Friday, April 21, 2017

Fundamentals: Sometimes we just plain forget the Simple Solutions!


Optimal Health is not complicated. Maximize, Minimize and Prioritize. Do these three things consistently and your body can naturally heal and repair from even the scariest diagnoses.


I've put in over 10,000 hours of study in applied functional medicine and functional diagnostic nutrition. I've coached hundreds healing from everything from infertility to autoimmune disease and cancers. I'm fascinated by complex health histories and marvel at the bodies natural ability to heal, once we've uncovered hidden stressors and get to the root cause of of the dis-ease.

I say this not to brag (although client testimonials are what keep me going). I say this because sometimes it's so easy to get caught up in all the data and to forget the fundamentals. To forget the simple solutions.

Let me give you an example. I've seen multiple clients with intense anxiety and autoimmune disease (where the body is literally attacking your own tissue), heal both (symptoms in remission), by eliminating gluten and other food sensitivities. I am not talking about celiac. Many will test negative on IgE test but that does not mean that they can tolerate gluten.  In fact, if you have a cancer or an autoimmune disease then the first thing you have to do is remove inflammatory foods, and heal the gastrointestinal tract. It is intestinal permeability (leaky gut) that has allowed large protein molecules to enter the gut associated lymphatic tissue (GALT) to create the antibodies that attack the tissue.  If you cannot remove the inflammatory foods, then you cannot heal the gut.

This is fundamental to functional medicine. Unfortunately, this is still not common knowledge in conventional medicine. Once you have one autoimmune disease you are prone to others. The only way to reverse the flood of antibodies attacking the body, is to turn off the spigot.

I've asked myself, why do we suddenly have this epidemic and increasing numbers of autoimmune disease? When I graduated from nursing school in 1981 there were a handful, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, MS, Crohn's. Now there are over a hundred! We didn't know then that epilepsy, macular degeneration, and type 1 diabetes (called juvenile diabetes way back then) are also autoimmune. I didn't know this as a nurse. Most of your doctors don't know this. I didn't know this until I studied functional medicine. Years ago, I was diagnosed with my first autoimmune disease, vitiligo. I was told there was nothing I could do about it. I was told to just wear sunscreen over my unsightly hands, elbows, knees and spots on my mouth and eyelids. I also wore a lot of makeup back then.

How has this happened in my lifetime? First, we are bombarded with chemicals and toxins in our food, water, personal care, cleaning products and lawn service products. Second, our wheat used to be 4% gluten. Today it has been hybridized so that it is ~50% gluten which makes for wonderful gummy, gooey breads. Good for the tastebuds, not so good for your gut.

Unfortunately, both of these factors play havoc on the gut. Chemicals, toxins, OTC drugs and gluten cause inflammation and wear and tear on the thin lining between the gastrointestinal tract and the immune system. The immune system is your friendly police force designed to protect you. When there are foreign invaders like undigested food, the police start firing and your body feels the collateral damage.

Gluten also causes the excretion of zonulin which actually opens up the tight junctures in the gut allowing undigested protein to enter the gut associated lymphatic tissue (GALT).  These tight junctures are designed to only allow macronutrients like amino acids to pass thru the gut and send bigger molecules downstream for further breakdown and digestion.


If your your defense system has to spend all of its resources fighting undigested food particles, what is left over to fight viruses, toxins, chemicals and pesticides (which also pass through)?



Today, a colleague just posted another new study from the NY Times that dormant viruses can cause multiple diseases . A second colleague posted a story in the Atlantic how autoimmune disease is the root cause of psychiatric disorders in young children. These are treated with heavy duty pharmaceutical interventions which can be life-saving. What is missing from these stories are the fundamentals. Well meaning providers and newscasters are not educated on the fundamentals. Review the first slide to see the effects on the brain, the adrenals and systemic inflammation.

