Integrative Health Blog

Macronutrients and Wellness: Regenerative Agriculture Farms Near DC

Posted by on Tue, Feb 02, 2021


Doctors prescribe micronutrients such as B vitamins, vitamin C, medications, and various healing techniques (e.g., acupuncture, physical therapy) – to name a few I prescribe frequently – but we don’t generally prescribe MACROnutrients. Sure, we prescribe carbohydrate restriction to kill yeast infections, and organic foods especially if your genetic profile shows that you cannot break down insecticides, and we restrict allergic foods that are discovered on food allergy testing e.g., gluten, milk, and eggs. But generally speaking, we/I have done an extremely poor job of prescribing non-toxic and highly nutritious foods mostly because we have never had the opportunity – until now!

Regenerative Agriculture

“Regenerative Agriculture” is a farming practice that, among other benefits, reverse climate change by rebuilding soil organic matter and restoring degraded soil biodiversity – resulting in both carbon drawdown and improving the water cycle. Woody Harrelson narrates the documentary on REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE entitled www.KisstheGroundMovie.com. It’s a full-length, professionally produced, Hollywood production that is becoming very popular with many millions of viewers. You and your friends and family will enjoy it, as you will be filled with inspiration and hope. I was crying tears of joy at the end.

Back to Nature

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Tags: holistic nutrition, integrative health

Steps to Protect Yourself from Electrosmog and EMF Exposure

Posted by on Mon, Jan 25, 2021

The terms electromagnetic smog, electrosmog, EMF, or dirty electricity refer to all artificially generated electromagnetic fields (EMFs) emitted by all the computers, mobile phones, microwave ovens, etc. in the environment and which results in exposure of people, animals, and the environment to them.

Risks of EMF Exposure

Evidence is amassing that electrosmog is capable of causing a wide range of chronic degenerative diseases, especially causing nervous system injury and cancer. Sleep disorders can be caused by electrosmog. Many people who engage in various mindfulness-based healing methods find that electrosmog makes a mindfulness meditation practice exceedingly difficult, since it creates stress that keeps our minds locked into perpetual fight/flight agitation. Children and older folks are more vulnerable, and electrosmog may be a causal factor of such conditions as autism, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, ALS,[1] and mental disorders. Listed here are some simple measures you can take to lessen electrosmog injury in your environment.

How to Reduce EMF Exposure

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Tags: EMFs, integrative medicine, Dr. Gant

Mindfulness and Pets- It's More Important Than You Think

Posted by on Wed, Jan 20, 2021

I would like to start off this article with a reference from Psychology Today by cardiologist and “Food Shaman” Michael S. Fenster MD,[1] who writes about his dog Freya. The title of his article is The Mindfulness of a Dog: An Attitude of Gratitude, and it is so well-written that it is hard to improve on. Enjoy this reference and how it brings out what you already know about our furry friends.

As if it is not enough to bask in the light and love of Freya, allow me to clarify dog consciousness a little more without wrecking the spirit Dr. Fenster’s lovely article. To get you oriented to the map of your brain – which defines what it is to be human – check out my recent book,[2] Awaken Your Godly Brain. In this book, I clarify the purpose of our four brains, and if I may be so forward to suggest, if you don’t know what your four brains are, you will never know who or what you are. Without the help of our furry pets, many of us might not discover what we are either. The four brains are:

1) The Reptilian Brain

The reptilian and oldest, which drives at least 27 behavioral compulsions, basically everything we do to survive in the world.

2) The Limbic Brain

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Tags: mindfulness, mind-body

8 Ways to Quickly Upgrade Your Diet

Posted by on Wed, Jan 06, 2021


It is a new year, full of promise and hope!

Now is a great time to assess your health and make changes. Small changes, made consistently over time, can have a big impact on overall health status. Dr. Coy Roskosky, NIHA chiropractor, recently wrote a great article on how consistency with dietary choices improved his diabetes. So, let’s focus on what we can do to start making conscious choices for diet, starting with consistently choosing food based on the nutritional value and positive affect on the body.

