How to Prevent Holiday Weight Gain

The team at Vitalia Health Care would like to wish everyone a safe, healthy and happy holiday season. We look forward to seeing you in 2015!

The end of the year is approaching fast! Don’t forget to use your extended benefits before they expire this year!

unnamed (9)

Please note our hours of operation for December:
Monday – Saturday – 9:00am – 5:00pm
closed December 24,26, 31, January 1st.
Back to regular hours on January 2nd, 2015

How to Prevent Holiday Weight Gain

unnamed (10)It’s hard to believe Christmas is only a few weeks away! For many people, this is the beginning of Christmas parties, including all the holiday indulgences. A few pounds gained over the holidays can really add up! Most people gain an average of 5 lbs over the Christmas season. To avoid this holiday weight gain, here are my top holiday health tips.

  • Never go to a party hungry. Always have something healthy to eat before, such as protein (for example, chicken, eggs, nuts, protein shake). You will be less hungry at the party, and won’t overindulge. Remember, it is the the season of treats! Don’t necessarily deprive yourself of dessert, just eat a “bite” vs. a whole piece.
  • Eat slowly. Your stomach needs 20 minutes to signal your brain that you are full. Eat slowly, wait 20 min. before your 2nd plate. You may not need that second plate after all!
  • Avoid holiday drinks high in calories and fat. Eggnog contains 400 calories and 19 grams of fat. Choose non-fat versions of drinks and skip the whipped cream and syrups. Remember, it takes just 3500 calories to gain 1lb. of fat!
  • The holiday season is the best time to exercise. Many people have more flexible work schedules during the holidays. My general rule is exercise at least 30 minutes a day. Add an extra 20-30 minutes on days of overindulgence.

Wishing you a safe, healthy and happy holiday season. Best wishes for the New Year too!

From all of us at Vitalia Health Care

The Holiday Anti-Blues

unnamed (11)A sugar free Christmas…yes its possible.

One thing I remember during Christmas is the treats, the cookies, the shortbread, the candy canes, and the list goes one. If you are interested in shortening that sugar list here is a great site, it has recipes for sugar free baking and some other great information for a balanced Christmas holiday season. This is a great site as it has sugar free recipes for almost all occasions even Christmas.

The Holiday Anti-Blues

Many patients I see during the holidays have emotional issues because they feel like they are not connected, feel alone and sad because they don’t feel have anyone or they see others having more than them. Here a few ideas I have to try and curtail these feeling, and keep in mind I have spent many holidays for one reason or another “alone” but I never felt lonely and I’ll tell you the secret. But first let me give you some ideas to help stop that feeling.

5-HTP also known as tryfonia: This is a herb that increase serotonin start at about 25 mg before bed and 25 mg during the day.

SAMe: 400-1,600 mg per day may help, it’s a great antioxidant and may help with inflammation.

Vitamin D: 5,000 i.u. for 14-21 days

Stay away from indulging in too much alcohol, it is a depressant.

Do something for someone else.

Keep your blood sugar from dropping, in other words eat well and regularly.

Get adequate sleep and nap if you have to.

Watch comedy movies. It’s been shown that watching funny movies increases feel good chemicals and activates the part of the brain that is associated with anti-depression.

Stop comparing yourself to others because what you think you see may not be true.

Keep a gratitude journal: in the morning write down 10 things your great full for and why. In the evening on retiring thing about one thing that you liked during your day. This activates the part of the brain and induces a strong neuro-chemistry that adds resilience to the blues.

Change your state! If you are feeling down you are generally thinking of the wrong thing, focus on your feeling, really feel it and let it float by like a cloud, try not to get attached, allow yourself time and space to allow your emotions then jump up and down, run, wave your arms, anything to change your state.

Oh and what’s my secret?…I generally don’t think about myself, those holidays in which I was alone I prayed for others, did a gratitude journal for the year and got excited about what can be possible around the corner after the holidays…basically I stayed in a loving state.

Yours In Health,

Dr. Quinn Rivet, ND

The Truth About Heartburn, Indigestion and Acid Reflux

unnamed (12)The holidays are a time for dinner parties where its can be difficult to avoid certain foods that your stomach may not agree with. Check out this article from Dr. Jennifer Luis and keep in mind her tips during this holiday season!

Before you reach for the chewable Tums or bright pink liquid in the medicine cabinet to help with symptoms associated with “high stomach acid”, there are a few things to know about the message your body is sending to you. Instead of having too much acid, you very likely have low stomach acid. I realize that this sounds counter-intuitive, but continue reading below to understand why.

Gastric acid is produced in the lining of the stomach and is stimulated by the first processes of digestion – thinking about food, chewing and swallowing. The pH of gastric acid is between 1-2, which is roughly equivalent to the pH of lemon juice or vinegar (pH=2). For reference sake, battery acid has a pH of 0, while water, which is neutral has a pH of 7. Hydrochloric acid (HCl) is the acid component of gastric acid and has important functions related to digestion.

It stimulates enzyme production in the stomach to start breaking down protein and later down the tract, the low pH tells the pancreas and intestinal lining to release digestive enzymes that break down sugars, fats and more proteins. Another important job associated with the low pH is to signal to the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) at the top of the stomach to close when food is present. This is where the problem can arise with not enough stomach acid levels.

If there is not enough stomach acid, there will be a weak signal to the nervous system to contract the sphincter and close off the opening to the stomach. If the opening is not closed, acid and potentially partially digested food may retract up the esophagus resulting in heartburn, acid reflux and indigestion.

Food will not be properly broken down in the stomach and can cause a heavy sensation or result in gas, bloating and discomfort. Since digestive enzymes further down are not released in full amounts, it is possible that undigested food will be present in stool. This chain of events can be linked back to the cause of food sensitivities since irritation and inflammation in the gut lining are caused by larger, undigested food particles.
Low stomach acid and food sensitivities can be related to symptoms such as fatigue, eczema, rosacea, joint pain, auto-immune disease, irritable bowel syndrome, headaches/migraines and more.

So, what do you do to treat this? Actually, this is one of the more simple cures that can be done to increase stomach acid levels and improve digestion. By consuming an acid within 10 minutes of eating a meal, the stomach lining will be triggered to increase it’s own acid production over time.

Mix about 1 teaspoon of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar in water or squeeze the juice of ¼ lemon into water and drink with meals. Sometimes taking HCl capsules with or without digestive enzymes at meals can be recommended if stomach acid levels are thought to be very low.

On a final note, maintaining healthy stomach acid levels can help overall health. Stress will decrease HCl production, so finding ways to deal with stress such as yoga, meditation, reading or journaling will help. Sitting down and eating meals at a slow, undisturbed pace will also allow for improved acid production as will some apple cider vinegar before eating.

So if you are ever told that you have symptoms associated with high stomach acid levels, reconsider this and see if your symptoms improve with the use of apple cider vinegar before starting acid-blocking medications.

Yours in health,

Dr. Jennifer Luis, BSc, ND

unnamed (13)Guilt Free Holiday Snacks

Hosting a holiday party this year? Try this super simple, easy to make recipe!

Recipe Source: Guilt-Free Holiday Snacks

Appetizers: Sweet and Smoky Pecans
Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Makes: 6 servings


1 1/2 cups pecan halves
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch cayenne

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients; mix well.
2. Spread the nuts on the baking sheet; roast, tossing halfway through, until browned, 12 to 15 minutes.
3. Let the nuts cool. Serve.

Nutrition facts per serving:
220 calories, 3g protein, 8g carbohydrate, 22g fat (1.9g saturated), 3g fiber



The Team at Vitalia Health Care

contact us schedule an appointment