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Cleaner blood and a healthier heart need good nutrients and oxygen.  The first thing to do is know your numbers.   What are your heart rate, your blood pressure and your cholesterol levels?  Let’s look at how to adjust them, to keep yourself healthy. 

First of all, excess belly fat is related to higher blood fat levels and pressure. So the weight loss that you started due to holiday eating, just earned another reason to be worked on.

To reduce the temptations of popping food in your mouth, take up a hobby that uses your hands: like crocheting or knitting, crossword or jigsaw puzzles, painting, model building or woodworking.

Movement, yoga, dance, or aerobics also raise your heart rate and stretch your muscles.  You-tube has lots of movement videos to inspire you.  And if you need something more social, take a class.   Want simple?  Start walking: to begin your day, during your lunch break or to relax after dinner. 

Since a heart healthy diet limits your sugars, add in fruits and vegetables.  Fresh grilled fish or baked chicken are good protein sources.   Avoid salt.  There are a lot of spices to perk up your food and help your heart. Turmeric, cayenne, curcumin, pepper, garlic and onion are a few.  Caution: fast foods are loaded with salt. You will love the last two.  Laugh and eat dark chocolate.  Laughing, according to the AHA lowers stress hormones, decreases inflammation and raises your HDL cholesterol levels.  Dark Chocolate in moderation also helps reduce inflammation and lower heart disease.  Be guilt free with just a square or two a day.  Being happy reduces stressors and can allow for a longer healthier life –   28 Tips to Improve your Heart Health   Heart disease> healthy heart diet

Resolution or Manifestation

It’s New Years.   Have you made your resolution or are you into manifestation.  I have to admit I am not good at even wanting to think about resolutions.  It is defined as the decision to do or not do something.   And honestly, if I am still doing it I probably don’t want to not do it badly enough or I would have stopped.  If you are good at resolutions and have made yours, my hat is off to you. 

This year I have decided to manifest my goal rather than to make a resolution to do it.  Manifest means: the action of showing or creating an idea.  They are both nouns; but, manifest calls me to spend energy doing it.  Rather than having the mind power to stay steadfast.  With manifest if I mess up a day I can still work towards the success of creating long term success.  We all falter at times.  And that is why I have given up my resolutions in the past.  I felt the failure.  When I think about manifesting, if the first way I try collapses, I can start another way.   This is going to be a short article.  You either know what you want, and are willing to work for or you can resolve to stay where you are.  Have a Happy New Year!

And speaking of manifestations:   This article was inspired by my editor, Katelyn and her suggestion:


Christmas Gift Giving

Christmas is a hard time to come up with the right gift.  Birthdays can be challenging; but Christmas is lots of people challenging.  Have a small budget and wanting make everyone happy?   Remember we say that the gift doesn’t matter; it’s the thought that counts.  And we know that is only partially true

So if you are on a tight budget, here are some tricks to extend your love and your pocket book.  If you have a hobby such as drying home grown herbs, crocheting, woodworking or painting, making a gift for someone is very doable.   My neighbor makes wood push cars for his grandchildren and another crochets something different every year to share.  It is a little late to start on your hobby now.  But there is one gift that is always welcomed.  Service.  Think of someone older that could use a drive to the doctor or help with the computer.  One hour of service is a great gift.  And if they are younger with kids, you can babysit them or take them to the park.  Do you know a parent who wouldn’t appreciate this? And for the “in-betweens,” teach them your hobby.  Or know what they are working on and offer help with it, like raking the leaves or shoveling snow, or a coupon good for one or two hours of assistance at their request.  This gives you quality time with the person you value.  A much more meaningful gift. 

EMF’s What and Why?

