Category: Nutrition


One of Jack's many 60 year old plus adventures: the ol' hand cuffed tow-boats swim...any takers?

When was the first time you heard the name Jack LaLanne?  I can’t recall because like many American’s I was too young to remember.  I do however remember being impressed. I’m not sure I even knew what the definition of that word meant, but the feeling was there.  The year before I was born, Jack LaLane towed 10 boats carying 77 people, for over one mile, in less than one hour.  He was 66 years old. 

His entire life was just that, impressive.  In a time when no one thought about what to eat, nutrients, calories, processed food, or working abs, butts, glutes or any exercise other than what life demanded of them, Jack was telling it like it was.  He was concerned.  He saw the trends moving toward inactivity and more and more unhealthy food.  He saw those trends clearly because as a child he was part of those trends. Jack has written of his childhood including addiction to sweets and junk food along with a poor physique and behavioral problems.  Jack is quoted saying “I was a miserable goddamned kid, it was hell!”

But Jack changed.  At age 15 after attending a lecture on nutrition, he reformed his diet eliminating sugar, began working out and began studying the human body.  After high school he attended and graduated from chiropractic college, and in 1936 at age 22 he opened his own (not to mention the first) fitness club in America.  In 1955 he won Mr. America, and by 1959 he was on national television taking Americans through all sorts of movements, exercises and callisthenics, while teaching them what health was and how to journey towards it.

50 years ago...Jack was explaining how you eat, move and think over time = your health. Pioneer!

This approach at this early time rightfully earned  Jack the title of Godfather of Fitness.  Unlike many early strongmen, Jack was concerned with health, not just strength and physique.  You can see from the picture on the left, Jack is showing the difference good nutrition, exercise and positive thoughts can have over a lifetime in reguards to health. 

He was telling people to exercise for health back when the medical community was endorsing cigarettes. “People thought I was a charlatan and a nut,” Jack says, “The doctors were against me –

This puts Jack's accomplishements in perspective for sure...

they said that working out with weights would give people heart attacks and they would lose their sex drive. Women would look like men and even varsity coaches predicted that their athletes would get muscle bound and banned them from lifting weights.” 

Jack proved them all wrong and became an authority on health, fighting the good fight as a health advocate for over 80 years.  His television show aired for over 30 years making it the longest running of its kind in history.   Throughout most of our lives, Jack played the seemingly never ending role as America’s inspiration for good health at any age.

Jack passed on Sunday at his home in Morro Bay, CA at the age of 96.  He was an inspiration to millions and one of my heros.

Rest in Peace Jack, You’ve earned it.

With Love,

Dr. Nicholas Araza DC CCWP

Jack at 91 "It's better to wear out than rust out"

Jack’s Feats:

  • 1954 Age 40: Swam the length of the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge underwater with 140 pounds of equipment, including two air tanks… an undisputed world record.
  • 1955 Age 41: Swam, handcuffed, from Alcatraz to Fisherman’s Wharf in
    San Francisco, CA.
  • 1956 Age 42: Set a world record of 1,033 pushups in 23 minutes on “You Asked for It, a TV Show with Art Baker.
  • 1957 Age 43: Swam the treacherous Golden Gate Channel, towing a 2,500-pound cabin cruiser. This involved fighting the cold, swift ocean currents that made the 1 mile swim a 6 ½ mile test of strength and endurance.
  • 1958 Age 44: Maneuvered a paddleboard 30 miles, 9-½ hours non-stop from Farallon Islands to the San Francisco shore.
  • 1959 Age 45: Completed 1,000 pushups and 1,000 chin-ups in 1 hours and 22
    minutes. “Happy” is born and The Jack LaLanne Show goes nationwide
  • 1974 Age 60: Swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman’s Wharf, for a second time handcuffed, shackled and towing a 1,000-pound boat.
  • 1975 Age 61: Swam the length of the Golden Gate Bridge, underwater, for a second time handcuffed, shackled and towing a 1,000-pound boat.
  • 1976 Age 62: Commemorating the “Spirit of ‘76”, swam 1 mile in Long Beach Harbor, handcuffed, shackled and towing 13 boats (representing the 13 original colonies) containing 76 people.
  • 1979 Age 65: Towed 65 boats filled with 6,500-pounds of Lousiana Pacific wood pulp while handcuffed and shackled in Lake Ashinoko, near Tokyo, Japan.
  • 1980 Age 66: Towed 10 boats in North Miami, Florida filled with 77 people for over a mile in less than 1 hour.
  • 1984 Age 70: Handcuffed, shackled and fighting strong winds and currents, towed 70 boats with 70 people from the Queen’s Way Bridge in the Long Beach Harbor to the Queen Mary, 1 ½ miles.

