Talk to Your Doctor About Protein Powders in Lake Stevens


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Talk to Your Doctor About Protein Powders in Lake Stevens

protein powders

I had gum graft surgery this past March. I had put the surgery off for two years, due to the multiple inconveniences (although I wish I hadn’t avoided it for so long). The biggest inconvenience for me wasn’t closing down my patient schedule, but having to follow the mushy food diet for 4-6 weeks following the surgery. My periodontist called it a soft foods diet, but I like to use the word mushy.

Mushy protein sources include tofu, scrambled eggs, yogurt, jello, or protein powder shakes. Nut butters are mushy, but they are also sticky, so they were not an option. I’m allergic to both soy and eggs, making tofu and scrambled eggs out of the question. I ate organic nonfat Greek yogurt intermittently, but not everyday, as I normally have to limit its consumption or it upsets my belly. What’s left, right?! My main protein sources were jello and protein powder.

I’m hyped up about mushy protein sources because protein is vital for surgical recovery. Protein gives your body the building blocks to repair itself. If you are healing from any kind of surgery, focus on eating protein.

Having a protein powder shake or smoothie was the only way for me to maintain an adequate protein intake on the mushy food diet. I didn’t use any old protein powder, and neither should you.

I buy, use, and consume these four protein powders because I trust their quality.

There are a lot of junk protein powders out there. I only use protein powders made with the same standards as the supplements I recommend to my patients. Not all supplements are equal!

If you want to read more about how to find a good protein powder, check out this article.

protein powders

PUREPALEO PROTEIN NATURAL Chocolate FLAVOR by Designs for Health

1 scoop = 21 grams of protein
ADVANTAGES: paleo, soy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, low carb, allergen friendly

This unique, allergy friendly protein powder is made from beef. Frozen banana and raw cocoa powder pair really well with it. However, remember that bananas are not the greatest thing to be eating for optimal blood sugar regulation. Use the least amount of banana that will give you the taste you can enjoy.

Try this Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Shake! It tastes like something I bought at the Shake Shack (because I buy shakes there…).

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Shake
1 scoop PurePaleo Protein Natural Chocolate protein powder
Smuckers Peanut Butter
your choice of milk
small or half frozen banana
raw cocoa powder


1 scoop = 15 grams of protein
ADVANTAGES: soy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, low carb, fuels glutathione production, anti-inflammatory, immune modulating, made from grass fed cows
DISADVANTAGES: not vegan, not paleo, more likely to be allergenic

This whey protein powder is tasty with health benefits unlike any other protein powder. Whey protein powder helps your body make more glutathione. Glutathione is your body’s best antioxidant (think anti-aging + brain boosting power). Vital Whey protein powder also contains bovine immunoglobulins, which are anti-inflammatory and modulate your immune system at the intestinal barrier.1 Not all whey protein powders contain bovine immunoglobulins, but this one does!

Try this Glutathione Go-Getter Shake! The raw kale also helps your body make glutathione, so it’s a double win!

Glutathione Go-Getter Shake
1 scoop Vital Whey Natural Vanilla protein powder
full fat coconut milk (not too much)
water, optional
frozen blueberries
raw kale
stevia to taste

Opticleanse GHI chai flavor by xymogen

1 scoop = 13 grams of protein
ADVANTAGES: vegan, soy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, mostly low carb, added vitamins + minerals, added antioxidants, supports gastrointestinal health, boosts detoxification, contains methylated B12 & methylated folate, allergen friendly
DISADVANTAGES: contains dried cane syrup, not paleo, lower amount of protein per scoop

This protein powder doesn’t fit in with the rest, since it is not a protein powder running solo. This vegan protein powder rocks because of all the other “stuff” in it. I recommend this protein powder for travel, due to the extra vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants it contains — it’s a decent way to make up for what your diet lacks when you’re on the go. And, you can’t beat a protein powder that contains METHYLATED folate and METHYLATED B12. You won’t find folic acid in this stuff. I love the chai flavor but they have other flavors available.

The chai flavored OptiCleanse GHI protein powder pairs really well with a frozen banana. However, some people I know drink this stuff plain, mixed in water. Play with it! For now, you can try the recipe below, which is how I use this protein powder for my kids.

Banana Chai Detox Shake
1 scoop OptiCleanse GHI Chai protein powder
raw spinach or kale (not too much greens or the kids will complain)
frozen banana
your choice of milk

Optimal Protein by seeking health

1 scoop = 17 grams of protein
ADVANTAGES: vegan, soy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, low carb, sugar-free, simple, no flavorings, allergen friendly

This protein powder has no bells and whistles in the flavor department, but ironically, it doesn’t need any. It has a smooth, palatable flavor that pairs well with almost anything, making it really versatile. I use it for protein powder shakes and it works well in homemade protein bars.  It’s also made by one of my favorite supplement companies (Seeking Health). Note that this one is vegan but not paleo because it is made from rice and pea protein.

My favorite way to eat this one is in a smoothie with Califia unsweetened vanilla almond milk, frozen peaches, and greens. This smoothie combo tastes like dessert.

Peaches and Dream Shake
1 scoop Optimal Protein protein powder
Califia almond milk
frozen peaches (not too many because, sugar)
raw kale or spinach

Where to Find Them
Most of these protein powders are only available through healthcare practitioners. You can get the Vital Whey Natural Vanilla protein powder on Amazon, but know that I’ve been growing increasingly hesitant to recommend the purchase of any kind of supplements on Amazon. Yet, I know how hard it is for those of you who don’t have access to a Naturopathic Physician’s office dispensary! You can order the Optimal Protein by Seeking Health directly from their website at If you are a current patient at Archerfriendly Wellness or would like to become one, you can special order any of these protein powders at my office in Snohomish.


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Looking for an Awesome Pediatrician? Learn About Naturopathic Pediatric Care in Everett

newborn baby sticking tongue out

I have diagnosed heart murmurs in toddlers and managed asthma in school aged kids. I have sent sick babies to the emergency room and prepared the ER staff for their arrival. I have ordered STAT x-rays. I have found and diagnosed childhood allergies (IgE). I have prescribed antibiotics, albuterol, and epi-pens. I have also made use of the Physician-to-Physician Provider Consultation line at Seattle Children’s Hospital when I’ve needed a second opinion.

While all of those things are on par with my conventional pediatric counterparts (the MD/DO pediatricians) what makes me different is that I have provided all of this care from the lens of a naturopathic physician. My naturopathic medical perspective makes me different, but that doesn’t make me better or worse than my conventional pediatric colleagues.

I gave you examples of what I get to do while functioning as a naturopathic pediatrician. I do not consider the utilization of conventional medical care to be un-naturopathic. Being a naturopathic physician is not a naturopathic medicine vs conventional medicine situation. I am not opposed to conventional medicine.

