Tag: wellness

  • Why the Comparison between Sitting & Smoking? | 07.12.2016

    Already feel like you are doing everything for your health, but unaware of the impact of one our most seemingly innocuous habits of the day?  Turns out our sedentary lifestyles are impacting our health more significantly than previously recognized and these negative health consequences are not reversed with a few hours at the gym!!

    Researcher Dr. James Levine, from the Mayo Clinic, is credited with coining the phrase “sitting is the new smoking.” He is a leading endocrinologist, who has studied the effects of sitting on our metabolism and overall health. Prolonged sitting, like long-term smoking, increases our risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, depression and all-cause mortality (a term for any cause of death). Yes, you read that right, according to several large population studies, all of us weekend warriors and gym rats are still at increased risk as long as we continue to sit for several hours per day at our desk, on the couch or driving.

    So, you say, thank you doomsayer Dr. Phillips-Dorsett, what am I supposed to do about that??

    Thankfully, short of returning to life as we knew it 100 years ago, when we were 5 times more active in our daily routine than now, there are several strategies to combat our sedentary habits. I have listed a few below.

    Move throughout the day. A recent study published in Diabetes Care presented evidence that periodic light walking or ‘simple resistance activities,’ like half squats and knee raises, improves after meal levels of blood sugar, insulin and triglycerides (a type of fat measured in the blood). Reducing these markers means improved heart and blood vessel health. Do anything that increases the amount of steps throughout your day: use the bathroom on another floor and take the stairs, or park your car at the far end of the parking lot (also reduces risk of getting hit by or hitting the other cars jockeying for the closest spot), then walk to the store.

    Modify your work environment. Standing desks are often prescribed for and sometimes covered by insurance for back pain and other musculoskeletal ailments. See your primary care doctor for more information. There are now even treadmill desks, which have been shown to increase memory and information retention. Ask your clients or staff if some meetings can be held during a walking session. Get a headset for your phone and walk around your office while speaking with clients.

    Walk to work, school, the grocery store, etc. If you are within a mile of work or your favorite shopping center, strongly consider walking or biking there. It’s easy to get in the habit of driving everywhere, but perhaps the next time you reach for your keys, think about getting out your sneakers and a backpack instead.

    Developing new habits is always a challenge. Start with something you see yourself doing regularly, instead of something that you commit to for a week or two and then don’t find you are able to continue. Creating a new routine will undoubtedly take some trial and error and the type of activity will likely need to be modified with the seasons. The key is to stay consistent. So if you have avoided smoking for your health or are a former smoker, this new information is timely. Don’t hesitate to take the next step (many steps) to ensure you are doing all you can to remain healthy.

    Dr. Danielle PHillips-Dorsett

    Dr. Phillips-Dorsett received her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine in 2015 from Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington.  She places emphasis on understanding the underlying cause of disturbance in a person that leads to physical and emotional discomfort. Using this as a foundation, she helps patients by bolstering their own defense systems to not only return the body to health, but to optimize well being.

    Dr. Phillips-Dorsett joined Yellowstone Naturopathic Clinic in November 2015 as one of the Family Medicine/Naturopathic Oncology residents. She sees patients at both St. Vincent Frontier Cancer Center and Yellowstone Naturopathic Clinic.


    For more on wellness, please attend a free Lunchtime Food for Thought with Dr. Audrey Schenewerk at the Yellowstone Naturopathic Clinic on Tuesday, July 19th; and, with Dr. Jennifer Krieger (“How to Handle Stress by Living in the Moment“) at Good Earth Market on Wednesday, July 20, 12:05-12:50pm.

  • From the Wellness Department: The Power of Small Habits | 04.24.2016

    With the flurry of the “New Year” behind us, I want to challenge you to start each day fresh, with a New-Day/New-Start attitude. Every day is a new opportunity, and the options are endless! I don’t mean anything huge like painting the house, rebuilding an engine, or starting a new business. Try something new, make a progressive change in your daily routine, or just tackle a task using a new method. Each of the small new things can be milestones! It all depends on your perspective or mindset.

    Not a breakfast eater? Having protein at the beginning of your day (seriously, shoot for 20 grams) has been proven to increase brain power. Forget the sugar and carb breakfast – who really wants that 10:00am brain fog?

    Does your job require you to sit for hours at a time? Get up and move or stretch for a few minutes every hour, get that blood moving! And yes, it’s chilly outside, but go out anyway for a quick lunchtime walk– the fresh air and sunshine will do you a world of good.

    Exhausted at the end of the day? Before turning in, take 10 minutes to stretch – your neck, shoulders, back, and hips will thank you with a better night’s sleep.

    I recently read a quote that said, “If you don’t take care of your body, then where are you going to live?” If that doesn’t get you thinking, read it again. Then start making changes as needed, a little at a time. Trade the cookie for apple slices, add greens to your smoothie, walk for 5 more minutes. Take a break from Netflix to walk your dog, or throw a frisbee with your kids. Eat a lighter meal in the evening. Swap out that creamy salad dressing for a lighter vinaigrette, almonds instead of croutons, red wine instead of white. Try out that new yoga class, and invite a friend along. Go to bed earlier.

    Keep it simple. Do what inspires you. Make one change at a time (multitasking is overrated, not to mention overwhelming!). If you love what you do, that one little thing, you will keep doing it. If you feel good because of that one little shift in your routine, you will be inspired to make other little changes…and it will perpetuate! You just might become addicted to shaking things up. Pretty soon you will be doing what inspires you, things you love, all in line with your mindset.

    The biggest trend now is to pay attention to you, what suits you, what feels not just good, but RIGHT for you. The options are endless (did I already say that?). Not to steal a slogan, but Nike was right on track when they coined the phrase JUST DO IT! Seriously, just do it.

    Dolly’s Product Picks:

    Garden of Life Wild Rose D-Tox – If you’re looking for support for your health goals or to begin a new health habit, this cleanse offers a healthy, balanced and complete detoxification.