So what do we do to prevent, and heal and repair our out-of-control autoimmunity? We enlist the 5 R's of functional medicine. Simple Solutions that are the fundamental foundation to health:
  1. REMOVE the inflammatory foods, 
  2. REPLETE nutritional insufficiencies, (whole foods/micronutrient testing)
  3. REPAIR the gut lining with supplemental herbal solutions, aloe vera, bone broth soup
  4. RE-INOCULATE the gut, 
  5. REST and digest (or mate and ovulate if that is your goal) and alleviate external and internal hidden stressors. 
This is why food is the foundation. Stress reduction, addressing toxicity, and a healthy gut are essential fundamentals to health.

The truth is this. I don't care how many supplements and/or medications you are taking. If you cannot sleep, and you are still eating food that is inflammatory, then you are resigned to a lifetime of drugs to alleviate symptoms.  Good for big pharma and the processed food industry, not good for you!

If you want to heal, then commit to simple, small incremental changes over a minimum of 3-6 month period. Otherwise you will continue to waste money on other therapies. You cannot ignore simple solutions, and the fundamentals. Not if you want to heal from within.

This is where a health coach with applied functional medicine and functional diagnostic nutrition training becomes an invaluable member of the healthcare team. Health coaching and nutrition can uncover key missing pieces to your unique puzzle.

Let me know if you are ready to remove the physical blocks and uncover hidden stressors that are keeping you from obtaining optimal health. I have left the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders and am now opening up my practice to taking on a few more committed clients. I welcome the opportunity to be a witness to your optimal health. Please schedule a short discovery call with me to see if we are a good fit for each other.

Carpe Diem,

Lisa

About Lisa Jackson, RN, CHC, RYT-500, FDN
Lisa is an author, inspirational speaker and a coach with a mission to inspire others to feel and look their best at any age.

She is the former Executive Director of the Integrative Wellness Program for the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.

Lisa's book, Savvy Secrets: Eat, Think and Thrive outlines her seven-step process towards optimal health that is fun and transformational.

Lisa is part of the New Self Health Movement and the Wellness Inspired Network. When she is not coaching, speaking or writing, you can find her practicing yoga and joyfully sharing Carpe Diem Dance.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Good Friday Musings

I had a blogpost all ready to go out today but decided to sit down and write this one instead. I woke up at 5:30am with my mind spinning with anxiety over my to do list. It seems like my passion and my ambition far exceeds what I can accomplish in a day. This is anxiety provoking.

It's a holiday weekend, instead of letting my thoughts control me, I'm reminded that it is time to relax and celebrate. I get to wake up with my grandson today and spoil him for the entire weekend, this is worth celebrating! Babies and children are a reminder of what is really important in life. Children are a reminder of the benefits of play.

I also get to finish my vegetable garden. Like every spring, my garden consists of whatever plants are at MOMs organic market when I happen to be there shopping.

I love playing in the soil. Just like in the kitchen, I am a slob. A classic pig pen. I can't help but drag in dirt on my feet, hands and clothes as I run back and forth for the things I've forgotten from the garage, through the kitchen, to the backyard garden.  But it is so fun to walk outside a month or two later and have swiss chard, kale, collards, cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, tomatoes, onions and fresh herbs to pick and roast or throw in a blender. I spent less than $100 and it will feed my family all summer long. I feel so proud and abundant every time I run out with my scissors to partake of more.

Gardens (and babies) are an expression of the abundance and promise of rebirth and renewal given to us by God, the Universe, Mother Earth.

This garden helps me feel grounded. It connects me to the earth and the wonder and miracle of life. It's perfectly imperfect. I don't have any training in gardening, I'm so haphazard in my approach. it's really a friggin miracle that anything grows at all!

MOMs (Moms Organic Market where I shop), was out of organic topsoil, so instead of waiting, I just tilled up the old soil and threw on top very ripe compost from this month's juicing, eggshells and coffee grounds, mixed with some leaves, and called that my new topsoil. (Yes, I'm still learning to cultivate patience.) I do try and rotate plants because I've found if I plant my tomatoes in the same place every year, they yield less tomatoes. This is because the plant is taking what it needs from the soil and without crop rotation (or composting) we aren't adding essential nutrients back in. This is how big agriculture is creating nutrient insufficiencies in the SAD, (standard American diet). What I do know for sure, is that our soil needs diversity as does our human body.

