How to Minimize the Impact of a Traumatic Brain Injury.

by Dr. Shelese Pratt ND @ The Pratt Clinics

Boulder, Colorado


We all love sending our children out on the sports field to shine at their sport. We enjoy driving our cars and living our lives to the fullest. Unfortunately, life comes with tragedy. Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) are very common these days. It can happen at any time to anyone, but the elderly and children are at the highest risk for a TBI. Falls, accidents, sports injuries, objects hitting the head, and strokes account for the majority of TBI’s in the United States. The way each person heals from a TBI is unique. The rate of healing depends on the severity of the trauma on the tissue and how well the person was nourished before their head injury. My hope is to help you by preventing susceptibility to injury and making sure you have the correct treatment for a TBI.

What are the symptoms after a concussion/Traumatic Brain Injury?


Lack of orientation to time and place


Vision changes

Memory loss

Difficulty with coordination, clumsiness, stumbling

Poor concentration



Personality changes

Slurred speech

Inability to find the right words

Delayed response to questions

Slow processing

Nausea/ vomiting

Sensitivity to noise and light

Problems sleeping


Loss of consciousness

In Post Concussive Syndrome (PCS) you can also have a resurgence of the original symptoms of a concussion plus Apathy/Depression/Anxiety

How do we heal the brain after a TBI?

Rest the Brain. I know you don’t want to hear this, but you have to put the injured person in dark room for 14 days. Absolutely no ibuprofen or NSAIDS, garlic, fish oil or ginger for 4 days following a head injury. These foods and medications can thin the blood and increase bleeding in the brain. Avoid all sensory experiences and wear sunglasses if you go out of the house. Use ear plugs. Do not spend any time in front of a screen (movies, tv, gaming, etc.) because blue light is too stimulating to the brain when it is trying to heal. Once you feel better you can read and take part in low stimulating activities but take breaks every 15 minutes. Slowing down is the most important step to healing the brain in the first few weeks post TBI. Imagine the bruise in the brain is like a broken bone. If you keep using it when it needs to heal you are preventing it from repairing itself. If you allow sufficient healing time at the beginning of this process you will recover and heal faster.

Increase protein right away. When the brain is injured it goes into a hyper-metabolic state. This means it needs an extraordinary amount of glucose, ketones, or creatine for the neuron’s energy production to heal. If you are in a high risk sport like race car driving, boxing, soccer, or football you may want to try a ketogenic diet to avoid brain injuries. After a TBI, I suggest eating high protein foods. Steak, eggs, or pea protein powders are imperative to healing the brain. Branch chain amino acids can be added to increase the protein demand. TBI patients need more frequent meals and extra creatine to feed their cells and mitochondria for repair. Incorporate good fats like avocado, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and coconut oil to heal your brain. The key to recovering brain function is to make sure you control inflammation. By consuming a diet full of high antioxidant foods you can help protect the brain before an injury and help manage healing after a TBI. So remember you are protecting your brain every time you eat your 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.

People who are struggling with a TBI need to avoid the following:


Processed foods

Refined sugar

Fried and salty foods


Don’t stop moving. 4 days after the injury you can start to walk or take part in limited low impact exercise. If you get a headache, nausea, or any other neurological symptom you need to slow down and rest. One of the most important substances to heal the brain is called Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). Appropriate exercise increases BDNF.

Benefits of BDNF include:

1.Neuronal growth

2.Restores neuron communication

3.Reduces the risk of neuronal degeneration and death

The following supplements can offer vital nutrients for the brain to protect and heal itself. Managing inflammation and lowering oxidative stress is the key to treating TBI’s. Consult with a Naturopathic Doctor or Functional Medicine Doctor to know how to take these supplements.

1.Antioxidants: Vitamin D, A, C, E, CoQ10, NAC, ALA, and glutathione. Antioxidants help the cells recover from injury by reducing free radical damage to the neurons and increase BDNF.

