Eating Alkaline for Health

Written by Dr. Barbro Brost, The Brost Clinic

Eating an alkaline diet is one of the choices we need to make daily if we want to have and maintain optimal health. Alkaline is the opposite of acid and the PH (the measurement of alkalinity/acidity) is affected by the choice of foods we eat. The more acid our bodies are, the higher risk for degenerative diseases and even cancer. Our blood PH has to always remain constant for us to survive. When we eat acidic foods the body has to buffer the acid to get to a normal blood PH. The easiest way for the body is to pull calcium from our bone. Hence the high incidence of bone loss (osteopenia and osteoporosis) in this country, where acid forming foods are common in the diet.

So, you ask, what are acid and what is alkaline foods? There are books written on this or you can google to get detailed information, but to simplify and make it easy to remember when you go to the grocery store: grains, baked goods, candy and red meat are acidic. Fruits and vegetables are alkaline. Rice is PH neutral.

Eat lots of vegetables and fruit. Stay low on red meat, grains, baked goods and sugary foods. This will keep your body at a healthy PH and decrease the risk for many diseases, slow down the aging process and give you more energy. This kind of diet will also help you keep a healthy body mass index, which is another key to optimal health and wellbeing.

Spooky Spectacular Halloween Themed Fortune Cookies

With Halloween around the corner, it reminds me of my first Halloween after my divorce. I got invited to a party but felt funny going solo especially as me and my ex had always gone as a pair of something, “Ketchup and Mustard, “ Soon-Yi Previn and Woody Allen”…you get the picture. But then I realized it was a fantastic opportunity to slip into an alter identity for a night and escape my current reality. I donned a Wonder Woman costume and those gold handcuffs really set me free from all my worries (at least for one night). It was the first time I truly had a blast in a long time and reminded me that life is short and not to take things too seriously. It was a turning moment in my healing from divorce and that’s why Halloween has become one of my favorite holidays. Here’s a fun recipe for spookily spectacular Halloween themed fortune cookies.


Ingredients

24 fortune cookies

2 cups orange candy coating, such as Candy Melts

2 cups black candy coating, such as Candy Melts

Various Halloween themed cupcake sprinkles and decorations

Instructions

  • Place orange candy coating and black candy coating in separate ceramic bowls. Heat orange candy coating at 30 second intervals in the microwave, stirring between each interval until melted and smooth. Set aside. Repeat steps with black candy coating. You may use a double boiler alternatively to melt candy coating.
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or wax paper. Place toppings in individual small bowls. Dip each cookie in either orange candy coating or white candy coating. Decorate with toppings as you desire. Place on cookie sheet. Once cookie sheet is full, place in freezer for 5 minutes to set. Store in an airtight container.

Are Vitamins Dangerous

Written by Barbro Brost, D.C. The Brost Clinic

Many people take vitamins and food supplements to optimize their health and to have more energy. In the US, the sales of dietary supplements totaled 37 billion dollars in 2014 and the number of supplement users in the US has reached 68 percent of the population.

The opinion of the American Medical Association used to be, “you can take vitamins if you want expensive urine”, meaning that it was useless and a waste of your money. About ten years ago, even they came out with the recommendation that every adult and child needs to take a multivitamin to ensure that we get all needed nutrients, since our food supply has been drastically depleted of nutrients because of standard farming practices.

The more health conscious of the population, which is about 20% of the us, often take much more than just a multivitamin. This is also the part of the population that exercise regularly, are weight conscious and often choose natural forms of healthy care such as chiropractic, acupuncture and massage therapy.

With planned regularity, we see segments on television and read articles in papers or on the internet that this vitamin or that supplement may be dangerous and you ought to talk to your physician about taking it. Vitamin C, E and fish oils among others have gone through these media campaigns. The reason for this is that the pharmaceutical industry is pushing to have vitamins regulated under the same rules as prescription drugs.

This has already happened in Europe, where many of the vitamins and supplements we can buy freely in the US, are now under control by the European Union Codex. The only thing you can buy in Europe now are very low potency supplements that are regulated and pharmaceutically controlled.

Is this a good idea? Do we really want an industry, that is responsible for 106,000 deaths per year as a side effect of medications taken as prescribed, to control what vitamins we take? Yes, that number is actually the latest statistic: pharmaceuticals are now the 3rd leading cause of death in the US.

