Thursday, April 30, 2015

Cool your inflamed stomach

  • FREE ground shipping on ALL orders! Offer valid in the contiguous U.S. Only.
  • $5 off any Super Shield Probiotic Shipping Method!
  • $5 off all FedEx International Economy shipping!

Every now and then we all have a feeling like our stomach is on fire.

Whether it’s due to a virus, overindulging in food or alcohol, or medications like antibiotics, most of us have been in the land of the burning belly.

But many people are suffering daily with “gastric flames.”

They feel like an incinerator no matter what they eat, pop antacids and sleep propped up on pillows on a regular basis.

This "stomach on fire" is called gastritis.

Here's the scoop on this nasty fire-in-the-gut as well as ways you can help put out the flames if you've got it.

The fire down below
Simply put, gastritis is inflammation in the lining of your stomach.

It can be temporary and last just a short time (acute gastritis) or become more gnawing and long-term (chronic gastritis).
People who have gastritis typically experience these symptoms:
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting after eating
  • Abdominal pain or cramping
  • Black stools
  • Vomiting of blood or coffee ground-like material

I'm not a rock...I'm not an island
Gastritis is not a "stand alone" condition--instead the inflammation is typically caused by a variety of culprits that can include:
  • Long-term use of medications like aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen
  • Excessive alcohol consumption 
  • H. Pylori infection (the bacteria that causes ulcers)
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Backflow of bile into the stomach (bile reflux)
  • Extreme, chronic stress
  • Viral infection
  • Trauma or injury

Many different causes but just one answer?
The typical treatment suggestion for gastritis is acid reducers. 

Stomach acid is a very popular scapegoat and is commonly seen as a "bad guy" when people have GI problems like acid reflux, GERD and gastritis, but nothing could be farther from the truth!

On the contrary, you NEED stomach acid for these 2 VERY important reasons:

1- The break down
You MUST have acid to properly break down your foods, especially proteins.

But if your stomach’s acid production is hampered by acid reducers, your digestion can S-L-O-W way down or even stop.

Your stomach may try desperately to jump start digestion again by secreting more acid, but the acid again gets counteracted by the medication.

The end result is a poorly digested, rotting food mass--which can lead to gas, bloating, constipation and anything-but-normal BMs as it moves through your intestines.

This can also hamper your nutrient absorption and expose you to deficiencies.

2- On guard!
The hydrochloric acid in your stomach is your front line of defense against dangerous toxins, bacteria and even carcinogens (cancer-causing substances) that you ingest with your food or from the environment.

But when your stomach acid is suppressed or neutralized by acid reducers, it can’t do its important job of protecting you.

So those toxins have a wide open door into your intestinal tract!

From there they can get absorbed into your bloodstream, and heaven help you after that.  Any area of your body is fair game to suffer, because your blood vessels go everywhere.

Safer, better answers
Instead of disabling your stomach acid, a far safer and more effective approach to ease the inflammation of gastritis involves these three things:

1) Pull it up by the roots
With gastritis it's vital to look at the root cause behind it and then do whatever you can to alleviate it.
For example, if you're under a lot of stress, take advantage of de-stressing measures. 

Exercise, meditation, counseling, prayer, yoga, deep breathing, taking up a hobby or adopting a pet have all been shown to be helpful.

If you hit the booze too's time to cut back or quit altogether.  Get help if you need it and feel you can't do it on your own. 

And if you're taking anti-inflammatories or pain relievers on a regular basis, it's time to talk to your doctor about alternatives.

One safe, effective and proven answer has been to take advantage of Nature's anti-inflammatory--Omega-3 essential fatty acids.

These are abundant in fatty fish, but if you're not a fish fan or are concerned with contamination, many people have gotten great results with a quality fish oil supplement like Vital Mega-3.

VitalMega-3 is a top-notch fish oil formula that delivers a full 1,000 mg. of the recommended EPA and DHA essential fatty acids (600 mg. EPA and 400 mg. DHA—the ideal 3:2 ratio) in every daily 2-capsule serving.

Plus VitalMega-3 goes through a rigorous purification process to remove dangerous substances like mercury and PCB's.

2) Attack H. pylori
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection is a leading cause of gastritis (as well as ulcers).

Studies have shown that the probiotic bacteria strains Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei and Bifidobacteria lactis slow the growth of bacteria such as H. pylori and sometimes even kill it.
Super Shield 

Plus, probiotics populate the intestinal tract where they help digest your foods, fight off harmful pathogens and encourage regular, healthy bowel movements.

Super Shield multi-strain probiotic formula can be your ticket to fighting H. pylori and gastritis.
Super Shield contains top-quality strains of B. lactis, L. acidophilus and L. casei -- the 3 strains that have been shown to be effective for H. pylori.

Plus, Super Shield's 10 other powerhouse strains each have their own specialty in terms of the health benefits they provide.

3) Make your stomach's job easier
Food is by far THE most common cause of digestive issues--specifically eating meals that are next-to-impossible for your system to break down and create fireworks in your gut.

If you ever want hopes of feeling good and not needing acid reducers, it’s crucial that you eat foods that digest easier together.

When you do this, your meals have a better chance to be broken down like they should be, your stomach likely won’t have to overproduce acid, and your intestines can better "finish the job" like they're supposed to.

All it takes is following the simple guidelines in the Great Taste No Pain health system.

Great Taste No Pain explains why it's so important to avoid certain meal combinations because they tax your stomach and intestines so much. 

Then it goes on to show you what GOOD meal combinations are and gives you suggestions for meal planning around all your favorite foods, so you can help encourage easier digestion day in and day out!

