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Dr. Cobi

How can I eliminate my sugar cravings?

 

 6 Quick tips to eliminate sugar cravings:

 

1.       Consume protein at breakfast- Consuming protein in the morning sets the stage for the day for blood sugar stabilization. Starting your day with carbohydrates on the other hand can leave you craving more sugar all day.

 

2.       Just a pinch of Cinnamon- This blood sugar stabilizing spice helps to cut cravings dramatically. Add Cinnamon to your smoothie, hot drinks or steel cut oatmeal each day to maintain blood sugar levels.

 

3.       Eliminate ALL forms of processed sugar including artificial sweeteners. Going cold turkey is the most effective way to successfully cut out sugar for good. The cravings will be gone in as little as 3 days!

 

4.       Consume good fats- Sources of high quality good fats lead to a sensation of fullness and satiety. Add 1-2 tbsp. of coconut oil into your daily diet as well as other sources of good fats such as raw nuts and seeds, avocados and cold pressed extra virgin olive oil.

 

5.       Sleep- Inadequate sleep can lead to a hormone disruption between leptin and ghrelin which are produced while you sleep. Leptin tells your body when you are full and ghrelin stimulates appetite. Sleep deprivation causes massive sugar cravings due to inadequate leptin. Aim for 8 good quality hours of sleep per night.

 

6.       Hydrate- Chronic dehydration can feel like hunger to most people. Often when afternoon cravings strike for something sweet, it is actually your body telling you to drink some water. The goal is to consume half your body weight in ounces of water each day.

 

7.       L-Glutamine- If the cravings are fierce, combine ½ tsp. of the amino acid l-glutamine with 2 tbsp. of water and swish in the mouth for 30 seconds and swallow. The cravings will be instantly gone! Repeat as needed. 

 

Written by Cobi Slater — November 25, 2016

DID YOU KNOW…. Manuka Honey has amazing healing properties and here is why….

The benefits of medicinal honey have been known for over 4,000 years after the Egyptians started to apply honey on wounds.

All honey contains a natural occurring enzyme which produces hydrogen peroxide which is a known antiseptic with proven antibacterial properties.  However, hydrogen peroxide loses most of its healing power when it comes in contact with body fluids or open wounds. In addition, all healing qualities of common honey are lost in contact with heat or direct light.

Studies on the benefits of Manuka honey have shown that it is a special type of mono-floral honey which contains an ingredient with powerful antibacterial, anti-microbial, antiviral, antioxidant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties. This ingredient in Manuka honey was originally named UMF®or Unique Manuka Factor.

Manuka Honey is produced by bees that collect nectar from the Manuka Bush or Tea Tree (also known as Leptospermum Scoparium) indigenous only to New Zealand. 

Bees gather the nectar from the flowers of the Manuka Tree.  In the hive, they add an enzyme called glucose oxidase to the nectar in order to preserve the honey. When Manuka Honey comes into contact with body fluids, the glucose oxidase enzyme slowly releases the antibacterial hydrogen peroxide. The levels of hydrogen peroxide released are not high enough to damage tissue but sufficient enough to affect bacteria.

Most Common Uses of Manuka Honey

1. Gastritis

2. Stomach ulcers

3. Tonsillitis

4. Sinusitis

5. Skin ailments such as eczema, hives, rosacea and rashes

6. Building the immune system

7. Facial masks

8. Common flus, coughs and colds

9. Cuts and burns

 

Written by Cobi Slater — November 25, 2016

Curried Chicken, Potatoes and Peas-Serves 4

 

 

 

Curried Chicken, Potatoes and Peas-Serves 4

From The Ultimate Gluten and Dairy Free Cookbook- coming soon

 

All mixed up in a coconut curry sauce. This is a one pot wonder for sure!

 

Ingredients

 

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (sliced 3/4 inch thick)

  Himalayan sea salt and pepper (to taste)

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1⁄2 cup onion (chopped)

1 tbsp. fresh ginger (minced)

1 tsp. jalapeno (minced)

1 tbsp. sweet curry powder

1 cup chicken stock

1 red potato (peeled, cut into small chunks)

1 can coconut milk

1⁄2 cup frozen peas

2 tbsp. cilantro (chopped)

 

Instructions

 

  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.  Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Cook the chicken until cooked through and lightly browned.  Remove from the skillet and keep warm.

