Dr. Hilary Trojano : Summit Holistic Medicine Tips

Let’s Give Our Children the Health Advantage

As parents, we always want the best for our children and want to give them a head start in life.  The one area that would have the most significant effect on performance is also the area that is the most neglected.  We, as a society, greatly neglect proper nutrition for our children.  We feed our children poor nutrition, introduce the wrong foods too early, put a strong emphasis on poor quality foods and then expect our children to develop into these healthy, intelligent, successful, leaders of the future. We have the opportunity to make changes and truly give our children the health advantage by focusing on feeding our children high-quality nutritious foods that will properly nourish their bodies, feed their brains and improve performance in all areas of their lives. Our bodies are intelligent.  Our bodies are able to turn the foods we eat into every cell, tissue and organ that make up our body. Everything we eat literally nourishes every cell in our body.  We need to give our children’s bodies the proper building blocks to build a solid foundation of health.  This involves feeding our children the right foods.  This is the best way to prevent disease and nurture health. Since the beginning of human existence, our bodies have been hardwired to digest “œreal” foods in their natural state.  The further our foods are from being natural, the more difficult it is for our bodies to break them down and turn them into useful building blocks.  Therefore, if we want to build a healthy body, we need to avoid feeding our children processed, refined foods.  Refined foods...

Heatwave: How To Cope In Hot Weather

Most of us welcome hot weather, but when it’s too hot for too long there are health risks. If a heatwave hits this summer, make sure the hot weather doesn’t harm you or anyone you know. Why is a heatwave a problem? The main risks posed by a heatwave are: dehydration (not having enough water) overheating, which can make symptoms worse for people who already have problems with their heart or breathing heat exhaustion and heatstroke Who is most at risk? A heatwave can affect anyone, but the most vulnerable people are: older people, especially those over 75 babies and young children people with a serious chronic condition, especially heart or breathing problems people with mobility problems – for example, people with Parkinson’s disease or who have had a stroke people with serious mental health problems people on certain medications, including those that affect sweating and temperature control people who misuse alcohol or drugs people who are physically active – for example, laborers or those doing sports Tips for coping in hot weather Shut windows and pull down the shades when it is hotter outside. You can open the windows for ventilation when it is cooler. Avoid the heat: stay out of the sun and don’t go out between 11am and 3pm (the hottest part of the day) if you’re vulnerable to the effects of heat. Keep rooms cool by using shades or reflective material outside the windows. If this isn’t possible, use light-coloured curtains and keep them closed (metallic blinds and dark curtains can make the room hotter). Have cool baths or showers, and splash yourself with cool water. Drink cold drinks regularly, such...

10 Rules For Making A Healthy Smoothie

10 Rules For Making A Healthy Smoothie I love making smoothies for friends and family. They are a delicious way to reach our daily quota of fruit and vegetables. They also make a wonderfully refreshing drink for a hot summer afternoon and are a great way to sneak in some dark leafy greens into that picky 2 year old eater. However, not all smoothies are created equal. Some are chock full of unnecessary added sugars. Others are nothing more than a big glass of carbohydrates, with no protein or fat to help keep you feeling full, and very little fiber to slow down the digestion of the fruit sugars. So how do you know if the smoothies you drink are healthy? Here are 10 rules for making a healthy smoothie. 1. Use a healthy liquid base Smoothies are often made with fruit juice as the liquid base. However, juice contains a huge amount of sugar with none of the fiber found in whole fruit. Smoothies purchased from a grocery store or cafe are generally made with fruit juice. It is therefore far better to make them at home using one of the following liquid bases: Water Ice – makes a thicker smoothie Kefir – adds probiotics for gut health and a nice creamy texture Yogurt – adds a creamy texture Greek yogurt – adds protein Unsweetened almond milk Unsweetened coconut water Unsweetened soy milk 2. Avoid at-home smoothie kits Many grocery stores sell frozen ‘smoothie kits’. They usually consist of cut fruit, corn starch, gums, as well as added sugars or fruit concentrates. Yes they do save about 5 minutes of smoothie-making time. But they also increase the already high-sugar content of a...

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....

Holiday Stress Relivers

Holiday Stress Relivers Stress is neither good nor bad, it just is.   The stress we put on our bones allows them to remain strong. Emotional stress allows us to learn adaptive strategies.  Often it is our attitudes and ability to “let go” that mitigate any resulting harmful effects. When we are stressed it causes our cortisol or adrenaline to rise.  This in turns causes vasoconstriction of the peripheral blood system so that all the blood on the “outside” of our bodies goes to the deep places such as the survival part of the brain, the heart and lungs, and the quads and gluts so we can run from danger.  In turn, the reduced blood flow to the periphery causes a myriad of symptoms including short term memory loss, alopecia or loss of hair, headaches, blurred vision, temperature regulation problems, and digestive problems; just to name a few. Stress also causes insomnia as we are not supposed to sleep through danger.  Eventually we wear out and end up with depression, hypoglycemia, and lack of motivation.  So, how to minimize the effects of stress? Here are some “simple” things you can do: Physically you must keep your sugar levels stable.  This means eat protein every 3-4 hours and have plenty of vegetables.   Stay hydrated so your blood vessels are relaxed. Walk it off whenever you start to feel overwhelmed; step away from the stress and go outside.   There are therapists that have couples wear pulse meters and when their heart rate gets over 100 beats per minute (bpm) in some upsetting situation they terminate the session and have people “walk it off.”  The reason for this is that when your heart rate is over 100...

