July 22nd, 2016
When’s the last time you felt hungry, I mean really hungry? Many of us utter the words, “I’m hungry” several times throughout the day to our co-workers and/or family members as meal times approach. (If you are a Mom, you probably hear this quite often!) Most of us don’t actually remember what real physical hunger feels like because we eat for a multitude of other reasons. Habit – it’s lunchtime or dinnertime, so we eat. Boredom – nothing to do, let’s scavenge the kitchen for a snack. Social – you’re at a party and there’s great food being served. Emotional – something makes us feel sad and empty, so we fill the void with food. Food doesn’t really fix anything, but seems to satisfy for a short time.
A simple and effective tool to managing your eating habits is the practice of mindfulness. Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment. Mindfulness involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them—without believing, for instance, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in a given moment. When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we’re sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future.
Let’s get back to real physical hunger and how we can apply mindful practice to help us curb overeating. When our bodies need fuel the stomach releases a hormone called ghrelin, which produces the feeling of hunger. Once the stomach is stretched the opposing hormone, leptin is released which signals us to stop eating. The catch here is that is can take up to 20 minutes for the signals to be received, so many times we eat past our true point of satiety to that feeling of being stuffed.
Real hunger starts with a hollow feeling and slight ache in the belly and upper chest area. You might hear some growling and grumbling. Later, a tight feeling in the back of the throat and mouth come, and for many a change in your breath — sort of a sweet smell. In cases of strong hunger some might feel shaky, weak and light headed. If it has been less than 2-3 hours since your last meal, you are likely not feeling real hunger.
When is the last time you actually felt real, physical hunger before you put some food into your mouth? Understanding your hunger is the key to weight loss and healthy eating habits. In mindful eating practice we take notice of our body cues and eat when hungry. Food is eaten slowly, taking in the smells, textures and visual delights of it. Some even choose pretty dishes and soft lighting and music to increase the true enjoyment of meal times. When eating mindfully, one notices when they have had enough to eat and stop eating. Mindful eating makes eating so much more enjoyable!
Why not experiment a little with mindful eating, and try on the feeling of hunger to see how it feels. You might even come to enjoy feeling hungry and find that your food is even more satisfying when you eat when hungry and stop eating when you feel satisfied.
Written by Ginger Hodulik, MS, CNS
June 20th, 2016
Many companies find it difficult to target potential clients when investing in marketing for their business and make the mistake of marketing to a wider radius than intended because they don’t know how to narrow in. In the age of digital marketing, there are so many tools available that it has become confusing to decide which one is the best choice for your business. All it takes is a little dedicated action to target the people who want your services the most. Take a look at these tactics and see which ones you can implement to boost interest in your spa.
Work with real estate agents
When someone buys a home in a new area, they may not know all of the services available in their new town. Even if they’ve lived in the same neighborhood for a long time, they still might not know your spa exists, or what you offer. Talk to a few real estate offices nearby, there are often welcome kits that get sent to new residents and real estate agents often like to provide a nice gift to their customers. You can offer new homeowners a discounted service or even a free service within a month or two of their move-in date, and a flyer with this coupon and your services offered could be included with the information the agent provides to them. Who doesn’t need a massage after a move? This is an often-overlooked target demographic.
Partner with local gyms
Many people who frequent gyms are interested in improving their health and appearance. In the same way as working with real estate agents, you can work with gyms where potential clients get their workouts. Offering a special rate for the first session, or even a set of sessions, will help these health-minded folks to see the value in your services, and continue to visit your location in the future.
The best thing about working with gym owners, or any location that offers fitness activities and classes such as Zumba and yoga, is that it reaches a large number of people at the same time. There is also a large word of mouth aspect, since members are usually pretty social with each other.
Participate in groups and meet-ups
While, as a business owner, you may be tempted to participate primarily in business oriented networking events, this could be counterproductive, and you may end up just spinning your wheels. These groups can be productive, but they shouldn’t take all of your networking focus. Instead, look into other groups that you can fit into, or other members of your staff can join who meet the requirements.
