Heart Disease Fighting Foods

As mentioned in my previous blog, cholesterol is just one factor in a comprehensive approach to managing risks for heart disease. Lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, alcohol, smoking, and toxins/pollution have a significant impact on our vascular health. So in this blog, I will highlight some superfoods that you can incorporate into your diet to keep your arteries in tip-top shape.  Avocados and avocado oil Avocados are nutrient dense and packed with healthy, monounsaturated fat. In this study, participants who ate an avocado daily had significantly lower levels of oxidized LDL (the kind that clogs up your arteries). Avocado oil is mild so it doesn’t impart flavor to the food and comes with a high smoke point (over 500F) so it’s a great option for cooking and stir-frying all types of food. I no longer use olive oil for frying as the high cooking temperature can damage the oil. In general, the safest way is to stir-fry the food in water or some broth and then add in oil towards th...

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How to Prepare for the COVID Vaccine

With vaccine availability now broadening to more groups, you may be wondering what steps you can take to prepare yourself for the shot(s). In this blog, I’ll describe some do’s and don’ts to consider. It’s important to note that these are not short-term solutions but ways to reach optimal health which will support the vaccine response and also protect you from illness.  

Stay away from processed foods

In this peer-reviewed study conducted by the Environmental Working Group, it’s been shown that a food preservative known as tert-butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), commonly used in packaged foods like Pop-Tarts, Rice Krispies Treats, Cheez-Its and over 1,000 processed foods, has been found to harm the immune system. Unfortunately, chemicals like TBHQ were approved by the FDA decades ago and there has been no re-assessment of the safety of food chemicals. So, it’s “buyer beware” and all the more reason to stay away from processed foods and eat WHOLE.   

Eat an...

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Inflammation and How to Reduce it with 9 Super Herbs

In some of my previous blogs, I noted the importance of inflammation and how it impacts our health including heart disease, diabetes/obesity, pain, insulin resistance and even skin conditions. In this blog, I’ll share some natural ways to manage inflammation so our body has just enough (but not too much) to support our well-being.  

First, what is inflammation? Inflammation is the body’s natural response to protect itself against harm, and there are two types: acute and chronic. Acute inflammation happens when you cut your finger or bruise your elbow and your immune system kicks in to protect the area with white blood cells which can cause swelling and/or redness. This type of inflammation is essential as it protects your body from infection or further damage. Chronic inflammation is also a response to unwanted attacks but is the more insidious type as it could evade detection for a long time and can manifest in a wide range of symptoms. For starters, you may have chronic low-grade i...

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How the Gut Affects Fatigue

I recently listened to a webinar interview featuring Dr. Michael Ruscio, who has conducted a lot of clinical research in the area of digestion and been widely published in peer reviewed journals. He is the author of Healthy Gut, Healthy You and is a guest speaker at the Fatigue Super Conference. He discusses the importance of good digestion and ways to achieve optimum health through a healthy gut. From my own personal experience dealing with fatigue and energy issues, I was happy that he validated a lot of what I’ve been through and the research I’ve done to date. Here are some key points from his interview: Energy and mood are inextricably linked. When you are tired, you feel depressed. This happens to me – when I have good energy levels, I feel like I can conquer the world. When I’m tired and fatigued, I get depressed and feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders. This has to do with inflammation and the small intestine. The small intestine is the most immune-active area o...

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Metabolic Dysfunction and How It Can Cause Diabetes and Chronic Diseases

I listened to another fascinating (albeit long) podcast on the Broken Brain series on how out-of-control blood sugar can cause belly fat, brain fog and chronic disease. Dr. Casey Means was the guest and she is a Stanford-trained doctor and associate editor of the International Journal of Disease Reversal and Prevention. Her mission is to reverse the epidemic of preventable chronic disease by empowering individuals with personalized tools (i.e. continuous glucose monitors – CGM) that promote sustainable dietary and lifestyle choices. As a pre-diabetic myself, I have been using some of these tools to monitor how my body responds to my diet and activities of daily living. I was quite shocked at what I learned from a month’s use of a CGM and if this blog speaks to you, it may be something you may want to discuss with your doctor.

Here are the highlights from the podcast:

We make energy from converting sugar and fat and this metabolic process is a core fundamental pathway of every ...

