Category Archives: Philosophical rants :)

The Dose Makes the Poison – Just Not in the REAL WORLD!

They say “the dose makes the poison”. And this is true! But it’s also a brilliant way to cover up a scandal and hide the REAL truth.

For instance, maybe the amount of sugar in a teaspoon of honey won’t make you sick. Heck, maybe it’s even good for you at that dose!

But does anyone really stop at one teaspoon of honey per day? What if in addition to that teaspoon of honey, you were also putting sugar in your coffee, drinking 2 cans of soda, eating pizza, muffins, bread, pasta, rice, and ice cream every day? Now the dose certainly is poisonous. We know what the outcome of this. It’s called metabolic syndrome, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

What if you were injected with aluminum or mercury from one vaccine. It’s totally possible that your body might be able to clear that adjuvant with no problems. But what if you were given 5-10 doses of vaccines in one sitting? Could this pose a problem in certain people? You bet! Are there even any studies that show the safety of the levels of aluminum and mercury with the current vaccine schedule? Any studies that show how effectively someone with an MTHFR mutation or mitochondrial dysfunctional can clear these adjuvants?

What if you took one dose of a painkiller…your body might be able to safely handle it. But what if you were taking that painkiller along with a medicine cabinet full of other drugs to lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, help with insomnia, help with depression, and help with acid reflux? Have any studies been done that show the synergistic effect or the interplay between these various medications?

What if you eat some food that has pesticides in it. Your body might be able to clear that no problem if it’s an isolated incident. But what if you’re eating foods loaded with pesticides every day 3-5 times per day? How fast can your liver clear that toxicity? What if, besides eating pesticide ridden food, you’re also eating foods with MSG, food dyes, nitrates, and other chemical additives? What if you’re also ingesting and absorbing chemicals from your water, your carpets, your cookware, your plastic bottles, your food storage containers, your car, your cleaning products, your personal care products, and the air you breathe?

What if every person’s genetics and environment is different? What if person A has genetic mutations that make them poor methylators and detoxifiers while others don’t have that gene? What if one person’s environment exposes them to a massive amount of electromagnetic fields and dirty electricity while the next person not so much? What if one person spends time outdoors at the beach and in the ocean for 40% of their life while another lives on the 30th floor of a crowded building in a crowded city and almost never connects with the earth’s energies or the sun? What if one person gets to sleep early and often and sleeps well every night while the other experiences insomnia.

Do you think these people would all be in the same shape? Would all of their detoxification pathways and immune systems be able to handle the same amount of chemicals, pills, vaccines, or sugar?

Do you think that what is a safe dose for one person might be unsafe for the next?

I’m talking here about the concept of allostatic load, and for every person that differs.

So, does the dose make the poison? Yes it absolutely does, and in a vacuüm, you can judge the amount of poison in one dose of any given substance that would cross the threshold of health and cause harm.

But when you combine all the factors above, do we REALLY know what dosage makes the poison for every one of us? Or is it a much more individualized concept?

Could that be why over 100,000 Americans die each year from taking prescription drugs as properly prescribed to them by their docs despite all the pharmaceutical-funded studies showing the safety of each drug in a vacuüm?

Could that be why so many children are injured by vaccines despite pharmaceutical-funded studies showing the safety for each individual vaccine?

Could that be why diabetes is set to bankrupt our healthcare system despite the FDA putting a GRAS label on most of the individual ingredients in sugar laden, processed foods?

Do you think that one-size-fits-all recommendations work for you and your individual health?  I think that what it all comes down to is that in order for you to achieve optimal health and keep you and your family safe, you need to educate yourself on the bell curve of what works for most of the population but you also need to take the time and make the effort to understand whether you or your family falls inside or outside of that bell curve.  Because if you fall outside of it, don’t expect to have the same reaction to any given food, drug, or chemical that people inside the middle of that bell curve have.  We all need to spend more time understanding who we are as individuals and finding out what works for US individually.  That, imo, is the only way to achieve optimal health!

#CriticalThinkingNeeded

Rick Gold is the President & Founder of Gold Functional Wellness, Inc.  Rick is a certified FDN & Functional Wellness Practitioner and is well-versed in the concepts of functional medicine.  Working with clients locally in South Florida and around the world, Rick helps his clients identify and eliminate many of the underlying causes of their symptoms, with a specialization in gut health and circadian rhythms.

For most of his adult life, Rick suffered from 24/7/365 allergies, frequent colds and sinus infections, indigestion, heartburn, GERD, stomach and joint pain.  He was able to find temporary relief using conventional medicine doctors, but the conventional medicine route never identified or fixed the underlying causes of his health issues.  

Rick used functional lab testing and lifestyle changes to vastly improve his health.  Dietary and other lifestyle modifications essentially reversed most of his health challenges which are now a distant memory.  It inspired him to study and acquire his FDN certification and he now guides clients to better health and disease prevention for a living. 

Rick’s work is extremely personal to him.  He cares deeply about his clients and spends ample time with them to understand their health challenges, empathize with their pain, and the challenges they face in trying to heal.  He is very attune to their needs, and dedicates himself to helping them improve their emotional and physical health through the concepts and philosophies of functional medicine.

Click here to schedule an initial 15-minute phone consultation with Rick.

Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of the author, unless otherwise noted. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of the author. Rick is not a doctor, nutritionist, or dietitian and he does not claim to diagnose, treat, or cure disease.

We’ve traded HEALTH for Convenience

The hallmark of modern-day living is convenience.  We’re always looking for new and better ways to make living life easier.  I’m going to cite many examples of this in this article.  Technological, industrial, pharmaceutical, and agricultural advances have made this possible.

We’re actually at a point now where the advances in these industries are happening at such a frighteningly fast pace that, as a society, we never stop to think about whether they are harmful to our health.  We just see the convenience, hear the industry talking heads and the media outlets assuring us that it’s safe, and dive right in!  But there is overwhelming evidence in the scientific community that many of the conveniences that we now enjoy in the 21st century are literally killing us.

This begs the question: just because we CAN do something, does that mean we SHOULD?  Below, I will outline just a short list of modern-day conveniences that made daily life easier, but have wrecked our health in the long-term.  Here are the main takeaways from the article:

  • I will list many conveniences of modern-day living. Many of them are marvels of technology, agriculture, and medicine and have literally changed the course of human history.
  • I will present my arguments for why they are wrecking our health.
  • I will impress upon you the mission statement of my company, Gold Functional Wellness: to help you navigate the pitfalls of modern living and dramatically improve your health while still enjoying many of the conveniences of modern society. At Gold Functional Wellness, we believe we have the answers to the problems presented in this piece, and we are eager to share them with you!

Let’s begin!

Food:

Most obvious example: Fast food.  Fast.  Easy.  Kids love it.  No complaining.

We are chronically over-stressed and make poor health choices as a result.

Scenario: You just got home from work.  It was a stressful work day.  You’ve got a lot on your mind.  It’s late.  The kids are hungry.  They need to be fed, bathed, and in bed for school the next morning.  Here are your choices:  1) Boil some mac-n-cheese OR 2) Wash, cut, cook vegetables and marinate, season, and grill some fish?

From a convenience standpoint, it’s an easy choice, isn’t it?  Not only because of the reduced complexity of preparation and time to cook, but also because one of these choices your kids will complain about and the other they will eat happily with no whining and no tantrums, and no repetitious “sit and eat your food” necessary from mom and dad!

No doubt about it.  Fast food is easy, and inexpensive.  That makes it incredibly convenient!  But is this the healthier choice for you and your family?  Not exactly…

Other examples:

  • CAFOs – Confined Animal Feeding Operations. This is a convenient way for farmers

    CAFOs result in sick animals, sick meat, and toxicity in the fat of the animals.

    to raise, fatten, slaughter, and sell many more animals per acre of land than they were previously able to.  It cuts down the cost of land, feed, and increases profits.  It is also able to provide enough animal products to satisfy the demand from a growing population that is bursting at the seams.  The problem?  Animals in CAFOs are confined, unable to move around freely, in many cases rarely get any sunlight, are fed a diet that is at best inconsistent with what they are genetically predisposed to thrive on, pumped up with antibiotics and hormones to speed their growth, development, and stop infections that inevitably arise because of their poor health.  So, naturally, they become sickly animals, and nutritional profile of their meat, milk, and eggs are drastically altered for the worse.  And then, we eat that sickly meat, milk, and eggs.  Convenient?  You bet!  Healthier than the meat, milk, and eggs we used to eat before the widespread use of CAFOs?  You make the call!

