charlotte acupuncture fertility

#Byebyesugarhellobaby Week 3

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the end of Week 2 of our Bye-bye Sugar Challenge!

Did you ever think it was possible for you to say “goodbye” to sugar?  Give yourself a pat on the back.

By now, you should have parted ways with refined, white sugar, and the so-called “healthy” fruit juices, sodas and other soft drinks.  Have you noticed any physical changes?  Have you lost weight?  Have you started to feel some positive changes in your energy and overall mood? Perhaps you are finding it easier to get out of bed in the mornings. Or maybe, you’ve noticed more consistent energy throughout the day and less of the “afternoon slump.”  All of these seemingly small changes are confirmation that your overall health is improving and that you are getting one-step closer to a more fertile you.

Hopefully, you’ve found our previous tips helpful in curving those sugar cravings.  Here is a recap:

Eat breakfast– Preferably a high protein one containing eggs. This helps to stabilize blood sugar and set your day up for success.

Eat regularlyEating regular meals (preferably high protein) and snacking in between helps to further maintain healthy blood sugar levels and avoid slumps that can lead to sugar cravings. Just make sure you are having healthy snacks like har- boiled eggs and fresh fruits or a handful of nuts.

So, are you prepared for the next step in the Bye-bye Sugar Challenge?

Week 3

This is week 3 of the challenge.  Here is what’s on the chopping block: sources of “fake” sugar.

We are talking about items labeled as “sugar-free” that actually contain toxic substitutes known as artificial sweeteners. You know those little pink, blue and yellow packets hanging out in the black bin on diner tables?

The most common artificial sweeteners on the market are Aspartame (blue packet, Equal®), Saccharin (pink packets, Sweet-n-Low®) and Sucralose (yellow packets, Splenda®), though there are others like Maltitol and Sorbitol. These are found in many food items such as:

Drinks– Crystal Light® Drink Mixes, Non-Dairy Creamers, Gevalia® Skinny Cappucino K Cups

Snacks– Sugar Free Jello® (Gelatins and puddings), Sugar Free Gummy Bears

Baked Goods– Sugar Free Breads, Murray’s cookies, Harris Teeter Sugar Free Muffins, Pound cakes, etc

You know that saying “if it seems to good to be true, it probably is.”

Being sugar-free comes at a price, usually on your health. 

A study conducted at Harvard University suggested, “non-nutritive sweeteners are far more potent than table sugar or high fructose corn syrup. A minuscule amount produces a sweet taste comparable to that of sugar, without the comparable calories”.  (Source:  http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/artificial-sweeteners-sugar-free-but-at-what-cost-201207165030)

This means that over time, we are training our brain and taste buds to increasingly desire sweeter things to satisfy the sweet tooth. In addition, some studies have even shown Saccharin (the pink packets) to be MORE addictive than Cocaine!

And what about Splenda®?  The once golden-child of all sugar substitutes is not so safe either.  An in-depth scientific review of sucralose, the ingredient in Splenda®, published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health (Source: Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part B: Critical Reviews, 16:7, 399-451 ) reveals an extensive list of safety concerns, including toxicity, DNA damage, and increased risk of cancer when used in cooking.  Not to mention that sucralose destroys gut-bacteria (source: J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2008;71(21):1415-29 ).

Bottom Line

The use of artificial sweeteners as a way to cut corners by eating unhealthy foods while claiming “it’s sugar-free” is not doing you any favors.

Take the time to go through your cupboards, read the ingredients and toss out anything that contains any artificial sweeteners. If in doubt, remember, you should be able to pronounce all the ingredients and if it isn’t sweetened with Coconut Palm Sugar, Honey or Maple Syrup, it needs to go!

After cutting out artificial sweeteners from your diet, your palate will reset and you’ll be able to better appreciate the natural sweetness of fruits. Not to mention the fact that you’ll be able to curb the sweet cravings easier.

Speaking of cravings, make sure to check in on our Facebook page every Friday to see how we’re coping with the Bye-bye Sugar Challenge, and steal our strategies and recipes.

Remember to post your progress on Instagram using the hashtag #ByeByeSugarHelloBaby or on Facebook using the hashtag #FertilityRevolution2017. Your postings will be entered in our awesome giveaway at the end of the month.

You got this! We are here to help!

ip acupuncture sugar challenge

Bye-bye Sugar, Hello Baby Challenge Week 2

As we kick off week 2 of the #byebyesugarhellobaby challenge, we want to check-in and see how your first week went.