Nutritional Upgrades to Improve Your Diet

  1. Grocery shop with a list and never shop when you are hungry! Try to plan healthy meals for a week and stick to the grocery list. Have an apple or healthy snack before you go so you are not tempted by the big, colorful displays of snack foods.

  2. Focus on eating only real foods from nature for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. If it is a box, package, or bag it is not “real food.” Did Grandma eat it? If not, it is probably processed.

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Tags: holistic nutrition

Mindfulness and Sobriety: Help for Substance Use Disorders and Recovery

Posted by on Wed, Dec 23, 2020

Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

~ The 11th Step in AA

The holidays leading into New Years is often stressful and a time when many will over-use and abuse alcohol and other psychotropic chemicals. The holidays may present challenges for those of us who are committed to sobriety and they can be a risk for relapse. Understanding and applying the unique faculty of consciousness, mindfulness, may be extremely helpful during these celebratory times.

Mindfulness is Another Tool for Addiction Recovery

Mindfulness is not a cognitive faculty (thinking), nor is it emotional, sensory, or behavioral. Mindfulness is separate faculty of consciousness that is largely conferred by our prefrontal cortex or 1/6th of our brain, the part of our anatomy which mostly distinguishes us from animals. Kabat-Zinn has defined mindfulness meditation as “the awareness that arises from paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally. By focusing on the breath, the idea is to cultivate attention on the body and mind as it is moment to moment, and so help with pain, both physical and emotional.” In this series of articles on mindfulness, research is presented on many kinds of physical and psychological ailments and how mindfulness practice relieves them.[1] I teach mindfulness to augment positive outcomes in my medical practice and have found it to be an extremely powerful intervention.

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Tags: mindfulness, addiction, functional medicine

Mindfulness Shows Improvement in Irritable Bowel Syndrome, IBS

Posted by on Tue, Dec 15, 2020

In last week's group, Weight Loss and Mindfulness we had some nice sharing about the positive effects of mindfulness on various aspects of life!
 
So now it is appropriate now to inquire into one of my favorite topics (and maybe yours?) - food.
 
Food, Glorious Food
In this week's Mindfulness and Healing group (12/20), we will examine each step of eating and attempt to slow the process down.
 
I would like everyone to bring some raisins or little chunks of fruit of some kind and have it available during the group. We will attempt to use the characteristics of the visual, taste, smell and the behavior of chewing of food as a mindfulness exercise, much as we would notice the breath moment to moment.
 
Like so many contradictions in the modern world, we have all the food we want and often hardly ever taste any of it. We often talk to others as we eat. Others eat according to the “chomp and swallow method,” which does not allow food to be properly masticated so that it can be prepared for digestion.  Chewing is the first step of digestion which increases the surface area of foods to allow a more efficient break down by enzymes. Undigested food then does not get absorbed and arrives in the large intestines where it can feed some of the unfriendly flora and cause inflammation. Mindfulness of food prepares the digestive tract for proper digestion. The general rule of 20 chews per mouthful can help.
 
Mindfulness and IBS, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Digestive Issues
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Tags: functional medicine, digestive health, IBS, irritable bowel syndrome

Weight Loss and Mindfulness

Posted by on Wed, Dec 09, 2020


Mindfulness Practice has been studied and found to be a useful and therapeutic adjunct in weight loss.[1] 

As a functional medicine physician, one thing that mindfulness can do that I have found to be clinically very helpful is to direct it at eating itself.  A lot of people eat by the “chomp and swallow” technique which causes indigestion and gut dysbiosis. 

Mindfulness helps us recognize our eating behavior. Are you gulping food down? Standing at the counter eating dinner and talking while eating?

