Tuesday, August 31, 2010

How's Your Vacation Health?

by Glen Depke

So, how do you feel about your vacation health? I know you may be thinking; what vacations?

Here at Depke Wellness we look at every aspect of health and taking time away from work to vacation is a very important aspect for all of us. Yes, I understand that the economy is bad, you may not have the same cash flow, or you may even be out of work currently. This does not take away the need for you to escape the grips of our work, work, work culture. Vacation is not a luxury, it is a must.

I get it…how do you go on vacation when you cannot even cover the bills at home that are coming in currently? This is where creativity comes into play for you.

There is always a way to go on vacation when you are creative. For some this may mean that you cannot go on the extravagant trip you are used to, but you can still get away on a more cost effective vacation, even if it is a weekend getaway. If you do not have the cash for this, you may have the opportunity to visit friends or loved ones for an extended period, with the goal of needed fun and enjoyment. We can even look at it from the perspective of someone that is out of work and really struggling financially. How about committing to an entire weekend of low or no cost fun?

So how do you go on a low cost or no cost vacation? Pick a theme, such as a Caribbean as example, and take a weekend with your loved one and simply make it up. Play Caribbean music all weekend; find some recipes on-line for some fun and inexpensive meals (you have to eat anyway). Set up a blanket in the backyard, get out in the sun, keep the music going, play a game and enjoy a fun book. Do whatever it is you would like to do on vacation. Instead of paying for a massage, give and receive a foot massage with your loved one. As the night goes on dance to the music and simply live. Make sure you do all this while wearing your favorite vacation cloths. You know that ones; they never come out of the closet to wear around the people you typically hang out with. I have a couple of these shirts myself.

If you need to create an emotional shift for yourself just to get into your no cost vacation weekend, rent a comedy that you know simply cracks you up every time you watch it. I trust that we all have one of those in mind.

Anyway, I think you get the idea by now. Regardless of your financial state, vacation is a must. This will improve your health; physically, mentally and emotionally and potentially set you up to even improve your financial health also. If you have been out of work, just think of the renewed energy you may feel from your vacation and what this can do for your future employment or entrepreneur goals.

By the way, when I told my wife Dawn about the no cost vacation, she shared that it sounds like fun and she is now waiting for me to plan this surprise weekend for us. Here’s to a fun, no cost weekend!

If you have any comments or questions, please post below for my response.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Symptom Care...Doesn't Work!

by Glen Depke

I have clients come to me for a wide array of health challenges. Some have been diagnosed with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, auto-immune disorders, hormone imbalance, menopause, PMS, fibromyalgia, chronic stress or they may simply want to lose some weight. While everyone seems to come in thinking that their problems are their symptoms, I always share that their diagnosed disease state or symptoms are not their problem. The symptoms are simply the bodies way of helping your understand the deeper core imbalances that need to be addressed.

I understand how difficult it is to look away from your symptoms or diagnosed disease state but it is of utmost importance to get back to the core, to understand where this all went wrong in the first place. You have all heard me talk often enough about your fundamentals of health, but when we are faced with symptoms and diagnosed disease states, this is always the place to start. For those that are new to Depke Wellness, your fundamentals of health are; deep breathing, water consumption, eating the correct food, sleep, movement and exposure to the sun. These fundamentals are then supported by maintaining balanced emotional states and reducing your perception of stress and the stress response. If you would like to look at these deeper, feel free to visit the posts at www.AskDepkeWellness.com from January of this year or visit www.DepkeWellness.com and click on the Fundamentals of Health link.

Recognize that there are three common challenges tied into your diagnosed disease state or symptoms after the fundamentals. These common challenges are the adrenal glands, your gastro-intestinal health and your ability to detoxify.

