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Technology devices such as our cell phones and iPads have drastically changed the way we do life. When you walk around a public place you see the majority of people with their devices out, looking down, occasionally looking up to make sure they won’t run into anything. It’s gotten so bad now that what we used to call “nursing home posture” - shoulders rolled forward, chin out, slouching - we now call “junior high posture”. Combine the in-hand devices with the heavy backpacks children wear today and this has a dramatic effect on their posture, which can have a huge impact on their overall, long-term health.
Researchers have studied how this abnormal posture affects overall health and the findings are remarkable. One such study, done in 2014 by the Chief of Spine Surgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitative Medicine showed that repetitive poor posture, particularly of the head and neck caused severe damage to the structures of the neck - vertebrae, discs, ligaments, and tendons leading to spine surgeries, but also was associated with Low T (testosterone), reduced serotonin (think: depression), and increased cortisol (your body’s main stress hormone). The study was specifically done to provide more information to surgeons who have to surgically reconstruct damaged and degenerated spines, which can be prevented. Some of the highlights of the study were:
The study evaluated the stress using an average head weight of 13.2 lbs. The weight added to the spine dramatically increased when flexing the neck forward to varying degrees.
0° increased weight on the neck by 10 to 12 lbs.
15° increased weight on the neck by 27 lbs.
30° increased weight on the neck by 40 lbs.
45° increased weight on the neck by 49 lbs.
60° increased weight on the neck by 60 lbs.
Loss of the natural curve of the cervical spine leads to incrementally increased stresses on the cervical spine which may lead to early wear, tear, degeneration, and could lead to early surgeries.
Good posture was associated with much more than bad backs or necks. Good posture was linked to higher testosterone, increases in serotonin, decreases in cortisol, and increased feelings of power. Poor posture was associated with the opposite findings.
An average person spends 2-4 hours per day with their head tilted forward for reading and texting on their devices, amassing 700 to 1400 hours of excess, abnormal cervical spine stress per year. It was also noted that a high school student may even spend an extra 5000 hours in poor posture!
The next time you look at a junior high or high-school aged kid, possibly your own, look at the angle of their head looking down and picture 49 lbs of added pressure to their spine and think about them holding that pressure there for 5000 hours (or 208 straight days) - you can imagine how that would have an effect on more than just neck pain!
This is why it’s so important that you get your kids into a chiropractor’s office to be checked and adjusted from birth, regardless of symptoms. Chiropractic care has been proven to be a more effective alternative to medical treatment for symptoms like ear infections, bed-wetting, colic, reflux, digestive issues, but the kids who need it the most are the kids who don’t have any symptoms yet and come and get adjusted regularly for prevention. Hormone issues cause serious life altering disease processes. Low testosterone is epidemic in our men today. Low serotonin leads to depression. Chronically elevated cortisol is linked to almost every chronic disease of aging today. Chiropractic care can help minimize the damage being done to your child’s spine every single day and can help prevent much more serious problems down the road. Get your kids adjusted!
- Hansraj, KK. Surgical Technology International Journal 2014 Nov; 25: 277-9 Assessment of Stresses in the Cervical Spine Caused By Posture and the Position of the Head
A Heathier Spin on S’mores
A Good Old Camp Fire Treat Receives a Makeover:
Written by: Tara AhQuin from Abba’s Set Apart Remedies/ Patient @ Align Utah
We are presently in the midst of summer. Many of us are taking an opportunity to spend more time outdoors. Admiring and appreciating the gorgeous and scenic landscapes of the great outdoors, enjoying the weather and beautiful sun-shiny days. In our family, summers are centered around camping. It’s one of the fun activities that our family looks forward to and takes a great deal of pleasure in. Some of the most memorable moments we can remember have been spent camping in nature. Sitting around a campfire, enjoying each other’s company, talking stories, having a laugh, and of course savoring a gooey sweet treat. For some, camping just wouldn’t be the same without the experience of roasting marshmallows by the fire, and sandwiching it between two crispy graham crackers dripping with chocolatey goodness! That was the main reason I went out searching for a heathier alternative to S’mores. Also for those in my family who choose to eat real food rather than manmade foods! More than anything I wanted my youngest daughter to be able to have the campfire S’more experience and not feel excluded from the festivities! I want to instill in her “real food” eating practices and principles, so she doesn’t have to sacrifice her health in the long run and still have the opportunity to eat delicious and amazing food!
Grain Free Graham Crackers
NOTE: These are best when allowed to cool about 30 minutes. Reminder: these are made with coconut flour and won’t be as crisp as you might find with almond flour or even grains. But they were a nice alternative!
- 1/2 cup pastured butter, softened
- 1 whole free range egg
- 1/4 cup raw honey or stevia (or sweetener of choice)
- 2 tsp blackstrap molasses
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3/4 – 1 cup coconut flour
- 1/3 cup arrowroot powder
- 1 1/2 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
- 3 tsp cinnamon (more or less depending on your preference)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients using only 3/4 cup of the coconut flour.
In a mixing bowl, blend together the softened butter, honey, vanilla and molasses. Add the egg and beat until incorporated into a soft batter.
Add in half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Then slowly add in the other half. If the dough is still wet and batter-like, then add more coconut flour, a tablespoon at a time. The dough should come together into a ball. When it does, you are done and can stop adding coconut flour. I used 3/4 cup and then added 2 more tablespoons.
Remove your ball of dough and cut it in half. Place each on a piece of wax paper. The dough can now be refrigerated overnight if you plan on making the crackers another time.
When you are ready to use the dough, remove from the fridge and bring to room temperature.
Place silicone baking sheet or wax paper on your counter and place one of the dough discs on top. Then place a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap sheet on top of the ball, roll out with a rolling pin until the dough is 1/4 inch thick. This method will allow you to simply place the silicone sheet or wax paper on your cookie sheet to bake.
Use a pizza cutter to draw lines on the dough about 2 inches apart. Use a fork to prick small holes in the dough. This will give it the authentic graham cracker look and feel and also help you separate the crackers when they are done baking.
Bake at 300-325 degrees F for 12-18 minutes (time may vary depending on oven). Check crackers periodically to ensure they don’t burn and to adjust for cooking time. The crackers will still be soft when you remove them from the oven but brown at the edges (allow crackers to cool down a bit on cookie sheet before removing to cooling rack). When they cool they will harden and be firm up.
Once cooled, break apart and store in an airtight container for about a week or so.
Heathier Homemade Marshmallow Recipe
Note: Besides the non-food toxic ingredients in regular store bought marshmallows there’s another ingredient that’s also found in them that most people aren’t aware of. The gelatin that is used in the majority of processed foods, including marshmallows, is derived from “PIG” meaning it’s a pork product. So if your trying your best to stay away from eating pork because of its uncleanliness, scan through labels and try not to purchase food products with gelatin unless it specifically states it’s from a bovine source and even more importantly that it’s a grass-fed gelatin (if that’s important to you).
- 8×8 pan for large marshmallow squares or 9×13 pan for smaller marshmallow square
- parchment paper
- hand mixer or stand mixer
- candy thermometer
- mixing bowl
- 3 Tbsp. grass fed beef gelatin
- 1 cup filtered water, split in half (Option: as an alternative to plain water, tea can also be used here to add a specific herbal flavor, such as green tea or peppermint tea etc…)
- 1 cup maple syrup or honey, or half of each
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract (optionally you can use 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp. another extract for flavoring. Peppermint, chocolate, almond, orange, lemon, etc. are all great options)
- arrowroot powder, cocoa powder, cinnamon, toasted coconut flakes, etc. for dusting the finished marshmallows (optional – you can leave the marshmallows plain too, you do not have to dust them)
- Either grease your pan (8×8 for large marshmallow squares or a 9×13 for smaller marshmallow squares) or line it both ways with parchment paper. If using parchment paper, you can easily remove the marshmallows from the pan using the “handles” that the parchment paper makes. If coating the marshmallows, spread a thin layer evenly in the bottom of the pan.
- In your mixing bowl pour in 1/2 cup water and whisk in the gelatin, set aside to let the gelatin bloom.
- In a medium saucepan combine the other 1/2 cup water, maple syrup and/or honey, and salt.
- Heat over medium to medium high heat, bringing to a boil. Using your candy thermometer, let the mixture boil until it reaches 240 degrees, or soft ball stage. Remove from heat. (If not removed in time, and the mixture gets too hot, your marshmallows might not fluff up and will be denser)
- Using either a hand mixer or a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, turn it on low at first, breaking up the bloomed gelatin. Very SLOWLY pour the syrup/honey mixture into the gelatin mixture, while slowly turning up the speed on your mixer to high.
- Allow mixture to whip on high for 5-10 minutes (this is where it’s nice to have a stand mixer) until a thick marshmallow whipped cream is produced.
- Transfer the marshmallow whip to your prepared pan and smooth down with the back of your spoon. If using a coating, sprinkle on top of the marshmallows and pat down. If you are not using a coating, grease your hands, to prevent sticking, and pat down smooth. You can alternately use a piece of parchment paper on top to smooth out the marshmallow, and leave it on top to cover it while it is setting.
- Leave your marshmallows out uncovered to set (not in your fridge, that will create moisture which will destroy the marshmallow) for 6-8 hours or even better overnight (in my experience leaving overnight to air dry is best!).
- Using a knife, cut marshmallows in long strips, and then into squares from there. Dust marshmallows, on all sides, in your powder of choice, or leave natural without any dusting.
- Store marshmallows up to a week on your counter top in a sealed container. You can leave them out open to dry even longer. The longer you let them dry the better for toasting over a fire!
