Making ‘back to school’ a Simple Transition

back to school Spring Integrative Health Emily Potter

3 Tips to make ‘back to school’ a Simple Transition

By Emily Potter

It’s that time of year again! The sound of zipping backpacks, a sack lunch thrown together at the last minute and a kiss out the door while scrambling to the bus. Sound familiar to anyone else? Here are my favorite go-to ideas and tips when it comes to creating a calm and enjoyable transition for yourself and the kiddos as they head back to school!

1) Create a fun and relaxing Breakfast Experience

This means waking up a few extra minutes earlier to be prepared for when your kids roll into the kitchen. I love the tradition of lighting a candle for breakfast just as a gentle reminder to sit down (even it its for 3 minutes) and enjoy some family time together.

Be sure your kiddos prioritize eating a healthy breakfast (which means you are modeling the same thing.) My favorite non-cereal quick and easy breakfast ideas are:

  1. Avocado toast. We use ‘On the Rise‘ sourdough bread, or you can use any bread of your choice. We top with hemp seeds or let the kids choose a fun and different topping.
  2. Smoothie. Quick and easy. Click here for lots of smoothie ideas
  3. Oats. Overnight oats are popular as you can make them the night before and it makes for a very easy morning. However, you can also thrown some oats on the stove top for 5 minutes and have a delicious meal. I create a topping bar including collagen, coconut flakes, hemp seeds, nuts, raisins etc so they can decorate their bowls and make them delicious!

2) Lunch Time

Pack the lunch the night before. This takes discipline to get into the habit of doing, however I strongly doing this right along side dinner clean up. The kitchen is already a mess with lots of food out on the counters so it’s simple to add in this step. I find it much easier before bed than trying to scramble something along side my morning cup of coffee.

When it comes to lunches made at home here is my formula for a gluten-free/dairy free lunch. (While my kids aren’t sensitive to these foods, I try to limit them in our home because they tend to get more of these foods out of the home.)

A) Protein. My go-to favorites include roasted chicken, deli turkey, salami, a grass fed hamburger patty.

B) Veggies. Kids love crunchy anything so I usually will add in some carrots, broccoli, celery, cucumber or bell peppers. By adding in a fun dip like hummus or ranch it will make those veggies much more enticing.

C) Chips. There are so many healthy chip options so get creative! Our current favorites are cassava chips, simple mills crackers, rice crackers, apple chips or organic corn tortilla chips.

D) Sweet. My kids love apples so that tends to be a staple (sometimes with peanut butter) but other good sweet options are a fruit leather, ½ of a healthy protein bar ( I like Perfects Foods Bars or G2G bars.) Once a week they can choose a special treat like Annie’s bunnies or gummies so they feel like they are eating like the other kiddos.

E) Drink. WATER is a great option always. Kids don’t need any more sugar in their diets, especially when it comes to drinks. So skip the fancy Gatorade or sports drinks and stick to water. If you child is feeling left out you can make an electrolyte drink at home that tastes amazing with a noon tablet, or I will offer my kiddos homemade kombucha a few days each week to spice things up.

*If your kids are requesting hot lunch or in high school and wanting to eat out, try encouraging them to make their own lunch at least once a week. This gets them into the habit of making food for themselves which is an ESSENTIAL part of growing up. These skills are just as important to math and science for their life past high school!

3) After school snacks

This is one of my favorite childhood memories! Although usually an after school snack meant a microwaved s’more or cookies. I try to keep the fun but also keep the snacks healthy. My go-to is a huge plate of chopped veggies with a few different dip options. Ranch, hummus or my homemade almond hummus are fan favorites. You can also chop of some fruits to add to the veggie plate. When in doubt thing REAL WHOLE foods. Less packages, and more of the real stuff. And don’t be afraid to ask your kids to help you chop and make the snack.

Detoxification – Just What the Body Needs

By Jennifer Krieger, ND

Detoxification is a complex biochemical process that is designed to remove wastes and toxins and cleanse the body’s cells.  People often ask: Can you actually detox your body? The main ways our bodies detox is through the liver and gastrointestinal tract. Everything that is put into our mouths (medications, food, drink, supplements, alcohol, junk food) will pass through the liver for elimination before being dispersed throughout the rest of the body.  We are also exposed to environmental toxins on a daily basis – pesticides, herbicides, solvents, heavy metals, plastics, chemicals – through our water, air, soil and food supplies. In addition to these external environmental factors, our bodies will create free radicals through the internal metabolism of breakdown of hormones and various biochemical reactions as a means of life.

