NCI Well Connect
January 1, 2018
New Year's Special
Dear Steve, 

DID YOU KNOW that only 8 percent of people actually keep their New Year's resolutions? We do not even utter the word "resolution" here.

What we suggest you do is better adhere to the wellness habits you inherently have. If you read this eNewsletter, you already know the habits that work best for you. Now you have to reunite with them.

Don't beat yourself up about the holiday season if you came off the rails. The wonderful thing about having the inherent knowledge about what works for your optimal health is that you can always get back on the wagon!

If you simply cannot find the motivation to get back to your wellness habits, if you need a refresher, or a little push, set up a visit with us.

This special New Year's issue is dedicated to getting refocused on your optimal wellness habits. Most of this information would only be available to NCI Well Connect Members, but we are making it available today to nonmembers as well.

Place an order by the end of today and you can still order December sale items.

One of the best ways to get back into the groove is to have some helpful motivation. Our membership eNewsletter is that weekly motivation. In addition, if you had your genome mapped through 23andMe, you get a free 45 minute analysis as part of your membership!

Metagenics sent a memo alerting us of a problem customers have had purchasing counterfeit and adulterated products from third party sources on the Internet. Pure Encapsulations alerted us to similar occurrences with their products. Overheated products, expired products, labels removed, QR codes removed, and label tampering are all major issues. Read the memo here.

We are not a third party vendor. We are an authorized vendor for Metagenics and Pure Encapsulations.

Have a happy, healthy day! Steve and Bonnie
NCI Well Connect Highlights
Steve Minsky
From Editor Steve Minsky
Click the links below to be taken directly to each story. This may not work for all email services.
Read stories like these twice weekly from our eNewsletter, access two titles per month from our Action Plan Library, and get one free wellness coaching session with an NCI Well Connect Membership Here Today!
Well Connect Feature
Secret to Staying Motivated
Steve: Researchers have discovered one possible explanation why we start off well on a new goal but fizzles over time: our source of motivation changes as we make progress toward a goal. The findings were published in last month's Journal of Consumer Psychology.

During the early stages of pursuing a goal, participants are motivated by hopes, aspirations and positive aspects of reaching their desired outcome. For example, people who want to shed 20 pounds would imagine their appearance at a desired weight, buying new clothes and feeling more energy. This is known as a "promotion motivation," and people in this mindset are motivated by positive things they can to do make progress, such as exercising more and eating more fruits and vegetables.

As we draw closer to reaching our goals, however, people switch to a "prevention motivation" mindset. Now they are motivated by their responsibilities, duties and the desire to avoid something negative, such as thinking about the disappointment of possibly falling short of the weight goal or not fitting into a coveted piece of clothing. We start focusing on things to avoid doing wrong.

Hence, we are good at starting goals, but not as good at accomplishing them.

The results of the study suggest that we may have better luck sustaining motivation in the late stages if we focus on what to avoid in order to reach our goals. For most of you reading this, from a dietary standpoint at least, you know what you need to avoid. So you can skip right to the late stages of your goal! And if you are not sure what to avoid, or need a reevaluation, come see us!
Genetics-Generated Eating Style
Bonnie and Steve: We can add one more thing to the list of traits affected by genetics: how our bodies respond to a particular eating style.

As we have known all along, one diet really doesn't fit all, and what works for some may not be best for others. Of the many reasons (blood type, environment, age, energy level, allergies/intolerances), we can now add the expression of our genetics to the list, according to a study in last month's Genetics.

"Dietary advice, whether it comes from the United States government or some other organization, tends to be based on the theory that there is going to be one diet that will help everyone," said the senior author of the study. "In the face of the obesity epidemic, it seems like guidelines haven't been effective." That is an understatement.

Researchers used four different animal groups to look at how five diets affected health over a six-month period.

Not surprisingly, most animals did poorly on the American-style diet. But how the groups responded to all the other diets varied greatly depending upon their genetic makeup. For example, with the Atkins-like diet, two genetic types did well, and two did very badly.

While the goal going into this study was to find the optimal diet, the authors found that it depends very much on the genetics of the individual and there isn't one diet that is best for everyone.

Luckily, with the work we have done for years, as well as our recent addition of Pure Genomics genetic screening, we can pinpoint the eating style that may be best for you.
Mental Minute
Don't Give Up on Healthy Eating for Your Kids!
Steve: There has been a treasure trove of data showing just how important it is for kids and young adults to eat healthy and exercise for mental health.