NOTE: You can use the fluffy whip to frost cupcakes, rather than putting it into the 8×8 pan. The Fluffy whip stage would also be the stage to add your organic rice krispies when making rice krispee treats, rather than melting the marshmallows for them. This will make for the best krispee treats! Next time I’d like to share a recipe for a simple sugar-free DIY dark chocolate that you could also use in combination with these two recipes…Bon Appetit!! (:
Lighten Your Load! Top Tips For Backpack Safety
More than 40 million students in the United States carry school backpacks, and with the average student carrying more weight than is considered safe, it is no surprise that backpack injuries lead to over 7,000 emergency room visits per year. More concerning than emergency room visits, however, are the long-term health consequences of carrying a backpack improperly.
Back pain is the number one cause of disability in adults worldwide. This often begins with minor repetitive injuries throughout life, which can begin in childhood. In fact, in one study of American students, 6 out of 10 students ages 9-20 reported they were already experiencing chronic back pain related to heavy backpacks. If left untreated, this can develop into much more serious conditions in adulthood which are also much more difficult to correct. Caring for your child’s spine should be as important as caring for their teeth!
Backpack injuries are generally due to two causes- the size, shape, and materials of the backpack itself and the weight that is carried in that . It is recommended that a loaded backpack weigh no more than 15% (about one-sixth) of a student’s body weight (100 lb student = 15 lb backpack, 75 lb student = 10 lb). The average student carries a backpack weighing 25%, or one-fourth of the students body weight, and 3 out of 10 students typically carry backpacks weighing up to one-third of their body weight at least once a week! Below are the top questions that you should be asking about your child’s backpack, along with recommendations from the American Chiropractic Association.
Is the backpack the correct size for your child? The backpack should never be wider or longer than your child’s torso, and the pack should not hang more than 4 inches below the waistline. A backpack that hangs too low increases the weight on the shoulders, causing your child to lean forward when walking.
Does the backpack have two wide, padded shoulder straps? Non-padded straps are not only uncomfortable, but also they can place unnecessary pressure on the neck and shoulder muscles.
Does your child use both straps? Lugging a heavy backpack by one strap can cause a disproportionate shift of weight to one side, leading to neck and muscle spasms, low-back pain, and poor posture.
Are the shoulder straps adjustable? The shoulder straps should be adjustable so the backpack can be fitted to your child’s body. The backpack should be evenly centered in the middle of your child's back.
Does the backpack have a padded back? A padded back not only provides increased comfort, but also protects your child from being poked by sharp edges on school supplies (pencils, rulers, notebooks, etc.) inside the pack.
Does the pack have several compartments? A backpack with individualized compartments helps position the contents most effectively. Make sure that pointy or bulky objects are packed away from the area that will rest on your child's back, and try to place the heaviest items closet to the body.
Not So Sweet – 3 Things you MUST DO to Avoid Aspartame
Many people now realize that consuming too much sugar in your diet can lead to health problems such as inflammation, weight gain, hormone imbalance, and even cause diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Many companies have reduced the sugar in their products, and are offering more “sugar free” substitutes. The problem now, however, lies in what most manufacturers and the majority of Americans are using as a substitute for that sugar, and what that substitute does to your brain.
Marketed under the names Equal® and Nutrasweet®, aspartame is the most common artificial sweetener used in the United States. It is added into more than 6,000 products- especially those that are advertised as “sugar-free” or “diet”. It can be found anywhere, but it is almost always found in: breath mints, chewing gum, diet soda, flavored water products, frozen ice cream novelties, fruit spreads, jams, jellies, instant drink mixes, nutritional bars, sugar-free candy, sugar-free cookies, and the list goes on and on.1 I recently took a bite of a conventional protein bar (something I wouldn’t normally do but I was really hungry) and immediately spit it out because I could taste the sweetener. Most people are so used to it they would notice more if it WASN’T present in their food.
Decreasing sugar is great. The downside of this sugar substitution is that aspartame is an excitotoxin that has been linked to over 90 different side effects, including seizures, tremors, irreversible brain damage, brain tumors, birth defects, attention deficit disorders, severe depression, and even death.2
The reason that aspartame wreaks so much havoc on our well-being is because aspartame is what’s called an ‘excitotoxin’ and a ‘neurotoxin’. This means that it can cross the blood-brain barrier and get into the brain, and once in the brain it excites brain cells, and it over-stimulates these brain cells to death.3
According to neurosurgeon Dr. Russell L. Blaylock M.D. -“Excitotoxins play a critical role in migraines, seizures, learning disabilities, ADD, episodic violence, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.”
That means that every time you chew a piece of gum, or drink a diet soda, or eat a piece of sugar free candy that your brain cells are being excited to death, scary! It also means that by the time enough of your brain cells have died off that you finally begin seeing symptoms, it may be too late.
That is why it is so important to avoid aspartame at all costs. I want to give you 3 Steps to Keeping Aspartame out of your life:
Make sure you read your food labels and look for aspartame in the ingredients. It is often one of the first ingredients listed, which means that it has the highest content, but look closely. Avoid any foods or products labeled “low-fat”, “low-sugar”, or “diet”, including diet soda. These almost always contain aspartame!
Detoxification can remove aspartame that has accumulated in your body, decreasing its toxicity potential. Eating a clean, whole-food diet is the first step. Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts) aid in natural detoxification, so do citrus fruits like lemon and lime. Several herbs can help aid in detoxification as well, such as milk thistle, fenugreek, and peppermint. Based on your level of toxicity and the effects it is creating, you may need supplemental detoxification as well.
Find better sugar substitutes. There are three sweeteners that I recommend using in place of both sugar and artificial sweeteners such as aspartame: stevia, xylitol, or something like Lakanto. Lakanto is a combination of a non-GMO fermented sugar alcohol (erythritol, similar to xylitol) and the super sweet luo han guo fruit, creating a sugar substitute that tastes great, creates none of the GI effects that xylitol can sometimes lead to (gas, bloating).
Have you heard of glutathione? It is known as your body’s “master antioxidant” and also your body’s “master detoxifier” because it is such a powerful disease-fighting molecule! It’s been featured on Dr. Oz and many other shows, blogs, websites, and books on every health topic from fighting cancer, to slowing down the aging process, to preventing DNA damage. Glutathione (pronounced glue-tah-thigh-own) is a tripeptide of amino acids that is found inside every cell in your body, and it’s one of the most important factors and measures of your overall health.
Glutathione, or GSH, is comprised of three amino acids: cysteine, glutamate, and glycine. It is different than other antioxidants (like vitamins A, C, E, CoQ10, Zinc, Selenium, etc) in the fact that it is intracellular, or found inside the cell, and it can even help some other antioxidants work better! Your body builds it’s own GSH from these building blocks, but as you age your body’s ability to produce glutathione decreases. Because GSH is used to fight oxidation and cellular damage as well as stimulate detoxification processes, it can be rapidly depleted when a person is fighting an acute infection or especially a chronic disease like diabetes, HIV/AIDs, cancer, autoimmune disease, heart disease, Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s, when a person has chronic toxicity such as heavy metal toxicity, or chronic inflammation due to a leaky gut. This includes most people in our society! 6
The main function of GSH is to protect your cells, your DNA, and your energy-producing mitochondria from oxidative damage while also playing a central role in defense from infection, free radicals, and carcinogens like radiation. GSH also detoxifies xenobiotics, or foreign compounds like chemicals and toxins. It plays an important role in both phase I and phase II of liver detoxification, your body’s main filtration of toxins. Glutathione is found in every cell, but it is found in highest concentration in the cells of the liver, which is no surprise considering what it does. GSH is your body’s most effective cellular protective system because it participates directly in the destruction of reactive oxygen compounds which damage your cells, while also maintaining and improving the antioxidant capacity of other molecules like vitamin C and E. 1
Glutathione isn’t just an antioxidant fighting free radicals and DNA damage, its synthesis depends on Adenosine Triphosphate, or ATP, your body’s main source of energy, and low glutathione levels are closely related with energy deficiency or low ATP. This is one reason why many people with chronic diseases lose much of their energy, their cellular energy is quite literally being used to fight disease! Because glutathione is so crucial to effectively fight toxicity, oxidative stress, DNA damage and aging, significantly lower levels of GSH have been associated with:
Autism Spectrum Disorders
Inflammatory Conditions like Arthritis
Atherosclerosis (Heart Disease)
Asthma and Allergies
Neurodegenerative Diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
Low levels of GSH have been associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and some have hypothesized that low levels of GSH combined with toxic environmental exposures combined with genetic predisposition will trigger a regression into autism. This theory would explain why some kids become autistic while others do not while receiving the same vaccinations. Another potent depletor of GSH is Acetaminophen, best-known brand Tylenol, which is often doctor-recommended for our infants and children. Our kids are fighting an uphill battle from the beginning. When you combine toxins from Mommy’s body (found and proven in umbilical cord blood studies, read our past articles) + toxins from the environment (air pollution, water, baby formula, etc - read past articles) + antibiotics in the first couple years of life for an ear infection (destroy the gut flora) + children’s Tylenol for teething (depleting GSH) + THEN a child goes in for a standard round of vaccinations with known toxins like Aluminum and Formaldehyde into a child’s bloodstream and crosses their not-yet-formed Blood-Brain-Barrier - THAT SCARES ME! And we wonder why the numbers have gone from 1 in 1500 children to 1 in 88 to now 1 in 45 children on the Autism Spectrum? 2,3
Wait! Don’t rush out and buy glutathione tonight! Glutathione is naturally produced by your body and is poorly absorbed when taken in a supplement form. For this reason, it’s more important to give your body the right building blocks to manufacture its own GSH and help your body fight disease. Several supplements may help boost GSH - including turmeric, vitamin D, alpha-lipoic acid, glutamine, and N-Acetyl Cysteine. 4,5 There are definitely times when supplementing to build your GSH stores could be necessary! We recommend a product called GCEL by Systemic Formulas which provides all the necessary specific GSH building blocks in a proprietary blend along with many other vitamins, minerals, and herbs which are all designed to aid your body’s ability to boost glutathione and detoxification capacity.
