Health and Disease, Lifestyle

WHAT IS DEPRESSION? REALLY!

What Is Depression, Really?

images (9)It’s normal to experience sadness. (Who didn’t cry when Simba couldn’t wake up Mufasa?) But unlike typical sadness or grief, time can’t and won’t heal Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), the term for clinical depression, which most people just call “depression.” It’s a common mental health condition that shows up like an unwanted houseguest and refuses to leave. This extended period of sadness or emptiness comes with a constellation of other symptoms, like exhaustion, sleep trouble, a shrinking appetite, overeating, sudden crying spells, and sometimes thoughts of suicide. Symptoms range in severity and must last for two weeks or more to receive an MDD diagnosis, though it’s rare than an episode would only last for that short time. Most people have symptoms for six months to a year, and sometimes, they can last for years.

Depression statistics including age of diagnosis, percentage who do not receive depression treatment, number of americans who experience depression, chance of having a second depression episode, and depression as the leading cause of disability

Without treatment, depression won’t fade away on its own. Even if you do white-knuckle it through your first episode of depression, your chance of another recurrence is more than 50 percent. If you’ve had two episodes, that chance shoots up to 80 percent. Meaning, you’re going to want to deal with this sooner rather than later.

One hallmark of depression is an inability to experience pleasure, which is literally no fun. Losing interest in things you once enjoyed often means that your capacity to function at work and home takes a dive. In fact, depression is one of the leading causes of disability in the U.S., as 7.2% of Americans—17.7 million people—experience Major Depressive Disorder, each year.

Other Types of Depression

We talked about MDD (a.k.a. depression) but there are other types of depression. They include:

  • Persistent Depressive Disorder. This is a chronic form of depression, formerly known as dysthymia. Sometimes people call it “high functioning” or “smiling” depression. While symptoms aren’t as severe as MDD, they last for two years or longer. People with PDD might feel like they’ve always been depressed. (In cases of “double depression,” people experience severe episodes of MDD within their usual state of chronic depression.)
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Depression symptoms start and end seasonally, around the same times every year. Most people get depressed in cold, dark winter, but some people’s mood plummets in summer.
  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). Here, depression symptoms are tied to the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, starting about one week before your period and ending just after your period. Though many of the symptoms mirror PMS—irritability, high anxiety, frequent crying—they’re much more severe. They interrupt your ability to work, destroy personal relationships, and can lead to thoughts of self-harm and suicide. This condition was added in 2013 as a form of depression to the DSM-5, the official guide of mental disorders.
  • Peripartum Depression. New mothers with this disorder typically develop symptoms of depression and even psychosis within a few weeks of giving birth. It used to be called postpartum depression and many people still use the term interchangeably. (In some cases, symptoms start during pregnancy; other times, when the baby is several months old—hence the name change.)
  • Perimenopausal Depression. In midlife (specifically, the years leading up to menopause), people experiencing this disorder have typical depressive symptoms plus perimenopause symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats.
  • Substance/Medication-Induced Depressive Disorder. Substance abuse (alcohol, opiates, sedatives, amphetamines, cocaine, hallucinogens, etc.) or taking some medications, like corticosteroids or statins, can trigger the symptoms of depression. If substance use (or withdrawal from using) is causing your symptoms, you may have this version of depression.
  • Disruptive Mood Regulation Disorder. A child with this juvenile disorder is grumpy and bad-tempered most of the time. They have severe, explosive outbursts with parents, teachers, and peers several times a week. Their overreactions are extreme and inconsistent with their developmental level.

Depression strikes people at a median age of 32, but it’s important to remember that depression can happen to anyone, at any age, of any race, gender, or political affiliation. One out of every six adults will experience depression at some time in their life. Fortunately, depression is treatable. That’s why, at the first hint of symptoms, it’s important to make an appointment with a mental health professional who can help determine whether you have depression, and if so, which type—and most importantly, which treatment is appropriate for you.

What Causes Depression?

You’re not going to like this answer, but no one knows for sure. That said, for the past few decades, the prevailing theory is that depressed people have an imbalance in their brain chemistry—more specifically, low levels of neurotransmitters like norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine, which help regulate mood, sleep, and metabolism. We now know it’s a little more complicated than that.

Certain circumstances put people at a higher risk of depression, including childhood trauma, other types of mental illness and chronic pain conditions, or a family history of depression, but anyone can get depressed.

Scientists informed by decades of research believe that the following factors also up your risk of becoming depressed, but they can’t prove causality. Still, they can play heavily in the development of depression, so it’s important to be aware of them:

  • Genetics. Research shows that having a first-degree relative with depression (a parent, sibling, or child) makes you two-to-three times more likely to have depression tendencies.
  • Traumatic life events from childhood, such as abuse or neglect.
  • Environmental stressors, like a loved one’s death, a messy divorce, or financial problems.
  • Some medical conditions (e.g., underactive thyroid, chronic pain). Per science, the relationship between these physical conditions and depression is bidirectional, so there’s a chicken-or-egg thing going on because they feed each other.
  • Certain medications, including some sedatives and blood pressure pills.
  • Hormonal changes, like those that come with childbirth and menopause.
  • Gut bacteria. There has been a link established between the microbiome and the gut-brain axis, but it’s only just starting to be studied.

Do I Have the Symptoms of Depression?

Wondering whether your feelings qualify for clinical depression? Those with MDD experience five or more of the below symptoms during the same two-week period, and at least one must be depressed mood or loss of pleasure. The symptoms would be distressing or affect daily functioning.

  1. You feel down most of the time.
  2. The things you liked doing no longer give you joy.
  3. Significant weight loss (without dieting) or weight gain or feeling consistently much less hungry or hungrier than usual.
  4. Having a hard time getting to sleep and staying asleep or oversleeping.
  5. A molasses-like slowdown of thought, becoming a couch potato, or spending days in bed. (This should be noticeable to others, not just subjective feelings of restlessness or slothiness.)
  6. So. So. Tired. You’re so exhausted you can’t even.
  7. Feeling worthless a lot of the time, even if you haven’t done anything wrong.
  8. Being super distracted, indecisive, and unable to concentrate.
  9. Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide(with or without a specific plan to actually do it). If you need help for yourself or someone else, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
6 Symptoms of Depression graphic

How Do Doctors Diagnose Depression?

