Kerry Fleckenstein, Therapeutic Lifestyle Recovery Coach
12:49 pm

Is There a Link Between Nutrition and Autoimmune Disease?  usana detox pack           breakfast-cucumbers-dinner-2215

Should you follow a Paleo gluten-free diet or a vegan diet? Should you take omega-3 or turmeric supplements to fight inflammation?  Millions of people in the United States who suffer from autoimmune diseases face these questions every day. The Internet is teeming with books, websites, and blogs offering advice on how to eat to prevent or treat autoimmune conditions. Unfortunately, much of it is based on private research, trial and error, and hope instead of solid scientific evidence.

What Is Autoimmune Disease?

When everything goes right, your body’s immune response is a marvelous defense system, protecting against foreign invaders, injury, and infection through a complex communication system between your body’s cells and the chemical signals they produce. In a healthy immune system, this communication is clear and specific; the body can tell the difference between a foreigner and itself. But in autoimmune disease, the immune response is flawed, and the communication system breaks down. The body’s immune system takes aim at its own tissues. Either the immune system can’t distinguish the body’s tissues from foreign cells and begins to attack itself, or it’s unable to regulate the intensity of the immune response. Regardless, the result is damage to the body’s tissues and the development of an autoimmune disease.

Role of Inflammation

There is a constant debate in the world of autoimmune disease and that is defining the role that chronic inflammation plays in many autoimmune diseases and its development. In rheumatoid arthritis, the damage to tissues is caused by an inflammatory reaction to the presence of antigens. Which recalls the old “chicken and the egg” question: Which comes first, inflammation or autoimmunity? “In rheumatoid arthritis, is it caused by inflammation and autoimmune disease comes secondarily, or is it caused by autoimmunity?  Autoimmune disease is not an inflammatory disease at its core.

Dietary Treatment Strategies
One thing most people in the autoimmunity field agree on is that there’s a lack of evidence-based information about dietary treatments for autoimmune diseases. There isn’t good evidence in the medical world, that a healthy diet for the immune system, is any different from any other diet. However with experience and success, the best I can suggest is to follow the same good diet and exercise program to attain general health.  Eat whole foods, limit ingredients, add lots of green nutrition to your daily diet.

It’s important, however, to consider nutritional red flags that may arise during the management of autoimmune conditions.

The nutritional management of autoimmune diseases usually emphasizes controlling pain and inflammation, slowing the progression of the disease, and boosting the immune system. And a few promising foods and nutrients are emerging as potentially beneficial or not.

These would be:   Vitamin D3, Omega 3 fatty acids, Probiotics (healthy gut flora), eating gluten and other inflammatory foods. 

Let’s start here and over the next couple of weeks we can cover the other aspects of healing.  YOU GOT THIS!

Eliminate Permanently:

Processed Food
Emulsifiers and Thickeners (guar gum, carrageenan, etc.)
Refined Oils
Refined Sugars
Grains (including corn)
Dried Legumes (including soy and peanuts)
Stevia (and other non-nutritive sweeteners)

Eliminate for a Minimum of 30 Days and Reintroduce

Gluten foods:  Bread, pastas, any grains

Nuts (including nut-based oils)
Seeds (including coffee and cocoa and seed-based oils)
Nightshades (both vegetables and spices)
Fresh Legumes (green beans and green peas)
Fruit-based and Seed-based Spices

Kerry Fleckenstein, Therapeutic Lifestyle Recovery Coach
8:33 am

Are you getting enough magnesium?

Symptoms of poor magnesium intake can include muscle cramps, facial tics, poor sleep, and chronic pain. It pays to ensure that you get adequate magnesium before signs of deficiency occur.

But how can you know whether you’re getting enough?

According to population studies of average magnesium intake, there’s a good chance that you’re not.

The following may be a good way to assess your intake of magnesium by answering a few questions your lifestyle, and watching for certain signs and signals of low magnesium levels.

1. Do you drink carbonated beverages on a regular basis?

Most dark colored sodas contain phosphates. These substances actually bind with magnesium inside the digestive tract, rendering it unavailable to the body. So even if you are eating a balanced diet, by drinking soda with your meals you are flushing magnesium out of your system.