If there is a challenge or lack of balance in your fundamentals this will typically create physical, mental and emotional stress to the body. This stress will create imbalances with the adrenal glands. These are two tiny little glands that respond to physical, mental and emotional stress in the body. The challenge though is that the job of the adrenals goes so much deeper than the stress response. The adrenals also play a significant role in many other functions of your body; thyroid, pancreas, ovaries, metabolism of fat and protein, regulation of body weight, detoxification, immune function, inflammatory states, cellular energy, blood sugar balance, muscular skeletal health, quality of sleep and mood, your ability to memorize and learn, and your overall neural connectivity. It is amazing the amount of challenges created when the adrenal glands are imbalanced due to our lack of focus on the fundamentals of health. I will share that almost every health challenged individual I have seen has had some level of adrenal insufficiency that needs to be balanced in order to turn around and walk away from your symptoms. If you are not looking at the adrenals and your fundamentals of health, you are missing the boat.

If the adrenals have been challenge for some time, this often leads to gastro intestinal challenges. Understand that about 80% of your immune system function originates in the GI. When this function is challenged it leaves you open and suspect to a whole host of GI challenges; such as parasites, protozoa, amoeba and many other infections. Once these “critters”, as I call them, have the ability to make their home in your GI this can lead to many other functional challenges in your body. This may simply be the inability to absorb and assimilate your nutrients properly or immune system dysfunction. Over time, this can begin to systematically shut down proper function and lead to almost any disease state.

When the fundamentals, adrenals and GI have been challenged over time, the next area that suffers is your body’s ability to detoxify properly. To begin with let’s understand that we are talking about your liver, colon, kidneys, lymphatic system, skin and lungs. These systems of detoxification and some also elimination are designed for metabolic waste and general die off within the body. They are not designed for the toxins in the air we breathe, in the food we eat, on our cloths, in the products we put on our skin and so on. Due to this fact, as well as the added stress on these systems due to imbalanced fundamentals of health, adrenal insufficiency, and GI distress, our bodies cannot release toxins as needed. This alone can create a whole host of symptoms and diseased states for us.

So please, the next time you think your problems are your symptoms or your diagnosed diseased states, look at the core to find the true challenges. When you create balance on these levels, you may be amazed at the success you can create. If you want to call these miracles, I can share that I see miracles happen on a regular basis with my clients. This too, can be you!

Please post any comments or questions you may have as a response to this post.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Truth About Agave Nectar: It's All Hype

by Dr. Jonny Bowden

Agave nectar/ syrup is basically high-fructose corn syrup masquerading as a health food.

It’s easy to understand how agave syrup got its great reputation. Even the word “Agave” has a fine pedigree, coming from the Greek word for noble. The blue agave species- considered the best for the making agave nectar- flourishes in rich volcanic soil— (it’s also the only variety permitted to be used for the making of tequila). And extracts from the agave plant have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. (Unfortunately there’s zero evidence that any of those compounds are present in the commercially made syrup.)

Agave nectar is an amber-colored liquid that pours more easily than honey and is considerably sweeter than sugar. The health-food crowd loves it because it is gluten-free and suitable for vegan diets- and, most especially, because it’s low glycemic (we’ll get to that in a moment). Largely because of its very low glycemic impact, Agave nectar is marketed as “diabetic friendly”. What’s not to like?

As it turns out, quite a lot.

Agave nectar has a low-glycemic index for one reason only: it’s largely made of fructose, which although it has a low-glycemic index, is now known to be a very damaging form of sugar when used as a sweetener. Agave nectar has the highest fructose content of any commercial sweetener (with the exception of pure liquid fructose).

All sugar- from table sugar to HFCS (high-fructose corn syrup) to honey- contains some mixture of fructose and glucose. Table sugar is 50/50, HFCS is 55/45. Agave nectar is a whopping 90% fructose, almost- but not quite- twice as high as HFCS.

Fructose- the sugar found naturally in fruit- is perfectly fine when you get it from whole foods like apples (about 7% fructose)—it comes with a host of vitamins, antioxidants and fiber. But when it’s commercially extracted from fruit, concentrated and made into a sweetner, it exacts a considerable metabolic price.