When you’re having a depressive episode, it might feel like you’re destined to feel terrible forever. That’s not true. It’s just what your depressed brain wants you to think. The hardest step is ignoring that feeling and making an appointment with a doctor and/or mental health professional, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist. A mental health professional is the only expert that can help you figure out if you are depressed.

Unfortunately, there’s no easy blood test that can determine if you have depression, though that would make diagnosis a lot easier. (Get on it, science!) The DSM-5 helps clinicians make that call with a targeted list of common symptoms. To be diagnosed with MDD, patients must experience five or more of the above symptoms (see “Do I Have the Symptoms of Depression?”)—one must be depressed mood or loss of pleasure—during a two-week period.

Even if your symptoms match up to MDD, though, your doctor should rule out any underlying medical causes first. Some conditions, such as thyroid disease and vitamin deficiency, can mimic symptoms of depression. Next, consider any medications you’re currently taking.
If this sounds like you or someone you know, make an appointment with a mental health professional. Now. Don’t wait! What’s the worst thing that can happen? If you feel better by the time the appointment rolls around, you can always cancel it. If you don’t, you’ve saved yourself precious time (and unnecessary pain) by taking steps to managing your mental health.

What Are the Best Treatments for Depression?

Regardless of why you’re depressed, it’s important to get treatment before the condition starts to erode your quality of life. Studies and surveys show that most adults in the U.S. who screen positive for depression remain untreated. Don’t be one of them.

As scientists continue to hash out theories about the root causes of depression, research shows that the most effective treatment is a mix of psychotherapy, medication, and lifestyle changes. It might take a (frustratingly long) while to find the right recipe —antidepressants work differently in different people so finding the right fit often takes some trial and error. Plus, the mental health professional you’re working with will be by your side. They won’t give up and neither should you. Some of the treatment options available are:

Psychotherapy

This doesn’t mean you’ll find yourself reclined on a couch, complaining about your relationship with your mother (though it might). A psychiatrist, psychologist, therapist, or licensed clinical social worker might use a variety of techniques to help change the negative thinking, beliefs, or behaviors that exacerbate your depression and make your world seem hopeless. Types of therapy include psychodynamic therapyCognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and interpersonal therapy.

Medication

*WARNING – TRY EVERYTHING BEFORE YOU TRY MEDICATION.  YOU COULD LOOSE YOUR JOB, AND MAKE IT MORE DIFFICULT TO GET ANOTHER ONE.  ALSO, YOU WILL HAVE TO TURN IN ALL YOUR GUNS, YOU CAN NOT WORK WITH CHILDREN AND MANY OTHER RESTRICTIONS NOW APPLE.

Your depression might require more than coaching. Doctors may prescribe medication including antidepressantsmood stabilizers, and/or antipsychotic pills in order to decrease the symptoms of depression. These include:

  • SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) like Prozac (fluoxetine), Paxil (paroxetine), and Zoloft (sertraline) and SNRIs (serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors) like Cymbalta (duloxetine) and Effexor XR (venlafaxine) make neuro-transmitters serotonin and norepinephrine already existing in the brain more available.
  • TCAs (tricyclic antidepressants) like Tofranil (imipramine) and Norpramin (desipramine) and MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors) like Emsam (selegiline) and Marplan (isocarboxazid) are first-generation antidepressants that work similarly on neuro-transmitters, but they’re used less often because of unpleasant side effects.
  • Doctors may also use atypical antidepressants like Zyban or Wellbutrin (bupropion) or Remeron (mirtazapine) that affect serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine levels in ways unique from other anti-depression drugs. Or they may add atypical antipsychotics, a.k.a. second-generation antipsychotics like Seroquel (quetiapine) or Abilify (aripiprazole). They’re “atypical” in that they affect dopamine and other neurotransmitters without the physical side effects, such as tics and tremors, that first-generation antipsychotics can cause.
Common Depression Treatments graphic

Brain Stimulation

For treatment-resistant depression that doesn’t get better after exhausting psychotherapy and more than two classes of antidepressants (such SSRIs and TCAs), there are more hardcore options. Severe depression may warrant electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), which you might remember from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Fear not—modern ECT is safe, performed under anesthesia, and much less aggressive than you see in the movies.

There is also repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) which some docs refer to as “ECT Lite”. For severe depression, some people receive vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), a surgical implant that works kind of like a pacemaker, sending electric pulses to the brain.

Other Treatment Approaches

These may include:

  • For severe, treatment-resistant depression, the FDA recently approved esketamine, a nasal spray based on the party drug/anesthetic ketamine. Experts say it works by kicking up production of glutamate, a neurotransmitter that helps prompt the brain to form new neural connections.
  • Sadness during seasonal depression (SAD) can be alleviated with melatonin-regulating light therapy.
  • Postpartum depression may be treated with Brexanolone (Zulresso), an IV version of the body’s own neurosteroid allopregnanolone.
  • Research shows that lifestyle changes like incorporating exercise and mindfulness can amplify results of medication and therapy. Even if they aren’t foolproof mood-lifters, it never hurts to build a health-supportive routine.

Where Can I Find Depression-Related Communities?

The thing about depression is that it makes you want to roll yourself into a blanket burrito and never come out. But shutting out the world can make an already-bad situation worse by giving you free reign to neglect your needs, ruminate over your perceived flaws, and destroy any chance of forward momentum. Along with therapy and medication, finding supportive people—and connecting with them online and in real life—is a key part of taking care of yourself. Here’s where to start.

Top Depression Instagrammers and Bloggers

  • Tonya Ingram, @tonyainstagramtonyaingram.com

Follow because: She has one hell of a way with words—after all, she is a poet and author. She also battles some pretty heavy stuff like depression, lives as a “lupus legend” (her words—we love) and is currently waiting on the sidelines for a kidney transplant. She takes it all day by day and shares how she gets out of bed, looks herself in the mirror, and figures out how to simply… survive.