Wouldn’t you want to help out your body and give your liver a little extra love if you could?  Did you know that you can? You can support your body’s natural detoxification process through various supplements that are aimed at liver support and gastrointestinal elimination, and give these processes an extra boost by also eating an anti-inflammatory and organic diet.  I recommend patients perform a detoxification cleanse twice yearly to give their bodies the best outcome at overall health. Detoxification is also something I discuss with my patients who have gone through conventional cancer treatments as well.

A detox might be indicated for you if you suffer from any of these symptoms:

  • Early aging
  • Headaches
  • Multiple chemical sensitivity
  • Allergies
  • Fatigue
  • Acne
  • Brain fog, difficulty concentrating
  • Foul smelling breath or stools
  • Pain – joint & muscle
  • Nasal congestion, chronic sinusitis
  • Rashes
  • Mood swings
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Hormone issues, imbalances

 

If you are interested in a medically guided detoxification program, please contact the clinic by Clicking here for a complimentary fifteen minute visit to learn more and to see if detoxification is appropriate for you! or Call Us at 406-586-2626!

 

Skin-Brain Connection?

By Doctor Holly Thompson

Eastern medicine has always considered skin conditions to be external indicators of internal conditions, and recognized the importance of the gut in all aspects of health. All Chinese herbal formulas for skin problems are based on resolving the internal disharmony that is behind the outbreak.

The long and very successful history of Chinese herbal medicine for dermatological issues speaks to the efficacy of this approach. Like all problems in Chinese medicine, the signs and symptoms and details of the whole person are taken into account to determine a particular pattern that is at the root of the problem. Treatment is designed to address the problem at both the level of the root and the symptom. Typically, this is done with both internal (herbal formula) and external (topical medicine and/or acupuncture) treatment.

Western medicine has traditionally looked to resolve skin issues with topical medications or steroids, and not looked for internal reasons for conditions such as acne.

But, it wasn’t always this way.

Seventy years ago, two dermatologists, John Stokes and Donald Pillsbury, proposed a gastro-intestinal mechanism for overlapping anxiety, depression, and skin conditions such as acne. Stokes and Pillsbury hypothesized that emotional states might alter the normal intestinal microflora, increase intestinal permeability and contribute to systemic inflammation. They experimented with probiotics to correct the microbiome.

For whatever reasons, Stokes and Pillsbury’s work fell by the wayside.

Until recently.

The microbiome (mostly gut flora-the good and not-so-good bugs that live in our intestines) and all its possible influences are currently amongst the most researched areas in medicine. As part of  that research, the gut-brain-skin connection is again being studied. There have been a number of studies in Europe that indicate probiotics can be effective in the treatment of acne. Studies done in Russia and Italy found that giving the probiotic bacteria L. acidophilus and B. bifidum to acne sufferers improved outcomes and accelerated the time needed for standard therapies to work.

Another study found that giving a lactobacillus-fermented dairy drink improved acne over the course of 12 weeks. While all this research is wonderful and confirms what we have known in both Chinese medicine for some time, the problem is that it will be years until this knowledge will be put into use in standard conventional medicine. We have the ability, today, to use  time-tested Chinse Medicine Dermatolgy to treat skin problems at the root for lasting results.

If you are suffering from acne, or other skin conditions such as rosacea, eczema, or unexplained rashes and want to deal with it at the root cause level, give the office a call or send me a message today!

Dr. Holly Thompson

 

 

 Dragging through the days? Tired after a full night sleep?

By: Dr. Alisun Bonville — Just helping you out in your everyday journey 🙂

Let’s talk about adrenal fatigue. This is a true epidemic in our society due to the pressure to succeed in all categories of life and to look great while doing so! We work hard, play hard and spend more hours in our day working than we do relaxing and enjoying each other. Between the pressures of life and the food we have come to know as “healthy” it is no surprise that most of us are walking around exhausted and dependent on stimulants like coffee, sodas and sugar.

What is Adrenal Fatigue?

