By Dr. Alice Honican, ND, Bio-Energetic Practitioner, Licensed Acupuncturist


Some people are able to bounce back quickly from Covid-19, but many others are experiencing ongoing symptoms, even several months or years after they first tested positive for the virus. Here at Longevity, not a day goes by that we don’t hear from or meet with a patient who is dealing with long-term issues after a Covid infection. 

Post-Covid conditions are referred to by many names, such as Post-Covid Conditions, Post Acute Covid, Chronic Covid, and Long Covid. Some of the most common issues include chronic fatigue/fibromyalgia, endocrine dysfunction, brain fog, and hair loss. 

Covid-19 may be a relatively new virus, but post-viral syndromes are nothing new. Dr. Anderson and I, along with our team of Bioenergetic Practitioners, have been treating these types of chronic infections our entire careers. 


If you or a loved one  are navigating Long Covid, here are five things you may not know, and some holistic solutions to restore your vitality and quality of life soon. 


  1. Long Covid symptoms can be due to the reactivation of other dormant viruses in the system. 

All of us have dormant viruses in our system. The most common include those in the Herpes family, such as shingles, Simplex I (fever blisters), Epstein Barr/Mono, and Cytomegalovirus. These common infections are reactivated by stress, and bring their own set of symptoms, such as painful rashes, cold sores, and extreme fatigue. Over the last couple years, we’ve observed that many of our patients are dealing with the symptoms of these reactivated viruses long after they fight off Covid. 


  1. Covid takes a massive toll on cellular function. 

Covid infections are extremely damaging to the mitochondria, or powerhouse of the cells. Decreased mitochondrial function means less cellular energy, resulting in overall fatigue, muscle weakness, and brain fog. The best way to combat cellular damage and restore healthy function is with high-powered antioxidants, such as Vitamins C, E, Selenium, Manganese, Glutathione, COQ10, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, and Zinc. We can assess cellular function and pinpoint specific antioxidant deficiencies in your system so you can restore balance and get your energy back! 


  1. Long Covid targets the systems of the body that are already most compromised. 

We’ve noticed that the Covid-19 virus seems to impact people where they are weakest. If they had pre-existing endocrine issues, Covid may impact their thyroid, causing long-term hair loss, low energy, or metabolism issues. If they were already at risk or dealing with cardiovascular dysfunction, they may experience hypertension or blood clotting after a Covid infection. 


  1. Detoxification is your secret weapon! 

We’ve seen time and again that supporting the detoxification process is key in helping people suffering with Long Covid to feel better faster. We use homeopathic and herbal remedies that help open up the lymphatic system, liver, and kidneys, so the body can eliminate toxins more efficiently. Acupuncture can help open up all the energy channels in the body, which is imperative for the elimination of toxins. This sets the stage for the body to repair and maintain its own health. Our Supporting Therapies are a game changer for many people, as well. Lymphatic Therapy and HOCATT are particularly beneficial in speeding up the detoxification and healing process. 


  1. There is no one-size fits all approach to recovering from Long Covid.

Here at Longevity, we know that each person’s health picture is unique, and we’ve always treated each of our patients as an individual. A holistic approach to Long Covid is aimed at lowering the viral load, reducing the overall toxic burden, assessing specific nutritional deficiencies, and eliminating inflammatory foods and other problematic factors in the patient’s environment. 


If you are suffering with acute or Long Covid, our team is here to help, with a customized plan specific to your needs. We can get to the root of the issues you’re experiencing and rebuild your immune system with our holistic treatments, products, and detoxifying therapies. Give us a call today, and get your energy, vitality, and hope back!


About Longevity’s Love, Serve, Give Campaign


Here at Longevity it has long been our mission to Love God and Serve People. We are thrilled to expand this vision by introducing our Love, Serve, Give Campaign, a program designed to help serve those in health as well as financial distress.

Many of you can attest that in addition to caring deeply for your physical health, we have always done our best to work with people in financial hardship. It’s not rare to see Kay walking the halls here at Longevity, making sure that everyone feels welcomed and taken care of, and giving extra discounts to those who need it. Nor is it rare to hear the practitioners and coordinators strategizing together to make a successful health plan more affordable. 


Additionally, many of our patients who have experienced the benefits of improved health after their time at Longevity end up paying for their friends and family with less financial resources.

