Archive for Nutritional Counseling

Tastiest Kale Chips Ever?

Wow…

I’ve made kale chips before, but this new recipe is the tastiest so far! I had to stop myself from eating the entire tray.

They are made without any items that might cause any kind of allergic reaction (so they are dairy free, gluten free, flour/grain free, sesame free, nut and seed-free) so they are great for thyroid, autoimmune and Hashimoto’s people.

I just had to share this with you:

kale chips I made

These are savory, spicy and kind of sweet.  Here’s my recipe:

Mix in a large bowl (I used a large glass salad bowl):

2/3 cup nutritional yeast (I used Kal nutritional yeast flakes)

1 1/2 teaspoon organic garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon Celtic sea salt

1/2 teaspoon organic chili powder

1 teaspoon coconut sugar

2 Tablespoons virgin olive oil

Several rotational grinds from the pepper mill

Mix all ingredients well in the large salad bowl.

Add in 1 package of tender organic kale leaves. I used a package of Earthbound Organic Tender Baby Kale Leaves.

Mix the kale and spice blend well with your hands.

Spread evenly on a cookie sheet.

Bake at 200 degrees for 2 hours.

DELICIOUS!!

Let me know how yours turn out!

Now I better walk the dog before I go into the kitchen and eat the entire tray of the kale chips! 😉

 

Yours in health,

 

Dr. Elena 😉

 

Thyroid Summit

Hi there,

I have spend the last week listening to the awesome Thyroid Summit. Great info from some wonderful leaders in our field. They are offering a special price only good until Monday night of $67.

If you missed the Summit or only heard part of it, I highly recommend this. It’s a crash course in helping to understand your situation.

If we are already working together, you know I appreciate it when you learn about your condition and are proactive. That action on your part reduces the time and expense on your end because we can spend less time with me educating you on the basics, and more time on your specific situation and how you can feel better.

Here is the link:

https://nq177.infusionsoft.com/go/thyroidorder/DrElena/

Thyroid Summit SidebarBanner

The price will go up soon, so get this while you can.

Yours in health, healing and happiness,

Dr. Elena 😉

6 Steps to Boost Your Metabolism and Lose Weight

Take your Omega 3’s.

Omega-3s have been found to balance blood sugar and reduce systemic inflammation, affecting your metabolism. They also reduce resistance to leptin which is increased in inflammation and affects how your body burns fat. Look at your labels to see the breakdown of how much DHA and EPA is in your Omega 3 supplement. I’ve seen some very low doses of DHA and EPA in capsules that say they contain “1000 mg of Omega 3”. Choose a very highly reputable brand that has been independently tested for mercury contamination. Don’t buy cheap Omega 3 supplements…they only will add to toxic overload and the inflammation you are trying to reduce.

Omega 3 capsules

Drink green tea.

Studies with green tea show that it increases metabolism and that means it burns fat. It also helps prevent obesity, helps balance blood sugar and even can help reduce cholesterol. Black tea and green tea are the same plant, black tea is just one step further in the processing of the plant. If you are sensitive to caffeine (like I am) you can drink decaf green tea. You can add mint, lemon, have it iced or hot. I like iced green tea with some fresh mint from the back patio and a little lemon stevia.

green tea with mint

 

Get to bed earlier.

Most of us need more rest than we are getting. Less sleep means higher ghrelin, which can trigger hunger and reduce energy. Less sleep also alters our metabolism by adversely affecting our blood sugar and cortisol levels. Cortisol naturally goes down in the evening so we can slow, rest and rejuvenate. If you stay up after your cortisol levels are going down, you are adversely affecting your endocrine function and setting yourself up for imbalances on many levels, including holding onto those extra pounds. More sleep and getting to bed earlier means more weight loss (and lower ghrelin).

man sleeping with moon outside window

Use organic, unheated, virgin coconut oil.