The first step is always to start with your food. Your body knows what to do when it’s given the right building blocks and power supply. A balanced diet rich in real, whole foods will provide your body with the right building blocks for glutathione while also keeping out the sugars, trans fats, chemicals, additives, and toxins that will deplete your body’s GSH stores. The foods that provide the most GSH-boosting benefits are:
-Sulfur-containing foods: cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, kale), raw garlic, onions, leeks, shallots
-Pastured/Grass-Fed Red Meats and Organ Meats contain Alpha Lipoic Acid which may help boost GSH - especially liver meat!
-Pastured Free-Range Eggs (raw is best)
-Pastured/Grass-Fed Raw Milk Products - GSH occurs in the highest concentrations in fresh, uncooked meats and raw milk and cheese and is almost non-existent in pasteurized products!
-Grass-Fed Whey Protein - The best way to boost GSH! Quality (cold-pressed, non-denatured, grass-fed organic source) whey protein provides all the key amino acids and is the most bioactive source of protein available. Whey has also been shown to stimulate metabolism and weight-loss among other benefits. It truly can be a super-food! 6
Your body will create enough glutathione to keep you healthy as long as you don’t deplete it too rapidly. Avoid toxins in your food supply, personal care products, minimize stress (physical, chemical, mental), exercise regularly, get adjusted and look for the cause of any health issue rather than the symptom - and your glutathione will be good to go!
- Glutathione metabolism and its implications for health.J Nutr. 2004 Mar;134(3):489-92. Wu G1, Fang YZ, Yang S, Lupton JR, Turner ND.
- Glutathione-related factors and oxidative stress in autism, a review. Curr Med Chem. 2012;19(23):4000-5.
- The Impact of Neuroimmune Alterations in Autism Spectrum Disorder.Front Psychiatry. 2015 Sep 9;6:121. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2015.00121. eCollection 2015. Gottfried C1, Bambini-Junior V2, Francis F3, Riesgo R4, Savino W5.
- Deficient synthesis of glutathione underlies oxidative stress in aging and can be corrected by dietary cysteine and glycine supplementation.Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Sep;94(3):847-53. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.110.003483. Epub 2011 Jul 27 Sekhar RV1, Patel SG, Guthikonda AP, Reid M, Balasubramanyam A, Taffet GE, Jahoor F.
- Effect of increasing glutathione with cysteine and glycine supplementation on mitochondrial fuel oxidation, insulin sensitivity, and body composition in older HIV-infected patients.J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014 Jan;99(1):169-77. doi: 10.1210/jc.2013-2376. Epub 2013 Dec 20. Nguyen D1, Hsu JW, Jahoor F, Sekhar RV.
By Dr. Taylor Krick BSc DC
The research is clear linking the Standard American Diet to most prevalent diseases of today through many different mechanisms. Today I want to talk about one of those mechanisms - food additives. A recent article from June 2015 in the journal Autoimmunity Reviews looked at how food additives lead to intestinal permeability (or leaky gut) and this leads to Autoimmune Diseases.
Autoimmune diseases are among the fastest growing diseases in our country and others. They have shown a steady rate of increase over the past 3 decades, especially in Western cultures, and it’s now estimated that 25-50 million Americans suffer, making it more prevalent than cancer or heart disease. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates annual direct healthcare costs for Autoimmune Diseases to be in the range of $100 billion. In comparison, cancer costs are $57 billion and heart and stroke costs are $200 billion. Multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel diseases (mainly Crohn's disease), systemic lupus erythematosus, primary biliary cirrhosis, autoimmune thyroiditis, hepatitis and rheumatic diseases (rheumatoid arthritis), and celiac disease are several examples. Over 100 different diagnoses have been considered autoimmune in their mechanism.1
Autoimmunity occurs when the body’s own defense system - the Immune System - has trouble differentiating good things from bad things, or telling “self” from “non-self”. The immune system is designed to attack invaders, which are “non-self” (bacteria, viruses, toxins). It shouldn’t attack your body’s own tissues. When the immune response is altered or abnormal, it will begin to attack “self” tissues. For example, if the immune system mounts an attack against thyroid tissue, this is called autoimmune thyroiditis, often diagnosed as Hashimoto’s Disease.
Your body’s first line of defense against invaders (before the immune system mounts an attack) is keeping those bad things out of your body, such as chemicals, toxins, additives - what are called xenobiotics - or foreign substances. There are four main ways xenobiotics can enter the body - injecting them directly into the bloodstream (vaccines), breathing them in through the lungs (air pollution), absorbing them through the skin (personal care products), or probably the most destructive - entering through the digestive tract. The reason this can be the most destructive method of toxification is because most of us eat every day, we have to eat to survive, and if you are eating any version of an American (Western) Diet you are constantly exposing yourself to a plethora of inflammatory proteins, chemicals, and toxins that are continually making your body sicker and sicker.
Your digestive tract (or gut) consists of not just your stomach or intestines, but the whole food pathway from the mouth to the anus. Each section of the “gut” has a different specific function (the mouth for initial food breakdown via saliva, the stomach for enzyme degradation, small intestine for nutrient absorption, large intestine for water and B12 absorption, etc).
The job of the gut is to let the good stuff in (vitamins, nutrients) and keep the bad stuff out (xenobiotics and waste).
Your gut is lined by a single layer of cells called the gut epithelium. It’s this thin layer of cells that lets the good stuff pass through and keeps the bad stuff out! When this layer becomes damaged, bad stuff gets into the bloodstream and the immune system will then recognize this and mount an immune attack. I always use the analogy of a screened-in porch. The job of a screen is to let the good stuff in (fresh air and cool breeze) while keeping the bad stuff out (mosquitos, bugs). A screen is a very simple yet very effective single layer of protection against these things, just like your gut lining. But what happens if somebody is poking holes in your screen? The good stuff still gets in, but so does the bad stuff. This is what is called a Leaky Gut, and it’s at the root of many disease processes today, including autoimmune diseases. Many factors influence the integrity of your screen, or gut lining (diet, stress, alcohol, antibiotic use, oral contraceptives, etc) but I want to share with you specifically these 7 food additives that this particular study proved cause leaky gut and will absolutely contribute to autoimmune disease.
- Sugar. I always put sugar as number one on my lists of foods to avoid, and it’s no coincidence that this study did the same. Sugar fuels inflammation, it feeds cancer, it feeds candida and bad bacteria in the gut, and according to this study, it pokes holes in your gut lining.
- Salt*. “Cereals and baked goods are the single largest contributor to sodium intake in the US and UK...The salt content in processed foods can be 100x higher than homemade meals.” Added salt not only increases intestinal permeability, but increases inflammation often associated with autoimmune diseases. *This is ADDED salt into PROCESSED foods, it’s not the same as dietary sea salt at home!
- Emulsifiers and Surfactants. “....widely used in the bakery, confectionary, dairy, fat and oil, sauces, butter and margarine, ice cream, cream liqueurs, meat, coffee, gum, beverages, chocolate and convenient food industries...numerous synthetic surfactant food additives have been shown to increase the intestinal permeability through paracellular and/or transcellular mechanisms.” These are seen on the label as things like lecithins (soy lecithin is in everything) or polysorbates (polysorbate-80 is also an ingredient in several vaccines).
- Organic Solvents. “The organic solvent chemicals are genuinely dangerous. Most of them have warning information on the labels as poisons. Examples of organic solvents used in industry are: benzene, xylene, toluene, turpentine, acetone, methyl/ethyl acetates, hexane, ethanol and several detergents…..Some nutrients like glutamine and polyphenols protect TJ barrier integrity (gut lining), in contrast, several organic solvents used in the food and beverage industries, like alcohol and its metabolites impair the TJ barriers.” Alcohol is one of the biggest culprits for poking holes in a leaky gut, not just alcohol that you choose to consume, but added alcohols and other solvents! I have personally tested high for xylene exposure in the past, this is one of the sources.
- Gluten. Gluten has a lot of research showing what it does to the gut lining and its implications in Celiac disease. Gluten’s main antigen called Gliadin has been shown to inhibit cell growth, cause cytotoxicity (cell toxicity), alter cellular metabolism, and destroy the gut lining.
- Microbial transglutaminase (mTG). “Multiple applications of mTG in the food industry exist: improvement of meat texture, appearance, hardness and preservability, increased fish product hardness, improved quality and texture of milk and dairy products, decreased calories, improved texture and elasticity of sweet foods, protein film stability and appearance and improve texture and volume in the bakery industry.” These are fake meat glues and texturizers that make food look, feel, and taste a different way. Gross!
- Nanoparticles. This is the newest and fastest-growing technology in food additives, and we still don’t know a lot about future health implications, but we do know that it causes intestinal permeability. But that never stopped us before!
Some of these additives we may be more familiar with (sugar, salt, gluten) while others we may have never heard of. This is just one paper also, this isn’t an all-inclusive list. (*Another major player in poking holes in the gut lining is Glyphosate, or Roundup. Glyphosate has been shown to not only poke holes in the gut leading to leaky gut, Celiac disease, and autoimmunity but also decrease your body’s own detoxification methods, leading to increased toxic burden.)3
The point that I hope you take-away from this article isn’t to go looking on your food labels for “Sugar-Free” or “Gluten-Free” or to check your ingredients list for soy lecithin (it’s in there!) or nanoparticles. The point is TO EAT REAL FOOD. The food additive business is a multi-billion dollar industry, it’s not planning on slowing down anytime soon. You can choose not to buy processed foods! You are responsible for your health. You decide what you put in your mouth and your children’s mouths and bodies! When you eat real food you can avoid and eliminate these and many many other chemicals, toxins, additives, dyes, preservatives, sweeteners, texturizers, etc and stop causing sickness and disease to be treated with more medicine. Don’t eat food that looks like real food. Like Sean Croxton of Underground Wellness always says:
JERF. JUST EAT REAL FOOD.
