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Category Archives: Weight Loss

Top 3 Diet Trends of 2021


With so many diets out there, it’s hard to know where to begin, and nutrition is crucial now more than ever. During 2020, the majority of the population has quarantined, been unemployed, or simply has been inactive; such stressors can cause us to overeat and indulge in fatty foods with little to no nutritional value. These eating habits can lead to sluggish behavior, bloating, increased cholesterol, a weakened immune system, and a general lack of energy. To get you back on track, here are three trending diets that, with the right direction, can help optimize your health.

Mediterranean Diet

Have you ever heard of the peasant diet? If not, you may have heard it called the Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet has risen to fame over the past few years. For those pursuing a healthy lifestyle and looking to reduce their risk for type 2 diabetes, the Mediterranean diet offers a plethora of well-balanced meals, including the daily consumption of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats.

  • Studies conducted in the U.S., as well as Europe, connect the Mediterranean diet to the reduction of type 2 diabetes. Eating patterns associated with lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes were characterized by higher intakes of vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains. The studies compare this diet with a diet consisting of high intakes of red meat, sugar-sweetened food and drinks, refined grains, and high-fat dairy products (the Standard American Diet, known as the SAD diet).
  • Individuals whose diets consisted of reducing their total meat and dairy intake by 50% and replaced them with fruit, vegetables, and cereals contributed the most to reducing the risk of mortality. During the study, fruit and vegetable consumption was increased by 63% and saturated fat and salt were decreased.
  • It is important to remember that the Mediterranean Diet is more plant-based than meat-based. Under this diet, it is advised to limit your red meat intake and replace it with fish, poultry, beans, and eggs as protein sources. Instead of choosing butter for bread or general cooking, choose olive oil as your primary fat source. Olive oil provides monounsaturated fat and has been found to lower total cholesterol.
  • When it comes to choosing seafood, some good options include fatty fish: mackerel, herring, sardines, salmon, lake trout, and albacore tuna (rich in omega-3 fatty acids).
  • Omega-3 fatty acids may reduce inflammation in the body, as well as help reduce blood clotting and decrease the risk of stroke and heart failure. Do You Know Your Omega 3 and Vitamin D Levels?

Keto Diet

The Keto diet is high in fat (making the body work to burn it off, entering ketosis) and low in carbohydrates- 20-50 grams a day. But be careful that you do not cut out carbohydrates to the point of constipation, headaches, or bad breath.

  • The Keto diet benefits vary person to person, depending on how much carbs people have stored/consume. That being said, the reduction of carbs (less than 20-50 g per day) can help individuals lead the body into a state of ketosis. Hence the keto diet. The intake of foods high in fat and low in carbs will have your body using the fat stored to burn for energy instead of carbs. Rich in proteins and fat, the keto diet consists of lean meats, eggs, cheeses, fish, nuts, butter, oils, seeds, and fibrous vegetables.
  • While the keto diet has many benefits, there are a couple of things to remember: The keto diet is a restrictive diet, with the primary goal being weight loss. Individuals who suffer from kidney disease should consult their doctor before starting. This diet can bring on bad breath, nausea, and a general lack of energy.
  • If you find yourself lacking in protein, try our Cypress Pharmacy’s Perfect Protein Powder. Animal protein can contain appreciable amounts of cholesterol and saturated fats. Additionally, they can also be sources of antibiotics, hormones, and other undesirable elements inherent in our food supply. Plant-based proteins have no cholesterol or saturated fat and, when properly formulated and enhanced, can provide protein with a nutritional value comparable to animal-derived proteins.

Keto Swaps:

  • Rice to cauliflower rice or shirataki rice
  • Pasta to vegetable noodles made of zucchini, palmini, cabbage, and fennel
  • Potatoes to rutabaga, turnips, radishes, and winter squash
  • Cereals to nuts, seeds, and coconut
  • Bread and wraps to lettuce wraps (for sandwiches), nori sheets (for sushi), collards
  • Regular milk to nut, seed, or coconut milk
  • Instead of butter or canola oil, try avocado oil or coconut oil

The Mediterranean Diet and the Keto Diet are healthy choices to consider if you’re thinking of trying intermittent fasting. Both diets can give you fresh, lean meals to try out and keep you on track to your health goal.

Intermittent Fasting

  • Intermittent fasting works by prolonging the period when your body has burned through the calories consumed during your last meal and begins burning fat.
  • Once you’ve checked with your doctor to confirm this diet is safe for you, a simple approach would be attempting 16/8 fasting. What this means is that you’ll be eating for eight hours and fasting for sixteen. There is also 5/2 fasting, where you eat regularly for five days a week, then the other two days you consume 500-600 calories. While partaking in this fast, it’s important to remember to limit not only sugar intake in foods but as well as beverages. Drinks such as water and zero-calorie drinks are encouraged, as well as black coffee and tea, which hold little to no calorie or sugar intake.
  • Consider adding Cypress Pharmacy’s Balance Meal Complete to provide additional nutrients and improve gut health.
  • Top Benefits: improved memory, increased heart health, and physical performance.