Research shows that it’s the fructose part of sweeteners that’s the most dangerous. Fructose causes insulin resisitance and significantly raises triglycerides (a risk factor for heart disease). It also increases fat around the middle which in turn puts you at greater risk for diabetes, heart disease and Metabolic Syndrome (a kind of pre-diabetes) .

And fructose has been linked to non-alcoholic fatty-liver disease. Rats given high fructose diets develop a number of undesirable metabolic abnormalities including elevated triglycerides, weight gain and extra abdominal fat.

In the agave plant, most of the sweetness comes from a particular kind of fructose called inulin that actually has some health benefits- it’s considered a fiber. But there’s not much inulin left in the actual syrup. In the manufacturing process, enzymes are added to the inulin to break it down into digestible sugar (fructose), resulting in a syrup that has a fructose content that is at best 57% and- much more commonly- as high as 90%.

“”It’s almost all fructose, highly processed sugar with great marketing,” said Dr. Ingrid Kohlstadt, a fellow of the American College of Nutrition and an associate faculty member at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. “Fructose interferes with healthy metabolism when (consumed) at higher doses”, she told me. “Many people have fructose intolerance like lactose intolerance. They get acne or worse diabetes symptoms even though their blood [sugar] is OK”.

Agave nectar syrup is a triumph of marketing over science. True, it has a low-glycemic index, but so does gasoline- that doesn’t mean it’s good for you.

If you simply must have some sweets once in a while, a small amount of agave nectar every once in a while isn’t going to kill you. Just don’t buy into the idea that it’s any better for you than plain old sugar or HFCS.

In some ways, it may even be slightly worse.

For further information on Dr. Jonny please visit, www.JonnyBowden.com.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Adrenal Exhaustion = PMS, Menopause, Infertility?

by Glen Depke

I see it as an epidemic in my practice with women that are experiencing negative symptoms of adrenal exhaustion, PMS, menopause and far too often infertility. As a Traditional Naturopath, I do not treat symptoms and do not believe that the answer lies in symptom care. My clients address the underlying core values that lead to their symptoms, balance this and eventually allow the body to balance and walk away from their challenges.

I have had the pleasure of working with a high percentage of women in my practice through the years and can share the most of my clients have been women from the ages of 40 – 55. With this group in mind I can share that the high percentage of them were challenged with some type of hormonal imbalance that led to PMS symptoms, menopausal symptoms and/ or infertility.

Let’s recognize that the true challenges are not PMS or menopausal symptoms or infertility. The challenges have a core that is much deeper than what you may be recognizing. Beneath these symptoms we would generally recognize a deeper adrenal insufficiency or exhaustion.

Most think of the adrenal glands only in regard to mental/emotional stress. While the cortisol produced in the adrenals definitely ties into this stress, there are many other hormones produced in the adrenals and honestly, you need cortisol for normal, healthy function. The challenge is when we have a need for chronic high levels of cortisol. In order to move through your monthly cycle, maintain fertility and transition through menopause with ease; it is of utmost importance to maintain healthy adrenals. I know I have said it before in other posts, but these two tiny little glands functionally play a role in the whole of your body.

So it’s easy; sounds like the whole problem with infertility, PMS, and menopausal symptoms are caused by the adrenals. Well, not so fast. Saying this is the case is totally false. Understand that the adrenal exhaustion are only the symptom of what’s wrong. It is so important to understand that the adrenals don’t simply get out of balance on their own. They become imbalanced based on your lifestyle choices.

Over the years in my practice, I find that the main factors tied into this adrenal exhaustion is mental/emotional stress, lack of focus on the fundamentals of health, the consumption of gluten for those that are gluten intolerant, and inflammation.

If you review the posts from January of 2010 in this blog you will find information about gluten, and all of your fundamentals of health, as well as adrenal insufficiency. There is also quite a bit of information on all of these on our website at www.DepkeWellness.com. If you are interested in assessing your likelihood of being gluten intolerant, feel free to go to the Gluten Intolerance link on the website and scroll down to the bottom of the page to print out your free gluten assessment.

