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All Posts in Category: Health Basics

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Is Meat Killing You?

Is meat naturally bad for you and something that should be avoided?  Is it causing heart attacks and arthritis?  Brain diseases and depression?  The answer is yes and no.  To answer that, first let’s consider the meat we are eating.  I am often recommending that humans focus on eating food natural to a human diet.  But what about meat?  What is the cow/chicken/fish you are eating having for dinner?  Your diet can have a dramatic impact on your body composition, and the same is true for that cow or chicken. Make sure you are purchasing grass fed, grass finished beef.  This means that the cows have not ever been corn fed.  Stated simply, imagine the fat composition of a human who has eaten all corn chips every day.  Compare that to a person who has only eaten salad.  Different bodies, right?  The animal’s diet makes a huge difference.difference-of-grass-fed-meat-from-grain-fed-meat

Historically, the nutrients in fat (fatty acids) looked vastly different.  The omega 3:6 ratio was about 1:1.  Now it is more like 1:20 in most Americans’ diets. Because of that, we are seeing a horrifying increase in inflammatory diseases and heart disease.  Many health experts recommend that you take a fish oil pill to balance that out.  Just take a minute to process that.  Instead of recommending that we eat foods with a natural fatty acid balance, we are trying to tip the scales by swallowing fat in a pill.  You can spend just a little more on the grass fed meats, wild caught fish, grass fed butter, and pastured omega eggs and actually have the right nutrients in your food so you don’t have to take the pill.  Personally, I stopped taking fish oil years ago.  I am not against it, but I do think it seems a little crazy to eat all the wrong foods and then try to make that balance right again with a capsule of oil.  I will take a high nutrient grass fed butter high in Omega 3’s any day.  I buy my grass fed meats right from the farmer at the Kansas City River Market and spend little more than I would at the grocery store up the street.  Despite a family history of high cholesterol, tests always show great results even on a high fat diet.  I would argue that animal products themselves are not bad for you, but the way we raise and process those products can be very detrimental.

Interested in receiving my information on fertility in a series of emails?  It’s free, and organized for your convenience.  Contact my assistant at DrJohson@aspirehealthkc.com and ask to receive the optimizing fertility series.  This includes the blogs on the website and a few extra tips.

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Meat, Cancer, and the Bacon Craze

The paelo and keto movements have glorified bacon, sausage, and other high fat processed meats.  While it is true that saturated fat may not be the main cause of heart disease, that doesn’t mean that bacon is good for you.  

Regular intake of processed meats is bad for your digestive tract. The curing process changes the meat and produces carcinogens.  Whole natural meats with high vegetable intake seem to be safe.

Vegetables have a protective effect on the digestive tract.  

The studies that are being publicized indicate that the biggest problems come with high processed meat diets without vegetables.  I think it is important for parents to realize that bacon and deli turkey are processed meats and can’t be the only protein their child eats.  Lots of meat without veggies will put you at risk for colon cancer, which is a real and serious risk.  Don’t totally jump on the paleo bandwagon and think that bacon wrapped ham is healthy.  It isn’t good for your digestive tract.  Grass fed meats in reasonable portions AND veggies seem to be a much safer choice than ham and pepperoni.  A “paleo” diet is one that mimics a diet your ancestors would have eaten:  Real Food.  Your ancestors didn’t eat hot dogs and Brauts.  So listen to the info that is coming out and remember that it isn’t new.

Processed foods are often bad for you.  Vegetables are good for you. 

Interested in receiving my information on fertility in a series of emails?  It’s free, and organized for your convenience.  Contact my assistant at DrJohson@aspirehealthkc.com and ask to receive the optimizing fertility series.  This includes the blogs on the website and a few extra tips.

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Your Baby’s Brain is Made of Fat!

Many people believe that a low fat diet is a healthy diet. This is not entirely true. What is important to focus on is the kind of fats that you are eating. This becomes critical when you are building another human! (or trying to).  First, that cute little baby’s brain is the best part, and we have to feed it the right stuff. This is the number one thing I harp on with pregnant mommies and mommies trying to conceive. Fat is vital for proper function of the body. You need fat and cholesterol to make cell membranes. You also need cholesterol to make hormones. You need nutrients from fat to reduce inflammation. If you eat processed fats, you are building your cells with unnatural materials. If you are having a baby, you need to make sure you are making all of their cells and brain tissue with fats that actually exist in nature. And remember, your body feeds a baby fats that you have been eating for the last 3 months, so it matters before you conceive, too.

Remember that fats in a box / bottle feed the inflammatory process in your body. This is especially detrimental in people whose fertility problems are related to inflammatory processes. The right fats are even needed for the egg to be released from the ovary!

omega-3-fatty-acidsOmega 3 fatty acids are significantly deficient in the American diet, but are optimal for nearly every aspect of health and well-being. Deficiency in Omega 3’s can result in depression, anxiety, heart disease, menstrual problems, and excessive inflammation. We don’t just need the Omega 3’s though. Low Omega 6’s have been implicated in spectrum disorders. Do you need to take a capsule of those too? Instead, why not just eat whole foods with fat in them?