In all, these trending diets reveal that with a little push and some dedication, we all can be on our way to a healthier version of ourselves. If you’ve wanted to try the Mediterranean and Keto diets or intermittent fasting, take a look at our easy outline.  With the help of these tips, we hope you’ll find it easier to make meals for you and your loved ones that optimize your health. Remember to always check with your doctor or health care professional before making any changes.

Seven Powerful Ways to Strengthen Your Heart


Maybe it’s because we want a magic pill, or we expect the recommendations for lifestyle changes to be different, but many of us are not very kind to our hearts.

Even as the word has gotten out in the past few decades about lifestyle changes anyone can make to have a healthier heart, heart disease remains the No. 1 cause of death in the United States.

Nearly half of all premature deaths may be due to lifestyle choices, such as insufficient exercise, poor diet, and smoking. These risk factors increase the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, and stroke.

Putting aside risk factors for heart disease beyond our control such as age and family history, most of us can improve our heart health. And good lifestyle choices can help minimize hereditary and other risk factors. And there’s a bonus! When you make choices for heart health, your overall health benefits, too.

In a study analyzing over 55,000 people, favorable lifestyle habits such as not smoking, having a healthy weight, being active and eating a healthy diet lowered heart disease risk by nearly 50%.

Here are some lifestyle habits your heart (and body) will love.

  1. Stop smoking. Even if you have no other risk factors, smoking raises your risk of developing heart disease by two to four times, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Products such as gum and patches are available to help stop smoking.
  2. Eat healthier. Americans get more than half of their daily calories from ultra-processed food, increasing the risk of heart disease. Food consumption can impact other risk factors, including cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, and weight. Choose nutrient-rich foods — which have vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients but are lower in calories — over nutrient-poor foods.
  3. Control cholesterol. Too much bad cholesterol and not enough good can result in plaque building up and blocking the arteries. While genetics play a role, extra weight, physical inactivity, type 2 diabetes, and excessive alcohol intake contribute to high cholesterol. High cholesterol often doesn’t have symptoms until a problem arises, so it’s important to have a blood test to reveal your levels. Medication can reduce cholesterol if diet and exercise do not.
  4. Get active. Research shows that 2.5 hours per week of moderate-intensity physical activity can help lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol and keep weight at a healthy level. A Harvard study found that watching TV for two hours a day increased the risk of developing heart disease by 15 percent! The good news? Being even a little more active is better than nothing. Taking at least 4,400 steps a day lowers your risk of death more than taking only 2,700 steps per day.
  5. Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity puts you at risk for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and insulin resistance, a precursor of type 2 diabetes, all factors that heighten your risk of heart disease. Good nutrition, controlling calorie intake and physical activity are the best way to maintain a healthy weight and have heart benefits of their own.
  6. Manage diabetes. More than 65 percent of people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke. If you have prediabetes, losing at least 7% of body weight and exercising 2.5 hours per week can reduce the risk of progressing to diabetes.
  7. Take targeted supplements. Professional-grade nutritional supplements, herbs, vitamins, and minerals can support heart function. It’s important to consult your doctor or pharmacist about the benefits and possible risks of supplements. Because supplements are not regulated like medications, it’s important to purchase your supplements from a trusted source.

Sounds easy, right? Improving your health is not a one size fits all approach. It can be hard to make dietary and lifestyle changes, and it is easy to fall back into old habits. Ongoing support can help you commit to improved health, and Cypress Wellness is here to help you along this journey.

Information on “Seven Powerful Ways to Strengthen Your Heart Naturally,” is the topic of Seminar Saturday, Feb. 8. The free public seminar will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. at Cypress Pharmacy, 9451 Cypress Lake Drive in Fort Myers. To RSVP, visit https://cypresspharmacy.com/events.

Top 5 Reasons to Detox


We all know that toxins have a harmful effect on the body.  It is also well accepted that toxins are unavoidable in our world of processed foods, high stress, and environmental pollutions.  Detoxification can be better than a diet when it comes to weight management, which is why many people go through a detox program early in the year.

This is my list of top reasons to do a whole body detox at least annually.

  • Reduce toxic burden or toxic overload
  • Weight-loss support
  • Give your digestive system a rest
  • Reduce symptoms of chronic conditions
  • Make lasting lifestyle changes

Considering that fat is created to protect the body from toxins and impurities, which creates unwanted white adipose tissue and increased weight, we see many people using detoxification to jump-start their New Year’s resolution.  With dieting, calorie reduction and exercise, we generally see fat loss, which increases toxic density.  This further results in rebounding as toxic overload, as it triggers the body’s need to create fat.  Weight is regained.