Now, if you're gluten-free, don't worry--I've got you covered too.  Great Taste No Gluten is for you instead.

Don't let gastritis make any more of your days miserable!

Especially when there are SO many easy, natural ways you can help that are FAR safer than acid reducers.

Put the power of natural healing to work against YOUR gastritis and see what a huge difference it can make for you.

To your health,

Sherry Brescia

Follow me on Twitter @sherry_brescia and Instagram @sherrybrescia

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

6 Reasons You Could Be Low in Digestive Enzymes

Millions of people in the US regularly suffer from indigestion and rely on antacids and acid reducers for relief.

But what many don’t realize is that the problem may not be too much acid, but instead too few digestive enzymes.

Enzyme deficiency is far more common than you think, and without the enzymes you need, you don’t stand a chance of having pain-free, complete digestion.

Here are 6 Reasons You Could Be Low in Digestive Enzymes:  
1- Burger King, Sara Lee, KFC and Frito-Lay are your four food groups
The most common cause of enzyme deficiency is having a diet high in processed foods and fast foods.  These foods are extremely difficult for your body to break down and require a boatload of enzymes to get the job done….and eventually your body may have trouble producing what you need.

2- You’re on a very low-protein diet
Enzymes are made up of amino acids (the building blocks of protein).  So if your body is getting the resources it needs to construct adequate enzymes, you could be running short as a result.

3- Your pancreas is overworked
The pancreas is your “Grand Central Station” of enzymes and if it’s not working right, chances are excellent it’s not producing sufficient enzymes for your needs. 

4- You regularly rely on antacids and acid reducers
Ironic, isn’t it?  The very thing many people use for relief of indigestion can be making the problem worse.  When you cripple your body’s ability to release stomach acid, your pancreas has to “pick up the slack” and secrete even MORE enzymes to try to compensate for what the stomach didn’t do.

5- You chew gum
Chewing gum fools your body into thinking it’s digesting something, so it pumps out (and wastes) digestive enzymes unnecessarily.

6- You’re over 20
Studies show that once you reach age 20, your body's production of enzymes decreases by about 13 percent every 10 years.  So by the time you're 70, you could be producing only one third of the enzymes you need.  That’s why many elderly people who never had GI problems in their lives all of a sudden start having digestive troubles.

Get the enzyme help you need!
One of the best ways to help compensate for an enzyme deficiency and give your body a helpful boost is to supplement with a high quality enzyme formula like Digestizol Max.

Digestizol Max’s blend of 15 plant-derived enzymes can pinch-hit where your body may be running short and help you achieve more comfortable digestion and relief of gastric pain.

Click through and read about Digestizol Max and how it can help make a tremendous difference in how you feel after meals!

To your health,

Sherry Brescia

Follow me on Twitter @sherry_brescia and Instagram @sherrybrescia

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

An interview with Dr. Salerno - part three

Check out our YouTube channel to see episode #5 in our video series Holistic Health Counts:

In this third and final installment of a three-part series, world-renowned anti-aging expert Dr. John Salerno and I will be discussing:

·       The widespread dangers of candida and yeast overgrowth
·       Effective ways to help lower blood sugar and insulin levels
·       Supplements that just about everyone needs!

Enjoy this information-packed, enlightening interview and remember…

Holistic health counts!

To your health,

Sherry Brescia

Should you use protein powders?

One of the most common questions I get at fitness conferences is, “Do you think protein powders are helpful?”

My answer is, “Sometimes.”

More protein does not necessarily guarantee more muscle.  It’s much more involved than that.

Here’s why I say that—let’s take a crash course on protein powders, when they’re useful and the potential dangers associated with them.

What’s in that scoop?
Protein is a macronutrient found in foods such as meats, dairy products, eggs, nuts and beans. 

Although it’s best known for being the building block of muscles, protein also:
  • Supports the building, repair and maintenance of all your organs, nerves, skin, hair and nails
  • Forms the basis for your body's enzymes and hormones
  • Is used by your body to make neurotransmitters
  • Makes up the antibodies generated by your immune system
Proteins are made up of amino acids, many of which can be manufactured by your body.  The nine essential amino acids that your body can’t produce (and must come from your diet) are: Histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine. 

A protein is said to be “complete” when it contains all nine of the essential amino acids.  If it’s missing one or more it’s “incomplete.”

What are my protein needs?
The RDA for protein for the average adult male is 56 grams per day, and for females it’s 46 grams. 

It’s easy to get what you need when you consider the protein punch of many foods.  For example, four ounces of chicken has 33.8 grams, four ounces of salmon has 29.1 grams, and four ounces of beef has 32 grams.

But there are circumstances under which your body might need more protein:

1- In the teen years
A teenager may need more protein, especially if he’s participating in sports because his body is still growing and uses more protein in general.

2- When you’re starting an exercise program
If working out is new to you and especially if you’re trying to build muscle, you’ll likely require more protein than you normally would.

3- When you’re revving up your workouts
If you normally run five miles four times a week, but then you start training for a marathon, your body will definitely need more protein.

4- When you’re recovering from an injury
People recovering from injuries frequently need more protein to help them heal.

5- If you’re going vegan
People who pursue a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle eliminate a number of protein sources from their diet, including meat, chicken, and fish, and sometimes dairy and eggs as well.

The skinny on powders
Protein powders come in a variety of forms, the most common of which are whey, soy, egg, rice and casein-based products. 

Here are some things to consider about each:

Whey protein is the most popular type of protein supplement.  Whey is a complete protein created during the process of turning milk into cheese.   As such, it may be a concern for people with dairy allergies.

