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Holistic Services – Daily Hudson Valley News http://www.hvinsider.com/articles Online news source for the Mid Hudson Region Fri, 01 May 2015 05:10:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6.2 Fran Sussman – Kale Chips and Chicken Jerky http://www.hvinsider.com/articles/fran-sussman-kale-chips-and-chicken-jerky/ Wed, 09 Oct 2013 15:24:48 +0000 http://www.hvinsider.com/articles/?p=14501 Kale chips are foolproof with a dehydrator, which can’t be said about making them in the oven, as I know from many trays gone wrong. The chicken jerky is for my pup Lucy. She’s a picky eater, and not particularly food oriented. The ONLY treat she likes is chicken jerky, and after all the recalls for contamination, I don’t trust any of the packaged products any more.

I get a lot of kale from my CSA, and after having it every day for a few weeks, my body said: enough! I do find that overdoing kale can have inflammatory consequences, due to its oxalate content. So I chopped it up, massaged it with just a little olive oil and salt, and put it in the dehydrator overnight. Presto! Perfect kale chips that I can enjoy by the handful, months after the CSA has ended.

Chicken jerky is so easy to do in the dehydrator. Just cut thin strips of raw chicken, put them in a bowl with a little healthy oil (I used coconut oil), which is as good for pets as it is for humans), mix around, and then lay out on the dehydrator trays for about 6 hours at 165 degrees. You can also add parsley or mint if you want to make them “breath treats”. Make sure they are completely dry when done. You may want to keep them in the fridge to be completely safe. Of course you could make it from other meats, and you can even eat it yourself, if you are so inclined.

If you have a dehydrator, I’d love to know how you use yours.

You can make chicken jerky without a dehydrator by setting your oven to 200 degrees, but the dehydrator is much more efficient, and it’s fool-proof.

***

Fran Sussman Holistic ServicesFran Sussman has been in holistic care since 1988 and in private practice since 1993. She has trained with many of the foremost thinkers in holistic medicine today. Apart from one-on-one consulting, Fran is sought after as a speaker, workshop leader, writer and meditation teacher. She offers an e-newsletter, is an active blogger and can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

“Our natural state is health, happiness, creativity, and well-being. My work is to provide the knowledge and the ongoing support for anyone who wants to achieve that.”

Visit www.fransussman.com or call 845-496-0385.

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Gluten Sensitivity Associated With Asthma Depression and More http://www.hvinsider.com/articles/gluten-sensitivity-associated-with-asthma-depression-and-more/ Wed, 20 Mar 2013 21:30:07 +0000 http://www.hvinsider.com/articles/?p=12256 When my son was 6 months old, he suddenly came down with violent eczema: bright red patches on his cheeks, elbows and legs that drove him crazy with itchiness.  My smiling cheerful “sunshine boy” was suddenly transformed into a miserable, crying, bloody mess.  I brought him to the pediatrician, who prescribed a steroid cortisone cream, and mentioned casually, as we were leaving, that my son would have asthma by the time he was four.  That stopped me in my tracks. “Oh no he won’t!” I declared.

While keeping the eczema under control with homeopathy, I began my search to understand what was going on with his body.  Unfortunately, it took me years. Fortunately, we were able to keep him relatively healthy. Though my poor son sported a chronically runny nose, he never became asthmatic.  I took him to many doctors, holistic and otherwise, as well as homeopaths, naturopaths and other practitioners during the years that followed.  None had answers, though they all made suggestions. They touted blood tests that said he was reacting to things he’d never eaten, and supplements that rarely helped at all.  I continued to support him with homeopathy, detox, and supplements that kept it from getting serious, but he was never completely, vibrantly well, the way a child should be. As always in my work – how much more so for my son – I was driven to find the underlying cause, and no one had successfully helped me identify it yet.

It was only when I did my training with endocrinologist Diana Schwarzbein, M.D., that the picture finally came in to focus: my son is gluten-sensitive.  His chronic runny nose disappeared almost instantly.  None of the tests, and none of the practitioners, had suggested that.

