Monday, May 23, 2011

Movin' on Out & Over

to my pretty new site:

come join the fun! and the lively conversation! and together, let's stop that cortisol runaway train!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

5 Tips to Reclaim Your Thyroid Mojo

Today I'm reminding you of and then manhandling 5 mojo-zappers. Five things that I often find are depleting the energy of vast numbers of patients in my integrative medicine practice. Five things I want on your radar. Five things I want you to remove from your less-than-metabolized life. Immediately.

1.     Dial in your free T3. I find this tracks with mojo more than any other indicator of your thyroid function. I like to see my patients in the top half of the normal range.
2.     Correct your low Vitamin D. Even with all the press this cute little hormone gets, 90% of my patients are low. Yet Vitamin D has over 1000 jobs in your cells. My fave? It drives thyroid hormone into your cell nucleus, where it can work its wonders. Get some. Keep your level above 52. For optimal metabolism, I like 70-90.
3.     Beware: Endocrine disruptors. These buggers are killing you softly. They’re in your jeans (2/3 of jeans are manufactured in China). They’re in your mattress. They’re in your canned food. They’re in your car upholstery. Reduce your exposure starting today. Get your organic mattress (although you may need a doctor’s prescription – how ridiculous is that?). Get organic jeans against your skin (they are far foxier than they used to be). Eat fresh, organic, seasonal food rather than the canned crap. Be mindful about your plastics and cleaning products.
4.     Check your cortisol. Adrenal dysregulation – that is, a cortisol that is either higher or lower than normal – can influence your thyroid functioning. Both high and low cortisol affects how much T3 you make.
5.     Meditate. It elongates your telomeres, the sweet little shoelace caps on your chromosomes, longer and slows down biological aging. Even beginners get a boost in telomere length, says Nobel prizewinner Elizabeth Blackburn!

Now tell us in the comments what else gets your thyroid mojo revved up. And lengthen those telomeres!

 xoxox Dr. Sara

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Royal Hormones

Kate is a Perfect Hormonal Specimen.

Overly reductionistic? Perhaps.

While I don't have royal fever, I relished watching a video of Kate Middleton have her day in the limelight. OK, we know she had a team of makeup artists and other handlers getting her camera-ready for 3 billion viewers, but even so, she looked fan-tas-tico. She felt relaxed and joyous. Glistening hair, glistening eyes. Thin. She seemed like a perfect hormonal specimen. Same story with her sister, Philippa, shown in the above photo as her maid of honor. There are some good genes happenin' in that family of Middletons. Mom too. Hot.

Right. Perhaps I am guilty of reducing the beautiful Kate Middleton, now Duchess of Cambridge, to her looks alone. But Kate illustrates an important point by serving as a touchstone for an ideal hormonal specimen. Don't get me wrong. I'm not suggesting that you or I need to become Kate. I rather love the ease and internal reprogramming that comes with age and wisdom. But still....

What's an ideal hormonal specimen? Stable mood. Strong nails: not brittle or soft. No PMS-driven homicidal tendencies. Deliciously restorative sleep. Strong libidinal energy. You wake up and want to greet the world. You want to kiss your partner, even though he's bald and brandishes a ridiculous sword. You don't feel like the grumpy bridesmaid, below, to the left of Kate.

Let's take it one step further: you're wildly in love and want to run off with your partner. Not in a saccharinny, fairy tale way - but in a living life fully, deeply, drunkenly-good way. Drunk, that is, on oxytocin, the hormone of love and bonding. In fact, I think the entire pageant of the Royal Wedding got out collective oxytocin flowing. Something so ancient and comforting about it. xoxox Dr. Sara

Friday, April 22, 2011

Do You Hide Behind a Tunic?

Reflecting today on my growing selection of organic tunics and what they represent psychically. Around the time that I turned 35, and met for the first time my rather unforgiving metabolism, my collection grew. Some women buy Spanx. I buy tunics.

At first I told myself that it was all about the low-ride jeans that just don't quite work with a post-partum belly. That was after my younger sisters told me to toss my jeans from the 1990s. I had no idea how out of date I was. Then I bought some Sevens. Then I bought lots of tunics.
Is hiding my tush behind a comfy tunic my way of aging with a shield? Of growing old in a constricted, hidden way?

Let it shine, y'all. Time to be more conscious about loving my post-partum belly and my aging tush. Time to get the jeans I like (Organic jeans don't ride so low! Hurray!). Time to accept what is true for me and model that for my increasingly body-conscious two daughters. And maybe go to the Dailey Method more.

You know, embrace the deep femme!

BTW, what are you hiding behind?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Mumford and Sons Raise My Testosterone!

Did you see Mumford and Sons kill the Grammys? Cannot get enough of them. They balance my hormones, among other things. I'm more than a bit obsessed with Marcus Mumford (below).

Here's the video. Lyrics? Brilliant and below. It's empty here in the valley of your heart... Come on out of the cave walking on your hands, y'all! Coming to Oakland April 21.

The Cave

It's empty in the valley of your heart
The sun, it rises slowly as you walk
Away from all the fears
And all the faults you've left behind

The harvest left no food for you to eat
You cannibal, you meat-eater, you see
But I have seen the same
I know the shame in your defeat

But I will hold on hope
And I won't let you choke
On the noose around your neck

And I'll find strength in pain
And I will change my ways
I'll know my name as it's called again

Cause I have other things to fill my time
You take what is yours and I'll take mine
Now let me at the truth
Which will refresh my broken mind

So tie me to a post and block my ears
I can see widows and orphans through my tears
I know my call despite my faults
And despite my growing fears

But I will hold on hope
And I won't let you choke
On the noose around your neck

And I'll find strength in pain
And I will change my ways
I'll know my name as it's called again

So come out of your cave walking on your hands
And see the world hanging upside down
You can understand dependence
When you know the maker's land

So make your siren's call
And sing all you want
I will not hear what you have to say

Cause I need freedom now
And I need to know how
To live my life as it's meant to be

And I will hold on hope
And I won't let you choke
On the noose around your neck

And I'll find strength in pain
And I will change my ways
I'll know my name as it's called again

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Fiber Is the New Sexy

What could be more sexy than a beautiful gut? All glistening and shiny, doing it's job just right, not inflamed, not allergic, just all happy? Fiber takes you there: removes toxins, keeps things moving, gives you a sense of satiety. Most important? Fiber protects your gut from injury and disease. Let's get some.