This is relationship marketing, where you can build deeper, more trust-based friendships that will lead to more personal interest in your spa. For example, participating in groups for new moms, those who focus on healthy living, recipe exchanges, or those focusing on religion or spirituality can be great places to meet new people who could be interested in the services your spa offers. Keep in mind that groups should be chosen based on you or your staff’s personal interests, as marketing in this way can be a slower process, and the genuineness of your interactions is paramount. Sites like meetup.com allow you to browse and join multiple groups in your area. You can also create your own groups, focusing on healthy skincare routines, self-care rituals, natural health options, or any topics adjacent to your spa’s theme. Make sure that everyone knows your name in the local area by connecting socially, as well as professionally.
Offer talks and classes
Much like the focus of your own group, you can advertise single classes or a series of classes on focused topics, such as healthy skin, clean living, etc. You can host these classes inside your spa, so more people find their way through your doors. You can also offer demonstrations of your procedures and products, though this should not be the primary focus of your classes.
Some workplaces in your area may be open to having lunchtime lectures geared towards healthy living. If you’re open to teaching health and lifestyle factors that can be improved for these employees, this can be a way to get your name to more people, and a card with your information into their hands. People generally love free education!
Work on targeted digital marketing
Google ads and Facebook ads are becoming easier to work with, and more specific in their targeting. Because of this, it’s easier for you to create advertisements that will reach people in your geographic area that are already looking for your services, and who fit your demographic. While on Facebook, make sure to update your fan page often to make it as interactive as possible. Keep your information accurate, list your location and hours, and post as many photos as possible since this helps potential customers be more comfortable walking into your location, especially as a first time visitor. An inactive Facebook page is an ineffective marketing tool. Post interesting and conversation-evoking items on a regular basis – no less than one time per week. You need to keep it fresh or don’t use this tool.
Creative direct mail approaches
Direct mail is still an effective tactic, but is more expensive than email. That said, the numberof people sending direct mail is down so it has become useful again to small businesses that are trying to get themselves noticed. Today the post office has ways of sending local direct mail to targeted audiences. The post office can be pretty helpful in targeting your audience. Try using their Every Door Direct campaign. http://1.usa.gov/1XX5mMG
Content is still king
Work on keeping fresh content on your website. While people need the essentials, like where you are, your hours, contact information, and services offered, getting to know the faces behind the spa helps to keep them interested. Creating good content that is interesting and helpful to them will keep their attention on you, and make them more likely to book services with you. A regularly updated website is also a good way to add to your email list, since a periodic newsletter can remind people about your business. As with Facebook, keep it fresh – your clientele will notice.
Groupon and Amazon Local
These kinds of services are difficult to master, as those who frequent them are looking primarily for the best price on a service. Try out their discounting services, and see how many of these clients choose further packages with you, and how many come back and pay the usual price. The best bet is to offer a set of services, such as several weekly or bi-weekly treatments, because then stopping at your spa becomes a habit. They can be a good tool for new business, but be cautious and keep an eye on the value you offer versus whether or not you’re getting compensated fairly for these sales.
As an alternative, you can offer a loyalty program, or a friend discount. Loyalty programs are great, because after a certain number of visits, clients essentially get a prize, in the form of a free treatment, add-on, or special service. Friend discounts are equally effective, since it’s another person coming through the door, who may become a regular customer.
Written by Mark Pinsley, President and CEO of DermaMed Solutions, LLC
Published by DermaMed Solutions
June 17th, 2016
An Esthetician in Southern California purchased the OxyGeneo
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June 15th, 2016
Microdermabrasion is commonly used as a quick fix, as a once-in-a-while treatment by many people who want to improve the look and feel of their skin for a short time or for a special event. This is a perfectly valid use of microdermabrasion treatment for those who are on a budget, or for those who already enjoy better than average skin health. For anyone who has more serious complaints about their skin, such as frequent blemishes, unevenness, discoloration or scarring, or deep wrinkles, a longer-term plan is the best bet for improving the health of the skin.
