Archive for the ‘Exercise’ Category

Why You Need a Better Doctor

By Gabi Baldwin

All of our patients come in with a story. Although everyone is different, there’s often a common theme. “I’m sick of feeling sick and tired.” Traditional medicine has gained a reputation for having short appointments and treating a pill for the ill. Chronic diseases, IBS, food sensitivities, diabetes, high blood pressure, reflux, obesity, hormone imbalances, thyroid issues etc. should not be treated with a one-size-fits-all prescription. Why you need a better doctor will become obvious once you read the rest of this article! 

“I’m sick of feeling sick and tired.”

Your personal story matters and your health is complex. You deserve a doctor who takes into account your unique health history and your lifestyle to help you create the health you want. Maybe, just maybe, it’s time to consider a Functional Medicine Doctor! 

It’s time to feel heard and seen 

Chronic diseases are complex and require a deeper dive than most conventional doctors have time to spare. At Omnia Health, all of your appointments are anywhere between 30 to 75 minutes long. We listen to your story, your struggles, and your frustrations. THEN we tailor your treatment plan to address your unique needs.

In addition our patients have access to our practitioners via text, email and their patient portal. Scheduling appointments, messaging your doctor, and accessing your medical records at any time should be seamless. At Omnia Health, you’re not going to be placed on hold! We’re here for you. 

It’s time to feel empowered 

After leaving your doctor’s office you should feel like you have a game plan set in place. Unfortunately, in conventional medicine this doesn’t often happen. Patient’s are left “googling” their symptoms and solutions. This can be a big waste of time, frightening, and often, erroneous. Unfortunately when you Google your problem the search results provided will display a blend of good science, solid medicine, and a whole lot of marketing propaganda which may be misleading and/or dangerous. 

“Maybe, just maybe, it’s time to consider a Functional Medicine Doctor!”

At Denver’s Omnia Health, we practice Functional Medicine. At the heart of functional medicine is curiosity. We want to know WHY you feel the way you do. That’s why Functional Medicine is often referred to as the medicine of WHY!  We spend the time getting to know you. We will  study your labs and together we create your personalized health plan. In doing so, you will learn a lot about your body. 

Our practitioners will explain the areas where you are thriving and dissect the areas in your health that need improvement. Furthermore, you’ll learn about your personal biomarkers, risk factors, prevention strategies, and much more. You will walk out of Omnia Health’s doors feeling empowered that you know more about your body and you’ll have a health plan put in place so you can finally take the necessary steps in addressing your health!

It’s time your lifestyle is accounted for

It’s true that most doctors get less than 20 hours of nutrition education in medical school. In Functional Medicine, we believe that food is vital to your optimal health. Food is truly medicine! It impacts us all the way down to our cellular level. In addition to food, the other factors that affect your overall well being are sleep, exercise, stress, relationships, emotional health and spiritual health. It all matters! 

At Omnia Health lifestyle modifications are a major part of your health plan. It’s such an important area, that we have two health coaches on staff to help guide you and hold you accountable to making these lifestyle changes.

We believe you need a better doctor and most importantly we believe you need a Functional Medicine Doctor! Omnia Health can help provide some of the answers you’ve been “Googling” for way too long. Functional Medicine is a new way of medicine that creates a space for you to be heard, feel empowered and give you effective lifestyle solutions so you can finally stop being sick and tired of feeling sick and tired!

 

What does a health coach do? Call Katie Ozimek or Lisa Marini to schedule health coaching to work on your specific needs. Call: 720-229-4809

 

What is Functional Medicine? Learn more here. 

