We are excited to announce that HealthBridge Newport is officially open and welcoming patients at our new and permanent address 20072 Birch St Suite 240 Newport Beach, CA 92660. Office phone number remains the same 949-715-9321. In addition to offering the full suite of integrative medical services you are accustomed to, we are now the exclusive provider of SottoPelle Therapy in Newport Beach. Stay tuned for details on our grand opening!
Did you know that 40% of daily calories of US children and adolescents aged 2-18 years come from added sugar and solid fats? Approximately half of these empty calories come from six sources: soda, fruit drinks, dairy desserts, grain desserts, pizza, and whole milk.
Raising healthy kids sounds pretty simple: Provide good nutrition, 60 minutes of daily physical activity, and create a joyful and safe home environment. Do that, and you’ll reduce your child’s risk for obesity, diabetes, and other chronic disease. But you’re up against a host of unhealthy temptations including advertising, peer pressure, and an abundance of junk food in shiny packaging.
The first and most important step you have to take for your child’s health is modeling healthy habits in front of them. Make a healthy lifestyle a family affair. Keep things simple. And don’t give up when kids get picky. The tips and resources provided below will keep you on track.
Keep Kids in Motion. Once kids return to school, they are sedentary for the better part of the day. Outside of school, make sure your kids have opportunities to stretch, strengthen, and build endurance for 60 minutes daily. Make time for creative play at the park where children can engage all the major muscle groups. Provide opportunities for trying new sports or creative movement classes. Get the whole family involved with obstacle courses, biking, or hiking. When the weather outside is too hot or cold, visit an indoor pool, playscape, climbing gym, or bounce-house facility. Create a joyful atmosphere at home, check stress at the door (which is easier to do if you are exercising), and encourage playtime.
Limit Screen Time. With more schools incorporating digital devices into curricula, it’s important to monitor your child’s free time on the screen. For younger children, set a daily limit of 60 minutes, and for older children, set a limit of 120 minutes for all media–TV, movies, and games.
Consider having a “digital-free zone” in your home: one room designated just for reading, games, and music sans the headphones. Also, make one day a week (e.g., Sunday) a “device-free day” for all family members. Play games or get physically active, together.
A Balanced Diet, Not a Food Fight. No matter their age, kids can be picky eaters. Offer your child choices at meals that are acceptable to you, health promoting, and palatable. Model the healthy eating habits you want your child to have whether they are at home or out with friends.
When it comes to getting kids to try new foods, get creative: Blend veggies into homemade smoothies. Serve raw veggies with hummus. Make zucchini-based brownies. Incorporate blended or finely chopped veggies into pasta sauce for use on pizza and spaghetti. Try healthier ice cream options like Bliss (raw, vegan, organic and tastes great) or Arctic Zero. Involve your kids in creating a beautiful fruit salad. Kids’ palates change as they age; what they like/don’t like at age 3 is likely to be different at 13 and even 23!
Introduce and reintroduce healthy selections at all meal and snack times. And don’t fight about food…that only creates a lousy mood for everyone at mealtimes. Sometimes, it really is okay to skip the asparagus and still have dessert.
Tame the Sweet Tooth. Sugar intake for children is recommended to 3-4 teaspoons a day. Cutting back on soda, candy, and cookies is only the first step. Read labels to identify added sugar, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, and food dyes that can be hidden in foods including bread, condiments such as ketchup, crackers, cookies, candy and canned and frozen foods. Make your own frozen treats from fresh fruit, and cut down on packaged foods.
Sleep Well. During sleep, children’s bodies generate hormones important to healthy growth and development. A good night of rest allows children to wake energized for the following day. Research has shown that sleep plays a role in maintaining a healthy weight and promoting a positive mood. Try to keep kids to a daily sleep-wake routine, especially during the school week.
Healthy diet and exercise make a huge difference in the health and demeanor of children. If challenged with a behavioral and/or physical health issue you can take it a step further. At HealthBridge Medical Center we will often run lab tests to determine if a child has specific food allergies, or a particularly high demand for certain nutrients like zinc, magnesium or essential fatty acids for example. Getting specific with nutrient supplementation and adjusting the diet accordingly makes for much happier and healthier children. It is always worth the time and effort involved.