Coconut oil has medium chain triglycerides, which can be burned in your body for energy. More energy burned equals more fat burned. Coconut oil will not make you fat…it will help you lose weight, is easily absorbed and increases your metabolism. Saute with it, eat it off the spoon, put it in your warm beverages (it melts and you cannot even taste it).

coconut

Eat high quality food and eat frequently…especially protein.

Eat protein every 3 hours to preserve lean body mass, which burns fat. Eat an organic apple every day (I like the organic green Grannie Smith apples). Apples contain pectin, help with bowel health and the fiber helps balance blood sugar. Spicy foods (jalapeño and cayenne peppers) increase fat burning. Drink water…half your body weight in ounces is what you need every day. We are mostly water, so our cells need it. Pure water flushes out toxins, is great for your skin, helps with bowel regularity and more. If you don’t like the taste of water, add a squeeze of lemon, a squirt of flavored stevia or even a fresh crushed berry.

healthylove4food

Go for a walk.

Make the time to go for a walk. Walk around the neighborhood, breathe in the fresh air, look at the flowers and sky, smile at the people you pass and give thanks for being alive. Even 20 minutes a day is a great metabolism booster. Just walk out of your door and walk for 10 minutes, then turn around and walk back. Easy. If you have a dog, your “best friend” will love you even more. My dog gets a walk every day but she still gets excited and acts like it’s something new and the coolest thing on the planet.

shoes in grass

Do these simple steps, feel better about yourself and you are moving closer to changing your body chemistry. You deserve it. Guess what? When you change your body chemistry you are happier…and healthier.

Yours in health, healing and happiness.

Dr. Elena 😉

 

 

“What’s Our Next Step, Dr. Elena”?

You may have come in to see me or perhaps your sessions have been via phone or skype. You may be wondering about your progress and ask me, “What’s our next step”, “What’s the plan”, or “Where are we going with this, Dr. Elena”?

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Those are valid questions and the answer is as different as the people asking the question. Usually someone sends this question via email or text message, and expects a quick answer.

There is no way I can know what our “next step” is and respond in a professionally ethical way about what is best for you at the stage of healing you now, without knowing more about how you are feeling.

I need to have feedback from you.

My response cannot be done via text or email. When I tell people this they may have sent me long texts or emails updating me on symptoms, where I’m asked what supplements to continue, which to incorporate, etc.

You deserve an accurate answer that is specific to you. You are unique. What is right for others may not be what is right for you.

sunflower against blue sky:free

We need to schedule a time to meet, skype or talk on the phone as there are questions I have to ask you. There may be aspects of what is going on that are not clear to you, questions I will need to ask you about how you are doing and feeling and it has to be a two-way dialogue.

For me to help you in the best way, and for me help you from a place of integrity and what is best for you, it is important to have a dialogue about it.

You might ask me, “How long to do I need to take this product”? The answer might be, “I don’t know…it depends upon you, your symptoms, your energy, your blood tests, other tests we might do or re-do to follow up and see your progress, what is going on in your life emotionally, environmentally and even spiritually, what else you may have been doing regarding your diet, the stressors in your life, if you are sleeping, how you are exercising, what has changed” and so on.

Vitamin:Supplements pic

Don’t cheat yourself and don’t cheat on your health. You deserve to feel well, be happy, enjoy life and have the energy to live fully.

Expecting me to respond with a short email or text with a detailed answer when I don’t have all of the facts about what is going on with you and where I cannot ask you questions, cheats you out of getting the best service and care from me. I am here to help you and to give you the best service, care, feedback and direction that I can. I want you to feel great and be well. My passion is to help you do that.

Radiant Heart photo

Healing takes time. It took you a long time to get to the imbalanced state that brought you to me. It’s a process. Your body changes over time and we adjust what we do, depending upon those changes.

Check in, make an appointment and give yourself the gift of health. You deserve it.

 

In health, healing and happiness,

Dr. Elena 😉

 

 

 

It May Not Be Easy…But It Will (Probably) Be Worth It!

You have entered into a new chapter of your life.

It might be scary because it’s new and unfamiliar. It will probably be worth the effort you are putting into creating this new version of yourself.

