Dr. Gray's Straight Talk

Honest and blunt healthcare discussion and advice.

Posts Tagged ‘food’

Supertonic – You Wanted It… You Got It

Posted by Dr. Gray on Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Many years ago, my good friend Dr. Page Crow taught me how to make a homemade tonic which he dubbed “Supertonic.” He assured me that it would cure everything, put hair on my chest, make me grow taller, and make me better looking.

Of course, I’m exaggerating, but I was amazed at the wonderful taste and energizing feeling received from the small dropper of liquid that he had asked me to sample. Such an interesting mix of flavors and an explosion of sensation on the tongue. Dr. Crow explained that he had used this concoction as his own immune booster and energy restorer for years, and that it was quite simple to make. I knew I had to give it a go.

Since then, I make at least one batch per year and it has become our family’s number one absolute that we run to as soon as any of us first begins to feel a little down. You know the feeling… that first sensation in your brain where you ask yourself, “I wonder if I’m getting sick?” Whether you’re “getting sick” or just showing a normal response is for another post, but you know what I’m getting at. The power of this simple combination of herbs is, frankly, incredible. We use it for illness, colds/flu, sinus congestion, fatigue, headache, anxiety, as an energy boost,… you name it!

Recently, I have discovered hundreds of recipes similar to Dr. Crow’s “Secret Supertonic.” It seems I had made some assumptions about the origin and secrecy of this recipe that weren’t entirely accurate. In fact, I guess he never really claimed any secrecy at all and encouraged me to share it with others.

Therefore… even though I’ve found (and tried) other similar recipes, Dr. Crow’s has been, by far, the most effective and tasty. Each batch is different. Don’t worry about exact amounts of the different ingredients. In fact, you’ll have to adjust a little up or down based on your taste preferences. Too hot?… back off on the peppers. Flames shoot out of your nose?… back off on the horseradish. You get the idea. Also, the alcohol is not an absolute necessity, it just preserves the tonic longer. So, without further ado, I present Dr. Crow’s Magic Supertonic:

Start with five plants (herbs) and two liquids for extraction and preservation:

  1. Cayenne Peppers – 6-8 peppers (habanero, hot red chili, jalapeno, etc.)
  2. White Onion – 2 bulbs
  3. Garlic – 6 whole bulbs (not cloves… the whole bulb!)
  4. Horseradish – 1 full stalk (or fresh jar of grated if you don’t have industrial blender… fresh root will kill a normal blender!)
  5. Ginger – 2 whole root stalks
  6. Apple Cider Vinegar – 1-2 quart jug(s)
  7. Vodka – 1 liter

Wash your produce and cut into thumb-sized chunks. You don’t have to peel the garlic, just bust the bulbs and separate the cloves. Put handfuls of produce in your blender then a 50-50 mix of the vinegar and vodka to cover the produce. Chop & blend this mixture into a mash then pour it off into a sun tea jar. Keep processing this way until all of your produce is chopped and blended. Pour it all into your sun tea jar. Store in a cool, dark place and shake this mixture up every day for 1-4 weeks (I usually go about two weeks). Then strain off the mash and plant material using cheesecloth, strainer, french press, etc. until you’re left with clear liquid with a little silt. Store your SuperTonic in glass jars and out of the sunlight (we’ve found it easiest to use glass dropper vials bought cheaply on Amazon). It does not need to be refrigerated (but can be if you like) and should stay good for a year or more. Keep out of the reach of children… but they love it, and it works just as well for them as it does for you!

Take a tablespoon of this herbal tonic, swish it around in your mouth, and swallow anytime you are feeling run down or just need a little “pick-me-up.” Or you can use it as a daily immune system booster by taking a tablespoon each morning. If you are getting that, “Uh oh, I’m getting sick feeling…,” you can take four or five tablespoons a day, or more. Remember it’s just food. SuperTonic works! Click Here for downloadable/printable pdf.

I’m still waiting for it to make me taller and better looking…

Dr. Gray

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Eat… Think… and Be Healthy… aka: Use Your Freakin’ Head

Posted by Dr. Gray on Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Let’s face it… we all talk about “getting in shape,” or “eating better,” or “losing a little weight,” or “getting a little more exercise,” or “drinking more water,” or “going for a walk,” or blah, blah, blah.