Jack Firsts:

  • Opened the first modern health spa
  • The first to have a nationally syndicated exercise show on television
  • The first to have athletes working out with weights
  • The first to have women working out with weights
  • The first to have the elderly working out with weights
  • The first to have a combination Health Food Bar and Gym
  • The first to have a weight loss Instant Breakfast meal replacement drink
  • The first to have a Coed health club
  • The first to combine weight training with nutrition
  • The first to have an edible snack nutrition bar
  • The first to sell vitamins and exercise equipment on television
  • The first to teach scientific body building by changing the program every 2 to 3 weeks
  • The first to encourage the physically challenged to exercise… to work around their disabilities
  • The first to do feats of strength and endurance to emphasize what exercise and nutrition can do for you
  • Developed the first:
    • Leg Extension Machine
    • Weight selector machine
    • Cable/Pulley machines
    • Calf machines
    • Wrist roll machines

JACKERISM’S:

  • Anything in life is possible if you make it happen.
  • Anything in life is possible and you can make it happen.
  • Your waistline is your lifeline.
  • Exercise is King, nutrition is Queen, put them together and you’ve got a kingdom.
  • Don’t exceed the feed limit.
  • The food you eat today is walking and talking tomorrow.
  • Ten seconds on the lips and a lifetime on the hips.
  • Better to wear out than rust out
  • Do – don’t stew.
  • People don’t die of old age, they die of inactivity.
  • First we inspire them, then we perspire them.
  • You eat everyday, you sleep everyday, and your body was made to exercise everyday.
  • Work at living and you don’t have to die tomorrow.
  • I can’t die, it would ruin my image.
  • If man makes it, don’t eat it.
  • If it tastes good, spit it out.
  • What’s it doing for me?
  • Your health account is like your bank account: The more you put in, the more you can take out.
  • If one apple is good, you wouldn’t eat 100.
  • It’s not what you do some of the time that counts, it’s what you do all of the time that counts.
  • Make haste slowly.
  • Eat right and you can’t go wrong.

For more on this amazing individual please see his website @ http://www.jacklalanne.com/

WATCH THE WEIGHT FALL OFF

THESE ARE THE TOP 10 NUTRITION RULES FOR CREATING A HEALTHIER VERSION OF YOURSELF IN THE NEW YEAR (remember there are side effects associated with health that are much different than the side affects associated with sickness, but side effects nonetheless.  For example, healthier people are more energetic, more muscular, less fat, happier, and generally more pleasant, positive and useful.)

This is for long term change, the only type of change that matters, what’s the point of losing 10 pounds this week if in a year its back and then some…long term healthy relationships is our focus.

Lets get started:

TOP 10 NUTRITION ACTION STEPS to make it simple getting started or refocused.

  1. Add, don’t take away. People often associate change with terrible loss, and that doesn’t have to be the case.  First things first –  let’s focus on being sufficient in getting enough pure foods, and not focus on what bad stuff is in your diet.  You can’t get to a positive by running from a negative…you must run toward a positive (for example, you won’t ever be rich by trying not to be poor)!  Create the life you deserve!
  2. Fruits and veggies first: Eat a fruit or a veggie before every meal.  This ensures that you will get the nutrients your innate genetics need to produce health and homeostasis in your body!  Plus, it will take up some of the room in your stomach, so hopefully you won’t be able to fit as much of the bad stuff in.
  3. Always shop on a full stomach: The battle is won or lost at the point of purchase.  It is much easier to make logical decisions about what to purchase at the grocery store when we are not hungry.  We all know that if a food makes its way into the basket, it is going to be eaten.
  4. Stay on the periphery of the store: That is where the live and healthy foods reside.
  5. Real food goes bad; if it doesn’t go bad, it isn’t good for you:
    1. The more nutrients and health in a food, the more organisms want it.  If bacteria doesn’t want your food, chances are, it isn’t food, and you should toss it.
    2. Store food has been created to be stored, not to give you health, so try and avoid foods with labels or packaging.
  6. Understand the ingredients: Real food has real, natural ingredients like blueberries and almonds.  Fake food has “natural flavorings” to trick our tongues, and chemicals to preserve them.  Usually these ingredients read something like “monosodiumdiaoxylglutamicfuranicmethylwhattheheck???”   By the way – what the heck is a “natural flavoring??”  Last time I checked, “natural” isn’t a flavor.
  7. Keep the ingredients list to 5 or fewer: The more ingredients, the more man/woman has messed with the food, and therefore, the less likely it is a real food.
  8. If it has a health claim, it probably is NOT healthy: Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food, explains that the loudest foods in the store (cereal boxes, dairy and juices) are often the most toxic, and the quietest foods in the store (fruits and veggies) are often the healthiest.
  9. Evaluate food choices by thinking about how you will feel post-consumption: It is absurd when you think about the 23 hours 57 minutes of pain, suffering and guilt you get when eating a donut/Big Mac/pizza, etc. for the 3 min of joy you get while eating it.  Think about what you would want to eat post-workout (for example, after you’ve just finished a really great workout, would you rather have a Big Mac or a smoothie?).
  10. There are NO failures – only feedback! Do not waste time or stress hormones on feeling guilty – look at what you eat in terms of choices, with a goal of becoming healthier.  This is not a diet (destination), it is a way of life (journey).

YOU CAN DO IT  – CREATE THE HEALTH (LIFE) THAT YOU WANT!

Create Health,

Dr. Nicholas Araza DC

Guide to Mediocrity & Chronic Disease 

Wait, wait – what??  How can the pyramid we’ve all grown up with and trusted our own and our children’s nutrition with be leading us astray – away from health and toward disease?