Now, looking back, it all seems perfectly clear.  His symptoms started when we introduced food. He was gnawing on pizza crusts, bagels, teething cookies: all made with wheat.  He had intense “growing pains” which are virtually always an indication of gluten sensitivity. He was short, which he overcame on the basketball court with intensity, honed skills and determination, but short stature is often an indication. (Since giving up gluten he is no longer short.)  He would often get so tired after dinner that he would fall asleep at the table.  All of these, I know now, are signs of gluten sensitivity, but I couldn’t recognize them because I didn’t know.  How I wish I could have saved him all those years of frustration.

I also owe Diana Schwarzbein my own health.  I had no symptoms, but she was certain I was gluten sensitive. She told me she had had the same resistance to the idea herself, but felt so much better when she went gluten-free. Finally, because I trusted her, I decided to try it. After all, I was cooking gluten free for my son already, so it was easy to do.

I was astonished. Within a few weeks, I felt like a veil had lifted. I realized that I had been suffering from a mild depression my whole life, and that it was caused by eating gluten.  How can you know, when you are limited by your own experience?  Also, like my son, I discovered I was not hypoglycemic: my blood sugar swings were the effect of gluten in my system.  And over time, many things improved: not only my mood, but my cognitive function, my digestion, my skin tone, and my body composition.

Of course there are other issues that make people sick, or less than optimally well. Not only other food sensitivities, but bacterial, viral and fungal infections, as well as hormonal and metabolic imbalances. But the truth is that gluten sensitivity can exacerbate or even trigger any of these.

Recent research on gluten sensitivity has linked it with IBS, acid reflux, bone fractures (gluten reduces mineral absorption), with bone fractures, and one that links erratic blood sugar levels after meals (something I associate with gluten sensitivity) to sudden heart failure, even in young people.  My theories, from my clinical practice, about relationships between gluten sensitivity and H. Pylori, early onset Alzheimer’s, diabetes, anxiety and depression, Interstitial Cystitis, bone loss, Lupus, and more, have all found validation in research over the past few years, along with the issues mentioned above.  Much of it has to do with inflammation and insulin resistance, both of which can be caused or exacerbated by gluten consumption.

***

Fran Sussman Holistic ServicesFran Sussman has been in holistic care since 1988 and in private practice since 1993. She has trained with many of the foremost thinkers in holistic medicine today. Apart from one-on-one consulting, Fran is sought after as a speaker, workshop leader, writer and meditation teacher. She offers an e-newsletter, is an active blogger and can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

“Our natural state is health, happiness, creativity, and well-being. My work is to provide the knowledge and the ongoing support for anyone who wants to achieve that.”

Visit www.fransussman.com or call 845-496-0385.

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Fran Sussman – Sinfully Delicious Yet Healthy Brownies http://www.hvinsider.com/articles/fran-sussman-sinfully-delicious-yet-healthy-brownies/ Wed, 13 Mar 2013 15:44:12 +0000 http://www.hvinsider.com/articles/?p=12164 Uh oh… Brownies that are irresistible *and* healthy?  Be careful. You may not be able to control yourself, but you can retain your virtuous aura: there’s no junk in these at all.

These are the best gluten free casein free sugar free brownies I’ve made yet.  Dangerously divine!

Why are they so good? Apart from being mouth-wateringly delicious, the nutrition rocks! The nut flour contributes protein; both the nut flour and the coconut oil are healthy fats; buckwheat is gluten-free, high fiber and contains all the essential amino acids (did you know it was a fruit seed, not a grain?); and eggs are nutrition powerhouses. Xylitol, also known as birch sugar, has almost no impact on blood sugar, and many other surprising therapeutic benefits as well. You can learn all about xylitol on my website.

Recipe

5 ounces unsweetened cocoa bar (You could use dark chocolate and less xylitol)

1/2 cup organic coconut oil (or you could use butter from pastured cows)

2 free-range eggs

1¼ cup xylitol (use less if you use sweetened chocolate)

1/2 cup nut flour (I used hazelnut the first time and almond the second. You could also pulse raw nuts in a food processor if you don’t have flour.)

