Monthly Archives: January 2016

Digestive Enzymes…Yes Your Health and Happiness

Digestive Enzymes…..Happy Place? Huh?

Digestive enzymes, digestion….health and happiness….

Make sure you check out  – for a more in depth understanding…..Our Belly Brain! on our corporate site

Digestive Enzymes Best In Health RadioPoor nutrition is the epicenter of virtually every disease. We are what we eat, digest & absorb. An error many make in health is thinking because we ate something – we absorbed the nutrition, a very unreliable assumption.

Age, poor food choices, certain medications, alcohol, smoking, lack of physical activity are all too common – and sabotage the body’s potential for full digestion & absorption. A misdiagnosed use of antacids, popping them haphazardly & incorrectly is another serious culprit with digestive health. The symptoms of high stomach acid that make people irresponsibly chug antacids are very similar to the sensation felt by low stomach acid. Antacids are not to be taken flippantly, our stomach acid is another critical step to proper digestion.

Digestive Enzymes – the magic?

Digestive enzymes break down our foods into absorbable & utilizable components. Each enzyme has a very specific function – it is necessary we get all the enzymes – they are not interchangeable. Poor digestive health is rampant, and unfortunately undetected & underemphasized, & dare I say under appreciated in western medicine. Digestive health is critical to disease prevention & recovery.

Think of digestive enzymes as a tummy rub from the inside!

We have 2 main ways of getting our digestive enzymes: The food we eat: cooking denatures enzymes, so we need to eat plenty of raw fruits and vegetables. Another issue here is soil depletion – our foods can be filled with toxins which destroy enzymes & because the soil is over tilled can be depleted in precious nutrients. Good foods to eat for digestive enzymes: Pineapple, papaya, sea vegetables, greek yogurt (un flavoured please), mango, wheat grass, shitake mushrooms, sprouts, cabbage, apples, cherries, peppers, unpasteurized honey, apple cider vinegar – which is great as a salad dressing!

Our body makes enzymes in the mouth, stomach, intestinal tract & pancreas. Enzymes are made with proteins, which have been broken down into their building blocks called amino acids. With poor protein absorption & an over burdened pancreas from years of poor lifestyle choices, enzyme production is compromised. Drinking too much water (fluids) with meals – dilutes digestive enzymes. The body is reliant on protein availability to form digestive enzymes – and we emphasize the importance of getting sufficient protein in our diets for our bodies to be able to perform its thousands of functions. With poor protein bioavailability we decrease our ability to make digestive enzymes, and with insufficient enzymes, we can’t break down the nutrients to their usable form – a cycle of bodily breakdown.

Digestive Enzymes Best In Health RadioAs I have spoken about in many articles on line and in speaking engagements- – never forget the belly brain – our gut produces the vast majority of our happy hormone serotonin. The amino acid Tryptophan has a leading role in the production of serotonin. Healthy digestive enzyme levels are very necessary for serotonin. We now know that digestive enzymes serve many critical roles in the body – beyond digestion. They are now thought to be key in ridding the body of toxins, reducing autoimmunity (diseases such as arthritis & lupus) & inflammation, and speed the healing of the body after injury or surgery. More and more research is uncovering the importance of digestive enzymes in the anti aging process, and they are now being used to boost cancer treatment.

I think where I get most frustrated with western medicine is the massive sweeping of symptoms into a category called IBS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome. There is no one treatment and again unfortunately pushing antacids is often the answer – which could easily exacerbate the situation. This is why I insist we all need a good M.D. and N.D. – Naturopathic Doctor. Naturopathy respects the GI tract as holding the keys to the Magic Kingdom. Yes, some Medical Doctors do as well, not enough. Often the answer becomes rote, forgive me regurgitated solutions such as eliminating certain precious foods, or popping meds.

And please do not pop digestive enzyme supplements either – your gut deserves far more respect. Please don’t just accept “age” as the answer as a necessary doomsday, irreversible diagnosis. There is much that can be done. Some of the symptoms of poor digestive enzyme activity include:

  • Trouble digesting foods
  • Hives!!!!!!!
  • Headaches
  • mood swings (serotonin)
  • Bloat – we all just love that!
  • Cramping
  • Trouble with central adiposity (lovingly aka Belly fat)
  • “allergic reactions” that really aren’t allergic reactions

Long Term digestive enzyme depletion can be serious. Get it checked. It is just that easy to modify, prevent disease, and feel really good!

FITT – Exercise Rx is NOT One Size Fits All

FITT – Putting the FIT in Fitness


FITT Health Coaching Best In Health RadioFrequency….how often we exercise…..daily, once a week or only when the doctor yells

Intensity….how much sweat…I believe the fountain of youth is our own sweat

Time….how long did we keep it going

Type…brisk walking, strength training, Pilates, martial arts, yoga, swimming…..

I rarely use the word hate. But I do hate the term exercise prescription. That implies forced, another objectionable thing to do in our life. I don’t like the expression exercise is medicine. Medicine implies we do it in response to be sick, medicine is not for fun. Medicine we take in response to not feeling well, and  according to the CDC, if we exercised more we would be feeling unwell much less often  and staying young, spry, sexy and sassy  much longer. Ok those last 3 adverbs are mine, not the CDC.

Exercise  truly holds the keys to unlocking our inner magic kingdom, of course  with partners in wellness  nutrition and lifestyle. But here, let’s assume the nutrition is there to allow exercise to work its magic.