Omnia Health Treats These Issues With a Functional Medicine Approach:

  • Allergies including food allergies and sensitivities
  • Autoimmune diseases including arthritis, Hashimoto’s disease, celiac, and multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Biotoxin illnesses (mold illness)
  • Chronic reflux
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Fatigue and feeling “foggy”
  • Gastrointestinal (GI) issues including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), small intestinal bacteria overgrowth (SIBO), and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Health and Wellness optimization and disease prevention
  • Heavy-metals toxicity
  • Hormones- PMS, menopause, peri-menopause, and hormone replacement therapy.
  • Hyperuricemia
  • Metabolic diseases including Type 2 diabetes
  • Thyroid diseases
  • Weight management challenges

Gabi Baldwiin loves functional medicine head shot

Gabi is studying to obtain her master’s in human nutrition and functional medicine. She enjoys applying a functional medicine perspective in her nutrition classes. When Gabi does have a bit of free time, she enjoys baking with paleo and gluten-free flours to fit her lifestyle.

Plus, she loves the challenge of the Orangetheory Fitness high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout program.

Learn more about Gabi here.

Questions? Comments? Send us a Note!

10 + 7 =

What is a Health Coach and Why do I Need One

What is a health coach and why do I need one?

By Katie Ozimek

What is a health coach you might ask? As a health coach, I am trained to work with clients around all lifestyle factors (sleep, relaxation, exercise/movement, stress, nutrition and relationships). These lifestyle factors have a significant and direct correlation to your health.  Working with a health coach can also lead to a better understanding of your treatment plan and a deeper commitment to following recommendations made by our practitioners. 

I hope to also empower you to draw on your inner strengths, develop self-knowledge and embrace self-management strategies in order to make the often challenging lifestyle changes necessary for optimal health. 

Your Health Coach is an Accountability Partner

This is important because then you go to a traditional doctor’s appointment, your physician may recommend a lifestyle change or provide you with a prescription for a new medication but there is little to no follow up. At Omnia Heath, we take your follow-ups very seriously! You’ll be seeing and hearing from us big time! We want to help you be accountable for your actions and for you to take a role in your health. 

We have found that by having our patients take an active role in their own health it leads to greater achievement of their health goals. Our health coaches are here to guide you, educate you and most importantly support you through your health journey. They are here to listen to your concerns and celebrate your achievements.  

Some things you might talk about…

Your health coach can help you with everything from navigating a restaurant menu, creating a self-care routine, or providing you specific resources for recipes, workouts, or meditation programs.

  • Do you need recipe ideas?
  • Are you going on vacation and worried about sticking to your diet?
  • Need help with motivation?
  • Feeling stressed and can’t shake it?

This is where your health coaches come into play! 

Omnia’s Health Coaches

At Omnia Health we have two different Health Coaches, Katie is our Certified Functional Medicine Health Coach. She does a lot of work surrounding nutrition, sleep, exercise and relationships. Lisa is our brain health coach. 

Lisa primarily focuses on teaching people about the brain and how powerful healing of the brain can be to the rest of the body. Lisa also works with our patients on personalized meditations and hypnotherapy. Ultimately, a health coach is someone who will walk beside you through your journey toward optimal health. 

— Katie O.

Need a little help or guidance? Call Katie Ozimek or Lisa Marini to schedule health coaching to work on your specific needs. Call: 720-229-4809

 

What is Functional Medicine? Learn more here. 

Omnia Health Treats These Issues With a Functional Medicine Approach:

  • Allergies including food allergies and sensitivities
  • Autoimmune diseases including arthritis, Hashimoto’s disease, celiac, and multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Biotoxin illnesses (mold illness)
  • Chronic reflux
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Fatigue and feeling “foggy”
  • Gastrointestinal (GI) issues including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), small intestinal bacteria overgrowth (SIBO), and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Health and Wellness optimization and disease prevention
  • Heavy-metals toxicity
  • Hormones- PMS, menopause, peri-menopause, and hormone replacement therapy.
  • Hyperuricemia
  • Metabolic diseases including Type 2 diabetes
  • Thyroid diseases
  • Weight management challenges

Katie Ozimek functional medicine team in Denver

Katie Ozimek – Certified Functional Medicine Health Coach

” When not working or studying you can find me in the kitchen cooking, gardening with my husband, watching my kids sports, skiing with my family, working out or on the tennis court.  As well, my two kids and black lab keep me very busy!”

