Monday, February 8, 2010

Heart health with Hawthorn

Hawthorn, is the best-known herb for the heart and is one of many high blood pressure herbs for circulation. It is one of the best natural vasodilators.
The leaves can be used but the berries are especially effective in treating hypertension, lowering serum cholesterol, lowering high blood pressure and arteriosclerosis. It also contains an antioxidant that removes the commonest of free radicals which is known to accelerate arteriosclerosis.

In a clinical trial, 78 people who were given 600mg a day for 8 weeks of hawthorn extract, found there was a significant improvement in exercise tolerance and lower blood pressure and heart rate during exercise.

Since the late 19th century, hawthorn has been used successfully for various diseases of the cardiovascular system, including angina pectoris, functional heart disease, arhythmia, early manifestations of circulatory insufficiency of advanced age, and as a heart tonic to regulate circulation.

Today, hawthorn is an official drug in the Pharmacopoeias of Brazil, China, Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, Hungary, Russia, and Switzerland.

In pharmacological tests on both animals and humans, hawthorn has been shown to improve the contractility of the heart muscle (which can lead to a stronger pumping action of the heart), increase cardiac performance and output, lower the peripheral vascular resistance (reducing the workload of the heart), steady the heartbeat (antiarrhythmic effect), as well as increasing the heart's tolerance to oxygen deficiency, such as might happen during stress or excitement, or in diseases where the arteries are partially blocked.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Build Your Heart Strong

Heart Healthy Strategies

Pray. A study released in the American Heart Journal in 2001 says prayer helps the heart when combined with medical and healthcare procedures. Connection with God, a cultivation of your spiritual life, can greatly benefit and positively impact your health. “A heart at peace gives life to the body” (Proverbs 14:30).

Get Regular, Moderate Exercise. Daily low intensity exercise appears to help reduce your chances of having heart disease. Try a brisk walk for at least an hour with your spouse, a neighbor, or a friend. Join a gym and take classes you enjoy, lift some weights, jump in the pool and swim some laps. You don’t need to be a marathoner to maximize your heart health. Plant a garden.

Nourish Yourself with Vegetables. Determine to put only whole foods in your body. Plant-based diets rich in legumes are associated with fewer heart attacks. Beans are full of heart healthy flavonoids which can reduce your risk of heart attack. Whole grains deliver fiber, cholesterol reducers, antioxidants, clot blockers, plus essential minerals. A glass of goat’s milk contains components that might help protect against inflammatory diseases of aging such as heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Snack on nuts – at least 4 major studies have confirmed that eating nuts has an impact on reducing the risk of heart disease.

Soak up the Sun. Vitamin D in our bodies controls key elements of the immune system, blood pressure, and cell growth. Your skin manufactures vitamin D when it comes in contact with the sun. Without that vitamin D, we increase our risk for nearly all age-related diseases including many types of cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and even autoimmune diseases like MS (multiple sclerosis). Living in Minnesota we are limited by our winter months, but can take vitamin D3 to keep our immune systems in top shape throughout the colder months.

Laugh Often. Studies have found that a belly laugh a day may keep the doctor away. In 2005, researchers at the University of Maryland showed that laughter helped relax blood vessels, linking it to healthier function and a possible decreased risk of heart attack. Others have found that laughter may lower blood pressure and increase the amount of disease-fighting cells found in the body.

Sleep Tight. Getting enough sleep keeps the immune system functioning smoothly, decreases the risk of heart attack, and recharges the brain. Adults both young and old need between 7-9 hours per night. To help get it, go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time each morning; keep your bedroom dark, quiet, and cool; and use a comfortable mattress and pillows.
By: Robin Kragness

Eat Your Heart...Healthy!

Recipes For a Healthy Heart and For a Great Tasting Superbowl Party

Mexican Salsa/Salad:
Mix together:
1 cut up orange colored pepper
2 cans black beans, rinsed
1 can corn, drained
1 28 oz can Diced Tomatoes, drained
2 avocadoes chopped up in pieces
1 red onion chopped in pieces

1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
4 Tbls fresh lemon juice
1 Tbls red wine vinegar
2 Tbls olive oil

Mix and then mix with other ingredients. Add cumin to taste and serve with blue corn chips as salsa or just eat as salad.