  • GMOs & related pesticides – Farmers had a problem: Their crops were being destroyed by pests and weeds which lowered crop yields. The convenient solution?

    Glyphosate, the active ingredient in pesticides applied to GMOs, is a known carcinogen

    1) create crops that have pesticides that grow inside of them, so that they will repel the pests, and 2) create crops that are resistant to lethal pesticides and would otherwise die upon contact with them.  Problem solved right?  Now the farmers can spray their field, kill the weeds, kill and repel the pests, and grow huge amounts of their crops for sales and distribution.  Sounds really convenient to me!  Except, the science is still not out on whether or not GMO crops themselves are harmful to human health, and the science is definitively out showing how BT toxin and Glyphosate, the main pesticides used in conjunction with GMO crops, ARE bad for human health.  The WHO recently classified glyphosate as a probable carcinogen.  Studies link an association between these pesticides and altered gut bacteria, digestive problems, suppression of detoxification pathways in the liver, and cancer.  But don’t let that stop you from chowing down on some GMO corn and edamame!  Just kidding…please let that stop you from doing that!  J

 

Above and beyond that, pesticide usage and modern-day agricultural techniques have totally robbed our produce of nutrition.  This is because these practices have destroyed the soil quality of conventional farms.  This is another example of how modern-day conveniences are destroying our health!

 

  • Year-round supply of out of season foods – Ever go to the grocery store and

    It’s always best to buy food from local sources for optimal nutrition.

    wonder “how is it that watermelons are available at my grocery store in the winter? Don’t they grow in the summer?”  Correct!  Watermelons need a warm climate to grow.  That watermelon in your grocery store is only there because it was brought to you from another, warmer climate.  If you are eating watermelon during a cold season, this is basically a nutrition-climate mismatch.  If you want to thrive in the climate you are living in, you’ll need to eat the foods that thrive in the climate you live in.  It’s pretty simple logic, isn’t it?  Eskimos, before their food industry became westernized and then subsequently became sicker, eat tons of fatty, cold water fish, seal and whale blubber, and only a small portion of their diet is plant-based.  Why?  Because plants don’t grow well where they live!  It’s a cold, harsh climate.  They eat the foods that thrive in their climate, and thus, the foods they eat confer the ability to thrive for the Eskimos!

  • Additionally, eating foods (especially produce) when they are fresh will provide you with optimal nutrition. If you live on the east coast of the US and you’re eating strawberries or lettuce that was grown in California and took 2 weeks from the time they were picked to reach your table, chances are that those foods will contain far less nutrition than the fruits and vegetables grown locally in your town and eaten a day or two after they were plucked from the ground or the tree.  It’s really convenient to have any food you want at any time of day regardless of climate, geography, or season, isn’t it?  But is it serving us?  Is it helping us to stay healthy and thrive?  I would argue the opposite.  Click here to read more about how transport time, freezing vegetables and fruits, and canned veggies and fruits result in lower nutrient content (especially enzymes and vitamin C).

 

Technology: 

  • nnEMF (non-native electromagnetic fields) – Talk about convenience?  The

    We’re blasting ourselves and our children with harmful radiation!

    introduction of nnEMF has led to amazing and super convenient inventions such as cell phones, portable laptop computers, tablets, cordless phones, Bluetooth everything, Wi-Fi internet access, wireless speakers, wearable technology like the Fitbit, apple watch, jawbone up, and dozens of other Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled devices.  Many people have their entire homes set up to run completely on Wi-Fi from temperature regulation to starting their coffee makers and turning on and off their lights, etc.  Baby monitors transmit signals from the baby’s crib to the parents 24/7.  They’ve even made diapers that now transmit signals to the mom’s smart phone when the diaper is wet!  Electricity companies no longer need to send workers to your house to read your meters.  Smart meters are being deployed everywhere and using nnEMF technology to communicate readings directly to electric companies in real-time.  Click here to hear about what Dr. David Carpenter, a Harvard Medical School graduate and physician, has to say about smart meters.

 

Have you seen cell towers like this in your neighborhood?

No doubt about it, nnEMF was a marvel of modern technology that opened the door to many really cool and really helpful new things for humans.  We can now do business anytime, anywhere.  We never need to miss a call, email or text.  Our kids, friends, and family can get in touch with us at any time, and anywhere.  We can do our banking and shopping online and save tons of time.  We can even buy our groceries online and watch them show up at our door within 24 hours!  What’s not to like?

 

Well, perhaps this wasn’t thought out too well.  Is it REALLY a gift to be so accessible like we all are now 24/7/365?  Or is it a curse?  With 24/7 accessibility comes a boatload of increased stress.  We used to work 9-5 jobs and the weekend used to mean something.  It was a true break from work.  These days, we literally work all day, every day, including weekends.  There are no boundaries anymore between boss and employee.

 

I haven’t even touched on the more important and more health destroying aspect of

Do you have a smart meter on your home?

nnEMF.  There is a large body of research (unknown to most in the mainstream) that shows nnEMF messes with our circadian cycles, dehydrates our cells, unstructured water in our cells, causes cell clumping, and causes diseases like cancer (and this is just a drop in the bucket as far as evidence goes).  Convenient?  Absolutely!  Healthy?  Not so much!

 

  • ALAN (Artificial Light at Night) and blue light – How about artificial light,

    Dimly lit rooms at night are better for your health.

    specifically in the blue spectrum?  Artificial light during the daytime and at night has enabled modern man to massively increase productivity and has helped to produce huge advances in technology.  That’s the good news!  Aside from fire, which burns an orange-red color and does not contain much in the way of blue light, humans only started using artificial light about 100 years ago.  But before that, here’s what indoor lighting at night looked like:

What do you think is different about this room and your room in the evening?  It’s pretty obvious, right?  People who hang out in this type of lighting at night get tired pretty quickly.  Especially before TVs, computers, and smart phones were invented!  This is what a modernly lit room looks like at night:

Bright light at night disrupts sleep and your health.

A little different, huh?  Here is what a brightly lit city looks like (imagine the light pollution for people living in buildings in these cities):

How can anyone produce melatonin or get restful sleep living like this?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is what the earth now looks like at night from space (remember that this image was totally different even 100 years ago.  The amount of artificial light that lights up the night sky has dramatically increased in the last 100-150 years.  We are all living in one huge light experiment, and the results are in…and they’re not good!):

The earth is this bright at night from SPACE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why is this important?  Because we are diurnal beings, and that means our circadian cycles are programmed for us to be asleep at night when it’s dark and active during the day when it’s light.  The problem?  We’ve erased night!  We have artificially eliminated darkness.  Which has eliminated restful sleep.  Specifically, short wave sleep (SLS) is known to be the most restorative phase of sleep where the “rest and repair” mechanisms take hold and repair damaged tissues in the body and the brain.  Short wave sleep happens mostly in the earlier parts of the night (i.e. sleep before midnight).  It’s for this reason that you hear people saying that every hour of sleep before midnight is as powerful as 2 hours of sleep after midnight.

How do our bodies know when to sleep and when to be active?  It uses cues from LIGHT!

Diagram showing the effect of light/dark cycles on all organ function.

Light enters your retinas through your eyes and signals a part of your brain called the SCN.  The SCN receives that signal and interprets it based on the spectrum of light.  Blue light signals the SCN to think it is daytime and the SCN subsequently commands certain glands and organs to secrete hormones that coincide with being active in daylight.  Red light signals it to think it is close to night time and subsequently the SCN will command certain glands and organs to secrete hormones and other chemicals that coincide with nighttime, sleep, rest and repair.  Darkness signals the SCN to continue to command various organs and glands in your body to keep secreting those sleep, rest and repair hormones and chemicals.