We have even seen some of our patients pay for complete strangers– you know who you are! And we want you to know that we are blown away by your kindness and that you are a major inspiration for this program.


After much consideration, we believe that it could be beneficial for all if we organized our giving efforts into a more formal program that would allow those in financial need a more direct route to apply for assistance.

We have carefully designed this program to maximize impact, both for our patients and for our community. We have giving opportunities for our patients who believe in the work we are doing. And we will match these donations dollar for dollar! 


Let’s Start a Ripple Effect of Kindness and Service!

Additionally, for every $100 of the credit spent by the patient in receipt of the program, we will require 1 hour of community service to be performed by the patient, or a loved one if they are physically unable to themselves, for a cause, or with the charity of their choosing. The purpose of this is two-fold: to encourage the ripple effect of kindness and serving others, and to encourage the patient to be invested in their health program, even if they are unable to be financially invested.


When it comes to the heart behind this program, our staff member Janelle Bertler summed it up best:

“The Love, Serve, Give campaign is near and dear to my heart! I have personally experienced the ability of the body to come back to health when given the right support. I also recognize the financial investment when choosing methods outside of the conventional medical system of treating symptoms.

Here at Longevity, we strive to get to the root cause allowing the body to come back to health. I feel blessed every day to work with a company whose mission statement is to serve others. This is one more way in which we are striving to make a difference. Creating health for others gives people the bandwidth to make a choice to show up and make a difference in this world. This is our way of making a difference.”


We love our patients. We love seeing all of you improve your quality of life through improving your health. And we are so pleased to be able to make this possible for even more people! Thank you for your inspiring generosity and your help in making this happen.


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LOVE: “We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

SERVE: “Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.”  Martin Luther King, Jr.

GIVE: “I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.” Maya Angelou

By Maddy Eiss, Longevity Health Center 


As technology evolves and we become more submersed with the changes that accompany it, new mental, emotional, and physical wellness concerns are arising. One of the technological developments that is specifically raising health concern for individuals is 5G RF, or Radio Frequency. 

There has been a lot of buzz around 5G since it first became available in April of 2019.

While we have been exposed to 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G for several decades, 5G uses much higher levels of gigahertz frequency. The higher the levels of gigahertz frequency, the larger the portion of RF radiation of the electromagnetic spectrum we are being exposed to. For example, 1G-4G use between 1 to 5 gigahertz frequency, whereas, 5G uses between 24 to 90 gigahertz frequency. Long term exposure to this level of EMFs (electromagnetics fields) could have a large impact on the soft cells of the brain and other organs in our bodies. 

So, how can you determine if EMFs are impacting your health and well-being?

One easy step is to have a Bio-Energetic Evaluation done to show if EMFs are putting stress on your body. You can also look out for common symptoms that include, but are not limited to, headaches, nausea and fatigue.


While we can’t completely cut off our exposure to 5G and other sources of EMFs, there are multiple steps we can take to reduce our contact with them.


Some simple ways to reduce your exposure to EMFs are:

  • Turn off your devices at night.
  • Switch your phone to airplane mode when you can.
  • When possible, use the speaker or bluetooth setting while using your cell phone to reduce the amount of time the device is against your face. 
  • Apply anti-inflammatory, antioxidant-rich essential oils, such as rosemary, at the stem of your neck or on the soles of your feet daily.
  • Hydrate daily with lots of mineral water to encourage optimal detoxification.
  • Take natural detoxification remedies like Metabolic Tox.
  • Use a Smart 5G Shield on the back of your cell phone to block harmful RF radiation. 
  • Wear a 5G RF Blocker Bracelet that is embedded with Far Infrared Ray, Negative Ion, Neodymium magnet and Tourmaline. 


Even though we should be conscious of EMFs and 5G in particular, we should not become overly stressed about our exposure, since we can not completely cut ties with them. The best thing you can do is educate yourself and your family and utilize some of the aforementioned suggestions on how to reduce the levels of these frequencies in your daily life. 


To learn more about Longevity and the services offered, visit

By Nicole DeWard, CEO & Master Trainer, SHINE Health & Wellness 


Let’s face it, it would be so much easier to take a magic pill where in a single moment, we begin feeling the benefits of healthy nutrition, exercise, mindfulness, stress relieving practices, and more. But it just doesn’t work that way! 


