatively in the work I do with my group mindfulness and yoga nidra programs and kids programs. Basically we are working with moving the body out of habitual patterns that favour 'survival mode' as the mode of operando and into a better balance of our rest, digest and restore physiology. Age better, think clearer and feel good. Do I hear a "Yes please!!!!!"? (-;

Bigger picture is that our current society-at-large lifestyle is depleting and overstimulating for our adrenal glands and nowadays being intentional about incorporating ways to destress our lives and nourish ourselves is essential to our physical, mental and emotional health. From fluorescent light to processed foods to increased screen time to increase toxin exposure and electromagnetic radiation on a daily basis it's kind of no surprise adrenal health is a key area to incorporate self-care for those wishing to thrive in their work, play, parenting, relationships ... life.

One of the easiest, most powerful ways (aside from mindfulness practices like yoga nidra!) to keep ourselves well and able to do the things we love for a long time is through diet.

Good fats, fiber, healthy proteins and resistant starches are key in this for most people.

To really get your daily diet dialled in your favour (short and long term) IgG Food Sensitivity Testing is super helpful in identifying the foods you are eating on a regular basis that are affecting your metabolism and adrenal cortisol rebalancing.  Those foods are good to identify and ditch from your diet as they can cause inflammation in your body leading to sleep disruption, contributing to difficult fat loss (especially abdominal), joint pain, headaches, and low energy. They really affect adrenal health and our ability to deal with the normal stresses of life.

The good news is that this blood testing is available through a lab in Calgary so it only takes 10 days to get your results. We usually have a full stock of kits at the office (403)609-8385 and it doesn’t take long to do. For many clients we fit it into the initial naturopathic consult as nutrition is a foundation on wellness and this way we can get specific about what foods are best for your body at this time.

FYI - Pregnant moms and moms planning to breastfeed are especially great candidates for this test as knowing your IgG reactive foods and avoiding them will prevent the passing on of these immune responses to babe and I’ve noticed has decreased digestive discomfort in babes of moms who have this information. Yah! (-:

Sore Belly/Diarrhea Recovery Food Ideas and Practice Pearls

Basic recommendations and some favourite recipes to get you nourished and feeling better after diarrhea or if you have weak digestion/"digestive fire".

Everyone is unique but a couple general recommendations to start is to 1. really chew your food so your body gets it in a very broken down absorbable form 2. limit raw food (warm food time) and 3. soak nuts or grains overnight to - as with the chewing - decrease the work the digestive system needs to do at this time. 

Here are some other favourites:

1. Ginger and high quality probiotics are my first line go to's. Keep some whole ginger root in your freezer at all times as this is so helpful to have at the start of digestive and immune symptoms. The HMF Intensive at the clinic is the probiotic has been a best seller for over 15 years so we recommend that as our first choice - with diarrhea I recommend avoiding probiotics tat have FOS (fructo-oligosaccharides) as part of it - it will say so on the label.

2. Slippery elm powder - as a tea or mixed with yoghurt or applesauce - very soothing. You can purchase this bulk at health food stores.

3. Congees - there are many 'congee' recipes out there - comes from traditional chinese medicine. A simple one is 1 cup of rice to 9 cups water. Add grated ginger to it and bring to a boil. Then turn it way low and let it simmer covered for a couple hours. This is as unfancy as you can get with cooking but your digestive system will more than likely love it! Adding some very finely cut up chicken or turkey in there is an easy protein variation excellent especially if you are Blood type O.

4. * KEY Soup for diarrhea: The Electrolyte Replacement Soup - zuccinni, potato peels. celery. Chop it all up, boil it for a bit till the water gets brothy looking. Strain, add a whole salt  to taste (i.e. Celtic or Himalayan) and drink up. Warm beverages are excellent for the digestive system and this one is packed with the very nutrients you lose with diarrhea. This will help your brain come back online after repeated diarrhea. I've been there during my India trip and can attest to how important replenishing electrolytes are when you have diarrhea!

5. Miso soup - 1 tsp - 1 Tbsp miso paste in 1 cup hot water and boom you have a super digestible protein rich meal. You can find the containers of miso paste in the refrigerator section of most health food stores. It is made from soy so I would recommend sticking with nonGMO soy. As it is fermented it is the top soy product I recommend. Soooo easy! 