Learn more about Katie here.

Questions? Comments? Send us a Note!

11 + 1 =

Is it Ok to be Ok? I Have Noticed a Trend…

By Katie Ozimek

I have noticed a trend lately that people feel like they have to be perfect and get it all done. But is that really the truth and who is putting this pressure on to be perfect? What is perfection and what does it garner?

These are questions I have been asking myself and our patients for the last few years. Is it ok to just be ok? My answer is YES! Our current climate has changed the shape of our world as we knew it and with the extra added pressures surrounding our health and well being we are also living in a pandemic!

On top of the fact that our world has dramatically changed, we still have responsibilities to tend to our families, jobs, life and self. But we are judging ourselves and this added pressure does not aid in our health at all – it just brings us down.

I spoke about a trend I have noticed over the past few months especially among women that feel they need to do it all and there is no time for themselves. The biggest problem I see in this trend is that these women are not feeling well at all.

“If you don’t make time to take care of yourself how are you going to take care of others?”

Think about this for a minute…. If you don’t make time to take care of yourself how are you going to take care of others? If you are not feeling well all the time, dragging, have a headache or stomach ache, joint pain, or can’t sleep, how are you going to take care of your responsibilities successfully? YOU ARE NOT!

Functional Medicine is About the Whole – YOU!

So this brings me back to the question: is it ok to be ok? Of course it is. Is it ok to do the best you can? Is it ok to make mistakes and learn from them? Is it ok to just take a walk? Again the answers to these questions are YES!

The stress that we put on ourselves to be perfect takes a toll on our bodies not only mentally but physically as well. I have noticed with our patients – that after allowing the patient to just be ok, no meds, no dietary changes, just a mental shift to being ok – there have been profound shifts in their physical state.

When you allow yourself to be OK, you are taking off the pressure to be anything more than you can be in that moment. You are allowing yourself to be the best you can be without pressure to be perfect. It is like taking a monkey off your back… I know that doing this is much easier said than done.

Follow some of the tips below to get you started or contact me for health coaching!  

Tips to be OK:

  • I want to exercise every day but I don’t have the energy. Start with a short walk and go one minute further each day if you can. If you can’t that is ok!
  • I want to eat healthier. Start with your first meal of the day, make sure to incorporate a healthy fat, protein and complex carb like fruit or veggies. Or start with the meal that makes most sense to you.
  • I feel so many pressures to be perfect….Put a note up in your bathroom or wherever you will see it daily that says IT IS OK, TO BE OK!

Need a little help or guidance? Call Katie Ozimek or Lisa Marini to schedule health coaching to work on your specific needs. Call: 720-229-4809

 

What is Functional Medicine? Learn more here. 

Omnia Health Treats These Issues With a Functional Medicine Approach:

  • Allergies including food allergies and sensitivities
  • Autoimmune diseases including arthritis, Hashimoto’s disease, celiac, and multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Biotoxin illnesses (mold illness)
  • Chronic reflux
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Fatigue and feeling “foggy”
  • Gastrointestinal (GI) issues including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), small intestinal bacteria overgrowth (SIBO), and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Health and Wellness optimization and disease prevention
  • Heavy-metals toxicity
  • Hormones- PMS, menopause, peri-menopause, and hormone replacement therapy.
  • Hyperuricemia
  • Metabolic diseases including Type 2 diabetes
  • Thyroid diseases
  • Weight management challenges

Katie Ozimek functional medicine team in Denver

Katie Ozimek – Certified Functional Medicine Health Coach

” I found my way into functional medicine after being diagnosed with Celiac disease and not being able to find any answers about why I was feeling so poorly. I turned to Dr. Jacqui and she inspired me to be a better person while helping me figure out my own health situation.  Functional medicine took the blinders off for me and I hope I can do that for others…”

Learn more about Katie here.