2.Omega 3 Fatty Acids (DHA/EPA): 1 week post concussion I start patients on essential fatty acids (EFA’s) to reduce inflammation in the brain. By taking Omega 3 oils you are preventing neuronal damage and increasing the fluidity of the cell membranes. By having fluid cell membranes, you are helping the cell take in the necessary nutrients for health. When you are low in EFA’s (like DHA) you are more likely to have deficiencies of these important nutrients inside the cell. This can make you more prone to a head injury. DHA makes up 97% of omega 3 fatty acids in the brain.

3.Phospholipids: Phosphatidylcholine (PC), Phosphatidylserine (PS), and L-Alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine (GPC) can help with the generation of neurotransmitters for cognition and better sleep. They can help restore memory, alertness, reasoning, information processing and mental performance.

4.B vitamins: B vitamins are necessary for reducing inflammation and healing neurons. They are also important for the synthesis and breakdown of neurotransmitters. That means they can help with mood and cognition.

5.Minerals: Magnesium and Zinc are essential for neuronal repair and growth. They also regenerate glutathione (a master antioxidant). Magnesium stimulates BDNF and prevents Post Concussive Syndrome (PCS) which can cause prolonged concussion symptoms and increases in anxiety and depression.

6.Curcumin: Tumeric is a strong anti-inflammatory herb. It is also a great antioxidant and reduces cognitive impairment. Curcumin stabilizes energy in the cell and reduces membrane damage in neurons.

7.L-Carnitine: reduces fatty acid oxidation and helps maintain cell membranes. It is also an important nutrient for energy production in the cell that will help increase the patient’s processing speed and attention.

8.Stay well hydrated and add electrolytes. I like Seeking Health’s electrolyte formulation because it has the creatine with the electrolytes. I don’t suggest electrolyte formulations with food coloring and high fructose corn syrup.

Every TBI patient I’ve ever run an Adrenal Stress Index (ASI) has had adrenal dysfunction. This is why most head injury patients have symptoms of fatigue for months or years after their accident. Adrenal insufficiency is common in this population and they can feel so much better with adrenal support. Testing is important to assess cortisol levels before treatment. High and low cortisol can exhibit similar symptoms so your doctor will need to know what stage of adrenal dysfunction you are in to treat the adrenals correctly. Speak with your doctor to find the best treatment for adrenal dysfunction.

Watching a loved one after a concussion or TBI is scary. Unfortunately, there is a lot of bad information out there on what to do and a lack of awareness about what you can do. I hope this information is helpful. There are ways to feel better and regain your health. Please reach out if you have any questions. As always, I’m here to help and support you in health. Please call my office at 303.284.3180 to learn more. 

3 Cutting Edge Approaches for Treating Children with Special Needs

by Dr. Shelese Pratt ND @ The Pratt Clinics

Boulder, Colorado


Over the years I’ve had the honor of working with many challenging but rewarding complex neurological cases. In naturopathic medical school I learned how to tackle cases by looking at physiology and biochemistry.  When you understand how the body is supposed to work it is easier to figure out how it goes rogue.  I have been blessed to see even the most challenging genetic conditions and developmental delayed children gain function. Many therapies for special needs children are helpful but often fall short of helping them reach their true potential.  Over the years I’ve found three modalities stand out in treating special needs children: Strategic nutrition based on biochemistry and epigenetics, Crossinology’s® Brain Integration Technique, and Anat Baniel Method. 

Employing strategic nutrition based on biochemistry has improved several of my most difficult patient cases. Many patients need specialized diets. Some people require special diet plans based on what kind of flora they have growing in their intestines or food sensitivities/ allergies. I can help people discover if they need a low oxalate diet, low histamine diet, a Gluten Free/Casein Free diet, GAPs diet, Specific Carbohydrate Diet, or the Feingold diet. If you would like to learn more about these diets please see resource page on my website. Some people have specific food sensitivities that cause them to hold tension in parts of their bodies. For example, I’ve seen many children with motor problems have rigidity in their abdomen from certain foods. This pain and inflammation creates an inability to engage their core and this can impede their movement.  I have also seen severe Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) cases where diary or gluten containing foods were the culprit in their focus and behavior problems. This was because they had gluteomorphin and caseomorphin reactions happening on their opiod receptors in their brain.  As soon as we removed the foods that caused this reaction, the children no longer struggled with the symptoms of ADD.