Home use exfoliation machines are becoming very popular. Although this may save money and be more convenient for some, there are some dangers to be aware of when doing at home microdermabrasion. The complaints that are common with this type of long term plan come from low quality products that are too harsh for regular treatments or aren’t being used by a trained professional. Real damage can be done to the skin through aggressive exfoliation. Home treatment systems can cause small tears in the skin, leading to inflammation, infection, and additional scarring, in addition to redness and pain. While these types of applications are cost effective, they may not have the long term benefits to the skin, and in fact can do more harm than good. A skin care professional is the right person to turn to for safe, beneficial microdermabrasion of the skin.
Using high quality equipment, such as the MegaPeel EX, gives a professional user adjustable settings for a variety of skin conditions, and uses only the finest material to exfoliate the skin to reveal smoother more even skin tone. In addition to treating the top layer of the skin, the application of vacuum stimulates the deeper layers of skin, which helps to increase collagen production – the end goal in all anti-aging treatments.
With increased circulation and the dead skin cells removed, the channels are open to allow for increased hydration and easier delivery of nutrients to the cells stimulated production of collagen. Collagen production is something that decreases with age, and it can be a significant challenge to increase these levels. Insufficient collagen synthesis is at the root of thinning of skin and the development of wrinkles. Skin that no longer looks plump, soft, or smooth may be suffering from a lack of collagen. Regular treatments with a professional microdermabrasion unit can help skin maintain its youthful smoothness and plumpness for a significantly longer time.
The light suction utilized in a microdermabrasion treatment can assist with skin oxygenation as well. Oxygen is important for all cells to function optimally, and as the available oxygen decreases, the cells suffer and deteriorate making the cell walls weaker. This can make future skin cells weaker and more prone to damage, and can cause discoloration and age spots. With regular treatments from a well-trained aesthetician, microdermabrasion is an effective way to rejuvenate skin cells and bring greater oxygenation to skin tissue for improved skin longevity.
Microdermabrasion with the MegaPeel is also considered a myofascial therapy. Thinking of this as a low-intensity massage, myofascial therapies help to “un-stick” the tissues beneath the skin that can bind and pull skin into creases and deep lines. Many smile lines, scowl lines, cigarette lips and other creases on the face are caused not just by the condition of the skin, but the myofascial substrate that gets stuck in these patterns. Periodically breaking up these bonds can allow the skin overlaying them to remain full, and appear far more youthful. It’s much like how massage can release those painful trigger points in the body, except this can have a far more visible effect.
For those with more serious or complex skin conditions, a combination treatment package can be an ideal choice. While microdermabrasion is the perfect choice for many clients, a combination skincare facial or peel along with a microdermabrasion treatment is the step up that those requiring more aggressive treatment will need. This type of therapy can be significantly hydrating, and is perfect for delivering an even greater concentration of nutrients to skin, and a more powerful saturation of oxygen to these tissues. Even after only one treatment, there may be dramatic difference in skin appearance and condition. Repeated treatments are an ideal way to improve difficult to manage skin issues, and over time may improve the health of the treated skin.
Written by Mark Pinsley, President and CEO of DermaMed Solutions, LLC
Published by DermaMed Solutions
June 10th, 2016
Who doesn’t love to try new things? Here at dmSkincare we constantly strive to improve our current products and to add new products to help our customers maintain brilliant, healthy skin. The skin is so variable – from day-to-day and person-to-person, the needs of your skin are constantly changing. These changes can be caused by the weather, hormones, diet, or a plethora of things. It’s a good idea to monitor and modify your daily skincare routine on a regular basis to accommodate the changing needs of your skin.