- Lerner, A. Matthias, T. Changes in intestinal tight junction permeability associated with industrial food additives explain the rising incidence of autoimmune disease. Autoimmunity Reviews Vol 14, Iss 6. June 2015. Pages 479-489
- Samsel, A. Seneff, S. Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases II: Celiac sprue and gluten intolerance. Interdisciplinary Toxicology. 2013 Dec; 6(4); 159-184
By Dr. Taylor Krick BSc DC
Toxicity has proven to be one of the biggest factors at play in our 21st century health epidemic. It has been linked to: cancer, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases and other brain issues, hormone disruption, reproductive complications, heart disease, developmental issues, autoimmune diseases, intestinal permeability (leaky gut)...toxins contribute to almost all disease processes in the body by causing cellular toxicity, oxidative damage, and inflammation.
One of the biggest problems with toxins is that they can bio-accumulate, or stay in your body and build up, especially in your fat cells. I’ve always taught that your body fills with toxins the way a bucket fills with water, and when the bucket overflows, that’s when symptoms or disease processes occur. The more ‘hoses’ or sources of toxins coming in, the faster the bucket fills. This is a great analogy, but it begs the question:
If my adult body is a bucket, what are my 18-month old twin daughters’ - pint-glasses?
What is a newborn - a solo cup?
What is a fetus - a shot glass?
Children’s toxicity is a serious issue that has to be addressed, even before conception. I recommend anyone thinking about or wanting to get pregnant to spend a few months detoxifying their life before they conceive. Your baby wants a healthy home to develop in, and their cells will thank you! (a great book on this topic is called Origins - How the Nine Months Before Birth Shape the Rest of our Lives, by Annie Murphy Paul)
Think it doesn’t matter to your baby what you eat, what you breathe, what you think? Think again! Research has linked mother’s exposure to pesticides to childhood cancer and particulate matter exposure (PM) in air pollution to autism (especially in the third trimester), impaired mental development, anxiety, ADHD, among others.1,2,3 How do the those chemicals get into the baby? the same way everything gets there - the umbilical cord! According to the EWG:
In a study spearheaded by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) in collaboration with Commonwealth, researchers at two major laboratories found an average of 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants in umbilical cord blood from 10 babies born in August and September of 2004 in U.S. hospitals. Tests revealed a total of 287 chemicals in the group. The umbilical cord blood of these 10 children, collected by Red Cross after the cord was cut, harbored pesticides, consumer product ingredients, and wastes from burning coal, gasoline, and garbage.
Of the 287 chemicals we detected in umbilical cord blood, we know that 180 cause cancer in humans or animals, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests. The dangers of pre- or post-natal exposure to this complex mixture of carcinogens, developmental toxins and neurotoxins have never been studied.” 4
This is critically important to the immature, developing brain. As adults we have what’s called a Blood-Brain-Barrier, and it’s just that - a barrier that keeps things in the bloodstream out of the brain. The blood-brain-barrier doesn’t develop until about 1 year of age, so any toxic exposure before 1 year old could potentially wind up in the brain! 6
After birth the exposures don’t stop, quite the opposite! Most babies are then given vaccines with ingredients like mercury, aluminum, and formaldehyde in them; many are fed formula made from corn syrup solids and cheap dairy; they are CONSTANTLY given plastic toys and bottles with endocrine disruptors like BPA and phthalates; and then they lay on bedding that contains flame retardants linked to cancer.5 Oh by the way, this is all before they start eating the standard American food supply filled with sugar, preservatives, trans fats, additives, colorings linked to hyperactivity, and other toxins. This is why allergies have skyrocketed. This is why asthma is through the roof. This is why kids get put on psychotropic ADHD drugs. This is why ‘Type 2 Diabetes’ is no longer called ‘Adult Onset Diabetes’, because it starts in kids.
So what can you do?
Here are my Top 5 Steps for Raising Non-Toxic Kids:1. Feed Kids Real Food - This concept is simple, the application - not so much. Real food helps the body detoxify, fake food is toxic. The problem is today that most kids foods are horrible. They are loaded with sugar, hydrogenated oils, preservatives, chemicals, and colorings - all which have toxic effects. Then a child may exhibit behavioral issues, and what’s the cure? A psychotropic medication! This is wrong. Feed your kids real food, not food that looks like real food. Eat foods that grew on a plant, not foods that were altered in a plant. Even if it is a real food - was it sprayed with pesticides? Read your labels. Eat organic. Avoid GMO’s. Know the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen. Vegetables all have amazing detoxification properties, whether it’s fiber helping to move toxins out of the bowels, a cruciferous vegetable like broccoli or cauliflower which can boost Glutathione and stimulate Phase I detoxification in the liver, or something like cilantro which can help bind heavy metals - eating real food is a must and the first and most important step to raising non-toxic children.
2. Avoid Vaccines and Medications - this is a heated topic that everybody seems to have an opinion on, but regardless of what you think about how well vaccines are able to protect against transmittable diseases, there is no doubt that they are toxic. Vaccines contain metals like aluminum, preservatives like formaldehyde, neurotoxins like MSG, cells from other species, GMO ingredients and aborted fetal tissue cells. You can find the list of ingredients here. Medications are toxic too, especially to children! Antibiotics are the most commonly prescribed to children and they DESTROY the bacteria in the gut (that’s their job after all) which leads to a leaky gut, decreased immune function, allergies, toxicity, inflammation….in fact antibiotic use has been shown to disrupt steroid hormone metabolism (estrogen, testosterone, adrenal hormones, etc), bile acid metabolism, and inflammatory pathways!7 I can’t tell you what to take and what not to take, so do your research. There is a time and a place for medications, but the overuse leads to further disease, and they add to your toxic burden. For my kids, we wouldn’t touch this stuff unless something was life-threatening.
3. Get Rid of (Some) Plastic - this one is basically impossible. Plastics are everywhere in a kid’s life, so you have to limit exposures. For my wife and I, every couple weeks we ‘purge our plastics’, which means we get rid of some or put them up and away, but the amount of plastics our babies are still exposed to is insane. Toys, bottles, cribs, car seats, it’s everywhere. We try to use as many wooden toys as possible. Cloth toys are fun, but I’m sure they have flame retardants all over them. The public has become aware of the endocrine-disrupting Bisphenol-A (BPA) in plastics, so many products are now labeled BPA-Free (careful- there are other Bisphenols like BPS that haven’t received the publicity yet!) However the biggest culprit in plastics is called Phthalates. This compound has been shown to disrupt reproduction and hormone balance in both men and women, and kids have the highest levels of exposure, with levels decreasing with age.8,9 A great book on this is called Slow Death By Rubber Duck. The name says it all :)
4. Look for Other Exposures - So often we hear about something like BPA or Lead on the news or read a blog post and maybe we avoid some things like GMOs, vaccines, or plastics, but there are so many hidden culprits of toxicity. Look for other exposures in your home! Some of the other exposures could include:
-Polyurethane Foam Bedding - cribs, nursing pillows, etc have hormone-disrupting flame-retardants linked to cancer that are getting into your child’s body at alarming rates according to a recent study from Duke University.5
-Heavy Metals (lead, mercury, arsenic) - in our air, soil, vaccines, dental fillings, toys from China, possibly in drinking water (look at Flint MI), etc. Long been known to disrupt brain development and function!
-Air pollution - we just bought an air purifier for our nursery to decrease toxic exposure. This is a huge issue in Utah! Read our last blog post to learn all about it.
-Get a water filter on your sink, get a shower filter on your shower, switch out your teflon cookware for non-toxic (ceramic, stainless, cast iron). Some of these steps are simple, one-time moves that can dramatically decrease exposures over time!
5. Use a Detox Product or Protocol - The last step for raising Non-Toxic Kids is to be used when you feel like your child’s bucket is already full - detoxify them with a more structured detoxification protocol. *If you can keep the bucket from filling up too quickly, you never need to dump it, so if you follow the first 4 steps this may never be a need in your family.* This is the step where I would strongly recommend working with a natural healthcare provider. There are many things out there to help aid detoxification in children, from detox recipes and detox drinks, to magnetic clay detox baths, to even ‘binding’ products that can help bind and excrete toxins. Many parents in the Autism community have tried more in-depth methods of detoxification like heavy metal chelation. You can also measure the toxic burden to know exactly what is interfering with your child’s health, but once again these are more in-depth methods that require the assistance of a healthcare provider. The concern with asking Dr. Google or doing a protocol that you read about online is that it may help and may be effective, but it also may not help. Using cilantro for a heavy metal detox, for example, is known to ‘stir up metals’ in those that are very toxic, but not necessarily excrete them. The analogy is often used of ‘stirring up’ a beehive - not good! Consult with someone who can walk you through this to make sure that it is safe and effective.
We hear so much talk about the inversions here in Salt Lake City, it’s time I write about it.
Everybody in Utah knows about the air pollution and the inversions and knows they are toxic. It’s impossible to deny because you can see it and feel it (and sometimes chew it). As a healthcare practitioner, it’s a hot topic because everybody is expressing symptoms - sore throat, runny nose, hoarse voice. Almost all children in the office had issues this month, including my 18-month old daughters and many infants. The worst case was a patient who is a mail carrier who is out walking around outside in it all day. He is usually in great health but his voice sounded horrible last week!
If you aren’t from Salt Lake City or a place like Houston or L.A., do a quick google image search of the inversions. This is where air pollution gets trapped in the Valley for weeks at a time, our beautiful view of the mountains gets blocked, and we are literally trapped in a toxic bubble. So what is an inversion and why should it matter to your health?