This week symbolizes rebirth and renewal. So needed, after a dreary, long, cold winter. I'm taking time to notice the beauty around me this Spring.

My oldest daughter is grieving the loss of her husband. She is now spending time with my son and his girlfriend in California, of which I am so grateful. For some, the holidays are the hardest, they can highlight the unfelt joy in a grieving heart.

Dana is traveling and spending time exploring the question, "How do we heal a broken heart?" "How as a Survivor, do we overcome fear and anxiety?"

We cultivate love and faith. Love is the antithesis of fear. Faith is the tool, the bridge that allows us to surrender to the process. Family can be vital for both.

Just as plants and animals hibernate through the winter; grieving is also a necessary process. Allowing ourselves time to acknowledge, feel, and express the heartache, gives this energy the opportunity to dissipate. Emotions are energy in motion. We can either stuff them down (causing dis-ease), or like the powerful tool of meditation, acknowledge the thoughts and then let them go.

Deep sleep and hibernation are also essential in order to heal and repair. We need sleep that to break down old tissue so that the body can regenerate new tissue. Cancer cells are cells, due to DNA damage have lost this ability to die called apoptosis. Death and renewal are a part of life. We actually get a new body every 7 years, as cells die off and new ones are born. How we nourish our bodies today, determines the health of our new cells tommorow. You live into your future self.

When we nourish our soil (and soul), with essential nutrients and loving thoughts and actions, we flourish.  Compassion and self love are essential tools to feeling grounded. Family rituals give us a sense of community and caring through difficult times. Three times a day we can practice a ritual of nourishing ourselves (or abusing ourselves) Our body will give us guidance, if we choose to listen.

Faith is an essential ingredient missing from many lives today. I didn't have a strong religious upbringing, however planting a garden is an exercise in faith. Planting a seed and giving it time to incubate, establishing a daily ritual of food and water, will yield a garden that far surpasses expectations.

How will you cultivate self love and compassion this Spring? How will you nourish yourself?  Email me today for my favorite Easter recipes that have become part of my new family ritual, as well as my Kick-Start to Wellness Program. This is not about dieting or deprivation. This is about bringing in healthier, self loving choices.

If you are ready for your own renewal, please kick-start me into offering this online program by signing up to join me HERE.  Carpe Diem.

Happy Holiday and Spring Break,

Lisa

About Lisa Jackson, RN, CHC, RYT-500, FDN
Lisa is an author, inspirational speaker and a coach with a mission to inspire others to feel and look their best at any age.

She is the former Executive Director of the Integrative Wellness Program for the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.

Lisa's book, Savvy Secrets: Eat, Think and Thrive outlines her seven-step process towards optimal health that is fun and transformational.

Lisa is part of the New Self Health Movement and the Wellness Inspired Network. When she is not coaching, speaking or writing, you can find her practicing yoga and joyfully sharing Carpe Diem Dance.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Magical Moments

Monday morning I received a text "Please call me." then another,  "It's important to me please, it was about yoga."


What was so urgent? She wanted me to explain why she felt sooooo good after coming to my class on Sunday. What did I do that made her feel like she was floating and then sleep so well Sunday night! She said it was magical. What was the spell?

For starters I had to tell her what she did, not me. She gave herself this gift of 90 minutes to get out of her head and into her body. We started by relaxing on her mat and just feeling and noticing the body, then the mental mind, then the breath.

We practiced first breathwork to stimulate the parasympathetic (rest and repair) nervous system, then we did some energizing breaths to prepare for the practice.

We did simple movements to music in order to open up stuck energy systems in the body. We opened up the spine in all directions. We played. We smiled. We laughed. We danced and we even sang without fear of feeling judged. We didn't worry about how we looked, we concentrated on how we wanted to feel. Some of the songs were aerobic, some worked on developing balance and concentration, some were meditative, some touched our hearts.

