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Welcome to Naturna Institute

Where the best of Eastern medicine and Western science converge to form a comprehensive, cross-discipline approach. Listening, instead of dictating, allowing a deeper dialogue to manifest a more complete diagnosis. Revealing the true root causes behind symptoms and conditions and crafting unique health plans that empower you through education and inspiration to conquer bad habits and create better ones.

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Holiday Alcohol Consumption: Tips & Recipes, Naturna Life, Blog

Holiday Alcohol Consumption: Tips & Recipes

Part of unwinding and celebrating the holidays for many is to enjoy a glass of wine, beer or a holiday cocktail. Many people ask us: What is the healthiest way to consume alcohol? Here are some recommendations: 1. It is best to consume alcohol with food (not on an empty stomach). Food helps to absorb the alcohol and avoid feeling sick or nauseous. 2. Staying hydrated is key. If you plan to drink alcohol, make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day and between drinks. 3. Sugar from sweet mixers or liquors is the most harmful part of many cocktails. Often the simpler and more bitter the drink the healthier it is for you and the better you will feel tomorrow. Which beverages are healthiest? The alcoholic...

Holiday and Seasonal Recipes Blog, Naturna Institute, December 2016

Holiday and Seasonal Recipes

In celebration of the holidays, the Naturna team shares favorite dishes and sides. Enjoy a mix of healthy and delicious recipes with some healthy tips. Recipe from Christina Burns, Founder and Doctor of Chinese Medicine A Christina original! Chocolate Avocado Mousse Serves 2 (double recipe as desired) Ingredients 1 medium avocado 2 dates 1/2 cup almond, cashew, coconut or hemp milk (depending on desired creaminess) 1-1/2 tbsp pure organic cocoa powder 1 tbsp (sweeten to taste) pure Maple syrup — No "Aunt Jemina" corn-syrup variety. Yuck! Optional: 1 tbsp chia seeds for omegas, well-blended to create a smooth consistency Directions 1. Toss everything in a blender and blend until smooth. Voila! 2. Serve immediately or let cool and set in the fridge 1-2 hours Avoid eating too much at night as the chocolate packs a caffeine kick. HEALTHY TIP: Avocados are rich in nutrients,...

Breaking Out of a Rut, Kirsten Jordan, Naturna Institute, Blog, December 2016

Breaking Out of an Unhealthy Rut

Late fall rolls into the holiday season which is prime time for getting into a “rut.” By a rut I mean getting stuck. The actual definition of a rut is “a habit or pattern of behavior that has become dull and unproductive but is hard to change.” I hear this theme a lot everywhere I go: “I know I shouldn’t be doing this, but I can’t stop” or “being healthy starts Monday.” There is no worse feeling than the inertia of bad habits rolling into an overall poor lifestyle with no end in sight.   Well into fall, we have already accumulated habits of going out too much, staying up too late, and just generally burning the candle at both ends. While this may not ring...

Grain Bowls by Kirsten Jordan, Naturna Institute, blog, November 17, 2016

Grain Bowls: How Can You Make Sure They Are Healthy?

Salad or grain bowl? Raw or cooked? What’s the healthiest lunch option with the “bowl” trend available at every corner? It used to be that a “healthy” take out lunch was a sandwich. Then it was a salad. At some point a few years ago grain bowls hit the scene and they are now the new lunch option on the fast food lunch line. But are they healthy? Here is a breakdown of the ingredients in these bowls and what you should know to make them nutrient rich and satisfying: Grain Base The base of these bowls is usually a hot or room temperature grain or “grain-like seed.”  Some of us tolerate whole grains well and are unaffected by them during digestion and assimilation. Others fare best...

Natural Treatment for Menopause

Traditional Chinese Medicine does not recognize menopause as a disease. Rather, it considers the symptoms of menopause to be imbalances within the body. Ideally, it is best to consider treatment prior to entering this phase of life so the transition can be smooth and without ill effects, but it is never too late to partner with your acupuncturist to plan a strategy. The combined modalities of Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can balance the body’s energetics and expediently give relief to menopausal symptoms without the side effects of pharmaceuticals....

