25-Feb-2015 Author: Dr. Katie Corazzo

Not getting enough sleep?

Most people know they need 8 hours of sleep. This is not new news, but the National Institutes of Health reported that 30% of adults were sleeping less than 6 hours per night. Did they miss the memo or were they overthinking, anxious, worrying, restlessness, in pain, uncomfortable, or was their mind racing so much it impacted their sleep?

Did you know that 27.6% of people in Minnesota sleep less than 7 hours per night according to the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). They also found that more than half of Minnesota snores, and here is a scary fact: 3.1% have nodded off or fell asleep while driving within the past month. Yikes!

Sleeping is more than just about having good energy, feeling your best, and staying safe on the road. Sleep is also critical for preventing chronic conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and anxiety. Here are some problems that can result from not sleeping the full 7-8 hours per night:

Avoid sickness with more sleep
  • Increased risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Risk for obesity, type II diabetes, and metabolic disorder
  • Weight gain
  • Poor food choices, increased cravings
  • Mood changes – increased risk of depression or anxiety
  • Lower capacity for concentration, memory and learning
  • Decreased growth hormone –> muscle and tissue repair
  • Immune compromise – increased colds and flus
  • Greater risk for chronic disease
  • Reduce energy and fatigue

So what can you do to improve your sleep?

1. Chamomile Tea

Turn on relaxing music and sip on this calming herb at night before bedtime.

Drink tea to help sleep

2. Melatonin

Tailor Made Nutrition Melatonin Supplement

This hormone is made in the brain to regulate the sleep and wake cycle. Melatonin is secreted when it is dark and broken down in the light. Do you notice feeling tired earlier in the evening during the shorter winter days? Melatonin could be to blame.

The adrenals send out cortisol during times of stress. As cortisol increases with stress, your body responds by reducing melatonin. Lower levels of melatonin during chronic stress can begin to affect your sleep. Stress reducing techniques are equally if not more important and adrenal support may be necessary.

Tip: If you feel drowsy the morning after taking melatonin, you have taken too much. Dosage is important.

3. Exercise

Exhaust your energy during the day so you will be ready to sleep. Be wary of exercising late at night as this can prevent you from falling asleep. Studies have revealed that those who exercise experience more restful sleep; however if exercise (cardio specifically) is done later in the day it can have the opposite effect. One study looked at the effect weight lifting has on sleep when performed at 7 AM, 1 PM, or 7 PM. They noticed that the early morning workouts resulted in the subject falling asleep faster, but the 7 PM workouts led to a more restful sleep. The bottom line is that exercise improves sleep, so just do it.

4. Hydrate smart

Hydrate to improve sleep

Do you fall asleep easily, but wake several times during the night to use the bathroom? If so, it is time to rethink your hydration schedule. Drink water and caffeine earlier in the day. My rule is no caffeine after 3 PM. If you are like me and crave warm beverages in the winter, reach for an herbal tea or hot water and lemon. Check the label to make sure it is caffeine free.

Pair water with dinner, but slowly sip in the evening if bathroom trips are waking you at night. Soda should be avoided regardless of your sleep patterns, but especially if you have problems sleeping. Soda contains sugar, sweeteners, and caffeine – 3 no-no’s for sleep.

5. Eat for your sleep

Eat well to improve your sleep

When and what you eat is important to consider when improving your sleep. Avoid eating within 2 hours of going to sleep. Find yourself reaching for a carb or something sweet in the late afternoon? What about at night? This might be an sign that your adrenals need a little help. The sugar can help with energy for a short time, but a crash usually follows. Combine carbs and sweets with a little protein to help protect your blood sugar.

In a review by The American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine they stated that, “…difficulty falling asleep was associated with decreased protein and fiber intake; difficulty maintaining sleep was associated with decreased protein, carbohydrate, and fiber intake; nonrestorative sleep was associated with decreased protein and fiber intake; and daytime sleepiness was associated with decreased protein and fiber and increased sugar intakes.” The common denominator seems to be protein and fiber. Include good quality protein at meals and snacks and don’t forget about your veggies and whole grains for fiber.

Foods to improve sleep: nuts, eggs, fish, bananas, walnuts, and pineapple
Foods to avoid: meat, spicy foods, fried foods, rich and/or salty, alcohol, coffee, caffeine

6. Magnesium

Drink tea to help sleep

Do you enjoy taking a bath before bedtime? Soak in an epsom salt bath to increase your magnesium. Magnesium dilates blood vessels and is relaxing to muscles. Relax with a cup of chamomile tea while in the bath for added benefits!

