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Nutrition – everyone knows they need to eat “better,” but what does “better” mean?

When I was a teenager, my passion for nutrition sparked via the make-up industry. I started to look into the ingredients in my cosmetics when my friend told me about parabens – preservatives that are starting to be linked to cancer. I didn’t want that on my face! I looked up every ingredient in every product on my shelves and used a sharpie to mark all of the “bad” additives, and I was shocked at how not one product was “clean.”

Around this time, I also met one of my mom’s longest friends, Terry. Terry had been fighting breast cancer for years, doing several rounds of chemo and radiation, but the cancer kept coming back. She began to despair, so she started reading as much as she could about cancer – and she found out that diet can have a significant impact on cancer growth. She found that sugar intake was linked to increased risk of cancer, so she went on a raw, vegan diet and miraculously, her cancer was gone. Her doctors were baffled, but she swore by the diet.

At this point, I became a vegetarian, hoping to improve my health. However, after 2.5 years as a vegetarian, I started getting very sick frequently. I caught strep throat, then I got sick with mono, then I got strep throat on top of the mono. I was miserable!

However, I realized that I could not be a healthy vegetarian. From the biochemistry classes in my chiropractic program to the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theories in my acupuncture program, I learned more about diet than I ever had access to before. I discovered all about vitamins and minerals and their various purposes in the human body, and which foods contained them (spoiler alert: meat contains some like B vitamins that are simply not found in vegetable form or are basically un-absorbable due to their chemistry). On the acupuncture side, I learned about how it is all ultimately about balancing yin and yang, and that one of the primary ways of maintaining or building yin is to consume meat and animals products.

I decided to eat meat again because although I was doing it to try to help animals, I was primarily doing it for health and it was obvious that my health had deteriorated due to years of vegetarianism. And by this point, organic, local, grass-fed, well-treated animals and animal products were widely available, so I made the switch. I can’t help animals if I can’t function due to malnutrition!

So I have always been very passionate about nutrition, especially sustainable, whole food nutrition. It is one of the reasons I was drawn to the Standard Process and MediHerb brands. Standard Process provides whole food supplements (foods that are concentrated down for easy intake) while MediHerb provides high quality herbs.

In a perfect world, no one would ever needs supplements – but we don’t live in a perfect world. Between how things are processed to how food is grown, it is incredibly challenging to get all the nutrients you need to thrive from food nowadays. Even though I eat meat, I still struggle with getting the amount of B12 my body needs, which is why I supplement with a B complex (Cataplex B from Standard Process to be exact).

So I do my best to give my patients exactly what they need and no more. Taking too much can be just as detrimental as not taking enough, especially if you have never undergone the education necessary to really learn about mineral, herb, and drug interactions. I have seen people who know just enough to be dangerous cause very real damage to their bodies that takes time (and more products) to fix.

At the office, I will have to fill out a system survey and talk about what is going on with you to determine which systems in your body are being affected (such as digestion, sugar handling, adrenals, thyroid, sympathetic nervous system, etc.) so that I can recommend specific products to target your particular issues. I will also need a full list of the supplements and medications you are on to avoid potentially dangerous interactions. (If the Standard Process and MediHerb products could not possibly cause interactions, aka were “safe,” then you would know that they cannot possibly work!)

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