Lab Results Trap for Obesity and Diabetes

Looking at my latest lab tests, I began to realize the “system” behind what my doctor is person-1052698_1280doing with the help of my lab and my insurance company.

My doctor is looking for lab results that allow him to prescribe a medication. The lab just tested my cholesterol, triglycerides, and A1C at my doctor’s request. These are all standard tests covered by Medicare and ordered as standard from the lab.

Now what you have to understand is that these tests show symptoms. There is an underlying cause for these numbers increasing year after year and as they do, the doctor is going to prescribe me something to treat my symptoms.

The next thing I’m going to hear is that I should begin taking Statins – Lipitor, Crestor, etc. Now after I take this for a number of years, I’ll begin to develop pain and inflammation and we will have to add other drugs to counteract the longer term affects of the Statins.

But make no mistake, the Statin only treated the symptom – it treated high cholesterol by lowering cholesterol.

Meanwhile let’s say that hypothetically I have a longstanding food allergy to milk or to grains – but we didn’t test for any allergies – those would be causes of the problem, not symptoms, and the insurance company and my doctor and most labs aren’t setup for that.

Do you think this scenario is far-fetched? Do you disagree with my characterization of lab tests as simply testing for symptoms? There has been a lot of time and money spent for many years conditioning us to believe the healthcare dogma. I really believe that even our traditional doctors believe in it. They test, and prescribe. My insurance doctor still advises me to “eat less and exercise more.” That pretty much sums it up. Traditional medicine still thinks that overweight and metabolic syndrome symptoms come from poor discipline and eating bad foods.

As time goes on, there are more and more functional medicine doctors springing up around the country – these are doctors who will run tests to check for root causes of problems and won’t assume that they know something just because you have the symptoms.

It’s like this – if you had your foot on the gas peddle of your car and you had it all the way to the floor, but the car was slowly losing speed and slowing down, and you looked at your speedometer and saw it going slower and slower, would you assume the problem was the speedometer? Should we prescribe a Statin for the speedometer to see if it gets better?


Natural Juice Cleanse

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 3.24.27 PMI’m starting my first cleanse today. Some people think of this as a “weight loss cleanse” or a “colon cleanse” but I’m mainly doing it as a detoxifier to try to release some of the heavy metals in my system (I’ve been collecting for a while because I’m 71 years old).

Because there are six bottles for one day, the ingredients include many of the recommended things for this type of cleanse.

I got this from a local juice bar called “Nekter Juice Bar” and the only issue I have with this so far is the amount of sugar in the bottles – the sugar comes from natural sources like beets, apples, etc. but still when you remove the pulp you’re getting very bio-available pure fructose that can metabolize and get into your blood stream very quickly so nothing different from drinking a coke – these are on average about 20g of sugar per bottle.

They conveniently number the bottles 1-6 and of course the ingredients are slightly different for each one. There are no added contents other than fruits and vegetables. I am told, but Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 3.25.05 PMcannot verify that the sources are all local farming and organic non-GMO.

As you can see, this first one has the ingredients generally associated with what is called, “Green Drink.”

You generally do not eat during the cleanse but just stick to your bottles and in my experience it takes me about 2 hours to finish one and I haven’t been hungry yet but they say to drink lots of additional water in between (in between what? I’m drowning in liquid and bouncing off the walls from the sugar high – I normally try to stick to 5-10g of sugar per day and then only embedded in the foods I eat – I never add sugar or drink sodas or fruit juice at all.

This next one is a challenge – it’s loaded with lemon juice and cayenne pepper – Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 3.25.15 PM
very spicy and tangy with Turmeric – a very healthy root from the ginger family.

Everyone raves about Agave – a cactus derivative – and about Agave syrup and nectar but it’s just another form of sugar – you know, “organic sugar” – the hype that people use to get you to buy stuff! But I doubt you could drink this without it because the lemon and cayenne are super intense.

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This next one is still fairly tart with lemon – seems to be the common ingredient recommended for cleanses – lemon and ginger – and this one has some beet in it so it’s very red.