The average consumption of carbonated beverages today is more than ten times what it was in 1940.

2. Are you regularly eating pastries, cakes, desserts, candies or other sweet foods?

Refined sugar is not only a zero magnesium product but it also causes the body to excrete magnesium through the kidneys. The process of producing refined sugar from sugar cane removes molasses, stripping the magnesium content entirely.

And sugar does not simply serve to reduce magnesium levels. Sweet foods are known by nutritionists as “anti-nutrients”. Anti-nutrients like sweets are foods that replace whole nutritious foods in the diet, yet actually consume nutrients when digested, resulting in a net loss. Because all foods require vitamins and minerals to be consumed in order to power the process of digestion, it’s important to choose foods that “put back” vital nutrients, and then some.

The more sweet foods and processed baked goods you have in your diet, the more likely you are deficient in magnesium and other vital nutrients.

3. Do you experience a lot of stress in your life, or have you recently had a major medical procedure such as surgery?

Both physical and emotional stress can be a cause of magnesium deficiency.

Stress can be a cause of magnesium deficiency, and a lack of magnesium tends to magnify the stress reaction, worsening the problem. In studies, adrenaline and cortisol, byproducts of the “fight or flight” reaction associated with stress and anxiety, were associated with decreased magnesium.

Because stressful conditions require more magnesium use by the body, all such conditions may lead to deficiency, including both psychological and physical forms of stress such as surgery, burns, and chronic disease.

4. Do you drink coffee, tea, or other caffeinated drinks daily?

Magnesium levels are controlled in the body in large part by the kidneys, which filter and excrete excess magnesium and other minerals. But caffeine causes the kidneys to release extra magnesium regardless of body status.

If you drink caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea and soda regularly, your risk for magnesium deficiency is increased.

5. Do you take a diuretic, heart medication, asthma medication, birth control pills or estrogen replacement therapy?

The effects of certain drugs have been shown to reduce magnesium levels in the body by increasing magnesium loss through excretion by the kidneys.

6. Do you drink more than seven alcoholic beverages per week?

The effect of alcohol on magnesium levels is similar to the effect of diuretics: it lowers magnesium available to the cells by increasing the excretion of magnesium by the kidneys. In studies, clinical magnesium deficiency was found in 30% of alcoholics.

7. Do you take calcium supplements without magnesium?

Too much calcium supplementation without magnesium may reduce magnesium absorption and retention from foods. However if you are taking magnesium, magnesium supplementation actually improves the body’s use of calcium.

Though many reports suggest taking calcium to magnesium in a 2:1 ratio, this figure is largely arbitrary.  Studies are now supporting a 1:1 ration.

8. Do you experience any of the following:

  • Anxiety?
  • Times of hyperactivity?
  • Difficulty getting to sleep?
  • Difficulty staying asleep?

The above symptoms may be neurological signs of magnesium deficiency. Adequate magnesium is necessary for nerve conduction and is also associated with electrolyte imbalances that affect the nervous system. Low magnesium is also associated with personality changes and sometimes depression.

Kerry Fleckenstein, Therapeutic Lifestyle Recovery Coach
10:34 am

Natural Herbs for Allergy Relief

yellow wildflowers
50% of Americans suffer from allergies, so you're not alone if you've been sneezing, coughing or wiping your watery eyes.   There is no cure-all for springtime allergies, however there are remedies.  If your preference is to avoid prescription drugs, or in addition to, you may  want to consider natural supplements to combat the season. There are many natural supplements that you can take to help ease allergy symptoms. Here is a list of some  well-reviewed supplements for allergy support. Just like OTC and prescription treatments, health supplements can cause side effects or can react with medications you’re taking so be sure to talk to your healthcare provider before you start taking any natural health herbs.