A study in BMC Health found that healthy eating is associated with better self-esteem and fewer emotional and peer problems, such as having fewer friends or being picked on or bullied, in children two to nine years old, regardless of body weight. Better self-esteem is associated with better adherence to healthy eating guidelines.

Young Adults
In young adults, a study in Nutritional Neuroscience discovered that diet and dietary practices differentially affect mental health in young adults versus older adults.

Mood in young adults (18-29) seems to be dependent on food that increases availability of neurotransmitter precursors and concentrations in the brain (animal protein).

Regular consumption of animal protein leads to build-up of two brain chemicals (serotonin and dopamine) known to promote mood. Regular exercise leads to build-up of these and other neurotransmitters as well. In other words, young adults who ate animal protein less than three times a week and exercised less than three times week showed a significant mental distress.

A child's attention and memory improves after exercise according to new research conducted with primary school students. In a study as part of the BBC Learning's Terrific Scientific campaign, researchers found that students' best responses to tests came after physical activity that was set at their own pace, as opposed to exhaustive exercise.

Ultimately, they found that short breaks of 15 minutes of self-paced exercise (run/walk activity) can significantly improve a child's mood, attention and memory, enhancing their ability to learn.

Don't Give Up
Varied diets and persistence in exposing infants and children to healthy foods, even when they don't like them at first, are key to promoting healthy eating behaviors and mental health, according to a new study in Obesity Reviews.

Healthy eating starts during pregnancy. Flavors of Mom's diet reach the child in utero. So if she's eating a healthy diet, the fetus does get exposed to those flavors, getting the child used to them.

After birth, if the mother breastfeeds, the baby also benefits from exposure to flavors from her healthy diet through the breastmilk. These early exposures familiarize the baby with specific flavors as well as the experience of variety and set the stage for later acceptance of healthy flavors in solid foods.

Serve healthy foods, repeat, serve healthy foods, and repeat. Repeatedly exposing young children to foods that they previously rejected can help them to accept and like the food. There are many studies with preschoolers who start out not liking red peppers or squash, for example, but after five to six sessions where these foods are repeatedly offered, they end up liking them.

Our strongest recommendation to parents and caregivers regarding food is don't give up!
Smart Food
Depression-Busting Foods
Steve: In last week's newsletter, we discussed how positive the Mediterranean diet eating style was for relieving depressive symptoms. Here is a short list of foods from the Sardinia style of eating, considered to the truest form of the Mediterranean diet today.

Mainstays of Sardinian Diet
  • Fava beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Fish
  • Lobster
  • Homemade tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes
  • Goat/sheep milk cheese and yogurt (not cow's milk)
  • Pecorino cheese
  • Durum wheat very thin flatbread (high protein/low gluten)
  • Barley
  • Fennel
  • Olive oil
  • Almonds
  • Milk thistle tea
  • Wine (red Cannonau made from the Grenache grape)
  • Wide variety of vegetables (usually seasonal fresh ones)
  • Garlic
  • Onion
Is There Such a Thing as Internet Addiction?
Steve: Yes, the World Health Organization is close to labeling an Internet Addiction a true disorder.

According to a new study in PLOS One, ending an online session on the computer or digital device may cause measurable increases in heart rate and blood pressure that mimic what addicts experience during withdrawal.

We have known for some time that people who are over-dependent on digital devices report feelings of anxiety when they are stopped from using them, but now we can see that these psychological effects are accompanied by actual physiological changes.

Participants who admitted to spending too much time online had higher heart rates and blood pressure, and a matching anxiety level, following the end of the internet session.

TIP: All of us could use time during the day to "unplug". One technique we can use are brief breaks during the day using therapeutic breathing.

It's as simple as getting up and walking away from our computers and devices. Take 5 to 10 slow, deep breaths, in and out. This will curb the blood pressure and heart rate spike we get from leaving the device, as well as curb other stressors.

Even if you do this only twice a day, you are helping yourself immeasurably.
Brand Buzz
Your Healthy Kitchen
Clean Air Starts in the Kitchen
Steve: The connection between the air we breathe and our health is undeniable. Unfortunately, we cannot always control what we breathe outdoors. If you live near urban wildfires, for example, the air quality will be awful during those periods and it is near impossible to avoid the detrimental effects.

However, we can control the air in our domiciles, especially in our kitchens.