Because fish have become such a significant source of toxic exposure in our diet, it is important to make sure you are getting a clean source of fish oil. That means eating wild caught fish. If you do take a fish oil supplement, you MUST supplement with a high quality oil that is molecularly distilled, tested for purity, and kept temperature controlled. This is one supplement that should be purchased directly from your doctor to ensure quality. Low quality fish oil can be rancid and polluted, which is ultimately more detrimental to your health than helpful.

Interested in receiving my information on fertility in a series of emails? It’s free, and organized for your convenience. Contact my assistant at DrJohson@aspirehealthkc.com and ask to receive the optimizing fertility series. This includes the blogs on the website and a few extra tips.

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Where do the allergies start?

What you eat makes no difference when it comes to your allergies, pain, and immune system problems. That’s what you’re told right?

Think again!!

80% of your immune system is in your digestive system.

When you eat foods that don’t exist in nature, or foods that your body doesn’t like, the first thing it touches is the lining of your digestive track. That lining is equipped with a tremendous amount of immune tissue.

If you stimulate it constantly with food or substances that your body doesn’t recognize as healthy and natural, your body will have a much harder time normalizing immune system responses.

If you have allergies and immune system problems, start with food!

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Joint pain and weight gain

Is the joint pain causing weight gain or weight gain causing joint pain?

The answer is probably both!

Inflammation can trigger more inflammation. Some inflammatory chemicals actually block hormone sensitive lipase, a hormone that helps you burn fat. The more inflammation you have, the harder it can be to lose the weight. The more weight you carry, the more those joints will hurt.

I remember carrying my 35 pound 1 year old strapped to my belly for 2.5 miles one morning. By the time I got home, my toes, knees, ankles, hips, and back were all achy in a way I had never felt. This must be what it is like to carry all of this extra weight and try to exercise!

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Sugar free and still overweight?

Some people have very low carb diets and still really struggle with insulin / blood sugar problems.

If this is the case for your, consider addressing inflammation and sleep instead of diet. I sometimes see lean, active women with insulin dependent conditions like fatigue and Polycystic ovarian syndrome.

The surprising reason their diets don’t work? Usually either insomnia or chronic inflammation. If your diet isn’t working,

try focusing on reducing inflammation

.

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Food to regenerate joints

Did you know that we are actually able to rebuild degenerated joints?

We think of wear and tear on joints as being irreversible, but that running injury may still get better.

Supplements like glucossamine are popular for increasing the padding in your joints.

I also like to recommend bone broths, especially to women postpartum.

Bowl of Bone Broth

Turmeric can also be increased in your diet to help regenerate the padding in your joint space. You can take high dose supplements, or try adding it to your food. Keep in mind that a little sprinkle won’t do it. Start by adding a teaspoon to your chicken and veggies. Black pepper, ginger, garlic, and natural fats will make it even more effective.

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21 Day Acne treatment

If you want to do whatever it takes

For 21 days, you’re going to do whatever it takes, no matter how hard it is. If you’re not there, go ahead and stop reading. I’ve been there. In that place you would do anything to not look in the mirror and see a disfigured face anymore. I like to think that I’m not vain, but it’s not about vanity. It’s like you feel like there is this disgusting thing standing between you and everyone else that looks at you and it hurts. That’s why I’ve done literally everything you can think of throughout my life. I’ll tell you what to do if you are desperate, and I think you’ll be glad you did.

You have to do all of it 100% if you want to see a dramatic change in a short time.

Have mild acne and want to clear it for something special?

No problem.

Have severe acne and want to see improvement?

This works.

Some holistic concepts, some not. Follow these steps:

  • Start with an oil cleanse at night using pracaxi oil.
  • Spot treat with nizoral shampoo. The active ingredient, ketoconazole, will help block hormone induced changes. You can get this at any CVS.
  • Daily clay mask. I use premier medi body pack. Apply a thin later over acne prone areas each morning and let it sit while you get ready. Wash this off, and instead of using a cleanser after, just moisturize.
  • Use zen med moisturizer if needed. I like this product a lot, but only use the red label products.

This is your daily routine. Now start healing from the inside out.

Before you start, treat constipation 100%. No exceptions!.

I use Priority One Aloe Complex for a strong laxative. For mild constipation, I like Triphala daily for 6 months. I suggest you have both on hand.

Do not continue until you are having daily bowel movements.

Start a 3 day apple fast. This means nothing but apples and water for 3 days. You can have about 10 organic apples in a day. Make sure you are taking a probiotic.

I recommend Ortho 225. It has 225 billion organisms per packet to restore your gut as you flood it with natural sugar.