  • Scott Ste Marie, @depressiontoexpressiondepressiontoexpression.com

Follow because: Immediately, he sounds like someone you want to be friends with, someone whose vibe you want to channel. A former Twitter employee and now public speaker, Scott isn’t going to guide you on some path to a complete cure—nor is he going to sugarcoat the realities of living with depression. In order to overcome your demons, Scott believes you have to come to terms with the fact that sometimes life sucks, and that’s okay.

  • Kevin Hines, @kevinhinesstorykevinhinesstory.com

Follow because: You know the saying “What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger”? Kevin Hines is living proof. He is the only person ever to survive a suicide attempt from the Golden Gate Bridge. After a sea lion kept him afloat, he was reborn as someone who now devotes his life to making sure you’re here tomorrow—which is why he regularly uses the hashtag #beheretomorrow.

  • Lola, Gina, and Nora Tash, and Nicole Argiris, @mytherapistsaysmytherapistsays.ca

Follow because: Sometimes the only way to come out of a deep dark hole is with the universal language of laughter. These girls (mostly family or like family) create endless hilarious memes that represent the real trials and tribulations of living in today’s social media-infested world. The point of it all? So you know that, as they put it, “you’re never alone and never as batshit as you think.”

  • Sad Girls Club, @sadgirlsclub

Follow because: It’s not your typical reel of inspirational quotes and nod-worthy memes — though, those are sprinkled in, too. Mostly, this feed—run by women of color (including founder @elyse.fox)—gives you actual advice on how to cope with depression, especially in modern-day situations, like discussing mental health at work (hashtag awkward). This feed gives you the ammo you need to shut down stigma.

  • Kate Allan, @thelatestkate

Follow because: Animals make everything better — especially when they’re paired with a quirky drawing and an all-too-familiar feeling. A wolf that speaks to your soul; a fox that gives you all the feels; and a bird who tells it like it is. Run by artist, author, and anxious human Kate, this page (and the cute animals that live there) is a feel-good must-follow.

  • The Sad Ghost Club, @theofficialsadghostclubthesadghostclub.com

Follow because: Nathan, Lize, and Helen are besties—or, ghosties, as they refer to themselves—who came together to share life with mental illness from behind the computer screen. These ghosts don’t sugarcoat things, but they’re also not gloom and doom. You’ll be hooked on their graphics and positive (but not overly earnest) messages.

Top Depression-Related Podcasts

  • The Hilarious World of Depression. Stand-up comedy meets a psych appointment when actors and comedians struggling with depression tell their (surprisingly funny) mental health stories to “professionally depressed” host John Moe.
  • Terrible, Thanks for Asking. Author Nora McInerny, who has dealt with depression, isn’t afraid to ask the awkward questions, as real listeners share their own tales of coping with grief, despair, and anxiety.
  • Jen Gotch is OK…Sometimes. Ladyboss CEO and ban.do founder Jen Gotch gets vulnerable and real every week, sharing her struggles with mental health.
  • Happier with Gretchen Rubin. It’s no surprise that the author of The New York Times bestseller The Happiness Project has tons of suggestions to help you emerge from your sad cave, build positive habits, and create a happier outlook. Her slightly skeptical sister Elizabeth Craft keeps all that sunshine in check.
  • Anthologies of Hope. You’re here, and you’re reading this, so that in itself proves that you haven’t given up hope. But it’s not just that you are here—it’s why you’re here. This podcast dives even deeper into that “why” and tries to bring that to the forefront of your mind instead of the other garbage trying to pull you down. Host Rick Osowski, who has battled depression, brings a variety of guests into the fold to talk about their why.

Top Depression Support Groups and Non-Profits

  • Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA). This nonprofit is dedicated to the prevention, treatment, and cure of anxiety, depression, OCD, PTSD, and co-occurring disorders. Come here for new research, monthly webinars from mental health experts, educational infographics and stats, and a Find-a-Therapist database you can search by disorder. You can always find (free) support on the ADAA Online Peer-to-Peer Support Group or support group iOS app for iPhone.
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). This nonprofit mental health advocacy group offering free education and support programs such as NAMI Peer-to-Peer (eight free sessions for adults with specific mental health conditions). You can also connect with other folks who have depression on this org’s online message boards and via NAMI Connection (use the site to find a weekly or monthly recovery group near you).
  • Reddit, r/depression. Reddit is the hideously under-designed social website for anonymous users with a bad rep for attracting “incels” and “neckbeards.” The self-proclaimed “Front Page of the Internet” has memes, conspiracy theories, and thousands of communities called subreddits—and some of them are quite lovely. For example, the r/depression subreddit is over a decade old with more than half a million subscribers. In here, the vibe is all about empathy, support, and helpful feedback. (A recent study even found that visiting the subreddit caused a “positive emotion change” in users.)
  • Talkspace. More like “safe space.” It’s online, it’s private, and it’s “open” 24/7. Over 1 million people use Talkspace to get matched up with one of their 5,000+ licensed therapists and then message them…as much and as often as they’d like. There are different packages depending on your needs, but the instant feedback and comfort is pretty much priceless.
  • Sad Girls Club. This is a nonprofit, an online community, and an Instagram handle (see above) focused on the millennial and Gen Z experience of mental illness (depression, anxiety, or something undiagnosed all count). They host meetups IRL where you can connect with similar people and try a cool twist on art therapy like a poetry slam or embroidery class.
  • To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA). It’s not just a nonprofit — it’s a movement. Online, at in-person events, through social media and blogs, TWLOHA creates a place for hope and healing through depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. People who attend their events and join this community have said they’ve felt transformed. Worth a try, yea?
  • We are in this Together!