The most noxious emissions produced in our domiciles come from cooking. For this reason, it is imperative that you have proper exhaust whenever you are cooking anything, be it on the range, oven, or toaster. If you don't have that option, open windows temporarily for cross ventilation or bring a portable filter in the kitchen.

Use nontoxic cleaning products. Eschew scented candles, air fresheners, hair sprays, and other aerosol cosmetics whenever possible.

Another essential for optimal home air quality is a whole house air filter. If this is not possible because of where you live, or if not economical, having a portable air filter is recommended. 

A Note About Outdoor Air
While particulate matter is responsible for thousands of premature deaths in the United States each year, legislation from the EPA is credited with significantly decreasing this number. However, the EPA may not be getting the full credit they deserve: new research from MIT's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering proposes that the EPA's legislation may have saved even more lives than initially reported. In 2011, the EPA announced that the legislation was responsible for a considerable decrease in particulate matter in the atmosphere, estimating over 100,000 lives saved every year from 2000 to 2010. However, the report did not consider organic aerosol, emitted directly from fossil fuel combustion, residential burning, and wildfires but is also chemically produced in the atmosphere from the oxidation of both natural and anthropogenically-emitted hydrocarbons.

Recent developments, including cutbacks at the EPA and relaxation of Clean Air Act regulations by the current administration could mitigate the incredible progress made by cleaning up our air. On the heels of a study published in last week's JAMA, showing exposure to air pollution at levels well below current quality standards is linked to an increased risk for death, we cannot allow the EPA to be marginalized.
Recipe du Jour
January Cleansing Salad
1/4 cup dry roasted or raw pumpkin seeds
5 T. avocado oil
2 T. shallots, finely minced
2 T. brown rice vinegar
1 T. miso
2 tsp. tamari (low sodium gluten-free soy sauce)
1 tsp. raw honey or organic agave syrup
2 cups raw Brussels sprouts, shredded
2 c. baby kale or dark green baby lettuce mixture
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

Saute shallots in 2 T. oil until completely cooked. Remove pan from heat. Add vinegar, miso, 1 T. oil, tamari, and sweetener. Whisk until well blended. Saute Brussels sprouts in shallot pan in 2 T. oil until sprouts are soft but still bright green (about 3 minutes). Transfer to a serving bowl. Add kale/lettuce, pumpkin seeds, and pomegranate seeds. Drizzle with dressing. Cooked salmon, chicken cubes, or baby shrimp may be added.
Pure Genomics Wellness Testing

Bonnie and Steve:It only takes a few simple steps to get individualized genetic nutritional support. Test your genome. We translate the results in a way you can understand. We target your individualized needs with nutritional support that can be easily implemented.

Pure Genomics helps the patient with:
  1. Reaffirmation for why existing patients should continue to adhere to their optimal diet and lifestyle. Genes are the deepest layer of individualization. When a patient is doing incredibly well despite horrible genetic deficiencies, it is a strong deterrent to fall off the wagon.
  2. Creates the last thrust of motivation for a patient who is having trouble adhering to their diet and lifestyle protocol.
  3. Provides incredible proof for prevention of family disease history. Connects the dots for many of our patients.
  4. Is a strong component for new patient screenings, especially for methylation, detoxification, antioxidant defense, weight management, metabolic health, memory and cognition, mental health, and essential fatty acid, vitamin A, and vitamin D absorption.
Video: The 4 Minute Workout
Time Saving Option to Start 2018!
Wild Card
Stress Management: American's Ever-Growing Choices
Steve: The American Psychological Association's newest "Stress in America" survey of 3,440 adults shows the public's overall stress level remains the same as last year's, with an average level of 4.8 on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most stress. But how Americans respond to stress is changing.

Notably, fewer Americans are turning to prayer.

Only 29% of Americans polled said they pray to relieve stress, a gradual but consistent decline since the high of 37% recorded in 2008.

And while a growing number of Americans are turning to alternative spiritual practices such as meditation and yoga, they are still not very widespread. Twelve percent of Americans meditate or do yoga, up from 9% in 2016.

The two most popular ways to relieve stress? Listening to music (47%), and exercising (46%).

There is certainly a shift in the American landscape, with people thinking about themselves as more spiritual than religious. That means more of a menu of wellness activities such as guided sleep meditation, sound therapy or mindful travel, all intended to reduce stress.

