It's The Drugs, Stupid.

Manufacturers and prescribers of psychiatric drugs are making a killing in America...literally. With each mass shooting that occurs, it's becoming more and more apparent that the real problem we have in this country is one of mental health and poor lifestyle habits, exacerbated by greed and corruption on an astounding number of levels - as you're about to find out

First, the stats:

It's estimated that around 78 million people in America are on at least one psychiatric drug, with antidepressants accounting for the highest percentage, followed by anti-anxiety drugs, then those prescribed for ADHD. (1)

Out of those 78 million people, more than 1 million are under the age of six.

Broken down even further:

  • 274,804 of them are younger than a year old
  • 370,778 are aged 2-3
  • 500,948 are aged 4-5. (1)

Furthermore, we have approximately eight million children between the ages of 6-17 walking around the halls of our schools on one or more psychiatric drugs (1) - a number which pretty much everyone agrees is actually underreported.

If you have a son, there's a one in five chance (a 42% increase since 2003) he will be diagnosed with ADHD and put on some kind of psychiatric drug by the time he's in high school. There's an even higher chance that it will be a misdiagnosis or unnecessary. Why? There are the usual suspects, of course...Big Pharma kickbacks to pediatricians, the claim of better diagnostic criteria, greater disease awareness, lack of proper psychiatric training by the diagnosing doctor, and so on.

However, there are two ideas that I've never heard discussed, and I believe they need to be brought into the conversation.

The first is insurance.

A study from Rutgers-Columbia done between 1996-2006 found that low-income families with children on Medicaid were four times more likely to be put on psychiatric drugs than children from more affluent families who could afford private insurance. Not only that, but the children on Medicaid were more likely to be prescribed psychiatric meds for less severe, off-label reasons. (2,3)

A big part of the reason is due to insurance reimbursement rates to providers of counseling and therapy. Medicaid often pays less, so healthcare providers who focus on Medicaid patients seem to have developed a different (read: less time-consuming) standard for medicating poor children – even though there are guidelines in place that are supposed to monitor the prescribing of these drugs. Additionally, it's thought that the more economically-challenged families will be less likely to take the time to actually go to therapy or pay any out of pocket cost for drugs. To counter this, Medicaid eliminates cost-sharing for prescriptions for most low-income families, thus making it easier to medicate the child. (2,3,4)

In 2011, Medicaid spent $8 billion on psychotropic drugs – thirty percent of its total budget for drug spending. (5)

As alarming as that is, the second possible reason as to why I believe ADHD diagnoses are increasing is even more disconcerting, and it concerns school districts and government funding for special education programs.

Make sure you're sitting down for this.

In 1965, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) was passed, and it allocated massive federal funds and opened school doors to a flood of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and the psychiatric programs and testing needed to validate them. This paved the way for a massive restructuring of our educational system away from academics, and more towards one pushing behavior-modification programs. In other words, let's not worry too much about actual learning...let's instead focus on creating compliant, obedient citizens. ESEA was followed by the Education for all Handicapped Children Act of 1975, which ensured that children with physical handicaps had access to public education. This was supposed to be a good thing.

Then in 1990, that law was reauthorized and the name was changed to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA.) “Handicap” was changed to “Disability”, and the IDEA legislation provided schools with an additional $400 per year for each child in special education. The following year, the US Department of Education Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services released a memo which stated that a child diagnosed with ADHD qualified for special education.

Can you guess what happened next? Of course you can.

The production and use of methylphenidate (Ritalin) increased almost 6-fold between 1990-1995 to meet the explosion of children newly diagnosed with ADHD. This, despite the fact that even though teachers weren't (and still aren't) legally allowed to diagnose a student. All they really had to do was say the child was a disruption in class, which would lead to administrators threatening parents to either medicate the child or have them face expulsion, as well as perhaps a visit from CPS for not providing proper medical care.

Furthermore, IDEA has lead to an increase in vague psychiatric disorder diagnoses such as “Mathematics Disorder” and “Disorder of Written Expression,” as well as ADHD. Never mind that perhaps the issue was just a kid being forced to learn in an unnatural environment, or that maybe the problem was a failure to instruct properly in the first place.

IDEA also contains a “child-find” provision which requires states to actively seek out children who may qualify for special education in order to receive federal special education funding. (6) In Colorado, this “child-find” program starts at birth. At. Birth.

These increases have led to a cash windfall to school districts. In 1996, the state of Illinois alone had received $72,500,000 in federal Medicaid money. In the 2013-14 school year, the federal government provided an additional $11.5 billion in special education funding through IDEA part B for special education programs around the country. When we combine state and federal funding, there was at least $30.5 billion in additional revenue provided for special education programs in 2013-14, which equates to approximately $4,700 in revenue per special education student. (7) By 2014–15, the number of children and youth served under IDEA was 6.6 million, or 13 percent of total public school enrollment. (8) You do the math.

Schools are in the behavior-modification business, and ADHD is a goldmine.

Side note: In case you've ever wondered why the “greatest country in the world” still subjects their children to an atrocious cafeteria menu, look no further. We know today that an improved diet has been shown to improve behavioral disorders, so schools would be shooting themselves in the foot if they provided better food to their patients...I mean, students. This may also explain the real reason why schools mandate that your child is up to date on their shots. Vaccines destroy the gut, the immune system, and cause inflammation, and all that aluminum utterly destroys a child's brain...causing more learning disabilities and behavioral disorders.

Speaking of shootings and shots...

It's known that many psychiatric drugs – like SSRIs (antidepressants) have side-effects that include aggression, impulsiveness, depression, hostility, mania, suicidal ideations, and homicidal ideations. Some drugs even carry a black box warning (the most severe.) You read that right...antidepressants can actually lead to more depression, murder, and suicide. Never mind they don't seem to work as intended for actually alleviating depression. The fact that they may even have an effect at all is their action on inflammation – which seems to be the main culprit behind depression. (9)

“Between 2004 and 2012, there have been 14,773 reports to the U.S. FDA’s MedWatch system on psychiatric drugs causing violent side effects including 1,531 cases of homicidal ideation/homicide, 3,287 cases of mania and 8,219 cases of aggression. Note: The FDA estimates that less than one percent of all serious events are ever reported to it, so the actual number of side effects occurring are most certainly higher.” (10)

Since 1764, there have been 460 reported school shootings in America. This number may include incidents that we wouldn't necessarily equate with the "typical" school shootings that we know today, though those make up a very small portion of the statistics. I think we all agree that even one shooting is one too many. I consider them here only because I'm not necessarily arguing for or against guns - I'm speaking about mental health.

From 1764 up until the Columbine shooting in 1999 (235 years) there were 262 reported shootings, with 210 fatalities. From Columbine to the time this was written - October 2017 (18 years) there were 198 shootings with 248 deaths. (11) At least 36 shootings were committed by those taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs...that we know of. Psychiatric drug use isn't always made public. (12)

Notice I said, school. Shootings. In America. This doesn't account for other violent attacks, like with knives, swords, or explosives. Nor does it account for incidents outside of school, like at a nightclub or a country music concert, nor incidents that happened in other countries. (13)

The point is that guns have always been a part of American culture, and I'm less inclined to believe they're the real problem (certainly not the only problem), especially in lieu of these statistics. I'd be more apt to keep my eyes fixated on the (relatively) new kid on the block...the psychotropic drugs and the wanton prescribing of them to anyone that breathes. Perhaps it would also be a good idea to eliminate corporate collusion with government entities, cronyism, lobbying, and kickbacks, stop electing selfish, corrupt individuals and giving them the power to pass laws that aren't in our best interests, and start instituting term know...for a start.

