Archives For From the Doctor

No Man Left Behind

Sea Bass —  March 4, 2012

After much thought and even an inner battle of what some might call selfish motivations I had a chat with our insightful pastor and came to the conclusion that the sole emphasis of running this event should be no man left behind.

There is no one timing this race but ourselves.  When we originally discussed the notion of participating in the Tough Mudder we came up with the idea that completing the race as a group is in itself a great accomplishment.   On top of that the unity and friendships we would build in the process would be priceless and in my opinion is already proving to be.   I have to say that the first 60 days of training has already forever changed my life for the good.

On a personal level it has given me the strength to make some personal growth changes as well as be a better example/role model for my family and my patients.  I not only practice what I preach but at a very high level.  As a group I believe we have already become a T.E.A.M…and they say…

  • Together
  • Everyone
  • Achieves
  • More.

I feel we have all been very supportive of each other in this process aside form a little ribbing form time to time to keep things lively.   Come race day I would like to see us stay together as a group and with Gods grace defy the odds.  I would like 100% of us to cross that finish line rather than the 75% average given. (Tough Mudder Statistics saye 25% WILL FAIL – 3.75 of Team Uppercut)

To succeed at the task in hand everyone involved needs to combine their efforts. If everyone does their job well, then it increases what the team can accomplish. This teamwork has to be recognized by everyone and know that great things can happen if individuals master the fundamentals and work together as one unit. Everyone has their own unique role, but each person’s individual role must be recognized and appreciated.

Everyone of us needs to understand how important it is to work smoothly together if we want to be successful. Each participant must be dedicated to the whole team and be willing to act unselfishly. When challenges arise (and rise they will), the team needs to have the resources, accountability and commitment to deal with them in a constructive and positive manner. A sense of teamwork will play an integral part in this.  Teamwork not only amongst us but also with God.

Check out this video of team work

As much as God is infinitely greater than us…

““For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  – Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV

The TEAM is greater than any ONE of us.  I encourage each of you to post your thoughts and experience so far in our journey together in particular the personal impact it has had on each of your lives.  I believe this will give us better insight to the positive influences we are making in each others lives as a TEAM.    Leave no man behind in life let alone on race day!

Spiritual DNA

Sea Bass —  February 25, 2012

I was reading an article today by Max Lucado called Take Up Your Cross.  In that article he discusses the importance of taking up our own crosses to follow Jesus.

1 Corinthians3:5

“The Lord has assigned to each his task.”

As I pondered this while I read the rest of his article he came up with a cool concept of Spiritual DNA (Direction, Need, and Ability).

  • In what directions has God taken you?
  • What needs has God revealed to you?
  • What abilities has God given to you?

As we all take this journey together and train to compete as one working unit as Tough Mudders we may notice certain character traits of one another that stand out.  I think that as we encourage each other to get stronger physically and stick with the program we need to equally encourage each other to grow spiritually.  If you are like me you may not know what God’s calling is for you yet.  Any guidance and insight form those on the outside looking in is beneficial and welcome.  So as we all begin to grow a little more in life perhaps we can take the time to help each other realize our God given abilities so we may further understand our Spiritual DNA.

You Are What You Eat

Sea Bass —  February 21, 2012

You truly are what you eat…and that starts with how food and other natural substances that complement the diet affect your cells and influence your health.
In the past, the main focus was on the nutrients we might be missing. That’s still important. However, now scientists realize that there’s a lot more to consider when planning our daily diets than just avoiding a deficiency. Healthy eating, nutrition, and other modifiable lifestyle factors can help you reverse the disease process and improve health.

How Lifestyles Affect Your Body’s Nutritional Intake

Despite a wide variety of foods, people today generally eat more but actually get fewer nutrients. Many common aspects of daily life can deplete the body of the nutrients it needs to function properly:

  • Drinking—alcohol
  • Coffee/sodas (caffeine)Smoking—nicotineMedications—statin drugs
  • Corticosteroids, diureticsEating—junk food
  • Refined carbohydratesStress—work
  • FamilyState of Health—illness
  • Injury, intestinal issues

These things can rob you of nutrients by:

  • Increasing your need for certain nutrients.
  • Causing accelerated nutrient loss.
  • Impairing the absorption of nutrients from food

What You Eat Affects How You Feel

Processed foods and other unhealthy dietary habits can interfere with the dietary signals sent to cells throughout the body, which can lead to premature aging and disease. Addressing unhealthy eating patterns allows you to manage symptoms and even halt or reverse the progression of illness. Eating plans can also be tailored to specific conditions to maximize healthy signals—to help regulate blood sugar or reduce inflammation, for example.