Questions? Comments? Send us a Note!

13 + 11 =

Strange Summer Health Update From Dr. Jacqui

A Message From Doctor Jacqui Pariset – August 2020

By Dr. Jacqui Pariset, Founder, Omnia Health in Denver, Colorado

As we approach the end of a strange summer, we head towards fall with a lot of uncertainty. It is hard, at least for me, to have this uncertainty in my life. Between not knowing what will happen with school – online, hybrid, and what the intersection of COVID and the usual fall/winter illnesses will bring, it is difficult.

What helps me during these times is to take control of what I can control – namely my health! This includes mental health as well – my mindset, attitude and connections.

3 HEALTHY TIPS FOR STRESSFUL TIMES

Start by going back to the three main foundations of health.

1. NUTRITION

•  Are you getting all the good stuff in? Focus on those immune-system building veggies, veggies and more veggies; 4-5+cups a day.

•  High quality proteins – grass-fed, organic and clean.

•  Good fats are the key to keeping our blood sugars stable and starve off sugar cravings. At least 1 serving with every meal. Serving size – about 2 ‘thumbs’ worth (1/2 avocado or 2 tablespoons of olive oil).

•  Enjoy the amazing late summer fruits; remember only 1 cup daily if you have metabolic issues.

•  Drink 1/2 your body weight in oz of water a day? Get it flowing!

Remember – it isn’t about perfection, but about having a strong foundation in nutrition to feed your body (and mind) everything you need.

2. SLEEP

This is the most overlooked and unappreciated foundation of health. Sleep is SOOO important. We say it over and over all day long!

•  First get enough sleep – 8hrs should be the baseline.

•  Try to get in bed by 10ish most nights.

•  Having a consistent bedtime (yes even most weekends) is important; especially if you struggle with sleep. Swinging your bedtime on the weekends creates ‘social jet-lag syndrome’ and makes those Monday mornings pretty rough. If you have troubles falling asleep or staying asleep – get your sleep habits nailed down.

•  Devices off at least 1 hour before bedtime, a dark cool room, a consistent bedtime, no food 1-2hrs before bed and an evening meditation can all play a helpful role.

And call us! We are here to help with these issues – they should not be overlooked.

3. EXERCISE

Still the best natural anti-depressant, mood stabilizing, anxiety reducing solution there is!

•  Get moving, every day. A recent study showed people who took 8,000 steps a day had a 50% lower risk of dying compared with those who took only 4,000 steps a day. People who took over 12,000 steps a day had a 65% lower risk of dying! There is NO pill that does that.

•  More steps also equates to lower rates of death from heart disease and cancer. If you have fallen off your exercise routine – just start with walking. Get those steps in – it counts! This pandemic has accentuated the unfortunate truth that as a country, we are not healthy.

Our rates of obesity, heart disease, cancer, metabolic issues are horrible – and only getting worse. We need to realize that WE are responsible for our own health and wellness. We control what we eat, how we move and if we make sleep a priority. I know you agree with me – that is why you work with us at Omnia Health.

“So let’s go back to the basics. How are you with everything? What do you need and how can we help?”

If you are struggling with sleep issues consider working with Lisa Marini, our amazing brain coach, on meditations, reducing anxiety and strategies to decrease that nighttime cortisol response.

Are you struggling with nutrition and need an accountability partner? Katie Ozimek is here for you – she is a great resource on how to get back on track, set goals and move forward in a positive way.

I appreciate all of you working with us at Omnia Health. I know you take your health seriously and work hard towards making health a top priority in your life. We are on this journey with you! I appreciate all of the referrals and support we have received from our amazing patients!

If you know of anyone who would benefit from our comprehensive approach to chronic illness – and could use a little help to create wellness in their life, please share our information.

We offer a free 15-minute consultation with our Nurse Practitioner, Gia McCloskey-Jurevich, NP to see if we are a good match for future patients.

