holistic medicine, functional medicine doctor

5 Lies You’ve Been Told About Fasting

“Should I do a fast?”  With fasting receiving so much attention, you may be asking yourself the same question.  Fasting advocates declare it the dietary approach to trump all others.  Everyone should be routinely fasting.  I say that is nonsense.  There is no universally acceptable diet strategy.  If there was, my job would be a lot easier.  I wouldn’t have to listen to patient input, order labs and dedicate my time to deciphering the results.  Instead, I could get away with recommending everyone follow pre-generated directions.

Instead, I want to apply some critical thinking to fasting.  I have been applying fasting for several years professionally and personally, but this is my first dive into writing some content around it.  I will be honest with you.  Fasting frustrates me.  Not because I am against it.  I actually lean on it hard at times.  It frustrates me because of all the misinformation about it.

So when asked, “Should I do a fast”, be prepared.  A 30 second answer is not going to follow.  This deserves more explanation.

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Detox Juicing Ingredients for Instant Energy

The right detox juicing ingredients are essential if you want more energy, motivation and vitality.  Like many, you have probably heard of juicing, but just not quiet sure what it is.  How do you do it?  Does it really work?  Is juicing the best way to get nutrients in?  Can it really detox or is it a fad?

I have heard all of these questions.  And you are right to have a healthy dose of skepticism here.  I did.  In fact, at one point I shunned juicing.  It was cheating.  My declaration was that you should eat the food in its most natural state like you would find it in the garden.  Juicing is not the way we should consume food I would say.

That was then.  I was wrong.  Today my stance on juicing, especially for detox and repleting the body is much different.  There are times when juicing is critical.  Here is what I really learned.  Juicing must be done correctly.  With the right detox juicing ingredients it is unquestionably one of the most powerful revitalization practices you can implement.

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holistic medicine, functional medicine doctor

Before You Detox, Consider a Pre-Tox

Before you plan a detox, consider implementing a Pre-Tox.  What is a pre-tox you ask.  It is the preparation you must do to get the most out of your detox.  Nearly everyone will benefit from doing a detox.  But in my experience, those that pre-tox always get more benefit than those that don’t.

Preparation is Key to Success

I highly recommend that my patients detox.  The best detox programs focus on supporting your body’s own detox systems.  After all, if you could not detox on your own, you could not handle the numerous environmental toxins that you are exposed to daily.  Good detox programs require specific nutrients that make toxin elimination efficient.  Unfortunately, many detox programs focus on using herbs and stimulants that purge the body, without providing true detoxification.  And they are certainly not prepping the body before hand.

It is critical to prep the body for detox.  Not just to get the most out of it.  Also to prevent “detox reactions”.  Detox reactions arise when all detox systems don’t work together optimally.  Think about it like your car.  If just one tire is flat, the car does not move even though nothing else might be wrong with it.

I have literally seen individuals lose up to 14 lbs in 14 days when prepping their body for a detox.

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5 Daily Detox Tips I Always Do

5 Daily Detox Tips I Always Do

How selfish of me.  I realized this morning I have not given you my 5 Daily Detox Tips I always do.  When I say I do these, there are no exceptions.  These are going to happen.

Time saving, simple and effective are how I would describe these.  Don’t hesitate to keep reading.  These are not going to take a lot of time or be hard to do.

Most detox solutions are too complicated.  Diets that take a lot of planning, exercising for crazy amounts of time.  Nope, none of that here.  Instead I am going to give you my daily detox tips.  Daily is the key word here.  Focus on implementing these into your lifestyle, and before you now it, you are detoxing every day without realizing it.

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5 Fatigue Myths You Don't Want to Believe, but Do
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5 Must Eat Foods for Removing Heavy Metals from Body Tissues

Think heavy metals are a problem for you?  Removing heavy metals from body tissues is something that not just you, but just about everyone should consider.  However, very few take the next step in eliminating this massive burden from their body.  So, I commend you for taking the time to follow through and find out what you can do to remove heavy metals.  Let me reassure you that this is a wise decision on your part by sharing just a few the numerous ways that heavy metals affect your health.