Eating Mindfully

Mindfulness can help you slow down and eat more consciously. Mindfulness can break each step of eating into its components, from looking at food, enjoying its aroma, to picking up the utensil, to scooping up the food, to lifting it to the mouth, to opening the mouth, to the first contact with the tongues, to tasting the food, to noticing the intention to chew it, to actually chewing it, to noticing the intention to swallow to actually swallowing it.  Done properly, mindful eating can take a while, but for those of us trained to chomp and swallow, its well worth the time.  Also, it can aid weight loss, because food is much more exciting experience when we bring mindfulness into the picture, so satisfying in fact, that we can get by with less.

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Tags: weight loss, functional medicine, Dr. Gant

The Secret to Success in Health, and Anything

Posted by on Tue, Dec 08, 2020

I am a Type 1 diabetic and have always had a hard time with my blood sugars and with weight. 

I’ve tried low carb eating, watching glycemic index foods, tons of exercise: cardio and weight training.  They all have had a positive effect on me, but I could not sustain it because I was not getting the result that I was expecting.  The rewards of all the hard work were not enough.  Yes, my blood sugars were better and my weight would drop anywhere from 5-10 pounds over a three-month period.  But those rewards were not enough. 

So, I would slowly start slipping back into habits that were not optimal for me.  I would revisit these things over and over during my diabetic life.  I always thought this is what I will be stuck with as a diabetic: retaining weight due to insulin use and blood sugars that would never be absolutely controllable.

Then came the pandemic and I had a lot of free time to work on the things that I had always wanted to do. Two things I specifically focused on were my guitar playing and my diet.   One of my patients follows the ketosis diet.  We spoke for awhile and I decided that I would try to do this because I had the time to prepare meals and I needed to do something different.  Well…9 months later I am down 33 pounds and my daily blood sugars and A1c are the best they have ever been. Near normal in fact! This was amazing to me.  I thought to myself, why is this diet now so successful for me? 

On the one hand it is the diet, but there was something else- and here is my conclusion:

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Tags: integrative health, chiropractic, Dr. Coy Roskosky

Stroke and Mindfulness

Posted by on Wed, Dec 02, 2020

Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases) is/are designated as the #5 leading cause of death in the US, killing about 150,000 Americans per year.

Searching the phrase “mindfulness practice improves stroke outcomes” on Google gets 785,000 hits, so I ask, how could a healthcare consumer ever suffer from, or be at risk of, any common medical or psychological disability, including Stroke and cerebrovascular diseases, and NOT be at least offered chance to engage into mindfulness practice?

A corollary to that question is; once informed about how effective the outcomes of mindfulness training is for any common psychological or medical disability, introduced by a clinician or some other information source, why are relatively few Americans NOT taking advantage of the opportunity to live longer, happier, less symptomatic lives.

Activate the Healing Power of the Brain

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Tags: mindfulness, functional medicine, stroke

10 Foods to Nourish the Immune System

Posted by on Tue, Dec 01, 2020


One of the best ways to keep a strong and healthy immune system is to eat well. What does this mean? We are often confused by the latest and greatest diets, but eating to nourish our health is not a fad, but a lifelong habit.

Nutrient-dense whole foods, fresh vegetables and fruits, lean meats, wild-caught fish, and flavorful spices are the basis for a good diet. Things that come out of a box, package or can are not promoting good health. We need to feed our bodies at the cellular level, and this is best done with a fresh, nourishing diet.

Incorporate these foods into your diet to help keep the immune system strong:

Pumpkin 

Pumpkin is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin and antioxidants beta-carotene and alpha-carotene, and is wonderful to eat and low in calories. Pumpkin can be pureed and added to smoothies, pancakes, granola, protein balls, even macaroni and cheese! (see pumpkin recipes). The nutrients and antioxidant benefits of pumpkin include: protecting eyesight and skin, low calorie/high fiber aids weight loss, may reduce some cancer risk, can boost mood, the immune system and helps fight infection. Roasted pumpkin seeds are a delicious snack and they are a terrific source of protein, zinc, and iron.

Garlic

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Tags: holistic nutrition, immune system, integrative medicine