What I do is integrative medicine. Being a naturopathic doctor is a “both/and” situation and not “either/or.” It is not one or the other, it is both.

When I prescribe antibiotics, I’m also prescribing a double dose of high quality children’s probiotics (sometimes more than a double dose!).

When I diagnose a child’s IgE allergies, I’m also prescribing histamine lowering supplements along with the epi-pen and Benedryl. (And doing a lot more than I can summarize here…)

I look at the whole ecosystem of your child’s health. That’s why I’m a naturopathic doctor. I’m not saying conventional medicine doesn’t do this — what I’m saying is that I offer a unique perspective because I was trained differently.

I was trained to treat each child individually, to treat them as a whole, and to always find the root cause of illness.

And for every kid that walks into my office, I ask, how can I maximize this child’s health? How can I prevent illness when he grows up? How can I give him longevity in his 80s… right now. Because atherosclerosis starts in the womb. Naturopathic medicine is really good at nurturing your child’s fullest health potential!

If you’re curious about how naturopathic pediatric care differs from taking your child to a conventional pediatrician, I highlighted some things below for you. As laws vary by state, all of the things below are applicable to Washington state (since I am a doctor in Snohomish, WA).

1. Naturopathic doctors provide more of their time, as in, longer appointments.

This is one of the biggest differences from most conventional doctors. Well child checks are usually an hour, where there’s time for your questions to be answered, your child’s diet to be discussed, and a thorough head to toe physical exam. In the conventional model, pediatric well child visits are 20-30 minutes max, and you’re usually not even with the doctor the whole time. In the naturopathic model, you usually get a WHOLE HOUR with the doctor.

2. Naturopathic Doctors can serve as your child’s primary pediatrician.

This means that you can bring your child to a naturopathic doctor for all your child’s pediatric needs: sick visits, well child checks, and vaccines. Some NDs don’t do pediatric care, so obviously, don’t go to one of those for this.


A holistic approach considers the whole family. The child is not living by himself in a bubble. When you treat a child, you’re treating the family. What you do for one child, affects the whole family, simply because the child is part of a larger system. Being aware of family dynamics, providing support and encouragement where needed, and looking at the big picture allows the naturopathic physician to individualize care that works for both your family and your child.

3. Naturopathic physicians can prescribe antibiotics and other prescription drugs.

A LOT of the general public, even in Seattle where it’s super saturated with NDs, mistakenly think that NDs can not prescribe prescription medications. They can! They just can’t prescribe scheduled drugs like Adderall and narcotics. If it so happens that your child needs ADD medication or narcotics, we’ll refer to a specialist. To be technical, naturopathic doctors can prescribe anything that is not a controlled substance with two exceptions: codeine and testosterone.

4. Naturopathic physicians do not have hospital privileges.

This affects things in two ways. The first is that naturopathic physicians can not see your newborn in the hospital for his or her first pediatric exam. However, they still provide newborn care — once you have left the hospital, establish care with your naturopathic physician as soon as possible. The second thing is that NDs can not directly admit your child to the hospital, but they can refer and coordinate for your child to go to the ER. If your child goes to the ER and they need admitted to the hospital, nothing’s stopping them from being admitted.

5. Naturopathic pediatric care is all about optimizing your child’s health.

“How can we get your child to have THE BEST POSSIBLE HEALTH” is the mantra in which we operate. We do prescribe many natural treatments in place of pharmaceuticals, but we also use pharmaceuticals in conjunction with natural treatments. It’s not an either/or. It’s a both/and situation.

newborn baby face closeup

Curious about naturopathic pediatric care for your child, but haven’t tried it yet? Dr. Archer would love to see you!

Dr. Archer specializes in naturopathic pediatric care, and sees patients from all over the greater Seattle area in her Snohomish office. Click here to schedule an appointment.

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Liposomal Glutathione for Depression, Stress, Brain Fog, & Low Energy in Lynnwood

Liposomal Glutathione by Seeking Health

The past year has been really, really hard for me. It has been harder than I expected it to be, and harder than I can admit online or in person. Some of the things that have made it so hard are things that I’ve had to keep very private, without leaving clues anywhere. You could have looked at my personal Facebook account, scoured my Instagram, or talked to me in person, and you would have had no idea.

However, when things were falling apart at the clinic where I was working last spring, I shared some of my distress on Instagram (being honest and transparent on Instagram has helped me find my voice). If you had read these posts here, here, and here, you would have most likely concluded that something crazy was going on and that I wasn’t doing well. That was true. I ended up getting a lawyer and terminated a contract early — I talked a little about leaving that clinic in this post and also here.

As things were closing down at the clinic where I was working last spring, a friend asked me to cover for her maternity leave at a conventional pediatric clinic. I worked there for about two months afterwards. I loved every second of it. It helped to distract me from the heartache of what happened at the clinic I had left. The conventional pediatric clinic was a very warm, positive environment — something I really needed to be in.

Once my maternity leave subbing ended, it was time to step into high gear to start my practice. That is when everything caught up to me. The exhaustion, the burn-out, the feeling down. If it wasn’t for the Wendy’s Eating Husband, I would have never opened my practice on time. It was so difficult for me to organize what to do next and when and how to work. My thinking was cloudy and my desire was low and I just felt so overwhelmingly tired. What I really needed was time off to heal and come back to life again.

Eating Penn State creamery peanut butter swirl

I put a lot of energy into getting better and recovering: I took time off from work, I took a 3 week vacation to the East Coast, I ate a lot of ice cream, I went to weekly therapy, I took 5-HTP, and I joined a gym. It was really all I could do with the little energy I had left — take care of myself.

I was feeling great once the fall started and I got my practice going, but I knew I wasn’t quite back to normal again. I wasn’t my regular self.

When I ordered my annual labs last fall, which was a requirement for an insurance incentive at The Wendy’s Eating Husband’s work, I saw that I had low homocysteine. I consider low homocysteine anything below 7. Low homocysteine can definitely cause a depressed mood, as it can indicate impaired methionine metabolism. If your methionine metabolism is messed up, you will most likely not have enough methionine to make SAMe, which donates methyl groups to make the neurotransmitters that make you feel happy.

I usually recommend one of the following three things for low homocysteine:

  1. Eat more protein
  2. Methionine
  3. Liposomal glutathione

I decided to take the liposomal glutathione specifically for my low homocysteine, but also in hopes to boost my mood.

Within a few days of taking 1 teaspoon daily, I felt like I was Humpty Dumpty being put back together again.

I felt normal. I had clear thinking and motivation like I hadn’t known for an entire year. Liposomal glutathione took my brain from a cloudy, grey Seattle sky to bright, California sunshine. After a week of taking the liposomal glutathione, I felt so fabulous, that I discontinued taking the 5-HTP, and I haven’t needed it since.

