pale nailThere are many ways of diagnosing vitamin deficiencies:  blood work or by symptoms only.  My new favorite way to diagnose vitamin deficiencies (taking into account the patient’s overall constitution and health conditions) is through fingernail diagnosis.  NOTE:  This chart below does not account for fingernail abnormalities caused by conditions such as fungal infection, psoriasis, eczema, lupus, Reynaud’s, arthritis, Kidney disease, or thyroid conditions, although I wonder if the vitamin deficiency led to the condition!  

Here is your “quick and dirty” guide to diagnosing vitamin deficiencies:

 

NAIL APPEARANCE           VITAMIN DEFICIENT              SYMPTOMS

Broken or weak nail tips          Calcium                                             Bone weakness, Heart palpitations, Trouble relaxing

Yellowish nails                            Vitamin E (essential fatty acids)  Hormone-related inflammation

White spots on nails                   Zinc                                                  Diarrhea, acne, weight loss

Pale nails                                     Iron                                                  Fatigue, Moodiness, Heavy or light periods

Overly curved nails                   Iron

Ridges on nails                            Iron 

Dark lines along nails                 B-Complex                                      Neuropathy, Moodiness, and others

 

In choosing a vitamin supplement, be sure it is a “whole food” supplement (not the store, but from foods that are WHOLE.)  If you need help finding a quality vitamin or determining the correct dosage for yourself, give us a call or email to set up an appointment.  

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One of the best ways to support your health is by eating more vegetables.  If you are one of those who cringe at the thought of “having” to eat more veggies, rest assured, it’s easier than you think.  …and it’s more delicious than you may think.  One of the reasons many people “hate” vegetables is that they have never had them prepared correctly.  Most chain restaurants can’t even cook broccoli!  Follow my instructions and you may find that you become a vegetable lover…um, that is, a lover of vegetables.   Anyway, if you aren’t sure what vegetables to buy or if you will like any of them, find at least 2 vegetables that you DO know and like (corn and potatoes don’t count) and build up your vegetable tolerance from there.  

Three Easy Ways to Incorporate More Vegetables Into Your Diet

1.  Saute with butter and sea salt.  

farmer's marketEverything – even mustard greens – tastes delicious with butter and sea salt.  I use about a tablespoon of butter for every 2 cups of vegetables.  Don’t even worry about your cholesterol:  quality grass-fed butter will not clog your arteries.  It’s the refined carbs that will.  Back to the saute:  add the butter, melt in a pan (I use a cast-iron skillet), add the greens and a small amount of sea salt to taste.  Often I will also add in a spoonful of white wine or some garlic while the greens are cooking.  Depending on the type of veggies, 5 – 15 minutes will usually suffice to make them tender and delicious.  Some ideas of veggies to use:  cabbage, broccoli, leafy greens (of any variety), asparagus, brussel sprouts, etc.

 

2.  Easy Additions.  

I like to use chopped kale in my scrambled eggs (with a little salsa and cheese on top), in my spaghetti sauce, and in a salad with other greens (topped with dressing and anything else).  Kale has more health benefits than just plain lettuce.  

Another easy one to add to anything:  guacamole or chopped avocado and salsa or pico de gallo.  I add it on top of my eggs; or mix it up together and use as a dip for organic corn chips; you can top your meat or fish dishes dishes with some salsa or guacamole too.  The other day for lunch I had a microwaved burrito (I needed to go to the grocery store you see), but I topped it with avocado and pico and it was much more satisfying… and healthy!

In other cultures, adding pickled foods as a side dish is common.  For example, in Korea they use kimchi (pickled vegetables and seasoning); in Germany you may get food with saurkraut (pickled cabbage); and in India you may get chutney as a food topping or meal accompaniment.  In the US we have pickles.  Personally, I LOVE pickles, but I do read the label and make sure they are made without high-fructose corn syrup or other nasties.  

 

3.  Use the left-overs before they go bad.  

Many people complain that they buy vegetables, then don’t cook them, and they end up tossed out by the end of the week.  No worries.  Take the left-over veggies, chop them up, and put them into some broth.  I store organic soup broth from Costco in my pantry for such occasions.

Or…chop up the veggies, cook them (see #1) or keep them raw, and place on top of some cooked quinoa (cheese is optional).  Quinoa is a grain that is high in protein and you can buy at the health food store.  You cook it like rice.  Another good thing to keep in your pantry!    

 

Support your local farmer’s markets!  Austin-ites are so lucky to have so many different farmer’s market options.  Use them and eat your veggies!  

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natural remedies for motion sicknessI think it all started with the Tilt-A-Whirl.

That was my first experience with motion sickness.  I threw up my snow cone.    

After that, I knew my limit with spinning around.  Ferris wheel = ok.  The “Zipper” = not ok. 

Of course, with most things, if they are essentially untreated (and just avoided) they will get worse with age. 

Eventually I had car sickness unless I sat in the front seat and looked out the front window the whole time.  When we went on a cruise for our honeymoon, that was a whole new ballgame of seasickness.  On one particularly rocky night on the boat, I went to the overly-priced store on board and picked up some sea bands for motion sickness“sea bands”.  They actually did help.  The problem was that I couldn’t take them off.  As soon as they came off, I was sick again. 

The next cruise, I went prepared.  I took some ginger chews, my trusty sea bands (still had them), and Gui Pi Tang (“tonify the Spleen pills”) a Chinese herbal preparation.  Much better!  I only had to wear the bands on really rough seas.  I took the herbs twice per day and felt just fine. 

Other things that (for me anyway) made a difference:

  • Consumption of caffeine and alcohol (more consumption = more dizziness and nausea)
  • Use your eyes to focus on one spot (a “drishti” in yoga-talk); sit and breathe for a few minutes
  • Bubbly water with lime
  • Peppermint or ginger tea (“wakes up” the stomach)
  • Hyland’s motion sickness homeopathic remedy (either it works or it doesn’t depending on your body’s constitution; you can try)

Any other remedies?

 

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