How Your Diet May be Sabotaging Your Skin

Diet, herbs, and acupuncture are phenomenal in addressing skin issues. For many people, skin conditions are sourced in immune and gut health. Foods such as sugar, chocolate, dairy, and refined carbohydrates will more than likely cause issues. For others, it’s hormonal. But guess what? Hormones are also heavily affected by what we eat. ...

20 Natural Tips to Prevent Breast Cancer and Balance Hormones

Breast cancer is probably one of the most publicized and researched cancers around. It is the most common cancer affecting women. If you have breast cancer or someone you love does, I feel for you. It takes tremendous strength to be on either side of this devastating disease. Breast cancer is unique because there is a huge hormonal element along with an unignorable genetic component. The objective of this post is a review of tips you can use to stay healthy, keep your hormones in balance, and prevent breast cancer.   Why hormones? In many clinical studies, dominance and abundance of the hormone estrogen is the primary culprit in breast cancer tumor growth. What is the best way to keep estrogen levels in a healthy balance?...

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Miscarriage and Pregnancy Loss: Causes and Approaches

First off, I’m deeply sorry if you have experienced a miscarriage. Despite it being common, that fact only helps so much in coping with the loss and consequent fears that come with it. This article is not an aggregate of statistics to help you understand your likelihood of miscarrying. It is simply an effort to help you understand the common causes so that you might find additional solace. If you have experienced more than one pregnancy loss, my heart goes out to you. I hope the content of this article may additionally assist you in understanding what tests to seek out and how to best mitigate the chances of this happening again. Or, at the very least, gain some insight. Chromosomal Abnormality The most common cause...

Not All Gluten Free Foods Are Healthy

How many people do you know who are “gluten free”? Some people follow gluten free diets for health reasons – either because they have a sensitive digestive system or because they have a diagnosed Celiac disease. (For more on this topic, read our blog “What’s the Deal with Gluten Free?”) However, gluten free has also become a fad. One example is Miley Cyrus who lost a ton of weight in 2012 claiming a new gluten and dairy free diet. Not surprisingly, more and more foods are being packaged and advertised with the label “gluten free” – some of which are healthier options than others. Gluten free is defined as avoiding foods that contain the substance “gluten.” Gluten is a general name for the proteins...

How to Strengthen Immunity Naturally to Prevent Cold, Flu, and Allergies

The fall season is a popular time to focus on strengthening the immune system to prevent cold and flu, and treat allergies. You may have seen signs at the pharmacy for the flu shot or advertisements of various antihistamines. However, by following simple health guidelines culled from Eastern medical wisdom, you can learn how to naturally transition through every season with better immunity. From an Eastern medicine perspective, each season concentrates on an organ system or pair of organs. Fall being the season of the lungs and colon, it makes sense that we see a myriad of respiratory and immune issues pop up. Another aspect of autumn is dryness. Perhaps you may notice a dry cough, dry lips, or dry sinuses? In some cases dry stool or...

Nutrition and Cancer: Can you “starve” cancer?

Dominant cancer theory is based on genetics: that is why Angelina Jolie had a double mastectomy – she showed positive for a genetic mutation deemed the breast cancer “gene.”  There are also other theories (and case histories of miraculous remission) that beg to differ with cancer as a fatalistic “you were born with it” idea. Different theories (with a base in discoveries as early as the 1930s) are popping up more and more in articles about how we live and what we can do to REVERSE our risk for cancer. The concept that we can turn cancer causing genes on or off and prevent cancer with lifestyle changes continues to pop up in the health media.  

One school of thought gaining steam is that of Dr. Otto Heinrich Warburg. Warburg won the Nobel Prize in 1933 and 1941 for his research on cancer. His theory was that cancer happens because the cells are fermenting sugar as a fuel source instead of using oxygen (the preferred option). Specifically, he found that sugar feeds tumors and he hypothesized that to shrink a tumor you should starve it of this very substance. While this fell out of favor and dominant theory continues to point towards genetic mutation, the new research based on this old idea is promising. “Warburg revival has allowed researchers to develop a hypothesis for how the diets that are linked to our obesity and diabetes epidemics — specifically, sugar-heavy diets — may also be driving cells to the Warburg effect and cancer.” It is likely that sugar and cancer may be prevalent theory five to ten years from now.

