Dr. Lipman’s Wellness News Roundup

Health News
By Be Well Team

Here’s a look at some key health and wellness stories from this week:

FDA Says No to Antibacterial Soaps

Great news: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has banned 19 ingredients commonly used in antibacterial soaps — including triclosan — because manufacturers could not prove they were both safe for long-term use and more effective than plain soap and water in preventing illness. A whopping 40 percent of soap products have at least one banned ingredient, according to an FDA spokesperson. Companies will have one year to get the ingredients out. Not-so-great news? You can still find triclosan in your toothpaste. (Food Safety News)

Gatorade Goes Organic — But It’s Still Not Good For You

PepsiCo, the parent company of sports drink Gatorade, announced the impending arrival of G Organic — organic Gatorade made with organic cane sugar and without artificial colors. Although the organic version will likely be less fluorescent than regular Gatorade, it’s still loaded with sugar. “G Organic is still a sugary drink — essentially, liquid candy — and organic sugar is no healthier than sugar,” says a nutritionist with the Center for Science in the Public Interest. (NYT)

Kent State University Opens Gluten-Free Dining Hall

To address the increasing number of gluten-intolerant students, Kent State University in Ohio has opened what it says is the country’s first completely gluten-free dining hall. “Students have enough to worry about – they should not have to worry about their food being safe to eat,” said Kent State Director of University Dining Services Rich Roldan in a statement. (CBS)

How to Take Charge as a Patient

Want to take charge of your own health? Check out this list of tips on how to become an empowered patient, including preparing questions in advance to ask your doc, questioning the necessity of certain tests, and pushing for alternatives to prescribed medications. (Forbes)

1 in 5 Fish Is Mislabeled

Fish fraud is a big problem, according to a new report from ocean conservation advocacy group Oceana. The report found that 1 in 5 fish globally is mislabeled. In the United States, the average seafood fraud rate climbs to almost 1 in 3. Not only is it misleading, it has a negative health impact, Time reports: “Some types of seafood are supposed to be screened for potential toxins or allergens and if they are mislabeled that process may not happen.” (TIME) (more…)

Posted by on Sep 09, 2016 | 0 Comments

Some of Our Favorite Instagram Accounts

By Alexandra Samit

Looking for some healthy inspiration? Get lost in the feeds of these Instagram accounts we know and love:

@BeWellbyDrFrankLipman

Keep up with all the happenings at Be Well. We’re talking group Cleanses, giveaways, online workshops, etc!

Instagram

@SeamusMullen

Seamus Mullen, chef/owner of Tertulia and El Colmado in New York City, embraced real foods to heal his body. Follow Seamus for a behind-the-scenes look into his busy kitchen and adventurous lifestyle! #realfoodheals

Instagram-2 (more…)

Posted by on Sep 08, 2016 | 0 Comments
07
Sep

The Problem With Perfume

Artificial Fragrance
Written by Kristin Ohlson
Reprinted with permission from Experience Life Magazine.

For 20 years or more, my mother kept her jewelry in a fawn-colored silk pouch embroidered with flowers and birds. When she died eight years ago and the pouch was handed down to me, I unzipped it and the familiar fragrance of her neck wafted from inside. It was the smell of my mom bending over to kiss me goodnight when I was a child and the smell I met rushing into the house and hugging her after I’d moved across the country, when both of us were much older. She loved a certain perfume, and her necklaces and bracelets carried its signature fragrance into the pouch where it lingered in the threads.

Even now, when I unzip the pouch, the smell of my mother wafts out. It’s faint, but oh so evocative.

My own story reveals the power — and the perils — of fragrance. Our sense of smell is uniquely wired to connect to both our memories and our emotions. Our olfactory bulbs are part of the brain’s limbic system, where the hippocampus, which helps us create memories, and the amygdala, which helps us experience emotion, also live.

Good or bad, aromas have the power to sweep us back to a moment in time and conjure the way we felt then. It’s possible that my mother chose her perfume because it evoked memories of her own mother or aunts. Perhaps it reminded her of the flowers in a garden near her childhood home in Nebraska.

Still, the scent of real flowers would not have lasted for eight years. Therein lies the peril.

Natural fragrances don’t endure nearly as long as the synthetic fragrance in my mother’s perfume. Two hundred or more of approximately 3,000 fragrance chemicals may have been used to create its signature aroma and staying power. Some of these ingredients have been linked to cancer, hormone disruption, neurotoxicity, asthma, allergies, and other health concerns. Many haven’t even been tested.

That’s not a big deal when it comes to my rare encounters with the chemicals in my mother’s pouch, but it’s a very big problem when it comes to the many fragrance chemicals we’re all exposed to in our daily lives. Their omnipresence and potential toxicity can undermine our best efforts to guard our health and that of our loved ones.