6. Bone broth - our favourite is the Osso brand. We often have some in the freezer at the office at a special client rate because myself and the staff like to have some for backup when we haven't had time to make some from scratch ... it happens! Bone broth is packed with nutrients easily absorbed and utilized for healing by the digestive tract.

7. The unda drainage and repair medicines are what I find works best for chronic digestive issues that need a bit more than the basics above. These can be used even for very young children with good results and are thankfully easy to take.

"I love the undas!" Jill, mom of 3

8. Lastly, figure out your food sensitivities either by an elimination diet or blood test. Figuring out your food sensitivities is a simple way to decrease inflammation in the gut and body in general. We offer several kits at the office. The 120 food assessment is the most popular and it takes 10 days to receive results. This test is highly recommended if you have chronic inflammation of any kind or poor digestion. For more info click on the link below ...

Food sensitivity testing Spotlight and why I recommend it to pregnant and breastfeeding mamas...

OK, we all know that a healthy diet is a key component to overall health and well-being.  Working with you to make sure that your diet supports your health is foundational for Naturopathic Doctors. Many of you have been hearing about Food Sensitivity Testing and I often get a lot of questions that I thought I'd answer here.

There are a lot of ways to find out what foods your body is not agreeing with. Reacting to a food can be a digestive issue (not enough enzymes to digest - 3 common contributors to this are age, fast eating and eating under stress) or an immune reaction (body is reacting to food as if it were something foreign to get rid of rather than use it to make/keep you fit as a fiddle). This test tells you which foods are eliciting an IgG reaction - a delayed food sensitivity reaction. Here's a scenario: Jill eats an egg on Saturday and her headache flares on Monday - we do the testing and it reveals that one of her IgG sensitivities are eggs. Her headache was in part a response to her sensitivity to the egg. Arrgh..so frustrating and hard to pinpoint the food connection in cases like this and this test is brilliant in uncovering this.  IgG reactions are delayed - sometimes 24, 48 -72(!) hours after eating it. Your typical IgE allergic reaction would be more what we think of when we hear food allergy - it is immediate - like a peanut allergy or something that you react to right away with a rash, swelling or increase in other symptoms.

We offer the delayed food sensitivity panel (IgG) by Rocky Mountain Analytical lab. It tests 97 foods for their IgG reaction - takes about 10 minutes and the blood sample is sent away to the lab and results received in about 3 weeks. The ALCAT is an excellent test too - I have found great results with the IgG test (i.e. patient's symptoms decrease/clear when off the specific foods) so I primarily use this unless I have a request for the ALCAT.

What it tells you: assesses what foods might be stressing the body creating symptoms of overload such as inflammation, seasonal allergies, frequent colds, fatigue, mood swings, colic in young ones, skin conditions and of course digestive issues. It is important to be eating the foods you want tested the 3 weeks before the test in order to be able to assess their effect. Important note:  if you know a food doesn't agree with you that's your proof so no need to eat a food that you clearly know isn't contributing to you feeling fabulous - your experience outweighs any test.

Common foods that come up high in the testing are gluten, dairy and eggs but we've seen garlic and sesame seeds and some fruits and vegetables come up also. This is our clients favorite test and so helpful in customizing your diet for your well-being.

 Everyone can benefit from knowing what foods are best for their body - and most people when they get their results aren't too surprised and had a gut feeling. "Garlic is supposed to be so good for you so I've been eating it but I had a hunch that it wasn't agreeing with me - this test confirms my hunch!"

 Why mamas?

Since setting a good foundation for wellness early is preventative medicine at its best, I encourage mothers to take this test. Especially recommended for breastfeeding mothers and mothers-to-be as improper foods and immune-mediated responses can be passed on to the baby in utero and through breast milk. Knowing what foods your body loves best and decreasing the foods that are creating inflammation/disonance is so helpful in creating a good start for babe.  It takes energy to prepare good food for you and your family - this is one way to take some of the guess work out of your family's healthy food choices and find out which foods are contributing to your well-being.

This is one page of an example of the report you will receive. 97 foods are testing. As you can see pineapples, cranberries and bananas are creating an IgG immune mediated inflammatory response for this individual at this time.

This is one page of an example of the report you will receive. 97 foods are testing. As you can see pineapples, cranberries and bananas are creating an IgG immune mediated inflammatory response for this individual at this time.


**For some of you your insurance company may even cover some of the cost through extended insurance plans and health spending accounts such as through Teacher Associations and many company health plans. Regardless, that's just a bonus - this test is a great investment in your family's health -  worth every penny.