Artificial light at night (ALAN) and specifically in the blue spectrum of light (the brighter light that most of the bulbs in your home emit, as well as your TV, computer, smart phone, tablet, etc.) completely confuses your SCN, disrupts circadian rhythms, disrupts cortisol, disrupts melatonin, disrupts sleep, impairs immune function, disrupts thyroid hormone, disrupts sex hormones, disrupts leptin (the hormone that tells you when to stop eating), and disrupts neurotransmitter production.  Convenient?  You bet!  Healthy?  Not a chance!  Click here to learn a bit more about this.  And here is a nifty little compilation of research on blue light and sleep.

  • Video games & TV – Convenient form of entertainment in the home, aren’t they?

    This is what modern kids do for fun. Bathe in blue light, nnEMF, and sedentary living.

    What were kids doing for entertainment 100 or even 50 years ago?  You can bet your last dollar that they spent much more time outdoors, with other kids in the community, socializing, getting ample sunlight, and breaking a good sweat.  Maybe even rolling around in dirt which helped to expose them to some beneficial microbes that boost immune function.  Consequences – kids would rather sit in front of a blue light emitting screen and close to a persistent source of direct nnEMF exposure rather than go outside and play.  This results in lower physical activity, less exposure to sunlight (which has its own set of devastating health effects like lowered vitamin D levels), loss of social skills, and disruption of circadian rhythms.  This article discusses a study done in 2012/2013 on this phenomenon.  Convenient?  Check!  Healthy?  Nope!

Medicine:

Now, I don’t want you to take this as an attack on medicine, doctors, or hospitals.  There are areas of medicine that are literally a life-saving miracle of ingenuity.  ER doctors save countless lives every day.  Heart surgeons save people who are having heart attacks.  Antibiotics and other drugs have saved countless lives as well.  Spinal surgeons help paralyzed people walk again.  When it comes to acute emergency situations, modern medicine excels beyond our wildest dreams.

But when it comes to chronic debilitating diseases and conditions, modern medicine in general is tailored to the over-arching theme of taking the easy way out or hacking the system by using pills, surgery, chemo, and radiation to alleviate the SYMPTOMS of dysfunction rather than fixing the underlying causes of dysfunction.  90%-95% of cancers are caused by a mix of lifestyle and genetics.  Lifestyle modification can prevent and treat cancer, yet modern medicine only acknowledges pills, surgery, chemo, and radiation.  Most heart disease, diabetes, and autoimmune conditions can also be treated or prevented through lifestyle, yet modern medicine does nothing for us in the way of prevention.  They simply wait until we develop these diseases and then treat the symptoms to keep us as comfortable as possible throughout the disease progression.

Most Americans just want to continue leading their lives in an unhealthy manner and rely on modern medicine to keep them above ground when their health breaks down.

I don’t fault modern medicine for this.  I don’t fault doctors, hospitals, or even pharmaceutical companies for this.  They are all only giving us what we want!  We don’t want to change our lifestyles.  We like eating whatever we want to eat, drinking alcohol, doing drugs, staying up too late, partying like rock stars, staying sedentary, working stressful jobs, and generally just having fun without any regard to our health. Most people don’t want to change their lifestyles.  It’s not very convenient to have to change all of that.  They just want the quick and convenient fix for their symptoms.  Modern medicine is perfectly set up to give us exactly that.  The quick fix.  They’re only giving us what we have been collectively asking them to give us for decades.  This is an easy example of how we have traded health for convenience.

  • Antibiotics – Antibiotics were a modern medical marvel that have saved countless lives since they were created. They started out as a really good idea to help critically ill people recover from advanced bacterial infection.  But then something happened:  we started using them for every cut, scrape, and every little bacterial infection.  Many people use antibiotics when they have a cold without even knowing if the cold is bacterial or viral in origin.  Many people use antibiotics pre-emptively just in case they are exposed to someone else who was sick or if they go on a plane.  The beef industry (CAFOs) uses antibiotics on their sick cattle and also to fatten them up for slaughter.

Antibiotic overuse is a major problem.  It’s causing the rise of antibiotic resistant superbugs, destroying beneficial gut flora, contributing to long-term chronic malnutrition and inflammatory illness, and a whole host of other problems.  Most parent give their kids antibiotics for ever little ear infection.  But up to 80% of ear infections clear up on their own without using them.  Did you know that?

Fluoroquinolones, a very powerful and potentially devastating class of antibiotics (think Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox, Floxin, Factive (gemifloxacin), Noroxin, Proquin XR), are being prescribed for routine UTIs and for sinus infections.  The dangers of these powerful antibiotics are well known (1, 2, 3) There are thousands of Americans diagnosed with Fluoroquinolone toxicity (also see here) and COUNTLESS others who have been injured by these antibiotics and just haven’t been diagnosed.  Antibiotics are very convenient, and they do have their place in medicine.  But they need to be approached with care and used wisely.  Using them the way we do now is causing a serious and possibly irreversible health crisis.

  • Most prescription and OTC drugs – I am generalizing prescription and OTC drugs here to save time and space in this article. But it’s easy to pick out a few and go into great detail about how, while they ARE convenient, they actually do more harm than good to our health in the long run.  That’s because these drugs are

    Ever look at the drug aisle in a pharmacy? Drugs are so accepted in our society you would think that headaches are a sign of Tylenol deficiency!

    not formulated to cure anything or bring about true health.  They’re formulated to alleviate your symptoms.  They’re convenient, but don’t fix the underlying root causes of your symptoms.  Bottom line: you can’t fix a problem caused by lifestyle with a pill!

Additionally, all prescription and OTC drugs “rob Peter to pay Paul”, meaning they alleviate one symptom while throwing another area of your physiology out of whack, causing more symptoms and the manufactured need for more drugs.  A great model for the pharmaceutical industry, and popping a pill to feel a little better (albeit temporarily), IS convenient and attractive to many of us…true!  But is it healthy?  Well, consider these FACTS (which can be found here in a report by Harvard University):

  • Properly prescribed drugs (aside from misprescribing, overdosing, or self-prescribing) cause about 1.9 million hospitalizations a year.
  • 840,000 hospitalized patients are given drugs that cause serious adverse reactions for a total of 2.74 million serious adverse drug reactions per year.
  • About 128,000 people die from drugs prescribed to them every year.  That clocks in as the 6th leading cause of death for US citizens behind only heart disease, cancer, COPD, accidents (unintentional injuries), and Alzheimer’s disease. It clocks in ahead of diabetes, influenza, pneumonia, and kidney disease.

Does that sound healthy to you?  Unbelievably, no one really talks about just how dangerous prescription and OTC drugs can be.  Let’s have a look at just a few:

  • Surgeries – Many surgeries are the same in that they aim to relieve us of the

    Many surgeries are life-saving and necessary. But there are so many that pose unnecessary risks and damage our health in the long run.

    symptoms we are experiencing rather than fix the underlying issue and improve our health. If your gallbladder is malfunctioning and causing you painful episodes, the easy and convenient choice is to have surgery to remove it.  You CAN live without a gallbladder but it is very hard to THRIVE without one.

 That’s because the gallbladder has a crucial role of collecting and storing bile that is made in your liver.  The gallbladder stores this bile for release when you eat fats.  The bile helps you emulsify and absorb fats.  No gallbladder = less bile when you need it, less fat absorption, less absorption of crucial fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K.  It also results in chronic diarrhea, chronic constipation, or BOTH in many patients for years after surgery and for many permanently.

Gallbladder removal is also associated with slower transit time (for food to travel from mouth to anus) and increased risk of developing SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth).  And there’s always the increased risk (however slight) for colon cancer associated with having your gallbladder removed.  Really I can go on and one here.  Convenient to get that surgery?  Perhaps…and sometimes even necessary in emergency situations.  I won’t deny that.  But is it healthy to go without a gallbladder?  Not so much.

There are many other surgeries that are quite convenient but also subsequently wreak havoc on our health.  Did you know that your tonsils play an important role for immune function?  If you or your child has chronic tonsillitis, is it a better idea to have them removed or to find and fix the underlying problem?  Most cases of chronic tonsillitis are caused by chronic viral or bacterial infection.  Knock those out and fix tonsillitis!  Easier said than done, I know.  But the correct path usually is the harder one.

Plus, removing your tonsils that are chronically infected because of chronic viral or bacterial infection doesn’t remove the underlying infection AND it weakens your immune response!  Nature is not stupid.  Your tonsils are a part of your immune system and they are there for a reason.  Removing them takes one part of your immune system out of your body.  Removing them is the easier and more convenient approach, but it permanently hampers the function of your mucosal immune function.  Convenient?  Yup!  And you get ice cream after the surgery?  What could be better?  Healthy in the long run?  Nope.

