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How to Manage Eczema With Diet

Eczema is a skin condition caused by an overactive immune system. The skin gets patches of itchy, red inflammation. The patches can get rough, flaky and even blistery.


Many people who have eczema also have food allergies and/or sensitivities. (Learn more about the difference here.)
 
About 30% of children below 5 years old who are suffering from eczema have at least one food allergy. Interestingly, having eczema also increases your risk of developing food allergies. How does this happen? Researchers aren’t totally sure, but I believe that it is through the gut-skin connection. Everything links back to the health of your gut because of the diversity of bacteria we have there and because it is where both the immune response and inflammatory response largely reside.
 
Even if you don’t have food allergies, there are foods that worsen eczema and lead to outbreaks.
 
If you have eczema, the food that you eat might just be the key to either healing you or intensifying your symptoms.
 
So what are the foods that you should be including in your meals?
 
Anti-inflammatory foods!
 
Now you’ve heard me say a million times that one-size-doesn’t-fit-all! So I’m going to share some examples with you of some foods that can be great for managing inflammation, but that doesn’t mean that they will be a magic fix for YOU. I’m a proponent of testing & customizing! That being said, here are some great places to start.1. Fatty fish — What’s in fatty fish? Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Salmon, sardines, and mackerel are good choices.
2. Quercetin-rich foods —  Quercetin is one of the most common antioxidants found in plants. It is a natural pigment classified as flavanoids that gives plants their vibrant color. Its antioxidant properties can combat inflammation and symptoms of allergies.

 Foods that contain quercetin are as follows:                      

  • Onions
  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Berries
  • Broccoli
  • Citrus Fruits

3. Foods with probiotics — Eczema is linked to a dysfunction of the immune system and characterized by inflammation. Some researchers say that eczema starts in the gut.  Your gut is home to millions of helpful microorganisms that keep your gut healthy, and the gut is an extension of the immune system. Thus, when your microbiome in the gut is out of balance, your immune system also starts to behave abnormally.

According to research, people with eczema have less diverse bacteria in their gut microbiome than people who don’t have the condition. That’s likely why probiotics are able to help!
 
Probiotics are live microorganisms found in foods like yogurt, kefir, fermented foods like sauerkraut and fermented pickles, etc. When ingested, they are added to the microorganisms in your gut and help it function optimally (but they don’t live forever and need to be replaced regularly).
 
On the other side, here are some foods that are likely to make your symptoms worse:

  • Food high in preservatives — Since eczema can be triggered with chemical substances, it is best to avoid eating processed foods and fast food. These are full of preservatives, artificial ingredients, and trans fats that flare up the inflammatory response.
  • Sugar-rich foods — Eating lots of sweets can cause your insulin level to go up and this leads to inflammation. If you are craving sweets, that’s a big clue that something needs adjusting in your meal (often, we need more protein to balance our mood and level out cravings, but stress and other feelings can lead to cravings as well).
  • Dairy products and other foods that commonly cause allergy — In addition to dairy products, wheat, gluten, eggs, soy, nuts, and citrus (and foods with these ingredients) are common triggers. You can avoid them and see if it helps your skin clear up or there are testing options available if you’d rather go that route.

 Overall, what you eat is important on all levels! Today we looked at the link between diet and eczema and some things that you can apply to reduce your inflammatory response.
 
It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.
 
If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!
Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. http://bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!~Rebecca

How to Prevent and Recover from Adrenal Imbalance!

Today I want to talk with you about the connection between your stress response and symptoms you might be experiencing.

If you have nonspecific symptoms such as pain and weakness in different parts of your body, sleep disturbance, and digestive problems in addition to feeling nervous, chances are you may have some adrenal hormone imbalance.
 
When you are stressed, your adrenal glands, which are just situated on top of your kidneys, produce adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones create change in your body to prepare yourself for the threat or potential danger.


 
We call this the fight-or-flight response. At this stage, you may feel your heart pounding and your energy level increased. Your body is ready to face whatever source of harm there may be.
 
When the stressful situation is gone, your cortisol–which is famously known as the stress hormone–goes back to normal as your adrenal now stops producing it in excess. Your body starts to function normally and your vitals go back to their regular normal rhythm.
 
You weathered the stress. Thanks to cortisol.
 
But when stress is constant (as it has been for many of us lately!) and when you’re always in that fight-or-flight response, this wreaks havoc on your hormones.
 
