No More Lunches at Your Desk!!!

We are all aware of the importance of choosing proper foods to eat. It has been drilled into our brains that we need to eat real foods and avoid the cheap, processed, high sugar “foods” that are constantly being advertised to us. Once we make this choice correctly, it is important to learn how to ensure your body can use these vital nutrients.

  1. Choose Foods Wisely

These are common sense tools that most of us know. Pick lots of vegetables, some fruits, some protein (animal or plant sources, depending on your preference) and a little unprocessed carbohydrate (vegetables often do the trick) at each meal. Once you create the meal that is real and made by you, you will truly know what has gone into it and if you are comfortable eating it. However, choosing a chicken salad over a burger and fries is only going to work if your unconscious mind is digesting the foods correctly.

  1. Be Present

One of the greatest tools that I found in my path towards optimal health, is mindfulness. Mindfulness is the ability to be present in a situation by fully experiencing the moment that you are in. It is simply the act of blocking out external stimuli and focusing deeply on the present moment and how your body is feeling and reacting in the moment.

When you bring your healthy, prepared lunch to work, many people tend to simply plop it down in front of them at their desk and quickly scarf it down while sitting in front of their computer. Others even have their dinner in front of the television while binge-watching shows on Netflix – I am guilty of this as well. By doing this, we are setting up our bodies for failure in terms of optimal digestion of our foods.

Once we give the meal our true undivided attention, it will actually taste better as we can truly experience our food – the texture, the temperature, the flavors and all the other components that make real food taste truly amazing. This allows us to enter a parasympathetic, or relaxed state of mind, a state which is essential for the body to digest foods into the bloodstream correctly.

  1. Chew Properly

When we sit down in front of the computer or with our cell phone in front of us, our attention is divided – often times we pay more attention to the screen than the food and that means that we are not chewing our food enough. When we chew our food and give it the attention in requires, we can consciously do so until the food becomes soft, and moist. This will allow our tastebuds to be correctly activated and inform the brain of the specific types of food and the taste that we are experiencing. The brain then in turn will signal the correct processes to occur – for example if our food is sweet, the brain will signal the beta cells in our pancreas to secrete Insulin, while if the food is fattier, the brain signals the liver to produce and release bile to aid in its digestion.

It is also important to chew your food sufficiently so that the acid in your stomach can properly break down food into digestible nutrients. If food is still in big chunks, your stomach will not be able to break it down sufficiently, causing decreased digestion of required vitamins, minerals and micronutrients.

One trick my wife and I have started to use, is by putting our fork down between bites and only picking it up once we have finished chewing the previous bite. Chewing your food properly not only signals to your brain the kind of food you are eating but also ensures your stomach is able to absorb the most amount of nutrients.

  1. Take your Time

Eating in a rush causes our bodies to re-enter a sympathetic fight-or-flight state, a state in which digestion is not considered an important process in the moment. It is incredibly important to take your time and chill out while having your meal.

Think of your digestion like a carwash. First you choose a reputable carwash station – someone you know and trust to do a good job. Next, when you pull up to the carwash and get your car in the proper position, you need to put your car into neutral and take your foot off the pedals. Lastly, you should take your time and enjoy the ride – like a child mesmerized by the process going on outside of the car, be present and enjoy the ride.

My mentor Dr. Sachin Patel of The Living Proof Institute has a great saying in order to optimize digestion – Choose, Chew, Chill. Choose the correct foods, chew them properly and chill while eating. Some great tips to promote your optimal health!

Keep Dreaming

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I remember that I went through many phases. When I was very young, I wanted to be a firefighter. Then I wanted to be the first newscaster reporting the news from space (I had this entire visualization of me sitting at my desk as I drifted in space, with papers that would succumb to the lack of gravity and start floating away). Unfortunately, the astronaut and newscaster in space scenario would require me to have 20/20 vision without glasses, so that dream had to be filed away (maybe laser eye surgery in the future!)

The next phase was a doctor, someone who helps people get better from their ailments and sicknesses. I remember wanting to be a Neurosurgeon, or having something to do with the brain and nervous system. Then I found out about Chiropractic and the benefits that a Chiropractor can have on the lives of their patients.I eventually became a Chiropractor because I could focus on the brain and nervous system while ensuring that my patient’s bodies move optimally. The best feeling is when people leave my office feeling better than when they came in. I am incredibly blessed to have achieved this goal and to have the opportunity to have a positive impact on the lives of my patients.

I am incredibly thankful to have loving and caring parents who gave me every opportunity to dream anything and make my dream a reality. At the end of the day, isn’t this what every parent wants for their child?

I am not a parent yet, but I know that I would never want to limit the opportunities that my future kids can dream up. I want to give them unwavering hope and every opportunity to achieve their dreams, while having a positive impact on the world as a whole.

In order for us to achieve these dreams, it is entirely necessary to have a strong foundation of continuing lifetime education, self-confidence, external support and personal health. I strongly believe that we owe it to our children, to give them all opportunities to make the world a better place.  

Our parents battled through tough times to give us the opportunity to succeed. Many parents immigrated from countries with less opportunity. Many parents worked multiple jobs that they did not love, just to ensure we had a roof over our heads. Our parents worked incredibly hard and battled through circumstances that we only hear about in the news, for the sole reason that we could have hope and opportunity to dream and to achieve our dreams. Now it is our turn.

