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Our Need for Collagen

by Nancy Weyrauch Mehlert, MS

Collagen is the most abundant protein found in the human body.  Our physical structure and function requires it to make and repair our bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, skin, and gastrointestinal tract, so it is critical for movement, healthy skin, and digestion. Ensuring you are getting adequate sources of collagen is important as an anti-aging strategy as well as an immune building strategy! Your gastro-intestinal tract and skin barrier are two critical organ systems essential for protecting your body from outside harm.

There are many barriers to getting adequate collagen in the diet.  An important one to remember is that, as we age, we produce less collagen, precisely when we need it the most.  Processed foods, chronic stress, strenuous exercise, sleep deprivation, environmental pollutants, smoking, excessive alcohol, and poor nutrient absorption all diminish odds for adequate collagen to be obtained by the body. 

The most ideal food sources to support collagen production in the body include:

  • Homemade authentic bone broth
  • Spirulina (use dried powder or tablet form, and purchase high quality)
  • Wild Alaskan fish including cod, salmon, sardines, and mackerel
  • Eggs – we recommend pasture raised chicken eggs
  • Leafy green vegetables – spinach, kale, and arugula are the best
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Berries
  • Citrus fruits
  • Garlic
  • Fermented Foods
  • Herbs and Spices

There are also excellent supplemental forms, and selecting a high quality, properly sourced, and formulated one is very important.  We carry two excellent products to support collagen needs. CollaGEN  is a powdered dietary supplement easily mixed with a liquid. Pure PaleoMeal is a Bone Broth Protein powder in chocolate or vanilla.

By |2021-07-14T12:51:14-05:00July 21st, 2021|General, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

Fast, Easy, Indulgent, and Healthy!

Prep Time: 8-10 minutes

Makes 4 servings, 8 ounces each

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups unsweetened Milkadamia Vanilla (non-refrigerated aisle)
  • ¼ cup cacao powder
  • ¼ cup Swerve confectioners’ sweetener (more if very sweet is desired)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup chia seeds

Instructions:

Combine together all ingredients in a bowl or 4 cup measuring cup, stirring well. Wait 15 minutes.

Stir again and transfer into 8 ounce serving cups, ramekins, or other serving container.

Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours.

Garnish with fresh raspberries, nuts, or coco-whip.

Nutrition:

1- 8 ounce serving: 165 calories, 9.75 grams Fat, 5.5 grams Protein, 3.25 net Carbohydrates.

By |2021-07-07T07:43:52-05:00July 8th, 2021|General, Recipes|

How’s Your Brain Working?

By Mila McManus, M.D.

Dementia, especially Alzheimer’s,  is on the rise. Establishing a baseline of your cognition allows for early detection of trouble to come, and also can alleviate fears of Alzheimer’s.  Many people have cognitive issues such as brain fog, forgetfulness, trouble focusing, and/or a decline in math skills.  Your issues may be related to stress, hormone imbalance, poor nutrition, vitamin deficiencies, vascular disease, food allergies or sensitivities, toxins, insulin resistance, a sleep disorder, or infection in your brain, to name a few.  Cognitive decline CAN be prevented and reversed!  Addressing root causes as early as possible will lead to the best outcomes.  

Memory loss or cognitive decline can be a symptom of other chronic diseases such as Parkinson’s, ALS, stroke, brain tumors, Multiple sclerosis, heart failure, and depression. When a person begins to experience cognitive decline, it is common to experience fear, embarrassment, and anxiety. As a result, it also creates stress and tension with close family members.  At the first signs and symptoms of cognitive decline, it’s important to quickly evaluate the sources and begin appropriate treatment. 

There is a simple and inexpensive test called The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (aka MoCA for short). This highly validated and standardized test allows you to get a baseline assessment of your memory and other aspects of cognition, such as organizing and calculating. The assessment can be repeated periodically to monitor for improvement or worsening of symptoms and disease.

We administer the test at The Woodlands Institute for Health and Wellness and it takes about 15 to 20 minutes. The initial test is $39 and repeat tests are $29.  Don’t put your head in the sand about your brain health! Call (281) 298-6742 and make your appointment today.