Eating to Send a Healthy Message

Are 3 balanced meals a day enough to keep you healthy? Food is the preferred source of nutrients to supply you foundational nutrition needs for basic health maintenance. Knowing how to eat to maximize these omega3foodsnutrients will help you stay on a path of reduced disease risk.
As you probably know, the foods you eat can be broken down into 3 categories: fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. They’re all essential to health—but not every food supplies them in a “good” way. And too much of anything—even a good thing—is still too much. Work with your health care provider for suggestions on daily calorie intake and serving size suggestions to match your individual needs and activity level.
Some Fat is Good for You
Fat is a vital nutrient that your body needs for a wide range of biological processes, including growth, healthy skin, and absorption of nutrients. It’s also an important fuel source. Eating the right fats, in moderation, will help you feel full faster, and in turn, decrease your appetite. They can even help lower your risk of heart disease by reducing your levels of total and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.

  • Good. Mono- and poly-unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids (from coldwater fish, nuts, flaxseed oil) are healthy.
  • Bad. Saturated fat and trans fat (from animal products and processed foods) can be harmful.
  • Disease alert. Saturated and trans fats can increase your risk of heart disease by increasing your total and LDL cholesterol.

Protein is More Than Just Meat

Protein is a key component of practically every tissue in your body, including muscle, skin, hair, and other tissues. Proteins manufacture the enzymes and hormones that power digestion, metabolism, and tissue growth and repair.
Protein can be found in all meats and vegetables. Some are “complete” proteins (typically from animals) because they contain all the essential amino acids your body needs to build more protein. Others are “incomplete” proteins (vegetables, nuts) because they lack one or more essential amino acids.

  • Good. Lean cuts of meat, white poultry meat, whey protein, soy protein, nuts (in moderation), beans, reduced fat dairy products (or dairy substitutes).
  • Bad. Fatty cuts of meat, dark poultry meat, excess cheese or “whole” dairy product consumption, poultry skins.
  • Caution. Even lean protein sources can be prepared in unhealthy ways—battered, deep fried, or covered in fatty sauces or cheeses.

Carbohydrates: the Key to Healthy Eating

Carbohydrates are important sources of energy and can be found in most foods. Not all carbohydrates are beneficial, so choosing the right carbohydrates is essential.

  • Good. Better sources of carbohydrates are whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans. These foods are a good source of energy and provide fiber, vitamins, and minerals—as well as phytonutrients that are essential for good health.
  • Bad. Refined carbohydrates or sugars (white bread, white rice, pastries, sugary sodas) provide little or no nutritional value.
  • Caution. Even the best carbs can be prepared in bad ways. Overcooking can deplete nutrients, or they can be covered in cheese, butter, and fatty/sugary sauces that counteract their benefits.
  • Disease Alert. Over time, a steady intake of refined carbohydrates can lead to insulin resistance, a harmful condition in which the body can’t properly convert blood sugar into energy. Insulin resistance, in turn, can result in weight gain, low energy levels, diabetes, heart disease, and other health conditions.

Fiber and Water: Filling You Up and Cleaning You Out

Good sources of fiber include bran, beans, brown rice and nuts, and green vegetables (broccoli, asparagus, spinach). Your health care provider may also recommend a fiber supplement. Dietary fiber helps:

  • Promote healthy insulin and blood sugar response by slowing digestion, which helps to prevent a surge of blood sugar.
  • Create a feeling of fullness, helping you control the amount of food you eat.
  • Increase bowel motility, helping you empty what your body doesn’t need more regularly.
  • Disease alert. Low fiber diets can increase the risk to insulin resistance, digestive discomfort, and more serious intestinal concerns.

Water helps to transport vital nutrients to, and export waste from, our cells. It’s also necessary to moisten the lungs and respiratory tract, lubricate joint surfaces and internal organs, and ensure proper digestion. Like fiber, it can increase the feeling of fullness and aid in toxin removal. So it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough water every day.

Targeted Nutrients—Extra Help for Improving Health

The growing field of research in nutritional genomics—or nutrigenomics—has demonstrated the effects that nutrients and plant substances can have on modifying the expression of genes in favor of good health. This has led to the development of research-based nutraceuticals and medical foods that complement dietary approaches to address today’s top health concerns.
“Boosting” Your Healthy Message with Nutritional Supplements
Even if you eat a nutritious diet, you might benefit from nutritional supplementation. Nutritional supplementation not only helps you maintain adequate nutrient levels. It can also help improve your health or manage chronic health conditions.  Contact your doctor for more information on how a specialized supplement plan can help you.