It’s simple: OPTIMAL, 100% HEALTH WAS NEVER THE PYRAMID’S GOAL.  Let me break it down for you:

Below is a simple scale of health with the top being Wellness or 100% Health and the bottom being Death or 0% Health.

100% Health = OPTIMAL HEALTH = Wellness

90%

80%

70%

60%

50% Health = Symptom Free = Not Well!

40% ———————————————

30% Health = Express Symptoms = Sick

20%

10%

0% Health = Dead

Got it?  Good, but what does this have to do with the Pyramid?

EVERYTHING.  You see, the Pyramid was designed for one thing: to keep us from experiencing symptoms in the short term.   It wasn’t designed to keep us functioning optimally and experiencing 100% health!  You see the Red Line?  That = 40% Health.  Let’s say that this is the percentage of health where we as humans start exhibiting symptoms.  Well, the government’s cute little pyramid was designed to keep us above that line, but  as you can see from the above scale of health, simply being above that line does not mean that we are even close to optimal health!

Let’s go deeper – these guidelines are based on RDA’s (Recommended Daily Allowances) of specific nutrients.  It’s a pretty bold assumption for us to believe we have figured out EVERYTHING (vitamin, mineral, phytochemical and the next other nutrient that we haven’t figured out yet) that a whole food produced by Mother Nature contains – there’s just no way we can make that claim.   Then the RDA’s are levels of only the specific nutrients that have been determined to keep 95%+ of the population symptom-free.

Here’s the catch: this was never established with a gold standard for health in mind.  As I said before, the goal of the pyramid is to keep us from getting symptoms, not to make us truly well people.

Questions for you:

If you wanted to be the best golfer in the world, who would you study?

If you wanted to be the richest person in the world, who would you make your role model?

SO,

If you want to be a healthy person in this world, wouldn’t you want to study/model yourself after a group of people who are the healthiest ever to have lived?

Is your answer “yes?”  Then tell me now:  who are the healthiest people ever to have walked this planet?  “Who?” you say?

I’m  glad you asked:

ENTER MY BELOVED HUNTER GATHER (HG) TRIBES, PAST AND PRESENT:

Humans living in tribes that eat solely what they hunt and gather, move like wild human animals, and work together in positive, loving, encouraging and compassionate environments live long lives free of any chronic (lifestyle) diseases.  That’s right, they have no diabetes, no Crohn’s, no cancer, no high blood pressure, no high cholesterol, no strokes, no heart disease, no Irritable Bowel Syndrome, no heart attacks, or any of the other host of diseases responsible for killing 75% of Americans!

Let’s look at the nutrient densities of what typical HG’s eat compared to the average American:

Eaton, Eaton & Konner.  Plaeolithic nutrtion revisited: a twelve year retrospective on its nature and implications.  Eur J. of Clin Nutr. 1997: 51;207-216.

Estimated daily Paleolithic intake of selected nutrients compared to RDA and Current U.S. Intake:

Vit/Min (mg/d)     Paleo Intake      RDA            Current US

Vit A                                   17.2                      4.8-6              7.02-8.48

Vit E                                    32.8                   8-10                  7-10

Vit C                                    604                    60                      77-109

Iron                                    87.4                   10-15               10-11

Zinc                                    43.4                   12-15               10-15

Calcium                            1956                800-1200         750

Sodium                             768                  500-2400         4000

Potassium                      10,500              3500                 2500

Fiber g/d                          104                    20-30              10-20

Energy (k/cal/d)         3000               2200-2900    1750-2500

Pretty sizeable difference, wouldn’t you say?!

Shockingly, two of the Food Groups (Dairy and Grains) on the 5-Group Pyramid were rarely consumed (if at all) by our HG ancestors.  The fact that Dairy and Grains play so prominent a role in the Pyramid is the result of much political lobbying, not scientific research.

I know it is difficult to live as a HG in our current social model; however, when we have them as a gold standard for 100% Health and Wellness, at least now we can start mimicking as much of their lifestyle as possible.

WELLNESS ACTIONS:

1.  Eating natural foods from Mother Nature (fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and healthy meats) and not that processed stuff that our government subsidizes, making a Pop Tart cheaper than a head of broccoli and encouraging our citizens to become sicker and sicker.

2.  Moving, sweating and panting on a regular basis (Functional Fitness), and not just walking the recommended 30 min a day.  Our HG ancestors burned the equivalent energy of walking ~9 miles each day.  If that’s optimal, 30 min is better than nothing, but we’re delusional if we think that is all we need.

3. Positive, loving, caring environments with lots of encouragement, recognition and positive self talk (affirmations and goal setting don’t hurt either).

Back to the Food Pyramid – here is the best Food Guide Symbol Design I have found in my research.  Print it out and put on the fridge, the cupboard, the pantry, and anywhere else you need help making choices that will lead you toward optimal health.

Best I've found if you like shapes to guide your food choices ;-p Best guide I’ve found if you like shapes to guide your lifestyle choices!

Most of all, please remember wellness is a journey, not a destination –  just do a little better tomorrow than you did today.  Guilt has no place in this wellness lifestyle; there are no failures – only feedback.  Each food choice is a new way to bathe your cells in life-giving nutrients. “Progression, not perfection” is what Dr. Franson always says.  Wellness eating is more expensive than consuming processed food, but not as expensive as chemotherapy – and it feels waaaay better!  So, keep at it, stay positive, and ask for help if you need it, because your wife, husband, kids, grandkids, friends, work, and society need you.  And there is NO other way to get healthy.