By |2021-06-29T07:05:54-05:00June 30th, 2021|Articles, General|

Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)

A Free, Simple Technique for Emotional Freedom

Photo Courtesy DeStress Monday .org

By Mila McManus, MD

Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is a safe, effective, and no cost method to support and optimize emotional health. It uses the same energy meridians used in acupuncture. It is also known as “tapping”. This technique can be used to help you tune into the body, overcome anxiety, and/or achieve a goal. It can also help overcome a bad habit or addiction, address unresolved pain or trauma, and deal with stuffed negative emotions. It is self-administered and easy to learn in just minutes.  With a little practice, an EFT sequence can be done in about one minute. EFT also does not require any props, devices, or equipment.

How Does EFT Work?

EFT uses a simple tapping with the fingertips on meridian points on the body while thinking about a specific problem. When tapping while focusing on a specific problem, you will be identifying emotional energy blockages and opening and balancing the disruption. In fact, the two key learning points to self-administer EFT are where to tap on the body and how to properly state positive affirmations.

Where to Tap

First, tap using your index and middle finger tips together. The tips are ideal but if you have long finger nails, you can also tap with the pads. Tap firmly but gently. 

The pattern is simple, and you can tap with either hand, being sure to stay in this order:

  • Outer side of the hand, between the pinky finger knuckle and the wrist bone (it is often called the “karate chop point”.
  • Top of the head
  • Eyebrow – on the eyebrow end closest to the bridge of the nose
  • Side of the Eye – on the bone bordering the outside corner of the eye
  • Under the Eye – on the bone under an eye about one inch below the pupil
  • Under the nose – between lips and nose
  • Chin- at the midway point below your lips (not on the chin bone proper but just above it and right below the lower lip)
  • Collar Bone – this point is very important. To locate, first place your index finger on the u-shaped notch at the top center of the breastbone. From the bottom of the U, move your finger downward one inch and then go left or right one inch. While this point is called Collar Bone or Clavicle, it is actually one inch below it and only an inch away from the sternum.
  • Under the arm – tap on the same side of the hand you are using or tap on both sides with both hands. For men, tap even with the nipple, for women the middle of the bra line. It is about four inches below the armpit.
  • Wrists – tap the inner wrists of both hands together rather than using your fingers to tap.

Properly Stating Positive Affirmation

Before you begin tapping, next determine what problem you want to address. Here we will provide a simple, easy to remember script where you can fill in the blank.  Below you will also find a link to a sample YouTube, for a demonstration and other examples. It is important to be very specific. The affirmation phrase will include an acknowledgement of the problem and create self-acceptance. It does not matter whether you believe the affirmation or not, just say it while thinking about and staying tuned into the problem.

Even though I have ___________________, I deeply and completely accept myself.”

 OR

 “I love and accept myself even though I have ____________________.”

 A good way to determine where to start is to think about the first problem that comes to your mind when you wake up in the morning.  Define it carefully and identify on a scale of 1-10 the intensity of your feeling.  It is also helpful to identify where in your body you feel it. For example, does it  make your head hurt, back or neck muscles tight, or sit in the pit of your stomach creating butterflies or nausea? Then fill in the blank as specifically as you can. Here are examples:

Even though I have this fear of catching COVID, I deeply and completely accept myself.

Even though I have this anger toward my mother, I deeply and completely accept myself.

Even though I have this intense and very painful headache, I deeply and completely accept myself.

Even though I have this craving for wine (or cookies, etc), I deeply and completely accept myself.

Even though I feel belittled by my dad, I deeply and completely accept myself.

Even though I am tired of being sick, I deeply and completely accept myself.

Even though I am worried about making ends meet financially, I deeply and completely accept myself.

Even though I cannot control what my teenager does, I deeply and completely accept myself.

Even though I desperately want to lose weight, I deeply and completely accept myself.

Even though I feel very alone and unwanted, I deeply and completely accept myself.

Putting It All Together

Begin by breathing in and out. Start tapping on the karate chop point of your hand and state your affirmation three times before moving to the top of the head.  Tap the head, and each ordered place about 5-7 times while stating your affirmation out loud with feeling and emphasis until you have completed the sequence.  Be sure to stay focused on the problem, really tuning into the feelings or situation while tapping.

