Time For A Tune Up
by Dave Foreman
Recently, while waiting for the oil in our car to be changed, I came to the conclusion that I needed to write an article on scheduling regular body tune-ups. If you look inside your car’s owner’s manual, you will see scheduled times or miles to have certain part checked or maintained. The same holds true with our bodies.
Just like taking your car in for its 3000 mile/6 month oil and filter change, you need to consider “regular checkups and servicing” for the different areas of your body. Each car is different on what and when you get things serviced and so is each person’s body. For example: if I am a smoker, live in a polluted area or work in a polluted environment, then I may need to service my respiratory system more frequently than someone without negative respiratory influences. In addition to your tune up, we also need to make sure we are treating the specific areas of the body well in-between “service calls”. Check out some basics on the different areas we need to focus on and who might be a candidate for extra care:
For those of us with no real health issues, I suggest cleansing two times a year with a deep, total-body cleanse such as Cleanse Smart or Perfect Cleanse. Aside from these deeper cleanses, I also take greens supplements, detoxification tea (Flor Essence is my favorite) and eat a diet high in fiber, fruits and veggies. The greens, tea and dietary choices help me to maintain a clean running body between “service calls”.
Even though I have no real health issues, I also use other targeted cleanses for my liver and kidneys a few times a year. These are the two main organs that remove toxins from my body, so it’s important to support their health as much as possible.
Below is a short suggestion list of other types of targeted cleanses you may wish to consider based on your lifestyle and health needs:
Parasites: A parasite cleanse can be useful if you regularly eat raw, undercooked food and organic foods, or if you frequently travel internationally.
Yeast: For those suffering from digestive problems, skin issues and chronic yeast infections.
Heavy Metals: This cleanse is great for people who grew up around lead paints or near an oil refinery. Heavy metals cleanses are also good for smokers, and for people suffering from arrhythmias, Parkinson’s disease and nervous system disorders.
Respiratory: Respiratory cleanses are good for smokers, and for people suffering from asthma, allergies and bronchitis.
Urinary: Anyone who has (or has had) urinary tract issues such as prostatitis, bladder problems and kidney stones.
Bowel: For chronic constipation and digestive issues such as acid reflux, heartburn, GERD.
Liver: Toxic lifestyle, stress, past drug use, alcohol abuse, job environment (painter, house cleaning etc.), depression and other nervous system issues
Supplements for your tune up can include your foundational nutrients: multivitamins (gender and age-specific), antioxidants (choose blends, or individual ones targeting any special needs), omega-3s from both plant and fish sources, and lastly a blended probiotic. I use these as part of my Total Body Tune Up on a daily basis.
What does my personal supplement program look like then? Take a look at the list below:
â€˘ Every Man II (three tablets daily)
â€˘ Ubiquinol (100-400mg per day)
â€˘ Turmeric (dose depends on brand)
â€˘ Green Tea (two to four cups per day)
â€˘ Vitamin ShoppeÂ® Standardized Milk Thistle 300mg/day
â€˘ Coromega (one to four packets per day)
â€˘ Vitamin ShoppeÂ® Chia Seeds (one scoop on my salad per day)
â€˘ Flora Smart (one tablet daily) I also take a regimen of what I call “special needs supplements” targeted for my individual
Heart Health Support
â€˘ Vitamin ShoppeÂ®Sytrinol (two capsules per day)
â€˘ Reishi (dose varies)
â€˘ ORAC Energy Greens (dose varies)
â€˘ D3 (5000IU in the winter)
Workouts and Energy
â€˘ Cordyceps (dose varies)
In addition to using the supplements listed above, I make every attempt to eat as many fruits and vegetables as possible. I also eat beans, especially lentils and black beans, regularly. When cooking, I make sure to use herbs in everything I prepare. Curry, cayenne, sage, cumin, garlic, onion, cilantro, ginger, fennel, tarragon, etc. are part of my weekly diet. These herbs not only enhance the taste of my food, but also impart added health benefits that help keep my entire body tuned up.