EMFs are electromagnetic fields.  An electromagnetic field is “a physical field produced by electrically charge objects” from Wikipedia.  Why should you care?  This is the feeling I had when they were putting in remote utility readers in Seattle.  Then one day in my kitchen, by my counter, stove and microwave, I felt nauseous and had an immediate headache.  Every time I went to my favorite spot to prepare things in my kitchen, I got this sick feeling.  I called a friend who is also in nutritional healing.  Her first question was, “Have they put on your remote reader.”  As we talked, I went outside and looked.   They had.  It was the EMF’s constantly coming off the reader. The city was going to charge me $40 dollars a month to take it off and read it manually.  I looked for other options.  Online I learned how to make a faraday cage. ( A metal enclosure to trap EMF affecting the surrounding area.)  It solved the problem.  However, so much of what we live with today put off EMF’s,  not quite as strong as the meter reader but strong enough to cause health issues, such as : infertility, tumors, cancer and sleep. (The Non-tinfoil Guide to EMF’s by Nicholas Pineault ~The

Simple things we do create this risk, like putting your phone in your pocket.  The EMF’s are constantly coming off the phone straight into your body.  According to my meter (Trifield Meter), at about 18” these EMF’s drop off to a stressful, but not toxic level.  Some plastic covers for the phone can redirect the EMF’s to the front of the phone.  Since more is coming out the front always use the speaker phone.  Do not put it next to your head as it is going straight into your brain.  Just 10 minutes a day of exposure can cause health problems like cancer, tumors or brain fog.  Also don’t leave your phone plugged in where you sleep.   Move it to the other side of the room or another room.  Another issue is your router box, TV connection box, answering machine and cordless phones.  Again position them at least 3’ (Trifield meter) away from where you are.  And use your home cordless phone on speaker also.

Another big issue is laptops and tablets.  The keyboard area sends out emissions front and back.  Don’t panic.  It has a simple solution.  Buy a keyboard (I got mine for $5.00 at the thrift store.) then you can stand 2 feet away from your laptop.  Your hands are not constantly over the laptop absorbing EMF’s. And they are not being sent into your lap.

I read an article that they are making faraday cages for wrist watches and phones.  They did not list the brands or if they are out yet.  I suggest if you are looking for either of these you ask questions before spending your money and risking your health.  If in checking things out you get more information, please feel free to share it with me and other readers.  I am sure your fellow readers want to stay safe.

There are other things in the home that emit EMF’s.  To me these are the biggest culprits because you are constantly handling them.  If you are hypersensitive lights please look into what is affecting you.  If you have been exhausted or feeling sick with no answers, I suggest checking it out.  If you are feeling well and haven’t noticed a problem, it doesn’t mean you are safe.  It means your body is not yet showing signs.  Don’t wait until you are sick, infertile, brain dull or have cancer to clean up your environment.

Shielding is for Health

We all wear seat belts to protect ourselves from the danger of either a mistake on our part or the mistake of another driver.  Yet we don’t shield our bodies against negative influences that we may step into or may be flung at us.  The question is why.

I think it is because we are a tangible society that doesn’t acknowledge that the intangible is as dangerous as or more dangerous than the tangible.

How many times have we walked into a room and felt a terrible oppression?  Or in one corner of the room there is a person being quite negative and we steer clear of that.  Those are both common examples of negative energy that we know to avoid.  Yet there are many energies that are subtle and we don’t protect ourselves from being hit by them. 

When I first started back into acknowledging energy, I was quite ignorant about how it could affect me.  I was learning to dance and had all my receptors open to learning new dances and following my lead.  After about 30-45 minutes of dancing I would have to leave. Often I would vomit at the curb’s edge and drive myself home feeling very nauseous and weak.  I couldn’t figure out what was happening at first.  Then I saw the same pattern at each dance.  I realized that I was picking up the energies of the other dancers.  Often when people go to parties, dances and other social events they dump their negative and unhappy energy.  For someone that is sensitive this is quite traumatic to feel.  I think it is why some of us are more introverted.  Introverts get their energy from inward and extroverts get their energy from other people’s attention.  It wasn’t until I learned to shield against the negative energy that I could go, dance and enjoy.  It still was quite tiring but it was great not to be sick.  In time I could stay the whole evening.

Other people have shared stories of being able to think more clearly with a shield.  Others ate less.  And still others felt less need to run away, get violent or angry to protect themselves.

