Growing Old vs. Aging Gracefully – The Bitterest Pill

If you haven’t figured it out, the bitterest pill to swallow is the truth. The truth is often not what we want to hear so we hide behind convenient lies (just calling them what they are). The truth is, you have ultimate control over whether you age gracefully, experiencing and manifesting health and vitality, or grow old dealing with the consequences of disease and the unwanted baggage that comes with allopathy.

The true sign of health is not longevity, it is the quality of life that counts. If you are not capable of living a life of vibrancy, passion and zeal, are you really living?

The truth is, degenerative disease is at epidemic levels. Earlier detection only goes so far. If you personally don’t have a disease, you likely know someone, family or friend, that does. Diseases have become so common that they are considered normal and rarely given a second thought.

In the first part of this series; “Choices”, I offered that poor health, degenerative conditions, even disease are not a normal state of being. I even offered that health and vitality, is our actual default setting. If you have not read “Choices”, I suggest you start there.

Being healthy is how we are meant to live. Every disease, health complaint, sign or symptom is your body communicating that something is wrong, that Metabolic Chaos™ exists. This Chaos is metabolic deficiencies, weakness and imbalances existing within the tissues, glands and organs that make up the many complex systems drive overall body function.

Your health challenges are the external manifestation of this Metabolic Chaos™!

While you may not want to hear this. . . .

  • Your current state of health is the best your body can do considering the circumstances it’s in
  • Those circumstances are determined by the environment in which you live and the lifestyle choices made within that environment up to this moment in time
  • If you don’t like your current state of health, then you have to change how you interact with people, places and things including yourself
  • You will never “fix” the problem or in this case heal, by continuing with the same thoughts and actions that created them.

As mentioned in the last article, my dad had a heart attack in early February ’17. Complications developed due to his age, history and Metabolic Chaos™. I can’t image what he has been going though, but I am sure it is far beyond the distress I have been experiencing.

Throughout this event I have been doing much soul searching. This has resulted in fortifying a previous commitment, between my wife and I, too not allow ourselves to end up in a similar situation. I don’t care what genetic predispositions may exist. I don’t care what lies and disinformation I continue to hear and be told. I will not become another health statistic. I have a plan that is being executed as I write this. The proof of our success may not be known for decades, but we will succeed. Life is meant to be lived no matter what the age!

I want to shine a light of truth upon the health of America’s citizens. For many reasons, we Americans have an incredibly hard time swallowing the bitter truth pill. We are a sick nation. In spite of the scientific advances made within the health care and medical industries we continue to suffer, when we don’t have to.

Heart Disease, Stroke and other Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD)

  • Cardiovascular disease accounts for nearly 801,000 or 1 of every 3 deaths in the US
  • 2,200 Americans die of CVD each day, averaging 1 death every 40 seconds
  • About 92.1 million American adults are living with CVD or the after-effects of stroke.
  • Coronary Heart Disease is the leading cause (45.1%) of deaths attributable to CVD followed by Stroke (16.5%), Heart Failure (8.5%), High Blood Pressure (9.1%) Diseases of the Arteries (3.2%) and other CVD.

Heart Disease:

  • Accounts for 1 in 7 deaths in the US, killing over 360,000 people a year.
  • About 790,000 people in the US have heart attacks each year. Of those 114,000 will die.
  • The estimated annual incidence of heart attack in the US is 580,000 new attacks and 210,000 recurrent attacks.
  • Average age of the first heart attack is 65.3 years for males and 71.8 years for females.

Strokes:

  • Strokes kill nearly 133,000 people a year
  • Someone in the US has a stroke about once every 40 seconds.
  • Strokes account for 1 of every 20 deaths in the US.
  • Strokes kill someone in the US about every 4 minutes
  • Each year, about 795,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke. Approximately 610,000 of these are first attacks.
  • Stroke is the leading cause of serious long-term disability in the US

What is utterly shameful is that CVD including heart attacks, stroke and heart disease along with every single risk factor is preventable and avoidable. They are all lifestyle diseases. CVD is not genetically determined. A genetic predisposition is not a guarantee of a manifestation, it is just an increased likelihood “if” all the “wrong” variables are present. Those variables are determined by the environment and how you interact with people, places and things including yourself.

Type II Diabetes:

  • The seventh leading cause of death in 2013 and likely very under reported.
  • Has been diagnosed in an estimated 29 million of american adults (roughly 13.0%)
  • An estimated 7.6 million or 3.1% of adults have undiagnosed diabetes
  • About 86 million or 36.8% of adults have pre-diabetes and may or may not realize it.
  • The leading cause of kidney failure, lower limb amputations and adult-onset blindness
  • More than 20% of health care spending is for people with diagnosed diabetes
  • Diabetes complications include heart disease and stroke.

Auto Immune Diseases

  • The National Institute of Health (NIH) estimates up to 23.5 million americans suffer from autoimmune disease and that the prevalence is rising.
  • Autoimmune disease is one of the top 10 leading causes of death in women in all age groups up to 64 years of age
  • Commonly used immunosuppressant treatments can lead to devastating long-term side effects. These drugs suppress immune function (throughout the body) decreasing inflammation markers but doing little or nothing to decrease the inflammatory causal factors.
  • A suppressed immune system increases the likelihood of developing all kinds of infections and malignancies which can lead to death.

The American Autoimmune Related Disease Association (AARDA) says that 50 million americans suffer from autoimmune disease. The reason for the discrepancy is that the NIH only includes 24 diseases for which good epidemiology studies were available. Researchers have identified 80-100 different autoimmune diseases and expect at least 40 more to have an autoimmune basis.

Unwanted Weight and Obesity:

  • More than 2/3 of adults are considered overweight or obese.
  • More than 1 in 20 adults are considered to have extreme obesity
  • About 1/3 of children and adolescents ages 2 to 19 are considered overweight or obese
  • Obesity related conditions include heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer (breast, colon, endometrial and kidney), nonalcoholics fatty liver disease and osteoarthritis
  • Healthcare costs are estimated to be 22% higher for the overweight, 28% higher for obesity and 41% higher in the severely obese.

Cancer:

  • In 2017 there will be 1.7 million new cancer cases diagnosed and 600,000 cancer deaths in the US.
  • Nearly 13% of all cancers in adults ages 20+ will be rare cancers, fewer than 6 cases per 100,000 people per year
  • Every day 1,650 people die from cancer
  • The second most common cause of death in the US, accounting for 1 of every 4 deaths
  • 87% of all cancers in the US are diagnosed in people aged 50 years or older.
  • 41% of men and 38% of women will develop cancer during their lifetime
  • There will be an estimated 10,270 new cancer cases among children 0-14 years of age
  • Childhood cancer incidence rates have increased by 0.6% per year since 1975
    Cancer is the 2nd leading cause of death in children ages exceeded only by accidents

According to the American Cancer Society, only a small proportion (I could not find a number/percentage) of cancers are strongly hereditary, that is, caused by an inherited genetic alteration. What that means is that just about all cases of cancer are due to the environment in which one lives and the lifestyle choices made within that environment. Or how you interact with people, places and things!

