Has your immune system been high-jacked by an autoimmune disease such as Multiple Sclerosis, Hashimoto’s, Celiac disease, or Ulcerative Colitis?
Autoimmune diseases are chronic inflammatory diseases which can be both managed and improved through the use of naturopathic medicine. Here are just a few examples of how Be Well Natural Medicine can help you heal your body:
>>> Food intolerance testing and nutritional therapy: Food sensitivities can often be aggravating to inflammatory diseases and Be Well Natural Medicine offers a test which gauges sensitivity to 95 different foods. When the body is reacting negatively to certain foods, it can cause a cascade of adverse reactions, kind of like putting the wrong type of gas in your car. Food intolerance testing is an easy way to see what foods work for your body, and which ones just don’t.
>>> Herbal medicine: Herbal medicines are potent healers and when used correctly can calm the inflammatory storm of an autoimmune disease. For example, turmeric is one of many powerful anti-inflammatory herbs which can be simply added to food as a spice. Not only has it been shown in studies to reduce inflammation, but it is also beneficial for neurologic, metabolic, liver, pulmonary, and cardiovascular diseases—just to name a few. A naturopathic doctor can help you identify which herbal medicines will be the most potent healers for your body.
A great benefit to these and other natural therapies is that they have little to no side effects in contrast to pharmaceuticals. You truly CAN heal your body naturally! With the right guidance, you will discover that your body is capable of amazing things.
“Your body is capable of amazing things. If you nourish your body, it will thank you generously in the form of vitality, strength, and a deeply rooted sense of connection and peace. It is your beautiful home.” - Dr. Liz OrchardRead More
“Under Our Skin” is a riveting documentary film about the controversy surrounding Lyme Disease. This documentary was a finalist for the Audience Award at Tribeca Film Festival and and has won five Best Documentary awards. It is now viewable for free from various documentary sites online, so we are sharing it here.
If you or a loved one have struggled with chronic fatigue, MS, fibromyalgia, migratory joint pain, strange neurological symptoms, this film may resonate.
If you don’t have time to watch the film, but are wondering what the controversy is all about, Dr. Oz does a great job of briefly explaining the situation here in the December 2009 issue of The Oprah Magazine.
Dr. Leslie Vilensky, one of the naturopathic doctor’s at Be Well Natural Medicine, specializes in holistic medicine for people affected by Lyme Disease and similar issues. She is an amazing natural medicine resource for these patients. More info about her services is available here on our website.Read More
It’s time to welcome in the New Year with freshly renewed purpose and alignment with our heart’s desires. I’ve been prepping for the New Year like a mad woman:
- Setting goals with soul using Danielle LaPorte’s guide “The Desire Map”
- Prepping for the launch of our St. Paul Desire Map Book Club, which launches globally on January 7th, 2014
- Getting ready to welcome our newest “Doctor Who Listens”, Leslie Vilensky, ND (she’s amazing)
- Fine-tuning and prioritizing projects, course offerings, retreats, and more
- Dreaming BIG (think annual business trips to warm tropical destinations)
- Keeping up with the usual daily to-do list that comes with being a doctor, mom, partner, friend, mentor, woman.
All of the beautiful visions dancing in my head gave me a sense of fullness, pride, joy, and passion. But after a few days of being up to my ears in them, I realized my goals were actually starting to give me a tension headache and insomnia.
I was clinging. After all, I had worked so hard to create such lovely goals, now I wanted them with urgency. The mental and physical tension created by my attachment was beginning to suck all my time and energy, leaving no room for, well, LIFE to happen.
So, instead of continuing to cling to my goals and desires (I was squeezing the life out of them), I loosened my grip and released them (see my list below for ways to release), which allowed me the energy and flexibility to let life happen again. I could breathe deeply, sleep soundly, remember to eat healthy balanced meals, drink plenty of water, dance, and enjoy myself more. The way to supercharge my goals and desires was to nourish myself in the present moment. Thus I learned that the ”release phase” is just as important as the “planning phase”.
WAYS TO RELEASE AND SUPERCHARGE YOUR DESIRES
- Dance, yoga, run – whatever it takes to build enough heat in your body that you literally sweat. Use that energy and heat to release your desires and create room for the New Year and all it has in store for you. Check out my New Year’s Playlist on Facebook, created to inspire you to move and release.