If you feel drained in the office cubical, at the amusement park, grocery store or any public place, you need to create a shield.  If you feel tired after a business meeting, an interpersonal discussion or any interactions with people, you need to strengthen your shield.

For many people this is a hard concept.  For those of you with a good imagination this is an easier task. There are a number of ways to do this.  You can visualize a white light coming down from the heavens and you are protected in that light.  Some people visualize it like being the guy on stage with a spot light and in that circle they are safe.

 Other people feel the need to visualize climbing into a suit of armor.  Some people visualize another set of light clothing. And for children, I have them blow an imaginary giant bubble with gum.  They climb inside and are protected.  The bubble will bend but not break. Whatever works for you is a good way to do it.

So whether you need an imagined visual barrier or a tangible barrier, you need protection. Some people like to shield before grounding but most people do best with grounding first and then shielding. (Grounding is being present in your body.) And just like the grounding, shielding takes practice to maintain.  And it is necessary to maintain it consistently everywhere and always.  I even keep mine intact when I am home alone. 

How do you know if it is working?  Well in simple situations you will note that you feel less drained by other. Things like headaches, dizziness and upset stomach are other things that people commonly feel if negative energy is incoming.  The simple test or to fix it, is to ground, shield and breath deep releasing anything negative.  If you have done a good job and you are still off it is probably not energy.  How do you know if you have done a good job?  After much practice you will notice and feel the difference.  Until then ask an energetic friend or just do it again. Even if it is a physical cause the deep breath should give some relief. 

Seasonal Eating Enhances Performance

The seasons are changing and so are your needs.  It’s more than just changing the clothes you work out in; eating seasonally and locally will go a long way to support your health and performance both emotionally and physically.  How is that?  Our body responds to the weather of each season.  The air temperature, the humidity or lack of, the length of the daylight and the intensity of rays all play a role in your bodies’ needs and performance.  The mother earth in her infinite wisdom naturally grows things that match our needs.

The healthier you are and the more reserves you have the less likely you are to put your bodies out of kilter during season changes and stress.  Being active increases your need to be conscious of the changes.  You tend to tax your reserves more and require greater availability of the resources you do have.  As I mentioned in a previous article, as little as 1-2% dehydration can create fatigue.  As temperature and humidity changes with the coming of fall you are likely to drink less fluids.  Then unexpectedly you find your performance dropping and your feeling of well-being slipping from your grasp.  Once dehydration sets in so does weakened digestive and athletic performance abilities.  It sets off a domino response.

Then of course as the days shorten, your list of need to accomplish doesn’t.  So often you cut back on sleep.  This extra stress activity throws your body off.  Less fresh fruits with higher water content and nutrients can cause a deficiency you aren’t aware of until you are off.  Studies show most people lower their respective rate of physical activity due to cold and darker days.  It also seems with the weather changes, the way we utilize our nutrients changes.  Even the nutrient content of milk is different in the winter than the summer.  So the same foods do not provide the same support, at different times of the year.  Seasonally eating can help balance this.  Squash, a winter vegetable has more vitamin A that is needed in the winter months, Oranges and other fruits are higher in vitamin C, needed so much in the summer months.  Each of these foods has the other nutrients, just in different ratios.  Eating seasonally and locally for your area can improve your performance by providing more available nutrients. 

Weather: Hot and Cold ~ Wet and Dry ~ Sunny and Cloudy

I mention locally because food raised or grown locally can be picked later and purchased earlier.  Vitamin C is known to be particularly unstable.  So an orange grown in Florida and picked early has lost the last few days of nutrient gathering and by the time it reaches the diagonal end of the country in 3-5 days it has lost over 60% of the already lowered Vitamin C content.  The same is true with all the wonderful fruits we get from other southern hemisphere growing areas.  I am assuming you are buying organic because I do not have space here to go over all the health concerns of the different pesticides much less them mixed together in your system.

