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!

How to Look & Feel Your Best

The Health vs. Disease Equation

In the last blog post, Obesity, Fear Mongering and Health I commented that you need to actively participate in the health building process. Plus, the more appropriate the lifestyle changes are to your unique biochemical individuality the greater the degree of success that can be expected. Now, I offer a very simple way to understand these concepts.

This is a formula I learned from Bill Wolcott, the founder of Metabolic Typing® as it relates to being healthy and ultimately looking and feeling your best over a long, functional and fruitful lifespan:

Health_vs_Disease_Equation_jpgEveryone is born with a Genetic Potential. This potential is based upon a key factor, the health of your parents at the time of conception and if you take into account epigenetics, their parents and their parents etc. Everything following that moment will influence your actual health from the time in utero through to the present. Some people are naturally born with a greater potential. They come from a “hardier” stock. Others are more prone to health issues. Unfortunately there is nothing that can be done about the potential, though there is much you can do to allow that potential, whatever it is, to manifest. I strongly encourage any couple that wants children to get themselves as healthy as they can prior to conception to give their offspring the best possible health opportunities.

Next we add Optimal Nutrition. Optimal nutrition is more than just eating real whole food. It’s supplying the body at a cellular level everything required to function optimally. As Roman philosopher Lucretius correctly said, “One man’s food is another man’s poison.” Due to biochemical individuality everyone, including yourself, has a perfect diet. Your optimal diet is based upon your genetically based nutrient requirements plus your current state of health.

Just as there is NO one whole for that is good for everyone, there is also NO one whole food that is bad for everyone. The same applies to any diet and eating belief philosophy. How can I prove this? Simple, observe the findings of Dr. Weston A Price the author of Nutrition & Physical Degeneration. Dr. Price studied traditional indigenous populations. while they suffered from colds, headaches, wounds, burns, accidents etc, they had NO cavities, NO emotional problems such as depression or anxiety, and NO degenerative diseases (cancer, cardiovascular disease or diabetes). Dr. Price discovered robust health and long life from tremendously varied diets:

  • Swiss – raw, unpasteurized dairy, rye with little meat
  • Gaelic Fisherman (Scotland) – seafood, oats, no dairy
  • Eskimo (Inuit) – 100% animal and seafood
  • Maori (New Zealand) – seafood, fatty pork, plants, coconut, fruit
  • Masai (Kenya) – no plant foods, beef, raw milk, organ meats
  • Bantu (South Africa) – beans, squash, corn, millet, vegetables, fruit, some raw milk, some meat
  • Dinkas (Sudan) – grains, fish, some meat, vegetables, fruit
  • Hunter-Gatherers in North and South America – variety of game animals, legumes, tubers, grains, vegetables, fruit

This is what Metabolic Typing® is all about, discovering what your body nutritionally requires due to how it breaks down and utilizes food to fuel metabolic pathways. What you eat really matters. It is that important.

Then we add “All the Right Things.” By “all the right things” I am referring to the environment in which you live and the lifestyle choices you make within that environment. Or, more simply put, how you interact with people, places and things including yourself. These areas all fall under the general health building principles I coach in my D.R.E.S.S. for Health Success® Lifestyle Grounding Program where we focus on Diet, Rest, Exercise, Stress Reduction and Supplements.

From the sum of your potential, nutrition and right things we have to remove a few things.

We can start by removing the effects of Time and Aging. From the moment we are born our body develops and matures. From that point onward there is a decrease or loss of metabolic function that manifests as aging and is compounded by time being alive. Death is the only inevitable outcome of living. There is no point worrying about it as you can’t change it. All you can do is postpone it and maximize your independence within that timeframe. The way you do so, is by understanding this formula and executing it to the best of your ability.

We then remove the effects of Stress. We can’t eliminate stress as living itself is stressful. The question is how much stress are we under day to day, but also throughout your life up to this point and what degree of that stress is seen as distressing (negative) versus eustress (positive). The primary sources of stress are Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual in origin. Experiencing amounts of stress beyond your body’s ability to adapt to or resolve stress will detract from this formula to a greater degree.

We also have to consider “Blocking Factors.” Blocking factors can be seen as things beyond your ability to control including environmental toxins and pollutants, heavy metal exposure, increased levels of radiation in the environment, weather patterns, etc. In the scheme of things, while we can contribute to making blocking factors worse, most are outside our scope of control directly. It is not to say you can’t do things to minimize the risk, but you can’t eliminate the risk.

Lastly we have “All the Wrong Things.” As you probably can guess, “all the wrong things” are related to how you interact with people, places and things including yourself on a daily basis. You have tremendous control in this area. The challenge is that you often will have to fly in direct opposition to or at least away from just about everything that modern society is selling. Modern society and the advances that come with it are not designed to make us healthy, they are designed to generate $$$. Without mindfulness, presence and understanding of the situation, you will lose.

After tabulating the results you will end up with Your State of Health or Disease. There are specific reasons why you look and feel the way you do. It is not genetically based, at least very little of it is. It is not pre-determined, if it were there is no logical reason to resist. Plus, you know deep down in your soul that you can change, you can look and feel better. This formula helps explain the variables and process.

What I offer is perspective, an opportunity to discover how these variables are coming together and more importantly how you can change them and ultimately the end result or outcome. No one ever said life is easy. Then again, if you are going to be alive it is always best to live it to your greatest potential.

My last comment is that your health, like the climate is always changing. It is absurd to even expect to keep it still. How you interact with people, places and things will either contribute to your health or detract from your health. The choice is yours and the time to change is now.

 

Obesity, Fear Mongering & Health

Bang Head HereIts 2016 and we’re starting to see statistics and studies abut the state of health in America.

