Body Geek Blog

Blogging about health and wellness

October 9, 2015
by Sherry
Comments Off on Why study Nutrition? And, why stomach acid is good for you!

Why study Nutrition? And, why stomach acid is good for you!

In case you missed my top 10 resolutions, I wouldn’t change a word. My own health recovery has been due to changing my diet, and I’m willing to bet that the reasons I became sick in the first place are due to nutritional deficiencies that progressed over years. In fact, I believe that the reason nutrition is ignored by medical schools is that it takes too long. People want instant results – just take this pill and your symptoms go away.

So back to my “Why?”. Those who know me know that answering “Why?” has been the motivation for all of my studies. I’ve enjoyed my studies and practice of Visceral and Neural Manipulation as taught by the Barral Institute. To be fair, they don’t teach nutrition either. They teach manual therapies that solve physical problems and most of the time the results are amazing! I spent 5 years taking 2-4 classes a year, plus 8 days of dissection (pictures aren’t as good as the real thing).

Here’s the problem: “Acid reflux”, aka “GERD”, aka “Heartburn” cannot be solved by manual therapy when the client is taking the purple pill. If the problem was the cardiac sphincter, aka lower esophageal valve, (the valve between the esophagus and the stomach), then fine. I have the techniques to help. If my client was popping the purple pill, tums, and/or sodium bicarbonate, nothing I did would make a difference. I wanted to learn “why”.

This is what I learned: Acid Reflux is due to LOW STOMACH ACID. YES. REALLY!

When the pH of the gastric juice in your stomach is not in the range of 1.5 pH to 3.0 pH, then food cannot break down completely. (Acid is less than 7, alkaline is greater than 7.) Bits of food will just sit there in the your stomach waiting… After a while, the carbs ferment, proteins putrefy and fats go rancid! It’s a very nasty brew!  Suddenly you feel that icky taste in your mouth, or worse, irruption! That is reflux! Since it tastes like acid, we assume we have too much stomach acid. And those lovely TV commercials and drug company salespeople reinforce the acid story. It’s big business to label a symptom a disease so they can have a drug to treat it. They didn’t say cure it.  These drugs will eventually harm us by causing many deficiencies.

And on the topic of deficiencies, a very big one is Vitamin B12.  Acid separates B12 from protein.  You need acid to break down proteins into Amino Acids, which are the building blocks in our bodies.  This topic is a big one, so I’ll take it up in another blog.  In the meantime please check out the book and YouTube video : “Why Stomach Acid is good for you” by Jonathan Wright.

My “Why”, is to help my clients feel better. It’s like being a detective, and solving the case is the goal and my reward.


October 7, 2015
by Sherry
Comments Off on Nutrition School Graduate!!!

Nutrition School Graduate!!!

Yippee! I just graduated as a Nutrition Therapy Consultant (NTC) from Nutrition Therapy Association. This course took a whopping 8 months of intense study. They say it takes 15-20 hours per week, but that is an understatement. Granted, some weeks we didn’t have to read a book, but to get the most from this class, I wanted to know everything – The story of my life.

As usual, I am already enrolled in the newly minted Denver NTP (Practitioner) program for two really good reasons. 1. The workshops are in Denver, just down the street from my office – so no travel expenses. 2. I wanted to learn the Functional Evaluations (physical tests that help identify a person’s priorities) and Lingual Neural Testing (testing that identifies nutritional deficiencies).

The downside is that it will take until June, 2016, cost an extra $1000, and go through the entire program again. Ok, it’s a good review. I won’t have to reread the books, write new book reports, essays, etc. But I will have to do another Community Outreach Program, 4 client folders, take the midterm and final exams, and attend 3 workshops. The workshops are really the point of doing this so not a big deal, and I really enjoyed doing my talk on Thyroid, Adrenals and Digestion (you can watch it on YouTube). I have a long list of topics to choose from. Our workshops are December, March and June. Please subscribe to my blog to get notification of my upcoming talk.


January 5, 2012
by Sherry
1 Comment

Top 10 Health Resolutions – part 2

By now you are probably wondering if there is anything left to eat on the planet.  Sure, but you have to do your homework.  Just going to the supermarket can be hazardous to your health!  Start reading labels.  Try to buy Organic.  Get to know and support your local farmers.  Join a CSA (community supported agriculture).  Shop at farmer’s markets, though be aware that they aren’t all organic.  Ask questions.  And the countdown continues….