We finished our practice in savasana, lying on our mats for a guided meditation so we could really assimilate all of the good work and energy we gave ourselves. We had one final breath exercise and then shared some healthy juice. We wove in some positive psychology with ancient yogic wisdom.

Yoga is a philosophy and a framework for optimal health.  Music touches part of the brain, the soul and our emotions. Coming together in a community is also comforting and healing.

I'm so grateful for the opportunity to share my practice with you! Next class will be Sunday April 9th @ 4pm  Please RSVP HERE

With Love & Gratitude,

Lisa

About Lisa Jackson, RN, CHC, RYT-500, FDN

Lisa is an author, inspirational speaker and a coach with a mission to inspire others to feel and look their best at any age.

She is the former Executive Director of the Integrative Wellness Program for the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.

Lisa's book, Savvy Secrets: Eat, Think and Thrive outlines her seven-step process towards optimal health that is fun and transformational.

Lisa is part of the New Self Health Movement and the Wellness Inspired Network. When she is not coaching, speaking or writing, you can find her practicing yoga and joyfully sharing Carpe Diem Dance.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Join me Sunday and The Happy Secret to Better Work

Want to know one of my favorite Savvy Secrets? Join me this weekend to experience Carpe Diem Dance in my new home studio  Here's why you should give it a try.



My daughter Stephanie recently sent me a Ted Talk by Harvard trained psychologist Shawn Achor. This little video explains how finding something you love to do, that is fun and joyful, allows you to meet your goals and stick with it. In a nutshell, he explains the benefits of Carpe Diem Dance.

I combine my yoga training with movement to music and breathwork. I also love to weave yoga philosophy, health coaching, and positive psychology into my classes.

Here are a few pearls gleaned from Shawn's talk:

  1. Change your lens, to change your reality, to change your outcome.
  2. 75% of success in business is not determined by your IQ but rather by your optimism, social support, and ability to see stress as a challenge. 
  3. Focusing on labels and "what's wrong" is not wellness; it's sick care. 
  4. The absence of disease is not health. (Just like focusing on the average in blood tests, when the average American has one or more chronic diseases, is not health.)
  5. Our culture has hard-wired us to think, "Work hard, make your goals, and then you will be happy." Then there is a new quota or a new goal and the brain is stressed. We never get to celebrate or basque in our success. We've made happiness an unattainable future event; rather than learning how to be happy now and enjoy the journey.
In other words, we have it backwards!

A happy brain is a relaxed brain which is more efficient, more optimistic and more effective.

Not only does happiness increase your intelligence but it increases your ability to heal from within!

Reverse the formula. Being happy generates more sales and improves every aspect of business, including less employee turnover. 

Be happy, and then you will be successful in whatever it is you wish to achieve.
"Raise positivity in the present to have a competitive advantage."                                                                                   -Shawn Achor 

Would you like more joy, peace and energy? Come sample a fun, joyful class that is good for the heart, the brain and the entire body.  This is a fun, experiential exercise that anyone can do that will be both relaxing and rejuvenation.

Class size is limited. Please sign up online and no perfume please.



Click HERE to See Shawn Achor's Ted Talk


Carpe Diem Wellness
Your secret weapon for wellness!

Lisa

About Lisa Jackson, RN, CHC, RYT-500, FDN

Lisa is an author, inspirational speaker and a coach with a mission to inspire others to feel and look their best at any age.

She is the former Executive Director of the Integrative Wellness Program for the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.

Lisa's book, Savvy Secrets: Eat, Think and Thrive outlines her seven-step process towards optimal health that is fun and transformational.

Lisa is part of the New Self Health Movement and the Wellness Inspired Network. When she is not coaching, speaking or writing, you can find her practicing yoga and joyfully sharing Carpe Diem Dance.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Moving from Tragedy to Transformation

One characteristic I've noticed about "Thrivers" (those that thrive rather than just survive), is how they view tragedy. I've heard many cancer thrivers say that "cancer is the best thing that ever happened to me." Don't get me wrong. This doesn't ignore or belittle how it feels in the process.

