Showing posts from 2011

What is your Immune System telling you?

The Fever Fallacy Contrary to popular belief, fevers are GOOD. Fever is a positive indicator that your body has the strength to fight off pathogens. A fever is part of your body’s defense mechanism and actually kills off bacteria and viruses that can’t live in higher temperatures. Fevers should not be suppressed or reduced because of its beneficial effects in fighting infections. Temperatures up to 104* F are benign and of short duration and have not been shown to cause permanent neurological damage. The main goal for decreasing a fever is to improve the comfort of the person with a fever.
Technically speaking, a fever is an oral temperature of 100.4 * F or above. Anything under that is not a fever. In children under the age of 3 years old, parents should monitor the behavior of their child, not the actual temperature. The degree of the fever doesn’t always correlate with the severity of the infection. I have seen 4 year olds brought into my clinic who are running up and down my hallway…

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Coconut Banana Pudding

Author: Dr. Sonja Fung

Here's my dilemma.

I'm going to my friend's house for thanksgiving dinner and their children are gluten-free and dairy-free and I'm bringing dessert! One of my favorite thanksgiving treats is southern-style banana pudding. So after scouring the web, I found a recipe that I could adapt to my gfcf needs.

Hope you like it as much as I did.

P.S. It's not sugar free = )

Happy Thanksgiving from my kitchen to yours.

Gluten-free Dairy-free Banana Pudding with Meringue Prep Time: 30 minutesCook Time: 8 minutesTotal Time: 38 minutesYield: 12 servingsIngredients:Pudding Ingredients:2/3 cup cane sugar 1/3 cup tapioca starch 1/4 teaspoon salt18oz coconut milk14oz coconut cream 4 egg yolks - reserve egg whites for meringue1 teaspoon vanilla extract or half of a vanilla bean 4 ripe, peeled and thinly sliced medium bananas50 Trader Joes Gluten free (and dairy free) Ginger snaps (about 1 ¼ bags) Meringue Ingredients:4 egg whites, room tempe…

Family Health Q&A

1.     I’m having a difficult time deciding what to pack for my kid’s school lunches. What are some healthy, easy options? When packing lunches include a protein, veggie, fruit and carbohydrate. Proteins can come in more sources than just lunch meat. Peanut butter and jelly can be made many different ways. Try using different kinds of nut butters and different jellies. Hard boiled eggs, chicken, cheese, yogurt, tofu are all other good protein choices.Noodles, tortillas, spelt crackers and whole wheat breads are good carbohydrate choices. Cutting up fruits into different shapes will make it more appealing. Get your kids involved in choosing the fruits and veggies they want to eat. Dipping veggies into hummus will make eating them more fun. Water is always the best option but, it can be difficult to get kids to drink it. Try adding oranges or berries and it will make water appealing.
2.     How do I know if my 2nd grade daughter is getting enough sleep?It is difficult to get her up in the…

Breast Cancer- Knowing is Half the Battle

CANCER. There is hardly another word that evokes such powerful emotions. Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women in the United States and the second leading cause of death. Cancer is complicated. Many factors contribute to a person developing cancer. Just by being a woman, our risk increases. Even though we know some of the factors that can lead to developing cancer, there is no definitive answer as to why breast cancer develops in some women and not others. Some risk factors we have no control over, such as getting older and family history. That being said, there are risk factors that we can control, such as maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, reducing stress, limiting alcohol intake, and eating a balanced nutritional diet.
Know your body: Feel your boobies: Save your life. The most important step that a woman can take to reduce the risk of breast cancer is to familiarize yourself with your body.It is vital to do monthly self breast exams. If you…

Start your school year right with A+ answers.

In preparation for the school year and cold/flu season, what are the best immune building foods? Nutrition is the foundation of health. Make food your medicine, and medicine your food. Generally foods high in vitamin c and antioxidants are great immune boosters. Some of the top immune boosting foods are: kefir, mushrooms, broccoli, fish, chicken, garlic, tumeric, and other kitchen spices.The key is to eat a beautifully colorful meal with lots of veggies and lean meats to balance out your diet. Remember, avoiding or minimizing sugary foods (such as cereals, soda, and snacks) is key to maintaining a strong immune system.Ingesting just 1tsp. of sugar suppresses immune system for the next 3 hours. Here is an example of a healthy and easy meal plan for kids and family: Breakfast: Protein smoothie with handful of frozen berries and kefir. Lunch: An orange. Chopped salmon on salad with red bell peppers and mushrooms. Dinner: Chicken curry with broccoli, pumpkin, onions, and garlic over brown ri…