Epigenetics is the study of genes and how we can express them the best way possible. By understanding gene mutations, also called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), you can hack into your genetics with nutrition (based in biochemistry) and change the way your genes are expressed. So that means, if you understand what nutritional cofactors are needed for a genetic enzyme and the things that inhibit or promote these specific biochemical pathways, you can improve your health.

Many people are starting to learn about methylation. Methylation is one of the most famous biochemical pathways in epigenetics. Some of you may have heard of MTHFR. This enzyme is responsible for directing the following in the cells of your body: Genetic expression and repair of the DNA; Inflammation response; Detoxification of hormones, chemicals, and heavy metals; Production and recycling of the most important anti-oxidant in the body called glutathione; Neurotransmitter formation and breakdown to determine our brain chemistry; Energy production and mitochondrial health; Immune response to fight infections.

MTHFR is pretty important! Many of the children I see for motor problems are lacking the nutrients needed for healthy methylation and mitochondrial function. I’ve seen dramatic results in my practice when specific nutrients are given to children who have motor impairments or cognitive challenges. They can sit, crawl, walk, improve both receptive and expressive language and have an increase in cognition with proper epigenetic counseling. To learn more about the mitochondria you can check out my blog. You can also learn more about methylation by reading my MTHFR blog. Imagine the possibilities for us when we can alter our genes and make them express the best way possible for our health.  

Crossinology’s® Brain Integration Therapy (BIT) is another unique tool I use in my practice for children and adults with learning problems and special needs children. Over the last 10 years I have helped thousands of people with a variety of neurological conditions. This technique can organize the brain to work more efficiently and increase blood flow to the frontal lobe. This treatment is designed for many kinds of learning difficulties; attention deficit disorder (ADD and ADHD), dyslexia, auditory processing disorders, visual processing disorders, and executive functioning problems. I have also had success treating sensory processing disorders, poor coordination, closed head traumas and traumatic brain injuries (TBI), autistic spectrum disorders (ASD), cerebral palsy (CP), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and genetic conditions like Angelman’s Syndrome. BIT enhances learning abilities and improves integration. To learn more about BIT please see the information on my FAQ page for BIT on my website. 

Specific nutrition and BIT are wonderful modalities but adding Anat Baniel’s work can make amazing changes for neuroplasticity in movement and cognition. The Anat Baniel Method® (ABM) is a cutting- edge, science that is based in her method NeuroMovement® approach that transforms the lives of children and adults, helping them move beyond pain and limitation. By accessing the amazing power of the brain to change itself, the method helps people discover how to improve the mind and body dramatically enhancing physical, cognitive, emotional, and creative performance. Different from other rehabilitation, fitness practices, and approaches to help children with special needs in their development being done today, the Anat Baniel Method involves a significant shift in the way we think of ourselves as human beings, replacing the traditional model of people as a mechanical system with the view of people as an intelligence, information-based system moderated by the brain.

It has been humbling to see what the synergy of these three methods offer special needs children. I feel so privileged to witness children surpassing the expectations that were put on them because of their diagnosis. I am truly blessed to work with so many wonderful Anat Baniel Method practitioners and see the amazing work we can accomplish together. If you know a family looking for answers for their child, please pass on this information to them. To learn more about ABM work you can also contact Marcy Lindheimer and Colorado Learning through Movement.  


Detox Without Breaking the Bank

by Dr. Shelese Pratt ND @ The Pratt Clinics

Boulder, Colorado


It is the time of year to find renewal. Spring is the time to clean out your house. It’s also the most optimal time to cleanse your body. In Chinese medicine, spring is the best season to work with cleaning out the liver. During the spring months you might notice you feel a little more irritable, you might have less patience, your energy is usually lower, you could be putting on some extra weight and you may notice you wake up too early. If you have any of these symptoms or would like to feel more vibrant, try my cleanse protocol.

Springtime is a perfect time of year to detoxify your liver, reduce inflammation in your body, and renew your health. I ask my patients to look at a spring detox as a 6-week commitment. You don’t need to buy expensive juice programs, or costly supplements to detoxify your body. Here are some great suggestions to try this spring.