Soy protein is one of the few plant proteins that’s a complete protein, but beware:  Soy is becoming increasingly genetically modified.  The process of genetically modifying crops creates protein structures that are completely foreign to your body…and time will tell what effects these “Franken-proteins” will have on your health.  Soy is also a common allergen.

Egg protein is made by separating out egg yolks and dehydrating egg whites.  They’re a great source of complete protein, but they too are a common allergen.  

Rice protein is hypoallergenic and easily digested and tolerated by most people.  The downside is that rice protein is not a complete protein. 

Casein protein is a complete protein that is produced using a separation process applied to milk that can isolate the milk protein.  But it’s also an allergen for many. 

Do I need a protein powder?
Although some people supplement with protein powders to make sure their protein needs are met, the vast majority are athletes that are looking to build muscle!

As far as grams of protein needed for athletes go, here are some guidelines:
  • Recreational athletes need 0.5-0.75 grams of protein daily for every pound of body weight
  • Competitive athletes need 0.6-0.9 grams per pound
  • Athletes building muscle mass need 0.7-0.9 grams per pound

That being said, there are other considerations that you need to be aware of when using protein supplements.

Not being aware of these issues can not only mean that you won’t get the results you want, but that you can actually end up doing more harm than good!

Let’s take a peek at…

What protein powders don’t tell you
Many fitness enthusiasts drink protein shakes, imagining how they’re beginning to resemble Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Not necessarily.

You see, before muscle grows, your body’s rate of protein synthesis must also increase…and that doesn’t come about automatically by eating more protein.  It’s a complex process that involves your cell signaling and DNA to make those amino acids turn into muscle. 

Plus protein synthesis (construction of your body’s specific protein needs) is done by your liver.

So if your liver isn't as healthy as it should be, guess what--you might be running low in protein regardless of what you take in.

Additionally, whether your protein comes from food or shakes or both, unless your body is actually breaking down those proteins into their amino acids and absorbing them, then you may be getting little or no benefit.

Lastly, too much of anything is never a good thing, and that includes protein.

Excessive intake of protein can lead to excess acid waste accumulation.  Over time this can trigger kidney problems, accelerated bone loss and even osteoporosis!

Get your protein and use it!
Whether or not you choose to use protein powders is up to you.  If you feel you have the need, then by all means there are a lot of great products out there.

But it doesn’t stop there.

To ensure that your body gets the amino acids you need AND can use them, it's crucial to have a diet that your body can more easily digest and features a variety of protein sources. 

And that is where the Great Taste No Pain system can be a tremendous help.

Great Taste No Pain not only encourages you to enjoy several delicious sources of protein (including meats, fish, beans, legumes, nuts and whole grains), but it also guides you on the right other foods to eat them with so you can encourage more comfortable, thorough digestion and better nutrient absorption.

And if you have gluten sensitivity, Great Taste No Gluten is your ticket. 

Make sure you have the enzymes too!
Changing your diet will go a long way in improving your digestion and overall health, but some people have an additional hurdle to overcome. 

Because they may be enzyme challenged.

You see, if you've had a typical modern diet for a while and/or have taken antacids for so long that they now qualify as your 5th food group, chances are excellent that you have expended way more digestive enzymes than Nature intended …and you may have diminished your body's ability to produce enough for your needs.

And without the proper levels of enzymes, my 3 cats will sing an opera at the Met before you enjoy complete digestion and nutrient absorption.

If you think enzymes may be a concern for you, an enzyme supplement like Digestizol Max can be just what you need.

Digestizol Max's blend of 14 plant-derived enzymes will give your body a welcome boost and help ensure that everything you've eaten is broken down like it should be.

Don’t forget your “protein headquarters”
Your liver is your body’s headquarters for construction of your protein needs, so you must help keep it healthy.

Start by drinking enough water.  Five to eight 8-oz. glasses a day should be your minimum. 

Also, keep the booze under control.  There’s nothing wrong with a drink or two, especially with a meal, but if you regularly drink more than that, it’s time to cut back. 

Lastly, milk thistle (silymarin) has been used since the 15th century for liver health.  Most experts recommend 350-525 mg. of milk thistle with meals.

Now you are armed with the information you need to not only decide whether protein powders are right for you, but also the advice you need to make sure you’re absorbing those precious amino acids, as well as helping your precious liver!

To your health,

Sherry Brescia

Follow me on Twitter @sherry_brescia and Instagram @sherrybrescia

Monday, April 27, 2015

FREE ground shipping with our Mountain Goat Special!


FREE ground shipping on ALL orders! Offer valid in the contiguous U.S. Only.
$5 off any Super Shield Probiotic Shipping Method!
$5 off all FedEx International Economy shipping!

I’m very pleased to announce that this week I will be acting like a goat…

No, I won’t make strange noises, eat hay or buck people in the derriere.

Instead I’ll be running the “Mountain Goat Run”—a hilly, challenging and exhausting 10-mile course through the streets of Syracuse, NY!

So while I run, huff and puff and sweat, you can SAVE BIG with FREE ground shipping on ALL products featured on our website (including our Blue Rock Holistics™ supplements, books and Dr. Salerno’s supplements) or get $5 off any Super Shield Probiotic Shipping Method and $5 off all FedEx International Economy shipping as well.

But this is a limited time offer, so take advantage of it NOW while you can!

Because when my run is done, so is the offer.

