Category Archives for Healthy Eating

Number One Contributor To Your Health

number one contributor to health

The number one contributor to our society's health is not stress, it is selfishness.

This is a rant, be forewarned.

Why do you eat this or that?

"I like it. It tastes good. It is what I have always eaten."

To this I say, “so what?” Grow up, step out of your lazy box and branch out. A lot of things taste good, that has no indication to how good it is for you, and in today's world with all the sugar, chemical sweeteners, and processed oils it probably means it is bad for you. Anything can taste good, healthy eating does not have to taste bad, but you have to learn how to prepare it and re-grow your taste buds that you killed with all the junk and processed foods and high sugar intake you have indulged in for decades.

Why don't you eat healthy?

"It is too expensive. I don't have the time. I don't know how to cook."

It does not have to be more expensive to eat healthily. You can't just buy health food and add it into the list of junk you already eat, you have to make a lateral shift and replace the junk with the real food.

Plus, you eat too often. You might eat too much, but I don't know that, but if you are eating more than 2-3 meals a day, with maybe one snack, then you eat too often. Eating is when ever you put food or any liquid in your mouth that is not water. You must count EVERY time, and if you do, you will see, that like most Americans according to research, you probably eat 12-20 times a day. TOO OFTEN! Eat just 3 meals a day and eat well when you do, no calorie cutting, and you will save money.

Budget and plan and you will save money. Cook at home and buy intelligently and you will save money. Learn what should be organic and what can be conventional and you will save money. Make the time if your health and the health of your kids are truly important to you. You spend time eating junk, buying it, waiting in lines, driving to junk pushers, take all that time and prepare, buy and prep accordingly and you might even save time as well as money. Learn to cook, yes, even you men, learn to cook, it is part of being a self supporting adult. NO excuse not to.

Do you exercise regularly?

I move all day. I don't have the time. I don't like to."

Physical activity is not the same as exercise. I am glad you get physical activity in your day, keep it up, but that is not exercise, nor should it be counted as such. Make time. Even 10 minutes 2-4 times a day is better than nothing and can be as beneficial as one 30-40 minute continuous workout. Get up early and move your body. Get up 30 minutes earlier and do it. Go to sleep earlier if you need to, but do it. Time issue solved. And I don't care if you don't like it, find something you do like, anything, there are more options than ever from dance aerobics, to drumming aerobics, lifting classes, intensity classes, yoga, spin classes, home videos, and so much more....just find something and do it, you can not have optimal health without it.

Do you work on yourself?

"I don't know what that means. I can't meditate. I am not into all that."

We know to much now and have too many studies and overwhelming research on the impact of self improvement from building awareness, to mindfulness, visualization, breathing techniques, meditation, goal setting, and much more to not be doing something. If you don't reframe your thinking about stress from the current conventional thinking, then you are destined to choose to have it consume you.

Celebrating silence and taking time for yourself is a must, not a luxury, and only something you can do for you. But you have to learn, seek it out and do it. Do it not, and you get more of what you got.

Look, life is busy, I get it, I have a few things on my plate as well, but that is why you must do these things and your excuses have to be checked at the door. The people who allow these excuses I listed above to guide their reactive lifestyle are the same people that when they get sick with a chronic issue like diabetes, heart disease, depression, anxiety, pain, digestive disorders, and much more they ask "why?" Why did this happen to me.....they say it isn't fair.....it doesn't make sense.....I didn't do anything bad.....etc.....and the other people around them say, “wow, I didn't see that coming, they were fine yesterday.”...NO, they were not! And if a health scare is not enough to wake these people up they then will say, “it was in my family.” They then use the lie of their health issue being a genetic problem that they could not avoid and continue to pull the same cop-out card and waste away miserably.

We can do better.