 1. Go off all caffeine, alcohol and some of your over the counter drugs (Tylenol, sleep aids, antacids). Tylenol is extremely toxic to the liver and it significantly reduces your strongest anti-oxidant (glutathione) in the body, for several days with each dose.  These over the counter drugs deplete you of important nutrients and are also very hard on your detoxification pathways.  We can find natural ways to treat the symptoms you are trying to manage with over the counter medications.

2. Try an anti-inflammatory diet. This diet eliminates the most common inflammatory foods like sugar, gluten, dairy, seafood, nuts, banana, and oranges. For the full diet, please look at my Anti-Inflammatory Diet handout. This is also a great time to increase foods like artichoke, turmeric, and dark green leafy vegetables (parsley, cilantro, spinach, kale, chard, watercress, dandelion and endive). All of the ingredients found in my favorite Spring Smoothie recipe are perfect for detoxification.

3. Don’t forget to consume organic protein! You need protein to carry toxins out of your body. This is why I don’t recommend fasting. I suggest 2 oz of meat at least twice a day. Meats you may want to have include, organic lamb, bison, beef, and turkey.

4. Many of you have heard this…. “I would swim in castor oil everyday, if I could!” Castor oil is amazing for you and it will keep you young! Castor oil is a whole system tonic, when applied and absorbed slowly through your skin. Castor oil detoxifies your liver, moves your lymphatic system (the sewer system of your body), tones your immune system to respond appropriately, heals the gastro-intestinal lining, and encourages restorative sleep. Check out my Castor Oil Pack handout to learn how 45 minutes a day can make a big difference in your health.

5. Increasing circulation and sweating is another way to remove toxins from your body. Exercise for at least 30 minutes/day. Dry skin brushing towards your heart will also move that sluggish lymphatic system and help you detoxify. You can also try a simple hydrotherapy technique by ending your showers with 30 seconds of cold water to boost your circulation.

6. Stay hydrated with clean water and electrolytes. You can add a pinch of sea salt to your filtered water to add electrolytes, if you don’t want to buy them. If you are hydrated, you will flush toxins and stress hormones out of your body.

7. Go to bed early (before midnight) and get more sleep. This gives your body the 8-10 hours it needs to repair and get restorative sleep.

Spring is a wonderful time to renew your health. Cleansing is a fantastic way to reduce your oxidative stress and inflammation. Detoxification will improve your mood, energy, weight loss, and you will get more restful sleep. Your mitochondria will function better giving you more energy and your methylation pathways will help repair your cells and put you in a better mood.  You don’t need to spend a lot of money to clean out toxins. Try these simple steps for 6 weeks and let me know how you feel.  If you have any questions, please contact my office. It’s my passion to help you thrive in health.

Spring Smoothie

1 cup of cilantro

2 stalks of fennel

1 slice of lemon with the rind

½ avocado peeled

*1 avocado pit

16 oz. of water

1 cup of watercress or endive

Blend until smooth.

* You must have a strong blender (Vitamix, BlendTech etc.) to break up the avocado pit.


Beat Feeling Beat: How to Regain Your Energy

by Dr. Shelese Pratt ND @ The Pratt Clinics

Boulder, Colorado


Do you ever wonder why you feel so tired all the time?

Did you know it could be your mitochondria? Most people have never thought about their mitochondria. Many of you are probably asking what the heck are mitochondria? And what does mitochondria have to do with energy?  If you remember way back to high school biology class, the main function of the cell is to make energy as andenosine triphosphate (ATP). That energy is made in organelle called the mitochondria. If you have productive mitochondria, you have good energy. You can thank your mother for your mitochondria, we inherit them from our maternal genetics. For this reason, optimizing nutrition before pregnancy can help mothers pass on healthier energy production.  

