A Guide To Healthy Snacking

  Snacking is becoming increasingly popular. It is often taken as an opportunity to consume empty calories from processed foods full of ‘bad’ fats and added sugars. In fact, many experts attribute the current obesity epidemic, at least in part, to our snacking habits. With the right guidance, however, snacking can be a great way to keep your energy levels up, your hunger down, and ensure that you meet your daily nutrient needs. Snacks allow you to spread your daily calorie allowance throughout the day, thereby helping to maintain blood sugar levels. You just have to make sure you are snacking correctly. Follow these 5 rules to ensure that you are maximizing your snacking potential. 1. Plan I know firsthand what happens when you have a busy day with no food plan. It results in desperate and impulsive food decisions, often from limited and unhealthy options. That is why it is so important to plan your snacks. At home, keep plenty of snack options prepared and easily accessible. If you are going out, carry some healthy snacks with you. If you need some ideas, there are 20 nutritious snack ideas at the bottom of this post. 2. Add Protein While most people head for carbohydrates when they want a snack (think, crackers, chips, and cookies), protein is a far better option. Protein-rich snacks are an excellent way to keep you feeling full for longer. Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, milk, yogurt, and cheese are all foods that contain plenty of high-quality protein. By incorporating these into your snacks, you can help slow down the movement of food out of your stomach. The result is that you will feel satisfied for longer....

Naturopathic Doctors 101

Naturopathic Doctors 101 “You’re a Na-tur-ro…what?”  This is not an uncommon phase to be heard by a Naturopathic Doctor, even here in New Hampshire where there is a good concentration of Naturopathic Doctors (NDs). Even patients of NDs are often unaware of the plethora of therapies and services NDs are trained in.  Naturopathic Doctors attend one of 5 accredited universities in the United States.  These doctorate level programs are a minimum of 4 years long with a competitive option for another 1-3 years of residency. Naturopathic medical school curriculum contains the same basic sciences of conventional medical school (anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pathology, pharmacology, etc…) as well as additional classes in naturopathic-specific therapies.  Examples of these Naturopathic-specific therapies include: nutritional therapies, counseling, botanical medicine, homeopathy, and physical medicine.  This education prepares graduates of accredited programs to enter the medical profession as primary care physicians after passing the Naturopathic licensing board exams (NPLEX). There are 17 states (and counting) that provide licensure for NDs currently in the United States.  Each of those states governs a different scope of practice for NDs practicing within their state lines.  For example, the state of New Hampshire has a rather comprehensive scope of practice. NDs in NH are licensed medical providers with prescribing rights for the majority of common pharmaceuticals and have coverage by most insurances in the state. So how does a Naturopathic Doctor practice? Naturopathic doctors follow the same general model as Medical doctors, with extra assessments and therapies incorporated.  The process looks something like this: Obtain a detailed history of the patient’s current and past medical issues. Perform appropriate physical exam to aid in diagnosis Order any necessary labs or...

Breast Thermography Part II: Common Questions

1) Does thermography use radiation or compress my breasts? No, breast thermography uses infrared cameras to take pictures of the temperature of your skin. 2) Is it safe? Yes, very safe! Breast thermography has been researched since the 1970’s and has over 800 peer-reviewed studies with over 300,000 women to back it up. 3) What will a scan tell me? If you have areas of concern on your pictures, you will be referred for additional diagnostic work-up such as a mammogram. Thermography has been shown to find cancerous or pre-cancerous cell growth up to 10 years earlier than would be otherwise detected because it detects abnormal blood vessel growth and hormone changes. 4) How often should I get scanned? Women should start early for a baseline reading. Many studies recommend having your first scan between 20 and 30 years old. If there is area of concern, you may need to return for additional scans every 6 months. 5) Will insurance cover this? In some states, insurance will cover part of the fee. Most infrared scans range from $250-500. ****At Summit Holistic Medicine Dr. Trojano Offers A Reduced Cost Thermography Day Once A Quarter With Scans Costing $180.00**** 6) Can I still have this done if I am pregnant or nursing? Yes you can. 7) Will the infrared scan diagnose breast cancer? No. Just like a mammogram and ultrasound, infrared is a screening tool used to determine the health of your breast tissue. If there is an area of concern, you will still be referred for additional work-up such as a mammogram. 8) What if the infrared scan shows something...

Breast Thermography: Another Approach to Healthy Breasts

As women, we are well aware of mammograms and ultrasounds. We know to do self-breast exams every month and routine screenings begin at age 40, sometimes earlier depending on family or personal history. We know to feel for lumps, bumps, pain, skin changes, and generally anything that is out of the ordinary for our breast tissue when doing our own exams. What about including Breast Thermography? This imaging uses a digital infrared camera to see the metabolic and circulatory activity within your breasts by relying on surface temperature. The pictures produced are color coded in that a “hot” or very active site is bright red, while a “cool” site is blue/green. Cancerous lesions require its own blood supply and nutrients to grow; therefore it promotes angiogenesis which is the growth of new blood vessels from old blood vessels just re-routed. This swarm of new blood vessels carries a degree of heat to them that show up on the breast thermography as red areas. Because angiogenesis happens early, very tiny cancerous spots or pre-cancerous conditions may be detected much sooner. Breast Thermography does not use radiation nor does it require compression or direct contact with the breasts. It has been approved by the FDA since 1983 for the adjunct screening of breast cancer. Thermography does not look at anatomy or structure like a mammogram. It will not find an actual mass or lump but it will detect changes in breast temperature as related to angiogenesis and/or hormone shifts to the tissue. If you are considering a breast thermogram, remember it should be used in conjunction with a...

The Role Of Hormones & Hormone Balance

Hormones coordinate the continuous biochemical activity that occurs in all of our cells in our body and brain. They are the chemicals that make things happen on a day-to-day basis within the systems of our body. As the body’s chemical messengers, they orchestrate our metabolic processes by stimulating changes in body cells. As hormone levels fluctuate throughout your lifetime, you may notice mood changes, body composition changes, your overall sensitivity changes, and your potential for various types of activity is different. There are many different types of hormones in our body. Hormones, which originate in various glands throughout the body, are found in the blood, where they circulate to continually bathe our tissues. Receptors within our cells are sensitive to particular hormones that causes them to react. The more hormone present in the cell or the more highly sensitized the receptors, the more intense the reaction. Estrogens Estrogens are some of the most powerful hormones in the human body. Almost all tissues have receptors that make them responsive to estrogens. Estrogens help the urinary tract, breasts, skin, blood vessels, and uterus to stay toned and flexible. Estrogen levels start to rise in girls before menarche, sometimes as early as age 8. The hypothalamus signals the pituitary to release hormones, which then signal the ovaries to produce more estrogen. Estrogen levels continue to rise in girls until they start menstruation, usually by age 11 or 12. It also starts the development of breasts and the growth of pubic hair and hair under the arms. In their early 30s, most women begin to experience declining levels of estrogens and progesterone. With...