You can do it

It is worth it

I BELIEVE IN YOU!

Fight 4 Health,

Dr. Nicholas Araza DC CCWP

There's just sooooo many to chose from????

What supplements should you take? It can be darned confusing, and there are no shortage of opinions, advertisements and hype about supplementation. So, I’m here to shed a little light from the perspective of a Wellness doctor on this common question that we in the office get all the time… here goes.

Keep in mind – We wellness doctors understand that the best leadership is by example, so we try our absolute best to “walk the walk,” if you will, and so I will let you know exactly what I do and take when it comes to supplements. When it comes to being healthy and living the wellness lifestyle, what is good for one is good for all. We are all human, with same genetic requirements for nutrients to be healthy, and as long as we are sufficient in those nutrients and not toxic in others, we will express our natural right to be healthy. I do NOT take the following supplements to treat anything, I take them because based on what I have read, all human beings living in the western/modernized world are deficient in these nutrients, and I, fitting into this category, wish to be sufficient in all areas of my nutritional life… I take the following every single day,and these are my serving sizes:

Fish Oil (Innate Choice) – rougly 3.5 grams (3500 mg). The serving size on the bottle is 1 teaspoon and equals roughly 1,700 mg of Omega 3 Fatty Acids, but I’m a reasonably big guy, weighing 200lbs, and I’m very active, so based on what I’ve read, that puts my requirements for omega 3 fatty acids in the 3-6 gram category. So, after the fish oil, I get the other 1-3 grams a day of Omega 3 via grass-fed meats, fish or in the vegan-friendly form, which is ground flax seeds (another great brand of fish oil is Nordic Naturals, same guidelines on dosage).

A 120 lb. female should shoot for between 1.5-3 grams of Omega 3, with at least 1.5 grams of it from fish oil.

Children should be taking roughly 1/2 teaspoon for every 40 lbs. of body weight (800mg Omega 3/40 lbs.).

Probiotics (Innate Choice) – 2 capsules (15 billion organisms/capsule): one in the morning and one in the evening, taken with food (fruits, veggies) because that is the way we would have ingested them in our hunter-gatherer past. These are designed to supply healthy bacteria to your digestive system. It is important that your source of probiotics is chilled and contains certain strains of bacteria.

Children 2 and up 1 capsule / day.  Under 2 years old the infant should be breast feeding and mom should supplement.

Vitamin D – 5,000 IU’s (international units): This one is trickey because I recommend sunshine 1st.  2nd is supplementation and only in the winter if you live above (or below) the 35th paralell.  I started supplementing this last winter because I now live in the 41st paralell and because the information out there on how vital D is, was just too much to ignore. When I was living in Southern California or now during the summer here in New England, I rely on my skin to produce my vitamin D via sunlight. The winters in New England make it impossible to get enough D, so as soon as October hits, it will be back to 6 months of Vitamin D supplementation. I believe the RDA is 400 IU’s, which I just do not think to be adequate at all. Your skin can produce 10,000-20,000 IU’s of vitamin D in 10-45 minutes in the sun, and toxicity (impossible via sunshine on your skin) doesn’t begin to show signs until supplementing with 30,000+ IU’s daily for an extended period of time (weeks and weeks).

120 lb. females and teens should be supplementing with 3-4000 IU’s.

Children 1 year old and up should be supplementing with 2,000 IU’s, and infants (less than 1 year) should be taking 400-800 IU’s. Keep in mind the more sun you get, the less D you have to take. And the natural way is always the best! To find out exactly WHY I take vitamin D, see my blog posts dated July 9 & 16, 2009.

Multivitamin – (Standard Process Catalyn, although I will probably switch to Innate Choice soon) – 1 serving: I eat very clean and congruent, and so I am still only taking it sporadically. When trying to find a good multi, focus on whole food-based, meaning that it IS NOT SYNTHETIC!

I feel that if you are eating a truly sufficient and pure diet that this is the least necessary on the list. You should be able to get everything you need from your foods. However, this is very difficult to do in today’s world, so I feel that a whole food-based supplement could only help address any deficiencies that I may have missed. Basically I may be wasting money, but money is not as important to me as health, and a multi will only help my health, not hurt it. The absolute best way to supplement vitamins into your diet is to blend real fruits and veggies, then drink or add them to a smoothie (that is essentially what a multivitamin’s purpose is), but it is just a lot of work to do that every day, so now I sporadically juice and/or take the multi. Hope that helps.

Supplement 4 Health!

Your Health Coach & Buddy,

Dr. Nicholas Araza DC CCWP

I’m back people!  I apologize for being MIA, but this question was too good not to answer asap!  This one goes out to Phil and his fire buddies in Klamath Falls, Oregon I hope this helps bud. 

That was long, but it definitely sums it up, and if you fell asleep or missed any of it, I’ll recap:  Eat natural things from the earth, un-corrupted by man, things that your genetics understand, things you could hunt and/or gather from mother earth.  Eat veggies, meat, fruit, nuts and seeds.  Focus on adding in the good stuff and worry about eliminating the bad later.   Good luck.