I could continue with more stats that look at mental health, learning disabilities, the use of psychotropic drugs, etc. but I believe you get the idea. While these stats paint a bleak picture of this country’s state of health, they don’t mean you or a loved one, have to become another statistic padding these numbers. You have a choice!

You have a choice as to how you interact with people, places and things including yourself! You can create an internal environment which manifests health, vitality and a passion for experiencing life or you can be just like everyone else, refusing to swallow the bitterest pill in spite of what that pill offers you.

Be an example. Learn to take care of yourself and prove through your health gains that statistics mean nothing when true knowledge and love of self is present.

Imagine what life will be like when we teach our children, from birth, a form of holistic self care which creates healthy, educated, free-thinking individuals who can not only take care of themselves, but also show empathy to truly take care of and support others.

Imagine the possibilities when you can do just about anything you put your mind to, because your mind/body is up to the task and Metabolic Chaos™ has no power over you!

I will end this article as I ended the last, with the addition one question:

  • Do you want to get old or do you want to age gracefully?
  • Are getting old or are you aging gracefully?
  • Are you, or will you be just another statistic?

If you do not proactively learn a holistic model of self-care you will be forced into the medical model (drugs, surgery, chemo and radiation). Is that what you want?

If you are not living the life of quality that you want, you may want to consider a holistic form of self care such as my Awaken Your Health FDN® Functional Health Coaching program.

I am not sure exactly what the next article will cover, but I am sure that you will find it helpful if you open your mind to possibilities and truth. Until then, I offer much love and healing energy your way.

 

Growing Old vs. Aging Gracefully – Choices

Growing old versus aging gracefully is a topic I have been contemplating for some time, but has been on the back burner, until now. Before I explain why, allow me to define the terms of this article.

Growing Old is essentially allowing nature to takes its course with minimal, purposeful intervention, much less the actual execution of a designed plan. You may as well spin the wheel, roll the dice or pick a card to discover your ultimate health outcome. The primary intervention experienced with growing old is typically unplanned, allopathic in nature (medical model of disease/symptom management) and can include a multitude of pharmaceuticals, surgical procedures and even toxic chemo/radiation exposure. While this approach may extend life, it does little or nothing to enhance the quality of that extended life.

Aging Gracefully is taking ownership of one’s health. By ownership I mean purposely becoming educated regarding how the body works so you better understand why it behaves as it does. Then you proactively act upon that knowledge making targeted healthier lifestyle choices. Ownership means investing time, energy and resources now, not later. The benefit of aging gracefully is that quality of life remains high when others suffer and falter. Your ability to adapt to or resolve the effects of stress remains strong. The allopathic role, if enlisted, is only one of a potential handful of practitioners or services working for you, not empowered by you.

It is important you understand that I do believe allopathy serves a purpose. If I am ever in a life or death situation there is nowhere else I want to be than here in America with access to modern medicine.

Allopathy excels in responding to acute health challenges, breaking a leg or having a stroke, etc. Where its effectiveness drops greatly is in preventing such events from occurring in the first place.

Allopathy is about managing disease and symptoms. It can’t heal anything. Drugs suppressing metabolic function don’t heal the body. The surgical removal of tissue, glands and organs, or exposure to the toxic effects of chemotherapy/radiation do not heal the body. While these practices may alleviate or reduce a symptom(s), that is not the same as healing.

Over 90 percent of health challenges are chronic in nature. Chronic or degenerative disorders require time to manifest. At some point, a “tipping point” is reached, where the body can no longer metabolically compensate for imbalances or stressors and an “event” occurs. Or, the symptom(s) reach a point of severity and/or frequency which allows a “diagnosis” to be applied.

Be honest and consider this; if you were diagnosed with cancer this morning, were healthy yesterday? If you have a heart attack tomorrow, does that make you healthy today? Obesity, diabetes, autoimmune conditions, etc., are all degenerative conditions that existed well before the diagnosis was made.

I hope this is making sense and sinking in. The absence of a diagnosis is not the definition of health. Health is not only the absence of disease, it is the body’s ability to prevent the signs/symptoms of disease from happening in the first place and being capable of returning to a state of homeostasis if knocked out of balance.

Health is what you, me, and everyone should be manifesting right now every day. Compromised health should be the anomaly. An actual diagnosis, much less an acute health event (i.e. stroke) should be even less likely, a true rarity. Hospitals and ERs should only be needed for acute traumas such as a car accident.

How can health be our default setting you ask? If it were not, we would have died out as a species millennia ago! A literal program for health exists. This program is written into the DNA of every single one of the 100 trillion+ cells that make up your body. The only thing that can heal you is tapping into and allowing this innate program or wisdom to function as it was designed.

If you cut yourself, if you keep the wound clean and the edges together, it will heal. If you break a bone, and align the edges, the gap is crossed and the bone remodeled. The cells accomplishing this don’t have to be told what to do. They don’t have to watch a video, read a self-help book or partake in a multi-year program. Your cells already know what to do. They just have to be allowed to do it!

You can damage this programming. No one is born with type 2 diabetes, something(s) has to change. It is perfectly natural for blood sugar levels to fluctuate. This is essential for health and survival. There are a multitude of biochemical processes that allow blood sugar to deviate and bring it back into balance. Type 2 diabetes happens when we damage or break that programming. If the program is merely damaged, it can often be corrected through lifestyle. If it is broken, that is another story. Diabetes is a degenerative illness requiring time to manifest.

If we allow this innate wisdom to manifest, you will experience health. The earlier in life you recognize this fact, and more importantly apply this knowledge appropriately, the more likely you will be to experience true health and maintain it for a lifetime.

The more out of metabolically imbalanced your body is, the longer these imbalances exist, the more challenging it is to bring oneself back into homeostasis. But it is possible in most cases.

There is a formula for acquiring health. In overly simple terms, you will experience health if you supply your body everything it needs to heal, while eliminating or reducing every possible blocking factor.

Sounds simple, right? The challenge is that modern society, how most people choose to live, goes against this formula. The “western” lifestyle is loaded with blocking factors which impede healing. Our cells are malnourished by poor foods of convenience and toxic from a polluted environment.

We have been falsely led to believe that getting old is a natural part of life. Any time you hear or interpret any message that even hints to ill-health as normal, it is either a purposeful lie or expressed through ignorance. Often it is both.