One last suggestion! Pick up the phone – don’t text – and call your friend, your sister, your brother – your mom or dad. Call that person you have been meaning to; take a few minutes and connect with those you love.

We are all in this together.

Take care,

Jacqui and the Omnia Team

 

What is Functional Medicine? Learn more here. 

Omnia Health Treats These Issues With a Functional Medicine Approach:

  • Allergies including food allergies and sensitivities
  • Autoimmune diseases including arthritis, Hashimoto’s disease, celiac, and multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Biotoxin illnesses (mold illness)
  • Chronic reflux
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Fatigue and feeling “foggy”
  • Gastrointestinal (GI) issues including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), small intestinal bacteria overgrowth (SIBO), and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Health and Wellness optimization and disease prevention
  • Heavy-metals toxicity
  • Hormones- PMS, menopause, peri-menopause, and hormone replacement therapy.
  • Hyperuricemia
  • Metabolic diseases including Type 2 diabetes
  • Thyroid diseases
  • Weight management challenges

Dr. Jacqui functional medicine doctor in Denver

Dr. Jacqui Pariset

“Even as a very young child, I had chronic IBS. Childhood memories include frequent stomach aches and gulping down Mylanta.  Then I began having debilitating migraines. This personal experience has led me to functional medicine….”

Learn more about Dr. Jacqui here.

Questions? Comments? Send us a Note!

11 + 5 =

Still Struggling to Lose Weight?

4 issues that might be preventing your weight loss

By Gia McCloskey-Jurevich, Functional Medicine Nurse Practitioner, Omnia Health

A number of patients come to our office, discouraged that they’re unable to lose weight. “I’m doing everything right,” they tell us. “I’m following my diet faithfully. I’m exercising every day. But the weight is not coming off. Some weeks, I actually GAIN weight. Help!” Of course, we start by talking with these patients to ensure they are actively addressing basic weight-loss strategies: 

  • Eating a whole-foods diet with organic foods, lots of fruit and vegetables, healthy proteins, and heathy fats
  • Minimizing or completely avoiding sugar, processed foods, fast foods, and alcohol
  • Exercising regularly, for example, a daily walk, swimming, or high-intensity interval training 

We often find that patients truly are eating well and exercising regularly. They truly are doing everything in their power to lose weight. But, clearly, something else is going on. Now it’s time to figure out what’s keeping them from achieving their weight goals. 

What can prevent weight loss or contribute to weight gain? In our experience, these 4 health issues often contribute to the inability to lose weight – or the problem on ongoing weight gain. 

  1. Food sensitivities – In our functional medicine practice, the 2 biggest culprits we see are sensitivity to gluten and dairy. This is surprisingly common! Other food sensitivities include corn, eggs, peanuts, and soy. But it’s very individualized – you may be sensitive to other foods – and this could be hampering your struggle to lose weight. 
  2. Gut dysbiosis – Gut bacteria play a large role in our overall health.  They can trigger inflammation, aid in digestion, and influence hormones that regulate hunger. Gut dysbiosis can be due to an overgrowth of harmful bacteria, yeast, or parasites in your gut. Another condition known as SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) is when bacteria end up in the small intestine where they are not supposed to be.  Low healthy bacteria (called insufficiency dysbiosis) can also be problematic. An overgrowth of bad bacteria, for example, can cause gut inflammation. Subsequently, this can cause overall inflammation throughout your body, which can make it difficult to lose weight. 
  3. Hormone imbalance – As noted above, those tiny bacteria can make a big impact on hormone production. Did you know…
    1. Cortisol, the stress hormone, can be impacted by physical or emotional stress. Stress creates more cortisol in your body, which can signal the body to store fat. This means your stress levels can directly impact weight! Keep in mind, lack of sleep affects cortisol levels too. If you’re experiencing an ongoing lack of sleep, your body is under stress, and it can be hard to lose weight.
    2. Gut dysbiosis can impact the thyroid hormone, which plays a big role in regulating metabolism. If it turns out you have a low-functioning thyroid, this can certainly contribute to weight gain.
    3. Most people have no idea their gut bacteria impacts sex hormones. It’s true! Gut bacteria contribute to your body’s balance of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. How does this impact your ability to lose weight? Here’s one example: Excess estrogen is directly related to excess fat and water retention. Another example: Men and women who take supplemental testosterone should be aware that this can contribute to weight gain through a complex metabolic process.
  4. Exposure to toxins – Our modern world can expose us to quite a few environmental and chemical toxins, at home and at work. Examples include pesticides, herbicides, fuel emissions, toxic molds, radon, and heavy metals. Without doubt, toxicity can contribute to weight gain.