My Fave Fiber-Rich Foods

Bran, Baby. Bran, or at least raw bran from corn, rice and wheat, counters constipation because it is rich in insoluble fiber. Oat bran, lowers bad cholesterol (LDL). Bran can be sprinkled into your favorite foods—from hot cereal (I favor oat groats, quinoa flakes) to yogurt. And for those of you still eating cereal and bars (you mean I haven't convinced you not to?!), I've included some of the popular high-fiber choices.
    Food  |  Portion  |  Amount of Fiber
    Oat bran, raw - 1 ounce - 12 g
    Corn bran, raw - 1 ounce - 22 g
    Fiber One Bran Cereal - 1/2 cup - 14 g
    All-Bran Cereal - 1/2 cup - 10 g

    Beantown. Beans are some of the most naturally-rich sources of fiber. Many indigenous diets include a bean or two in the mix. Some folks experience gas as they amp up bean intake, so they may be better off slowly working beans into their diet. I cook mine in the slow cooker, after an overnight soak, and have zero problems with gas. Try a variety of beans as a replacement for animal protein in soups, salads, and dips.

    Adzuki beans, cooked - 1 cup - 17 g    
    Fava beans, cooked - 1 cup -  9 g
    Black beans, cooked  - 1 cup - 15 g
    Garbanzo beans, cooked - 1 cup - 12 g
    Lentils, cooked  - 1 cup - 16 g

    Berrylicious. We love berries for their superfood antioxidant status, but let's keep their fiber in mind. I eat berries every morning on my oat groats. I buy mine frozen and organic from the local store during the winter.

    Raspberries, raw - 1 cup - 8 g
    Blueberries, raw - 1 cup -  4 g
    Strawberries, raw  - 1 cup  - 3 g
    Boysenberries, frozen - 1 cup  - 7 g
    Blackberries, raw - 1 cup - 8 g

    Put Your Hands in the Air for Whole Grains. Not my first choice, but whole grains get you dense nutrients the less process they are. But aim for smaller quantities, particularly at lunch and dinner if you're trying to lose weight. Think of it more as a condiment.

    Barley, pearled, cooked - 1 cup - 6 g
    Oats (old fashioned), dry - 1/2 cup -  4 g
    Quinoa, cooked - 1 cup  -  5 g
    Wheat berries, dry  - 1/4 cup -  5 g
    Brown rice, cooked  - 1 cup  -  4 g
    Spaghetti (whole wheat), cooked - 1 cup -  6 g

    Crazy Sexy Peas. Peas are crazy full of fiber. Not just for New Years Day! I love BEPs in more ways than you know!

    Blackeyed peas, cooked - 1 cup - 11 g
    Peas, split, cooked - 1 cup  - 16 g
    Peas, green, frozen - 1 cup - 14 g

    Imma be the Queen of Greens. There are 1000+ plant species with edible leaves, so you can truly go wild in this category. I toss many of them chopped in a salad, or saute them in coconut oil with Meyer lemon and shallots. Delish.

    Beet greens, cooked - 1 cup - 4 g
    Mustard greens, cooked - 1 cup  - 5 g
    Collard greens, cooked - 1 cup -  5 g
    Spinach, cooked  - 1 cup  -  4 g
    Swiss chard, cooked -  1 cup -  4 g

    Wednesday, April 13, 2011

    Take On Your Weight Issues with Mystic Marianne Williamson

    When cleansing, I love to dive deep into mystical teachings along with the physical improvements in what I eat. Usually it's Ayurveda or Geneen Roth. This Cleanse, it's Marianne Williamson's A Course in Weight Loss.

    Marianne, my soul sister, has taken the Course in Miracles and translated them into 21 spiritual lessons for surrendering your struggle with weight.

    Imagine: a life where "lose weight" is not on your to-do list. You feel peace and serenity around your every food choice. You slip on your skinny jeans and they feel just right. Your weight stays within 2-3 pounds, for years and years. How good does that feel? Want some of that?!

    Her intro is fab. As is Chapter 2: Thin You, Meet Not-Thin You. I particularly liked this wisdom.
    You're you, whether you're eating wisely or eating excessively. But when you're eating wisely, you're expressing love for yourself. When you're eating excessively, you're expressing fear. 

    And this.
    The purpose of this lesson is to support you in reconciling your relationship with Not-Thin You. She is not your enemy; she is an unintegrated part of yourself. She is an aspect of you that is demanding to be seen and heard. It is only in learning to love her that you'll gain the power to calm her down. And you have to admit, she has gotten your attention.

    Um, that sounds like perimenopause - when all the disowned selves come home to roost, to be integrated or else!

    Here's a clip.

    Didn't get much out of Chapter 1. The brick wall didn't speak to me, but I could be missing something.

    Tell me what you think in the Comments section. And put "lose weight" on your stop-doing list. xoxox

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    About Me

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    I'm an organic gynecologist, yoga teacher + writer. I earn a living partnering with women to get them vital and self-realized again. We're born that way, but often fall off the path. Let's take your lousy mood and fatigue, and transform it into something sacred and useful.