1/4 cup buckwheat flour (You could use brown rice flour but it might make the brownies dryer.)

1/2 teaspoon fine ground sea or Himalyan salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons vanilla (or 1 teaspoon vanilla plus 2 teaspoons peppermint extract for mint brownies)

Optional: 1/2 cup chopped nuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment or wax paper and lightly oil the bottom. (It makes both serving and clean up so easy!)

Melt the dark chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler. Stir together until completely melted and smooth. Do not overcook! Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs until frothy. Add the xylitol and beat until mixture is smooth and light. Add the melted chocolate mixture into the egg-xylitol mixture a little at a time and beat well for a good minute. The chocolate will look smooth and glossy.

In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients: nut meal, buckwheat, salt and baking soda; whisk together. Add the dry flour mix into the chocolate mixture and beat well for a minute. Add the vanilla, beat another half a minute or so.

 

If you are adding nuts, stir in by hand and spread the batter into the prepared baking pan, smoothing it out evenly.  You can also use parchment paper to line the pan to make it easy to remove the brownies.

Bake in the center of a preheated 350 degree F oven for 30 minutes, or until the brownies are set. Don’t overcook. Err on the side of gooey, if you must.

Cool on a wire rack; and remove the brownies from the pan by gripping the edges of the paper underneath.  They keep well in the fridge or freezer but that won’t keep you from going back for more. Or maybe that’s just me!

***

Fran Sussman Holistic ServicesFran Sussman has been in holistic care since 1988 and in private practice since 1993. She has trained with many of the foremost thinkers in holistic medicine today. Apart from one-on-one consulting, Fran is sought after as a speaker, workshop leader, writer and meditation teacher. She offers an e-newsletter, is an active blogger and can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

“Our natural state is health, happiness, creativity, and well-being. My work is to provide the knowledge and the ongoing support for anyone who wants to achieve that.”

Visit www.fransussman.com or call 845-496-0385.

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Fran Sussman – 10 Summettime Ways to Drink to Your Health http://www.hvinsider.com/articles/fran-sussman-10-summettime-ways-to-drink-to-your-health/ Wed, 20 Jun 2012 17:01:20 +0000 http://www.hvinsider.com/articles/?p=8467 “What can I drink besides water?” Clients are always asking me that question, particularly after I take away their diet soda and coffee! (One cup of coffee a day, OK. More than that, not a good idea.)

Fortunately, there are options that make healthy and refreshing summertime drinks. Here are some of my favorites:

1. Iced tea. Brew a pot of herbal or green tea, double strength, and then pour it over ice for an instant cool-down. If you want it sweetened, add stevia or xylitol. Store extra in the fridge for later.

2. Jazzy seltzer. There are lots of great-tasting flavored seltzers, from raspberry to white chocolate. Avoid anything with artificial sweeteners.

3. Lemonade. My kids loved making fresh lemonade when they were little. You can get a citrus press for just a few dollars. Then all you need are some lemons (preferably organic), some water and some xylitol or stevia to sweeten.

4. Pick your own. This time of year, I love to harvest my tea from my garden and my evening walk: red clover, mint, lemon balm, nettle or dandelion leaves — all tasty and nutritious.

5. Cool-down tea. Mix red clover flowers and a few leaves of sage for a very pretty and cooling brew. (Especially recommended for menopausal women.)

6. Kombucha. This is a refreshing fermented tea drink that comes in many different flavors. Try a couple from the store, and if you’re a fan like me, you might want to invest in a home brewing system, rather than paying $4 a bottle. It is easy and inexpensive to brew at home.

7. Electrolytes. In this heat, I see many clients’ hydration going down, down, down. That can make you feel sluggish and tired and has a huge impact on your metabolism as well. Electrolytes can help, but that doesn’t mean sugary, artificially colored and flavored drinks. Look for formulas that are all natural and sugar-free. Some come in convenient packets that you can carry and use as needed. Others are unflavored concentrated liquids you can add to anything you’re drinking.