Industry: I am going to move through this quickly and lump many industries together for the sake of brevity.  That doesn’t make this section any less important.  It’s just for the sake of time and brevity.

The dangers of hundreds of chemicals that we are exposed to on a daily basis are well-documented.

It is well-known at this point that the water, energy, agriculture, manufacturing, auto, plastics and chemical industries have introduced over 100,000 chemicals into our daily lives in the last 100 years (estimates range from 85,000 to well over 100,000…but the point is…it’s A LOT!).   These chemicals have served to make our daily lives much easier and way more convenient.  What ISN’T well known is that most of these chemicals have never been tested for long term safety in humans, and that many of them have been tagged as known or possible carcinogens, hormone disruptors, and obesogens (they mimic estrogen and make us fat…still think that obesity is simply explained by calories in-calories out??)!  There are hundreds of chemicals I can write about in here but I’ll just name a few to make my point clear:

  • Teflon coated pans – Non-stick surfaces? How convenient!  Sign me up!  Except…this.  Is that few extra minutes you save from not having to scrape your eggs off the pan worth an increased risk of cancer?  Apparently many Americans think so because they continue to use non-stick pans even while evidence clearly shows the dangers.
  • Flame retardants – They’re literally EVERYWHERE and they’re purpose is to conveniently prevent us from dying in a fire. Many states even require manufacturers of furniture, upholstery, baby toys and clothing to have flame retardants.  This is changing though, albeit slowly!  On the surface, adding flame retardants to everyday products in our homes, cars, offices, and parks sounds like a great idea!  Except we are trading the possibility of a quick death by fire for a slow painful death from the diseases associated with the accumulation of these toxins in our bodies over the years.
  • Phthalates – The following quote is from this article: “In the past few years, researchers havelinked phthalates to asthma, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, breast cancer, obesity and type II diabetes, low IQ, neurodevelopmental issues, behavioral issues, autism spectrum disorders, altered reproductive development and male fertility issues.”  They are in household items (vinyl flooring), personal care products (hair care, body wash, some cosmetics), fragrance, household cleaners, and food.
  • Click here to read more about chemicals and how they’re affecting our health (especially children!)

The energy industry:

  • Fracking is a technology that enables us to access natural gas trapped under the

    Fracking pollutes the water supplies in nearby towns.

    ground. Natural gas is a cleaner burning source of fuel.  And the US is sitting on top of a huge source of this fuel, so moving to natural gas would make us less dependent on foreign and dirtier fuel sources like oil.  Convenient, right?  Except fracking introduces an immense amount of chemicals into our lives and our drinking water, and is poisoning neighboring communities to fracking sites.

  • Here’s a great fact sheet about the energy industry in general. It’s nice and super convenient to have lights in our homes, air conditioning, heat, cooking stoves, street lights, cars, planes, trains, buses, etc.  But the amount of pollution generated by the creation of energy sources to power the modern world we now live in has created a living environment that is destroying the planet’s natural resources and conducive to disease formation in humans and animal life.  It’s ruining the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat.  Convenient?  Sure!  Healthy?  Nope!

If you made it through this really long article, congrats!  This was long, even by my standards!  🙂  The crazy thing is that I can keep going.  There are many other conveniences of modern life that destroy our health and I left those out.  I had to, or this would have turned into a book!  But I think you get the point: The conveniences of modern life are making us sick.  We’ve traded health for convenience.

So, what do we do here at Gold Functional Wellness?  Do we tell our clients that they have to forsake all of their houses, cars, lights, computers, phones, tablets, clothing, cleaning products, and electricity and move to the amazon, hunt and gather their food, and wear a loin cloth?

NO!  We don’t do that.  We recognize that this is the world we live in.  It’s a different and far more dangerous world than the one our great grandparents and even our parents grew up in.  It’s far more polluted and toxic in every way possible, and the problem is compounded by our food supply being less nutritious than ever before in our history.  What that means is that we have to adapt.  We have to implement safeguards to protect us from this ever-growing list of potential toxicity and nutrient deficiency.  We have to implement strategies in our lives to stay healthy that our ancestors never had to do, because they never faced the dangers we face.

That is what the Gold Functional Wellness programs are about!  Teaching you how to live in this modern world and how to continue enjoying many of its conveniences while protecting yourself and your family.  We teach you (despite all the dangers listed above) how to live in a way that builds and strengthens your immune function, lowers inflammation, improves energy, improves sleep quality, lowers your risk of developing disease, balances your hormones, and improves your sense of well-being.  This is a program that every single person living in a modernized society should go through.  It arms you with the knowledge and the tools to live healthy and happy in an increasingly difficult environment!  So if you’ve decided to enroll in one of our programs, congratulations!  It might just be the most important and powerful decision you’ve made in your life to date (minus the whole getting married and kids thing) ;)!

Thanks for reading!

In health,

Rick Gold

 

HUMANS ARE REALLY JUST BRILLIANT DOMESTICATED ANIMALS!

Caged lion at a zoo.

Question: If you take a lion out of the jungle, put it in a cage, and feed it cocoa pebbles for one year, what do you think would happen to it?

 

I have asked probably 1000 people this question over the last 5 years, and invariably they chuckle and say: “It’ll get sick and die”.  This isn’t how they answer the question 5 out of 10 times or 7 out of ten times.  This is how they answer the question EVERY. SINGLE. TIME!

 

It’s amazing how easy it is for people to see this simple fact.  It’s easy because we have all grown up watching lions in their natural, unadulterated habitat.  We watch them hunt and eat wild game.  We know that they are genetically predisposed to thrive by eating meat, and living outdoors in the sun, and being connected to the earth, and living free to roam.  We know that they thrive in packs and die faster on their own.  And we know that if we take away ANY of these aspects of a lion’s life it will fail to thrive and get sick.

 

So, now I’ll ask you the same question but let’s substitute the lion for a human (and please forgive my referring to a human as an “it”. It’s just easier for writing purposes…and hey if “it” is good enough for a lion, then why isn’t “it” good enough to describe us?):

If you were to take a human and keep it indoors for most of its life, disconnect its feet and body from the earth, allow it to have only minimal amounts of sun, feed it processed & nutritionally dead foods and sugar throwing its blood sugar & insulin levels out of whack, give it a sedentary desk job, put blue-light emitting electronics everywhere in its eyesight day and night, force it to get by on only minimal sleep, use coffee and other substances to artificially prop it up when it’s tired, expose it to a constant flow of toxicity in the air it breathes, the water it drinks, the water it bathes in, the clothing it wears, the products it uses to clean itself and its house, the carpets it lies on, the cabinetry in its home, the car that it drives, the medications that it takes, and create a 24-hour stressful existence for it where it worries constantly about money, work, debt, relationship issues, children, the economy, Al Qaeda, Isis, Hamas, world war 3, murder, rape, kidnapping, theft, weather reports, traffic, overcrowding, politics, and infringement of its freedoms…

 

What do YOU think would happen to this human?

 

If you didn’t give the EXACT SAME answer as the one you gave for the same question about the lion, then you’re simply just not getting it!

 

You see, the problem is that humans living today in modern society don’t view themselves in the same way as we view that lion.  That’s because we have no direct reference around us of humans who are still living in the way that humans were genetically predisposed to thrive.  Everywhere around us, all we see are other humans living the way we live, and dealing with all the same health issues we do.  So to us, we think it’s normal for humans to live this way.  We don’t relate to the way that lion lives.  We feel above that lion.  We are higher beings, right?

 

Well, the truth is that we are animals!  Just like that lion is an animal.  We might be smarter than a lion, but we are living breathing organisms, with brains, hearts, livers, muscles, skin, and hair…JUST LIKE THAT LION.  And for millions of years, HUMANS evolved and THRIVED in a lifestyle that is the complete polar opposite of the way that we live our lives now.  We’ve just domesticated ourselves and voluntarily turned ourselves into the human versions of the caged lion eating cocoa pebbles!

 

And then people ask themselves “why am I sick?  I don’t get it.”