    Chico Bags – These nifty little bags are easy and compact to store and carry and have so many uses! Check out the Bottle Slings, Original Bags, Sidekicks, Vita Bags.

    Klean Kanteen! Insulated, non-insulated, many sizes & options….these reusable, stainless steel bottles are awesome!

    Pic - Dolly

     written by Dolly Fansler, GEM’s Wellness & Front End Manager

  • Melatonin & Children | 01.04.2016

    sleeping-baby-1504680-638x468I have asked myself many times whether to use melatonin with children in a clinical setting. Many times, lifestyle and dietary changes make such an impact on sleep that supplements may not be necessary. For children and adults, a bedtime routine is a very important step in sleep hygiene. A bedtime routine sets the stage for sleep. Finding a pattern that best fits your family can be a challenge, but this could include: brushing teeth, story time, sleepy time tea, followed by an appropriate bedtime.

    Other general sleep guidelines include:
    – Decreasing mental activity after dinner (including computer and television).
    – Avoiding caffeine after lunch.
    – Keeping the bedroom quiet and dark while sleeping.
    – Dealing with anxieties & worries before bed.
    – Taking a hot bath with Epsom salts or essential oils.
    – Avoiding large snacks or meals before bed.

    The list could go on and on, but if the night time ritual is not working, is there another option? Is there a way to work with the body’s natural ability to fall asleep versus causing a drugged sleep? The answer is “yes”, based on current research, melatonin can play a role in the sleep puzzle.

    What is melatonin?
    Melatonin is a hormone made in the pineal gland in the brain. When melatonin function is healthy, it is released in a pulse-like pattern throughout the day; lower in the morning and higher at night. Melatonin works as our internal clock; it changes with the season based on light cycles. As we age, melatonin levels begin to decrease. Melatonin levels are highest in infancy and drop in the adolescent and elderly age groups.

    Melatonin has been found to be safe for long term use in children. Based on a large Dutch study, there was found to be no statistically significant pubertal change between the group taking melatonin and a matched group of the same age and sex. On average, melatonin had been taken for three years at an average dose of 2.69mg. Other long range studies have also been published showing the safety of melatonin in children.

    So how does melatonin work?
    Melatonin works in children with delayed onset of sleep. This means that some children likely have a dim light onset melatonin (DLOM) occurring later than other children who fall asleep easily at bed time. Melatonin has been shown to move the DLOM earlier when it is taken 1-2 hours before bedtime. At the recommended dosage, minimal side effects were seen. The most common side effects seem to be headache and grogginess.

    For children with delayed onset of sleep and night awakenings, melatonin may be a great option when given under the supervision of a physician. Taken at appropriate times, it can support the body’s ability to make melatonin earlier and help the body fall asleep easily and at an appropriate time.

    Dr. Rachel DayRachel Day N.D., is a family practice physician at Yellowstone Naturopathic Clinic. She can be reached at (406) 259-5096. Learn more at www.yncnaturally.com.



  • News from the Wellness Department | 08.28.2015

    Wellness is in a new location in the center of the the Good Earth Market for all of your core wellness needs.

    Yep! You can now find your personal health care needs altogether in the center of the Co-op! Especially in a natural foods Co-op, it’s essential for supplements (to treat internal conditions) and body care items (for everything on the outside) to co-habitate, as their uses go hand-in-hand. It’s so simple now to find neti pot salt, vitamin C, and manuka honey throat drops to soothe your allergy or cold symptoms! Or choose your favorite body wash and lotion, multivitamin and fish oil all in one sweep.

    The idea of creating a more intimate shopping area for those personal items has become a reality. The new space is unexpectedly enhanced by a cheery skylight. While most of the Co-op is filled with delicious aromas wafting from our kitchen, the new Wellness area has taken on its own blend of florals and essential oils: “It smells so good in here!” (as heard from several shoppers).

    Being in the center of the Co-op brings to mind that it could be compared to the human heart, the crucial source of vibrance in the body. I know that’s a stretch, to claim the energy of the Co-op begins with my departments! However I DO really like the idea of it being an inviting place where anyone can relax in a calm moment, gain focus and energy, and be centered. Have you experienced the new Wellness Center yet?

    Dolly’s Picks:
    * Acure is a new favorite of mine! From face care to body care you can’t lose here! Using a minimal variety of really clean ingredients, they have formulas to meet everyone’s needs, all packaged beautifully. Skin moisturizers are not greasy and smell fantastic (unless you choose unscented!), and I love all of the shampoos and conditioners. Come in and check them out!

    * HealthForce is an awesome company providing us with mostly powdered supplements, All of their herbal and whole food blends are raw, vegan, gluten free, and mix easily into your favorite juice, smoothie, or even water. Check these out and add your choice to your daily diet, for everything from a natural energy boost to deep cleansing action.

  • Inner-Ēco Probiotic | 04.10.2014

    Reset and New March 5 (7 of 7)


    What is a probiotic?

    Probiotics are bacteria that help maintain the natural balance of organisms (microflora) in the intestines. The normal human digestive tract contains about 400 types of probiotic bacteria that reduce the growth of harmful bacteria and promote a healthy digestive system. The largest group of probiotic bacteria in the intestine is lactic acid bacteria, of which Lactobacillusacidophilus, found in yogurt with live cultures, is the best known. Yeast is also a probiotic substance. Probiotics are also available as dietary supplements. (WebMD)

    I have used probiotics for several years. For me, they have kept inflammation down in my body, my guts regulated, and definitely help me during allergy season. (Results will vary for every person.) Trying several kinds over the years, I’ve been very happy with inner-ēco Fresh Coconut Water Probiotic  while taking it over the past month. I came down with a slight head cold and noticed this probiotic was helpful in reducing symptoms and duration. (Again, results will vary for every person.)

    I have officially switched to inner-ēco and find it very reasonably priced for 30 servings coupled with great results.

    Currently, inner-ēco is on sale for $16.99, reg. $19.99. The sales ends on Tuesday, April 15th.