Not only is moving into February normally tough as we fight to beat those winter blues, but we are all also still contending with the effects of the pandemic.  We do have a choice to make. We can crawl back in bed, pull the covers over our faces, and try to avoid it, or we can be intentional and make decisions that will move us forward, regardless of whatever our environment is delivering. What are you actually in control of? What responsibilities can you take on? 


Your health and well-being are up to you! No one else can do it for you, motivate you, or live in your shoes! It’s on you and ONLY you! 


Since 80% of our results come from nutrition, changing the way we eat will give us the best benefit. However, even though only 20% of our results come from movement, I find that regular exercise inspires better nutrition almost all the time. 


Here’s the best news: the best type of movement is the one you CAN do, the one that you ENJOY, and the one you WILL do! 


Did you know that when you move your body, you mobilize all the systems in your body?  You will begin to notice improvements in your energy, mental clarity, digestion, heart health, and muscularity. It can be hard at times for sure, but you can do it! You CAN do HARD things. Believe in yourself, and go for it! I believe in you and I’m cheering you on!


Nicole DeWard is a Master Trainer with NASM and has been training clients for 13 years.  She’s owned a national coaching practice for the past decade. Nicole works with clients both locally and nationally, helping them create lifelong habits that will move them toward optimal health.

By Lis Frey, Bio-Energetic Practitioner 


When it comes to your health, do you treat, prevent, or support your body to adapt?

In a world obsessed with avoiding pain and illness, our approach to health varies from the norm.  Here at Longevity, we believe in creating an environment and lifestyle that supports the nervous and immune systems and develops a healthy personal ecosystem.  Rather than turning to antibiotics at the first sign of a sniffle, we recommend immune supporting herbs and therapies, dietary changes, and rest.  We firmly believe that your body is well designed to handle a certain amount of stress, if you provide it with the right tools to optimize your response to that stressor. 

But there is actually even more to that idea. It is well proven that your body actually benefits from a certain amount of stress.  If we completely isolate ourselves and live in a sterile bubble, our immune systems will undoubtedly suffer. 

This process of stress and toxins benefiting your health on a cellular level is called Hormesis.  Wikipedia defines Hormesis as “any process in a cell or organism that exhibits a biphasic response to exposure to increasing amounts of a substance or condition. Within the hormetic zone, there is generally a favorable biological response to low exposures to toxins and other stressors.”

As Charles Darwin said, “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent of a species that survives, it is the one that is most adaptable to change.” 

We have seen Hormesis clearly play out in the arena of childbirth across history.  Before awareness of germs, mortality rates of both infants and mothers were significantly higher. But after the discovery of germs and implementing sterilization procedures, mortality rates began to decline.  However, it was taken too far.  The childbirth process became overly-sterilized by routinely replacing vaginal births for c-sections, breastfeeding for formula feeding, vigorous baths for skin-to-skin time, and regularly administering antibiotics. Thank God for these medical advancements in times of emergency!  But they are not ideal methods for most healthy mothers and babies. 

Even though the U.S. has one of the most advanced medical systems in the world, the mortality rates in childbirth have steadily risen alongside the level of intervention.  We have since learned all about the immune boosting benefits of exposing an infant to the bacteria in the birth canal, of not bathing a newborn too soon, of skin-to-skin exposure, and of breastfeeding, and yet a lot of these over-zealous interventions that detract from these natural immune-boosting processes remain standard practice.   Even though we have learned so much in the field of immunology and the role of healthy bacteria on our systems, we continue to fear commonplace germs that are helpful. 

Another example of Hormesis is the body’s ability to produce an appropriate fever response.  When exposed to bacterial and viral infections, the body may produce a fever as an immune response.  When the fever stays within a certain range, and as long as the frequency is limited to a few times a year, it is one of the most cleansing and immune-informing things one can experience. Your body has found a way to not only fight the acute infection, but purged other toxins that were burdening it. It has used the stress of an infection to get stronger than it was before.  In addition, your immune system has gained information about how to fight future bacteria and viruses.  Some of favorite detox therapies at Longevity are based on this concept of hyperthermia, or raising of body temperature.

