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COLORFUL EATING

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As many of you may already know, I’m always speaking and writing about the importance of eating a COLORFUL diet. This is something that’s very important to me because I know so many people (including myself in the past) who eat the same vegetable or same color vegetable for dinner night after night; or the same fruit or same color fruit for breakfast morning after morning. It’s wonderful that you are incorporating fruits and veggies into your daily diet, because I do realize that there are some who do not eat them at all. However, in an attempt to take things up a notch, you can consider a variety of ways to take your diet to the next level. For instance, you can be more intentional about making sure that the produce is organic; or you can be more intentional about making a larger percentage of your meals/plates comprised of veggies; or (the subject of today’s blog) you can be more intentional about consistently incorporating more colors into your daily meals.

Why is this so important?

Eating a burst of colors on your plate not only provides visual stimulation with the eye candy, but it also allows you to take in a variety of nutrients necessary for the systems of your body to function optimally. In fact, this is extremely important because each individual color is that color for a reason – it carries a specific vitamin, mineral, antioxidant, etc. to naturally nourish your body and help fight or prevent disease! For instance, the most popular color that comes to mind when you say the word “vegetable” is green, because included in the long list of anti-cancerous elements and nutrients found in these veggies are potassium, dietary fiber, folate, vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin C. Another color example would be the blue/purple foods. Foods that are blue, purple and even crimson are gaining popularity due to the fact that they contain flavonoids, which are beneficial to our health because they may contribute to the maintenance of proper brain function and blood flow. 

What is the challenge?

Now that you’ve read about this, it’s time to take action in two ways. First, share this information! People are always looking for ways to enhance their health, so help someone else to benefit from this information the way that you just did. Secondly, think for a second about your go-to breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Are you picking up on any color patterns? Is there a color you seem to gravitate towards when selecting your fruits, veggies, grains, beans, legumes, seeds, etc.? Most importantly, make note of the color(s) you notice you have been avoiding. Pick one, and make note of which nutritious foods are that color. At some point this week, go buy that food and prepare it for you and your family. Feel free to Google special recipes incorporating this food so that you may experience it in a different way than you already may have. This is important, because majority of the times that I am told that someone “hates” a certain food, it typically ends up having to do with the way that food was prepared, perhaps when they were younger or even just the last time they ate it.

Need additional assistance?

Keep this pattern going! Each time you do your grocery shopping, pick up a color that you haven’t experienced in the last few days. Also, as you are selecting colors, please don’t forget my favorite – black! For more information on why black foods are my favorite and what they do for your body, feel free to read my blog called “Black is the New Green”!

As you’re selecting new fruits, veggies, grains, beans, legumes, seeds, etc., if you ever have any questions about their health benefits, their disease-fighting qualities, how they should be prepared/consumed, other foods of that particular color, etc. feel free to reach out to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Also, if you want to do it the other way around, that it fine too (i.e. if you have a particular disease or symptom, and would like to know which color would impact your ailment the most), just reach out to me and we can talk about how to use your food as medicine!

Be sure to stay tuned to the website for more wellness blog posts!

 

Katherine Igah-Phillips, MD, MHA

Returning to Nature, LLC.

www.returning2nature.com

FB: www.facebook.com/returning2nature

IG: @returning2nature

IV NUTRIENT THERAPY

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IV Nutrient therapy is definitely one of my top favorites in the realm of natural therapies. It is also gaining popularity quickly within the Integrative Medicine community. Now, you may be wondering what exactly is involved in IV Nutrient Therapy, but it is much simpler than you think. It is just what its name conveys…vitamins, minerals and other nutrients being administered directly into your bloodstream (intravenously infused) through an IV drip. I bet now you’re wondering just how safe this is. Well, not only is this therapy safe, but it also provides tons of amazing health benefits whether you are reversing or preventing symptoms and disease!