- Write your desires/dreams on tiny pieces of paper and burn them (safely, please). Whether it’s a raging bonfire with a group of friends or cozying up to your fireplace with a furry-friend is entirely up to you.
- Create a “quiet” space for transformation to take place – this doesn’t mean sit somewhere quiet and then think incessantly, it means quiet your mind. Meditation, getting a massage or acupuncture, and spending time in nature are my favorite ways to do this.
- Practice gratitude. Give yourself permission to enjoy what you have in THIS MOMENT. Regarding the future, sometimes what we receive is far better than what we could have ever imagined for ourselves.
For more encouragement, support, and guidance as you begin your personal transformation this New Year – would you like to lose weight, eat healthier, reduce stress – whatever your goal, I invite you to work with me as your naturopathic doctor and guide. I can help you transform your BODY, MIND, & SPIRIT using naturopathic medicine, the power of truly listening, and the gift of being present.
With peace and joy ~
Dr. Liz Orchard
That’s why we are starting a group focused on coming together in communion and conversation to dig a little deeper and get clear about how we want to feel in the New Year and beyond.
Here’s the scoop:
Dr. Liz Orchard, ND (founder of Be Well Natural Medicine, that’s me) and Michelle McGlade, LAc (owner of Bellacu) are co-hosting The Desire Map Book Club of St. Paul, launching on January 7, 2014 at 7pm as part of Danielle LaPorte’s World’s Biggest Book Club. We’ll be focusing on Danielle’s book, The Desire Map (if you’re not familiar with Danielle’s book or her inspirational website, check her out HERE through my affiliate link).
Using The Desire Map as a jumping off point, we are going to delve into soulful conversation and community – 2 of our favorite things. So, bring your list of desires, goals, gratitudes, and intentions for the New Year.
If you are interested in joining our group online or in person, please join our private Facebook group HERE. If you can’t make it for the launch in January, our Facebook community is a great way to connect and future monthly meetings will be announced there as well.
With life-affirming light,
Dr. Liz OrchardRead More
When I’m feeling a little down about the cold weather in Minnesota, I fire up the oven and start baking. The star of my baking recipes this month is PUMPKIN for obvious seasonal reasons and because it’s loaded with nutrients. It is a vegetable after all, so if I can turn vegetables into sweet treats that even the pickiest of eaters can enjoy, I feel pretty awesome about my chances of someday becoming a competitor on my imagined future favorite TV show featuring Gordon Ramsey (of Master Chef) getting as intense about nutrition as he is about all other culinary matters. The cooking challenge he’d present would be “Create a healthy gluten free vegan dessert in under 30 minutes!” and I’d whip up a batch of these Gluten Free Vegan Pumpkin Muffins – WIN!
Even without the imagined win, these muffins are a real treat. Why vegan? The 3 most common food allergies are dairy, egg, and gluten, so by avoiding all 3, it is my hope that most people can enjoy these scrumptious muffins. If you are not sure whether or not you have a food intolerance, I’d recommend asking your Naturopathic Doctor about getting tested. Identifying and removing a food intolerance can not only help your digestion, but also improve energy, mood, weight, and eliminate various health issues such as headaches, joint pain, acne, and more.
Gluten Free Vegan Pumpkin Muffin Recipe
1 cup pumpkin puree (canned, BPA-free lining)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
3/4 cups organic unrefined sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup oil (I used a combo of grapeseed oil and coconut oil)
1/3 cup water
1 very ripe banana mashed well
Optional add-ins that make the recipe even more nutritious: 1 Tbs flaxmeal, 1/2 cup raisins, 1/2 cup grated carrot
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.
- In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together 1 cup pumpkin puree, vegetable oil, mashed banana and water. Stir pumpkin mixture into flour mixture until smooth. Mix in optional add-ins. Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
I will post a photo next time I bake them, but wanted to get this recipe out to the masses before Thanksgiving draws nearer.
And a few more sweet pumpkin recipes from other healthy foodies:
Dr. LizRead More
It turns out our moms were right! Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day.
Choosing to eat a balanced, healthy and filling breakfast will help you begin your day full of energy to take on whatever may be ahead. The key to a balanced breakfast is to make sure you have sufficient amounts of protein and healthy fat.