 

Don’t believe me?  There ARE still some, albeit only a few, indigenous human tribes living on earth today in remote places, and they still live their lives the way they have evolved to live for millions of years.  And guess what?  They don’t have even close to the same rates of illness that we have!  They don’t experience alarming rising rates of obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, autoimmune conditions, depression anxiety, allergies, osteoporosis, oral infections, impacted teeth, etc.  If you’re really interested in learning more about this just start looking into the work of Weston A. Price.

 

These are healthy people with good musculature, strong bones, strong white teeth, and strong immune systems.  They enjoy optimal health because they honor nature and they live their lives in accordance with it, NOT in opposition to it.

 

So what am I saying here?  Am I telling you that if you want to be healthy you need to move out of America to a remote jungle, start wearing a loin cloth, and hunt & gather your own food?

 

Well…that WOULD drastically improve your health!
But NO, I’m not saying you need to do that.  What I AM saying is that if you are sick, tired, depressed, or have ANY chronic nagging symptoms that ruin your quality of life and you want to learn how to fix it then the FIRST place you need to start is with this knowledge.

You need to understand that you are an animal no different from that lion and that you are living in discordance with nature and in discordance with how you were genetically designed to live on this earth, and THAT is why you are sick!  THAT is why you are overweight!  THAT is why you have terrible allergies!  THAT is why you have chronic pain!  THAT is why you have any one of the major diseases that plague modern humans like cancer (yes I know there are some cases where cancer is 100% genetic but most cancers are preventable by controlling environment and lifestyle), heart disease, diabetes, and autoimmunity!
Coming to this realization is the first and most important step in getting well!  Because once you see this as clearly as I do, then you will understand what you need to do in order to heal yourself!
This is what we do with our clients at Gold Functional Wellness.  We help them understand the underlying causes of why they are sick, tired, depressed, overweight, etc.  Then we expertly guide them towards implementing powerful lifestyle changes that allow them to continue to enjoy many of the great aspects of modern living without it damaging their health and while building back their health.  Think of working with Gold Functional Wellness as the ultimate life hack that teaches you how to have the best of both worlds:  the conveniences and pleasures of modern living AND vibrant health!

The key to vibrant health that modern medicine overlooks.

short history of medicineModern medicine has its strong points, especially when we consider how effectively it treats and heals acute, life-threatening injuries or conditions.  If you are badly injured in a car accident, having a heart attack, stroke or other acute symptoms of that nature, EMS, first responders and emergency room staff can literally be the difference between life and death for you.  They are a godsend!  Modern medicine is also adept at early diagnosis of chronic diseases such as CVD and cancer.  

But what does modern medicine do for us to help us build our health and stay healthy to avoid those chronic diseases and to live a long, happy and healthy life?  Let’s take a look at some statistics: 

As a nation, we are sicker than ever. We’re suffering from record levels of autoimmune disorders, cancer, heart disease, alzheimer’s, autism & digestive ailments like GERD & IBS:

 

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING, DESPITE ALL OF THE ADVANCES IN MODERN MEDICINE OVER THE LAST CENTURY? 

 

It is fair to say that if you go to a doctor for treatment these days you are going to experience one or a combination of the following 5 outcomes:

  1. A non-diagnosis – aka they have no clue what is wrong with you and it’s “likely in your head”.  
  2. A diagnosis and prescription drugs.
  3. A diagnosis and surgery.
  4. A diagnosis and chemo.
  5. A diagnosis and radiation.  

Pills, surgery, chemo, radiation.   That is the way modern medicine attacks our health issues today.  Agreed?

I’m not saying that this approach is ALWAYS bad.  sometimes pills are necessary.  Sometimes surgery is necessary (again, especially in acute emergency situations).  However, there are 2 problems with this method:

  1. None of those options seek to discover and eliminate the cause of your symptoms.  They only seek to squash the symptoms.  For instance, if you have chronic sinus infections you’ll be prescribed an antibiotic like augmentin.  It will kill the infection.  But does it find and eliminate the root cause of why your immune system is compromised?  Does it take your diet and lifestyle into account and find out what areas of your body are malfunctioning or out of balance, and create a lifestyle reboot of sorts to help restore balance and function?  Not even close.  Thus, you will just keep getting sicker and sicker as your body continues down the road of malfunction while only addressing symptoms and not the underlying cause.
  2. Pills, chemo, & radiation involve some of the most toxic substances we can put in our bodies.  From heavy metals to many pharmaceutical drugs and chemo/radiation, these toxins serve to further disrupt our bodies’ normal function while alleviating symptoms.  Surgery many times removes body parts that are necessary for optimal bodily function. 

Antibiotics, for instance, kill an infection, but also are known to cause increased intestinal permeability and gut dysbiosis, both of which are intimately connected with onset of autoimmune conditions.  It also leads to food sensitivities, as a widening of the tight junctures in the small intestine that are supposed to keep I digested food particles out of the blood stream are now letting them through.  What follows is an immune reaction and the creation of antibodies against those food particles.  So, kill the infection, destroy the lining of your small intestine, and cause food sensitivities.  Good trade-off?   I don’t think so…

The same goes for prescription AND OTC painkillersstatin drugs, antacids, and immune suppressing drugs.  They all have one key element in common:  They treat the symptoms and ignore the causes.

Symptoms don’t just appear out of nowhere.  Our bodies are brilliant organisms that do a terrific job of shifting and adapting to constant insults and assaults on their cellular function.  Over time, the burden of these chronic insults from diet, lack of sleep, stress, lack of exercise, and the thousands of chemicals, toxic metals, pesticides and preservatives take a toll on our bodies and impairs functionality at the cellular level.  It might take years of functional loss at this level before symptoms ever even appear.  

So, if you are one of those people proudly burning the candle at both ends and bragging to friends and family about how much you are able to take on and how productive you are on such little sleep and with intense stress levels (you know who you are), the message to you is: you are human, and it will catch up to you.  One day, one or more symptoms will smack you over the head like a sledgehammer and you’ll think “woah…what is this?  I am healthy!  One day I’m fine and the next day this?  What gives???”  That’s because your body was silently losing function at the cellular level for years before your symptoms appeared.  And that happened because you weren’t taking care of it properly.  

You had too many holes popping up in your ship and you finally ran out of material to plug the holes!  

 

Plugging leaksAnd now your ship is starting to sink.  Now here is the question:  Do you just need more plugs, or do you want to find out what is causing the holes and eliminate that?  Because the answer to that question is the ultimate determinant between vibrant health and simply surviving for the rest of your life on a cabinet full of pharmaceutical drugs or surgeries.  

This is the type of stuff that I work on with my clients: implementing a total paradigm shift in the way they view their health and especially their symptoms.  Symptoms are not just a nuisance that need to go away.  They are our bodies way of communicating to us that something is malfunctioning and needs our attention.  Once we start viewing symptoms in that way we start to ask “why?”   Why am I feeling this symptom?  What is my body trying to tell me?   And then we can begin our detective work and find the cause.  

And the cause usually has to do with poor diet, poor sleep, poor exercise habits, poor mechanisms or protocols to cope with external and internal stressors, and a lack of properly supporting bodily function through intelligent supplementation.  Unfortunately, this holistic view of the body and lifestyle as a major factor in disease prevention and building health is vastly overlooked by the conventional medical community.

If you are interested in building your overall health, restoring optimal function, energy and vitality to your body, this is where you need to start.  Change your perception of what health is and what symptoms are, and change your life!  

I hope this was helpful and if you have any further interest in this topic you can always fill out the contact form on my site OR schedule a FREE consultation with me.  

Thanks, 

Rick Gold, Functional Wellness, FDN Practitioner
Gold Functional Wellness, Inc.

Website: www.GoldFunctionalWellness.com

Book a consult: http://www.snapappointments.com/listing/38C

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GoldFunctionalWellness

Follow me on Twitter: @RickGoldFWP

Email: Rick@GoldFunctionalWellness.com

 

Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of the author, unless otherwise noted.  The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of the author.  Rick is not a doctor, nutritionist, or dietitian and he does not claim to diagnose, treat, or cure disease.

 

Gratitude & Inspiration – Continuously updated page

thankful fortune

I created this page so that I have a place that I can go to every morning when I wake up and choose either to watch one of my favorite videos or read my favorite quotes that inspire me or help to put my mind in a state of gratitude.  I want to share that gift with you.

