You are what you eat! by Dr. Vanda Huang

I found this photo gallery on what the world eats in a week so interesting:Hungry Planet: What the World Eats. I had no idea people ate narwhals, or polar bear for that matter! It was interesting to see the proportion of processed food to fresh produce from country to country as well.

And somewhat related to that is an article in the Atlantic about how “Serving Convenience Foods for Dinner Doesn’t Save Time.” It makes the excellent point that home cooked meals from scratch organically bring the family together for meals since with convenience foods you can easily eat whatever, whenever, which means you most likely won’t be sitting down with the family when you eat. Eating in front of the television, in the car, or on the go, tends to encourage mindless eating. Eating in a slower, relaxed setting while socializing and interacting with your family or friends actually helps your body absorb more nutrients from your meal- we tend to chew more and take our time which leads to better digestion. And of course, beyond the nutritional benefits, bonding with your family during mealtime makes home-cooked (vs convenience) meals even more worthwhile.

The “Bear” of Overcoming Stress to Increase GI Health, by Dr. Erin Westaway

Healthy digestion is one of the foundations of our wellbeing and one of the areas of our health that is most directly affected by stress.  There’s a reason we talk about not being able to “stomach” bad news – in times of stress, we literally shut down the signals to the stomach to digest.


The body diverts energy and blood to the areas that are needed to deal with an acutely dangerous situation, like running from a bear.  We need to be able to use our big muscles, see clearly, and think fast, so blood is sent away from the digestive tract to the large muscles, the heart, the lungs, and the brain – not to the stomach and intestines.  At the same time, the nervous system sends signals to the digestive track telling it not to waste energy. 

This is all great if you’re actually running from a bear.  If you run from a bear you either get away from the bear or you get eaten.  In either case, the stress is over fairly quickly.  For many of my clients, however, the stress of life causes them to respond physiologically as though they are always running from the bear.  This chronic stress causes them to rarely use their digestive tract efficiently.  Decreased blood flow and neurological signals to the digestive organs leads to poor digestion and a buildup of unhealthy amounts of half-digested foods.  This causes fermentation, gas and bloating.  It can also lead to constipation or irregular bowel movements, some of which may be loose and urgent. 

So, what do we do about it?  It’s unlikely that you’re going to remove all the stress from your life.  What you can do is change how you respond to stress and help your body shift out of that “fight or flight” mode.  Try some simple tips at your meals for the next week and see if your digestion changes.


1.       Avoid stress during mealtimes as much as possible.  This means: shut off the television, do not eat at your desk, save stressful topics of conversation for another time.
2.       Pause before you eat and try this exercise for 5-10 minutes:
a.       Close your eyes and feel your feet on the floor.
b.      Slow down your breathing, particularly your exhale
c.       Don’t take deep breaths, but concentrate on exhaling slowly.  If this is difficult, purse your lips slightly and pretend you are exhaling through a straw.
d.      Allow your breath to shift from your chest into your abdomen
3.       Slow down!  Aim to chew each bite at least 20 times.  You don’t have to do it perfectly, but the idea is to slow down and experience the food in your mouth.  Tastes, smells, textures, and chemical and mechanical signals involved in chewing all help to shift your body into a state that stimulates digestion. 

For many of my clients stress is a very real cause of many of their digestive symptoms.  This does not mean that their symptoms are “all in the head” or made up.  It means that the way they experience challenges in their lives is causing significant changes in the way their bodies function.  The above simple steps, along with those that help to reduce stress, will start to shift the body back to a more functional state.  At times other therapies like biofeedback, bodywork, homeopathy, and herbs are also useful in addressing the effect of stress on the body and require the assistance of a qualified health care practitioner.  You can get started with the tips above on your own today.

Pillars of Digestive Health

Some basics of GI Health, by Dr. Kelley Barnes-Valdes
If you have ever seen a naturopath, you have probably realized that much of your health has to do with how well you digest your food.  There are many components to this, but the basic pillars of digestive health are balanced gut flora and the production and excretion of your stomach acid and digestive enzymes.
 In order to keep your flora in check you can eat fermented foods like pickled vegetables, yogurt, kimchee, kombucha, or kefir.  If you don’t have a palate for the sour side of things, then rotating through different probiotic supplements is also a good way to support your digestive health.
There are also several things you can do to get your digestive juices flowing.  Squeezing a lemon into your water and drinking this before a meal will stimulate stomach acid secretion.  The same is accomplished by drinking apple cider vinegar diluted with water before meals or adding vinegar to your salad.  The stomach acid increases the secretion of all of the other digestive enzymes so that your food will get broken down properly.  If this is not enough, your doctor can help you choose a digestive enzyme that is right for you.   Also remember that if you chew your food thoroughly, your stomach and intestines don’t have to work quite as hard to get your nutrients into your body.
These simple steps will lead to a healthier digestive system and thus improved overall health.

