Wednesday, January 6, 2021

One Degree of Change #41

 Big may be beautiful, but Covid-19 and Obesity are deadly


This week, on the internet I saw the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine with an obese woman on it. The caption on the cover read “This is Healthy”. It immediately caught my attention because I can assure you as a doctor that being obese and carrying a lot of belly fat is NOT healthy. I also believe that fat-shaming or making people who are obese feel “less than” isn't healthy either.

Here is the real dilemma as far as I see it. The world and the U.S. in particular have gotten bigger, not just a little bigger, a lot bigger. Obesity hasn't doubled. It's nearly tripled in the United States over the last fifty years. In the early 1960s, fewer than 14 percent of the individuals possessed a body mass index (BMI) of over 30. Today, the figure collected by the CDCs National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHNES) is closer to 40 percent. Wow, let's face facts, we’ve gotten FAT! 4 out of every 10 of us are now obese? That’s unacceptable and it’s killing our great country in SO MANY ways.

Let’s just talk about Obesity and Covid-19. “Since the pandemic began,” Science Magazine reported in September, “dozens of studies have reported that many of the sickest COVID-19 patients have been people with obesity.” According to one study out in August cited by the flagship journal, overweight patients who contracted COVID-19 were 113 percent more likely to land in the hospital than patients of a healthy weight. Obese patients were 74 percent more likely to end up in intensive care and were 48 percent more likely to die.

Why is this? Well, according to Dr. Robert Silverman, in a recent article entitled: Covid Immunity, focus on what you can control, the human host, “Americans are more vulnerable to COVID-19 infection because a primary pathway for the virus to enter the body is through the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptors on the surface of cells in the lungs, heart, blood vessels, kidneys, liver, gastrointestinal tract, brain, epithelial cells, and fat cells. Because fat cells have even more ACE2 receptors than lung cells, those with high adipose tissue levels are more likely to be infected. He goes on to say, “Obese people may already have compromised respiratory function before infection. At the same time, abdominal obesity can compress the diaphragm, lungs, and chest capacity, reducing the lungs’ ability to mobilize. Most significantly, obesity causes chronic low-grade inflammation and an increase in circulating proinflammatory cytokines. Preexisting inflammation plays a significant role in the worst COVID-19 outcomes.”

So, while Cosmopolitan may recognize that 40% percent of women are obese and represent a large “target market” for sales of their magazine, let’s not confuse facts with a sales pitch. I agree that you can be beautiful at any size and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Everyone needs to feel loved! However, if you are FAT or obese (BMI over 30 and/or waist circumference over 35" for female 40" for a male) you will die younger and suffer older. Period, end of the story.

And by the way, it’s not your genetics. 

Join us via Zoom on January 11th at 6:30pm for our 16th Annual 21 Day Purification/Detoxification class!

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

One Degree of Change #40: The Choice of Health or Disease?


What’s the real problem and the real solution for Covid-19?

 As cases rise here in the United States, we continue to face the burning question. How do we solve this crisis and get back to life as we use to know it? Another question is will we ever get back to life as we use to know it? We can guess why cases are rising. Is it because we are doing more testing? Is it because we are coming into the time of colds  and flus where we get less fresh air, less sunlight (Cataplex D), and less exercise from outdoor activities? Is it because we let our guard down and started gathering with family and friends more? Who knows? All I do know is that the virus isn’t going away and I’d rather stand up and control what I have control over than run and hide and do nothing. Here is what I know, there are 2 things in life, things we have control over and things we don’t. Why do we (and the news media) always focus on the things for which we have no control? What we have control over is our self. What we don’t have control over is everything else.

As a read the landscape of our current situation, I realize that most people are waiting it out. Waiting to see what happens? Waiting on the vaccine? Waiting to see what the next administration is going to do? Waiting for new and better drugs to treat this virus? However, if you are in a vulnerable category, you better stop waiting and start preparing. It’s like knowing a category 5 hurricane is approaching. If you live on or near the water, don’t be a fool, get the hell out of there. Some people are much more vulnerable to this virus than others. We know that the elderly and people with co-morbidities are much more at risk of being admitted to the ICU or dying should they become infected. We NEED to protect these people. It is the right thing to do! The problem is that this represents a HUGE percentage of our population. 

Let’s face the facts, we are an old and sick nation with some of the highest percentages of older people, and some of the highest percentage of people with NCD’s (non-communicable diseases) such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome (obesity), respiratory and auto-immune diseases. So many people in this country take multiple medications for non-communicable chronic diseases they are suffering from. These people are at risk. Also, we keep people alive a lot longer than 50 years ago. People are living a lot longer because of medical technology and long-term care. However, they are NOT living healthier and these people are the ones dying in the highest order from this pandemic. We have every kind of nursing home and long-term care facility imaginable but are the people living in these facilities prepared for the likes of this virus or any other extremely virulent virus? Why do we think we can totally subvert nature's law of survival of the fittest and natural selection? 