Looking for maximum nutrient value with limited calories, local and seasonal food choices become essential.  Food equals energy, eat the best, to be able to perform the best.  For more specifics on this topic: Search the internet for locally grown in WA. (or your state).  A myriad of resources will come up.   “Food choices” is also something to keep in mind when you are traveling.  The local areas environment may pull more of one type of nutrient from your body.  If staying for more than a few days, consider eating like locals.  For example in sunnier climates low essential fatty acids can cause the skin to burn easier.  Traveling diet, lifestyle and locality changes affect your needs.

As always consult with a health care professional before making changes to your lifestyle.  Katherine Branigan is a Certified Nutritional Therapist in private practice in person and online in Nine Mile Falls, WA.  She has been in practice for 23 years.  In her practice she also addresses the physical, emotional and energetic components of health and healing.          ©K Branigan

Summer’s Pace Got You Down?  posted 8/12/23

Run out of energy, before you run out of day?  Summer is a busy time full of adventures and activities.  If you notice a dip in your energy levels, it can be because something is out of balance.  Low energy not only means missing out on daily fun but also more rapid aging.   

Well the truth is it may be that you have let yourself get out of shape.  Even with watching your diet and exercise you can find your energy lower.  I know your medical doctor says your blood tests all look “normal.” Did you know that “normal” changes?  Normal is based on a bell curve of the population’s health.  It is not based on what a healthy body could be.  We all know many people more out of shape than ourselves.  Do we really want to compare ourselves to them?  Maybe it is time to step out of the medical paradigm and look at your health from the options of nutritional optimum.

Yes they are different.  Even if you are eating fairly well there may nutrients that you are missing due to lifestyle, stress and aging.  If you are feeling the joy of summer and the aches of the extra hours and activities. here are some things to consider.

Take an Inventory of your Lifestyle, Diet and Symptoms.  For example do you regularly wake up tired?  Do you have a gas or bloating feeling after eating?  Do you run out of energy before you run out of day?  If you want to take a complete survey of your health go to Nutritional Assessment  and fill it out.  If you have a number of issues in any one of the sections, there are things you can do to feel better and have more energy.  Low energy not only means missing out it means you are using your reserves.  The older we get the more work the reserves are to replenish.  Notice the weak area in your body and seek a knowledgeable person to help you.  If it is structural you may want to see a chiropractor, cranial massage or physical therapist.  If it is physiological you can choose an acupuncturist, body trainer or nutritional therapist.

The Nutrition Component:

Almost all physical conditions have some sort of nutrition component.  Sometimes it is healing the digestive track or stimulating the endocrine system.  Looking at your symptoms can give you an idea where to start.  If most of your symptoms are related to digestion you may need more amino acids.  Good stomach acids can be encouraged by betaine HCL supplementation or by taking some Bragg apple cider vinegar with each meal.  Amino acids can be attained by eating live foods, like raw vegetables.  As we age our endocrine system seems to take a beating.  Our thyroid or pituitary glands don’t function as optimally.  This often shows up as foggy brain or forgetfulness when we talking about poor pituitary function.  A sluggish thyroid might be the cause of weight gain, head aches or moodiness.  Dietary changes can correct some of these problems, you may need to seek a professional as some of these can develop into long term problems.  A doctor might do a blood test and say everything is fine.  Yet in the nutritional world there is a different formula for looking at blood work.  The medical world bell curve perimeters don’t allow for treatment until there is a medication answer.  A nutritional specialist or other experienced person in nutritional blood chemistry can see things earlier.  It is much easier and healthier to deal with these prior to the medical paradigm.  At this stage: lifestyle, diet and supplementation are simple solutions.  The above questionnaire is a way to become aware of weaknesses you may have.  Simple changes can bring big changes.

For more information or an appointment call Katherine Branigan, NTP, MSA. MFP  (206) 779-1959 or email for an appointment   

Health Tips for Northwest Summers

The Pacific Northwest has special summer concerns: ever-changing weather, seasonal allergies, and a variety of times to go on vacation. Each of these aspects can challenge our health and immune system.  This is a summary of things to day for staying energized and enjoying the summer.  Enjoy a sensational and healthy summer season!   

