Healthy Living Blog

By Healthy Living Liberty Lake 12 Jan, 2018
I'm sure everyone has heard by now that we are in the midst of a flu epidemic. Influenza A and B, with many deaths so far and, as as usual, the flu shot has been worthless. At most, the flu shot provides protection 10% of the time. Even less for seniors, those over age 65 who need protection the most. I see influenza patients daily, and at least half of them had the flu shot.

So what can you do to protect yourself from the flu?

First of all, clean up your diet. If you're eating sugar you're suppressing your immune system. Eat a diet that is rich in colorful vegetables and fruits. Lots of berries and citrus fruits, and vegetables that are green, purple, red or orange in color. Notice I didn't say white, like potatoes. A potato is a big lump of sugar. Eat 8 servings daily. "Eight?!!" most people say. It's not as much as you'd think. One grapefruit is 2 servings. A half cup of veges or berries is one serving. A typical salad of mine will have 6 servings right off the bat. Add a handful of spinach in your protein shake in the morning, and some berries. Snack on carrots and cucumbers thruout the day.  
Next, take your immune supplements. The most powerful and simple one is vitamin D. Everyone that lives in the great Northwest is low in vitamin D! It is the most important vitamin that we can take for immunity, and it also lowers risk of breast and prostate cancer, heart disease and MS. Get your levels to between 70-90 - that is optimal.    

Other immune supplements that you can take daily to get you thru the flu season include Immuplex or EpiImmune by Standard Process, or Immune Essentials by Xymogen. These have a combination of 1,3/1,6 glucan, olive leaf extract, zinc, vitamin C, and selenium. I take 2 a day during flu season, one a day at other times.    

If you get recurrent colds, think of zinc. Often times a zinc deficiency can lead to a predisposition to colds and flu, along with poor wound healing. At the first onset of a cold or flu, the first 24 hours take Zn acetate 75mg every 2 hours x 6 doses. First 24 hours only, stop it after that point. This may stabilize the cell membrane enough to completely eradicate the illness. For long term, make sure your multivitamin has zinc in it, between 15-45 mg. Men typically need a higher dose. And men, you might also be interested to know that a low zinc causes low testosterone.

Next, get adequate sleep. Without a consistent 7-8 hours of sleep per night, our immunity suffers, making us more vulnerable to colds.    

If you do end up with the flu, start the zinc acetate, and a supplement called Congaplex - 2 caps every 2 hours while awake. This plus extra vitamin C can be very helpful in helping your body fight the illness. And at the same time, avoid sugar completely! Remember, every time you eat sugar it depresses your immune system for up to 4 hours. If you're sick, don't eat sugar. And that includes alcohol, fruit juices and soda.

This should help to keep you healthy and make it through the flu season intact. If you need more help, are ill and want to be checked for influenza, we are also a walk-in clinic and can let you know in 15 minutes whether your symptoms are simply a viral cold or influenza.

By Dr. Susan Ashley, MD
By Healthy Living Liberty Lake 28 Dec, 2017
It's almost the new year, and already most of us have made at least one New Year's resolution. And for those that have, 90% of them resolve to be healthier in some way, with weight loss being the number one goal.

The fact is, weight loss is hard. If it were easy, there would be no overweight people in our society. And combining weight loss with a healthier lifestyle can be even harder.

For us ladies, another study has proven what we've all known for years. That it is much easier for men to lose weight than women. Why is that?

Well, one reason is men have more muscle mass, and muscle burns twice as many calories. When men and women are resting, men burn more calories than women, even if they weigh the same.  

Secondly, abdominal fat, which is the most unhealthy type of fat, is released and burned more easily than the fat around the hips and thighs.  And where do women tend to gain weight? The hips and thighs, and this fat comes off much more slowly. It is really quite unfair!

But all is not lost. When it comes to weight loss and eating healthier, many diets have been advertised as the "best" one, but there really is only one that is mentioned time and time again.  This diet is not only the most healthy, but lowers inflammation, reduces risk of heart disease by 80%, diabetes by 90%, and stroke by 70%, reduces arthritis, and helps reduce weight. And that is the Mediterranean diet.

The Mediterranean diet is not only delicious, it is a healthy long-term diet - a way of life. It should not just be a short term diet.

The diet is loaded with anti-inflammatory foods, such as:
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens and non-starchy vegetables
  • Olive oil - extra dark, cold pressed, glass bottle only
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Legumes and beans
  • Whole grains - but if you need to lose weight, you'll leave these out completely
  • Red meat once weekly
  • High quality poultry, eggs, cheese, and kefir
  • Wild-caught fish
  • Occasional glass of red wine - but not if weight loss is the goal
The diet is delicious and you never feel hungry, or deprived. You'll notice that there are no processed foods, no fast foods, and no sugar other than what is found in fruit and veggies.  