Glutathione is your body’s best antioxidant (which means it’s going to be the most powerful antioxidant for anti-aging benefits). Some people have a decreased ability to make glutathione and other people have an increased need for it. All kinds of things play into glutathione’s supply and demand — stress levels, genetic mutations, nutrient deficiencies, crappy digestion, a poor diet, and chronic inflammation.

Glutathione plays a key role in many chronic health conditions, including depression. A lowered antioxidant status has been noted as one of the causes of depression, in addition to lower glutathione peroxidase activity (they play into each other). 1  Glutathione peroxidase is the enzyme that helps to make the active form of glutathione. If the enzyme has lower activity, you’ll have less end product. Less end product = less of the active form of glutathione.

Liposomal Glutathione by Seeking Health

I found it particularly interesting that “reduced glutathione concentrations have been detected in animal models of stress-induced depression”. 1  This is because stress increases free radical production, which deepens your body’s need for antioxidants.2  It is this stress induced not-enough-antioxidant-to-go-around that damages the body. 2  Since glutathione is the mother of all antioxidants, it truly is one of the best things you could ever give to your body during periods of extreme stress.

Stress burns through your body’s glutathione, so you need more of it during times of severe life stress.

There are two downsides to taking oral liposomal glutathione. The first is the taste, although I love it, so that is not an issue for me. It has a sulfur after taste that some people detest. The other downside of taking oral liposomal glutathione is that it can be expensive to stay on it in the long term, since one bottle from Seeking Health is about sixty dollars. Notice that I did not mention any downsides in terms of safety. Because liposomal glutathione is an antioxidant, it is generally very safe to take.

The upside of taking oral liposomal glutathione is that you’re giving your body the best antioxidant available in oral form. You really can’t beat that.

Maybe liposomal glutathione will be become your BFF too.

Not everyone experiences such quick, drastic effects after taking liposomal glutathione for a few days. Every body is different. You may need a higher dose or you may need to take it longer before feeling differently. If your body has a lot of inflammation, you may not notice effects right away like I did. However, even if you don’t feel differently when taking it, it’s still doing amazing things for your body. Seeing a naturopathic doctor can help you maximize liposomal glutathione’s benefits! 

If you’re super curious about liposomal glutathione, your homocysteine levels, how your methylation cycle is working, or how natural medicine can help depression, I’d LOVE to personally help you in a one-on-one appointment where I can give you my full, undivided attention. You can make an appointment with me at Archerfriendly Wellness, my private practice in downtown Snohomish. I see patients from all over the greater Seattle area, including Shoreline, Lynnwood, Everett, Edmonds, Redmond, and Kirkland!


1. Maes M, Mihaylova I, Kubera M, et al. Lower whole blood glutathione peroxidase (GPX) activity in depression, but not in myalgic encephalomyelitis / chronic fatigue syndrome: another pathway that may be associated with coronary artery disease and neuroprogression in depression. Reprinted from: Neuroendocrinology Letters 2011; 32(2): 133–140.

2. Schiavone S, Jaquet V, Trabace L, and Krause K.  Severe Life Stress and Oxidative Stress in the Brain: From Animal Models to Human Pathology. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2013 Apr 20; 18(12): 1475–1490.

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Natural Treatment for Cough in Lake Stevens

kids hydrotherapy for bronchitisWhen I met the Wendy’s Eating Boyfriend at Penn State, one of the first things I learned about him was that he had a coughing problem. I also learned that he didn’t start eating sandwiches until high school because he couldn’t handle his food being mixed together. But that story is for a different day.

Several years later when we lived in Seattle, one of our former landlords who lived above us, told us that the only noise they ever heard coming from our apartment was the Wendy’s Eating Husband’s cough. We thought they’d hear the baby crying. Nope. They didn’t hear the baby. They heard the Wendy’s Eating Husband coughing.

When the Wendy’s Eating Husband started working at his current job a few years ago, his co-workers were commenting to each other this exact phrase, “the new guy sure does cough a lot!”.

When your co-workers start calling you “the cougher” behind your back, what that really means is that you have a lung problem and it’s annoying everybody, including your boss. If it’s your family pointing out your issues, you can usually ignore that. But once you have people at work talking about the “things you need to work on” at the water cooler, you have got a serious situation.

The good news is that you can do something about this. You can go to the doctor. I know that may sound foreign to some of you who haven’t stepped into a doctor’s office since you had your mandated teenage sports physical (and understandably so).

You have to go to the doctor to make sure your cough isn’t going to kill you. It would be very important to know if you had some rare lung disease or lung cancer. You should not be using the treatment I’m about to introduce to you for lung cancer or pleuritis. However, if the doctor confirms a basic productive cough from the common cold, bronchitis, or pneumonia, you have the golden ticket to utilize this topical natural cough remedy.

I’m not saying anything about whether or not you should use antibiotics or that this should be used as a substitute for antibiotics. That really is a case by case decision that only your doctor can make. If your doctor prescribes antibiotics, then take them. You can still use this at-home treatment while you are on antibiotics.

This naturopathic cough treatment works wonders for chest congestion and tightness. I prescribe it for all ages, but I really like this treatment for toddlers.  Sometimes, you can do all the song and dance in the world, and you just can’t get your toddler to swallow the magical cough potion. But, you can get your tired toddler to lay down before bed. Laying down is easier than forcing a child to swallow something they don’t like, especially when the child doesn’t feel well.

I gave this cough treatment to my four year old daughter last fall when she had bronchitis  — once a day for several nights in a row, immediately before bed. She enjoyed it so much that she started asking for it! Note that both kids and adults alike do wince when the cold towel is placed on the chest, as you can see my daughter in the photo below.

This natural cough therapy, which I have named Barking Lung Cough Therapy, is all done externally, directly over the chest where the lungs reside. First, a homemade chest rub with thyme essential oil is heavily slathered all over the chest. Thyme is my favorite herb for both viral and bacterial chest infections. You can read more about thyme’s benefits here.

Then, a very hot towel (as hot as possible to touch but not hot enough to burn) is placed on top of the chest rub, on the chest, to help open skin pores for optimal tissue absorption of the thyme essential oil. To trap the heat, the hot towel is immediately covered with the Vellux blanket, the sheet, and then the wool blanket. The hot towel stays in place for 3 minutes.

After the hot phase, the hot towel is removed and very quickly replaced with an icy cold towel. Then, the cold towel is covered with a Vellux blanket, a sheet, and a wool blanket (in that order) to warm up the person receiving treatment. The cold towel is removed once the person warms it up (usually about 10-15 minutes). I like ending on cold because it has a vasoconstrictive effect that can help relieve congestion. I used to recommend this therapy as a hot application only, but have more recently added the cold phase to enhance the benefits. The contrasting hot/cold helps to stimulate the immune system.

