Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Spring Clean Eating Program

We started eating Clean again and I am trying my best to make it an easy thing to do. First of all, Dr. Junger and his Clean Program are INCREDIBLE! He's a cardiologist turned integrative, holistic practitioner who developed a program that is accessible to everyone. The Clean detox takes out the following:
Beef and Pork
Gluten Grains
Certain beans

I'm doing the Clean Program, Justin is doing the Clean Detox. The difference is I eat everything I want that is included when I want. He drinks his breakfast and dinner and eats a full-lunch. The first thing you have to do is follow this grocery list:


The next step is to follow the menu plan on their website or look up Clean program recipes. Join their community and they're always ready to help you.

This is a reboot to your system and this time we're doing this for 10 days. Last time we did this all kinds of rough stuff came out of our bodies, minds and hearts. It was grand. We also discovered new ways to have fun, which included dancing and lots of sober talks. This time I hope for lots of ball hitting, golf and base/soft, shopping and coffee shop sitting while sipping tea.

So far our recipes include:

Dinner: Broccoli "Cheese" Leek Soup - cheese is made with nutritional yeast

Breakfast: Blueberry, almond milk, pear smoothie for breakfast

Lunch: Salmon with broccoli soup from night before baked over it and Amaranth

Breakfast: Apple, beet greens, kale, almond butter and parsley

Lunch: Farmers market ground lamb with carrots, cauliflower, beluga lentils on Spelt bread with avocado and apples

Dinner: Asparagus Leek Bisque

Will keep you updated!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

An Apple (JUICE) A Day To Keep The Doc and PA Away

 Since 2010, I’ve been buying unfiltered, unsweetened apple cider as a base for my smoothies. I would buy gigantic glass bottles once weekly mostly because it was easier on the blender and made my initial transition into eating healthier a ton more palatable.  I would pour in the apple juice then add my fruits and veggies and make a super delicious concoction. Then a couple years ago I was at Thom’s Grocery on Barton Springs and I saw a gentleman leaving with a bottle of Martinelli’s Unfiltered Apple Juice. I worried that my secret was leaked and all the apple juice in Austin was gonna be bought up like galoshes on a rainy ACL weekend. When I went up to the cashier she said, “Oh that guy who just left is a neurosurgeon and says this stuff is really good for your brain”. I smiled and felt quite validated about my choice of morning beverages and felt much more confidant sending my recipes home with patients knowing that a brain doctor approves it!
I was also in my scientific evidence vs. anecdotal proof phase when it came to food as medicine, so I started researching the facts. There was a meta-analysis done in 2004 showing benefits like delaying Alzheimer’s Disease, improving asthma symptoms and protecting the heart. We’ve all heard ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ so Shiny Healthy People is here to help. I’ve developed 10 recipes using my favorite apple juice. You should know that when I’m developing recipes or buying pre-made juices, the ratio should try to be 80/20, 80% vegetables and 20% fruits.

1 Avocado
6 oz apple juice
½ inch ginger
1 cup of spinach

1 cucumber peeled and chopped
6 oz apple juice
1 cup kale
½ cup raspberry

Green Sunrise
6 oz apple juice
2 cups of spinach
½ cup cherries
1 cucumber
4 sprigs of mint
½ inch ginger
1 carrot

Rad Apple
6 oz apple juice
1 cup peeled radish
1 whole nectarine
1 carrot
½ cucumber

Apple Beets
6 oz of apple juice
1 cup beet
2 celery stalks
½ cup parsley
1 cup of spinach

6 oz apple juice
1 cup of blackberries
2 cups spinach
1 cucumber
1 cup kale

Peach Happiness
6 oz apple juice
1 cup of peaches
¼ cup mint
¼ cup basil
1 cucumber

Kale Away
6 oz apple juice
1 ½ cup kale
1 tbsp ginger
1 cup raspberries
4 sprigs of parsley

Blue Lagoon
6 oz apple juice
1 cup blue berries
1 cup kale
1 cup spinach
½ cucumber
1 tablespoon almond butter

8 oz. apple juice
2 stalks of celery
½ cucumber
4 sprigs of parsley
2 carrots

1 tablespoon almond butter

Monday, December 9, 2013

Eating to Fight Flu and Colds

Last year, I was the only one in my office who didn't get the flu vaccine and the only one who didn't get the flu. I was militant about making my 'green juice' every morning and washing my hands. I'm pretty sure the vigorous hand washing helped me, but I'm positive the green juice and attention to a healthy diet saved me.

