June 18th, 2012
Smoke got you down? Just wait until your car or truck start to react to the smoke and ash. There is one and maybe even a second air filter in your vehicle. The first and most critical is the air filter which removes dust, dirt and ASH that is in the air the engine breathes. The other (and sometimes there are two) are called cabin air filters which filter the air that comes into the cabin of the car and with which we air condition and breathe. Make sure you have these critical filters checked to ensure your car and your lungs can operate at full capacity. The last big forest fire we had here in northern Colorado we pulled out lots of really dirty, black filters and expect to see more soon. For top performance, you need all the air you can get into your engine and not have it restricted by smoke and ash residue. Same for your lungs!
February 1st, 2011
They roll, sort of, but they are not the band. They are the ones that form up in your kidney or gall bladder and can wreak havoc on you. For me it is the kidney variety made of calcium oxalate. I suffered my first attack about 18 years ago and it was not pretty. The kids were small and got to see their big old dad roll around on the floor and cry and beat his fists in pain. Having been a Naturopathic Physician, I remembered that I had saved some articles from the 1950′s out of Harvard on treating them with Magnesium and Vitamin B6. So the journey began and it worked very well. I get a bottle of tablets from Solgar that contain those two ingredients alone and take two a day. Over the years I have experienced an occasional twang in the back and flank, pressure in my testicles, and rarely blood in the urine, all signs of a stone making its way down the ureter and into the bladder. Nothing extreme however until just 2009 when I suffered another severe stone. The only good thing about these stones is the treatment: morphine, intravenous. The first time I got the stuff my pulse dropped to forty something and the nurses at the hospital gave Anne quite a fright, dragging out the heart monitor and treating me as if I was approaching cardiac arrest. The morphine and its little sister hydrocodone relax the smooth muscle tissue and allow the stone to pass out without causing the pain causing stretch of the muscle in the ureter. Wonder drugs to be sure. So, kidney stones can be controlled with a simple magnesium and vitamin B6 supplement at pennies a day. Take my word for it, I’ve BTDT.
December 16th, 2010
Back in the seventies I was the proprietor of Tao Natural Foods in Minneapolis, and we used to get this amazing olive oil from California. It came in a can about a quart or two in size and it was bright green and incredibly tasty. Since those days I have not experienced such an olive oil and pined for the day. Well, the wait is over as I recently read a news article about a group of California chefs suing large olive oil distributors for claiming that their oil was “extra virgin” when in fact it was not. There is an olive oil lab at the University of California Davis that went out and bought a number of different extra virgin olive oils at various stores in L.A. and San Fran. They found that few were in fact extra virgin. Some were rancid, others diluted with less expensive oils, and others just plain crappy. So I found that the companies with the true olive oil were from, yes California. The company I checked out is California Olive Ranch and I wound up getting the oil from a distributor, West Coast Products. I ordered up a 2.5 gallon batch packed in a plastic bladder inside a cardboard box. It comes with a nice spout and is packed under nitrogen to keep it as fresh as possible. They tell me that it will stay fresh for six months to a year if it is kept out of the sun and cool. Right now it is in my garage as it;s plenty cool here. The oil is a bright green color and sort of hazy since it is simply cold pressed and not filtered, just like unfiltered apple juice. So if you use as much olive oil as we do, check out the web sites and give it a try. It is truly amazing. Bon Apetit.
