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Dr Shoshana Scott


North American media's preoccupation with diets

Fall, 2016

Download PDF Version: 2016_SeptNewsletter v2.pdf

DearClients: This month’s In the News section looks at North American media’s preoccupation with diets, weight loss and exercise and offers a totally different mindset to food and eating which is healthy, slimming and time-tested. It is based the fact that “French women do not get fat” in spite of eating as they like, including chocolate, wine and cheese, nor do they suffer the terror of pounds like their North American counterparts.

The Homeopathic Classics section will focus on teaching you about medicines you can use on your own for Homeopathic first aid. This one is about Aconitum napellus, a medicine you can use after any accident or shock to relieve fear and trauma quickly.

What’s New with Me is just about everything! There is a new home, new garden, new office, and new teaching venues.

As always, thanks for reading.

In the news: dieting

Dieting advice is splashed on the covers of magazines, in newspapers, best selling books and is all over the internet. Many North American adults and teens (and some children) are overly concerned about being overweight. This worry can drive what we choose to eat (or don’t), what we worry about (how we look fat or ate too much) and even how we spend our leisure time (exercising or saying we should). I love that people want to be healthy and improve what they eat. But the way it is presented
is confusing, often wrong, and also promotes an unhealthy attitude to eating and exercise. There is often an implication that if you don’t follow that particular
advice you could become fat (and ugly) yourself. This media darling creates its
own problems. I am especially concerned for the people who want to take good
care of themselves. It actually creates anxiety, confusion, and dieting, which can lead to nutrition deficiencies, confusion about body image, weight gain anorexia
or bulimia.

Many readers are so confused by contradictory and “new” messages in the media that they just don’t know what “eat healthy” means. Is it really important to eat gluten free, sugar free, no carbs, dairy free, fat free, and organic? (Is there anything left to eat?)

The media loves to quote medical science who weigh in regularly along with celebrities. Dr Atkins sold an awful lot of best sellers with the Atkins high protein no carb diet where you can eat huge quantities of meat but never bread rice or pasta. (Does this sound appetizing to you?) The Paleo Diet is all the rage- this is the way of eating during the Paelithic era when people spend their days hunting and gathering. (Don’t you spend more time with your computer than your bow and arrow these days?)

There is a great book that I wholeheartedly recommend instead that cuts through the confusion and guides you to find your own equilibrium. The book is called “Why French Women don’t get fat: The secret of eating for pleasure.” by Murielle Guilliamo. As she explains, the French enjoy good food, life long slenderness and one of the longest life expectancies in the Western world. Their’s is a full on love affair with food as a source of pleasure, health, renowned beauty and a good social life. No diets, no magazines professing the latest diets or exercises, virtually no hours spent at the gym. She wrote the book after gaining 20 pounds as a school girl in North America and regaining her figure by following the advice of her French Physician based on traditional French principles.

To understand how to achieve the same results here at home, while I can’t begin to sum up this rich book in a newsletter, here is taste. (No I am not on Ms. Guillamo’s pay roll!)

1. We are all unique. We require different foods, schedules, and exercise and have different stresses and pressures. This fine tuning cannot be done by a doctor /

professional who has never met you. In fact the only person really required to do this is you, with a little guidance!

2. The secret is eating for pleasure! (How nice!)

Rather than dieting the French take pleasure in eating as well as possible. They take exquisite care over their three meals a day. They eat socially, with family and friends. It is no fun to eat alone. No one stuffs lunch in at their desk. Lunch is at least one hour not five minutes. “If you eat too fast, your body doesn’t believe you have eaten.” a French woman once told me. Eat sitting down, out of nice dishes, preferably with good conversation. Take the smallest bite you can to still produce a good taste and take pleasure in it.

3. Variety is the spice of life

French women are stubborn individuals and don’t follow mass movements.

Right now no carbs is the latest rage in the North American diet world. Did you know carbs are the only food used by the brain (in the form of glucose), and are essential for heart function? Not to mention that they play a fundamental role in waste elimination?

I am not suggesting you have a pot of rice. Just a bowl like they do in Japan. The bowls are small! Not the whole bagette, just a fews slices like they do in France to sop up the sauce from your dinner, or dip into an oil and vinegar prep for an appetizer.

