Clearlight Far Infrared Sauna Testimonial By Ben Booth

I’m 57 years old and have a physically demanding job.  I was looking for something to help keep my body limber, relax my muscles and be an all around benefit to my health.  I considered a hot tub but really didn’t want the hassle of maintaining one.  My nutritionist, Danielle Chace, suggested I look into the infrared sauna’s built by Clearlight.  At the time I didn’t know infrared saunas existed.

After much research about saunas in general, and infrared saunas in particular, I decided the 2 person premier model was the perfect fit for my wife and myself.  That decision has turned out to the one of the best I’ve ever made.

The sauna arrived via a mid-size truck.  My neighbor helped me move the heaviest box to my front door.  From there I proceeded to unpack the individual pieces and assemble the sauna.

First thing I noticed was the fabulous job of packing, next came the sensory filling aromatic cedar with its beautiful appearance and matching fragrance.  I was able to assemble the sauna by myself in a little under two hours including unpacking and disposing of the packaging material.

Using this sauna is unlike any other experience.  In a word, it is fabulous.  I usually let it warm up to about 100-105 degrees then step in.  With the timer initially set for 60 minutes I get at least 40 minutes of intense muscle relaxing heat.  During the sauna I read, listen to podcasts or music via the Bluetooth speakers, (really nice sound) or just turn off the lights and relax.  The infrared heaters are silent and give off a wonderful heat that I can feel directly in my body.  I much prefer this heat to any other and particularly like how the air stays comfortable to breathe.

I’m dripping with sweat after the sauna so I jump in the shower afterward then go straight to bed.  Now that I’m daily using the Clearlight infrared sauna I sleep better, wake up feeling more refreshed and best of all, most of my morning stiffness that I’ve become accustomed to for the past 10 or more years is gone!

One added benefit is the ability of the sauna to immediately warm my body when I come in from outside on a particularly cold day.  If I get a little cold riding my motorcycle I simply sit down in the sauna, fully clothed, and let the infrared heat warm me from inside.  It is simply amazing how warm you will feel and how quickly it will happen.  Nothing takes a chill off faster than this sauna!

Takeya Glass Water Bottle

Takeya Glass BottleReusing your own glass bottle for your drinking water throughout the day is an eco-friendly choice as this reduces the number of plastic cups and plastic water bottles that end up in landfills and our oceans.

Also by choosing to drink from glass rather than plastic we avoid toxins, such as phthalates, which have been found to trigger the development and growth of breast cancer, increase obesity, and recently have been implicated in the development of atherosclerosis.

 

www.takeyausa.com

The Anatomy of Digestion

The Anatomy of Digestion

Good health depends upon not only good food but also good digestion and absorption. Without good digestion and absorption, the health giving nutrients of our food cannot be optimally used by the body. Therefore, before we can begin to appreciate the nutritive qualities of food, we must first appreciate and understand the organs of the body that are involved with digestion and the process of digestion itself.

The Organs of Digestion

The alimentary canal is a coiled tube about thirty feet long that passes through the center of the body. It extends from the mouth to the anus and includes the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine or colon. The alimentary canal, together with its accessory organs, the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas, make up the digestive tract. The purpose of the digestive tract is to perform chemical and mechanical digestion, absorption, waste storage, and excretion.

The Process of Digestion

Digestion is a series of physical and chemical changes by which food taken into the body undergoes hydrolysis (addition of water) and is broken down in preparation for absorption from the digestive tract into the bloodstream. Digestion takes place in the alimentary canal. In the upper section of the tract, mechanical digestion is accomplished by the chewing and grinding of food into smaller pieces, which are then pushed along the digestive tract. At appropriate times the food is mixed with digestive juices that cause chemical changes that break down the food into smaller absorbable compounds. At the lower end of the canal, waste products are stored and periodically eliminated from the body.

Why does the aroma of certain foods make my mouth water?

When the brain perceives food, it signals the digestive system that food is on its way. The smell, taste, and sometimes even the thought of food trigger the three pairs of salivary glands to produce saliva. These glands are located under the tongue (sublingual), under the jaw (submandibular), and in front of the ears (parotid). Saliva acts as a wetting agent. It moistens and lubricates food, making it easier to swallow. It also contains carbohydrate cleaving digestive enzyme amylase. The average person secretes up to three pints of saliva a day.