While we strongly encourage our patients to limit their exposure to toxic stressors, especially those of a synthetic nature such as chemicals from cleaning agents, xenoestrogens from personal care products, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and herbicides from inorganic foods, we also strongly encourage them to fight against the temptation of perfectionism.  Aside from being a complete exercise in futility (perfect health simply does not exist), it will actually work against you in a number of ways.  Not only will it directly weaken you physiologically if you attempt to avoid all physical stressors, but the psychological effect will end up working against you as well.  In order for anabolic processes such as tissue repair, optimal digestion, and nutritional metabolization to take place, your nervous system must be in a parasympathetic state.  

When one puts impossible standards on their body and its systems, it can actually cause a fight or flight response, a state in which the body prioritizes survival over healing. We must strive to avoid this way of thinking. We understand that this can be an easy thing to say, but much more difficult thing to do, especially during a season of a worldwide pandemic.  

Many of you have become our patients because you have had a health trauma. You felt like your bodies were betraying you, you couldn’t find the answers you needed, and you wondered if you would ever be able to regain health and function like you used to.  This sort of trauma can make it tempting to try to avoid every stressful thing for your body, resulting in health perfectionism, and ultimately, defeat.  Although we love when our patients are committed to their health and making good choices for themselves, we want it to be done from a place of loving self-acceptance and respect, and not fear.   As Brené Brown writes In her book The Gifts of Imperfection:

“Understanding the difference between healthy striving and perfectionism is critical to laying down the shield and picking up your life. Research shows that perfectionism hampers success. In fact, it’s often the path to depression, anxiety, addiction, and life paralysis.”

This is why, although we love clearing out past toxins bogging down the body, we also do a lot to support the body’s ability to adapt to stress, support the liver’s ability to handle environmental toxins, and increase antioxidants to minimize the negative impacts of environmental toxins and metabolic waste on the cells.  Aside from our wonderful herbal, nutritional, and therapeutic support, there is a lot that you can do on your own to increase your ability to adapt and to make that shift away from fear to love and respect, to make the shift from the sympathetic state to parasympathetic state.  

We want our patients (and all people!) to live happy lives, to become the fullest versions of themselves. We desperately want to avoid the pitfall of perfectionism and the fear of contamination and instead cultivate physical, emotional, and spiritual vitality. To quote Brené again, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”  

And this is what we, as individuals, need too.  We are looking not to just ward off death (we all die), but to build life, so we can live it to the very fullest.  Nourishing our souls with the things that bring us life is exactly how we will have the reserves we need when hard times come our way.  

 If you are struggling with fear regarding your health, we encourage you to start thinking about the positive, joy-giving things you can incorporate into your life.  What’s one small step you could take to bring more satisfaction and positivity to your day? It could be something simple like doing yoga, listening to worship music, or taking an epsom salt bath. Or it could be a bigger step, such as distancing yourself from a toxic relationship or finding a career path that makes you come alive. 

No matter where you are on your health journey, it would be our great privilege to come alongside you as you pursue wholeness in mind, body, and spirit! 

By Alice Honican, L.Ac., Bio-Energetic Practitioner 


For years, I’ve seen Acupuncture effectively treat patients with stress, anxiety, and sleep issues. This ancient therapy stimulates the release of specific neurotransmitters. The brain needs neurotransmitters to regulate mood, sleep cycles, breathing, heart rate and concentration. 

Chronic stress is detrimental to the mind and body. When a person is constantly in fight or flight mode, cortisol levels are elevated, and optimal rest and digestion are compromised.  When your system thinks it’s running from a bear, it prioritizes survival above all else. It can’t take on other simple functions like digesting food, restorative sleep, or fighting off illness. 

Acupuncture is a wonderful therapy that promotes mental and emotional health. The treatments are pain free and very relaxing, and a great way to give yourself some much-needed self-care. Each session helps the body relax, lowering cortisol and getting into a zen-like meditative state.  

Better emotional and mental health leads to enhanced physical health! Stress affects meridians and organ systems in different ways, affecting the flow of energy, or qi.  If there is a blockage of energy in the meridians, there will be a lack of nourishment to cells, tissues, muscles, organs, and glands. Chronic blockages can lead to pain, disease, stress, and diminishing health and quality of life. Acupuncture corrects these blockages and can alleviate many acute and chronic symptoms. 

This ancient therapy sets the stage for the body to repair itself and maintain its own health. For a chronic health issue, I would recommend a series of 10 Acupuncture sessions, or 1-2 treatments per week. Then, I’d suggest a treatment about once a quarter for maintenance.  