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Hacking Your Heart & Preventing Diabetes – Dr. Rocky Patel Podcast Review

I’ve always been a fan of Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof Podcasts – he is probably the most famous biohacker that’s out there. On one of his earlier podcasts, his guest was Dr. Rocky Patel, a family physician who focuses on prevention and early detection and treatment of diabetes and heart attacks. He practices what he preaches and lost over 85 pounds following the program that he now advocates for his patients. Here are some of the highlights from the show:

Current food recommendations are not based on science but on US policy – we’ve been vilifying saturated fats but science shows that saturated fats and cholesterol are not the culprits.Eating quality fats and saturated meat is actually good for you and will raise HDL cholesterol and make the brain work better.  There are now prescription drugs based on medium chain triglycerides (MCT) oils.Dr. Patel follows a Paleo-type diet with the right amount of quality protein and good fats to maintain his health and weight.Diabetes is a disea...

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The Benefits of a Healthy Gut – Dr. David Perlmutter Podcast Review

This is a podcast from 2015 of Dr. David Perlmutter – he is well-known for his New York Times bestseller, ‘Grain Brain’, published in 2013. He is a board-certified neurologist and a Fellow of the American College of Nutrition. His key philosophy is around preventative medicine and he believes that diseases like Alzheimer’s, ADHD, MS, depression and auto-immune issues can be prevented with lifestyle changes, good diet and exercise. He also believes that a healthy gut microbiome is our body’s ‘brain maker’ and talks about the results he’s had with patients using these practices. The peer-reviewed literature has been publishing information about carbs and gluten for several decades but no one has paid any attention – he wrote Grain Brain to make the public more aware.As a neurologist, he was very involved in understanding how lifestyle factors affect human physiology and exploring beyond the brain into the gut microbiome – the 100 trillion organisms that live within us.The argument agains...

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Dr. Joel Kahn Podcast Review: Heart Health, Mitochondria & The Gut

I recently listened to one of the earlier podcasts by Dave Asprey (the Bulletproof Executive) on heart health where he interviewed Dr. Joel Kahn, a cardiologist and author of the best-selling book, The Whole Heart Solution. Dr. Kahn is a well-recognized clinician in the field of invasive, interventional and preventative cardiology and was awarded the title of “America’s Holistic Heart Doc” by Reader’s Digest. He is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, MI and the Director of Cardiac Wellness.

It was interesting to hear that Dr. Kahn is a low-fat vegan (which is something Dave Asprey is not a fan of for various reasons) and in this interview, he mentioned that when dealing with patients with cardiac artery disease (CAD), a mostly vegetable and low fat diet (oil free, not fat free) has been proven to help. Note that he didn’t advocate this necessarily for prevention but for treating severe CAD patients.

Here are some key highlights:
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The Impact of Gut Health on Mood

When the COVID-19 pandemic overtook our lives and forced the world into lockdown, mental health took a back seat to physical health. But with recent studies showing a staggering increase in stress, anxiety and other more acute mental health disorders, our approach to whole person health has never been more important. And research suggests that the link between physical health and mental health is much closer than we think. Believe it or not, what you put into your stomach has a significant impact on your mood. Research shows that what we eat actually affects our mental health. Think about it – at one point or another, we’ve all felt “butterflies” in our stomachs as a response to being nervous. Or maybe a wave of nausea during a time of stress. We talk about “gut instinct” as a key driver of intuitive decision making. It’s clear that our mood can impact our gut, so why wouldn’t our gut be able to impact our mood? And what has the biggest impact on gut health? Diet. Better quality diets ...

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Homeopathy

by Dagmar Ehling Homeopathic medicine is based on a system that uses microdoses of substances derived from plants, minerals, or animals to stimulate a natural healing response. Homeopathy is a therapeutic system founded on the principle “simila similibus curentur” translated as “like cures like.”  Homeopathy is practiced worldwide, and was introduced in the U.S. in 1825. It was widely practiced in the early 1900s by U.S. physicians but its use declined with changes in medical practice coinciding with the publication of the Flexner report in 1910. In the 1970s it regained popularity among Complementary and Alternative Medical (CAM) modalities. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health estimated that in 2012, about 6 million Americans used homeopathic medicines. In 1796, Dr. Samuel Christian Friedrich Hahnemann (1755 – 1843) postulated the correlation that medicines can cure a pathological state that is similar to the state that the medicine produces in healthy subject...

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