Education, both high-quality institutional and lifetime self-education are readily available to us in the developed world. Self-confidence and external support are available to us through our family, friends and other support systems. Personal health is available to everyone – but this is where as a species, we are failing our children.

This next generation of children are the first to have a shorter lifespan than their parents. They are the first to have a higher rate of chronic preventable diseases. Rates of obesity, cancer, diabetes, autoimmune disease, autism, heart disease, ADHD and depression are skyrocketing. We are failing our children. We are failing humanity.

I don’t want my children to be held back from their goals and dreams because they are suffering from a preventable disease. I want to give them the best chance at reaching their goals, and that means ensuring that their health is optimal.

My eyes are now wide open. I finally understand and have a true reason for WHY I need to be healthy, confident, supportive and educated. I believe that we are meant to truly LIVE on earth rather than simply drift through life existing. We are meant to have a positive impact on the planet and humanity.

Without the dreamers that have the strong base to achieve their dreams, we would still be living in caves. We would not have stylish clothes, simple transportation around the world, incredible technology like the tiny super-computer you carry in your pocket, and organizational institutions meant to spread education. Dreamers make the world a more positive place. From Albert Einstein to Dale Carnegie, Martin Luther King Jr. to Steve Jobs, the Wright Brothers to Rumi, Nelson Mandela to the Dalai Lama, Ibn Sina to Elon Musk, Ghandi to Jack Ma, and countless others who have dreamed of a better future for humanity. We owe it to humanity, to ourselves and to our children to dream bigger and give them a strong supportive base from which they can grow and achieve more.

Let’s become healthier and give our children the support and opportunities that our parents sacrificed for us. They came to the developed world so that we would be able to have a greater and more positive impact. We owe it to our children to give them a more positive future. We owe them a chance at optimal health.

Get Healthy and Keep Dreaming!

What is Functional and Lifestyle Medicine?

What is Functional and Lifestyle Medicine?

I am often asked this question and have decided that I will write about to help clarify what I do.

Functional Medicine is a holistic branch of health care which creates an objective view of all correctly and incorrectly functioning bodily processes. Functional medicine (FM) doctors use a comprehensive history taking and functional lab testing to determine specific lifestyle factors which are causing symptoms of chronic disease in our patients. We use these tools to timeline the important and stressful physical and emotional events in our patients lives and correlate them with triggers to health conditions.

This approach enables FM doctors to accurately find the single or multiple root causes of Chronic health conditions that are related to lifestyle choices that we all make.

Modern medicine and health care practice is spectacular and necessary in the treatment of acute onset and emergency issues. During the era of growth of our modern health care system, the mindset of patients went from being responsible for our own health, to placing the responsibility in the hands of our family doctors and specialists.

As the population grew, family doctors and specialists were under significant pressure to improve the health of a very high number of patients from largely varying backgrounds and living a vast variety of lifestyles. As acute care improved, so did our life expectancy. There are so many of us living longer and we all need to be given the best care. Pharmaceutical companies stepped in and created medications to help alleviate symptoms and manage conditions, and our family doctors happily obliged as this allowed them to help manage symptoms of many patients in a cost-effective and time-effective way.

This unfortunately led to an increase in medications prescribed for medical conditions where lifestyle issues are often the root cause. Type 2 Diabetes is not caused by a lack of Metformin. Hypothyroidism is not caused by a lack of Synthroid. These medications simply help manage our symptoms, but we have failed to find the root cause.

At the same time, modern agricultural methods changed and foods were increasingly processed. Our lifestyles became significantly faster paced and higher in daily stress levels. Our jobs and work became 9-5 days including 8 hours of sitting in front of a computer with increasingly sedentary lifestyles. Television and technology became readily available and affordable – enough that our normal lifestyles have become waking up, running to get breakfast, driving to work, sitting for 4 hours, buying processed food lunches and eating as quickly as possible at our desks, sitting for another 4 hours, driving home, eating processed foods at home for dinner, then sitting in front of the television watching 3 hours of sports or binge-watching shows on Netflix, then checking Facebook and Instagram on our phones while falling asleep for a short and rushed sleep, just to wake up and do it all again tomorrow. If reading this paragraph is exhausting, then imagine living this life on a daily basis.

Our bodies are exhausted and are not being used the way we have evolved to live. Thus our health is suffering and we are becoming increasingly overrun by our lifestyle issues leading to chronic diseases – and then we go to the doctor so they can give us a medication, just so we can function on a daily basis with minimal symptoms.

So Why Functional Medicine?

Functional and Lifestyle medicine allows doctors to look objectively at the potential triggers and lifestyle factors that are affecting the health of our patients. We put all the factors together to determine where patients have blind spots and can make small changes with significant results. We then work with our patients on a long term strategy to improve all aspects of their lifestyle, and thus improve their overall health.

My goal as a Functional Medicine Doctor is to help my patients bodies function correctly so that they can pursue and achieve their dreams. I do so by providing services in conjunction with your family doctor, spending the time necessary to determine what dietary, digestive, hormonal, emotional, environmental and biochemical processes are not functioning optimally.

I believe that a poor lifestyle – one in which any of the pillars of your health (more on this later) are not functioning optimally – can lead to any number of chronic health conditions, and as such, I want to use positive energy, education, accountability and a personalized plan to help my patients reach their life goals. Once my patients take responsibility for their health, the results are amazing!

Your health shouldn’t impede your pursuit to live.

Don’t let your lifestyle hold you back. Take responsibility for your health and live the life you have always wanted to live!