Many of the adults and children I see in my practice have suboptimal mitochondrial function. This means their cells do not have enough energy (ATP) to perform all their necessary metabolic needs. When the brain doesn’t have enough energy you might feel foggy or disoriented. When our muscles don’t have enough energy they feel weak and unresponsive. I have worked for many years with special needs children whose motor problems were greatly improved by enhancing their mitochondrial energy production. When we focus on feeding their mitochondria the nutrients that they require, these kids can increase their muscle tone, speak, sit, stand, or walk for the first time in some cases. In addition, as we age our mitochondria becomes less efficient. We need more energy support as we grow older. This is why we decline in cognition, activity, and overall vitality as we age.

Mitochondrial dysfunction has been implicated in numerous diseases such as: autism, ADHD, seizures, dementia, Parkinson’s, migraine headaches, chronic fatigue and many more. Mitochondrial health is also related to how well your MTHFR pathway is functioning. To learn more about methylation please see my methylation cycle blog. The better we handle methylation the healthier our energy is going to be. The good news is, you can restore your mitochondria and feel great again.

What can you do to help your mitochondria?

Seeing a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) or functional medicine doctor can help you identify whether your mitochondria are functioning at an optimal level. We have specific tests we can run to determine how well your mitochondria are functioning.

Here are some other suggestions to discuss with your doctor about how to make your mitochondria produce more energy.    

• Ask your doctor to identify any infections you might be harboring. Do you know if you have any underlying infections? Some people struggle with hidden infections like H. Pylori, Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), Lyme, Epstein Bare Virus (EBV), which rob their mitochondria of critical nutrients and energy. Ask your doctor to run specific tests to rule out any lurking infections.

• Ask your doctor to identify any nutritional deficiencies. You need CoQ10 to carry electrons down the electron transport chain. You don’t have to remember the electron transport chain part but let’s just say this is a very important nutrient to making your ATP. Another significant nutrient necessary for healthy mitochondrial production is acetyl l-carnitine. This amino acid transports fatty acids into the mitochondria to make energy. Antioxidants like n-acetycystine (NAC), alpha lipoic acid (ALA), and polyphenols like resveratrol are important to protect the mitochondria. This organelle is very sensitive to oxidative stress. Optimizing methylation with B12, MTHF, B1, B2, zinc, magnesium, and B6 are also important ways to insure the mitochondria can make ATP. Then there are fancier supplements like pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) if necessary to aid the mitochondria.

• Take a mind body approach. Learn to belly breathe several times a day. Try yoga and consider starting a meditation practice. All three of these mindfulness exercises have been shown in research to increase mitochondrial function.

• Fast between meals or try the ketogenic diet. Reducing caloric intake has been proven to help mitochondrial function.  Reducing your carbohydrate intake can also improve energy production and reduce insulin spikes that cause inflammation.

• Reduce toxic exposure and oxidative stress. Consider talking to your doctor about your environmental exposures such as… Check out Scorecard to see who is polluting in your zip code. Make sure you are consuming organic produce and meats. Filter your water. Sauna and sweat on a regular basis. Invest in a good air filter. Be picky about what skin products you put on your skin. You can look at the Environmental Working Group to rate your products. Use healthy cleaning supplies in your home. Use low VOC paint and environmentally safe carpet. Get plastic out of your kitchen. Cook in clay, cast iron, glass, or stainless steal. Find a way to be zen. Stress wrecks your mitochondria so reduce and manage your stress.

• Increase negative ion exposure by ingesting raw plants and algae (chlorella or spirulina). You can check out my spring smoothie for a healthy green drink recipe. This is a great way to incorporate more nutrient packed plants into your diet. Start drinking alkalized water to neutralize your free radicals. Spend more time in nature and walk barefoot. You get more antioxidants from walking in nature than any pill could give you. Take a walk by the ocean; the ocean is filled with negative ions.

Working on your mitochondrial function can help you feel amazing. You can feel more productive and restore health to your life. It’s easier than you think.  What would you do with more energy?  I’d love to hear about all the wonderful things you can do with more energy. As always, I’m here to help and support you in health. Please call my office at 303.284.3180 to learn more about how I can help you maximize your energy.