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Why I Don't Recommend Cascara and Senna for Detoxing

Why I Don’t Recommend Cascara and Senna for Detoxing

False expectations.  Don’t you just hate when someone makes a promise and does not follow through.  It just gets under my skin.  This is not all that different than the story associated with two herbs that are often found as part of detox programs.  These two herbs are cascara and senna.  They offer a lot of promise, but there role in detoxification is limited.  So why are they part of detox programs?

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Essentials for Every Successful Detox Diet Plan

Essentials for Every Successful Detox Diet Plan

Essentials for Every Successful Detox Diet Plan

Ever consider doing a detox?  Sure, you have.  Was it for weight loss?  No, wait, I know, you wanted more energy.  You probably thought it might even help your bloating.  So, what stopped you from moving forward with it?  After all, detoxes are all the craze.  You see them on TV, here about them on the radio, see them advertised, but there has always been that little question in your mind if this will work for you or not.

Detox Craze, Or Just Crazy

Let’s be honest.  There might be a detox craze right now, but most detox programs are just crazy.  The juice detox, the colon cleanse detox, and the “take this supplement” detox are all just a few examples.  If you have been hesitant of all of these types of programs, let me compliant you by saying that your intuition has served you well.  None of these are supporting your body’s own detox mechanisms.  My guess is that no one has even told you that.  Your body has its own detox systems.  If you give them what they need, you will detox every day.

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Tilapia Nutrition – Is One of America’s Most Popular Fish Toxic?

Tilapia has experienced a significant increase in popularity. It can be found in almost any retail grocery store and is often a featured item on many restaurant menus. But have you ever wondered what you are really eating? I did. Having grown up around both fresh and salt water fisheries, no one ever talked about tilapia. The reason is that this is not a native fish to the United States. This should create your first suspicion about this species of fish.

Where Does Tilapia Really Come From?

As tilapia is not native to the United States, we have to ask, were does tilapia come from. Tilapia is a tropical fish that originated out of Africa with a relatively short growth time. They live in fresh water environments and are not found in saltwater. So at this point, the questions should begin to stir in your mind as to what is the tilapia that is so often found in the grocery store and being served.

Most of the tilapia in the United States actually comes from China and Indonesia. This fish is farmed and then shipped to the United States. At this point, I feel that it is important to understand what farmed fish means. In a nutshell, you are rapidly growing fish in an artificial environment by feeding them “food stuff” that they would not have exposure to in the wild. These environments to not lend themselves to a vast amount of space to swim in, but rather the fish are densely packed in the man-made environment and routinely exposed to high amounts of ammonia and waste.

tilapia farming

Tilapia Farming leads to Poor Tilapia Nutrition

One big concern with the source of these fish is that according to a report from the USDA in 2009, China fails miserably with food safety standards, including those that are exported to the US. It appears from the findings of this study that many of the fisheries are located next to heavily polluted areas. Such toxins include environmental pollutants, agricultural residues, feces and veterinarian drug residues. It should be no surprise that if the fish are exposed to these toxins, then those that consume the fish are also going to be ingesting these toxins. What is also interesting is that tilapia fisheries exist in the United States but do not meet the demand, thus encouraging import from foreign markets.

Tilapia Nutrition is Questionable

One of the reasons that many individuals turn to fish in their diet is the consumption of omega 3’s. Omega 3’s have been shown to be effective at supporting conditions including cardiovascular disease, arthritis, autoimmune conditions and cancer just to name a few chronic conditions. However, farmed tilapia is higher in omega 6’s, which are inflammatory and have the opposite effect on our health. The unnatural diet that the fish are fed creates a low omega 3 content and a high omega 6, whereas the fish in its natural environment has just the opposite profile. (Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2009;60 Suppl 5:203-11.) From this we can see that the food provided to these fish makes a significant difference in their nutritional value, leaving us to ask what else we should question regarding tilapia nutrition.