Basic Vitamin Essentials

Sea Bass —  February 16, 2012

vitaminsTaking a multiple vitamin, fish oil, and vitamin D3 daily are what I consider to be the most basic supplements we should all take.  Keep in mind that this is my opinion based on positive feedback and results from patients over the years.  Patients who supplement vitamins, these three vitamins in particular, at the proper dose will seem to respond better to care and feel better as a general rule.  From my own personal experience I feel I respond much better to life’s challenges and get sick much less.  When I couple proper diet and exercise into the equation I feel like I am on top of the world.

I supplement these three vitamins daily and will share with you what I believe to be safe and effective doses for each.  If we all ate a perfect diet and received adequate amounts of sunlight then one could argue that supplementation would not be necessary.  The problem is, we as Americans eat far from adequate diets and so we need to supplement just to meet the minimum nutrient needs our bodies require.

Multiple Vitamin:

It is always better to get our nutrients through real food.  I would like to be very clear that supplementation is not a substitute for a healthy, clean diet and adequate sunlight.  According to the Nutrition Journal 2007 (1.) : “This group of long-term multiple dietary supplement users consumed a broad array of vitamin/mineral, herbal, and condition-specific dietary supplements on a daily basis. They were more likely to have optimal concentrations of chronic disease-related biomarkers, and less likely to have suboptimal blood nutrient concentrations, elevated blood pressure, and diabetes compared to non-users and multivitamin/mineral users. These findings should be confirmed by studying the dietary supplement usage patterns, health, and nutritional status of other groups of heavy users of dietary supplements.”
My interpretation of this is that one or two multiple vitamins a day should be safe and effective in reducing nutrient deficiencies and the likelihood of some disease processes.  I take two Metagenics Brand Multigenics vitamins per day. (see store for link)

Vitamin D3:

Vitamin D is a very popular topic right now. What we know is that the further we are from the equator, the less sunlight we get.  Our primary sunsource of vitamin D is sunlight.  Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin and along with vitamins A,E, and K you can take too much.  Medical doctors are doing blood work to monitor patients’ levels and administer high doses of Vitamin D with seemingly positive results.  I believe that all of us here in Minnesota are essentially a bit deficient and taking 2000IUs of Vitamin D3 per day seems to be a safe and effective dose for the average adult.  I believe anything higher should be monitored with blood work.
Michael F. Holick states:
“The discovery that most tissues and cells in the body have a vitamin D receptor and that several possess the enzymatic machinery to convert the primary circulating form of vitamin D, 25-hydroxyvitamin D, to the active form, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, has provided new insights into the function of this vitamin. Of great interest is the role it can play in decreasing the risk of many chronic illnesses, including common cancers, autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases, and cardiovascular disease. In this review I consider the nature of vitamin D deficiency, discuss its role in skeletal and nonskeletal health, and suggest strategies for its prevention and treatment.”  (2.)

He further goes on to recommend 800IUs of vitamin D per day at the very least.
Bottom line is start taking a dose in the area of 800 to 2000IUs per day and if you want to be very accurate and safe get your blood levels checked at your local clinic. I take 1 Metagenics Iso-D3 2000IU tablet per day.

Fish Oil:

fish oilResearch shows the positive effects that supplementation of fish oil capsules (omega-3 fatty acids) may play on inflammation in our bodies.  It just so happens that inflammation is the new plague of our times and is a major factor in allergies, asthma, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, cancer, heart disease, fibromyalgia, diabetes, bowel disease, lupus, osteoporosis, overweight/obesity, and depression.

A typical dose is anywhere from 1000mg to 8000mg per day.  The average adult should take 1–8 1000mg capsules per day.  It is important to buy a reputable version of fish oil due to high levels of mercury found in fish.  The mercury is deposited in the fish fat and thus it is extracted with the oil.  The company that manufactures the fish oil capsules needs to put the oil through an expensive process to extract the mercury out while still leaving the oil in a viable state.  **If you are taking prescription blood thinners you should consult with your medical doctor as fish oil capsules will thin your blood.**

I tend to be a strong believer in fish oil and since my body seems to have a propensity to inflammation I take a high dose of fish oil a day.  I take 5 Metagenics EPA/DHA 720 pills per day.  This is equal to 12 regular strength fish oil pills.  I feel it helps my concentration as well as helping to reduce my body aches and pains.

As with any health related information it is always important to educate yourself and then discuss the information with a trusted physician to make sure that you make the right choices for you.  No one person is the same and we all have slightly different requirements and circumstances.  These are simply my opinions based on experience and personal choices which I share with you to discuss with your own personal doctor.

Nutrition Journal 2007, 6:30doi:10.1186/1475-2891-6-30
24 October 2007

2.  Vitamin D, NEJM 2007
Volume 357:266-281July 19, 2007Number 3NextVitamin D Deficiency
Michael F. Holick, M.D., Ph.D.