Stop Guessing at Weight Loss: Genetic Testing for Weight Loss

Attempting to find the right diet and exercise program is confusing, especially when there are so many different opinions about the correct way: Paleo Diet, Ketogenic Diet, Mediterranean Diet…. which is right for you? 

Genetic testing looks at your unique chemistry and can provide a tailored diet and exercise program that eliminates the guess work involved in weight loss.

The research behind genetic testing for lifestyle and wellness improvement has progressed dramatically. Specific genes can identify how the body processes carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and micro-nutrients as well as determine the effectiveness of different types of fitness. 

In addition, it is a guide to understanding how the body uses food and what foods work best for you. 

A 2010 Stanford University Study shows that women on genetically appropriate diets lose significantly more weight. People on genetically appropriate diets lose twice (2x) the number of waist inches compared to those who guess. 

Genetic testing to support Weight Loss includes a laboratory analysis of your DNA sample including 48 genetic markers.

The Genetic Report includes:

  • Analysis of 16 genetic traits related to weight loss
  • Food recommendations, including macronutrient breakdown and caloric needs
  • Nutrient recommendations, including supplement suggestions
  • Exercise recommendations, including cardio and strength training
  • Supporting scientific research

Diets are not unique to you but your DNA is. Possible benefits to genetic testing for Weight Loss may include:

  • Weight management
  • Disease prevention
  • Maximizing energy
  • Improvement to overall health
If you are interested in Dr. Melanie’s Genetic Weight Loss Program, please call (317) 344-9840 or request an appointment
Dr. Melanie loves to educate others on the benefits of holistic, naturopathic practices.
Her experience in the natural health field ranges on various health issues — such as stress, fatigue, insomnia, weight loss, hormone imbalances, and digestive issues. 


A Meditation Practice for Creating Conscious Habits

At the start of each new year, many of us dust off our good intentions – resolutions to eat better, exercise more, or let go of long time bad habits. Unfortunately, these old habits are strong. We’ve all got unconscious habit patterns that guide our actions rather than our conscious intention. This is nothing new. Thousands of years ago Patajali described unconscious habit patterns of the mind in the Yoga Sutras. 

Patajali identified the subtle impressions of our past actions, or unconscious thought

Thanh Tran

patterns, as samskara. The word samskara translates from Sanskrit sam means joined together and kara means action or cause. One way to understand samskara is as neural pathways that form deep connections in our brains through repetition. The concept that “neurons that fire together wire together” reflects this idea. Continue reading

The Power of Gratitude

That old saying, “count your blessings” has more power to improve your mental health than you might think. Gratitude has been shown to have a negative relationship to depression and positive relationship to life satisfaction.

Muhammad Raufan Yusup

Some studies have shown that grateful people are more agreeable, open, and experience less depressive symptoms than those who have a low sense of gratitude. In a 2003 study, Emmons and McCullough found that people who focused on gratitude in their lives for10 weeks showed significantly more optimism in many areas of their lives, including health and exercise. Expressing your thanks can really improve your overall sense of well-being Continue reading

3 Hydrosols from Veriditas and How to Use Them

What is a hydrosol? A true aromatic hydrosol contains the active properties of pure plant essences suspended in water from the steam distillation process. Hydrosols provide botanical hydration and toning with healing benefits for face, skin and hair. Veriditas hydrosols include micro filtering and UV filtering for an extended shelf life. Due to their delicate nature, please store in a cool, dry place.

How to use: Mist liberally on clean skin before moisturizing in your daily AM/PM skincare routine. Revitalize and mist throughout each day. Excellent as hydrating facial toners, they may also be used as a body and haircare product. Gentle and safe, always. Blend hydrosol with your choice of Virgin Plant Oil, Rose Regenerative Facial Oil, Skin Clarity, or other essential oils for added benefits.


Frankincense Hydrosol

Frankincense has a resinous, bright, citrus aroma with lasting earthy undertones. This complex essential oil is a base to middle note and blends well with other oils both for therapeutic value and for its aroma. Frankincense is used for perfuming and appears in designer fragrances around the world. Continue reading

4 Breathing Practices for Deep Sleep

Amy Treasure

Our breath is intimately connected to our nervous system in a feedback loop.  In yoga, breath control is known as Pranayama. Pranayama comes from two Sanskrit words: “prana”, meaning breath or life force, and “yama” meaning to control. 

“Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts.”~Thích Nhất Hạnh

Three part breathing (also known as abdominal breath or yogic breathing) is a great place to start with pranayama.  Due to stress and computer work, we tend to breathe shallow which supports the sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system stimulates “fight, flight, freeze or freak out.”  This may cause more stress or the feeling of “wired but tired.” Continue reading

Post-Menopausal Adrenal Support for A Healthy Sex Drive

When we think about adrenal function, we tend to think about fatigue or stress hormones. But did you know that your adrenals play a significant role in your libido especially post-menopausal? 

The adrenal glands are part of your endocrine system that regulates the body by secreting hormones directly into the bloodstream. These hormones are instrumental in regulating mood, growth and development, tissue function, metabolism, sexual function, and reproductive processes. Continue reading

Love Your Liver: 12 Tips for Detoxing

I love the colors of fall, the smells, the excitement as families come together.  As I meditated on the leaves falling from the trees, I thought about how autumn is a season of release.  What do I need to release?  Definitely stress, worry, and over-commitment of my time.  Easier said than done! 

Allef Vinicius

There are ways to soften the impact that especially chronic stress and worry have upon the body because sometimes life is hard.  Regular detoxification is important for your physical, mental and emotional health.

The primary organ of detoxification is the liver.  The function of the liver is to filter blood.  In fact, 1/4 of total blood volume passes through the liver every minute.  It also stores glucose for energy, breaks down steroid hormones, produces/secretes bile (fat digestion), and plays a major role in Phase I and II detoxification.  Many medical practices around the world also believe that the liver is where anger is stored.  For all these reasons, taking good care of your liver is a must. Continue reading

Detoxing with Yoga

I’m addicted to yoga.  As a naturopathic doctor, business owner, wife, mother, and friend, my life can be very full of both happiness and pain.  When life gets hectic, stress can cause anxiety and weaken the immune system, and if we aren’t careful, toxins from the environment, our food and stress can overwhelm our bodies.  Yoga is a great way for me to reconnect to my body and slow down.  If you are interested in regular detoxing, a consistent yoga practice is a great way to keep up.

What is a toxin and how do they affect you?

A toxin is any substance or thought that has harmful effects on the body.  Toxins can come from the environment, lifestyle choices, or from emotional baggage such as chronic stress and negative thought patterns.  Overtime, build up can result in:

Jared Rice

  • Digestive Issues
  • Elevated Cholesterol
  • Weight Gain
  • Allergies
  • Skin Disorders
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle, Joint Pain
  • Anger, Depression
  • Dark Circles
  • Hormonal Imbalances
  • Poor Immune System
  • Insomnia
  • and Chemical Sensitivities

Breathing is an often overlooked detoxification process, When you breath, you bring in fresh oxygen not only to your lungs, but to your heart and your organs. it is an important tool to support your detoxification processes. 

Breathe right; it’s your birthright – Gurmukh
Continue reading

The Problem with Acid Blockers

The topic of proton pump inhibiting drugs, or PPIs, otherwise known as acid blockers, has been a topic near and dear to my heart recently because my father, who is very medically indoctrinated, has been on a PPI for YEARS, and is now very sick with some of the side effects, such as extreme fatigue, stomach distension, and small intestine bacterial overgrowth, or SIBO.  He was also diagnosed with bladder cancer, and a 2011 study showed that PPIs are linked to cancer, although the form of cancer analyzed in that study was esophageal cancer. 

So in researching this topic for the benefit of my father, I discovered that PPI’s were never intended to be used long term anyway, even by the standards of the drug companies who make them.  Yet my Dad and countless other PPI users have been on them for years. 

If you know even basic physiology, it’s not really rocket science to know that suppressing the stomach acid at all, especially for stretches of years, is a really, really bad idea.  Stomach acid is the first line of defense against pathogenic bacteria, it stimulates peristalsis, it initiates bile secretion, and of course it helps to assimilate important nutrients like B-vitamins, minerals, and protein, just to name a few.