How does food move through the digestive tract?

Muscle power, not gravity, moves the food through the alimentary canal. The wall of this tube contain two layers of muscles. One set, the circular muscle layer, encircles the tube, while the other, the longitudinal layer, runs lengthwise along the tube. When food is swallowed, the muscles are stimulated, causing peristalsis, waves of muscle contractions. Peristalsis waves quickly move the food to the stomach. These waves continue until the esophagus is emptied of food.

Does most digestion take place in the stomach?

Although we tend to think of the stomach as the center of digestion, very little chemical digestion actually takes place there. Instead, the stomach functions as an internal blender, mechanically processing food so that the nutrients can be extracted. This process is called mechanical digestion. The stomach churns food, mixing it with gastric juices to form a milky colored material called chyme. Every thirty seconds or so, peristaltic waves squirt a few milliliters of chyme into the small intestine.

How long does it take for the stomach to empty after a meal?

The stomach takes from two to four hours to empty, depending upon how much is eaten and what is in the meal. Meals that are rich is fiber take longer to leave the stomach than meals that are full of fiber-depleted refined foods. High-fiber meals are said to “delay gastric emptying.” This quality is especially important for individuals who suffer from diabetes and hypoglycemia because it slows the rate at which glucose is absorbed from a meal, thereby regulating insulin release and preventing sudden dips in blood glucose levels.

What is gastric juice?

Gastric juice is a high acidic mixture of hydrochloric acid, enzymes, and mucus that begins chemical digestion and sterilizes the stomach. It is secreted by glands located in the middle portion of the stomach that secrete an average of 2,000 to 2,500 ml (which is 8.5 -10.5 cups) of gastric juice a day. The major digestive enzymes found in the gastric juice are the proteolytic enzyme pepsin which begin the process of protein digestion; and lipase, which hydrolyzes fats. Gastric juice also contains intrinsic factor, a compound necessary if vitamin B-12 is to be absorbed in the intestine.

Where is food digested?

Although some digestion begins in the stomach, most digestion and absorption take place in the small intestine. The purpose of the small intestine is to finish digestion and absorb nutrients. Since the nutrients freed by digestion are absorbed through the lining of the intestine, the greater the intestinal area, the greater the amount of nutrients absorbed. The lining of the intestine has its surface area greatly increased by an ingenious system of folds, villi and microvilli. The lining of the small intestine is arranged in folds covered with fingerlike projections called villi. The villi in turn are covered with microvilli, sometimes referred to as the brush border. Most of the digestive enzymes found in the small intestine are located on the brush border. These enzymes finish the process of digestion. The freed nutrients then pass through the walls of the villi and into their networks of fine capillaries, veins, and arteries, which lead to the blood stream and liver.

How large is the small intestine?

The small intestine is one inch in diameter and lies coiled in the abdominal cavity. The intestinal coil would be approximately twenty two feet long if unwound. However, this size is deceptively small, because the folds, villi, and microvilli increase the surface area of the intestine to 250 square meters, roughly the size of a tennis court. Since nutrients can be absorbed only through the intestinal lining, the larger the surface area, the more nutrients that are absorbed.

What is the duodenum?

The first ten inches of the small intestine curve into a backward C shape. This is the duodenum. Every thirty seconds peristaltic waves in the stomach squirt a small amount of chyme into the duodenum. When the duodenum detects the presence of the acidic chyme, it releases sodium bicarbonate to neutralize it. This is necessary because the intestinal enzymes will not work in an acid environment. When the duodenum detects the presence of fat in the chyme, it releases bile, which is produced in the liver and stored in the gallbladder. Bile acts as a detergent, forming micelles which surround the fat, making it temporarily water soluble. As the micelles approach the brush border, the fats are released to pass through the cell membrane and are absorbed. The pancreas also releases enzymes that split carbohydrates, proteins and the bile-emulsified fats. Most digestion is completed in the duodenum. The remainder of the small intestine, the jejunum and ileum, are concerned with absorption.

What happens in the jejunum and ileum?