Number 5

Learn to process your “seeds” properly and don’t be afraid of “good fat”.

I was never vegan, but for about 20 years I ate little red meat, low fat, and from 1988-2006 I started my day with a soy protein smoothie.  I ate veggie burgers, soy nuts, soy protein bars, soy milk and lots of fake foods made with soy.  Many vegans and vegetarians rely on soy as a protein source, but that’s not a good idea. [Poor protein sources can cause malnutrition, i.e. muscle wasting and severe edema.  I had 5 clients in a row with edema and they were all vegetarians.]  Soy is a goitrogen meaning that it suppresses thyroid function, and it’s phytoestrogens disrupt endocrine function [think man-boobs and early puberty].

Soy (and nuts, seeds, grains, beans…basically all of these are seeds) contain phytates, which are chemically attracted to minerals and leach them from our bodies.  If that isn’t bad enough, they inhibit enzymes that we depend on to digest our food.  You can treat these “seeds” properly by soaking — but soaking doesn’t work with soy!  This is especially a problem if you have poor gut health.

I had to slip in the bit about low fat.  We were sure brainwashed by “The edible oil industry” – yes, and they have a super big lobby!!!  What’s left if you take out fat?  Protein and carbohydrates a.k.a “carbs”.  Refined carbs are what makes us fat, not good fat.  I’ll cover “good fats” in a future blog.

Low fat dairy is really evil because of what is NOT on the label – MSG!  MSG is another neuro-toxin like artificial sweeteners.  The industrial process is to separate the cream (they make more money on cream), then dry the defatted milk at super high temps and store it.  When they need some low fat milk, they just add water (fluoride anyone?) and MSG.  Why?  Because it tastes like powdered milk – yuck!  Low fat yogurt, etc…all the same.  It’s amazing how they hide MSG by cryptic labeling.  Children are at the biggest risk, but the elderly, who often stop cooking and eat a lot of canned foods are also at risk.

Number 4

Move every day.  This may seem simple, but for those with low cortisol (see Number 10) the adrenals need to be supported first.  That does not mean you can’t move.  Shrug your shoulders lightly.  Lift your arms and rotate them in every way you can.  While you are sitting, rotate your ankles and bend your knees.  If you can walk, get a pedometer and count your steps, building up from 100-10,000 day.  Even if you are fit, you should still move all of your joints gently every morning.  I’m not talking about stretching, but gentle movement.  I can see an entire blog shaping from this idea :-)

The basis for this advise comes from my clinical experience.  When clients who sit all day at the computer and never move the arms outside of typing or using the mouse, they begin the downward spiral of frozen joints.  Usually they get to me when they are in a lot of pain.  Moving is prevention!

 Number 3

Get some bodywork on a regular basis.  Seriously, this is not just a plug for my services.  Consider this prevention just like movement.  People spend more money on maintenance for their cars than for their bodies.  If you wake up with aches or pains, consider it time for a tune-up!

Number 2

Don’t eat standing up!  Why?  Sit, be relaxed, taste, chew, and enjoy every bite of food.  We, as a culture, eat too fast.  The French take hours eating a meal.  Maybe we can compromise a little and take 45-60 minutes for dinner.

Digestion begins immediately with saliva and teeth, then down the esophagus, and into the acidic stomach (and YES, it should be acidic!!!  [We’ll cover acid reflux later.]  Stomach acid kills any pathogens and breaks down the food in to small particles.  The stomach separates protein from vitamin B12 and creates Intrinsic Factor that later is used to metabolize Vitamin B12.  [More on that later.]

If you are anxious, running late for work or to get back to work, your body will be in fight/flight – sort of a mild Adrenalin state we call the “sympathetic” nervous system.  This goes back to the days when cavemen were running from a saber tooth tiger – that’s “flight”!  The caveman had maximum running power because his digestion was put on hold, to wait for later.  How many people today are in a constant state of stress?

Getting back to digestion, we need to be relaxed, in the “parasympathetic” state in order to digest our food and to sleep.  This takes us back to Number 10 – those darn adrenals!

