Archive for Elizabeth

Learning about learning — inspiration, precision, tenacity!

Learning about learning

I’ve been thinking about learning a lot lately. Seems I am drawn to the challenge like moth to a flame. Today I’m remembering a chilly day in January, 1994. A hotel meeting room in metro Detroit. My Neuromuscular Therapy certification exam, administered by Douglas Nelson.

I had studied and studied. Repeated all but one of the seminars, watched and re-watched the review videos, and had spent every available minute of the previous three months studying anatomy, physiology, and protocols. Despite that, there was one certain protocol I had completely forgotten. And guess what? It was on the test!

Precision learning - the plantaris muscle

The plantaris muscle. When it comes to resolving a physical pain problem, precision can make all the difference.

Doug was very encouraging. “You know this. I know you do. Just think about it for a minute.”

But I didn’t. I had to throw in the towel and admit that it completely escaped me.

I passed the test anyway (whew!) and the very next day went back to work for a full day of client sessions. My last client that day … guess what? Had that exact problem. What were the chances? She needed the strategy that I’d anchored in, through completely missing it on the test, just the day before. In her case, it was a sports-related injury. I was so thankful for the previous day’s misstep. That mistake is what ultimately allowed me to help that young woman get back to playing soccer after work (which she loved!) pain-free.

Fast forward to now

So now here we are nearly 24 years later. Guess what happened today? Someone came in with the same problem. Different onset, but the symptoms and more importantly the effect in her life (pain, frustration, feeling held back from what she wanted to do, fear that it would never resolve) were essentially the same. The potential benefits for her are essentially the same as well. Something that she really wants to do is back on the menu. Big sigh of relief. Life keeps moving in the direction she wants it to.

Dogs can be wonderful teachers.

Dog can be wonderful teachers.

For myself, once again, I feel thankful for those moments in which I am challenged to learn something that doesn’t come easily. That I don’t master perfectly on the first try (and believe me, I have a lot of experience in this arena).

Over the years, I have learned something about the process of learning. Taking the extra time and effort to master the fine points, the precision, is so worth it. In the case of Neuromuscular Therapy, I joined the St. John Seminars teaching staff, on which I served (all the while deepening my own knowledge base) for 11 years. It was a commitment and an investment.

There is a very special place in my heart and mind for those people, Doug and many others, who have supported and/or otherwise drawn forth the extra effort and tenacity I need in order to learn a subject well.

I could have given today’s client a nice relaxation massage. She would have walked out with a more relaxed version of the same problem she came in with. That was neither her agenda nor mine.

Carrot Bean Dip: Satisfying and Nutrient-Rich

Carrot Dip

Carrot Bean Dip: Satisfying and Nutrient-Rich

It’s nearly lunchtime as I write this post, but I’m not hungry. Why? Because a couple of hours ago, I had a small hit of Carrot Bean dip. It’s good stuff! Tasty. Satisfying. Nutrient-rich.

What more could you ask for? Easy? Yep, it’s that also. Actually, it’s a breeze to whip together.

The background:

As I’ve plunged into the world of Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis over the last year or so, one thing I’ve noticed is that a LOT of the reports I get back feature elevated tissue calcium (Ca) and low tissue potassium (K). Yep, even my own.

That’s bad news when it comes to so many health conditions. And it’s particularly challenging for utilization of thyroid hormone.

According to the mineral experts (I will list three of my favorites at the end of this post), excess tissue calcium inhibits absorption of thyroid hormone into your cells. So too much tissue calcium puts you in the situation where even if your body’s thyroid hormone production is normal, its utilization is impaired. Add to that low or lowish tissue potassium, which sensitizes your tissue to thyroid hormone, and you’re left in a sluggish situation.

The Nutritional Lowdown:

Carrot Bean Dip: Nutrient Rich

Carrot Bean Dip: Nutrient Rich and Delicious

Although a Carrot Bean Dip “fix” is overly simplistic, it does offer us a couple of nice things, from a nutritional perspective. Plus it tastes good. It’s high in vitamin A, which is antagonistic to calcium. 100 grams of raw carrots, or about two 5-1/2″ carrots, contains 835 mcg of retinol activity units (RAE). You’ll use about 2-1/2 times that amount in making a batch of this dip.

In addition, carrots and beans are both good sources of potassium. That same 100 grams of raw carrots contains 320 mg of potassium, and a half cup of dried great northern beans (the amount used in this recipe) contains 1269 mg.

Just to put this in perspective, the US Government’s Dietary Reference Intake recommendations for vitamin A is between 700-900 mcg, RAE for healthy adults (breastfeeding moms 1300). The daily recommendation of potassium for healthy adults is 4700 mg.

So bottom line: nosh on some of this tasty Carrot Bean Dip plus a few well-selected dippers and you’ll be doing yourself a nutritional favor, enhance your body’s utilization of thyroid hormone if it happens to be low (which we would learn by looking at the results of a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis report), and satisfy your sweet / salty / crunchy side all at once!