  • According to a Harvard University researcher, obesity is reversing decades of steady lengthening of the American lifespan.
  • In the first nine months of 2015, more Americans of all ages died of obesity related diseases compared to the same period of time in 2014. This is from David S. Ludwig an obesity-prevention specialist (whatever that is) as Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School
  • In 2015 deaths from stroke increased 4 percent, deaths from chronic liver disease is up 3 percent, deaths attributed to heart disease and diabetes rose 1 percent each, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    Alzheimer’s disease deaths, which has been “correlated” to midlife obesity rose 19 percent.

Ludwig writes, “The new rates potentially signal a looming social and economic catastrophe that demands a comprehensive national strategy.” Ludwig continues in regards to the CDC data; “suggest that a tipping point has been reached beyond which technological advances no longer compensate.” “It’s probably been underway for years.” To clarify, what appears to be said is that no pills, no available procedures and no life prolonging improvements in medical care or public health measures are likely to compensate for the life shortening effects of obesity now occurring. Modern medicine and technology is insufficient to combat the effects of obesity.

In a “Viewpoint” article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Ludwig wrote that the US government “must ante up the research funds to undergird better advice to Americans.” It gets better. Ludwig continues, “meanwhile, the food and beverage industry offers its views on maintaining and losing weight, while lobbying against sensible regulations….such as taxing sugar-sweetened beverages and limiting advertisements that entreats children to demand demonstrably unhealthy products.” This last part is rather humorous. You can’t tax someone into healthy choices. It also sounds like he said that we must not allow the food / beverage industry to target our youth with ads, but it is fine to target adults with ads for dangerous and deadly pharmaceuticals. This makes no logical sense whatsoever. If children are consuming anything less than real whole food it is the parents fault, not the child’s, not the advertisers.

Mentioned is a “social and economic catastrophe” and that current “technological advances” and I assume that includes pharmacological agents, can “no longer compensate” for the trend of decreasing health. Essentially, this is two things, fear mongering and a plea for more money.

First you have to create an atmosphere of concern or fear that a problem exists which the “experts,” western medicine, no longer have a solution to. Without a solution, it is all doom and gloom. Considering that $900 million dollars was spent in 2015 alone on research according to the National Institute for Health, you would think that if we can’t come up with a solution or at least a plan, then maybe we have to change our perspective. Maybe our approach is wrong. Seems reasonable. If you are unsure of the fear mongering I mentioned, think of it along these lines. This approach is very similar to the current “war on terror” propaganda we have been subjected to over the past 15 years. Has it made anyone safer? How much has it cost? Who has benefited? Who has suffered?And lastly, is the official story, even the truth?

Ludwig believes more government funding is needed to create new technologies to combat the problem. Seriously, more money is rarely if ever the solution especially at these amounts. If you can’t figure out why people are unhealthy and how to reverse it, while spending almost a $1 billion dollars annually, you have a serious problem in scientific method or a very successful con going on.

While Ludwig offers his perspective, I am not sure who else he may be speaking for. I will say that the stats, if accurate, at a minimum should alarm you. Why? Because you or someone you love will most likely become one of the statistics. The odds are not in your favor.

The problem is legitimate, the solution we are being offered is a scam. In spite of all the money, all the technology and resources, we are now being told it is a losing battle and we have to invest more money. Honestly, I don’t know why anyone would believe this. I can tell you right now what the problem is. Unfortunately, the population at large has been successfully programed to believe the solution comes from empowering others. This makes no sense. These businesses, while they may have begun with an altruistic purpose are merely looking to maximize profits. They are no different than any other corporation or bank. They can’t continue to make this kind of money from healthy people.

Obesity and all its related challenges along with practically every other disease state is a teacher. A teacher’s job is, or should be, to educate students. To create free thinking creative imaginative individuals that can look out for their own wellbeing. In this case health. The lesson that your health challenges are trying to teach is that you are living a lifestyle that is out of balance with what your body requires to be healthy and in turn look and feel its best. There is a disconnect between what we believe we should be doing and what our body actually requires.

Let me use an example. There are many dietary approaches, all claiming to be the right one; Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian, Mediterranean, etc. Ask yourself this; Do you eat to fuel your body or do you eat based upon some internal belief system in spite of what your body is attempting to communicate with you? It is an interesting question and if most people are honest with themselves they will find that how they eat is based upon a belief system learned from an outside source and very often is in opposition to what their body actually needs. Yet they will continue and justify this dilemma away. To some groups, their belief in how they and in fact everyone should eat has become a religion just as science has become a religion and it is “wrong” to question it.

Let’s make this simple. Your current state of health, how you look and how you feel is the culmination of the environment in which you live and the lifestyle choices you make within that environment. In other words, your health is directly related to how you interact with people, places and things, including yourself. If you are not happy with your current health then you have to make changes. You have to actively participate in the process. Empowering others will not work. The only question, is what changes are most appropriate? Using a dysfunctional, unhealthy society as a measuring stick for appropriate behavior is not going to end well.

This idea of appropriateness is an area where I excel as an FDN® Practitioner. Why this is so important is because of biochemical individuality. While everyone has essentially the same body parts, those parts have unique levels of functional capacity and potential. How these parts interact and behave relative to anyone else in a similar situation can be and is almost expected to be different. This is why most western protocols or any particular supplement, food, program etc., only work for some people some of the time.

Everyone can benefit from basic foundational changes that I coach in my D.R.E.S.S. for Health Success® Lifestyle Grounding Program. Where the real progress is made in in the functional lab testing and understanding what they say in regards to your unique situation and then taking advantage of the healing opportunities that present themselves.

If you have the right information, the right perspective and motivation to participate in the healing process the possibilities are endless. You can and deserve to look and feel your best and no longer be a statistic.