We have approximately 9 million children on psychiatric drugs in America, and I'll bet you all the Ritalin in the world that no one bothered to first address some of the most important issues surrounding mental and behavioral performance, cognitive function, learning abilities, and brain health, such as:

  • the gut health of the child (digestion, elimination, infections)

  • the diet of the child (especially lack of good quality fats and too many sugars)

  • the environment of the child (proper light exposure, sleep, circadian rhythms, chronic stress, exposure to too many nnEMFs)

  • the amount of time the child spends outdoors, moving their body vs. the amount of time spent indoors on their phone/computer/TV

  • Adverse Childhood Events (ACES) and other traumas/abuse

In short, we need to have a lifestyle intervention, America...because it's destroying us.

From the moment children are born, kids today are being raised with their unmyelinated, aluminum-filled brains fully immersed in a turbulent sea of electromagnetic fields that are causing their brains to short-circuit.

And as I've written about in the past, we have a cell phone addiction that's causing an unusual brain-firing pattern never before seen in the history of human existence. (14)

Add to that an immune system that's been completely wrecked by an ungodly amount of injections of foreign human and animal DNA, heavy metals, antibiotics, weed-killers, bug-killers, and xenoestrogens, and now you want to add ANOTHER chemical or two on top of that - one that's known to cause permanent neural damage?

Kid's brains are literally being rewired, and in a desperate cry for help, some kids are resorting to speaking out in such a way that none of us can ignore. And just because it hasn't happened to your child, doesn't mean you (or they) won't be affected by it at some point.

Just ask the parents of Columbine...Virginia Tech...Sandy Hook...or any of the other 200 school shootings that have occurred since Columbine. Ask the families of those shot in Aurora...Orlando...and now, Las Vegas.

While we're busy arguing with each other on social media about guns, the real criminals are getting away with stop. If the wholesale slaughter of 20 innocent five and six-year-olds at Sandy Hook wasn't enough motivation to get rid of guns, I doubt anything will be.

How about we start addressing what's really going on in this country, and start taking some personal responsibility for our health and the health of our children?

Because there are currently over nine million ticking time bombs under the age of seventeen in America, just waiting to grow up and explode.





































When you are "inspired," you are "breathing or putting life into the human body or imparting reason to a human soul." Inspiration is the breathing in of a divine influence. People like to give that "divine influence" a proper name - God, Allah, Jehovah, Buddha, Krishna - but I don't think that matters. In fact, I think by trying to identify it with any one single divinity misses the point of the universal lesson that all the great masters taught: we are all inspired beings bound to one another by love.

Love is the divine influence. Love breathes and puts life into the human body. Love imparts reason to a human soul. Love inspires you to live. It's the metaphysical energetic input (receiving love) and output (giving love) for the human body, mind, and spirit.

Personally, I don't subscribe to the notion of any one religion or faith - for many reasons. Chief among them is that it divides and excludes, which to me is the opposite of love. It pretends to take a really awesome universal truth - love - and ends up confining it inside a tiny little box. You label your box with an "ism" and share it only with other members of your tribe who believe as you, and all other tribes with their different "isms" are blasphemous and dangerous. So much so that holy wars are waged and innocent people are slaughtered...even though everybody's boxes supposedly contain the same thing - love.

Try as hard as you like, but you will never really fully know the truth of a divine influence as long as you keep it contained in little boxes, hidden from the eyes of strangers. When you do that, you not only limit your ability to give love, but you also limit your ability to receive love. Without that metaphysical energetic input and output, you limit the growth of your own body, mind, and spirit.

What does this have to do with health?

The potential to grow into a mighty oak tree is contained within a tiny acorn. It grows because that's all it knows to do. It doesn't ask for permission. It doesn't feign ignorance. It doesn't fear the unknown. It doesn't take too much of any one thing, and in fact will take only what it needs because all living things (except modern humans) inherently understand that they exist in symbiosis with all other living things.

Every mechanism that it needs to sprout and grow is contained within that tiny shell. When the conditions are right, it will break through that shell and plunge its roots down into the cool earth and throw its branches up towards the sky. As above, so below. It's just waiting for inspiration.

For a tree, inspiration comes in the form of sunlight, earth, air, and water. All four elements are needed for the tree to sprout. Limit any one of them, and its growth will be stunted. Remove any one of them completely and it will die. An oak would never willingly and purposefully limit its growth potential, and it too requires a "give and receive" relationship.

This means that as the oak takes from its environment, it must also give back if it hopes to grow. The fertility of the soil in which it spreads its roots is dependent on the oak shedding its leaves to decompose into a rich humus that attracts other organisms the tree needs to uptake nutrients from the earth. It has to let go to let grow.

The human body is very much like an oak tree. It's a perfect machine, and every mechanism it needs to sprout and grow is contained within the machinery. Like an oak, humans also need sunlight, earth, air, and water, and like an oak, if you limit any one of them your growth will be stunted. Remove any one of those elements completely and you too, will die. But for modern humans, these things are not our inspiration like they are for the oak. These are merely the physical energetic inputs and outputs. To truly blossom and reach our fullest potential, we also need that metaphysical energetic We need a reason to put life into our body. We need inspiration.

You see, because our bodies are amazing machines, we have the ability to get away with some pretty silly ideas and belief systems when it comes to the four elements. Unlike the oak, we willingly and purposefully limit our potential just because we can. Because we lack reason. When you live without inspiration, you are "dis-couraged" (without courage) or "dis-heartened" (without heart.) This causes you to manifest a life of "dis-ease" (without ease.)

We try to define ourselves with our tiny boxes of "isms" so that we can declare to the world that we're more special than everyone else, but in reality all we're doing is confining our growth. You cannot become whole by separating yourself into smaller pieces. You see, "special" doesn't mean "better." It means "limited as to function, operation, or purpose." The more "special" you are, the more you're limiting yourself.

So as I've written before, to be "healthy" means to be "whole" or "holy." If you want to be free from "dis-ease," you need to be inspired to be whole. When you lack inspiration, you lack reason to be and do better. You'll never be whole...holy...healthy.

So holy inspiration is giving reason to the human soul in order to breathe life into the human body to make it healthy and whole. If you lack conviction or dedication to being healthy, start by identifying your inspiration. Find what gives you a reason to live and love it with a courageous heart. Allow the inhalations of inspiration to breathe life into your body so that you can be healthy and whole and become a "divine influence" for others to be and do the same.

 Find your inspiration to let go and let grow.

Cultivating a Path

In my former life as a restaurant owner, a common phrase you would hear me tell my staff was, “Find your own way,” - as in: “figure out what works best for you, and do that.” As long as we were consistent in our outcome, I didn't care how they achieved their results. It was my job to set the standard, and it was their job to meet it or exceed it. I didn't have time to micro-manage grown-ass adults. I did my best to hire carefully, and let them have at it.

“Find your own way” has kind of been my mantra ever since I graduated high school.