The Recipe!

Ingredients

1/2 cup dried white beans (such as Great Northern), soaked and cooked

1/2 lb carrots, scrubbed, tops cut off

1 T lemon juice

1 T olive oil

1/4 cup full fat plain Greek yogurt

1/4 tsp sea salt; more to taste

Optional: fresh dill for garnish

Assorted dippers (veggies, corn chips, etc.)

Procedure

1. Cut carrots into chunks. Place in a pan with a couple tablespoons of water. Cook 20 minutes or until soft.

2. Place carrots, up to 2 tablespoons of cooking liquid, and drained cooked beans into your food processor; process until smooth. (I usually cook the beans a day or so ahead.)

3. Add lemon juice, olive oil, yogurt and salt. Blend well. Chill if desired.

That’s it! See, I told you it was easy! Enjoy!

By the way, for those whose food plan does not include legumes, just double the carrots and leave out the beans. Also delicious!

———————

References:

Dietary Reference Intakes: http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/DRI/DRI_Tables/RDA_AI_vitamins_elements.pdf

Thompson, Robert and Barnes, Kathleen (2013). The Calcium Lie II. Take Charge Books.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2014. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 27. Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page, http://www.ars.usda.gov/ba/bhnrc/ndl

Watts, David L (2010). Trace Minerals and Other Elements. Trace Elements.

Wilson, Lawrence (2014). Nutritional Balancing and Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis. The Center for Development, Inc.

Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Introduction

Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis can guide your pain relief plan

Muscle or joint pain & stiffness and Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis

If you have muscle or joint pain and stiffness, you are likely interested in resolving it. Certainly there are structural factors, and you may be seeing a bodyworker or chiropractor to address them. And yet…

Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis can guide your pain relief plan

Mineral imbalances in the body can contribute to pain and stiffness patterns.

There is inflammation. Calcification. Signs and symptoms of nutrient mineral imbalances, bacterial imbalances, food sensitivities, neurotransmitter challenges, impaired cellular energy production, and things of that nature.

Sad to say, even the best mechanical therapy does not correct nutrient mineral or bacterial imbalances or counteract the effects of a carelessly-executed diet. Sometimes you need more.

But what? A “take this for that” approach to food and supplements will only get you so far. At the end of the day, that approach relies on guessing. We may recognize your symptoms, but unless we look more closely, we do not know why you have them.

You are an individual. Your biochemistry is completely unique!

Fortunately, there are a few simple tests available that can give you an indication of where your own body is out of balance.

Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis - sample is easy to collect

Your hair sample is super-easy to collect right at home!

Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis utilizes one such test. You snip about a tablespoonful of hair, mail it off to a lab for processing, and learn about how your body has adapted to chronic stress at the tissue level.

In the case of a person with muscle and joint pain or stiffness, there are certain inflammatory markers we look for. Signs of adrenal fatigue. Signs of calcium imbalance (“calcified” muscles have lost their suppleness; they are rigid). Signs of adaptive reserve (or lack) in the system.

It also gives us insight into next steps. Nutrient mineral supplements that could be beneficial. Dietary and lifestyle approaches that are likely to be helpful. And sometimes, indications for further testing.

Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis is a “big bang for your buck” kind of test that can offer guidance to get your health back on track. To decrease inflammation, stiffness and pain. To get the greatest benefit out of your mechanical therapy work. To increase energy and adaptive reserve. To optimize health!

Request a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis test

Learn more about Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis, including how to order your own test. Look here: Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis.

 

 

Quiche grain free and dairy free breakfast

Quiche grain free, dairy free. It’s what’s for breakfast!

There’s a quiche, grain free and diary free, in the oven! It’s loaded with veggies and protein. Quiches are so yummy, and yet I rarely take the few minutes to make them. Why, why, why? Ok, I’m human and have a lot going on. You too, right? Just a note to self that the few minutes invested today will save food prep time in the long run, because the leftovers are delicious.

Quiche grain free, dairy free

My quiche wasn’t this photogenic, but it tasted yummy!

Today’s quiche takes me back about a year, when I was just starting to feel my way out of a personalized elimination diet that I had very willingly undertaken in order to give my gut a break. I was gingerly trying out the addition of eggs, but still off dairy and grains. And I was also gingerly trying out the concept of a protein-rich breakfast, after years of breakfast-skipping. (Sad, but true.) So I wanted something quick and easy, filled with nutrients, no grain or dairy, and appealing. Yep.

Enter, the quiche: grain-free and dairy-free!

I sifted through a bunch of recipes and did some experimenting on my own. Here’s what I came up with.

