Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

Balance Your Thyroid Now

Three Things You Can do NOW to Help Balance Your Thyroid

 By Gia McCloskey-Jurevich, NP

When I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, I was shocked.  I was 30-years old, and otherwise very healthy.  I wanted to know WHY I got this disease.  And more importantly, WHAT should I be doing to help my body heal.   My doctors did not have an acceptable answer, I was simply told that it “just happens”.   

I was prescribed thyroid replacement medication and sent on my way.  I had my thyroid labs checked a couple of times a year and my dose was adjusted accordingly.  Many years later, after I had learned about Functional Medicine, I realized that I may not get the answer to why I developed hypothyroidism but there were so many things I could be doing to support my body and help my thyroid.  I was eventually diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, an auto-immune thyroid disease, which makes the lifestyle interventions even more important.  

Through my degree in nursing, training in Functional Medicine AND a whole lot of personal experience I have learned that traditional medicine does not dig deep enough to really understand and address the issues of Hypothyroidism.  I hope that my training and experience can help you find solutions for your situation. 

Here  are three factors within your control that affect thyroid health:

  1. Food
  2. Chronic Stress
  3. Toxins

Thyroid Factor  #1. Food:

Nutrition is the cornerstone of health.  We are all told to “eat healthy” but what does that mean?  There is a lot of conflicting advice about nutrition.  The options are endless, low carb, low fat, vegetarian, vegan, paleo, keto.  Each camp touts its health benefits.  However, there is not ONE diet that is good for EVERY person. Science and medicine have confirmed some general rules that apply to all of us including avoidance of: sugar, processed foods, fast food, and “bad” oils. 

For people who have hypothyroidism, or Hashimoto’s, there are other factors that can make a big difference.  We have our thyroid patients follow an elimination diet for a minimum of 6 weeks.  In addition to the getting rid of the above foods, we also recommend they remove gluten, dairy, corn, and, in many cases other foods such as soy, lectins, nuts, seeds, eggs, and some spices.

We recommend this because these are common foods people are sensitive to and can contribute to inflammation, gut dysbiosis and permeability, aka “leaky gut” and immune dysfunction.  In addition to removing these potentially harmful foods, we focus on getting all the good stuff in.  This includes a variety of vegetables, healthy proteins, and good fats to give our bodies the nutrients it needs to function properly and heal.

Thyroid Factor #2. Chronic Stress:

Chronic stress can lead to anxiety, depression, and fatigue.  Cortisol, our stress hormone, becomes elevated with chronic stress.  Stress may exacerbate an underlying thyroid condition. Under stress, your body releases cortisol. Excess cortisol can interfere with thyroid hormone production, leading to low levels of T4 and T3 and an elevated TSH. And, of course, when you’re not feeling well, your stress goes up and this cycle can make things even worse. 

“Also, when stressed, you’re more vulnerable to autoimmune thyroid conditions (eg, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis). A 2004 study in the journal Thyroid found that stress is one of the environmental factors for thyroid autoimmunity.1”

One of the benefits you will find in working with the team at Omnia Health is that in addition to our medical team we have health coaches that can work with you to design customized stress-reducing programs to help you to break these cycles.

Here are Three Ways to Combat Stress:

  1. Develop a consistent exercise routine that includes cardiovascular activity and resistance training. 
  2. Find a stress-reduction practice that works for you.  This may include yoga, meditation, mindfulness, or an activity such as gardening, knitting, or hiking that requires presence and focus.
  3. Get adequate sleep.  The goal is at least 7-8 hours a night. 

Thyroid Factor #3. Toxins:

Finally, take a look at what toxins you may be exposed to.  Most of us don’t realize how many toxins we’re exposed to on a daily basis that can impact our health over time. Toxins can interfere with proper function of our entire endocrine system. The endocrine system consists of the glands and the various hormones they produce.  These include our stress hormones such as cortisol, our sex hormones including estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, and our thyroid hormones.   