Acupuncture is safe for all ages. The therapy uses sterile, fine needles that do not hurt!  It is an all-natural, drug-free therapy.  As long as a child is able to remain still, they are old enough for Acupuncture!

To learn more about Acupuncture and if it’s right for you, visit or call us at 770-642-4646. 

Homeoprophylaxis is the use of potentized substances in a systematic manner to prevent the development of the characteristic symptoms of infectious diseases.


Homeoprophylaxis Is Non-Injected, 100% Safe & Non-Toxic.

Homeoprophylaxis offers a safe, effective, and reliable solution to increase natural immunity from diseases that occur in outdoor and more remote environments. Longevity offers customized homeoprophylaxis protocols for those who spend significant time outdoors.


Safety Of Homeoprophylaxis Programs for Summer Campers, Backpackers and Trekkers

  • Homeoprophylaxis has been proven safe and clinically effective for over 200 years and on millions of people worldwide!
  • These programs can be customized to the needs of the summer camper or adventurer, depending on their destination.
  • These programs are customized to the client’s needs and designed for protection of infectious diseases common in the areas where the person will be camping, backpacking or trekking.
  • Customized protocols are available for adults and children participating in Boy/Girl Scouts, adventure camps, mission trips, and vacations. 


About Short-Term and Long-Term Travel Protocols

  • Homeoprophylaxis protection is available for short-term (less than 3 months) and/or extended long-term travel (3 to 24 months), depending on the client’s needs.
  • It is the client’s responsibility to research the diseases of concern that are appropriate for their outdoor travel locations.


Begin Homeoprophylaxis BEFORE Outdoor Camps or Adventure Activities

  • It is best to contact us at least two months prior to outdoor adventure camping or backpacking to discuss your customized protocol needs.
  • Customized programs for short-term summer camps, backpacking trips, and more can be tailored to the client’s travel destination and needs.
  • We recommend starting a Homeoprophylaxis program for outdoor adventures at least 1 month prior to travel/camp, for maximum protection against up to 2 to 3 diseases.
  • Protection against more than 3 diseases will require more time in advance.
  • We offer Homeoprophylaxis protection for various diseases, so that toxic vaccinations can be avoided.
  • Ongoing dosing of the required Homeoprophylaxis remedies is typically repeated while the person is living or working outdoors short term and/or where a given disease is more prevalent (for example Lyme Disease in areas of high exposure).
  • Long-term dosing for outdoor types of disease prevention for activities that are longer than 3 months are dosed differently and dosing instructions are provided by the supervising Practitioner. 
  • Long-term outdoor camping, backpacking, or trekking is considered to be from 3 to 24 months and it requires different dosing of the Homeoprophylaxis remedies than the short term dosing. Long-term Homeoprophylaxis also requires a periodic repetition of doses.
  • Long-term Homeoprophylaxis is administered on a customized schedule, as discussed with the supervising Certified Homeoprophylaxis Practitioner.


Disease Protection

  • We offer effective protection for all types of diseases, so that  toxic vaccinations can be avoided. 
  • It is the client’s responsibility to research and request the protection that is appropriate to their summer camping, backpacking or trekking location and concerns.


To learn more, call us at 770-642-4646.

Acupuncture For Kids

Most kids, as well as a lot of adults, are afraid of needles. So the pairing of Acupuncture and kids might not be an obvious one. However, more and more parents are seeking alternative methods of treatment for their children, because our conventional medical system is faltering a bit. Pharmaceuticals are proving to be more harmful than beneficial for many people, especially kids, whose brains and bodies aren’t yet fully developed.

Acupuncture is gaining popularity among pediatrics. There are Licensed Acupuncturists who specialize in treating children and they are in high demand. These Pediatric Acupuncturists are helping children where others can’t and for many, it is lifesaving.

Pediatric Acupuncture is commonly known as shonishin and it rarely uses needles. Instead, this form of acupuncture utilizes the practitioners’ hands and rounded tools to stimulate the acupoints of the child. The practitioner will gently and rhythmically rub, tap and press the skin to produce gentle stimulation sensations. Because children process things more quickly and with fewer blockages, the sessions can be shorter and may be needed less frequently.