 

  1. Return the skillet to heat, adding a teaspoon of olive oil if needed, and add the onion, ginger and jalapeno.  Sauté until the vegetables soften and then add the curry powder and sauté for another 30 seconds.

 

  1. Pour the chicken stock into the skillet and add the potato and 1/2 tsp salt.  Simmer and cook, partly covered until the potato is tender, about 7 minutes.

 

  1. Add the coconut milk and peas.  Simmer a few minutes until the sauce is a bit thickened. 

 

  1. Add the chicken to the sauce, toss to coat and serve sprinkled with cilantro.

Written by Cobi Slater — October 31, 2016

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

 

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a common disorder in women of reproductive age that is characterized by the cyclic recurrence of physical, affective, and cognitive (or performance) symptoms.

 

The symptoms typically occur in the second half of the menstrual cycle, resolve after the period begins and are often absent during the early phase of the menstrual cycle. As many as 85% of menstruating women experience one or more symptoms of PMS. Approximately 5% to 10% of women have symptoms severe enough to be debilitating.

 

PMS affects women of all cultures and socioeconomic levels but types of symptoms and levels of discomfort vary from woman to woman and may have cultural influences. More than three hundred symptoms have been associated with PMS. 

 

Among the most prominent and consistently described symptoms are depression, anxiety, irritability, craving for sweet or salty foods, headaches, weight gain, fluid retention, breast pain and swelling, abdominal bloating and acne flare-ups on the face and shoulders.

 

Some of the other commonly associated symptoms include:


  • Abdominal bloating
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Accident proneness, coordination difficulties
  • Acne, hives
  • Aggression, rage
  • Alcohol intolerance
  • Anxiety, irritability, suicidal thoughts
  • Asthma
  • Back pain
  • Breast swelling and pain
  • Bruising
  • Confusion
  • Depression, withdrawal from others, emotional lability
  • Edema
  • Exacerbation of pre-existing conditions (e.g., lupus, arthritis, ulcers, herpes)
  • Fatigue, lethargy
  • Fainting (vasovagal syncope)
  • Food binges, salt cravings, sweet cravings
  • Headache, migraine
  • Heart palpitations
  • Insomnia
  • Joint swelling and pain
  • Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Sex drive changes
  • Sinus problems
  • Sore throat
  • Urinary difficulties

1.The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. ACOG News Release. Accessed April 5, 2004 from

http://www.acog.org/from_home/publications/press_releases/nr03-31-00-1.cfm.

2.Halbreich U. The etiology, biology, and evolving pathology of premenstrual syndromes.

Psychoneuroendocrinology 2003; 28(3 Suppl):S55-S99.

 

Causes of PMS

The exact cause of PMS is not fully understood and may be related to a number of factors. The current theories on the underlying causes focus mostly on levels of sex hormones (e.g., estrogen, progesterone) and neurotransmitters (i.e., brain chemicals that control mood), dietary influences and emotional factors.

 

Dietary Factors Influencing PMS

  • Diets high in animal fats have been shown to increase prostaglandin (PGE2) production and aggravate PMS symptoms.
  • Increased alcohol consumption during the premenstrual phase interferes with the liver’s ability to detoxify excess circulating hormones.
  • Nutritional deficiencies such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin B6, vitamin E, and essential fatty acids contribute to PMS.
  • Increased caffeine consumption causes an imbalance of cortisol and blood sugar and further inhibits the liver's ability to balance serotonin, estrogen, and progesterone, leading to breast tenderness and swelling.

 

Many factors can contribute to or trigger PMS by causing hormonal changes in the body, including:

 

  • High consumption of dairy products
  • Excessive consumption of caffeine (soft drinks, coffee, chocolate)
  • Excessive consumption of high glycemic foods
  • A relatively high blood level of estrogen
  • A relatively low blood level of progesterone
  • Diet that leads to increased levels of the hormone prostaglandin F2
  • Excess body weight
  • Low levels of vitamins C and E
  • Magnesium and/or Selenium deficiency
  • Lack of exercise

 

PMS has been divided into four categories according to specific sets of symptoms.