After the apple fast, you must be gluten free dairy free sugar free. You have to start your day with protein or fat. Eggs are perfect!

Apple fast and eggs! Perfect combination.

Apple fast and eggs! Perfect combination.

Throughout the day, have a 2 liter Wheatgrass cucumber carrot drink. I use plain wheatgrass powder from Starwest botanicals.

Put 1 tbsp of wheatgrass in the blender with 1 liter of water, 3 carrots, and ¼ of a cucumber. Dilute in 2 one liter bottles and drink through the day.

If you want rapid clearing, I also take a cue from a less common practice. Urea is the healing component in urine that has led many cultures to use urine topically for wounds. I know it sounds gross.

Before you think you have to apply urine to your acne, keep reading.

Urea is used in many acne products. It isn’t easy to find alone, so I will often have compounding pharmacies make it for my patients. If you can add topical urea to your program, I think you will be amazed at your additional progress. More information in future blogs on treating the scars once you heal.

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Make losing the baby weight easy!

I’m going to tell you my solution to a weight loss trend that we all still believe even though it doesn’t work. Everyone believes it by now. Low far, low carb.

So wait…removing 2 out of 3 macronutrients?? And then we say meat causes problems.

So don’t eat too much. Have protein powder.

Can’t we just say don’t eat? Everyone knows someone who has been successful doing this. I see it over the long term, and that’s why I say it’s ridiculous. The lean meat and veggies only diet is not enough. You will break down and eat desserts and sugar to compensate. Or, you’ll be perfect and start to see fun changes like hormone suppression, thyroid changes, anxiety, hair loss, low libido, depression, insomnia, and fatigue.

So how do we eat right if carbs are bad, protein is bad, and fat is bad?

Step 1:

Step 1 is always eat real food.

Step 2:

carb fast.

  • No carbs after dinner.
  • Protein and fat only in the morning. Eggs are good.
  • Mid morning have more fat if needed (like nuts)
  • Have 30 carbs at lunch
  • Have 15-30 carbs with a snack
  • Have 30 carbs by 6 pm

In a 6 hour period, you get to eat carbs 3 times. That’s not deprivation at all. For breakfast, you have fat. That’s always fun. Why does this work? Remember these tidbits:

  • The longer we go without glucose, the more we repair broken insulin / glucose balance. Only 25% of your day requires insulin balance, so you can repair for 75%.
  • We go into storage mode with too many carbs. Staying under 120 per day means you probably are not going into storage.
  • Weight gain from night time eating is triggered by insulin levels increasing while melatonin is high. Fat doesn’t trigger insulin.
  • You have 8 hours to utilize fat. You have about 2 hours to use carbs or store them.

    Storage = weight gain

This is the basic framework to rapid weight loss that works for many of my patients. I was thrilled with how easy it was after my third baby when I switched to this approach.

Keep in mind, you may still need hormone testing, thyroid testing, nutrient assessments, and a personalized plan. If you have done that and you want faster progress, this works. As always with all plans, if you do everything and nothing works, you need to have an expert test you metabolically to see why.

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Saturated fat

Ever looked at a bottle of human breast milk? What’s floating at the top? A thick layer of fat. That fat doesn’t look like olive oil, right? It looks like butter. Lard. Saturated fat. But surely there’s a little bit of “healthy” oil too, right? Some olive oil? Nope. Maybe we should give those babies a statin with that milk!

The truth is that we were designed to consume saturated fat.

If you believe that the food here on our earth is bad, and that fat in a bottle is good, you’ve seriously been duped.

Points to advertisers, and statins are your consolation prize. Whenever I talk to people about this, they always start asking me about their favorite bottled fats. Salad dressing and hummus.

Am I saying that salads and hummus are bad?!

Let’s just zoom out and get a larger perspective. What I’m saying is that nuts and olives on your salad are good. Olive oil and peanut oil on your salad are processed foods that should be thought of as a treat. How often can you have a treat? My perspective from working with many people who have healed from healed from chronic disease is this.

90% real food if you’re trying to make progress, and maybe you can do 80% if you’re just wanting to maintain your changes without further improvement. 90% of an 1800 calorie diet means 180 calories come from a source that isn’t a “real” food. Saturated fats like grass fed butter, pastured eggs, and grass fed meat can be part of your diet, and shoot for about 50% plant fats as well.

Think nuts, olives, avocado, and coconut. What about coconut oil? I can’t tell you that I’ve done a double blind study of the oil vs just the coconut. My assumption is that cracking the coconut is better, but coconut is saturated fat (more stable) and isn’t as susceptible to changing on the shelf. No fats (including coconut) in nature are exposed to air. Nuts have a shell. Avocado has a skin. Eggs have a shell. Air damages fat and makes it less healthy for us. Saturated fat doesn’t get as easily damaged by air. It’s more stable.

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