    Jodie, Marketing Manager


  • Anti-Cancer Foods: Can Food Be Your Medicine? | 01.09.2014

    You may have more control over your health than you thought!  Whether you have a family history of cancer or are currently battling the disease, there are lifestyle choices which can boost your immune system and minimize your risk of developing cancer and other diseases.

    The consensus of numerous studies is that eating more fruits and vegetables can reduce your risk for developing all types of cancers. Fruits and vegetables contain phytochemicals, compounds found in plants that may help your body fight cancer.  Remember, it is unlikely that any single compound will protect you against cancer; a balanced diet that includes five or more servings of a variety of fruits and vegetables per day will be the most effective way to reduce your risk of developing cancer and here’s why:

    1. Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, radishes, turnips, watercress, brussel sprouts): Cruciferous vegetables contain a variety of compounds (Indole-3-Carbinol, glucosinolates, sulforaphanes) that have been shown in research studies to slow cancer growth and development.

    2. Citrus fruits (lemon, grapefruit, orange): Citrus fruits contain Vitamin C, fiber, flavonoids and ellagic acid; these phytochemicals act as antioxidants, enhancing detoxification and the immune system. High intake of Vitamin C is associated with a decreased incidence of intestinal cancers – vitamin C can block the formation of these cancer-causing compounds.

    3. Dark berries and grapes: Berries contain bioflavonoids (anthocyanidins and ellagic acid), which are two most researched cancer-fighting compounds found in berries. Resveratrol, high in red or purple grapes, is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and is thought to prevent cell damage before it begins, preventing tumor formation.

    4. Whole grains: Whole grains contain a variety of anti-cancer compounds: fiber, antioxidants, lignans, selenium, zinc and vitamin E which support elimination and detoxification pathways in the body while enhancing the immune system.

    5. Green tea (regular or decaf): A rich source of polyphenols, like epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) may slow or prevent the development of a variety of cancers.

    6.  Garlic and onions (scallions, leeks, and chives): Garlic contains allicin, diallyl disulfide, cysteine, selenium and flavonoids (quercetin), thought to block the formation of cancer-causing agents and slow or stop the growth of tumors.

    7. Spices (especially ginger, rosemary and turmeric): Spices contain many compounds, like curcumin, that act as potent antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents, and enhance the immune system and detoxification pathways.

    8. Tomatoes: Lycopene is the anti-cancer agent found in tomatoes that has been shown to combat prostate cancer.

    9. Legumes and beans (especially soybeans, garbanzo and kidney): Phytochemicals in beans, isoflavones and genistein, act as hormonal modulators and estrogen receptor blockers. These may be protective in some hormonally-based cancers and are associated with a decreased incidence of digestive cancers.

    10. Nuts and seeds: Essential fatty acids and many nutrients like vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, and zinc are found in nuts and seeds.

    11. Mushrooms: Mushrooms contain polysaccharides and beta-glucans, phytochemicals that promote specific immune cells, like natural killer cells.

    12. Cold-water fish (salmon, cod, halibut):  These are great sources vitamin D and essential fatty acids (EFA’s) like EPA and DHA which enhance immune function and inhibit tumor formation in the body.

    Pic - Dr.  Jeane13. Dark Green Leafy Vegetables: Excellent sources of the carotenoid family of antioxidants, romaine, spinach, mustard greens, parsley, and Swiss are also rich in folate, a vitamin shown to reduce the risk of cervical, breast and lung cancers.

    By Dr. La Deana Jeane, ND, Yellowstone Naturopathic Clinic.  Learn more about making smart food choices to reduce your risk of developing cancer.  Join Dr. Jeane on Thursday January 15th, 2014 for a free workshop at Good Earth Market and visit www.yncnaturally.com.

  • Goals for a More Vital 2014 | 12.22.2013

    Dolly, GEM's Wellness Manager#1 – Build your muscles. Weight lifting and resistance training strengthen muscles, which support bones and joints. For women, it’s crucial for preventing muscle and bone loss with age. Exercising also makes your heart muscle strong (*very important!). Being strong makes daily tasks easier and more enjoyable!

    #2 – Swap it out. Trade your desk chair for a stability ball. Watch your core strength and posture improve!

    #3Eat at least two fish meals per week. The evidence is strong that the oils in darker types of fish, such as salmon, tuna, mackerel and herring, are beneficial for the heart and brain and may even lower risk of cancer.

    #4 – Drink water. Drink an 8-ounce glass of water as soon as you wake up in the morning to rev up your metabolism. Stay hydrated throughout the day! Drinking water can curb the urge to snack mindlessly, especially if you are not truly hungry.

    #5 – Play more. Get a dog, get moving, get up and DO something. Use a pedometer, set a goal for 10,000 steps in a day! Spend time outside. Don’t go without the mood-lifting benefits of sunshine and fresh air!

    #6 – Take up a new hobby. Find an activity that fulfills your passion. Take a class, learn a new skill. Challenge yourself! You can do it!

    #7 – Eat breakfast. Eat small meals every 3-4 hours, include lean protein, healthy fats, and cut out the sugar. This will keep your energy up, and eliminate hunger pangs, especially in the evening.

    #8 – Increase protein & fiber in your daily regime. Make smart food swaps such as turkey for beef, a green salad for starchy peas and corn, whole grains for white processed breads.

    #9 – Add more veggies to your meals. Nutrient-dense options include leafy greens, kale, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, radish, bean sprouts, peppers, turnips, carrots, cauliflower, artichoke, tomato, onion, and garlic.

    #10 – Stop making excuses.  Say YES more often. Try new things!

    #11 – Take your vitamins! It’s difficult to get all you need from the food you eat. Choosing a great multi-vitamin can make a difference

    #12 – Read the labels. Know what’s in your food. Can’t pronounce it? Look it up! Be aware of what goes into your body; be an intentional consumer.

