Friday, July 27, 2012

Vitamin Sunshine

There is much contraversy over Vitamin D and if sunshine alone is adequate to supply the amounts we need. Are you deficient in the Sunshine Vitamin? Unless you are a lifeguard or work outside you are probably not getting enough Vitamin D. Vitamin D insufficiency is common among Americans overall but more prevalent among African Americans. A recent review of the literature suggests that vitamin D insufficiency is a key contributor to cancer survival disparities that exist between African Americans and white Americans (darker skin is less efficient at producing vitamin D in response to UV rays).1 A striking part of this literature review is the comprehensive summary of the existing data on vitamin D status and cancer survival: the authors present a long list of studies reporting that vitamin D adequacy is associated with reduced risk of death in all cancers combined, breast, colorectal, lung, and prostate cancer, leukemia and lymphomas.1

A protective effect of vitamin D against cancers was first proposed in 1980, based on an earlier observation that colon cancer mortality was the highest in geographical areas exposed to the least amounts of sunlight.2,3 Several more studies of geographical variations in cancers have found the same result: inverse relationships exist between sun exposure and 24 types of cancer, including the most common cancers – those of the breast, colon, rectum, and prostate.4,5

Since 1980, evidence for the involvement of vitamin D in the relationship between sun exposure and decreased cancer risk has progressively accumulated, as associations were found between blood vitamin D levels and reduced risk of cancers.6,7 Further support for the importance of vitamin D in cancer prevention was provided by randomized controlled trials of vitamin D supplementation that showed reduced cancer risk compared to placebo. There have also been many reports that vitamin D receptor gene mutations, which interfere with the normal biological actions of vitamin D, were associated with increased cancer risk.8-10

Additional studies confirmed that vitamin D has growth-inhibitory effects on cells derived from breast, colon, prostate, and skin cancers.11 Vitamin D can block cancer cell growth in a number of ways: Vitamin D alters the expression of genes that regulate inflammation, cell death and cell proliferation, and also interferes with the growth-promoting actions of IGF-1 and other growth factors. Additional anti-cancer effects of vitamin D include enhanced DNA repair and immune defenses, and angiogenesis inhibition.12

Today, over 800 scientific papers have been published on the relationship between vitamin D and cancers. We now have ample evidence that maintaining adequate vitamin D levels is an effective strategy for protection against cancer. (Please see references below

You can get Vitamin D through multivitamins, but I recommend Cod Liver Oil.  Once a standard supplement in traditional European societies, cod liver oil provides fat-soluble vitamins A and D, which found present in the diet of primitives in amounts ten times higher than in modernized diets. Cod liver oil supplements are a must for women and their male partners, to be taken for several months before conception, and for women during pregnancy. Growing children will also benefit greatly from a small daily dose.

Cod liver oil is also rich in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docasahexaenoic acid (DHA). The body makes these fatty acids from omega-3 linolenic acid. EPA is as an important link in the chain of fatty acids that ultimately results in prostaglandins, localized tissue hormones while DHA is very important for the proper function of the brain and nervous system. Those individuals who have consumed large amounts of polyunsaturated oils, especially partially hydrogenated oils, who are suffering from certain nutrient deficiencies, or who have impaired pancreatic function, such as diabetics, may not be able to produce EPA and DHA and will, therefore, lack important prostaglandins and necessary fats for the brain unless they consume oily fish or take a cod liver oil supplement. You can find more information here at the Weston A. Price Foundation  
Through my journey of healing myself from adrenal fatigue, having more energy, and loving my body I have learned much about holistic health and want to share it with you.  I invite you to contact me at 561-578-9492 or email me at for a Health History Consultation.  Get your youth back, feel alive, lose weight naturally, and sleep better at night!  Visit my website Healthy Healing Habits