Why? Because investing in yourself is the best investment you can make, and it has the greatest returns!

Maybe you are changing the way you eat due to a health issue. You may have been diagnosed with thyroid, autoimmune or other issues. You might need to lose some weight.

Your body may go through an adjustment period and you might even go through withdrawals…and these withdrawals may be very strong!

Did you know that breads, flours, grains, sugar and dairy products all have addictive substances in them that create a feeling in you of “I have to have this”, “I need this food to function”, etc.

Yellow Gluten Free image

Gluteomorphins and caseomorphins are in breads, flours, grains and dairy. We’ve all heard how addicting morphine is…look at the last part of those words…yep, “morphin/morphine”. That’s why they are so addictive!

The other issue here is that dairy often crossreacts with gluten, so even if you have given up gluten but are still eating dairy, your body reacts as if you are still eating gluten.

Now you know a small part of why there is a reason why you may feel worse after giving up these foods. Not everyone has these reactions…some people are able to adjust their diet and lifestyle and begin to feel better immediately.

The upside, is that IF you even experience any of the withdrawal symptoms, they will only last for a short time.

Drink lots of pure water, if you are feeling fatigue then sleep more, take it easy on yourself, be patient and KNOW you are doing something good for yourself.

woman sleeping:free

Yours in health,

Dr. Elena 😉

Dr. Elena Michaels is a naturopathic doctor, holistic psychotherapist, family therapist and clinical hypnotherapist who has been helping people create happiness, enhanced health and well being and more joy for over 30 years. Having overcome many health challenges herself, her passion is helping others regain their power physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, to become a master of their lives.  

Forget What You Know? Don’t Do It!

heart mandala red:blue free

“Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.”  – Oliver Wendell Holmes

My years of research and study have led me in many different directions to help others. When I sit with someone in my office, I often get “intuitive flashes” of what is going on with them that has nothing to do with what they are saying or why they even came in to see me.

I might get an intuitive flash that they have a blood sugar imbalance issue or that they are possibly diabetic. I might also pick up on virus being present in their body and find out that they have been dealing with herpes for years.

They might come in for a health issue and I get an intuitive flash that their spouse has recently asked for a divorce. They may come in to sort out a marital issue and I pick up on a thyroid imbalance or even Hashimoto’s which as not yet been diagnosed.

What is amazing to me is that if I get out of my own way and allow myself to be a channel for healing on any level, information comes to me that is beneficial to that person in front of me.

Before I start work in my office, I also ask for guidance to give me any information that might be helpful for who I will be meeting with that day. I also ask to be a channel of service and for protection for all involved.

This might seem “airy fairy” or too “woo woo” for some. Often I don’t even mention that I have done this, but I do use the information that has been transmitted to me, to help those who seek out my services.

I cannot forget what I know. And you cannot either. 

hand from heaven reaching hand on earth

Perhaps there are things that have been nagging at you, thoughts you have tried to avoid thinking about, things you’ve noticed in your relationships or your health that you have chosen to try to push out of your mind.

Your higher self, guidance, angels, universal intelligence, the source, the Almighty (or whatever name or words you use) is trying to communicate with you. Keep open to that communication, trust it and follow it. If what you hear is for the good of those around you as well as yourself, it is probably coming from a true source.

Ignoring the wisdom that is coming to you can even create depression, anxiety or various health issues. Don’t forget what you know…your higher self (again whatever words that you use to refer to this) not only knows what is best for you, it wants you to incorporate it, listen to it and when you do…you will give you stronger and more positive guidance!

Colored spiral mandala

Dr. Elena Michaels is a naturopathic doctor, holistic psychotherapist, family therapist and clinical hypnotherapist who has been helping people create happiness, enhanced health and well being and more joy for over 30 years. Her passion is helping others regain their power physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, to become a master of their lives.  