Yeast Dough Recipe:

3 1/2 cups of Flour - I use Bob's Red Mill Wheat & Gluten Free All Purpose Flour, if using this flour you need to add 1 1/2 teaspoon of Xanthan Gum per cup of flour.

2 1/4 teaspoons Instant Yeast - I found Gluten Free Quick Dry Yeast in the baking section at the grocery store

1 tablespoon Sugar

1 tablespoon Salt

1 1/4 cups Warm Water - at 110 degrees F

2 tablespoons Olive Oil

In a food processor (or blender), combine the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt and pulse to blend. Add the water and olive oil and pulse just until the dough comes together. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Kneed the dough for 1-2 minutes to form a smooth ball. Place in an oiled large bowl, turn to coat the dough with the oil, and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk and very spongy, about 1 1/2 hours.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, punch down, and knead into a smooth cylinder. Divide in half and kneed each half to form 2 smooth balls, dusting with flour if sticking. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for 10 minutes.

Storage Tip:
Place each ball in a resealable plastic bag and refrigerate until ready to use, up to overnight. Return to room temperature before proceeding with a recipe. To freeze the dough, wrap in plastic wrap before placing in the bags and freeze for up to 2 months. To thaw, unwrap the dough, place on a plate and let stand until it reaches room temperature and begins to rise again, about 3 hours.

Rosemary Focaccia Recipe:

1 tablespoon Coarse Cornmeal

1 ball Yeast Dough - at room temperature, from recipe above

2 tablespoons Olive Oil

2 teaspoons minced Fresh Rosemary

Coarse sea salt

- Shape the dough: Sprinkle the cornmeal evenly over an 11x17 inch rimmed baking sheet. Place the dough on the prepared sheedt. Press down on the center, and, working from the center outward, push and stretch the dough evenly to the edges of the pan. (If the dough is difficult to handle, set it aside, covered, for 10 minutes and try again.) Cover the flattened dough with a damp kitchen towel and let rise for 15 minutes.

- Bake the focaccia: Place a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 450*F. Make dimples in the dough with your fingertips. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with the rosemary and a small amount of salt. Bake until golden brown, 15-18 minutes. Cut the focaccia into pieces and serve warm or at room temperature.


Greek Pita Pizzas

2 whole wheat pita breat
2 Tbls olive oil
2 tsp red vinegar (balsamic is fine too)
1 garlic glove
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp basil
1/2 c torn spinach
1/3 C feta cheese
1 small tomato

Brush pitas with 1 Tbls oil place on a baking sheet. Broil 4 inches from heat for 2 minutes.

In bowl combine vinegar, garlic, oregano, basil, and remaining oil. Spread over with spinach, cheese, tomatoes. Broil 3 minutes longer

optional: I like to saute onion, peppers, and mushrooms and add it to the pizzas. You can add or take out according to your taste. These are super yummy!!


1 large onion
1 med green pepper
4 garlic cloves
2 tsp olive oil
1 can kidney beans
1 can refried beans
1 can black beans
1 cup chicken broth
3/4 salsa
2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp pepper


1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. honey
1/2 c. cocoa powder or carob powder
1 c wheat germ
1 c peanuts or almonds (chop)
1/2 c sunflower seeds

Roll into balls and into coconut and refrigerate

Raw Vegan Chocolate Pudding

2 small ripe avocados
1/2 - 3/4 c. blue agave nectar
1/4 c. raw cocao powder (or carob if you prefer)
2 T. coconut cream concentrate
1 T. alcohol-free vanilla
dash of sea salt
dash of cinnamon (optional)
banana or strawberry slices for garnish

Place everything in a VitaMix or high power blender or food processor and blend on high until very smooth. You may need your temper to move the contents a little so the motor doesnte bog down on you. Most Vita Mix blenders come with one.

Keep stored in an air tight container in the fridge. Enjoy!

Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers
Serves 8

1 medium onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 ribs celery, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
1 Tbs. ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
1 10-oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup quinoa
3 large carrots, grated (1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 cups grated reduced-fat pepper Jack cheese, divided
4 large red bell peppers, halved lengthwise, ribs removed

1. Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and celery, and cook 5 minutes, or until soft. Add cumin and garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Stir in spinach and drained tomatoes. Cook 5 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated.
2. Stir in black beans, quinoa, carrots, and 2 cups water. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender. Stir in 1 cup cheese. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Pour liquid from tomatoes in bottom of baking dish.

4. Fill each bell pepper half with heaping 3/4-cup quinoa mixture, and place in baking dish. Cover with foil, and bake 1 hour. Uncover, and sprinkle each pepper with 1 Tbs. remaining cheese. Bake 15 minutes more, or until tops of stuffed peppers are browned. Let stand 5 minutes. Transfer stuffed peppers to serving plates, and drizzle each with pan juices before serving.

Do You Suffer From a Heart Wall?

We Can Help You!

What do you most associate with Valentine's Day? If you are my wife it's a heart. She loves hearts. In fact, she has a heart-shaped wedding ring! The truth is that a heart can conjure up many different thoughts and emotions. What image enters your mind when you think about heart disease? Have you ever heard someone say, "That guy sure has heart"? Have you ever prayed for God to "soften someone's heart"? Did you know that the NIV bible has 743 references to the heart? Have you ever been injured emotionally? Have you ever felt that emotional heaviness in your chest like your heart was breaking?
The point is that the human heart is much more than a muscle to pump blood. In fact, there are many scientists who now believe that the heart is the center of your being. In fact, research at the Institute for HeartMath Research now indicates that the heart may be a second brain, a brain more powerful than the one on top of your shoulders. A brain that is fully activated when you are giving and receiving pure love and acts of pure, unselfish devotion. It is through our heart that we give and receive love.

But, just as our hearts are vulnerable to physiological injury, they are also vulnerable to emotional injury. Sometimes trapped emotions are created in the body, and sometimes these trapped emotions lodge in the heart area.

What is a trapped emotion? According to Dr. Brad Nelson, author of "The Emotion Code," when certain emotions are too powerful for us to handle, a short-circuit is created, and a part of that emotion is 'trapped' within the body. This trapped emotion is essentially a 'ball of energy'. The picture at right depicts the body's magnetic field. The green ball represents one of these 'trapped emotions' which has become lodged in the upper right chest. Notice how it is distorting the magnetic field?

This type of trapped energy is invisible, yet can damage the body over time. If you have ever taken a magnet and put it near a computer screen or a tv set, and seen how the screen distorts, then you have seen the same phenomenon as this. A trapped emotion will distort the body's magnetic field in this same way. And of course, if you distort the body's magnetic field, you distort the physical tissues of the body as well, since the body itself is made of energy.

We are all subjected to various emotions every day of our lives. We usually are able to process these emotions without too much trouble. We experience the emotion as it passes through us, and we move on. Dr. Nelson realized however, that emotions are processed on two levels: physically and mentally. Sometimes certain emotions are so powerful that the physical body does not process them. These emotions become "trapped" in the body, and lead to all manner of physical illnesses.

Since all things are nothing but pure energy by their very nature, a trapped emotion is no different, and consists of pure energy. Well, sometimes your subconscious mind will take that extra energy that is now in the heart area, and it will literally make a 'wall' with it; a heart wall. Why? To protect your heart from further injury. The problem is that these heart walls tend to create physical effects, including stiffness in your neck, upper back pain, shoulder pain, depression, etc.

Here is one example in our clinical practice: A 75 year old woman suffering from left shoulder and upper back pain was receiving chiropractic care with minimal improvement after several weeks of care. Utilizing Neuro-Emotional Integration Technique (NEIT) and the procedures outlined in "The Emotion Code," I was able to determine that she had a "heart wall" of the emotion "grief" and that the emotion had become trapped around her heart 5 years ago. I asked her if anything had happened around 5 years ago to cause her grief. She said, "that year my husband and my son both died." It turns out that she had never fully grieved the loss of her family members and that grief had become trapped around her heart, eventually leading to the physical complaints of shoulder pain and upper back pain. After using NEIT her shoulder pain went away almost immediately. It's interesting to note that she had never mentioned that loss to me before. It was only through using specific NEIT protocols were we able to get to the root of her health challenge.