If you are one of the many women challenged with either PMS or menopausal symptoms or concerned with infertility, I welcome you to attend my 5 hour workshop, “PMS or Menopause Got You Down?” this Saturday 8/21. To get more information on either attending this workshop or the video reproduction, visit my website at www.DepkeWellness.com and visit the Calendar of Events page.

If you have any other comments or questions, please reply with a post, and I will address this personally.

Endometriosis, Curable or Not?

by Dawn Depke

I’m willing to bet that you or someone you know suffers every month with menstrual cramps so intense that labor pains are a close competitor. Or do you know someone who plans their life around their menstrual cycle because they will be so much pain they won’t be able to get out of bed? Endometriosis seems to be on the rise more and more these days. Well, I can tell you through personal experience there is hope.

I was one of the “not so lucky ones” that received the gift of menstrual cramps with nearly my 1st menstrual period at age 13 when my cycle began. It was the first time I had experienced pain in my abdominal area. I immediately drew the conclusion that having my period automatically meant having this cramping sensation internally.

I remember asking my older sister about the pain I was feeling and she knew exactly what I was talking about because she experienced it as well. She was someone I always trusted and looked up to, so it gave me comfort to know I was “normal” because it was happening to her as well. She did however know something that I didn’t. How to get rid of the pain! The day she brought me the orange horse pill that relieved me of all the pain I was in was the day she became my hero!

Years later I realized what she had given me was simply IBU profin but it was 800mg, a very strong dose. This “magic pill” worked for many years to mask the pain and seriousness of what was happening to my insides and one day the “magic pill” stopped working. By this time I was almost a senior in college and the pain was becoming more and more intense without any relief from any over the counter pain killers.

I was referred by my GYN to a specialist who put me under the knife, as this was to only way endometriosis could be confirmed. I had never had surgery before so I didn’t know what to expect. Post-surgery, the monthly pain I had been experiencing seemed to have decreased severely. Yes! I was home free, or so I thought. The months went by but the pain returned, increasing with each month. It had returned in full force and intensified so much that I had to have a 2nd surgery in 2004.

It wasn’t until after that surgery and the “best surgeon in Milwaukee” told me that I had a 50/50 chance on ever having children and that there was no cure for endometriosis. She suggested getting on OCP’s (oral contraceptives) and trying to get pregnant right away; as this was the most fertile I would be (just after lasering the scar tissue). She also told me that those were only solutions that she could offer. She continued by telling me most likely I’d be back every 2 years or so for continuous surgeries.

There was nothing about her recommendations that were acceptable to me. It was that moment that the most important piece of my recovery took place. I promised myself that I would NEVER have surgery for this ever again, and I meant it. Every cell in my body knew that I would do whatever it took so that I didn’t end up on that operating table again. If any of you reading this have had this type of laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis can understand that the healing process is a slow one.

I love one of the laws of the Universe called the Law of Attraction. Looking back I realized that it was working for me with this situation before I had ever heard of it. Only one month after my surgery I met one of the founders of the Endometriosis society and he told me the research they were finding about endometriosis was that it was an autoimmune issue. I didn’t know what that meant so I looked it up on-line and found an herb called Astragalus root which boosts the immune system and began taking it. From that point on amazing people entered my life that assisted with increasing my knowledge to lead me ultimately to the transformation I had and currently have with this “disease”.

I met Sue Olmos, who introduced me to Young Living Essential Oils suggesting clary sage as a natural estrogen and YL’s natural progesterone cream called progessence. Immediately I felt so many of the remaining symptoms that I still had even after my 2nd surgery vanish. My PMS vanished, my mood swings gone, and the clotting I was continuing to have also vanished! It was like a miracle had happened. I never knew my body has such an amazing ability to heal itself with the right tools to assist that healing.

From there I met Glen Depke who was the founder of the Natural Health Practitioners Association in Illinois and is now my amazing husband. But back then he gave me 2 critical pieces to my healing régime that I was missing; customized nutrition and emotional work.