Supplements for Special Needs
Tuning up your body may be even more important if you are already challenged with a special need such as heart disease. Here is a list of typical health conditions and my suggested approaches:
If you are concerned with cardiovascular disease as you age, consider using some of the following supplements:
SytrinolÂ®: This heart healthy antioxidant helps raise HDL and lower LDL, triglycerides and cholesterol. What else could you want?
Co Q10 or Ubiquinol: Ubiquinol is a heart-healthy antioxidant. People ages 35 and older should consider using it. I certainly do. Don’t just rely on this supplement as your only antioxidant, but include it as a blend of several.
Fish Oil: I use 2-4 grams of omega-3s from fish per day. Read your labels to make sure you are adding up the amount of omega-3s per day and not focusing on the amount of fish oil per capsule.
Nattokinase: Helps with prevention of blood clots.
Green Tea: Perhaps one of the best all-round supplements for overall health. Consider using it as a beverage throughout the day as opposed to a capsule or tablet. (You have to drink something; may as well make it a healthy beverage)
CarniPure: provides added energy support for a healthy cardiovascular system. I am becoming a huge fan of CarniPure and its many health benefits.
In addition to cardiovascular health, immune health could possibly be the most important area we should focus on as we deal with aging gracefully. Many of the “death-causing diseases” and debilitating conditions we face have a direct relation to how well our immune system is functioning. Unhealthy lifestyle choices such as poor diet, lack of exercise and other bad habits like alcohol consumption and tobacco use (not just smoking) all contribute to impaired immune function. Here are some of my top supplements to look for to support a healthy immune system.
Maitake D-fraction: Medicinal mushrooms are great for supporting a healthy immune system. Maitake is one of the super mushrooms and should be part of everyone’s immune concern program.
Chaga: This is another immune mushroom that works differently than Maitake and would be a definite part of my supplement regimen if I had immune health challenges.
Green Tea: Where do I begin? Drink a several cups per day or use the supplement form. Green tea is loaded with antioxidants and has a ton of research showing its positive effects on supporting your immune system.
IP-6 with Inositol: This is a great antioxidant and promotes production of Natural Killer Cells (NK). It’s a great way to help protect your cells from damage and mutation.
Greens: Greens are a powerful addition to your everyday diet to help support your whole body, especially your immune system.
Turmeric and other antioxidants: Antioxidants are critical when it comes to supporting our immune health. I feel with regard to immune health, you can’t get enough antioxidant support. Try to stick with herbs as your antioxidants to get a blend of antioxidants all in one plant.
Joint Health Concerns
Popping, cracking, aching joints are another big concern as we age, but keeping pain-free, mobile joints is not a difficult thing to achieve. Here are a few quick tips to decreasing the chances of developing problems as we age:
1. Lose weight (if you are overweight). Just carrying around an extra 20 pounds can be a significant burden on your lower joints. Don’t believe me? Carry around 2 ten-pound bags of sugar this weekend. That’s what your body is doing when you are “ just” 20 pounds overweight.
2. Eat more greens or buy a greens supplement (this will help prevent osteoarthritis).
3. Eat less animal protein. Consuming too much animal protein will negatively affect your bones and mineral deposits in the joints.
4. Consume more omega-3s: flax seeds, flax seed oil, chia seeds, chia oil or fish oil will help with joint lubrication and support your body’s fight against inflammation.
CeladrinÂ®: Helps lubricate the joints and reduce stiffness, allowing for healing and regeneration. Protection of your cells is critical in slowing the aging process of your joints. Celadrin would be part of my everyday supplement regimen if mobility was a concern.
Ginger: Has great antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in the body
Turmeric: Similar to ginger above
Boswellia: Used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine for pain and inflammation
Glucosamine Sulfate: A key nutrient in building and maintaining healthy connective tissue (the padding between the joints)
There are many reasons for our memory to decline, and regretfully aging can be part of it.
Let’s take a look at a few dietary changes that
can be made to help delay the onset of
age-related memory loss, or maybe even prevent it from happening altogether.
Make sure your diet is high in antioxidants, found in berries, veggies and red, yellow and orange fruits. Believe it or not, consuming a bit of caffeine can improve your cognitive abilities. I would rather have you use tea to get this caffeine, but I am also a realist and coffee does offer caffeine and other health benefits in moderation.