This doesn’t mean we have to give up the pleasure of specific scents, but we do need to be discerning about their sources. And this can be tricky.

Tough To Avoid

Synthetic scents are part of the air we all breathe. In our homes, some 40 percent of all personal-care products are fragranced, and 96 percent of shampoos alone have added fragrance. Most cleaning products are also heavily scented. Then there are synthetic air fresheners, perfumed candles, and fragranced products of all kinds including laundry detergent, even toilet paper. Some products might boast claims like “natural fragrance,” “organic fragrance,” or “hypoallergenic,” but those designations have no legal definition — and are no guarantee that fragrance chemicals weren’t used. (more…)

Posted by on Sep 07, 2016 | 0 Comments
06
Sep

Overcoming Adrenal Fatigue

adrenal
By Laine Bergeson

When was the last time you asked someone how they were and heard something like, “Gosh, I’m great. My hours are manageable at work. I’ve had lots of time to exercise and cook healthy meals, and at night, I sleep the deep, restorative sleep of a 3rd grader!”

If you’re sighing to yourself about how implausible that seems, you’re not alone. As a culture, we’re over-busy and under-rested. We face innumerable stressors everyday, from traffic jams to bad bosses to money worries. And, in some ways, we’ve come to take pride in our busy, stressful lives, regularly telling others about “how much we got done today” or “the kids’ crazy after-school schedule.”

The bigger problem? Unrelenting stress can lead to a condition called adrenal fatigue and it affects up to 80 percent of the population, says functional medicine practitioner Marcelle Pick, NP, OB/GYN. Many functional medicine doctors consider adrenal fatigue a modern-day epidemic — and many conventional doctors have never even heard of the condition. According to functional medicine doc Sara Gottfried, author of The Hormone Cure, adrenal fatigue is the most common hormonal imbalance in women.

Understanding Adrenal Fatigue

The adrenal glands are considered the body’s “shock absorbers” because they help us respond to and rebound from stress, says integrative practitioner Aviva Romm, MD.

For example, when we experience stress, the adrenal glands release the hormone cortisol, which tells our bodies to prepare for action. Our blood sugar revs up to power our muscles, we breathe faster, and our heart rates go up. (Evolutionarily speaking, this hormonal cascade helped us outrun tigers.) When the stress is gone (or when we’re safely out of the tiger’s reach), our systems switch back to low gear. Breathing slows down, heart rate normalizes, and the pancreas releases insulin to shuttle all that extra blood sugar back into our cells.

At least that is what’s supposed to happen. With adrenal fatigue, our bodies get ready for action — but then they never switch back out of action mode. That’s because our bodies can’t tell the difference between the stress of a pile of unanswered emails and the stress of outrunning a tiger, so the adrenals just stay ‘turned on’ all the time, responding to one stress after another. In a nutshell, adrenal fatigue occurs when the adrenal glands have been working so hard and for so long that they start to burn out — and a long list of symptoms can start to accumulate. (more…)

Posted by on Sep 06, 2016 | 0 Comments
05
Sep

How to Beat Autumn Allergies — Naturally

seasonal allergies
By Frank Lipman

Autumn’s turning leaves and flaming colors make it one of the most visually stunning times of the year. For allergy sufferers though, all that beauty comes at a price – seasonal allergies. For many, enthusiasm for autumn’s beauty is severely dampened by weeks of sneezing, wheezing, watery eyes, and stuffy noses.

But it doesn’t have to play out that way if you prep your body for the seasonal onslaught. This fall, instead of dragging and drugging yourself through the season and praying for an early frost, take a multi-pronged approach by upgrading your nutrition, supplements, and lifestyle habits. Here’s my do-now list of seasonal allergy-fighting strategies to help you feel better all season long:

Allergy-Fighting Foods

Eat quercetin–rich foods. They’re anti-inflammatory and help curb the release of the histamines that makes mucous flow, eyes water, and noses run. A few top quercetin-rich picks: apples, capers, kale, spinach, broccoli, red onions, sweet onions, garlic, blueberries, black plums, black currants, apples, and cherries.

Dump allergenic foods. If your immune system’s already under siege from too much of a bad thing — e.g., processed foods, gluten, dairy, and sugar — it won’t be in any shape to fight off the autumnal pile-on of allergens either. How to fortify your immune system? Dump the foods that inflame. Take your fortification a step further by doing a two-week elimination diet to purge the most common health allergens from your diet. The result? An immune system that’s strong enough to keep you well through the fall and beyond.

Eat inflammation-taming foods. To keep your immune system in tip-top shape, feed it foods that quell inflammation, including non-starchy veggies (think dark leafy greens), nuts, grass-fed meat, wild-caught sustainable fish, and lower-sugar fruits such as berries.

Drink your allergies away. Try this fresh green smoothie, which is chock full of the natural antihistamine quercetin and delicious to boot!