Using opposing temperatures of water, right after the other, is a special type of water therapy known as contrast hydrotherapy. Water therapy or hydrotherapy is a natural healing modality that utilizes water to help your body heal naturally. Barking Lung Cough Therapy is a modified version of the “official” contrast hydrotherapy protocols I’ve learned in school. Most contrast hydrotherapy protocols do a repetition of hot followed by cold for three cycles.

Contrast hydrotherapy, particularly when applied to the chest, stimulates your vital force. The term “vital force” sounds a little like new age woo, but it is a foundational concept in naturopathic medicine. It falls under one of the principles of naturopathic medicine — the vis medicatrix naturae. The vital force is the healing power of nature inside your body. It is the thing inside you that is constantly working for your wellness. Without the vital force, you would be dead.

This is a low force, non-toxic, gentle intervention. It is very easy to do, and very safe given that you do not overdose on the essential oil and you don’t burn anybody with a hot towel. I usually recommend that Barking Lung Cough Therapy be done on a once daily basis before bed, until the cough resolves. For more severe cases, I have recommended for it to be done twice a day.

kids hydrotherapy for bronchitis

kids hydrotherapy for bronchitis

kids hydrotherapy for bronchitis

Watch the hyperlapse video below to see how I did it!

[embedded content]
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Teenage Check-Ups & Sports Physicals in Marysville

frog on a rock

Dear Adolescent Boys,

Whenever I tell you that a genital exam is part of your annual well child check, your eyeballs fall out of your head in complete horror. The expression on your face makes me feel like my office is a haunted house, and you just saw a goblin for the first time ever. In other words, you act like you had ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHAT YOU WERE IN FOR.

I have a hard time deciphering this behavior. I’m not sure if you’re putting on a show to get out of the exam, or if you really are that mentally unprepared and completely clueless as to what would happen at your “well child check”.

First, let’s get the terminology out of the way, because the word “child” is a little off-putting. A well child check is the politically correct terminology for your annual physical exam. It is technically called a “well child exam” until you reach the age of 18. I’m sorry we call you a child. I know, the term makes you hate the pediatrician even more because you already feel too big and too grown up to visit a waiting room full of crying babies and kiddie toys. We should really call your yearly physical exams, “well adolescent checks” or “well adolescent exams”. Unfortunately, whatever term we choose to use, we’ll always be dorky to you because you’re a cool cat now — you have your driver’s license, you have a girlfriend, and you’re the drummer in a band.

I recommend that you get a routine physical exam once a year, for every year of your life! This includes every year up until you turn 18 and then one at age 19, 20, 21, etc.

It is standard for your well adolescent check to include a genital exam. Your doctor should ask for your consent before doing it. Most of the time, you say no anyways. But sometimes you say yes.

You should know why physicians do a male genital exam on adolescents. There are four main reasons:

  1. To make sure you don’t have testicular cancer. Testicular cancer can occur at any age.
  2. To make sure you don’t have an inguinal hernia. This is where your guts come out of your abdomen in all the wrong places.
  3. To do a sexual maturity rating (SMR). This is where we make sure your sexual development is on par with your age.
  4. To make sure everything is normal.

It’s true that routine male genital exams are controversial. In other words, some physicians think that it is unnecessary to do them on a regular basis. The USPSTF (a fancy acronym for an organization that sets the standards for health prevention & screening) actually recommends against testicular exams as a means to screen for testicular cancer in adolescent men. Some argue that routine hernia exams aren’t even necessary. A concerning inguinal hernia will most likely cause symptoms. A hernia found on exam without symptoms is usually a “watch and wait” situation.

If you feel uncomfortable about your genital exam, the best thing you can do is voice that discomfort to your physician. Have a conversation about the exam beforehand. Discuss specifically why you don’t want to get it done. The ability to have these conversations with your doctor helps to develop the skill set you need to comfortably talk about sex and your genitals with your peers. If you can’t talk about your genitals with your physician, how will you be able to discuss them with your future partner?

One last thing all guys everywhere need to know. When a physician checks for hernias, he or she will say the classic phrase associated with the male genital exam. Say it with me now:

“Turn your head and cough.”

This is NOT to distract you from the discomfort of the exam. The cough adds force to any guts that may be protruding in the wrong place, so that your physician can more easily detect them. In other words, the cough increases intra-abdominal pressure to accentuate the hernia to aid in diagnosis. The reason we ask you to turn your head is so that you don’t cough all over us. Brilliant, right?

Some physicians actually require a chaperone to be present during the genital exam. They do this for not only your protection and safety but also for legal purposes. In my practice, I require a parent to be in the room during the male genital exam, but the parent doesn’t have to watch directly.

Lastly, please note that some guys do incidentally get an erection during the male genital exam. It happens and there’s not much you can do about it.

K, so promise me, that the next time it’s your turn for a male genital exam, and you feel awkward and weird, that you’ll talk to your doctor about how you feel about the exam rather than acting like you had ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHAT YOU WERE IN FOR. Because now you know.


Dr. Archer

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9 months pregnant by water

When I started naturopathic medical school at Bastyr University, one thing I knew for sure, with full confidence, was that I did not want to do pediatrics. I had zero interest in pediatrics and didn’t think I’d be able to handle, what I had labeled at the time, “bratty kids”. Now that pediatrics is one of my passions and specialties, I have yet to find a bratty kid… although I might have found a few bratty parents. Just kidding.

What turned everything around for me was having children of my own. During my first pregnancy, which was while I was in school, I became dumbfounded with how significantly you could influence a child’s future health outcomes, simply by optimizing pregnancy through lifestyle, diet, and supplements. That wonder continued through to childhood — how you care for your child’s health in the early years can really influence the kind of health your child has for a lifetime!

I’m so glad I didn’t permanently write off pediatrics, because it has been one of the most fulfilling things in my career as a naturopathic doctor. I firmly believe that giving a child naturopathic medical care early on in his life can set up a sturdy health foundation that lasts all the way to the grave. How incredible is that, to give a child the tools they need to live a full, healthy, long life? That’s what I get to do.

Optimizing a child’s health doesn’t begin the moment they are born — it starts before conception and continues throughout pregnancy.

Below are four supplements to consider taking during pregnancy to help optimize your baby’s health. Your health is individual and you may have a medical condition that requires you to avoid them. It is crucial that you discuss these supplements with your pregnancy care provider before using them in pregnancy.

Please kindly note that I am extremely persnickety about brands of supplements taken during pregnancy. You have to take the good stuff.

1. Prenatal Vitamins

This is a must. I am super picky about prenatal vitamins. The following prenatal vitamins are the top three I recommend in my practice:

1. Thorne’s Basic Prenatal
2. Vital Nutrient’s PreNatal Multi-Nutrients
3. Seeking Health’s Optimal Prenatal (powder or capsules)

I like these brands because these companies do not put folic acid in their prenatal supplements. Instead, they use methylated folate or a combination of methylated folate and folinic acid. The Vital Nutrient’s PreNatal Multi-Nutrients contains only methylated folate, while the Thorne Basic Prenatal and Seeking Health’s Optimal Prenatal come with a combo of both methylated folate and folinic acid.