Parsley and Spinach are said to bind to heavy metals and allow them to be extracted through your waste product.

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 3.25.32 PMAnd this one has coconut charcoal, a substance that is supposed to attract and bind certain types of heavy metals.


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This one goes back to the basic ‘Green Drink’ with one added ingredient Swiss Chard.


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Now this is the “dessert drink” – it has cinnamon and nutmeg and vanilla and almonds – sounds good huh?

Once I get past this cleanse I will update with overall results to this post.


OK it’s two days later and I will give you a quick update on the aftermath. It actually took me two days or 1 ½ days to finish. I just couldn’t finish the 5th bottle until the next morning. The 6th bottle went down pretty quick – it’s like the “dessert” of the 6 bottles but has fats and protein to kind of get you back up and running.

Some people report being hungry during their cleanse but I really didn’t get hungry at all. I felt I was loaded with liquid and I just didn’t get hungry.

Some people report feeling a lot more energy. I can’t say I felt that although I didn’t run out of energy during the day and I didn’t seem to have anything I would call an insulin spike where I felt an energy high and then a low – I was pretty even all day.

Now if I was a 30 year-old person (and assuming obese as I am) it might have affected me different. For instance, someone who is used to chugging down lots of processed foods, carbs, and sugar all day, this 120g of sugar might be a significant improvement and cause them to seriously crave sugar or carbs. Someone who normally consumed 400g of sugar/carbs is going to have a different reaction than I am but I only consume in total about 40g of carbs per day and perhaps sugar is a quarter of that – I don’t add sugar and I don’t eat fruit and I don’t eat grains of any kind. So I realize that this cleanse regimen might really be a lot more challenging for someone used to eating processed foods.

The actually “back-end” didn’t hit until today when I passed perhaps the largest bowel movement I’ve had in many months or even years. It was a very smelly and loose movement that was clearly created by the mass of vegetables and fruits in the cleanse. The smell was encouraging because it told me that the cleanse was moving out toxins otherwise what I drank would not produce that kind of smell. (sorry about the graphic nature of the post)

Now I’m back on normal foods and although I eat whole foods and organic exclusively, I do eat grass fed beef and pork, and eggs, and organic cage-free chicken and I’m noticing those are creeping up to maybe 30-40% of my meals and I don’t feel as good at that level. I’m going to expand my raw vegetables. I ate an all-raw salad as my first meal and it felt very natural with no problems.

I believe I’m going to try this one more day next week and see how that goes. I did lose 4lbs for the day and 2 more today when I had my first bowel movement.


Will You Change? Why Not?

person-1052700_1280It has been scientifically proven that significant changes in diet and lifestyle can stop and even reverse type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many other chronic diseases and even aging. Dr. Ornish does an excellent job of summarizing the case for these changes.

And yet most people reading this will wait until they encounter an event that either takes you to the grave or takes you to the hospital. At that point there will be a massive change in your health and a massive intervention to save you – ie. aortic stent, bypass, etc.

So it’s good to look carefully at the reasons why you would take action before that happens and why you would not.

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Most people I speak to in the 50+ range say that they’re too old to change their ways – meaning diet, exercise, lifestyle kinds of changes. I’m not sure why anyone who could have 40-50 good years left would say that but that’s what they say.

We resist change of course because we don’t perceive the value of change to be worth it. That means that the items listed on the left of the above table are not highly urgent to the person asked to make the changes.

The only person who can make those items on the left more urgent and powerful is you. I’m clear that unless you do, making massive changes in diet and lifestyle as is advocated by this website won’t happen. Even if you believe you don’t have anything urgent to do, you need to consider the burden that having no reason to change will place on your family.

So perhaps we need to rewrite this table..

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I can’t say much for negative motivation. I would much rather pull myself up by my bootstraps and pull together a good reason to keep trying and keep changing.

How about you?


The Psychology of Disease

A man hiking alone falls off a one thousand foot cliff and as he falls he grasps a root growing from the shear face of the cliff. As he hangs, he begins to shout, “HELP, HELP ME!!!” and suddenly the clouds part, a light shines down on him from the open clouds, and a booming voice says, “I will help you, simply let go of the root.” The  man thinks for a while and then yells, “Is there anyone else up there who can help me?”