We have expanded the dmSkincare line with some exciting new additions. Our new products were developed to support both aging skin and also those who struggle with acne and excessive oil production. For me, they are summer “must-haves” as we work to keep our pores clear in the heat and with extra sunscreen use. Let’s talk about the key features of each product and who might benefit from each.
This clarifying creamy cleanser deeply cleans and gently exfoliates skin with natural bamboo crystals and glycolic & salicylic acids. It offers just enough exfoliation to reveal soft, glowing skin without being irritating or stimulating oil production. Key ingredient Phytomoist™ helps restore natural moisture balance and contributes antioxidant protection – critical even in oily skin types. Phytomoist™ is 400x more moisturizing than popular sodium hyaluronate, utilizing a natural hyaluronic acid derived from an edible mushroom widely consumed in Asia. This unique blend of ingredients helps improve texture and tone, leaving skin looking revitalized.
This mineral-rich clay combo mask detoxifies to reveal clear, well hydrated skin. It can be used as often as needed to manage excess oil and reduce sebum production. DermalRx® CKW has been clinically proven to reduce facial sheen through its ability to interfere with the sebum production cycle. In addition, Marimoist™, derived from red algae, hydrates and cools the skin through its unique coiled chemical structure which allows moisture to be trapped in the skin. It may seem contradictory to moisturize and control oil, but this balance is the key to healthy skin and the management of acne. As if that was not enough reason to use this mask, a unique mineral delivery ingredient, BMC Bio-Mineral Liquid Complex allows for deep penetration of the purifying minerals found in clays, feeding the skin while keeping oil down and water in. This can also be used as an overnight spot treatment for stubborn acne flares. This mask is amazing!
Mandelic serum offers cleaner pores and a brighter, smoother complexion. This unique blend of mandelic acid, willow bark and salicylic acid attacks blemishes at their root causes – excess oil production, bacterial overgrowth and clogged pores. Sebum busting superstar, Alphaflor® keeps oil and inflammation in check, while Trikenol™ targets bacteria. Mandelic acid, derived from almonds, not only manages inflammation and bacteria, but can also work on pigment issues due to its larger molecule size which slowly penetrates the skin. This serum is like no other on the market!
This luscious cleanser offers botanical serenity in a bottle! It both soothes and hydrates with calming botanicals like calendula and sativa oat extract and powerful antioxidants from cranberry and pomegranate. Sodium PCA and Safflower seed oil contribute moisture without being comedogenic, making this an ideal daily cleanser for sensitive skin types or anyone who loves the texture of a creamy cleanser. The naturally derived botanical scent adds to the zen experience in this product. It’s perfect during the summer months to soothe the skin after too much sun.
For most of us, the first signs of aging show up in the skin around our eyes. This miraculous product offers visible improvements in the appearance of fine lines immediately after application. A marriage of liquid oxygen and liquid crystals, this rich eye serum breathes life into tired, dull skin. Perfluorodecalin increases oxygen and moisture while sodium hyaluronate deeply penetrates and hydrates the skin for the entire day. With long term use you will see a reduction in the depth of fine lines and prevention of new wrinkles. A tiny drop goes a long way with this rich, shimmery serum.
There are many new products to try here at dmSkincare! If you are not sure which are right for you, please email our team of Skincare Professionals for your personalized recommendations at info@DermaMedSolutions.com. We enjoy helping you create a personalized regimen to meet your unique skincare needs, and look forward to your input as we strive to keep bringing you the products you need.
May 18th, 2016
Our In-House Aesthetician, Tracey, shares some post peel tips.
With our medium strength peels, no major shedding is expected afterward. The skin has renewed radiance, smoothness of texture, and is well prepared to receive the active ingredients of treatment products. Occasionally a client may have some passing flaking on the cheeks or chin, which a little extra moisturizer typically takes care of. The goal is to improve the skin progressively with as little negative side effects as possible.