Your folate needs during pregnancy are a crucial part of your baby’s healthy development. You absolutely can not skip out on the folate — but you want the best form of it.  I do not like folic acid, as it sets up the genetic stage for creating MTHFR mutations.

I also like methylated folate in place of folic acid because if there is an undiagnosed MTHFR mutation, you’re golden. If you have no access to a prenatal with a methylated form of folate, it is better to take one with folic acid than to take none at all. If you have no forms of folate during pregnancy, there is a higher risk of neural tube defects in your baby.

Note that for all of these supplements I listed, the daily dose is more than 1 capsule. Thorne’s daily dose is 3 capsules. Vital Nutrient’s Prenatal’s daily dose is 6 capsules. The daily dose of Seeking Health’s Optimal Prenatal Capsules is 8 capsules a day.

It is best to start taking a prenatal multivitamin for at least 3 months prior to conception. 

2. Fish Oil

When moms are pregnant and breastfeeding, the baby sucks the mom dry of all her omega-3s. That to me is reason enough to supplement with fish oil during pregnancy. However, there are many benefits to fish oil supplementation in pregnancy:

  • It can prevent postpartum depression.4
  • It can make a smart baby. In other words, fish oil supports optimal neurodevelopment, which includes the brain. There’s a lot of fatty tissue in the brain, and you want omega-3s to be built into that fatty tissue as your baby develops in your belly. As an FYI, there was a meta-analysis that said that current research doesn’t endorse or negate its use for brains5. Another article supported its use but said that more studies are needed.6 While I agree that more studies are needed, there’s an ethical issue in studying supplements in pregnant woman.
  • It can optimize respiratory health of the future baby, decrease asthma incidence, and reduce allergies, especially early in life.7,8 This is most likely due to how fish oil modulates the immune system by affecting the Th1 to Th2 immune cell ratio (increases Th1 cells and decrease Th2 cells).8
  • Maternal intake of DHA (a type of omega-3 in fish oil) in pregnancy & lactation can “enhance infant development including hand and eye coordination up to 2.5 years of age, visual acuity, attention processing efficiency, better neurological outcomes up to 5.5 years, and problem solving ability, information processing and IQ up to age 7 years.”9

I took cod liver oil during both of my pregnancies, but this can be controversial due to the vitamin A content. Cod liver oil is higher in vitamin A than regular fish oil. Again, you have to be extremely particular about the brand of fish oil you choose to use in pregnancy. Costco fish oil is not an option. The kind of testing and purification that needs to be done to make sure your fish oil is free from mercury is rigorous and expensive, and that cost is passed along to the consumer. In general, cheap fish oil will most likely be contaminated with mercury.

Good brands I trust are:

1. Nordic Naturals
2. Carlsons
3. Barleans
4. Seroyal
5. Pharmax

3. Probiotics

The microbiome in your gut is the boss of your immune system. The bacteria living in there tell your immune system what to do. This is the most important reason why people should take probiotics on a daily basis, even outside of pregnancy. Probiotics modulate the immune system to help it work the way it’s supposed to work. When the immune system isn’t working well, people can develop a lot of allergies, hypersensitivities, and autoimmune disease, just to name a few. Probiotics help our immune system function the way it was designed to function.

Taking probiotics during pregnancy can help to pass off a healthy microbiome to your baby. Once baby is born, especially if she is born vaginally, Mom’s flora ends up becoming baby’s flora. The baby will basically mirror mom’s microbiome.

Another reason to take probiotics in pregnancy is to prevent postpartum gastrointestinal inflammation in the gut that often occurs in the postpartum period, especially if the Mom chooses to breastfeed her baby. The immune system can go haywire during the postpartum period, so having your probiotics on board beforehand, can help to dampen some of these potential postpartum issues.

Now onto some research if you’re interested in more information…

A meta-analysis found that probiotics taken during pregnancy or early life can play a moderate role in preventing the development of both atopic dermatitis and IgE mediated atopic dermatitis in infants. This meta-analysis concluded that the timing didn’t matter in terms of giving probiotics to the mom during pregnancy or in early childhood.10

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial published in 2012 concluded that probiotic supplementation beginning at the second trimester in pregnancy helped Mom’s allergies but had no “preventative effect on the sensitization and the development of any allergic diseases at 6, 18, and 36-months of age” in infants at high risk for allergic disease. However, they only looked at one strain of probiotics (Lactobacillus rhamnosus) and they only gave the mothers 10 billion a day. I usually recommend 25 billion probiotics in pregnancy of a multi-strain probiotic (not just one strain).13 You want to build your microbiome with diversity, which means diversify the types of probiotics you take. Ten billion is the dose of probiotics I usually give to infants.

Also, if the probiotics are helping Mom have a decreased allergic response — baby is still of benefit, especially if the baby is breastfed. When Mom has an allergic response, it produces inflammation. That inflammation gets passed off into the breastmilk in the form of protein based inflammatory mediators. By decreasing Mom’s allergic inflammation through probiotics, you will essentially decrease baby’s inflammation — A breastfed baby will not only mirror Mom’s microbiome but will also mirror Mom’s inflammation.

Probiotics can help relieve constipation during pregnancy11, help boost mom’s immune system (since taking cold & flu medicine is limited during pregnancy), and decrease incidence of vaginal yeast infections.12

The whole goal of taking probiotics during pregnancy is to help pass off a healthy microbiome to your baby, with a high number of beneficial bacteria with lots of diversity of strains.

Good Brands I Trust Are:

  • Pharmax
  • Klaire Labs
  • Bioclinic Naturals
  • Seroyal
  • Metagenics

4. Vitamin D3

Women should get their vitamin D levels tested prior to trying for a baby and then also in the first trimester.

Because of vitamin D’s strong role in the immune system, vitamin D may play a role in maintaining pregnancy and preventing miscarriage.14,15

If you want your child to grow up having healthy bones for life, maintaining adequate vitamin D levels during pregnancy is very important because it affects skeletal development in utero.14  Research shows that maternal vitamin D status affects the child’s bone growth in early childhood.16

Some people say that low vitamin D levels in pregnancy can result in low birth weight babies. There is evidence that shows a relationship between maternal vitamin D status and the baby’s birth weight.17 In other words, vitamin D levels can influence the optimal birth weight of babies.

Adequate vitamin D levels in Mom will create strong, healthy tooth enamel in baby.18 This may be due to vitamin D’s role in calcium metabolism. Strong, healthy tooth enamel will help to prevent early childhood dental caries.19 I find this particularly interesting because I had low vitamin D levels during my second pregnancy and wasn’t very religious with supplementation. My daughter’s molars came through with weak enamel.