    -People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

    Health and Wellness Associates

    EHS Telehealth

    DR MARK WILLIAMS MD  BC-PSYCH

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Health and Disease

ADD GUM DISEASE TO THE LIST OF RISK FACTORS FOR COVID 19

ADD GUM DISEASE TO THE LIST OF RISK FACTORS FOR COVID 19

images (9)Keep flossing: A new study finds that gum disease may raise the chances of hospitalization or death if COVID-19 strikes.

The reason? Gum disease can be a sign of inflammation throughout the body.

“It is well-established that systemic inflammation is not only linked with periodontal disease, but to several other respiratory diseases as well,” explained Dr. James Wilson, president of the American Academy of Periodontology.

“Therefore, maintaining healthy teeth and gums in an effort to avoid developing or worsening periodontal disease is absolutely crucial in the midst of a global pandemic like COVID-19, which is also known to trigger an inflammatory response,” Wilson said in an academy news release.

News Picture: Add Gum Disease to List of Risk Factors for Severe COVID-19

In the study, researchers compared COVID-19 patients in Qatar who had severe complications — including assisted ventilation, admission to intensive care and death — and those without severe complications.

Of the 568 patients, those with periodontitis — the most severe form of gum disease — were at least three times more likely to have severe COVID-19 complications.

The researchers also found that COVID-19 patients with periodontitis had increased levels of biomarkers (including white blood cell levels, D-dimer, and C-reactive protein) associated with worse COVID-19 outcomes.

The study, by Nadya Marouf of the Oral Health Institute, Hamad Medical Corporation in Doha, Qatar, and colleagues was published online Feb. 1 in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology.

Systemic inflammation is a symptom of COVID-19, and can also be a symptom of gum disease, the researchers noted.

The findings show the importance of good oral care during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the academy.

Gum disease can cause bleeding gums, bad breath and, if untreated, can lead to tooth loss. Up to half of U.S. adults aged 30 and older have some form of gum disease, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Previous research has linked gum disease to serious conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

We are in this Together!

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS Telehealth

DR ANNE SULLIVAN – ONCOLOGIST

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More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health explains how to prevent gum disease.

SOURCE: American Academy of Periodontology, news release, Feb. 3, 2021

Foods, Health and Disease

HWA – APPLE CAKE – VEGAN AND GLUTEN FREE

Apple Cake

Vegan and Gluten Free

This apple cake is gluten-free, vegan, and is not filled with all that white sugar that lot’s of baking has.  It is my kind of cake. The only sweeteners in it are a little rice syrup and stevia which is actually food for us.  It is also egg free and dairy-free too which is important as eggs and milk are not good for me. And it is delicious.

Apples – Your mom didn’t use the term superfood but she knew about apples. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” was the first nutritional advice I and many children heard from their moms. For this reason, we call them “the first superfood.”

Coconut oil is actually very good for us. In tropical climates like Polynesia, Sri Lanka and the Yucatan where they have a diet high in coconut oil, the people are healthier, have less heart disease, cancer, and colon problems than unsaturated fat eaters. It is now accepted that there is good cholesterol and there are good saturated fats. 

As I don’t use sugar for my baking I often use stevia / TRUVIA which is the healthy option. The stevia plant is incredibly sweet and also incredibly good for you. The leaf is 30 times sweeter than sugar while extracts are 300-400 times sweeter. The best stevia will, therefore, be the one that retains some whole food value and is water-based. Liquid forms will be less processed.

When we think of cinnamon we usually imagine delicious pastries or a hot drink but cinnamon is also full of health benefits. These benefits are backed by valid scientific research. It is helpful from lowering “bad” HDL cholesterol levels to lowering blood sugar levels. This is for sure a valuable superfood to be included in our diet. At the bottom of this recipe, there are many recipe links for you. All of them are favourites of mine created in my kitchen.

Arrowroot is well tolerated by food-allergic people, even those with multiple allergies. High nutritional properties that enhance baking performance. It has a chewy texture and increased browning capabilities.

Brown rice syrup is made from cooked brown rice, which is fermented by adding enzymes to turn the starches in the rice into sugars. Brown rice syrup is absorbed easily into our system, leaving less for fat accumulation in contrast with regular sugar. It is a complex sugar thus takes longer to digest and does not create the sugar high that the simple sugars do.

Brown Rice Flour has become a staple in my wheat-free baking adding fiber and nutrition.  It assists in weight loss, helps reduce cholesterol, and balances energy.  It is low cost and adds a somewhat dry gritty crumbly texture.

Potato Flour is high in fiber and protein and is a fine creamy white-yellow powder.  It is made from dehydrated whole potatoes and is a healthy substitute for xanthan gum or guar gum. Cautions: Don’t confuse with potato starch. Use much less.  Do not use potato flour if you are prone to kidney or bladder problems, on have been on a keto diet for more than three months. 

Apple Cake Gluten-Free Vegan with Cinnamon Recipe

 
This apple cake is gluten-free, vegan, and is not filled with all that white sugar that lot’s of baking has.  It is my kind of cake. The only sweeteners in it are a little rice syrup and stevia which is actually food for us.  It is also egg free and dairy-free too which is important as eggs and milk are not good for me. And it is delicious.
 
coconut butter icing This has coconut butter icing. 
 

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups fresh apples Use 1/2 cup of sliced apples for the top
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup rice syrup
  • 1 tsp Stevia
  • 4 Tbsp chickpea or soy flour
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup potato flour
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot starch
  • 5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2/3 cup water or 1/2 cup if you like a drier cake.
  • 3 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375º F.
  • Oil and lightly flour a 8” X 8” cake pan.
  • Chop 2 cups of apples into one inch pieces.
  • Sprinkle the apples with 2 tsp of cinnamon.
  • Slice 1/2 a cup of apples into slices to decorate the top of the cake.
  • Blend the vegetable oil, rice syrup, and water in a blender.
  • Mix flours, baking powder and sea salt in a separate bowl.
  • Add the chopped apples to the dry flour mixture.
  • Pour the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients.
  • Mix quickly.
  • Immediately pour the batter into a cake pan.
  • Decorate the top of the cake with apples.
  • Sprinkle 1 tsp cinnamon on top of the apples.
  • Bake at 375º F. oven for 35 To 40 minutes.