After the duodenum, the small intestine abruptly turns forward and downward and becomes the jejunum. This is where the final stages of digestion occur and where absorption is completed. Within thirty minutes after chyme has reached the small intestine, most nutrient absorption is completed. Peristaltic waves move the chyme toward the ileocecal valve at the end of the small intestine at a rate of one centimeter per minute. The entire journey of a meal through the small intestine takes from three to ten hours.

What is the function of the large intestine?

The large intestine is chiefly responsible for water and electrolyte absorption, waste storage, and excretion. The colon is about two and one half inches in diameter with a length of five to six feet. This makes the large intestine wider in diameter but much shorter in length than the small intestine. As fecal material moves through the colon, water is absorbed, and the feces become progressively drier. About 95 percent of the water and sodium entering the colon each day is reabsorbed. The last eight inches of the colon is called the rectum, which ends with the anal canal. Defecation occurs via the anus.

What other function does the colon have?

The colon also serves as a garden for bacteria, and over 6000 separate species or strains of bacteria live there. The most common bacteria include Bacteroides, Bifidobacterium, Fusobacterium, Clostridium, Peptococcus, and Peptostreptococcus. Some of these bacteria help the body by secreting vitamin K, which is important for proper blood clotting. Dietary fiber is a major food source for these microorganisms. They are able to digest much of the soluble fiber that reaches the colon and then ferment the breakdown products into chemicals called short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). These compounds are then absorbed into the bloodstream and travel to the liver and other body organs. These fermentation products may protect against cancer and heart disease and be useful in the treatment of diabetes and obesity.

How is the liver involved in digestion?

The liver is the largest gland in the body and one of the most important organs. Nutrient-rich blood leaving the intestines must first pass through the liver. Here poisonous substances, either formed in the colon or those we take in through our food and water, are detoxified. Liver cells also remove from the blood and store excess amounts of iron and vitamins A, B-12, and D and secrete the bile used to emulsify fats. Bile is stored in a pear-shaped organ called the gallbladder until it is needed. When needed, the gallbladder contracts, and bile is squirted into the duodenum.

What is the pancreas?

The pancreas is a grayish-pink gland that secretes the digestive enzymes that are released into the duodenum. It is also the organ that secretes insulin, one of the hormones most important for carbohydrate metabolism.

Where does digestion take place?

Digestion takes place whenever and wherever food comes into contact with digestive enzymes. Salivary glands at the base of the tongue secrete enzymes that begin the digestion of carbohydrates. Enzymes secreted by the lining of the stomach are involved in protein, fat and milk digestion. Enzymes secreted by the pancreas are squirted into the duodenum, where fat, protein, and carbohydrate digestion continues. The last site of digestion occurs on the brush border of the small intestine, where the last of the fat, protein and carbohydrate digestion occurs. There are no digestive enzymes in the colon. All digestion and most absorption are completed by the time food leaves the small intestine.

What are Enzymes?

Enzymes are a special kind of protein that speed up (catalyze) biological reactions that otherwise would occur very slowly. Digestive enzymes are enzymes that break down larger molecules of food into smaller molecules that can be absorbed by the body. They are named by adding the suffix “ase” to the substrate they digest. Amylases (amyl=starch) break down complex carbohydrates (starches) into component sugars, proteases break down protein into amino acids, and lipases break down lipids into fatty acids.

Plastics and BPA

Plastics and BPA

Bisphenol A (BIS fee nall) or BPA, is a phthalate (THAL ate) chemical compound found in plastics. These chemicals can leach from plastic and migrate into our food and beverages from plastic food containers.

Phthalates and BPA are found in polycarbonate plastic, epoxy resins, canned food linings, cash register receipts, dental sealants and cosmetics. These compounds leach into our food from bottles and food containers and into our skin from cosmetics and ultimately into our blood stream where they wreak havoc on our health.

Studies have linked BPA to an increased risk of breast and prostate cancer, impaired immune function, chemical sensitivity syndromes, obesity, diabetes, early onset of puberty, hyperactivity, and other disorders.

It is especially important that mother’s protect their children during development as prenatal exposure can cause behavioral problems later in life.