Why when there is so much evidence that disease is curable, preventable, and reversible, would a person continue to accept what they believe to be their fate?

Disease is just as much psychology as it is physiology. If we accept our “fate” then we generally close our ears to anything that sounds like a solution. We believe that having hope when there is none, is more painful than dying.

And if we are told that if we keep eating what we’re eating, we might keep eating it in moderation as if we wished to trade a few years for a meal we shouldn’t eat.

And in some ways we seem to think that living another 30 years disabled, crippled, and dependent on others is the same as living a vibrant, healthy, 30 years where others depend on us.

If we looked into the future and knew that our mild obesity would turn to diabetes, and eventually Alzheimers, would we continue on that path if we really believed it? Naturally, Alzheimers disease psychology is only useful before you become disabled and unable to think.

And the psychology of obesity only allows for solutions before you have developed diabetes and early onset dementia.

Even if we were to realize in our 50s and 60s where the road leads that we’re on, would we really believe it was preventable? Do we believe that we could make a change and turn things around?

Once diabetes sets in, research has shown that IQ begins to decline. The same is true of diabetes. These conditions lead to measurable brain shrinkage.

Do we believe that what we have to do would be too dramatic?

Take a walk once a day for 20 minutes?

Stand up and walk around every half hour?

Stop eating grains, sugar, and packaged foods?

Eat more green vegetables?

Drink more water?

Do these things sound like a world-ending sacrifice?

“But I can’t change.” Does anyone really believe that? Is that an excuse you can use to explain to your children why you’ll be leaving them early?

Or perhaps life is so difficult and stressful that we just decide to give it up and seek the peacefulness of death?

There may be a combination of things that we face all at once – not able to sleep well, in pain all the time, not getting help from our loved ones, not wanting to be a burden, no fun left in life, and facing criticism from our friends and loved ones (mostly unspoken) about why we refuse to take better care of ourselves, eat less, exercise more, and take better care of our appearance. How hard could it be?

As we get older, we fall out of the mainstream and people start to walk around us because we’re moving too slow and talk around us because we’re thinking too slow. The message from the outside world is – you’re done. You’re no longer useful.

Of course psychologists would tell us those thoughts are simply things we make up in our own mind – ways of talking to ourselves that isn’t true unless we make it so. And we know they’re right but we don’t seem to be able to see things any other way.

The thing that really differentiates us as we get older from our children and grand children is the ability to dream, to imagine something better, to think about how things would be if it all worked out great. When we see our children hitting 40 and 50, and we hear them talking about their discouragement with life we stop and wish we could do something to talk them into keeping hope, keeping the faith, looking for the good. Nothing worse than seeing someone who still have 50 good years left saying that it’s over for them. Talking about things they regret not doing or things they regret doing, when they still have 40-50 years left to redo it all.

And it’s especially difficult to listen to children who believe they can’t make a difference in the world and want to give up.

But why do we have such a hard time listening to that from others and entertaining it in ourselves?

I intended to be an inspiration to my family and friends. If I give up now just because I don’t think I’ve done that or don’t think I can, then chances are I never will be an inspiration. Why would I give up so easily when there are many generations at stake and if I give up I’ll simply be a semi-blank spot on the wall who did nothing in particular to remember him by?

Perhaps the psychology of disease is simply giving up our beliefs that we can truly make a difference. When we give up, there is a biochemistry that takes place in our body – it weakens our immune system, makes it harder to digest our food, shuts down the production of new cells including brain cells, and gives our body permission to just continue converting sugar to fat until we can’t function any longer.


Food is Your Miracle Medicine

Funny what you remember when you get to be 70.

I remember walking 5 miles to school in the 8th grade and then playing tag on the school grounds and being the fastest runner in the group.

Later I remember high school track and running the hurdles and the hundred yard dash.