So how do you know if you have a trapped emotion and what do I do if I have one? If you have found that some emotions are difficult to experience like love, joy, forgiveness, connection, you may have a trapped emotion that is causing this. We suggest that you start with praying to God and ask him to reveal to you if a trapped emotion could be preventing you from experienceing certain emotions. There are also ways of us finding out if you have a trapped emotion by using a technique called NEIT. If you do have a trapped emotion, we can help you release it. It can take as little as one visit to release the emotion and start experiencing a better life! If you think you may be dealing with a trapped emotion call the office today and schedule an appointment...we can help!
Dr. Rob Lindsey

Is Cholesterol the Cause of Heart Disease?

Are Police The Cause of Crimes?

Have you ever noticed that when a crime happens typically police officers show up? That's a good thing right? They are there to do their job and we are glad they show up. We don't think, however, that because they always seem to be at crime scenes, that they are the cause of the crime.

It's interesting though that people associate cholesterol with the cause of heart disease, but saying that is like saying police officers cause crime. Just because they are there does not mean they caused the problem. Have you ever wondered, if cholesterol is the major cause of heart disease, why are so many people on cholesterol-lowering drugs , yet the rate of heart disease has not dropped much? Have you wondered why over half the people who have a heart attack have normal to low levels of cholesterol? Or why certain tests that research prove to be more effective at screening heart disease are not routinely done by your doctor?

To answer these questions, I think it is important that we first understand more about cholesterol. If you watch enough TV, or read enough books or magazines you have probably learned that there is "good" cholesterol and "bad" cholesterol. Really there is no such thing as good cholesterol or bad cholesterol. In fact HDL and LDL are not even cholesterol - they are lipoproteins that carry cholesterol. HDL carries cholesterol from our blood to our liver to be stored and LDL carries it from our liver into the blood to the places that are calling for it. This is why they call LDL "bad" cholesterol because it puts more cholesterol into the blood stream. But is LDL bad?

If our levels of LDL ever reached zero we would die. In fact, even if they get too low we will see some major problems from hormonal imbalance like depression to slowed healing. The reason for this lies in the roles of cholesterol.

The three major functions of cholesterol are that:
- it makes up every cell wall in your body
- it is the backbone of all stress hormones and sex hormones(cortisol, testosterone, estrogen, etc) - it helps in healing wounds
As you can see cholesterol plays a major role in our bodies but what role does it play in heart disease?
The steps of heart disease go as follows:
- an artery gets damaged by inflammation, infection or free radicals
- the body starts to heal and repair the damaged artery, including sending cholesterol
- depending on the amount of free radicals in the body, the cholesterol can be oxidized and then a plaque starts to form
As you can see cholesterol actually plays a role in healing the artery. It does not initiate heart disease, the damage to the artery does. So how do you prevent heart disease? You reduce inflammation, infections, and free radicals. How do you do that? By eating foods that reduce inflammation and boosting your immune system (to learn how to do these things check out the article in the month's newsletter titled "Build a Strong Heart"). To learn how much inflammation you have in your body, two of the major markers that can be measured are C-reactive protein or CRP and homocysteine levels. These tests can easily be added to your routine blood tests that the doctor will order to get your cholesterol checked.

But what if my cholesterol is high? First you must understand that total cholesterol is not the best indicator of cholesterol. Looking at HDL, LDL, lipid levels and ratios is more important. I won't go into detail during this article about this but go to to learn more. If your LDL levels are high it's probably because your body is calling for lots of cholesterol to be used either to make hormones, especially stress hormones, or to function in healing. By addressing the root problems you should be able to reduce your cholesterol. Reducing your stress and inflammation will take care of this. If you are wondering if your inflammation is high, just look at your CRP levels or homocysteine levels. Geneticists estimate that about 2% of people have a strictly genetic issue causing high cholesterol. For the rest of the population it is a combination of genes and lifestyle. The best way you can affect your cholesterol levels is through your lifestyle. Remember, though, that high cholesterol is usually a symptom -not a disease. Get rid of the root cause and the symptom, and high LDL cholesterol will go away.