Coconut Butter Icing

1/3 cup Coconut oil
1/3 cup Rice syrup
1/2 cup Almond meal
1 Tbsp Arrowroot powder
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Cream together coconut oil and rice syrup.
  2. Mix in vanilla, almond meal, and arrowroot.
  3. Ice cake after it is cool.

We are in this Together!

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS Telehealth

 

DR ANNE SULLIVAN – ONCOLOGIST

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Health and Disease

HWA – SEX AFTER A HEART ATTACK IS HEALTHY

Resuming Sex Soon After a Heart Attack Might Be Healthy

American Heart Association Cautions Heart Attack Survivors During Pandemic  | EHS TodayMany heart attack survivors worry that resuming sex too soon afterwards might trigger another attack. But new research suggests the opposite may be true.

Research out of Israel finds that resuming a normal sex life in the months after a heart attack may actually boost survival.

Lead researcher Yariv Gerber believes part of the benefit could lie in a person’s mindset.

“Sexuality and sexual activity are markers of well-being,” said Gerber, head of the School of Public Health at Tel Aviv University. “Resumption of sexual activity soon after a heart attack may be a part of one’s self-perception as a healthy, functioning, young and energetic person. This may lead to a healthier lifestyle generally.”

In the study, Gerber’s team collected data on nearly 500 sexually active people aged 65 or under who were hospitalized for a heart attack in either 1992 or 1993.

During a median follow-up of 22 years, 43% of the patients died. But the study found that those who’d maintained or increased the frequency of sex during the first six months after a heart attack had 35% lower risk of death, compared with those who had not.

The survival benefit of having more sex appeared tied to reductions in non-cardiovascular deaths — for example, fewer deaths tied to cancer — the researchers noted.

Of course the findings can’t prove that a return to sexual activity soon after a heart attack directly improves long-term survival — only that the two appear associated.

The new study was published Sept. 23 in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

As the researchers explained, sex is a form of physical exercise that increases heart rate and blood pressure. And although vigorous physical exertion can sometimes cause a heart attack, regular physical activity can also reduce the risk of heart problems over time. Likewise, sex can trigger a heart attack, but your risk is lower if you exercise regularly, Gerber’s team noted.

“For this and other reasons, some patients [including younger ones] hesitate to resume sexual activity for long periods after a heart attack,” Gerber said in a journal news release.

He also theorized that a quick return to bedroom activity after a heart attack may be a sign of a better overall recovery.

“Improved physical fitness, stronger spouse relations, and a mental ability to ‘bounce back’ from the initial shock of the event within a few months are among the possible explanations for the survival benefit observed among the maintained/increased group,” Gerber said.

“On the other hand, patients who perceive their health as poor might be less likely to start having sex again,” he said. “They may also be less likely to adhere to cancer screening tests and other prevention practices during follow-up. This may explain the strong inverse association between resumption of sexual activity and cancer mortality that was seen in our study.”

In any case, the new findings “should serve to reduce patients’ concerns about returning to their usual level of sexual activity soon after a heart attack,” Gerber said.

Dr. Guy Mintz directs cardiovascular health at Northwell Health’s Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y. He wasn’t involved in the new research, but said it should help counter “an old taboo that sexual activity after a heart attack is dangerous.”

Mintz said that the Israeli study did have its limits, however: “This study looked at a younger population, median age of 53, and this does not translate to older patients or women. Women were poorly represented, as 90% of patients were men.”

And he said that following a heart attack, patients should have a frank discussion with their physician about a return to sexual activity, since it “increases heart rate and blood pressure, which can have an effect on the heart.”

Still, for many people, “normalization of sexual activity improves a patient’s sense of self-worth, health and vigor,” Mintz said. So, “an important message here is that re-engaging in sexual activity is not dangerous and will be helpful long term,” he said.

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Foods

HWA- WATERMELON JAM

Watermelon Jam

Recipe That Always Works

This watermelon jam is so simple to make, tastes amazing and turns out perfect every time! This is the only watermelon jam recipe you’ll ever need!

If you are a beginner who wants a foolproof method of making watermelon jam, look no further! This is the easiest watermelon jam recipe on the Internet and it turns out perfect every time!

how to make watermelon jam

Since watermelon is naturally very watery, turning it into jam is not very straight-forward.  If you take another type of jam recipe (for example, strawberry jam, peach jam, etc.) and just change the fruit to watermelon, it won’t work 🙂 After all, you want to end up with watermelon jam, not watermelon syrup.  My recipe produces a real thick watermelon jam that’s gorgeous red in color and tastes like extremely concentrated sweet watermelon! It’s super easy to follow and only uses 4 ingredients!

Watermelon jam on toast

With this homemade watermelon jam, you’ll be tasting *summer* long after the summer is over! Preserving the summer watermelon flavor has never been easier when you have this simple jam recipe on your hands 🙂

Making watermelon jam is super easy.  All you need to do is puree the watermelon flesh in a blender or food processor, then put it in a pot, add sugar, lemon juice and pectin, then boil for 20 minutes and you are done!

WATERMELON JAM RECIPE

This watermelon jam recipe is super easy and works every time! Produces perfectly set jam that tastes like extremely concentrated watermelon! This is the only watermelon jam recipe you’ll even need!

Ingredients
  • 2 cups pureed watermelon
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 6 tbsp (2 packages) powdered pectin (labeled as “low sugar” or “no sugar needed”)
Instructions
  1. Put pureed watermelon, lemon juice and sugar in a pot. Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce heat to simmer.
  2. Add the pectin and whisk it with a handheld whisk or a fork immediately, so it dissolves without clumping.
  3. Bring the watermelon jam to a boil again, then reduce heat to simmer and simmer, stirring every minute, for 20 minutes.
  4. Pour the watermelon jar into a mason jar. This watermelon jam will set completely once it’s cooled.
  5. This watermelon jam can be canned, or you can simply store it in a refrigerator (it will stay fresh in a refrigerator for up to 1 month).
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Foods, Health and Disease

HWA POTATO AND HERB STUFFED PEPPERS

These stuffed bell peppers look beautiful and taste even better. If you’re a mashed potato fan, you will likely enjoy this fun presentation of a family favorite.