- It is important to stay out of the sun as well as avoid other irritants (such as chlorinated pools, hot tubs, or saunas) for at least 24 hours after their aesthetic peel service.
- Prescription topicals should be avoided for a week, while over the counter active topicals can be resumed after 24 hours or as recommended by the Aesthetician.
- Wear a non-chemical sunscreen of SPF30 everyday year round, along with a big floppy hat and sunglasses when in the sun.
Hope you found these helpful!
May 2nd, 2016
This exciting new program streamlines the order process while rewarding you for your purchases!
- Order 6 of a product & get One FREE Tester Bottle of the Same Product
- Order 12 of a product & get Two FREE Tester Bottles of the Same Product
- Complimentary Sample Sized Bottles & Jars Upon Request
- Flat Rate Shipping of $15 on dmSkincare™ Orders
- Free Shipping on dmSkincare™ Orders of $300+
- No Minimum Order Ever
- 15% Off the Featured Product of the Month
Thank you for being a customer!
April 18th, 2016
By Leo Galland M.D. and Jonathan Galland J.D.
Available on Amazon
Q: What is the allergy epidemic?
A: It’s a hidden epidemic that’s sweeping the world, with surprising consequences for anyone who is exposed to pollution, eats fast or processed food, has too much stress or digestive trouble.
You may not think of yourself as allergic. Your nose may not run, and your skin doesn’t itch. But you have common complaints that just won’t go away.
Do you suffer from:
- Weight gain?
- Depression or anxiety?
- Brain fog?
A hidden allergy is often the culprit. Chronic conditions that were previously diagnosed as autoimmune diseases, psychiatric disorders, or many others, wind up being allergic in origin.
Our search for answers to common mystery conditions, and the source of the allergy epidemic inspired us to write our new book, The Allergy Solution: Unlock the Surprising, Hidden Truth about Why You Are Sick and How to Get Well
We reveal the proven role of allergy in causing weight gain, fatigue, headache, joint and muscle pain, a range of digestive symptoms from heartburn to diarrhea, mood problems, poor mental focus, and more. A step-by-step method for determining if you have hidden allergies is provided. And if you suffer from classic allergies like rhinitis, eczema or have asthma, our program addresses these issues from a nutritional and lifestyle perspective.
Q: Why are we seeing an epidemic of allergy today?
A: Allergies were once rare. Today they affect over a billion people. Environmental toxicity, depletion of beneficial intestinal bacteria and fast food all contribute to allergies.
Pollen counts are going up and up. A big cause? Air pollution, the kind generated by cars, buses and trucks. Scientists at the US Department of Agriculture investigated how air pollution affects ragweed. They discovered that pollution makes the plants grow twice as large and produce 5 times as much pollen. Many types of pollen, especially ragweed, are actually toxic. They contain an enzyme that damages the lining of your nose and lungs when you breathe them in. This sets the stage for rising allergies.
Driving While Allergic: Dutch scientists tested driving skills in people with allergies and discovered that Pollen exposure impaired the operation of an automobile to the same extent as drinking two cocktails.
Air fresheners increase the risk of allergies and asthma, mostly because of the chemical fragrances they contain, reports a study from the University of California. So what’s alternative? We can’t think of a better way to freshen your air than with ventilation. If the air outside your home is actually worse than the air inside, then try a commercial air purifier.
Cleaning sprays are also hazardous to your health. Using a household cleaning spray just once a week elevates your risk of developing asthma by 30 to 50 per cent, reports a study from Europe. But true clean doesn’t come from a cleaning spray. The Allergy Solution contains a program for freeing your home from these toxins. We call it Mission Detoxable. Step one is easy: ditch the chemical sprays and use water and baking soda for most cleaning jobs. Vinegar in water is great for glass and tile.
Q: How does nutrition impact allergies?
A: Research shows that people with allergies often suffer from nutritional deficiencies and may need nutritional enrichment of protective factors like selenium, magnesium, vitamins C and D, and omega-3 fats. In The Allergy Solution we provide a nutritional approach to overcoming allergy through food and supplements.
