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Gluten- Free School

Gluten-free is how more and more people are tweaking their diet nowadays. I remember seven years ago when my husband and I first went gluten-free, few people knew what it meant. My guest, Jennifer Fugo, apparently went through a similar path. And because being gluten-free made her so much healthier, she established the Gluten Free School to help people get their health back.

Life Before Being Gluten-Free

Jennifer Fugo’s journey was similar to most people who have gotten sick. Way back in 2006, she was so much into working out and being healthy. However, despite how Jennifer Fugo was restrictive with her diet, she was gaining weight, felt tired most of the time and very sickly.

She initially thought she was exercising too much, but despite cutting down her workouts, she still didn’t feel right. Even doctors couldn’t diagnose appropriately because Jennifer Fugo’s lab tests all came out normal.

Then one day in 2008, Jennifer Fugo’s friend recommended seeing a nutritionist. Upon seeing that Jennifer Fugo’s diet mainly consisted of bread, pasta, and pizza, the nutritionist advised her to go gluten-free for two weeks.

It didn’t take long before Jennifer Fugo saw results. Within just three days of being gluten-free, she felt more clear headed.  Apparently, brain fog was associated with gluten sensitivity, and it turned out that Jennifer Fugo was gluten sensitive to eggs, dairy, cashews, and pistachios.

“Gluten sensitivity implies that there is an immune reaction that is happening as a result of a specific food like gluten coming into the body. If you are gluten sensitive, you do need to avoid things like oats that are not certified gluten-free,” said Jennifer Fugo.

What Is Gluten?

Many people have heard this term, but very few know what gluten is. Gluten is derived from the Latin word ‘gluten’ which means glue. And like glue, it binds things together. Final products that contain gluten usually have a chewy texture.

“It is a spongy protein that is found in specific grains. Most notably, wheat, barley, and rye. It is also in other ancient forms of wheat,” Jennifer Fugo said. “Gluten binds together ingredients, and it may be hard for some people to digest.”

Advocating A Gluten-Free Diet

Even outside of Philadelphia where Jennifer Fugo lives, she attests that things have changed so much as far as diet is concerned. She says many people in her area are advocates of a gluten-free diet, so it wasn’t hard to find restaurants that offered a gluten-free menu.

However, that was not always the case. When Jennifer Fugo first tried practicing a gluten-free diet, her father, who happened to be a medical doctor, was very skeptical. It was only when her health significantly improved that her father understood how a gluten-free diet plays a significant role in overall health.

“People noticed a big change in me.  Because it seemed like I lost weight when in fact, it’s not fat, but inflammation. I lost inflammation weight,” explained Jennifer Fugo. “When it comes to food sensitivity or autoimmune diseases, the symptoms are all over the place. That is why it is hard for doctors to pinpoint the correct diagnosis.”

The Gluten Free School

Her personal experience drove Jennifer Fugo to put up Gluten Free School in 2011.  Her mission is to empower and inspire gluten sensitive women to get back to living a healthy, joy-filled life.

A program at the Gluten Free School typically lasts six to eight weeks. The school helps women identify root causes, implement diet and lifestyle changes based on their unique health history, and resolve chronic health issues.

“A lot of people don’t understand that you can’t do it halfway. You have to be gluten-free all the way,” said Jennifer Fugo. “If you don’t allow yourself to tune in and go on this journey of figuring out what the imbalances are, they don’t just miraculously disappear. Things build slowly with time.”

Importance Of A Good Digestion

Most people take digestion problems for granted. We often either just shrug it off to something we ate, thinking that it will pass sooner or later.  This is what Jennifer Fugo seeks to educate people on.

Jennifer Fugo says that when our body kicks food out, we apparently lose the opportunity to be nourished by that food. Just because we digested our food, doesn’t mean that the vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats were actually absorbed by our body.

“When that essential toilet flush happens in the digestive system, you’re also flushing out the bacterial diversity which is the microbiome that’s in the colon. It becomes very difficult for good bacteria to re-establish itself in a timely fashion,” explains Jennifer Fugo. “The flipside is constipation.  Because you’re slowing down your body’s ability to release toxins and wastes.”