These hormones are in constant communication with each other.  An imbalance in one, can trigger abnormalities in the others.  Unfortunately, toxins are abundantly present in our lives. However, there is a lot we can do to minimize our exposure. 

Here are a few ways you can reduce your exposure to toxins: 

  1. Buy organic produce and avoid processed foods. 
  2. Check your home and personal care products and avoid those that contain substances such as triclosans, parabens, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, formaldehyde, and fluoride.    For more comprehensive information, visit the to find the cleanest household and personal care products.
  3. Avoid hot drinks or food from paper, plastic, or styrofoam containers since these can all leach toxins. 
  4. Drink plenty of water.  The goal is at least half of your body weight in ounces.
  5. Consume foods that act as antioxidants including berries, broccoli, spinach, kale, beets, and green tea.

Functional medicine addresses the underlying triggers of disease.  Lifestyle factors including nutrition, stress, sleep, and toxins play a vital role in health.  If you have hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s it is important that you see your doctor regularly to make sure your thyroid levels are optimal.  Yet, there Is so much more you can do to optimize your health.  The above recommendations will benefit you whether you have a chronic illness or just want to optimize your health.

We have a team of people to help you through the challenges of Hypothyroidism. You can see our physician, nurse practitioner and/or our health coaches to get the support you need. Whatever struggles you are facing, it’s important to know that you are not alone. 

I have a lot of personal experience on this topic and I would love to assist you in addressing this complex illness. Feel free to schedule a 15-minute complimentary phone call with me at your convenience. Click here to schedule a call. 



  1. Mizokami, T., Wu Li, A., El-Kaissi, S., & Wall, J. R. (2004). Stress and Thyroid Autoimmunity. Thyroid, 14(12), 1047–1055.
  2. Vojdani, A., Pollard, K. M., & Campbell, A. W. (2014). Environmental Triggers and Autoimmunity. Autoimmune Diseases, 2014, 1–2.
  3. Schnedi W, Lackner S, Enko D, Schenk M, Mangge H, Holasek S. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity: people without celiac disease avoiding gluten-is it due to histamine intolerance?. Inflammation Research. 2017. doi:10.1007/s00011-017-1117-4.
  4. Leccioli V, Oliveri M, Romeo M, Berretta M, Rossi P. A New Proposal for the Pathogenic Mechanism of Non-Coeliac/Non-Allergic Gluten/Wheat Sensitivity: Piecing Together the Puzzle of Recent Scientific Evidence. Nutrients. 2017;9(11):1203. doi:10.3390/nu9111203.


Primary Care Plus Introduction

Watch this brief Primary Care Plus overview video with Denver’s Omnia Health Founder, Dr. Jacqui Pariset.

Functional Medicine Meets Primary Care – Watch her Story…

Denver patient, Bethy M. describes how her symptoms have reduced and in some cases faded away as a result of a functional medicine approach she discovered at Omnia Health in Denver, Co.

Making Nutritional Modifications

How Do I Start Making Nutritional Modifications?

By Katie Ozimek

Functional medicine is about getting to the root of the problem – the causes, not the symptom. For that reason, we often take a close look at our patients’ diet and nutritional habits. Many people that visit Denver’s Omnia Health are asked to make some lifestyle modifications that involve nutrition. 

For some people, this feels like we are asking you to stop eating your favorite foods. I know it is hard, not fair and no fun but trust me, we really see results, and more importantly, so will you! Plus, you came to Omnia to feel better, right? 

The question is then begged… “Where do I start?” I always start each patient by asking what a typical day of eating looks like. While I know all days vary, people tend to eat pretty similarly on most days. Once we get a big picture of what you are eating on a daily/weekly basis we are able to see where the changes might start. 