The quality of carbs matter. There is a big difference between a quinoa salad, a bowl of brown rice and a loaf of bread that can sit on the store shelf for days. (due to preservatives).

—Note:, please do not eat any foods that don’t agree with you—

Crash diets can lead to nutritional deficiencies. The answer lies not in supplements but in eating the greatest variety of nutritional foods.

4. “Not too much.” This means, serve smaller portions but you enjoy them more. Find your satiety point and listen to it. Eat slowly, of course, chewing well. then ask yourself whether you’re content, and therefore whether continuing would be a matter of pleasure or merely routine. Serve food in nice dishes. Use a smaller plate or bowl that suits your real appetite.

French women choose their own indulgences and compensations. They understand that little things count, both additions and subtractions, and that as an adult everyone is the keeper of her own equilibrium.French women do stray, but they always come back, believing there are only detours and no dead ends. She wants you to find your own natural balance. Explore and take the time to enjoy what pleases you.

** Don’t become confused by the concept of feeling good in your own skin by eating for pleasure versus the high from deprivation due to dieting restrictions or worse with the deadly self control of anorexia. These are opposite ideas and can make you sick.

5. Real food, mostly fruits and vegetables, in season.

If you can, eat fruit and vegetables, fish etc which are available seasonally. Availability does not equal quality. For the best food in season go to the Farmer’s and fish markets.

In France they don’t have unreal food so real food isn’t as hard to get. Real food is organic (produced without chemical fertilizers or pesticides), unprocessed and made without chemical preservatives.

Why organic? If the preservatives will keep your food soft and pliable for longer on the shelf, do you doubt it will preserve food on us in the form of double chins, soft muscles and pot bellies? Pesticides and fertilizers are linked to estrogen mimicking chemicals which change or hormones and ultimately soften our bodies.

6. Cook and eat mostly at home, three meals a day (no skipping them!). Plain organic yogurt or fruit as a snack if necessary.

7. Incorporate movement you love. A brisk half hour a day, and two or three activities a week is all you need. Do more only if you love it. Don’t spend your one precious life at the gym (unless you love it). Walk more, dance more, move more, eat for pleasure.

The book provides lots of room for elaboration to create this mindset. It is a wonderful, inspirational read that really helped me and others to feel great in my own skin.

This part is from me!

8. You can use Homeopathic medicines if you suspect your weight issue is due to a medical problem. Homeopathy will provide medicines to treat gall bladder, fatty liver, sluggish metabolism, thyroid, pituitary, Candida etc. Homeopathic medicine also makes your body more efficient- able to digest and absorb nutrients at maximum capacity while eliminating the waste it doesn’t need.

Homeopathic medicines can assist with other reasons for weight gain: .genetic susceptibility,repeated dieting, constitutional issues, emotional eating, boredom, dissatisfaction, sexual issues, grief,addictive eating, anorexia, bulimia,perfectionist tendencies, bullying, abuse, poor self image to name a few.

Last but not least nourishment doesn’t’ just come via carrots and kale. We are also nourished by relationships, career, movement, culture, spirituality. Learning what nourishes you through food helps to unlock and move these areas forward. I have taken great delight in working with my patients to help them achieve new levels of wellness by integrating sound eating habits with Homeopathy.

What’s new with me?

To help Homeopathy grow in B.C., this past spring I taught courses in Homeopathy at the University of Victoria, Camosun College, Pacific Rim College,and the Vancouver Homeopathic College in Vancouver. Each was a rewarding opportunity and allowed me to connect Homeopathy with terrific people.

This Spring the RCMP hosted a workshop on Homeopathy and Mental Health where I was brought in to show how it can improve resiliency and performance. It was exciting to see how these professionals recognize that mental health is such an important societal issue and are addressing it through Homeopathy! It was a fantastic interested crowd.

Recently, I moved my Homeopathic clinic from the Interdisciplinary medical clinic where I have worked for almost five years to a beautiful centre for healing called Copper Mountain. Aesthetics and peacefulness have become more important to me!

Another recent move was my family’s move to the beautiful Southern Gulf Island called Pender. (I commute to Victoria to work at the clinic on Wednesdays and Thursdays). From tending to our extensive gardens in bits and pieces I’ve been learning the difference between weeds and flowers! During the process of learning about the plants and their names, I have discovered I am living with many of the plants I have prescribed for over 15 years but seen only in bottles and photos.