Effects of Coffee, Soda, and Water

Author: Sonja Fung, ND

1.Does coffee increase breast cysts? There are no research studies that show that coffee intake increases breast cysts. However, there are studies showing that high caffeine intake (4-5 cups or more of coffee daily) increases the level of estrogen in the body, which could aggravate conditions such as endometriosis and breast pain. Caution should be used by women with estrogen sensitive breast disease or breast cancer. Low to moderate intake of coffee (1-2 cups per day) has not been shown to significantly increase estrogen production in the body.
2.Is diet soda better for you than regular soda? The short answer is NO. The artificial sweeteners in diet soda (even though it is lower in calories) desensitizes your body to the taste of sweetness. Consuming a lot of artificial sweeteners can actually make you gain weight, because it increases your desire for sweet foods and leads you to consume more calories overall. In general, drinking soda is detrimental to your h…

Facets of Integrative Cancer Care from a Naturopathic Medical Standpoint

Desert Health News April/May 2011 Author: Sonja Fung, ND
What is Integrative cancer care? Integrative cancer care uses a comprehensive approach to health, using the best combination of conventional and alternative therapies specific to the patient. That means treating the person who has the cancer, rather than treating just the cancer in the body. Integrative cancer care is NOT about replacing your medical oncologist; it is about creating diversified team of doctors and health practitioners each bringing their knowledge to formulate your unique treatment plan. Using an integrative approach to cancer care means using the best treatments at the most appropriate time to get an optimal result; it is not choosing one type of treatment over the other. This means that before your surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy, appropriate use of complementary therapies can fortify your body with healing nutrients to maintain your energy, strengthen your immune function, shrink recovery time, au…

A Stroke of Prevention

Author: Dr. Sonja Fung Stroke is the third leading killer following heart disease and cancer, in the United States. More than 137,000 people a year die from stroke, according to the American Stroke Association. You probably know of someone or cared for someone who has had a stroke. You must also know how debilitating a stroke can be. The good news: adults over 45 years old are suffering fewer strokes. The bad news: stroke and heart disease are now affecting younger and younger people. A heart-stopping statistic from the CDC of stoke hospitalizations from 1994-2007, show a sharp rise in a very surprising age group: children and adults under 35 years old. Among males aged 15 to 34, the rate surged by nearly 51% and 17% in females. Shockingly, strokes soared 31% in boys aged 5 to 14 and 36% in girls of the same age. Who could even start to imagine a teenage child hospitalized from a stroke. What increases stroke risk? It’s not surprising that the stroke and heart disease trend follows…

The Importance of Adrenal Support

What are your adrenal glands and what do they do for you?

Your adrenal glands sit on top of your kidneys like a little hat. Adrenal glands work with the brain to mediate stress, produce energy, maintain weight and metabolism, control blood pressure, and secrete testosterone among other things.

Why am I always tired and gaining weight especially around the middle?

It sounds like you are experiencing “adrenal fatigue”. This happens when you are under constant mental, physical, or emotional stress, eating a poor diet, lacking exercise, and end up burning the candle at both ends. Adrenal fatigue is a term used to describe sub-optimal functioning of your adrenal glands leading to symptoms such as constant fatigue and weight gain. When under stressful situations, your adrenal glands produce “fight or flight” stress hormones which stimulate an increase in blood sugar so that your body can either use the extra energy to run away or to stand and fight. In a modern day setting, if this extra …

Achieving Your New Year’s Resolutions

Author: Dr. Sonja Fung, ND

The new year is coming once again and resolutions are stacking up; promises that sometimes never make it through the first month but manage to make the resolution list every single year. We always expect a better year than the last one, and at each end of each year, people make resolutions that will hopefully make the coming year more satisfying than the last one.

The annual number one resolution of all time is to lose weight and get healthy. Indulging in festivities from November to January has probably affected your be-hind. With non-stop eating, most people will gain a several extra pounds and decide to lose those pounds in the New Year.

Here are some steps to achieving your weight loss goals:

1) Establish a food plan.

Whether you chose the HCG diet, south beach, zone, mediterranean, weight watchers, etc. find a food plan that works for you. The ever popular HCG diet (when used correctly in a medically supervised plan) can help as a stepping stone to …