What is important to buy organic?

This is a common question from patients.  I often hear, "I cannot afford to buy all organic food, so what are the most important organic foods to purchase? 

Rating high on the list are foods that contain proteins and fats.  This is because animals store toxins, pesticides, drugs in their adipose tissue or fat tissue.  It is important to choose your meats wisely.  

Confused about what fruits and vegetables to buy organic?  The foods that have a very porous skin, making it harder to wash away pesticides, are important to choose organic.  Below is a list of foods that you should always buy organic:

  1. Peaches
  2. Apples
  3. Bell Peppers
  4. Celery
  5. Nectarines
  6. Strawberries
  7. Cherries
  8. Kale
  9. Lettuce
  10. Grapes
  11. Carrots
  12. Pears

Print this list and keep it in your wallet for your next grocery store visit!

Be Well,


Vitamin D: What's the Hype?

More than 40% of the population above age 50 may be vitamin D-deficient.  Since this vitamin is needed for utilization of calcium, even a small deficiency may promote the body to develop osteopenia and then later osteoporosis no matter how much supplemental calcium you take or get through diet.    Vitamind

Vitamin D is made from a precursor when UV (ultraviolet) light or sunlight hits the skin.  It is thought that at least 75% of vitamin D supplies come from the sun light.  Today, we are seeing more and more people who are vitamin D deficient and believe it is because we are taking precaution against skin cancer by using sunblock. 

Studies have shown that vitamin D may play a role in weight control, decreasing fatigue, prevention of some cancers, decreasing inflammation, supporting people who suffer from mental illness and seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and multiple sclerosis. 

This time of year is the best time to ask your physician to test your plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D level. 

If you test low, it is common that your physician will suggest 50,000 IU of Vitamin D per week.  If your levels are normal, it can be a healthy practice to take 1000 IU of Vitamin D3 per day throughout the winter season. 

5 Dietary Rules We Should All Live By

I felt I should mention diet since it is January and everyone is excited to get started on their new diet program or get back to their previous healthy eating.  As many of you know, when working with clients on weight loss, my approach involves creating long lasting changes that one can maintain over time.  5dietaryrules Losing weight is not just about a 12 week program, a diet pill or a one week cleanse but instead a change of lifestyle that includes reshaping your diet, your daily movement and your emotional issues.  Understanding yourself and "what you are hungry for" will bring insight to why you eat when you do and why you choose the foods that you do. 

The following five dietary rules are important to consider for all not just for weight loss but for optimal health.  If it seems too overwhelming, start with one at a time and move through the list as you feel comfortable.

1.  Replace all soda, both regular and diet with water, sparkling water, seltzer and herbal teas.  

2.  Transition the "white" foods from your diet.  Including white bread, white rice, and white sugar.  Instead of white bread, choose whole grain, sprouted grain, spelt, millet or rice bread.  Instead of white rice choose brown or wild rice or even quinoa.  White sugar can be replaced with stevia, a natural sweetener from plants, honey, brown rice syrup, and maple syrup.  

3.  Remove fast food from your diet completely.

4.  Cut out "trans fat" or "partially hydrogenated oil" from your diet.  These fats are known to increase your risk of coronary heart disease as well as decrease your HDL levels.  Healthier options would include olive oil and butter in moderation.

5.  Switch from fried foods to roasted, sauteed, baked or steamed.

In Health,


Holiday Healthy Tips

The holidays are a time to enjoy family traditions that include social gatherings, food and drink.  Remember, in the swing of it all it is important to maintain your daily healthy routine.  

Most important in bring cheer are:

Exercise- even if you are getting less than usual.  Go out for a walk with others and enjoy the outdoors.

Sleep-  this should be a priority for you.  After a good night's rest you are less likely to be grumpy and more likely to have better energy.  Give your self some alone time to unwind before going to bed.

Boundaries-  it's ok to say "No" if you feel that you are over committing yourself and your family.  Learn what feels good for you.

Sugar- this addictive food will zap your energy and decrease the immune response in the body.

Be Well and Happy Holidays,

Alison Finger, ND

Flax Seed Oil and Their Benefits

Fresh flax seed oil has a pleasing, light, nutty flavor and contains a nutritionally unique composition of essential fatty acids (EFA's).  They are essential because they cannot be synthesized by the human body.  Barleans-flax-oil

Flax seed oil contains both linoleic and alpha-linolenic acid, omega 1 and omega 3 oils.  These oils promote a non-inflammatory pathway in the body and are considered the "good" fats.  They help to lower cholesterol and keep blood clots from forming in the arteries, reducing the chance of heart disease.  These oils also reduce joint inflammation and are useful in arthritis.  They improve the immune response, decrease prostaglandin levels aiding in the prevention of breast cancer and menstrual cramps, improves dermatological conditions such as psoriasis and eczema and may even reduce the severity of migraine headaches. 

The best way to use flax seed oil is in cold dishes because too much heat destroys the healthful properties of this oil. 

Essential fatty acids increase metabolic rate, therefore, flax seed oil is less likely than any other oil to result in weight gain.  In fact, studies have shown that many overweight people actually lose weight by adding fresh essential fatty acid-rich oil to their diet. 

Some suggestions for using the oil:

  • On cooked or steamed vegetables, instead of butter.
  • On baked potatoes or sweet potatoes
  • In shakes or smoothies
  • In homemade salad dressing

I like Barlean's Flax Seed Oil, but any quality brand will do. You can find it in the health section of a grocery store or a health food store for approximately $10 per 16oz bottle.

Do you have a favorite way of using flax seed oil? Let us know!