As with exercise, there are no bad drugs or bad surgical procedures. But there does exist inappropriately prescribed exercise, drugs and surgery. It is the appropriateness relative to the individual where success or mistakes are made.

I know. What I am saying goes against just about everything you have been told and led to believe is true. Allopathy is not the answer to disease prevention, much less health building. Allopathy is not king, it can be and should be questioned! There exists legitimate options that that are not quackery, deception or schemes.

I’m not saying that quackery, deception and schemes don’t exist, they do. That is where education comes into play. That is where intuition, that innate knowledge and wisdom inside you, speaking its voice needs to be trusted. All occupations, no matter how noble or altruistic they may be presented, can be used for good or evil.

Never believe everything anyone tells you at face value. Yes, it can be hard to look at people, places, things, including yourself and even ideas without allowing emotions to get in the way. Being able to see things for what they truly are is vital to health building and survival in general.

When it comes to your health, be open-minded to possibilities and new ideas. But also be skeptical. Skeptical of false promises, misleading information, distracting marketing and deceptive intentions. An imbalance between the two can and often leads to disappointment, frustration and disgust at self and others. You are too important. You have better things to do with your time, energy and resources.

You have read this far and I have yet to answer the first question. Why am I writing this, now? In early February ’17 my dad had a heart attack. I am writing this, while watching him sleep in a rehab facility.

I am incredibly grateful that he is alive. I thank allopathy for that. Now we are concerned about his quality of life which has suffered greatly. In some ways he is in worse shape than he was prior to the heart attack. Where is allopathy now?

I am writing this for two reasons. First, I have an awful lot of thoughts running through my head as you can imagine, and they demand to be released. Second, I truly believe that what I offer here, my experience, can benefit you.

So I will finish this article offering two questions:

Do you want to get old or do you want to age gracefully?
Are getting old or are you aging gracefully?

If you do not proactively learn a holistic model of self-care you will be forced into the medical model (drugs, surgery, chemo and radiation). Is that what you want?

If you are not living the life of quality that you want, you may want to consider a holistic form of self care such as my Awaken Your Health FDN® Functional Health Coaching program. I have more thoughts to offer, this is just a good place to stop. See you in my follow-up.

Is Play Missing from Your Health Quest?

play-jpg-smWe can learn a lot from children.They naturally express great imagination and creativity. And their innocence is a breath of fresh air. Watching children without modern society’s filters and programming is a wonder to behold (there’s a reason kids say the darndest things).

One lesson I try to get across to clients is that if you work hard, you have to rest hard and still find time to play.

The work hard, rest hard part should be obvious. It relates to energy balance and recovery. When you work hard you are expending energy. When you rest you are recharging those batteries. Working hard is challenging and stressful to the body. It is while we are resting, while sleeping that the body repairs, rebuilds and grows.

Why play? Play is important because it involves creativity and imagination. Both are right brain activities and we live in a left brain dominant society.

Spending our lives in the left brain is distressing and throws us out of balance. Chronic stress, regardless of its source is a major driving factor behind Metabolic Chaos™ or the loss of metabolic efficiency and function. All those sign and symptoms of compromised health are external manifestations of Metabolic Chaos™

Anything you can do to decrease stress is vital to building health and vitality. Play does that. You won’t find miserable upset children playing in the back yard or at the park.
What I suggest is you think about the way you played as a child, what did you do and how did it make you feel? What emotions did you experience? Most likely you felt good regardless of what you were doing, otherwise you wouldn’t do it.

I am not suggesting you go back and start acting as if you are six years old, but you can learn from your past to improve your present and in turn change your future.

As a kid, I enjoyed playing in the dirt and building things. So how do I manifest that today? I still play in the dirt, except now, instead of Tonka trucks, army men and matchbox cars I play with rocks and stones. Building retaining walls, patios and walkways allows me to be creative. It allows me to experience moments of Zen that bring me joy. As a bonus it requires physical activity, which most of America does not get enough of.

To be honest, I don’t “enjoy” exercise. But I do “enjoy” playing. How I exercise is specifically designed to allow me to express myself through play while inflicting as little physical distress to my body as possible. After all, those rocks and stones can get heavy.

As kid I always enjoyed exploring, whether it was on a bike or wandering wooded areas (this was before suburban sprawl became a national past-time). I still enjoy exploring today. Except now it’s on a slightly larger scale.

pics-jpgMy wife and I enjoy road trips. Starting in 2015, rather than take a traditional week’s vacation that fit within our work schedule, we chose to do it our way. Over the past two trips we have spent over a month exploring Newfoundland and Nova Scotia driving over 8,000 miles. We have met wonderful kind souls, eaten ridiculously fresh and tasty seafood, viewed incredible vistas and hiked amazing terrain. We have gained a new appreciation for life and what this reality we are experiencing is all about.

How we choose to play is unique to each of us. I would never suggest you do what I do. All I ask is you try new things or re-invent/modify old things.

You may be thinking, that you can’t, or you shouldn’t, that there are other things I have to do. All I can say is STOP! Stop that train of thought. That is not you speaking, that is social programming speaking.

We are human beings, not human “doings”. Our career choices don’t define who we are.
Trust me, play is essential for health. We are meant to “be” and part of the act of “being” is experiencing life within this physical existence. We should be actively participating in life not observing it from a climate controlled environment, or looking at pretty images on the big screen tv or through the latest virtual reality technology.

Trust me, playing is an essential part of being healthy.

One, it is hard to be stressed when you play, otherwise you aren’t playing. Try it, prove me wrong.

Second, our fast paced modern lifestyle is incredibly left brain dominant. The right brain is all about imagination, creativity and artistic ability. The right brain is open-minded, holistic in scope with an emphasis on possibilities, intuition and abstract perception. These attributes are in direct opposition to just about everything we are taught and led to believe are appropriate to being a productive responsible adult.

Third, play keeps us young. Young of body, mind and soul.

Most Americans don’t play. And if you are honest as you look around, you see an awful lot of of unhealthy, unhappy and uninspired people attempting to act alive.

Start off with simple forms of play. If you don’t know where to begin. get down on the floor and watch your children, grandchildren or nieces and nephews play. See things from their perspective. Dance, sing, roll around, run, skip, climb, jump (jump in a puddle, really its fun and you won’t melt, I promise). Grab some crayons or pencils and take up adult coloring (yes it’s actually a thing, and don’t be afraid to color outside the lines). Learn to play a musical instrument or dust yours off. The options are endless.

Think about the fun you had as a child with nothing more than your imagination and a big box. That box became anything you wanted and it was fun.

Whatever you do, do something and enjoy it. Allow the memories and feelings wash over you. It is well worth the effort. You can play and have fun yet still remain a functioning respectable adult. I fact, I bet you will become an even better adult through play. And think what you can teach and experience with your children. So get out there!!