Lifestyle adjustments like stopping smoking, increasing activity (exercise) and getting enough rest (all part of my 4 Pillars of Great Health) will also aid in the fight against gradual cognitive decline. Remember, following my 4 Pillars (Supplements, Diet, Activity and Spirituality) will carry you a long way in battling every health challenge you face.
Here are the key supplements to look for:
Acetyl-L-Carnitine: Provides multiple benefits for the nervous system. Taking 1500mg per day can be beneficial in a short amount of time.
Phosphatidylserine: Provides Serine, an important component for the manufacturing of your own neurotransmitters. I firmly believe this is a critical nutrient for helping balance neurotransmitters.
Lion’s Mane: This is fast becoming one of my favorite “memory” supplements. This needs to be part of your supplement program if you are already beginning to notice memory/cognitive decline.
Bacopa: An Ayurvedic herb that shows some promise for memory problems.
Fish Oil (Focus on DHA): Grandma knew what she was saying when I was a little boy about eating my fish will make me smarter.
The two biggest concerns when it comes to vision and aging are cataracts and macular degeneration. Luckily for us, there are several things we can do to decrease our chances of developing these dreadful conditions. Let’s start with antioxidants. These two conditions have a major connection back to free radical damage. Look for supplements that are high in antioxidants from brightly colored fruit
and veggies like lutein, astaxanthin, bilberry, blueberry, cherry, etc. These provide the most potent visual support. Also, don’t forget that wearing a good pair of sunglasses is critical. Protecting the eyes from UVA/UVB rays is one of the simplest things we can do to help slow down visual damage. Regretfully, many of the stylish sunglasses do little to protect your eyesâ€“they just make you look good.
Drink plenty of water: Consume at least half your body weight in ounces per day and make sure it is purified or distilled. You will have fewer wrinkles. Don’t believe me? Place a prune or raisin in a warm glass of water overnight and see how plump and hydrated it looks the next morning.
Use a shower filter: This may sound crazy, but your skin is a sponge and will soak up all of the toxins in your water. The Vitamin Shoppe has a great selection to choose from. (Ladies: your hair will become smoother, shiner and easier to brush/comb/style).
Use sun-screen: Check out the body care section at your local Vitamin Shoppe for more info and specific products. Apply to your face, ears and neck at least.
Eat organic foods: Focus in on multicolored fruits and veggies (eat a rainbow each day). Don’t forget that toxins leave your body three different ways: urine, stool and sweat. Eating non-organic just opens you up to more toxins that will pollute your skin.
Use omega-3s: Both plant (flax or chia) and fish sources of omega-3s are phenomenal at helping with skin health.
Use antioxidants internally: I love using a wide array of colors for my antioxidants. We consume cayenne, turmeric, greens, berries etc. either as part of our daily diet or in supplement form. Load up before you end up with elephant skin.
Apply antioxidants topically: Many of the same antioxidants that you put in your body can also be applied topically for protection and repair of your skin cells. There are many face and body care products that can be used.
I’ll mention the obvious lifestyle changes for the umpteenth time: Eat fewer calories than you burn, meaning you need to get up and get active and eat fewer calories. Vitaminshoppe.com can help you figure out your ideal daily calorie expenditure and weight, and can even provide some food suggestions.
Supplements help! In some cases, you may need help getting or staying at your ideal weight (I can guarantee you it is lower than you think). Here are my favorites:
Phase 2Â®: Also known as a “carb-controller”. When used just prior to a starchy meal, Phase 2Â® can delay the digestion and absorption of starch calories in your diet. Even though most of you know that I preach to avoid starchy foods, many still do regularly. You may as well get some added support. (non-stimulant)
Green Tea: In either the tea or supplement form, green tea will help boost your metabolism and have an impact on fat metabolism and curbing your appetite.
Tonalin CLAÂ®: Another great supplement for weight loss and can be combined with the above.
Fucoxanthin: A powerful antioxidant and weight loss supplement.
Digestion will often get overlooked when it comes to slowing the aging process, but I think it is critical. If you have poor digestion, the foods and supplements you consume will be rendered less effective than they should be. To assure yourself of healthy digestion:
â€˘ Make sure you consume plenty of purified water and herbal teas throughout the day. At least half of your body weight in ounces of water per day is recommended. For example, a person that weighs 170lbs. needs a minimum of 85 ounces per day.