A Few Helpful Tips

  • Use only affirmations that feel comfortable and right for you.
  • It is very important to be well hydrated. Water conducts energy.
  • While one sequence may actually correct an emotional blockage, practicing the sequence up to 10 times a day is recommended.
  • The most important sequence is right before bed, as this will give your subconscious six to eight hours to work on the affirmation. Another powerful time is upon awakening in the morning. Some people do them every time they use the bathroom or are waiting in a car. Remember, the sequence should not take more than one minute.
  • It is also very powerful to do the sequence in a mirror looking right into your own eyes.
  • You will notice a cognitive shift when you realize a reframing of the problem, seeing it from a different angle or perspective, or when you get new insight into the problem. You may notice you make valuable connections or associations that will lead to new pathways for healing.
  • Here is an example YouTube for EFT.

As Functional Medicine practitioners, we know that unaddressed emotions and trauma impair the ability of the body to heal because emotional stress is stored physically at the cellular level.  That’s why it is so important to address emotional barriers as part of any physical healing process. Often times the cost of counseling therapies and energy therapies is not covered by insurance, or is cost prohibitive for some, and EFT offers an option anyone can use for FREE.

For additional resources, consider the book The Tapping Solution, by Nick Ortner or access EFT demonstrations on YouTube.

Be Whole, Be Well.

By |2021-06-21T10:04:51-05:00June 23rd, 2021|General|

Summer Skin Care Matters!

As the warmer months approach, make sure you are ready to properly protect your family’s and your skin from the sun. Sunscreens can be some of the most toxic substances to put on your skin.  Remember that your skin is your largest organ. It covers your entire body and is filled with capillaries to your blood stream. Your skin is HIGHLY absorptive. Because of the need to re-apply,  it is easy in one day to get a big dose of toxic substances onto and into your body in short order. As a result, the sunscreen you choose really matters.

Sunscreens are a well-known source of heavily laden chemicals, including hormone disrupters, carcinogens, and other toxic chemicals. While there are many, the most concerning seem to be oxybenzone (hormone disruptor), methylisothiazolinone (allergenic, skin sensitivity), and retinyl palmitate (a form of vitamin A believed to speed the development of skin tumors and lesions).  

We highly recommend that you use the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org) consumer guides. They have just released their newly updated 2021 Sunscreen guide. They write very insightful and helpful summaries of their findings and evaluate the ingredients of hundreds of products to protect you.  Here is the link:  

https://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/

Dr. Josh Axe’s newsletter also did a recent summary of the EWG report, listing the best options. Search online for “The Best Sunscreens and Toxic Ones to Avoid” by Leah Zerbe and you can find that article as well.

Perhaps even more important is to take other simple, non-toxic precautions first such as:

  • During the heat of the mid-day sun, wear protective sunglasses, hats, and t-shirts and stay in the shade.
  • There really is no such thing as a perfect sunscreen. It really should be used as a last resort as a protective measure. But if you must, choose the best.
  • Be sure to have your vitamin D levels checked by your healthcare provider.
  • We DO need some sun exposure for good health. Just 10 to 15 minutes of time in the sun, without sunscreen, helps the body to create about 10,000 units of natural vitamin D. Choose late morning hours or late in the day hours and limit the time to 10 to 15 minutes to avoid skin damage.

So before you head out to the garden, or over to the lake, beach or hiking path, be sure you have everything on hand to protect you and your family from damaging your skin.

Happy Spring and Summer! Be well! Stay well!

By |2021-06-09T13:46:50-05:00June 10th, 2021|General|

Affordable, Effective, and Many Ways to Use This

By Mila McManus MD

Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) has long been accepted and used as a safe, affordable disinfectant on surfaces and wounds. The intense bubbling you see on a bacteria-laden wound treated with hydrogen peroxide is oxygen being released and bacteria being destroyed in the wound.

Did you know that your white blood cells make hydrogen peroxide and use it to destroy harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi? In fact, the ability of our cells to produce hydrogen peroxide is essential for life.