1. Grant WB, Peris AN. Differences in vitamin D status may account for unexplained disparities in cancer survival rates between African and White Americans. DermatoEndocrinology 2012;4.
2. Garland CF, Garland FC. Do sunlight and vitamin D reduce the likelihood of colon cancer? Int J Epidemiol 1980;9:227-231. 
3. Apperly FL. The Relation of Solar Radiation to Cancer Mortality in North America. Cancer Res 1941;1:191-195. 
4. Grant WB, Garland CF. The association of solar ultraviolet B (UVB) with reducing risk of cancer: multifactorial ecologic analysis of geographic variation in age-adjusted cancer mortality rates. Anticancer Res 2006;26:2687-2699. 
5. Grant WB. Ecological studies of the UVB-vitamin D-cancer hypothesis. Anticancer Res 2012;32:223-236. 
6. Gandini S, Boniol M, Haukka J, et al. Meta-analysis of observational studies of serum 25-hyd roxyvitamin D levels and colorectal, breast and prostate cancer and colorectal adenoma. Int J Cancer 2011;128:1414-1424. 
7. Grant WB. Relation between prediagnostic serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level and incidence of breast, colorectal, and other cancers. J Photochem Photobiol B 2010;101:130-136. 
8. Kostner K, Denzer N, Muller CS, et al. The relevance of vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene polymorphisms for cancer: a review of the literature. Anticancer Res 2009;29:3511-3536. 
9. Lappe JM, Travers-Gustafson D, Davies KM, et al. Vitamin D and calcium supplementation reduces cancer risk: results of a randomized trial. Am J Clin Nutr 2007;85:1586-1591. 
10. Bolland MJ, Grey A, Gamble GD, et al. Calcium and vitamin D supplements and health outcomes: a reanalysis of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) limited-access data set. Am J Clin Nutr 2011;94:1144-1149. 
11. Fleet JC. Molecular actions of vitamin D contributing to cancer prevention. Mol Aspects Med 2008;29 :388-396. 
12. Fleet JC, DeSmet M, Johnson R, et al. Vitamin D and cancer: a review of molecular mechanisms. Biochem J 2012;441:61-76. 
13. Tripkovic L, Lambert H, Hart K, et al. Comparison of vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 supplementation in raising serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D status: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr 2012.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sleeping like a baby and other benefits

So I finished the 21 Day Ultimate Reset and am very please with the results!  The Ultimate Reset helps your body reclaim its natural balance and release years of built up harmful materials to restore your system to maximal health!  There were three phases that the body went through each seven days long.  I never felt hungry on the completely plant-based diet and having to take enzymes and probiotics thirty minutes BEFORE I could eat made me mindful of my eating habits and mindless snacking.  My breakfast for many days was just a simple bowl of fruit and it was fun to go shopping and pick out new fruits to try!  I even made a bowl of my cantaloupe one day to make it fun.  I love sushi too and the vegetarian sushi rolls wrapped in Nori sheets were great and similar to the ones I make!
The crux of the program for me was not working out for 21 days.  I can't remember the last time I went 21 days without going to they gym, running, or doing some form  of physical exercise.  The Ultimate Reset recommends walking, yoga, and meditation.  It focuses on allowing the body to regenerate and not over stressing it so that you can gently release years of abuse.  So ok I GET it, but how was it?  Well to be honest the first week I did go to they gym once and run once besides doing yoga.  I felt weak at the gym and my run wasn't so great!  So for the three weeks I stuck to  yoga at least three times a week and lots of walking and guess what it was NICE! This break worked too!  The first time I ran again I had my best time ever in two miles by almost 3 minutes!  Three minutes is HUGE for only two miles!  I actually feel stronger and my energy levels are sky rocketing!  This was a benefit I never expected. I mean I always preach to people that you make your best gains during rest instead of always training and breaking down the body but I didn't expect that taking off this much time would really benefit me.  I look forward to training hard now to get ready for the Tough Mudder, Spartan, Crossfit, and the Ragnar Relay!  Woo hoo.... here I go!