Eating a balanced breakfast not only sets you up for a day full of energy, but it also kick starts your metabolism for the day. Stumped on what to make? Here are some healthy breakfast ideas that are fast, easy, and most definitely delicious.
Eggs and Veg:
Chop up a variety of your favorite veggies and sauté. Scramble 2 eggs into the veggies or serve them over easy on top of the veggies. Add some avocado slices for a boost of healthy fat, protein and fiber.
Pancakes are the ultimate breakfast comfort food. Typically they would be off the healthy living menu. But these pancakes are perfectly balanced and will keep you energized all morning.
- ¼ to 1/3 cup gluten free oats, brown rice flour, almond flour, or your favorite flour
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp ground flax
- ¼ cup unsweetened pumpkin
- ½ cup greek yogurt (optional)
- 1 egg (add 2 eggs if omitting yogurt)
- Stevia to taste
Blend all ingredients together. Let sit 5 minutes so batter can thicken. Cook as you would regular pancakes. Top with butter, almond butter, coconut butter or coconut oil.
Tired of eggs or needing to avoid them? Check out some of these eggless ideas:
Green Super Smoothie:
Most of the smoothies available at restaurants and coffee shops are loaded with sugar and are not balanced with protein or healthy fats. They frequently contain too many processed carbohydrates and often minimal amounts of protein. Smoothies made at home are a wonderful way to get a quick balanced breakfast when you are short on time.
Try this recipe to super charge your breakfast and your energy level. It’s important to make substitutions to the recipe according to your tastes. Be creative, have fun and find a recipe that works best for your tastes. Just remember to include protein and healthy fat in each smoothie.
- 1 cup coconut milk or other healthy milk substitute (see this homemade almond milk recipe)
- BIG handful of spinach (I promise you can’t taste it)
- 1 banana (and/or any other fruit you love – be creative – try berries, kiwi, pineapple, mango)
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- ¼ to 1/3 avocado
Blend until smooth and creamy. Optional add-in ideas: Nourish Me Superfood (loaded with protein, healthy fat and probiotics), a scoop of nut butter, or your favorite protein powder to keep you full longer. Other protein options include enjoying a hardboiled egg or chicken sausage on the side (see recipe below).
Can’t find a chicken or turkey sausage you love? Try this homemade recipe.
- 1 ½ pounds ground turkey or chicken
- ½ tsp salt
- ¾ tsp pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp dried parsely (or 3 tbsp fresh)
- 2 tsp dried sage (or 2 tbsp fresh)
- 1 tsp fennel seed, crushed
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Form into patties and cook in large skillet. Delicious with sauteed greens and avocado.
And a few other recipe finds from some fellow healthy food bloggers:
Eggless paleo breakfast ideas from Carrots ‘N Cake
15 Egg-Free Breakfast ideas from Balanced Bites
Make Ahead No-Oatsmeal from The Paleo Mama
*Your turn! What is your favorite healthy, fast and delicious breakfast?Read More
It’s just becoming audible now, but the stirrings are significant.
A grassroots transformation in health is underway. It’s driven, largely, by these stark facts: nearly two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese…tens of millions are afflicted by chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes…and 70% of us report suffering from stress (which itself can lead to such problems as heart disease and depression). At the grassroots, though, 40% of Americans are taking greater control of their health by using holistic medicine. And, a small but growing number are seeking care from the “general practitioners of holistic medicine” known as naturopathic doctors.
This movement is reflected at the national level. On September 10, the US Senate unanimously approved a resolution that establishes October 7-13, 2013 as Naturopathic Medicine Week. Congress thereby recognized the ability of naturopathic doctors to “provide safe, effective, and affordable health care” and urged Americans to learn more about this form of medicine. So, this week is a good time to visit a naturopathic doctor (ND) and size up whether her or his approach is potentially a fit for you.
The building blocks of health include balanced nutrition, sufficient exercise, quality sleep, stress management, proper hydration, breathing patterns, and emotional health. Though these aren’t in themselves revolutionary, the naturopathic approach, which emphasizes the body’s inherent self-healing ability, is a clear change. In an era when prescribing drugs or recommending surgery is a reflex action for many doctors – and patients themselves see drugs or surgery as ‘the’ way to banish symptoms – an approach that highlights the causes of illness and equips people with an understanding of their body as a functional system is, indeed, revolutionary.