Effects Of Constipation In Women

Jennifer Fugo says that women must be particularly concerned when they have constipation. When a woman is chronically constipated, estrogen that is processed through the liver must be deactivated.

“Estrogen is deactivated when it is released into the bile. And the bile is dumped into the digestive system. Then you poop out deactivated estrogen. That’s how it’s supposed to leave your body,” Jennifer Fugo said. “But if your poop is not moving at a normal rate, your body can end up reabsorbing it. When that happens, toxins are stuck in the large intestine.”

Because of this, Jennifer Fugo advises to poop at least once a day. Going gluten-free for two to three weeks can also help address constipation.  To keep your food intake in check, it is likewise essential to keep a food journal to track what you are eating.

Transitioning To A Gluten-Free Diet

First of all, if you experience having blurry visions or feel intoxicated, Jennifer Fugo says these are sure signs that food and gluten are causing problem. Ultimately, she advises women not to blow off their symptoms, especially those with autoimmune diseases.

“Going on a gluten-free diet is the first place to start. With most autoimmune diseases, the trigger is in the gut. To reduce the trigger, and slow down the autoimmune process, cut out gluten from your diet,” advises Jennifer Fugo. “Also drink 60 to 80 ounces of water daily. Eat fiber and be active. Try magnesium citrate once or twice a day to facilitate bowel movement.”

Jennifer Fugo likewise clarifies that elimination diet is not the same as a gluten-free diet. People usually confuse the two. She says people typically go too far eliminating too many things only to end up not completing the diet program.

This is because when people go on restrictive diets, Jennifer Fugo says people often eliminate foods that may trigger a problem, but they’re just removing the food triggers. In effect, they are not solving what is causing their leaky gut.

“Start with being gluten-free and see how that goes. Take something out for two or three weeks and try adding it back to your diet,” Jennifer Fugo said. “Observe yourself for  mood swings, emotional outbursts, anxiety or depression.”

Essentially, what Jennifer Fugo is trying to do is encourage people to embrace the natural ways of eating, like consuming whole foods. Most of all, it is also important to keep in mind that because everyone is built differently, everyone’s diet should be unique.

The Savvy Gluten-Free Shopper Book

If you want to know more about eating gluten-free foods, you have to check out Jennifer Fugo’s book.  She thoroughly explains why you should learn to love yourself by taking care of your health.  And the first step in taking care of yourself is getting on the road to health through a gluten-free diet.

Her book details everything you need to know about gluten and how to shop for gluten-free foods. Top it off; the book has mouth-watering recipes that are easy to make; you’ll forget it’s gluten-free!

“Care for yourself. Focus on you. Start paying attention to yourself so that you can be more present, patient and loving to those around you. Because ultimately at the end of the day, that’s what life is all about,” said Jennifer Fugo.

Jennifer Fugo is the founder of Gluten Free School, a website dedicated to teaching gluten-sensitive individuals simple, savvy and empowering steps to get healthy.

Shes a certified Health Coach named a Gluten Free Guru by Philadelphia Magazine who hosts the popular Gluten-Free Sugar Cleanse to empower gluten-free women to take control of their diet, feel great and kick their sugar habit.

Jennifer Fugo is a sought-after expert on healthy, gluten-free living as well as a speaker who has been featured on Doctor Oz, Yahoo! News, eHow, CNN, Huffington Post and Philadelphia Magazine.  She hosts the popular Gluten Free School Podcast to share eye-opening health information vital to living a gluten-free life. Her first book, The Savvy Gluten-Free Shopper: How to Eat Healthy without Breaking the Bank is now available.

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Plant-Based Diet And Its Benefits 

A plant-based diet is mainly packed with nutrients that humans need everyday. People are initially skeptical about whether a plant-based diet fulfills our daily nutritional requirement. However, experts like my guest today assures us that it does. In this episode, Nutrition expert Sharon Palmer will explain how shifting to a plant-based diet is one of the best decisions you will ever make.   