So, why is it that Americans are fatter than ever? Why are we less healthy than previous generations? Why is our life expectancy decreasing? Why is prescription medication use at an all-time high? If those prescriptions work so well, why do the rates of heart disease and diabetes continue to rise? We live with these facts… despite a multi-billion dollar fitness and self-help industry, and by far the highest health care costs in the world. WHY?!

Because, like politicians, everyone has an excuse.

I’m too busy. That doesn’t taste good. It hurts when I exercise. I’ll start next week. I was under a lot of stress. Those Pringles just looked too good. We had company. It was a holiday. No one else will do it with me. I’ve tried before. I don’t know where to start. On and on and on, you can keep talking yourself out of it and making excuses, but don’t kid yourself. You’re not fooling anyone… least of all yourself. So, enough is enough. The excuses stop now. Here’s how we’re going to do it:

  1. Use your freakin’ head. The first step towards true improvement is to start thinking honestly. You’ll never make anything better by lying to yourself. Be honest with yourself when you choose Froot Loops instead of eggs. Don’t make excuses when you choose chips instead of an apple. These are YOUR choices. With very few exceptions, if you are unhealthy, it is a direct result of the choices you have made and continue to make. Don’t flit through your day ignoring the consequences of your choices. You are not a politician. You’re not going to be able to do whatever you want, blame it on someone else, and let someone else pay for it. It’s on you. You are the one with high blood pressure. You are the one who ends up with diabetic neuropathy. Think.
  2. It’s not rocket science. Too often, I hear people who put off making life changing decisions merely because they’re so damned confused about their options. Low fat or good fats? Gluten-free or Mediterranean? Paleo or HCG? Salt-free or blazing spice? Weight Watchers or Slim-4-Life? At the end of the day, all of that is just hub-bub. If it helps you to follow one of those “diets,” then pick ONE and have at it. However, for the most part all you need to do is follow Step #1. Use your head. You know what’s healthy and what’s not. Don’t worry about it so much and just start making smarter choices. You know when you’re eating too much… put the fork down! You know when you shouldn’t eat something… don’t do it. You know when you’re being lazy… get off your butt.
  3. Two simple food rules. First, if it’s white, there is almost no nutritional value to it. And don’t let them fool you with food coloring. Read the ingredients and if you see “bleached flour,” it’s a white food that they’ve doctored up. For a more clear discussion of what to look for on labels, click here. Second, the faster a food will rot usually means more nutritional value. For example, fresh tomatoes that will last a week are much healthier than canned tomatoes that will last for three years. The hierarchy is thus: Fresh > Frozen > Canned > Boxed.
  4. A coffee cup will help you shed pounds. A standard coffee cup is 8 ounces. Now that we’ve decided to eat better foods, drink one coffee cup of water about a half hour before each meal. Not only will you increase your water intake for the day, but you’ll diminish your appetite making it easier to eat proper amounts. Stop over-eating! And, by the way… Never, never, never “Supersize” your meal at the drive-thru. It’s ridiculous and unnecessary.
  5. Place a Swiss ball in your front room. Sit on it while watching TV. You’ll soon find yourself doing shallow bounces, which means you’re contracting and relaxing muscles. This is good for the core, good for balance, and is a simple calorie burner that keeps the hypothalamus burning. As you get comfortable, start throwing in some clockwise rotations followed by counter-clockwise rotations. During commercials, roll down and do some crunches. When you show comes back on, roll back up and enjoy. Before you know it, you’ve done 30-60 minutes of exercise.

How’s that for an easy start? No more excuses! When in doubt, refer to Rule #1… Use Your Freakin’ Head.