â€˘ Use a good broad-spectrum digestive enzyme with all meals and snacks.
â€˘ Consume enough fiber (35 plus grams per day) in your diet or with a supplement (I like ground flax seeds, chia seeds or Vitamin Shoppe Brand Miracle Fiber)
â€˘ Take a broad-spectrum probiotic daily.
Lastly, make sure you follow my 4 Pillars of Health, which include the rest of the dietary supplement pyramid. Taking supplements is just part of ensuring healthy aging. Getting enough activity, eating right and being spiritually connected will take care of the rest. If you understand how your body works and incorporate my suggestions, you should age gracefully and healthfully.
Weight Loss Advice
In the past several months on my radio program, I have been working closely with numerous friends and listeners who are challenged at losing weight. In all honesty, I used to be amazed at how many people really don’t get the concept of “how to lose weight.” Only recently through prayer did I come to realize that we all have health struggles. In short, I have become a lot more compassionate about the struggles that many have with achieving a healthy weight. Being overweight is a major contributing risk factor for most of the diseases that shorten our lifespan and decrease our quality of life.
I also realized that many people think they are doing the right thing to lose weight, yet modern marketing and advertising has most people buffaloed. Here are a few examples: eating a bowl of cereal in the morning is a great way to lose weight (this will only contribute to blood sugar dips and increased cravings). Or, that eating “low-fat” is sound advice to losing weight (low fat foods often are high in either sugar, salt or artificial ingredients which will not help with weight loss one bit). Taking it one step further: Just put this patch on your body and watch the pounds melt away. Ok, the last one might be a bit crazy, but the reality is that what we get “taught” on TV and radio via advertisements is deceiving and not always the whole story.
In June, I was touched by a gentleman who phoned into my radio program admitting that he was significantly over weight, yet acknowledged at this point he wasn’t focusing on his weight issue. He admitted he was a “food addict” and realized that traditional “dieting” was not going to work with him until he corrected his addiction.
There was the woman I met on a flight who put on 100+ pounds after her divorce because “she didn’t want to be loved anymore and figured that by being overweight that no one would (made me cry). Or the person I met who gained 130 pounds in seven months because of the sudden loss of his mother. And there was the woman who put on 75 pounds in 5 months following a bad auto accident. What about the woman who gained 15 pounds the year she finished going through menopause. Or the guy who gained 15 pounds only 2 months after he stopped smoking. And I can’t forget the woman who gained 50 pounds the year after she stopped using a stimulant weight loss supplement for 2 straight years. Each one of these situations is true and the weight went on for different reasons, including:
This list can go on and on
My reason for writing this article is not to give you excuses to stay overweight, but to help you realize some of the root causes of why you are overweight. I preach that we ALL need to get to the root cause of why we have what we have before we can “treat” it. I have consulted with numerous people who were realistically eating 1200 calorie/ day diets and doing 45 minutes of aerobics 4 days per week and couldn’t lose weight. It doesn’t add up (pun intended) does it?
They were TRUTHFULLY consuming fewer calories than they burned and not losing weight. The body is an amazing machine and in some rare instances can do some pretty astonishing things. With these people I just mentioned, it was an emotional issue similar to the woman whose husband cheated on her and then divorced her: Her body was subconsciously retaining weight so she couldn’t be loved (these are not my words, but hers).
There are no supplements listed in this article, but just some sound advice if you are truly struggling with your weight: Find out why you struggle and then address it head-on.
Addiction: Get into a counseling program with someone who deals with addiction or consider hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy is one of my favorite things to use in situations like this.
Emotions: Ditto to the above statement but maybe not the hypnotherapy component.
Body trauma: Dig to the root of the trauma
and injury and work at getting it fixed. Use
other modalities of healing such as healing touch, acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathy, supplementation, etc. to “heal” your body from the damage done from the physical trauma.
Hormonal changes: Work on supporting your body’s hormone levels and the process of change. Chinese medicine is great at helping assist the body through both menopause and andropause. Consuming fewer processed foods and animal proteins can be helpful as well. Supplementing with digestive bitters and liver support herbs will be helpful too.