December 8th, 2010
Thanks to Jacob Schor, N.D. of Denver for his great article in Naturopathic Doctor News I learned more about the cacao plant and chocolate. To lift his opening quote: Research tells us 14 out of any 10 individuals like chocolate per Sandra Boynton. Well not quite Sandra, my interesting son Mose likes neither chocolate or peanut butter which has been my benefit as I always had to eat his Reese’s (when his sister didn’t get it first!). But back to the gist of the story. I had heard of the Kuna Indians by way of my brother who had been to Panama some years ago and brought back the interesting embroidery this group is famous for. The Kuna live on islands off the east coast of Panama and also on the east coast of the mainland. They are indigenous to the area and since the 1940′s it has been known that they are not troubled with high blood pressure or heart problems. However, it was later determined that some of those members who moved to Panama City did develop these problems as they aged. In 2006 ML McCullough and colleagues at Harvard found that the Kuna of the Islands ate ten times the cocoa beverages, four times the amount of fish, and twice the amount of fruit as those who had moved to the city. The researchers felt that the minimally processed cocoa in their drinks and food was the magic. But the real kicker in this story is that the cocoa they use and eat is minimally processed. The chocolates we can get and the ones that I use like the Ghirardelli 70% have been made with cocoa that has been heated and treated with alkali. The good news, though, is that I found untreated cocoa powder from NOW Foods at the Natural Grocers/Vitamin Cottage. It is pure cocoa and mixes well with milk (soy or cow) and also ok with coffee. But don’t bake it as the heat will kill the flavonols unless it is just taste you are after. Bon apetite!
December 3rd, 2010
We took out a health savings account (HSA) this year to keep our monthly payments below $1,000. This resulted in a $6,000 deductible and $4,000 copay. We rolled the dice. Part of the plan is to get us to be proactive about our health care spending. The new plan does allow a physical and blood work and other tests (even a colonoscopy, Yikes!!) for no cost to us. So I scheduled my physical for later in December and went to the lab on Tuesday morning while fasting to the LabCorp office as directed by Anthem Blue Cross. The refused to take my blood because I “didn’t have a doctor’s order”. Even though I informed the lady that I AM a doctor she told me I needed to make an appointment with the Doc and that was all there was to it. She gave me the phone # for her supervisor and he told me that he understood my concern about spending $100 to get a requisition was wrong, he said he could do nothing about company policy. When I asked how it could be that I can go to a 9News Health Fair or to the Valley Lab in Loveland owned by McKee Medical Center without a doctor’s order he said that was true and it made no sense. I called his supervisor and he called back and pretty much told me I was stupid to think that people could read their blood test results and that it could somehow even be dangerous. Really!! But, I asked, wasn’t everyone from the Prez on down telling us to take more responsibility for our health expenses to control costs? He said that he disagreed with me and that I was just plain wrong. So I called Anthem and found that I should now go to the Lab at Poudre Valley Hospital and they would take care of it. They also said that they did not require a doctor’s order to get the tests. So PVH says ok, we can take your blood without a doctor’s order if you join the Aspen Club for Seniors, which then did by filling out a card (it’s FREE) and found that I also can get reduced rates on the blood tests, only I have to pay cash and they will not bill my insurance. If you don’t do the tests for reduced rate, we cannot take your blood without a doctor’s orders!!! And then they can bill my insurance. So after an hour and a half of hassle, I call my Doc and get his nurse who tells me the Doc gives the orders when I come for the physical and then can return for another visit to find out the results. Now I am getting really pissed off. So I insist that I want the results before I get to the physical so I can keep it to a single visit to control costs, and she relents though half heartedly and faxes the order ACCROSS THE STREET and my blood is drawn and sent for testing. THREE HOURS of hassle to control costs and take control of my health care spending just to get routine blood work done. Tell me we don’t need health care reform, people. This is just CRAZY.
November 16th, 2010
Hello, as a graduate of the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in 1979 and an inquisitive young veteran of the natural foods movement since 1969, I have continued to try to accumulate a knowledge of health and well being based on the vis medcatrix naturae, or the healing power of nature. I was in private practice in Tucson, AZ from 1980-89 until moving to Colorado. In order to see my children grow up and be a greater part of their lives, I gave up the practice aspect and have continued to read and study medicine from the perspective of a naturopath. Although my Arizona license has been retired, I still live the lifestyle and will have some comments about health and well being from time to time in this blog. I look forward to sharing my thoughts from time to time. Rob