– Dr. Gray

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More Facts About The Cholesterol Myth

Posted by Dr. Gray on Tuesday, August 3, 2010

My last article referenced the myth regarding cholesterol, saturated fats, and heart disease. Well, here are some more facts to chew on:

  • There’s never been a single study that proves saturated fat causes heart disease.
  • As heart-disease rates were skyrocketing in the mid-1900s, consumption of animal fat was going down, not up. Consumption of vegetable oils, however, was going up dramatically.
  • Half of all heart-attack victims have normal or low cholesterol. Autopsies performed on heart-attack victims routinely reveal plaque-filled arteries in people whose cholesterol was low (as low as 115 in one case).
  • Asian Indians – half of whom are vegetarians – have one of the highest rates of heart disease in the entire world. Yup, that fatty meat will kill you, all right.
  • When Morgan Spurlock tells you that a McDonald’s salad supplies almost a day’s allowance of fat, he’s basing that statement on the FDA’s low-fat/high-carbohydrate dietary guidelines, which in turn are based on … absolutely nothing. There’s no science behind those guidelines; they were simply made up by a congressional committee.
  • Kids who were diagnosed as suffering from ADD have been successfully treated by re-introducing natural saturated fats into their diets. Your brain is made largely of fat.
  • Many epileptics have reduced or eliminated seizures by adopting a diet low in sugar and starch and high in saturated animal fats.
  • Despite everything you’ve heard about saturated fat being linked to cancer, that link is statistically weak. However, there is a strong link between sugar and cancer. In Europe, doctors tell patients, “Sugar feeds cancer.”
  • Being fat is not, in and of itself, bad for your health. The behaviors that can make you fat – eating excess sugar and starch, not getting any exercise – can also ruin your health, and that’s why being fat is associated with bad health. But it’s entirely possible to be fat and healthy. It’s also possible to be thin while developing Type II diabetes and heart disease.
  • Saturated fat and cholesterol help produce testosterone. When men limit their saturated fat, their testosterone level drops. So, regardless of what a famous vegan chef believes, saturated fat does not impair sexual performance.

Woo hoo! Three cheers for the mainstream, high-volume, low-quality, cheaply produced food industry! Say it with me folks… “Follow the money!” Refined sugars, vegetable oils, enriched grains, boxed or canned foods, fast food… what do they all have in common?

  1. They cost less to produce
  2. They result in more profits
  3. They last longer on the shelf
  4. They offer “convenience” to the consumer
  5. Most importantly… they offer the minimum amount of nutrition to be considered FOOD.

In our next article, I think I’ll list some words that we hear regularly and see on “food” advertisements… and then give you the true definitions. Until then, take care.

Dr. Gray

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Nutrition For Your Toddler

Posted by Dr. Gray on Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Hi, guys!!! Vacation and a ton of things on my plate and presto!… it’s been a month and a half since I’ve posted. Anyway, I apologize for the delay and let’s get this going again.

Congratulations, you are a new parent! Your beautiful baby is depending on you for many things, and you have to make important choices about what to feed them, including how and when to help them transition to whole foods. The following tips focus on the crucial time period from 6 months to 4 years old, and will help take some of the guesswork out of providing your toddler with necessary nutrition while keeping meals interesting, nutritious and varied.

It’s important to remember that even though extensive research and countless studies have been done in the area of nutrition for children, not every child is alike. For this reason, you should always consult your child’s pediatrician prior to making any changes to your child’s diet or their nutritional intake. It’s always a good idea to avoid any foods or specific substances which you know may cause an allergic reaction in your baby.

When dealing with a picky eater, give your toddler choices. You are in control and you can give them the choice of several nutritious, attractive foods. You might want to try keeping the portions small – too much food at one time may overwhelm the child.

  1. Offer a nibble tray. You might try letting your toddler graze through an array of foods offered in an ice cube tray, a muffin tin or a compartmentalized dish. With bite-size portions of interesting foods in each section, your 2-year-old will enjoy this creative smorgasbord.
  2. Let your toddler get involved with meal preparation. Toddlers like spreading (or more precisely, smearing) toppings on their food. Let them top their own food.
  3. Let your toddler drink their meal. If your youngster would rather drink than eat, try making a smoothie. Milk and fruit, combined with supplements such as juice, wheat germ, yogurt or peanut butter, can be the basis of healthy meals. Caution: Avoid drinks with raw eggs, as you may risk salmonella poisoning.
  4. Find creative ways to disguise veggies. Slip grated veggies into favorite foods such as rice, cottage cheese, muffins and even macaroni and cheese.
  5. Don’t be a slave to the clock. If your youngster insists on eating chicken in the morning and cereal in the evening, let them! The distinction between breakfast, lunch and dinner may have little meaning to the child, and this schedule is likely better than not eating at all.