Top 5 Strategies for PMS

 

 

  1. Complete Hormone testing- Available through Dr Cobi @ Essential Health Natural Wellness Clinic- Contact Us for more information
  2. Liver detoxification
  3. Optimize nutrition through a whole food diet
  4. Eliminate sugar and caffeine
  5. Supplement with 5-HTP (100mg 1-3 times per day- do not combine with pharmaceutical anti-depressants), Evening Primrose Oil (3000mg per day for 4 weeks then 1000mg per day), Vitamin E (400-800IU per day), Vitamin B6 (50-100mg per day), Magnesium (150mg per day), Vitex (225mg per day) and DIM (125mg per day).

Written by Cobi Slater — October 31, 2016

Spaghetti Squash Primavera-Serves 4

Spaghetti Primavera without the spaghetti? Fantastic!

Ingredients

1 spaghetti squash (halved lengthwise and seeded)

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 onion (diced)

2 cloves garlic (minced)

1⁄2 cup cherry tomatoes (halved)

1⁄4 cup fresh basil (chopped)

1⁄2 cup asparagus

1⁄2 cup red bell pepper (diced)

1⁄2 cup goat feta cheese (optional)

 

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Place spaghetti squash cut side down on a baking sheet.  Bake for 30 minutes or until a knife can easily be inserted.  Remove the squash from the oven and set aside to cool.

3. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Sauté the garlic and onion for 2-3 minutes.  Add the asparagus and peppers and sauté for another couple of minutes.  Add the tomatoes and cook for 1 more minute.

4. Using a large spoon, scoop the stringy pulp from the squash and put in a medium bowl.  Toss the spaghetti squash with the vegetables, feta cheese, if using and basil.  Season with salt and pepper if desired.

Written by Cobi Slater — August 22, 2016

5 Steps to Detox for Weight Loss in Menopause

Are you overwhelmed by weight gain in Menopause? If so, this information can help give you the boost you need to get on the right track. Hormonal imbalances are often the underlying cause of ongoing weight gain in menopause and these imbalances can be due to an accumulation of toxins in your system.

Researchers have now identified several ways that toxin overload can be a cause of obesity. When the buildup of toxins blocks your liver’s detoxification pathways, unwanted weight gain can result. Here is a snap shot of what can happen:

  1. Normally our detoxification pathways are open so that we can eliminate toxins and prevent weight gain.
  2. When we are continually exposed to toxins from sources such as pesticides, plastics, toxic foods, pollution and chemical laden body products, the detox pathways become too burdened to work efficiently and weight gain occurs.
  3. These toxins can cause weight gain because they mimic our own hormones and alter fat deposition. They also alter the way that we metabolize sugar and worsen hormonal imbalances in menopause.

Wondering if you are toxic and need to cleanse your body? Here are some telltale signs:

  • Weight gain despite not over eating
  • Caffeine and/or alcohol consumption on a daily basis
  • Sluggish bowel movements (2-3 times per week)
  • Medication sensitivities
  • Sinus congestion and/or post nasal drip
  • Poor nutrition choices
  • Skin conditions such as Rosacea/Eczema/Acne and/or Psoriasis
  • Headaches
  • Ongoing fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Digestive upset (gas and bloating)
  • Frequent colds/infections

The following are five steps that you can take to detoxify your body:

  1. Remove processed foods from your diet.  You may want to start slowly and eliminate one group at a time or jump right in and do an overhaul on your nutrition. Either way the most toxic foods are sugar, alcohol, caffeine, non-organic dairy, gluten, artificial sweeteners and additives and packaged foods.
  2. Increase your consumption of detoxifying foods such as alfalfa sprouts, flax seeds, artichoke, apples, turmeric, beet root, brown rice, dark green veggies, lemon, garlic, gluten-free oats, millet, root vegetables. These all boost your body’s ability to get rid of toxics and extra weight.
  3. Move your body! Think of the difference between the water in a clear, running stream and a stagnant pond covered in pond scum. Our bodies are the same. If you don’t move your body daily the “pond scum” will accumulate! Going for a 30 minute walk once daily is enough to encourage detoxification and greatly promote circulation.
  4. Detox your house! Getting rid of harmful cleaning products, air refreshers, body care products, plastics, perfumes, laundry detergent and dryer sheets is a great way to decrease your daily exposure to a massive amount of toxins. The chemicals found in these common household products are hormone disruptors and build up in our bodies!
  5. Add herbs and supplements. First, be sure your body is getting its basic needs met by finding a high quality multivitamin and a pure Omega 3 fish oil and Vitamin D. Then you can include herbs like milk thistle, kudzu, turmeric and dandelion to boost your natural detoxification pathways.