Growing up 

Sharon Palmer grew up in a very natural environment for as long as she can remember. Her mom grew up on a farm in Arkansas, and her father lived the farm life in Minnesota. Both her parents met when they became neighbors in Idaho.   

Her family believes that wellness begins in the soil, and a plant-based diet and nutrition has always been their lifestyle. So even if Sharon Palmer was born in the suburbs in the Northwest, she grew up in a house with a large vegetable garden. Hence, she was very connected to the concept of growing food and eating real food through a plant-based diet.  

Given her family background, it was not surprising that Sharon Palmer decided to pursue a career in Nutrition when she moved to California. She was likewise able to hone her journalistic skills writing and talking about the world of Nutrition.   

“I’m a huge advocate of growing your food. When we are connected with our food, there are rewards. We feel better,” said Sharon Palmer. “There are more benefits to eating a plant-based diet because it is filled with anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. You’re never too old to eat better.”


Her Philosophy  

Sharon Palmer stresses that her philosophy is all about making more people realize that they can benefit from eating more whole plants foods through a plant-based diet. She does this by encouraging people to get on that spectrum of consuming whole plant foods and fewer animal foods.   

You’ve heard that fast food is bad, right? Reaching out for those French Fries indeed is tempting! Some may argue that potatoes are considered vegetables but when it is deep fried in unhealthy oil, it’s not considered a healthy diet at all.  

Sharon Palmer affirms this by saying that generally speaking, what most people eat today can be junk foods. Yes, things like French Fries and colas are made from plants, but an excellent plant-based diet is about consuming less processed foods. Real food is whole plant foods, grown close to Mother Earth and minimally processed.   

“A lot of people who eat a plant-based just think that it’s all about eliminating meat. However, the benefit of a plant-based diet comes mostly from what you are eating. That would be all these whole foods like beans and lentils, whole grains like oats and quinoa, barley, fruits, veggies, spices, herbs, nuts, and seeds.” Sharon Palmer explained.

Eating According To Your Blood Type  

There’s a particular type of diet that called blood type diet. The concept of this diet plan revolves around the belief that because blood types have different characteristics, it is best that people embrace a diet by their blood type.   

However, Sharon Palmer doesn’t think there’s enough evidence to link our blood type to what diet we should be on. She says research points that a healthy diet would fit everybody’s genetic profile.   

“By healthy diet, I mean a healthy plant-based diet. Although we are learning more about personal nutrition or nutrigenomics where we recognize that certain genetic profiles might benefit from slightly tweaking their diet. But at this point, I think we can safely say that these overall diet patterns are healthy for most of us,” said Sharon Palmer.  

Obesity and Diabetes  

Sharon Palmer singles out obesity and diabetes because she said there are epidemics of these health conditions in certain countries with a significant ethnic population. This is because people from those countries are following a Western diet which unfortunately has been linked to many diseases.  

Studies show that obesity has numerous physical and mental risks.  Aside from heart diseases and sleep issues, it can also prove fatal by developing into some types of cancer and reduce life expectancy.   

Diabetes, on the other hand, is just as severe.  Initially, symptoms like headaches and itchy skin may seem minor, but if left undiagnosed, it could escalate into something more severe.    

Studies have shown that a considerable percentage of people who have diabetes die of coronary artery disease. Sharon Palmer says a severe complication of obesity and diabetes are caused by having a processed food diet. Hence, it is therefore vital that we alter our eating habits while it is not too late. 


Importance of Vitamin C and Vitamin B-12  

Anemia indicates that a person suffering from this condition has an iron deficiency. That is why Sharon Palmer firmly advises people to make sure to get good sources of plant-based iron in their diet.  

“Another thing is by taking Vitamin C. It can increase the absorption of iron significantly,” said Sharon Palmer. “There is iron in red meat, poultry, and fish. I think when it comes to a plant-based diet, the diet preference is an individual choice.”

On the other hand, Vitamin B- 12 is essential for cognition and many other issues. However, Sharon Palmer says that apparently, Vitamin B-12 can’t be found in a plant-based diet. Hence, you have to take supplements to fulfill your daily nutritional requirement, and it is also essential that you choose a good brand of supplements.  