I don't claim to be perfect or that anyone else is or should try to be. But you have to try, you have to have these things on your radar and be working to learn about them and incorporate new ideas and behaviors into your life at any level and pace that you can. We have to be sharing and teaching each other and watching out for slip ups and the gradual decline in our efforts to we can check our behavior and course-correct.

This blog will bring a lot of things up for a lot of people. Before you tell me how you are different, how your excuse is justified, how your health issue is "really" genetic and how your doctor enables that belief, how your life is unique or any other excuse to not be doing all you can in these areas, read the post again, and if you still want to defend your lack of doing all you can, write it all out in an email, every detail, your history, what you have been through, what you have been told, what you have tried, how your life and situation is different, and send it to yourself. Or better yet, send it to your spouse and family, send it to your kids or grand kids. But don't send it to me.

Look, I love you and I want the best for you and will be happy to support and help you GET BETTER. Going through all your excuses will not help you get better and only push people who want to help you away. I am very interested in planning new action steps, developing support systems, building proactive nutritional, supplemental, and exercise protocols, getting the supportive health services needed, and creating a long term strategy to change your path and create a new future for you and your family.

Strategy is key. Strategy is the process of aligning your personal goals and values in life and for your health improvement with how you want to get there and when. When you have your strategy you then can build your team and resources and list out your options as they reflect your values and goals. Then you choose. No one can tell you what to do, but they can share info, interpret information and tests, offer options, insights and experience, even propose a course of action, but at the end of the day you have to choose to follow it and do it. Even a prescription is a fancy official way of making a suggestion and you are in no way obligated to take that suggestion any more than you are obligated to take any other suggestion along the way.

At the end of the day you pay the ultimate price or reap the ultimate reward for the choices you make based on those suggestions. So, gather them well and from the best sources you can and make sure they all align with what you truly value and are wanting. Do it not, and the potential to go right back to excuses and being the victim are high.

Don't be negative. This is not meant to put you down or make you feel bad but to give you a little health tough love and help you see you can go where you want to health wise and you have more control and options than you might think. You can do this. And honestly, only you can do this for yourself and your kids. Do not take it lightly, it is an opportunity, whether you take it or not is up to you.

Live well my friends,

Dr. Don

P.S. Do you feel like you've tried EVERYTHING? Feel like you've been let down? I understand! If you want to see if I can personally help you in your health journey... schedule a call with me and let's discuss what you've been through and where you are now... where you want to get... and how I can help you get there.​ >> CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE A PRIVATE PHONE CALL WITH ME <<

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Insulin Friendly Diet

insulin friendly diet

What we promote is not exactly low carb or high fat, it is not paleo specifically or Atkins or even Nutritional Ketosis. What we promote is an insulin friendly eating style and lifestyle. If you are like most people you are asking yourself, “what the heck does that mean?”

I often write and post about what can seem to be very different concepts in natural living, health and healing, weight loss and medicine. As different as the topics may seem, the theme and thread of commonality that I consistently use is building a lifestyle and protocols that are metabolically and hormonally healthy. If you have been following my posts over the last two years then you realize how complicated this whole concept truly is.

What I focus on and try to do is make these concepts as simple as possible, for myself and my own health endeavors and for those reading. In making things simple I inevitably run the risk of missing important points and over simplifying to the point of being, well, in a word, wrong. That being said, I am going to do my best here, and want you to know that no one post is the end all, be all, of the story. Nor is it all inclusive, nor am I ever trying to be vague. It is just the nature of the effort to keep things simple. I hope you understand.

We as a culture and in medicine have been locked in the glucose driven model of insulin resistance, pre-diabetes, diabetes and cardiometabolic issues and it can be hard to think any other way. The fact is that glucose is toxic and the body will stop in its tracks and burn it whenever possible to get it out of our system. This immediate action the body takes on glucose and that urgency often gets interpreted as the body having a preference for glucose over other fuels.