Allergy-Fighting Supplements

Don’t forget your probiotic. To further fortify your gut bacteria and maintain a healthy bacterial balance, add a daily probiotic. Daily fortification will keep immunity strong and help your body repel bacterial invaders, fight off infections, and stay more resilient. (more…)

Posted by on Sep 05, 2016 | 0 Comments

Dr. Lipman’s Wellness News Roundup

Health News
By Be Well Team

Here’s a look at this week’s health and wellness stories:

Why You Really Should Chill Out This Labor Day

Relaxing is good for our souls — and our genes. That’s the word from a new study that found that women on a six-day retreat experienced improvements in their stress levels and immune system for up to a month after vacation. “It’s intuitive that taking a vacation reduces biological processes related to stress, but it was still impressive to see the large changes in gene expression from being away from the busy pace of life, in a relaxing environment, in such a short period of time,” said Elissa S. Epel, UCSF professor of psychiatry and lead author of the study. (GOOD)

Granola Is Just Junk Food in Disguise

Think granola bars are healthy? Not so fast. Commercial varieties of granola are loaded with added sugar. In fact, the committee that creates the federal government’s dietary guidelines views granola as a “grain-based dessert,” along with cookies, cake, and doughnuts. (NYT)

Tattoo Ink May Be Toxic

Think before you tattoo. A new report from the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre found that many tattoo inks contain carcinogens, including heavy metals such as arsenic and lead. Although the FDA should be regulating tattoo-ink ingredients in this country, the agency says it has been waylaid by other public-health priorities but “is doing research to improve our knowledge of tattoo inks and the ingredients used in them.” That’s troubling news for the nearly 1 in 3 Americans who are inked. “The bottom line is they’re not doing their job,” says Charles Zwerling, MD, chairman of the American Academy of Micropigmentation. “Tattoo ink has very, very minimal regulation.” (WebMD)

5 Signs You Are Overtraining

It’s possible to go overboard when you exercise. Signs that you are training too hard? Racing heart rate, sleep changes, hormonal shifts, decreased immune function, and musculoskeletal changes. (Medical Daily)

Learn To Be Well

How we respond to stress is about more than genetics or luck, says Richard Davidson, a professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and founder of the Center for Healthy Minds. We can actually cultivate well-being by training our brains to focus on four traits: resilience, positive outlook, focus, and generosity. “When we engage in practices designed to cultivate kindness and compassion, we’re not actually creating something de novo,” Davidson says. “What we’re doing is recognizing and strengthening a quality that was there from the outset.” (Experience Life) (more…)

Posted by on Sep 02, 2016 | 0 Comments

The United States of Allergies: How EpiPen Became a Billion-Dollar Brand

Epipen
By Robyn O’Brien

For the last year, we’ve been working to bring awareness to the risk that the skyrocketing price of EpiPens creates, and the fact that some families are now priced out of this life-saving devices due to its jaw-dropping price tag of about $600.

Now, of course, it’s national news, but one question many people aren’t asking is: Why has the number of people with food allergies skyrocketed?

The rate of people in the U.S. with a peanut allergy more than quadrupled between 1997 and 2010. And, a life-threatening food allergic reaction now sends someone to the E.R. once every three minutes in the U.S.

The food industry has noticed. Mondelez, formerly known as Kraft, recently acquired Enjoy Life Foods, a popular and well-loved brand in the allergy space, free from many of the top eight allergens and also free from genetically modified ingredients.

It was a $40 million company that was acquired for over $80 million. What does Mondelez plan to do with the acquisition? Grow it into a billion-dollar brand. What are some other billion-dollar brands? Cheerios, Lays, Pepsi, Starbucks….and EpiPen.

According to Bloomberg, “In a 2007 purchase of medicines from Merck, drug maker Mylan picked up a decades-old product, the EpiPen auto injector for food allergy and bee-sting emergencies. Management first thought to divest the aging device, which logged only $200 million in revenue. Today, it’s a $1.2 billion-a-year product that clobbers its rivals and provides about 40 percent of Mylan’s operating profits.” (more…)

Posted by on Aug 31, 2016 | 0 Comments
30
Aug

5 Ways To Cleanse Your Body This Fall

Be Well Cleanse
By Be Well Health Coach Amanda Carney

When September approaches and we return to the “back to school” mindset, we have a wonderful opportunity to detox our summer indulgences and discover a healthy rhythm for the upcoming months.

In functional medicine, we look at all areas of the body and consider how they are affecting our health, and we encourage you to apply the same principle to any detox you are considering.

Looking to cleanse this fall? Here are five simple and effective tips:

1. Clean Up Your Diet

Removing inflammatory foods such as sugar and gluten and focusing on wholesome, healthy foods such as leafy greens, healthy fats, and good-quality proteins is a sure way to get your body in detox mode without feeling deprived.  Yes, you can support a natural cleansing of your body without feeling hungry or restricted!