Number 1

Drink water with sea salt.  Stop using refined white salt.  It is treated with nasty chemicals in order to make it white and it only contains sodium without any trace minerals.  Good quality unrefined, multi-colored sea salt like Celtic or Redmond, contains 80+ minerals.  Be careful though, because in France 35% of  “fortified” salt contains fluoride and fluoridated salt is widespread in South America.  Oh, in case you wondered about iodized salt, only 10% of the iodine is absorbed and there is a belief that this form of iodine is contributing to autoimmune thyroid conditions.

How many of you don’t drink enough water?  I’m guilty.  I forget.  It’s not convenient.  I don’t want to drink too much before bed or I’ll be up all night?  So let’s talk about water a bit.  We already covered don’t drink water with fluoride or chloride (or bromine), so where do we get safe water?  If you’ve got a good source of well water or spring water that’s great!  But many years ago, my neighbor told me that our community well water had high levels of fluoride.  I smiled and said “great for our teeth”.  Fluoride and Arsenic may be natural, but not safe.

You can check how much fluoride is in your water and decide if you are ready to filter or not.  While you are there, feel free to ignore the lies that the CDC tells, after all, their jobs are on the line, and science is on our side!  Those little pitcher filters will not filter out Fluoride.  A simple way is to buy drinking water at the local store that has a refillable water machine.  Lots of places do.  I buy water for my office at my local health food store for just 25 cents a gallon.  At home I have a Berkey water purifier.  If I didn’t live in a condo I would get a whole house Reverse Osmosis (RO) system.  Better yet, many cities are rejecting fluoride, following Europe‘s lead.

RO water has no minerals or any real vitality and this brings us back to sea salt.  Adding sea salt back into the filtered water is the next best thing to quality spring water.  The ratio, according to Dr David Brownstein’s book “Salt your way to Health”, is 1/4 teaspoon per quart of water, or 1 teaspoon per gallon.  Salt is critical in digestion as it is used to make hydrochloric acid (our stomach acid), digesting carbs, protein and fat.  Too little salt will affect hormone production and Vitamin C transport into the adrenals.  Low salt diets have been linked to insulin resistance.  Craving salt is a sign of poor adrenal function!

When I first started using sea salt in my water I was a bit skeptical.  I drank a lot of RO water and it rushed right through me.  I would make a lot of trips to the bathroom.  After re-mineralizing my RO water with sea salt, I took fewer trips to the bathroom and was retaining water for a few days.  Not good, I thought, but soon things evened out and now I don’t retain any extra fluid.  My kidneys and adrenals are happy with sea salt, my blood pressure stabilized – in fact my Adrenals love it!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my Top 10 Health Resolutions and links to source material.


January 5, 2012
by Sherry
Comments Off on Top 10 Health Resolutions – part 1

Top 10 Health Resolutions – part 1

It’s tough to pick just 10 things to do to get healthy, but I have to start somewhere! I need a drum roll like on David Letterman’s show :)

Number 10

Get to bed earlier and sleep 8-9 hours.  Go to sleep when it’s dark, rise with the roosters!  Why?  To help normalize cortisol levels.  Cortisol should be highest in the morning and lowest in the evening.  Cortisol is made by the Adrenal Glands.  These tiny glands sit above the kidneys, encased in the same protective fat as the kidneys.  Cholesterol is the raw material that the Adrenals need to make hormones, including stress hormones like cortisol and adrenalin. Some of the tell tale signs of adrenal issues: insomnia, fatigue, anxiety, depression, feeling “stressed out”, brain fog, weight gain, and heart palpitations. I’ll expand upon this topic in the future.

Number 9

Lab tests worth taking and often ignored:  Vitamins B12, Folate, and D3, Thyroid (FT3, FT4, TSH), Iron panel (Ferritin, TIBC, UIBC, Serum, Saturation), Iodine + Fluoride/Bromide toxicity (24 hr urine test) and Adrenals (24 hr Saliva Test).  I’ll cover why and how to get these tests soon.