Adrenal fatigue: This can come from drugs, supplements, stress, tobacco, etc. With regards to supplements, I am referring to those that contain stimulants like kola nut, guarana, caffeine, etc. Too often people who use these weight loss supplements will slow their metabolic rate over time and when they stop using the supplements, they gain weight just looking at food (joking of course-but it seems like it). Getting your adrenals back in order by removing stress, certain drugs, alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, etc. is critical for reducing and healing from adrenal fatigue. Energy drinks are EVIL in my opinion and will most likely lead you down this path of a slower metabolism and adrenal fatigue. Drinking plenty of water, supplementing (look at past articles about energy on vitaminshoppe.com) eating right, getting more sleep/rest are all helpful at getting you back to your old self.
Drug use: If these are prescribed medications, you obviously need to address removal with your health care provider. Illegal drugs and OTCs are also evil here. Read your labels and ask your pharmacist if your “medication” may increase your appetite/weight or slow your metabolism down. Just because your doctor says to take it doesn’t mean it is healthy for you.
Other weight loss advice:
â€˘ Keep portions smaller than your fist. It’s easy to overeat when you have too much food on your plate. Smaller portions help prevent overeating.
â€˘ Control your hunger with filling foods that are low in calories. Eat mostly fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds and leave animal proteins to the lean cuts and small portions. Avoid starches, and focus on the vegetable as being the main part of your plate. Fruits and vegetables can help fill you up without adding a lot of calories. These foods will satisfy your hunger and help you lose weight.
â€˘ Keep track of what you eat. When you keep track of what you eat, you’re more likely to meet your food goals. Studies show that keeping a food log helps people lose weight and keep it off.
â€˘ Avoid low fat and low sugar processed foods. Flavor has to come from somewhere. You may be consuming more starches and sodium (adding to your weight by retaining water) to make up for the fat or sugar they removed from the original food. Or, you may be getting a nice does of chemicals instead. Chemical toxicity could be an underlying cause of your weight issues.
â€˘ Enjoy more physical activity. As you already know, regular physical activity is important for keeping your heart healthy. Increasing physical activity may help you lose weight and strengthen your heart at the same time.
Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare: Slow and steady wins the weight loss race. Fad diets NEVER work long-term. Address the underlying issue with your weight and hit it head-on. Identify your “true” reason for being overweight and meet it head-on. Eating right, getting more activity, praying and using supplements work if you know what you are up against. I pray that the content of this article helps you or a loved one identify the specific root of why weight loss is so challenging and that you achieve the health you are seeking.
Healthy Eating On The Go
Between my active lifestyle, wife, children, sports, travel and work I can honestly say that I have been living “on the go” for quite some time now. And I am not aloneâ€”we all seem to be living in this state of constant activity, and struggling with how to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle. In fact, many of my clients, friends and listeners ask me for tips on how to maintain a healthy diet while being constantly on the go.
The answer is multifaceted. First, I try to eat off
of the appetizer menu to help with portion
control, and when ordering an entrĂ©e, I focus on lean meats and avoid starches. In fact, I never get the starch that comes with the meal. (Double veggies for me thank you!)
Raising the Bar
But what about those times where I either don’t have time or there really isn’t a healthy place to grab a bite? (I NEVER and I mean NEVER eat fast food. I would rather starve before eating that stuff.) In times of desperation, I turn to nutritional bars. I used to travel with my own homemade trail mix, but have found that the Vitamin Shoppe stocks some great nutritional bars that fit my active lifestyle. Most of the bars that I choose contain fruit and nuts, and are what I would consider a quick, healthy snack.
For years I used to think that the bars were just for those who are into fitness, but now, I realize that these products are for anyone who has an “on-the-go” lifestyle and is looking for healthy snack alternatives.
Who might be interested in “on-the-go” products?
â€˘ Weekend warriors
â€˘ Snackers (you know who you are)
â€˘ Fitness freaks (Just joking. I am one too.)