Still, prayer can still act as a method of relieving stress. In fact, its ritual or rote nature may be a source of strength.

If meditation, prayer, or other stress management technique is not ideal for you, how about just being vigilant with your diet on a daily basis?
"When you get into a tight place, and everything goes against you till it seems as if you couldn't hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that's just the place and time that the tide'll turn."
-Harriet Beecher Stowe
Far Infrared Sauna Therapy
Steve: Traditional saunas emit direct heat. Far Infrared uses light to create heat. Far infrared run at much milder temperatures, but travels much deeper into the body, which is why you sweat more vigorously.

Far Infrared Therapy offers numerous therapeutic benefits, most importantly enhanced detoxification. Many of our clients use it to relieve painful joints, rev up metabolism, and remove buildup of heavy metals.

Far Infrared has shown to draw out 15 to 20% more heavy metals (i.e., mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic), hormone-disrupting chemicals, sulfuric acid, ammonia, uric-acid, and fat-soluble toxins than traditional saunas.

A recent study from Age and Ageing, showed that healthy subjects whose sauna use averaged 4 to 7 times per week were 66% less likely to develop dementia at 20-year follow-up than those who used a sauna once a week. In addition, they had a 65% risk reduction for Alzheimer's Disease.

Recent studies in JAMA Internal Medicine and American Journal of Hypertension found that increased frequency of sauna bathing reduced the risk of sudden cardiac death, coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and all-cause mortality.

Contact us to schedule a session.
Action Plan of the Month:
Sleep Well
One of the benefits of being a NCI Well Connect Member is that you can request two titles monthly from our our Action Plan Library (43 plans: total value $300). 

This comes in handy when you are looking to optimize your wellness habits such as sleep! Our Sleep Well Action Plan is a great primer to say the least! 

Action Plans are free by email request for NCI Well Connect Members or can be ordered separately. To activate your NCI Well Connect Membership at 30% OFF this month, click here.
eNews Briefs
NCI Well Connect Member Benefits
NCI Logo
NCI Well Connect Membership is open to clients and non-clients of our practice!

One Year Membership Includes:
  1. Weekly eNewsletters (84 issues). We publish our long-form issue on Monday and mid-week brief on Wednesday. Our eNewsletter has been a Constant Contact All Star 10 years in a row.
  2. Self-Help Action Plans. Access to two titles per month from our self-help Action Plan Library. There are currently 43 Action Plan titles to date on all aspects of wellness, including the new Heal Your Headache Action Plan. You can view the list here.
  3. Natural Foods Shopping List. Updated quarterly, our Natural Foods Shopping List includes only the most meticulously vetted, highest quality food and beverage products that we recommend to our clients. These include gluten-free, corn-free, and kosher pareve items.
  4. 45 Minute Free Wellness Coaching Session (visits with Bonnie are separate) for Pure Genomics genetic results or any topic of your choosing.

Activate Your 1 Year Membership Here!

Care's Corner Video
Food Intolerance: the Silent Assassin
Food Intolerance: the Silent Assassin
Be Your Own Medical Advocate
Aspirin-Like Substances in My Food
Salicylates in My Food? What Are Those?
Wellness Services Menu
We have a multitude of options for simple fine-tuning or the toughest cases.
  • Full Wellness Evaluation (with bloodwork)
  • NCI Well Connect Membership
  • Genetic Wellness Evaluation
  • Balanced Eating 101 (focus on eating only)
  • Food Intolerance Screening and Menu Plan Implementation (separate fees)
  • Memory Loss Protocol
  • Dietary Supplement Evaluation
  • Wellness and Lifestyle Coaching Sessions
  • Far Infrared Sauna Treatment
  • Grocery Shopping Tours and Pantry Advice
  • Workplace Wellness Evaluations
  • Chiropractic and Acupuncture

Consulting prices range from $45 to $225. Contact us at 847-498-3422 or email for details.

Natural Food Shopping List
Are you completely overwhelmed with finding trustworthy foods that fit your individualized eating style?

Natural Foods Shopping List consists of food items that meet our strict criteria for safety, clean ingredients, and of course, palatability.

It is free for NCI Well Connect Members. The last update was September 2017.

We appreciate your patronage and support.

Need to search past issues? Type in the word(s) in the google search box at this link.

Have a happy, healthy day,
Bonnie, Steve, Carolyn, Lilo, Elizabeth, and Sharron
(847) 498-3422  

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