Tracy Gaudet, MD, director of patient-centered care at the Veterans Health Administration, characterizes naturopathic medicine as “a huge answer for the country….at a pivotal transformational moment” in health care. Why is that moment now? Well, consider that the US spends far more per capita on health care than any other nation, yet we rank just 37th in life expectancy. Our fast-paced, high stress, “Big Gulp” lifestyle has brought about a plague of chronic illness and an immense focus on sickness management rather than maintenance of wellness. More than 75 percent of health care costs stem from preventable chronic illnesses.
Naturopathic doctors have actually been around for decades; Dr. Gaudet calls us “pioneers… who have been practicing integrative medicine all along.” Today, 4,400 NDs hold a license, having graduated from accredited 4-year naturopathic medical schools. As an ND myself, I’m trained to treat a full range of illnesses – and what I thrive on is working closely with my patients, guiding them toward a restoration of health. NDs in general use a range of non-invasive approaches such as botanical medicine, mind-body medicine, lifestyle counseling, and nutrition counseling. My profession aims to be the kind that Gaudet envisions as the future of medicine – focused on the whole person and empowering him/her to take a more active role in maintaining good health.
The symptoms of chronic illness, and the costs, are spiraling all around us. It’s instructive to realize that disease-causing pathogens are no longer the only or main threat to health. We are: our lifestyles, our love of fast food, caffeine, sugar, fat and, in general, life in the over-stimulated lane. People are discovering, though, that natural medicine is a better way than prescription drugs and surgeries to get on a healthier path.
If you are a patient, Be Well Clinic thanks YOU for choosing us to guide you on your wellness journey. We feel honored and blessed to be a part of your personal health care revolution!Read More
With the fall weather quickly reminding me that I live in Minnesota again, I’m busting out the favorite fall recipes for ya’ll.
My version of Curried Red Lentil Dal with Coconut Basmati Rice is always a big hit. Just writing those words makes my mouth water. My favorite part about it is that the leftovers are even more delicious after the flavors have had time to luxuriate with one another overnight. And the rice…well, it’s magical. Seriously, how does something SO SIMPLE taste SO GOOD?
I’m convinced it’s magic, which everyone could use a little more of in their life
Curried Red Lentil Dal
1.5 cups lentils (rinsed)
4 cups water (or a little less if you want it less soupy)
2 Tbs olive oil
1 onion (diced)
2 sweet potatoes (cubed)
2 red or green peppers (diced)
1-2 Tbs red curry paste (depending on how spicy you like it)
1 tsp cumin
1-2 Tbs grated ginger
3 handfuls of spinach leaves
sea salt to taste
Boil lentils in water until soft, about 15 minutes. In the meantime, heat a heavy stockpot over moderate heat and then add oil to coat the bottom. Cook the onion with a sprinkling of salt, stirring occasionally, until golden. Add sweet potatoes, peppers, and ginger and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Add cumin and curry paste and cook over low heat for 1 minute.
Once lentils are cooked, puree for about 30 seconds in blender or food processor. Then add lentil mixture to stockpot mixture and bring everything to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for about 15-20 minutes until sweet potatoes are soft. Stir in spinach and salt to taste. Laddle over Coconut Basmati Rice (recipe below).
Coconut Basmati Rice
1 cup white rice
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup water
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 cup currants
1/2 tsp turmeric
This is simple: Make rice as usual, but use water and coconut milk to boil the rice (instead of just water) and the above add-ins once the rice is simmering.
Another recipe I find quite magical because of how EASY it is to make is Copy Cat Stew ala Mississippi Market’s very own self-proclaimed “food snob”, Liz McMann. It’s quick and healthy. I substitute almond butter for the peanut butter to make it an anti-inflammatory meal.
So make some magic in your kitchen tonight! You’ll be glad you did.
Dr. LizRead More
It will help keep hormones like estrogen and progesterone balanced and prevent or reduce PMS, breast and cervical cancers, menopausal symptoms, and osteoporosis, to name a few ways that hormone imbalance affects most women’s health.
Many women will ask in disbelief ”How can it be so simple? Just one thing?”
Simply YES. It is so simple that we believe it to be genius. Here it is….