I never was what you would call a "good" student. Not that I had bad grades or disrupted class (although in truth, I wasn't a straight A student either, and I was kinda the class clown) was more that it wasn't easy for me to learn in the way that school was structured. I was often profoundly bored, especially when I was forced into learning things that were of no interest to me or that I knew weren't going to serve me in the future. I didn't know exactly what I was going to do when I left, I just knew that I would choose it as much as it would choose me. I also knew that I would never be done choosing, because I had too many interests to pick just one. It didn't make sense to me why I couldn't have them all.

I wish I could say that it was easy, but it was far from it - especially considering that all I heard from nearly everybody was, "You have to get a degree to find a real job," as though working for someone else was my only key to success. The only people telling me otherwise were my parents - "You're never going to be happy working for somebody else." I knew that was my truth. I wasn't a worker bee, I was a bee keeper. I was a square peg trying to force myself into the round (w)hole of society, and I had to stop trying to make myself fit in where I didn't belong. I didn't want the life that everybody else had. I wanted my own.

After spending a couple of years doing some immensely stupid shit, I became cognizant of my need to "awaken" and “just be.” Not in a "new-agey hippie" kind of way, but a real mind-shift of "Stop acting like a punk. There's something better for you than this." So I lit a fire to every bridge I knew never needed crossing again, and disappeared from that life literally overnight and started fresh.

I came to realize that when I was actively searching for (forcing) the path, I would often times close my mind to other opportunities that became available to me. Over time, this caused me to have some very serious discussions with myself about what I was (and wasn't) doing, and in these discussions I came to understand the need to both do and do nothing, or “do and allow.” I developed an awareness that it wasn't enough for me to simply set out on my path. Perhaps I needed to allow the path to show itself to me. Instead of trying to force my path, I needed to be aware of what or who was there to guide me. I discovered that when you embrace the concept of “things don't happen TO you, they happen FOR you,” shit gets real. The mind shift that follows is nothing short of liberating.

You see, one doesn't simply find their path. One must actively cultivate it. It's interesting that the Sanskrit word for “cultivation” is “bhavana,” which means “bringing into being” or “allowing into being.” So cultivating a path is a creative endeavor of learning how to both do and do nothing at the same time.

I stopped trying to force things to happen and instead just allowed them to happen - all the while remaining aware of where I needed to step next. “Allowing” in this sense meant being open to people and experiences that I would otherwise shut out, in order for me to cultivate my own path...and in some cases, help others cultivate theirs. In order for me to “do,” I also had to “allow.” I discovered that “the" path is really "many" paths that intersect with many others...if you allow them to. They are a common bond that connect us all. Serve that bond, and your path takes you on many journeys. Serve yourself, and you end up walking in circles and really going nowhere.

Much like when you cultivate a garden, you create the conditions that allow it to grow. First, you have to identify what you want to grow, and then remove all the things that will impede them from growing. You have to prepare the environment to create this living thing so that you can enjoy the rewards it has to offer.

"Do"...Pull the weeds. Prepare the soil. Plant the seeds. Water.

"Allow"...Allow the sunshine. Allow the bees. Allow the growth. Wait.

Where there was once a tangled mess of weeds and thorns, soon becomes an abundance of life-giving sustenance. Yet, the only way you can harvest the fruits of your labor is to both commit and let go at the same time. You have to labor and have patience.

Do and allow.

The act of cultivating a path is both a task AND a gift that binds us all.

Our paths may intersect. They may run parallel. They may sway back and forth, criss-crossing many times. Or they may never meet at all. My path has taken me in many directions and brought me many experiences. Most of them fantastic, some of them not so much. But even if I could go back in time, there's not a single thing I would change, because they have all allowed me to find my way to this particular path that I'm cultivating at this particular time, and I am profoundly grateful and rock-solid on the realization that I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be right now, and the people that are coming into my life are nothing short of amazing.

There are no coincidences.

Synchronicities are the direct manifestations of our subconscious - calling our desires into existence, and informing us that we're in alignment with our chosen path.

Some people identify it as God's will. Some call it karma. Others may even refer to it as "gnosis," or a spiritual awakening leading to an inner knowing. Of course, there are also those who dismiss it outright as "woo," because there's no room for science and spirituality to co-exist in their paradigm. That's okay too. That's their path.

Regardless - I believe that if you want to truly understand your individual purpose here in this lifetime, then it's incumbent upon you to remain open to the notion that the people and experiences set down before you on a daily basis are here to teach you - good or bad - and set you out on your path. I also believe that all of our paths are intended to make this world a better place. Just like our paths intersect, we too, are all connected to one another. The stick you leave in someone else's path may end up causing you to trip and fall one day, so leave your paths and your relationships better than you found them.

Throw off the blinders of our mass-marketing consumer culture that separates us into smaller and smaller boxes. Awaken and start cultivating a path to your best life. It's literally right in front of you.

Do and allow.



Scream All You Want, No One's Going To Save You

From cradle to grave, civilized human beings live an incredibly savage existence.

Our children are delivered into this world by strangers inside a concrete box under fake lights because mothers have been hypnotized into believing they're incapable of performing the most natural, primal, human act there is - bringing forth human life in the natural way it was intended. We allow -insist, even - that strangers deliberately inject these most vulnerable members of our tribe with foreign human, animal, and insect DNA, heavy metals, and antibiotics (anti = against or killing, bios = life; so, literally - "life-killing") because we're told they'll make our babies robust and healthy, and we allow strangers to strap our sons down and mutilate their genitals because of some ancient tradition that thought the body's openings were portals through which impure and malignant spirits might penetrate. It was a purification ritual.

Then, instead of acknowledging that humans are "mammals," (which comes from "mammary glands" - the glands that secrete milk) mothers are once again brainwashed into feeding their children “formulas" instead of nature's perfect food - which was designed over the course of a couple million years to actually nourish and grow a healthy human. Baby's next foods will be different versions of the same old formula, designed to be less nutritious, yet more addictive, so as to create a good, lifelong consumer: sugar covered rice puffs, powdered cheese covered corn puffs, and compressed bits of diseased animals raised in horrific conditions. All the collective medical science and nutritional wisdom we like to brag about having in this country, and this is what the food geniuses have deemed a species-appropriate diet...for children.

These poor, tiny creatures are regularly left alone to “cry it out” whenever they call out for reassurance because somebody somewhere thought it would be a good idea to shame parents into believing that children need to learn how to "self-soothe," so as not to "need" the parent too much. As if the familial bonds of love and affection were a negative trait to instill in a child. This is really an apt lesson to teach early on if you want to be welcomed into the folds of polite society: "Scream all you want, no one's going to save you."

Polite society doesn't like rebels. Obey, or else.

And this all occurs just within the first 4 years of life...from there it really gets bananas.

As soon as they're old enough, we ship our children off to spend their day inside more concrete boxes under more fake lights with more strangers to start training on how to be a good citizen, a loyal worker, and ardent memorizer and test taker. Good grades and a raised hand get you a gold star and an ice cream party. Bad grades and talking out of turn get you detention and Ritalin. All of it is designed with one purpose in mind: control. IF children ever go outside, they're covered from head to toe in clothes and sunblock, because we've been told that after a couple million years, the sun has suddenly decided it wants to murder us.

Twelve more years of compulsory learning, more poison injections, more "life-killing" medications, more shitty food products, more wi-fried brains, more screen addictions, more depression and anxiety...