My recommendations for you…

If you are struggling to lose weight – or are continually gaining weight – start by exercising regularly and eating a whole-foods diet. Be sure to avoid sugar, processed foods, fast food, and alcohol. In addition, follow these recommendations: 

  • Follow an elimination diet for 6-8 weeks to eliminate dairy, gluten, corn, eggs, peanuts, and soy. It’s helpful to know this is always our first step – our “gold standard” – when investigating the root cause of a patient’s health issue. 
  • Add fermented foods and foods rich in probiotics to your diet such as kimchee, kombucha, miso, sauerkraut, yogurt, and dairy-free kefir (this is similar to a drinking-style yogurt and contains beneficial yeast). 
  • Be sure to increase the amount of fiber you get from fruits and vegetables. Fiber helps our good bacteria grow. 
  • Do your best to minimize exposure to toxins. You may need to be tested for toxins and undergo Omnia’s detoxification program.
  • When you come to our practice, you can set appointments with Omnia’s health coach and brain coach. These pros will help you fine-tune your nutrition and exercise plans, so you can focus your efforts and improve your results. 
  • Try intermittent fasting. Remember, fasting is safe for most people if you eat within an 8- to 10-hour window. 
  • When you come to Omnia, we can conduct specialized lab testing to check bacteria in your gut, toxicity, food sensitivity, and all hormone levels. 

We’ll investigate to uncover the culprit and answer this question: What is really going on? 

We have a lot of patients doing so many things right with diet and exercise, yet they still struggle to lose weight. Often, one of the 4 culprits – food sensitivities, gut dysbiosis, hormone imbalance, or toxin exposure – is a significant contributing factor.

This is a good example of how functional medicine can dig in, investigate, and figure out what is really going on. We can clarify the issues, uncover root causes, and successfully treat those health concerns that traditional doctors often cannot detect or simply overlook. 

 

There is no cost for a quick phone consultation. Just schedule a call! 

Simple Steps Lead to BIG Results

Tips to successfully fulfill a “lifestyle prescription” to improve diet, increase exercise, or reduce stress

Katie Ozimek, Certified Functional Medicine Health Coach 

When you go to a traditional doctor to resolve an issue, there’s a good chance you’ll walk away with a prescription for a pill. It’s fairly easy to follow the doctor’s recommendation: Just take the pill once or twice a day. 

When you come to Omnia Health to resolve an issue, there’s a good chance you’ll walk away with a “lifestyle prescription.” Due to the type of issues we investigate in our functional medicine practice, patients are frequently instructed to make significant changes to: 

  • Improve what they eat – Now, follow a highly specific nutrition plan. 
  • Add or increase exercise – Now, commit to a regular exercise routine. 
  • Reduce stress – Now, adopt specific guidelines regarding sleep patterns, relaxation, and meditation. 

How do you successfully fulfill a “lifestyle prescription”? 

The key is simple modifications, step-by-step, to reach your ultimate goal. 

As the Certified Functional Medicine Health Coach at Omnia Health, I’m here to help patients successfully adopt new eating habits, exercise routines, and/or stress-reduction habits. I tell them, “I’m here to be your accountability partner. I’m here to walk alongside you on your health journey.” 