Respect your child’s developmental stages. Typically, between their 2nd and 3rd birthdays, your child may become set in their ways about everything, including food. If the cheese must be cut into cubes rather than grated for them to eat it, go with it. It might be better to do it the child’s way, because they may not be acting stubborn – they could just have a mindset about the order of things in their world. This phase too will likely pass.

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Easy Grocery Store Health

Posted by Dr. Gray on Thursday, March 4, 2010

I am often asked what foods are the most important and easiest to add to a daily diet to help with nutrition and health. Here are eight foods readily available at your local grocery store that can easily be added to your weekly diet:

  1. Cruciferous Vegetables – This is a family of vegetables that includes broccoli, cabbage, kale, radish, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, collard greens, kohlrabi, mustard, rutabaga, turnips, bok choy, Chinese cabbage, arugula, and watercress. These foods have been shown to prevent and fight cancer by enhancing the elimination of carcinogens before they can damage DNA, and by altering cell signaling pathways in a manner that helps prevent normal cells from being transformed into cancerous cells. They are also packed with vitamins, minerals, and other life-giving, disease-fighting compounds.
  2. Apples – The many benefits of apples have been documented extensively. Here’s a short list: normalize cholesterol levels, decrease metabolic syndrome, retard cancer cell growth, cut smoker’s risk of COPD in half, improve lung function, decrease bone loss… this list could go on and on.
  3. Berries – Berries are a good source of vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. They are high in vitamin D, folic acid, and manganese. They also contain cancer fighting carotenoids, tannins, ellagitannins and gallic acid, as well as quercetin and eye protective lutein. And just as with apples, the seeds of berries are a good source of the anti-cancer vitamin B 17, or laetrile. Berries are also among the best sources of antioxidants which fight against chronic diseases associated with the aging process.
  4. Spinach – Spinach is an excellent source of energy boosting iron, an integral component of hemoglobin which transports oxygen to all body cells. Cancer is only able to grow in cells where the oxygen level is deficient. Spinach also contains at least 13 flavonoid compounds that act as antioxidants and anti-cancer agents, particularly for stomach-, breast-, and skin cancer. A carotenoid called neoxanthin induces prostate cancer cells to self-destruct. Spinach is also high in vitamin K, vitamin C, beta-carotene, folate, riboflavin, and vitamin A.
  5. Beans & Lentils – These vegetables provide soluble fiber that passes through the digestive tract grabbing and trapping bile that contains cholesterol, and removing it from the body. Eating a cup of cooked beans a day reduces risk of heart attack by almost 40%. This soluble fiber also creates more insulin receptor sites for insulin molecules to connect to, allowing insulin to get to the cells that need it, instead of floating freely through the bloodstream.
  6. Nuts & Seeds – Eating these foods five or more times a week reduces your risk of heart attack by a whopping 60%. Research shows that people who eat nuts are generally thinner, have lower levels of LDL cholesterol and better bones. They are also at a lower risk for cancer and inflammation.
  7. Salmon – This superfood really needs its own article to list all its health benefits. Eating just two servings of wild caught salmon a week provides as much omega-3 essential fatty acids as taking daily fish oil supplements. Omega-3 fats help prevent erratic heart rhythms, make blood less likely to clot inside arteries, improve the ratio of cholesterol, and prevent cholesterol from becoming damaged and thereby preventing clogged arteries. It has anti-inflammatory properties on a par with prescription drugs but without the side effects, and is also able to lower high levels of triglycerides. It is a tremendous source of the B vitamins including B12 that normalize blood pressure and promote heart health. Eating salmon as little as 1 to 3 times per month offers protection against stroke caused by lack of blood supply to the brain. Eating it 4 times a month reduces the risk of deep vein thrombosis by 30-45%, and the risk for atherosclerosis.
  8. Turkey – Fantastic lean source of proteins, B vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.