Let’s just consider SIBO for a moment.  If stomach acid is suppressed, it allows some pathogens to survive in the stomach that would otherwise be eliminated, leading to infections of the stomach like H. Pylori.  But then that pathogenic bacteria gets transported into the small intestine, and later the bowel, and can also go systemic, leading to all different kinds of potential maladies related to that circulating bacteria. 

Likewise, suppressing the stomach acid can lead to putrefaction of food in the stomach, leading to halitosis, distension, and more problems with indigestion.

And actually, this is where the whole maddening thing about using acid blockers in the first place needs to be addressed, because the whole idea about acid reflux being a manifestation of too much acid represents a lack of understanding, in some cases, of stomach physiology. 

Think about it.  Our stomachs have these cool little muscles at the top called the esophageal sphincter, which pinches off and blocks the acid from reaching the esophagus.  That muscle is activated by, guess what?  Stomach acid!  If a patient has hypchlorhydria, or low stomach acid, that muscle’s action can be inhibited, and it might not activate like normal, resulting in what little stomach is there reaching the esophagus.  Now, even a little acid in the esophagus is very irritating, and the medical interpretation is, “Oh! You have too much stomach acid.  Let’s block it.”  No, that patient probably has too LITTLE stomach acid, but the manifestation is burning in the chest and throat.

Here’s an example that I think will be helpful and applicable.  One Thanksgiving my older sister was at our house sharing the Thanksgiving meal with us, and afterward she sat down on my couch holding her stomach and moaning.  When I asked what was wrong, she said she had been struggling with indigestion and acid reflux for a long time, and she was having another episode.  So I gave her three tablets of a product containing betaine HCl and pepsin, or stomach acid.  In about 20 minutes she felt so much better that she had to ask me what it was that I gave her.   Sometimes if the problem is mild you can accomplish the same thing with apple cider vinegar.  I have had some success with that approach as well.

Now, having a patient go off a PPI can be tricky, because the parietal cells in the stomach have been suppressed for so long that sometimes it can trigger a strong rebound effect.  So to fight that, I would recommend having a combination powder containing DGL, aloe, and glutamine.  That combination is great in helping to soothe the discomfort associated with acid reflux while the patient is weaning off the drug. 

I also had a practitioner just this past week tell me that she gives magnesium to patients coming off long term PPIs because it helps get peristalsis going again, so I thought that was good insight. 

Feel free to reach out me if you need some product guidance.

Andy Robbins is a functional medicine consult.  He has been in the field of clinical nutrition for 23 years.

Why Does Yoga Feel So GOOD?

Have you ever noticed that certain stretches feel a little bit like your muscles are being set on fire? Does it confuse you a little bit when your yoga teacher suggests that they’re creating that sensation on purpose?

Maybe I can explain.

That burning sensation, which yogis refer to as agni (the divine fire that cleanses and purifies) is a little bit like eating spicy food. When you eat spicy food, your mouth sends a signal to your brain saying, hey, some
thing’s on fire over here. A little help, please?!”

Your brain accommodates that request by sending endorphins. You learn that the pain of spicy food is going to be quickly followed by an enjoyable hit of endorphins, so you eat some more spicy food. On purpose.

Yoga can work in similar ways. Your muscles stretch, and in the process send that message to your brain. 

“Hey, look! Fire! Little help?!?” Your brain sends endorphins. 

In addition to the endorphin hit, you also leave the stretch with your muscle and myofascial tissues loosened and lubricated, so everything not only feels a little better but works a little more smoothly too.

This may be one of the reasons yoga feels so addictive. It creates positive sensations in the body, and over time it takes deeper and deeper stretches to kick in those delightful endorphins. Not to worry, though.  Yogis have anticipated the need for increasingly challenging poses and there are plenty to choose from as your practice advances.

Join Lisa Meece on Tuesdays, 9:30-10:45am for all levels Vinyasa/Hatha or 11:00-12:15pm for Yin.  

Full Schedule Here