Thursday, January 20, 2011

11 in '11: How to Tame Your Dragon Tummy



Can you believe that the first month of the first year of a brand new decade is half gone already?!  The holidays have flown away and many of our resolutions for the new year have already made off in hot pursuit!  If you committed to healthier choices in 2011, we salute you and we want to share some secret weapons with you all along the way.

We are kicking off this project with a look at some of the products that have aided in recovery from the effects of chronic illness on the digestive system.  These are not prescription products and most of them are not expensive or hard to find, but because they don't have the massive coverage of a Big Budget Business behind them, you may not know how useful they can be.

As always, we remind you that this information is anecdotal in nature. We are not medical professionals and are not paid to promote the products we cite herein. Our comments are based on personal experience and solid research. Our readers accept full responsibility for their choices and are advised to review their health challenges and choices with their own most trusted medical professional.

Without further ado, here is the lineup:

HypFoods Top 11 in '11 Tips
How to Tame Your Dragon Tummy

#11 = DO A DETOX! I did my first total program detox in 2007 and the benefits were so significant that I now repeat the program twice per year. January is the perfect time to do a detox program because all of the indulgences of the holiday season are behind you and your body is primed for the experiment. Nights are still long and you can get the extra rest that the detox will probably impose on you. My favorite program was created by Dr. Mark Hyman, formerly of Canyon Ranch Health and Healing Spa (Lenox location in the Berkshires). My original logic in selecting his program from a crowded field was based simply on the thousands of people he had worked with in that setting. Dr. Hyman has authored many books and other information products that add value for those interested in improving their health through better nutrition, but The Detox Box is the leading product for this program. It's well-organized and comprehensive including shopping lists and sources, but laid out in a unique format of cards and CDs that make it highly manageable, too. The science behind the program is both proven and sound. This is the perfect place to start your new approach to a better life with more understanding, more energy and much less pain!

#10 = ADD DGL to your arsenal. Licorice has some truly amazing healing properties, but it also has a serious downside: it can cause your blood sugar to spike, leading to all kinds of problems if your body doesn't manage insulin processes efficiently.  Many reputable supplement manufacturers have addressed this problem by De-Glycyrrhizing their Licorice lozenges. The result is a form of licorice with healing properties intact but none of the sugar-provoking reactions. There is a short, but interesting and balanced report on efficacies at the University of Maryland Medical Center website. I have found DGL to be better than OTC antacid products for relieving heartburn and the abdominal pain that comes from inflammation of the lining that has been damaged by gluten reactions and other conditions. DGL is meant to be chewed, but it is not a candy and doesn't taste like one. I usually get sufficient relief from half a lozenge, swallowed with a beverage or freshly filtered water as needed. I don't personally enjoy them enough to chew them, but I do appreciate their great efficacy. Regular use helps to rebuild the mucosal lining of the digestive tract and the improvements last until the next time I have a dairy binge!

#09 = CONSIDER THIS: Small package, BIG Bang! SD for Stomach Distress. I haven't used this one regularly for treatment of the conditions that I face daily, such as dairy and gluten allergies, but living in a multi-cultural port city means ready access to some EXCELLENT sashimi. And what is sashimi without a potent taste of wasabi to clear the palate? I love wasabi. I enjoy it with liberality when indulging in the raw fare of my favorite Japanese eateries, but I always know that my gallbladder is going to kick me where it hurts, and hard, afterwards.  A dose of SD, that's just 2 sprays under the tongue, is almost the only thing that I have found to alleviate this pain, which is sharp, relentless and very, very mean.  Visit Liddell's website for a complete list of the ingredients in any of their symptom-based, homeopathic products. They make a full range of products, most of which I have never tried. This one I keep on the shelf because it is almost instantly effective with no side effects of any kind that I have ever noticed. Here's to feeling better, fast!

#08 = ARM yourself against nausea and harmful microbes! Whether its from a full-blown assault of migraine, seasonal flu, or a bad batch of egg salad, Stomach Rescue by Peaceful Mountain is the bazooka of all my remedies. The lab-tested, milky gray fluid delivers the knockout punch to E.Coli, Salmonella and Listeria. It is formulated from purified water, peppermint oil, and ionic silver at 40 ppm. I have used it for 2 or 3 years now and only rarely have I ever needed a second dose. It is a staple in my medicine cabinet and I have it shipped in regularly via Amazon's Subscribe & Save program. There are several excellent studies available online addressing the efficacy of ionic or colloidal silver against a variety of conditions, but this formula is TOPS for eliminating nausea. WARNING = silver may be contraindicated for individuals with compromised kidneys and use of silver should be reported to your radiotech if you need a magnetic procedure such as an MRI.

