The discomfort of indigestion is so common in today’s society that it's almost considered normal. Instead of using medication to suppress symptoms, wouldn’t it be wiser to properly combine foods in order to remove the causes of indigestion?
According to Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, and other alternative medicine, if you combine the wrong foods, your body will become acidic and unbalanced, and actually will secrete enzymes that cancel each other out. This causes bloating, gas, weight loss and fluctuations in energy levels. In can also lead to slowed or impaired digestion, causing food to ferment in the stomach or toxins to be released in the intestines.
Proper food combinations are based on the idea that there are foods groups that digest well with each other and others that don't. So what is food combining? What food is a protein and what food is a starch? Let’s take a look.
Food Combining Categories
The heart is the most important human organ. Without it pumping, we couldn't sustain life. Many are mindful of how diet and exercise affect heart health, but aromatherapy offers complementary support with essential oils. Throughout history, aromas have been used to emotionally and physically care for our hearts.
Recent research confirms what many have intuitively known about aromas and essential oils. Essential oils may prevent heart disease, and exposure to aromatherapy has demonstrated a beneficial effect on heart rate and blood pressure. One study in young women showed an association between essential oil inhalation and lower blood pressure, pulse rate, and stress level.
Beyond physiology, heart is the home for feelings. Our hearts know—beating faster when reunited with a loved one and sinking into our chests upon hearing bad news. Joseph Campbell wrote, "The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature." Whether you are looking to boost circulation, connect deeper with a lover, or find peace in grief, you can use nature to support your heart. It's February, the month of love, so here are some ways to emotionally open your heart and physically support its functioning using essential oils.
As inflammation continues to be a wellness buzzword in 2017, more and more people are getting curious about how cultures around the world have combated it since ancient times. These recipes from Sacred Medicine Cupboard: A Holistic Guide and Journal for Caring for Your Family Naturally take their cues from Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine to present easy, homegrown ways to bring the body back into balance.
Cayenne and Ginger Anti-Inflammatory Salve
Makes about 8 ounces
Are you worried about how much time you’ve been spending on your phone? Chances are, you’re not alone. One 2017 study found that on average, Americans spend five hours per day on their mobile device. The concept of smartphone addiction has been around for a while, and there is now a growing body of evidence that implicates a variety of harmful consequences for young people.
Related to this is an uptick in information regarding what happens to us when we cannot use our phone. Nomophobia is a term coined in 2010 by YouGov to refer to the fear of being without your cellphone (the "mo" stands for "mobile"). The idea is gaining more traction as research is being done to investigate the rising levels of anxiety that appear to surface when we don’t have access to our smartphones. Researchers at Iowa State University even published a paper in 2015 dedicated to learning more about nomophobia, including developing a questionnaire to help measure it.
Noticing similar trends, some industrialized countries have made strides in attempting to address smartphone addiction. Last year, France passed a law that protects workers from feeling obligated to respond to their devices after work hours, dubbing it the "right to disconnect."
While it seems unlikely that similar laws will be coming to the United States anytime soon, there are small but effective things we can do on a regular basis to chip away at our smartphone addiction and decrease our nomophobia.
"I remember drinking some kind of nasty liquid for about two weeks, feeling constantly hangry, and finally giving in to a double-fudge brownie my co-worker brought in," my 29-year-old patient Kayla told me during our initial consultation. Almost-constant cravings, low energy, chronic anxiety, and low libido were among the problems Kayla struggled with. A close look at her blood work showed insulin resistance, elevated inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein (CRP), and estrogen dominance: all signs of hormonal imbalances.
As a doctor who helps women balance their hormones, I take an individualized approach to my patients to treat their root cause and teach them the skills to care for their body. But one tactic that works for nearly everyone is a professionally designed detoxification plan as an effective hit-the-reset-button for your hormones and so much more.
This is what the word "detoxification" really means.
Keeping your blood sugar balanced is ridiculously important: Unbalanced blood sugar contributes to energy slumps, hanger, irritability, low libido, or fat storage. One lifestyle practice that can improve your body’s response to insulin (the hormone responsible for blood sugar management) is—you guessed it—yoga.
As a diabetic health coach and yoga instructor, I try to integrate yoga into my schedule daily. I used to be the "all-or-nothing" type: I was either dedicating 60 minutes to my practice or, if I didn’t have time, not practicing at all. In recent months though, as a midday reset from being behind the screen of the computer and my phone, I give myself the space to practice right in my apartment, even if I only have time for 15 minutes.
These yoga poses have helped balance my blood sugar by helping to reduce stress, strengthen muscles, stimulate hormonal secretion of the pancreas, build up the immune system, promote better sleep, reduce anxiety and depression, and improve energy levels.
1. Sun salutations.
Sun salutations are a sequence of eight moves strung together. It begins with standing mountain pose at the top of your mat and moving through upward salute, forward bend, half-standing forward bend, plank pose, chaturanga, upward-facing dog, and downward-facing dog. Sun salutes involve movement of the whole body, which strengthens and lengthens the muscles, ultimately helping to increase insulin sensitivity in the body. Try going through the cycle 5 times, connecting your inhale and exhale with each movement.