Your Health Coach (and health buddy)

Dr. Nick Araza DC CCWP

I’m going to get right to the point, I’d hope you could use this as a print out on the fridge or cupboard, so it will be straight to the point: 

10 Action Steps for Wellness Nutrition:

  1. Add, don’t take away.  People often associate change with terrible loss, and that doesn’t have to be the case.  First things first –  let’s focus on being sufficient in getting enough pure foods, and not focus on what bad stuff is in your diet.  You can’t get to a positive by running from a negative…you must run toward a positive (for example, you won’t ever be rich by trying not to be poor)!  Create the life you deserve!
  2. Fruits and veggies first:  Eat a fruit or a veggie before every meal.  This ensures that you will get the nutrients your innate genetics need to produce health and homeostasis in your body!  Plus, it will take up some of the room in your stomach, so hopefully you won’t be able to fit as much of the bad stuff in.
  3. Always shop on a full stomach:  The battle is won or lost at the point of purchase.  It is much easier to make logical decisions about what to purchase at the grocery store when you are not hungry.  We all know that if a food makes its way into the basket, it is going to be eaten.
  4. Stay on the periphery of the store: That is where the live and healthy foods reside.
  5. Real food goes bad; if it doesn’t go bad, it isn’t good for you:

    I go bad because I have nutritive value

    1. The more nutrients and health in a food, the more organisms want it.  If bacteria doesn’t want your food, chances are, it isn’t food, and you should toss it.
    2. Store food has been created to be stored, not to give you health, so try and avoid foods with labels or packaging.
  6. Understand the ingredientsReal food has real, natural ingredients like blueberries and almonds.  Fake food has “natural flavorings” to trick our tongues, and chemicals to preserve them.  Usually these ingredients read something like “monosodiumdiaoxylglutamicfuranicmethylwhattheheck???”   By the way – what the heck is a “natural flavoring??”  Last time I checked, “natural” isn’t a flavor.
  7. Keep the ingredients list to 5 or fewer:  The more ingredients, the more man/woman has messed with the food, and therefore, the less likely it is a real food.
  8. If it has a health claim, it probably is NOT healthy:

    what part of bleached rice puffs, sugar and chocolate boost immunity?

    Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food, explains that the loudest foods in the store (cereal boxes, dairy and juices) are often the most toxic, and the quietest foods in the store (fruits and veggies) are often the healthiest.

  9. Evaluate food choices by thinking about how you will feel post-consumption:  It is absurd when you think about the 23 hours 57 minutes of pain, suffering and guilt you get when eating a donut/Big Mac/pizza, etc. for the 3 min of joy you get while eating it.  Think about what you would want to eat post-workout (for example, after you’ve just finished a really great workout, would you rather have a Big Mac or a smoothie?).
  10. There are NO failures – only feedbackDo not waste time or stress hormones on feeling guilty – look at what you eat in terms of choices, with a goal of becoming healthier.  This is not a diet (destination), it is a way of life (journey).

YOU CAN DO IT  – CREATE THE HEALTH (LIFE) THAT YOU WANT!

Love,

Your Health Buddy

another great shopping guide: http://www.innatebodybootcamp.com/site/how-to-shop-healthy-without-knowing-it-all/

 

YES.

Of course it is not that simple nowadays, but if you think about it during the course of human history, it was only until recently that not all food was organic and very very local.  Picture that, all food local and organic! Just imagine fresh, ripe strawberries, apples and broccoli, all ready for the picking and grown by the hand of Mother Nature without any pesticides, herbicides or toxic petroleum-based fertilizers.  You’d think that having food a food supply completely separate from fossile fuels isn’t too much to ask, right?!

Keep the chemicles and white suits in the lab, not on my food.

How is this ok?!

Today we have a lot more to think about on top of cost when making food purchases.  If you are at all concerned with these things as I am, I don’t have to tell you that while it’s definitely the healthiest option, buying organic can be financially painful.  This is especially true if you are eating HGS (Hunter Gatherer Style) and sucking fruits and veggies down by the truckload.  So, this week my post is here to help with your decisions on when to buy organic.

First I want everyone to understand that LOCAL AND ORGANIC IS THE BEST for our health.  Local is the absolute best, and is crucial when available because plants’ infuse many of the nutrients into your foods during the last few days of vine ripening.  So, if it is picked weeks before ripening (in order to ship it 12,000 miles to get to you), it will not contain the same amounts of life-giving nutrients.  Ripening post picking would be better termed “rotting.”  If you happen to be one of the lucky (and I would guess less than 1% of us are) Americans who know the farmers that you buy from, ask them their farming methods, because often they actually are organic, but haven’t paid the government for the label.  When you have a relationship with the people who grow the food you eat, and that food is local, fresh and healthy, labels are not necessarily that important.  Plus, it gives you a warm fuzzy feeling to know exactly how and where your food came from.