For example there is Bryonia alb one of the remedies I have prescribed the most spreading out in search of water. Often referred to as “dryonia” as the patients who require it are so dry and thirsty, it staunchly refused to grow until I gave it far more water than any of the surrounding plants! There is also Hypericum, Bellis Per, Digitalis, Chamomile, and Aconitum, known as Monkshood for the blue hood shape of its flower.

Homeopathic Classics: Aconitum napellus (Aconite) 200 c – first remedy for shock, fear or trauma

Aconite 200 c is a great medicine to keep in your Homeopathic to keep at home for your first aid or travel kit. Aconite can be given after a big scare or shock such as after an accident, earthquake, tornado, even on a roller coaster, or even for childhood fears after a scary movie to reestablish equilibrium, deal with the shock and create a calm state in body and mind. You can even use it for a plane trip if you have great fear of flying.

Aconitum nap, common name Monkshood, was introduced as a medicinal herb in 1763 in Vienna. In 1788 it was added to the London Pharmacopoeia and to the first US Pharmacopoeia in 1820. However, because the therapeutic dose was so close to the toxic dose (not like it is in Homeopathic, highly diluted form), it was later deleted from both pharmacopoeias. The symptoms of Aconite that it produces were similar actually to those in a state of shock, affecting mostly the circulatory and nervous system.

“One of the first things that is experienced in aconite poisoning is tingling and numbness of the tongue and mouth.The body temperature begins to drop and the individual starts to feel cold and clammy. The pulse rate drops at first, the breathing becomes laboured and the pupils dilate. A state of collapse, anxiety and great fear are present.”

In homeopathic dosage (highly diluted and potentized), following the Homeopathic principle of likes curing likes, Aconitum will catalyze the body’s own healing mechanisms to allay a state of shock, fear or trauma in many situations such as after an accident, earthquake, fire, flood or any scare at all. It will act to restore the body’s equilibrium in a rapid, gentle and permanent manner. Even delayed shock, such as post traumatic stress disorder can be addressed by this wonderful remedy under the care of a Homeopathic practitioner. (Please don’t treat PTSD without guidance from a Homeopathic professional).


Let food be thy medicine

Ancient cultures such as India, renowned for their health particularly of bones and teeth, have used yogurt for its extensive health benefits for centuries.

Yogurt contain calcium in a highly digestive form for teeth and bones as well as several million bacteria per serving that promote for the health and well being of your digestive system particularly after the use of antibiotics no matter how long ago.

It can restore the stomach and renew the intestinal flora, creating better elimination and is a well known remedy for heartburn.

Take at least 1/2 - 1 cup of plain, organic 3.5 percent butter fat yogurt daily. The higher fat means you require less, and it will contain the fat soluble vitamins such as A,D, E and K good for skin bones and blood.

Yogurt is a perfect food to promote weight loss as it crowds out other creamy snacks and is tasty, creamy and satisfying. For this purpose, have it as a snack or a dessert twice a day.

Here is my all time favourite porridge recipe to be had with yogurt on top. Make sure the yogurt is plain, organic 3.5 % yogurt. Add honey (anti-bacterial) or maple syrup to taste. (Maple syrup contains calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus sodium, potassium, and zinc and vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and B6)

Morning oatmeal/porridge for two

In a medium sauce pan, add:
1 c Oats (steel cut is great)
1/4 c Buckwheat or Kasha
1/4 c of Sunflower seeds / Peanuts. Option: 1/4 c Amaranth (this is VERY high in iron)

Cover with 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring regularly.

When almost done stir in:
2 tbsp of any organic nut butter like peanut, cashew or, hazelnut butter. 1/2 c fruit like blueberries, dried cranberries, dates, etc

Serve in bowls and top with:
2 tbsp yogurt
1/2 tsp cinnamon or vanilla
maple syrup or honey or cane sugar to taste.

Options to sprinkle on top:
6 brazil or hazel nuts (for prostate health) or almonds (for bones and teeth), 1/2 tsp chia seeds, 1/2 tsp hemp seeds.
Option: For super health, prepare the first three ingredients the night before, cover with water and add lemon or vinegar to promote fermentation and easier digestion. In the morning, rinse and add your fresh water.


Wishing you good health,
Dr Shoshana Scott
Dr. Shoshana Scott DMS, HD

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