...less sleep, less water, less sunshine, less time with family, less free time to play and move outdoors, less autonomy, less remembering what it means to actually live like a wild human.

The beautiful savage nature that is inherent in our children from birth is treated like a pathological disease that needs to be medicated and managed if polite society is going to function like a well-oiled machine.

At the ripe old age of eighteen, we kick them out of the nest to be indoctrinated into the cult of compulsory consumerism, and they spend the next decade or two or three acquiring massive amounts of soul-crushing debt, which forces them to labor inside more concrete boxes at jobs they hate for bosses they loathe for money to buy more shiny objects they're convinced will make their lives better...happier.

More shitty food. Three hundred channels of commercials and reality tell-lie-vision lulling you into believing that your life ain't too bad compared to those schmucks. The cycle repeats with each generation living a pharmed-out life of quiet desperation, acting out with reckless abandon towards their bodies and minds as they try to fill the gaping hole left behind from where they severed their umbilical ties with Mother Earth.

Just smile and wave, and wave. Everything will be okay. And yet through our clenched smiles, there's a nagging feeling that civilization is a tinderbox filled with glowing embers, about to ignite and burn the whole shit house down at any moment.

And if it does, everyone will scratch their heads and ask "Why did this happen? How could this happen?"

My response to that is: What did you think would happen?

Humans today are acting the same way ANY captive animal would act if it was forced to live disconnected from it's natural environment. Polite society has become a cage that pretends to keep us safe from the "savage" wildness intrinsic to humanity...if only we would conform and obey. We're disconnected from nature, disconnected from ourselves, and disconnected from each other. Just look at how quick we are to brutalize each other in comments on social media. No civility. No humility. No class.

And surprise surprise...we're getting sicker because of our disconnection from our source. Heart disease, diabetes, cancer, autoimmune disease, Alzheimer's, hypothyroidism, obesity, depression, anxiety, childhood illnesses - all increasing across the board. Meanwhile, life expectancy is down for the first time in nearly four decades. Why is anyone still listening to the bozos in charge of our healthcare system? How can you have stats like that and still be relevant or get to have a seat at the table? We have an entire population informed by dietary and nutritional guidelines set forth by corrupt governmental policy makers, uneducated healthcare experts, and paid-for corporate scientists, and guess who among us is thriving?

The ones who aren't taking their advice. Boom.

I think on some level, we instinctively know something is wrong with the way we're living...otherwise the only way to characterize the way we live - the willful daily poisoning of not only our body, mind, and spirit, but also the planet we live on – is either brilliant stupidity, willful ignorance, or full-on insanity. Yet sometimes I secretly like to believe that we're subconsciously trying to destroy everything we've created because we instinctively know what we're doing is wrong, and we need to get back to learning and remembering how to tend to the wilderness that we all so desperately need right now.

What Is Functional Medicine?

A better model of healthcare is being built today by those practicing Functional Medicine/Health - one success story at a time. It's to be expected that those who stand to lose the most - the ones whose symptom management model is threatened with obsolescence - will be the ones trying to mess things up the most.

There will be charlatans and pretenders that seek to capitalize on the successes of Functional Medicine by calling themselves a "Functional Medicine Doctor" or claim to be practicing Functional Medicine or Functional Health. So before the terms get too polluted, let's be clear about what Functional Medicine/Health is and isn't, as well as what constitutes a Functional Medicine/Health practitioner, so that you - patient/client/consumer - don't end up wasting your time or money on someone claiming to be something they're not.

One of the most fundamental aspects of Functional Medicine/Health is that practitioners work to get to the root cause of what's wrong with you, rather than just treat your symptoms or manage your disease. In fact, most practitioners I know don't even treat for disease. Their main purpose is to help coach up your adaptive physiology by treating the entire body non-specifically as a whole, integrated unit that has the ability to self-heal once it is properly balanced and provided with the correct energetic inputs.

Those inputs are provided by your natural environment and lifestyle choices: eating a healthy diet, having good sleep habits, proper circadian rhythms, exercising, drinking clean water, and exposing your skin and eyes to sunshine daily, while at the same time reducing/eliminating stress, exposure to nnEMFs, too much blue light, toxic relationships, and environmental pollutants.

These are the fundamentals that affect your health the most, and personally, I generally like to spend at least the first thirty days with every new client dialing in the fundamentals before doing anything else, because I want them to fully understand how powerful an effect they have on overall health. Teaching a person how to make fundamental changes that allow them to be able to sleep without the aid of a pill, or poop without needing coffee or a laxative is truly the most powerful medicine of all, and a lesson that lasts a lifetime. In some cases, the fundamentals are all we need to address.

Yeah, they're that powerful.

If your doctor doesn't talk to you about the importance of these things - or provide you with a health coach that does - that's a good clue you're not dealing with a Functional Medicine practitioner.

Supplements? Of course they can be helpful - whether for relief care, corrective care, or maintenance care. In any case, they're an adjunct therapy to be used parallel to correcting your environment and lifestyle habits. In fact, supplements are usually only necessary BECAUSE your environment and lifestyle are out of sync with nature. Sometimes they're needed for a genetic issue. In any case, they should be used for the shortest amount of time possible, unless the situation warrants longer term usage - like supplementing for deficiencies in a vegan diet or making up for nutrients lost due to aging.

If your health practitioner sends you home with a big bag of supplements, herbs, or nutraceuticals - without addressing your lifestyle habits first (or at least, in tandem) - they're not practicing Functional Medicine. Most physicians don't know the first thing about making environmental and lifestyle changes, because it wasn't taught to them in their big pharma-funded medical schools. It's also not uncommon for a doctor to switch from prescribing pharmaceutical drugs to prescribing natural supplements and herbs and calling it Functional Medicine. It's not.

And just so you know, I'm not hating on pharmaceuticals or pretending like Functional Medicine is ALL natural. There are some Functional Medicine docs who also have the ability to prescribe, and will do so when appropriate - like to quickly eradicate a pathogenic bacteria, parasite, or yeast overgrowth. I'm all for intelligent allopathy when necessary, especially if it helps move the patient in the right direction quicker, with less stress, and be able to continue on the with the rest of their healing program. However, I seriously doubt you'll have a FM doc prescribe you an SSRI for depression or a PPI for acid reflux or a statin for high cholesterol. Those should be alarm bells cautioning you to watch out.

Prior to all of that, there should be an extensive intake process designed to acquire as much information about your history (as well as your goals) as possible, in order to best understand your unique, biochemical individuality to decide on the best way forward for you. Just as every patient is different, the healing path forward will be different too. There is NEVER "one size fits all" in Functional Medicine.

The intake form I use is 45 pages long and was designed by the brilliant minds at the Living Proof Institute. You can expect to spend at least an hour+ filling it out, along with at least another hour+ talking with me about your health needs before you sign up for anything. During that time, if I feel like you aren't going to be serious about making the environmental and lifestyle changes that will be necessary for your healing, I'll tell you that I don't think you're a good candidate for my program and send you on your way. Why? Because I want you to be successful and healthy - but your success and health status is up to you, and have to be willing to put in the time to make it happen.

A good practitioner won't waste your time and money.