The Truth About Carbohydrates  

Sharon Palmer shares the fact that people on a plant-based diet usually remove a lot of carbs.  However, she says carbohydrates are not all bad. Apparently, people have an unjustified fear of carbohydrates.  

“When you look at healthy diet patterns of people who live longer, they tend to consume a high ratio of carbohydrates. So you can’t just assume that carbohydrates are bad,” said Sharon Palmer. “However, pay attention to the quality of carbohydrates. Instead of refined flour, eat whole grains especially in their intact form.”

Sharon Palmer also recommends that consuming quinoa and brown rice is the best response to the body. On the other hand, beans, nuts, seeds, lentil, and tofu are fantastic sources of protein that can take the place of animal foods.   

Colon Cancer   

There is a specific relationship between colon cancer and diet. According to Sharon Palmer, a high red meat diet has a significant colon cancer risk. Hence, it is essential to include a substantial amount of fiber in your diet because apparently, fiber reduces toxins that can come in contact with the colon.   

However, eating a plant-based diet does not only reduce the risk of colon cancer but instead prevents many types of cancer as well. Sharon Palmer explains that generally speaking, cancer is an inflammatory disease. So when we eat foods high in anti-inflammatory compounds and reduce red meat in our diet, we are suppressing that chronic inflammation.  

“Make sure you are also getting good sources of carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Americans eat so much meat. Eating whole foods would help our environment, as well as animal welfare and our health. Because the Western diet has been linked to many health risks,” explained Sharon Palmer.

How To Transition To A Plant-Based Diet  

So, you’re ready to start a plant-based diet? Great! Once you commit yourself, Sharon Palmer advises starting with plants rather than animal food. Eat salads using whole fruits and vegetables. This is because the fruits and vegetables lose nutritional value once they are processed. According to Sharon Palmer, Vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables are better eaten fresh. The same goes for bell peppers, broccoli, berries, and tomatoes.    

However, let’s face it.  We’re human. And like Sharon Palmer earlier said, we are born omnivores. Hence, it is natural to have meat cravings. But that doesn’t mean following a plant-based diet is hopeless because it’s all about understanding the underlying cause of your cravings.  

“If your diet is not balanced, you will crave it. If you are short on fat or calories, you will feel hungry.  Usually, people who quit eating meat cold turkey experience cravings,” Sharon Palmer said. “This is because the plant-based diet has a different composition. Humans evolved to eat animal food and plants. That’s why a plant-based diet is a personal choice.”

Plan-Powered Diet Book  

Sharon Palmer has two excellent books that are good references for explaining the whole concept behind a plant-based diet. The Plant-Powered Diet book contains incredible recipes and a two-week plan to help you get started on eating your way to health!  

On the other hand, the Plant-Powered For Life book is primarily a cookbook jampacked with 125 delicious recipes. You’ll be amazed how veggies can taste so good! Both books are available on Sharon Palmer’s website.   

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Book by Sharon Palmer

The Plant-Powered Diet

Recommended Reading by Sharon Palmer

Food Rules  – Michael Pollan

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Busting Health Myths

Busting health myths is something the Learn True Health podcast has been passionate about. Over the past two years, I have invited experts in busting health myths especially with regards to seeking the best treatments to heal the body. My guest today, T.C. Hale (aka Tony Hale), is no stranger to busting health myths, so read on to find out his big reveals in this episode!

Shifting Careers

T.C. Hale wasn’t busting health myths all this life. In fact, he first started his career in stand-up comedy, a lucrative career that spanned almost a decade. However, Valentine’s Day in 2004 turned out to be the turning point in his life when T.C. Hale lost his voice.

As much as twenty-three doctors failed to diagnose T.C. Hale’s condition. Hence, because T.C. Hale was frustrated with his fruitless doctor consultations; he decided to take matters into his own hands.

“I lost my voice, and it didn’t come back. When you’re a comedian, and you lost your voice, you’re technically a mime. So I was determined to get my voice back,” recalls T.C. Hale. “I went from doctor to doctor, and they all put me on drugs. Nobody could give a proper diagnosis and yet I accumulated a six-figure bill in medical expenses.”