Because of the types of issues we treat in our office, patients frequently get a “lifestyle prescription” from Dr. Jacqui and Nurse Practitioner Gia. To clear up symptoms and fully resolve nagging health issues, patients are instructed to make significant lifestyle changes regarding nutrition, exercise, and stress reduction. 

For example, patients seeking treatment for unrelenting GI issues may be instructed to go gluten-free or dairy-free (or both). This elimination diet may resolve their health challenge AND help them achieve an overall healthier lifestyle. However, when it comes to changing their diet, a lot of people struggle. If you’re instructed to be 100% gluten-free or dairy-free, it can be really hard!

As their health coach, I guide our patients along the entire path to fulfill their “lifestyle prescription” and achieve their overall health goals. I help our patients take a fresh look at their eating habits and, together, we identify modifications. We set step-by-step milestones and celebrate each step they make toward the goal. 

The following tips can help you take simple steps to achieve BIG results.

TIP #1: How to make significant changes to your diet (in a way that actually works). 

Let’s say you’ve been having serious, ongoing GI issues. Since gluten and dairy sensitivity are often the root causes of GI symptoms, you decide to adopt a gluten-free, dairy-free diet. For most people, this cannot be done overnight. So let’s take it step-by-step, starting with breakfast. 

  • Breakfast – Do you have toast every morning? No need to give it up; you can still have toast! Just swap your brand of bread with gluten-free bread. Can you reframe the way you look at your meal? One of my patients absolutely must have cheese in her “everything omelet.” When she’d order an omelet without cheese, it was always a disappointment. I asked her to take a fresh look at her meal. What if she orders a breakfast scramble with eggs, avocados, and green bell peppers? This has all her favorite ingredients, minus the cheese. Now, she enjoys her new breakfast favorite and doesn’t miss the cheese. 
  • Lunch – What does your typical lunch look like? Where can you make a feasible change? For example, let’s say you usually have a turkey and cheese sandwich, which contains dairy and gluten. Here are a few ideas: Switch to gluten-free bread and lose the cheese. Add lettuce, tomato, and spicy mustard to add interest to your sandwich. Or start making (or ordering) creative, colorful, and interesting salads that are healthy and satisfying.
  • Dinner – One of the best “tricks” to switch out dairy and gluten is to add more fruits and vegetables to your dinners. Also, preplanning makes a BIG difference. Make soups and stews on the weekends. And make extra tonight, so you’ll have a meal ready tomorrow night. Don’t hit the “default” button and order a pizza!

TIP #2: Start with just ONE meal, then address the others later. 

To further simplify this process (and help ensure success), start by selecting ONE meal such as breakfast. Determine how to make your breakfast gluten-free and dairy-free. Then get into the groove! Next, take a look at lunch or dinner. A lot of full-time workers have trouble with lunch, since they often eat out. These days, it’s fairly easy to be gluten-free and dairy-free in a lot of restaurants. So instead of ordering “the usual,” take a fresh look at the menu. Here’s an idea: If you’re going to a sandwich shop, get a lettuce wrap instead of a bread-based sandwich. 

Make simple modifications – and wise choices – to reach your ultimate goal. 

For most people, it just isn’t practical to make sweeping lifestyle changes overnight. Ultimately, reaching the 100% mark is the goal, and you can get there. The keys are making simple modifications, taking it step by step, and making wise choices. 

5 Things You Need to Know About Sunscreen

Here’s how to choose safe, effective sunscreen

By Jacqui Pariset, MD, founder of Omnia Health

Is sunscreen good for you? Is it bad for you?  

With the arrival of spring, many of us are biking, hiking, gardening, and enjoying other outdoor activities. Recently, several patients have asked me this question, “What do I look for when choosing sunscreen for me and my family?”

Here are 5 things you need to know about sunscreen – including two toxic ingredients you need to watch out for.

First, some words of wisdom from Grandma.

Your grandmother may have told you, “Go outside and get some sun – it’s good for you.” Guess what? Grandma was right! We keep hearing “stay out of the sun” but, in reality, getting a little sun is perfectly safe. It’s sunburn that causes problems, not sunshine.