Interesting new data is linking antibiotic use in infants (a common practice) to allergies, infectious disease and autoimmune disease later in life. Limiting overprescribing of antibiotics, paired with appropriate probiotic use in infants will help to prevent unnecessary suffering as children mature. Fortunately today there are simple and effective lab tests available to look at the gut ecology in children and adults, to determine if there is an unhealthy alteration of gut bacteria, and what probiotics (if any) to use.
Dr. Gina just gave another PharmCon continuing medical education presentation this morning at 7:30 AM on Progesterone: A Powerful Hormone for Women and Men. The response was overwhelming. There were nearly 600 attendees (!) at her presentation. Here are a few comments from the doctors in attendance:
“Great program. This is an area that most of us do not get much exposure to. Really Enjoyed it.”
“LOVED this presentation and topic!”
“Please have more! Very informative and interesting presentation.”
“Excellent, we need more of this type. excellent overview of advantages of various dosage forms of progesterone,deficiency symptoms, differences from estrogen and xenoestrogen, additional source material and most importantly differences between bioidentical and synthetic progesterone and estrogen.”
“Excellent presenter and great presentation.”
“Thank you very much. GOD bless you. Excellent and informative presentation.”
“Dr.Cushman is [an] excellent presenter.”
If you are a licensed healthcare professional or a patient who wants your doctor to learn more about this emerging field of bio-identical hormone replacement therapy…don’t miss her next lecture!
Topic: An Introduction to Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy
When: July 22nd at 7:30 AM PDT
Receive 1 hour of LIVE continuing medical education credit.
Hope to see you there!
Why some women and not others get endometriosis — the growth of uterine tissue outside the uterus that can cause pain and infertility — is not known, but researchers have come up with one possible contributing factor: pesticide poisoning.
Scientists studied 248 women with surgically confirmed endometriosis and 538 healthy controls. They measured blood levels of two pesticides, mirex and beta HCH, which persist in some fish and dairy products even though their use in the United States has been banned for decades. The study appears online in Environmental Health Perspectives.
The researchers found that women with the highest exposure to mirex had a 50 percent increased risk for endometriosis, and those exposed to high levels of beta HCH a 30 to 70 percent increased risk.
Read more here.
This study points to the importance of thinking about the long-term impact that pesticides and other environmental pollutants have on our health. This particular pesticide, Mirex, has been banned for twenty plus years, yet it is increasing the risk of endometriosis and associated infertility today. The effects of these chemicals linger and get stored in the food supply, the soil, our cells.
The good news is that the more information is released like this, and the more aware we are, the more we, as scientists, healthcare professionals, farmers, and consumers, will focus (hopefully) on less toxic means of managing pests in our environment.
Naturopathic medicine has known this for centuries but now there is some promising new research demonstrating that the health of the gut affects a woman’s brain, how she processes emotions and her response to stress.
Dietary changes to the bacteria living in our guts could have an impact on brain functioning, a new study suggests.
Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, found that regularly eating yogurt with probiotics, which contain “good” bacteria, seems to affect brain functioning in women. They said the proof-of-concept study shows it is possible to impact brain functioning by altering gut bacteria through diet.
The study, published in the journal Gastroenterology, was funded by Danone Research, which is the research arm of Danone, a company that produces yogurt and other dairy products. Some of the study researchers are Danone employees, but they had no role in the interpretation or analysis of results. Researchers noted that past studies have shown a gut-brain connection in terms of the brain sending signals to the gut. But this new study shows that the gut could also send signals to the brain.
I have published extensively on Sickness Syndrome, a condition I identified where inflammation in the body triggers inflammation in the brain that is a cause of depression, anxiety and other mental health challenges. One of our treatment strategies for Sickness Syndrome, depression and anxiety, involves testing for, and then treating bacterial imbalance in the gut.