Magnesium bath crystals, magnesium cream/oils and magnesium oral supplements are all available in-store at Tailor Made Nutrition. Popular supplements include Kirkman Magnesium Cream, Natural Vitality Magnesium Powder, Health & Wisdom Magnesium Oil and Tailor Made Nutrition Chelated Magnesium (available online)

7. Track your sleep with sleep app or fitbit

Track your sleep with Fitbit

Do you wake feeling unrefreshed? If the answer is yes, your sleep may be compromised. Oftentimes we don’t realize that we aren’t sleeping through the night, but a sleep app or the fitbit can help you find out. This is also helpful when beginning a new regimen. The app can help track your progress – is the new protocol working, or not?

8. Sleep Hygiene!

  • Eliminate sleeping pills, alcohol, or recreational drugs. Naturopathic medicine can help you with this.
  • Avoid stimulating activities close to bedtime – turn off the TV and other electronics
  • Stick to the same bedtime every night, even if you didn’t sleep well the night before and want to crash early. This also means avoiding naps during the day, because they make it more difficult to stick to a sleep schedule at night.
  • Use your bed for sleep and sex only!
  • Maximize your sleeping environment – comfortable mattress and pillow, temperature, dark, quiet, etc.
  • Sorry pets, but you need to sleep elsewhere.
  • Read, meditate, or take a hot bath before sleeping
  • Focus on your breathing – breath for 4 counts in, hold for 4, release breath for 4, and hold for 4. Repeat. This helps stimulate your sympathetic nervous system.

If you struggle with reflux, sleep apnea, depression, anxiety, digestive issues, diabetes, restless leg, or have a medical issue that interferes with your sleep, seek medical care with your Naturopathic Doctor. Dr. Katie can also help those of you who may not know what is causing your sleeping issues.

Thanks for reading friends!

20-Feb-2015 Author: Jordan Carlson

Wedo Banana Flour

Gluten Free, Paleo, Corn Free, Soy Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free

It's just bananas! This unique flour is the first of its kind in the United States and is becoming very popular in the health community. This is primarily due to the fact that it's a resisitant starch, which may help with weight loss and improve gut health. If you want to learn more about how to use banana flour click here.

Justin's Vanilla Almond Butter

Gluten Free, Vegan

If you love almond butter then you're no stranger to Justin's. For years they have been at the top of the food chain when is comes to flavored almond butter. We have carried a variety of Justin's almond butters for a long time but are just now introducing the new Vanilla flavor! Other flavors we carry include: classic, maple & honey.

WB Kitchen Maple Pecan Honey Cookies

Gluten Free, Paleo Friendly

There's not a word in it's name that doesn't sound delicious: Maple...Pecan...Honey...Cookie...how can you go wrong?! On top of all that it's also paleo friendly. Good snacks and treats can be hard to come by on the paleo diet so a convenient and yummy snack like this can come in handy. Contains: Almonds, Peanuts & Coconut.

Tres Latin Foods Pupusas

Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Non-GMO

What's a pupusa you ask. Good question. A pupusa is a dish originating from El Salvador that consists of a corn tortilla stuffed with a combination of meats, cheeses and veggies. These particular pupusas are vegetarian, however, so they contain a mix of other meatless deliciousness. We carry 2 varieties: Spinach & Cheese and Black Bean & Sweet Corn.

Quest Protein Chips

Gluten Free, Soy Free

Most of you know about Quest from their excellent protein bars but few are aware that they also excel at another protein packed snack. These chips contain 21g of protein per bag! Flavors we carry include: Sour Cream & Onion, Sea Salt & Vinegar, BBQ, and Sea Salt. Contains dairy and corn.

Clean, Lean & Savvy Pretzels

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Corn Free, Soy Free, Nut Free

Made from a company devoted to using clean and healthy ingredients to make great tasting snack food. All products made from Clean, Lean & Savvy are certified gluten free and many of their products are free of other common allergens. For instance, there are few gluten free pretzels on the market are also corn free, but these are!

Quinn Popcorn

Gluten Free, Non-GMO

Quinn has been taking the popcorn world by storm because of their meticulous attention to detail manifesting itself in the cleanest and freshest local ingredients. Not to mention they have some of the most innovative new flavors around. Flavors we carry in our store include: Kale & Sea Salt and Coconut Oil.

Schar Sch'nacks

Gluten Free

In case you were wondering: Schar + Share + Snack = Sch'nacks. Individually wrapped chocolate covered snack cakes with light cream filling. They're easy to bring with you and lets you pretend you can eat normal food.

17-Feb-2015 Author: Dr. Noel Aldrich

Your gut health is directly impacted by the bacteria colonies that make their home in your intestines. When you consider that your digestive tract has a surface area the size of a studio apartment, you want every square inch to be filled with friendly bacteria and not unfriendly bacteria. An increasing amount of research has analyzed the bacterial communities that live inside of you and what that community population can tell us about your health.