To your health,

Sherry Brescia

Saturday, April 25, 2015

10 Healthy Substitutions for Unhealthy Foods

When you decide to eat healthy, it can be daunting to know how to change your diet if you’ve grown accustomed to certain foods. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to replace ingredients or staples in your diet with healthier alternatives that taste great! In no particular order, here are ten healthy and simple substitutions you can fold into your diet right away.

Swap out white rice for quinoa!
Cut calories by mashing cauliflower instead of potatoes.
  1. If the recipe says to use vegetable oil, swap it out for coconut oil. A majority of the fat in coconut oil is medium-chain triglycerides which have been known to support weight loss!
  2. Rice is a staple of many dishes, but your standard white rice is severely lacking in fiber and protein. Replace it with some quinoa! This miracle grain has about 150% more fiber and 100% more protein than white rice, and many people agree that it’s easier to cook than white rice.
  3. Salad dressings may taste great, but they are loaded with artificial ingredients and fat. Strip down your salad and use a mixture of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The sharp, pronounced taste offsets salad greens perfectly and puts the flavor back in the contents of the bowl where it belongs.
  4. Instead of adding crunch to your salad with highly processed, artificially flavored croutons, try adding a spoonful of chopped unsalted walnuts or almonds instead. You’ll get a nice boost of protein and heart-healthy fat.
  5. Cutting down on starchy carbs is easy when you substitute mashed cauliflower for traditional mashed potatoes. Just steam cauliflower until tender, then add butter, salt and milk just like you would when preparing mashed potatoes. You’ll also be saving boatloads of calories.
  6. Keeping in line with baking, replace your all-purpose flour with coconut flour. Coconut flower has fewer carbohydrates and is chock full of fiber.
  7. Trying to rehydrate after a great workout? Skip the sugary sports drinks and grab some coconut water instead. Coconut water is full of potassium – over 16x that of sports drinks – and contains a fraction of the sugar found in sports drinks.
  8. If you love to get a quick protein boost from peanut butter, consider a switch to almond butter. Jars of processed peanut butter contain added fats and sugars.
  9. Vegetable shortening is full of trans-fats, so when greasing pans, baking or preparing frostings, use unsalted butter instead.
  10. Leafy greens are a great way to get your daily vitamins, but they aren’t all created equal. Skip the iceberg lettuce the next time you’re making a salad and go with romaine lettuce instead. The benefit? You’ll get over 17x the amount of Vitamin A and 4x the Vitamin K!

By making small adjustments in your diet, you can start to feel better, have more energy and make great progress towards your healthy living goals. What are your favorite healthy substitutions? Let us know in the comments below!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Unraveling the mystery of colitis and Crohn’s

Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease (collectively known as inflammatory bowel disease or IBD) are painful, debilitating conditions that affect about 1.6 million Americans.

Although people sometimes confuse them, there are distinct differences between the two.

Ulcerative colitis (UC)
Ulcerative colitis is an inflammation of the inner lining of the colon (large intestine) and/or rectum.

Typical symptoms are poor digestion, explosive bowel movements (as many as 30 or more a day!) rectal bleeding and pain. 

With UC, you stand about a one in four chance of needing surgery at some point--removal of some your colon. 

But even then you’re not home free because UC can "move down the road" and strike another area of the colon.

Crohn's disease
Crohn's can strike ANY area of the digestive tract from the mouth to the anus, but it usually affects the lower end of the small intestine (the ileum).

Common Crohn's symptoms include abdominal pain and explosive diarrhea.  You can also develop constipation, fevers lasting 24-48 hours, canker sores, clubbed fingernails and be prone to intestinal blockages.

And since your small intestine is where most nutrient absorption takes place, Crohn’s patients are prone to weight loss, malnutrition and deficiency diseases.

Crohn's burrows deeper into your intestinal wall than UC does, and eventually can cause little "canals" called fistulas to form between your intestine and other organs. 

This creates a path for wastes and toxins to seep out and impair the health of your other organs.

It's a mystery
IBD is very much a mystery because there isn't just one clear-cut cause.
First of all, IBD is considered an autoimmune condition--meaning your immune system sees normal tissue in your intestinal tract as a dangerous invader and launches an attack. 

There is also a genetic component.  Studies have shown that a person with a first-degree relative with IBD is up to 10 times more likely to develop the disease.

Medication use is also a factor, especially with antibiotics, birth control pills and NSAIDS.  These medications upset your flora balance and make you far more susceptible to infection, inflammation and disease.

Food sensitivities and lactose intolerance have also been shown to play a role in the development of IBD.

Although the potential underlying causes of IBD are many, the typical remedies are just two--drugs (steroids and immunosuppressors) and surgery.

Steroids can help reduce the inflammation, but they also can cause a wide variety of side effects, including bone loss, folic acid deficiency, low cortisol levels and increased risk of lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic system).

Immunosuppressive drugs may help to "quiet" the immune reaction going on, but then you're lacking the protection of your immune system--and are far more susceptible to viruses, infections and disease.

And the health price of surgery?  Well, losing some or all of your intestines and possibly getting a J-pouch or colostomy is traumatic, plus IBD can recur after surgery!

The risks are growing too
Unfortunately, the risks associated with IBD are growing….and now include an increased risk of heart disease. 

According to a study presented by Mayo Clinic researchers, patients with IBD have a 10-25 percent increased risk of stroke and heart attacks.

Although this finding is disturbing, it’s not surprising.

You see, both IBD and heart disease are characterized by chronic inflammation—it’s just showing up in two different locations.  With IBD it’s your GI tract and with heart disease it’s your blood vessels.

