Friday, November 29, 2013

Pass Me The Butter Baby & Hold What Ails Me!!!

My recent health challenge with chronic ankle pain a midst other annoying issues has ignited a more fitting title for my book.

Introducing....Pass Me The Butter Baby, & Hold What Ails Me!

If you have experienced a sudden change in your health, before chalking it up to the old "aging" excuse, read this book.  
Before you embark on yet another 'fad' diet, read this book.
Before you purchase another piece of home workout equipment (not that you shouldn't), read this book. 

Life is really meant to be SPECTACULAR, but I also feel our bodies have been wonderfully and Individually designed for each and every one of us. --discover your body's nutrition sources & be well!

-Aurora Opes

Ankle Pain, An a Eye Opener... Just in time for the holidays.

Ankle Pain, An a Eye Opener... Just in time for the holidays. 
by Aurora Opes
November 27,2013

Roughly 3 months ago, I began experiencing ankle swelling.  This was primarily one ankle.  I started tracking my diet and noticed every time I ate eggs, my ankle would swell.  After giving up eggs completely, my swelling progressed to unbearable pain in my right ankle. 
The pain in my ankle actually felt like it was in my lower leg bone right above the ankle joint.  On a scale from 1 to 10, I was at an eleven!  How could this be? I get plenty of Calcium, Phosphorus, & Vitamin D3 (the active form).  Without a memory of any particular injury, and having pain that felt like a wrench twisting my bone from the inside, my mind began to whirl with diagnosis possibilities.  Talk about scary !  Although the specialist said it was a bad sprain;  it felt like it  could be a fracture. Without a known injury, a fracture could mean big trouble ahead from weakening bones.  
After 2 weeks of immobilizing my right lower leg; and needless to say, building up my upper body strength due to using only crutches --- enough had thankfully been ENOUGH!
I was in a place where I couldn't have my usual breakfast burger. By lunch, my ankle and leg felt much better.  I proceeded to remove beef from my diet.  Three days later I was virtually pain free!  One week after having no beef-- I was walking and nearly running again. 
Putting the pieces together.....
I've had a burger every day for over 6 months. I thought whey protein and eggs were causing ankle swelling and GI upset, and besides, I so enjoyed the calming, mind, and hormonal benefits of animal fat and protein coming from the beef I was eating; hence, I was up to eating beef three times a day!  I know..... overkill, right.  
Another piece....loose, very loose stool every morning. 
A third piece... Energy. Energy I didn't even realize wasn't there until I stopped eating the offending food.  

Leaky gut- a condition where allergens and other stressors cause a breakdown in the gut's immune system barrier- allowing entrance of agents into the blood and lymphatic system and entrance into other systems of the body. 

I understand this. Allergens and or Stress is likely at the heart of 75 percent or more of illness.  You may be thinking about beef being a potential allergen for you. I would say to you to FIRST make a request to your higher self, (for me, God) to reveal the answer to your concerns about potential allergens. Or better yet, declare that you are healthy and  whole.  That seems to be the the shortest road to getting results for me. 
That being said, I am trusting my internal guide. I will eat for nourishment first. I will not consume foods that are harmful to my body.   

These past few weeks have been eye opening for me. With the holidays approaching, I am more than ever, armored against the pressure of eating what my loved ones place before me. Let's face it, if I'm not at my best, I'm no good for 'holiday cheer' anyway!  I'll stay in my lane and allow those who love me to appreciate my confidence in standing up for my nutritional beliefs.    

Happy Holidays! & please don't forget to ' Pass Me The Butter, Baby & hold what ails me!!!'.  -Aurora Opes

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Sugar- The Little White Lie?

Sugar, The 'Little White Lie'

If you haven't been been aware of the detrimental effects of excess sugar on your body by now, let me do the honors.  Sugar might indeed be the biggest silent "killer" and secret ager of our mind and body.

I am grateful for the pioneers in the health field, who are standing up to expose the truth about sugar.   For instance Dr. Robert Lustig, authored a well viewed lecture,  "Sugar, The Bitter Truth" and recent book, Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease.  

Moreover, the Atkins diet created the way for our discoveries of how eliminating excess carbs created quick weight loss. 

In my own ebook, Pass Me The Butter Baby & Hold The ____!, I outline an intuitive strategy for resetting your body weight and optimizing your health. The foundation of this includes getting over our sugar addictions and limiting our carbohydrate intake. Yes, I said 'our'.   

Although, I have demonstrated phenomenal success in losing more weight than I originally set out for, and found a treasure chest of turning back the aging clock, I still have moments; although few, where I crave sugar.  

So with that being said, I like many of you, have found myself in 'negotiation' mode. Negotiation mode is characterized by telling yourself that, "A little sugar won't hurt".  After all, I would still take all my anti-oxidant, and anti- inflammatory supplements. 

Two weeks ago, I ate two homemade cookies - free of wheat & corn but with other flours such as quinoa & buckwheat and made with less sugar than the recipe called for.  For the hours to follow, I found myself in a brain fog with sinus congestion. 
No biggie, I figured it was probably the grains. 

This past week I found some ice cream with 'organic' sugar and no maltodextrin or corn syrup.  So, I ate just 1 cup.  The following two days, I was emotional and in a brain fog. I found myself unable to focus to multi-task and my workload took much longer to complete.  Finally by the third day the fog lifted, and I felt 'back on track'.  

Whew!  What was I thinking?  I should have planned for these moments of weakness better. After all I know better. It just goes to show how you can have all the understanding in the world, but without a plan - you can still relapse into the abyss of the sugar dumps! 