It doesn’t take too much work to eat right, and you don’t have to be so restrictive. The best rule to live by is to increase your intake of good stuff, limit your intake of bad stuff,… and enjoy life!

Sources:
Barbara L. Minton, Natural News.com
Silvina Lotito, Ph.d., “Why Apples Are Healthful”, Linus Pauling Institute Research Report.
“Why Blueberries are Healthful”, Blueberry Council.
“Cruciferous Vegetables”, Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University.
“Spinach”, WHFoods.
“Nutritional Benefits of Beans”, essortment.
“Salmon”, WHFoods.
“Turkey”, WHFoods.

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A New Way of Thinking about Acid Reflux

Posted by Dr. Gray on Tuesday, January 12, 2010

heartburn-meme[1]Heartburn? Reflux? “Acid indigestion?” GERD? … at the first sign of symptoms, most of us immediately dive for the antacids. The common wisdom leads us to neutralize the acid that is causing the pain. In fact, if you search the net, almost all articles about heartburn, indigestion, or reflux conditions end up recommending antacids as the primary treatment method. I’ll admit, the use of antacids often temporarily relieves the symptoms associated with these conditions. Stronger heartburn medications, such as Prilosec, Zantac, Tagamet, or Prevacid, work by inhibiting the actual production of acid by the acid-producing cells in your stomach.

However, as with most medications, you are still only treating the SYMPTOM! Heartburn is merely a sign of stomach or esophageal irritation. Shouldn’t our first question be, “Why are normal acid processes causing irritation?” Let’s face it, there are acids in the stomach. In fact, it’s supposed to be an acidic environment. So here is the shocker… the “new way” of thinking about heartburn and indigestion…

What if your heartburn or acid indigestion is because your stomach is not acidic enough?!

Wha…??? Now how does that make any sense?! Well, if you remember from high school chemistry, acidity or alkalinity is based on the “pH” scale. On a scale of zero to 14, lower numbers mean more acidic and higher numbers mean more alkaline with the median 7 being neutral. Pepsin, one of the most important enzymes in the stomach, is most active at a pH level between 2 and 3, and is nearly inactive above a pH of 5. Pepsin is essential in breaking down proteins and collagen. In our American diet, the pH level of the stomach is often raised to levels above the optimum 2-3. Parietal cells in the stomach produce hydrochloric acid at a pH of about 0.8 that is normally mixed with stomach contents to arrive at the optimal pH range. However, due to the intake of alkaline and processed foods, and because we eat so much, our pH is often much higher. Antacids can easily raise that level to 6 or higher! Now… they may relieve the pain because there’s low acidity, but it also means the acid and enzymes designed to break down your food can’t work.

What happens to undigested food? Well, some of it is passed on prematurely into the intestines which causes irritation because it’s not broken down enough to allow for absorption of the nutrients your body needs. Some of it remains in the stomach longer than designed so it can be broken down more completely. As your stomach senses undigested food it continues to produce more and more acid and enzymes in an attempt to facilitate digestion. However, as mentioned above, because the acidity is not low enough, the process is slow and begins to build up more and more irritating fluids. As the undigested food begins to rot, the bacteria that would have been handled in the intestinal tract begins to give off gas… hence, you start burping. Noxious gas and stomach acids then get kicked up into the esophagus which is not designed to withstand these acids (this is why it burns when your puke).

Eventually, if you don’t vomit, the crud in your stomach makes its way into the intestines where the out-of-control bacteria now creates flatulence, bloating, and an irritable bowel. Throughout this process your body is giving you signs and symptoms that something is wrong. What are these signs and symptoms? Heartburn, indigestion, bloating, stomachache, flatulence, diarrhea/constipation, etc. And what’s the most common solution for these symptoms? Antacids which, although it may temporarily relieve the pain, perpetuates the problem by raising the level of pH even more!

The best solution I have found for this condition (myself and tons of my patients swear by it) is a product known as Zypan. This is an all-natural, whole food supplement from Standard Process that is only available through physicians. It contains pancreatin, pepsin, betaine hydrochloride, and ammonium chloride. In addition to providing essential digestive enzymes, this product also acidifies the digestive tract so that they can function optimally.