What is the flu? The Influenza virus affects you by latching onto your normal cells and programming them with the flu virus RNA. The virus then replicates and affects other cells causing inflammation, mucus production, cough, congestion, headache, fever, fatigue, body aches. The virus that causes the flu is not the same as a cold, but produces similar symptoms. Usually the flu is accompanied by a fever. The most important treatment for the flu or cold is to stay hydrated, preferably with an isotonic solution (water with salt). If you're unable to keep fluids down, then you need to see your doctor.

Here is a recipe for making your own 'vitamin' water at home:


It is also imperative you eat foods that help your body fight the virus as well as getting plenty of rest. If your symptoms stick around longer than a week or you have a persistent fever, see your doctor.
According to Sandra Brougher, HCC, AADP here are ten foods that can help you boost your immune system:

1. Bone Broth- full of absorbable minerals
2. Pumpkin seeds- high in zinc and omega-3, both essential for a healthy immune system
3. Cold water fish- good source of protein and omega- 3
4. Fresh fruits and vegetables - beets, carrots, sweet potatoes are high in beta-carotene
5. Liver- a natural multi-vitamin
6. Ginger- anti-viral properties (drinking a few cups of ginger tea is key)
7. Garlic - has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties
8. Honey -raw - anti-viral
9. Green tea- the ultimate anti-oxidant with anti-viral properties
10. Mushrooms- elevate flu-fighting agents

Stress, as always, can be an invitation for viruses as well. Make sure you're minimizing your stress level as well as getting high-quality sleep. Sleep is underrated in our culture and it can be a life saver as well as a disease fighter.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Same Food, Killer Diseases

This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to go back home for Thanksgiving and it was magnificent. My parents and I were sitting in the living room while I completed my Anti-Inflammatory Diet certification and my mom posed the question that I think so many people have.

"I've been eating the exact same food for the past 50 years, I haven't changed anything, why has my health changed so much?"

My mom was 110 pounds for the majority of her life, even after two daughters, her cholesterol and blood pressure were in the normal range, she had radiant skin, no signs of cancer and her bone density has stayed normal despite little weight bearing exercise. Then about 15 years ago, she started gaining weight, her blood pressure went up and now she is on a statin (a decision I vehemently oppose). She has integrated daily yoga, she eats less, but her health is so different. Age has a lot to do with it, plus the fact that she has been under intense stress from taking care of my father, but her diet remains the same.

"What could it be, I asked her?" She couldn't give me an answer.

"Have you ever thought that perhaps the food has changed?"

And from there I listed off all of the changes in our food system that are so drastically different from when she was a child and has caused the diseases that we have today, that rarely existed before last century. These lifestyle diseases and conditions- Diabetes, Hypertension, Heart Disease, High Cholesterol, Obesity, Metabolic Syndrome, evolved as the our foods did. (Plus the increase in stress levels)

The University of Colorado reported that "In the United States, chronic illnesses and health problems either wholly or partially attributable to diet respresent by far the most serious threat to public health." Our food has changed and it's killing us.

The actual food that we eat has also decreased in the amount of nutrients. Not only do we eat less nutritious food than our grandparents ate (less veggies and fruits), but when we eat the nutritious food, it has less of the good stuff than it did 50-60 years ago! It is estimated that our current vegetables and fruits have half the important vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and phytochemicals compared to those of the past.

We have to be more aware about what we put in our bodies and how it affects our health. We've allowed big dairy and big pharma and big fast food corporations to serve us a slow death. There are ways to change, little changes, that can drastically improve your health.

So there is your answer momma. You haven't changed, your food has. Now what are you going to do about it?