New research indicates that hydrogen peroxide is needed for a multitude of chemical reactions that take place throughout the body. Our friendly bacteria found in our mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, sinuses, lungs, digestive tract, and urinary tract are aerobic, meaning they flourish in high oxygen environments.  Hydrogen peroxide is oxygen-rich!

One very interesting connection is being made to leaky gut syndrome and other diseases of the gut. Dr. Thomas Levy, MD, JD, explains in his book, Hidden Epidemic (MedFox Publishing, 2017), what happens following any acute respiratory viral syndrome, such as the flu, COVID, or a common cold. The nasal and oral cavities remain in a low-grade infectious state with disease-causing colonies known to protect themselves with biofilms. This allows them to persist chronically. The tonsils and other parts of the immune and lymphatic systems in the oral cavity remain persistently challenged and infected. This infection also gravitates to teeth, gums, and the gut, as the pathogens are swallowed continually and transported to the gut.  This causes persistent oxidative stress in the gut, destroying the gut’s barrier and leading to leaky gut syndrome.

So why haven’t we heard more about the use of hydrogen peroxide for healing? Interest in hydrogen peroxide waned in the 1940’s when prescription medications came on the scene. There has been little economic interest in funding research for something so inexpensive that can’t be patented. In other words, there is no money to be made with hydrogen peroxide therapies.

Despite that, therapeutic uses for hydrogen peroxide have continued to be reported in both standard medical journals and alternative health publications for the last 25 years.  It appears that there are an astounding number of conditions that could be helped by H2O2 therapy. We’ve heard more about it recently because of its use in the prevention and treatment of COVID.

Hydrogen peroxide can be used internally (food grade ONLY!)  and externally using numerous delivery methods, including orally, nebulized, intravenously, topically, and for douching. (Note: A nebulizer turns liquid medicine into a very fine mist that a person can inhale through a face mask or mouthpiece).

What are the benefits of nebulizing H2O2?  Here are a few to consider:

  • A dramatic increase in the oxygen content of the blood and body tissues which creates an environment that is not conducive to disease states.
  • Hydrogen peroxide breaks down biofilm that protects disease-causing bacteria and mold from the immune system. Antibiotics often fail due to inability to penetrate through biofilms.
  • H2O2 destroys harmful bacteria in the nasal/oral cavity, protecting the teeth, gums, and gut from oxidative stress and infection.
  • Most strains of harmful bacteria are anaerobic and cannot survive in the presence of oxygen-rich hydrogen peroxide.
  • Hydrogen peroxide stimulates enzyme systems throughout the body, increasing metabolic rate, dilating small arteries, and increasing blood flow to the heart and brain, enhancing the distribution and use of oxygen throughout the body.
  • Hydrogen peroxide therapy has been used for allergies, influenza, asthma, bacterial infections, yeast and fungal infections, cancer, parasitic infections, heart disease, Herpes, gingivitis/periodontal disease, shingles, sore throat, and emphysema, to name a few.
  • H2O2 nebulization is affordable and can be easily self-administered at home.

Hydrogen peroxide nebulizer treatments are available at The Woodlands Institute for Health and Wellness. Ask your health care provider if this might be a wise therapy for you.

References:

Levy, Thomas E., Rapid Virus Recovery, (Henderson, NV:MedFox Publishing, 2021)

Levy, Thomas, Hidden Epidemic

Mercola.com

By |2021-05-18T05:44:08-05:00May 19th, 2021|General|

Crispy GF Fried Chicken

(perfect for chicken or pork chops)

Ingredients:

¼ cup Pamela’s Gluten Free Pancake and Waffle Mix*    

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 t. onion powder

½ t. salt

¼ t. fresh ground black pepper

½ t. paprika

Up to a pound of chicken pieces or pork chops

2 T. butter, ghee, or coconut oil.

Instructions:

Step One:  Combine all the ingredients in a bowl or bag.

Step Two:  Dredge the chicken or pork in the flour mixture until coated.

Step Three: On Medium heat, melt butter or coconut oil in a frying pan.

Step Four: Pan fry the pieces until crisp and golden and until juices run clear.