Other benefits from this detoxification are more subtle but even more important!  I have been sleeping better than I have slept in a long time.  I have had sleeping problems for years because of competing and anxiety.  My brain races and wakes me up and I would sweat profusely.  All issues from adrenal fatigue also.  These symptoms had gotten better since I started healing myself holistically with food and nutrition, but I still was perfect.  Now I sleep through the night, wake up dry and have dreams every night!  I haven't dreamed (that I can remember) like this EVER!  I also lost ten pounds.  I have major issues retaining water and I usually feel "Heavy", but I'm not sweating as much during the day and I feel lighter. An example of this before when I would eat something "bad" (my bad is probably better than most people's good!) I would gain 4 to 5 lbs over night of water and weight gain it was frustrating and a mind F***.  Well I had some fun food for my daughter's birthday and guess what I didn't gain that weight!  For me this is the best benefit I have found I call it BALANCE!  I can have something little and not beat myself up for it!  You get six wonderful supplements with the Reset, detailed step-by-step instructions for the 21 days,  3 week eating plan with recipes, 2 DVD's for the reset including a cooking class, online support, and support from me!  This is a great program to start your journey to a healthier life.  I recommend it in conjunction with my Health Coaching Program which will help you achieve your goals and dreams for a healthier life!  For a free consultation contact me at or call 561-578-9492  Melissa Binkley 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The 21st Century Symptom


  1. Feel Tired for no reason?
  2. Have trouble getting up in the morning, even when you go to bed at a reasonable time?
  3. Feel rundown or overwhelmed?
  4. Have difficulty bouncing back from stress or illness?
  5. Crave salty or sweet snacks or caffeine and cigarettes?
  6. Feel more awake, alert and energetic after 6PM than you do all day?
  7. Have headaches in the afternoon?
  8. Have trouble sleeping at night, wake up often, or can't fall to sleep?
  9. Feel irritable between meals or shaky?
These are the classic signs of adrenal fatigue.  You may think that not wanting to get up in the morning or needing coffee is normal, you may have felt run down for so long that you don't even realize you have a problem.  Unfortunately adrenal fatigue is rarely tested for and goes undiagnosed in most cases.  I discovered a few years back that I had adrenal fatigue which had led to my hypothyroidism and have spent the last few years on my quest and journey to heal my body from this classic syndrome of stress.  How does adrenal fatigue develop?  For me it was from putting massive amounts of stress on my body both physically and mentally and never taking time to nourish myself properly both spiritually and nutritionally.  I was a fitness competitor and I worked out 3 to 4 hours a day, took numerous over the counter energy pills, drank lots of coffee, and slept very little.  I was the go-go-go girl I put tremendous amount of pressure on myself to succeed and had major bouts of anxiety, guilt, and tension when I tried to relax or take a day off.  This unhealthy lifestyle (when I was supposed to be at my healthiest) caused me to have crazy fluctuations in weight, horrible cravings, and also brought my eating disorder issues from my past back to the forefront.  But you don't have to be an athlete to have adrenal fatigue!!!

Adrenal Fatigue is a common syndrome that has developed in the 21st century due to the high demands and stress caused by everyday living!  People experiencing adrenal fatigue find that they may look and act relatively normal and have no obvious physical signs of illness, but live with a general sense of unwellness, tiredness, depression, and "gray" feelings.  Adrenal fatigue can wreak havoc with your life. In the more serious cases, the activity of the adrenal glands is so diminished that you may have difficulty getting out of bed for more than a few hours per day. With each increment of reduction in adrenal function, every organ and system in your body is more profoundly affected. Changes occur in your carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism, fluid and electrolyte balance, heart and cardiovascular system, and even sex drive.   So how do you get back to happiness? Adrenal fatigue can take anywhere from 6 months to 3 years to completely recover from.
There are several steps that you can do to start on a path to wellness. 

  • Stop eating processed foods and sugar
  • Take at least 30 minutes daily to meditate, walk, journal, or clear your mind
  • Eliminate chemicals from you life and diet
Would you like more help with discovering how to end Adrenal Fatigue?  Are you tired of feeling worn down?  My health coaching program is designed to support you addressing these issues so you can have a happier, healthier life!  Call me at 561-578-9492 or email me at for a Free Healthy History Consultation. Healthy Healing Habits that last a lifetime and support you to feel your best!  Melissa Binkley    Health Coaching