So, for those of you wondering what the big deal is about the IV route of administration, let me explain. Normally, you take in the majority of the nutrients in your body from your diet. In other words, the nutrients are consumed and dispersed to your cells via the process of digestion. Whether it’s the food on your dinner plate or the vitamin tablets you swallowed, everything is broken down and passed into your bloodstream. This entire process is managed by your gastrointestinal system which, when in good shape, powers through all of this very efficiently like a well-oiled machine. However, suppose your gastrointestinal system was not in good shape? Maybe you have gut-related health issues or disease. Maybe your digestion is just a little weak, preventing you from properly processing high concentrations of a nutrient. Maybe you have no idea about the current state of your digestive system. There are many variables when it comes to how effectively you are breaking down and absorbing the nutrients on a daily basis, and that’s exactly where the IV route of administration comes into play! Nutrients that are infused directly into the bloodstream via IV actually bypass the entire gastrointestinal system, and are then delivered right to the source (your cells) by your blood. In other words, you are receiving nutrients at much higher doses, in their full potency and purity at a cellular level.

Another common question I get asked about IV Nutrient Therapy has to do with what the side effects are. Again, in general, IV Nutrient Therapy is very safe and poses minimal if any negative side effects. Also, one of the amazing benefits of bypassing the digestive tract is that you also get to bypass all of the side effects that are typically related to oral administration, like upset stomach, diarrhea, etc. Lastly, just make sure that you are receiving your IV Nutrient Therapy from a trained and experienced professional, so that other issues caused by the IV administration itself are minimized or completely avoided. For instance, the speed at which the IV is administered plays an important role in the avoidance of dizziness, light headedness, decreased blood pressure, etc.

I’m sure that by now you are wondering if you are a candidate for receiving IV Nutrient Therapy. Well, the good news is that you more than likely are! I say this because IV Nutrient Therapy is great not only for battling/reversing a long list of health conditions, but also for healthy individuals in need of an overall health boost and disease prevention methods! IV Nutrient Therapy is amazing at addressing conditions like chronic fatigue, chronic pain and fibromyalgia, heart disease, infections, anti-aging, headaches, cancer, autoimmune disease, poor detoxification, cold/flu, seasonal allergies, increased stress, etc. Pretty much anything that can be improved with increased nutrient absorption and balancing can be addressed with IV Nutrient Therapy.

Still wondering if this is for you? Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find out if you’re a good candidate for this therapy, and if so, when you can begin treatment!

Also, be sure to stay tuned to the website for more wellness blog posts!

 

Katherine Igah-Phillips, MD, MHA

Returning to Nature, LLC.

www.returning2nature.com

FB: www.facebook.com/returning2nature

IG: @returning2nature

ENERGY HEALING

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Those who know me know that I spend a considerable amount of time studying, applying & enjoying Eastern medicine (particularly that of China and Japan). There’s just something about the use of natural energy to promote healing, balance and wellness that I love! Within traditional Chinese medicine, a few of my favorites that you can also receive within my practice include acupuncture, Chinese herbs and cupping. However, the main thing to consider with these is that they must be done with a skilled and trained professional…but what if you want to do something on your own? What if you want access to this type healing within your own home? Well, in these situations, I found myself exploring some Japanese technologies. I always want to empower people with ways that they impact their overall wellness on their own and on a daily basis, without having to go to anyone’s clinic.

I have teamed up with Nikken as an Independent Consultant of their powerful Japanese technologies. Nikken products feature innovations that set them apart from anything else on the market. They combine traditional wisdom with modern technology and advanced engineering. The result is a product line that represents practical solutions for dealing with life’s everyday challenges from random aches and pains, to full blown chronic inflammatory diseases.

Nikken technologies are based on the application of various forms of natural energy. These diverse products and state-of-the-art technologies are integrated to operate with each other and provide an environment that actively promotes good health. Examples of their technologies include: advanced magnetic technology; alkaline water technology; air wellness technology; far-infrared technology; negative ion technology; full-spectrum light technology; natural energy sleep technology; etc.

I have personally used each of these technologies, and experienced remarkable wellness results! For instance, I drink about 90 ounces of alkaline water every day, and use this type of water to prevent disease and inflammation from occurring within my body since diseases develop and thrive in acidic environments. (For more info on the benefits of alkaline water, please feel free to read my Water 3-part blog series). Buying bottle after bottle of alkaline water from the store can get pretty costly very quickly, so investing in this water system that just sits on your kitchen counter without taking up much space, is the best move!