In the air force, I remember walking down the beach from Biloxi Mississippi to Gulfport – it was about 13 miles one way in the sand barefoot and I did it every day. It was really hard to keep weight on in those days. I weight 135 pounds and ate anything and everything I wanted.

Up until I was 50, I didn’t notice that there was anything I couldn’t eat. As we became a little more affluent, we ate in restaurants more often and the food choices got more extravagant and the food portions larger and larger.

I just steadily gained weight every year until one day, after feeling very tired at work, I fell asleep driving home and totaled my car (nobody involved but me thank God) and I walked away OK but got tested for sleep apnea and found that I had it. And of course that’s another contributor to stress and weight gain – and there is a lot of undiagnosed apnea going around as more and more people gain weight.

By the time I realized I was overweight, I was really overweight – well over 200 pounds. The doctor told me I was classified as obese.

For 10 years I followed the low-fat, high carb diet that everyone seemed to prescribe and of course more and more of my meals became processed and packaged foods. And I got hungrier and hungrier and heavier and heavier.

But it took a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome to finally wake me up and start me looking for deeper knowledge than what my doctors and advisors were giving me.

I have learned some important lessons the hard way.

Whole Foods

There are lots of choices for foods and most of them are processed and packaged foods that are no good for me. Even if they seem to have healthy ingredients, chances are the processing, temperatures, and chemicals have reduced the effectiveness of nutrients to almost nothing.

Whole Foods are foods that come directly out of the ground or directly from a ranch or farm.

It doesn’t matter what it says on the label, if you’re reading a label you’re probably not getting whole food.

Organic Foods

Even Whole Foods now have a whole host of new problems. Some foods that come off a farm are infested with Genetically Modified Organisms and some foods carry insecticides and hormones that were used in the farming process and aren’t fit to eat.

USDA Organic Certification provides some assurances but even with that, there are ways that farmers collaborate with the FDA to show you the seal and then give you something else. Buying from small local farmers where you can inspect their practices is the best practice even if they are too small to get the USDA certification you’re better off.

Carbohydrates and Sugar

These foods are not what our bodies were designed to eat. They weren’t even part of our diet until much later in human evolution. As hunter-gatherers, we rarely had access to foods with carbohydrates and therefore our insulin always remained in control and our blood sugar levels were never a danger.

Today, everything placed in front of us and packaged at the super-market is high in carbohydrates. This is what the food industry wants us to buy. It’s also what’s killing us. Just like cows were not designed to eat grains and corn, we were not designed to eat carbohydrates.


This is a condition that occurs when you’re body is in pain or needs to defend itself. You can tell you have inflammation but you become so accustomed to the symptoms that you either ignore them and call them “old age” or you take Advil or Motrin or Lyrica, or something else, just to hold down the effects of inflammation rather than seek out the real root cause and eliminate it.

When your fingers and joints hurt, that’s inflammation. And there are whole variety of different symptoms that signal inflammation. When you’re eating something or being exposed to something that your body has even a mild dislike for, you’ll have inflammation constantly. Fat is not just a layer of tissue, it’s an organ that can produce inflammation all on its own. The fatter you get the more inflammation you produce.

And inflammation damages organs – it’s just a matter of which organ is weakest – the brain, the liver, the kidneys, and pancreas. Any number of symptoms derive from inflammation’s affects on our organs over a longer period of time.

But doctors and scientists have already proven that they can stop inflammation and heal the diseases caused by it using foods that are good from you and that you were intended to eat.



Functional Medicine Doctors

For those of you who do not know what Functional Medicine or a Functional Medicine Doctor is, here is a message from the Chairman of the Institute for Functional Medicine that might help explain. I believe you need to know about this growing discipline that treats causes not symptoms.

If you want to get help finding functional medicine doctors, functional medicine practitioners, or sometimes called integrative medicine doctors, please visit this link.


Fed Up – Dr. Robert Lustig – How to Reverse Obesity

Dr. Lustig has done some important work to educate us on why obesity is a disease and not a lifestyle choice or poor judgement or poor discipline. I think that anyone facing obesity, diabetes or metabolic syndrome should review his work – he has a book Fat Chance, and was featured in the movie Fed Up.