Adrenal hormone imbalance starts when cortisol levels shoots up. As I mentioned, at first, you’ll be full of energy and you may even feel good during this time. However, if you don’t take control of your health–I mean, you’re not making lifestyle changes to ease your stress, your cortisol will soon drop down. You’d then experience tiredness and some other symptoms I mentioned above until you’d be too exhausted to even do your basic daily activities.
 

The Gut-Adrenal Connection

Now, there’s an important link between your adrenals and your gut.
 
Two adrenal hormones play a role in gut health by boosting immunity and reducing inflammation. One is cortisol (as we’ve been talking about), and the other is DHEA (stands for dehydroepiandrosterone).
 
Cortisol is the main anti-inflammatory hormone in the gut. BUT, when cortisol gets imbalanced in the way I’ve been discussing, that imbalance actually leads to an INCREASE in inflammation and can lead to develop digestive issues.
 
DHEA is a repair and maintenance hormone. DHEA also protects your gut from disease-causing bacteria, so it’s important in preventing gut infections and repairing damage to your gut cells that occur for all of us during our lifetime.
 
It’s important to keep these 2 adrenal hormones balanced. As you can see, they are very important to your overall health, especially your gut health. If your gut health breaks down, it’s just a matter of time before you’re at increased risk for symptoms and disease.
 

4 Tips for Supporting Your Adrenals

Here’s how to support your adrenals so you can prevent adrenal imbalance or help your body recover from it:

  • Detox from coffee – Caffeine keeps you in the fight-or-flight mode (which is part of why we like it!). It actually increases brain activity, triggering the pituitary gland to stimulate the adrenal glands to produce hormones. When you are already stressed and already have a demand to produce more stress hormones, it’s not a healthy combo. It leads to burnout. To reverse that, try replacing your daily cup of coffee with coffee that has adaptogens that support your adrenals (like Alphay “RIch Black” or Four Sigmatic). You can slowly mix your regular coffee with one of these healthier versions or you can slowly switch to decaf which is another good option. If you’re used to drinking multiple cups per day, consider swapping some of them out for other beverages like hot or iced tea or a bubbly water.
  • Get enough sleep – This is timeless advice. I think I have repeated this a gazillion times! Your body needs 7-8 hours of sleep each night. This is especially important during this stressful time in history, so be kind and make sure you support yourself to get enough good quality sleep.
  • Eat healthy – Yes, this never goes out of style! Eat natural, whole-foods–fresh vegetables and fruits, protein, and healthy fats. Kick high-sugar foods and processed foods out of your life (at least out of your normal routine)
  • Manage stress – If you haven’t yet tried self-care practices to keep your stress levels low, then now is the time to do it. How about mindfulness practices such as yoga and meditation? If you are anxious about something, journal, talk with someone or think of some solutions you can put into action. My favorite way to manage stress is HeartMath. I’ve been using these tools for many years and they are so helpful to shift the inevitable feelings of stress/worry/frustration that come up on a daily basis! The important point is to make some form of healthy, effective stress regulation part of your daily life.

I bet a lot of us have our fight-or-flight mode on right now due to the pandemic. I don’t want to see you get burned out and health compromised. We have to take care of ourselves more during these trying times.
 
It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.
If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!
Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. http://bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!

~Rebecca

How to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease through Diet

Did you know that Alzheimer’s is now the seventh leading cause of death?
 
Over 25 million people in the world are suffering from dementia, mostly Alzheimer’s disease. And by 2050, Alzheimer’s is predicted to affect 106 million people worldwide!
 
Alzheimer’s has a tremendous impact on affected individuals, caregivers, and society. Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s can take its toll on your health.

The good news is… We now know of a way to prevent or even reverse cognitive decline or memory loss! 
 
Alzheimer’s doesn’t happen abruptly. It is a slowly progressing illness that may start when you are younger, taking years and years to develop.
 
Age and genetic susceptibility contribute to Alzheimers. However, there are factors that will put you into a higher risk of developing this illness such as cigarette smoking, obesity, and diabetes.
 
Yes! Although age and genes are unavoidable, we do still have control over our lifestyle.
 
Replacing harmful habits with healthy practices is where you have a huge opportunity.

Alzheimer’s and Blood Sugar

 The same enzyme that clears insulin also clears amyloid plaque from your brain which is why high blood sugar/high insulin/diabetes puts you at risk for Alzheimer’s!
Swapping out sugar and refined carbs with nutrient-dense carbs and healthy sugar alternatives is a huge step in the right direction to preventing disease. Want bread? Try this as a healthy and delicious option!
Healthy fats are also critical to the health of your whole body and that is another layer you have control over (avocados, nuts and seeds, olive oil, butter rather than soy/corn/canola oil). 
High sugar, refined carbs and refined oils can lead to diabesity, a condition where diabetes and obesity coexist and manifests insulin resistance.
 