*To prevent excess carbohydrate intake and blood sugar destabilization, we don’t recommend using this mix for pancakes or waffles, but it makes a wonderful coating for chicken and pork.

By |2021-05-12T05:20:58-05:00May 12th, 2021|General, Recipes|

CM Core*: Cardiometabolic Health

CM Core is designed to address several factors associated with ideal cardiometabolic health and backed by extensive clinical research.  The combination of berberine and alpha lipoic acid (ALA) helps to maintain heart function, metabolism, antioxidant status, and lipid and glucose levels. It provides a powerful formula for those seeking to optimize the multiple mechanisms of cardiovascular and metabolic health.

CM Core enhances cell signaling for efficient ATP (energy) production and supports blood sugar balance.  It also supports healthy cholesterol levels.

Berberine is a plant extract that has been used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for over 2500 years. It has a broad range of health-promoting properties.  It can be found in the roots and stems of plants such as goldenseal, goldenthread, and barberry. Berberine works to support normal blood pressure, normal heart contraction and rhythm, as well as healthy cholesterol levels. It has also been shown to promote uptake of glucose without requiring insulin. This promotes better glucose usage within the cell.

Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is a nutrient required for cellular metabolism, specifically the breakdown of carbohydrates and fatty acids. ALA supports blood sugar balance by activating a major regulator of cellular energy called AMPK. Lipoic acid is also an antioxidant, supports nerve and liver health, and is important for circulatory health.

As your provider if CM Core is right for you!

*Taken from the product information sheet at https://www.orthomolecularproducts.com/cm-core/

By |2021-05-03T16:26:34-05:00May 5th, 2021|General|

Personal Nutrition: Take a Close Look

By Nancy Mehlert, MS.

When it comes to personal nutrition, seasonal changes offer a great opportunity to pause and examine what our diet looks like at this point in time.  As we move into Spring, here are three simple examinations you can put your personal nutrition under the magnifying glass:

  • When is the last time you tried a new food or changed up your food routine?

Since there are not 15-25 foods that can offer all of the macro and micro nutrients we need, it is important to rotate foods often, expand the number of foods we eat, and increase our variety for good health. This is especially true of vegetables, nuts, seeds, and even meat choices.

  • Have you slid down the slippery slope?

It happens to the best of us! Too many sweets, too much fruit, eating gluten again, too many nights a week with alcohol, eating out a lot more, buying more packaged food, over eating, eating before bed, not drinking enough water…. Whatever your slippery slopes are, is it time to get back on track?

  • When is the last time you stopped your routine for a detoxification of some sort?

It is a toxic world, and everyone benefits by scheduling some routine detoxification efforts a couple times a year at least.  Consider some fasting, a detoxification diet, a Health Reset Program, ONDAMED, or HCG to promote cleansing, weight loss, or healing.

Visit our webiste TWIHW.com or call 281.298.6742 for more information.

 

By |2021-04-26T14:45:15-05:00April 28th, 2021|General, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|

Berkeley Life Professional: Nitric Oxide Suppport

By Mila McManus, M.D.

A Nobel Prize was awarded for the discovery that Nitric Oxide (NO) plays a significant role in the cardiovascular system. NO is naturally made in your body, but as you age you produce less of it. Berkeley Life Professional helps support NO levels for a healthy cardiovascular system by supplementing your diet with dietary nitrates¹.

Berkeley Life Professional’s drug free supplement provides the same dietary nitrates found in plants, as well as key vitamins, to help support NO levels, the cardiovascular system, and overall health and vitality. This supplement is free of allergens including milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, soy, gluten, and gelatin¹.

NO is also found in beets, garlic, leafy greens (spinach, arugula, kale, and cabbage) as well as citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit). These are all good sources of nature-made nitrates, which are different than the harmful man-made chemical additives called sodium nitrate or sodium nitrite.

Talk with your healthcare provide to see if Berkeley Life Professional Nitric Oxide Support is right for you and purchase it here at TWIHW.

¹www.berkeleylife.com

 

By |2021-03-22T11:14:48-05:00April 18th, 2021|Articles, General|
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