  • Astragalus – A traditional Chinese remedy for allergies, buy astragalus to support the immune system.
  • Evening Primrose – This oil works two ways to suppress allergies. First, allergic reactions cause inflammations and evening primrose oil acts as an anti-inflammatory to decrease the reaction. Secondly, it stimulates the white blood cells that regulate the production of histamines and antibodies.
  • Gamma Linolenic Acid – GLA has a long history in folk medicine for treating allergies. People who have allergies may require additional essential fatty acids and have trouble converting LA (Linoleic acid) to GLA. Studies have found that women and children who are prone to allergies have lower levels of GLA.
  • Green Tea – Drink a cup of tea. It delivers EGCG, an antioxidant that blocks production of histamine and immunoglobulin E, both of which trigger allergy symptoms.  
  • Probiotics – Increasing beneficial bacteria may prevent allergies. Probiotics benefit the immune system and could, therefore, reduce allergies.
  • Omega-3s – Scientific studies have shown fish oil can help alleviate hay fever, sinus problems and allergic skin conditions.
  • Quercetin – This flavonoid, found naturally in onions, apples, and black tea, has anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown to block histamines or reduce the release of histamine, which decreases symptoms.
  • Skullcap – This herb has been traditionally used in Chinese medicine to treat hayfever. It has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antihistaminic properties.
  • Spriulina – Studies suggest this blue-green algae can boost the immune system and protect against allergic reactions.
  • Stinging Nettle – The roots and leaves of the stinging nettle plant (Urtica dioica) have been used to treat everything from joint pain to prostate problems. Some people use freeze-dried stinging nettle leaves to treat allergy symptoms.
  • Vitamin C – This well-known immune-boosting antioxidant lowers histamine levels in the bloodstream, which could prevent the onset of allergies. 2,000 mg of vitamin C can cut histamine levels (which trigger allergy symptoms) by up to 40%, improving breathing and your airway.

Kerry Fleckenstein, Therapeutic Lifestyle Recovery Coach
9:00 am

Gut Flora is Screwing us UP

How modern life screws up our gut and makes us fat and diabetic

What all of this research suggests is that healthy gut bacteria is crucial to maintaining normal weight and metabolism. Unfortunately, several features of the modern lifestyle directly contribute to unhealthy gut flora:

  • Antibiotics and other medications like birth control and NSAIDs
  • Diets high in refined carbohydrates, sugar and processed foods
  • Diets low in fermentable fibers
  • Dietary toxins like wheat and industrial seed oils that cause leaky gut
  • Chronic stress
  • Chronic infections
  • We also know that infants that aren’t breast-fed and are born to mothers with bad gut flora are more likely to develop unhealthy gut bacteria, and that these early differences in gut flora may predict overweight and obesity in the future.

It’s interesting to note that the diabesity epidemic has neatly coincided with the increasing prevalence of factors that disrupt the gut flora. I’m not saying that poor gut health is the single cause of obesity and diabetes, but it seems that it likely plays a much larger role than most people think.

Our gut is home to approximately 100,000,000,000,000 (100 trillion) microorganisms. That’s such a big number our human brains can’t really comprehend it. One trillion dollar bills laid end-to-end would stretch from the earth to the sun – and back – with a lot of miles to spare. Do that 100 times and you start to get at least a vague idea of how much 100 trillion is.

The human gut contains 10 times more bacteria than all the human cells in the entire body, with over 400 known diverse bacterial species. In fact, you could say that we’re more bacterial than we are human. WOW.

Studies have shown that changes in the gut flora can increase the rate at which we absorb fatty acids and carbohydrates, and increase the storage of calories as fat. This means that someone with bad gut flora could eat the same amount of food as someone with a healthy gut, but extract more calories from it and gain more weight.
How to maintain and restore healthy gut flora

The most obvious first step in maintaining a healthy gut is to avoid all of the things I listed above. But of course that’s not always possible, especially in the case of chronic stress and infections, and whether we were breast-fed or our mothers had healthy guts.

If you’ve been exposed to some of these factors, there are still steps you can take to restore your gut flora:

  • Remove all food toxins from your diet
  • Eat plenty of fermentable fibers (starches like sweet potato, yam, yucca, etc.)
  • Take a high-quality probiotic, or consider more radical methods of restoring healthy gut flora
  • Eat greek yogurt and Kefir
  • Treat any intestinal pathogens (such as parasites) that may be present
  • Take steps to manage your stress

Kerry Fleckenstein, Therapeutic Lifestyle Recovery Coach
8:47 am

7 Ways Stress is Harming your Thyroid


Hypothyroidism is a common disorder, and, like many diseases is becoming more and more common as time goes on.  One in eight women will suffer from hypothyroidism at some point in their lifetime, and men who are overweight are also at high risk.