8. Vitamin C. Fizzy powdered vitamin C drinks are good for you and fun to use. They come in lots of flavors.

9. “Milk Shake.” Mix some unsweetened almond or coconut milk, stevia or xylitol, and some fresh local strawberries, blueberries, a peach — use your imagination! Add some crushed ice and blend.

10. “Egg Cream.” Did you drink this New York specialty when you were young? I did. My updated healthy version: half seltzer, half unsweetened coconut or almond milk, some vanilla extract and some stevia or xylitol.

Note: Stevia and xylitol are natural sweeteners that are good for you and have negligible impact on blood sugar — safe even for diabetics. As they have become more popular and available, brands are on the market that are not as healthful. For xylitol, look for real birch sugar rather than xylitol from corn husks. Look for 100 percent stevia, without fillers and additives.

***

Fran Sussman Holistic ServicesFran Sussman has been in holistic care since 1988 and in private practice since 1993. She has trained with many of the foremost thinkers in holistic medicine today. Apart from one-on-one consulting, Fran is sought after as a speaker, workshop leader, writer and meditation teacher. She offers an e-newsletter, is an active blogger and can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

“Our natural state is health, happiness, creativity, and well-being. My work is to provide the knowledge and the ongoing support for anyone who wants to achieve that.”

Visit www.fransussman.com or call 845-496-0385.

Share

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Fran Sussman – All About Food Sensitivities http://www.hvinsider.com/articles/fran-sussman-all-about-food-sensitivities/ Wed, 13 Jun 2012 12:41:54 +0000 http://www.hvinsider.com/articles/?p=8372 Most people wouldn’t think that the following symptoms could all be caused by a food sensitivity, but they often are. I have seen so many clients who come in with a long list of chronic symptoms, each of which has been treated, often unsuccessfully, with different medication, by a different specialist, and all of which we have been able to resolve within months simply by identifying and eliminating food sensitivities.

  • Migraines and headaches
  • Eczema, Psoriasis, and other skin rashes
  • Joint Pain
  • Body Aches
  • Sinus Problems
  • Asthma and other chronic respiratory problems
  • Irritability, Depression, Anxiety, Brain Fog
  • Constipation and Diarrhea, IBS,. Gas & Bloating, GERD, Acid Reflux
  • Anemia
  • Acne
  • Chronic Congestion or runny nose
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Growing Pains in kids

When I started my practice, I never would have guessed that working with food sensitivities would be such a big part of it, but I have come to understand that, surprisingly, it is one of the fundamental keys to attaining good health. Identifying food sensitivities and helping clients adapt to eliminating them has been one of the most important keys to successfully assisting my clients reach their optimal health and well-being.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that it is a health essential: without identifying and eliminating food sensitivities, you will not achieve optimal health. Conversely, if you are frustrated about not having achieved optimal health, despite the reasonable measures you have taken, hidden food sensitivities may be the culprit.

When most people think of food sensitivities, they generally think of someone having an anaphylactic response to strawberries, or peanut butter: something immediate, and drastic. Those are sensitivities mediated by the IgE part of our immune system. However, the kinds of sensitivities I’m referring to are mediated by other parts of our immune system, and often take 24-72 hours to manifest, making it very difficult to discern that what you ate – let alone which food – is causing your symptoms, especially if it’s a food you’re eating all the time. Food sensitivities can manifest in any organ or system of the body, as suggested by the list above.

In my practice, I separate food sensitivities into “primary” and “secondary.”

Primary sensitivities are the ones that are life-long, and often genetic, meaning you are born with them. Gluten sensitivity is the most common example of this. Other common ones are dairy, soy, peanuts, and eggs, although these can also be secondary sensitivities, while gluten never is.