Once your body is challenged by chronic inflammation in ANY form, it’s very easy for inflammation to expand and infiltrate other organ systems. 

Natural IBD relief
Even though IBD is largely a mystery, one thing that is for certain is that there are very effective strategies for counteracting it that can leave you feeling a WHOLE lot better!

Here are 3 safe, easy and effective strategies that can help bring relief to IBD sufferers:

1- Encourage sound digestion
Encouraging sound digestion and nutrient absorption is essential for IBD sufferers.

And a great way to help is to eat nutrient-packed meals that your body can more efficiently break down!

When digestion can be accomplished more easily, your wastes can move through the intestines smoothly like they should--with less chance of constipation, diarrhea, excessive gas or irritation.

And eating for better digestion is what you will learn to do in the Great Taste No Pain digestive health system (or for gluten-sensitive people, Great Taste No Gluten).

In the Great Taste No Pain and Great Taste No Gluten systems, you’ll learn how to structure delicious, nutritious meals to encourage easier digestion, help nourish your body, help minimize irritation and increase your chances of feeling great after eating. 

2- Strengthen your gut wall
For people with IBD, it's important to have a strong gut wall and help keep harmful bacteria in check.
Step 1 is having a nutritious diet (including vegetables, fruits and whole grains) to nourish and encourage a healthy friendly flora base. 
Super Shield multi-strain probiotic

However, experts also recommend supplementing with probiotic strains from both the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria species. 

And Super Shield multi-strain probiotic formula fits the bill.

Super Shield contains potent, top-quality strains of both Lactobacillus (which reside in the small
intestine) and Bifidobacteria (that live in the large intestine), so your entire intestinal tract is covered!

In addition, the amino acid glutamine has also been shown to help enhance gut wall strength. 

Glutamine is found in foods such as beans, red meat, nuts and fish.  Supplements are also available in health food stores and pharmacies.  Experts recommend starting with a dosage of 8 grams a day and working up to 20 grams a day.

3- Keep inflammation low
Keeping inflammation low in the intestines is vital for IBD sufferers.

And a great way to help tame inflammation in any area of the body is to engage the power of Nature’s anti-inflammatory—Omega-3 essential fatty acids!

For a top-quality pharmaceutical-grade Omega-3 fish oil supplement, Vital Mega-3 is your ticket.
VitalMega-3 is a potent, pharmaceutical-grade fish oil formula that delivers 1,000 mg of the recommended EPA and DHA essential fatty acids in every daily 2-capsule serving.

Not only can these precious Omega-3 EFAs help ease intestinal inflammation, but also help curb other aches and pains as well, and even help lower blood pressure!

If you’ve got IBD, put the power of safe, natural measures to work for you and see the tremendous difference it can make in how you feel!

To your health,

Sherry Brescia

Follow me on Twitter @sherry_brescia and Instagram @sherrybrescia

Thursday, April 23, 2015

A little-known danger of statin use on the rise

Although statin drugs are commonly touted as being “relatively safe,” in reality nothing could be farther from the truth.
Statins can and do cause serious side effects in many people like these:

-          Muscle pain and weakness, which can lead to incapacitation
-          Breakdown of muscles which can cause kidney failure & death
-          Nausea, stomach pain, constipation, diarrhea
-          Sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches
-          Sexual dysfunction
-          Peripheral neuropathy (numbness & tingling in your extremities)
-          Pain or burning with urination
-          Memory loss, depression
-          Pancreatic inflammation
-          Gallstones
-          Low energy
-          Abnormal heart rhythm

Arguably one of the most frightening dangers of statin use is that they increase your risk of Type 2 diabetes…but up until recently, the additional risk was estimated at about 22 percent.

Well, a new study has just painted a much bleaker picture:

Study shows 46 percent increased risk of Type 2 diabetes
A recent study of 8,749 men headed by Professor Markku Laakso of the Institute of Clinical Medicine at the University of Eastern Finland and published in the journal Diabetologia found that the men who were treated with statins were at a 46 percent higher risk of diabetes than men who were not treated with statins.

What gives more credence to this latest study is that the 46 percent increased risk was present even after adjusting for the men's age, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, physical activity levels, smoking status, alcohol intake, family history of diabetes and treatment with beta-blockers and diuretic medications.

What does the liver have to do with diabetes?
Although it seems odd, the connection between statin use and diabetes actually makes a lot of sense.

Your liver works very closely with your pancreas in controlling your blood sugar.  Your liver converts glucose into glycogen, which is the form of sugar that can be stored in your cells for later use. 

Then when you run low on energy, the liver steps in, converts the glycogen back into glucose, and ships it off into your bloodstream so it can travel to the cells where it’s needed.

Statins can interrupt this process designed by Nature because they affect the functioning of your liver.

You see, the liver is also where the majority of your body’s cholesterol is manufactured, and statins “work” by shutting down your liver’s cholesterol-making ability.

So when you’re already impairing one of your liver’s functions, it’s not unreasonable to assume that this can affect your liver’s ability to do its other jobs too—and that includes blood glucose regulation.

Have a healthy liver and cholesterol level!
Here are ways that you can help naturally encourage a healthy liver and cholesterol level:

1- Pamper your liver
  • Drink a large glass of room temperature water every morning to which a splash of fresh lemon or lime juice has been added to flush out your liver.
  • Incorporate lots of onions and garlic into your diet, as they support your liver’s detox efforts.
  • Other liver-helpful foods include grapefruit, beets and carrots, leafy greens, avocados, apples, cruciferous vegetables, lemons and limes, walnuts, olive oil, cabbage and turmeric.
  • Consider milk thistle (silymarin) supplementation.
2- Eat your way to lower cholesterol and better health
Excess saturated fat (especially trans-fats) and refined sugar can both contribute to elevated cholesterol.