Closing Thoughts: As important as play is, it’s only one of a handful of tools at your disposal that can help you build health & vitality and embrace life, naturally. If you believe you are doing the “right” things, but not making the progress you expect, contact me. We can set up a consultation and discuss how my Awaken Your Health programs can get you much closer to your goals. Until then, go have fun! Play and get back in contact with your inner child! You deserve it.

You Have Permission

have-to-rest-memeI’m not going to tell you that you have to slow down and rest, but I do give you permission to do so. It’s okay. There’s a huge difference between being lazy and resting, recovering & repairing.

Read it, don’t look away, in fact I ask you, no, I implore you . . . . look at it. . . . read it . . . . think about it . . . . and read it again. Maybe you can print it out and place it on your fridge or other high traffic area.

It’s okay to slow down, to stop the madness and get away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. You may believe it’s good to be busy and occupied all the time. That’s a fallacy, a distraction, a lie perpetrated by the ‘Man’. There’s much more to life than birth, school, debt, work, more debt and death!

Consistent hard work isn’t the issue. I’m not suggesting you stop everything and be lazy. But burning the candle at both ends, forsaking health and well-being to keep up with the Jones’s, or for any justification is not always; necessary, right or worth it in the long run.

Our modern lifestyle, how we’ve been told and taught to live, the messages we are bombarded with on a daily basis can be and often are out of alignment with what’s needed for true health, vitality, energy and purpose.

How you interact with people, places and things, especially yourselves can be and often is, incredibly stressful. If your ability to resolve or adapt to the effects of stress is compromised, your ability to be healthy is compromised regardless of your intentions.

Don’t buy it? Consider that in what’s considered “third world” countries, the top diseases are not what you expect: not cholera, typhoid or TB. Rather they are very common “western” ailments; type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. These are modern diseases, the result of our modern environment and modern lifestyle choices. These countries have been led to believe it is best to become like us, and they have!

You may believe that modern science will compensate. If our technological advances are so great and impressive, then why’s the state of health within this country so awful? Why is the lifespan of those born this century expected to be less than their parents? Patterns and trends mean something. They may not be what we want to hear, but it’s often true nonetheless.

  • In 2016, American healthcare made up roughly 18% of GDP. This is the highest percentage of any country. The average is 6%
  • 65% of American adults are overweight or obese
  • Over 36% (78+ million) American adults and over 17% (12.5+ million) of American children are considered obese
  • NIH (National Institute of Health) estimates up to 23.5 million Americans suffer from an autoimmune disease and the number is climbing
  • Alzheimer’s is the third leading cause of death in the US after heart disease and cancer
  • 26 million Americans have diabetes
  • 7 million Americans have diabetes and don’t realize it
  • 79 million Americans are pre-diabetic and may or may not realize it
  • 1 in 3 children born in 2000 are likely to become diabetic
  • 1 of every 2 black or hispanic children born in 2000 are likely to become diabetic
  • According to the American Cancer Society the risk of developing cancer for men is 43.31% and 37.81% for women
  • The risk of dying from cancer is 22.83% for men and 19.26% for women

Do you really think any one of the people falling into these statistics are better off adding more to their plate, pushing themselves harder, continuing to practice the same thoughts, actions and behaviors that have gotten them to this point? Is that not the definition of insanity?

WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON?

All your symptoms, complaints, health challenges and even diseases are caused by Metabolic Chaos™, or in simple terms, a loss of metabolic function/efficiency.

What drives Metabolic Chaos™ you may wonder? It’s your body’s ability or inability to resolve or adapt to the effects of stress (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, nutritional, environmental and physiological/bio-chemical). Chronic stress alters biochemistry at a cellular level and disrupted biochemistry impacts your ability to handle stress. It’s a negative feedback loop.

THE TRUTH

resting-bear-meme-jpgYou are not a machine! Your biology is governed by cycles, waves and rhythms. Do you realize these patterns exist? Do you support and allow them to manifest naturally?

It makes sense that when you have periods of energy expenditure, it has to be followed by periods of rest and recovery.

We are designed for sprints followed by rest, not marathons or sustained constant daily output 24/7.

If you push too hard, too far, too fast, something will break. It is not a matter of if, but when and how will it manifest.

SIGNS YOU’RE NOT IN TRUE CONTROL

  • Feeling as if life is spiraling out of control
  • A belief that if you slow down, you will fall behind
  • Being unable to sit still and quietly
  • Skipping meals and/or breaks to continue working
  • Frequently getting sick and illnesses tend to linger and hang on
  • Dealing with any of the seven most common symptoms: headaches, tiredness/fatigue, insomnia/sleeplessness, allergies/sinus issues, mental fragility, muscle/joint tension/pain, and digestive complaints. While common they’re not normal. They are an early warning system
  • Self-medicating with stimulants such as sugar, caffeine and chocolate to get through the day
  • Self-medicating with alcohol or recreational drugs to calm, numb or slow the body down at the end of the day
  • Feeling triggered emotionally or getting defensive reading this post

WHAT CAN I DO?

Acknowledge that imbalances exist within your lifestyle. That is, how you interact with people, places and things especially yourself.

Recognizing these imbalances requires an ability to turn off the auto-pilot program reacting to life. You need to stop, take a few breaths and look at the present situation honestly so you can decide how to respond in a more appropriate manner. In essence, practice mindfulness.

gearge-meme-jpgOnce you stop reacting and begin responding it’s important to know what options exist, what variables to alter, and what is optimal for you. Doing the exact opposite rarely, if ever, is the right choice. While it may have worked for George Costanza, that was only a TV (teLIEvision) show.

SUGGESTED OFFERINGS

Listen to your body. Cultivate communication with your innate inner wisdom. Your body can’t lie, it has nothing to gain and everything to lose. Your mind, or ego, loves to play mental hopscotch and will do everything within its power to justify away reality.

“We can ignore reality, but we cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.”
– Ayn Rand

Your health challenges are your teachers. They are trying to teach you a valuable lesson, something is wrong, something is out of balance. Are you listening? Are you having a conversation or are you arguing and debating the facts?

Live by your core values. Choices made out of alignment with your core values are distressing (FACT)! You decide how to run your life. Society will if you won’t. Don’t allow others to decide what is right or wrong for you.

Learn to say “No”. The power of “yes” means nothing until you can say “No”! This is particularly challenging for many, especially women. Society has done a successful job with head games. It is unfortunate and harmful.