I will be updating this page regularly with new videos and new quotes that inspire me.  I hope you enjoy, and if you do, please start the discussion in the comments section below!  I wish you health, happiness, and peace:

  • This is one of my favorite guided meditations.  It’s about 18 minutes long, the voice is so soothing, the waves in the background so relaxing.  Try it!:

Guided meditation

  • An amazing TED talk and short video by Louie Schwartzberg in 2011 that will bring you back to nature and fill your heart with gratitude.  I feel that the message is so important that I try to watch this every morning upon waking:

  • The science of happiness.  A little social experiment that shows the power of gratitude on your moods:

  • What Oprah knows about gratitude.  A short video that will help set you back on track quickly by bringing you back to what’s important in life:

  • An excellent guided 30 minute meditation with Thanissaro Bikkhu.  This guy just has such a soothing voice, and he is such an incredible teacher.  His words ooze of wisdom and just make you feel downright great!

  • A short video about an amazing guy, Nick Vujicic, who was born with no arms and no legs.  Watch how this guy approaches life!  and break out the kleenex:

Ode to my mother

My mother, Racheline, holding me at the beach.

My mother, Racheline, holding me at the beach.

My mother died of pancreatic cancer.  Leading up to this day, the anniversary of her passing, I thought long and hard about a few things:  How would I feel on this day?  No matter how much time passes, It still feels surreal that she is gone.  I still feel weird when my phone doesn’t ring and I don’t hear her voice on the other side, checking in on me with genuine motherly concern.  And not hearing from her on my birthdays, or holidays.  And to not be able to share the good things that are happening in my life and with her grandson, whom she was so in love with and proud of.  How should I honor her?  Should it be by crying and feeling somber?

I thought long and hard about how I should commemorate this day.  And then it hit me: Since my mother’s cancer diagnosis was ultimately the breaking point for me that gave me the extra push to change careers from wall street hedge fund  recruiter to FDN practitioner, It seems fit to honor her by dedicating a blog post to her memory.  But I have decided not to focus on the bad stuff like how horrible the last few months were for her,  OR the cancer that ultimately took her life.  Those things were not what defined my mother or her life.

My mother’s life was defined by much more than that.  She lived for 73 years.  She was born in Alexandria, Egypt.  She and her family were thrown out of the country by President Nasser.  How many people in generation X do we know that endured something like that?  She moved with her family to France, where she met my father.  They fell in love, moved to Israel, then moved to the US without a penny in their pocket and very little in the form of higher education.  They scraped by and worked several jobs to pay the bills and to provide a house, clothing, schooling, vacations, toys, and entertainment for their three children.

My mother had many flaws (don’t we all?), but today I am going to focus on remembering all of the positive and funny things about her, as well as the lessons I have learned from her that make me the man I am today.

1) She was funny (many times without even knowing it, which is the funniest kind of funny!).  

  • I remember one time we were at my uncle’s house in long island:  It’s a beautiful summer day and the whole family is about to go swimming in the pool.  So, my mother, a huge worrywart who was afraid of her own shadow, yells at me in her thick Arabic accent “Ricky!  Be careful!  If you drown, I’ll KILL YOU!”.

2) She was always the life of the party.

  • Anyone who knew my mom would tell you that.  She was a loud, boisterous, smiley woman who really enjoyed family and friend gatherings and holidays.  She treasured social interactions with the important people in her life.  Even the people who were her customers at CVS (she was a cashier there for over 25 years) were drawn to her and used to wait extra time on her line just to have their daily fun-filled interaction with my mother.  Without ever telling me, she taught me an important lesson: happiness isn’t about accumulating wealth or social status.  It’s about enjoying and savoring every moment you have to spend with the people you love.  It’s about your relationships and keeping the bonds strong.  Here is a picture of her facial expression that defines her personality:
  • IMG_7840

3) She lived (and died) for her children.

  • There wasn’t a day that went by when my mother wasn’t worrying about us.  She spent her entire life struggling to give us a happier and more stable early life experience than she had growing up.  When we were sick, she used to pray out loud to gd to transfer whatever illness we had to her.  She couldn’t stand to see us hurting whether it was physically or emotionally.  We, and her grandchildren, were her life’s work.  She derived her greatest pleasures from seeing us happy and successful.

4) She was a wicked awesome cook!

  • My mom loved food,  and she was great at cooking gourmet French and Arabic dishes.  I can still close my eyes and smell and taste her delicious meat bechamel.  Friends and family who came to eat at our house always knew they were in for a treat.  And, like many Jewish mothers, she pushed food on us like she was a drug dealer, lol.

5) She showed me that incredible bravery can come from the most unexpected people at the most unexpected times.  

  • There is no denying it: my mom was a total scaredy-cat (yes that’s a real word!).  She was afraid of her own shadow.  She rarely went to doctors, even when she wasn’t feeling well, for fear that the doctor would tell her that she would need surgery or that she had some horrible disease.  She instilled fear into all of her children by being insanely over-protective and fearing that we would be kidnapped or killed the moment we walked out of our house.  So you can imagine my surprise when she became the bravest person I have ever known after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  Not only did she receive a death sentence from her doctors and need surgery, but she underwent a 13 hour Whipple procedure (one of the most complex and risky surgeries available through modern medicine today).  And she faced it like a champ.  She endured tremendous suffering and knew her death was imminent.  But she stayed strong.  She accepted it.  She left this world with dignity.  And with her family surrounding her at her bedside.  Perhaps it was fitting that her greatest act of courage was to face and accept her own mortality.  Almost as if she fulfilled her challenge here on earth by doing so.

I am proud of my mother, and I am proud to be her son.   Most importantly, wherever she is right now, I want her to know that her death was not in vain.  It was her cancer diagnosis and subsequent suffering that ultimately led me to change careers and to follow my true passion, which was to become a holistic health practitioner and to teach people how to heal themselves and how to live a preventative lifestyle and avoid devastating diagnoses like the one that she received.

Finally, I want to share a very personal message to you about what I learned from my mother’s death:

1) Life is so very short.  Hug  the people you love.  Tell them that you love them every day, and show them with your actions.

2) Don’t hold grudges.  People make mistakes.  Forgive and forget.

3) Be present.  With all of the laptops, smartphones, and tablets in circulation, it’s hard to find someone who isn’t staring at their devices like a zombie.  All the while, life and the world is happening around us, and we are missing it.  Put the phone down and be present when you talk to you wife, husband, parent, sibling, friend, or child.  Be in the moment and enjoy it for everything it can give you.

4) Get grateful. I read an amazing quote the other day: “If you want to feel rich, just think of all the things you have that money can’t buy.”  How true!  Think about your health, your family, your friends, your children, the fact that you are alive and breathing.  There are so many things to be grateful for that if you shift your mindset to thinking this way you won’t even have time to think about the things that you don’t have.  You’ll just be happy!

5) Take care of your body.  It’s the only one you have.  Become an active participant in your personal health.  Don’t just sit back and wait for disease to hit and then pray that doctors and modern medicine will help you.  YOU HAVE THE KEYS to you own health, and those keys are the lifestyle choices you make each and every moment of each and every day.  Stop looking for that magic pill to lose weight and get healthy.  It doesn’t exist.  Pay attention to your diet.  Food is medicine.  Get 8 hours of sleep each night.  Moderate exercise.  Spend time every day counteracting the effects of stressful living with 10-20 minutes of deep meditation.

That’s all for today, guys.  Have a great rest of your week!

Rick

Rick Gold

Rick Gold, Functional Wellness, FDN Practitioner
Gold Functional Wellness, Inc.

Website: www.GoldFunctionalWellness.com

Book a consult: http://www.snapappointments.com/listing/38C

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GoldFunctionalWellness

Follow me on Twitter: @RickGoldFWP

Email: Rick@GoldFunctionalWellness.com

The role of psychology in our food choices.

pain-pleasure

Why do we do what we do, eat what we eat, say what we say, and think what we think? What drives our behavior?  What is the ultimate determining factor of success, health, and happiness?