If you don't spend at least thirty minutes to an hour+ discussing your history and your future on your first appointment with your practitioner - it's not Functional Medicine. It's absurd to make people wait one to two hours, only to see them for ten minutes and then push them out the door with a handful of drugs to manage their symptoms. It's even more absurd that people actually put up with it - like a medically-induced Stockholm Syndrome. 

Finally, there will be labs. Any practitioner who works on you without running labs is just guessing what's wrong with you. Functional Medicine doesn't tests.

Labs underscore the whole "biochemical individuality" thing I mentioned above. They help us dial in what's wrong with you so we can decide how to help you. If your practitioner runs, say, a thyroid panel - but only checks TSH or T4 - then Functional Medicine it most definitely is not. Full thyroid panel or GTFO.

Along with that, Functional Medicine uses "functional" ranges on lab results. I can't tell you how many times I've been told "my doctor said my labs look fine" or, "my doctor said nothing's wrong with me." Conventional lab ranges are based on the averages of sick people. Functional lab ranges are based on what we know to actually represent a healthy person. If your practitioner doesn't know the difference, it's not Functional Medicine. Not only that, if your practitioner actually tells you that there's nothing wrong with you based on your lab results - despite your tears and pain and pleas for help - he's also a dick. Fire him.

That brings us to the critics...the ones who like to punctuate their sentences with the word "quack" and reference They jeer and snort and huff about "alternative" medicine, chiropractors, naturopaths, Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture, placebo effect, meditation, herbs, and anything else not canon to mainstream medicine. They even criticize running labs, as though they're some kind of functional scam. They're not.

The successful outcomes that Functional Medicine has speak for themselves, and they really should be good enough to silence the mainstream naysayers on their own. However, let's be clear here: the only reason conventional medicine is considered "mainstream" at all is because it has the backing of very wealthy and powerful people who have lobbied lawmakers for decades to make it so. If it wasn't so heavily coddled and protected, it most definitely would not be mainstream.

To that end (and to wrap this up) I want to make one final distinction and clarification: I'm not anti-conventional medicine. Indeed, it shines the brightest in cases of acute care - fixing broken bones and mangled bodies, trauma, heart attacks, surgery, a ruptured appendix, etc. If there's an emergency or a need to be cut open or put back together, damn right I'm going to a hospital - even if the food is shit.

But for chronic care - like inflammatory conditions, hormonal problems, autoimmune disorders, obesity, digestive disturbances, metabolic issues, neuroendocrine malfunctions, etc - and ESPECIALLY for preventative care, Functional Medicine is the star illuminating the path towards a brighter future in healthcare.

Caveat emptor, dear health seeker.




How To Properly Feed A Human: BTS

So in the last few blog posts we've talked about how to eat healthy and ways to make healthier food choices for unhealthy foods by buying versions that contain less crap (DBS.) We've also talked about swapping out unhealthy versions of foods for ones that are much better for you (SOS.) These are all excellent strategies for planning ahead for unforeseen "hiccups" and you don't feel like cooking, or for when you or your kids want a snack. Anytime you can stock less bad "S" in your fridge, do it.

Today's topic: boost that shit (BTS.) This ties in nicely with SOS because now it allows you to really boost the nutritional content at mealtimes -often times without picky eaters ever knowing. Let's get right to it.

Exemplo 1: Liver and heart are some of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet, and I highly recommend eating them at least once a week. Most people -especially kids- don't care for liver. It has a taste you either love or hate (I've loved it since I was a kid.) Heart, however is like filet mignon. The heart is a muscle (yes, it's also an organ, but it's made of muscle tissue) As such, it's incredibly tender and tastes like steak. There's really no need to be squeamish about it. Let these be some of the first solid foods your kids transition to from breast milk, and they'll be much more likely to eat it on a regular basis as they grow up. 

My favorite way to eat them is lightly seared in a cast-iron skillet with grass-fed butter and a pinch of Real salt (or Celtic or Himalayan is good too.) Cooked up with a handful of onions and some aioli on the side or a splash of quality balsamic vinegar...sooo good. I'm also a huge fan of patè, head cheese, liverwurst, and braunschweiger. If that's not your thing, then utilize the principles of BTS to work it in once or twice a week. How?

Burgers. Start with pastured pork, lamb, bison, or beef (or a mix.) Chop up a little liver and heart and mix it in, and I promise no kid (or adult) will ever know it's there. You may have to experiment to get the proportions right. While you're at it, mix in one or two pastured egg yolks for even more nutrition. Serve it on a bed of organic greens (skip the bun,) with grass-fed cheese or goat cheese, pastured bacon, avocado, grilled onions and tomato, homemade fermented pickles, and a side of aioli (homemade garlic mayo made with olive oil and pastured egg yolks.) Hell, for funsies add another pastured egg cooked in grass-fed butter on top of it all. I'm a professional. Trust me.

BTS with organ meats also works for meatloaf, meatballs, or making sausage (which was kind of the point of making sausage once upon a time - to use up all the nutritious dirty bits of the animal that people were too squeamish to eat on their own.)

The important thing is to be judicious in purchasing quality, pastured organ meats just like any other cut of meat. Whole Foods can be a good source, as can online sources (US Wellness Meats is a good one.) If you happen to be friends with someone who hunts, ask them to save you the heart and liver if they don't already eat it themselves and it hasn't been blown to pieces by the shot. This is how I fill my freezer with organ meats -from wild game hunting. 

Organ meats are nature's multivitamins. One 4-6 oz serving of liver is enough to meet your weekly needs for pre-formed vitamin A (the kind your body needs, and especially helpful if you have skin problems,) B12, and copper. It's also high in other B vitamin like folate (B9,) iron, copper, zinc, biotin, and choline. Heart is also really high in many of these nutrients, but it's also the best source of CoQ10. If you have heart problems or are taking statins, you need CoQ10. CoQ10 is used in the electron transport chain for energy production and prevention of oxidative stress. (Interestingly, statins deplete this nutrient, which ends up exacerbating musculature problems -especially the heart.)

Exemplo 2: Like organs meats, pastured eggs are also superfoods. They contain high amounts of fat soluble vitamins A,D,E,and K, B12, folate, riboflavin, zinc, calcium, beta carotene, choline, omega 3 fatty acids, and of course -protein (the highest quality of any other food.) They're also a great source of the VERY important nutrient cholesterol. Yeah, cholesterol. I'll write about cholesterol in another post, because it's too long to go into here, but you've been lied to for the last several decades about's a dietary requirement. If you're on a low or no cholesterol diet, there's probably a very good chance you're also suffering from hormonal issues, inflammation, and mental health problems like depression. FYI, cholesterol is only found in animal products...there are no plant sources, so vegans -beware.

Pastured egg yolks are perfect for mixing into all kinds of stuff to boost nutrition: guacamole, smoothies, popsicles, salad dressings, homemade nut milks, tuna salad, mac and cheese, and coffee (yes, coffee. I do 3 a day in mine.)

For the record, I don't usually consider mac and cheese a healthy food. But I've had a lot of parents ask about tips for feeding their kids, and mac and cheese seems to be a staple kid food. However, if you use gluten free noodles (or spaghetti squash or "noodles" made from zucchini,) grass-fed butter and cheese, and raw pastured egg yolks, suddenly you have a game changer. BTS even more by adding chopped broccoli or spinach. In fact, one of our favorite pasta dishes is carbonara: bacon or prosciutto or smoked, wild salmon, (or meatless) with sauteed onions, garlic, mushrooms, peppers, peas, and organic baby kale, spinach, and chard, with two or three raw egg yolks per person and grass-fed butter and cheese stirred in -basically mac and cheese, but boosted.