Let’s start with your favorite meal of the day

So let’s say you love breakfast, it is your favorite meal of the day but you tend to eat a lot of cereal, bread, and pastries at breakfast. Starting your day off with lots of carbohydrates and sugar is like a jolt to your system and lasts for a short period of time and then most people end up craving more sugar and then fueling their bodies with sugar rather than whole foods. So as your health coach, I might ask you what else you like at breakfast, I may offer up some ideas of different breakfast options. 

Once you settle on something that fits into the nutritional modifications we talk about you can incorporate this change into your daily routine.  

It is important to note that we don’t always start with breakfast, we might also start with lunch or dinner or even snacks. The beauty of health coaching is that we start where you think you can be the most successful. You are in the driver’s seat and I am coaching you along. Making lifestyle changes can feel overwhelming at first but just like anything else once you practice you just keep getting better.

Science tells us WHY

The next question that a lot of patients ask is why? They come to see me and tell me the practitioners told them no gluten, dairy or sugar but they don’t know why. The very simple reason is that science tells us that these are the big three inflammation drivers in our bodies.  The world tells us these are also the yummiest foods out there! Trust me, I can teach you and help you find lots of yummy gluten, dairy and sugar-free foods, you just have to be willing to make changes in your lifestyle. 

Functional medicine provides answers

Now you might be asking me or yourself why does it matter if I eat foods that cause inflammation. That answer is a little bit more complicated, however again science tells us that your risk of heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome, auto-immune disease, diabetes, cancer, and many other chronic issues increase. 

“In the functional medicine world, we strongly believe food is medicine…”

In the functional medicine world, we strongly believe food is medicine so when we ask you to make changes to your diet we are doing it because there is a science to prove that it actually works and clears up symptoms without prescription medication. 

And to make sure we’re looking at the right information to design your plan, we always test, we never guess! Lab tests are critical to making decisions based on fact.  

Let’s work together

Now we are back to the beginning. How do we make these modifications and how can we help support you as you embark on your new eating habits? This is where Omnia Health comes in. 

We will work together to set goals around food, we will work within your boundaries to find solutions specific to you. I will walk with you through the process of change into transformation and ultimately you will be optimizing your health and wellness. 

Call Katie Ozimek 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 have a lot of personal experience that is very helpful to draw on while working with clients. I have a zest for learning new and improved ways to care for our bodies and change the way people live. I am a very motivated person and I feel that my energy and drive will help motivate others.

I have a degree in communications which helps me to listen, really listen and to understand people’s fears, their challenges, their goals and their dreams.”

Learn more about Katie here.

Questions? Comments? Send us a Note!

3 + 14 =

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.

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.


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


•  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.


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.


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.

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! 

Do You Turn to Comfort Food When Stressed?

(Hint:replace it with new foods and flavors)

By Lisa Marini, Brain Health Coach, Omnia Health

Sugar is toxic for your brain. Here’s how to cut back on this culprit.

Like every other part of your body, your brain can be strengthened and even healed to function properly. One of the keys is proper nutrition.

The latest science tells us that sugar is toxic for your brain, and here’s why: Sugar can move us into a fight-or-flight response, releasing chemicals such as adrenaline and cortisol. Over time, chronic amounts of these hormones will damage cells. This can create inflammation, which provides a “welcoming” environment for disease to develop.

Excess sugar in our system can create “brain fog” and affect our personality. We exhibit traits we would never list on our resume or dating profile! We can be judgmental, short-tempered, withdrawn, impatient, and snippy. Worse, new studies are linking sugar to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Here’s an easy way to reduce sugar: Simply replace it!

As a brain health coach – essentially, a “personal trainer for the brain” – I read a lot of science, medical, and health journals about how the brain works. Here’s food for thought:

Our brain doesn’t like to give something up. If we want to give something up, we need replacements to fill that void, so our brain will be satisfied.

Let’s look at an example…

My fictitious client Bryan decides to give up ice cream for various health reasons, including weight loss and lactose intolerance. He quits cold turkey, and he hates the whole process!