â€˘ All of us with hectic schedules or lifestyles
In addition to having a bar for the occasional pick
me up, I also recently started using them as part
of my supplementation regimen. Each time I head
to the Vitamin Shoppe, I pick up a new bar to try. Maybe you need more fiberâ€¦done. Maybe you want more proteinâ€¦done. Maybe you need a meal replacementâ€¦ done. I have an issue with gluten and find numerous gluten-free bars at my local Vitamin Shoppe. The variety is almost endless.
Remember that these bars are not necessarily the answer for every meal in your day, but if you lead an active lifestyle like most of us do these days, you can easily incorporate them into your daily health program.
Get Your Fruits & Veggies From A Supplement
Modern medicine acknowledges that increased consumption of fruits and veggies can improve your health. Despite that, however, most Americans do not consume enough fruits and vegetables on a daily or weekly basis. I believe that replacing the refined foods in our diets with fruits and veggies can play a major role in decreasing our risk of developing many major diseases. When is the last time your doctor said to stop eating too many veggies? Never!
But what if you can’t get more fruits and veggies in your everyday diet?
Then you need to supplement. Luckily, over the past decade there have been lots of additions to the supplement market with great-tasting, easy-to-use products. Don’t rely on these supplements for every daily need, but use them as add-ons to your efforts of improving your everyday diet. Here is a list of products I wouldn’t hesitate to use:
â€˘ Perfect Food Raw
â€˘ Green Vibrance
â€˘ Orac Energy Greens
â€˘ Orchard Fruits
â€˘ Animal Parade Kid Greenz
â€˘ Sun Chlorella
â€˘ Kidz Superfood
Most of these are powdered products and they taste great. There are even a few kid-friendly products
to try. Getting enough fruits and veggies will help with almost every health issue imaginable, so supplementing with a powdered fruits and veggies supplement is a step in the right direction.
Try these natural supplements for coping with Seasonal Affective Disorder.
In the fall and winter months, many of us feel down or “blue”. Sometimes it is linked to the holidays or the memory (or presence) of loved ones during the festive times of the year. But sad to say (no pun intended), many of us are actually suffering from a condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Many of the people who experience mood changes in the winter are completely unaware that SAD exists. Of the estimated 35 million Americans who get this condition, women seem to be the group it affects most often.
SAD is a form of depression that usually begins in autumn and lasts until spring. The loss of sunlight in the winter appears to induce chemical changes in the brain that bring on depression. When the days grow longer in the spring, symptoms disappear, and remain dormant until the next autumn or winter.
The symptoms of SAD may vary in depending on the person. The most common symptoms are:
â€˘ Lack of energy
â€˘ Loss of sexual desire
â€˘ Difficulty concentrating
â€˘ Increased desire to sleep
â€˘ Difficulty with relationships
â€˘ Increased appetite leading to weight gain
â€˘ Increase in PMS-related symptoms in women
Nutritional supplements can provide some relief from SAD. A large number of individuals with depression and SAD have low levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Supplements such as
L-tryptophan and 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) that can be converted into the neurotransmitter serotonin may provide some benefit to those with SAD. Since serotonin levels are linked to the regulation of depression, it is easy to see why supplementing with substances that support serotonin production can be helpful. If you choose this route, I also suggest using B-complex and magnesium. A B-100 and 250-500mg of magnesium two times daily should suffice.
In addition to the supplement protocol above, one of my top choices for SAD and correctly diagnosed mild to moderate depression is St. John’s Wort. A scientific study has shown that when people took 900mg of St. John’s Wort per day they experienced a marked improvement in those suffering from SAD. You can take this dose all at one time or in divided doses, whichever you prefer. Keep in mind that St. John’s Wort and other supplements that my impact your nervous system may interact with other prescribed drugs, so be sure to consult your health care provider or pharmacist to be certain.
Since most supplements don’t work the day you take them, you need to get the process started early this year. Don’t wait until December or January to try and address this conditionâ€”start NOW. If you have been suffering the winter blues, it would be a great idea to get a diagnosis prior to beginning any natural health program. Many people feel down or depressed and assume it is depression, when it could be the symptom of some other health issue such as heart disease, chronic pain or thyroid conditions. It is never a good idea to self-diagnose. Get the facts, and then consult with your health care provider about the treatment options you have or may want to use. Going natural works, but only when you use the right supplements for your condition.