I’m not too picky with vitamin D supplements like I am the others, especially if you’re spending all your money on quality prenatals, fish oil, and probiotics. If it is a liquid vitamin D3, I prefer the product to be in a glass container rather than plastic. Vitamin D3 is a fat soluble vitamin, and I wonder about plastic chemicals leaching into the vitamin D3 when it is stored in a plastic container. Vitamin D3 capsules in a plastic container is fine though. Make sure the vitamin D you get is Vitamin D3 and not D2.

Brands I like for vitamin D3:

1. Thorne
2. Bioclinic Naturals
3. Seeking Health
4. Pure Encapsulations
5. Vital Nutrients


Prenatal Vitamins

1. Prevention of congenital abnormalities by periconceptional multivitamin supplementation. Czeizel AE. BMJ. Jun 19, 1993; 306(6893): 1645–1648.

2. Pre-conceptional vitamin/folic acid supplementation 2007: the use of folic acid in combination with a multivitamin supplement for the prevention of neural tube defects and other congenital anomalies. Wilson RD, Johnson JA, Wyatt P, et al. J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2007 Dec;29(12):1003-26.


Fish Oil

4. The Mothers, Omega-3, and Mental Health Study: a double-blind, randomized controlled trial. Mozurkewish EL, Clinton CM, Chilimigras JL, et al. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2013 Apr;208(4):313.e1-9.

5. The effect of maternal omega-3 (n-3) LCPUFA supplementation during pregnancy on early childhood cognitive and visual development: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Gould JF, Smithers LG, Makrides M. Am J Clin Nutr.  2013 Mar. 97(3):531-44.

6. Fetal and neonatal levels of omega-3: effects on neurodevelopment, nutrition, and growth. Rombaldi Bernardi J, de Souza Escobar R, Ferreira CF, et al. Scientific World Journal. 2012; 2012:202473.

7. The impact of dietary long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids on respiratory illness in infants and children. Hageman JH, Hooyenga P, Diersen-Schade DA, et al. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2012 Dec;12(6):564-73.

8. Fish oil supplementation in early infancy modulates developing infant immune responses. D’Vaz N, Meldrum SJ, Dunstan JA, et al. Clin Exp Allergy. 2012 Aug;42(8):1206-16. 

9. Benefits of docosahexaenoic acid, folic acid, vitamin D and iodine on foetal and infant brain development and function following maternal supplementation during pregnancy and lactation. Morse NL. Nutrients. 2012 Jul;4(7):799-840. doi: 10.3390/nu4070799. Epub 2012 Jul 24.


10. Probiotics supplementation during pregnancy or infancy for the prevention of atopic dermatitis: a meta-analysis. Pelucchi C, Chatenoud L, Turati F, et al. Epidemiology. 2012 May;23(3):402-14. 

11.  Is a multispecies probiotic mixture effective in constipation during pregnancy? ‘A pilot study’. de Milliano I, Tabbers MM, van der Post JA, Benninga MA. Nutri J. 2012 Oct 4;11:80. 

12. Association of pregnancy and Candida vaginal colonization in women with or without symptoms of vulvovaginitis. Leli C, Mencacci A, Meucci M, et al. Minerva Ginecol. 2013 Jun;65(3):303-9.

13.  Prenatal and postnatal probiotics reduces maternal but not childhood allergic diseases: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.  Ou CY, Kuo HC, Wang L, et al. Clin Exp Allergy. 2012 Sep;42(9):1386-96. 

Vitamin D

14.  Benefits of Docosahexaenoic Acid, Folic Acid, Vitamin D and Iodine on Foetal and Infant Brain Development and Function Following Maternal Supplementation during Pregnancy and Lactation. Morse, NL. Nutrients. 2012 Jul; 4(7): 799–840.

15. Vitamin D deficiency may be a risk factor for recurrent pregnancy losses by increasing cellular immunity and autoimmunity. Ota K, Dambaeva S, Han AR, et al. Hum Reprod. 2014 Feb;29(2):208-19. 

16. Maternal vitamin D status affects bone growth in early childhood-a prospective cohort study. Viljakainen HT, Korhonen T, Hytinantti T, et al. Osteoporos Int. 2011 Mar; 22(3): 883-891.

17. Vitamin C supplementation in pregnancy: A systematic review. Harvey NC, Holroyd C, Ntani G, et al. Health Technol Assess. Author manuscript. 2014 Aug 7.

18. The role of vitamin D in pregnancy and lactation: emerging concepts. Wagner CL, Taylor SN, Johnson DD, and Hollis BW. Women’s Health. Author Manuscript. 2015 Mar 19.

19. Prenatal Vitamin D and Dental Caries in Infants. Schroth RJ, Lavelle C, Tate R, et al. Pediatrics. Jan 30 2014.

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Detox Every Day 7: Amp Up Your Fiber Intake

eat more fiber to put those toxins where they belong: in the toilet bowl

Top 10 Ways to Make Babyfriendly Food

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Calendula Infused Olive Oil

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Video: Six Natural Supplements to Help Your Kids Better Tolerate Vaccines in Mill Creek

If I snoozed in my movie theater seat during the premiere of the first Harry Potter movie, you can imagine how short my attention span must be when it comes to “learning” videos. It’s difficult for me to sit still and listen, unless I’m listening to Rob Bell or Oprah.

Because of my attention restlessness and terrible predisposition to video boredom, I specifically feel the need to make a video geared towards people who have a similar issue like me. I think to myself, “What kind of ‘learning’ video would keep my attention span the entire time?!”.

That’s where my approach to this video came. I specifically tried to make it conversational, so that it doesn’t feel like a professor reading verbatim off his power point slides during an 8am Monday morning lecture (might as well sleep in and skip it, right? Or go get a caramel latte instead…).

I still have a long way to go in terms of making better videos, and the one you see here wasn’t rehearsed at all! You got me as if you came to my office and asked, “What can I give my kid to naturally support his body when he gets vaccines?”.

Below is a very brief summary of my recommendations. Please watch the video for even more information, then SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel!

Natural Supplements to Support Your Child’s Health During the Vaccination Process:

  1. Probiotics
  2. Fish Oil
  3. Vitamin D3
  4. Multivitamin
  5. Vitamin C
  6. Liposomal Glutathione
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What the Heck is a Naturopathic Doctor?

a naturopath is the most savvy source for your natural medical care

Shiitake Mushrooms (Lentinus edodes)

useful for cancer, HIV, immune deficiency, and high cholesterol

If You Give A Kid A Cardamom Pod

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Infant Reflux (GERD) in Everett

anti-reflux paste for babies

My first daughter wasn’t an easy baby.