Did you find it hard to give up the sweet treats?  Did you slip-up a few times but got right back on track?  Don’t worry if you weren’t 100%.  Is anyone ever perfect?  What matters is that you keep working on it.

We had a surprisingly easy week without any sugary treats.  If you haven’t checked out our Facebook Live “Confessionals,” be sure to hop on over to our Facebook fan page and see what we had to say.  We talked a bit about what worked for us, but I’ll summarize it here for you too.

  • Eating breakfast helped to stabilize the blood sugar throughout the day to prevent that afternoon slump.
  • Eggs, which are high in protein, are the ideal breakfast foods. A breakfast high in sugar is going to immediately spike the blood sugar and start your day off on the wrong foot!
  • Snacking throughout the day also prevented the slump and the need for sugar in the afternoon. Our favorite snacks were either high in protein like nuts and eggs, or a piece of fruit (not fruit juices) that contain natural sugars instead of the “white stuff.”

Week 2

So, moving on to week 2.  Before I disclose this week’s list of products that are to be kicked to the curb, I want to make sure that you don’t stop the progress that you’ve made from week 1.

In other words, as you work towards goals for week 2, you’re going to simply build on what you’ve accomplished in week 1 and not fall back on old habits.  One of the reasons we’re introducing the list of foods to eliminate each week instead of giving you the entire blueprint all at once is to prevent overwhelming you and “burn-outs.”

OK, I’ll stop preaching now and tell you what’s in store for Week 2.

sugar and pregnancy

In Week 2, we’re focusing on major categories of beverages such as:

  • Soft drinks – Coca-cola®, Pepsi®, Mountain dew®, Snapples®, Sprite®, Izze Sparking Water®, just to name a few.
  • Energy and sports drinks – Red bull®, Sobe®, Gatorade®
  • Fruit juices – Naked Juice®, any types of juices like apple, fruit punch, orange, etc.
  • Store-bought coffee drinks – Starbucks® lattes, mochas, frappacinos,

Most people understand that soft drinks are loaded with sugar and have at least tried to steer away from them.  But, a lot of our patients don’t think about the amount of sugar found in fruit juices.  Smoothies and juices are more popular than ever.  Orange juice for breakfast, apple juice for kids, cranberry juice for cocktail drinks.  The list goes on.

You can argue that a product such as Naked Juice® is all natural, organic and has nothing but fruits and veggies in them.  Most of the sugar in Naked Juice® is in the form of fructose, which is the type of sugar that’s naturally found in fruits.  You might be asking, “What’s so bad about that?  Aren’t fruits healthy?”

All types of sugar, whether it’s the refined sugar or sugar in fruits eventually breakdown in the body into glucose.  Glucose is the blood sugar that most people are familiar with.  Glucose is also what your body uses for energy supply.   You definitely can’t function without glucose.

BUT… here is the big BUT…

Because every type of sugar eventually breaks down into glucose, you can overwhelm your body with too much glucose even if you don’t consume refined sugar.  Overconsumption of glucose is a huge obstacle to conception because it can lead to insulin resistance, which can in turn lead to problems with ovulation.

We found that the amount of sugar, 54g and 13 teaspoons of sugar to be exact, can be found in the Naked Juice ®pomegranate blueberry drink (Source: Harvard School of Public Health.  Website: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-drinks/) Can you imagine eating 13 teaspoons of sugar multiple times a day?

So as you can see, even the “good stuff” might not be all that good for you. 

If you click on the link for the Harvard School of Public Health, you’ll find a PDF with common beverages and the amount of sugar in each.  We didn’t make these numbers up.

We’re here to support you as always.  On Wednesday, we’ll post a delicious drink recipe.  And on Friday, we’ll have our “confessional” once again on Facebook to talk about how we’re coping and share our strategies.

This is super exciting!  We’ve already cut out sugary treats, let’s take another step towards health this week.

no more sugar

Are You Ready To Stay “Sayonara” to Sugar For Good?

A lot of us like to reflect on accomplishments, lessons learned, “aha” moments and breakthroughs as we prepare to welcome a new year.

How was 2016 for you?  Did you take huge strides toward your health?  Did you find successes in your career?  Did you find more balance in your life?

Chances are, your answers are “yes” and “no.”  That’s OK though because life is a marathon, not a sprint.  What matters is that you take small steps towards a goal everyday.

Rome wasn’t built in a day – cliché but true.

