The place to go for optimal health and nutrition, naturally! Established in 2013. The Wellness Place’s mission is to provide a simplified path to natural health that allows you to express your fullest potential.
At the core of our Functional Wellness model is the relationship between our environment, our genes, and the way that our genes express over time.
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Get Your Greens In (Low Carb, Low Sugar) Introducing a green juice that doesn’t suck
Imbalances in your hormones are triggered by bad food.
If you eat sugar, you’ll produce more insulin, more estrogen, and more testosterone. Any type of flour and sugar can lead to these imbalances.
Dairy and gluten are often triggers for inflammation and hormonal imbalances.
Xenobiotics or environmental chemicals like pesticides in our food can act like powerful hormone disruptors and trigger our own hormones to go out of balance.
We know that sugar, caffeine, alcohol, stress, and lack of exercise all contribute to worse PMS and all hormonal imbalances – including menopause.
After removing the bad stuff, you will want to replace it with good stuff.
Eat a whole, real, unprocessed, organic, mostly plant-based diet with organic or sustainably raised animal products. When you focus on this type of diet, you minimize intake of xenoestrogens, hormones, and antibiotics. Taking simple steps like choosing organic food and drinking filtered water can hugely impact hormone balance.
Getting good quality sleep every night and exercising regularly can help balance your hormones. Along with supplementing with Omega-3, vitamin D3, B vitamins, magnesium, and probiotics.
Cooking With Olive Oil - Is it Bad For Your Health? Olive oil is known for its health benefits, yet many experts say we shouldn't be cooking with it. Does cooking with olive oil stand up to the heat?
The Hidden Causes of Heartburn and GERD - Chris Kresser Research suggests that GERD is caused by maldigestion of carbohydrates and bacterial overgrowth in the intestines. Keep reading to learn more!
While we hear of the benefits of fish-oil, the real health superstar is cod-liver oil.
Cod-liver oil was a tradition for a reason. It fortifies our bones and teeth.
The fish oils we receive today are far less potent than cod-liver oil
Regular fish oil is extracted from the tissue of oily fish like tuna, herring, anchovies and mackerel, while cod liver oil is extracted from the livers of cod.
The liver is rich in fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A and D, which give it an impressive nutrient profile.
One teaspoon (5 ml) of cod liver oil provides the following:
Vitamin A: 90% of the RDI
Vitamin D: 113% of the RDI
There are many stories of mothers forcing their children to take cod liver oil.
Centuries ago, northern Europeans used cod liver oil to protect them from the cold. It was made from the livers of Gadus morhua and other species of cod. Cod liver oil was said to relieve such complaints as rheumatism, aching joints, and stiff muscles.
At the beginning of the 20th century, scientists established that cod liver oil was antirachitic, and it became commonplace for mothers to give it to their children.
It turns out cod liver oil contains large amounts of vitamins A, D, and omega-3 fatty acids, and the health benefits may go beyond rheumatism and rickets.
Vitamin A is essential for the immune system, bone growth, night vision, cellular growth, testicular and ovarian function. Pharmaceutical preparations are used to treat cystic acne and other skin conditions.
In one study in 3,502 people aged 55 and over, researchers found that people who consumed the most vitamin A had a much lower risk of glaucoma than those who ate the least vitamin A.
Vitamin D not only prevents rickets but is also important for muscle function and may prevent type 1 diabetes, hypertension, and many common cancers
Getting enough vitamin D from foods and supplements like cod liver oil is especially important for people who live far from the equator, a their skin doesn’t get enough sunlight to synthesize vitamin D for up to six months of the year
Did your Grandmother hand out cod-liver oil?
You heard it here first, hypoglossal tone will be one of the next big health trends.
Hypoglossal nerve stimulation treatment is literally an electrical pulse installed in a patient’s neck to help the airway and reduce the risk of complications of obstructive sleep apnea.
It’s a treatment applied to in patients experiencing atrial fibrillation. Doctors now understand the link in the literature between cardiovascular event and obstructive sleep apnea.
The idea is underpinned in the importance of the tongue in maintaining the airway.
Benefit of ‘toning’ of our cranial nerves is an increasingly well-known strategy to improve many organ systems.
The vagus nerve is the cranial nerve that passes to the gut, and many other organs, sending parasympathetic rest and digest messages to the body.
Vagal-tone, is linked to better heart rate variability, digestive health, sleep, and general well-being.
Strategies we’ve talked about before include gargling that stimulate the back of the throat where the vagus nerve stimulates.
Yet, very few talk about the hypoglossal nerve. If you look at the image above, you see the incredible muscle network that the tongue is governed by.
The brain’s homunculus has a very large proportion dedicated to tongue muscles.
Like most things in your body, it’s a use it or lose it relationship.
There is a strong association between atrial fibrillation and obstructive sleep apnea.
Unlike other surgeries, HGNS requires no permanent removal or alteration of airway tissues. The hypoglossal nerve is also anatomically located for convenient surgical access and is responsive to stimulation.