Sunday, November 10, 2013

One Step At A Time

It's really easy for me to get carried away in a visit and overwhelm my patients with too much impassioned information. Lately, I've passed out a lot of Joe Cross 3, 5, 10 day reboots, my own personal smoothie recipes and one single kale chip recipe. I still find it hilarious to see 60-80 year olds make a face when I mention certain vegetables or say "eww I don't like insert some vegetable", like they are five years old again. I get it, it's hard to take action when you don't know where to start. So my challenge is to take one step at a time, then little by little you'll see changes and hopefully be motivated to take the next little step. Here we go! Let me know what you decide on and how it works for you:

1) Drink a cup of water when you first wake up
2) Try placing orange, lime, cucumber or mint in a bottle of water and refrigerate
3) Buy a really cool water bottle that you can make your 'comfort blanket', take it everywhere and attend (drink) to it constantly
4) Use olive oil over your current vegetable or canola oil
5) Add a handful or two of kale or spinach in your smoothie
6) Try to eat the majority of your calories for the day before 3 pm
7) Have kale chips for snacks (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/melissa-darabian/crispy-kale-chips-recipe/index.html)
8) Cut down or completely cut soda intake (this one will completely change your weight in a week)
9) Go online and download a 7-day gluten-free menu plan or 7-day sugar-free menu plan and follow it
10) Keep a food journal - self awareness is key to transformation, try it, you'll be shocked at what you find, also keep a food and mood log, eat something and see how you feel 10, 15, 30 or an hour later
11) Get rid of all boxed or preserved food
12) Stop drinking milk
13) Don't eating in front of the TV
14) Add more color to your food (increase amount of veggies and fruits a day)

Good luck!

Lots of Love,


Monday, September 9, 2013

Miracles Do Happen and People Can Change!

Hello Everyone! Long time, I know. My real job is getting in the way of my true purpose in life job, but I'm back today and wanting to help you transition into a space that is good and healthy and liberating! I have been very lucky in the past few weeks as I've gotten confirmation from everyone around me that we're on the right track. It's difficult to convince people that eating healthier can truly change their health especially when those people are doctors and health care workers who laugh and make fun of you for trying to help patients change their habits. But I forged through and last week a miracle happened. A patient of mine (who agreed to be highlighted for this piece) came in with swelling to his legs. He is over 300 pounds, has Diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, what we call Syndrome X. My patient came in with his wife and as we were talking, he disclosed some really private information. One of the stories he told me involved a neighbor beekeeper. Both my patient and his wife had started taking two teaspoons of honey daily and how it helped significantly with his breathing and COPD and her with her allergies. I asked them if they were interested in any other 'natural' cures, knowing it would be my segue or detour to or away from my food soapbox and they agreed that they were open to anything that would help him get off of medications. I said "What if I told you that if you change your foods to primarily fruits and vegetables, you may be able to stop some of the medications you're on". His wife interrupted me and said "But he can't eat the good stuff, because he doesn't have any teeth." and I then asked if they had heard of juicing. Her response was unlike anything I could have ever imagined, it was like the holy spirit entered her body as she began to speak "I just bought a juicer and I'm going to change what we eat, the reason we're so sick is because all the food we eat has preservatives and additives and chemicals our body doesn't know how to process, natural fruits and vegetables are what we're supposed to eat and we're going to do it, it's healthier for you, for me, for everyone." I wanted to scream for joy and for a split second I thought I was on Candid Camera and someone had given her a script of what I preach every chance I get. I asked my patient where she got this information and she said she read a book long ago that told the story of a woman who healed her cancer through a whole foods plant based diet. She had adopted her plan but it was only short-term and now she was dedicated to making a lifestyle change.
So needless to say, this was a blaring confirmation from the universe that I am on the right track and I just have to keep on keeping on. Thanks to Mrs. Johnson, my faith was restored. The amazing epiphany about all of this was I didn't do anything except coach her into realizing what she already knew. This was way more rewarding than just adding another medication to the list. Empowering my patients, giving them the tools to pull out what they already know if they just asked a few more questions, is the way I wish to practice medicine. I believe modern medicine is incredible and effective with acute situations, trauma, surgery, but for chronic diseases, the system needs healing and a band-aid in the form of a chemical is not the way.
So when you're ready to come along this incredible ride of health and wellness. I'm here for you. It's a slow process and a difficult one, but once you're on track, how you feel, your increased energy, the weight loss to a healthy weight (though I don't like focusing on this), your youthful glow, your increased energy, the self-confidence, the authentic joy, will all be worth it.  Did I mention the increased energy you'll have? A better life is possible, you just have to be ready and willing to take the first step and when you are, I'll be right there with you, cheering you on.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Mr. 111 Year Old Is Our Hero!

This is a really inspirational story that came out last year. When I saw the diet he followed, I got really excited and wanted to share with the world. Read it and let me know your thoughts!