Medical Medium® on Instagram: “POTATO & HERB STUFFED PEPPERS A ...

Potatoes: Abundant in amino acids that specifically inhibit viral growth. Potatoes are high in glucose that provides substance to the liver, as it’s precisely what the liver relies on to keep strong. It also helps build up glycogen storage, the very resource that protects us against blood sugar problems, weight gain, fatty liver, and dirty blood syndrome. Potatoes keep the liver grounded and stable, giving us a good constitution. They’re also shunned for being a nightshade, when in truth they have the ability to reverse many varieties of chronic illness.

Potato & Herb Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients:
2 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley; more for garnish
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives; more for garnish
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 yellow, red, and/or orange bell peppers

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C.

Add 3 inches of water to a medium-sized pot, bring it to a boil, and add a steaming basket. Place the potatoes in the basket, cover, and steam for 5 to 10 minutes, until tender. Remove and cool.

Place the potatoes in a large bowl or pot. Add the onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, chopped parsley, chopped chives, and lemon juice. Mash until smooth using a potato masher. You may need to add a few tablespoons of water if the potatoes are very dry.

Slice the bell peppers in half and remove the seeds and core. Place them in a baking dish. Divide the potato mash between the halves. Cook in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until browned on top. Remove and serve. Garnish with chopped parsley and chives.

Potato & Herb Stuffed Peppers

Tips:
It’s important to choose bell peppers that aren’t green. If they are green, it means they are unripe and can cause some discomfort. Red, orange, yellow, and purple peppers are ripe and the best choices.

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-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

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Health and Disease

HWA-RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS COMPLICATIONS AND PREVENTIONS

Does RA Have Serious Complications?

It can. Side effects from rheumatoid arthritis are manifestations of the condition itself and come in two varieties: those from untreated or undertreated RA, and those caused by joint damage.  Common complications of RA include:

  • Heart Disease. It affects more than half of all people with RA.
  • Rheumatoid nodules, which occur in 30% to 40% of RA patients and are more bothersome than painful.
  • Osteoporosis-related fractures. These are 25% to 30% more common in people with RA than the general population.
  • Infections (flu, staph, pneumonia). They’re twice as common in people with RA.
  • Lung Disease. It develops in nearly one-fourth of RA patients.
  • Dry Eye. This is the most common eye complaint for people with RA.

About 10% of people diagnosed with RA (and diligently treated) experience complete remission within one year, and roughly 40% go into remission within two years. That’s thanks to significant advances in treatment over the past two decades.

This is exactly why it’s so critical not to ignore symptoms—or to put off getting help. If the disease progresses and is not treated, that’s when the worst side effects can occur: severely restricted range of motion or, worse, gradual destruction of the joints. The inflammatory process slows down as fibrous tissue forms or bones fuse, and joints stop functioning altogether.

Prevention

While there is no known way to keep from getting rheumatoid arthritis, there are plenty of steps you can take to prevent complications and feel better overall. If you have not gone into remission after two years, you are not following a healthy lifestyle as written below.

  • Quit smoking. A Swedish study of 34,101 women reported that even light cigarette smoking is associated with increased risk of RA in women and that quitting (or not starting at all) may reduce the risk.
  • Maintain a healthy weight to ease pressure on your joints. If you are overweight, you may want to consider a weight-loss plan, as excess pounds can put unnecessary stress on your joints. Consider working with a dietitian to help build a personalized diet or program that targets your specific goals (i.e. less sugar and more omega-3 fatty acids/fish) for managing your RA.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Anti inflammatory diet for RA if a must, aim to avoid foods that cause inflammation, like processed food, quick fast food , packaged snacks,and include foods that promote bone health and immune function. No dairy, white flour, white sugar or anything with OSE in the ingredients. No glucose, fructose or dextrose.
  • Start or keep up with an exercise routine. Research shows that exercise can help alleviate RA symptoms and even improve day-to-day functioning. It can also make you more flexible, help you sleep better, and boost your endurance. Every morning you should start the day with the same stretching routine. Touch those toes more times each day. You can find many great exercises online that you do every morning. These are different than the light weight lifting and aerobic exercises at a gym. You actually do not need to ever go to a gym. Do not work with a trainer who is not a therapeutic physical therapist associated with a hospital.

VITAMINS AND SUPPLEMENTS

Please work with someone who is trained to deal with supplements on a patient to patient basis. No two people are the same, and should not be treated as the same. Men and women would definitely have different supplements recommended for them. Always ask ” What supplements would you recommend for my spouse?” If they say the same ones, WRONG!

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Health and Wellness Associates

EHS Telehealth

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Diets and Weight Loss, Health and Disease

HWA- PSORIASIS HAS SERIOUS COMPLICATIONS

Health and Disease, Uncategorized

HWA-RESEARCH CONFIRMS FLUORIDE LOWER IQ,CAUSES ALZHEIMERS AND ADHD

While water fluoridation was never adopted or has been eliminated in many areas around the world, including most of western Europe,1 many U.S. water systems2 still add fluoride chemicals such as fluorosilicic acid3 (also known as hydrofluorosilicic acid) to their municipal water supplies.

As detailed in Christopher Bryson’s book, “The Fluoride Deception,”4 water fluoridation as a public health measure (ostensibly to improve dental health) was invented by brilliant schemers who needed a way to get rid of toxic industrial waste.

They duped politicians with fraudulent science and endorsements, and sold them on a “public health” idea in which humans are essentially used to filter this poison through their bodies, while the vast majority simply goes down the drain.

Since the inception of water fluoridation in 1945, fluorosilicic acid suppliers have been making hundreds of millions of dollars each year5 selling a hazardous industrial waste for use as a water additive rather than having to pay for toxic waste disposal.