She was not the best sleeper and absolutely despised sleeping on her back. We could easily get her to sleep by holding her upright in our Craigslist-ed glider, but as soon as we transferred her to her back in the crib,  she would jolt awake screaming as if we were placing her in an ice bath. Then she wouldn’t just be awake and smiling, she would be MAD. You’d have to try to get her to go to sleep all over again. Exhausting.

We responded to her “how dare you put me on my back” attitude by developing a level of baby-transferring-finesse that wouldn’t have woken up a sleeping, starving tiger cub. The dreaded “transfer” became an Olympic sport of motor skill precision. If we landed a 10, and she stayed asleep, the finally-the-baby-is-asleep late night conversations revolved around “HOW’D YOU DO IT THIS TIME” with dark circled, bugged out, bloodshot, parental eyeballs.

It was the same story for naps: near impossible. It would take me an hour to get her to sleep, and then she would only sleep in 30 minute increments. It became wise to just hold her for her entire nap length, rather than risk her startling awake during the transfer from an upright position to her back.

baby never goes to sleep

We thought her resistance to sleeping on her back was JBBB (just babies being babies). I never thought to report it to her pediatrician because I thought it was normal — this was my first child after all.

When my second daughter came around, I was blown away by how easily she transferred to her back when we put her to sleep in her crib at night. That was clue number 1. We didn’t need our fancy white glove service skills for the transfer!

Now that I’ve been practicing as a naturopathic pediatrician, I know that one of the red flags of infant reflux is when your baby starts screaming as soon as you lay her down on her back. If this happens once, not a concern, but when it’s a regular pattern in your baby’s life then, bingo, we have a likely culprit: reflux.

Our first daughter had infant reflux, and I never knew it. Clue number 2 came when she was a toddler. Once she learned what “puke” was from a stomach virus, she began regularly complaining of “puke coming up in her throat”.

If you are developing fancy circus skills just to get your baby to sleep on her back, don’t suck it up like we did. Take her to the pediatrician because she might have reflux.

Reflux is quite common in infants. So common that it occurs in 40-70% of healthy infants. Normal reflux becomes a problem when the baby is fussy, irritable, refuses to sleep on her back, arches her back regularly, or has difficulty gaining weight (weight issues due to reflux signals a more severe form of reflux). When normal reflux becomes problematic, it gets labeled as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

There are so many helpful things you can do for uncomplicated infant gastroesophageal reflux disease — without giving medication or supplements. One of the first things to do is investigate for food reactions. Breastfed babies can develop GERD as an allergy response to a food in mom’s diet. In this case, removing the offending food or foods from mom’s diet can make a huge impact on a breastfed baby’s reflux symptoms.

Dairy in mom’s diet is one of the most likely foods resulting in problematic reflux in breastfed babies.

If your baby is formula fed, you can consider switching to an organic or hypoallergenic formula.

This anti-reflux paste for babies is my go-to substitute for reflux meds. If the baby has weight gain issues, I don’t mess around with that — I’ll go straight to the meds. However, the great thing about this infant reflux paste is that you can use it in conjunction with ranitidine or omeprazole if you have to go that route.

In really mild cases, sometimes all the baby needs is probiotics. Other times, plane ole’ DGL can do the trick (DGL is licorice root that has been deglycyrrhized). I have found that using a combo of probiotics, DGL, and quercetin can really work well and prevent the need for meds. You should be able to know if it’s working within 7-10 days. Due to the lack of quality from store bought supplements, I wouldn’t trust buying these supplements at Target or Walmart to give to your infant. You need to get high quality professional line supplements from a trusted naturopathic physician or integrative MD/DO.

Please note that I do not give this paste nor prescribe it to premature infants.

In my practice, I do have a brand preference for these supplements. I prefer Klaire Labs infant probiotics (as crappy probiotics don’t work as well), Scientific Botanicals Maxiflav for the quercetin, and Scientific Botanicals Peplic for the DGL. There are only a few other brands I trust that make similar products.

As always, consult your pediatrician prior to giving this to your baby. Only use this under the supervision of a physician who can guide you in your decision to use this and help fine tune the dosing for your baby. A naturopathic physician can help you locate high quality supplements that are safe for your baby. It is recommended that if you are giving these supplements to an infant, that you get these supplements directly from a naturopathic physician. 

If you are in the Seattle area and you suspect your baby has reflux, I would love to help you! I practice in Snohomish and I LOVE babies.

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Detox Every Day 9: Stop Being So Sure

Be sure of your health, not your pits


Turn Your Head and Cough: A Teenager’s Nightmare

A letter to adolescents about the male genital exam


Liposomal Glutathione Is My BFF

Gives me energy, boosts my motivation, & sharpens my focus

My Favorite Rehydration Drink: Salty Lemonade in Lake Stevens

salty lemonade with pink Himalayan salt

It is terrible to get the pukes in the middle of the night when you’re a first time mom with a 13 month old baby. You wake up to your baby crying. You trudge to your baby’s bedroom, and as soon as you pick her up, she pukes all over you. On your rush to get her to the bathroom, you start vomiting in the hallway.

Then your husband wakes up just in time to see you slip on the puke and land on your butt. Now you are covered in puke while holding a baby also covered in puke, sitting in a puddle of puke. At this point, you just have to laugh.

And we did. This really happened.

Afterwards, we all recovered with Salty Lemonade, including my 13 month old daughter. I’m not a big fan of Pedialyte, although if you have to use that in a pinch, I won’t hate you for it. Pedialyte contains artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, and food dye. Just what you need when you’re sick! More chemicals!

I recommend Salty Lemonade to patients when they have any form of gastroenteritis that presents with vomiting or diarrhea and there’s a risk for dehydration. Excessive vomiting or diarrhea can dehydrate you and throw off your electrolytes. In extreme cases, rehydration IV therapy is needed rather than oral rehydration therapy. However, most moderate cases of dehydration can resolve with oral rehydration therapy alone.1

I like to use lemons for my homemade electrolyte replacement drink because they are low in sugar. I’ve seen some electrolyte replenishing recipes use freshly squeezed orange juice, but I don’t think that’s the best idea. It’s too high in sugar. Pouring orange juice down the hatch when your body hasn’t had anything to eat for 24 hours will create an unnecessary spike in your blood sugar, which can result in hypoglycemia 2-3 hours after you’ve had the drink. You want an electrolyte drink low in sugar so that your blood sugar stays stable. I sweeten Salty Lemonade with liquid stevia, which does not bother the blood sugar. You don’t want to fix one problem while giving yourself another, right?

Making a homemade electrolyte replacement drink will obviously result in different numbers when compared to store bought Pedialyte. Because I like to compare, I made a graph for you to see the difference below. I obtained nutrient information for the lemon juice and the Pedialyte from the USDA Nutrient Database. Because the USDA Nutrient Database did not have information on special non-iodized salt, I used the nutrient information for real salt, found on the real salt website. Calculations are from 1/4 tsp of real salt. I was fascinated to find that regular ole Pedialyte does not provide any vitamins, but that’s actually a good thing! Most companies dump stupid folic acid in their products, and we don’t need anymore of that. Salty Lemonade has a tiny bit of folate and vitamin C (folate found in nature is A-OK)!