All of us need concentrated nutritional support for T-regs, which comes from natural folates found in vegetables such as leafy greens; carotenoids found in orange and yellow vegetables; the bioflavonoids found in things like parsley, strawberries and oolong tea; and detoxifying compounds found in broccoli.
Q: What are the most important nutritional factors for reversing allergy?
A: It is vital that the food you eat supply the nutrients you need to help your body remove toxins and establish healthy immune balance. To accomplish this, we include a simple program in The Allergy Solution called the Power Wash. It’s like hitting the re-set button on your computer. You can get started over a 3-day weekend.
With the Power Wash you eliminate the major problem foods like wheat, dairy, soy, corn, yeast, eggs and you nourish your body with a specially designed combination of vegetables, fruits, spices, herbs, and teas. They’ve been chosen because they support the function of a critical part of your immune system: regulatory T-lymphocytes. We call them T-regs. Their role is to turn off the unwanted immune reactions that create allergies. If you have allergies, you suffer from defective function of T-regs.
Q: How does allergy cause weight gain and prevent weight loss?
A: What happens is a vicious cycle driven by the effects of allergy on your metabolism. Clinical research reveals a strong link between allergy and weight gain. People with allergies are more likely to become overweight. People who are overweight are more likely to develop allergies.
Laboratory research shows that allergic reactions actually make fat cells grow larger and larger. Fat cells create a type of inflammation that unleashes stronger allergic reactions. Balancing immunity is essential for healthy weight loss.
Q: How does your program affect the skin?
A: Your skin is your most visible barrier against a toxic environment and a key target for allergic reactions. Allergy rapidly ages the skin and reversing allergy is essential to restoring its vitality.
The nutrients that nourish your immune cells are also essential for nourishing your skin. In addition, Mission Detoxable helps you decrease the stress placed on your skin by avoiding toxins in your home.
Q: What’s the role of your gut in creating or defending against allergy?
A: Two-thirds of your immune system is located in your intestinal tract. The gut is like a boot camp for training your immune cells. The drill sergeants are the bacteria living in your intestines. Biodiversity of these bacteria is essential for immune health and protects against allergy.
Antibiotics, pesticides, herbicides, disinfectants and the modern diet all destroy this diversity and contribute to the allergy epidemic. Our book contains a program for overcoming allergies by healing your gut. It’s called ARC, for Avoidance, Reflorastation and Cultivation.
Q: How does your book address the environmental challenges facing the world?
A: We wrote The Allergy Solution to change how the world thinks about allergy, health, and our relationship with the environment. We reveal the science that says allergies are not just annoying symptoms to be covered over by medications, and the environment is not just a convenient place to put our car exhaust, toss our garbage, and spray our pesticides. In the chapter “How Did We Get So Sick” we bring to light the astonishing research that connects pollution, global warming and toxins to rising allergies and asthma.
The environment is all around us and within us, inside our digestive tract, respiratory system, and whole body. we have exposed the truth that just as the earth’s environment is out of balance, our bodies have become out of balance. Now the environment we all depend on is threatened as never before.
Q: Can We Be Part of the Solution?
A: Absolutely. A community effort is needed to protect the environment and our health. Let’s all work together to turn around air pollution, giving those with asthma—and those without—a better chance to breathe free? Reductions in air pollution could also curb the rising levels of pollen, helping those with hay fever feel more comfortable. Using fewer toxic chemicals would reduce the burden on the environment.
Allergies are connected to the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the environment we live in. Join us and be part of the solution. Learn more about natural health by joining our community at drgalland.com Follow Dr. Galland on facebook.com/leogallandmd and Twitter (@leogallandmd), and follow Jonathan Galland at facebook.com/jonathangallandjd and on Twitter @JonathanGalland
April 7th, 2016
It is amazing what benefits HIIT has. You want to burn more fat quickly? You want a high afterburn effect? You want to save time?