Parents are turning to Acupuncture because it provides a safe resolution of illness, while also preventing future illnesses. Acupuncture and acupressure stimulate the body’s ability to restore and heal itself. Our bodies are fully capable of fighting off disease and healing injuries when the right tools are provided. Acupuncture is that right tool that not only stimulates the immune system, but also relaxes the nervous system and regulates the digestive and hormonal systems. All of these things need to be in balance for the body to heal.

Many times parents are told by doctors that what their child is experiencing is just “a phase” and he or she “will grow out of it.” In many ways, this is a way of ignoring the real issues at hand. Conventional medicine doesn’t work holistically, addressing the whole body, and parents are usually sent to a dozen different specialists who never really coordinate to find the best treatment for the child. This becomes frustrating and financially taxing for the parent, not to mention how the child feels. This is where Acupuncture excels. A single Acupuncture treatment can address pain, anxiety, insomnia and digestive issues all at the same time.

Not only is Acupuncture more cost effective when it comes to treating children, but it also is a more logical approach. Why add in the stress of seeing multiple doctors when you can have everything addressed by just one? If your child is suffering from pain, asthma, ADHD or any other type of ailment, Acupuncture might hold the answer. 

Call our office to learn more about Acupuncture, our Licensed Practitioners, Alice Honican and Dr. Kiwon Han, and the new patient session and packages we offer. 


By Alice Honican, ND L.Ac. Bio-Energetic Practitioner

I have now been practicing Acupuncture and Naturopathic Medicine at Longevity for 16 years! Every case I see is different, and I have the job of being an investigator, attempting to get to the root cause of patients’ symptoms. Why does she have migraines? Why does he feel so rundown? Why won’t the chronic hives go away? Why does this food suddenly make her feel sick? 

Through urinalysis, Thermography, and Bio-energetic testing, I am able to determine which organs are overburdened, which foods are causing sensitivities, what nutrients are deficient, and what toxins are stressing the system. Then, I recommend a tailored detoxification and nutrition protocol. 

These regiments require commitment, resources, and a lot of patience! Believe me, I wish all my patients could be in perfect health after one visit. However, the human body is complicated, and lasting health is a marathon, not a sprint.

It takes more than one yoga class to become flexible and meditate without distraction. It takes more than one day of dieting to be at your goal weight. When you leave the dentist, and your teeth are sparkling from all the plaque removal, you have to go back in six months to do it all again. 

In the same way, detoxification is not a one and done. Toxins are always bombarding us, and it is important to cleanse the body regularly for a vibrant quality of life. An investment in your health and vitality is always worth it! 

As a holistic practitioner, I truly believe in the importance of regular detoxification. This time of year, with all its fresh beauty, new life, and warmer temperatures, is a great reminder to do some “spring cleaning” for our bodies. Here are five suggestions to inspire you in your cleansing efforts this season.  

  • Get moving! Working out and getting a good sweat going is a great way to detox the lymphatic system, promoting the removal of toxins from the body. Warmer weather is a great excuse to opt outside for a run, walk, or hike. Bring your pet so your furry friend can detox and shake off the winter blues with you! 
  • Hydrate. After you’ve done all that sweating, be sure to replenish electrolytes with minerals and plenty of pure water. Drink half your body weight in ounces each day to promote healthy waste removal, clear skin, optimal digestion, and good joint function. 
  • Try HOCATT. This personal steam sauna system can address and improve your physical health and well-being. It fights viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens, and burns up to 600 calories per session. Call or stop by our office to learn more about this amazing supporting therapy and all its benefits. 
  • Adapt an anti-inflammatory diet. Eliminate pro-inflammatory foods like gluten, dairy, soy, and sugar from your diet wherever you can. I recommend doing a program like Whole30 or 21 Day Sugar Detox twice a year to reset the immune system and metabolism. Spring is the perfect time to add in more greens, smoothies, salads, and other fruits and veggies high in immune-boosting nutrition. 
  • Renew your mind. As long as you’re focusing on removing toxins from your system, why not eliminate those thoughts as well? Incorporate a daily yoga, mediation, or prayer practice to identify and eliminate thoughts and beliefs that are not serving you physically, emotionally, or spiritually, replacing them with life-giving, soul-restoring truths. Even 5 minutes of intentional time each day setting intentions and practicing gratitude can make a major difference in your mind, body, and spirit! 