So what’s the real problem here and what’s the real cure? If we see the problem as merely a virus that needs a cure, we are missing the bigger issue and we better wish for a miracle because that’s what it is going to take. A miracle that only a higher power can solve, not just a vaccine, I can assure you. If we see the problem as “out there” waiting to get us, we are missing a huge opportunity to look in the mirror as an individual and as a nation and take responsibility. Responsibility for the real problem, we are a sick, over-medicated, under-nourished, over-stressed, under-rested, overweight, and chronically sick nation. We not only have a chronologically older population that is more susceptible to this virus, but we also have a biologically older population. In other words, people are aging more rapidly biologically than their real age because of their lifestyle and this makes them vulnerable as well. If you are overweight and under-muscled, you are not only at risk of getting a poor outcome with this virus, but with all NCD’s (non-communicable diseases).

Mother Teresa said, "If each of us would only sweep our own doorstep, the whole world would be clean". Well, if each of us would keep ourselves as healthy as possible, we’d find the real cure to this crisis.

There is a difference between a quick, short-sighted, magic bullet approach to solving Covid and a long-term, roll up your sleeves and get-to-work solution for the real problem. Let’s not focus on winning just this battle, let’s win the whole war and it starts by winning the one inside ourselves. OUR HEALTH!

We have a choice of the foods we put in our mouths,  the type of movement we do in a day, and the type of thoughts we think.  These ideas have an integral part in our personal wellness. If you are at the place where you need a Plan of Action for your wellness and health, please reach out to me.  We can schedule a

complimentary consultation to get you on the right pathway.  Remember Health is a journey, not a destination!

Friday, April 24, 2020

One Degree of Change #39

One Degree of Change #39

Challenges to Your Health!

For twenty-six spectacular years I have had the priviledge to be part of the health and wellness team of thousands of patients.  Each patient has their own unique set of circumstances that may create health issues both good and bad.  As a physician in the alternative health care world, I have had the extrodinary opportunity to create health from the inside out.  As a chiropractic physician, I have incorporated my expansive base of knowledge on exercise physiology to guide patients by educating, motivating, and adjusting their spines to enhance their journey to wellness.
Bench Press ADFPA Nationals 1990

The pandemic effect of COVID-19 has altered life for everyone. While we are in a crisis in this moment, I see this as an extraordinary time for wellness opportunities. This situation has created a new normal, changing how we do business, education, and family from this point on. We have new possibilities to thrive by creating amazing circumstances for the future of humankind.

Over the past months, I have watched my family, friends, and patients go through three phases during this challenging event. First, there is overwhelming fear, accentuated by the unknown and the pervasive negativity on television. Second, there is learning. Eventually, they shed their needs to hoard supplies and come to grips with their personal emotions. Finally, there is growth and a potential for marvelous opportunity. Kindness is being demonstrated abundantly. People are creating and sharing ways to stay physically fit, cook healthfully, and spend quality time with their families. Everyday heroes are becoming the norm. And excitingly, many are finding their purpose.

As a Doctor of Chiropractic and a Functional Medicine Practitioner, my hope is that people will use this time to become increasingly mindful of their own health and wellness. This includes eating foods that support their immune system, exercising in order to create a more resilient body, and training the brain to adapt and grow though this experience. If this becomes habitual, it will help to reduce stress and improve overall health in the long term.

I work with patients to create a plan for each of them to thrive in these three key ways. However, there has been a critical missing component: their belief that they matter. If a patient is not emotionally ready or has unhealthy beliefs, no amount of information I provide can help them move towards improved wellness. When my patients are free of negative self-concepts, their path towards a healthier lifestyle is infinitely easier. 

Of course, this time is extremely challenging for all patients.  Let's keep it simple.  Support your immune system, eat real food (watch that sugar) and get outside to exercise during this mandatory "sabatical".  These are three of the most important things we can do for our health and well being.

If you are unsure what to do, please reach out to me @ Your wellness and health are your most important asset!

Friday, February 17, 2017

One Degree of Change #38

One Degree of Change #38

The first book in the series!
We are two months into the new year.  Last year was amazing. It has been 11 months since I have written this blog.  No, I haven't been lazy, au contraire!  I have filled my year with a great teaching opportunity, growing my Functional Medicine practice and writing a book.  

My inspiration for the book, One Degree of Change X 10 started as an owner's manual for the human body.  I shifted that idea to incorporate my top ten blogs on health.  I created easy to understand physiology written in an entertaining format.  I am passionate about teaching my patients to fully discover the inner workings of the body within which they live.  In December 2016 the finished book was uploaded to Amazon/Kindle.  I'm working now to finish content so the book can go to the printer.  It is very exciting and I'm grateful for all of those who have read and responded positively to the information in the book.  So far, the book has been downloaded by over 250 readers since December!  A humble thank you!