Learning from his own experience, T.C. Hale spent the next six years attending nutrition seminars and reading books. He partnered with health professors and started writing books busting health myths as well.

Physiology Of The Body

T.C. Hale says that he doesn’t use remedies for anything. Instead, he teaches people how to look at their physiology and get a better understanding of the underlying cause of the problem.

A good example is busting health myths like insomnia. There is no one cure-for-all treatment. Like many other health conditions, insomnia may have more than one cause, and each person responds differently to treatment.

“I teach people how to use simple tests. When you understand how to look at these measurements, you can start to get an idea how your body is operating and what areas are malfunctioning,” explains T.C. Hale. “When you can figure that out, you can start to figure out what the underlying cause is.

He adds, “We have to be a participant in our health. The body works in the same way that agriculture works. It works over time. Things move slowly, so we would want to treat our body the same way we treat agriculture.”

Weight Loss

Dealing with obese clients, T.C. Hale refrains his clients from looking at the weighing scale. He explains this is because there’s too much emotion involved in that.

“Just because you’re taking in carbs and sugars doesn’t mean they’re making it to the cells. And when they’re not making it to the cells, the body in return feels like it’s not getting it,” T.C. Hale said. “The body is more complicated than just looking at measurements. Essentially, measurements are the foundation of everything I do, but there are complications from looking at those measurements.”

T.C. Hale also says that no single diet is right for everybody because we all process foods differently. Most diets have you restrict something. Whether it’s a type of food or macronutrient, they all focus on one thing.

“And when you remove that one thing, you usually notice amazing results because that change worked with your physiology in the way your body is functioning,” said T.C. Hale.

According to T.C. Hale, if a person can’t process fat correctly, even eating healthy fats becomes a burden to the body. Consequently, despite eating healthy, your body won’t be able to handle the nutrients if your system isn’t working correctly.

Hence, before starting any weight loss program, T.C. Hale advises to first look into finding the answers to these questions to help fix the areas where your body is malfunctioning:

• Are you processing carbs better than fats?
• Do you have the ability to process fats at all?
• Can you even break down protein?
• Does insulin function in your body in a way that allows the glucose to be used or is it just going around in your bloodstream?

Why People Gravitate Towards Processed Foods

T.C. Hale explains that processed food is easier to break down, and it pulls out some glucose or fuel so you can function as a human being. The brain primarily needs fuel to function so when you take away that source of fuel; you end up feeling miserable.

“People gravitate towards food for a reason. Those foods may not be the healthiest thing, they may cause weight gain, but it allows people to function as a human. That’s the problem,” T.C. Hale said.

In addition to that, T.C. Hale says that when people go on these low carb diets, they increase their fats and remove carbs. However, if they can’t break down the fat because of processed junk, they feel lousy and end up gaining weight. Hence, it is crucial to look at both sides.

Importance Of Digestion

Regardless of any diet plan you have, digestion plays a significant role in overall health. Without proper digestion, nutrients will not be absorbed by the body. Hence, T.C. Hale says it doesn’t matter whether a person is eating the right nutrition, or if the food they eat contains nutrients and minerals. Consequently, they still can’t access those minerals and nutrients if they can’t break the food down.

“You must learn how to digest food properly. If you can’t break down the food that you’re eating, it’s a burden to your body,” explains T.C. Hale. “Everything starts with digestion. If you’re having any digestive symptoms, you need to correct those symptoms first before fixing a lot of problems.”

Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is a combination of minerals, sugars, and a little protein. These elements contribute to how thick your blood is. The thicker the blood, the harder the heart has to pump and increase that pressure.

Furthermore, whatever is thickening the blood is different from person to person. Example, a type 2 diabetic is often going to have elevated blood pressure because the excess glucose in the bloodstream is thickening up that blood.

T.C. Hale, however, clarifies that having excess glucose doesn’t always cause high blood pressure. There are times our body is filled with toxins, and a lot of times it can be due to excess minerals. On the other hand, magnesium is a significant factor when it comes to high blood pressure and a lot of times it has to do with proteins not breaking down correctly.