Several years back, I attended a Tony Robbins “unleash the power within” seminar. It was a powerful experience that delved into human nature and the core answers to those questions. It is the answers to those questions and, perhaps more importantly, our use of the knowledge gleaned from those answers, that ultimately gives us the wisdom to change our destiny.

In the seminar I learned that there are 2 things that drive human behavior at all times:

1) Seeking pleasure
2) Avoidance of pain

That’s it. It’s that simple. And one or both of those can be used to understand our motivations behind literally everything that we do, think, or say. Further, seeking pleasure and avoidance of pain are what have shaped literally every single decision of our lives and ultimately are responsible for how our lives look today.  Are you currently a happy or depressed person?  Fat or skinny?  Healthy or unhealthy?  Rich, poor, or just getting by?  Do you self-sabotage your financial situation, career, health goals, or relationships?  If you trace your steps backwards, you can attribute each one of these outcomes to one or several choices you have made that put you in your current position, and those choices were driven by your either seeking pleasure, avoidance of pain, or both simultaneously.

When we act selflessly, are we really acting selflessly?  Is that even possible?  I say no, it is not.

When we sacrifice for others, our motivations for doing so can ALWAYS ultimately be traced back to 2 things: 1) Sacrificing for others makes us feel good about ourselves, or 2) The pain of feeling like a bad person when we don’t sacrifice for others is too unbearable.

Let’s take giving charity as an example – when we donate to a charity, we are doing a wonderful thing by helping other people in need.  But why do we do it?  If it made you feel absolutely horrible about yourself and you believed that giving charity makes you a bad person, would you still give charity?  Probably not.  The reason why people give charity is because it makes them feel good to do it.  We believe that helping others makes us a good person and that gives us pleasure.  For some people it also makes them feel important and invaluable to others which gives them pleasure.  Others give to charity for the obvious tax breaks they receive for giving.  For some, the thought of not helping people in need while they have the means to do so goes against what they believe makes them a good person.  If that is a core belief for them, then not giving charity will cause great emotional pain.  

So, how can we apply this knowledge to make our lives better and to live a happier existence?  If we can understand what motivates our behaviors, we can begin to change them.

I believe that when it comes to our health, we focus way too much on seeking short-term pleasure, and not enough on avoiding long-term pain.

We regularly indulge in foods like alcohol, iced cream, cookies, cake, soda, candy, gluten, popcorn, GMOs, breaded foods fried in vegetable oils, and synthetic food additives.  We do this because, let’s face it, they are freaking delicious and it gives us tremendous short-term pleasure to eat them.  There is also a significant emotional attachment associated with these foods.  They remind us of our childhood, our parents, cultural traditions, etc.  Eating them brings us back to the good old days of our childhood and makes us feel good emotionally, if only for a fleeting time.  It is that intense short-term pleasure that drives us to eat foods that are literally slowly killing us!

But what if we were able to change our focus with regards to these foods?  What if we train ourselves to focus more on the long-term pain associated with regular consumption of these foods instead of focusing on the short-term, fleeting pleasure we get from eating them?  We would have to use a method that can bring all of the potentially intense future pain that is associated with eating these foods and bring it into the present moment.  And we need to make that pain feel palpable and intense enough so that it is far greater than the short-term pleasure that our brains are looking forward to by ingesting these foods in the moment.

One way to do this is by using the “Dickens Process” (another Tony Robbins exercise.  I thank my close friend Erik Nissani, an emerging life coach, for reminding me about this powerful technique a few weeks back).  If we envision ourselves in the future and imagine what our lives will be like 5, 10, 20, and 30 years from now if we keep regularly eating these foods, we might be able to force a paradigm shift in our relationship to the food choices available to us.

Here is how to use the Dickens Process for dietary choices: each time you feel like you are about to reach for foods that you know are bad for you, ask yourself the following series of questions:

  • If I keep eating this way 5 years into the future: Will I be fat or thin?  What will that do for my self-confidence? How will I feel about myself?  Good or bad?  Will I be happier, or sad?  What kind of example will I be setting for my children?
  • If I keep eating this way 10 years into the future: Will I become one of the many Americans that have type 2 diabetes, having to inject myself with insulin before each meal?  How would that make me feel?  Will I start to develop other conditions or diseases related to unhealthy eating such as heart disease, fatty liver disease, or even cancer?  How will I feel when my doctor orders me to take a boatload of prescription drugs like statins, or drugs to lower blood pressure, or for arthritis for the remainder of my life?  What will the side effects of these drugs do to me?
  • If I keep eating this way 20 years into the future: Will I be younger or older than my true age?  Will I be able to play actively with my kids?  Will I be able to exercise or go on vacations and enjoy myself given all of the complications of the diseases and conditions associated with regularly eating these foods for years?  Will I be happy or sad?  Will I have regret if I am diagnosed with a horrible illness that I probably could have prevented by not eating these foods?
  • If I keep eating this way 30 years into the future: Will I have significantly shortened my life as a result of caving into the short-term pleasure associated with eating these foods?  Will I live to see my grandchildren?  Will I die of a painful disease like cancer?

No one wants to become sick.  No one wants heart disease or cancer.  The problem is that when we are healthy, we don’t think about the possibility of getting sick.  We just like to enjoy ourselves and not think about that stuff.  We only think about disease once it is too late…after we have been diagnosed with something terrible.  I am not saying that I believe we should live our lives in fear!  I am simply saying that we should not live a life of ignorance.  Regularly eating foods that are bad for your health will eventually cause your downfall.

If we are able to consistently focus on the long-term pain rather than the short-term pleasure that is associated with regularly eating these foods, I think the decision of whether to put that morsel into our mouth or not becomes an easy one.

Furthermore, we can make this exercise infinitely more powerful if we can find different ways to gain intense short-term pleasure, other than eating that food.  Here are some ideas:

  • Find a way to celebrate small victories.  Each time you choose to avoid eating food that is bad for your health, pat yourself on the back.  Imagine how that choice is contributing to your long-term health.  Get creative!
  • Think of the positive example that you are setting for your children.  Childhood obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome are skyrocketing!  By your refusal to eat that bad food, you are leading the way for your children and teaching them how to build and maintain their own health!  We all focus so much of our attention on teaching our children manners, or the importance of school and getting good grades.  But when it comes to nutrition and disease prevention, Americans fall way short on educating their children.  With each decision not to eat the bad foods, you literally help shape the future health of your child!
  • Picture yourself as an example of vibrant health 5, 10, 20, and 30 years into your future as a result of minding your health now by using a preventative mindset in your dietary choices.

Psychology is an important part of why we reach for the foods that we eat.  The more I learn, the more I understand that without understanding and changing the psychological motivations behind our food choices, the chances for the success of any healthy eating plan are slim.  We need to change our relationship with food.  One place to start is to focus on the pleasure-pain principle.

I hope that this gives everyone who reads it something to think about, and I welcome comments in the section provided below.  Thanks for reading!  

Rick Gold

Rick Gold, Functional Wellness Practitioner
Gold Functional Wellness, Inc.
Website: www.GoldFunctionalWellness.com

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Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of the author, unless otherwise noted.  The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of the author.  Rick is not a doctor, nutritionist, or dietician and he does not claim to diagnose, treat, or cure disease.

More BS about diets being fed to the general public (and I’m calling it out).

Here is a link to an article that I just read about the mediterranean diet and it has me seething.  It is astounding how piss poor the quality of this journalism is.  And to make matters worse, the person who wrote this is a registered dietician (tsk, tsk).