While there are many causes for thyroid dysfunction, stress is one of the main reasons why thyroid function slows and hypothyroidism takes root. It’s also the main reason that auto-immune disease is turned on.   Your adrenal glands that sit atop your kidneys are responsible for pumping out your stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisol) when you’re busy, constantly on the go, or working late nights.

Stress inhibits your thyroid gland’s ability to convert the inactive T4 thyroid hormone into the active T3 hormone in the body.  Is your diet, exercise or lifestyle placing you at risk of hypothyroidism? Let’s take a closer look at seven common ways stress negatively impacts your thyroid.   With the case of auto-immune disease as soon as the hormone is produced you body attacks it as if it is a foreign body. 

Causes of stress that have this effect.:

1. You’re Too Busy

In today’s 24/7 society, we are constantly on the go and busier than ever before. Stress is not simply the inability to cope, it’s also how “busy” you are throughout the day. While technology and connectivity can provide you with incredible tools to be more productive, it can also leave your brain and body stuck in “stimulation” overload.

2. You’re Too Caffeinated

This is a common theme for many people: you wake up tired, you need a boost of energy and you reach for a morning cup of coffee. While coffee has a vast array of health benefits, you can get too much of a good thing.  Remember, caffeine stays in your system for 6 hours and may harm your sleeping patterns.

3. You Don’t Sleep Long Enough

You’ve likely heard the old saying “you’re burning the candle at both ends,” which effectively means you’re not resting enough to adequately recover from your busy days. Sleep is the most effective tool you have to “rebuild” the candle you’re burning at both ends during the day. The only problem is, you’re likely not getting enough.

If you don’t sleep enough or fail to adequately recover, stress hormone levels increase and thyroid function beings to slow. Aim to get to bed by 11:00 p.m. most nights of the week to upgrade recovery and support a healthy thyroid.

4. You Check Too Many Emails At Bedtime

We live in an age where watching television on your laptop and checking emails are the norm at bedtime. While this may seem convenient, your brain and body have evolved over millions of years without the stimulation of.  Research shows that exposure to blue light from screens too close to bedtime leads to poorer quality of sleep.

5. You Crave Too Many Simple Carbs

What is the natural response to high stress levels? You guessed it, strong cravings for sugar and simple carbs. Whether it’s high-glycemic cereals or fruit-laden smoothies in the morning, midday snack bars or afternoon treats, constant and regular sugar cravings are a clear red flag your body is stressed, and it’s likely impacting your thyroid health.

Curb your sugar cravings with snacks with high protein and fat content, like grass-fed jerky and nuts, plain yogurt or an herbal tea before bed.

6. You Drink Too Much Alcohol

After a busy day, long week, or intense project at work many people find it relaxing to unwind with an evening drink. Alcohol is classified as a nervine, or substance that helps to relax the nervous system. While this can support recovery from stress, the key is the dose. A glass of wine might help take the edge off, but if you finish the bottle, your nervous system takes a serious hit.

Try cutting out alcohol full stop for 4 weeks, or if you’re an avid drinker, reduce your intake by 50%.

7. You Exercise Too Much

For many people, adding more movement to their day –walking, strength training, yoga – is a great way to relieve stress and improve resiliency. If you suffer from sluggish thyroid function, you may struggle with weight gain and then desire to add more exercise to shed those pounds.

However, if you’re already an avid exerciser, you probably don’t need more exercise, you need more efficient exercise.

The problem starts when you add more training volume. High volume training at the same intensity can dramatically raise stress hormone levels and doesn’t provide the right stimulus to improve fitness or body composition.

By creating an environment for rest, recovery and improved resiliency, you can maintain your productivity in today’s fast-paced world without sacrificing the health of your thyroid.

Try some of these: 

1. Green Leafy Vegetables

2. Organic Turkey Breast

3. Fermented Foods

4. Wild-Caught Alaskan Salmon

5. Blueberries

6. Pistachios

7. Dark Chocolate

8. Sunshine

9. Seeds

10. Avocado

Kerry Fleckenstein, Therapeutic Lifestyle Recovery Coach
6:00 am

Laundry Detergent - one of my favorite subjects!