    #13 – Sleep. All healing requires extra sleep.  During the day, one primarily uses the sympathetic nervous system, associated with spending energy and tearing down the body.  This is balanced by the parasympathetic system, associated with rest, nurturing and regeneration of body tissues.  This is equally important and takes place when one is resting.  One may call it maintenance or repair time.

    Written by Dolly Fansler, GEM’s Wellness Manager

  • Food for Skin: Summer Foods that Promote Healthy Skin | 07.11.2013

    Summer is well upon us with warmth and sunshine. Our skin takes a beating with the elements of dry hot wind, pool water, and too much sun. How can we continue to have beautiful glowing, hydrated skin all summer long?

    The season of summer has its own special foods, color, elements, and influence. The element of summer is fire and this element rules the heart and small intestine. The heart represents not only the actual heart organ, but the emotional state and memory. When our hearts are healthy, we are able to solve problems effortlessly and arrive at brilliant solutions. The emotion for the summer heart is joy, and the sound is laughter.

    The fire element is associated with the color red, so all foods that are red in color, including tomatoes, red peppers, beets, strawberries and cranberries benefit the heart and small intestine. Lycopine, an antioxidant, is very beneficial for the heart organ.

    Some foods that are calming include mushrooms, brown rice, oats, and jujube.  Herbs such as chamomile, catnip, skullcap, passion flower, and valerian are calming and very helpful when your mind is racing and you cannot go to sleep.

    The summer skin can have too much redness, such as having flushed faces, rosecea, eczema, and psoriasis. Where there is too much redness in the face, the foods that are bitter can combat chronic congestion in the nose, lungs or face, as well as yeast overgrowth, obesity and skin eruptions. Bitter foods are very good for anybody who suffers with congestion on the face. The bitter taste also increases intestinal muscle contraction, which helps with the peristalsis movement in the intestines. This means good movement in the digestive system, and good digestive movement removes toxins in the body and helps clear the skin.  Some bitter foods include rhubarb, kale, watercress and celery.

    WatermelonOther great foods for summertime are roasted red peppers, watermelon, or chilled tomato soups to bring back the fluids lost during perspiration. Of course, drink plenty of water and use sunscreen.

    Managing the hydration levels in the body and skin is very important for having beautiful skin. As mentioned above, eating foods that have a water content is the best way to get that extra water into our systems.

    Watermelon, our most famous summer food, is amazing and in my next workshop, we will explore just how amazing watermelon is and how it benefits our skin and body.

    During the summer months, nature is at its most expansive, abundant manifestation. The sun is at its highest, food is plentiful, and all plant life is full of vital life force. So eat healthy summer foods, be filled with summer Joy, laugh a lot, and infuse the energy of the color red.  All this will enhance the summer glow with your skin that the vital life force produces.

    Learn more about summer foods and protecting your skin at Susan’s next workshop, Saturday, July 13, 1:00pm-2:00pm. Susan Reddig, B.S., is a Licensed Esthetician at Clinical Skin Solutions of Billings, and Holistic Healthy Eating Coach. Susan’s focus is on beautiful skin through safe product and healthy eating.


  • The Mediterranean Diet | 06.20.2013

    Wine & OlivesEvery nutrition expert wants to tell us the next new diet for healthy living based on current research. Amusingly, it is usually some variation of how people of the Mediterranean have been eating for centuries.

    Special dietary needs aside; the Mediterranean diet has been shown over and over again, in the research, to account for longevity and happy hearts across international borders. So, what’s so special about it? How does this help us in the nether regions where temperatures get well below zero?

    Part of the magic that is the Mediterranean diet is that it can be adapted to anywhere you live! After all, the Mediterranean itself consists of more than a dozen countries with disparate traditional cuisines, yet the health outcomes are similar.

    This way of eating is more a set of principles than telling us exactly which foods to eat. It helps us because right here in Montana we have a wealth of farms that cultivate and raise the type of food we can adapt for the heart healthy benefits this diet offers. It helps to remind us of our connection to where food comes from and its importance on our health. It helps us be mindful of what we are putting in our bodies.

    The foundation of the Mediterranean diet includes the following: every meal should be made up primarily of whole grains, vegetables and fruits, legumes and nuts; an increased amount of unsaturated fats (olive oil and canola oil) when cooking, marinating or making sauces; a limited amount of red meat, sweets and processed foods; and exercise!

    A glass of red wine is an optional component to dinners; and fruit is suggested for desserts. Each meal, or as often as possible, should be savored with friends and family. This is an omega-3, antioxidant, fiber and mineral rich diet. That’s it! There are hundreds of books and plenty of online resources to learn more about how this style of eating is sustaining and healthful.

    Danielle and Federico Ferrero, Italian doctorJoin Danielle Phillips-Dorsett on Wednesday, June 26, 5:30pm – 7:30pm, to learn more about the Mediterranean diet and how locally-grown Montana foods seamlessly adapts to the diet.  The $15 fee includes the demonstration and a family-style dinner, along with recipes and handouts.   Danielle is a former employee of ours, and is now studying naturopathic medicine at Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington.





  • Celiac Disease & Gluten Sensitivity | 03.01.2013

    WheatThey’ve become household words, but if someone gluten sensitive was coming to dinner, would you know what to feed him/her?  If you are the one who has been diagnosed with Celiac or gluten sensitivity, do you fully understand the pathology of each? 

    Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition, meaning the body’s own immune system attacks itself.  Specifically, the immune system attacks the “villi” in the small intestine, the “arms” that reach out and grab nutrients as they pass through the digestive track.  Celiac disease attacks and breaks off the arms.  As a result of malabsorption and depleted nutrients, the body is trying to do normal physiological function on fumes.  

    Celiac disease now affects 1 in 133. Not many years ago, it was a one-page description in the medical text and doctors were told they would rarely see it in practice.  A lot has changed, and fast.