Results from clinical trials are promising – one year after receiving the HGNS implant, sleepers experience a 68% decrease in apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) a score reflecting the number of breathing cessation or reduction events during sleep
So, can we get in front of the surgery?
Tongue strengthening is a fast-cranial nerve tone exercise.
Two exercises include, stretching the tongue to touch our nose and touching the tip of your chin.
Have you noticed how your tongue posture relates to mouth breathing and sleep at night?
For a better functioning brain, control your breathing.
Breathing in brain function:
The ups and downs of the breath are not only reflected in emotion they shape our cognitive functioning as well. For instance, nasal breathing phase has been shown to affect both emotional judgments and memory recall, with people being able to identify emotional faces quicker and remember an object better when presented at inhalation than.
(iEEG) recordings from epileptic patients showed how breathing is entrained with slow cortical rhythms in the olfactory cortex, which in turn modulate higher frequency rhythms in regions closely related to affective and cognitive functioning.
To test whether breathing phase is indeed related to emotion and memory, recruited an independent group of healthy participants to test whether their recognition of emotional faces was affected by breathing phase.
Results showed that the recognition of emotional faces was dependent on the respiratory phase in which the stimuli were presented.
Breathing controls emotions:
Controlled breathing can be used as an anchor into the present, which can help in the process of emotion recognition and regulation.
The prime example of how breathing affects emotion is the physiological and psychological relaxation that occurs when the breathing rhythm is slowed down to 0.1 Hz or 6 breaths per minute, a technique know as slow-paced breathing.
This type of breathing is associated with respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), a cardiorespiratory synchronization in which the interval between consecutive heartbeats decreases during inspiration and increases during expiration.
Slow breathing also increases the variation in time intervals between heartbeats, or HRV - an indicator of a healthy systemic balance and ability to respond to physiological functioning.
Conversely, HRV is known to be reduced by a fast breathing rhythm. On one hand, this effect is highly relevant for stress-related disorders, such as anxiety and depression, in which HRV is known to be reduced.
Read more here: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnins.2021.647579/full
How does slow nasal breathing make you feel?
We’re learning more about the power of magnesium all the time, and this is a great example of nutrition evolution.
It’s long been believed that high sodium intake is one of the main drivers of hypertension, but this siloed approach ignores the way minerals work together.
The FDA has even validated the claim that there is a relationship between magnesium consumption through diet and supplements and reduced risk of high blood pressure.
A few foods you can include into your diet that are rich in magnesium are pumpkin seeds, spinach, almonds, and dark chocolate.
If you or a family member has ever taken an anti-depressant, you may want to get your bone mass checked.
Serotonin is produced by the cells present in the gut and released in blood.
As it reaches the bones where it binds to the Htr1b receptor present at the surface of the bone forming cells (osteoblasts) to increase bone formation.
It’s this that bones of those that are on serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) are affected.
SSRI’s exert action by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin, thereby increasing serotonin activity.
A study performed investigated the association between the use of SRIs and subsequent low bone density.
Those exposed to SRIs had an increased risk of newly diagnosed low bone density (osteoporosis or osteopenia) compared with those who did not receive those medications.
The risk of subsequent low bone density was 1.44-fold higher in recent users and 1.07-fold higher in former users compared with the risk in non-users. Given the high prevalence of SRI use, these findings could have significant clinical implications.
Several studies have shown the presence of serotonin receptors and transporters in osteoblasts and osteoclasts, which are the key elements in the bone remodeling cycle.
The connection could be associated with serotonin’s derivative, 5-HTP.
The precursor 5-HTP is the limitation of gene expression and protein activity of the enzyme tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH). This is the rate limiting enzyme for serotonin synthesis which is the precursor for melatonin synthesis.
Read the study in Nature here: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-92821-9
My interest is what they do for teeth…
Have anti-depressants affected your health?
Low T3 Syndrome I: It's Not about the Thyroid! - Chris Kresser Low T3 levels can cause all of the symptoms of hypothyroidism. But in many cases, the problem isn't with the thyroid at all.
Leaky Gut, Gluten, and Gallbladder Problems migh Have a Connection Recent evidence suggests that inflammation in the gut is closely related to gallbladder function. Read on to learn about the gut–biliary connection.
Old recommendations are falling over all around us.
Remember when we were told not to eat egg yolks? That was based on the idea that cholesterol is a causative factor in heart disease.
When a journal with the reputation of Nature publishes a story like this, it’s always going to be polite.
The author very lightly dances around the fact that the idea that cholesterol has been vilified for many years now has centered on nearly all medically based dietary recommendations.
The issue is that we’ve completely misunderstood what cholesterol is. Dietary cholesterol is a small molecule that is a very important precursor for s*x hormones in the body.
It is also the precursor in the skin for vitamin D. So when we say blood cholesterols, that was actually referring to the larger molecules that carry all fat soluble vitamins around the body (including vitamin D).