Secondary sensitivities happen when reactions to ingesting the primary sensitivities cause a breakdown of the lining of the intestinal tract, allowing undigested particles to leak into the blood stream.

The body regards these foods that have leaked into the blood stream as foreign particles, or antigens, meaning it stimulates an immune response, attacking them and causing inflammation. This is what is known as leaky gut, and can give the appearance of someone allergic to everything.

In my experience, once you eliminate the primary sensitivities and heal the gut, you can virtually always put the secondary sensitivities back in the diet without becoming symptomatic again. Furthermore, I find that eliminating primary sensitivities can often eliminate environmental sensitivities as well. It can take anywhere from a few months to over a year to heal completely, but most people begin to experience improvements within weeks, or even days.

Some people have no food sensitivities. Most people have one or two. I see very few people who have more primary sensitivities than that.

In my practice, I test for food sensitivities using muscle testing, or kinesiology. It is simple, quick, non-invasive, and extremely reliable, meaning that when people use the information, they get good results. I have been using muscle testing for well over twenty years, and am able to muscle test both in person and by phone, for babies and children and as well as adults. Muscle testing for food sensitivities is always a part of my initial consultation.

***

Fran Sussman Holistic ServicesFran Sussman has been in holistic care since 1988 and in private practice since 1993. She has trained with many of the foremost thinkers in holistic medicine today. Apart from one-on-one consulting, Fran is sought after as a speaker, workshop leader, writer and meditation teacher. She offers an e-newsletter, is an active blogger and can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

“Our natural state is health, happiness, creativity, and well-being. My work is to provide the knowledge and the ongoing support for anyone who wants to achieve that.”

Visit www.fransussman.com or call 845-496-0385.

Share

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Fran Sussman – Health Tips for the Desk Bound http://www.hvinsider.com/articles/fran-sussman-health-tips-for-the-desk-bound/ Wed, 16 May 2012 17:44:32 +0000 http://www.hvinsider.com/articles/?p=7986 If you’re spending long days hunched over a desk or computer, you’re not alone. Here are seven ways to integrate healthier habits into a tough work day.

 

1. Mom was right.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, just as our mothers told us. Eat a healthy one before you start work, ideally within one hour of waking. This fuels your body and brain for a healthier metabolism and stable blood sugar, which means steadier focus and less fatigue. Plus, eating a balanced breakfast sets you up to have fewer cravings and eat less the rest of the day.

But lose the cereal! Many people consider cereal a healthy breakfast, probably thanks to decades of advertising, but it is not. It is essentially a large dose of refined carbohydrates, and milk only compounds the problem. (The endocrinologist I trained with used milk, rather than orange juice, to quickly raise diabetics’ blood sugar when they were low.)

A balanced meal is a combination of proteins, carbs and a little healthy fat, and should keep you satisfied and focused for about 4-6 hours.

2. Trade java for green tea.

When blood sugar drops and the midmorning (or afternoon) blahs set in, many of us reach for coffee, often laden with corn syrup-based flavors, sugar or artificial sweeteners.

Instead, trade your coffee for green tea. Green tea has caffeine, although less than coffee, but it is metabolized more slowly and gently. That means you won’t have the initial jolt to your blood sugar, or the drop after. (That’s a good thing!) And you will get a nice dose of beneficial nutrients, including antioxidants and polyphenols.

Researchers have found that two to three cups of green tea a day can have potent immune-boosting benefits. While coffee takes a toll on skin, green tea is showing promise as protection against aging from UV radiation.

3. Dump the sweeteners.

Sugar?  High fructose corn syrup (what do you THINK is in your flavored lattes?) Splenda, NutraSweet or Sweet n Low: whether you’re having them in your coffee, tea, soda or snacks, they are draining your energy and your health.

Trade them in for xylitol or stevia, natural sweeteners with no or few calories. Xylitol is actually good for you, and it tastes and looks just like sugar. Trade sodas — diet or regular — for water or club soda. If you are used to highly sweetened beverages, give your palate time to adapt; it will.