    1 in 8 people with Celiac disease have GI (gastro-intestinal) symptoms:  gas, bloating, diarrhea, nausea, GI pain or cramping.  The other 7 of 8 people may not have any GI symptoms and may present with joint pain, migraines, eczema, irritability, depression, clumsiness, difficulty balancing, neuropathy, infertility, fatigue (including iron or a B-vitamin deficiency), osteoporosis or changes to teeth.  This list can also include weight gain or constipation – opposite of what we’d think when there is malabsorption.  Because the symptoms can affect any organ system, it’s easy to miss.  Symptoms of joint pain are addressed by the rheumatologist while the dentist talks to the patient about oral hygiene. 

    Celiac disease progresses on a spectrum.  A person doesn’t go from healthy to “100% villous atrophy with crypt hyperplasia” overnight, stages progress from 1 to 4.  If a person was tested for Celiac disease before Stage 4 is reached, a negative diagnosis might again be given. 

    Are there ramifications of all this negative diagnosis?  You bet!  Many people are out there eating a little or a lot of gluten because they were tested and told they did not have Celiac disease.  Or maybe they never got tested; they just tried a gluten-free trial, felt better and mostly avoid gluten now. 

    The long-term consequence of either of these two scenarios is that individuals “cheat” and they continue to throw fuel on the autoimmune fire.  It’s not the amount of gluten one eats; it’s the fact that gluten is the trigger and fires or “turns on” the immune system, which can set off the immune system for up to six weeks.  If the autoimmune process isn’t turned down or off, the person could expect to have other autoimmune diseases in his/her lifetime!  Cheating isn’t an option.

    If Celiac disease is definitively ruled out via blood tests, a biopsy, and looking for the genetic markers, that is truly good news and the person would now be diagnosed with Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity.  While the autoimmune process doesn’t seem to be in play in this diagnosis, eating gluten is still playing with fire.

    Join me for a free workshop on the ins and outs of Celiac and gluten intolerance on Good Earth Market’s Gluten-Free Day Saturday, March 9 from noon-1pm.  All gluten-free products in the store will be 20% off.

    Tracy Konoske, MS RD, holds her Masters degree in Nutrition from Bastyr University, the “Harvard” of natural medicine.  In addition, she has advanced training in functional medicine from the Institute for Functional Medicine.  Tracy has a virtual private practice here in the Billings area – as such, she “sees” patients all over the state of Montana as she helps them identify the root cause of their health condition.  Tracy’s specialties include:  migraines and chronic headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, joint pain including fibromyalgia, and auto immune diseases including Celiac disease.  You can find more information at www.healthylifestylesmt.com.




  • Heart Healthy Red Wines | 02.13.2013

    In this season of love, our thoughts lend themselves to those we care about. While considering their heart, both in the emotional and physical sense, why not include a heart healthy libation to show you care?

    Red wine continues to gain praise as a “heart healthy” beverage.  Red wine contains polyphenols, a variety of antioxidants that have positive test results indicating their benefit for strengthening the immune system, reducing the risk of heart disease, and even preventing cancer. 

    Polyphenols are also responsible for a wine’s flavor profile and texture in your mouth.  The same structure, or tannin*, that helps a red wine age gracefully is one of the main polyphenols benefiting the human body.   In essence, tannin helps both you and the wine age gracefully.

    Resveratrol is one polyphenol in particular that is receiving lots of attention.  It is finding its way into many anti-aging tinctures as well as being credited with reducing inflammation and blood clotting (heart disease). The deep color and high phenol concentration of red wines comes from its extended contact with the skins, pips, and stems of the grape, a process called maceration.

    White wine grapes contain a similar potential for this antioxidant-rich notoriety, but they often times spend far less time macerating and end up absorbing less from the nutrient rich skins and stems.

    Find These Wines at the Co-op

    Lomas del Valle Cabernet Franc:  Cabernet Franc is one of the parent grapes of Cabernet Sauvignon. A tamer version of its offspring, Cab Franc is well suited to cool climates like Chile and the Loire Valley. Flavors include dark berry, black current and violets.

    Wine - MontepulcianoPietrantonji Montepulciano d’Abruzzo:
      This Italian winery dates back to the 1700s and is literally the oldest winery in Abruzzo, doubling as a museum for the area which sits just north of the heel on the eastern coast of Italy. This Montepulciano is made in the traditional style in homage to their ancestors. This wine offers sweet spice flavors of vanilla, anise and dried tobacco in the mouth, with a hint of chocolate on the finish.

    Le Pigolet Rouge:  This French Rhone style blend of 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 5% Cinsault and 5% Carignan shows pretty flavors of roasted herbs, smoke, and ripe red fruits and pomegranate. Blended by the Brunier family of Vieux Telegraph fame. 

    *Tannin: Consider the “drying” sensation after swallowing a bite out of an apple or a flathead cherry. Tannin contributes greatly to the way a wine feels in your mouth. It can also find its way into wine via oak barrels.

    Written by Lena Olson of Winegardners Wines.  Learn more at www.winegardnerswines.com.


  • Making Your Own Stock | 01.02.2013

    Soup stock is the foundation for many of the tastiest soups, and it’s a flavor enhancer for many a dish too.  But canned and packaged stocks are generally high in sodium and may include artificial ingredients, like monosodium glutamate (MSG). You can find healthier and organic varieties at your co-op, but if you use stock frequently in your cooking, it can get expensive. Despite what you may think, making your own stock requires minimal effort, costs little money, and will keep you, well, stocked for months.

    There are a million and one uses for a good homemade stock, including:

    • Making your own soups and stews
    • Adding depth to homemade pasta sauces
    • Using in place of water or butter to infuse rice, couscous, or other grains with flavor
    • Braising greens and other vegetables
    • Deglazing pans to make gravy
    • Substituting for wine in any recipe

    The most versatile stocks are chicken and vegetable stock, but the possibilities don’t stop there.  Beef stock, fish stock, chili stock, ginger stock—the list is limited only by your imagination. For the sake of simplicity, file away this basic how-to for chicken or vegetable stock and improvise from there.