For this upcoming year, 2017, you may have goals to be healthier, maybe to get pregnant, maybe to deal with stress better.  But at the same time, you’re feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.  That’s where we, the Inner Peace Acupuncture Team comes in.

We can’t get a promotion for you or do your laundry, but we can help you become healthier because that’s what we do best!

If you haven’t read our last blog about what’s in store for you in 2017, please check it out here.

For those you who are ready to take steps towards a healthier you, we’re pleased to unveil our first challenge for January:  Bye-Bye Sugar!

The Bye-Bye Sugar campaign is part of the #fertilityrevolution2017, but you don’t need to be trying-to-conceive to join us in this challenge.  The truth is, we all consume wayyyyy too much sugar and have become so dependent on it.  For us women, sugar is a HUGE obstacle to achieving hormone balance.

So, we don’t care where you are on your health journey:  trying to conceive, menopausal, joint pain, migraines, irregular periods, painful periods… whatever else you can think of… Join us for this challenge and see for yourself the difference that it will make in your life.

You might be wondering how to get started, what type of support you’ll receive, and if there is a reward at the end since it’s a “challenge.”

Here is what you need to do:

Mondays – Follow us on instagram, Facebook, or our blog to discover the theme of the week and find out which types of sugary foods to eliminate from your diet.

Tuesdays- Thursdays – Implement what you’ve learned.

Fridays – Post videos, pictures on instagram and Facebook to let us know how you’re doing.  Please use the following hashtags so we can enter your name into a drawing for the goodie bag prize at the end of the month(more on that later.)

Instagram: #byebyesugarhellobaby

Facebook: #fertilityrevolution2017

Of course, we’re not going to let you do this alone.  Here is what you can expect from the Inner Peace Team:

Mondays – We’ll introduce a new Theme of the Week.  We’ll talk about the specific types of sugary products to eliminate and specifically why they’re detrimental to your health.

Wednesdays – We’ll be posting a free recipe that’s actually sugar-free to help you satisfy your sweet tooth.

Fridays – Reality TV style “confessionals” from the Inner Peace Acupuncture Team.  You get to hear about our struggles and how we’re coping.

We’re excited but quite frankly, nervous at the same time to start this challenge because we love sugar as much as you do.  But one thing we pride ourselves on is that we practice what we preach.  We take our own health very seriously because if we’re not healthy, we cannot take care of you.

So, I hope you’re ready!  We’re going to kick off the challenge with the first Theme of the Week starting on Monday, January 2nd:  Eliminating the obvious sugary foods.

These foods are:

  • Cookies and cakes
  • Breakfast pastries: Muffins, danishes, turnovers
  • Candies: hard or soft
  • Chocolates (sorry!)
  • Sugar in coffee or tea

Let’s get this party started!

Happy New Year and cheers to an amazing year ahead!

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Ditch those New Year resolutions and join us for our Fertility Revolution!

We are Anti-resolution here at Inner Peace Acupuncture.

Say what????

Oh yes, you heard correctly.  We don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions or that resolutions can actually help you to achieve your goals.

How many of you have ever done this:  You set a goal to lose 20 pounds, and you’re motivated for the first two week or so.  Then, for one reason or another, you fall off the band wagon.  You find yourself in December with a month to go before the next year frantically trying to lose those 20 lbs…

New Year’s resolutions mean nothing if you don’t have an action plan outlining the steps that you need to take in order to achieve a goal.

So this year, we invite you to join us on our Fertility Revolution and take action towards getting pregnant.  No more excuses! We’ll guide you on a journey to improve your health, keep you accountable and boost your fertility.

Here is what the #FertilityRevolution2017 looks like:

  • Each quarter, we’ll tackle several fertility challenges that are standing in your way of getting pregnant.
  • Each month has a theme – nutrition, lifestyle or overall wellness.
  • The way we’ll help you stay on track is through fun contests and challenges. Did I mention that the winners get awesome prizes!
  • We’re doing this with you! We’ll be joining in on the challenges and contests with you.  Follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@inner_peace_acupuncture) to see our struggles and successes.

Click here to “like” us on Facebook.

Bye Bye Sugar, Hello Baby

Coming off the holiday season, most of you are anxious to “detox” the sugar out of your system.  We couldn’t resist the sugar cookies either so we’re feeling the same.

So in January, we’re going to kick off the Revolution with our #byebyesugarhellobaby challenge.

The details of the sugar challenge will be posted on next week’s blog, just in time for the New Year.  So be sure to follow our blog so you don’t miss it!