How to avoid BPA and Phthalates

  • Choose whole foods from bulk bins
  • Ask your butcher to wrap your meat in wax lined paper rather than plastic
  • Drink purified tap water rather than bottled water
  • Do not microwave food/beverages in plastic
  • Do not place plastics in the dishwasher
  • Do not microwave or heat plastic wrap
  • Do not put warm or hot liquids in plastics
  • Use safe alternatives such as glass
  • Avoid canned foods when possible (BPA is used in can linings)
  • Say no to drinking straws for yourself and for children
  • Use BPA-free baby bottles

Study references

  1. http://www.aoec.org/PEHSU/documents/bpa_patient_july_8_08.pdf
  2. http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/2012/environmental-chemicals-and-gynecological-disorders
  3. http://www.thedailygreen.com/green-homes/latest/bpa-free-bottles-44042508#slide-1
  4. Prenatal exposure and BPA and children’s behavior

The Story Behind the Detox Diet

When The Detox Diet was first published in 1996 it was a small book with big ideas. Elson’s book made a huge ripple in the health-minded community as there were few medical doctors as compassionate about nutrition and even fewer writing about the topic of detoxing as a primary tool for healing and disease prevention.

I had just graduated from Bastyr University and remember the excitement in the Naturopathic community as Elson’s book made the rounds. It was thrilling to see a popular book written by an MD who doesn’t focus on treating the symptoms of disease with medication or invasive procedures and specifically uses detoxification for healing. This was an era when the medical and allopathic worlds were divisive. A book written from the perspective of a medical practitioner addressing the ‘underlying cause’ of disease was nothing short of revolutionary.

Before the publication of The Detox Diet there were few publications specifically addressing detoxification from the medical community. Most of the books on the market were full of old wives tales and hippy folklore. I remember rolling my eyes at some of the misinformation I would see repeated in books of that era such as ‘we carry 10 pounds of undigested material in our gut including swallowed gum that will never digest’. I remember a photo that showed up in numerous books of a deteriorated intestine full of holes and black tissue laying on a table next to a healthy intestine. No one alive has intestines that look like this I can assure you. It was as if the authors of those books thought they needed to scare people into eating better.

The Detox Diet was a seminal book that brought sound information and cleansing guidance to the people and started a wildfire of detox enthusiasm during the nutrition movement of the 90’s. Spas and clinics that provide detox workshops began to pop up across the country. Juicing books became popular and organic food started going mainstream.

When the first version of the Detox Diet came out I was opening my nutrition practice in Sun Valley, Idaho where world class athletes and the hollywood elite set the pace for health trends. My clients were asking me to guide them through a detox process and to provide support such as recipes, menu plans and supplement recommendations. During my tenure in practice in Idaho I took thousands of people through cleanses, fasts and individual nutrition sessions. My medical nutrition practice became focused on toxicology and detoxification to a great degree.

Detoxification can get very specific and I rely on tests to identify specific toxins when a client is experiencing symptoms that warrant lab work. These tests can identify a toxic load of a specific substance or organism such as mercury, lead, candida, parasites, or uric acid. Cleansing and fasting jump start the process to removing most toxic compounds and reduce the load on the body’s elimination and detoxifications pathways.

My detox classes were so popular it seemed that everybody in our little mountain town showed up at my house (home/office) for a 3 week cleanse eventually. Many of my clients would bring The Detox Diet to class and I would supplement the book with my recipes, menu plans, non-toxic kitchen guidance, lab test information, supplement recommendations, details about the toxins we were most likely to have been exposed to in our town and instructions for reducing exposure in the future.

The detox workshops were always raucous with all of the sharing of new information, sampling new detox recipes and the telling of personal stories of healing. One of my class participants Richard Calcagno was a patient of Dr. Haas’s who suggested that a merging of our materials would make a comprehensive book for those who couldn’t come to a workshop. I called Dr. Haas and thus The New Detox Diet (2004) was born.

The New Detox Diet Revised Edition, the 2012 version, is the 3rd edition and the most comprehensive, including current research and references for those of you interested in reading original studies, additional recipes, guidance for teens and avoidance of new and dangerous toxic compounds that are ubiquitous in our environment, putting us all in a position to protect ourselves from exposure and bioaccumulation.