Plus since fiber acts like a broom in your colon to help sweep away excess cholesterol, a diet low in fiber can trigger a cholesterol problem as well.

So it's crucial to have a healthy, balanced diet that will help you:
  1. Avoid trans-fats at all cost
  2. Limit saturated fats 
  3. Avoid refined sugars and
  4. Get natural dietary sources of fiber
Great Taste No Pain Health System
The Great Taste No Pain system will show you exactly what to do.

Great Taste No Pain will guide you in having a more balanced diet including healthy proteins and fats, plus fiber-rich fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains and legumes which can help whisk away old cholesterol instead of leaving it to be reabsorbed.

And the best part is Great Taste No Pain truly lives up to its name--every single dish in the recipe section is mouth-watering delicious.

3- Encourage a healthy essential fatty acid balance
When you have too many Omega-6 essential fatty acids and too few Omega-3s (like most people with a typical modern diet do), you're encouraging inflammation, pain and disease, as well as not being able to eliminate cholesterol as well as you should!

But when you bring the balance closer to the ideal 3:1 range, the Omega EFAs act together in harmony to keep inflammation low in your body (including your arteries!) and help you get rid of excess cholesterol.

VitalMega-3 is a top-quality fish oil formula that can help you achieve this optimal balance.
Based on recent studies, the Journal of the American Medical Association reported decreases in cholesterol of up to 20% in just 10 DAYS by boosting Omega-3 EFA's through diet and supplementation!

When you work with your body to help it create health and put the power of nutrition to work for you, chances are excellent you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the health goals you can achieve!

And if you are on statins, be sure to talk to your doctor before making changes in your medications or supplements.

To your health,

Sherry Brescia

Follow me on Twitter @sherry_brescia and Instagram @sherrybrescia

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

If my tests are normal why am I still sick?

Normally when someone has symptoms like joint pain, constipation, headache or congestion, they start by taking an OTC remedy like pain relievers, laxatives or decongestants. 

But if that doesn’t help, that’s usually when you visit the doctor for answers.  Unfortunately, the doctor doesn’t always have the answer.
Because sometimes they can’t figure out what’s causing your problem—and it’s certainly not due to lack of trying or concern on their part.

It’s because all of your tests have come back normal…so all they can suggest is symptomatic treatment with medications.

But eventually medications can lose their effectiveness over time, and you can also be having side effects.

And this whole time, you still haven’t been able pinpoint the underlying problem…so you continue to suffer.

I’ve just described how a food sensitivity can unleash its ugly wrath on you.

Here’s the scoop:

Food allergy vs. sensitivity—what’s the difference?
People commonly confuse food sensitivities and food allergies, but they’re quite different.

When someone is allergic to a food, there is NO mistaking the cause-and-effect relationship.

With food allergies, your immune system sees a harmless molecule of food as a dangerous invader and your body reacts by releasing the hormone histamine.  This causes the classic itchy skin or swelling in the lips, mouth, tongue and throat. 

Most food allergies fall into these 8 categories: Milk, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish.

Although many people use the terms interchangeably, food sensitivities differ from food allergies.
With food sensitivities, the cause-and-effect relationship is not so obvious because no histamine is released and you typically don't get symptoms right away after eating the food.

It can be several hours or even DAYS before your body reacts!

Plus, the symptoms triggered by food sensitivities can be associated with other conditions, so it's hard to pinpoint food as the cause.

Symptoms can include:
  • Migraines, insomnia, dizziness
  • Coughing, gagging, sore throat, hoarseness
  • Nasal congestion, ear ringing, blurred vision, watery eyes, hearing loss, dark circles under eyes
  • Irregular heartbeat, asthma, chest pain, shortness of breath, bronchitis
  • Nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, gas, heartburn
  • Hives, rashes, psoriasis, eczema, acne, hair loss, dry skin
  • Joint aches, arthritis
  • Depression, difficulty concentrating, aggressive behavior, learning difficulties, confusion, cravings
So concluding that you even have a food sensitivity to begin with and then narrowing down what foods are the offenders can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. 

Plus unlike food allergies, there are no tried and true lab tests to pinpoint a food sensitivity.

So it’s no wonder that some people go for years with undiagnosed sensitivities and continue to suffer.

At-home tests you can try
There are a couple at-home tests you can try to see if food sensitivities may be your companion.

1- The elimination test
This will involve some tracking on your part but will be worth it if food sensitivities are, in fact, an issue for you.

For the next 10 days, jot down everything you eat and drink, as well as your level of symptomology (if any). 

For example, your record for Day 1 could look like this:
 2 eggs and bacon
 1 cup coffee with cream

Tossed salad with chicken
Italian dressing
1 glass milk
Felt fatigued at 2:30pm
Grilled shrimp
Green beans
Got a headache at 7pm
Handful of nuts

After the 10 days are up, note what foods you ate on the day before and the day of feeling any symptoms—those will be your “experimental” foods. 

Now look at your list of experimental foods and see if there are any foods you eat frequently that also seem to precede your symptoms.  Pick the two or three foods that seem to be most closely associated with your symptoms and eliminate them from your diet for a week and see how you feel. 

If you feel markedly better, well, there’s a sign for you.

After the week is up, reintroduce the foods into your diet one at a time, separated by three days between each food, and see if your symptoms return.

Although this process can take a while, many people have gotten tremendous relief by helping to zero in on foods they’re sensitive to.