There are other factors that can be involved, such as ulcers or mycobacterial infection, so work with your natural physician to determine the proper course of action. But… stop concentrating on symptoms and start getting to the cause!

Dr. Gray

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The Truth About Vitamin C

Posted by Dr. Gray on Monday, September 21, 2009

There are many misconceptions about this valuable vitamin. Most commonly, Vitamin C is sold as a supplement under the name of ascorbic acid. However, what most people do not understand is that ascorbic acid is merely a small percentage of a much larger entity known as the Vitamin C Complex. The FDA has decided to rate any “vitamin C” product according to how much ascorbic acid it contains. In actuality, the real value of this vitamin is not only the ascorbic acid component; it is all the other components that make up the entire complex.

Vitamin C Complex contains what is referred to as the vitamin P factors (bioflavanoids) which help with vascular integrity. Patients deficient in bioflavanoids have a tendency to bruise easily or bleed in their gums while brushing their teeth. What happens is that the blood vessels break or rupture too easily and then bleed. So this vitamin P factor makes the vessels more durable. Vitamin K is also a constituent of the Vitamin C Complex. Vitamin K is actually its own blood clotting factor. It promotes the release of prothrombin. Another valuable component of the Vitamin C Complex is vitamin J… aka “the J factor.” This component increases the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. Patients who are sick need to get oxygen to the tissues, so it can oxidize bacterial or viral toxins to eliminate them with carbon dioxide. The Vitamin C Complex also contains many valuable enzymes with the most important being tyrosinase. This enzyme helps activate the adrenal glands. Ascorbic acid is also a very important component to the Vitamin C complex. It helps acidify the body which helps when we are sick. When we are sick our body tends to be more alkaline.

In a proper Vitamin C supplement of 500 mg, about .01% or 5 mg should be ascorbic acid. The other 495 mg are the other constituents which make up the Vitamin C Complex. Most of the supplements which are sold over the counter may contain upwards of 500 mg of synthetic ascorbic acid and only about 25 mg of the very valuable Vitamin C complex constituents. If there were a supplement that contained 500 mg of natural ascorbic acid, the supplement would have to be the size of a golf ball. If you want to know if your supplement contains a natural Vitamin C, all you have to do is look at the potency. If the capsule or tablet is 500 mg and it contains more than 5 mg of ascorbic acid, it is a synthetic form of vitamin C. Natural forms of Vitamin C complex are extracted by removing water and fiber from whole food sources, such as organically grown alfalfa, mushrooms, buckwheat and rose hips. The remainder of the extract forms a powder which is put into a capsule form for consumption. It holds true that the closer we keep supplements to their natural state, the better the bioavailability of the nutrients.

Article by: Dr. Josh Sonsiadek

*This note is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as a primary therapy for any disease. The purpose for supplementation is to help support the normal processes of the body.*

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How Many Calories Should You Eat

Posted by Dr. Gray on Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Article by: Dr. Josh Sonsiadek

You don’t have to count calories, but that doesn’t mean calories don’t count. They really do. You know the absolute equation that in order to burn stored body fat for energy, you must create a calorie deficit. But if you plan correctly, you will not have to meticulously measure everything you eat like you are trying to complete an organic chem lab experiment.

When you plan your meals correctly results happen without counting calories. The key is to plan approximately 6 small nutrient rich meals that are low in what we refer to as empty calories. The purpose of meal planning is that cravings, appetite, hunger, and the body’s needs for nutrients are met in the right amounts, combinations, and at the right times of the day. When you work at this, it becomes almost second nature or habitual.

For those who need to know numbers as far as the amount of daily calories in a meal plan that consists of 6 meals per day: in women it should be just under 1,600 calories per day and just under 2,000 in men. The most important key is not just the number of calories but the percentage of protein, carbohydrate, and fat that make up those calories you put into your body. On the average if meals are prepared for proper nutrition it should be about 38 % from protein, 44 % from carbohydrate, and 18 percent from fat. Most fast-food diets have this equation reversed, where fat levels and carb levels dwarf protein. So you could see that a person could eat 2,000 fast-food calories, but would not be as healthy as someone who ate 2,000 calories keeping the proper protein to carb to fat ratios.