  • He feels resentful when someone else orders ice cream.
  • He misses the sheer enjoyment of eating ice cream: the taste, texture, and social context.
  • He continually thinks about ice cream, with negative thoughts like: “I can’t eat ice cream anymore, but everyone else can. It’s just not fair.”

Notice that Bryan is focusing on the loss, not the gain. Plus, he’s dwelling on negative thoughts around the thing he cannot have.

No need to quit cold turkey! Instead, replace sugar with something new.

Here are 5 things you can do right now:

  1. Swap a sugar culprit with something refreshing and satisfying.
    Example: Replace soda with carbonated lemon water.
  2. Have a healthy alternative handy. Don’t leave it up to will power.
    Example: Say “no thanks” to the coworker’s donuts and, instead, reach for the mixed nuts and beef jerky in your desk drawer.
  3. Engage your senses when you eat healthy comfort foods.
    Example: Replace brown sugar in your oatmeal with cinnamon and nutmeg. The warm, inviting aromas and flavors are satisfying and comforting. Engaging your senses helps to build a new association and reprogram your brain. You won’t miss the brown sugar!
  4. Take time to build a relationship with your new treat – and create a new habit
    Example: Avoid the snack machine and satisfy your afternoon craving with a cup of hot herbal tea. Take time to enjoy the aroma, the natural sweetness, the warmth and relaxation. Instead of mindlessly munching a candy bar, you’ll create a wonderful new habit.
  5. Give your brain something different. Our brains love novelty!
    Example: Replace candy or chewing gum with cinnamon-dipped toothpicks.

Don’t try to eliminate sugar altogether. Instead, gradually replace it with new foods and flavors.
I believe the key is awareness – this is what makes change possible. You can start on this path RIGHT NOW by paying attention to what you eat and how you feel. Plus, I encourage you to read more about this topic. Be educated. As they say, knowledge is power!

IBS: Constipation, bloating, diarrhea and gas

Is this you?

You wake up to a beautiful Denver sunrise with a bloated and extended stomach. Immediately, you feel the urge to pass gas.

As you dress for work, you spend time (you don’t have) searching for the right pants you can comfortably wear (and zip) over your poor bloated belly.

At work, your stomach continues to expand and gas continues to build up. You hope that none escapes because you can’t face the embarrassment of releasing it around your coworkers and boss.

It’s so uncomfortable and miserable. You try hard to think what you had for dinner the day before, but nothing sounds like it could be the cause.

You suffer throughout the day to just go home and repeat this routine day in and day out.

It’s okay; you’re not alone.

In fact, up to 38-96 million Americans experience symptoms of IBS but only 5-7% have been diagnosed. At Omnia Health, it’s one of the issues people see us the most about. With our Functional Medicine approach, we are often able to bring significant relief to Denver area patients.

What is IBS and How Does Functional Medicine Help?

From a Functional Medicine perspective, we see IBS, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome, as a very complex disorder. It’s not a single disease with a single cause nor a single treatment.

Instead, complexity occurs due to the multitude of symptoms and a multitude of potential causes.

Mild to severe symptoms can include:

  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Cramping
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation

These symptoms can fluctuate in severity and seemingly at random. (You may not experience them all the time, but rather in waves).

This complex disease isn’t officially considered an autoimmune disease, but it overlaps with similar risk factors of autoimmunity including: leaky gut, dietary factors, infections, inflammation, toxins and stress.

Potential Causes

As mentioned before, when Functional Medicine principles are applied properly, we discover many contributing factors that lead to IBS and for each person it may be slightly different. Some of the most common causes are:

  1. Overuse of antibiotics
  2. Stress
  3. Food allergies or sensitivities

Overuse of Antibiotics

One of the many things that contribute to IBS symptoms is an unhealthy microbiome in your gut.

Your gut can have up to 500 species of bacteria which weighs about 3 pounds! Imagine three pounds of yeast fermenting inside of you… that would produce a lot of gas, right?