Revolution Schedule

You might curious what the rest of the revolution looks like.  So here is the break down:

charlotte acupucnture fertility

We’re so excited to hop on this journey with you.  Let’s do this!

bone broth for fertility

Feeding The Bone Broth Frenzy – Discover why it helps to boost fertility and how to make it

You’ve heard it on podcasts, seen it on Facebook feeds of friends and health experts, you’ve even seen it on store shelves.

This food is bone broth and it’s is extremely beneficial to our bodies. 

What’s the big deal you might ask?  Bones are usually table scrapes.  How can they possibly help to boost fertility?

Well, with the colder months upon us, there is no better time to talk about bone broth because you know how much we love to talk about warm and cooked foods to boost fertility.  We’ll also share a recipe with you that is so easy, all you need to do is–dump everything into a crockpot and “forget about it.”

So here is low-down on bone broth for those who are trying to conceive (both men and women).

When trying to conceive, the body is directing a lot of resources (energy and blood) into the reproductive system.  The one thing that can disrupt this flow is stress.

We’ve all been there.  We put extra stress on our bodies by over-working, over-thinking, and over-exercising.  This creates a “fight-or-flight” response.  Our bodies are programmed from its caveman days to shut down functions that are not necessary for survival, and the reproductive system is usually the first to be affected.  From a Chinese medicine perspective, energy for the reproductive system is housed in the kidneys (one of its many functions.)  As you can imagine, chronic stress on the body inadvertently drains the kidney energy and robs your body what it needs to be fertile.

Now, let’s be realistic here.  It’s impossible to live without some form of stress.  But, how you manage stress factors has a huge impact on your fertility potential.  This is where bone broth comes in.  It’s definitely not the “cure all be all,” and it’s only one of the ways to help your body deal with the physical and emotional side effects of stress.  But it nourishes your body to cope with all the physiological responses.

Bone broth is full of nutrition, easy to digest, and absolutely delicious.  It’s one of the simplest yet most nourishing sources of good fuel that we can put in our system.

Here is the correlation…

Ever wondered how our bodies produce blood? Our bodies produce blood through the marrow. So what would be the best thing we could ingest to help with blood production and quality? You guessed it! Marrow!

From a Chinese medicine perspective, bone marrows come from the deepest energetic layer of the body.  It directly affects the Kidney energy, which is THE reproductive energy as we mentioned before.  So cooking the bones will definitely boost the kidney energy.

Before you go off thinking, “yuck” and feel nauseated with the thoughts of scooping the marrow out, let us ease your concerns.  You don’t actually have to eat the marrow.  After hours of cooking, all the nutrients will be integrated into the broth itself.  If you don’t like seeing chunks of marrow floating around, simply strain it.

So, the best way to see if you like bone broth or not is to actually make it.  We’re going to share our recipe below and give you three ideas on how to use the broth once you’ve made it.

Bone Broth Recipe

Things you will need (all organic if possible):

2lbs            grass fed, hormone/antibiotic free beef bones or chicken bones

1                 large onion, quartered

2                 large carrots, sliced

2                 stalks of celery, sliced

4-5             cloves of garlic, crushed

Salt & Pepper to taste

1                 6qt slow cooker, or larger (or a large stock pot)

Enough water to cover the bones

Directions:

1. Place bones in the bottom of your crock-pot and cover completely with water.

2. Set on “high” and cook for 8 hours.

3. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook for an additional 4 hours.

4. After 12 hours of cooking have elapsed, the meat, if any, should be falling off the bones. If that doesn’t happen, let cook for another hour and check again.

5. Strain the soup if desired to remove floating pieces of marrow.  You’ll have less issues with this if you use chicken bones.

Notes:

1. If you’re using a stock-pot, the instructions remain the same except that you’ll need to bring the water and bones up to a boil first, and then bring it down to a low simmer.  Then cover the pot and leave it simmering for the duration of cooking.

2. After 12 hours have passed, and the meat is “falling off the bones,” simply pick out all the bones from your broth. You can keep all the meat and vegetables in the broth.

3. You can make yourself a bowl right away or store in the freezer and defrost as needed. When properly stored, bone broth will easily keep for up to a month.

Three uses for bone broth:

1. Drink ½ cup per day with meal or by itself.

2. Have it as a meal itself since it has protein and veggies.

3. Use as base for other soups and stews.

So, we would love it if you could try this recipe and give us your thoughts on it.   To contact us, you can simply email info@ipacupuncture.com  Or leave a comment on our Facebook page.