It is important to remember that most types of cancer develop slowly over the years. More and more research is pointing to the fact that cancer happens because people have been eating poorly and living an unhealthy lifestyle for years and THEN they get cancer. Overall lifestyle (even from a young age) is the most important factor to minimizing cancer risk.  

Some nutrition and lifestyle mantras to REVERSE cancer risk:

  • Avoid sugar as much as possible
    • Sweetened beverages
    • Soda (even artificially sweetened)
  • Don’t smoke
  • Avoid anything with corn syrup
  • Stay a healthy weight “BMI
  • Avoid processed foods
    • Processed meats
    • Processed oils, trans fats, canola oil, and vegetable oils
    • Refined “white” carbohydrates
  • Find an activity you enjoy and get some movement every day
  • Eat a variety of veggies (non starchy as much as you can) and antioxidant rich foods
  • Eat smart fats (please see the end for further reading about fats)
    • Olives and olive oil
    • Coconuts and coconut oil
    • Butter made from grass fed organic milk
    • Cacao butter
    • Raw nuts like macadamia, and pecans
    • Seeds like black sesame, cumin, pumpkin, and hemp
    • Organic pastured egg yolks
    • Avocados
    • Grass fed meats
    • Wild caught fish like salmon
    • Lard, tallow, and ghee (try and see if these agree with your system)
    • Animal based omega 3 fat like krill oil
    • Purslane
  • Watch alcohol consumption (be as moderate as you can)
  • Watch out for hormone therapy
  • Find ways to manage stress  
  • Get outside every day and expose yourself to sunlight and fresh air
  • Protect your skin from sun overexposure

Detox – Clean Your Liver, Boost Your Thyroid

Last month I spent one of my precious summer weekends sitting in the basement of an underwhelming midtown hotel for 9 hours per day, 3 consecutive days. Why would anyone do that you ask? It was for a seminar by Apex Energetics on the topic of Functional Medicine for the treatment of thyroid disorders. This topic could not be missed! Why is it important and why detox? Thyroid disorders, especially hypothyroidism, are insanely prevalent and will greatly affect your quality of life and long term health. In the short term it could be fatigue, anxiety, weight issues, depression, brain fog, infertility etc. Long term we are looking at more severe mental health issues, heart problems, infertility, birth defects, peripheral neuropathy, goiter and so on. The...

High Cholesterol? Could Be Related To Gluten, Sugar and Carbs.

Do you have high cholesterol and have you been told to ditch your eggs, shrimp and lobster?? What if this wasn’t actually the cause of your cholesterol issues? You may be surprised to learn that gluten, sugar, and carbs are often the sneaky culprits - and also, they are highly addictive! It has been a popular belief for years that eating fat and cholesterol makes you fat and also raises levels of “bad” cholesterol. Now studies point to sugar as the real culprit for heart disease, fat around the midsection, and bad cholesterol. So what does this mean? Eating cholesterol laden foods is not the root of the problem; sugar and refined carbohydrates are often more to blame. Hello, Paleo revolution. Goodbye, sugar and refined...

New Season. Healthy Start. Superfoods To Get Into: Goji Berries

In the spirit of celebrating the fall season and a new chapter in our health cycle, we’d like you to meet our good friend and cancer trojan, the Goji berry! Goji berries are a miracle fruit long touted for their numerous health benefits and categorized as 'Superfood' due to their antioxidant powers. They are about the size and shape of a sultana raisin and somewhat similar in taste but with an herbal twist and also a tad less sweet. Goji berries are one of the highest antioxidant foods known to man. It is for this reason that they are a very important longevity herb used for millennia in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Tibetan Medicine. It is such a potent antioxidant that it is rated #1 on the...