Blood glucose levels are specifically relevant to our health depending on the metabolic state we are in. When we are a chronic sugar burner, taking in a lot of carbohydrates and predominately burning glucose for fuel, then the normal glucose blood levels are 70-99. When we are fat adaptive and burning fat efficiently then that number can drop into the 50's and has been reported in experienced fat burning athletes to drop into the 40’s with no abnormal change in physical or mental function. This new set standard in a fat burning person can make any blood sugar level over 80 a problem.

The true danger in high blood sugar is the toxicity level it produces and the correlative insulin levels. The body can handle high blood glucose levels from time to time, but a chronically high glucose level and its toxic effects can eat away at the body from the inside out. The risk factors for diabetes, heart disease, dementia, and heart disease come from the chronic exposure to high insulin levels long before the high blood sugar levels alone can do their damage.

It is this chronic over exposure to insulin that literally burns-out our system and health. So what can we do? How do we avoid or fix this? The simple answer is low insulin levels. How do we get these low insulin levels? A low insulin diet and lifestyle.....and here it is:

Low insulin stimulating foods. The strongest stimulators of insulin are carbs. Low carb diets beat low glycemic index diets out of the water regarding weight loss, metabolic function, hormonal improvement, satisfaction, and sustainability. It is not about the glucose levels alone but the corresponding insulin levels and a low carb diet overall keeps insulin pretty low. Carbs trigger 23% of our insulin response. Protein is responsible for 10%. Fat has no effect. That leaves 67% in this insulin equation that is not stimulated by food and the rest of the 67% is from the incretin effect (think stomach hormones) and cross hormonal reactions (think thyroid (toxins), cortisol (stress), and brain chemistry (think addiction and emotions in life).

So, what does that all mean? Basically it means that there are foods and behaviors that are blood glucose friendly but terrorize insulin. You can be blood glucose healthy and still drive all the health issues that are correlated to high blood sugar due to how it raises and keeps insulin levels up. For example:

1. Dairy. As in milk and yogurt...both are glucose mellow but insulin insulting.

2. Animal protein. Red meat and white fish......again, no blood sugar rise but a very steep increase in insulin

3. Workout shakes, whole grains and convenient foods. Protein powders, grain products, and processed foods....may not have a big glucose rush (initially) but will crank insulin.

That said, sugars, grains and starches are the biggest offenders.....they should be avoided FIRST.

Behavior Considerations:

A. Hyper stress response (cortisol) will throttle insulin.

B. Poor sleep...one night of poor sleep will increase insulin resistance.

C. Anxiety...will immediately raise insulin levels.

D. Slow and low cardio over time will promote sugar burning and free radical production as well as raise insulin and cortisol.

Others issues to consider:

- Medications...statins, anti-biotics, and thyroid meds all promote insulin resistance.

- Artificial sweeteners can mess up gut bacteria and promote metabolic issues.

- Alcohol....sorry people....it stresses our insulin/glucagon balance and decreases glutathione (a major anti-oxidant) and stops fat burning in its tracks as well as plays havoc on our nutrient economy and feeds the addiction cycle.

Ok, you still with me? Take the concepts above and put them into action as you can in your life and add these 3 modalities to help balance your neurological tone (the driving factor for this whole process):

1. Meditate

2. Paced breathing

3. Body work... specifically chiropractic upper cervical adjustments.

Now, mix this into the other concepts we go over here and keep at it. Yes, there is a lot to learn, don’t stress, we are on this road together, let me know your insights and if mine are helping you.

Dr. Don

P.S. Do you feel like you've tried EVERYTHING? Feel like you've been let down? I understand! If you want to see if I can personally help you in your health journey... schedule a call with me and let's discuss what you've been through and where you are now... where you want to get... and how I can help you get there.​ >> CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE A PRIVATE PHONE CALL WITH ME <<

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Pesto Cauliflower Salad

Pesto Cauliflower Salad over Baby Arugula

Here’s and oldie but a goodie! Originally posted on our Abundant Health blog – this one is a true family favorite – even skeptics who don’t like cauliflower loved it!!!