It can be hard to change your diet, especially when you want the change for the long term. Because of that , we are going to help you with this change. Starting in January, our dietitian will be giving a 6-week course on the Mediteranean diet, and 'll be at those classes as well, joining you in our attempt to create healthier, happier, and thinner bodies! Call Healthy Living Liberty Lake to sign up and get more information:   509-924-6199
By Healthy Living Liberty Lake 04 Dec, 2017
Flu season is upon us again, and the pressure is on to get your flu shot. Whether its on TV, in your doctor's office, or at every pharmacy and grocery store, you're being warned that the season is going to be bad and you must protect yourself and society by getting your flu shot. It's the same message year after year. But is it true?

Let's look at last year. The flu shot last year was not effective, and only protected about 10% of those that received the vaccine.

Why is that? Well, in order for the flu shot to work, it has to include the exact strains that will be seen that year. The CDC has to guess which strain is going to attack us in the coming year, and most of the time, they guess wrong. Last year, the main strain that affected people was the bug H3N2.

Even though the flu shot last year was designed to include H3N2, an unexpected mutation of the virus occurred during production, making the flu shot ineffective.

This year? The flu shot includes the same mutated H3N2 strain as the one from last year!  

What this means is that if an H3N2 outbreak occurs again, as the CDC has projected, this year's flu shot will not protect you. And the CDC recently admitted that for 4 out of the last 7 years, the flu shot was completely worthless for those 65 and older, the exact age they stress should be getting the shot!

So what do we do? I do not get a flu shot, and I don't give them. Instead, I work on keeping my immune system healthy, with the following:
  • Eating 4+ servings of fruits and veggies daily
  • Sleeping 7-8 hours per night
  • Taking vitamin D-3, 5000-10,000 IU daily
  • Taking a good probiotic daily, with at least 10 billion bacteria, including bifidobacteria
At the first sign of a cold, sniffles, fever or sore throat, start:
  • Zinc Acetate 75mg sublingual lozenge, one every two hours for one day
  • Immune Essentials by Xymogen - has the most effective immune product called 1,3/1,6 beta-glucan that activates the macrophages to kill viruses and bacteria
Stay healthy this year, and don't count on a flu shot to get you there. Take matters into your own hands and employ these common sense measures to protect you from the winter colds and flu.

By Dr. Susan Ashley, M.D.
By Healthy Living Liberty Lake 01 Dec, 2017
Stem cell biology and regenerative medicine are believed by many to be the most promising breakthrough in medicine in decades. Indeed, along with scientists across the country (including biologists, physicists, chemists, engineers, and clinicians), I believe that society is witnessing the early steps of a revolution in science and medicine, driven by an emerging understanding of stem cells.

What are stem cells? Basically a stem cell is a cell that has the potential to become any cell, such as cartilage, bone, liver, kidney, heart, lung, spinal cord, etc. I've written about them before and will continue to do so, as they are vastly underutilized yet hold such promise in medicine.  

Among their many uses includes transforming therapies for heart failure, spinal cord injury, neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, cancer, diabetes, neuropathy, lung disease including COPD, retinal disease, hearing loss, and orthopedic/sports injuries.

There are several types of stem cells:
  • Embryonic stem cells. These are illegal to use in the US, and I consider to be highly unethical and immoral.  We never recommend this type.
  • Stem cells derived from your own fat or bone marrow. These can be effective. However, the process to obtain them is painful, and the potency and number of stem cells is far reduced than that which can be obtained through the umbilical cord.
  • Umbilical cord stem cells. These are by far the most potent and easy to use. After a healthy baby is born, and with permission from the mother, the umbilical cord that is usually tossed out has been shown to be rich in stem cells. And because they are so young, newborn, they are extremely potent. This type of stem cell is what I recommend, and is becoming the standard of care among stem cell clinics.
They undergo rigorous testing as required by the FDA and screened for multiple communicable diseases. They are then either injected into a joint or tendon or other site of injury, or can be infused IV for systemic effects. The stem cells are what we call immune priveliged, meaning they are not rejected by our immune system.

There are thousands of studies being done currently on stem cells. They have been used to repair spinal cord injuries, reverse congestive heart failure and COPD, and re-build cartilage in joints, avoiding the need for joint replacements. They have profound effects in auto-immune disease. Go to to see what studies are currently being done with stem cells - just search for stem cells and the disease you're interested in, for example: stem cells and multiple sclerosis.

In our clinic we will infuse 30 million cells. Other clinics in the area infuse only 3 million cells and charge more. Make sure you do your research and find a clinic that uses only mesenchymal stem cells derived from umbilical cord blood, and that you're getting 30 million or more cells. For a free consultation for stem cell therapy, call Healthy Living Liberty Lake at  509-924-6199 .

By Dr. Susan Ashley, M.D.
By Healthy Living Liberty Lake 21 Nov, 2017
This just in: the first human head transplant was performed in China. I swear I am not making this up. It was done by an Italian surgeon and team of doctors, and performed on a human cadaver. The surgery took 18 hours and they were able to attach the blood vessels, nerves, and spinal cord. This has never been done before.