    What you’ll need:

    • 1 pound chicken bones (if making chicken stock); reserve the bones every time you roast a local, pastured chicken and freeze in a plastic bag until you’re ready to make stock
    • 1 pound assorted vegetables: carrots, celery, onions, garlic, or other root vegetables, washed and chopped into large pieces
    • 1-2 dried bay leaves
    • A few handfuls of fresh herbs: thyme, rosemary, sage, parsley, or whatever else you have on hand, washed and added to the pot, stems and all
    • 2-3 tablespoons whole spices: black peppercorns, coriander, caraway, fennel, etc.

    In a large soup or stockpot, add all the ingredients and cover with 12-16 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 3-4 hours. The liquid should reduce slowly; if it seems to be drying out quickly, add more water and turn down the heat.

    After 3-4 hours, strain the stock, discarding all solids (it’s okay if a few whole spices escape the strainer). You should be left with 8-10 cups of stock. Season to taste with salt or just wait to salt until you use it in a recipe. Divide stock into one-cup portions in small plastic bags or containers and freeze (this way, you can thaw just as much as you need).

    Just one Sunday afternoon spent making a batch of stock can save you $20-25 on the store-bought variety over the course of a few months.  And you’ll have a healthier, more flavorful ingredient to use in your kitchen—no bones about it.

    Reposted by permission from StrongerTogether.coop. Find articles about your food and where it comes from, recipes and a whole lot more at www.strongertogether.coop.

  • ‘Tis the Season: Maintain Your Health During the Holidays | 12.14.2012

    Winter seems to bring its own set of challenges. The key is to be ready for them, armed with the right tools.

    Are you ready?


    Challenge #1 – Less Daylight
    If the shorter days bother you, make use of what sunlight is available. Take a few minutes to enjoy the outdoors, even if it IS cold. Go for a walk on your lunch break; the fresh air is invigorating and the physical activity is a bonus. Add or increase your vitamin D, as studies now show most of us in North Americaare deficient.  Check with your doctor if you are unsure which amount to take is right for you.
    Product Suggestion:  Natural Factors Vitamin D3

    Challenge #2 – Virus Exposure
    Everyone around you seems to be getting sick, and your guard naturally goes up. It’s been said a million times, but I am repeating it because it works – wash your hands! This has been proven to be the #1 most effective method of warding off those winter bugs. Need more cold and flu fighters? Try astragalus, echinacea, elderberry, garlic, ginger, and medicinal mushrooms, for starters. For earaches try mullein/garlic ear oil. For sinus problems, how about a neti pot?  Another simple decongesting method is steam, with a few drops of eucalyptus or peppermint essential oil added.
    Product Suggestion:  Nutribiotic Defense Plus, a blend of herbs for immune defense

    Challenge #3 – Hair and Skin Issues
    Deep condition your hair weekly. Use argan oil after every shampoo to repair and strengthen hair, and to increase shine and manageability, a little goes a long way. Moisturize your skin, especially the areas most exposed to the elements–your face and hands. And if you are a skier, don’t forget the sunscreen!
    Product Suggestion:  Goe Oil, an allnatural oil blend for any skin

    Challenge #4 – Stress
    We all have it, and, for some, the tension increases during these colder months. Plan ahead for the holidays, de-clutter your party schedule, and keep it simple! Prioritize time for endorphin-producing exercise (daily!). If you are not already taking one, this is a great time to add a mood and brain boosting omega oil to your daily supplements. Eat healthy, whole-food-based balanced meals, avoid processed foods, and avoid going overboard on the festive drinks (there are natural hangover ‘cures’, just in case!). Last but not least, pay attention to your body, your stress level, how you feel in mind and spirit. Take a break, do yoga, meditate, or catch up on much-needed sleep.
    Product Suggestion:  Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega

    Make each day an adventure. Maintaining a positive attitude can make all the difference.  Bring on the winter!

    Dolly Fansler, GEM’s Wellness Manager, has a life-long passion for encouraging the well-being of others.  She is available in the wellness department to answer your wellness questions and provide the best product to suit your needs.

  • My Gluten-Free Story by Carl Solberg | 09.12.2012

    Some twenty years ago, my frail, emaciated 120 pound frame forced me to struggle. Forcing myself, I would vomit several times getting into the car to drive to work. Usual activities, like mowing the grass, were very difficult. I would make one pass with the lawnmower and have to go inside and rest. Numerous tests showed nothing unusual, until a family practice physician finally told me, “I don’t know what is wrong, I suspect it is something in your diet, but we’ll send you to someone who can find out.” That someone happened to be Dr. Mark Rumans of the Deaconess Billings Clinic.

    Carl SolbergDr. Rumans diligently completed his routine exam and scheduled a colonoscopy. His findings indicated that I had celiac disease. Dr. Rumans told me, “Lay off the bread and you will do just fine.” At this time much less was known about celiac disease, and I thought it was a rather rare disorder. I thought that I simply needed to cut back on my foods containing gluten. Thinking I was doing what was best, as long as gluten wasn’t the main ingredient in a food, I thought it would be fine if I consumed a little gluten. In fact, I wasn’t sure what gluten even was.

    I cut back on eating gluten, but many baked foods were too inviting. I had the belief that eventually my body would again be able to tolerate gluten, but I simply had to give myself time to heal.

    My gluten-ignorant life continued until I was diagnosed with an agent-orange related cancer from my previous Vietnam military duty. The surgery caused my body to again react. My celiac disease again “raised it ugly head.”

    Some understanding co workers noticed my extreme agony and saved my life by taking me immediately to the Deaconess Billings Clinic. My body felt like it was on fire. At first I brushed it off by thinking that my problem would go away just as quickly as it started. By the time I reached the Deaconess Billings Clinic, I was too weak to transfer with out assistance from a wheel chair to an examining table. It felt as if there was a civil war going on inside me. After some testing, the ER physician said, “I am not sure what is going on down there, but I see a lot of inflammation so we are going to have to take you upstairs for immediate surgery.” It took anesthesia to relieve my intense pain.