I have also used Nikken’s magnets to help with my balance (as a necklace) and with naturally resolving lower back pain (as a back pad) during my pregnancy. I also slept on a mattress topper with this magnet technology inside of it, along with using a comforter with the far-infrared technology within it, and the quality of sleep I got while using this sleep technology was absolutely incredible!

Interested in trying out some of these products? Have a few people in mind who could benefit from this? Simply follow the link below for more information on these natural energy technologies, and for product ordering!

http://nikken.com/returning2nature/my-story

Any additional inquiries you have after following the link may be sent to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Also, be sure to stay tuned to the website for more wellness blog posts!

 

Katherine Igah-Phillips, MD, MHA

Returning to Nature, LLC.

www.returningtonature.com

FB: www.facebook.com/returning2nature

IG: @returning2nature

MARCH: NATIONAL NUTRITION MONTH!

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I get so excited about nutrition, because the saying that “you are what you eat” is definitely not just a cliché. It bears so much truth, and deserves this month to get that point across to as many people as possible. No matter what you are trying to do, whether it’s lose weight, gain weight, fight disease, prevent disease, etc., what you put into your mouth will govern well over 50% of that outcome! Every facet of your health is affected by what you eat…your immune system, your mood, your energy levels, your skin health, etc. In fact, there's definitely a reason why you may tend to feel “sluggish” after eating a heavy, processed meal (often labeled as being “The Itis”). Our bodies have a difficult time breaking down this type of “food”, and on top of that, there's usually little to no nutritional value gained from that meal.

I applaud those of you who have been making changes to alter your diets for the better! I understand that it’s not easy to pull away from some of your staple meals or food items that may not be the healthiest for you. I also understand how difficult it can be to maintain such healthy changes while living in a society where body image tends to be over emphasized. This dramatization of the human physique makes it even more difficult to avoid the overwhelming amount of diet and weight loss programs out there promising the lightning speed shedding of your extra pounds. That’s why I will continue to take a stand for educating and providing true information on good nutrition!

It can be tricky knowing were to begin your diet adjustments. What should be removed first? What should be incorporated? What do all of these lifestyles people are taking on mean (i.e. vegan, paleo, vegetarian, pescatarian, etc.)? In an effort to always support you on your wellness journey, I have a nutrition-related surprise event for you that I will be announcing next week in honor of National Nutrition Month! If you’re on social media, stay tuned for Returning to Nature’s Facebook and Instagram posts of nutrition tips, diet changes you can try, etc. Also, be sure to stay tuned to the website for more wellness blog posts!

 

Katherine Igah-Phillips, MD, MHA

Returning to Nature, LLC.

www.returning2nature.com

FB: www.facebook.com/returning2nature

IG: @returning2nature

FOOD AS MEDICINE: AVOIDING WINTER BUGS

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People who know me are always wondering how I “never” get sick! In fact, I can’t even remember the last time I had to deal with a cold, sinus infection, allergies, etc. I’ve never had the flu, and intend to keep it that way. No, I wasn’t born with a super-human resistance to viral and bacterial infections. I just use my food as medicine to prevent certain health conditions from sneaking into my life.

Catching a cold in the winter does not have to be the norm! Are you tired of getting sick, even if just once a year, each year? Are you tired of playing your part at home only to go into work/school to get infected by a coworker/schoolmate? I know I would be!

In fact, the usual cold prevention checklist just wasn’t enough for me (i.e. wash your hands, avoid sick people, keep surroundings clean, etc.). What if I come into contact with someone I don’t know is carrying a bug? What if I work in a profession that brings me into constant contact with sick people? I figured that rather than running from the bug, I’d face it head on by building a fortress around me (in the form of my immune system) so strong that it would be difficult for any bug to penetrate it, no matter who I came into contact with, what time of year it was, etc. Here are five things I consume to keep my immune system at an all time high!