I truly feel for my body to heal I needed all of these; the promise to myself that I would do whatever it took to find a way for my body to heal, the belief that my body could do that, a naturally balanced hormonal system, the correct nutrition for my individuality and the release of stress, current and past traumas that I was holding onto emotionally.

Your healing path might be different than mine but I promise you, when you give your mind, body and soul what it needs, it will heal. It has been almost 6 years to the day of my last surgery. I know I will never have surgery for endometriosis again as long as I am taking care of myself. I am blessed to have a monthly detector or meter to let me know how I am doing health wise. For the most part I am symptom free, but I also know if I slack off on eating right for my genetic individuality or let a stressful emotional state become chronic, I have the risk of a flare up. Health is about finding harmony in our life which is reflective in the state of our body, mind and soul. I challenge you to find your state of harmony and strive to maintain a healthy flow within your limits, still enjoying life, but also reaping the benefits of a healthy, long, harmonious life.

If you have any comments or questions please post these and I will address them personally.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Quick Fix Nation

by Glen Depke

We do recognize that as a nation we want the quick fix. We want everything now and we need everything now. Hey, I’m with the rest of us in that regard but there are areas that the expectation of the quick fix can really set us up for failure.

The most significant challenge I see with the quick fix attitude is in health care. The key word here is health care and not symptom care. If we want to address proper health in a natural way that is going to be long standing and successful, this takes time, commitment, and an openness to new ways of thinking.

I have a story that I have told for a number of years that makes sense of this, so here you go.

There is a man walking in circles, under a light in the dark with his dog, staring at the ground as he walks. A friend recognizes him as he is jogging by and asks what he is doing. The man shared that he lost his keys and has been looking for them for some time with no success. If he does not find his keys, it is him and the dog on the front porch for hours until his wife comes home. The friend very kindly offers to help; so now you have two men and a dog walking in circles under a light in the park looking for keys. Ten minutes goes by, then fifteen minutes and finally twenty minutes, when finally the friend finally asks the question. Are you sure you lost your keys right here? The man who lost the keys shared that he heard the keys fall out about one hundred yards away in the dark by the bushes, but he felt that he would never find them in the dark. This is the reason he is looking under the light.

Now please tell me that you think this story is absolutely absurd! While this story is so completely ridiculous, did you know that this is what most do with their health? Most people lost their health somewhere in the dark by the bushes but they are looking for it under the light. This is for those that either want to visit the doctor to simply take a pill or spend a weekend at a spa; while all this time thinking they are going to find their health in the easy and comfortable place. As I mentioned earlier, I am all for simple and easy but often in your search for health and wellness you will find that healing is not a passive, feel-good spa treatment or taking a pill. It is at times a gut wrenching, life-altering, exposed, experience to be done in alignment within your highest potential. It is not about feeling good, curing illness, or making things nice. It is about facing your challenges, recognizing your role in creating them, and taking responsibility for all of this.

Recognize that as you move through your journey you will find multiple levels of success and feeling better, but it really is a journey. I started my own personal journey toward health and wellness about twenty years ago and I have yet to reach the pinnacle and to be completely honest with you; I feel that it is not a goal to reach but a journey of learning and growing to enjoy.

It is also important to recognize that the length of time you have put into your health challenge, it will typically take about 10% of that time or more to get back to some state of balance. With this in mind, if you have been making poor health choices for 20 years that has led to your health challenges; you should expect to make positive health choices for at least 2 years before you see a major change for yourself. It does not mean you cannot feel better before 2 years, but don’t expect too much and set yourself up for disappointment and failure.

The other challenge is that so many individuals follow some great protocols and spend quite a bit of money yet they find no success due to the fact that they never address the simple fundamentals first. Following a proper healing protocol continues to place the body in optimal states to heal naturally.

In my opinion, the starting point for everyone is to focus on their fundamentals of health. There is a series of posts from January of this year at www.AskDepkeWellness.com that touches on these very fundamentals. Sometime within the next month we are also releasing a 7 part video series that you can purchase for only $97.00 to walk you through all your fundamentals to begin your journey toward health and wellness.