Plus, our bodies need sunshine to produce vitamin D. Recent research links low levels of vitamin D to risks of cancer, obesity, depression, high blood pressure, and much more. Taking vitamin D supplements is not nearly as effective as good-old-fashioned sunshine.

Of course, we live and play at high altitude, and we can burn more quickly. Here’s my rule of thumb: For most outdoor activities (hiking, biking, gardening, yardwork, etc.) spend about 15 minutes in the sun without sunscreen to get that beneficial vitamin D, then apply sunscreen (and wear appropriate clothing). If you’re skiing or boating, spend about 5 minutes in the sun without sunscreen to get your “dose of D,” then put on sunscreen and long-sleeves before you start to turn pink.

I tell my patients, “Sunshine is nature’s medicine! Get outside, get some sunshine, and take precautions to protect your skin from sun damage and sunburn.” Keep reading for more advice – the 5 things you need to know about sunscreen.

#1. Choose mineral sunscreens over chemical sunscreens.

Mineral-only sunscreens have different ingredients than chemical-based sunscreens. The Environmental Working Group notes, “Mineral-based sunscreens using zinc oxide and titanium dioxide tend to rate well in our analysis. They are stable in sunlight, offer a good balance between protection from the two types of ultraviolet radiation – UVA and UVB – and don’t often contain potentially harmful additives.”

Mineral-based sunscreens contain larger particle sizes of ingredients. This means your skin doesn’t readily absorb these ingredients into your blood stream. Clearly, we want to apply sunscreen on our skin – not in our body. This is a key reason why the Environmental Working Group gives a favorable rating to mineral-based sunscreens.

#2. Watch out for these worrisome ingredients.

Two-thirds of sunscreens offer inferior sun protection and worrisome ingredients – chemicals that can show up in our blood, urine, and even breast milk. The two major offenders in chemical-based sunscreens are:

  • Oxybenzone
  • Octinoxate

These known hormone disruptors are estrogenic, which means they act as estrogen in our bodies. They also have potent anti-androgenic effects, which essentially equates to “anti-testosterone.” And here’s a frightening statistic: Oxybenzone has been detected in the blood of 96% of Americans! More bad news: Marine biologists are discovering that these chemicals damage coral reefs and affect marine life.

#3. Look for broad-spectrum sunscreen, offering protection from UVA and UVB rays.

Did you know the SPF rating is linked only to UVB rays? In fact, the FDA says that high-SPF products may mislead consumers. Since many products don’t adequately block UVA rays, you may be getting significant UVA exposure even though you’re not getting sunburned. Therefore, choose a broad-spectrum, mineral-based sunscreen that won’t contain the toxic ingredients oxybenzone and octinoxate.

#4. Take steps to protect your skin and prevent skin cancer.

Don’t depend on sunscreen – it does not protect your skin from all types of sun damage. Also, the Environmental Working Group notes, “People who rely on sunscreens tend to burn, and sunburns are linked to cancer.”

Here are tips to protect your skin and prevent skin cancer:

  • Don’t use tanning beds – No indoor tanning, ever.
  • Wear appropriate clothing – Going on a long hike? Spending the day in the garden? A wide-brimmed hat, long sleeves, and long pants help protect your skin.
  • Take care not to get sunburned – Since UV radiation peaks at midday, plan to spend time outdoors in early morning or late afternoon when the sun is lower. When possible, stay in the shade or under an umbrella.
  • Regularly apply sunscreen – Apply a broad-spectrum, mineral-based sunscreen every 2-4 hours when spending time outside.

#5. Find out if your sunscreen is good or bad. Here’s how…

The Environmental Working Group offers great information on sunscreens, including an online guide to sunscreens, little-known facts about sunscreen, and a list of “Best Beach and Sport Sunscreens.” Check out the list of 243 sunscreens and see how your product rates: https://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/