  1. WATER | I’ll begin here, because this is definitely my wellness secret weapon! Water (when consumed properly) can single-handedly boost your immune system and turn your health around…and very quickly at that! What do I mean by “consumed properly”? Well, I’m mostly referring to the correct type and amount. As far as the type is concerned, I’d definitely avoid tap water (it’s filled with a bunch of unhealthy things you don’t need in your body, like heavy metals, fluoride, chlorine, medications, and hundreds od other chemicals that aren’t even measured or regulated)! The most hydrating type of water is spring water (it’s naturally purified, containing a wide variety of minerals and a higher pH than most other waters). Alkaline water is also a great type of water to consume (it hydrates extremely well and works to create a more alkaline environment within your body to prevent diseases from manifesting or worsening). Even more important than the type is the AMOUNT you should be consuming. A good place to start is by drinking half of your body weight in ounces each day. This, of course, will need to increase if you’re in a hot climate, ill, pregnant, working out frequently, trying to lose weight, etc. For more details on the importance of water, the various types of water, and tips on how to consume half of your body weight in ounces each day, please refer to my three-part water blog!
  2. SUPERFOODS | These foods have made their way into the “Superfood Hall of Fame” for unique reasons, whether having to do with its extremely high nutritional content, or it’s potent impact on the prevention or even reversal of symptoms/diseases. Incorporating at least one superfood in each meal is a great way to boost your immune system and enhance your overall wellness! Some of my favorites are: kale, avocado, apple cider vinegar, turmeric, oats, seaweed, spinach, almonds, ginger root, quinoa, mushrooms, chia seeds, maca powder, hemp seeds and lentils.
  3. NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS | The right selection of supplements can help to take your immune system to an all time high! I’m sure you’re wondering why you need supplementation if you’re consuming superfoods and downing half your body weight in ounces of water. Well, thanks to the quality of our soil today (due to over-farming, pesticides, herbicides, etc.) the crop that comes from it is sub par as a whole. In addition to the fact that so much of our food is now genetically modified, as well as the fact that many nutrients are lost in the preparation/cooking of the food, it’s just difficult in general to consume literally every single vitamin and mineral that you need with every single meal! Regular consumption of HIGH QUALITY supplements (i.e. high potency, high absorbability, fast biodegradability, etc.) will definitely take your immune system to the next level. Here are the supplements I take on a daily basis (you can add extra Vitamin C and Turmeric during the cold and flu season): A Multivitamin, Vitamin D, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Probiotics/Digestive Enzymes. For more information on why these four are the essential supplements I feel everyone should be taking, please feel free to download my E-Guide from the home page of my website (www.returningtonature.com).
  4. ANTIOXIDANTS | These powerful substances are a must when talking about boosting your immune system and preventing disease.  The human body constantly produces harmful free radicals, and it’s the job of the antioxidants to counteract their damaging effects by removing them from the body. The bad news is that in most cases, the free radicals far outnumber the naturally occurring antioxidants, and when left unchallenged, can cause tons of illnesses and chronic diseases. This is why it’s so important that you continuously supply your body with EXTERNAL antioxidant sources! Some of my favorites are: berries (blueberries, raspberries, acai berries, etc.); black foods (black rice, black garlic, black beans, etc.); fresh organic vegetables; etc.
  5. AVOIDANCE | The final thing I want to leave you with is that sometimes it’s not all about adding things to your lifestyle. Avoiding certain things can cause just as much of a transformation on your immune system as adding the above four items! There are two main food groups that directly impact your immune system in a negative way: sugar & dairy products. Sugar directly suppresses the immune system, so much so that if you are in the midst of battling a cold, avoiding all sugar/sweets GREATLY accelerates your healing process! Resorting to NATURAL sweeteners within your diet, such as raw organic honey, is a great way to boost your immune system. Almost as detrimental as sugar are dairy products, which increase the mucous production within the body, leading to the creation (or worsening) of chronic inflammation and disease. Resorting to more plant-based dairy options within your diet, such as almond milk, is a great way to boost your immune system!

Best wishes to you on making this season a sick-free winter! Also, be sure to stay tuned to the website for more wellness blog posts!

 

Katherine Igah-Phillips, MD, MHA

Returning to Nature, LLC.

www.returning2nature.com

FB: www.facebook.com/returning2nature

IG: @returning2nature