 

 

 

10 Easy Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, Paleo Healthy Snacks

So you have eliminated grains and dairy, you are new at this “paleo thing” and frustrated with trying to find things to eat. You may be needing to eat 6 times a day on your new program and wanting some tasty options. This doesn’t have to be boring…it’s a new chapter in your life and your health!

Some of these suggestions need refrigeration or heating up and some are just fine at room temp.

turkey roll ups1. Turkey slices rolled up (I like mine with lots of freshly ground pepper), and a dill pickle, raw sauerkraut or kim chi (I like the Rejuvenate Brand Spicy Kim Chi available at Whole Foods). Anything with “chi” in the name has to be good for our chi, right?  😉    Rejuvenate spicy kim chi and sauerkraut

 

 

 

2. Half of the protein shake you had a breakfast, which you have chilled to have later.

3. Smoked Alaskan, wild salmon (often called “lox”) with a sliced persian cucumber.

4. Shredded white meat chicken with half an avocado.

avocado half

5. Leftovers from last night’s stir fry.

6. Skinless, boneless sardines in olive oil (don’t turn your nose up…these are delicious and jam-packed with protein and omega 3’s)!  😉

I always have some of these in the office in case I need them and I when I travel I take several tins in my suitcase. They are very convenient!

sardines in olive oil

 7. Canned tuna in olive oil, with half of a lemon squeezed on it (I bring this with me when I am out all day long as it keeps well and doesn’t need refrigeration).

8. Three slices of turkey bacon which you made this morning. This also keeps great after cooking, doesn’t need refrigeration and the strips taste like “jerky” when you eat them later.

cooked turkey bacon

9. Chicken soup (which you previously made a couple of days ago so you’d have something to eat for a few days).

10. An organic apple and almond butter. red and green apples

 

There are tons of options. Get out of that headspace of “feeling deprived”…keep your mind open, try new tastes and explore the many foods available. Good luck, stay healthy and have fun with it!

cartoon of sun smiling

Yours in health, healing and happiness,

Dr. Elena 😉

Dr. Elena Michaels is a naturopathic doctor, holistic psychotherapist and clinical hypnotherapist who has been helping people access their inner healing power for over 30 years. Having personally overcome many health challenges including advanced stage cancer, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (autoimmune disease) and cardiac issues, her passion is helping others regain their health and vitality and take control of their life.    

 

4 Ways to Spring Into…Slowing Down?

Spring is here, the flowers are blooming, excitement is building and we have more daylight hours to do more things.

Often it’s difficult for people to slow down and even more so when we have more daylight hours and there seems to be so many things to do.

heart diagran, pastels:freeThe other day, a friend had a heart attack. This is a man who is fit, relatively healthy, an ideal weight…but a workaholic. He had never really been in the hospital, wouldn’t slow down, and felt that “no one else could do the things he had to do”. He wasn’t able to delegate or designate…it was as if the entire world depending upon him.

He felt this burden and we often discussed it. He felt depressed about the responsibility and pressure he felt, but he was “too busy” to even listen to a 3 minute audio relaxation I gave to him! He would get angry and almost belligerent when anyone he knew would express their concern and suggest that he was “working too hard”.

This heart attack stopped him in his tracks. It forced him to slow down. Our bodies speak to us and communicate all the time…in symptoms.

Here are 4 ways for a busy person to “slow down” instead of “springing ahead”:

1. Exercise. Okay, you’re busy and don’t have time to go the gym. You can walk your dog, park further away in the parking lot so you can walk more steps to your office, and take the stairs instead of the elevator.

steps:free

2. Take a break at sunset (or sunrise if you are up early enough) and just look at the sky. The colors only last a few minutes so you won’t have to worry about being “too busy” to see it. Connect with nature somehow, someway, every day. Walk outside first thing when you wake up and look at the sky, breathe deeply and be grateful for being alive. Notice the flowers blooming in your neighborhood.

sunset:free

 

3. When you get in bed, turn off the TV (actually avoiding TV or computer screen light for an hour before bed is even better) and avoid checking voicemail and email on your phone while in bed. Wear an sleep mask (yes, men wear them too) to block out all light, and listen to a few minutes of a guided relaxation audio. Here are two very, very short choices for you.

