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Welcome to Start Somewhere, your home for a whole-body approach to vibrance, resilience, and a longer healthspan.  Dr. Debbie Ozment’s thirty-plus years in clinical practice has given her keen insights to health and wellness from a unique vantage point.  Enjoy her fresh perspectives on creating a balanced and healthy environment. Add energy and vibrancy to your life!  Start Somewhere will enable you to create your own environment of sustainable strategies to nurture your mind, body and spirit. Staying healthy need not be stressful or difficult. Dr. Debbie will provide you with scientific insights and practical techniques to guide you on your adventure. 


Living By Design: Change Your How Before Your What

Before you attempt to change what you eat, think about changing how you eat.  

Our bodies process food best under the relaxed “Rest and Digest” framework and in this era of busyness and fast food, that is definitely easier said than done!  Stress puts us in the “Fight or Flight” survival mode and prepares us to battle or outrun danger.  

In this hyper-aroused state, hormones like cortisol and epinephrine are activated and the enzymes of digestion are suppressed.  Your energy goes to your muscles and away from your digestive tract.  While your mouth gets naturally more dry under stress,  your heart beats faster.  It’s no wonder there are so many digestive problems!

The uncomplicated START SOMEWHERE strategies that I explored in earlier blogs this week will stimulate “Rest and Digest” to help you to enjoy your food more, feel satisfied longer after a meal, and comfortably enhance digestion.  

All are researched, cost nothing, and have almost immediate, noticeable benefits.  Additionally, taking time for a few slow deep belly breaths followed by a prayer of gratitude are excellent ways to start getting your body in the feeding mode.  

Here are some key points from this week’s blog posts:

  1. Tuesday:  Slow down and savor whatever you are eating.  To increase mealtime satisfaction and boost your body’s ability to “Rest and Digest,” put down your eating utensil between bites.  Intentionally take small bites and concentrate on the deliciousness.  Although it might seem unnatural at first, chew each bite until it is totally liquefied. This might be 15 chews or 40 chews, depending on the particular food.  You will be amazed at the satisfaction that brings when it becomes more habitual.  Thorough chewing helps turn off the ghrelin, the hunger hormone!  

  2. Wednesday:  Sit down while you eat.  Studies have shown that this results in the intake of fewer calories without feeling deprived.  Consider using a smaller plate to harness the “Delboeuf Illusion” to further reduce caloric intake without affecting satiety.  

  3. Thursday:  Embrace hunger cues and respect the incredible communication system of your body.  The simple practice of waiting to eat until you are feeling hungry will help stabilize blood sugar, enhance weight control, help you stay in tune with your body, enable you to enjoy your food more and enhance your satisfaction with the meal.  Eat within 30-45 minutes of feeling hunger pangs if possible.      

START SOMEWHERE with little changes in your life to enhance vitality and joy.  You can do it.  I will help you.  

#AskDr.Debbie – From Kristina H.  “What recommendations do you have for Tinnitus?”  Tinnitus (TIN-ih-tus) is the phantom perception of ringing or noise in the ears.  It is a common problem and affects about 20 percent of people at one time or another and is a significant problem for one to five percent of people.  It really isn’t a condition itself; it is a symptom of an underlying condition such as ear injury, a circulatory system disorder, or age-related hearing loss.  It is very annoying and can cause stress and anxiety because it disrupts concentration and sometimes sleep.

Here are some possible treatments that I found in my research:

  • From the traditional care viewpoint, a diuretic is sometimes prescribed.

  • Vinpocetine has been shown to be helpful and the recommended dose is 10 mg twice a day .  Vinpocetine is from the periwinkle plant and is a mild blood thinner, so be sure to talk to your health care provider before taking it if this is a concern.  This helps about 30-50 percent of Tinnitus sufferers and seems to work better if loud noises started the problem.  

  • Ginkgo Biloba has been studied extensively for Tinnitus.  Germany’s Commission E, which researches and regulates supplements in Europe, officially endorses Ginkgo Biloba as a treatment in a dosage of 80 mg three times a day.  According to WebMD, this is safe, with minimal and reversible side effects.  It is also used to enhance memory.  

  • From a naturopathic point of view, the problem can be due to fungal growth.  Rubbing alcohol can help and it is recommended that two drops in the affected ear for four days can usually remedy the problem.

  • Stress relieving activities like yoga, moderate exercise, warm baths and time outdoors have also been shown to help relieve Tinnitus.  

  • Lifestyle strategies to minimize Tinnitus include minimizing sugar and other refined carbohydrates and limiting sodium to 400 mg/day.

Dr. Debbie’s Deliciously Perfect Granola

This is a recipe that I’ve been working on and am at the point of calling it “Deliciously Perfect!”  It’s simple and the specific types of nuts, seeds, or dried fruit can be modified easily in these proportions to fit your taste buds.  Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 10 cups Oatmeal

  • 3 cups Pecans

  • 2 cups dried Cherries

  • 2 cups dried Blueberries

  • 1 cup Sunflower Seeds

  • 1 cup Pumpkin Seeds

  • 1 cup Maple Syrup

  • 1 cup Virgin Coconut Oil

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons Cinnamon

Gently melt the Maple Syrup and Virgin Coconut Oil together.  Combine all other ingredients thoroughly with this liquid.  Spread on a baking sheet and cook for 30 minutes at 300 degrees.  When cool, store in glass fruit jars in the refrigerator until you are ready to start on that jar.  It is delicious alone or over unsweetened yogurt.  Enjoy!  

What an inspiring viewpoint!  One of my favorite long-term patients who is in his 80’s is now on hospice.  He is retired physician who brightens the day of everyone that he encounters.  A committed Christian, this is what he said about his current condition:  “I may get better or I may get the best.  Either way, it is good news.”

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