Do you think about your laundry detergent?  What’s in it?  What makes it smell and work so good?  We all want clean clothes that smell good right?  Do you suffer from some of the following symptoms, even though you eat well?  Skin irritations, eye irritations, difficulty breathing, asthma, hormonal imbalances, dermatitis, persistent scratchy pain in your throat or nose?  Have you been diagnosed with auto-immune disease?  Many symptoms are linked to toxins, often from laundry detergent. 

All that most of the labels tell you is that they should be kept out of reach of children, contain harmful substances, and should be kept away from the eyes, not breathed in and not be ingested.

Let’s look at ingredients!

Let’s take a look at what they found inside laundry detergent and what those things do to the human body.

1.4 dioxane–a well-known cancer causing bi-product of synthetic petrochemical surfactant Ethox. This chemical is associated with respiratory disease, nervous system toxicity, brain toxicity, liver and kidney disease.

SLS (Sodium Laurel Sulfate) – this chemical is used to make lots of foam in your laundry. SLS is linked to cancer and causes poisoning of your entire system.

Ammonia – Ammonia is used for cutting grease. It causes serious damage to human lungs and eyes. Ammonia is linked to cataracts and corneal damage.

Bleach – Everyone is aware of its stain removal abilities. But did you know that bleach is highly corrosive and can cause serious health problems? Bleach causes skin irritations and in sensitivity. In high doses it can actually burn your skin. It is also very irritating to your eyes, lungs and soft tissues (delicate areas). Breathing in straight bleach fumes can burn your lungs and throat.

Phosphates – Phosphates help to remove tough stains, but unfortunately nothing removes phosphates, not even from water plants. That means that the phosphates in your detergent will end up in your tap water. They cause skin irritations, diarrhea and nausea.

NPE (NonylphenolEthoxylate) – This chemical is so bad for your kidneys and liver that it has been banned in Europe and Canada. Many chain stores have asked their suppliers to stop using this chemical – but it is still found in many laundry detergents because it is a cleaning agent.

Diethanolamine – Another cleaning agent.Diethanolamine is associated with liver problems, skin irritations and causing eye irritations.

polyalkylene oxide or ethylene oxide – These are stabilizers that keep the product in its intended form on the shelf. They are known to cause dermatitis, respiratory problems and eye irritations.

Naphthotriazolystilbenes and benzoxazolyl, diaminostilbenedisulfonate – These are brighteners that stay in your clothes after they are dried and actually absorb UV light to make clothes look brighter. They are linked with causing damage to your reproductive system, as well as to developmental problems in growing children.

The above is a selection of the more dangerous additives in most laundry detergents. There are many more.

Itching skin and laundry detergents

As you will see above the most common health problems caused by the toxic ingredients in laundry detergents are eye irritations, respiratory problems and… skin irritations.

The easy way to spot these ingredients (Which don’t legally have to be listed) is to look for these key words on the label: Brightener, stabilizer, softening agents, fragrance and whitening.  Also look out for the words “keep out of reach of children” and “Do not ingest.”

Alternatives to Laundry Detergent

So now that you know what’s inside those strong smelling detergents, what can you do to avoid them? Here are some alternatives and common sense measures to Laundry detergent:

Make your own detergents. You can use pure soap (without petroleum bi-products in it) to clean your clothes.
Use essential oils to make them smell nice. Make sure that you read up on your oils too. They can be used to treat skin ailments instead of causing them if you use the correct ones!
Buy a safe, health conscious brand of laundry detergent.
Use baking soda as a natural brightening agent.
Forget the fabric softeners and drier sheets. Instead think about slowly investing in cotton and natural fiber clothing that doesn’t need them.
With so many easy, cost effective ways to get your laundry clean safely can you really afford to risk your health by using shop bought, mass-produced chemical laundry detergents?