Understand what it means to cultivate health, vitality and energy. You can start with foundational principles outlined in my D.R.E.S.S. for Health Success® Lifestyle Grounding Program:

  • Diet (Eating): Eat real whole food appropriate for your unique biochemical nutritional requirements – Metabolic Typing®, Stay away from the wrong foods especially inflammatory foods.
  • Rest (Sleeping): Get quality sleep and adequate amounts (7-9 hours). Take time out of your day to rest before you feel depleted. You heal when you sleep.
  • Exercise (Movement): Move appropriately relative to your abilities. Don’t move beyond your body’s ability to recover. Over-exercising can be just as bad if not worse than being sedentary. Take a walk. There’s almost nothing that a relaxing walk can’t help.
  • Stress Reduction: HIDDEN internal stressors have serious health consequences. Assess, don’t guess! Functional lab testing gains insight into the multitude of metabolic pathways. Support healing, repair and recovery by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system. Don’t forget to laugh and play!
  • Supplements: If you are doing the above well, then targeted supplements can amplify their effectiveness. At the same time, supplements won’t compensate for poor lifestyle choices. They may postpone the inevitable, but not prevent it.

Consider this quote from the first Chinese medical text. You are your own doctor!

“The superior doctor prevents sickness; the mediocre doctor attends
to impending sickness; the inferior doctor treats actual sickness.”

If you believe you are doing everything right, yet still not making progress that’s realistically expected, maybe you need to dig deeper and get a fresh perspective. I offer that with my Awaken Your Health services:

  1. FDN® Functional Health Coaching – 12 and 26 week programs where we dig deep with functional lab work. I don’t treat the symptoms or the labs. I treat the individual manifesting the symptoms and lab results.
  2. Eating Makeover, an 8-week program using the science of Metabolic Typing® and Real Food to maximize cellular function. If there is only one variable you change, it’s eating. Malnourished cells can’t function effectively, the body is compromised from the inside out.
  3. Corrective and Functional Personal Training. We were designed to move. We function better when we move efficiently and appropriately. Train smarter, not harder!

There are many tools at your disposal to turn challenges into opportunities. The most important and strongest tool at your disposal is the fact that your body wants to be healthy, vibrant and full of energy. Programming exists within every single one of your 100 trillion plus cells. Offer those cells what they need to repair, recover, heal and grow while eliminating or reducing anything that impedes this process. You body will take care of the rest!

This approach has worked for me and for others just like you. If you would like me to be part of your health team, contact me. We can schedule a consultation. I am available in-person or remotely anywhere within the U.S.

Awaken Your Health Workshop

awaken-header-jpg

Ask yourself; is it time, are you ready to Awaken Your Health? If you are interested in gaining a new understanding of how you can Build Health & Vitality, and Embrace Life, Naturally, you may want to consider attending my “Awaken Your Health” 4-part workshop.

I have partnered up with David Aquilante, a Mindfulness Meditation and Stress Reduction Teacher. You can learn more about David at www.DavidAquilante.com. Starting on Saturday November 26th from 5-7pm, and running for four consecutive weeks, we will be offering this workshop at Zen-Village Wellness in Phoenixville (www.Zen-Village.com). Raquel Lyles, the owner is successfully creating something healthy and holistic within the borough of Phoenixville.

November 26: Stress, Hormones and Health (what your doctor may not be telling you about your health challenges)

  • How seen and unseen stressors affect our body and health
  • How hormone imbalances relate to insomnia, fatigue, mental fragility, digestive complaints, low libido, unwanted weight and more
  • How Diet, Rest, Exercise, Stress Reduction and Supplements help build and maintain optimal health
  • How balancing hormones can be both safe and effective

December 3: Breaking Through Stress Barriers (resolve and/or adapt to the effects of stress)

  • How to define and differentiate tension, stress and trauma
  • How the Fight, Flight or Freeze Stress Response is vital to health and survival
  • How to take advantage of Stressor healing opportunities
  • How breathing and presence is foundational to combating stress and building health

December 10: Detoxify and Thrive (detoxification is vital to health in the 21st Century)

  • The role of detoxification in a world of 24/7 toxin exposure
  • The effects of and common causes of faulty detoxification
  • How to optimize all three phases of detoxification
  • How to positively influence the health of future generations
  • The advantages and disadvantages of fasting, cleanses and detox protocols

*As an added bonus we will have Lisa Straub of www.EnchantedEssences.com discuss healthy alternatives for personal care products.

December 17: Movement as Medicine (move smart to stimulate and accelerate health building)

  • Build energy and vitality
  • Enhance digestion and detoxification
  • Reduce common disease indicators and support body/mind balance
  • Working-in versus Working-out
  • Why the Primal Patterns® are important
  • Learn health building movements

To sign up and guarantee your seat you can visit www.Zen-Village.com and click on the “Services” link then click on “Select Item” to find the Awaken Your Health workshop.

Each workshop is $20 which is a ridiculously small price considering the information provided. If you sign up for all four workshops you will save 20% and only pay $60.

Consider this an excellent motivator for entering the new year with a bang!

Chaga Tea Health Benefits

chaga-imageHerbal teas are very popular and if you drink a quality product they have medicinal properties. Relatively unknown in the states is Chaga tea. Chaga is not a plant, it is a fungus (Ononotus obliquus) that grows on birch trees in cold regions such as Siberia, northern Canada and Alaska.

Traditional Uses:

Throughout much of Europe and Asia, Chaga has been hailed as a “gift of God” due to its restorative powers. Traditionally, Chaga has been consumed by indigenous Siberians to prevent the onset of degenerative disease, to boost physical stamina and attain long life.

An interesting comparison is between the Inuit and Siberians who lived in relatively similar climates. The Inuit did not use Chaga and on average their lifespan was only 40-50 years. The Siberian tribes that consumed Chaga routinely lived to 90 to 110 years. Coincidence?

In Russia and other parts of Europe, Chaga is considered a cancer cure. The Ojibwa of northern Canada regarded it as a cure for tumors. In Korea it is used to fight stress and regulate energy. In Europe it has been used to fight inflammatory skin conditions including psoriasis and eczema along with bronchitis and lung disease.

What is So Special About Chaga?

SOD: Chaga is known for its high content of superoxide dismutase (SOD), an enzyme that functions as a powerful antioxidant. SOD performs a vital antiaging function by neutralizing free radicals preventing oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a slow chronic killer that while a natural part of cellular function often gets out of hand with our modern lifestyle. Oxidative stress is one of the functional markers I test when working with clients.

The best way to increase SOD levels is with food, as supplements containing the enzyme are often difficult to absorb. Good sources of SOD include peas, dark leafy greens, nutritional yeast, wheat germ, beef heart and raw liver. While nearly all muscrooms are rich in SOD, Chaga has the highest concentration. It is 50 times higher in this enzyme than reishi. Chaga is also rich with vitamins including vitamin K, D and several B vitamins. Its mineral content includes calcium, iron and manganese all very bioavailable.