Well, since you asked, the fatty acid ratio is not the only problem with tilapia nutrition. The concern of genetic modification rears its ugly head again. In this case it is not referred to as genetic modification, but rather transgenic. Transgenic tilapia has had genes added to their DNA for a desired outcome. In this case, it resulted in “successful production of transgenic tilapia by injection of transgenes (mouse metallothionein promoter/rat growth hormone gene). (Aquaculture. Volume 105, Issues 3–4, 1 August 1992, Pages 219–232) So rat genes to enhance growth hormone production were added to tilapia DNA. No doubt this is to enhance the rate at which the fish can produce. The bigger concern is that by eating genetically modified, or transgenic, tilapia, you are consuming something that is not in natural state and thus has the potential to increase the activity of the immune system in a negative manner. As we have seen with other GMO (genetically modified organism) debacles, this usually comes at a price.

What You Can Do

If you have been eating tilapia, starting off with a good detox would be recommended. Since these fish are mostly coming from polluted foreign sources, you have likely accumulated some of these toxins. You can begin the detox process by eliminating all of the refined, non-organic sources of food from your diet. You will want to transition to foods that are colorful and nutrient dense along with consuming adequate amounts of protein to support your inherent detoxification pathways.

If you are consuming fish to increase the amount of omega 3 fatty acids in your diet, a safer option than eating farmed raised tilapia is taking omega 3 rich supplements. You could eat the fish itself, but this is not an option in the United States, leaving supplementation as preferred source. The other option that you have is to consume wild caught fish. Wild fish such as salmon, cod and halibut are better options and do not come with the same risks of altered fatty acid composition as farmed fish. Therefore, the nutrition of any of these fish is going to exceed tilapia nutrition.


Are Toxins Making You Fat?

Just the word toxin sounds scary enough, but did you know that toxins may be making you fat. That’s right! The toxins that you are exposed to in your environment may be the reason that you are not losing weight. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Many of the conditions that wish to never deal with such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease can trace part of their roots back to toxins and how they cause fat tissue to become overactive.

Here is what you must understand. Toxins are going to keep making you fat. You are not going to get away from toxins. Why? Because our environment is continually being polluted by a growing number of chemicals. These are not harmless chemicals. Rather they are extremely harmful. What is even worse is that many of these toxins are passed off to the public as safe. Nothing could be farther from the truth. They may not cause immediate effects, but the cumulative effects are traumatic to our health. How big is this problem? Well according to the Institute for Functional Medicine, more than 80,000 new chemicals are released each year. That is a massive amount.

Even You are Toxic!

At this point, you may be saying, “but I am not toxic, otherwise I would know.” You may be surprised to find out that according to recent research, nearly everyone has appreciable levels of toxins that have built up in their body (Neurotoxicology 2012 May 31). You don’t necessarily know that you are toxic. The onset is usually slow and you become more toxic over time. So the take away is that if you are having trouble losing weight, it is not a question of are toxins making you fat because they are.

Are Toxins Making You Fat? – The Rationale

Here is exactly what happens. You encounter toxins, of which there are many sources. Some of the most common are refined foods, non-organic sources of food, plastics, medications and water. When we think of toxins, it is common to think of chemicals that are clearly marked as hazardous. However, we rarely realize we have encountered most of the toxins that we do. Once you have encountered these toxins, they are going to find their way to fat tissue in the body. The reason that toxins go to fat is not because it is a storage depot, but rather that many toxins are fat-soluble. They have a natural affinity for fat. Yet once the toxin reaches the fat, then problems for our fat tissue start to kick in.

Fat and fat with toxins embedded in it is not the same thing. Fat with toxins embedded in it does not look natural to our body and as a result, it sets off alarm signals. The answer to these alarms comes from the immune system. The increased activity of the immune system stirs up an inflammatory storm that causes the fat tissue to increase in size. This is how the toxins are making you fat. When the inflammation flares, the fat cells become more active. Worse yet, they also create problems elsewhere in the body that affect appetite control and blood sugar regulation. Clearly a seemingly harmless toxin is anything but harmless. It could be the stimulus to not just making you fat, but causing chronic disease. (Environ Health Perspect. Feb 2013; 121(2): a61.)