Of course your gut is not full of fermenting yeasts (or at least we hope not!) but rather, good bacteria, bad bacteria and SUPER bad bacteria.

When your microbiome is healthy, it has more good bacteria than bad.

When your microbiome is out of balance, it means the bad guys took over – or they went to prohibited areas (like your small intestine).

How is this related to antibiotic use?

Antibiotic drugs don’t kill only the bad guys (like we wish).

Instead, when you take antibiotics you kill most of the bacteria, the good and the bad; you essentially press the restart button for your microbiome!

However, when you do this, often the bad bacteria grows faster because the competition for nutrients in the gut is reduced, and the bad guys take over and inhibit the good bacteria population.

So, the next time you take antibiotics think about your microbiome and the potential effects!


Research has shown a correlation between high stress levels and increased instances of IBS.

Your brain and your gut share a strong connection via the vagus nerve.

You might be thinking: “Yes, I know that, my brain is always telling my gut – SNACKS, PLEASE!”

However, your brain-gut connection is a two-way pathway. Your gut sends signals to your brain and vice-versa.

Your (healthy) gut produces 95% of your serotonin (a hormone that regulates mood and sleep). However, when your brain is upset (stressed) it sends signals through the vagus nerve which upsets your gut.

This can create IBS-like symptoms such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, etc.

Now that your gut is unhappy, it reduces serotonin production;

  • which less serotonin in your brain makes you feel more stressed
  • which reduces the serotonin production in the gut
  • which makes you feel more stressed
  • which reduces the serotonin
  • which makes you feel EVEN MORE STRESSED
  • which reduces the serotonin production in the gut
  • which makes you feel irritable and cranky

As you can see it can spiral out of control very easily.

Food Allergies and Sensitivity

Many food allergies or sensitivities can have IBS-like symptoms such as gas, abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea and/or constipation (in addition to many other symptoms).

The most common food allergies or sensitivities that can potentially irritate the digestive system include (but are not limited to) gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, sugar and peanuts.

Perhaps you’ve heard the terms food allergy and food sensitivities thrown around, yet you don’t know the difference.

Food allergies cause a range of symptoms that affect different organs in the body through an acute immune reaction. In some cases, an allergic food reaction can be severe or life-threatening.

Food sensitivities, however, are not true food allergies, but rather low-grade reactions that occur several hours after food is ingested. These reactions can present in many different ways; from IBS-like symptoms to brain fog, fatigue and more…

Find Relief!

Just like different factors contribute to IBS, there is not a “one-size-fits-all” treatment. Everyone is unique and has different reasons that contribute to their IBS, therefore, they need to address the problem from multiple angles to find the root cause(s)! This is what Omnia Health’s Functional Medicine approach does – it dives deep into the real cause instead of just treating uncomfortable symptoms.

Here’s a few potential ways you can find relief: more than one approach may be needed!

  1. Fertilize your gut so the good guys grow stronger (aka prebiotics)
    1. Prebiotic Fiber can be found in many fruits and vegetables, such as apple skins, bananas, onions and garlic, Jerusalem artichokes, chicory root and beans
  2. Add good guys to your diet (aka probiotics)
    1. Probiotics are found in fermented food, like yogurt (only if you’re tolerant to dairy), kimchi, kombucha or sauerkraut
  3. Remove irritating foods and irritants from your diet
    1. This includes (but not limited to) gluten, dairy, corn, soy, eggs, sugar, alcohol, caffeine and drugs.
  4. Control your stress levels
    1. Find something that works for you and do it regularly. For example, yoga, meditation, deep breathing, short walks or journaling
  5. Work with a Functional Medicine provider
    1. It’s best to work with someone closely to do specialized testing and so they can create a custom treatment plan based on your symptoms and what they identified as the root cause(s).

If you want to finally find relief from your systems and work with someone you can trust, Schedule a FREE 15-Minute Consultation with us.