This is our bodies reaction to us asking too much of it. Each time we wake up and drink our morning cup of coffee, the adrenal glands kick in and produce the hormones known as corticosteroids. Cortisol levels typically are at their peak in the morning when we wake up and then taper off at night to help us begin our sleep cycle. Caffeine and sugar increases our cortisol levels. Once we begin our work day and our stress levels rise because of deadlines, a difficult boss, co worker or customer etc and more cortisol is produced to help the body manage these stressors. Now after a hard day of work, we hit the gym or the trails and we push our bodies to the max asking more from our adrenals. Or perhaps we lead a life of low stress that includes meditation, gentle exercise and pretty good diet, however we have an unknown food intolerance that causes bloating, joint pain, fatigue, brain fog and dis-ease. Or perhaps we have an injury or a accident that called for surgery….All of these incidents and lifestyles can lead to adrenal fatigue or worse exhaustion. Sounds hopeless? Not at all!

What are the symptoms?

Chronic fatigue, menstrual abnormalities, insomnia, hypoglycemia, hypothyroidism, depression, rapid aging, obesity, stress. Waking up after a full 8 or more hours of sleep and you’re still tired or not being able to fall asleep until the wee hours of the night are both symptoms that your adrenal glands are stressed.

How do I prevent this?

The good news is there’s a lot we can do to avoid this adrenal catastrophe! We can test for adrenal fatigue, hormonal imbalances and food intolerances to get a clear picture of what’s going on. We can work with a doctor and nutrition expert to guide us through diet and supplements to support our adrenal health. A two fold approach is necessary in maintaining adrenal health.

Nutrition:

A clean diet void of food intolerances, fried and processed foods and low in sugar, caffeine, alcohol and gluten not only help your body run like a freshly lubed engine, but also gives your adrenals a break and allows them to produce enough hormones at the appropriate times, rather than all day long! If you can maintain a diet rich in plant nutrients, healthy fats & proteins and organic fruits and vegetables along with probiotic rich foods like fermented cabbage (think sauerkraut, kimchi) your gut will thank you with a balanced gut flora and strong immune system. When your gut is healthy and balanced, your adrenals don’t have to go in over drive. This diet will also reward you with a sharper, more relaxed mind and sustained energy rather than brain fog, sugar spikes and crazy energy.

Lifestyle:

Laugh more, dance more, love more, and do what you enjoy more! Managing your stress through meditation, practicing your spirituality, talk therapy, self care (massage, acupuncture, craniosacral work, yoga, time away) and moderate exercise is important not only for your sanity, heart and bones but also for your over worked adrenals. Take some time to listen to your favorite music and go for a walk or perhaps you play an instrument or used to dance and sing? Tap into the things you used to do before life got hectic! Unplug from your electronic devices and plug into your loved ones or nature.

Life can be exhausting…get a B-shot!

What is a B-shot, you ask? 

It is a quick way to increase your energy and resilience! We all have busy lives and a boat-load of to-do’s that can wear us down.  A B-shot is a vitamin packed injection that increases important nutrients in the body very quickly and is a good way to bounce back from stress.

In fact, we go through the water soluble B-vitamins during stressful times quicker than many other nutrients.

A typical B-shot includes the  following nutrients that are available for immediate cellular usage: 

  • B12: fuels brain, glandular, and nervous systems
  • B3-Niacinamide: essential for skin health and has anti-inflammatory properties
  • B1-Thiamine: important for nervous system and muscle functioning
  • B2-Riboflavin: helps convert food into energy
  • B5-Dexpanthenol: helps adrenal functioning and stress management
  • B6-Pyridoxine: good for liver functioning

These nutrients are delivered by an intramuscular injection bypassing the digestive system for instantaneous use by the body.

What can you expect from B-shot is increased energy, focus, and immune strengthening so you can keep doing what you do best!  

 

 

Get Power-Hydrated with IV Therapy!

What Is IV Therapy?

IV Therapy is a short-cut to nourishing every cell in your body in a hurry!  

IV Therapy is used to deliver vitamins, minerals, fluid, and/or other substances directly into the blood stream. In IV therapy, a needle is used to puncture your vein, similar to getting your blood drawn. However, in place of taking your blood, nutrients are infused instead!

Why?

By directly infusing these substances into your blood, they are immediately available for the cells in our body to use. This increases energy, fights illness and generally makes you feel good!

When we use IVs to deliver nutrients, we skip having to absorb and metabolism these substances through the digestive tract. Delivering nutrients through IV’s allow for a higher concentration and increased utilization in the body.