Salty Lemonade Pedialyte
1.5 Cup Comparison
Sodium 530mg 378mg
Chloride 840mg 441mg
Potassium 50mg 288mg
Magnesium 4.28mg 3mg
Calcium 10mg 37.5mg
Zinc 1mg 0.08mg
Iron 0.8mg 0mg
Phosphorus 93mg 37.5mg
Folate 10mg 0mg
Vitamin C 18.6mg 0mg
Sugar 1.2g 9.2g

pink Himalayan salt

Lastly, I must talk about salt because I spent about 4 hours on a bunny trail researching it when I was supposed to be writing this post. I prefer natural, unprocessed salt, but there is quite the controversy on what natural salt is THE BEST salt. And, about 5 minutes ago, I heard the Wendy’s Eating Husband say, “You better not be researching that salt right now! You better be writing your post!”. So, I have to make use of my research to justify how many hours I put into learning about the Pink Himalayan Salt Mines in Pakistan. Now, I want to visit them.

The bunny trail started when I found some internet articles (not sure of their validity) claiming that pink himalayan salt is actually bad for you because it has high amounts of fluoride and bromide in it. However, in my research, I found that real salt actually had higher amounts of fluoride and bromide than the Pink Himalayan Salt.

Pink Himalayan Salt is my favorite salt for both taste and beauty. I love that it’s naturally pink (the pink color is supposedly from it’s iron content). I’m not going to worry about eating it. But just so you know, it may not be THE BEST salt for your optimal health. After all that research, I’m even more obsessed with Pink Himalayan Salt, especially after watching this fascinating video. And if you want to read about the working conditions and how they get the salt out of the mines, check out this article from the Seattle Times. Pink Himalayan Salt is what I used in the photograph.

This recipe is an eyeball it up kind of thing. No need to pull out all the measuring equipment when you’re sick.

Some people should not have salt. If your doctor has advised you to avoid salt, then please make Salty Lemonade for someone else.

1. Spandorfer PR, Alessandrini EA, Joffe MD, et al. Oral versus intravenous rehydration of moderately dehydrated children: a randomized, controlled trial. Pediatrics. Feb 2005. 115(2):295-301.

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Detox Every Day 7: Amp Up Your Fiber Intake

eat more fiber to put those toxins where they belong: in the toilet bowl

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)

useful for anxiety, insomnia, pain, intestinal spasms, and kidney stones

Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum)

tonifies, detoxifies, protects, regenerates, and restores the liver

8 Male Infertility Tips for Dads in Redmond

newborn in cloth hammock

The way you live your life affects your sperm. Period. It doesn’t matter who you are. What food you put down the hatch, what supplements you take, where you store your cell phone, and where you put your laptop can all affect the quality of your sperm. Healthy sperm matters because healthy sperm = healthy offspring.

A sperm’s quality is usually based on, but not limited to, the following parameters:

  1. DNA structure. Abnormal DNA structure inside the sperm can lead to genetic defects in offspring.
  2. Sperm Concentration. The number of sperm cells per mL of ejaculate. A good number is above 15 million per mL.
  3. Sperm Motility. In other words, how fast your boys can swim.
  4. Sperm Morphology. Abnormal shape, like a crooked tail or lumpy head, can impede the ability to reach and penetrate the egg.

Here is what you need to know in order to keep those mini-me’s in their best shape for the big swim!

1. Get a Man Purse to Carry Your Cell Phone

Using a cell phone may decrease semen quality, especially when the cell phone is stored in a hip pocket or belt and rests in close proximity to the testes. A study found that when a cell phone is carried close to the testes, it was associated with decreased sperm concentration and decreased sperm motility.1

2. Don’t Use a Laptop On Your Lap

Using a laptop on your lap not only increases electromagnetic energy exposure on the testicles, but also increases the temperature of the scrotum. Higher scrotal temperatures interfere with sperm production.

3. Get Tested for STDs

Gonorrhea and chlamydia are two of the most common STDs that can affect the quality of your sperm. Get this! In some guys, chlamydia can be asymptomatic (no symptoms). Both of these STDs can result in poor semen quality, decreased sperm concentration, and decreased sperm motility. Once these STDs are treated with antibiotics, the semen is back up to par within 3 months.

4. Stop Microwaving Your Food in Plastic

When you microwave your food in a plastic container, you are basically nuking your food with synthetic estrogen. Microwaving food in plastic drives estrogen mimicking chemicals (xenoestrogens) from the plastic container into the food. Xenoestrogens in a male’s body can result in a smaller amount of ejaculate, decreased sperm motility, decreased sperm vitality, abnormal sperm morphology, and abnormal DNA in the sperm.

5. Stop Smoking

This includes cigar night. Cigarette smoke can decrease your sperm concentration, total sperm count, and sperm motility. It can also cause abnormally shaped sperm (morphology). Even more fascinating, cigarette smoke can cause inflammatory cells to show up in the semen.

6. Get Tested for MTHFR mutations

You can do this through your local physician or you can do it through MTHFR mutations can play a huge role in the quality of your sperm because this particular mutation affects B12 and folate metabolism. B12 and folate are required for healthy DNA inside the sperm. Remember that the better the DNA of the sperm, the better that sperm will survive the long route to the egg, and then the better the DNA of the offspring. If you have an MTHFR mutation, it impairs your body’s ability to utilize plain ol’ B12 and folate, and you’ll need to take special forms of it (methylated B12 and methylated folate).

7. Eat as many organic, raw vegetables as possible

Sperm are very, very sensitive to this toxic world. Raw vegetables help quench free radicals, especially those in the cruciferous family. If you want to beef up your sperm quality, triple your current raw vegetable intake. Eat raw vegetables with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Sometimes the only way to do this is to have a green smoothie for breakfast, sliced vegetables with lunch, and a large salad with dinner. If you can’t afford organic vegetables, eating conventionally grown raw vegetables is still superior to not eating them at all.

8. Take a high quality multi-vitamin

If you eat like the Wendy’s Eating Husband, you should take a high quality multivitamin not only while trying to make a baby but before you decide to make a baby. The extra nutrients in a multivitamin can increase all parameters of sperm quality. Extra nutrients can also protect the sperm from being damaged by free radicals. I have the Wendy’s Eating Husband take Thorne’s Basic Nutrients V, which is my go-to multivitamin for men.

1. Kilgallon SJ & Simmons LW. Image content influences men’s semen quality. Bio Lett. 2005 22;1(3):253-5.

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Save Your Cuticles

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Research based supplement options to maximize the health of your growing nugget