4. Eat more frequently and eat protein at each meal. A bagel and coffee is not a breakfast to fuel your brain. Eating frequently will not cause you to gain weight IF you eat protein (preferable lean animal protein) throughout the day. You don’t have to eat giant meals…a few bites is fine. Your brain cannot function without fuel, and protein will keep you even and calm.

Enjoy these gorgeous days, heed your body’s signals and feel blessed to be alive.

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P.S. By the way, my friend dodged a bullet and although he had three stents put in, he is doing just fine. Now I hope he can finally make some changes in his lifestyle.

Yours in health, healing and happiness,

Dr. Elena 😉

Dr. Elena Michaels is a naturopathic doctor, holistic psychotherapist and clinical hypnotherapist who has been helping people access their inner innate healing power for over 30 years. Having personally overcome many health challenges including advanced stage cancer, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (autoimmune disease) and cardiac issues, her passion is helping others regain their health and vitality and take control of their life.  

90% Of Hypothyroid Patients Have Hashimoto’s – How Could This Affect You?

Most people who are dealing with low thyroid function actually have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease. Statistics show that 27 million American have low thyroid (hypothyroid) and 90% of those with hypoythyroid have Hashimoto’s.

Thyroid hormones, color:free

Hashimoto’s is an immune disease and as with all autoimmune diseases, cannot be healed without balancing the immune system. With Hashimoto’s, the person’s immune system is attacking their own thyroid gland. There are frequently other body systems being attacked as well.

One thing I often see with thyroid patients is the preoccupation to get their TSH in range. This is like trying to put out a campfire by putting water on it while the fire is actually being continually lit from below with an unlimited amount of kindling. Basically, it’s futile.

Campfire:free

A much more effective approach is to address the immune system. Here are 3 tips for doing just that:

1. Remove offending foods that are known to cause inflammation. These are grains, dairy, sugar (yes, that means honey, maple syrup and agave) and peanuts for starters. This means, “don’t eat them at all”…not “eat them sometimes”. Being vigilant is important. Think of it like weeding a garden…consistency and diligence is what keeps out those weeds and it’s the same thing with inflammation.

If you find this difficult to do, it’s because you are addicted to the caseomorphins in dairy and the gluteomorphins in grains. (Yep, the last part of those words is like “morphine” and they are highly addictive foods.) After the first week most people adjust to not eating them and start to feel better, but everyone is different.

2. Take Vitamin D. Most people who have low thyroid function are also very low in vitamin D. It doesn’t matter if you live in a sunny climate…the hypothyroid situation often makes it difficult to absorb the vitamin D from the sun. So yes, get that sunshine because it’s great for your mood and more, but don’t depend on it for your vitamin D.

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Take an emulsified version of vitamin D that has cofactors (cod liver oil and other cofactors) in the product. Capsules and tablets are more difficult for your system to absorb, liquids are better. Get your vitamin D 20 OH checked and if it’s low, supplement and then check it again in about 12 weeks. You need the D for your immune system, your mood, your brain function, your hormones and your bones.

3. Reduce stress and get more rest. Yes, I know it’s easy to say and harder to do, but it’s very important for a person with Hashimoto’s. Your body needs downtime to release and relax, take a break from what’s going on outside of you and within your own system. For free short audios to relax go to www.DrElena.com/morejoy for a 3 minute and a 7 minute audio relaxation.

Your body also needs sleep to balance your immune system. Sometimes you may need more sleep than other times. With Hashimoto’s your system may fluctuate between high thyroid and low thyroid. For example, you might go back and forth between anxiety, insomnia and diarrhea…and depression, fatigue and constipation. Whether low or high thyroid, digestive symptoms and complaints are usually present and need to be addressed.

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Remember, it’s your immune system that needs to be addressed. That is where the focus needs to be for healing.

Check out the 2 free short audios (3 minutes and 7 minutes) here and your’ll also get a short special report, “10 Keys for Bringing More Joy into Your Life”.