See how DBS, SOS, and BTS can dramatically alter the nutritional profile of the foods your kids like to eat, without having to give them up completely?

To find sources of locally raised meats, eggs, and other agricultural products, go to

Exemplo 3: Smoothies and popsicles. What kid doesn't like smoothies or popsicles? Here's a great way to BTS out of something that's normally just a big serving of sugar. Start with organic frozen berries or bananas (or both.) Add either homemade nut milk, raw milk, or grass-fed yogurt (if you don't have dairy issues, obv.) You can also use cold-pressed juices like pomegranate, green tea, or herbal teas. Now BTS with some of the following: organic greens, raw egg yolks, small frozen pieces of heart or liver, coconut oil, avocado, raw cacao powder or nibs, almond butter, cashew butter, and a tiny bit of organic, raw honey or liquid stevia (personally I can't stand stevia) to sweeten. 

BTS to the next level with things like collagen powder, grass-fed whey powder, grass-fed colostrum, mushroom powders, green powders, vegetable powders, turmeric, cinnamon...the list is endless, but I think you get the point. Just try not to go overboard, because remember -if it's going to be consumed, it also needs to taste good. Get this one down right, because the look on your kid's face when you offer him a popsicle everyday will be priceless.

Of course, it goes without saying that I heartily recommend a nutrient-dense diet that incorporates a metric crap ton of organic vegetables of all colors -particularly all dark greens, broccoli, beets, onions, and garlic, along with good quality fats and protein from animals who were raised in a quality environment (or wild) and ate a species-appropriate diet -at all times. For reasons outside the scope of this post, I'm not going to go into things like starches and grains. These are things I counsel my clients on based on their individual health issues and goals.

Diets can be negotiable...nutrition is not. If you're a grown-ass adult, you should be eating like one. Otherwise, spare everyone the stunned looks of bewilderment when you're diagnosed with heart-disease or diabetes...or any other number of dietary related diseases. After decades of shoveling toxic garbage down your cake-hole, what did you think was going to happen? 

Every time you put the stabby end of a fork into your mouth, you're making a decision about the quality and longevity of your life. As I've said many times before, the foods you eat are broken down and woven into your physiological matrix. Your food literally becomes you. Make sure you incorporate clean, quality, nutrient dense, real food into your diet on a regular basis. For the times when it's a little more difficult, as long as you adhere to the principles and practices of DBS, SOS, and BTS, you'll be solid gold.

Have any questions or comments about DBS, SOS, or BTS? Fire away.

Hasta luego, freaks.


How To Properly Feed A Human: SOS

Top o' the mornin', lab rats!

So yesterday we talked about DBS. If you didn't read it, make sure you do so that you're up to speed. In it I discussed ways to mitigate damage to your health by omitting unnecessary ingredients in foods that aren't good for you, in order to make them not as bad for you. Some of you may know this as "polishing a turd." In retrospect, DBS should be labeled DBSS (Don't Buy Shitty Shit,) because you're still buying shit -it's just not as shitty. Whatever.

DBS, along with what I'm going to talk about today, is part of my 80/20 rule -wherein making sure that 80 percent of your ACTIONS (not just food) are beneficial to your health, leaving room for the other 20 percent to be less so, but intentionally still good for you. As I said before, it can be too easy to fall back on old, destructive eating habits should life suddenly get a little messy or inconvenient. In the same way that you can't blow up a whale unless you have some explosives, you can't blow up your health if you don't have unhealthy food laying around. No dynamite in the fridge, 'k? 

Moving on to today's profound wisdom: SOS -or- Swap Out Shit.

This is different from DBS in that we're looking to get rid of the "S" altogether. We want to take something that you already eat that's no so good for you, and swap it out for something that is. In most cases it'll be the same thing, just better. In other cases it'll be something altogether different. Consider it an "upgrade" to a better life. A lot of these will be much easier to discern -mostly because they will only contain the primary ingredient and maybe only one or two other ingredients. Chief among them: foods that came from animals that were grass-fed, pastured, wild or wild caught.


Why do these things matter? I'm glad I asked.

First and foremost, the animal itself typically had a better life and death. I think it's important to have reverence for all life, especially one that was taken so that you could consume it's flesh for nourishment. Show some gratitude. More importantly -teach your kids to show gratitude. Raising an animal in its natural habitat (or as close to it as possible) while it ate a species appropriate diet produces a healthier, happier animal. This is good for the animal, and good for you, too. Without going into too much detail, factory farmed meats are cruel and disgusting on so many levels. If it was all I had to choose from, I would be a vegetarian and supplement carefully. There's just no way I could participate in that system. Lucky for me where I live, I can hunt and I also have access to properly pastured animals, including my own.

If you're going to consume animal products -and basic physiology tells us that animal products are a necessary part of a species appropriate diet, without question (don't worry vegans, I'm not calling you out...I support your compassion for living things)- I believe that it's incumbent on you to become aware of the nitty-gritty details about how your food is raised. As long as we keep our heads stuck in the sand, lest we become repulsed -and heaven forbid, risk becoming more enlightened- these abhorrent practices will not stop. The animals will continue to suffer, as will your health, and the health of the only planet we have to live on. I HIGHLY recommend reading this interview with Michael Pollan. It's well worth the time, and it may quite possibly change your life and the lives of your children. In fact, if you read this interview, and you DON'T feel repulsed enough to make a change, there's a very strong chance that you and I will never be friends. Knowledge is power.

So this is kind of where the Paleo diet shines, in that it stresses clean eating of animal products. I'm not a huge strict follower of any one diet, because most diets seem silly to me. Eat real food designed to nourish a human body and brain. I'm all for experimentation on the individual to determine his or her own N=1 when it comes to eating. My parameters are that the diet should be 1) species appropriate, 2) nutrient dense, 3) not inflammatory. Meet those three things, then tweak it to suit your own needs and demands. More on that later. 


So what foods am I talking about? Instead of butter made from regular, grain-fed dairy (or margarine -made from Fabio's tears,) buy grass-fed butter (Kerrygold is a popular brand. Costco sells it in a 3-pack for about $9 here.) Grass-fed butter is a healthy saturated fat. It's anti-inflammatory, high in butyric acid, a good source of vitamins A, E, & K, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), arachidonic acid, and cholesterol (your body needs it to produce hormones and fight inflammation.) Same goes for cheeses. Look for cheeses made from grass-milk or pastured. In fact, let's just include raw, grass-fed milk here too -if you have access to it. Skip the pasteurized, homogenized, grain-fed, pus. If you can't get raw, make your own nut milk. Here's my recipe. If you're buying nut milk, make your own. Instead of eggs from giant factory farms, look for "pastured" -not "pasteurized"- make sure it says "pastured." "Cage-free" and "free-range" don't really mean anything good. It's mostly marketing b.s. Same goes for "vegetarian-fed." Chickens aren't vegetarians. They're related to T-Rex. Seriously.