Here’s an explanation from the article:
“When cholesterol is implicated in causing cardiovascular problems, it is not the lipid itself that is the culprit, but rather the lipoproteins that carry cholesterol to and from cells. Broadly, these can be categorized into two groups: high-density lipoprotein (HDL), colloquially referred to as good cholesterol; and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or bad cholesterol, that clogs arteries and increases the risk of heart attacks.
This distinction was determined in the 1950s by US physician John Gofman. His experiments analysing the blood plasma of people who had had a heart attack found big increases in the levels of LDL, whereas HDL levels were lower than normal.”
High denisity (HDL) and low density (LDL) lipoproteins are just part of the cycle the liver sends out to deliver fat soluble vitamins (including choleseterol) to the rest of the body.
They exist in high or low density forms and having more of them isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
The more important ration to measure are blood triglycerides which are single fat molecules floating through the blood. The ration of triglycerides to HDL (High density lipoproteins) is potentially a far better marker of risk of heart disease which are raised from sugar consumption.
The take away is that today we should really see cholesterol as a part of the diet that is critical for a healthy heart as well as bones and teeth.
Do you remember the low cholesterol craze?
Dairy is not an essential food group. It is likely harmful for most people.
Do not consume low-fat or reduced-fat dairy products. They typically contain sugar and additives and may increase weight gain. It turns out that whole-fat, not low-fat, dairy may reduce the risk of diabetes. These findings are based on measuring actual dairy fat levels in the blood, not just using food questionnaires. A 22-year study of 3,000 seniors examined the link between dairy intake, heart disease, and death. Individuals who had higher blood levels of saturated fatty acids from dairy had a 42 percent lower risk of death from stroke and no increased heart disease risk. The researchers suggested that the current dietary guidelines be reevaluated to stop recommending reduced-fat dairy options.
Is a glass of milk better than soda? Yes. But that’s not saying much.
If you love dairy, choose grass-fed heirloom A2 cow dairy or goat or sheep dairy. Grass-fed butter, ghee, and unsweetened grass-fed sheep and goat yogurt, kefir, and cheese are fine from time to time if you tolerate dairy. If you’re lactose intolerant, sensitive to dairy, or have digestive issues, avoid dairy completely.
You can learn more about this in my latest book, The Pegan Diet.
Hypothyroidism Causes: 7 Reasons for Low Thyroid - Chris Kresser Understanding the cause of your hypothyroidism is the first step to treating the problem. Find out more about seven common causes of low thyroid.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency: What It Is, Symptoms & Treatment | Chris Kresser B12 deficiency can cause depression, fatigue, and other serious problems. Find out more about what this vitamin does and learn how to correct a deficiency.
When you consume these subpar fats, your cell walls also become subpar. Instead of being flexible and responsive to intercellular communication, cell walls become stiff and rigid. The more rigid the walls, the slower the cell functions and more vulnerable it becomes to inflammation.
Most people label all fats as bad and lump them all together in a box. The truth is that all fats are not created equal. There are good fats, questionable fats and bad fats. Our government, media, scientists and doctors have advised us to eat the wrong types of fats for too long.
You want to ensure your body has the fats it needs to construct high-quality cell walls. That means eating more omega-3 fats. Cell walls made from omega-3 fats are more flexible, which allows cells to respond more quickly to messages.
These “good” fats also help your body produce prostaglandins otherwise known as the hormones that cool off inflammation.
Optimal sources of omega-3 fats include small cold-water fish like wild-caught salmon, sardines and herring, organic flax and h**p seed oils, walnuts, Brazil nuts and sea vegetables.
Scientists suspect that early humans ate almost equal amounts of omega-6 and omega-3 fats.
Our hunter-gatherer human ancestors got healthy omega-6 fats from seeds and nuts. They got their omega-3s from eating wild game and fish as well as foraging for wild plants.
As people began to refine oils from plants, the ratio became skewed more toward omega-6 fats. This created a drastic imbalance in the modern diet, making us more vulnerable to diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
The more omega-3 fats you eat, the easier your body can cool off, which means less inflammation that forms the root of nearly every chronic disease, especially those impacting the brain and the heart.
Besides eating plenty of wild, fatty fish, optimize your fat intake with nuts and seeds, grass-fed butter (or ghee if you’re dairy sensitive), avocados, grass-fed meats, extra-virgin olive oil and olives.
Holly L’Italien, LAc, is a Functional Wellness Practitioner who specializes in using a whole body approach to achieve optimal health and beauty. After graduating from Academy of Oriental Medicine at Austin in 2008, Holly worked at a highly-regarded wellness center and built a strong foundation in functional wellness techniques. She went on to earn her Masters Human Nutrition (magna cm laude) in 2012 and started The Wellness Place in 2013. She graduated with the first class of ADAPT Trained Health Practitioner from the Kresser Institute, the only functional medicine and evolutionary health training company. She is also trained as an Epigenetic Human Potential Coach with Apeiron Academy. Holly helps her clients achieve radiant health by harnessing the wisdom of ancient medicine with modern nutritional approaches, precision genomics, functional wellness, and advanced laboratory testing.
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