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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: Tend Your Own Garden

Living by Design:  Tend your own garden.  Subject topics seem to go in waves.  Someone will ask me a question about an unusual topic and then suddenly, the same topic comes up three times in the next few days.  That’s what happened earlier this month in the arena of comparison and unsolicited advice.  Both are “hot” topics for many of us and are areas that I have, and still do, struggle with at times.  It may just be coincidence, but it is ironic that these topics came up at the beginning of the new year when people are getting a fresh start and setting new goals.  My brain loves to think in word pictures and this reminds me of a garden.  Each person’s life is like a garden!  For richer relationships, tend your own garden and let your friends and loved ones tend theirs.

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

  1. Tuesday:  Theodore Roosevelt quipped, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”  This depleting, slippery slope can become habitual and blind us from God’s unique plan for our life.  Strategies to escape from the comparison trap include evaluating your own strengths, contemplating your unique life’s vision, reminding yourself of daily truth, and sifting through social media wisely.  Intentionality is required in order to celebrate the successes of others while avoiding the urge to analyze your life against theirs.   

  2. Wednesday:  Unsolicited advice heaps health-draining stress on even the closest relationships.  Despite being a cultural norm, it can steal vitality and joy from both the giver and the recipient.  People often need to express their concerns without wanting guidance.  They often just want to be heard.  It is helpful to remember that the best relationship strategy is just listening.  Although it feels good to share your knowledge and/or experience, unsolicited advice is often based on the giver’s experience and is not relevant to the recipient.  For it to be effective, advice must be requested.  

  3. Thursday:  Getting unsolicited advice can provoke stress and politely dismissing it equally provokes stress. You can listen and thank them, accept it and then pivot, give them a direct answer, or set firm boundaries. These are all strategies that you can utilize.  It’s also important to try to discern the giver’s motivation from the best vantage point but to run away fast if you detect an ulterior motive.  

If you’re reading this, I’m thinking that you want to know!  Unless you ask me a specific question, I’ll try my best to hang up my smarty pants and tend to my own garden!  Please hold me to it – in a nice way, of course!

#AskDrDebbie: “What can I do about burning tongue?”  -Marta B.

This is a problem that I rarely saw in the dental office 20 years ago but am seeing more frequently now.  Also called, “Burning Mouth Syndrome,” it is characterized by a burning or dry feeling in the tongue and sometimes throughout the mouth.  Although many cases are “idiopathic,” meaning that we have no earthly idea why they are occurring, common causes include diabetes, hypothyroidism, nutritional deficiencies, the use of certain medications, allergies to metals used in dental restorations (especially nickel), or irritating dentures.  In one case report, sorbic acid, which is a food preservative) and propylene glycol (a common food additive) were identified as causes.  Cinnamon flavoring agents, common in gum, have also been found to cause this problem.  Here are some conventional and nutritive START SOMEWHERE strategies to attack Burning Mouth Syndrome:

  • Alpha-lipoic Acid (ALA):  Used successfully to treat diabetic neuropathy, this has been investigated as a possible treatment and was found to be beneficial in 87 percent of the cases.  Burning mouth syndrome typically has features of a neuropathy such as numbness and pain.

  • B Vitamins:  A deficiency of one or more B Vitamins has been found in a large proportion of patients with burning mouth syndrome.  In two studies, supplementation resulted in improvement of the symptoms.  This is a simple place to START SOMEWHERE because quality, pharmaceutical-grade B Vitamins are relatively inexpensive and are essential for vitality in every area of physical and mental health.  

  • Iron Deficiency due specifically to Vitamin B12 deficiency:  Iron deficiency must be monitored closely via blood tests.  This is an area that you want to strive for a “Goldilocks number.”  Your iron needs to be not too low, not too high, but just right!  Medicines that decrease stomach acid can contribute to Vitamin B12 deficiency as well as iron deficiency.  Getting your B12 measured is also a great START SOMEWHERE.    

  • Prescription medications including tricyclic antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and benzodiazepines have been effective in some cases.  I include this to be complete but do not recommend these as a first line of defense.       

Coconut Flour Blueberry Muffins (Health Extrermist)

You will need:

  • 1/2 cup of Coconut Flour or Almond Flour

  • 4 ½ tablespoons of Coconut Oil

  • 6 Organic Eggs

  • 4 tablespoons of Milk (coconut milk works great) or water

  • 1/2 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder (aluminum free)

  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt

  • 2 tablespoons Raw Honey or Stevia (optional)

  • 1/2 cup of Blueberries

Here’s the drill:

  1. Combine all wet ingredients into a large bowl.

  2. In a separate bowl combine all dry ingredients.

  3. Mix together wet and dry ingredients.

  4. Add blueberries to the batter and stir well.

  5. Pour the batter into a muffin pan or baking cups. I like to line my muffin pan with these unbleached muffin cups.

  6. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned.

This is a FABULOUS quote!  “I want to die young at an old age.” (Les Brown)

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