I've often said that the worst things in my life have turned into the best lessons and opportunity for growth and transformation. Nature reinforces this concept.
A diamond is formed from a lump of coal under extreme pressure. (What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger)
A caterpillar literally burns itself up to become a butterfly.
The discomfort of labor brings forth an amazing joyful miracle.
Feeling lost, deep depression, or the pain of illness, are all catalysts for change.

Periods of extreme stress and transition are also opportunities for extreme growth.

This past weekend I had the luxury of spending the weekend in New Orleans and it reminded me of several years ago when I was struggling with a failing business, searching for deeper meaning, and wondering "What do I want want to be when I grow up".

I was the CEO and spokesperson for Innovative Green Solutions and I told a fellow partner that I wanted to become a top spokesperson for wellness. I was sick and tired of seeing so many colleagues work their entire lives only to fight chronic illness at the time when they should be enjoying the fruits of their labor.

Not long after, I stumbled onto an advertisement for the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and decided to sign up. It opened my eyes to possibilities I couldn't imagine. It gave me a framework and a safe supportive platform to begin to dream. Not that this program answered all of my problems. What it did do was ask a lot of questions. It forced me to dig deep and to walk the walk, before I could talk the talk. It opened my eyes to my love of learning, led me to further studies and introduced me to amazing men and women. What I love about the IIN community is that there is such a diversity in backgrounds, work experience of men and women of all ages. It's a community that helps you find your passion, gives you tools to be creative, and the confidence to manifest your dreams.

This weekend in New York City is their annual conference of which I am sorry to  have to miss. If you are going, or are near to New York City, be sure to attend the New Self Health Movement Book signing event on Saturday night.
My friends and colleagues will be offering their books (and one of mine) for sale and proceeds go toward charitable donations. Email me if you want more information.

Transitions can feel like a crisis. It provides an opportunity to either beat ourselves up and say, "What the hell is wrong with me?" or to choose to go with the flow. For those of us who are action oriented, "Doers" with an overfunctioning sense of responsibility, it can be really hard to let go.  In Yoga we call this a rajasic state.

Conversely, there is a tamasic state. When we find it impossible to take any action. We feel paralyzed. Like deer facing headlights of an approaching car. Times when you are too scared to do anything. I've been here too. So overwhelmed and paralyzed that I've had to just stop and let go. Stop the struggle. Give myself time to rest until I can get energy back to take action. Sometimes we just need that rest to find clarity. In this world where we measure ourselves on what we do....just "being" can be super challenging.

So how does a caterpillar not panic when it's burning up in the cocoon? Perhaps, because it does not have free will, it doesn't struggle with it's own innate intelligence. It does not question the ability to heal from within. It does not question its own transformation, innately, brilliantly created for its survival and magnificent expression.  It doesn't fight the process.

What brilliant transformation have you been fighting? Could this be a root cause of discomfort?

This is where faith, trust in a power that we cannot see and a spiritual connection comes to our rescue. Trust in a power greater than ourselves, or merely just trust in the process. Trust in the ability to heal from within. Know that if you cut your finger, it will heal all by itself. Know that no matter what happens, the sun will shine again.

We've been brainwashed to believe that we need all of this external stuff in our lives. Man-made medications or synthetic supplements, a pill for every ill and human condition. We are brainwashed to believe we will get solace from a candy bar, chips, or a bottle, instead of exploring our own beautiful, innate wisdom inside ourselves.

Instead, take a break to stop to listen to what our body really needs. Drink a glass of pure clean water. Breathe deeply.  Close your eyes for five minutes and listen to the internal wisdom that is available to you all the time. You do have a choice on how you feel and react to each moment and each situation.


A mother that has practiced breathwork can go through labor without medication. Yes ladies, it was done for centuries, quite naturally too! With the miracle of birth comes amnesia of the pain and struggle. Above all, the birth of my children brought an indescribable joy, I had not known or thought was possible.

Know and believe that when you practice these wise ageless tools of yoga that what at first seemed impossible becomes, "I'm Possible".