  • Tips layer clothes ~ chilled and overheated bodies strain immune
  • Use fleece and synthetics ~ dry quicker & offer breathe ability when damp
  • Beware of the evening drop ~ can lose 15 degrees +
  • Wear sunscreen in cloudy weather ~ Cancer causing UV rays still there
  • Hats recommended
  • Use good sunglasses especially on or near the water ~Glare can damage eyes esp w/ adrenal stress
  • Carry water and drink regularly ~Drink before thirsty
  • Eat light and fresh when hot ~ high water content, alive
  • Eat protein with your veggies when damp and cold  ~ Carbs also for sustained energy, Nuts and seeds are great to carry

Allergies: Animals ~ Blooming Flowers ~ Trees and Grass

  • Know your space, minimize exposure
  • Clean your body ~ diet and exercise
  • Liver and Colon supports ~ ex. herbals (Milk Thistle) and foods (Fiber)
  • Lymph drainage ~ water, herbals & fruits
  • Fruits (especially in the morning)
  • Distilled water ~only upon waking
  • Don’t touch your face ~ Wash your hands regularly
  • Walks in the morning are easier than mid-day ~ damp & cool air
  • Use homeopaths to assist in clearing allergies ~ see you health provider

Vacationing: Diet ~ Time Schedules ~ Locations

  • Eating on the go ~ choose live, avoid junk, not $, quality  
  • Drink water before eating ~ 20 min is best
  • Don’t skip meals ~ eat regularly to avoid fatigue & blood sugar
  • Eat less than you want & carry something with for later ~ keeps away highs and lows
  • Know the availability of food and drink where you are going ~ can ruin the day
  • Get good sleep ~ warm, dry, allergy free and long enough to heal
  • Have a backup plan ~ Stress & cancelled activities can ruin the break

Three Major Cause of Allergies
posted 5/27/2023

Although many people think of spring as the time for allergies, they are a year round, full time concern for many people.  Whatever sense or senses that an allergy affects, it is unpleasant.  Allergies tend to fall into at least one of three categories.

Physical Deficiencies: A deficiency in the body can be something you are born with or you can develop it later.  For example, even as a baby, I was sensitive to milk.   It caused constipation and stomach pain.  However, I grew up in a family that didn’t believe in allergies.  So, I was told to drink my milk, to have strong bones.  It wasn’t until I was forty and studying nutrition that I realized my milk issue was related to the fat in the milk.  I had been born with a weak gallbladder and a simple supplement cured my constipation and digestive issues.  Other people think they have developed food allergies when often it is just an amino acid deficiency. Especially as we age, these can cause us to develop sensitivities to foods or smells.

Environmental Overload: The second cause of allergies is when our body experiences a chemical, smell, or plant that it doesn’t have the resources to handle.  Again this can start at any age.  Some people don’t have a problem because their bodies can clean up the disruption.  If you can’t, you need to detox your body.  Sometimes we have been deficient so long that we not only need to detox the body, we need to reintroduce the needed nutrients to help the body keep itself clean. 

Emotions: The one is the hardest to define and yet easiest to cure once it is identified.  It is an allergy that is related to an emotional issue.  For example, as a 3 year-old you are at the table eating your peas.  Mom and Dad start arguing loudly and you get frightened.  You may develop an allergy to peas.  Sometimes just the memory of the incident can cure the allergy.  Other times, homeopathics are needed.

Having personally experienced all three types of allergies, I can tell you the solution can be easy or challenging.  It is a joy when the answer becomes clear and the problem goes away.  I recommend always starting with a digestive check first.  When we have a weak spot in our system it will borrow where it can; but, often that creates an unidentified weakness, allergy.  Once you know you are getting good nutrients in the body; then detoxify it to make sure you clean out the crud that has accumulated.  Detoxifying is much harsher on the body when it isn’t able to get the nutrients it needs.  Seek a good nutritional therapist or other health care practitioner to assist in the process.  Looking at the emotional cause of allergies is more challenging.  However, it can be done without discovering the exact cause. 

By: Katherine Branigan, NTP
(206) 779-1959