2. Stay Hydrated

Water is an essential part of a healthy diet and is especially important when the body is detoxing. Water helps flush toxins out of the body, and keeps everything from our skin to our cells hydrated and functioning properly. We usually recommend drinking about half your body weight in ounces each day.

3. Move Your Body

Sweating is one of the body’s main detoxification systems, and making time for regular exercise not only increases the natural detox process but it also strengthens the immune system and increases mental clarity and mood. Choosing the right type of exercise is important, which is why we recommend moving in a way that leaves you feeling energized and refreshed. Here are some great suggestions to fit more exercise and movement into your day!

4. Remove Toxins in Your Environment

The toxins that surround us can be just as important to our health and well-being as what we eat. Many commercial household items such as cleaning and skin care products contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals that can undermine our health. To help you determine which products may be toxic, check out EWG’s Skin Deep Guide.

5. Do a Cleanse

Want to feel guided and supported as you combine all of these detox tips? Our Be Well Cleanse is a wonderful way to adopt eating habits and other lifestyle shifts that can cleanse your body AND create healthy habits that last.

Our next Be Well Cleanse workshop kicks off Monday, Sept. 12 — and it’s free! To learn more about this fall workshop — and to get a 20 percent discount on a Cleanse or Cleanse Plus kit — click here.  (Discount ends Sunday, September 11th, 11:59PM EDT.)

I hope you will join us!

Posted by on Aug 30, 2016 | 0 Comments
29
Aug

How Dr. Frank Lipman Chills Out

Frank Lipman
By Janice Lipman

Our modern-day lifestyle can be truly hectic and stressful, and Frank is not immune. He tries to start the day with a meditation practice, but he too sometimes falls prey to emails that need to be answered, social media that needs attending to (yes, he does his own!), etcetera, etcetera before heading to the office. Frank’s schedule can be crazy, so what does he do to stay sane and balanced and decompress at the end of his day?

One of his favorite ways is to rest in a restorative yoga pose. Restorative yoga uses props like blankets and bolsters to help support the body and maintain its correct position without straining, allowing the body to completely relax. Ten to 15 minutes really rejuvenates him, allowing him to feel rested and restored after a long day.

Music is also a great source of pleasure for Frank, and whether he’s at home, in the car, or in the office, music is always playing. Our bodies contain an automatic mechanism that syncs up with external rhythms, pulses, or beats — a phenomenon known as entrainment — so listening to music can have a direct impact on how we feel. Frank’s favorite chill-out music is reggae, which pulses around 60 beats per minute — ideal for helping to induce alpha states, the same relaxed response meditation induces. So whenever he wants to unwind, out come the Bob Marley CDs.

A good laugh is another outlet for Frank. Laughter stimulates chemical changes in the brain that help buffer our bodies against the cumulative effects of stress.

It releases tension in the muscles of the face, neck, shoulders, and abdomen — all areas where we tend to hold lots of tension. So who makes Frank laugh the most? Trevor Noah on The Daily Show, Stephen Colbert on The Late Show, and Bill Maher on Real Time.

Sticking to these three activities really does make an enormous difference in keeping Frank mellow and able to deal with life’s stresses.

Posted by on Aug 29, 2016 | 1 Comments
26
Aug

Spice of Life

Spices
By Be Well Health Coach Anne Markt

Most of us know that eating fresh whole foods is good for us, but it can be hard to come up with new and exciting flavor combinations. Rest assured, eating whole foods never has to be bland or boring. Instead of using store-bought condiments (which are usually chock full of sugar and additives) to liven up your meal, why not explore the wonderful world of spices?

Spices add both flavor and nutritional value to your meals — and they are Cleanse-friendly to boot! Here are some of my favorites spices, and some recipes to get started.

Garlic

I think of garlic as nature’s antibiotic — so if you feel an illness coming on, be sure to use it widely. I enjoy adding it to veggie stir-fries, on roasted chicken, or simply sautéed with organic spinach and extra-virgin olive oil. It can also be used in dry-rub spice blends.

Ginger

This powerhouse spice is a strong anti-inflammatory that can reduce nausea and boost your immune system. I love having a cup of ginger tea before I eat to get my digestive juices flowing. It’s also wonderful in a green smoothie or as a component to so many dishes, including this Spicy Spinach and Mushrooms recipe.

Turmeric

A powerful anti-inflammatory, turmeric can be used to make tea — I find turmeric tea to be a soothing drink before bed — or in any number of cooked dishes, including this Indian-inspired vegetable curry. I also supplement with curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, in order to maximize the health benefits. Try our Be Well Curcumin Supplement, in addition to trying your hand at cooking with turmeric. (more…)

Posted by on Aug 26, 2016 | 0 Comments