Join me next Sunday, April 2nd @ 4pm to practice finding this balance with my Carpe Diem Dance, movement to music class to practice these principles.

With Love & Gratitude,

Lisa

ABOUT LISA JACKSON, RN, CHC, RYT-500, FDN

Lisa is an author, inspirational speaker and a coach with a mission to inspire others to feel and look their best at any age.

She is the former Executive Director of the Integrative Wellness Program for the Center for Cancer
and Blood Disorders.

Lisa's book, Savvy Secrets: Eat, Think and Thrive outlines her seven-step process towards optimal health that is fun and transformational.

Lisa is part of the New Self Health Movement and the Wellness Inspired Network. When she is not coaching, speaking or writing, you can find her practicing yoga and joyfully sharing Carpe Diem Dance.



Saturday, March 18, 2017

Feeling a little GREEN today?

Feeling a little GREEN today? Did you have too much green beer to celebrate St. Patricks Day last night? Or did you have food that doesn't feel good to you causing gas, burping or worse?

Did you find yourself waking up today with a headache? Leg cramps, dehydrated or ravishingly hungry for sugar and empty carbs? Do you need a strong dose of coffee to get you going ? Do you have afternoon fatigue that begs for another dose of strong coffee and sugar?

If so, how do you get off of this roller coaster? 

Here's a few simple solutions:

  1. Take an honest personal assessment. Do you find yourself feeling under pressure to drink even when you don't really feel like it? Or do you find it socially unacceptable to say no to food that doesn't serve you well? Think about what might be at the root of this. Could you possible go out and drink soda water and lime instead and still have fun and be sociable? 
  2. Drink plenty of water and eat a meal with plenty of healthy fat, protein and vegetables before going out. 
  3. Think HALT. Don't allow yourself to get too HUNGRY, ANGRY, LONELY or TIRED. Otherwise the bad gut microbes inside of you will overcome any semblance of willpower. Believe me, yes this is so true! You will reach for that bag of chips, chocolate or favorite vice with a "What the Hell" attitude.
What to do about that incredible headache or the leg cramps? The most common missing mineral in the standard American diet (SAD) is magnesium.  Magnesium Threonate is the only form that will cross the blood brain barrier and is so helpful for headaches and migraines.  

Totally dehydrated and need some electrolytes and d-ribose (that sugar that your cells need for energy that will not negatively affect your blood sugar)?  My favorite energy and sports drink is what many professional athletes get from their nutritionists.  It's called Catalyte by Thorne Research. I also recommended this frequently to patients undergoing chemotherapy or for post surgery nausea or if you've had the flu.  It is indeed a lifesaver! Contact me if you'd like to know how to order it.

Last but not least, consider joining me in a Spring Kick-Start to Wellness program so that you can be surrounded by a supportive group to springboard. yourself to a healthier happier you.

Have a great weekend and may we all be as healthy and happy as my beautiful grandson! 

Miles 14 months old


Events:

$5 FOOD DEMONSTRATION
“The Power of the Brew”
Fermented Vegetables are great sources of the bacteria we need for good gut health, (and a healthy gut will lead to a leaner body). Come learn how to make kimchi with Yonina

When:       Tuesday, March 21,  2017 at 6 pm
                                    Or
                  Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 10 am
Where: Comprehensive Primary Care, 15825 Shady Grove Road, Suite 140, Rockville, MD 20850
Cost: $5 per attendee. Open to all.

Please RSVP to yoninabh@hotmail.com


Carpe Diem!

Lisa

About Lisa Jackson, RN, CHC, RYT-500, FDN


Lisa is an author, inspirational speaker and coach with a mission to inspire others to feel and look their best at any age. 

She is the former Executive Director of the Integrative Wellness Program for the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. Lisa's book, Savvy Secrets: Eat, Think and Thrive outlines her seven step process towards optimal health that is fun and transformational. 

Lisa is part of the New Self Health Movement and the Wellness Inspired Network. When she is not coaching, speaking or writing, you can find her practicing yoga and joyfully sharing Carpe Diem Dance.