Number 8

Purge the pantry of processed foods.  I began this process back in 2006.  What are processed foods?  For the most part, it’s anything in a can, jar, bottle, or package.  Read the labels.  If you can’t pronounce it, don’t buy it.  Notice that I’m not saying to throw it away in this economy, but just don’t buy it again.  Anything with GMO, just say no!  Get the GMO list and take it to the store.  They even have an App for it. :-)

Number 7

Stop drinking tap water.  In most cities they put fluoride in the water.  You may think it’s good for your teeth, like I did until a few years ago.  But, nope.  Ask yourself how long the fluoride stays in your mouth? Less than 1 second, right?  Instead, it goes down stream polluting our bodies (very bad for kidneys) and what isn’t expelled is stored in our bones.  It also suppresses thyroid function (my pet project).  Studies show it causes bone cancer, osteoporosis, fluorosis, and lowers IQ.

Is the fluoride in our water pharmaceutical grade as most dentists, doctors, and the average mom thinks?  Nope.  It’s tank trucks full of hazardous waste, off-gas from phosphate fertilizer industry.  If they didn’t put it in our water, they would have to dispose of it in a hazardous waste dump.  Oh, except for the fluoride that comes from China imported by a Denver company and supplying it to Aspen. Fluoride in air pollution is killing people and animals.

It’s hard to get away from fluoride in processed foods.  The highest amounts are in soups, canned fish/seafood, beverages (beer, soda, juice, wine, tea) , pesticides, anaesthestic drugs (going “under” for surgery), processed cereals, and, of course, toothpaste.  Yikes!  You can tell this is a big issue for me.

Number 6

Stop drinking bottled juice and soda.  Stop eating refined flour and sugar.

Besides the evil fluoride (number 7), there’s way too much sugar.  And diet soda is worse!  Artificial sugars are neurotoxins, that is toxic to the brain.  They fatten you because you don’t feel satisfied and eat more.  And many sodas and even juices contain methyl bromide (PBDE), another evil additive.  Are you beginning to feel like you can’t get away from toxins?  Me too!  Bromide (and Fluoride) block iodine receptors and could very well be a root cause of all the thyroid issues we are facing.  Even small amounts are toxic and will kill.  Bromide causes kidney cancer, deafness, and mental disorders.  The only people doing studies on this are 3 doctors: Dr David Brownstein, Dr. Jorge Flechas, and especially Dr. Guy E. Abraham.

Bromine is added to baked goods as a dough conditioner.  Back in the old days, prior to the 80’s they used Iodine as a dough conditioner.  I guess they thought bromide was safer – idiots!  Bromine, bromate, brominated, bromide, methyl bromide…you get the picture…  are added to pesticides, fire retardants (mattresses, car interiors, carpeting, furniture, pajamas), hot tub cleansers, asthma inhalers and prescription drugs, bread, mouthwash, toothpaste, gargles, permanent waves, hair dye (yikes!), textile dyes, and some bottled waters.  Did I mention soda???

—continued in the next post …

December 23, 2011
by Sherry
Comments Off on To Blog or not to Blog…

To Blog or not to Blog…

To blog, or not to blog…  The question is “Are you sick of spam?”  I am.

If you subscribe to my blog, I promise not to spam you, but to educate, inspire, and entertain to the best of my ability. My sense of humor is a bit dry, not the laugh out loud, or “punny” kind, but mostly contextual humor – just like my dad.  He “wise-cracked” with a straight face!  I’ll have to add :-) just so you know I’m attempting humor :-)

If you wonder where the term “spam” came from, it goes way back.  I’d forgotten until I started poking around  and ran into a talk about the history of spam.  The speaker shows a video from Monty Python days that you might remember if you’re old enough.

But, I digress…  As many of you already know, I’m a geek about health, wellness, nutrition, essential oils, bodywork, and more…  Up until now, I could keep all the research in my head, but frankly, it’s too much to remember.  This blog will help me organize my research, important links, articles, and give a more efficient way to communicate to my family, friends, and clients.

I already have a long list of topics, especially now that I have graduated from the Nutrition Therapy Association, so we’ll see how quickly I can crank them out.  If you have any questions or suggestions for blog topics, please send me an email via the Contact me form.

Don’t be surprised if the visual format changes.  I’m still playing around with WordPress themes, plug-ins and widgets!  I will try not to be a WordPress geek, but you never can tell.  :-)

Thanks for reading and hopefully subscribing!