Living Well Blog: Saratoga's Holistic Health Forum

An Excuse to Drink Coffee, Healthy Meat, and More.....


March 2012 Top Reads

Throughout every month, I gather highlights of interesting health stories to post on my webpage. The result is a monthly posting of "Top Reads" that summarizes, in an easy to read format, the most recent and relevant news in holistic medicine. Recently, I posted the Top Health Stories of March (on my homepage at

These headlines included:

1. Important Brain Foods you can add to your diet

2. Links between nutrients and digestive health

3. Women's Health:

Another viewpoint on Mammograms
Updated position paper on Hormone Replacement by NAMS
4. The link between Alzheimer's and Cholesterol

5. The Dangers of Sleeping Pills

6. MMR Vaccines and why it's not the cause of Autism but may be a contributor for Some

7....much more

As loyal readers, I've added some additional stories, exclusively available to you!

1. The Total Toxic Load of Life....

By now, many of us may have heard that the chemicals in our environment are affecting our body in a negative way. These effects can occur quickly, through a large exposure at one time, or slowly with time from a buildup in our tissues.

How these toxicants affect one's health all depends on the total toxic exposure through a lifespan and an individual's capacity to detoxify them. This means that those born with the good detoxifying genes may be able to withstand more exposure than those who are extra sensitive due to sluggish livers.

A recent article in Environmental Health News discussed this topic and provided confirmation that low doses of environmental chemicals over a long period of time create negative health consequences.

According to Environmental Health News:

In the new report, researchers led by Tufts University's Laura Vandenberg concluded after examining hundreds of studies that health effects "are remarkably common" when people or animals are exposed to low doses of endocrine-disrupting compounds. As examples, they provide evidence for several controversial chemicals, including bisphenol A, found in polycarbonate plastic, canned foods and paper receipts, and the pesticide atrazine, used in large volumes mainly on corn.

Source: Marla Cone. Low dose, big effects:Scientists seek 'fundamental changes' in testing, regulation of hormone-like chemicals. Environmental Health News. March 15, 2012.

Why Organic?

Animal lovers and vegetarians everywhere have heard of the atrocities of confined conventional meat production. The good news is that organically certified meat is not just more nutritious, but also cruelty free.

According to Dr. Mercola:

Animals raised at CAFOs are treated like objects, not animals -- stuck in cages, overcrowded, covered in feces -- which is not only hard to watch, but also hard to stomach. It is not at all unusual for animals to be abused in these circumstances; the very conditions in which they live are abuse in their own right. "CAFO: The Tragedy of Industrial Animal Factories" Web site briefly describes some of the horrors of industrial food production:iii

"Poultry Prisons: The world's tens of billions of meat chickens--"broilers"--grow at a freakishly fast pace. Concentrated in houses with upwards of 20,000 to 30,000 other birds, each full-grown chicken gets less than a square foot of living space. Modern broilers spend their short 7-week lives on top of their own waste encrusted bedding, which the industry refers to as "cake" or "poultry litter," and sometimes enters the food chain as a cattle feed supplement.

Cow Concentration Camps: Today it is not uncommon for a single feedlot to hold 100,000 animals at a time. While corn is the king of cattle feed, many industrial food animals are fed just about anything that can add weight cheaply and quickly, regardless of how unappetizing or sadistic it may seem. Some commonly used cattle feed additives include: hydrolyzed poultry feathers, by-products of slaughtered animals, inter-species waste such as swine manure and poultry litter, antibiotic drugs, cement dust, newspaper, and plastic roughage replacements.

That's enough reading torture, but there's more at the link including:

Artificial Milk Machines

Confined Swine

Egg-Laying Slaves

Mercola, J. Gov. Dept. Works With Major Corporation to Hide Animal Abuse. Posted By Dr. Mercola. March 22 2012.

Coffee in the AM May be Good for you....but....

Who doesn't want an excuse to drink coffee? While, here's one.... but you need to exercise after you drink it in order to boost brain power and provide the muscle strengthening effect.