At mealtimes, half of the plate should be covered by VEGETABLES!
Not just any vegetables will do, specially the ones in the Brassica family because of their specific ability to help detoxify and eliminate excess estrogen.
Common examples of Brassica vegetables include:
(NOTE: If you have a thyroid disorder, do NOT eat these veggies RAW…you need to cook them because they could negatively affect thyroid function when consumed raw.)
Now that we’ve shared this bit of nutritional wisdom for women, we’d also like to share our favorite Brussel sprout recipe…an easy side dish even the biggest Brussels sprouts haters will enjoy, via Be Well Philly.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes
Serves four to six as side dish
3 medium to large sweet potatoes, chopped into 1 to 2 inch pieces
1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved *
1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup dried cranberries or cherries
*To prepare sprouts, give them a quick rinse. Next, chop off the nubby end, about 1/2 inch. Slice in half vertically, and they’re ready to go!
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Place sweet potatoes on a parchment lined (or well greased) baking sheet. Drizzle with two tbsp. olive oil until potatoes are evenly coated.
3. Sprinkle sea salt and pepper (at least 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper or more).
4. Place in preheated oven for 15 minutes before adding sprouts.
5. To prepare sprouts, evenly spread about 1 tbsp. olive oil on parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle olive oil with at least 1/2 tsp. sea salt, or more to taste. Place sprouts on sheet, cut side down. Drizzle another 1 tbsp. olive oil over the backs, and sprinkle with a bit more salt and pepper if desired.
6. Place in oven when the timer goes off (15 minutes after potatoes went in). Reset oven timer for 25 minutes.
7. Place dried cranberries/cherries in a mixing bowl with remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil.
8. Cook until timer goes off or potatoes are soft and golden brown and sprouts are turning golden. Remove and place vegetables in the mixing bowl. Let sit for about five minutes, then stir to combine.
9. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm.
Please enjoy and share with others.
To your health,
Dr. Crystalin Montgomery, ND, LAc uses naturopathic medicine and acupuncture to enhance the effectiveness of cancer treatments and improve recovery. She currently sees patients at our St. Paul location.
Approximately 1 in 2 people will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their life. As cancer becomes more common, cancer research has expanded and treatments have become more effective at extending the lives of those with a diagnosis.
Despite the development of technology and pharmaceutical agents that are able to specifically target different cancers, side effects from chemotherapy, radiation and post-surgery are still a common occurrence among cancer patients. In order to minimize these side effects and enhance the effectiveness of conventional therapies, more and more people are turning to complementary therapies, such as acupuncture. The latest estimate, according to the National Cancer Institute, found 89-90% of people with cancer utilize complementary therapies.
According to the National Cancer Institute, there is “good, scientific evidence” that acupuncture is effective at relieving some of the side effects experienced by individuals undergoing conventional cancer therapies. Below is a breakdown of how acupuncture can enhance the effectiveness of your conventional therapies and support you during your journey with cancer.
Boosts immune function and blood cell counts – studies have shown acupuncture improves lymphocyte and natural killer (NK) cell activity (important types of white blood cells) and supports immune function so that patients are able to complete their full chemotherapy regimens.
Improves overall quality of life – individuals receiving acupuncture often report an improvement in anxiety and feelings of depression.
Nausea and vomiting – acupuncture can help reduce nausea, which is essential to rebuilding stamina and immune system function.
Pain – studies have shown acupuncture to help both decrease pain as well as amount of pain medication needed by those undergoing conventional treatments.
Fatigue – those who receive acupuncture often report a feeling of increased energy, allowing them to continue with conventional therapy.
Hot flashes – those who receive regular acupuncture see an improvement in hot flashes. The Journal of Clinical Oncology reported that acupuncture was “just as effective as (the medication) venlaxafine for management of vasomotor symptoms…and caused fewer side effects.”
Other side effects – individuals receiving acupuncture often report an improvement in other side effects such as peripheral neuropathy, weight loss, dry mouth, cough and lymphedema.
Acupuncture is recognized as a key therapy that can be utilized to enhance the effectiveness of cancer treatments and improve recovery, and more cancer treatment centers are realizing the importance of acupuncture in helping individuals withstand and recover from conventional treatments so that they are able to undergo full treatment regimens.Read More