Stomach Acidity

Generally speaking, when the food goes down in the stomach, it starts to acidify. T.C. Hale explains this is when the proteins start breaking down. However, when that acidic product starts to leave the stomach, bile comes down.

According to T.C. Hale, bile is very alkaline. So when an acidic product meets with bile, it creates a sizzle. Consequently, that’s what breaks the food apart and pulls all the nutrients out. So if someone just has the acid side working, they won’t be able to pull all the nutrients out of their food and vice versa.

A lot of things can cause that bile to become thick and sticky where it won’t flow correctly. T.C. Hale says grains and gluten restrict bile flow. Hence, people remove these things from their diet.

Furthermore, T.C. Hale explains that if bile is not flowing correctly, toxins start accumulating and circulating in the bloodstream. As a result, blood pressure can go up. Consequently, when the blood is too alkaline, oxygen can’t leave the bloodstream and go down to the tissues where it needs to be. When it fails to do that, horrible diseases start to develop.

Kick It Books

T.C. Hale is the author of three books — Constipation: Kick It Naturally, Kick Your Fat In The Nuts and Kick Menstrual Cramps In The Nuts. All three books thoroughly explain how and why the body responds the way it does. The books have a fantastic wealth of information and are available on Amazon so check it out!

T.C. Hale’s Courses

Can’t get enough of T.C. Hale? You’re in luck! Because he offers two courses — 4-Week Online Digestion/Foundational Health Course and the 12-Week Kick Your Fat Course.

The 4-Week Online Digestion/Foundational Health Course teaches you everything you need to know about digestion. Primarily, this builds a solid foundation for your body to be able to process the food you eat properly. Best of all, it costs only 50 cents to sign up!

On the other hand, the 12-Week Kick Your Fat Course is an in-depth insight into the truth behind how to lose weight properly and how to make the weight stay off. The course costs $129 and is money well-spent so check it out as well.

Beyond working with many celebrity clients, T.C. Hale is on the executive board of The Coalition For Health Education, a nonprofit association that helps professionals and their clients learn about health through nutrition. Additionally, T.C. Hale teaches monthly webinars about nutrition to doctors, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals from more than thirty-five countries.

You can also find T.C. Hale producing documentaries like Why Am I So Fat? a film that teaches the truth about weight loss while showcasing T.C. Hale’s client, Gabe Evans, who lost 200 pounds in 9 ½ months by treating T.C. Hale’s word as gospel.

Get Connected with T.C. Hale!

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Books by T.C. Hale

Constipation: Kick It Naturally Book

Kick Your Fats In The Nuts Bookmm

Kick Menstrual Cramps In The Nuts Book

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▶ Busting Health Myths – T.C. Hale & Ashley James – #196 ◀

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Living Healthy Naturally  

Living healthy is doable. Episode after episode, I have likewise stressed that achieving optimal health naturally is very possible. I have had so many guests on the show who shifted to Natural Medicine despite being trained in Western Medicine and my guest today is no different. Dr. Phil Carson is again joining us in this episode to share everything you need to know about living healthy.   

Pharmacy Background  

Dr. Phil Carson finished pharmacy school in 1985. Upon graduation, he worked for a pharmacy chain which turned out to be a very stressful job. Despite that, Dr. Phil Carson persevered until he was promoted to a managerial position the following year. His health issues started piling up, from gastrointestinal problems to taking so many medications despite gaining only temporary relief.  

Until one day, while browsing books at a bookstore, Dr. Phil Carson saw a book about Natural Health. Apparently, there was a chapter on digestive issues. He started following the recommendations enumerated in the book and started living healthy. Those steps eventually changed his life!  

Through his new lifestyle of living healthy, Dr. Phil Carson found the underlying causes of his health problems. It turns out that he had low stomach acids. All this time, Dr. Phil Carson was taking anti-acids when apparently, he should have taken acid supplements instead. This discovery hence led him to pursue a practice in Natural Medicine.  

How To Live Until You Die Book  

Dr. Phil Carson had a lucrative career in pharmacy for twenty years until a few years ago when his business went down the drain. Spending a substantial amount of time soul-searching and reflecting about his struggles, he eventually was able to find something more valuable.   