4. Pack a snack.

Just say no to the doughnuts, cookies, candies and other junk food that tends to show up anywhere people congregate. Instead, buy some small reusable containers or snack bags, and pack them with nuts. A portion is a small handful, or about two dozen almonds, for instance. It’s perfect: a little protein, some carbs and some healthy fat. Avoid trail mixes if you’re watching your weight: dried fruit is loaded with sugars. Add one of our wonderful local apples. Come prepared, and you will be so much less likely to give in to temptation.

5. Master the stairs.

Does your office have stairs? Can you take a three-minute break? One of the best forms of exercise is burst training. (Of course, check first with your health-care professional before beginning any exercise program.)

Run up the stairs as fast as you can for no more than 60 seconds. If you can’t do a full minute at first, do 20 seconds, wait 20 seconds, then sprint for 20 seconds again, and work yourself up to a full minute. Don’t do more than a minute at a time; it’s actually less effective. Alternative: Many of my clients keep an X-iser portable stepper machine under their desk. It’s small, makes no noise, won’t make you sweaty and many people can share one (some NFL, NBA and MLB teams do).

6. Change your focus.

Eyes are muscles, too, and keeping the same focal length for hours strains them, as well as your neck and shoulders. Take a break at least once an hour to look farther away, ideally, at some of our beautiful Hudson Valley scenery.

7. S-t-r-e-t-c-h!

Here’s a good one. Stand up. Interlace your fingers, then turn your palms away and stretch your arms in front of you, stretching your shoulders and back. Keeping the same hold, cup the base of your skull with your palms, and press your elbows backwards, opening your chest. Now clasp your hands behind you, and bend forward at the hips, bringing your head toward your knees. Bring your arms up gently, as far as you can. Hold for a few deep breaths, bringing fresh oxygenated blood to your brain.

OK, time to go back to work now! I hope you feel restored, rejuvenated and ready to continue your day.

***

Fran Sussman Holistic ServicesFran Sussman has been in holistic care since 1988 and in private practice since 1993. She has trained with many of the foremost thinkers in holistic medicine today. Apart from one-on-one consulting, Fran is sought after as a speaker, workshop leader, writer and meditation teacher. She offers an e-newsletter, is an active blogger and can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

“Our natural state is health, happiness, creativity, and well-being. My work is to provide the knowledge and the ongoing support for anyone who wants to achieve that.”

Visit www.fransussman.com or call 845-496-0385.

Share

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Fran Sussman – Two Post Dental Procedure Homeopathic Remedies http://www.hvinsider.com/articles/fran-sussman-two-post-dental-procedure-homeopathic-remedies/ Wed, 09 May 2012 19:15:11 +0000 http://www.hvinsider.com/articles/?p=7865 Don’t Go To The Dentist Without These

With any dental work, from a simple cleaning to root canal, I recommend two homeopathic remedies to take after your procedure: arnica and hypericum.  Together they speed recovery, aid healing and reduce pain.  They are safe and effective for both adults and children.

Arnica is probably the best known single homeopathic remedy, and the way that many people are introduced to homeopathy.  When my son played baseball and basketball, his whole team grew to appreciate these “magic pills”. Arnica excels in healing trauma to soft tissue.  It is helpful for bruises, falls, contusions, concussions, sprains and strains: any time there is impact and bruising and/or bleeding.  It can help with pain during and after childbirth and is invaluable after surgery.   In all these situations, Arnica will both reduce pain and increase healing.

Arnica is also invaluable for shock and trauma in general, situations in which someone keeps insisting “I’m okay” or “I’m fine” but it is clear they are not.

Hypericum is the remedy to use when there is damage to nerve-rich areas.  That’s why it’s so helpful after dental work.  For the same reason, it is also the remedy to use for injuries to fingers and toes, the tailbone, or the spine in general.  Many a smashed finger has been soothed with hypericum.