One Degree of Change #38: Take whole food based supplementation: a Multivitamin, Trace Mineral w/ B12 and Tuna Omega 3 Oil Daily! I remember as a kid, we were given a daily vitamin, a "Flinstone" vitamin to be exact.  I learned early on that it was important to support the body with vitamins.  My parents were trying to do the right thing, but their education was limited to to what we saw on Saturday morning cartoons. Hence the need for "that" particular vitamin.  Little did my parents know that those vitamins and a majority of the over the counter vitamins are fractionated and synthetic.  The body has a difficult time recognizing the content of that "one-a-day" pill because of all of the food coloring and other artificial ingredients.

First of all, it is important to understand why we need vitamin supplementation. It is difficult to get all your vitamins from the foods you eat.  I know, I hear you saying, "But I eat healthy!"  Well, so do I, but it is nearly impossible to eat enough food to get the nutrients you need daily.  Do you eat fish every day?  Do you eat the rainbow of vegetables every day?  Do you eat only organic and non GMO every day?  You can probably say that you eat that way some of the time, but certainly not all of the time.  I can honestly say that I eat very well, but there are times when given an occasion of celebration or holiday season, that my food sources do not support my body's vitamin needs for that particular day.

If you are eating foods that are processed, the packaging may say "enriched" or "fortified" with vitamins.  But I guarantee that those processed foods were made inexpensively for long shelf life and that the ingredients used are most likely of lower quality and cheaper.  So it would only be fair to assume that the additions of "vitamins" are of the same lower cost and quality.

I want you to get nutrients, not chemicals, when you are trying to supplement your diet.  Some of my patients, who are trying to do the right thing, bring in their bag of vitamins and supplements to get approval.  They are like cats who proudly bring a dead bird to you.  I praise them for investing in their health, but sadly, much of what they are taking is a waste of time and money.

Let me explain what the difference of fractionated or synthetic vitamins are compared to whole food based supplementation.  Without getting all biochemical on you, it simply means that if you read the ingredients on the label of the vitamins you take and it you see words like thiamine, niacin or ascorbic acid, it is synthetic.  Ascorbic acid is a component of vitamin C, but it is sold as such to the uneducated consumer.  When you eat an orange, you are ingesting all of the components that make up vitamin C.  You don't reach in to the citrus tree and pull ascorbic acid off the tree.  But it is easily made in a lab, then labeled vitamin C.  The same goes for all of the vitamins, they work as synergists with the help of other components.  It is popular to hear D3 promoted to alleviate low blood levels of Vitamin D.  Once again it is only a part of the vitamin D complex.

My suggestion to patients for daily fundamental support is a whole food based multivitamin, trace minerals with B12 and a Tuna Omega 3 Oil.  In my practice I use Standard Process and MediHerb.
The three products that I recommend for patients to use on a daily basis are:
Download this ebook!

  1. Catalyn is great for supplying multiple vitamins and minerals for complete, complex nutritional supplementation and bridging any nutritional gaps. Download the ebook "Catalyn Changed Everything"
  2. Trace Mineral-B12 supports the body's enzymatic reactions by supplying a spectrum of minerals, co-factors for healthy cell functioning, support for ligament, cartilage, and bone structure; immune system and thyroid function; fat metabolism; and calcium utilization.
  3. Tuna Omega-3 Oil is important support for the heart, joints and brain.  It contains Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) to support normal lipid profiles. 
In our practice, we always strive to create wellness and make it as easy and mindless as possible. Standard Process has answered our request to combine these fundamentals for daily support into a box of packets called General Health Daily Fundamentals.  I love that they have produced a 60 day supply of individual packets that you can grab and go.  The box itself becomes a dispenser!  This allows you to be more compliant and get your supplementation into your body where it belongs (instead of sitting in a bottle in your cabinet)!

Here is your plan of action:
  1. Read the label on the vitamins you take.  If it doesn't have real food ingredients like pea vine, alfalfa, buckwheat juice, make a change.
  2. Incorporate a rainbow of veggies and fruits in your diet at least 3 times per day.
  3. Be mindful of singular or fractionated vitamins.  Mother Nature won't fool you, she has all the nutrients that work synergistically.
  4. Follow Hippocrates’ advice: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
  5. Don't buy into hype. Synthetic vitamins are standardized so they can be produced economically compared to the careful, labor-intensive, more expensive process of compounding whole foods.
I always remind my patients that "Food is your Pharmacy or should I say Farm-acy"! It is a challenge to eat everything your body needs all of the time.  Be good to that body, it's the only one that you get!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

One Degree of Change #37

Two down, but one didn't make it! :-(
One Degree of Change #37

Wow! Readers from Brazil and Spain! Welcome!  It is heart warming that the message of health is a world wide topic.  Here's the update on the Triple Chrysalis Effect.  Two of the three made it into this world.  The third one, I'm sorry to say, didn't hatch.  It was one of the first caterpillars to transform.  It's sad but an unfortunate fact of butterfly life.  In my little butterfly garden we have a matriculation rate of about 90% of the ones that I actually find.  That is pretty darn good.  Remember they still have the elements of weather, wind, and predators once they have hatched.  But on a good note, we just had another that I hatched, I almost caught the emerging butterfly on another nearby chrysalis that was ready.  I swear I just walked in the house and then back out, there she is!  Don't forget to get your Milkweed seeds to promote these captivating beauties.
Chrysalis just before hatching!