“A few years ago after the crash of 2009, I lost everything. I was trying to build my business that time,” recalls Dr. Phil Carson. “In those dark days, the content of the book came from long nights of thinking and praying. That’s where the subtitle came from.”  

Dr. Phil Carson came to realize that conventional medicines only served a temporary relief.  It just masked symptoms and gave only temporary relief. That is why a lot of people still suffer from various health issues. Consequently, Dr. Phil Carson realized that living healthy and being truly happy can only be achieved if you balance out your whole life.  

Finding Your Life Balance  

Dr. Phil Carson found his passion and calling to help improve people’s quality of life. Inspired and motivated to heal people by living healthy, Dr. Phil Carson developed a plan aimed at helping people through seven key areas of their life.   

First and foremost, Dr. Phil Carson stresses the importance of changing our diet and getting enough exercise.  He recommends veering away from fad diets and establishing a regular fitness regimen.   

“Eliminate white foods from your diet. Processed flour, sugar, dairy are detrimental to our health,” said Dr. Phil Carson. “Then make an effort to exercise. We are not active enough. Just being able to move and being consistent about it is the key to jumpstart your goal towards living healthy.”

Aside from nutrition and exercise, Dr. Phil Carson recommends drinking water often and getting enough sleep.  Taking supplements is also an excellent way to make sure your body is getting the essential nutrients it needs to function well.

“Do not load our body with any food that is too acidic or too alkaline. As for water, spring water should be alkaline because it has minerals rich in calcium and magnesium. Acidic water can lower the body’s PH levels to a certain extent,” said Dr. Phil Carson.

Furthermore, Dr. Phil Carson recommends drinking water before you eat and drink a little water while eating. The rationale behind this is because when we drink water before we eat, water stimulates the production of acids in the stomach.   

However, living healthy isn’t just about the physical aspect. When our soul and spirit is nourished, Dr. Phil Carson says it resonates positively to what we look and feel on the outside.   

Wellness Program  

Ready to take living healthy a notch further? Check out Dr. Phil Carson’s six-month wellness program.  A primary component of the program is helping people improve their nutrition.   

Another essential part of the program is that patients are made to undergo a detox program to cleanse the body of toxins and chemicals that they have been exposed to over the years. This also helps balance out the body’s PH levels.  

“The type of detox that we do is not like the typical ones that you see. Two weeks, 21 days or 30 days is not enough time to administer a complete detox,” explains Dr. Phil Carson. “It may apply to a colon or liver cleanse, but our detox program is for three months because we cleanse the cells of the body.”

Dr. Phil Carson adds that apparently, people are too acidic, that’s why many of us have health issues. However, Dr. Phil Carson says that when we take steps to correct that, it can make a significant difference in overall health.  

Furthermore, he says that when we’re continually putting acids in the body and exposed to high acidic chemicals on a regular basis, our body works hard to keep the PH balance. Therefore, the best place for the body to get the alkaline minerals it needs to maintain PH levels correct is from the bones and the cartilage. And when it does, that consequently contributes to health problems like osteoporosis and arthritis.  

“That is why my wellness program aims to help people get off medication through lifestyle change,” Dr. Phil Carson said. “Sometimes just some basic things like simple lifestyle change can change a person’s life.”

Too many Americans are living as prisoners in their bodies, held captive by bad habits that have drained them of their livelihood and sentenced them to a premature death. These harsh realities are what have kept Dr. Phil Carson passionate about practicing pharmacy since 1985.   

After encountering many patients who were seeking answers when traditional medicine did not meet their needs, Dr. Phil Carson founded Carson Natural Health in 2005 with the mission of helping patients find the best natural solutions to their health problems. He is passionate about improving his patients quality of life and encouraging everyone he comes in contact with to live healthier lives and transform their overall health into a blessing, not a burden.   

Dr. Phil Carson shares many golden nuggets about how to thrive in health, along with breaking through tragedy and stepping into triumph in his book How To Live Until You Die.  