The surgeon, Dr. Canavero, states that this is the first step toward doing a transplant on a live person. Due to medical and ethical concerns, China will most likely be the country where it will be performed. He states he has many volunteers lined up for the surgery. He has performed it on live rats and a monkey, but the monkey died soon after.

The good doctor proposes a full head transplant on a brain dead organ donor patient, and that it will occur soon, as early as December. They have announced a Chinese recipient will have the honor of being the first patient to receive the transplant. Originally it was going to be a Russian 33 year old man with a severe muscle wasting disease, but the Chinese will be the first. Dr. Canavero estimates a 90% success rate for what he predicts will be a revolution in medical care and advancement.

There are, of course, many concerns with the surgery. Some say it is not possible to fuse the spinal cord. Yet stem cells have been used to help repair severed spinal cord injuries and the cord does have the ability to regenerate. Other concerns are, of course, ethical. What if the body dies but the head lives? This would be possible for a few days, unless the head were could be mechanically attached to life support. However, if this were done (and no, I did not know that our head could be detached and kept on life support, it sounds so gruesome!), the concern is that it would be in tremendous pain due to the severance of the rest of the body - bones, muscle, organs, spine, etc. Then there is the concern of the head being rejected. Massive amounts of immuno-suppressants would have to be given to keep this from happening.  

It sounds ghastly to me, and is almost certainly doomed for failure.  

I agree with the US and Europe who refused to allow him to attempt this surgery here. In medicine, we are taught "First, do no harm."  Has the doctor forgotten this pledge?

By Dr. Susan Ashley, M.D.
By Healthy Living Liberty Lake 14 Nov, 2017
I recommend a complete detox once every 6 months. There are different ways to do this, but I like to keep things simple. There’s a protocol made by Xymogen, which I recommend doing every six months. However, a word of caution: if you consider yourself to be a sensitive or delicate person, who reacts to many things you might have to take things more slowly. This sensitivity could be due to a high exposure to toxins, or to a genetically reduced ability to detoxify.   Remember the second toe being longer than the first, or big, toe? If you have that, then you have the genetic defect in methylation, and can’t clear toxins easily. So, if you’re this person, the rule “start low, go slow” is the best way for you to detox.

The detoxification protocol involves the use of four products:
  • ProbioMax Daily DF   - a dairy and gluten free probiotic with 30 billion per capsule. This provides four strains of beneficial bacteria that have proven health benefits and help to repair the intestinal health.
  • OptiCleanse GHI – a vegetarian amino acid blend with phytonutrients, extra B vitamins and the following: green tea catechins, which support antioxidant activity and detoxification; choline, which helps with fat metabolism; ellagic acid from pomegranate extract, which increases glutathione, binds directly to toxins and protects DNA and liver cells; fiber, which supports healthy intestinal flora; glutamine, which helps with healthy intestinal cell proliferation and gut barrier integrity; and antixoxidants such as bioflavonoids, quercetin, rutin and curcumin to counter free radicals and support healthy cell metabolism.   
  • Colon X – helps to support gastrointestinal regularity and have regular bowel movements. It’s a mixture of magnesium citrate to help you move things along, cape aloe to add bulk to stool, and a blend of astringent fruits that help digestion and elimination. Warning – if you have bowel movements everyday without difficulty, you may not need this product! 
  • Drainage – combines homeopathic remedies that helps with liver, kidney and colon functions.

So here’s how to do the every six month detox protocol:

Two days  before starting the diet and shakes:
  1. Swallow two capsules of ColonX with water at bedtime. If constipation isn’t really an issue, take one capsule of ColonX instead of two.
  2. Each morning and evening, place six drops of Drainage on your tongue for 10 minutes before or 30 minutes after eating or brushing your teeth.
On days 3-5, continue to take 1-2 capsules of ColonX at bedtime and continue the six drops of Drainage twice a day, and then add one capsule of ProbioMax with water either at bedtime or in the morning. Start your OptiCleanse GHI shakes twice a day, for breakfast and dinner.  

A large part of your cleanse involves dietary changes, eliminating certain foods from your diet may be commonly seen as allergens or sensitivities, or may interfere with your body’s natural detoxification processes. You may look at the list and start thinking of the foods you can’t have, but don’t! There are many delicious foods you  can  have. Cleansing your body of toxins isn’t about deprivation or starving yourself, it’s about making small improvements in your diet to improve your health. We want to focus on good, whole foods, such as fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables and lean sources of protein, while eliminating those foods that only contribute to inflammation, pain and fatigue.  

As much as you’re able, buy foods that are organic, locally grown, and non-GMO. Your meat should be grass-fed, free-range protein sources, and wild fish from cold, deep waters – never farmed fish. It is more expensive to eat organic, and if your budget or circumstances don’t allow you to always eat organic foods, be aware that some foods have more pesticides than others. There’s a list called the Dirty 12, meaning the foods that concentrate the most pesticides, and the clean 15, the foods that have the least. If you can, only buy organic foods if they are part of the Dirty 12. Look at the image below: 

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