Getting Sick: A Step In The Right Direction

Getting Sick: A Step In The Right Direction Why You Don’t Want To Suppress Your Next Cold or Flu? It’s likely that you’ll get a cold or flu this year at some point. How you choose to deal with it may actually be more important for your long-term health than you realize. As a Naturopathic Doctor, I think about these acute illnesses a little differently than you’re used to and I find it’s helpful for my patients to understand my thought process. Hopefully this will help you take a new perspective on this year’s cold or flu. The body is smart. This is the principle from which I operate. When we get acutely ill, often this is the body’s attempt to get rid of something harmful. The mucous produced in a respiratory infection helps to clear out infectious organisms (if we let it). When we have food poisoning, diarrhea helps to clear out the organism. When we sweat during a fever, we decrease our inflammation. Getting an occasional acute illness and then clearing it in a short period of time tells us that the immune system is capable of responding and is doing its job. When I have patients who do not get acutely ill at all for several years, I begin to be concerned that they may not be releasing things from their body and may be building up inflammatory toxins, which can lead to more chronic illness. I also wonder if the immune system is working effectively in these patients, which you need it to do in order to prevent long term issues like cancer. Don’t get...

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...
GRATEFULNESS: GIVING THANKS FOR THE SMALL THINGS

GRATEFULNESS: GIVING THANKS FOR THE SMALL THINGS

Stress reduction comes in many forms including yoga, meditation, spending time in nature, and/or with animals and journaling about your thoughts and feelings including what you are grateful for, not just on Thanksgiving, but all year round. It also includes spending time with friends and family, taking breaks from the usual schedule – and again, Thanksgiving provides a perfect opportunity for both of these. How’s that for something to be grateful for?

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...

Sports Nutrition

Athletic Nutrition For Optimal Performance

 

Nutritional needs vary little between kids and adults—therefore what works for one, works for the other. But what if nutrition is not working for Mom and Dad? Like the famous Hippocratic adage –Physician heal thyself – most adults could benefit from a review of the dietary needs for the whole family’s optimal weight, performance and activity.

Depending upon where we draw the “overweight” line, one-third to a whopping two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. One in ten American adults are type 2 diabetic and an astounding 35% of Americans are prediabetic – of which 90% don’t even know it. American youth, age eighteen and under, are raised in and therefore mirror the nutritional climate that has created this metabolic disaster. To clear the confusion, and help find a healthy diet for your athletic children (and greater adult community), let’s review some basics of sports nutrition.

Three Mistakes when feeding young (and old) athletes:

#1 – Sports drinks and sugared milk. Sports drinks are an undisputed problem—even the American Association of Pediatrics, which is historically cautious about nutritional opinions took a bold stance in 2011 to attack sports drinks similarly to sodas. They say “Frequent or excessive intake of caloric sports drinks can substantially increase the risk for overweight or obesity in children and adolescents.” (Maurer, R. The Blood Code: Unlock the secrets of your metabolism. 2014, pg152-157.)

But I include chocolate milk too—chocolate milk has 9-12 teaspoons of sugar in 12-ounces—equivalent to most soda. The original research that put chocolate milk on the sports map simply compared it to sugary sports drinks and used a small group of lean, elite adult cyclists as a reference group. The truth is protein helps athletes recover—therefore any protein compared to no protein provides better workout recovery. However, there are more factors to consider for your kids.

Solution: Cook a good meal. 99% of the time, a cooked meal with adequate protein and carbohydrate that follows the exertion is enough to recover and prepare for the next day’s activities.

#2 – Low fat diets. Low fat diets do not make leaner or better athletes. There are only three food groups to make a meal: fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Lower one and the other two go up proportionally. Low fat diets elevate the overall carbohydrate burden and promote weight gain, high blood sugar and low energy.

Solution: Literally and figuratively, keep the skin on the chicken. Add dietary fats to your family’s nutrition through raw nuts, seeds, avocados, olives, and butter. Enjoy whole fatty cuts of meat and fish ~ purchase 75-85% ground beef instead of the too-lean 90% stuff and enjoy fish cooked with plenty of butter every week.

#3 – Frequent meals. The recommendation to eat 6-times per day has only been since post-1970 America, when low-fat foods mistakenly became the federal recommendation. The failed experiment of eating more-frequent low-fat meals has helped to create the overweight, over-diabetic culture that we live in.

Solution: Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. Each meal should have the protein, fat and carbohydrate needed to fuel four to six hours of activity without hunger. The meals that follow athletic exertion must contain adequate protein to assure a full recovery.

As an author and doctor specializing in metabolic health and recovery, I base clinical decisions on data available. But at home, with three athletic kids, let me share with you some practical items from our kitchen:

Three Ingredients for Athletic Success:

#1. Whey protein powder:  Add to smoothies in a pinch. Add frozen avocados and nut or seed butters for  healthy fat additions to a base such as almond milk. (Make sure your whey protein does not contain artificial sweeteners like acesulfame-K or NutraSweet often found in “low carb” sports proteins.)

#2 Electrolyte powder: In the heat of summer especially, I add a scoop of my favorite low to no-sugar electrolyte mix to water bottles. (Try Ultima brand – makes great popsicles too!)

#3 Multiple vitamin & mineral: My kids take the same formula I use, 1-2 capsules of a broad spectrum formula. (Only use iron if you know your child needs it. In my experience, child athletes, especially young women, should have their ferritin (iron) levels tested.)

To summarize, youth and adult athletes have similar nutritional needs – everyone benefits the most from quality cooked meals after a game or training session that contain good quality proteins, good fats, and carbohydrates that satisfy hunger for 4-6 hours. Stay away from sugary sports drinks and chocolate milk in recovery, and use whey protein shakes, or water mixed with dye-free, sugarless electrolyte powders to replenish trace mineral lost by perspiration. A daily multi in capsule form provides essential vitamins and minerals for accelerated athletic metabolic function.