Normally, the higher you go in elevation, the colder the temperature. An inversion is just that - a temperature inversion. Cold air gets trapped in the valley like a bowl, while at higher elevations the air is warmer. Those from SLC know that when there is an inversion, the best place to be is in the mountains, because it is typically beautiful bluebird (sunny!) and warm weather. The air quite literally gets trapped in the valley, so as the inversion lasts longer, the pollution builds and the toxic load continues to increase and increase.
Pollution is measured and rated daily on the Air Quality Index, or AQI. The AQI measures and rates the air on a scale of Good (0-50), Moderate (51-100), Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (101-150), Unhealthy (151-200), Very Unhealthy (201-300), and Hazardous (301-500). As of the writing of this article, Salt Lake City has been rated at least Moderate Danger for 13 of the 18 days this month, with one day in the Red zone of Unhealthy, which comes with the warning “Everyone may begin to experience health effects, members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects.” 1
The pollution measured from the AQI measures ozone and something called fine particulate pollution, or PM2.5 (Particulate Matter). Fine particulates are particles that are less than or equal to 2.5 micrometers in diameter. They are measured in micrograms per cubic meter or µg/m3. There are also particles called PM10, but PM2.5 particles are much more prevalent in exhaust fumes and air pollution, and the scientific research clearly shows that the smaller particles are much more dangerous. PM2.5 is categorized as either primary or secondary. Primary PM2.5 is emitted directly as a particle and enters the atmosphere as soot from roads or vehicle exhaust emissions, while secondary particulates form when various chemicals react in the atmosphere. 2
According to the EPA’s website:
The size of particles is directly linked to their potential for causing health problems. Small particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter pose the greatest problems, because they can get deep into your lungs, and some may even get into your bloodstream.
Particle pollution - especially fine particles - contains microscopic solids or liquid droplets that are so small that they can get deep into the lungs and cause serious health problems. Numerous scientific studies have linked particle pollution exposure to a variety of problems, including:
- premature death in people with heart or lung disease,
- nonfatal heart attacks,
- irregular heartbeat,
- aggravated asthma,
- decreased lung function, and
- increased respiratory symptoms, such as irritation of the airways, coughing or difficulty breathing. 3
The scientific research clearly proves that particulate matter from air pollution causes many disease processes, not just breathing issues. According to a recent review of the current literature (one of many available), “Results from toxicological research have shown that PM (particulate matters) have several mechanisms of adverse cellular effects, such as cytotoxicity through oxidative stress mechanisms, oxygen-free radical-generating activity, DNA oxidative damage, mutagenicity, and stimulation of proinflammatory factors” (emphasis mine). These processes then lead to an increased cancer risk, especially lung cancer. 4,5,6
Cellular toxicity, oxidative damage, and inflammation then lead to downstream disease processes including cellular, gut, and brain inflammation, autoimmune reactions, and intestinal permeability, or Leaky Gut Syndrome, which then lead to downstream chronic diseases and diagnoses which are becoming so prevalent today. In fact, a recent study (2014) out of Harvard found that high PM exposure in mothers was linked to higher rates of autism. According to Harvard, “Women exposed to high levels of fine particulate matter specifically during pregnancy—particularly during the third trimester—may face up to twice the risk of having a child with autism than mothers living in areas with low particulate matter.” 7
This is a huge concern in Utah, where we rank 49th in Autism rates, and as of 2012, as many as 1 in 32 Utah boys was on the Autism Spectrum! 8
What about heart disease, our number one killer? According the the Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment website:
Recent articles in the New England Journal of Medicine and Circulation (the American Heart Association Journal) have shown that along the Wasatch Front, even short-term exposure to elevated PM 2.5 pollution levels resulted in increased risk of stroke and cardiac death (Circulation 2006 114: 2443, 2006). The increased Utah death rate attributable to elevated levels of PM 2.5 has been estimated at approximately 1,000-2,000 individuals per year.9 (emphasis mine)
This isn’t a doomsday article, or a suggestion that you should leave the state (please, decrease the pollution by leaving!). It’s a call to action. Up to 2,000 deaths a year attributable to air pollution, this is insane! 49th in the country in Autism rates, are we going to wait until it gets worse?? Something has to be done on a state, country, and global level, but it starts on a personal level.
Your body is able to handle the toxic burden as long as it’s not overloaded with other stressors (physical, chemical ,or mental). I always teach that your body is like a bucket that gets filled with toxins. When the bucket overflows, this is when major issues arise! When you combine pollution with more toxins from your drinking water, amalgam fillings, vaccines, personal care products, medications, plastic kids toys, etc etc….that’s when the bucket fills up and overflows. Air pollution is only one source of toxicity, but it is one that has to be addressed, or your family’s health could suffer. Stay tuned for more posts about what you can do to detoxify yourself and your family.
Article By: Dr. Taylor Krick
Government health agencies, food labels, and product advertisements have warned us against eating saturated fats for years, but is there any real evidence to support these claims? Like many other issues concerning Real Health, you’ve been lied to about Saturated Fats!
The war against saturated fats began in the 1950’s, when a study was published comparing the intake of saturated fats and heart disease mortality. The study, written by Dr. Ancel Keys, led to the conclusion that saturated fats caused heart disease, but the evidence has since been challenged and disproven.
The study looked at the saturated fat intake of 6 countries and found a higher incidence of heart disease in these countries, and saturated fats were theorized to be the culprit. However, Dr. Keys failed to study 16 other countries which did not fit his theory, and when the data is compiled from all 22 countries we find that the countries eating the most saturated fats actually have the lowest incidence of heart disease (heart disease is rare in tropical environments and cultures close to the equator, which intake a lot of coconut products!). Since this time, saturated fats have been conventionally considered a health hazard, but health experts now agree that they are actually a health necessity. The war on saturated fats caused a dramatic decrease in our intake of animal products and full-fat dairy, which just so happened to take place right around when the obesity epidemic started!
Look at our last article about Omega 6 and Omega 3 Fats to learn more about what this shift in our fat intake has caused - inflammation and disease!
The research today confirms this. In fact a study was published in 2015 out of the Journal Nutrition titled Dietary intake of saturated fat is not associated with risk of coronary events or mortality in patients with established coronary artery disease. I think that title says it all! Here is a graph looking at the intake of different countries and comparing their rates of heart disease.
Your body cannot function without saturated fats. Over 50% of your cell membranes are made from saturated fats. Cell membranes are the outer border of your cell, and the job is to keep the bad stuff out and let the good stuff in. When the cell membrane is compromised toxins get in the cell and they CAN’T GET OUT, and it creates cellular inflammation. Saturated fats are also necessary for proper bone formation, proper heart, liver, and lung function, and proper immune system function. They are excellent antimicrobials, and are the preferred energy source for the heart.
Saturated fats come mostly from animal products such as meat, butter, dairy, and tropical foods such as coconut. Although most American’s think that increasing dietary saturated fats will cause them to gain weight, research has actually shown that when women diet, those eating the greatest percentage of total fats in their diet as saturated fats lose the most weight! So how can you increase the amount of saturated fats in your diet? Here are your two basic steps that everyone should take toward increasing their healthy saturated fat consumption:
- Use coconut oil. Eat it. Cook with it. Use it on your skin. Use it for oil-pulling for oral health. Make your homemade sunscreen from it. There are so many uses for coconut oil, this should be a staple in every house! Here is an article from Wellness Mama about 101 Uses for Coconut Oil. Coconut oil is very high in saturated fats and is a very stable oil to cook with. Olive oil, for example, is a healthy monounsaturated fat, but olive oil turns rancid when heated to over 120 degrees. Anytime olive oil smokes, it has turned rancid. Coconut oil is more stable at high temperatures, which makes it great for cooking, and it also adds a great flavor. There are coconut flakes, coconut flour (great for breading chicken or baking), coconut milk, and coconut aminos (soy sauce alternative) are just some of the other great options for coconut products, which are all good sources of saturated fats. Coconut water, although good for other reasons, is not a good source.
- Eat only high-quality animal products. The largest source of saturated fats comes from our high-quality animal products. In the past 20-30 years you may have heard to cut down your intake of animal products, but this is only true of conventionally-raised, hormone-injected, antibiotic-fed toxic meat. Animal products can be a superfood when they are properly raised and fed! Eat plenty of free-range eggs, organic chicken and turkey, wild-game, and the most important source for saturated fats - Grass-Fed Beef products. This includes ground beef, steak, burgers, but also things like raw, grass-fed milk, cheese, butter, and great fats like ghee and tallow. I can’t overstate this - do not eat conventionally raised meat! The ratios of omega 6 fats to omega 3 fats make these meats and animal products inflammatory (read article here), and the hormones and antibiotics they use make the meat very toxic. Even if it’s organic I would recommend grass-fed EXCLUSIVELY.
Don’t skim the fat on your dairy! That fat is the good stuff (when the dairy comes from the right source!). AVOID the temptation of low-fat yogurt, skim milk, fat-free cheese. These animal products are horrible for your health. The fat is what makes the dairy healthy! Dairy is a “tread-lightly” topic to me anyway (I haven’t had cow’s milk in many many years but do eat raw cheeses), but I do believe it can be a superfood when sourced and consumed properly. Dairy is one of the top food sensitivities because we have altered the way God made it, not because it is inherently bad for everyone.