I often think….If you can’t eat it, don’t use it!  Especially if you have auto-immune disease.  The best remedy for controlling symptoms is limit your toxins, limit your ingredients in your foods (less than 5) and you will automatically start detoxing.  For more help, try my 12 DAY DETOX!  CLICK BELOW


Kerry Fleckenstein, Therapeutic Lifestyle Recovery Coach
8:31 am

Yay! Drink coffee for joint pain!


Arthritis is a general term encompassing conditions that share joint pain and inflammation.  While there is no definitive arthritis diet, research suggests including anti-inflammatory foods in your diet and limiting foods that may trigger joint pain. 

Cutting back on the consumption of fried and processed foods, such as fried meats and prepared frozen meals, can reduce inflammation and actually help restore the body’s natural defenses.  Also, high amounts of sugar in the diet can cause joint pain and inflammation.   Cut out candies, processed foods, white flour baked goods, and sodas to reduce your arthritis pain.

Know what’s in your food. Many foods contain excessive salt and other preservatives to promote longer shelf lives. For some people, excess consumption of salt may result in inflammation of the joints. It may be worth trying to reduce your salt intake to as modest an amount as is reasonable

Food to Add: Cherries
Dark berries have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect and the best are cherries. Like blueberries and strawberries, they contain anthocyanins, anti-inflammatory plant pigments – and the darker the berry, the more you get. ..

A small handful of almonds or walnuts is a good meat substitute for those at risk for joint pain.  Unlike meat, nuts don’t contain any purines but give you some protein.  Although nuts are high in fat, it’s mostly the healthy, unsaturated kind. And both the fat and whole grains satisfy you longer, which keeps weight in check.

Low-fat dairy foods
Dairy products like skim or 1% milk, low-fat yogurt and low-fat cottage cheese may play a role in decreasing pain. 

Lentils, peas and beans are high in purines, but — surprisingly — they don’t cause gout risk to rise, according to the large Harvard study. Beans are low in fat and high in protein and fiber, but don’t have saturated fat...

Drinking coffee may lower your risk, according to a 12-year Canadian and American study of 46,000 men, the more coffee the men in a trial drank, the more their uric acid levels fell; those who drank 4 to 5 cups a day had levels that were 40% lower.  Woop Woop that’s one for coffee!

Kerry Fleckenstein, Therapeutic Lifestyle Recovery Coach
8:00 am

Life is a work in progress....


Keep in mind that any lifestyle change is a "work in progress" and lasting changes take time

Set small goals that are easy to add to your daily life and that YOU can take charge of.

Wellness and fitness involve being aware and making choices like being active, eating healthy and improving your emotional wellbeing. This is the most important investment you can make in your life. Strive for the best health you can have in all areas of your life by making mindful, healthy choices.

Benefits of Investing in You

  • Take charge of your life and feel good about the choices you make.
  • Gain energy and feel more fit.
  • Experience improved physical health.
  • Gain a positive outlook and find more enjoyment in your life.
  • Be a role model for your family and friend
  • Stress adds to and aggravates the symptoms of many autoimmune diseases. Fatigue, exhaustion, sleeplessness, and weight loss or gain are just a few of the symptoms that overlap.

Autoimmune diseases are baffling when it comes to the causes, but there are certain factors that definitely increase the risk and can act as triggers for such disorders. While heredity is the most obvious risk factor when dealing with autoimmune diseases, the role of stress cannot be disregarded. While no definite connection has been found in the context of hard evidence, research still indicates a connection.

That being said, the role of stress as a trigger in those already afflicted with autoimmune disorders is widely recognized.

One reason why stress is believed to play an important role in autoimmune disorders is because of its effects on the immune system. Researchers have found that stress causes hormonal and cellular changes in the body.

When our body or autoimmune system perceives a threat it moves into ‘attack mode’, which could be a lifesaving response to acute stress. But chronic stress or prolonged stress after a time takes its toll on the immune system, as the body is unable to sustain the fight and this could result in a decrease of these hormones, causing greater vulnerability.

Try different stress reduction strategies to reduce the effects of stressful situations on you. Deep breathing and meditation can significantly reduce stress hormones.

Kerry Fleckenstein, Therapeutic Lifestyle Recovery Coach
8:33 am

Are you B12 deficient?