I don’t know where to start:

  • How about with the Ancel Keys “7 country study” that she uses as the basis for why she recommends eating a Mediterranean diet.  Anyone who is plugged into nutritional science knows by now that this study has been completely invalidated and discredited.  Keys was a fraud.  The study initially included 22 countries but when he kept all of the countries studied on his chart there was absolutely zero statistical evidence to indicate a connection or causal relationship between saturated fat, cholesterol, and heart disease.  There were countries plotted on his chart that had high saturated fat and cholesterol intake yet they also had very low incidence of heart disease.  There were countries that had low intake of saturated fat and cholesterol that had very high incidences of heart disease.  So what did keys do?  He simply threw out 15 of the countries that wrecked his hypothesis, kept the 7 that did, and the us government based their entire food pyramid and “healthy eating” strategy on fraudulent science.  And that still haunts Americans to this day.  The fact that this dietician does not know this is concerning.
  • Regarding the actual Mediterranean diet, I will agree that it is healthier than a standard American diet.  In fact, if you look at most of the studies done on the Mediterranean diet, you will find that the health benefits that it purports come from studies that pit it against the standard American diet, which includes McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, chick fil-a, Dairy Queen, KFC, and loads of cotton candy.  I could eat solely DIRT and be healthier than I would be eating the standard American diet.  So yes, bravo Mediterranean diet, you eclipse the SAD in health benefits.
  • The reason why this dietician thinks that the low carb diets which eliminate sugar and grains are not backed by science is because there has yet to be a popular study that puts the 2 diets against each other.  I’d be VERY curious to see the results of a study like that one.
  • And she claims there is no science behind low carb dieting? She she learn to use google.  Enter “ketogenic diet studies” and see what she finds.
  • She suggests eating refined grains and throwing some arugula on your pizza.  Uhh, lady I hate to break it to you but: if you throw a vegetable on a pile of shit, you’ll end up eating vegetables on a pile of shit.  Refined flour wreaks havoc on blood sugar levels and is one of the main culprits in obesity and inflammation.

Just goes to show you that having a “license” doesn’t mean you have any idea whatsoever about what you are doing.  Whenever your read or watch the news or editorial articles like this one, you really need to put your thinking caps on, or you can and will get taken for a ride.  It’s unfortunate, but true.

That is all for today guys.

Thanks,

Rick Gold.

Are we evolving or DEvolving?

Any mechanics or car/boat/motorcycle enthusiasts out there?  What happens to a car when you consistently put the wrong type of oil, gasoline, and transmission fluid into it over the years?

Any IT, Programmers, or other computer enthusiasts reading this?  How much time do you spend researching the best hardware and software on the market that will make your computer run as fast and efficiently as possible?  How much time do you spend fine tuning your computers?

Any zookeepers, veterinarians, or wildlife enthusiasts reading this?  What do you suppose would happen if we took a lion out of the wild and started feeding it exclusively candy and cereal?

As a society, we spend so much time every day of our lives perfecting our respective crafts, our careers, our hobbies.  We study these parts of our lives and ponder them constantly.  Yet very few of stop to think that the human body is by far and away the most complex, intricate, amazing, and interesting machine/organism on the planet!  Most people don’t stop to think about what the most optimal fuel is for their body, or how every morsel of food and drink that they allow to pass their lips and move into their digestive tract affects every single cell of their bodies.  Perhaps they might stop to think briefly about it when they reading articles in self magazine or men’s health but they don’t take a deep enough dive into it to really uncover any real truths.

Why is that?  Do people believe that their health is truly out of their own hands?  I’ve heard people say “you can try to eat right all you want, but at the end of the day, genetics will determine if you get sick or not, so you might as well live your life and enjoy yourself.  Eat what pleases you”.  Is that it?  Is there this pervading belief that we have no control over our health?  Is it that we have been led to believe that we ARE in fact currently eating healthy by our government and large food corporations?  Is it because the research and data out there is SO contradictory and confusing that the public has lost faith in the “science” behind healthy eating?  Is it because it’s just too hard or too boring to eat healthy?

Do people even know HOW to eat healthy?  Do they know what stress does to us?  What role hormones like leptin, ghrelin, cortisol, insulin, growth hormone, testosterone, estrogen (the list goes on) play in the regulation of our bodies, and how they can be thrown completely out of whack by the way we eat, sleep, exercise and deal with stress?  That a large part of our immune systems reside in our gut (intestines) and that we get sick as often as we do in part because that part of our immune system has been destroyed by what we eat and how we live our lives?

Why don’t people give their health (and the health of their children) the same attention that they do to their careers, their golf strokes, their video games, their computers, their movies, etc etc?

Before life got all complicated for us humans, we lived in the wild.  We acted like animals…and you know what?  Maybe that wasn’t so bad after all!  Certainly modern times have brought us some absolutely incredible innovations that have changed our lives for the better (modern medicine and surgical procedures certainly save lives, and we are certainly safer from being attacked by wild animals or dying from a simple infection from a cut we sustained while hunting or cooking our food).  But, before life became complicated (about 10,000 years ago before the advent of agriculture):

  • Since there were no lights people slept soon after the sun went down and arose with the sun.  We got way more sleep.
  • We got way more sun and thus way more vitamin D.
  • Our jobs were simple and straightforward: hunt and gather our food, build basic shelters and weapons to hunt and to protect ourselves from wild animals (and other humans), interact with/bond with our communities and play with/raise our children.  Thus we had less chronic stress and our cortisol levels generally remained within healthy limits.
  • There was no such thing as organic vs. conventional food because everything was organic.  There were no pesticides and no GMOs.  We ate “clean” without having to think about it or decide to.  It’s just the way people ate.  ALL animals we ate were grass fed and all fish were wild caught.
  • Our soil was alive and rich in nutrients and thus the foods we ate carried those rich nutrients to our bodies.
  • We had zero factory toxins in our air polluting every breath we took.
  • We were at one with nature, which sounds hokey, but there is growing evidence that our removal from nature has been very detrimental to our health.
  • We had ample time to unwind and relax.
  • We were migratory and got plenty of natural exercise every day through our natural activities.

Back in the day, we didn’t have to think about “eating healthy” or “getting exercise” or “getting enough sleep” or “managing our chronic stress” or “detoxing our bodies from toxins and pollutants” or “filtering toxins and pollutants out of our water”.  NONE, I repeat NONE of those things existed 10,000 years ago.  We intuitively lived our lives in such a way that they were in total accordance with nature.  Our lifespans were generally shorter, but that was mostly because we were attacked by wild animals, or we would die of simple wounds that would get infected and we had no antibiotics, or we were murdered by other humans.  Repeated anthropological studies of ancient human skeletons show a picture of a much healthier, larger, stronger, and largely disease free human being.

 Today, we live in a world of stress and pollutants.  We eat a completely different diet filled with foods that we never evolved eating like most grains, processed foods, dairy, extreme amounts of sugar and synthetic sugars.  Our foods are loaded with pesticides.  Our soil has been destroyed and depleted of nutrients and thus our foods are less nutritious.  We eat too much and exercise too little.  We sit at desks all day.  We stress about paying bills and just affording to get by.  We are completely sleep starved and live on caffeine which perpetuates our chronic stress levels.

Tell me, what do you think all of these changes have done to us as a species?  Are we better or worse off?  Are we healthier?  The government and would like us to believe so, constantly citing how people all over the world are enjoying longer lives.  But how much of those extended lives are lived in excellent health?  How many people over 50 years old do you know that aren’t permanently taking a statin to lower their cholesterol, or a drug to lower their blood pressure, or pills for their heart, or arthritis, etc etc?  Not many.  In fact, almost everyone I know over 50 takes some form of pharmaceutical drug and if they were to stop taking them they would either die or it would be such suffering to live that death might be a welcome alternative for them.

How many people do you know that are in their 30’s and on these pills?  I know quite a few!  How many overweight people do you know?  How many depressed people?

Despite modern medicine’s “best efforts” cancer rates have skyrocketed over the last 40 years.  Same with heart disease.  Diabetes has run rampant.  Same with autoimmune diseases like MS, crohn’s, thyroid diseases, etc.  What’s with this tremendous uptick in sickness?   Don’t people ever ask themselves this stuff?

Is it possible that in many respects we have DEvolved rather than evolved?  If we continue down this path, man will surely be what destroys man.

And THAT is what this blog is truly about, guys.  I want to be a beacon.  I want to help wake everyone up!  I want my son and his children and his children’s children to grow up in a better world than I did.

I’m not saying that we should completely scrap everything that modern times has brought us.  Things like the Internet and modern medicine have undoubtedly brought our species to another level.  I’m just saying maybe it’s time to take inventory of ALL of the changes we have made to the way we live, on a societal level and an individual level.  Once we have that inventory, let’s take an honest look at it, and admit where we messed up.  Then let’s correct it!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments section below.  Please help spread the word by sharing this blog with your friends and family.  More to come…

– Rick

Disclaimer: The entire contents of this blog are based upon the opinions of the author, unless otherwise noted.  The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified healthcare professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of the author.