Many people are overweight or obese not because of what they do over a day… It is the way they have been eating over the months and years. That is most likely due to poor planning, or should I say no planning. Most of us eat as if we are shooting from the hip hoping that if we take some fat burning pill that we will magically lose the weight. There are some supplements that work quite well, but they cannot control the body’s absolute desire to have it nourished through food. We cannot win the fight against food, but we can plan our meals so we give the body what it needs.

My mentor Dr. Rolla Pennell took me under his wing when I had just graduated Chiropractic school, and he said one thing to me that I have heard in my mind everyday for the last 10 years and that is, “son if you don’t remember anything I teach you always remember this,” When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
So if you want to be healthy and achieve your goals in weight loss, nutrition, business, sports, or anything in life you must plan.

Specific questions on how to plan your meals can be directed to josh_sonsiadek@yahoo.com.

*This note is for educational purposes only and is not offering a diagnosis nor promising a cure for any conditions. Please contact your physician before undertaking and changes to your diet*

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10 Ways to Teach Your Children the Value of a Healthy Lifestyle

Posted by Dr. Gray on Monday, August 17, 2009

  1. Practice what you preach. It’s considerably easier to convince your children to adopt healthy habits if you’re doing the same.
  2. Involve the whole family. Establishing a regular pattern of exercising as a family accomplishes two important things: It keeps everyone in shape and serves as important bonding time.
  3. Limit screen time. Too much time watching television or playing video/computer games can lead to excessive snacking and a sedentary lifestyle.
  4. Make it fun. Let your children discover which specific healthy activities they truly enjoy. If they don’t like it, they won’t stick with it.
  5. Focus on the positives. Celebrate your children’s successes and help them develop a healthy self-image. Low self-esteem can lead to poor eating, exercise and lifestyle habits.
  6. Set goals and limits. If goals are excessively restrictive or vague, children are less likely to rise to the challenge. Establish clear nutrition and exercise goals (dessert two times a week; a half-hour walk five times a week, etc.).
  7. Reward wisely. Rather than rewarding children with desserts or sugary snacks (a common tactic), find healthy ways to show a job well done.
  8. Turn them into chefs. Get your children involved in planning and preparing meals; then sit down at the dinner table together and enjoy the healthy meal you’ve created together.
  9. Knowledge is power. Teach children the value of reading food labels and being aware of the healthy (and not so healthy) ingredients in the foods they eat.
  10. Don’t pass the buck. You’re the parent – that means it’s up to you to teach your children about good health. School and health care providers can only do so much.

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Why Are You Hungry?

Posted by Dr. Gray on Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Article by Dr. Josh Sonsiadek

There are two main drives that influence our desire to eat and consume food energy, hunger and appetite. These two things differ tremendously.

Hunger, our main physical drive to eat, is under the direct control of physiology inside our bodies. Organs, such as the liver and brain, interact with hormones, hormonelike (neuroendocrine) factors, the nervous system, and other aspects of body physiology to influence feeding behavior. For example, as nutrients are absorbed, the liver and surrounding organs communicate with the brain through the Vagus nerve. This changes subsequent food choices by sending information about the rate of digestion and energy metabolism from the gastrointestinal tract and the liver to the brain.

Appetite, on the other hand, is controlled by external food choice mechanisms such as seeing a desert or big juicy steak. The problem with appetite is that there are many external factors that control it, such as environmental and psychological factors. Appetite is not necessarily a biological process like hunger is, but it does influence food intake. Many of us eat to celebrate or overcome a stressful event. We associate certain foods with an event that relaxes us or puts us at ease. In most of these cases food is sought for the purposes of comfort and not for its real purpose, and that is energy.

With all this said, it is time to put hunger and appetite into perspective. Remember the physiological influences on eating behavior the next time you pick up a Snicker’s Bar or go to the Chinese Buffet a second time. Body cells (brain, stomach, intestine, liver, and other organs), hormones (like insulin and cortisol), neurological components (like histamine and serotonin), and emotions all influence food intake. Where food is in abundance, appetite- not hunger- triggers most eating. Keep track of what triggers your eating for a few days. Is it primarily hunger or appetite?

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