Immune Defense: Chaga has natural antimicrobial properties allowing it to effectively combat numerous bacteria, fungi, viruses and even some parasitic worms. The polysacharrides are useful in promoting the production of white blood cells. Chaga helps many facets of the immune system, not only against pathogens but also for its anti-inflammatory and antipyretic properties. Chaga also has a number of phytosterols. These cholesterol-like substances can serve as precursors to cholesterol supporting cell membrane stabilization, healthy hormone production and other vital functions.

Anti-Cancer: Possibly its most impressive property is its effect on cancer. Chaga contains betulinic acid which has the ability to induce apoptotic cell death in cancer cells. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2658785/.

What About Clinical Studies? Around 900 clinical trials have been performed with regards to SOD’s health benefits. Cancer patients undergoing radiation who were given SOD in a form that could be absorbed had better rates of survival, less toxicity, less scarring and better wound healing. Hear is a link to one study. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3774877/.

chaga-teaIs the Chaga source Important? Absolutely yes! The properties of Chaga are enhanced if it is encased in birch bark when harvested. We mentioned the Betulin and betulinic acid. This is metabolized from the birch bark itself upon which the Chaga grows. There appears to be a symbiotic relationship between the birch tree itself and the Chaga.

There has been discussions between which is best, Siberian or Canadian Chaga. It has been found that the older the Chaga, the higher the levels of SOD. To get old Chaga, you need old birch trees, and parts of Canada, have many 200-300 year old birch trees.

Ideally, what you are looking for is old chaga coming from Canada that was harvested from live trees with the birch bark intact. Chaga that fits this mold is not that difficult to find. In fact I have found two sources that I recommend and actually consume. My first introduction to Chaga was when I visited Newfoundland in 2015. I came upon Chaga tea from a small retailer. The brand is Chaga On The Rock. Most recently I happened upon Fiddle Head Heaven based in New Brunswick. They appear to be doing everything right with regards to harvesting and packaging. Just had a pound of Chaga shipped to me. The shipping price was very reasonable and expedient considering it had to cross the border.

How Do I Prepare Chaga? To optimize the benefits I suggest placing a gallon of filtered water in a non-reactive pot on the stove at the lowest temperature possible. You don’t want to bring the temperature above 125-135 degrees. Place a quarter cup of ground Chaga into a disposable paper tea bag or tea ball and steep for 5-6 hours.

The tea can be drunk warm or cold. If placed in the fridge, use glass bottles for storage. You can add lemon, honey, cinnamon or cloves or even mint. I prefer mine straight, nothing added. It has a bit of an earthy taste but nothing unpleasant. The key is that you actually drink it and I suggest 4 cups per day. More won’t hurt.

What Can I Expect? That is a difficult question, here’s why. The degree that Chaga or any variable you change or add works ,depends upon the degree that the variable impacts an aspect of your dysfunctional metabolism (Metabolic Chaos™) that is directly or indirectly related to your particular health challenge(s). This is why one individual responds very favorably to a protocol while another may notice nothing. Considering the possible health properties Chaga contains, I feel it is well worth adding to your regimen. Even better, it’s not expensive. A one pound bag of ground Chaga should last about 3 months if you consume 4 cups daily.

If you give it a try, let me know what you think. If you are dealing with any serious health challenges or conditions you may want to check with your health practitioner first. Not so much because of risk but so they know what you are doing that makes you feel better.

Chickens, Health & Lifestyle

Chicken Meals MemeDoes it matter what a chicken eats? It makes a world of difference and most people never give it a thought much less ask the question.

Chickens were meant to play on pasture eating from nature’s all you can eat buffet; bugs, insects, worms, slugs, maggots, plants and seeds, etc. Being outside, in nature consuming what nature provides will make a chicken healthy and allow them to display their “chickeness” in all its glory.

Is this how your chickens live? If you can’t quickly say “Yes!” then the odds are, your chicken comes from a CAFO or Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation. Think of a factory where instead of producing widgets, they produce chickens and the feelings of the chicken are far removed from this equation. Yummy!!!

What your chicken eats is condensed into their cells which make up the tissue, glands and organs of their beautiful tasty bodies. This in turn is what you eat and consume. The state of the chicken’s health will have a direct impact upon your health. You can’t get health from an unhealthy animal or plant. Would you rather consume what nature intended or would you prefer what science feels is best, not for you but company’s bottom line?

  • Genetically engineered (GE) corn and soybeans
  • Antibiotics (to fight infection)
  • Hormones (to promote growth)
  • Arsenic (to reduce infections and makes the flesh a more appetizing color of pink)
  • Feather Meal (a poultry byproduct containing feathers used as fertilizer and as an additive to feed for chickens, pigs, fish and cattle. Feather meal in studies have been found to contain ca banned class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolone. This antibiotic is illegal in poultry production as it can breed antibiotic resistant superbugs. Also found is antihistamines, an active ingredient in Benadryl, Acetaminophen, active ingredient in Tylenol and samples from China contained an anti-depressant that is an active ingredient in Prozac. Also found is caffeine from coffee pulp and green tea powder to keep them awake and eating more)
  • Distiller’s Grain (a by-product of ethanol production – waste not, want not)

I don’t know about you but I don’t feel comfortable feeding a chicken this cocktail of products much less consume that which was fed it. I don’t care that the FDA may have approved it or allows it. It’s not right and I personally won’t do it. I have to draw a line somewhere.

The reason antibiotics are proactively used in the first place is to combat the health problems caused by the CAFO lifestyle. What happens to humans when you pack them together in a small confined space with poor hygiene? Disease and death, why would we expect anything different in the animal kingdom!

There is no reason to NOT eat chicken (unless you have a food sensitivity, but that’s a different topic entirely), just make sure it is a healthy chicken. I know my farmer and I encourage you to know yours. Do some investigating and some research, ask questions and make an educated decision. Empire yourself, not others. If you are working to look and feel your best, your lifestyle matters and so does the lifestyle of that which provides your body with the nutrition and energy to function more optimally.

Change Your Lifestyle, Change Your Health

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/05/opinion/kristof-arsenic-in-our-chicken.html
http://scienceblogs.com/aetiology/2012/04/05/waste-not-want-not-poultry-fea/

The Good Wolf vs. The Evil Wolf

good bad wolf

When I was much less healthy than I am now I often and consistently made less than optimal choices in how I lived, how I interacted with people, places and things including myself. I placed myself in situations and within a lifestyle that overwhelmed my body’s defenses with damaging stressors.

I look back now and clearly recognize how my sub-optimal choices contributed to how I looked, how I felt and why I wasn’t making the progress I expected even though I was eating organic and moving on a daily basis. There was something missing and that something was incredibly important!