With true detoxification, we tend to see toxins of all types being removed from the body, which creates increased lean muscle, and a release of excess fat.

Toxic burden can come from skin care products, the air we breathe, poor quality water we drink, processed foods, soil contaminants, and everyday cleaning products.  By definition, toxic burden happens when incoming toxins exceed the liver’s ability to remove them.

The path to detoxification is different for everyone.  Many people do not pay attention to their health until it begins to fail.  While the body can withstand stressors, it needs support to recover and function at an optimal level.

The liver is our main organ used to clear out toxins, assimilating and packaging nutrients for use while detoxing hundreds of chemicals in two distinct phases.  This process is called biotransformation.  Optimal biotransformation depends on the capability of the liver.  If the liver is not functioning properly, every other system in the body, including heart, brain, kidneys, and skin, for example, is compromised.

Since the liver is open for business 24 hours a day, toxins will tend to go through two distinct phases for elimination.  These 2 phases include Phase I, which is when a series of enzymes chemically change harmful fat-soluble toxins into substances called intermediary metabolites.  Since the intermediary metabolites are usually more toxic than the original fat-soluble toxins, they must go through Phase II quickly to become less toxic.  Phase II is when specific molecules are then attached to the intermediary metabolites.  This process makes the intermediary metabolites non-toxic and water-soluble so they can be eliminated through urine and stool.

Toxins come from various sources, but typically most toxins are either environmental toxins, lifestyle toxins, or internal toxins.  Environmental toxins are such things as pollution, auto exhaust, solvents from paints or cleaning products, heavy metals like mercury, cadmium, or lead, pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, radiation, and inhalants.  Lifestyle toxins include fast foods, fried foods, cosmetics, nicotine, excess alcohol, prescription drugs, artificial food additives, refined flours, and sugars.  Internal toxins include bacteria, yeast, carbon dioxide, ammonia, undigested foods, stress, unresolved trauma, and unhappy relationships.

High quality supervised detoxification programs are designed to help you restore the body’s innate detox and elimination functions.  The modern diet lacks nutrients necessary for true detoxification.  The body often does not get enough vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to facilitate the level of detoxification needed to stay healthy and feel your best.

The pharmaceutical grade detoxification and cleansing program we recommend begins with a 7-day detox to provide the body with the essentials to support detoxification: macronutrients, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and clean protein.  This program can be used as a precursor to further gastrointestinal support or to unmask other health issues that you may be experiencing due to toxin build-up.  The program is designed to be a proactive approach to maintaining your health.

Before you start, make sure you are aware of the following guidelines: you are 18 years of age or older, you are not pregnant or nursing, you do not have an eating disorder, receiving treatment for type II diabetes or kidney disease, have active pain in left upper abdomen, or have active gallbladder disease.

By implementing a high-quality detoxification and cleansing program, you put yourself in the driver’s seat to better health.  Individuals who have undergone a supervised program appreciate the proven health benefits of better digestion, improved metabolism and ability to manage weight, clearer mental thinking, better energy, improved blood sugar and blood pressure control, and improved lab blood results to name a few.

When starting with the 7-day detox, it is common practice to use a scoring system for before and after comparisons. This allows the person who has successfully completed the program, to not only feel better physically and mentally but also to visually appreciate the improvements made in many different organ systems of the body.

For any questions about detoxification and cleansing best practices, or general health questions, do not hesitate to reach out to us at (239)-481-7322 or visit www.cypresspharmacy.com for more information.

Could it be your Thyroid?


According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, nearly 30 million Americans have thyroid disease. Unfortunately, many go undiagnosed or undetected for years.  This number includes three times more women than men and includes something called subclinical hypothyroidism.

Subclinical hypothyroidism presents clinically with many of the same symptoms as classic hypothyroidism, but, is just below the threshold in terms of diagnostic lab values regarding TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone), and T4 or thyroxine.

If you suspect a thyroid problem, the first thing your doctor will probably do is order a thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) blood test.  This is covered by insurance and typically might be the only component of the thyroid test panel to be checked by the doctor. Typically, the higher your score, the more likely you are to be hypothyroid.  The American Academy of Clinical Endocrinologists believes levels between 0.3 and 3 are indicative of an underachieving thyroid.  However, many functional or natural medicine practitioners believe any score higher than 2.0 on the TSH score, plus classical symptoms is indicative of hypothyroidism.

Conventional doctors will follow the standard of care and recommend Synthroid or Levothyroxine, which may temporarily improve symptoms, but not address the underlying cause.