Insulin resistance?
 
Insulin is supposed to carry glucose (sugar from food) from the blood to the cells to be used as fuel or energy. What happens when you have insulin resistance is that your cells do not respond to insulin. Because of this, glucose builds up in the blood and the body compensates by producing more insulin. The blood ends up having high glucose levels (hyperglycemia) and high insulin levels (hyperinsulinemia). Now, when there is too much sugar in the brain, it becomes inflamed and damages the brain, starting a brain-damage cascade that leads to the decline in memory and other thinking skills, eventually leading to the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.
 
Can you now see the connection of eating high-sugar, high-carbs, low-fat diet and Alzheimer’s? This is why scientists consider Alzheimer’s “Type 3 Diabetes”.
 
According to research, if you have diabetes, you are four times at risk for developing Alzheimer’s, and if you have pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome, you are more likely to have pre-dementia or mild cognitive disorder (MCD).

An Ounce of Prevention

What would you do to change this? How do we prevent Alzheimer’s?
 
You can start by modifying your lifestyle, especially your food choices. Start by ditching or reducing the foods/drinks that spike your blood sugar such as sugar, refined carbs, and alcohol, and take healthy fats such as avocados, walnuts, and almonds.
 
Next week, I will give you several lifestyle tips that your brain will love.
 
It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health, so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully. I hope that today’s suggestions are helpful to you.

If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!
Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. http://bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).
 
Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!
~Rebecca 

How Healing Your Gut Can Help with Anxiety

Eating healthy food affects both your physical health and your mental health. 

In this week’s newsletter, I want to shed some further light on the connection between the gut and brain and how you can relieve your anxiety symptoms naturally.

In the US alone, 40 million adults age 18 and older are affected by anxiety. That is 18.1% of the population! While, genetics, personality, and life events are risk factors in developing anxiety, brain chemistry plays an important role. And what hugely influences your brain chemistry? You may have guessed it: your gut health! And since nowadays more people are eating processed and unhealthy foods, this be the reason why more people are prone to developing anxiety.

So now let’s focus on how the gut affects brain function and how to relieve anxiety symptoms.

The Brain-Gut Connection

There is a sort of communication between your brain and gut. We call this the brain-gut axis. This communication is facilitated by the nerves, neurons, hormones, and the gut’s microbiota (bacterial family).

The first proof of this connection was discovered by the Nobel Prize physiologist Ivan Pavlov. When you see, smell, or taste food, your stomach and pancreas are stimulated to release acid that helps in digestion. This happens because of the vagus nerve, a cranial nerve (nerve that emerges from the brain) that is responsible for the sensory and motor functions of the throat, abdomen and other nearby organs. Notably, the vagus nerve also sends information from the gut to the brain.

Additionally, studies have shown that people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or Crohn’s Disease have weak vagus nerve function, resulting in reduced gut function. In animal studies, stress stops the vagus nerve from sending information to the brain, and this results in various gut problems. However, a study involving mice shows that feeding them with probiotics resulted in reduced stress hormones in their blood. Interestingly (and sadly), this effect of probiotics had no effect when the vagus nerve was cut.

This proves that the connection between the brain and gut affects gastric function as well as brain function.

Now let’s move on to how the gut microbiota affect brain function and vice versa.

Over the previous 2 newsletters, we tackled GABA or gamma-aminobutyric acid. GABA is an example of a neurotransmitter. The brain has many neurotransmitters, and they are responsible for controlling your feelings and emotions. What’s interesting is that many of these neurotransmitters are produced by the cells and the trillions of bacteria in the gut. In fact, your gut microbiome (the diverse community of bacteria in the gut) is responsible for producing GABA.

Aside from producing neurotransmitters, your gut microbiome also produce chemicals that affect brain function and metabolize bile acids and amino acids that affect the brain. Yes, although bile acids are produced by the liver to digest and absorb fats, they also affect the brain.

You may also recall something called leaky gut. In leaky gut, the inflammatory toxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS) made by some bacteria in your gut passes through to the bloodstream. This is associated with brain disorders such as depression, dementia, and schizophrenia.

Dysbiosis and Anxiety

When there is dysbiosis (an imbalance of microorganisms in the gut), different illnesses can occur, including ones that affect mental functioning, such as anxiety.