#07 = WOO your tummy, wherever you are. NOW Peppermint Gels are enteric coated softgels that are small enough to carry around with you. Each caplet contains a therapeutic dose of peppermint oil in combination with a little ginger oil and a little fennel oil. NOW has revamped their product line so that all of their products are free of most common allergens, including gluten - corn - dairy - sugar - preservatives. I LOVE them for that! These softgels, however, do contain soybean oil in the capsule.
Not recommended for those with soy allergies.


#06 = INDULGE a little. Sometimes you just want that velvet sense of luxury in your tummy, the kind we allergics can no longer get from cream and sugar on a bowl of fresh berries. But wait! Actually, we can if we shop correctly! The advent of So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk products opened up a whole new world of possibilities. Some of their products are just too sweet for me, but if I stick with the unsweetened line, oh my! I'm planning a Red Velvet Valentine Nog for the coming holiday and it will be based on their unsweetened beverage, now available in Whole Foods and other fine grocers across the country. While it isn't a fat-free beverage, it IS one delicious and valued alternative to dairy products and works equally well in most recipes, one for one.

#05 = SIP your soothers. When the painful feedback from my digestive system is persistent and the intermittent dosing with capsules and lozenges isn't facilitating a lasting improvement, it's time to switch to a helpful tea. I like to use crushed fennel seed and peppermint tea in combination with Numi's Organic Gunpowder Green Tea. I brew a pot in the morning and sip it all day long. Once the sun sets, I switch off the green caffeinated tea. This concoction is delicious and healing, as well as warming through the cold winter months, but equally delicious steeped and served over coconut ice in the summertime. Enjoy!

#04 = EAT MORE RAW produce. Even if you are diligent about including salads in your menu and eating your daily fresh apple, banana or citrus boost, taming your dragon tummy relies on more than these helpful choices. Healing is facilitated by reintroducing a fresh and clean supply of antioxidants, enzymes and phytonutrients to your digestive system by eating a variety of fruits and vegetables. These healing agents are generally most potent if they have not been broken down by the heat of cooking. Start with raw foods you know and love. Try to eat twice as many fresh vegetables as fruits and stick with organic produce as much as possible. If microbial infestations are a concern, blanche your fresh foods in boiling water, preferably filtered, or rinse them in a simple solution of water and lemon juice with a little kosher salt. Expand your raw selections with something new or different and a couple of fresh, untried colors each time you shop. Avoid foods in the nightshade family while you are in dragon-tamer mode. Intake of raw foods should be reduced during most detox programs, then gradually re-introduced after the detox period is completed.

#03 = SHORTEN your recovery time. It took me years of experimentation to find a product that would actually help to shorten the cycle of pain and discomfort that I experience when someone falsely informs me that their food is gluten/dairy free. Without judging whether or not they knew their information was false, those of us with chronic conditions do suffer a variety of maladies when this happens. I don't use these enzymes every day, as they are not that well tolerated by my system. And as the label points out, the product is not meant to enable the buyer to eat offending foods at will. Breaking your hypoallergenic diet causes long-term problems and the consequences are simply not acceptable to me. But discretionary use when I need it has been effective and I now keep this in my medicine cabinet for occasional use when I have been "gluten-bombed".

#02 = PURGE the toxins gently. Another dragon-induced problem that took me years to resolve was the bloating that makes a person look so much rounder than s/he really is. I studied this problem for a long time and tried many possible solutions. Activated charcoal tablets will absorb and neutralize a substantial quota of material (including solids and gases, even prescription medications) and render it relatively harmless so that it passes quite normally, except that it will be blackened by the presence of the charcoal. Because of its ability to neutralize almost anything in the dragon's lair, it is important to time the ingestion of the charcoal tablet carefully. I take one tablet as needed 2 hours after any significant supplement or prescription and 2 hours before the next significant dose, so that's in the middle of a 4 hour window. This is the only method of reducing bloating that I am happy to use as needed.

#01 = TRY ABDOMINAL MASSAGE THERAPY. This is a unique and distinctive solution that helps to resolve a variety of tummy-centric challenges for both men and women. Finding a practitioner who has received adequate training will be your first hurdle. I pondered this option somewhat passively for a couple of years before I found Claire at 5Focus Studio and booked my first session. You can visit their website for a brief description or phone the Studio and leave a message for Claire if would like to discuss the service or locate a practitioner in your area. To learn more about the benefits of this therapy, review this article. I continue with this practice 3 or 4 times each year to maintain good health and keep my dragon tummy calm, cool, and cuddly.

Visit GlutenFreeMom's website for her "Detox January" feature!

1 comment:

Gail for So Delicious Dairy Free said...

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