Did you know that 1 in 8 Americans over the age of 65 have some form of dementia and that almost ½ of all individuals over the age of 85 have it as well?  Did you know that correcting one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in America could significantly reduce your risk of developing cognitive declines as you age?

A Growing Epidemic:

According to a report in the Harvard Health Newsletter, vitamin B12 deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency in the developing world and the United States

Signs and symptoms of a B12 deficiency include the following:

  • Low Energy and Weakness
  • Confusion or “fuzziness”
  • Persistent sleep problems
  • Digestive problems
  • Hearing and vision loss
  • Memory problems
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Weak Immune function
  • Numbness and tingling in the hands and feet
  • Vitamin B12 one of the building blocks your body uses to produce DNA. It also keeps your immune system functioning optimally, regulates mood and sleep cycle, and is crucial to energy production, which is why it’s known as the “energy vitamin.

B12 protects your brain and nervous system by keeping nerves healthy and communicating in an optimal manner.   In addition, one of its most powerful protective properties for the brain is its ability to reduce blood levels of a dangerous metabolite called homocysteine.  Homocysteine is a amino acid naturally formed in the body as a result of metabolism that is commonly correlated with many adverse health effects.  It is especially related to heart attacks and strokes and produced when over stressed.    B-12 has been found to lower levels of homocysteine.  This water soluble b-vitamin is proving to be one of the most important nutrients in the landscape of protecting the brain and reducing the risk of age related cognitive declines.

The Need For B12 Supplements:

The body has a decreasing ability to absorb B12 as we age.  It has been clearly established that most people are deficient in B12 not because of a lack of consumption, but because they lack the ability to properly absorb it into the bloodstream.

Unlike almost all other vitamins, B12 must be separated from food by stomach acid in order to be absorbed.  The easiest way to supplement is through Sublingual Delivery– All oral B12 supplements should be delivered to the body by dissolving them under the tongue.  The vast network of blood vessels under the tongue allows B12 to be absorbed directly into the blood stream and thus bypassing the issues related to stomach acid and intrinsic factor.

Top Foods:Liver (Beef)
  • Sardines
  • Fortified Cereals
  • Red Meat
  • Salmon
  • Milk
  • Swiss Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Clams

Kerry Fleckenstein, Therapeutic Lifestyle Recovery Coach
8:00 am

Selfish versus Self Caring

When we keep going and going, even if it is for a good cause or for the people whom we care about, we tend to leave ourselves behind. We de-prioritize us. If we do choose to do something for ourselves, like meditating, relaxing, or working out, we worry that we will be seen as selfish by others or even by ourselves. However, there is a huge difference between selfish and self caring. Taking the time to do the things that we enjoy doing – whether that be a hobby, reflecting, reading, writing, a workout, coloring, or even just staring into space, is important not only to our overall well-being, but also to the others around us.

As Cheryl Richardson, world-renowned coach, author, and speaker says: “When we care deeply for ourselves, we naturally begin to care for others – our families, our friends, our greater global community, and the environment – in a healthier and more effective way… [then] We make choices from love instead of guilt and obligation.”

How to care for yourself:

Finding time: • Check your emails twice a day • Check facebook once a day • Ignore your phone • Give up (2) ½ hour television shows…or (1) 1 hour show. • Delegate some of your daily tasks • Preplan and go to the store twice a week instead of daily • Eliminate “time clutter”

Time Clutter Exercise

Keep a journal for three days, listing EVERYTHING you do in the day.  (Don’t cheat!)  Write every little thing down….can you imagine any of these on your list? • stopped to check messages one more time …and got sidetracked…45 minutes.  • Went to grocery for carrots…got sidetracked 35 minutes, $120.00 • 7:00 - Sat down to watch a comedy – 10:00 …finished with Scandal • 6:15 – playing Zelda with Jeff…midnight…husband says “get to bed”

You may find time for self care and a lot more.

When your three days up, go over your list and highlight the actions that were worthwhile.  Circle the enjoyable and inspiring actions. Cross out the actions that were non productive or self destructive.  Add up the time spent on the non productive and self destructive.  Bring your list to the next meeting and tell me what you have discovered

My wish for you today is that you are able to examine your life in view of what truly brings you joy