For a comprehensive check-up and thorough detox protocol tailored specifically to you, come see me or one of our other qualified and experienced practitioners for an office visit. 

Happy Spring! 

By Cristina McMullen, ND, Certified Wellness Coach 

Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month? A whole month dedicated to nutrition! How cool is that? This awareness is so needed in our country, especially since about half of all American adults (117 million individuals) have one or more preventable chronic diseases, many of which are related to poor quality eating and physical inactivity. Yes, you read that right! Half of the adults in this country could have prevented a chronic illness if they ate better and moved around more! With that staggering statistic, we should dedicate a whole year to nutrition! 

This year the slogan for National Nutrition Month is “eat right, bite by bite.” Sounds simple right? Well, not so much. This is where things actually can get pretty tricky. You see, the field of nutrition is forever evolving and changing. Because of this, there is now quite a bit of contradicting dietary advice out there that can make figuring out what is healthy seem impossible. Fat is bad for you; fat is amazing for you. Eat meat; don’t eat meat. Drink your milk; stay away from all dairy. Eat your vegetables, just not the nightshades and ones that contain lectins or oxalates. Oh wait, now all vegetables are bad and you should only eat meat. It’s honestly enough to make even the wisest of nutritionists feel like they are going crazy and leaves us even more confused about what it means to truly eat right.

I personally got really interested in the world of nutrition as a young teenager. Back then, it was the 90’s and it seemed like new dietary recommendations were coming out every single day. It was when the American Heart Association told us that dietary fat was a main contributor to heart disease and that we all needed to adhere to a low fat diet. Then the “got milk” campaign rolled in and showed celebrities smiling with milk mustaches in order to promote strong bones. Soy was even touted as the next miracle food for cancer prevention. I remember reading the South Beach Diet and comparing it to the Atkins Diet, which completely went against everything they said about heart health. 

Fast forward 20 years and things are quite different in the nutrition world. Diets like keto, Whole 30, and paleo are all the rage and go very much against so much of the older dietary advice. Keto tells us the more fat the better, while Whole 30 and paleo restrict any and all soy and dairy. The GAPS diet encourages you to eat yogurt, while the autoimmune paleo and low FODMAP require a Ph.D in order to figure out what you can and cannot eat!

In all of my years studying nutrition I have come to the conclusion that there honestly is not one solo diet out there that will be perfect for everyone! Our bodies are more complex than that, and a one-size-fits-all approach just doesn’t work! We each have different ancestral backgrounds, activity levels, and health concerns that should guide us in fine tuning our body’s nutritional needs. Our nutritional needs also change depending on which phase of life we are in. 

There are, however, a few commonalities among many of the diets out there. Whether you are trying to eat keto, paleo, Whole 30, or any of the very popular diets out there right now, you are ultimately doing one thing. You are adhering to an anti-inflammatory diet.

What’s Inflammation Got to Do With It?

Think about all the names given to illnesses, both acute and chronic. There is sinusitis, bronchitis, arthritis, colitis, conjunctivitis, hepatitis, and myelitis to name a few. Notice how they all end in -itis? This means that they are all inflammatory diseases. Inflammation of the sinuses, inflammation of the bronchial tubes of the lungs, inflammation of the joints- you get the picture. 

Inflammation in the body is a MAJOR contributor to just about every health ailment these days. More and more research suggests that anti-inflammatory diets are associated with lower risk of death at an early age. The Journal of Internal Medicine published results from a study in 2018 that showed individuals who stuck to a mostly anti-inflammatory diet for a period of 16 years had an 18% lower risk of all-cause mortality, 13% lower risk of dying from cancer, and 20% lower risk of dying from heart disease. So, while the internet can make figuring out what is truly healthy to eat seem very confusing, it really boils down to something very simple. Eating healthy bite by bite is simply eating the foods that do not promote inflammation in the body.

Anti-Inflammatory Diet

So what exactly are the key components of anti-inflammatory diets? What are the foods that need to be consumed and avoided? Here are a few components to a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet:

Eliminate Processed Foods

At the core of every single healthy diet is REAL food. Processed foods are just that – processed. Not only do they lack a lot of the nutritional value that we are supposed to be getting from the food we eat, but they contain a lot of fake, chemically made ingredients that are foreign to our bodies. And when our immune systems see something foreign, they trigger an inflammatory response. If you want to focus on real food, you want to shop the perimeter of the grocery store and avoid the aisles as much as possible. The aisles are stocked full of packages, boxes, and cans that have large lists of ingredients, many of which even I cannot pronounce while items in the outskirts of the store rarely even have an ingredient list. The less ingredients, the less processed the food items in your shopping cart will be. 