Use full-fat, grass-fed butter and NOT margarine. Margarine contains many harmful ingredients, including many trans-fats which are very dangerous to your body. Even trans-fat free margarine is harmful, as it contains many other “bad” fats. Anything made in a lab was clearly not intended to be part of our diet. Butter contains many important vitamins, minerals, and has related health benefits including substances with “anti-tumor” effects and “anti-stiffness” effects. Raw, organic, grass-fed, full-fat, unsalted butter is the best choice for your health. So go eat some saturated fats. This doesn’t mean that saturated fats have to be the majority of your diet, just that you don’t need to be scared of them and they are actually your friend. Intaking more saturated fats is only one small component of increasing your healthy fats and decreasing unhealthy fats, but it’s a great step in the right direction. Listen to our podcast episode on Fats and especially Fats 2.0 to learn more about your good and bad fats and how to implement them into your diet!
Article By: Dr. Taylor Krick
J Nutr. 2015 Feb;145(2):299-305. doi: 10.3945/jn.114.203505. Epub 2014 Dec 10. Dietary intake of saturated fat is not associated with risk of coronary events or mortality in patients with established coronary artery disease.
Neth J Med. 2011 Sep;69(9):372-8. Saturated fat, carbohydrates and cardiovascular disease. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/09/01/enjoy-saturated-fats-theyre-good-for-you.aspx
Hoenselaar R. British Journal of Nutrition, 2012.
Hu FB, et al. Trends in the Incidence of Coronary Heart Disease and Changes in Diet and Lifestyle in Women. The New England Journal of Medicine, 2000.
Over 65 million Americans suffer from High Blood Pressure - a very big and real problem - but like most real problems, it has real causes and real, natural solutions.
Most people are addressing the problem with medication, for example: Anything ending in -pril like Lisinopril, anything ending in -olol like Atenolol, diuretics like HCTZ, or blood thinners like Aspirin. Most typically prescribed hypertension drugs are: ACE Inhibitors, Diuretics, Beta Blockers, and Calcium Channel Blockers. These drugs all have major side effects, and they are often used in combination with other medications - even though certain combinations have proven to cause kidney failure! (ACE Inhibitor, Diuretic, and NSAIDs - “The Triple Whammy of Kidney Failure”)1
Fortunately, there are plenty of safe and effective ways to bring down your blood pressure and reduce your reliance on ACE inhibitors and other dangerous drugs. Among the scientific literature, there are hundreds and hundreds of natural substances and practices that have been proven to aid hypertension, like meditation and yoga. Some of the research-proven nutraceuticals that aren’t mentioned below include: flaxseed, cocoa products, grape seed extract, and L-arginine.
Here are my top 6 tips to safely and naturally reduce blood pressure (in no particular order):
- Vitamin D – a new study from the Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology has shown that low levels of this essential hormone are a direct cause of elevated blood pressure. Most mainstream literature suggests supplementing with 2000 IU, I recommend taking at least 5,000 IU daily. But, you never know for sure until you get it measured! 50-70 ng/mmol is where I like to be and like my patients to be.
- Fish Oil – the blood pressure lowering effect of fish oil has recently been confirmed in a systematic review of 17 clinical trials (although the changes were small).8 The omega 3’s EPA and DHA from fish oil decrease inflammation and have been shown to reduce stiffness of your arteries.9 I typically recommend between 1000-2500mg/day, but I also strongly recommend that you get your Omega 6: Omega 3 levels and ratios tested!
- CoQ10 – taking 100 to 200 mg a day can reduce blood pressure by up to 17 mmHg systolic and 10 mmHg diastolic, and in a study of hypertensive patients taking 200+mg/day, 51% were able to get off at least 1-3 antihypertensive medications 4 months after beginning taking CoQ10.4 Make sure you take the most bioavailable form of CoQ10, known as Ubiquinol. When doing Customized Supplementation Plans using blood and urine lab testing, this is the single most common deficiency and most needed supplement in our patient base, and many experience great results after beginning taking CoQ10. THIS IS A MUST FOR PEOPLE ON STATINS FOR CHOLESTEROL!
- Garlic – has been found to reduce blood pressure in several studies, including one that showed time-released garlic tablets dropped total blood pressure by more than 10mmHg.5 I think it’s better to include it in your diet, the main ingredient allicin is only potent right after you have smashed it, so freshly smashed garlic is more potent than capsules or pills, although many people choose the capsules for their breath. But it’s good for you!
- Exercise -- Exercise has been shown to improve hypertension for many, many years and is the single most researched health intervention under the sun. There is very little that it hasn’t been shown to improve. I sometimes think it’s obvious, but it’s amazing how many people do not get enough exercise. This probably means you! That means movement, like walking, but it also means actually exercising and getting your heart rate elevated and giving your heart a good workout! THink about it - your heart is having to work harder to pump blood through your arteries. That’s high blood pressure. So what happens if you strengthen the heart? Lower the heart rate? Increase its efficiency? Exercise is a no-brainer for high blood pressure!
- Get Adjusted! There are now dozens of studies looking at chiropractic adjustments and the responses of the nervous system, the stress response, and particularly the cardiovascular system - including many on Heart Rate Variability and Blood Pressure.6 One study has shown a total drop in BP of 27mmHg after undergoing chiropractic care to the upper cervical area!7 Many of these studies are looking specifically at adjustments of the upper cervical area, specifically the occiput or skull and C1, or the atlas bone. The proposed mechanism for the drop in blood pressure is that adjusting the atlas and brainstem area cause a parasympathetic response, which lowers blood pressure, as opposed to a sympathetic response, or fight-or-flight response. Most people today are stuck in a sympathetic dominance from far too much stress (mental, physical, chemical), and the parasympathetic response elicited by an atlas adjustment can help much more than their blood pressure, as the parasympathetic nervous system also controls things like digestion, healing, and hormone balance. So get adjusted!
Article By: Dr. Taylor Krick
- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26768241 - The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, news release, June 25, 2014
- Atlas Vertebra Realignment and Achievement of Arterial Pressure Goal in Hypertensive Patients: A Pilot Study - Journal of Human Hypertension 2007 (May); 21 (5): 347–352
- Pase MP (2011) Do long-chain n-3 fatty acids reduce arterial stiffness? A meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials” in the British Journal of Nutrition doi:10.1017/S0007114511002819
Disclaimer: These statements are of a general nature and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using any product.
We talk a lot about fats - eating fat to burn fat, increasing good fats, eliminating bad fats, ketogenesis - it's a popular topic. As it should be- damaged, inflammatory fats are one of the leading contributors to disease (especially heart disease the #1 killer!) and top threats to our health today while on the other hand, healthy fats are one of the biggest missing nutrients. All fats are not created equal though, and improper fatty acid ratios can lead to inflammation, toxicity, and cell membrane permeability issues!
Led by industry and financial ties, good fat became the enemy decades ago. This caused an increase in our intake of GMO vegetable and seed oils, like Canola, Cottonseed, Corn and Soybean oils along with a large decrease in healthy fat consumption from animals. Here are two charts showing the decrease in healthy fats and the increase in oils during the “war on fat” period. Take note of where our obesity crisis began!
As you can see, we had a shift away from natural animal products and towards rancid GMO vegetable oils.
Many people purposely avoid vegetable oils, eat things like avocados, nuts, seeds, and try to eat fish regularly, but my question to you is this:
Could you be eating too many "healthy" foods that are too high in pro-inflammatory Omega 6's without knowing it?
This is what the current scientific literature suggests regarding omega 6: omega 3 ratios and their importance in disease prevention:
"Several sources of information suggest that human beings evolved on a diet with a ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFA) of approximately 1 whereas in Western diets the ratio is 15/1-16.7/1. Western diets are deficient in omega-3 fatty acids, and have excessive amounts of omega-6 fatty acids compared with the diet on which human beings evolved and their genetic patterns were established. Excessive amounts of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and a very high omega-6/omega-3 ratio, as is found in today's Western diets, promote the pathogenesis of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, whereas increased levels of omega-3 PUFA (a low omega-6/omega-3 ratio) exert suppressive effects. In the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease, a ratio of 4/1 was associated with a 70% decrease in total mortality. A ratio of 2.5/1 reduced rectal cell proliferation in patients with colorectal cancer, whereas a ratio of 4/1 with the same amount of omega-3 PUFA had no effect. The lower omega-6/omega-3 ratio in women with breast cancer was associated with decreased risk. A ratio of 2-3/1 suppressed inflammation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, and a ratio of 5/1 had a beneficial effect on patients with asthma, whereas a ratio of 10/1 had adverse consequences......A lower ratio of omega-6/omega-3 fatty acids is more desirable in reducing the risk of many of the chronic diseases of high prevalence in Western societies, as well as in the developing countries, that are being exported to the rest of the world." (Emphasis mine)
As stated, the literature suggests that 1:1 is the ideal ratio, and while various studies have tested different ratios and their effects, he summarizes by saying that a lower ratio is more desirable in reducing the risk of disease. So what's your ratio? The only way to know is to measure it in the blood, typically as an AA:EPA ratio. I actually just picked a dozen random lab results from our office and averaged them - our patients averaged 20 : 1! I can tell you I would have never expected mine to be 30 : 1 a few years back, but after seeing these charts I’ve compiled below, I can understand how they got that way - avocados and nuts. My trans fats were low, my omega 3s weren't too low, I was just really really high in omega 6s.
Here are some of the foods that might commonly be found in a "healthy" diet and their Omega 6 : 3 ratios:
Vegetable and Seed Oils
Palm Oil: 45.5 : 1
Corn Oil: 46.1 : 1
Cottonseed Oil: 258 : 1
Grapeseed Oil: 696 : 1
Surprisingly Bad Ratios
Almonds: omega 6’s only
Cashew: 48.3 : 1
Avocado: 15 : 1
Pistachios: 55.3 : 1
Pumpkin Seeds: 107.8 : 1
Sesame Seeds: 137.7 : 1
Olive Oil: 11.7 : 1
Differences in Meat
Grass-Fed Beef: 2.67 : 1
Grain-Fed Beef: 17.19 : 1
Good Omega 3 Ratios
Chia Seeds: 1 : 3.03
Flax Seeds: 1 : 3.86
Caviar: 1 : 83.8
Mackeral: 1 : 12.19
Salmon: 1 : 15.03
You can see why vegetable and seed oils have to be avoided at all costs, but what about a healthy "paleo" diet that is high in nuts, seeds, and avocados? Think about someone who may be having trouble losing weight, low energy, always in pain, maybe a friend (or yourself) with an autoimmune disease that is making attempts to eat a healthy diet and not getting the results they are expecting? Someone could easily eat an avocado a day and snack on cashews and almonds and be massively disrupting their Omega 6: Omega 3 ratios and fueling inflammation!