I know I have touted the health benefits cauliflower before, but it still bears mentioning that – even though it is not green – it is one of the most nutrient dense vegetables out there. You can read more about the specific benefits of cauliflower in my Mashed Potato Surprise post here.

OK – Recipe time…

Ingredients:

  • One large head of cauliflower
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 bell peppers chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes – cut in halves
  • 1/2 cup Coconut Pesto
  • 4-6 handfuls of baby arugula

Break the cauliflower up into small, bite sized florets and toss with the lemon juice, olive oil and sea salt. Cover and place in the fridge for 2-3 hours to marinate (you can leave it overnight too if you have the time.)

Toss the marinated cauliflower with the peppers, tomatoes and pesto. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over 4-6 handfuls of the baby arugula. YUM YUM!!!

*** if you have any left over salad, its really yummy the next day if you warm it up a little with some white beans and maybe a touch more pesto sauce????

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P.S. Do you feel like you've tried EVERYTHING? Feel like you've been let down? I understand! If you want to see if I can personally help you in your health journey... schedule a call with me and let's discuss what you've been through and where you are now... where you want to get... and how I can help you get there.​ >> CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE A PRIVATE PHONE CALL WITH ME <<

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Coconut Macaroons

Skylar’s Coconut Macaroon Trees

I love it that my Daughter loves to help in the kitchen! This is one of her favorite cookie recipes – we don’t eat sweets and we are essentially a grain free house, so this is one of our healthy treats. My daughter modified this recipe based on a recipe she found from Martha Stewart. This version is very low in sugar, but you can easily use pure stevia extract to lower the sugar content even more.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
  • ⅛ cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Baking Stevia (this is a stevia sugar blend available in the baking aisle of most supermarkets.)
  • 2 Large Egg Whites
  • 5 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Confectioners’ sugar

Pre-heat oven to 350°

In a large bowl, combine coconut, sugar, baking stevia, egg whites, vanilla extract, and salt and mix well.

Shape into tree shapes and place on a cookie sheet* about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 12 – 15 minutes until the tops and undersides are golden and toasty.

Let cool on a wire rack.

Once cooled completely, right before serving, dust with confectioners’ sugar.

*We love to use our Pampered Chef Stoneware for these cookies.

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If you like recipes like this – Click here to subscribe to my blog– and you’ll get all my recipes and tips on keeping your family healthy and happy (on a budget)

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P.S. Do you feel like you've tried EVERYTHING? Feel like you've been let down? I understand! If you want to see if I can personally help you in your health journey... schedule a call with me and let's discuss what you've been through and where you are now... where you want to get... and how I can help you get there.​ >> CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE A PRIVATE PHONE CALL WITH ME <<

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Coconut Pesto

This is a fantastic, dairy free pesto sauce. Toss it with your salad, with Zucchini Noodles, or over you favorite veggies.

Place the following ingredients in a food processor:

  • 2 tbsp coconut cream*
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup parsley
  • 1/2 cup basil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 3 scallions
  • the juice of half a lemon
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Begin to process all the ingredients together and then, with the processor running, slowly drizzle in 1/4 cup olive oil until all ingredients make a smooth paste.

Coconut Cream
*Coconut cream, aka coconut butter, is NOT Coco Lopez. It is not sweetened. If you cannot find it you can make it – place about 3-4 cups shredded, unsweetened coconut (I use the Lets Do Organic brand) in your food processor and process for about 10-15 minutes. It will take a while, but it will turn into a smooth, creamy, DELICIOUS, liquidly butter.

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P.S. Do you feel like you've tried EVERYTHING? Feel like you've been let down? I understand! If you want to see if I can personally help you in your health journey... schedule a call with me and let's discuss what you've been through and where you are now... where you want to get... and how I can help you get there.​ >> CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE A PRIVATE PHONE CALL WITH ME <<

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