According to Dr. Mark Hyman M.D. functional medicine expert and Chief of the Functional Medicine Division at the Cleveland Clinic, it is important to consider changes in diet, lifestyle, and to prescribe a natural prescription form of thyroid like Armour Thyroid or Natur-Throid as a starting point, with combinations of both T4 thyroxine and T3 or triiodothyronine, which is the active form of thyroid.

Classic Low Thyroid Symptoms to Consider

If you experience some of the following, you may want to rule out classic hypothyroidism, subclinical hypothyroidism, or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis as the underlying cause of why you are not feeling like yourself or feeling your best.

Do you experience any of the following symptoms?

  • thick or brittle fingernails
  • dry skin
  • cold hands and feet regardless of warm temperature
  • fatigue
  • lack of stamina
  • brain fog
  • course or thinning hair
  • thin eyebrows
  • excessive sweating
  • menstrual irregularities
  • swollen hands or feet
  • palpitations
  • high cholesterol
  • changes in weight with difficulty losing weight
  • mild depression
  • anxiety
  • muscle aches or joint pain

Many times this exhaustive list of symptoms or a cluster of these signs is indicative of a disturbed thyroid which deserves further clinical investigation.  Doctors may overlook thyroid disease because sometimes the symptoms are non- specific, and the lab results fall within the normal reference range.

Typical Patient Story of Missed Thyroid Diagnosis

Angelina Smith is a busy mother of two young boys who suddenly found herself exhausted in the middle of the morning.  Her doctor told her to “get more sleep” and to try to relax.  When she reported that her hair was falling out and she was feeling more sad or depressed, her doctor attributed her symptoms to everyday ups and downs of life.  Angelina also noted, that her regular clothes were fitting tighter, and she was gaining some weight despite some regular moderate exercise, and no change in diet.  The doctor shunned this off as just her age of 35 years, and that her “metabolism was changing”.  Angelina knew something was just not right with her body and decided to change physicians for another opinion. After deciding to step outside the traditional medicine box and make an appointment with a functional medicine doctor educated on hormonal imbalance, Angelina’s issue was uncovered as hypothyroidism with an imbalance of estrogen and progesterone which was contributing with her present symptoms. Once these hormone issues were addressed and treated with compounded formulations specific for her body, Angelina began to regain her health and feel once again like her old self.

What are the Different Types of Thyroid Disease? 

Thyroid disease can be classified according to overactivity or under activity of the gland.  The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland located anatomically at the base of your throat and produces hormones that control every function in your body.

Thyroid disease consists of hyperthyroidism, goiters, nodules, hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and sub-clinical hypothyroidism.  Thyroid hormone, when it is in balance, helps improve moods, skin, hair, sex drive, heart function, cholesterol, infertility, muscle aches, joint pain, body temperature, and metabolism to name a few.  In addition, hypothyroidism has been associated with fibromyalgia and osteoporosis according to Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum M.D., medical director of the National Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers.

Trusting the Thyroid Thermostat

According to Brian F. Mandell M.D., Ph.D. contributing author in the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine, 2019 February:86 (2):77-78 who suggests that the natural history of all patients with subclinical hypothyroidism is not alike, and it thus should not be surprising that there does not seem to be a one-size-fits-all approach to management of the disorder.  Furthermore, the management of subclinical hypothyroidism or other forms of thyroid disorder should be based on both good clinical examination and laboratory testing that includes complete thyroid profiles with TSH, T3, free T3, T4, free T4, TPO, and reverse T3.

Simple, At-Home Thyroid Testing

Many functional medicine or holistic medical doctors recommend doing your own thyroid screening test in the comforts of your home.  This can be accomplished by placing a thermometer under the arm ( axillary area) upon awakening.  Hold still for 5 minutes, then record your time and temperature.  Do this for three consecutive days to see a pattern of your basal body temperature.  If your reading is below 97.2 consistently, and you suffer from the cluster of symptoms mentioned above, it is likely your thyroid is underactive and needs some medical attention.

Proactive Approach to Managing Your Thyroid

Early detection of thyroid disease is very important, just like any other major condition.  The sooner you have a definitive diagnosis, the faster you can begin to get your life back and expect to feel as if you are in control again.  Encourage your physician to order a complete thyroid profile, take your own basal body temperature test at home, and start appropriate therapy to regain homeostasis once again. In addition, there are some very good nutritional supplements that support the thyroid gland and can help rebalance your metabolism and give you more energy.  One, in particular, called THYROID SUPPORT WITH ZINC improves low thyroid and metabolic function by combining key vitamins, minerals, and herbal ingredients specifically targeted at this gland.  This supplement can be taken as an adjunct to prescription natural thyroid medicine, or as a stand-alone product for milder symptoms.

If you have questions, you may reach us at Cypress Pharmacy by calling (239)-481-7322 or stop by to discuss with one of our healthcare professionals.

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