Stop buying corn-fed, diseased beef (did you read Michael Pollan's interview i linked to above?) Buy grass-fed (really, grass-finished.) That goes for all meats. You want them pastured. Fish? Skip farmed, and buy wild or wild-caught. Can't afford it? A can of wild sockeye salmon is like $3-4. Incidentally, if you buy canned fish, (sardines, tuna, oysters) make sure it's packed either in olive oil or water. Most are in cottonseed oil or soybean oil...super no bueno. Like factory farmed beef, factory farmed fish is disgusting and horrible for the aquatic environment. The one caveat here is farmed oysters and mussels. Those are perfectly fine.


Since a lot of parents have dogs, yes or no? Look, it's pretty well known that chefs like to eat all the naughty bits that gross most people out. We know where the good stuff is and usually selfishly reserve it for ourselves. So with that said, I don't care if a hot dog has lips and assholes in it. Making use of the animal -nose to tail- isn't just respectful and economical, it's healthier. My son's first solid food was grass-fed lamb heart, liver, and raw pastured egg yolk...foods he still eats today. However, I am concerned about all the other nasty preservatives, chemicals, and colorings, as well as the fact that most are made from diseased, grain fed animals. Good news: organic, grass-fed hot dogs exist, without all the "SS." Same goes for things like liverwurst, patè, and blood sausage. Mmmm...hello you beautiful, nutrient dense bastard.


Vegetable oils. Ditch 'em or anything made with them. Instead, use ONLY olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, ghee, duck fat, tallow or lard rendered from properly raised animals. This may run counter to everything you've been taught by "them," but "they" also used to say that smoking was good for you, so screw "them."

Soda? No. Kombucha? Yes. You're welcome. Pickles? Look for naturally fermented ones -i.e. no vinegar on the label- just water, salt, and spices (Bubbies is a good brand -@Whole Foods.) Mayonnaise? Skip the soybean oil and make your own. It's basically just an emulsion of olive oil and egg yolk (and salt, lemon, & water.) Swap out the olive oil for butter, and you've just made one of my favorite superfoods -hollandaise sauce. Peanut butter? Almond butter. Iceberg lettuce? Organic spring mix. Maple "flavored" syrup? Real maple syrup. Refined sugar? Raw honey. Hershey's chocolate? Organic dark chocolate. 

Then of course, there's organic. Honestly though, "organic" is kind of pissing me off because it's starting to mean less and less. Big agriculture and the food industry are getting away with some pretty nefarious shit with organic products these days. All that said, I'll still pay a little extra and hope that I'm not getting hosed, because the health benefits are so worth it. Most of the time. With produce, check out the "Clean 15" (okay to not buy organic) and the "Dirty Dozen" (buy organic.) 

One more quick thing worth mentioning: if you have access to farmer's markets or community supported agriculture (CSA,) take the time to check them out. It's nice to meet and develop relationships with the people who grow your food. The Weston A. Price foundation is a great resource for finding local growers and ranchers in your area that are producing a lot of what I'm talking about. Also, make friends with a hunter or fisherman or learn to hunt or fish. The best way to rebel against a corrupt system that favors profit over compassion and common sense is to participate in it as little as possible and support those who do it right. Learn to operate independent of it. Again, knowledge is power. Why do you think society is being dumbed down at every turn? Control of power.

So here ya go...DBS and SOS. Are there more foods to SOS? Sure, but this is a good start for now. If you want to add to the list, comment below. Simply changing the foods you put in your basket can drastically improve your health and the health of the people you feed. Make it a habit to do these things every time you buy groceries, and you'll be doing yourself and your family a huge favor. The best part? I haven't told you to really eliminate anything...yet. Just make better choices with the bad stuff you're already buying. It really is that simple.

Focker, out.

Next up on How To Properly Feed A Human: Nutrient-dense foods and BTS

How To Eat Healthy: Pt 1

How to eat healthy...let's do this!

I'm going to break this up in installments, because we all know I can be a little...wordy. But before we can start with the physical actions -the "doing," we have to prepare the mind first. As I've said before, you cannot have a healthy body if your thoughts are filled with poison.

I'm going to assume you've read my post on "Inspiration." If not, read it -because you need to identify your reasons for wanting to be healthy. It may sound trite, but if you don't write down your goals and inspirations, then you're really just "winging" it. You're giving yourself too much leeway to get away with NOT doing something -which MAY be, after all, a good part of the reason why you're not healthy in the first place. I emphasized the word "may," so don't attack me for speaking in generalizations.

So step 1: Goals and inspirations...write 'em down and post them on your refrigerator.

Next, acknowledge that in this whole process -you have the freedom to choose. YOU decide what goes in your shopping cart. YOU decide what meals to prepare. YOU decide what goes on the stabby end of your fork and into YOUR mouth. If you have kids, YOU decide for them too. Take ownership. Tell yourself that whatever happens from here on out is your responsibility...not your spouse's (unless you're dealing with kids)...not mine. Yours. Everybody that's in your life needs to either be on board and supportive of you, or they need to disappear.

Step 2: YOU are responsible for choosing to live your best life. YOU are also responsible for choosing to live your worst life. Choose carefully.

I also want you to forgive yourself. Personal judgements are swift and fierce, and they need to stop. If you feel silly or foolish for trying every diet out there and only receiving poor results, that's okay. I've never seen one single diet be appropriate for everyone, and most of them are dealing in manufactured "science," anyway. If you've been to one "expert" and another and another, only to be told "there's nothing wrong with you" or "it's all in your head," the ineptitude and limitations of their abilities and education isn't your fault -it's theirs. If you feel stupid because you don't know how to properly care for yourself, don't. We live in a carefully crafted culture of fear designed specifically to make you feel incompetent and stupid and perpetually afraid so you"ll buy all the shit they want to sell you -even if it kills you. Fear is what keeps our economy humming. If people stopped being afraid, our economy would collapse.

Step 3: The past has passed. Let it go. Let's just concern ourselves with today. Don't worry about tomorrow, it'll be here soon enough. Stop living with guilt. Stop living with shame. Stop living with fear. They will only prevent you from moving forward. Arming yourself with knowledge will give you the power to commit the most rebellious act of all: breaking free from the system and becoming your own health sovereign. You're not a lab rat. You're a human being. Live like one.

Finally, we're not aiming for perfection. Life is too messy to even bother. We can, however, arm ourselves with enough knowledge that we don't even need to concern ourselves with getting everything 100 percent correct...unless you want to, in which case the knowledge bombs will help with that too. It's important to acknowledge this, because the inevitable slip-ups or moments of "weakness" lead to guilt. Guilt leads to shame, shame leads to judgement, judgement leads to giving up -and now we're back to step one. I like to build in "safety measures" for those moments when life takes a dump on your head. You'll soon learn those.

Step 4: Risk management. You may have heard of an "80/20" rule,
whereby 80 percent of the foods you get to eat are good for
you, and as a "reward" you get to treat yourself to 20 percent dogshit. Dogshit isn't a treat. It's dogshit. The food you eat literally becomes your cells, tissues, and organs. You can't build yourself out of dogshit and not expect to feel like dogshit. I have my own version of 80/20, and it can be scaled up or down to suit you. The idea is to make the majority of your ACTIONS (not just what you eat) beneficial to you. The minority is reserved for when life gets messy. But because you've planned for it (via things like smarter grocery shopping) even your moments of weakness won't sabotage all your hard-won gains. Risk management FTW.

