Where is caffeine hiding?
One day, my mother looked at me and said, “Are you tweezing your eyebrows?” My immediate response was, “of course not!” She fired back, “well, your eyebrows are thinning.”
I looked closely in the mirror the next day and sure enough, I was losing my eyebrows. After a few bits of research I knew that there was something wrong with my thyroid gland. I also knew exactly what was causing the dysfunction in my gland – caffeine!
Our family gave up caffeine for several years and we experienced a great level of energy and mental clarity. We fell off that wagon and took up caffeinated tea again, and this time I was consuming roughly three times the caffeine before I gave it up. The day I looked at myself in the mirror and confirmed my mom’s accusations, I quit drinking caffeinated drinks cold turkey. My eyebrows started growing out again.
Caffeine can be found, not only in coffee, but in many foods we consume everyday; some are obvious: soda, energy drinks, weight loss pills and tea. The not-so-obvious places to find caffeine are: chocolate, pastries, decaf coffee, non-cola sodas like Mountain Dew or Root Beer, chocolate or coffee flavored ice cream, over the counter drugs like pain relievers, energy water, breath fresheners, SumSeeds energized sunflower seeds, Morning Spark instant oatmeal, perky jerky and many others.
Over 50 different plants have caffeine in them. The caffeine is the plant’s defense mechanism against insects. In essence, caffeine is a poison intended to kill bugs.
In recent years there have been many articles published advertising the “benefits” of caffeine. You must be aware that the sources of this information may be benefiting from the sales of caffeine. There is an overwhelming amount of true scientific research which proves that consumption of caffeine is damaging to the body.
Caffeine causes an increase of cortisol in the body. Cortisol is commonly known as the stress hormone. When we consume caffeine on a daily basis, we basically put our bodies in a constant state of stress. An increase in cortisol damages cells, especially in the brain.
Kicking the caffeine habit is a major feat. I personally know people who have quit smoking, but can't quit coffee. If you are determined to increase your energy and your mental clarity, I highly recommend that you wean off the caffeine by:
What ails you may be hiding where you least expect it.
In essence, sugar is a drug not a nutrient. Once refined sugar enters the body, there is an increase in the production of dopamine. Dopamine is a hormone that reacts to substances like sugar, cocaine, caffeine and tobacco and once the body has experienced high levels of dopamine, it requires more of the substances that increase the production, thus creating addiction. Sugar creates further hormone imbalances which we'll tackle in a separate post.
One of the reasons a person’s joints tend to be stiff is because of sugar consumption. Even light or moderate consumption of sugar can create stiffness. When patients come to my office for adjustments and their joints are stiff, more often than not they have consumed sugar that day. It is difficult to adjust patients that regularly consume sugar.
Even if a person doesn't consume candy, pastries, or granulated sugar as a sweetener, sugar finds its way to our bodies via tomato sauces, dressings, BBQ sauce, cereals, ketchup, juices, crackers, bread and many other processed foods.
Reading labels and paying attention to the grams of sugar per serving in the foods you buy will give you a better idea of how much sugar you are consuming per day. We recommend sweeteners like stevia or coconut sugar, which have the sweet taste without the negative effects. We also recommend decreasing consumption of processed foods altogether.
How Pollutants Get in Your Drinking Water
There are three major pollutants in tap water: heavy metals that usually come from plumbing, pollution in the air that descends with rainfall and pesticides that end up in our water sources.
However, there are other pollutants entering our water supplies. If you live in an area where natural gas is being sourced by fracking, analyze your water for pollutants. A relatively new drilling technology, fracking makes it possible to reach natural gas. Formally known as hydraulic fracturing, fracking is the use of sand, water, and undisclosed chemicals injected at high pressures to blast open shale rock and release the trapped gas inside.
Parasites and bacteria can get into the water either through leakage from the pipes or water stagnation. Drinking water supplies in the United States are among the safest in the world, but according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, even in the U.S., drinking water sources can become contaminated, causing sickness and disease from waterborne germs.
Pharmaceuticals enter our water supply via the urine we secrete and unused medications flushed down the toilet. It has been found that pharmaceuticals end up in our water supplies, and eventually, in our tap water because water treatment plants are designed to neutralize biological hazards, such as bacteria, but not pollutants such as antibiotics.
Another source of toxicity in the water is the plastic bottles that the water is stored in. Plastic bottles tend to leach cancer-causing petrochemicals into the water. The safety of a bottle is rated by its Resin ID number listed at the bottom of the container. According to mercola.com “you should generally avoid plastics labeled #7, #3 or #6, while those that may be somewhat safer include #1, #2, #4 and #5.” A study found that the longer a bottle sits on a shelf, the higher the levels of a chemical called antimony was present in the water. Exposure to light also affects the levels of chemicals leached into the water.