So Much to Be Thankful For

I just wanted to take a minute to thank you. With love and gratitude I want
to thank each one of you for being a part of my life. Thank you for the
opportunity to work with you and your family. It is an honor to have the
chance to watch you overcome your health concerns and see you achieve your
goals. I never stop learning and growing as a doctor. I am inspired by your
stories every day. I’ve seen special needs children speak, crawl and walk
for the first time. I’ve seen immunological issues that had gone on for
years vanish. I’ve seen mood disorders stabilize. I’ve seen so many
complicated cases over the years and I thank you for your trust and faith in
my practice. You are all special to me.

In the spirit of giving… If you are considering investing in a Infrared
Sauna for detoxification, my favorite saunas are on sale this week at High Tech Health!

Please contact them for pricing. If you give them my name they will offer you the Black Friday


Happy Thanksgiving.

Best wishes,
Shelese Pratt, N.D.

by Dr. Shelese Pratt ND @ Flatirons Naturopathic Clinic

Boulder, Colorado


818 W South Boulder Rd, Suite 200

Louisville, CO 80027


How do we keep our New Year’s resolutions?

by Dr. Shelese Pratt ND @ The Pratt Clinics

Boulder, Colorado


 At the beginning of the year we commit ourselves to exercise and eating better but eventually we go back to drinking 3 cups of coffee, skipping the gym and eating our comfort foods. By late February, most people forget their New Year’s intention.  Instead of making a New Year’s resolution this year, maybe you can commit yourself to making some lifestyle changes that last a lifetime.

Try to employ these basic tenants to health.  Print this out and focus on one topic per month to make them a habit.

January:  Chew your food and stop drinking anything with your meals.

February: Avoid your food sensitivities. If you don’t know what they are, you should try a food elimination diet or call my office and we can run a test.

March:  Take a quality probiotic, multi-vitamin (make sure it has folinic acid or MTHFR. Never take any supplement or food with folic acid), and fish oil.

April: Drink more clean water through out the day. Invest in a good water purifier, and drink ½ of your body weight in oz. through out the day.

May: Buy, prepare and eat green leafy vegetables and other colorful vegetables.  Leafy green vegetables are good for your liver and reduce inflammation in your body. Most people know they need more vegetables but they still don’t find them on their plate.

June: Go to bed earlier and get more sleep.

July: Exercise every day. Find a friend that will take a class with you. It’s harder to skip out on your exercise routine if you have someone to hold you accountable.  

August: Meditate for 5 minutes everyday. It can be as simple as lighting a candle and sitting for 5 minutes each day.

September: Take 10 deep breaths every time you check your email. Take a breath in to a count of 4 seconds. Hold your breath for 4 seconds. Exhale your breath for 4 seconds. Hold your breath for 4 seconds. Repeat.

October: Focus on the positive. Try to avoid complaining and see the best in people.

November: Try to replace your coffee with green tea.

December: Drink less alcohol.

I suggest you build on the monthly topic and focus on adding a new tenant each month. Create new habits. Let’s see how you feel at the end of the year.  I wish you the best for a happy and healthy 2016.


Eating Healthy Part 4: Manage Time, Budget, and Emotions for Better Health

by Dr. Shelese Pratt ND @ The Pratt Clinics

Boulder, Colorado


Hopefully you have benefited from the first 8 steps of this series. Here are the last 4 tips for successful eating habits. Sometimes eating well can be expensive, time consuming, strategic, and means you have to employ new habits.

9. Eating Healthy On A Budget

I understand eating healthy costs more money. It is less expensive to eat packaged and fast food than it is to eat a meal with whole grains and fresh vegetables. When you look at the weekly grocery store inserts from your newspaper, the majority of the food that is on sale is from the center isles. These are usually processed foods, high in preservatives, sodium, food coloring, and artificial flavors that come in a box or a can. The problem is that eating the standard American diet causes all of the major health diseases such as obesity, heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes. Saving a few pennies at the checkout counter may cost you dearly in the long run. If you invest in nutritious food now, you can avoid high health insurance costs and medical bills later in your life. There are ways to eating healthy on a budget. Look at my resources page for options to afford eating well and lowering your grocery bill. Here is another great blog on how to eat organic, on a budget. http://foodbabe.com/2013/05/20/how-to-eat-organic-on-a-budget/.