Here are Dr Cobi’s Favourite Products for Detox! BioLixV, LVDTX, Fibermend, DIM and Estrovantage

Written by Cobi Slater — August 22, 2016

Grilled Chicken with Citrus Salsa- Serves 4

You'll love the fresh Zip and Zang of this chicken. Great for a hot summer’s night. 

Ingredients

1⁄4 cup lime juice (divided)

3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (divided)

1 jalapeno pepper (diced)

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  Himalaya sea salt and pepper (to taste)

1 orange (peeled and cut into small pieces)

1 pink grapefruit (peeled and cut into small pieces)

4 green onions (thinly sliced)

10 cherry tomatoes (halved)

1⁄2 fresh orange (zested and juiced)

1⁄2 lime (zested)

1⁄4 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)

2 tomatillos (diced)

4 cups salad greens

 

Instructions

 

  1. Preheat grill.
  2. In a shallow dish, combine 3 tbsp. lime juice and 2 tbsp. olive oil.  Rub the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the marinade.  Marinate for at least 20 minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the citrus fruits, green onion, tomatoes, remaining 1 tbsp. lime juice, olive oil, orange and lime zest, jalapeno, cilantro and tomatillos.  Mix and set aside.
  4. Remove the chicken from the marinade.  Cook on a hot grill on each side until cooked through. 
  5. Remove from the grill and let stand a few minutes. 
  6. Divide the salad greens among 4 plates, slice the chicken and arrange on top of the greens.  Spoon salsa over each salad and serve.

Written by Cobi Slater — July 25, 2016

6 Reasons You Cannot Lose Weight!

For some people exercising, eating healthy and cutting calories have all been tried over and over but the scale still won’t budge! The frustration is relentless and many undoubtedly just want to give up. There may be hidden causes to this weight loss resistance, which urges your body to hang on to extra weight — no matter what diet or exercise measures you take!

After the age of 35, our systems are very vulnerable to any disruption in the intricate balancing networks in our body. For the few women who do manage to lose weight, often gain it back quickly — unless they address the underlying root cause.

The most common systemic imbalances that lead to weight loss resistance in women and men are connected to the extremely delicate symphony of hormones.  The key players are the thyroid and adrenal hormones as well as estrogen and progesterone, leptin and ghrelin. Once the body regains balance, the weight comes off easily. One other factor to weight loss resistance is hidden food allergies or sensitivities.

Most common causes of weight loss resistance

  1. Thyroid imbalance. When thyroid hormones are low, the body’s metabolic rate is dramatically slowed down. Energy can become diminished, depression can take over and even the digestive system slows resulting in constipation. Unwanted weight gain and fighting for every pound are just a few of the hallmark symptoms of low thyroid function.

  2. Adrenal imbalance. During times of stress, the adrenal glands release cortisol and adrenaline to mobilize quick energy for a “fight or flight” situation. Yet most modern stress doesn’t call for extra calories for us to physically fight or flee, so these get stored as fat. Long-term stress causes your body to hang on to every calorie it can in preparation for crisis. There are more cortisol or stress hormone receptors in our stomach than any other area. This is the reason that the “spare tire” forms around the abdomen during times of chronic stress.

  3. Hormonal imbalance. As early as 35-years-old, our estrogen and progesterone levels can begin to fluctuate. And in an effort to preserve fertility for as long as possible, the body hangs on to extra fat — especially in the belly because this fat can make estrogen. It is estimated that at least 50% of the population is in a state of “estrogen dominance” which simply means that progesterone levels are in a lower state than estrogen. This imbalance creates the perfect environment for weight gain.

  4. Sleep imbalance. A lack of sleep affects our ability to lose weight due to 2 hormones called Leptin and Ghrelin.  These two hormones that are key in this process become out of balance when good quality sleep does not occur on a regular basis. Ghrelin is the ‘go’ hormone that tells you when to eat and is responsible for the hunger feelings. When you are sleep-deprived, ghrelin is produced in larger quantities causing an increase in appetite and cravings. Leptin on the other hand is the hormone that tells you to stop eating, and when you are sleep deprived less leptin is produced. A leptin deficiency prevents the brain from telling the stomach that you are full!