For many of my busy clients this change alone works wonders in terms of well being and weight loss.
What is HIIT? Not training at the same pace and for a long time – but doing short bursts of high intensity training. So: you don’t have much time? Not an excuse!!!
+ what is it? The alternative to endurance exercise is to workout in short intense bursts of 30-60 seconds with twice the time of active recovery (1-2 minutes) to accumulate 4-12 total minutes of high intensity bursts.
+ how to: Warm up for a few minutes, and then go all out with your workout of choice, for 30 -60 seconds. It can be running up the hill, it can be sprints, it can be stairs, jump rope – whatever is easiest for you.
Note: If you can go past 60 seconds, you aren’t doing it hard enough.
Take twice as much time to recover by doing a lower intensity version of the same move or by walking around and then repeat until you accumulate between 4 and 12 minutes of high intensity interval bursts.
in short: + warm up for three minutes min. + burst for 30-60 seconds + recover for 1-2 minutes + repeat to accumulate a total of 8 repetitions. (you can start with 4 and work your way up to 8) + cool down for three minutes plus + you are done. REALLY!!!
The short bursts train your body how to handle stress and recover. The resulting hormone regulation is so important for most of us. The repeated intense bursts raise lactic acid, which in turn raises growth hormone and supports fat burning. And… the more intense the exercise, the bigger the metabolic “cost” after you are done, hence you burn more calories post-exercise.
The most common excuses for not working out are that people don’t have enough time and because they are too out of shape to go to the gym. Both problems are solved with bursting because you can truly do this anywhere in a short amount of time. You can burst exactly to your abilities and fitness level with a jump rope, a bike, a running path or a flight of stairs, and best of all you can do it in under 20 minutes….
Note: This is intense – so bursting should not be done every day to make sure you recover well.
2-3 times per week of bursting is great.
Try it out and let me know how it goes!!
March 22nd, 2016
It’s an exciting time to be a Nutritionist! We are seeing some significant shifts in our knowledge, awareness and belief systems around food and nutrition. It seems that a large segment of our public has become frustrated with poor quality food and outdated recommendations, and are seeking changes. New scientific evidence is being published constantly which prompts us to think about our food choices in a new way. With this new research comes debate. Even among highly educated and experienced nutrition professionals, there are controversies about what constitutes good nutrition. In fact, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), the group that publishes the Dietary Guidelines for Americans has done a complete about face on an ongoing debate on dietary cholesterol. They are finally acknowledging what the science shows, which is that dietary cholesterol does not in fact lead to high serum or blood cholesterol. Hooray — we can all eat our egg yolks and butter and toss the packaged Egg Beaters and margarine spreads in the trash can!
The most recent research has illuminated the role of sugar in cardiovascular disease. Consuming a diet high in sugar for just a few weeks has been shown to cause numerous negative consequences in individuals with cardiovascular disease, such as high total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL, oxidized LDL, uric acid, insulin resistance and abnormal glucose tolerance, low HDL, and altered platelet function. The effect of consuming a diet high in sugar is likely more detrimental to overall health than a diet high in saturated fat, which can increase LDL but at the same time raise HDL, the helpful cholesterol which helps clean up the bad stuff.
I can appreciate how frustrating all of this back and forth about what you should and should not eat must be for the general public. While I find new scientific research on nutrition to be fascinating, I’m sure most people just want to know what to eat! I think as a community the nutrition scientists are getting closer to figuring things out. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans includes the following recommendations:
- A lifetime of healthy eating helps to prevent chronic diseases like obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and Type 2 diabetes.
- Healthy eating is one of the most powerful tools we have to reduce the onset of disease. The Dietary Guidelines recommendations can help you make informed choices about eating for you and your family.
- The path to improving health through nutrition is to follow a healthy eating pattern that’s right for you. Eating patterns are the combination of foods and drinks you eat over time. A healthy eating pattern is adaptable to a person’s taste preferences, traditions, culture and budget.