2- The pulse test
This test involves checking your pulse to see if you may be sensitive to a certain food.

Start by taking your pulse first thing in the morning to get a baseline rate.  Then keep a record of the foods you eat for 10 days like in the elimination test above and pick your two or three experimental foods.

Eat one of the foods, wait 15 minutes, then check your pulse, comparing it to your baseline rate.  If there is a reaction to the food, you may see your pulse go up by as many as 10 beats, or down by five or 10 beats. 

The next day try another experimental food and see what happens to your pulse.

Again, this process is very much trial and error and is not an absolute diagnostic measure, but it may help you pinpoint possible problematic foods.

How you can help ease food sensitivities
In order to help ease food sensitivities, it’s important to know how they come about to begin with…and that is a reflection of the health of your gut wall.

You see, when your intestinal wall is healthy, it functions like a gatekeeper. It allows properly digested fats, proteins and starches "through the gate" to be absorbed into circulation so they can be used by your body.

At the same time, poorly digested food particles, toxins and harmful bacteria are "locked in" to the intestine and held there until they are eliminated with your feces.

But the problem arises when your gut wall becomes weak and too porous (leaky). Then it allows improperly broken down food molecules that are too big for nourishment to slip through into the bloodstream.

Your immune system mistakes these "big food pieces" for dangerous invaders and begins developing a reaction to fight them off.

If this happens over and over, your body will eventually see that food in ANY size molecule or state of digestion as dangerous…and you have triggered a food sensitivity.

So to help counteract food sensitivities, in addition to avoiding known offending foods, having good digestion and a strong gut wall are where it’s at!

Here’s how to accomplish both of those important goals:

Part 1- Good digestion
In order to help accomplish good digestion, it’s essential to structure your meals to make them easier for your body to break down.  

The Great Taste No Pain health system will show you how to structure nutrient-loaded meals that are far less taxing on your precious digestive system.

Not only will this help all of your foods to be broken down just like they should be, but by encouraging better digestion, you can also help curb gas, bloating, constipation and heartburn too.

Plus you’ll love the scrumptious recipes too!

Now, if you’ve got a known gluten sensitivity or intolerance, I’ve got you covered.  Great Taste No Gluten is for you instead.

You’ll get the same smart food pairing advice as in Great Taste No Pain, plus guides for avoiding gluten and a collection of delicious gluten free recipes.

Part 2- A strong (non-leaky) gut wall
One of the most common causes of leaky gut syndrome (which is the "instigator" behind most food sensitivities) is dysbiosis in the gut.

In other words, harmful microbes overcome the beneficial bacteria in your gut and "eat away" at your intestinal lining, making it too porous.

Thanks to processed and fast foods, stress, medications and other factors, many people have a degree of dysbiosis and don't even know it.

And while having a healthy diet can help counteract that, it may not be enough.

That’s why the additional beneficial boost from a probiotic supplement can be so helpful.

And for a good quality probiotic product, look no farther than Super Shield probiotic formula.

Super Shield’s 13 powerhouse strains will line up along your intestinal wall, helping to crowd out harmful bacteria and encourage a strong gut wall. 

When you get the upper hand on food sensitivities, you can help make their misery a thing of the past for you (or help prevent sensitivities before they take hold of you).

To your health,

Sherry Brescia

Follow me on Twitter @sherry_brescia and Instagram @sherrybrescia

Monday, April 20, 2015

You can stop acid reflux-here’s how

For those of you who were born prior to 1970, you probably remember the Speedy Alka-Seltzer commercials on TV.

Speedy’s body was one Alka-Seltzer tablet, and he wore another as a hat, and he would sing the famous jingle, “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is.”

Way back when, heartburn used to be an occasional thing you’d get when you ate too much or had an unusually rich meal.

Now?  People get it several times a week or daily, and it’s even got a fancy title.

Acid reflux disease.

And you know what that means.

There is a whole lot of people putting out the fire in their chest each day, to the tune of $6 billion being spent on Nexium alone in 2013 and 2014. 

But what many people don’t realize is: Acid reflux is preventable!

And even if you do overindulge and trigger a bout of heartburn, there are many safe, natural ways to get relief, without dealing with possible drug side effects!

Let’s take a look at the some of the lesser-known effects of acid reflux drugs, talk about what acid reflux really is, how to prevent it, and how to put out the fire of an occasional bout of heartburn.

“Relief” at a price
Most people do feel relief when they first start using acid reducers and they're thrilled, thinking that they've found the magic answer.

But eventually the magic stops.

Because while reducing or neutralizing stomach acid might relieve the flames in your chest, at the same time it's opening up a Pandora's Box of other issues that can make you feel WORSE--not better--and may trigger other health problems.

Here’s what I mean--crippling the acid in your stomach can lead to these major problems:

1- Demolished digestion
Your body must have stomach acid to properly break down proteins.  So when you eat protein, your stomach naturally secretes acid like it’s supposed to.

But then its acid production gets shut down or weakened by the medication.

Your stomach senses something's wrong and tries to secrete more acid to get digestion going again...but the acid reducer keeps doing its job.

This process can potentially go on for hours and result in a pool of acid in your stomach that can come rising up into your throat—precisely what you were hoping to prevent!

Plus when your digestion is ruined, this can cause trouble further down the road too--namely, gas, bloating, constipation and diarrhea. 

Those symptoms are all listed as side effects on most acid medication inserts and now you know why that is so.

2- Dangerous deficiency
The vitamin B12 in your foods is bound to little proteins that must be "shaved off" by stomach acid before the B12 can be absorbed in your GI tract.