I would also suggest that if your challenges are long term and chronic to work with an experienced natural health practitioner to address the common challenges that are created when the fundamentals have been imbalanced for so long. That would include assessing your adrenal function, assess your GI health and your body’s ability to detoxify properly. If you cannot find a practitioner in your area to address these areas with confidence you are welcome to contact me at Glen@DepkeWellness.com or call my office at 949.642.2094. I work with clients throughout the United States so I am very familiar with distance work.

Please remember that your journey to health and wellness is just that; a journey. Do not create unrealistic expectations for healing that you will not be able to obtain. The frustration and disappointment of these unrealistic expectations can derail all of your success and progress. The body creates miracles every day and I have seen these miracles with clients so often through the years. You may be next!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What Supplments Do I Take?

by Glen Depke

I have had some readers recently ask me what I take in the way of supplements and what would I recommend as the basics. I do feel that the best way to get our nutrients is from the food we eat but the reality is that our food sources are typically not as high in nutrient values as the past. In my opinion, we also live with significantly higher stress levels during these times and obviously our environment also creates a toxic challenge for us. Due to these facts, it is a good idea to take some basic supplements to achieve optimal levels of health and wellness.

First of all I always take 2 probitics every day. The probiotic that I have been taking personally for 12 years and using with my clients over that same time span is called Ba-Co-Flor. Ba-Co-Flor is a probiotic that I get from Germany that I have seen amazing results with not only for myself, but also my clients. The reason for a quality probiotic is due to the fact that we simply do not consume raw fermented foods anymore with any consistency. We absolutely should strive to keep a balance of 90% beneficial bacteria and 10% detrimental bacteria in our gut for optimal digestion. I do apologize but due to company regulations, I am not able to sell this via my website. Feel free to reply to this post or call my office at 949.642.2094 if you would like information on Ba-Co-Flor.

EVERY time I eat cooked food, I take at least one Prime Digestive Support. This is due to the fact that cooked food is void of naturally occurring enzyme activity which is absolutely necessary for proper absorption and assimilation of our food. For more info you can visit our newsletter or DepkeWellness.com and visit the Depke Wellness Store.

I also take 2 Krill Oil caps daily due to the lack of proper ratios of omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acids in our diet today. Low omega 3 intake can lead to inflammation and a whole host of challenges. Feel free to visit the Preferred Health Partner page at DepkeWellness.com to review the Krill Oil I take and to understand the need much deeper.

Taking the Isotonix Multi-Vitamin is my morning treat that I use on an empty stomach to start my day off with highly absorbable nutrients. Even though I typically eat very well, I feel that due to the environment we live in today as well as the less than optimal nutrient levels in our food, I feel that this insurance policy is well received by my body. You can also get further info on the Preferred Health Partner page.

Lastly, I take 4 Juice plus caps with my lunch and dinner. What I love about Juice Plus is the fact that these caps are simply dehydrated fruits and vegetables that are in a powder form and capsulated. Again, anything I can do to get the nutrient levels I need to live a life of optimal health and wellness is my goal, and I feel that my Juice Plus caps are a part of this plan. To learn more about the Juice Plus caps you could visit the Preferred Health Partners at DepkeWellness.com.

Another vitamin that I feel is important for most individuals is Vitamin D. I personally do not take this but this is due to the fact that I live in Southern California and get regular year round sun exposure and trust that I am getting a regular conversion of sunlight into vitamin D. The reality though is that most do not have the ability to do this on a regular basis so supplementing with Vitamin D would be a benefit. I would suggest either Vitamin D drops or a liquid spray. From a nutritional perspective, I would suggest to take cod liver oil on a regular basis as a way to increase Vitamin D and A as well as your omega 3 content all in one.

These are the basics that I suggest on a consistent basis that will move you in the general direction of the health and wellness you desire. I would like to thank the readers that asked for this information and please; if there is a subject that you would like to see us cover, leave a post and we will create this for you.