- A healthy eating pattern includes:
- A variety of vegetables: dark green, red and orange, legumes (beans and peas), starchy and other vegetables
- Fruits, especially whole fruit
- Grains, at least half of which are whole grain
- Fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and/or fortified soy beverages
- A variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), soy products, and nuts and seeds
- Oils, including those from plants: canola, corn, olive, peanut, safflower, soybean, and sunflower. Oils also are naturally present in nuts, seeds, seafood, olives, and avocados.
- Healthy eating patterns limit added sugars. Less than 10% of your daily calories should come from added sugars. This does not include naturally occurring sugars such as those consumed as part of milk and fruits.
- Healthy eating patterns limit saturated and trans fats. Less than 10% of your daily calories should come from saturated fats. Foods that are high in saturated fat include butter, whole milk, meats that are not labeled as lean, and tropical oils such as coconut and palm oil. Saturated fats should be replaced with unsaturated fats, such as canola or olive oil
- Healthy eating patterns limit sodium. Adults and children ages 14 years and over should limit sodium to less than 2,300 mg per day, and children younger than 14 years should consume even less. Use the Nutrition Facts label to check for sodium, especially in processed foods like pizza, pasta dishes, sauces, and soups.
- Most Americans can benefit from making small shifts in their daily eating habits to improve their health over the long run. Small shifts in food choices—over the course of a week, a day, or even a meal—can make a difference in working toward a healthy eating pattern that works for you.
- Remember physical activity! Regular physical activity is one of the most important things individuals can do to improve their health. According to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity each week and should perform muscle-strengthening exercises on two or more days each week. Children ages 6 to 17 years need at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day, including aerobic, muscle-strengthening, and bone-strengthening activities.
I like alot of what I’m reading here, especially the shift from a Food Guide Pyramid which assumes that we all have the same needs to more of an individualized approach. This is really critical to success. I’m not a fan of the suggestion to choose low-fat dairy and a lot of grains, or the notion that saturated fat is necessarily bad, but these recs are a step in the right direction, and for this I am thankful.
Overall, our country is at a crossroads when it comes to food. Our food supply has morphed from farm-fresh whole food to processed sugar, fat, and chemical-laden “food-stuffs”. Along with this change our bodies and health have been transformed too. Two-thirds of the population of the US are overweight or obese. It is estimated that by 2050 1 in 3 adults will have diabetes. And it’s not just adults anymore; our children are also developing type 2 diabetes – previously an adult disease – at a steady rate. How can this be when we are so much more knowledgeable about food science than we were 100 years ago? The answer is clear to me. We have forgotten what real food is. Real food looks like it did when it was harvested from the earth. Real food is not full of artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. Real food is not coated in pesticides. Real food is not genetically modified to resist insects. Our body recognizes real food and when we eat fresh, wholesome organic food our body reflects this in our health status and our outward appearance. (i.e. brilliant skin!) When we eat refined sugar, chemicals and processed foods our body develops allergies, intolerances and simmering inflammation. Inflammation is the underlying cause of all chronic “lifestyle” disease (type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, hypertension). Lifestyle disease is just that – disease caused by choices we make in our lifestyle that lead to an unhealthy state.
This month during National Nutrition Month I challenge you to take a close look at the food you are eating and make it your goal to eat only real food. This will not be easy for some. You will not find real food at the drive thru window. You may have to spend some time washing and chopping fresh fruits and vegetables for the week. You may need to pack your lunch and snacks each day. You will skip those daily Java Chip Frappuccinos. But, I bet if you really commit to make the change, you will not only feel better, but will look better too. Give it a try.
Ginger Hodulik MS, CNS is the Co-owner and Vice President of R&D for DermaMed Solutions, LLC. www.DermaMedSolutions.com If you enjoy her writing you can follow her blog on the website or company Facebook page.