I remember the first time I came upon this Native American proverb and the lesson has stuck with me to this day.

On a starry evening, an old Cherokee man is teaching his grandson about life.

“My boy, there is a battle between two wolves inside us all,” he says.

“The first wolf is evil. It is fear, anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, procrastination and ego.

The second wolf is good, It is love, positivity, joy, confidence, peace, hope, stillness, humility, empathy, truth and compassion.”

The grandson pictures these two animals locked in eternal battle, and asks:

“Which wolf wins?”

The grandfather smiles and replies, “The one you feed”.

Such a simple lesson yet one that I have recognized is very difficult for so many to truly understand much less implement.

On most days, which of the wolves wins your inner battle? 

Your evil wolf can only win if you allow it. When you forget about who you really are and why you’re here. When you put off improving yourself to a tomorrow that never comes.

If you don’t look and feel your best, and feel “stuck”…..It’s crucial to stop, take a few breaths and honestly look within yourself and consider which wolf is your current lifestyle feeding and are you okay with that?

What better time to do that than NOW!

hardest prison is the mindHow? The first step is to accept responsibility for where you are. Then I encourage you to ask questions, investigate and learn how to take care of yourself at all levels of your being. Include mindful practices that get you in flow, perspectives that empower you, habits that clear your blockages instead of adding to them and enhance your body’s natural defenses.

Melt away the internal, external, emotional, mental, spiritual and physical  blockages (stressors) keeping you imprisoned in a disempowering struggle.

If you don’t pro-actively make yourself a priority and take care of yourself, who will? Everyone else is caught up in their own wolf challenge.

We live in an age where modern society feeds the evil wolf on a daily basis without our consent. To not only keep the good wolf alive but to thrive you have to break free from the distractions, the mis-information the constant attempts to bind and restrict you.

Are you ready to feed and love your good wolf?

I am not going to say that I have THE answer for you, but I will say, with great confidence, that I offer a formula, a perspective and program that will rebuild and strengthen the foundation upon which your good wolf lives. It is your active participation, the choices you make on a daily basis which dictates success or failure.

My offering is the D.R.E.S.S. for Health Success® Lifestyle Grounding Program. A clinically proven self-care model that explores, investigates and discovers the underlying challenges that impede your good wolf’s ability to thrive and manifest it’s true health potential.

You deserve it! You deserve every opportunity to look and feel your best, to live your dream, your greater purpose.

Cancer – A Man Made Disease?!

CancerAccording to researchers from the University of Manchester in the UK, cancer is a purely modern, man-made disease. If you want to better understand their logic and reasoning, visit this link Cancer is Man Made. What I want to discuss is the implications.

“In ancient society lacking surgical intervention, evidence of cancer should remain in all cases. The virtual absence of malignancies in mummies must be interpreted as indicating their rarity in antiquity, indicating that cancer-causing factors are limited to societies affected by modern industrialization.”

                                    – Michael Zimmerman (lead researcher)

“In industrialized societies, cancer is second only to cardiovascular disease as a cause of death. But in ancient times, it was extremely rare. There is nothing in the natural environment that can cause cancer. So it has to be a man-made disease, down to pollution and changes to our diet and lifestyle. The important thing about our study is that it gives a historical perspective to this disease. We can make very clear statements on the cancer rates in societies because we have a full overview. We have looked at millennia, not one hundred years, and have masses of data. Yet again extensive ancient Egyptian data, along with other data from across the millennia, has given modern society a clear message cancer is man-made and something that we can and should address.”

                                     – Professor Rosalie David (researcher investigating cancer)

In spite of everything we have been told, cancer is a modern disease fueled by modern society. It wasn’t until the 17th Century that the first descriptions of operations for breast cancer and other cancers occurred. It is only within the past 200 years that scientific literature has reports of distinctive tumors. Scrotal cancer was discovered in 1775 in chimney sweepers and nasal cancer in snuff users in 1761.

We have is a disease that has only manifested itself in the past 4 centuries. It has now taken on epidemic proportions. The odds of being diagnosed with cancer if you were born in the 21st century are between 1 in 3 and 1 in 2. Cancer has become so common it will impact you or someone you love. Cancer is no longer a mature adult disease it now shows up in young children. No age is safe. What could create such a devastating situation? Honestly, I don’t think it’s difficult to understand or a complex issue. Allow me to offer my perspective of the biggest cancer catalyst.

We can all agree that the Industrial Revolution had a huge influence on modern life. But I believe it came with a painful cost. While we had been exposed to localized pollution, it wasn’t until the Industrial Revolution when we hit a tipping point. No longer localized, pollution from coal burning, smelting and other manufacturing processes took off. Pollution spread outward into the surrounding areas, falling from the skies as we still see with acid rain, or as waste material flowing downstream in the waterways which was used for drinking, cooking, feeding livestock and watering crops. Exposure to pollutants was and is unavoidable.

How is pollution related to cancer? Pollutants, heavy metals, chemicals and toxins fall into three basic categories:

  • Carcinogens: Any substance directly involved in causing cancer
  • Mutagens: A physical or chemical agent capable of changing genetic material and causing genetic mutations
  • Endocrine Disrupting: Chemicals or material which can interfere with the endocrine system, causing birth defects, cancer or developmental disorders.

During the Industrial Revolution, the first victims would have been those directly involved in the acquisition of carcinogenic raw materials or the processing of those materials by breathing them in or absorbing through contact. We would also see some degree of mutagenic and endocrine changes in those individuals and eventually the general public. If the genetic mutations happened prior conceiving and having children, the mutation would be passed onto the offspring. The children would be born with a genetic weakness or vital void. Once in place, cancer begins manifesting more frequently and sooner when the wrong variables come into play. By variables I am referring to the environment in which we live and how we interact with people, places and things within that environment.

While this industrial pollution continued and accelerated we hit the next tipping point post World War II. This is when we see a revolution in chemicals used in fertilizers, pesticides, household cleaners, body care products, makeups, clothing, flooring, furniture, wall coverings, automobiles etc. Practically everything made today has chemicals in them. The typical American is exposed to these chemicals on a daily basis. The chart is merely a sample of common chemicals.3 Classifications Toxins jpgStyrene is both a Mutagen and Carcinogen. Styrene is a major component of not only the plastic lids covering that cup of coffee or other hot beverage you drink, but often also the cup itself. When exposed to liquid heat, the cup/lid breaks down. The styrene intermingles with the beverage and you drink it. Even the best of detoxification systems will have difficulty filtering out these molecules as they don’t occur naturally in nature. They enter general circulation and deposit themselves in tissue; brain, joints, glands, organs, etc. Then the fun really begins. How much accumulation of any one toxin or combination is needed before it has a health impact that you can’t ignore. In most cases toxicity is a cumulative effect.