“Toxic Treatment: Fluoride’s Transformation from Industrial Waste to Public Health Miracle” in the March 2018 issue of Origins,6 a joint publication by the history departments at The Ohio State University and Miami University, notes:

“Without the phosphate industry’s effluent, water fluoridation would be prohibitively expensive. And without fluoridation, the phosphate industry would be stuck with an expensive waste disposal problem.”

Fluoride Is a Neurotoxic Endocrine Disruptor

We now know fluoride — which serves no essential biological function7 — actually acts as an endocrine disruptor.8 Exposure has been linked to thyroid disease,9 which in turn can contribute to obesity, heart disease, depression and other health problems.

More disturbingly, fluoride has been identified as a developmental neurotoxin that impacts short-term and working memory, and contributes to rising rates of attention-deficit hyperactive disorder10 and lowered IQ in children.11

In all, there are more than 400 animal and human studies showing fluoride is a neurotoxic substance.12 Many of these studies have found harm at, or precariously close to, the levels millions of American pregnant women and children receive.

Government-Funded Research Confirms Fluoride Lowers IQ

One of the most recent studies highlighting these dangers was a U.S. and Canadian government-funded observational study published in the August 19, 2019, issue of JAMA Pediatrics,13 which found that drinking fluoridated water during pregnancy lowers children’s IQ.

The research, led by a Canadian team of researchers at York University in Ontario, looked at 512 mother-child pairs living in six Canadian cities. Fluoride levels were measured through urine samples collected during pregnancy.

They also estimated the women’s fluoride consumption based on the level of fluoride in the local water supply and how much water and tea each woman drank. The children’s IQ scores were then assessed between the ages of 3 and 4. As reported by Fluoride Action Network (FAN):14

“They found that a 1 mg per liter increase in concentration of fluoride in mothers’ urine was associated with a 4.5-point decrease in IQ among boys, though not girls.

When the researchers measured fluoride exposure by examining the women’s fluid intake, they found lower IQ’s in both boys and girls: A 1 mg increase per day was associated with a 3.7 point IQ deficit in both genders.”

The findings were deemed so controversial, the study had to undergo additional peer-review and scrutiny before publication, making it one of the more important fluoride studies to date.

Its import is also demonstrated by the fact that it’s accompanied by an editor’s note15 explaining the journal’s decision to publish the study, and a podcast16 featuring the chief editors of JAMA Pediatrics and JAMA Network Open, in which they discuss the study.

An additional editorial17 by David Bellinger, Ph.D., a world-renowned neurotoxicity expert, also points out that “The hypothesis that fluoride is a neurodevelopmental toxicant must now be given serious consideration.” Few studies ever receive all of this added treatment.

The Link Between Fluoride in Water and ADHD: Should You Be ...

Fluoride Exposure From Infant Formula Lowers IQ

In October 2019, a Canadian study18 concluded that infants fed baby formula made with fluoridated water have lower IQs than those fed formula made with unfluoridated water. As explained by the authors:

Consumption of infant formula reconstituted with fluoridated water can lead to excessive intake of fluoride in infants. We examined the association between water fluoride concentration and intellectual ability (IQ) among preschool children who lived in fluoridated or non-fluoridated cities in Canada and were either formula-fed or breastfed during the first six months after birth.”

Results revealed an increase of 0.5 milligrams of fluoride per liter (mg/L), which was the difference between the fluoridated and non-fluoridated regions, corresponded with a 4.4 point lower IQ score at age 3 to 4.

Not surprisingly, the researchers urge parents to avoid fluoridated water when reconstituting infant formula.

This might seem like a small amount, but has also shown to cause ADHD in children, and advances Alzheimers in Adults.

Fluoride Exposure Affects Sleep Patterns

Other recent fluoride research has discovered it can have an adverse impact on sleep. The study,19,20 published in the Environmental Health journal in 2019, found that chronic low-level fluoride exposure altered the sleep patterns of adolescents aged 16 to 19.

The hypothesis used to explain this effect is that fluoride is known to preferentially accumulate in the pineal gland, which might inhibit or alter the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep and wakefulness.

The study used data from the 2015-2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) that included plasma fluoride and water fluoride measurements. None of the included individuals were prescribed medication for sleep disorders.

Each 0.52 mg/L increase in water fluoride was associated with a 197% higher odds21 of symptoms suggestive of sleep apnea, as well as a 24-minute later bedtime and 26-minute later waking time. According to the authors:22

Fluoride exposure may contribute to changes in sleep cycle regulation and sleep behaviors among older adolescents in the U.S. …

The high accumulation of fluoride in pineal gland hydroxyapatite (among those chronically exposed) points to a plausible mechanism by which fluoride may influence sleep patterns. In adults, pineal gland fluoride concentrations have been shown to strongly correlate with degree of pineal gland calcification.

Interestingly, greater degree of pineal calcification among older adolescents and/or adults is associated with decreased melatonin production, lower REM sleep percentage, decreased total sleep time, poorer sleep efficiency, greater sleep disturbances and greater daytime tiredness.

While there are no existing human studies on fluoride exposure and melatonin production or sleep behaviors, findings from a doctoral dissertation demonstrated that gerbils fed a high fluoride diet had lower nighttime melatonin production than those fed a low fluoride diet. Moreover, their melatonin production was lower than normal for their developmental stage …

It is possible that excess fluoride exposure may contribute to increased pineal gland calcification and subsequent decreases in nighttime melatonin production that contribute to sleep disturbances. Additional animal and prospective human studies are needed to explore this hypothesis.”

Purify Your Water and Avoid Fluoride

Water is the only beverage you cannot live without. Unfortunately, pure water is hard to come by these days, as water pollution, inadequate water treatment and the addition of fluoride render most municipal water supplies untrustworthy.

To ensure purity, you really need to filter your own tap water. For guidance on selecting a suitable water filtration system for your home or apartment, see “How to Properly Filter Your Water.”

Water filtration is particularly important if your water is fluoridated and you are combating chronic disease (especially thyroid disease), have young children or are using your tap water to reconstitute infant formula.

Keep in mind that fluoride is very difficult to get out of the water once added. When shopping for a filtration system, make sure it’s specifically rated to filter out fluoride.