If you are shaking your head with doubt, check out these three articles on the effects of sugar on your brain:

1.  Psychodiabetes: Sugar on the Brain, Daniel G. Amen, M.D., Mar 19, 2013 ;

2. This is your brain on sugar: UCLA study shows high-fructose diet sabotages learning and memory,
Elaine Schmidt, May 15, 2012

3. Why Half of America May Have Impaired Brain Function by 2030, Dr. Mercola, September 02, 2012

As for me and likely for many others; saying, "A little sugar won't hurt.", is the beginning of self sabotage. 

Now that I can recognize how sugar took me back to my previous anxious, tearful, frantic, the list goes on self, I can see why so many relationships suffer.  That's another topic altogether.  More importantly, I can see personally, how sugar can be adversely affecting my children. 

At this moment, for my children, I'm looking into substituting recipes that call for sugar with other sweeteners. 

As for me, I'm back to making my pumpkin cinnamon hempseed 'cookies' that will include stevia, butter, coconut oil & cocoa butter- made by mixing, baking for just a little bit, and finished off with my food dehydrator. 

When I eat these cookies, I get the 'comfort' feel minus the inability to control my portion size, and plus a mind & emotions that stay clear. 

I love ice cream. So I plan to make some of my own with Land O Lakes whipping cream, dark chocolate unsweetened powder, butter, and stevia with my Ninja  Kitchen Blender.  - I'll keep you posted. 

Until next week, be well & enjoy! -Aurora 

Sunday, October 27, 2013


Real butter

It's All In The Fat!

It's all in the fat!

Dietary fat that is.  Have you ever paid attention to the typical American diet?  

Breakfast : bowl of cereal with whole milk (whole milk is a plus) or maybe eggs and bacon or sausage ( even better).  But the toast is "buttered" and the eggs are cooked with soy based vegetable oil spreads -a whole different topic all together.   

Lunch is heavily carb balanced : sandwich, chicken (without the skin) and fries.  Don't forget the cookie or chips. Yikes!

Dinner : Seems healthy : chicken breast or fish grilled with vegetables and another starch.  But if the chicken breast isn't topped with a good oil or there is no real butter or oil such as olive drizzled on top of your vegetables, your healthy dinner just sold you short!

What I'm getting at is, where is the substantial good fat in the typical American diet?

Fat is necessary to absorb vital vitamins such as Vitamin A, D, E, & K

Vitamin D deficiency is much more common than you would think. 

Vitamin D as the active form D3 cholecalciferol is not only beneficial for your bones, but it works like a hormone in regards to maintaining metabolism, and helping with cognitive function - your thinking and your mood.

Remember the cod liver oil your mom use to force you to take every morning - especially for those from cold northern states?  Cod liver oil taken to help your immune system is rich in Vitamins A& D. 

A major source of Vitamin D is whole milk (with 8g of fat per serving).  3 cups a day is required. Now if you can keep up with this intake, you're all set. However, if you have an allergy or intolerance to milk- your intake of Vitamin D will be sparse. Unless of course you take a supplement.  However, if you are not eating any fat with your supplement. The supplement will do you no good. 

My favorite is fat is butter. Butter is the fat separated from milk. Many people with a milk or lactose intolerance can still tolerate butter. 

I love butter for the cholesterol is has!  As a very young 40's girl I appreciate more than ever cholesterol's role in producing hormones such as estrogen and progesterone. For men cholesterol works in producing testosterone.  Hormones also play an active role in our metabolism and in keeping our hair healthy and skin youthful.  That's only icing on the cake in reference to hormones. 

I also love butter for the Butyric Acid and congugated linoleic acid (CLA) it has. These are 'friendly' fatty acids that help our metabolism and fight inflammation. 

Long and short of it, if you are struggling with your weight after cutting out the carbs, eating more vegetables and eating more protein, look at your fat intake. 

Great sources of fat are:
Coconut oil
Beef (20% fat)
Chicken with the skin. (Chicken breast usually have small amounts of fat) 
Cheddar Cheese
Parmesan Cheese
Whole Milk

Now all fats are not alike. This is why I did not mention vegetable oil from soy beans which consist of a type of fatty acid that has been linked to insulin resistance and excessive weight gain. Soybean sources of foods have also been shown to adversely affect your thyroid and metabolism.  The imbalance of the estrogenic properties of soy has also been seen to cause precocious puberty in girls. So much so that signs of early puberty begin to diminish when the diet was changed to eliminate excess sources of soy.  Soy is used often in places where the ingredients are listed as natural flavorings.  Check your burgers and chicken, guys!   I know this is hard to swallow. It's hard for me to believe I drank nothing but soy milk at one point.  What can I say, I bought into the 'all naturale' hype.  

Moreover, the more research I do and the longer I practice medicine, the further away I want to be from soy. Is it perhaps the genetic modification of soy? It's not certain, but it could be the reason.  Also keep in mind that many foods at restaurants are prepared with soybean vegetable oil, which also turns rancid when heated. 

Ok enough of soy bashing. Hope you get the point. Lose the soy in your life as much as you can. 

My emphasis on eating fat is not just so you can shed some unwanted body fat. It's so you can thrive in every aspect of your health. Since I started eating more fat, good protein, and minimal carbs, my brain and emotions are much more intact. My energy levels are steady and no one can ever guess my age :-).   I have also found inches of unwanted fat are melting away. Furthermore, I'm not starving or remotely hungry unless it's been 4-5 hrs since I've eaten. 

Of course eating the right types of fat throughout the day is a big part of the optimizing the health movement, but it's not the whole picture. 

One blog at a time, we'll get there!

- Aurora