Since WWII we have seen over 85,000 new chemicals enter the marketplace that never existed before in nature. Worse, they are rarely tested for safety on their own much less in combination. How many fall into not just one but possibly two or all three of the categories, Mutagens, Carcinogens and Endocrine Disruptors.

As usage and exposure to these pollutants and toxins increase it is very reasonable to expect to see increases in cancer not just from the carcinogenic properties but also the genetic mutations that occur and are passed down from generation to generation. Is it any wonder we see diseases that “run in families”? If you want a better understanding of this process, I suggest you hop over to this earlier post regarding the Body Burden that every child today is born with.

Realistically, what can be done? The earth itself is polluted, toxic and getting worse. We can’t change that fact. While we can reduce additional pollution from being added to the equation, it would require a global shift in perspective, priorities and how we live. I don’t expect to see that happen. Plus we still have to deal with what toxins are currently in play.

The only option you have, outside of sticking your head in the ground, is to take personal responsibility. Educate yourself. Change your health destiny. Once you have helped yourself you can then directly or indirectly assist those in close proximity such as family, friends and loved ones.

“You can ignore reality, but you can’t ignore the consequences of ignoring reality”

–  Ayn Rand

Initial steps towards looking and feeling your best in a toxic environment would include eliminating or reducing exposure as much as possible to environmental pollutants, toxins, chemicals and heavy metals. Then you layer in working towards increasing your body’s natural defenses against stress. This a challenging prospect as modern society has programmed us to live a life of convenience with technology which in fact suppresses our natural defenses while increasing the toxic exposure. Modern society is literally caught in a feedback loop of self destruction. It is not a matter of if, but when and how. Cancer is just one of the “how’s.”

How do you find a balance. It is unrealistic to turn away from modern society entirely. The challenge is how do you take advantage of the perks while minimizing the side-effects? It gets tricky as everyone is in a uniquely different situation. There is no one-size-fits-all solution beyond the basic concepts.

I can only image the thoughts running through your head. While it may appear to be all “doom and gloom”, that is not my intention. I am offering information and a perspective that personally, makes sense and appears logical. Creating health is not unobtainable. It’s easier to accomplish when you understand what is holding you back. Environmental pollutants, toxins, chemicals and heavy metals are a major road block, but navigable. You have choices and options and how you interact with people, places and things, including yourself will dictate success or continued frustration. You deserve to look and feel your best and have every opportunity to discover and execute your true life purpose.

The D.R.E.S.S. for Health Success® Lifestyle Grounding Program I coach is designed to investigate and take into account an many variables as possible regarding metabolic function and also take advantage of healing opportunities that present themselves with clinically proven lifestyle modifications and protocols.

Pesticides in Produce 2016 Guide

EWG_2016PesticidesInProduceGuideThe Environmental Working Group (www.EWG.org) has just released their 2016 Produce shoppers guide. (If you click on the image you can print out a copy of the guide). While they offer a tremendous amount of information on their website I thought it would be important to highlight a few key points.

  • In 2014 the USDA tested 6,953 samples of produce and nearly three-quarters of them contained pesticide residue in spite of an ever increasing demand by consumers for food without chemicals. A 146 different pesticides were discovered on those samples. The pesticides persisted on the fruits and veggies tested even when they were washed and in some cases peeled. (The reason that pesticides are located in the flesh of the produce is in some cases due to permeability of the skin where the pesticides migrate through, but in most cases the pesticides are absorbed into the plant through the roots by way of the soil. In other words, you can’t get away from pesticides in conventionally grown produce).
  • The Dirty Dozen™ are the produce with the highest pesticide loads. They include strawberries, apples, nectarines, peaches, celery, grapes, cherries, spinach, tomatoes, sweet bell peppers, cherry tomatoes and cucumber. Of the list, strawberries are the worst offender.
    • Key Findings:
      • More than 98% of strawberry, peaches, nectarines and apples tested positive for at least one pesticide
      • The average potato has more pesticides by weight than any other produce
      • Single samples of strawberries showed 17 different pesticides
  • Dirty Dozen PLUS™. Two types of food contained trace levels of highly hazardous pesticides. Leafy Greens (especially kale and collard greens) and hot peppers did not meet the requirements to be part of the Dozen but were frequently found to be contaminated with insecticides toxic to the human nervous system. (if you are going to consume any of the Dirty Dozen™ including the PLUS is is strongly encouraged that you consume go organic. While the exposure to toxins per serving may be “low” the impact upon the body is cumulative). These particularly toxic pesticides included organophosphates and carbamate insecticides.
  • The Clean Fifteen™ are the least likely to contain pesticide residue. These include avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, cabbage, frozen sweet peas, onions, asparagus, mangoes, papayas, kiwis, eggplant, honeydew melon, grapefruit, cantaloupe and cauliflower. There were relatively few pesticides detected on these foods with low concentrations if found.
    • Key Findings:
      • Avocados were the cleanest with only 1% of samples showing any detectable pesticides
      • 89% of pineapples, 81% of papayas, 78% of mangoes, 73% or kiwi and 62% of cantaloupes had no residues
      • No single fruit sample fro the 15 tested positive for more than 4 types of pesticides
      • Only 5.5% of of the Clean Fifteen had two or more pesticides

How to avoid pesticides and other chemical toxins in your produce

Smart shopping requires knowledge and making choices. Just because it is sold as food does not mean it is food or that it’s safe for you, your children or loved one’s to consume. If you consume organic produce you will eat fewer pesticides. The key word is fewer. Several long-term studies have indicated that organophosphates may impair children’s brain development. In 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a report that said that children have “unique susceptibilities to pesticide residues’ potential toxicity.” The organization cited research that linked pesticide exposures in early life to pediatric cancers, decreased cognitive function, and behavioral problems.” (This should not be a surprise as children do not have a fully formed mucosal barrier to keep toxins and pollutants from entering general circulation and their detoxification pathways have also not fully developed. Research also shows that if your intestinal mucosal barrier has increased permeability, so does your blood brain barrier).

Is it any wonder that we are seeing so many children with developmental issues and diseases and adults manifesting cognitive disorders and diseases of brain tissue earlier in life than their parents? Is it too difficult to put two and two together? Luckily you have options, you can make choices and become educated to the reality of the situation. In addition, you can reduce and even reverse health challenges related to exposure to chemicals, pesticides, heavy metals and other toxins. You can functionally test the pathways that are involved in adapting to and resolving the effects of these stressors. This is all part of what I do with my D.R.E.S.S. for Health Success® Lifestyle Grounding Program. Eliminating or reducing exposure to pesticides and strengthening your body’s natural defenses are one step along the path to Looking & Feeling Your Best!