It seems confusing when we research just how much exercise we should be getting. This is what I want to clear up.  People sometimes feel “I tried exercise it didn’t work”. Like everything else there is a dose response-a physiological response typically which there is little to no response ( health benefit) at lower levels and at too high levels there is the potential for toxic reactions..

Well exercise is just that wanted and welcomed by the body that any is embraced and appreciated by the body. We just might not notice those cells dancing for joy being stoked by exercise.

In fitness we accomplish our desired dose response by manipulating and balancing certain FITT variables.

Before we start with actual exercise Rx, let’s remember exercise and physical activity are both necessary. Sedentary is the new smoking. Even if we are diligent about exercise time, that does not allow us to  sit at screen time for the rest if the day.  Repeated studies show us it is imperative for our health and fitness that we have bouts of physical activity through out the day, at least every 2 hours.

The FITT formula is varied per person depending on numerous factors:

Medical issues

Level of conditioning

Stage of life…how this needs to be adjusted is far too often ignored

And of course….. Desired results…..

It is most definitely not the same protocol for someone recovering from cancer as someone training for Ironman. Someone who wants to lose body fat….it’s going to take more than a couple of leisurely strolls a week.

So let’s look at some typical categories.

General health…the minimum to keep the blood flowing, hopefully keep the immune system pumping

Fat loss…I really do not like the term weight loss, keeping it off thru life’s insanity and hormonal changes

Competitive…..body building, athletics

Anti aging….this really is so much more than general health. That has limited performance

Disease recovery …and will be totally different depending on numerous factors

Stress release, energy, cognitive strength.

Adjusting the variables of the FITT formula, and to keep adjusting them, at the appropriate

FFITT Our FITT formula putting th Fun in fitness Bsst in Health Radop
FFITT Best In Health Radio putting the Fun in the FITT

intervals, knowing our boundaries, knowing when we have achieved new healthy boundaries…..this is where there is confusion, and we can fall short of our goals. And yes, it is possible to over exercise, or do the wrong exercise creating oxidative stress or aggravating musculoskeletal issues.

Please be careful when hiring a fitness professional. A few points to consider in your decision:

  • just because someone gives you a challenging routine, that puts you in pain and makes you sweat like a beast or perform tantric distortions of your body…does not mean it’s a good workout
  • Because they have a “perfect body” does not mean they are a perfect coach
  • If they are pushing their own line of food and supplements….don’t fall for it
  • Are they encouraging you and helping you track your physical activity between sessions?
  • Are they only encouraging their platform of exercise, or promoting many “types” of exercise?
  • Are they promoting the many reasons for exercise, or just one
  • Are they familiar with your physiological / medical challenges ….a thesis right here. Fitness pros unfortunately regularly work outside their scope of practice.
  • Find out their definition of progression. Is it just about increasing the FITT?
  • How is your energy, focus, sleep, mood progressing over time?
  • Is it fun…… Do you want to do more for enjoyment, not because you think you have a sentence to serve

Exercise and physical activity are as necessary as eating, breathing, personal hygiene, the need to feel loved. It serves equal benefits to mind, body and spirit. Investing in our health with time, thought, yes money, to keep a balanced FITT, keeps us balanced. But if we don’t love it, crave it, something is wrong in out FITT formula. Your body should be calling out for more, but again more does not necessarily mean harder or more strenuous.

In my opinion, there is a very critical variable missing from the FITT formula. Always remember my FITT formula…


….our FITT should always be led and motivated by fun!

Malnutrition In Utero- Nutrition of Little Girls

Malnutrition In the Womb – The Nutrition of Our Little Girls Dr. David Barker

Malnutrition is not restricted to third world countries – there is plenty in North America.

Your are what your mother ate……

Malnutrition In the Womb David Barker Best In Health RadioDavid Barker MD PhD FRS was a physician, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Southampton, UK, and Professor in Cardiovascular Medicine at Oregon Health and Science University, USA.

Twenty-five years ago he showed for the first time that people who had low birth weight are at greater risk of developing coronary heart disease and diabetes. This is now widely accepted. It has led to a new understanding that chronic adult diseases are “programmed” by malnutrition in the womb. Dr. Barker’s work is relevant around the world. In the Western world many babies are malnourished because their mothers eat diets that are unbalanced and monotonous, or because their mothers are either overweight or excessively thin. In the Third World many babies are malnourished because their mothers were chronically undernourished when they were young.

When you educate a Mom – you educate a family.

Simply put – by feeding our daughters properly from the moment they are born – we are setting the stage for our grandchildren’s health. So you are not mothering just your daughter – you are mothering your grandchildren.  We know that by feeding our daughters properly from the time they are born – we are setting the metabolic stage so to speak for our grandchildren.

Dr Barker has lectured and written extensively on nutrition in the womb and its life-long consequences. He has received a number of international awards including the Danone Nutrition Award, the Prince Mahidol Prize and the Richard Doll Prize.

Most unfortunately, Dr. Barker has since passed away since I had the privilege of recording his. In his last public speech he said:

“The next generation does not have to suffer from heart disease or osteoporosis. These diseases are not mandated by the human genome. They barely existed 100 years ago. They are unnecessary diseases. We could prevent them had we the will to do so.”

We pledge to keep the work of Dr. Barker alive. An Incredible, approachable, brilliant, lovely man.