According to the Water Quality Association23 and others,24 filters capable of removing fluoride include reverse osmosis, deionizers and activated alumina adsorption media such as Berkey filters. Distillation, while not a form of filtration, will also remove fluoride. Carbon filters such as PUR and Brita will not filter out fluoride, and neither will water softeners.

Help End the Practice of Fluoridation

There’s no doubt about it: Fluoride should not be ingested. Even scientists from the EPA’s National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory have classified fluoride as a “chemical having substantial evidence of developmental neurotoxicity.”

Furthermore, according to screenings conducted for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 65% of American adolescents now have dental fluorosis — unattractive discoloration and mottling of the teeth that indicate overexposure to fluoride—up from 41% a decade ago. Clearly, children are continuing to be overexposed, and their health and development put in jeopardy. Why?

The only real solution is to stop the archaic practice of artificial water fluoridation in the first place. Fortunately, the Fluoride Action Network (FAN), has a game plan to END fluoridation worldwide.

Clean pure water is a prerequisite to optimal health. Industrial chemicals, drugs and other toxic additives really have no place in our water supplies. So please, protect your drinking water and support the fluoride-free movement by making a tax-deductible donation to the Fluoride Action Network today.

Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More

I encourage you to visit the website of the Fluoride Action Network and visit the links below:

  • Like FAN on Facebook, follow on Twitter and Instagram, and sign up for campaign alerts.
  • 10 Facts About Fluoride: Attorney Michael Connett summarizes 10 basic facts about fluoride that should be considered in any discussion about whether to fluoridate water. Also see 10 Facts Handout (PDF).
  • 50 Reasons to Oppose Fluoridation: Learn why fluoridation is a bad medical practice that is unnecessary and ineffective. Download PDF.
  • Moms2B Avoid Fluoride: Help spread the word to expecting parents to avoid fluoride during pregnancy due to potential harm to the fetus.
  • Health Effects Database: FAN’s database sets forth the scientific basis for concerns regarding the safety and effectiveness of ingesting fluorides. They also have a Study Tracker with the most up-to-date and comprehensive source for studies on fluoride’s effects on human health.

 

We are in this Together!

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS Telehealth

REVIEWED BY DR ANNE SULLIVAN-ONCOLOGIST

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Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

HWA-KETO SNACK IDEAS

KETO SNACK IDEAS

 

GREAT SNACK IDEAS AS LONG AS YOU DO NOT EAT BREADS OR PASTAS DURING THE DAY

CARDIAC DIETS HAVE MANY REQUIREMENTS, SO PLEASE FOLLOW THOSE ALONG WITH DIABETICS.    KETO IS NOT A DIABETIC DIET.

 

 Pork Rind Nachos 2 Ways: Louisiana Hot Sauce Pork Rinds + Ranch + Shredded Cheese OR Plain Pork Rinds + Taco Seasoning + Shredded Cheese + Sour Cream + Microwave for 30 seconds

 Bacon & Guac: Bacon + Sabra Guac Singles

 Pepperoni Chips: Pepperoni + Paper Towel +  Microwave for 45 seconds + Pair with cheese of choice

Desk Drawer Soup: Boullion cube + Hot Sauce + 1 tsp Coconut Oil + Boiling Hot Water

 Dragon Balls: Hard Boiled Eggs + A rub of Salt, Pepper, Garlic, Cayenne Pepper, Smoked Paprika, and Cumin

Chocolate “Crackers” & Spread: Squares of Lily’s Dark Chocolate + Butter / Cream Cheese / Brie

 Ham Pin Wheels: Ham + Whipped Cream Cheese + Chopped Green Onions + Roll up & Slice

 Keto Cereal: Shredded Coconut + Sliced Almonds + Crushed Pecans + Chia Seeds + Flax Seeds + Pyure Packet + Cinnamon + Vanilla Extract + 1 tbsp MCT oil + Unsweetened Almond Milk + Heavy Cream

 Avocado Boats: Avocado + Frank’s Red Hot Sauce + Eat with spoon out of the skin

Quick Charcuterie: String Cheese Stick + Wrap in Prosciutto

 Keto Yogurt: Whole Milk Yogurt + Peanut Butter (one ingredient: peanuts) + Pyure Packet + Vanilla Extract

. Keto Muffins: 1 Egg + 2 tsp Coconut Flour + Pinch of Baking Soda + Pinch of Salt + Mix ingredients in mug + Microwave 1 minute

 Cheese chips: Sliced Cheese + Parchment Paper + Microwave until bubbling

 Keto Easy Egg Salad: Hard Boiled Eggs + Crush with a fork + Add mayo, mustard, salt and pepper + mix ingredients

Sweet & Spicy Snack Mix: Roast Pumpkin Seeds with Salt and Chipotle Chili Powder + Cacao Nibs

 Dog Dive: Hot Dogs + Salsa Verde

 Keto Smoothie: Avocado + Unsweetened Almond Milk + Ice Cubes + Pyure Packet + Frozen Strawberries + Kale

Spicy Keto Slaw: Wasabi Mayo + Bag of Coleslaw + Sliced Almonds

 Protein-Packed Chocolate Keto Ice Cream: Greek Yogurt + Vanilla Extract + Chocolate Protein Powder + Freeze for 15 minutes

 Bagel-less & Lox: Smoked Salmon + Cream Cheese + Capers

 Chocolate Mousse: Heavy Cream + Pyure Packet + Cocoa Powder + Whisk Together

 Easy Keto Breakfast: Fried Egg + Frank’s Red Hot Sauce + Bacon

Salmon Salad – canned salmon and Hellmans mayo

Keto Wrap: 3g net carbs Tortilla + Sriracha Mayo + Lettuce + Cheese + Ham

 Keto Trail Mix: Moon Cheese + Cello Whisps + Macadamia Nuts

 Crunchy Keto Salad: Chopped Purple Cabbage + Balsamic Vinegar + Pyure Packet

 

 

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-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

Health and Wellness Associates

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