Dangerous Pesticides levels in Celestial Seasonings Tea products

Per the Examiner.com article dated 3/22/13 by Roger Ziegler

Original Article: http://www.examiner.com/article/dangerously-high-pesticide-levels-found-celestial-seasonings-teas

Emerald City Clinic has removed Celestial Teas from our shelves, and we encourage you to do the same. Recent tests conducted by EuroFins (www.eurofins.com/en.aspx), an independent analysis company, have found that 91% of the Celestial Seasonings teas contained pesticide levels higher than the US Federal Limits.

These tests were initiated by Glaucus Research Group out of California, who do have a great influence on short-sale stocks. They do provide a full disclaimer that they will, in fact, benefit greatly if Hain Celestial (the mother company) stock plummets (which it has after this research). In addition to Celestial Teas, Glaucus Research exposed numerous other products of Hain Celestial as being falsely marketed. Read the full report here: https://glaucusresearch.com/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2013/02/GlaucusResearch-The_Hain_Celestial_Group_Inc-NasdaqHAIN-Strong_Sell_Febuary_21_2013.pdf.

Although it is hard to sift through all of the research that is out there, when evidence such as this comes across our desks it is impossible to ignore. We do believe that we all need to do our part as consumers to push the market toward organic, pesticide free produce for an overall healthier world.

What tea do we suggest? It seems that similar tests were run on Twinings Teas, and they were given an A in sustainability.

The Emerald City Team

  CNDA oblong

Help Colorado Secure Licensure

HB 13-1111 An Act to regulate naturopathic doctors is in danger of losing support after the National Health Freedom Action group sent out hundreds of emails from all over the country asking legislators in Colorado to vote against our bill. We need your help to send emails to Colorado legislators on the House Finance Committee where our bill will be heard this afternoon.
Here is a sample email that you can cut and paste from:
VOTE YES ON HB 13-1111
I urge you to support the registration of Naturopathic Doctors who have completed a 4-year post graduate program in Naturopathic Medicine. The medically trained Naturopathic Doctor I choose to work with provides a type of health care that I value very highly for the health and well-being of myself and my family.
There needs to be recognition, regulation, and competency standards for Naturopathic Doctors in Colorado. Medically trained NDs work with wellness maintenance, nutrition, and disease prevention, which are key components if we are going to improve the health of Americans and decrease health care costs.
I wholly endorse the regulation of Naturopathic Doctors in the state of Colorado.  
Lois Court
Jeanne Labuda, Vice-Chair, jeanne.labuda.house@state.co.us
Brian DelGrosso, brian@briandelgrosso.com
Daniel Kagan, repkagan@gmail.com
Kevin Priola, kpriola@gmail.com
Thank you for your support,
Denise Clark, President, Colorado Association of Naturopathic Doctors

California Naturopathic Doctors Association
5601 W Slauson Ave, Ste 275, Culver City, CA 90230
T: 310.670.8100 | F: 815.550.2411

2013 FLU TIPS from Dr. Molly Niedermeyer!

My brother emailed me asking if I had gotten my flu shot and I quickly responded that I would not get one and do not advise it. Cancer clients are suppose to strengthen their immune systems because our white blood cells are often compromised and we cannot “afford” to get the flu. This is an on-going discussion with my oncologist and I tell him getting the flu vaccine is “not negotiable with me.” I was listening to an interview with the CDC on the radio yesterday, and they say this is the “worst flu season in a decade.” When asked,  “Why?” the CDC representatvie’s response was:

1. the flu virus seems to mutate and get stronger


2. we really do not know.

I DO!!!!! First, we keep creating super bugs with vaccines. Those bugs want to survive and mutate getting smarter and smarter about tricking our immune systems. Secondly, when you get the flu vaccine you commit a portion of your immune system to only recognize the “blue hatted flu bug” which the CDC guessed would be the flu bug arriving this winter last spring. So, you now have less flexibility in your immune system since 80% of your fighting cells are sleeping on the job when the flu virus arrives with a “red hat.” I would rather have 100% of your immune system capable of responding to whatever comes. Thirdly, our immune systems are weaker and weaker from toxic exposure, poor diets, lack of sleep, stress, etc. Better prevention would be Molly’s 5 Point health plan…. sleep, eat well, drink water, exercise (increases white blood cells) and commit to a basic supplement regime.

Having said all that, I want you to know this has been one of the worst flus I have seen. What we have found to work right now:

1. Stay hydrated!

2. Warming sock treatment (you can find this on our website: http://www.emeraldcityclinic.com/educational/pdfs/sock.pdf)

3. Homeopathic Bryonia or Eupatorium

4. High dose chinese mushrooms like astragelus.

5. High dose lysine (2000 mg/day).

If you are sick please contact your Emerald City Clinic Naturopathic physician immediately as it really makes a difference to have an ally through this process. This flu seems to have 3-4 days of high fever that weakens your immune system and turns into whatever illness has historically been your weakness: bronchitis, sinus infection, strep throat. Do not be mistaken it is a virus and will not respond to antibiotics.