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Yours in health, healing and happiness,

Dr. Elena 😉

Dr. Elena Michaels is a naturopathic doctor, holistic psychotherapist and clinical hypnotherapist who has been helping people access their inner innate healing power for over 30 years. Having personally overcome many health challenges including cancer and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (autoimmune disease), her passion is helping others regain their health and vitality, taking control of their life.  

 

Thyroid, Hashimoto’s, TSH and YOU

Frustrated WomanPeople come into my office with anxiety, depression, weight concerns, hair loss, insomnia, heart palpitations, digestive issues, feeling cold frequently, brain fog, memory issues and other concerns.

 

They are often told by their doctors that they are “fine” and “normal” yet they feel feel that something is just not right with them. Sometimes their doctor may suggest antidepressants because the person has continued to “complain”.

Thyroid issues are often involved in these situations. If there is elevated TSH (according to the bell curve on the doctor’s lab results sheet) T4 medication (Synthroid, levothyroxine, etc.) is prescribed.

There may be no discernible results from taking the medication and the person still feels awful, or there may be minimal improvement.

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Looking only at the TSH values and not addressing the symptoms and concerns of the person, is like taking your car into the shop when it isn’t running well and asking the mechanic to only look at the rear left tire!

There is so much more to addressing the underlying mechanisms creating the symptoms. People will tell me their doctor “ran tons of tests” yet when I get a copy of the labs it isn’t even close to the very basic tests I run to find out what is going with a person. How can someone be told they are “fine” and “normal” when the tests aren’t even done?

The TSH values tend to jump around, going up and down. Trying to get TSH in range is not the most effective way to address the situation. Since more than 90% of low thyroid (hypothyroid) cases are really undiagnosed Hashimoto’s (autoimmune thyroid), it becomes more of an immune system issue. The immune system is attacking the thyroid gland and often other body systems and organs as well. As the thyroid gland continues to be attacked, symptoms become more disconcerting and the person seeks help and direction. By the time they come into my office they are frustrated, exhausted and often angry that so much time has elapsed without getting the help they wanted from their doctor.

The blood tests for Hashimoto’s are TPO (thyroid peroxidase) and TGB or TGA (thyroglobulin) antibodies. Close to 10% of us test positive for these antibodies. Most commonly the tests aren’t even done but when they are done, there may not even be any symptoms. However, left unaddressed, symptoms will develop over time as the thyroid gland (and possibly other tissues) are destroyed. Another issue is that the antibodies go up and down, so just because they don’t show up on a test, doesn’t mean they aren’t present…the test may have been run when the antibodies were in their “low” cycle.

Insurance companies are now being more strict with what they cover. Because of this, doctors are often reluctant to run antibody and other tests that could provide the information needed to figure out what is really going on.

Managing the immune system is the most effective way to address Hashimoto’s. I see chat groups and facebook pages with people (mostly women) trying desperately to find a doctor that can “get the right medication and dosage to get their TSH balanced”. That isn’t the answer…addressing the immune system yields much more satisfying and healing results.

If you feel frustrated with your path toward health, have not been improving or getting the help you need, let me help you.

I’ve been there…misdiagnosed, watching my life pass by, wondering if I would ever feel like myself again, too exhausted to be motivated or excited about anything and feeling depressed and anxious about all of it.

I can help you learn how to get control and manage your health, address your immune system, regain your balance and power and move forward creating a wonderful life for yourself. With the right tools and your own commitment to healing, you can regain your vitality, enthusiasm, energy and joy.

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I look forward to hearing from you and helping you on your journey toward health!

Dr. Elena

 

Dr. Elena Michaels is a naturopathic doctor, holistic psychotherapist and clinical hypnotherapist who has been helping people access their inner innate healing power for over 30 years.  Having personally overcome many health challenges including cancer and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (autoimmune disease), her passion is helping others regain their health and vitality, taking control of their life.  

Go to DrElena.com for helpful handouts.