Warm fuzzies ;-p

Outside of buying locally, you want to focus your efforts on buying organic produce especially if it is found in the DIRTY DOZEN.  This is a list that EWG (Environmental Working Group) www.ewg.org (an awesome organization) came up with after doing much research.  They found that some fruits and veggies when industrially grown are heavily dosed with any number of toxic chemicals in order to get them from ground to shopper using industrial farming methods, and those are the ones you want to avoid if not grown organically.  They also found that other types of produce grow just fine without pesticides, so they aren’t absolutely an organic necessity.  For an awesome wallet/purse sized cut out describing each the Dirty Dozen & Clean 15 click here.

Personally, I can never remember the difference, so I printed this picture out and it goes everywhere that I go, stashed in my wallet, because I never know when it will be time to gather. 

The best is again to by local, so below are two awesome websites that will help you in your health cause.  Best of luck.

http://www.localharvest.org/

www.eatwild.com

Love,

Your Health Buddy

Dr. Nicholas Araza DC CCWP

Where is the life they deserve? Where are the pastures and the sunshine?

No to soy & no to dairy, then what can we use as an alternative?

That is an awesome question that I got from a few buddies over the last few weeks, but before I can help with that we must first ask what are we using the soy or dairy for?  Most people use dairy or soy as I once did, as a drink, as a supplement, as a condiment (cheese) or as a liquid to pour over cereal grains.

If this is you, get ready for some info that will help you change.  But what if you don’t want to change?  Well, if dairy, soy or grains are staples in your diet, your body is begging you to change & probably giving you signs/symptoms too.  (Eczema, acne and other skin issues, irritable bowl, poor digestion, headaches, weight gain, muscle cramps, constipation, trouble focusing, poor energy, mood swings, anger issues…etc are often earlier signs (late are cancer, diabetes, dementia, heart disease, and early death) that you’re eating things that your body hates whether or not your tongue or your emotions feel differently).  But don’t worry, we’ll go over the why, and when there is a big enough WHY, the “how to change” figures itself out.  

1st let’s discuss dairy.  Dairy as a pasteurized, homogenized product you buy on the shelves of your typical grocery store with a shelf/fridge life of a month or more is an incredibly unnatural, processed (dead) food that is a far far cry from the dairy your grandparents consumed from a healthy happy grass-fed cow.  Dairy now is typically not a great food because of the inhumane treatment & the incongruent diets that are associated with industrial dairy farming.  The average lifespan of an industrial dairy cow is between 3-5 years compared to around 30 when fed a healthy diet and treated well.  (remember you are what you eat, and what they eat too)  Think about the differences:  back in your grandparents’ time, the milk man came around weekly if not daily because dairy back then was a “live” food that had real nutritive value.  It was rich with enzymes, vitamins, minerals, carbs, fats, proteins & other stuff that we haven’t identified yet that was very nourishing not only to us but to bacteria as well.  That is why real food goes bad so quickly, it has value that other organisms are interested in too.  Be wary of “foods” that don’t spoil quickly because they aren’t real “live” foods, but more “food-like (Michael Pollan coined, and has some awesome rules to eating)” man-made processed pieces of junk that will spoil your health in the long run. 

Even if you can get the dairy that your grandparents’ consumed (and you can if you look hard), it shouldn’t be a staple because dairy is acidic meaning it drives your body’s pH balance (the balance between acid and base) toward acidic.  Your body hates being acidic, so much so that it will pull calcium from your bones to balance your chemistry.  This leaves your body with weakened & brittle bones, much more susceptible to fracture, which is the loose definition of osteoporosis.  Yep that’s right, DAIRY IS ASSOCIATED WITH OSTEOPOROSIS!!  I know this is ironic because the dairy industry (lobby) advertises heavily & will have you believe that milk is good for strong bones; however, the calcium that it delivers is used to balance its acidity in the body and you end up with a net negative calcium absorption rate, meaning more comes out of your bones than goes in.  Other animals don’t drink or eat dairy throughout their lives and don’t have osteoporosis (humans do).  The best way to absorb and assimilate the most calcium from your diet is actually from dark green veggies like spinach and broccoli.  They have less total calcium than dairy; however, veggies are alkaline (basic) so you can actually use the calcium in your bones. 

Dairy also causes quite a large insulin spike, which is linked to insulin resistance (diabetes), the release of stress hormones, weight gain, and mitogenic properties (increased aging & cancer) all of which pushes you away from homeostasis (balance) and toward lifestyle disease.   

Dairy is also linked to autoimmune disorders because as an infant, you have what is called a leaky gut.  That means your intestines are porous letting big proteins into your blood stream.  This is brilliant because as an infant you really don’t have much of an immune system, so you rely on your mother’s breast milk (what humans are designed/evolved to consume for the first 2-3 years of life) for immune globulins and antibodies that protect you.  These are really big proteins that fight bacteria and viruses, too big in fact to get through the intestinal wall normally, so the leaky gut allows the passage of these incredibly important proteins that your mother made especially and  specifically for you.  ONCE AGAIN THE BODY IS FREAKING INCREDIBLE EH?!!   Here’s the rub, a person/child with a leaky gut is vulnerable to other huge proteins if eating an unnatural diet (ie if given cow’s milk during that time (or formula), unnatural proteins can get into your blood stream, which your body can confuse with itself and end up attacking both you and the foreign protein.  The same thing can happen with you irritate your guts with grains (gluten especially) later in life causing the leaky gut to return. 