According to Mercola:

That said, the reason I include the mention of coffee here is because recent research, which Ori has written about in his book Unlock Your Muscle Geneiv, has shown that coffee also triggers a mechanism in your brain that releases a growth factor called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), which in turn:

Activates brain stem cells to convert into new neurons, and
Expresses itself in your muscles by supporting the neuromotor, which is the most critical element in your muscle. Without the neuromotor, your muscle is like an engine without ignition, and neuro-motor degradation is part of the process that explains age-related muscle atrophy
What this means is that caffeine may help rejuvenate both brain- and muscle tissue! Research has also found that consuming the equivalent of two cups of coffee an hour before training can also help reduce post-workout muscle soreness by up to 48 percent, beating out both naproxen and aspirin in terms of effectivenessv. Coffee increases your metabolism by up to 20 percent, according to Ori's research. And according to Ori, it can actually be quite beneficial if consumed before exercise. Ori has experimented using it before training, and claims it works.

"Coffee before training allows you fast energy to initiate your workout. For people who train in the morning, having coffee before training is a great advantage," he says.

However, you do want to be careful and moderate in the amounts you drink. Coffee can affect your adrenal glands so if you have an issue with decreased adrenal function, use care with coffee. Also remember we're talking about black coffee--no sugar added. Ori recommends having just one cup of coffee or one shot of espresso in the morning or before training, and that's it for the day. If you exercise in the morning, have your coffee prior to your workout, not after.

Next month, I'll highlight some more coffee facts.

Source: Mercoal, J. Boost Your Metabolism, Burn Pounds...with this DNA Changer. March 23, 2012.

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Reisa Mehlman

As a New York State Licensed Aesthetician, New York State Licensed Nail Specialist, and the Director of Living Well Healing Arts Center & Spa, Reisa combines her love of spa services and healing arts to achieve optimum skin and nail health, create greater overall wellness and bring forth our optimal, individual beauty.

"I believe that the day spa should be an instant getaway; a place that is quiet without being stuffy, relaxed, elegant and yet entirely comfy. You should feel warm and welcome, surrounded by people who care about you and what they are doing. This is the environment we strive to create at Living Well Healing Arts Center & Spa. Here, you are never just the "next" number; we allow ample time for your services, offer a flexible schedule and can be reached after hours. After all, to me, spa craft is not really a business, it's a lifestyle." Read more...

About Dr. Sarah Lobisco

Dr. LoBisco has been in holistic healthcare for over 10 years. She became interested in holistic medicine when she was able to heal two herniated discs through nutrition, yoga, supplementation, and chiropractic. She has mentored with holistic practices throughout New York, Vermont, and Connecticut. In addition to her Naturopathic and Functional Medical training, Dr. LoBisco has extensive training in a variety of healing modalities, including therapeutic essential oils, nutraceuticals, herbs, whole food supplements, nutritional medicine, and mind-body therapies. She is a graduate of the accredited, four year post-graduate program in Naturopathic Medicine at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut. This program includes clinical rotations and a demanding scientific curriculum in integrating conventional and natural medicine. Dr. LoBisco holds her license from the state of Vermont.

Dr. LoBisco has completed her postdoctoral training as a certified functional medicine practitioner. She is also certified in Applied Kinesiology and holds a BA in psychology from SUNY Geneseo. She has contributed as an item writer for the North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners (NABNE)and has several articles that have been published in the Naturopathic Doctor News and Review Digest (NDNR) and the Townsend Letter, both physician- based journals. Dr. LoBisco is also a hired speaker on integrative medical topics for medical professionals.

Dr. LoBisco currently incorporates her training in holistic medical practices and conventional medicine through writing, researching, private practice, and through her independent contracting work for companies regarding supplements, nutraceuticals, essential oils, and medical foods. She has a small, private wellness consultation practice through telephone and Skype. Dr. LoBisco also enjoys continuing to educate and empower her readers through her blogs and social media. Her new book, BreakFree Medicine, is now available on Amazon and through Barnes & Noble. Please inquire here for more specific information.

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