Avoid Refined Sugars and High Fructose Corn Syrup

If you are staying away from processed foods, then you pretty much are already staying away from refined sugars and HFCS, but I want to drive home the dangers of sugar with some science. Sugar is 50% glucose and 50% fructose while high fructose corn syrup is 45% glucose and 55% fructose. There have been plenty of studies that show the inflammatory effects of both glucose and fructose. In one study, mice fed high sucrose diets developed breast cancer that spread to their lungs, partially because of the inflammatory response of sugar. In a randomized clinical trial where people drank regular soda, diet soda, milk, or water only those who consumed the regular soda has increased levels of uric acid, which drives inflammation and insulin resistance. Researchers have also noted that fructose causes inflammation within the endothelial cells that line your blood vessels, which is a risk factor for heart disease. It’s now wonder that the low fat diet isn’t helping to decrease our rates of heart disease in this country!

Stay Away From Trans Fats and Vegetable Oils

Artificial trans fats, also called hydrogenated fats, are hands down the worst type of fat for you. They are created by adding hydrogen to unsaturated fats, which are liquid, in order to make them solid at room temperature. Margarine and Crisco are two classic trans fats. Foods high in trans fat include french fries and other fast food, some microwave popcorn, packaged cakes and cookies, and some pastries. Consuming artificial trans fats is linked to high levels of inflammatory markers such as c-reactive protein (CRP). And like sugar, trans fats impair the function of the endothelial cells lining the arteries, making them another cause of heart disease.

Vegetable oils can be dangerous because they are high in omega-6 fatty acids. Now, we do need some omega 6 in our diets. The problem is that we are consuming way too much. During the 20% century, the consumption of vegetable oils has gone up 130%, mainly because we were told to switch from animal fat to vegetable fat for heart health. This throws off the balance among omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids that we need and promotes inflammation. In one study, rats fed a diet with an omega 6 to omega 3 ratio of 20:1 has much higher levels of inflammatory markers than those fed diets with ratios of 1:1 or 5:1.

Increase Your Consumption of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Not only would increasing your consumption of omega-3’s help to balance out the abundance of omega-6’s in our diet, but omega-3 fatty acids in and of themselves are extremely anti-inflammatory. This is because they can reduce the production of molecules and substances linked to inflammation, such as inflammatory eicosanoids and cytokines. Wild caught fish is definitely highest in omega-3’s, but you can also get them by eating nuts and seeds like flax seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts. Another, lesser known source of omega-3 fatty acids is grass-fed, grass-finished red meat. Though originally touted as a food that causes heart disease, more in-depth research has shown that not all meat is created equal. Meat from cows fed a grain diet is much higher in omega-6 fatty acids while meat from cows fed on purely grass have much higher leves of the healthy omega-3 fatty acids. 

Be Selective of Your Grains

Carbohydrates have developed quite a bad rap and seem to be the chosen enemy these days. But not all carbohydrates are created equal. Ultimately, it is the refined carbohydrates that pose a problem for us. These types of carbs are found in candy, bread, pasta, pastries, cereals, cookies, cakes, and sugary sodas. Research suggests that refined carbs may encourage the growth of inflammatory bacteria in our gut. This is because its lack of fiber starves the beneficial bacteria we need in our microbiome. On the flip side, whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and oats are full of fiber and feed the healthy bacteria in our gut. The fiber also keeps us fuller longer and helps to prevent us from overeating.

Eat the Rainbow

No, I’m not talking about a bag of skittles! When I say eat the rainbow, I mean eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. These foods are full of phytonutrients and antioxidants that act as scavengers and help to clear out things called free radicals. Free radicals are in essence toxins that can lead to cell damage, which increases the risk of inflammation and ultimately lead to disease. The more colorful your plate, the wider variety of phytonutrients and larger capacity to neutralize free radicals.

So there you have it. My KISS method to diet and nutrition (Keep It Simple Sweetheart!). Follow all of these suggestions, and you are sure to be eating right bite by bite.