10. Time

Eating well often takes a little more time, organization, and effort in the beginning.  Having the ingredients you need in your pantry will make it easier to be prepared to make healthy choices at meal time. Sometimes it is best to start with recipes that are quick and easy. I usually make extra food at dinner to eat for lunch later in the week. I also make extra ingredients like quinoa to add to other dishes. I make ingredients once and use them all week.  I plan my meals before I go to the grocery store and I keep my kitchen packed with a staple of healthy food choices. We always have a variety of vegetables, nuts, and fruit in my kitchen.

11. Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Do you know your food sensitivities? If not, you should. Avoiding food sensitivities can help you lose weight, decrease inflammation and heal chronic health issues. If you are trying to avoid certain foods, get them out of your kitchen. For example, if you are dairy free, it is best not to have dairy in your refrigerator. If someone else in your house still eats dairy, maybe you all can agree that they will eat dairy outside of the house so you aren’t tempted. I know this one can be tricky. Your willpower and discipline can be tested when unhealthy foods are readily available.  Remind yourself and your family, that food sensitivities need to be taken seriously and keeping these foods away from you will make you more successful with your goals.

12. Don’t Get Hangry (Hungry and Angry)

Make sure you balance your blood sugar by eating regular meals with protein and fiber.  If you skip meals or eat foods that are high in simple carbohydrates, you are more likely to grab foods that are high in sugar to try to bring your blood sugar back up quickly. Unfortunately, you will find yourself in a vicious cycle of highs and lows throughout the day if you keep eating this way. Try to organize your day and keep your body on a schedule. Eating at the same time of day helps your body know when it is hungry. Eating at the same time everyday you will also balance your energy and mood. Balancing your blood sugar will help you sleep better at night.

Eating well is a process. I am here to help.  I love to offering ways to make eating fun and enjoyable. Eating healthy doesn’t need to feel like deprivation. Please see my resource page for recipes and if you need more support please call my office 303.284.3180, and we will schedule time for you.


Eating Healthy Part 3: Connecting, Visualizing & Movement

by Dr. Shelese Pratt ND @ The Pratt Clinics

Boulder, Colorado


I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I am back to talk with you about ways to improve your mindset around food. Please review the previous blogs for the first 4 suggestions. Here are the next 4 steps in my program to implement into your life for vibrant health.

5. Visualize your Health

Ask any high performance athlete how important it is to visualize success. I say, try the same thing with your health. Imagine what your life would be like if you felt healthy and energized all the time. What would you do with that extra energy? Picture it in your head and write it down. Create a healthy meal in your mind’s eye.  How would it taste? How would your body feel if it was thriving? Then you should imagine how that would change your life. This visualization will help you make your goals a reality.

6. Hug It Out

Touching other people releases oxytocin. This hormone makes us feel connected to our loved ones. It also helps us control our appetite and reduce food cravings. So go give someone a hug!

7. Mediation

Scientist found that regular meditation creates structural changes in the parts of the brain involved with monitoring focus and self-control. It’s pretty simple to do and can be done in minutes. I would suggest with starting a sitting mediation practice and commit to 5 minutes everyday at the same time. Add a few minutes each week. Maybe by week 5 of your meditation you can sit for 15-20 minutes.  Mediation will also help you create more awareness in your life. This awareness will allow you to choose if you are actually hungry or if you are feeling emotional or board.

8. Move It or Lose It!

Sometimes we are more motivated to eat healthy when we are exercising. I’ve had days when I come home from work tired and the last thing I want to do is exercise. Instead, I could sit home, watch a movie, eat dinner and follow it up with a gluten free brownie and a glass of wine. I rarely make this choice, because I know that if I go exercise I will feel less stressed, more energized, and make better decisions about what I will eat.  After I exercise, I don’t want that brownie or glass of wine. I would rather have vegetables and a tall glass of water.  Exercise is a powerful motivator for better health in general. When we exercise we feel more committed to how we treat our body.