Drinking clean and safe water is one way to prevent illness. Because we live close to a large metropolitan area, our family purifies water in two steps: we boil the water and let it cool off first, then we put it through a carbon-based filtration system. We have found that the result is clean tasting, alkaline water.
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Why it's important to know about lung toxicity
One of the greatest contributors to air pollution is dust. When the soil is dry, pollens, fungi, bacteria and other pathogens settle in and are released into the environment in windy weather. These pathogens are not normally airborne so our bodies are rarely exposed to them. When they do become airborne due to the wind, we are exposed and although we may not get sick, we might feel fatigued. This is a sign that our body is fighting toxicity. When we inhale these pathogens, our sinuses respond by trapping them with mucus. This is only a temporary fix so that the toxins do not enter further into the body. However, the down side is that the toxins can accumulate and stay in the sinuses for long periods of time, unless the sinuses are properly cleaned out.
My wife is a classic case of this scenario. When she was eight years old, living in Mexico, she suffered from an excess of mucus that was being stored in her sinuses and lungs. She tested positive for pollen and dust allergies. Eventually, she had to have an invasive procedure to vacuum out the mucus from her lungs. When she moved to a small, cleaner suburb in the United States her symptoms disappeared and only reappeared during the spring.
If you live in a large city, chances are you are exposed to carbon dioxide and other chemicals released by cars, trucks, refineries and factories every day. When I lived in Italy, I had a friend who was told by his doctor that he needed to stop smoking if wanted to be in better health. The guy had never smoked a cigarette in his life! Rome, like many cities around the world, is heavily polluted and the air is making people toxic. A friend of my wife’s family died of lung cancer. She also never smoked a day in her life, but she lived in a suburb of Mexico City, one of the largest and most polluted cities in the world.
While my family was living in Houston, my mother suffered painful skin reactions: severe burning sensation, redness and dryness. We took her to many doctors and one them suggested that we move her out of the Houston area. Sure enough, her symptoms disappeared once we moved to California.
The best way to detox is by doing both of the following daily for 4-5 weeks:
1. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil, pour the water onto a large container and place a few drops of sage oil or eucalyptus oil. Place face over the steam at a safe distance and place a towel over head. Breathe deep for as long as possible or until there is no steam left. Discard water.
2. Cleanse the sinuses with saline water. We highly recommend the Nasaline syringe to cleanse. We have personally used it and find it to be the least expensive, least messy and most effective way to clear the sinuses.
If you still have symptoms, seek medical help.
Facts You May Not Know About Drugs and Supplements
There are some obvious causes of toxicity and others are not so obvious. Our food supply is riddled with pesticides and insecticides that are meant to be deadly poisons for insects; and we, the end consumer, also get a dose of these chemicals. Non-organic herbal supplements may be treated with pesticides that end up in our medicine cabinets.
Over the counter medication that might temporarily mitigate pain is a common source of toxicity. The New England Journal of Medicine estimated that at least 103,000 patients are hospitalized per year in the United States for serious gastrointestinal complications due to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use. The FDA estimates that NSAID’s, (which includes aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen) account for a reported 200,000 cases of gastrointestinal bleeding, 107,000 hospitalizations and as many as 20,000 deaths each year. The combination of Tylenol and aspirin can cause liver failure.
Synthetic vitamins are also a source of toxicity. They have little to no benefit due to the low rate of absorption but they also put a burden on the kidneys and liver.
Prescription drugs, such as steroids and hormones are very toxic and should be taken only if there is no alternative and all other options have been exhausted.
Exploring wellness and healing through natural, organic methods is the way of today. It is important to consider whether the benefits of synthetic drugs and supplements outweigh the risks involved with their consumption.
What you don't know may be affecting your energy
It is normal to get sick during the fall and winter seasons. However, if you are constantly getting sick all year long, that means that either your immune system is too busy to fight many different infections or your immune system is weak due to nutritional deficiencies or chronic stress.
There are instances when a person may be feeling chronically fatigued and this may mean that their body is experiencing a sub-clinical infection although they may not have typical symptoms of sickness.
If a person suffers from leaky-gut syndrome, their immune system might also be compromised because partially digested animal protein leaks from the digestive system into the blood. These proteins confuse the immune system.
The best way to boost your immune system is to take a non-synthetic, organic multi-vitamin daily, take digestive enzymes with each meal, accompanied by a diet of primarily fresh fruits and vegetables.