I believe he does a very good job of putting obesity in perspective and providing the information we need to reverse obesity and avoid progression to diabetes naturally.

This is an excellent interview with Dr. Lustig.

And as you would suspect, it is more about what you eliminate from your diet than what you add or what drugs you take.



Diabetes and Your Gut

640px-Burger_King_Whopper_ComboScientists and doctors sometimes refer to your intestinal track as “your gut” and it generally refers to all of the bacteria and micro-organisms residing in your colon, your lower intestines, and youstomach. These are really the bacteria that digest your food into molecules small enough to become nutrients for your blood and hormones for your body.

Recent discoveries have shed more light on the Gut or more scientifically the Micro-Biome. It appears that perhaps 70% of your immune system resides in your Gut. And the hormones that activate your pancreas, liver, and more are produced in your Gut. And therefore it would appear that what you eat has everything to do with the signals (hormones) you send to your other organs – you heart, pancreas, brain, liver, and

One such signal or “pathway” is when you feed your gut a whole lot of sugar (fruit, bread – yes, baked goods turn to sugar in your blood faster than sugar, soda pop, etc.) – more than it needs or can use. Once it begins work on digesting that, it can’t handle it all and it moves it into your blood stream causing your pancreas to send out insulin in order to dispose of it. The body definitely needs to get sugar or glucose out of your bloodstream because the longer it remains there the more damage it does to the walls of your blood vessels and that in turns puts out the call for more cholesterol – the body’s repair mechanism for damaged blood vessels. If you’re running a marathon insulin brings glucose to the muscles where it is burned for energy. If you are sitting in front of the TV or your desk, the muscles don’t need it so it begins to deposit it into your fat cells.

Of course the real “science” behind these discoveries is saying that the next level down is that what you eat activates your genes and depending on what you eat will determine how your body reacts to the genes that activated – we generally think that diseases like obesity or diabetes are passed on through the genes but the scientists would argue that we all have the same genes to start with and which one expresses their characteristics is a matter of our habitual diets and of course our environment.

vegetables-1210240_1280As an example, eat more good fats in your diet and your genes will express the right hormones to encourage neurogenesis, the creation of new brain cells to replace the old ones. Eat the wrong foods, high in carbohydrates like sugar, grains, pasta, etc. and you discourage neurogenesis. And hello Dementia and Alzheimers.

The most important takeaway for this article is that “food is medicine” and we need to start thinking about what we eat as the key to healing ourselves and preventing many of the diseases we could suffer in the future.640px-My_Lunch_(3927456388)

Here is the book I love for the more thorough explanation of how this works.


The Easy Path for Reversing Diabetes Naturally

I happened to think that there are those who are so resigned to being type 2 diabetic that you wouldn’t attend the free summit or even read long articles about how to reverse type 2 diabetes.Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 12.55.56 AM

We certainly don’t recommend that you take yourself off your medications and we don’t recommend that you do anything without speaking to your doctor.

And perhaps you are pre-diabetic and still have some time. You have all the classic symptoms but you’re just ignoring it hoping it will go away.

Here is a simple test you can do that won’t really hurt you at all. It involves temporarily switching your diet from sugar to fat.

  1. Stop eating grains, breads, pastries, rolls, rice, potatoes, and anything made from these products as best you can.
  2. Stop eating sugar, fruit, or anything sweetened and labelled “low fat” or “low calorie” with high fructose corn syrup or other sweeteners you can’t pronounce.
  3. Stop drinking sodas or fruit juice.
  4. Instead eat more meat, fish, chicken, and eat avocados and nuts, and salad with plenty of olive oil and steamed vegetables with a little olive oil on them as well.

And then just see what happens. These are relatively small changes. And you can do this for 2-3 weeks without starving or killing yourself. You can eat as much of the other things as you want. No counting calories, no worrying about portions. Just see how you feel.

If you feel better, then you’ve learned something. If you don’t, then no harm.

It’s a simple request. And we’re making this request because we love you. Your family and friends – they love you and they’re asking you to try this.

What’s the big deal?