That's it for today. Start here...seriously. Don't skip this, no matter how silly or trite you think it is. The difference between successes and failures are the thoughts and stories you tell yourself about yourself.

Let go, and let grow. Shine on, beautiful people.

how to properly feed a human: DBS

So...I'll try to make this short and sweet...(yeah, right.)

Eating healthy isn't just about what you put into your body, it's also about what you don't put into your body. I shit, Sherlock -right? I mean, it goes without saying that if you want a healthy body, then don't build it out of soda pop and Little Debbie Swiss Rolls (no lie, my lunch nearly everyday in 8th grade...don't tell my mom. Incidentally, I spontaneously and mysteriously threw up a lot that year.) We know these things have no place in a healthy diet, and they should be eliminated completely. We know this.

Now I know it's not realistic to expect someone to completely change the way they eat after three or four or six decades of eating crap. Unless of course, they just suffered some major life-threatening trauma/diagnosis that scared the piss out of them -but that what it's going to take to get YOU to eat like a grown adult? Sadly, for some people the answer to that is yes. But usually by then it's too late. The damage has been done. You can't blow an engine and expect to fix it simply by changing the oil.

It's. Too. Late.

Had you changed the oil 30,000 miles ago like you were supposed to, or paid attention to the strange noises coming from under the hood and the poor performance and gas mileage, you might not have ended up stranded on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck at 3 a.m. Yes, I'm saying that putting tape over the "check engine" light is a horrible strategy for automobile maintenance.

Like a car, your body is fantastic machine, capable of doing amazing things -provided you give it the right fuel. But humans are also "cursed" with free will, and that can lead to some pretty poor decision making sometimes. So how can we mitigate a lot of the damage done to our health by the irrational parts of our brain -especially when we're craving something...dirty?

First, understand that your brain is taking marching orders from either the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight), or the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest.) When the PNS is in charge, the prefrontal cortex is online, and you're straight-up-stone-cold-cherry-chillin'. Not only are you able to relax and make more rational decisions or think more clearly, your digestive system is also properly engaged to do it's job correctly.

The SNS engages parts of the brain that favor survival over anything else, and it's in charge whenever you're stressed. It's going to make you do some pretty silly things because it wants you to stay alive. Except instead of battling bears and tigers, we go to war with strangers on FB over politics and have 9-5 jobs we hate...or kids bouncing off the walls because they've eaten nothing but sugar and excitotoxins all day long. Or all of the above.

Hello stress eating.

You see what I'm getting at. Getting a grip on our stressors is a fundamental part of healthier eating, because we need our rational, thinking brain to be in charge. But not just when you're eating, because eating presumes that you've already BOUGHT the things you're about to eat. This means that your thinking brain needs to be in charge when you go grocery shopping too, so don't buy food when you're stressed or emotional or high AF.

Now getting a grip on your stressors is a post or two in and of itself. I can usually help with external stressors, but really -that's more in your own wheelhouse. I tend to focus on ameliorating the internal stressors via lab testing, as well as teaching you how to modify your lifestyle and habits to heal your body and eliminate those internal stressors. But for now, let's assume you're in the right frame of mind to grocery shop. Ready to have your mind blown?

Don't. Buy. Shit. (aka DBS.)

As long as you DBS, you won't bring it home and eat it or feed it to your kids. Revolutionary, right? 

Before we continue, I want to be clear moving forward: this post is about "healthier unhealthy foods," because I know most of you aren't going to give up things like ketchup or peanut butter or ice cream right off the bat...if ever. That's okay. We'll talk about "healthy foods" and "healthy food swaps" in upcoming posts. DBS will apply across the board, with everything you buy -not just food. You're in charge, right? DBS.

Moving on.

Did you know that for nearly every unhealthy food out there, there also happens to be a healthier unhealthy version of it? You can buy ketchup without high fructose corn syrup and food coloring. You can buy organic peanut butter without hydrogenated oils and sugar. Instead of Häagen Dazs, there's coconut milk ice cream. Bread. BBQ sauce. Peanut butter cups. Cookies. Cigarettes. Vodka.

None of these things are good for you -even the healthier versions- and I can't stress enough that you would be better off without them. But the healthier versions are a hell of a lot better for you than their unhealthy counterpart by virtue of what you're NOT putting in your body...BPA, MSG, parabens, food colorings, preservatives, those things have no place in ANY human body -young or old. You're still usually getting a healthy dose of sugar or starches or whatever, so I emphasize -these things are still not good for you to consume on a regular basis. But humans being human beings, we like to live dangerously.

Yes, sometimes these things can be a tiny bit more expensive, but not more expensive than replacing your engine. Next time you're at the grocery store, remember to DBS. Take a little more time to seek out a better version of the things you know aren't any good for you. They're there. If you have questions, ask me. I'll do my best to help you find a healthier unhealthy version of what you're looking for. Eventually, the plan will be to gently wean you off these things and on to a more healthy, whole food diet, without ever missing the crap.

But for now, DBS.

Of course, this also means you need to learn how to read a label. Empower yourself with the knowledge of what's in your food so that you can make a more educated decision about what to buy. IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO BE AN INFORMED CONSUMER. If you think the food industry actually cares about your health and well being, then I have a vaccine to sell you. 

Environmental Working Group (EWG) has a couple of great apps you can download for free, so that when you go shopping you can scan the bar code and get more info on that product, as well as a better option. EWG's Food Scores app deals with food, and their Healthy Living app deals with food, cleaning supplies, and body care products. We'll be addressing cleaning supplies and body care products in future posts, so you can just stick with the Food Scores app for now, if you want.

That's it for now, punks. Sorry I started out this post with a lie. I'll try to make them shorter. (No I won't. That's a lie too.) #sorrynotsorry

On Becoming "Whole"

The words “healthy” and “holy” come from the same Anglo-Saxon word “hale” meaning “whole.” Think about that for a minute.

To be "healthy" means to be "whole." 

As a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner, I consider the whole person - not just your symptoms. I utilize functional lab testing to determine how well ALL of your systems are working, that way we can develop a better plan on how to make you whole again.

But even more so, I also take in to consideration your mindset, because I know that you cannot have a healthy body unless you also have a healthy mind. What you think, you become. If your thoughts are filled with poison, don't expect the body to be healthy or whole.

Now think about the word “holy.”

“Holy” is usually used when discussing matters of the spirit, and the implication is that in order to truly be whole (and healthy,) one must take in to account body, mind, AND spirit. I think it's important to acknowledge that there is a universal “one-ness” that binds us all...the collective conscious, if you will. I believe it exists as the sum totality of the human experience, including all things alive in nature. You cannot exist independent from it. It exists because we exist, and vice-versa. We are all one. Whole. Holy. 

Now consider the word “holiday” or “holy” day...a day to become whole. Holy days are sacred. "Sacred" means "to dedicate to make something holy"  - whole. We tend to celebrate several holidays each year, but how often do we make them a celebration of being whole? In fact, holidays have become nothing more than an exercise in gluttony to destroy the body, mind, and spirit  - the opposite of healthy...or holy...or whole.

If you ask me, everyday should be a sacred holy-day. Dedicate some time each day toward becoming whole. With each sunrise comes the opportunity to unite your body, mind, and spirit in wholeness and harmony. Don't waste a single one on becoming anything less than what you were designed to be.