Vitamins and supplements are basically very concentrated food. It should not be regulated differently than food. When you read or hear the media complaints about the possible danger of this supplement or that, pay attention to the careful wording and use of words like “may” or “can possibly” and “use caution”, etc. You never hear statistics and facts quoted, because there are none!

But just as you would consult a medical physician if you are sick, it’s a good idea to consult someone educated about supplements, if you want to be healthy and optimize your energy. It is also important to know the manufactures quality control, since there is a big difference in quality of ingredients and potency of different brands.

So, the answer to the head line is no! Vitamins and supplements are not dangerous. They are “super foods” that help to optimize your health!

Mango Coconut Chicken

Written by Katie Chin, The Sweet and Sour Chronicles

After spending several years living in the same city and having never run into my ex, I just wrote it off as an impossibility. But then it happened. I looked up from my son’s baseball game and there he stood. I said, “Hi, it’s Katie.” He looked at me blankly (I guess I was wearing sunglasses) and said, “hi?” Then I said, “It’s Katie CHIN.” He did a double take and said “OMG. Wow.” We realized our sons were on the same team (gasp) and politely sat down together and chatted about our lives and relived some of the fun memories we shared together. His wife showed up and you know what? She was open and lovely. He expressed how happy he was that I seemed so content and fulfilled in my life and I returned the sentiment. I’m not gonna lie, it was pretty awkward for both of us but I left the field feeling so blessed for how I’ve grown and grateful that I had experienced a chapter of my life with him that contributed to the woman I am today. It just made me want to celebrate my family and count my blessings. Here is a great recipe to make when you just want to express love your family through food and to celebrate where life has taken you so far on your personal journey.

Ingredients

1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast

1 large egg

2 teaspoons + 2 tablespoons all-purpose cornstarch, divided

1¼ teaspoons salt, divided

¼ teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon peeled and minced fresh ginger

¼ cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup water

2 tablespoons oil

¼ teaspoon baking soda

Oil for frying

MANGO COCONUT SAUCE

1 tablespoon high-heat cooking oil

1 garlic clove, minced

¾ cup (185 ml) Basic Chicken Stock or store-bought

¾ cup (185 ml) coconut milk

¼ cup (65 ml) puréed mango

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

¼ cup (50 g) sugar

2 tablespoons rice or white vinegar

Instructions

  • Cut the chicken in half lengthwise and pound to flatten the thick part so the chicken is of consistent thickness. Place the chicken in a shallow dish. In a small bowl, mix together the egg, 2 teaspoons all-purpose cornstarch, 1 teaspoon salt, the pepper and the ginger. Pour the egg mixture over the chicken, turning the chicken to coat all sides. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes. Remove the chicken from the marinade. Reserve the marinade.
  • Mango Coconut Sauce: In a small saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock, coconut milk, puréed mango, lime juice, sugar, and vinegar; bring to a boil. Stir in the all-purpose cornstarch mixture. Cook and stir until thickened, about 10 seconds. Remove from heat.
  • In a shallow dish, mix the reserved marinade, flour, water, the remaining 2 tablespoons cornstarch, oil, baking soda, and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt.
  • In a wok or deep skillet, heat 2–3 inches (5–7.5 cm) of the oil to 350°F. One at a time, dip the chicken pieces into the batter to coat all sides. Fry the chicken pieces for about 3 minutes, or until light brown, turning 2–3 times. Increase the oil temperature to 375°F (175°C). Fry the chicken pieces again until golden brown, turning once, about 2 minutes, and drain on a paper towel-lined sheet pan. Using a very sharp knife, cut each piece of chicken crosswise into ¾ inch (2 cm) pieces. Transfer the chicken pieces to a serving platter. Reheat the sauce over medium high heat and pour over the chicken. Serve immediately.

So Now You Are A Single Parent

So now you are a single parent and while you most likely share custody with your children’s father  it is you, the mother, who most likely ends up dealing with  most of your children’s health issues (alone). With young children many mothers  have had the experience of being awakened by a screaming child who is clearly in pain. You ask your child or touch their ear and realize that it’s probably an ear infection. You try to sooth your child as best as possible until the morning.

Usually you end up sleeping sitting up since being upright as opposed to lying down helps the pressure in your child’s ear. If this is a first occurrence it can be scary and you tend to want to rush  to the emergency room. If you are a veteran parent you have learned some lessons along the way. I may be able to give some more pointers.