What Is IV Therapy Good For?

IV therapy can be used to help you achieve higher levels of health. There are many factors that come into play in reaching optimum health and IV therapy is only one piece of that puzzle! By ensuring our body access and utilization of nutrients, we supply it with the building blocks it needs to heal and function optimally.

Delivering nutrients through IV’s can be helpful for a variety of medical concerns including:

  • Fighting Colds/flus
  • Improving Sleep
  • Increasing Energy and Reducing Fatigue
  • Curing Hangovers
  • Preventing and Stopping Migraines
  • Reducing Asthma and Allergies
  • Reducing Chronic Pain and Fibromyalgia
  • Detoxification
  • Improving Your Mood 
  • Recovery from training and injury
  • And so much more…

What Can I expect?

Treatments times can last from 15 minutes to 3 hours. Usually people feel relaxed or energized after an IV infusion.  One of the biggest benefits of IV therapy is cellular HYDRATION, it’s like a BIG drink of power-filled water to your cells! This helps mental functioning, elimination and improves mood.

Depending on your concern, single or multiple sessions may be recommended. Before starting IV therapy, a medical intake must be done so we can customize the perfect  nutrient combination for you. 

 

 

 

Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired? Try Hydrotherapy!

By: Dr. McKenzie Mescon

Most of us have grown up putting an ice pack on a sprained ankle, or a hot pack on sore muscles.  We use heating pads to ease menstrual cramps, ice cubes to take the bite out of bee stings, clothes straight out of the dryer for comfort and coziness, and cold wet cloths on our foreheads in fever.  There are so many ways that we all use the application of either hot or cold to bring about certain feelings in our bodies.

Constitutional hydrotherapy is a naturopathic medical treatment that involves applying alternating hot and cold to the patient’s body in order to improve the flow of blood and lymph.

Naturopathic constitutional hydrotherapy is a treatment that lasts about an hour, and involves application of gentle electrostimulation, along with alternating hot and cold towels to the abdomen and back to increase blood and lymph flow in the patient’s body.

Blood is the great nourisher in our bodies; it carries nutrients, oxygen, immune cells, inflammatory molecules, and cellular waste, just to name a few things.  When we can improve blood flow, we impact its delivery of all of these beneficial things to the cells that make up our internal organs, our skin, our muscles, and the immune system.

Constitutional hydrotherapy is indicated in many different types of ailments, because so many conditions of the body can be improved when we affect blood flow.  Colds and flus resolve quickly with constitutional hydrotherapy because of the improved immune function seen when blood and lymph increase circulation.  Increased circulation means more bug and virus-fighting immune cells are distributed around the body to do their job fighting disease. The treatment is also very relaxing, and every sick body needs time to rest and rejuvenate in order to heal!

Constitutional hydrotherapy is also helpful in GI complaints because it nourishes the tissue and provides gentle stimulation to the digestive system.  Additionally, hydrotherapy is great for patients with stress and fatigue because the increase in blood flow means an increase in delivery of nutrients to all the tissues and organs of the body.  Fatigue is also helped due to the clearance of cellular wastes and toxins, which tend to accumulate and in doing so, can make us feel sluggish as our bodies work hard at cleaning up.

Constitutional hydrotherapy addresses chronic inflammation in similar ways to fatigue by increasing clearance of cellular wastes and inflammatory factors by increasing blood flow.  Also, the nourishing quality of improved blood flow can help our bodies operate better under the stress of chronic disease by providing nutrients and cofactors to support cellular processes.

Lastly, menstrual irregularities can be helped by constitutional hydrotherapy because increased blood flow means nourishment of the reproductive organs, delivering nutrients and oxygen, and clearing inflammation and cellular wastes that can contribute to painful menses or other reproductive issues.  Female patients should note that due to the increase in blood flow created by this treatment, they may not want to receive constitutional hydrotherapy on days with heavy menses.

Constitutional hydrotherapy is often applied in a series, and some patients will see results more clearly when they have more than one treatment.  For this reason, at Spring Integrative Health we offer packages for constitutional hydrotherapy sessions, and suggest scheduling one or two treatments per week.  We look forward to your visits and the opportunity to improve your health with this traditional naturopathic treatment, long loved by both doctors and patients alike!

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