So when your stomach acid is halted by acid reducers, B12 cannot be "released" from the protein like it must be in order for your body to absorb it.

Over time this can result in vitamin B12 deficiency, which can lead to a whole host of other health issues including memory problems, depression, low energy and a weakened immune system.

3- Disabled defenses
One of the most vital functions of your stomach’s hydrochloric acid is protect you against food poisoning, H. pylori, parasites, fungi and other infections you take in from your food and the environment. 

Without the protection of properly working stomach acid, you are basically defenseless against many of these dangerous microbes. 

4- Bacterial bedlam
As a consequence of poor digestion and the waste buildup that typically results from it, your intestinal flora population can be thrown completely out of balance.

Not only does this compromise your immune system and make you more susceptible to every virus and bug around, but it ruins your digestion even MORE because the friendly bacteria in your gut help to digest certain starches and fibers.

Now let’s look at the REAL story
Now that you know some of the lesser-known dangers of acid reflux drugs, let’s take a look at what acid reflux really is, and most importantly, how you can help prevent it!

Acid reflux is simply your body being unable to effectively break down and completely digest what you’ve put in it.

And there are three primary reasons that this happens:

Acid reflux cause #1: Food
It never ceases to amaze me how people eat fast food or smorgasbord-type meals, day in and day out, then wonder why they have a 4-alarm fire in their chest every night.

That's like saying you're surprised that your thumb is throbbing after you slam it with a hammer.

If you have acid reflux, it's time to face facts--YOUR DIET is very likely the main cause of your misery. 

Accept it, stop making excuses and do something about it--like changing your diet to include more nutritious REAL foods and easier to digest meals.

When you eat foods that nourish your body and meals that are easier for your system to break down, your body can respond very quickly…and you can see the difference in these ways:
  • Less burping, belching or acid in your throat. 
  • Less gas, bloating, flatulence or BM problems.
  • No more need to sleep propped up on pillows.

The dietary advice you need is in the Great Taste No Pain program. 

Great Taste No Pain will show you what foods are naturally acid-creating versus alkaline, and which ones digest better together in meals by working with—not against—your stomach acid and other enzymes.

And it's delicious too!  Just wait until you try the scrumptious recipes for beef tenderloin with horseradish sauce, crab cakes, chicken soup and much more!

Note: if you have gluten challenges, Great Taste No Gluten is for you instead.

Acid reflux cause #2: Enzymes
If you've eaten a typical hard to digest diet for quite some time, chances are excellent that you have expended far more digestive enzymes than Nature intended you to.

As a result, your body's ability to produce adequate enzymes may be diminished...and this can be a major contributing factor to poor digestion and acid reflux!

Plus as we age, our bodies' ability to produce enzymes naturally decreases.

If you suspect low enzymes are a concern for you, or have out and out been told you're low in stomach acid, then Digestizol Max is your ticket for getting the help you need.

Digestizol Max's 14 plant-derived enzymes and 5 herbal soothers can give your body a boost to help keep your digestion nice and smooth -- and help make acid reflux, GERD and heartburn a thing of the past for you.

Acid reflux cause #3: Stress
Stress is also a common cause of ruined digestion and acid reflux.

Digestion is a parasympathetic process, meaning your body must be in a relaxed, non-stressed state for it to be accomplished. 

Eating in a relaxed state also encourages you to eat slower, which means that your body can recognize satiety before you overeat (and bring on a bout of heartburn).

But if you instead eat when your sympathetic nervous system is in gear (such as when you're working, driving, emotionally upset, stressed, rushing, etc.) that can have a devastating impact on your digestion and lead to reflux.

So slow down and relax!  Avoid eating in a stressed state.  Make time for meals and don't eat on the run. 

And if stress is an ongoing issue for you, it's time to take a look at ways to reduce the stress in your life.  There are many helpful suggestions, programs and exercise options out there.

But what if I overindulge?
We’re all human…and that means that every now and then, we might overindulge and end up with heartburn as a result!

But there are safe, natural answers for occasional heartburn too—here are some you can try:

1) Fresh ginger
Fresh ginger root has been used since ancient times as a natural anti-inflammatory and a treatment for digestive conditions.
It can easily be peeled, sliced, diced or grated. You can stir it into barbecue sauces, steep it in a cup of tea, use it in a stir-fry, add some to smoothies or enjoy it thinly shaved with sushi.

2) Licorice
Licorice root is soothing to the mucous membranes of the GI tract and can promote healing. 
However, the glycyrrhizic acid in licorice root can raise your blood pressure and lower potassium levels if you eat too much, so look for deglycerrhized licorice (DGL licorice) supplements in health food stores.

3) Slippery elm bark
Slippery elm bark is another herb which soothes mucous membranes and has been used as a remedy for stomach problems for centuries by European and Native American cultures.
You can brew a tea with slippery elm bark or purchase slippery elm lozenges at health food stores.

4) Aloe vera
Aloe vera juice is another natural anti-inflammatory that can help soothe inflammation in the stomach or esophagus.
Aloe vera is available at many health food stores and retail merchants.

5) Apple cider vinegar
Sometime heartburn can result from too little stomach acid.
In those cases, you can easily improve the acid content of your stomach by taking one tablespoon of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a large glass of water.

Do all you can to eliminate the underlying causes of acid reflux (as well as take safer, natural measures to combat occasional heartburn) and I’m sure it won’t be long before you’re feeling tremendous relief!

To your health,

Sherry Brescia

Follow me on Twitter @sherry_brescia and Instagram @sherrybrescia