We talked about soy last week, and I’ll post something on grains later this month, so lets get down to alternatives.

Really the only alternative to dairy and soy that I use and feel is the healthiest alternative is almond milk.  The best would be if you made it yourself (home made almond milk, please disregard the chocolate and cereal references). But I feel that Pacific

Good for paleo-cereal & smoothies

is the best with Blue Diamond is pretty good and tastes good too.  The switch can be made gradually or all at once, the vanilla flavored has a bit more sugar but can be an easier switch to do, and then after you are used to it then go for original.  If you can acquire traditional fresh, grass-fed & unpasteurized cows or goats milk, then I say have at it.  It really isn’t that bad, however, it still should not be a staple (once or twice a week) and never for infants, its’ just too risky for possible auto-immune issues later in life.  Other alternatives are eating what humans were designed to eat (fruits, veggies, seeds, nuts & meat) at what may now seem to be odd times of the day.  But who says you can’t have lean grass-fed steak and veggies for breakfast, (cereal has only had a strong hold on the American breakfast since the 70’s to 80’s….hmmm right around the time that we started getting really fat?!)

If you aren’t eating cereal grains (which you shouldn’t be!!,  (awesome alternative PALEO-CEREAL)), then you probably won’t need much alternative, except maybe yogurt, but I haven’t found much to replace yogurt, so I just don’t eat it because again its acidic and if from industrial farmed dairy, pretty terrible stuff.  Better than pop tarts, but remember you are building your amazing body with every bite you take, so build it with heavy duty materials like timber and steel not balsa wood and tin.

Love,

Your Health Buddy

Dr. Nicholas Araza DC

stay tuned for the healthiest alternative to breast milk (which is the best) for your baby

Choice is YOUR Weapon

Everybody knows that we are what we eat; it isn’t too big of a leap to also understand that the foods we chose to put into our mouths eventually become us (our hearts, brains, legs, skin & eyes). It should also make sense that the quality of the foods we eat is important, and differences in not only what we eat but the quality of it will causes different genes to be expressed, changing not only our phenotype (appearance) but also our physiology (the way we function). But did you know that your thoughts shape you in a very similar way. Depending on how you think, you can actually turn on & off genes in your body, causing a completely different expression of your appearance and function. That’s right, you can, in a sense think yourself healthy (and the side effects of being healthy contain but are not limited to: increased energy, better mood, better looks, better digestion, healthy skin, happier, faster, stronger, no inflammation, decreased sensitivity to pain (tissue damage)…and on and on.)

To your nervous system, thoughts are very much like movements, the more often you think a certain way, the better you get at thinking that way. It’s similar to becoming coordinated in a specific movement like shooting a basketball, the more you practice the better you get. This is because of a process called neurosensitization, nerves that fire (are used) often get bigger and require less stimulus to fire. It is a lot like carving a trail through a dense forest, after the first time through there is still much brush left and the trail probably isn’t clear, but after thousands of people have used it, the trail is there, and it is much easier to use. This analogy will also help you understand why you cannot change your thoughts by trying NOT to think of something. Your brain is very good at creating new paths, but it cannot get rid of old ones, just like with the forest, you can create new trails, but only time will cause that original trail to fade.

Why is this important? If you continuously think negative, harsh, contemptuous & hurtful thoughts, those thoughts not only become easier to think, they actually cause stress & trigger the amygdala (stress & anxiety center in your brain) to release stress hormones. Stress hormones are released in response to a stressor (whether negative thoughts, a hungry tiger, angry boss, nutrient deficient lunch, emotionally deficient relationship…etc). Those stress hormones cause breakdown in body tissues to provide ample energy and other changes to promote surviving that stressor, so that you can get back to a restful state. This is an amazing & life-saving system for acute (short term) stress (hungry tiger, deer to hunt..etc); however, this is a terrible & life-taking system for chronic (long term) stress. We now live in a modern world that is void of most acute stressors, and is FULL of chronic stressors, and this is why 75% of the deaths in North America are from lifestyle disease each year.

The good news: knowledge is power, and you can actually think yourself healthier, thoughts that are positive, healthy, happy, affirming, confident…etc (thoughts that are pure and sufficient and that go along with our innate values) have a calming (normalizing) effect because they cause the release of certain neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) that block stress and normalize our physiology. How awesome is that?!

“The left prefrontal cortex can inhibit the stress response by releasing GABA at the amygdala in response to a positive (homeostatic) emotion. This is profound! What this means is that we, as humans can consciously choose to react differently to stimuli and thus control our stress levels.” –Innate State of Mind P28

“Under normal conditions SEROTONIN is released to inhibit the activity of the noradrenergic (stress) cells of the locus cerleus (anxiety relay center) that lead to anxiety. However, under chronic stress serotonin production cannot keep up and the result is that serotonin levels drop. The result of chronic increased noradrenaline and decreased serotonin levels is that people get depressed, feel irritable, tired, and listless, have problems sleeping, get tension headaches…etc.” –Innate State of Mind P30

What this means is that depression is a symptom of chronic stress and unhappy/negative thoughts and not the other way around. It is often specifically related to the chronic stress from habitually negative thought patterns that have been engraved in the nervous system. This is why drugs like SSRI’s (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) treat the symptom by changing brain chemistry, but do not address the cause (a drug will never create a healthy thought pattern).