This is one of the most important lab tests someone could ever have. We have tested dozens of patients, and nobody is ever perfect and it's usually a surprise which levels are higher than others. The testing is quick and easy, you can prick your own finger in the comfort of your own home. We measure omega 3s, 6s, trans fats, and important ratios - 12 metrics in total. Contact Align today to order your test.
Article By: Dr. Taylor Krick
The statistics on Heart Disease in our country are disgusting, yet I still don’t feel like it receives as much attention as other diseases, like breast or prostate cancer for example. It kills more people each year than all forms of cancer combined, it kills more women than it does men, and the worst part is IT IS PREVENTABLE AND LARGELY REVERSIBLE!
- Heart disease (which includes Heart Disease, Stroke and other Cardiovascular Diseases) is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States, killing nearly 787,000 people alone in 2011.
- In the United States, someone has a heart attack every 34 seconds. Every 60 seconds, someone in the United States dies from a heart disease-related event.
- Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, and is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined.
- While 1 in 31 American women dies from breast cancer each year, 1 in 3 dies of heart disease.
- Heart disease causes 1 in 3 women’s deaths each year, killing approximately one woman every minute.
- Only 1 in 5 American women believe that heart disease is her greatest health threat.
- An estimated 43 million women in the U.S. are affected by heart disease.
- Ninety percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease.
- Since 1984, more women than men have died each year from heart disease.
These are STAGGERING STATISTICS, especially for women!
The downstream effects of heart disease are often seen in middle ages (heart attacks, strokes), but autopsy studies have proven that heart disease begins in childhood. Autopsies of American children have shown up to 50% having atherosclerosis, or plaquing in their arteries, by 10-14 years old! So true heart disease prevention HAS TO START IN KIDS!!!
What’s worse is that the most common methods of treatment have major side effects and are often ineffective at best.
Aspirin - An aspirin a day keeps the heart attacks away right? WRONG. A recent study out of Japan studying over 14,000 people ages 60-85 “…found no major difference in heart-related deaths or non-fatal heart attacks and strokes between people who took aspirin and those who didn’t.” Not to mention there is evidence to support that long-term aspirin use increases internal bleeding and could lead to increased stroke risk. Just because it’s what we’ve always been told to do doesn’t mean it’s true! Who told us - Bayer??
Statins - In the U.S. some 40 million people take cholesterol-lowering medications called Statins - like Lipitor, Zocor, or the generic name Simvastatin. This is the highest selling category of drugs at over $20 Billion, and Lipitor is the highest-selling drug of all time. So do they work?
They do lower cholesterol on a blood test. But they DO NOT DECREASE THE RISK OF MORTALITY/MORBIDITY!! Many review studies have been published showing their lack of efficacy in preventing heart attacks and most importantly, preventing death. One review found that "current clinical evidence does not demonstrate that titrating lipid therapy (trying to lower cholesterol with statins) to achieve proposed low LDL cholesterol levels is beneficial or safe." (emphasis mine) Following up on this, in a major independent review of studies funded by the Ministry of Health of British Columbia, Canada on statins and primary prevention, researchers reported that "statins have not been shown to provide an overall health benefit in primary prevention trials."
So the research does not really support that statins work very well. So what. Can I take it “just in case”? The side effects are even worse than the fact that they don’t prevent death - they can cause it! Statins have been scientifically linked to over 300 side effects, including:
- Cognitive Loss
- Muscle Loss (including the heart!)
- CoQ10 depletion
- Erectile Dysfunction
So many people take statins “just because the doctor told me I had to.” The doctor isn’t your mother. I can’t legally tell you what to take and what not to take, but I would strongly encourage you to do your homework on statin drugs and be well aware of the risks and the rewards.
Blood Pressure Medications - These typically include things like ACE inhibitors and diuretics. ACE inhibitors block the action of an enzyme that breaks down something called bradykinin, which relaxes arteries. So taking an ACE inhibitor means more bradykinin in the bloodstream, more relaxed arteries and lower blood pressure. This can obviously create side effect though, which include:
- Headaches, dizziness, fatigue and nausea;
- A relentless, dry cough that just won’t shift;
- Angioedema, a swelling of the face, tongue and throat that can occur with alarming speed and can cause suffocation by blocking the airway;
- Impaired kidney function, particularly if taken together with diuretics and NSAID-type painkillers.
NSAIDs (like Aspirin, Ibuprofen, and Aleve) have been shown to cause high blood pressure and “cardiovascular events” or heart attacks and strokes! Merck’s NSAID Vioxx, one of the most popular drugs ever which was pulled off the market in 2004 due to it’s direct link to heart attacks and strokes, was estimated to have caused between 88,000 and 139,000 heart attacks. I hate this one because my mom was on Vioxx. Heart disease-drug-induced kidney failure is very common among patients who are combining an ACE inhibitor, a diuretic, and NSAID drugs. The medical literature calls it a “triple whammy” of devastation.
The two scariest parts of Heart Disease are:
- It’s happening to EVERYBODY - your parents, your siblings, your KIDS. I have two sisters and a mother - 1 of them will die from heart disease, statistically speaking. I have two daughters and a wife. Prevention starts now. You have to be actively preventing it in the whole family, non-negotiably.
- Very rarely is somebody on only 1 medication for heart disease. More commonly it’s a pharmaceutical cocktail which may include a statin, an ACE inhibitor, a diuretic, an NSAID, an aspirin...and due to the combination of chemicals and side effects, it won’t be long until more drugs are added into the mix. Being on a single blood pressure medication is something that would concern me MASSIVELY because I know what happens next.
The two best parts about heart disease are:
- It’s preventable. Many many things have proven to prevent heart disease, with exercising and following an anti-inflammatory lifestyle at the top of the list.
- It’s reversible. Studies have shown that arterial stiffness can be improved, that arterial plaquing can be improved, that blood pressure can go down, cholesterol can balance out, triglycerides can go down. The body is the most amazing healing machine when you give it what it needs and remove any interference!
That’s what we teach. Schedule a heart health consultation with us in the office. Go back through our archives and listen to podcasts, read articles, and begin implementing the Real Health Lifestyle that will keep you and your family healthy and heart- (and other) disease-free. Then go out and tell someone you love and care about and don’t let them become a statistic.
- Atherosclerosis Cardiovascular Disease Beginning in Childhood http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2812791/
- Bartolucci, A.A., S. Bae, et al. A Bayesian meta-analysis approach to address the effectiveness of statins in preventing death after an initial myocardial infarction. 18th World IMACS/MODSIM Congress. Cairns, Australia. 2009
- Vrecer, M., S. Turk, et al. "Use of statins in primary and secondary prevention of coronary heart disease and ischemic stroke. Meta-analysis of randomized trials." International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics 41(12): 567-577. 2003.
- Hayward, R.A., T.P. Hofer, et al. "Narrative review: Lack of evidence for recommended low-density lipoprotein treatment targets: A solvable problem." Annals of Internal Medicine 145(7): 520-530. 2006.
- University of British Columbia "Do statins have a role in primary prevention? A review by the Therapeutics Initiative of the Department of Pharma cology & Therapeutics of the University of British Columbia." Therapeutics Letter (48). 2003.
- Diuretics, ACE inhibitors and NSAIDS--the triple whammy. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10772593
- Nephrotoxicity associated with concomitant ACE inhibitor and NSAID therapy. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2218652
- Can Pharm J (Ott). 2013 Mar; 146(2): 80–83.
Article By: Dr. Taylor Krick
The Paleo diet has been really popular the last few decade, but like any diet, there is good information and there is bad. I believe strongly in the Paleo way of thinking (I do have my B.Sc. degree in Health and Exercise Science and Sports Medicine from Colorado State University, where the Paleo diet was founded!), but I think there are some things people should know when going Paleo, so I want to break down the basic principles of Paleo and some of the most common mistakes.
The Paleo diet is based on the observation and fact that we have no evolved significantly from our Paleolithic ancestors. While this can be argued with the common sense fact that we have gotten smarter, taller, faster, stronger (just watch athletes 50 years ago compared to today), genetically speaking, our human genome does not change very rapidly and we are genetically the same as we have been for 1000's of years. With this fact being established, we can look at the way the body is innately designed to function and what it is innately designed to thrive on and determine the right diet for us genetically. Some of these principles are based off theories about our ancestors, but they are all now backed by modern science and the research proves these dietary steps will help eliminate the causes of inflammation and prevent and reverse modern diseases.
Top 5 Principles of Paleo:
- Eat Real Food. This one is basic, but it is so crucially important. Think: If I were a caveman, would I eat this? What would a caveman think if you brought him a box of Hamburger Helper, would he or she think it was real food? No, because it's not. Eat food by God, not food by man.
Think like a Hunter/Gatherer. You may have heard this term, but if you imagine back several thousand years ago, we hadn't yet invented farming and agriculture, we would forage on nuts and seeds and things we found in nature, but we would get most of our calories from hunting animals. Gathering and hunting. This is a natural part of the food chain (most animals hunt for food) and would sustain our energy for longer periods of time, or until the next kill, and we would snack on what we could find in the mean time. For this reason the Paleo diet is heavily based in animal products, nuts, and seeds.