The results of an excellent study of the bacteria living in the intestines of young patients diagnosed with Crohn’s disease identified that these patients have decreased diversity of bacteria species necessary for a healthy gut. The results were presented by Dr. Ramnik Xavier at the 2014 meeting of Digestive Disease Week, an annual meeting of health professionals specializing in gut health. Before this study, specific patterns of gut bacteria for IBD or Crohn’s had not been clearly identified.

The study included over 400 pediatric Crohn’s cases and a control group of over 200 non-Crohn’s patients. The study presented findings of an increased imbalance of gut bacteria particularly among the study subjects when antibiotic treatment had been previously used. This finding suggests that antibiotic therapy with Crohn’s patients may not be beneficial and may increase the imbalance already in the gut.

The consistent patterns of bacteria observed in the gut of the newly diagnosed Crohn’s patients prompted the researchers to develop and test the Microbial Dysbiosis Index (MD-Index). The MD-Index is a scale to compare the presence and density of the various bacteria species present in a tissue sample to the observed patterns from the study population. This new scale provides measures that relate closely to disease severity and may be a useful tool in the near future for diagnosis of Crohn’s or IBD.

When you consider your gut health and symptoms, you need to encourage a wide variety of friendly bacteria to be regular residents in your intestines. One simple way to do this is to take a daily probiotic supplement at the end of the day. A probiotic supplement that contains ten or more strains of bacteria and has twenty billion or more colony forming units (CFUs) per serving is a high quality supplement. You should also add whole foods to your diet that feed these bacteria and replenish them. Foods that feed the bacteria are called prebiotics and include beans, lightly cooked vegetables, and fiber sources. Foods that supply abundant probiotics include fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, keifer, beet kvass, kimchi, and yogurt. Adding these foods to your regular meal plan will promote healthy gut activity and improve health balance.

For a newly diagnosed Crohn’s patient, additional food recommendations may need to be reviewed to initiate a good healing process. You can contact your local licensed nutritionist to assist you in developing a healthy plan for managing Crohn’s or IBD with healthy food choices.

09-Feb-2015 Author: Mark Norman

HydroBEEF Protein

Finding the right protein powder for you can be a tricky business. While whey protein has long been hailed as the gold-standard among protein sources, many people find it hard on their digestive tracts and, as a result, switch to powders made from rice, pea, hemp and a wide variety of other plant proteins. While all of these are viable options for muscle recovery studies are showing that there may be a new protein source on the block that sets a higher standard. That protein is called HydroBEEF.


HydroBEEF is a brand new type of protein that is derived from an infusion process of grass-fed beef with no added hormones. The manufacturing process is completely chemical free and done in such a way that preserves critical nutrients, peptides, amino acids, nucleotide fractions, vitamins and minerals. HydroBEEF is over 97% pure protein, is packed with branched chain amino acids, which are critical for recovery and has a nitrogen score over 100 (higher than whey) making it very easily digestible. But the best part about it for our customers is that it is incredibly hypoallergenic; it contains no gluten, dairy, soy, egg and is even paleo friendly. This unique combination of being hypoallergenic, clean, effective and easy on the stomach is unlike anything else we've seen on the market.  

Which protein powder brands use HydroBEEF?

Right now there are very few protein powders out there that are using HydroBEEF and only 2 brands currently in our store: Designs for Health and Ultimate Paleo Protein. Both are high-quality, trust-worthy brands and both proteins can boast great taste. The biggest difference between the two is that Ultimate Paleo Protein also has added probiotics (for digestive support), L-glutamine (for added muscle recovery) and MCT (for enhanced fat-burning).  Another added benefit of the Ultimate Paleo Protein is it mixes a little better in water than the Designs for Health PurePaleo protein.  If you are merely using these proteins in shakes or smoothies both will mix well and have great flavor. 

Ultimate Paleo Protein

So should I switch to HydroBEEF?

It's important to remember that there is no perfect protein powder. It's much more a matter of what works for the individual based on his/her unique needs. However, this new protein source, and in particular Ultimate Paleo Protein, is as impressive a protein powder as we have seen in our store. It's hypoallergenic and easy on the stomach (unlike whey) and mixes well and has great taste (unlike most rice, pea and plant proteins). It's a great option for athletes looking to recover from hard workouts, older individuals who want to support their joint health and anyone else who is looking for a tasty way to incorporate more protein into their daily diet.

30-Jul-2014 Author: Mark Norman

We are very excited to welcome you to our blog on our brand new website! Here you'll find news & updates from around our store, new product information, product highlights and much more. Thanks for stopping by!