As soon as your dental appointment ends, take a dose of arnica in a 200c potency.  You can take it even before the feeling is fully back in your mouth.  Then, alternate arnica and hypericum, also in a 200c, every 15 minutes, until your mouth begins to feel normal again. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, a couple of doses may suffice, or you may need to take it repeatedly.

I strongly recommend you carry both these remedies with you, especially if you have young kids.  They can be invaluable first aid, and the small vials are easy to keep in a purse or pocket.  They can be damaged by heat, so keep them somewhere cool.

***

Fran Sussman Holistic ServicesFran Sussman has been in holistic care since 1988 and in private practice since 1993. She has trained with many of the foremost thinkers in holistic medicine today. Apart from one-on-one consulting, Fran is sought after as a speaker, workshop leader, writer and meditation teacher. She offers an e-newsletter, is an active blogger and can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

“Our natural state is health, happiness, creativity, and well-being. My work is to provide the knowledge and the ongoing support for anyone who wants to achieve that.”

Visit www.fransussman.com or call 845-496-0385.

Share

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Fran Sussman – Don’t Confuse What’s Common for What’s Normal http://www.hvinsider.com/articles/fran-sussman-dont-confuse-whats-common-for-whats-normal/ Wed, 02 May 2012 18:15:23 +0000 http://www.hvinsider.com/articles/?p=7762 When It Comes to Your Health – Don’t Confuse What’s Common for What’s Normal

I was recently privy to a conversation wherein one friend complained of ongoing GI discomfort, and the other “comforted” her with the information that it was normal for women her age (she’s in her early 40s).  That it was probably IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease), and easily managed with medications.  I’m sorry, but this is the kind of thing that drives me CRAZY!  Labels like IBD, CFS, IBS, and so many others are not solutions, or even diagnoses of an illness.  They are just ways of labeling the collection of symptoms people experience.  Yes, these symptoms are common, but they are not normal!!!

As with many other illnesses, chronic inflammation is a major factor.  Inflammation doesn’t “just happen”.  That means that if we can identify what’s causing the inflammation, you can eliminate the symptoms.

That’s what I do every day in my office: I look for the underlying causes of people’s symptoms, at the most fundamental level, so that my clients experience not only symptomatic relief, but systemic healing.  That means a clearer mind, more vitality, less breaking down of the body over time.  After all, we don’t want our bodies breaking down long before we are finished using them.  There’s not much point to longevity without health.

More examples of common but not normal:

  • gaining 5-10 pounds each year
  • debilitating menstrual periods
  • losing your sex drive as you age
  • needing to take pain relievers on a regular basis
  • having gas or bloating after meals
  • not being able to sleep through the night
  • needing coffee to stay alert and focused

I hope you are getting the idea!  Just because it happens a lot doesn’t mean it’s inevitable, and it certainly doesn’t mean it’s normal.  All of these issues, and many more, in fact most that I see, can be turned around faster than you might think.

We are designed to be healthy.  All we need is the right information, guidance and support.  And that’s exactly what I’m here for.

***

Fran Sussman Holistic ServicesFran Sussman has been in holistic care since 1988 and in private practice since 1993. She has trained with many of the foremost thinkers in holistic medicine today. Apart from one-on-one consulting, Fran is sought after as a speaker, workshop leader, writer and meditation teacher. She offers an e-newsletter, is an active blogger and can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

“Our natural state is health, happiness, creativity, and well-being. My work is to provide the knowledge and the ongoing support for anyone who wants to achieve that.”

Visit www.fransussman.com or call 845-496-0385.

Share

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Fran Sussman – Test Your Health IQ http://www.hvinsider.com/articles/fran-sussman-test-your-health-iq/ Wed, 25 Apr 2012 14:05:59 +0000 http://www.hvinsider.com/articles/?p=7651 Pop quiz alert! Get ready to test your health knowledge with this quick quiz. Are the following statements true or false?