Eliminate Grains and Sugars. I love this one too. Our bodies are not genetically designed to assimilate grains and sugars, especially at the rate at which we are consuming them today. No added sugars, sweeteners, no refined sugars, but even limiting fruit as a source of sugar. Sugar impacts the insulin response and all sugars and all grains are very inflammatory, causing gut and cellular inflammation and allowing toxins into the body. Also eliminate beans and legumes, as they can also be very inflammatory.
Eliminate Vegetable Oils - Canola oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, vegetable oil, margarine, shortening. In past decades our consumption of these oils has increased massively while our consumption of things like butter, ghee, lard, and tallow has decreased - and we have seen a massive rise in heart disease - the number one killer worldwide! Eliminate these damaged fats and oils, they are massively inflammatory.
Others: -Eliminate dairy products. Exceptions - butter, fats from grass-fed cows like ghee, lard, tallow, or raw unpasteurized dairy is acceptable (Dr. Taylor's opinion). -Eliminate soy products and be careful around other goitrogens which can block thyroid function -Eat QUALITY ANIMAL PRODUCTS. This one is crucial because Paleo is so animal-based! You HAVE to have only: Grass-Fed beef products, organic everything, free-range chicken and eggs, wild-caught fish. The caveman didn't find a cow in a feed lot with 4000 other cattle eating grains and taking hormones. Wild game are great meat options! -Snack on nuts and seeds
Dr. Taylor's Tips for Going Paleo:
I think this is the best diet for a human being to eat for a long, healthy life. With that being said, I am not a fan of the mainstream Paleo image of: "Bacon for breakfast, bacon for lunch, steak for dinner after my crossfit WOD." I think there are several things to keep in mind when going Paleo aside from the above-mentioned principles.
I avoid pork. Even though pork is 100% Paleo-approved (and for many Paleo-ers it is their #1 staple), it's not something I eat. Pork is typically a more toxic meat than chicken, beef, or wild game. I also avoid (painfully) shellfish and many larger fish due to their higher toxic burden, so I would be careful with some of these meat choices.
I believe Paleo can and many times should still be plant-based. You don't hear much talk about vegetables with Paleo, but they are 100% approved and should still be the foundation of a good diet, especially when the highest quality meat products aren't available. You can still get a lot of good fats from plants (avocados, coconut products, nuts, seeds), which you want to be consuming a lot of. It's also still very important to get a full spectrum of phytonutrients in your diet, especially in today's toxic world. Make sure every single day you are eating a food from each color of the rainbow to get the full phytonutrient spectrum!
Make sure you have a healthy gut. Adding in something like fermented foods to a Paleo diet can make a world of difference. This can be cabbage, kimchi, sauerkraut, or even fermented soy like natto or miso or fermented raw dairy like kefir - this is very important to ensure you have a healthy gut microbiome, or bacteria living in your digestive tract.
Great Job Chad!!!! When is the barbecue??
Listed below are the top 5 in Points, and the Top 5 Weight Loss Results.
1. Chad R.
3. Andrew S.
4. Mark W. 5. Matt W.
4. 13.2lbs 5. 12.4lbs
I had a patient recently who had hit a small roadblock in her health. She was discouraged, and she told me she was considering giving up. She was already down 25 lbs, she was looking better, feeling better, and most importantly- healing better. She was on the Highway to Health.
I had to explain to her to health is a journey, and on the Highway to Health you are going to hit roadblocks, you are going to take wrong exits, you may even get a flat tire, but as long as you KEEP MOVING TOWARDS YOUR DESTINATION, you will continue to be healthier and healthier. Like most highways, the highway to health goes two ways, and they are exact opposites. One direction is towards health, and it will add years to your life and life to your years. The other goes towards disease, and it takes years OFF your life, takes life AWAY FROM the years you do have, leads to more money spent on sickness, more pain, more disease, more medications, and an early death. This is the direction that most people you know are heading, they just don't realize it!
I was on a call with a doctor this morning that was sharing her story and she said that last summer the worst possible situation happened to her. Both her moms were diagnosed with cancer- her mother and her stepmother. Cancer is scary to hear and read about, but imagine how much more scary it becomes when it's your mom AND your stepmom! Both of these women were driving in the same direction- away from health and towards disease. Her mom decided to turn around. She was the first person in 5 years to refuse chemotherapy and radiation in their local hospital, she completely changed her diet, followed the Maximized Living Cancer Killers protocols, went from over 300 lbs down to 180 lbs, and is now 100% cancer-free.
She then went on to say that over the weekend, they were with family and nobody even recognized her mom. They were at her stepmother's funeral. Her stepmother had decided that turning around would be too hard, too risky, and she thought her best chance was keep going the direction she was going. Think about the reality of that situation. One grandma is going to be around for her young grandchildren, the other one won't. They won't have any memories of her, only pictures and stories. All because one decided to turn around and the other didn't.
The 5 Essentials of Maximized Living are your roadmap on the Highway to Health. Choose to follow them and you will be heading towards your destination. Choose not to follow them and you will be heading towards disease. It's a choice. You are driving.
Which direction are you going to choose?
During the holidays, our "consumer" culture is more evident than ever,
and it got me thinking -no wonder we are sick, we place more value on our STUFF than on our HEALTH!
We would rather drive a 2014 car than own a 2008 and put the savings on the payments into something like our long-term wellness chiropractic care.
We would rather stuff our stockings with sugary candy and gum than with supplements or essential oils.
We would rather get the 64" Big Screen TV than the 48" TV and put the savings into regular massage or a gym membership.
We would rather get the kids the biggest, flashiest, new plastic toys than use that money throughout the year on healthier groceries.
This year, shift your paradigm. I'm not suggesting you cancel Christmas in the name of health, but zoom out and take in a big picture view of your life - what is really most important to you and your family long-term? Stay focused on your Big Why and don't get wrapped up in the consumerism, and remember the real Reason for the season.
Welcome and Congratulations for joining Align Utah's SLC Total Food Makeover 28-Day Challenge!
The Challenge officially begins on February 1st and ends on February 28th, but until then you can begin preparing yourself mentally and physically for the 4 weeks.
The actual 28-Day Challenge Digital Booklet will be emailed to you on Thursday, January 29th, so that you can begin preparing for Sunday, February 1st.
Forward this email to friends and neighbors who will be joining you in your 28 day journey! Patients and Guests (non-patients) are all welcome to participate! They can commit to change by joining the below mentioned Facebook group, providing their email address, and participating in challenge activites.
More information will be sent out soon detailing when and where you can WEIGH-IN and exactly how you can accumulate POINTS towards the TRAEGER GRILL.
Below is a link to the Facebook group for the 28-Day Challenge.
This is where we will post more information, give encouragement, answer questions, and share success stories throughout the challenge, so make sure you JOIN THE GROUP first thing!
SLC 28-Day Challenge Details:
Many people today are "interested" in health and wellness and are "interested" in what we do at Align and Maximized Living through the 5 Essentials.
Unfortunately, much fewer are actually "engaged" - even though "engagement" is what is going to change their life.
Engaging in the 5 Essentials of Maximized Living is what is going to change and transform someone's health from the inside-out, not just being interested. The more engaged, the greater the life changes. That's how Lisa has gotten off 3 medications recently. That's how Brandon has lost almost 20 lbs in the past couple months.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself to determine whether or not you are engaged in your health and engaged in the 5 Essentials:
-Do you make your scheduled adjustments, or when you do miss do you try your hardest to make it up and stay on track with your care?
-Do you do your homecare exercises at home every single day, or just a few times a week? (or is your equipment still in the bag?)
-When you are in pain do you reach for the ibuprofen still, or even worse for the pharmaceuticals to treat the symptoms?
-Have you read the whole nutrition book? Have you implemented it?
-Does your refrigerator and pantry look different than it used to?
-Have you changed your exercise habits and started doing surge or MaxT3 workouts?
-Do you still use the same mainstream personal care products?
-Have you come to the Saturday Surge class, Cancer Killers, or any of the other workshops and events that we host?
Engagement doesn't mean that you are all of a sudden an expert either, but it means that you have committed to your health and your future. I always say it's often baby steps, but even with baby steps if you are stepping in the right direction and you look back to where you were a few months (or years) ago, you will realize how far you have really come. So if you feel like you aren't as engaged in your health as you should be, maybe it's time to get engaged. This month at Align we have a ton of awesome opportunities to get engaged in your health and the 5 Essentials of a Maximized Life, so please join us and begin transforming your health and your life TODAY.
Hormone disruption is perhaps this country's greatest epidemic, because it will disrupt and affect everything. Breast cancer, prostate cancer, thyroid conditions, adrenal fatigue, low testosterone, stress, weight gain, hair loss....the list goes on and on, and the problem continues to get worse.
Hormones are low - so we replace them right? Hormone Replacement Therapy, synthetic thyroid hormone, testosterone creams...if the hormones are low we just need to raise them right?
Well there is a reason that now you see commercials with Class-Action Lawsuits against testosterone therapies (gels, creams, pills, etc) that they are now linked to heart attacks. Fixing a hormone deficiency by putting in more hormones is like fixing an economy problem by printing more money - it will make things WORSE!
Like the economy, the true SOLUTION is to find out WHY your body is not producing hormones properly and fix the CAUSE rather than treat with medications. We actually had a patient this week that was told by two medical doctors that his testosterone was too low, so they put him on a medication. After being adjusted for the last 3 months, he went in to have his levels re-tested, and they were through the roof and he's getting off the medication.
It's not always that simple though. Taking pressure off the nerves that control hormone regulation is the first and most important step, but hormones can be disrupted by stress, diet, gut health, toxicity...they all play a role. That's why the solution is the 5 Essentials of Maximized Living. Look for the cause, remove the interference, and Maximized your body's potential to be healthy!