    After surgery, medical staff at the Deaconess Billings Clinic discovered that gluten had eaten a hole about the size of a pencil eraser in my small intestine. Surgeons removed several inches of intestine and spliced it up again. They did their best to control the peritonitis that ravaged my body. No food or drink allowed for days. I was told that if there was a problem, having food or drink could be fatal. No ice chips, no coffee, no nothing.  This Norwegian likes to have his coffee, but all was forbidden.

    Recovering at Deaconess Billings Clinic gave me some time to think. My first thoughts were, “I am going to quit leading a gluten-ignorant life.” While recuperating at home, I spent my days on the internet, trying to learn as much as I could about celiac disease and I tried to learn how I could learn to live a healthy gluten-free life. During my internet search I made some telephone contacts. When I was strong enough to get out of the house, I made some personal visits in my attempt to become more knowledgeable.

    During one of my computer searches I found Montana Celiac Society on the internet and made a call to Jean Powell, the founder of the organization. She asked if I was interested in helping start a gluten-free support group inBillings. When she mentioned this, I was delighted knowing that others should never have to suffer the pain I had just suffered. I was hours away from death, and no one should have to go through that agony.

    Now, feeling stronger, I made more contacts and more phone calls. The subject of all these conversations was always gluten – what is gluten-free and how can I learn more about ways I can stay healthy?

    During my search in ways to stay healthy, I came in contact with a very knowledgeable staff person at Montana Harvest Health Food Store on 17th & Grand Avenue. This exceptional person, Joan Dannenberg, was very “gluten-smart.” We talked gluten-free healthy foods and places to purchase these foods. Our conversation soon turned to the subject of working on a gluten-free support group in our area. I could see Joan’s enthusiasm grow, and some weeks later we had our first support group meeting on a Saturday sitting in chairs in the middle of the gluten-free aisle at Montana Harvest. Joan and my goals were similar in nature. We both had an extreme desire to reach out to others and provide support and education for others who needed to live a gluten-free life in order to stay healthy.

    Our “gluten-free walk” continued, our enthusiasm for educating others who suffered our health issues began to grow in numbers. We teamed up with Montana Celiac Society for advice and direction, and shortly thereafter we became members of the board and assisted serving in leadership positions.

    Before realizing what was happening, our gluten-free support group, which was first sparked by my near death, had now reached places outside of Billings.  Montana Celiac Society had a goal of bringing Dr. Allesso Fasano to Billings to speak at the Deaconess Billings Clinic. Our group rolled up it sleeves and went to work to see that Dr. Fassano could come. We realized that having the physician who heads up the Center for Celiac Research at the University of Maryland would be a huge asset to all of us. It would take money to do this, but that would not keep us from accomplishing this task. In the end, Dr. Fasano made a presentation at a packed conference room at the Deaconess Billings Clinic. Our group spent an eventful evening with Dr. Fasano and he was given a generous check by our organization to be used for celiac research.

    Since its beginning in Billings, our leadership and members of our support group have placed educating members as its number one goal. In so doing, it always adheres to having programs which are highly worthwhile to everyone in attendance. In keeping up with these principles and goals, we have assisted people with gluten issues in Kalispell and have worked with them to start a gluten free support group. A number of Support Group people from Billings recently  attended Kalispell’s first meeting. More than 50 people in Kalispell attended their first meeting. There were 74 people attending Kalispell’s last gluten free educational presentation. My goal is to now get similar support groups started in Missoula, Great Falls and other places in Montana. Why do we do this? We do this because I nearly died from gluten. Deaconess Billings Clinic saved my life, and no one should ever have to lead a gluten-ignorant life and experience the extreme pain that I had by not following a gluten-free diet.

    Stay tuned for our monthly gluten-free blog!  So what is this thing called Celiac Disease? I shall try to explain in layman’s terms in my next blog, “A Hidden Killler”.

    Carl Solberg, president of the Montana Celiac Society, is passionate about educating people on a gluten-free lifestyle.  The Montana Celiac Society offers information and support to those with Celiac disease, hosting conventions and regular support group meetings and providing other resources.  For more information, visit their website at www.montanaceliacsociety.com.  Stay tuned right here for a monthly blog from the Montana Celiac Society!

  • Heal Your Skin with Fall Foods | 09.10.2012

    Do you know that food is good for the skin inside and outside? When I look at seasonal foods that are beneficial for the skin, I love to find new ways to integrate nature’s Elements into a skin care routine. These Elements are connected to the seasons that influence our foods and our bodies.  Learning how to choose a seasonal food for topical use in order to produce smooth and healthier skin appearance can motivate all of us towards a healthier lifestyle.  

    Soup for Sagging Skin

    Our skin transitions through the seasons and we may find we need to use a different product or have a clinical facial to boost the cellular process.  The transition period, according to some traditions, is called the Earth Element.  During the late summer, we experience a brief pause between the high energy of summer and the hot sun to shorter days and cooler nights.  The Earth Element is associated with the colors yellow and orange -foods like pumpkin, squash, butternut squash, yellow peppers, peaches, nectarines, papaya, pineapple, mangoes, and corn benefit the bodily organs of Earth, the spleen/pancreas and stomach.  The fall has a tendency to see dry and scaly skin as the skin may not be exfoliating fast enough and the metabolism of the skin may be slow. The Earth Element manifests itself around the mouth and a weak Earth Element (digestion) shows up on the face as sagging eyelids and jowls, and loose skin under the chin.

    So, help! It looks like my Earth Element is sagging!  What can I do?   Here is a list of spices and seasonal foods that can help to tonify and warm the earth (digestion): ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, fennel, and nutmeg.  Fall foods that can be added to your meals are carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnips, turnips, pumpkin, rutabagas, onion, leeks, and barley.  The best way to eat these foods are cooked and made into a soup.  Soups are comfort food, since they are easy on the digestive track.