Ingredients for the grain free quiche crust:

  • 2 Tablespoons ground flax plus 6 Tbsps water (or substitute 2 beaten eggs)
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1-2 Tablespoons water
  • Optional: a teaspoon or so of dried herbs; your choice

To prepare the crust:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°.
  • Mix 2 T ground flax and 6 T water in small bowl and set aside, or beat 2 eggs.
  • Combine dry ingredients (almond flour, coconut flour, salt, herbs if using) in a medium bowl.
  • Add coconut oil, hydrated flax seeds and water; mix until mixture holds together.
  • Press into greased / oiled (I used coconut oil) deep 9″ pie pan. Prick crust a few times with the tines of a fork.
  • Place in the oven to bake for 15 minutes or so while you prepare the filling.

Ingredients for the dairy free quiche custard:

  • 3 beaten eggs
  • 2 cups coconut milk, or other alternate milk of your choice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Dash of nutmeg

To prepare the custard:

  • Break eggs into a medium bowl; beat them with a fork.
  • Add remaining ingredients and mix together.
  • Set aside.

Filling ingredients:

  • Several cups of chopped or diced vegetables. Mix and match as you please: asparagus, artichoke hearts, spinach, dehydrated tomato slices, broccoli, onion, mushrooms, peppers, cauliflower, green beans, eggplant, etc. Just avoid really watery veggies like fresh tomatoes
  • A half cup or so of cooked diced meat or fish: chicken, smoked salmon, bacon, crab, summer sausage (gluten and nitrate free, please)
  • Notice there is no cheese on this list! Your quiche will be very tasty without it. However if your family finds dairy beneficial, feel free to add a layer of grated or cubed cheese when you assemble your quiche.

Assemble and bake your quiche:

  • Once the crust is pre-baked, remove it from the oven.
  • Increase your oven temperature to 375°.
  • Place cooked meat or fish in an even layer on top of the crust.
  • Fill in the pie plate with your choice of chopped / diced veggies.
  • Carefully pour custard over the veggies.
  • Pop your quiche into the oven and bake for 35 – 40 minutes.
  • Find something really interesting to do while it bakes. Guess what I picked?

You’ve got a quiche grain free and dairy free!

Once the allotted time has elapsed, check your custard for doneness with the knife test. Insert a knife into the center of the quiche. If it comes out clean, your custard is set. If there are bits of custardy stuff on the knife, it isn’t quite done yet. Stick the pan back in the oven for another 5 minutes and then test again.

One more thing. Quiche is not just for breakfast! Serve with a side salad for a satisfying lunch or light supper. Refrigerate any leftovers. Reheat the leftovers if you prefer; I usually just eat them cold.

Enjoy!

Welcome to the Wellness Images blog!

Welcome to the Wellness Images blog! It’s our very first post!

One of my intentions for the blog is to share client stores. Especially stories that reflect the integration of two modalities coming together to create a greater benefit than either one would have been likely to create by itself.

Why just this morning a woman I’ve been working with off and on over a period of at least ten years came in for an appointment. It’s always great to see her! Well, “Nancy” was one of the first people to sign up when I was looking for Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis practice clients. She’s been taking her minerals for a couple of months now. After we’d been working for a while today, she said to me, “You know, I don’t have nearly the tissue soreness that I usually have when we’re working together.”

Isn’t that great? I know that she feels better after the treatments. But to have her feel better during them also? That’s pretty darn cool! Who knew that the mineral supplements would do that?

Dollarphotoclub_61475428_Wheat

“Jane” has a daughter and a granddaughter who are sensitive to wheat. When she cut back her own wheat consumption as an experiment, her arthritic knees mysteriously began feeling better.

But seriously, today’s story is all about “Jane.” Seventy years or so, and she’s been in to see me for neuromuscular therapy three or four times for back pain.

Jane was in last week. She told me about a nice visit she’d had with her daughter, who is off all gluten-containing products due to sensitivity issues. While she was visiting, of course, Jane didn’t eat them either. And then after she came home, she stayed more or less off them for a while longer.

Well, here I was focused on helping Jane with her pelvic flexion and back issues, when the next thing you know, she started telling me all about her knees. Seems that she’d been to the doctor for them several months ago, he’d told her they were arthritic, and that she had no option but to take anti-inflammatory medications. “But they’ve been so much better since I started coming to you!” She was so excited!

Meanwhile, my brain was churning. Had I even worked with her knees? I don’t think so. Legs, yes. Pelvic flexion, yes. And that might have taken a little pressure off her knees. But would it have created the improvement she was now describing? Ah… probably not. So my brain was on it trying to figure out what had happened.

Then I remembered the wheat.

“Jane,” I asked. “Didn’t you tell me that you’ve made some changes to your diet?”

“Well, yes…”

“I suspect that getting off wheat probably has at least as much to do with the improvement in your knees as the therapy we’ve done.”

“You’re kidding.” Jane said. “And here I’ve been giving you all the credit!”

Ha ha. Don’t you just love it when things come together like this? I know I do. Neuromuscular therapy is great for a lot of things. It’s helping Jane with the structural situation that is involved with her back pain. But neuromuscular therapy, on its own, does not resolve inflammation. That’s an inside job!