How to Detox

There is a way to overcoming the effects of toxins on your fat tissue. It starts with eliminating the sources of toxins that you can identify. For many though, this is simply not enough. If your body has been overwhelmed by toxins, you will need additional support. Supporting increased toxicity means supporting your body’s own detox systems. Before you jump to conclusions, we are NOT talking about purging your bowels which may actually make you more toxic over time. Rather there are specific nutrients to support detoxification as our body performs it. Replenishing these nutrients is the key to successful removal of toxins, and moreover dropping those stubborn extra pounds of fat. But you cannot stop there. Again, you must eliminate what you can and that means eating a cleaner diet without all the foods that are refined and contain chemicals. Do this and not only will you detox, but you will start dropping fat as well.

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Paleo Diet Prevents Consumption of Toxic Foods

Our bodies were not meant to eat the diet we are eating..

The more I learn about functional medicine and all of the toxic foods out there and what they can do to our health, the more difficult it is to not be paranoid. It’s like every corner I turn I find something else that offensive to my health.. And I know sometimes I’m right, but also some times I’m making it out to be worse than it is. But for once, I know I’m not being paranoid about one thing, our diet. The way we eat now is nothing like our ancestors ate. We are now eating foods that our bodies are not designed to process. And that is why compared the our forefathers, we have so many diseases and thats why we have so much dysfunction in our bodies.StandardAmericanDiet1

The Standard American Diet (Aka The S.A.D. Diet)

So I’m sure you are wondering how this is possible? If it’s labeled food, and it’s edible, then it should be considered food right? Couldn’t be farther from the truth.. To be honest, what people are eating these days, when they are in a rush, I’d be hard pressed to call food. It carries almost no nutritional value. And with that said, there are many foods that we should not eat as they don’t promote long term health. In fact, many of them promote disease when consumed regularly.

Are you sure that your food is really food?

Do you know what is the in the food that you are consuming? Another good question is do you really know what you are consuming? Is it what you think it is? I bet you may be surprised to find the answers to some of these questions. So much of our food supply is contaminated with chemicals in ways we would not even expect. From growth hormones to pesticides and herbicides, the food we eat leaves our detoxification system begging for support. Add to this the stripping of valuable nutrients and fiber and you are left with . . . . Well I’m not totally sure what the best description should be, but it hardly resembles the food you would find in nature.

Our food supply has been altered

Food as we have come to accept it, is the byproduct of industrialization. We have let “big money” take over agriculture and control the food supply. We were duped into thinking that big agriculture was the best way to feed the population. This is problematic on a number of levels, but one of the many reasons is that you are getting food that is adulterated all the way down to the genetics. The rouge science of genetic modification has created foods, and I use that term very loosely, that are not tolerated by our bodies any longer. In fact, these are the foods that are likely most responsible for the rapid increase in autoimmune disease in such a short period of time.

The Paleo Movement

If you are beginning to feel a little anxious about the food you eat every day, you should. But before you become too uptight about this topic, know that there is an answer. There is an army of us out there that refuse to accept the fact that we should eat what we have been told by the government and FDA. Rather, we prefer to eat the Paleo Diet, the diet of our ancestors that kept them free of disease. The Paleo Diet is optimally implemented with the consumption of organic sources, but if you cannot afford organic, you can still derive great benefit. The longer I practice, the more I am convinced that for the average portion of the population, the greatest insults come for grains and dairy. These foods as they are produced now are different from what our forefathers had in numerous ways.

 paleo pie chartThere is a better way

As we know the Paleo Diet mostly focuses on eating non grain plants and animals, and the results of that diet are very very different compared to the results from the typical diet we consume in this country. My main goal is to make sure you understand that you don’t have to eat that toxic mess that is called our food supply, you can choose to take a different path. Just because those lifeless foods are in front of you, or cheaper, or easy access, does not mean you have to eat them. You can choose to take the extra step or put in a little more effort, after this is your health we are talking about. Instead trust the Paleo Diet, follow it and you will see results. I should know, it’s the only way I eat now. The Paleo Diet is the foundation of all diets ever existing for mankind, it has literally been proven for thousands of years to be the best diet for humans. It will free you of this toxic burden, guaranteed.