    We  now have a basic understanding of what foods to eat from the Earth season that will help from the inside.  So which food would be a great all around topical treat to give our skin that healthy glow we are all looking for?  I definitely have a favorite.  It is a food that has multiple uses and functions all season long.  It is high in vitamin C, Vitamin A, anti-oxidants, enzymes that exfoliate, has emollients, phospholipids, Vitamin B,  Salicylic Acid, sugar, zinc, and on and on.  This food has an amazing oil that is awesome for the skin. 

    To discover this exemplary food that is nutritious for our body inside and outside, join me for the first in a seasonal series of “Food and Skin” workshops, “Fall Foods that Promote Healthy Skin“, (Saturday, September 15th at 1 p.m.).  I will share recipes and provide tastings for Soup for Sagging Skin and a facial/body mask.  This workshop explores foods harvested in the fall that we can use to help manage problematic or aging skin.

     Susan Reddig,  B.S., is a Licensed Esthetician at Clinical Skin Solutions of Billings .


  • Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity – not just tummy trouble! | 05.31.2012

    by Tracy Konoske, MS, RD  
    Nutritionist & Registered Dietitian


    Get your gluten-free questions answered by Tracy Konoske at our Gluten-Free Day, June 16!

    History of anemia?
    Losing bone mineral density?
    Suffer from joint or bone pain?  Arthritis?
    Already diagnosed with an auto-immune disease like Hashimoto’s thyroid, Type 1 Diabetes, auto-immune hepatitis, or auto-immune liver disease?
    Dental enamel defects?
    Constipation?  Diarrhea? 
    Infertile?  Menstrual irregularities?  Miscarriages?
    Recurrent canker sores?
    Skin lesions that aren’t really acne? 
    Weight loss?  Weight gain? 
    Fatigue that napping just doesn’t solve?
    Does your child have failure to thrive? 

    Quite a list isn’t it?  It’s broad enough that almost anyone would answer “yes” to one or two answers.  That’s because Celiac disease is now known to affect one in 133 people.  It’s estimated that 3 million people have it, but only 5-10% are diagnosed

    The symptoms are broad as it can affect any or every organ system.  No one knows which part of the medical text to put it in anymore because it is not just a GI (gastro-intestinal) disease.   50% of newly diagnosed Celiacs had NO GI symptoms!

    Why is it spreading like wildfire?
    Well, it’s not because we’re better at diagnosing it.  Researcher Dr. Murray took stored blood from Army recruits, analyzed it, and found age-matched controls.  According to him, Celiac disease has increased four-fold in the past 50 years.  Celiac expert Dr. Fasano found that it’s doubling every 15 years and a five-fold increase. 

    Some proposed answers are leaky gut, GMO foods, composition of our gut bacteria, and more gluten in our food supply than in the past. 

    It takes a perfect storm to brew Celiac.  First, one must have one of the two genes and 30-40% of our population does.   Second, it takes a trigger, which is usually a stressful event, that temporarily alters gut permeability.  Examples are puberty, food borne illness, pregnancy, trauma either emotional or physical, or just becoming elderly.  Third, exposure to gluten.  Which now is in just about everything you eat, so the with our stressful lives, and high exposure…the conditions are ripe.   

    What about all those non-Celiac folks who feel better on a gluten-free diet?
    Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS) affects 6% of our population and the only test is to rule out Celiac disease, and then do a trial gluten-free diet. 

    The caveat is that it is important to do due diligence and rule out Celiac first.  Many go on a gluten-free diet and don’t bother with the testing.  What’s wrong with that?  Celiac is an auto-immune disease.  It comes with real-life complications, including a risk of other auto-immune diseases, anemia, lymphoma’s, bone loss and more.  We are still sorting out the truth but NCGS has not been known to be an auto immune disease although that is now changing.  But, having the facts in place allows us as health care providers to treat and heal you accordingly.  Guessing if you are risk for complications isn’t a good way to practice medicine. 

    The Bottom Line
    If you take the 1% of our population who has Celiac, and the 6% who are NCGS, we have 21 million people who will feel better being gluten-free for life!  No wonder this is such big business!!!

    Gluten-free diets help many, many people, but anyone messing with the foundation of life should have expert help to avoid nutrient deficiencies and minimize complications later in life.  The goal is to heal, not do more harm.  There’s a lot to know and it’s not a field one can dabble in. 

    Tracy Konoske has a virtual private practice.  She’s a different kind of dietitian and gets a different kind of result with her patients.  She offers Medical Nutrition Therapy for those with chronic disease, including Celiac and NCGS.   Join Tracy for a FREE workshop, “Celiac, Gluten Sensitivity and the Gluten-Free Diet” on our Gluten-Free Day, Saturday, June 16.  Visit Tracy’s website at www.healthylifestylesmt.com  

  • What’s the deal with raspberry ketone? | 04.05.2012

    From Dolly, GEM Wellness Guru

    I’m sure many of you have heard of it by now – raspberry ketone, as seen on the Dr. Oz Show, seems to be the new miracle fat-burner, the cure-all for those stubborn spots. Here’s some great info that I found helpful and I hope you will too!

    According to supplement company Wellgenix, raspberry ketone “is the primary aroma compound of red raspberries, and is a safe and healthy supplement with no side effects. This compound regulates adiponectin, a hormone that causes your body to boost metabolism. In turn, the fat within your cells gets broken up more effectively, helping your body burn fat faster and more efficiently. In order to get enough ketone to have an effect on the way your body burns excess fat, you would need to consume 90 pounds of raspberries! But, just 100mg of the supplement per day is enough to get your body burning fat the way you want it to.”

    Here’s more – the ingredients list on the new hormone-free HCG Amino Support + Raspberry Ketones boasts a nice range of metabolism boosting amino acids, along with herbal support for the immune system, stress reduction, and energy production.

    I wanted to share these simple facts and tidbits with you, and let you know that we now have this product in stock now in the Wellness Department!


    Photo Courtesy of zole4.