Welcome to your new world!
I have written about this before, but worth repeating.  The little egg that hatches to become the caterpillar that meta-morphs into the Monarch butterfly, knows exactly what to eat and exactly how much.  When that caterpillar has reached its capacity for nourishment, it stops.  It doesn't keep eating till its little caterpillar stomach explodes.  It doesn't lie on the branch of the milkweed and say, "I can't believe I at the whole thing".  It doesn't look in the mirror and ask,  " Do these wings make me look fat".  It eats what it needs and does its transformation. We should be more like butterflies!  Eat what we are supposed to eat, do what we are supposed to do (no excuses), live like there is no tomorrow and then turn into something beautiful!  That should be everyone's One Degree of Change!

One Degree of Change #37: Use Chia (I know you are thinking...Cha cha cha Chia!), Flax or Hemp seeds in your daily diet!  On the One Degree of Change #36 I gave you a shake recipe.  Three of the ingredients are the above listed seeds.  Why do you need to put these seeds into your diet?  Here's why!
Image result for chia seedsChia seeds are actually from a flowering plant from the mint family.  These plants are native to Mexico and Guatemala. In one ounce, which is a lot of chia seeds, there is 9 grams of fat  (more than half are Omega 3), 12 grams of carbs (with 11 grams of that being fiber) and 4.7 grams of protein.  The special gift these tiny little seeds have is they pack a lot of nutrients into a small package.  They are loaded with calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc, which are trace minerals that we need but don't often get.  They are also great antioxidants.  The other really cool thing is that when you soak them in water, they become very gel-like.  Now this won't help you lose weight, but it may give you a sense of fullness so you may not eat as much.  You can soak them in nut milk add some vanilla and make a healthy alternative for pudding.  They are non-GMO and gluten free, which means excuse free.

Image result for flax seedsNext, we have Flax seeds.  They boast having 4.3 grams of fat (Highest in Omega 3's), 3 grams of carbs (2.8 grams of that are dietary fiber) and 1.9 grams of protein.  There are brown or golden flax seeds.  I don't think the taste differs much and the benefits are the same. I tend to use the golden flax seeds because I like the color.  They have 55 calories for one tablespoon which is about 10 grams.  They have been around for over 6000 years. The nutrients they provide are a bit overwhelming for such a tiny seed.  Not only a great fiber and protein source, but the highest plant source of Omega 3 fatty acids with the sesame seed in a close second.  They also possess B1, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and are high in copper, zinc and selenium.  Additionally, they are high in polyphenols which are great antioxidants as well as reducing candida and yeast over growths.  I like the hair and skin support flax seeds offer, as well as digestive support.

Image result for hemp seeds Finally, that brings us to Hemp seeds. Don't worry about getting high with these protein rich nuggets. They contain negligible amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol  (THC).  I prefer the hemp hearts, these are from the hulled seeds and have a great nutty taste.  Calorie wise, they have about 120 calories for 10 grams with 4.5 grams of fat, .7 grams of carbs and 3.7 grams of protein.  It has the same nutrient benefits as the other two seeds with the addition of iron.  Another important benefit is for the heart.  It lowers your cholesterol and blood pressure.  The brain gets a big advantage from the hemp hearts.  Cognition and memory are supported with the addition of these seeds.  Because of the high fiber there is an improvement in bowel activity.  But my favorite benefit is the protein factor. Most people today don't get enough protein.  This source gives you most of the amino acids you need and a couple of heaping tablespoons in a smoothie or on your salad will do the trick!

You can find all of theses seeds at your health food market.  We try to buy local and support our local merchants.  Once you have your ingredients, you are ready to start! We keep our seeds in air tight glass containers, labeled, of course!  Here are five easy ways to add them into your daily diet!
  1. Use in your smoothie or green shake.
  2. Make your own low carb protein bars.
  3. Use as a topping on your salad.
  4. Add to your steel cut oats for a high fiber breakfast.
  5. Grind them up and use as a coating on chicken (dip in an egg bath, then roll in mixture,  & bake).
So simple!  
I hope I planted some "seeds" of knowledge!  
Now go forth and buy seeds!
Be the one degree of change!