Ear infections often occur when children are switched from being nursed to drinking cow’s milk or to cow’s milk based formula. Another critical time is when children are teething. The reason for the first scenario is that only 20% of all ear infections are due to bacteria. The other 80% are due to other causes. If your child, like many other children, is allergic to cow’s milk they often get very congested and their mucus membrane in their sinuses and ear canals swell and it can set the stage for an ear infection. The same thing happens when children go through the teething process.

Everything in their mouth, throat and ear canals get swollen and inflamed and ear infections can be a result. Colds, which are caused by viruses can also set the stage for secondary ear infections. Additionally emotional trauma can set off ear infections. While this symptom is more difficult to recognize it can be the easiest to control as long as you remember to keep the disagreements between, or about, you and your Ex to a minimum when your children are present.

Finally, another less known, but very common cause is subluxations (or misalignments) at the upper neck. All of the nerves that control the eyes, ears, nose and throat exit the brainstem between the vertebrae in the upper neck. If there is nerve irritation here, the child can be more prone to developing ear infections.

These misalignments can be caused by birth trauma, falls or other injuries. As chiropractors, we find and gently correct these subluxations in many children with chronic ear infections. I have seen children that have been on 6 courses of antibiotics finally clear up after a few neck adjustments!

So as a parent, think about when the first ear infection started. Was it with the  introduction of cow’s milk? If so, you might have a child with an allergy to milk. This can easily be tested by a simple Applied Kinesiology muscle test. If the ear infections occur during teething, massaging the child’s lymph glands to increase the lymph circulation and drainage can be very helpful. We teach parents how to do this at home. A chiropractic exam and some gentle adjustments if needed can make a world of difference.

There are homeopathic remedies that are specific for ear infections. There are drops to take orally and drops to apply to the ear canal for pain. Be cautious not to put drops in your child’s ears without a proper ear exam first, since this is not recommended if there is a rupture of the ear drum.

Antibiotics help if there is a diagnosed bacterial infection, but research has shown that to be only about 20% of all ear infections. The American Pediatric Association’s current recommendations are to not use antibiotics unless the problem has been present for over a week. Antibiotics have been very overused for ear infections and have no effect if the cause is allergies, viruses or spinal misalignments. So next time an ear infection visits your house, you might try the chiropractor first! Or even better, get your child checked before this occurs, to prevent it from happening at all.

7 Keys to Great Health

Article written by Barbro Brost, DC, the Brost Clinic, Wayzata

Research shows that 80% of chronic diseases are created by the lifestyle we live. If you had the keys to the knowledge of greatly increasing your odds to live a longer, healthier, more vital life, would you use them? What if I told you most of them are free?

Realizing that we have 80% control of our health is powerful. Here are seven of the most important keys.

  1. Don’t smoke!
  2. Motion. The body is created to move, not sit on a chair all day. Exercise and an active lifestyle is imperative for a healthy future.
  3. Diet and Supplements. Organic, fresh, locally grown foods are now available to us even in regular grocery stores. No excuses to eat foods sprayed with poison! Weight control is one of the biggest health issues. Even being 10 pounds overweight decreases your health odds. Everyone needs a basic multivitamin, Omega 3 fatty acids, and minerals. Some need more specific supplements.
  4. Water. Water is greatly under rated but imperative for the body to function optimally. Even 2% dehydration slows some of your organ function and affects your mind. Three quarts/day is a good rule of thumb.
  5. Sleep. We live in a culture of sleep deprivation. Most people don’t get the 7-8 hours of sleep that the body requires to repair and for the brain to re-charge. Turn off the TV and go to bed!
  6. Happy Relationships. Relationships and a stimulating social life are very important to our health. The body and the mind work in concert. Stop hanging out with negative people. Surround yourself with friends that make you happy! Laughter is one of the best ways to stimulate your immune system!
  7. A Well-Tuned Nervous System. This may be new information for some of you: It is your brain and your nervous system that regulate and coordinate all the functions in your body. It is also the communication between your mind and your body. Irritation or blockages in nerve flow set the stage for malfunction and disease. To ensure a well-coordinated and functioning body you need regular chiropractic check-ups. Chiropractors are specialists in detecting and removing pressure or irritation on the nerves where they are most vulnerable, at the exit point from your spine!