So going from here, we can conclude that keeping the gut bacteria healthy can improve brain health. In a study by Yang, et. al. that was published in the Journal of General Psychiatry, “more than half of the studies included showed it was positive to treat anxiety symptoms by regulation of the intestinal microbiota.”

Probiotic and Non-Probiotic Interventions

There are two ways to keep the gut microbiome healthy.

One is taking probiotics, live bacteria and yeasts that are good for you because they keep your gut healthy.

Second, is non-probiotic intervention, which means making healthier choices with your diet. Start by ditching sodas, sweeteners, prepackaged and processed foods. Begin eating vegetables, clean sources of proteins, healthy fats, fruits, and eggs. Let’s look into a few dietary specifics that can help support a healthy microbiome.

Omega-3 fats
These are found in fish, flaxseed, chia seeds, and dietary supplements. Studies show that Omega 3s increase gut bacteria and also reduce the risk of brain disorders.

Fermented Foods
Fermented foods can alter brain activity. Examples are fermented vegetables, yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and cheese.

Fiber-Rich Foods
When we eat fiber, it remains unchanged until it reaches the colon. Your stomach doesn’t have the enzymes to digest fiber. It’s only in the colon that fiber is broken down by your bacteria that use fiber as their food supply. The byproduct of this breakdown of fats by the gut bacteria are called short-chain fatty acids (SCFA). These SCFA’s are then used by your gut cells as fuel. When SCFA and other metabolites enter the blood, they also act as signals to the brain and regulate the immune system and inflammation.

Polyphenol-Rich Foods
Polyphenols are plant chemicals processed by gut bacteria. The metabolites act directly as neurotransmitters, making polyphenols improve cognitive function. Examples of polyphenol-rich foods are cocoa, green tea, olive oil, and coffee.

Tryptophan-Rich Foods
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that boosts serotonin production. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is sometimes called the happy chemical because it is associated with happiness and a positive mood. Low serotonin has been linked to mood disorders and depression. Salmon, eggs, spinach, and seeds are rich in tryptophan.

The gut and brain affect each other through nerve connections and neurotransmitters, and the gut microbiota is essential in maintaining a healthy and functional brain-gut axis. So if you want to improve your brain function, particularly improving your anxiety symptoms, these are some tools you can use.

That’s all for today. Please be sure to discuss changes to your diet, medication, or supplement regimen with a trusted health professional to be sure it is safe and right for you.

It is my passion is to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully. 

If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!
Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. http://bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!

-Rebecca

Have you heard about sacha inchi?

Gut health is what it’s all about.

You see, your gut is at the root of both health and disease. When your gut health struggles, you’re going to feel it! Maybe you’ll feel it with low energy or poor mood. Maybe you’ll feel it with obvious digestive symptoms. Maybe for you it’s your skin or your weight that’s telling you something isn’t quite right.

You can’t be healthy and free of symptoms if your gut isn’t functioning properly and your gut needs the right foods for YOU in order to thrive.
Your gut is where you take all the good stuff you eat and drink and transform it into the many building blocks your body needs to make energy, sleep well, maintain a healthy weight, build muscle, and clear out toxins that need clearing out daily so you can thrive.

I care about all of these things because my passion is to work with people like you whose health symptoms–like gut/digestive issues, excess weight, low energy, and skin & sleep problems–are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.

So what does all this have to do with sacha inchi? Well, sacha inchi is a superfood that delivers all sorts of key nutrients to your gut!

Sacha inchi


Sacha inchi is a seed native to Peru. It’s a complete protein that’s highly digestible, is high in the amino acid tryptophan which you need to make the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin, is rich in Omega 3, 6 and 9 fats, and high in fiber (great for satisfying the appetite, promoting healthy blood sugar, and encouraging healthy bowels).
You can enjoy the nutty tasting seeds roasted or in powdered form. They can be added to just about anything from soups, salads, or your favorite smoothies. Some companies like Julian Bakery use them in products like their Pegan Thin food bars.
If you are looking for ways to increase your protein, fiber and healthy fats, sacha inchi is a great option. Look at your local health food store or get some online.

The more you are in touch with nourishing your body, you less deprived you’ll feel…AND the more likely you will want to keep feeling great. You’ll find ways to celebrate and be social that honor your health while still enjoying delicious food.

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!

~Rebecca

P.S. Do you know someone who is struggling with their weight, digestion/gut, or energy?
Send them my way! They can set up a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session with me here