We must create sufficiency and purity with our thoughts just as we must with our diets and exercise/movement patterns.  It can be a slow process, just like going from a 300 # extremely unfit person to a shredded 175 # fitness guru, but you can do it!  Focus one step at a time, one meal, one work out, one thought at a time.

I believe in you, it’s worth it and you can do it!

Action steps:

Own the consequences: Understand that thinking negatively (you’re stupid, ugly…etc) has a very harmful effect on your health, while thinking positively (you’re smart, beautiful…etc) has a very helpful effect on your health.

Write down in detail how the person you want to be would act, what they would do, how they would think, and what choices they would make, and then start acting, doing, thinking and choosing like they would.

Practice accessing happy memories when you are not in crisis. THIS IS HUGE! Get neurosensitization going on positive thoughts, so that if you find yourself in crisis you can access positive thoughts much easier & break the cycle much faster.

When you catch yourself thinking negative, don’t feel bad or guilty, just focus on something else, what you are thankful for (best & easiest one), your breathing, counting telephone poles, think of a happy memory or place.

Exercise – “relieves muscle tension and increases serotonin and GABA – and (↓) the trait of anxiety. Exercise gives neurons everything they need to connect…” –Spark p 95 Ratey

Get Adjusted – Chiropractic Adjustments improve reduces stress, and less stress = more health!!  Reducing your stress anywhere helps your overall health everywhere.  Get your spine checked ASAP!!

Choose 4 Health,

Love

Your Health Buddy

Dr. Nicholas Araza DC CCWP

or SOY NIGHTMARE? Remember the only foods that are enriched are the ones with very little nutritional value...

Does the title give it away?  So, it turns out that randomly one of my closest buddies, Queenie, sent me an email the same day I posted my first post, asking me about her whole food supplement which happened to contain fermented soy and was that ok?  Needless to say, I was excited because this is exactly why I began this blog, so here goes. 

Although I talk a LOT about nutrition and genetically congruent diets, I am not super passionate about bashing foods; I enjoy more moving toward a positive by explaining why we should eat the things that will allow us to express health (more or less a hunter gatherer diet).  However, there are times when a good bashing is in order, and for today Soy is in my sights.  I’ll be honest; soy was never a food that I was super knowledgeable about.   I have heard probably what you have heard; that soy is good for this and isoflavins are great for that, and soy has been around forever, and dairy is no good and soy is better, and soy protein is a healthy alternative to meat, and also more recently that soy has some hormones that aren’t good, and that soy is primarily genetically modified, and the major producer Monsanto is an evil corporation, and bla bla bla.

Well after some brushing up on the facts, I can sum up Soy one word: terrible.  For you hardcore vegetarians living off of it, breath and remember I have no stock in one way of life over another, my purpose is to acquire and pass on info that will make you and me healthier, NOT, worry about who is wrong or right.  However, if we define wrong as doing things that move you away from health, eating soy is wrong.  After my readings, the only way I have found it to be ok  is through fermentation (in the form of traditional soy sauce, miso, tofu (and not the packaged crap you can by at TJ’s or other super markets…etc)) and then it is still questionable…. Not bad, but more of a gray area. 

Soy MUST BE PROCESSED IN ORDER TO CONSUME. That is the #1 reason, I know we shouldn’t really be eating it; in fact, it is toxic to eat without processing it.  That means that our hunter gatherer (HG) ancestors would have never eaten it because they had no means to process any food other than cooking it a bit.  I learned that soy was primarily used as a nitrogen fixing plant and it was never eaten by any culture due to its toxicity until the fermentation process was figured out, which happens to naturally reduce much of its toxicity. 

In short, soy has tons of phytoestrogens (plant hormones) that are linked to cancers, premature maturation, learning disabilities, immune dysfunction, endocrine (hormone) system dysfunction, thyroid & digestive disorders…etc.  Soy has phytic acid which is linked to mineral deficiencies, which plays havoc on intelligence, reproduction, energy levels, bone formation.  Soy has haemagglutinin, which is a blood clotting factor, and trypsin inhibitors or ANTINUTRIENTS that cause gastric distress, reducing absorption of amino acids and other nutrients leading to numerous pathological conditions.  Lastly, soy protein is also to be avoided at all costs because the process of producing it causes it to contain nitrites (cancer promoters) aluminum absorption (linked to dementia) and trypsin inhibitors (mentioned before), along with other terrible stuff.

Not to mention the fact that it is a grain, it is a subsidized crop, and promoted mainly by soy companies and soy farmers, much to the health destruction of their customers. (watch Food Inc. or read In Defense of Food)

Need more info, check out this awesome article “Newest Research on Why You should avoid Soy” with dozens of research articles to back up what I’ve just written. 

Remember if it is from the earth, not processed and your ancestors could have found (or killed) it, it is good for you, if not, it is probably bad for you and you should throw it away and tell someone about it.  Health is simple; it’s just not always easy.  Try your best, you can do it!

Love,

Your Health Buddy!

Dr. Nicholas Araza DC CCWP CSCS