By practicing visualization, hugging, meditation and exercise you will become more present in your body. You will become more connected to mindset of health and ultimately change your relationship to food in a positive way. 

If you have any questions please call my office. I am here for you.

Click here to explore our services at Flatirons Naturopathic Clinic.


Eating Healthy Part 2: Intentions & Tracking

by Dr. Shelese Pratt ND @ The Pratt Clinics

Boulder, Colorado


I hope you are starting to employ the first few steps towards a healthy diet and lifestyle. Loving yourself, practicing mindfulness, and looking at your habits can make big changes in you life. Here are the next 2 steps in my 12-step process. Please remember to take time to incorporate each one with time. That way you can make small steps with profound changes.

3. Practice Intention

Set a realistic intention separate from your goal. It is best if you can set it for something bigger than yourself.  An example might be being a healthy role model for your kids, so they grow up making wise choices in their diet.  What do you love most in life? Who do you want to impact? Maybe your kids or your partner inspire the changes you want to make. Or possibly, you set the intention for your own happiness and wellbeing.

4. Keep Yourself On Track

Keep a food journal. Write down every thing you eat and how you feel after you eat it. This will make you more aware of your eating habits and what foods you are gravitating towards. It’s amazing how many people have told me that they have a really healthy diet and show up in my office shocked at how much sugar they consume.  Sugar is hidden in so many foods you would never think of. If you look at most packaged food, you will find almost all of it has some kind of sugar.  Click here to read about the sneaky ways sugar shows up in your diet without you even knowing.

Keeping a food journal is an easy thing to do online with sites like myfitnesspal.com. Myfitnesspal.com is an extensive nutritional and calorie database. You can load the app onto your computer and phone free, so you can keep track of the foods you eat anywhere, any time. 

As always, please let us know if you need any help. We are happy to support you in your journey toward a vibrant healthy life.

If you have any questions please call my office. I am here for you.

Click here to explore our services at Flatirons Naturopathic Clinic.


Eating Healthy Part 1: Mindfulness & Habits

by Dr. Shelese Pratt ND @ The Pratt Clinics

Boulder, Colorado


There are so many different ideas about how to live a healthier life. I understand, it can be a confusing road to go down. There are a lot of articles online that give advice and it’s hard to know what to believe. Over the next 6 weeks you will be getting my 12-step program to eating healthy.  These 12 steps have proven themselves over the last 11 years of my practice. If you take the time to work on them, one at a time, it will pay off in a life-changing way. Spend one to two weeks on one area and make changes gradually. Rome was not built in a day. These strategies take time to integrate into your life. I am here to coach you when you need support.

1. Mindfulness

When you eat your next meal, slow down and be more conscious of what you put into your mouth. Take your time and mindfully chew every bite. You’ll be amazed how much more you enjoy what you eat.  Reconnect with the sensual pleasure of food.  Scan your senses and see how you feel. What does your food smell or look like? What does the food feel and taste like on your tongue? What does the food sound like when you eat it? This technique will help you slow down and savor your meal.  You can also count how many times you chew to slow down and be present when you eat. Expressing gratitude for your meal, to the farmers who grew your food, and the plants and animals that are providing you nourishment will also help you stay more connected when you eat.

2. Habits

Eating healthy can feel like creating a new habit or neurological blueprint. On average, it takes 66 days to form a new habit. So take it one step at a time. Set realistic goals. Be specific about what you would like to accomplish. Sometimes we can make short-term goals that turn into life-style changes for the better. Once, I had a patient who needed to give up dairy to cure her chronic sinusitis and eczema. We set a goal to eliminate dairy for 3 months. After 3 months she was allowed 1 cheat day every week. Within 9 months she no longer wanted the cheat days and no longer had any issues with her allergies, sinus infections, or skin problems. 

Sometimes it’s also encouraging to look at how far you have come in your goals.  I would also recommend that you share your goals with your friends and family. They will love and support you. Update them on your progress so they can celebrate your success with you.

Staying mindful and present will help you change your habits and enjoy you food.

If you have any questions please call my office. I am here for you.

Click here to explore our services at Flatirons Naturopathic Clinic.