  5. Food allergies or sensitivities.  Digestive imbalances, detoxification issues, and inflammation, which can lead to weight loss resistance can all be the result of food allergies or sensitivities. These sensitivities or allergic responses is yet another form of stress which increases cortisol causing weight gain as a protective measure. In addition an overload of toxins can mimic our hormones and disrupt fat deposition, as well as alter the way we metabolize sugar. Inflammation can cause weight gain through the loss of insulin control and quick conversion of carbohydrates to belly fat. What does all of this mean? You could be eating all the “right” foods that are actually “wrong” for you! Often people are allergic or sensitive to foods that are seemingly healthy.

So despite all the best efforts sometimes there is just more to the story than we realize. If you have been frustrated by doing all the right “stuff” but simply not getting the desired results then discovering the root cause and restoring balance can help to change your outcome.

Top Tests to Uncover Your Hidden Causes of Weight Loss Resistance

  1. ELISA IgG Food Allergy Panel- this simply blood test helps to reveal 94 hidden food allergies and sensitivities as well as any signs of Celiac disease (gluten intolerance).
  2. Complete Female Hormone Panel- this test combines blood and saliva to reveal imbalances in progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, cortisol, DHEA and all 4 thyroid hormones (TSH, free T4, free T3 and TPO).
  3. Complete Male Hormone Panel- this test combines blood and saliva to reveal imbalances in estrogen, testosterone, cortisol, DHEA, SHBG, PSA and all 4 thyroid hormones (TSH, free T4, free T3 and TPO).

Written by Cobi Slater — July 25, 2016

Coconut Chicken Skewers - Serves 4

So, sooo yummy!

 

Ingredients

 

1 cup coconut milk

2 tbsp. raw honey (divided)

1 tbsp. lime juice

2 tbsp. gluten free tamari (divided)

1⁄2 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 tsp. fresh ginger (grated or chopped)

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1 inch strips)

2⁄3 cup organic natural peanut butter

2 cloves garlic (minced)

1 1⁄2 tbsp. lemon juice

1⁄2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

 

Instructions

 

  1. Combine first 6 ingredients (1 tbsp. raw honey and 1 tbsp. gluten free tamari) in a medium bowl and mix well.

 

  1. Marinate the chicken in the above mixture for at least 30 minutes.  Remove from marinade.  Do not discard the marinade

 

  1. Preheat grill.

 

  1. Thread the chicken on skewers and grill for 3 to 5 minutes.  Brush the chicken with marinade and turn occasionally as the chicken cooks. 

 

Peanut Sauce:

 

  1. In a pot combine 1 cup water, peanut butter and garlic. 

 

  1. Cook over medium heat until the sauce boils and thickens.  Remove from heat.

 

  1. Stir in the remaining 1 tbsp. raw honey, lemon juice, tamari and red pepper flakes.

Written by Cobi Slater — July 25, 2016

Ask Dr. Cobi - Recently my friend suggested that I try a cleanse to help with some of the digestive problems that I am experiencing. Are cleanses really beneficial?

Question: Recently my friend suggested that I try a cleanse to help with some of the digestive problems that I am experiencing. Are cleanses really beneficial?

Answer: Each year the average person in North America is exposed to 14 pounds of food preservatives, pesticide and herbicide residues. The toxic load on our bodies is increasing every year. If not eliminated, the toxic substances stored in our bodies have detrimental health effects and can lead to chronic disease and cancer. Detoxification is one of the central concepts of natural healing. Cleansing on a regular basis aids in the elimination and neutralization of toxic wastes and helps to revitalize the natural functions of the body.

The following are some symptoms that can be associated with an over-burdened body:

Headaches Eczema Stomach cramps

Constipation Allergies Joint pain

Diarrhea Frequent colds Fatigue

Acne Slow healing Muscle aches

Gas/Bloating Weight gain Fogginess

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms a cleanse would be very beneficial. During a cleanse your digestive system gets a much needed break to heal from the effects of poor dietary choices.

Fasting one day a week or one day a month is the simplest form of detoxifying. Treating yourself to a one to two week cleanse twice yearly has many positive health benefits. A detox is a great way to start a new healthy routine, increasing the potential outcome of the program.

Written by Cobi Slater — March 15, 2016

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