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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 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,...

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...

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. ...

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...

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...

What May Be Causing Low Energy, Weight gain & Skin issues.

Leaky Gut Syndrome is an autoimmune disease associated with your gut leaking toxins into your bloodstream and toxifying your body. This occurs after the gut has been injured by: stress, toxins, over the counter medications, antibiotics, or pathogens like parasites, bacteria, and yeast. It limits your absorption of nutrients and can cause weight gain, skin issues, low energy and even depression. Autoimmunity happens when the body starts attacking its own healthy cells and tissues. The immune system starts overreacting and sends off inflammatory responses. Maybe you have a friend or family member with hashimoto's or rheumatoid arthritis? These are all autoimmune disorders and work in a similar way. Other common examples are: Celiac, Graves Disease, Addison's Disease, Lupus, and Multiple Sclerosis.  “The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that...

Eight tips to avoid putting on too much weight during pregnancy

Start your day with protein and/or fat. DO NOT begin with a high glycemic cereal, pastry or bread. Try eggs, a protein smoothie, steelcut oats with flax and walnuts or gluten free toast with avocado and olive oil OR almond/pumpkin/sunflower nut butter. This may indeed set the tone for your entire day as it will prevent you from having a “sugar crash” from the carby/sugary things that absorb into the blood stream too fast. Watch it with the sweets, sugar, and refined carbs. No matter how much you are craving that ice cream sundae, drink a big glass of water (if you have eaten recently already) or try to eat at “real meal” first. Wait 15 minutes and if you are still dying for...