 

1. Cutting calories is the best way to lose weight.

2. Soy is a health food.

3. If I can drink coffee any time and it doesn’t affect me, it’s OK to drink it.

4. Fat makes you fat.

 

ANSWERS

1. FALSE. Our bodies work more like a complex chemistry lab than a simple bank ledger. So many factors influence our weight: the state of our metabolism, our hormones, our age and the kinds of food we eat. Does it really make sense that the same number of calories in a nutritious meal or in a few doughnuts would have the same effect on your body? Of course not! Cutting calories drastically may cause an initial weight drop, but then we adapt, our metabolism slows down, and we go into fat conservation mode — exactly what you don’t want.  So worry less about calories, and learn how to make healthier choices instead.

2. FALSE. Although there is still some controversy on this, evidence is pretty strong that soy isoflavones are suppressive to the thyroid and have detrimental estrogenic effects. For many people, soy contributes to inflammation, meaning achy joints and stomach upset.

If you’re going to make soy a part of your diet, keep it minimal and stick to fermented forms such as miso, natto, tempeh and tamari. Avoid soy milk (highly sweetened and processed).

And please don’t feed your sons lots of soy: While none of us should be having soy estrogens on a regular basis, I particularly worry for developing boys.

3. FALSE. If you drink caffeinated coffee and don’t feel a thing, it means your adrenal glands are exhausted, or “burned out.” Caffeine is an artificial way of inducing the “flight or fight” response, and if you do it often enough, your body loses its capacity to respond.

To heal your adrenals, begin cutting back on caffeine, particularly after 3 p.m. Allow yourself to feel the fatigue, which is the truth the coffee is masking. That may mean more sleep and more rest for a while, and that’s one of the kindest things you can do for your overall health. There are many different herbs, nutrients and complex formulas that support the adrenals, but extra vitamin C is one of the safest and simplest.

Although decaf can be cut with regular coffee, it has been implicated in raising cholesterol levels. Better to switch to tea: It’s healthier overall.

Make the change slowly: Caffeine is addictive, and you don’t want withdrawal headaches. Try to get down to a single, reasonably sized cup of coffee in the morning. In the long run, you will have much more energy without the coffee.

4. FALSE. Lose your fear of fat. It is essential for healthy brain function, healthy skin, a healthy nervous system and a healthy metabolism. I don’t recommend a high-fat diet, but low-fat and no-fat diets are just as unhealthy. Including a little healthy fat with every meal and snack helps you lose weight, and stay healthy. Fat is also a great appetite suppressant, helping you feel fuller longer.

What are some healthy fat sources? My favorites include seeds, nuts and nut butters, avocados, olive or walnut oil, coconut milk, coconut oil, and fresh or dried (but not sweetened) coconut.

Why haven’t I mentioned fish? Unfortunately most fish is no longer very healthy. Grain-fed farmed fish does not have the attractive nutrient profile of wild fish, and wild fish — if you can afford it — is often contaminated with mercury. Perhaps the safest choice is small, short-lived fish at the bottom of the food chain, such as sardines, herring and anchovies.

 

And now for some homework …

Now that you’ve taken the quiz, here’s a little homework assignment. Try incorporating some healthier choices into your snacks. A few of my favorites include:

1. A bowlful of berries. Buy frozen bags this time of year, and enjoy them with a little coconut milk and a handful of some chopped, unsalted nuts.

2. Apple or pear slices with nut butter. Peanut butter is less expensive, but tree-nut butters such as almond, cashew and walnut are healthier.

3. Whole grain (or gluten-free) crackers with avocado and small fish such as sardines, herring and anchovies. Add a little dijon mustard to spice it up.

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Fran Sussman Holistic ServicesFran Sussman has been in holistic care since 1988 and in private practice since 1993. She has trained with many of the foremost thinkers in holistic medicine today. Apart from one-on-one consulting, Fran is sought after as a speaker, workshop leader, writer and meditation teacher. She offers an e-newsletter, is an active blogger and can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

“Our natural state is health, happiness, creativity, and well-being. My work is to provide the knowledge and the ongoing support for anyone who wants to achieve that.”

Visit www.fransussman.com or call 845-496-0385.

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