Give the Gift of Health

Emerald City Clinic can be one of your shopping stops! We are selling homeopathic first aid kits for your family for $40.00, and Organic Skin Care sets for $48.50. The skin care set includes eco-friendly and clean shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and lip balm. Highly recommended!

Meet Janelle and Passionate Nutrition!

Hello Dear Clients,

We are honored to announce two new members of the healing community surrounding Emerald City Clinic. Janelle Leonard, Licensed Massage Practitioner, and Jennifer Adler, Certified Nutritionist, and her Passionate Nutrition team, are thrilled to be serving our client base with their expertise in massage therapy and nutritional therapy. Feel free to contact either of these wonderful women with any questions you may have about their practices!

Welcome, ladies!

The ECN Team

Janelle Leonard, LMP, Empowering Healer
Layooesh Healing Arts

The mission of my work is to assist you in accelerating towards your own healing and self-empowerment through massage and spiritual healing practices.
During your session, I’ll help you relax and bring your body into harmony by guiding muscle, tendon, and ligament structures toward their natural placement. You’ll learn to calm your nervous system, lighten energetic blocks and align your body, mind, heart, and spirit to magnify your healing potential.
As a Reiki Master and Licensed Massage Practitioner for over a decade, I practice deep tissue, myofascial release, pre- and postnatal massage, self-empowerment consulting, guided meditation, and sound healing. I’m a Tibetan Buddhist and meditator. My active lifestyle includes skiing, snowshoeing, paddle boarding, horseback riding, Pilates, cooking, family, music and metalsmithing.
I look forward to connecting with you and supporting your unique healing experience.
Ballard/Crown Hill Location: Beginning this December I’ll see clients on Tuesdays, Wednesday mornings, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Address: 1403 NW 85th Street Seattle (adjacent to the Emerald City Naturopathic Clinic, east side of the building).
I provide superbills, accept PIP claims and select health insurance plans. For more information please visit my web site at www.layooesh.com.
“Janelle is an intuitive and compassionate healer who delivers measurable results. “
— Susan Dumett, Client, Co-owner of Iosis Media, Founder of The Light Direction.com 
 Passionate Nutrition
Jennifer Adler, MS, CN

Passionate Nutrition offers a whole food and whole person approach to your health and wellness. Whether you’re struggling with extra weight, low energy or just want to feel your absolute best, our team is trained to help you every step of the way — from cooking to nutrition counseling. We help our clients reach their goals everyday.

At Passionate Nutrition we promote a delicious and whole person approach to health, and provide individual and family nutrition counseling. We work with a diverse group of clients and specialize in the following: 

•   Weight loss & Maintenance
•   Food Sensitivity & Allergies
•   Pre Natal/Post Natal Nutrition
•   Anxiety & Depression
•   Hormone Balancing
•   Eating disorders
•   Arthritis
•   Hypothyroidism 

We accept most health insurance plans. 


Our team sees clients at our newlocation at 1403 NW 85th St, Seattle, adjacent to Emerald City Naturopathic Clinic on Mon., Wed., Fri. & Sun. beginning December 2012. Visit us at passionatenutrition.com to learn more.

Visit Passioanatenutrition.com for convenient online scheduling


We look forward to working with you soon!


~The Passionate Nutrition Team



Insurance Open Enrollment: How to shop for insurance

Insurance 101: Educate yourself!

Many of you will be shopping around for new insurance in the coming months, and I wanted to offer a few tips. When speaking with the companies, be sure to ask the right questions, especially if you are looking for good reimbursement coverage of your ECN appointments. Dr. Molly Niedermeyer, Dr. Kelley Barnes-Valdes and Dr. Erin Westaway are always considered out-of-network, as they are not contracted with any insurance companies. Please be sure to ask 1) What is myout-of network deductible (this is completely separate from your in-network deductible)? 2) At what percent is out of network reimbursed?, 3) What are my co-pay and co-insurance? The answers to these questions will greatly vary not only between different companies, but different plans as well, so be sure to do your homework!
If you’d like someone to do this homework FOR you, we recommend Sarah Freeman at Mutual Benefits: 206-709-2619. During a free meeting, Sarah will speak with you about what kind of coverage will work for you and your family, and then present you with multiple plan options that will suit your needs. If you work with Sarah, be sure that you still know the answers to the questions provided once you are established with a company so there are no future surprises.
Once you have established a company that you are comfortable with, be sure to pay attention to the explanation of benefits that you receive in the mail or online. Often times, the insurance company will deny claims for reasons that can be remedied, and you will receive reimbursement once corrected. Look for words like documentation, bundling, and yearly service already covered. Let your ECN doctor know, and we can correct the superbill that was given to you for reimbursement.
Remember that our clinic manager, Amanda Zuluaga, is always available to help you with your insurance needs!