Get Connected With Dr. Phil Carson: 

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Book by Dr. Phil Carson

How To Live Until You Die

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▶ Living Healthy – Dr. Phil Carson & Ashley James – #195 ◀

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Being Lovable Through Gratitude

Being lovable is so hard to do sometimes, considering many factors can weigh us down. We tend to seek validation from family, friends, and co-workers and when we don’t, our self-worth plummets. Well, Michael Weinberger is back on the show to guide us on being lovable especially at our lowest point.

Struggling Through The Hard Times

It’s hard to think clearly when we are dealing with a lot of problems or facing significant challenges. And Michael Weinberger is no different. He relates that when he was working on his A Plan For Living app, he used to struggle to find gratitude.

Trying to practice gratitude and prayer, it seemed so natural to come up with resentments and things he hated. However, Michael Weinberger slowly realized that in being lovable, he had to learn to slow down and recognize his thoughts.

“Happiness and joy is not a survival emotion. It is a ‘pleasure’ piece,” explains Michael Weinberger. “When I was struggling to find things that I was grateful for, a friend advised that all I had to do was to be lovable today. That hit me. Consequently, the best part of being lovable is that there is no right way to do it.”

Being Grateful And Lovable

When Michael Weinberger was working on his A Plan for Living app, he realized that there is no right way to do gratitude, no right way to pray nor meditate. Essentially, going through and surviving every obstacle results in molding a person to become more lovable.

“By being lovable, I can be more present, I connect more intimately with people around me, and I can solve problems,” Michael Weinberger said.

Think of it this way. We all have that one person in the office or that one family member who is hard to work with or is challenging to be around with. Problems seem harder to solve because we tend to think that we are not going to succeed in getting along with that person. Consequently, we set up ourselves to justify our thought and actions, as well as rationalize and defend our position.

“But if you are lovable, things can work out a lot easier because the connection to the other person in the equation is there,” said Michael Weinberger.

Michael Weinberger cites an example. Let’s say; you’re coming home to your wife. You can go home and be defensive, ready to snap at your wife for not having dinner ready or going home to an untidy house.

However, Michael Weinberger says there is a better choice. Rather than spouting off adverse reactions coming home, you could make a conscious effort to be lovable. This way, your relationship with your spouse significantly improves. You will likewise want to do more for yourself, as well as have the drive to take care of yourself.

How To Love Yourself

Michael Weinberger suffers from bipolar disorder. Because of this, he tends to have suicidal thoughts on a very regular basis. Trying to eat healthily and making the right decision is sometimes difficult. When this happens, Michael Weinberger berates himself whenever he eats poorly.

However, we must realize that people tend to insult themselves immediately. Michael Weinberger says that if we can just be compassionate and love ourselves, then it’s not a catastrophe. All we have to do is learn to become our own coach.

“Making better suggestions and forgiving yourself is being lovable with yourself. Gratitudes are easier, ” Michael Weinberger said. “There are some things on my prayer list to help slow me down. Those include practicing humility, being present, being forgiving, and having patience. Those thoughts help put me into a better state of mind.”

Establishing A Baseline

People are different, and not everyone thinks the same. One way to eradicate the blurry lines of communication is learning how to create a baseline. This way, our thoughts can be understood by other people.

We tend to project unfulfilled expectations onto other people. Then we end up getting upset when other people fail to understand us. Michael Weinberger says this is because when our thoughts and sentiments are not expressed out loud, we cannot expect the reality to happen.

“People believe they’re wandering around in reality. The problem is, we merely wander around in our definition of reality,” explains Michael Weinberger. “We must share our reality with other people. Everyone has their own perspective of the world, and people begin to disagree when they believe that everyone is living in their reality.”

Michael Weinberger adds that reality can be challenged. Gratitude, spirituality, and mindfulness allow reality to change. Essentially, he says practicing gratitude gets you down to your authentic self. Hence, your job is to connect that authentic self to everyone around you.

Michael Weinberger is a dynamic and inspiring speaker frequently asked to speak on topics including Mindfulness, Coping with Mental Illness and Addiction.

He was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder in 1994 and has learned how to not only cope but to thrive while living with his illness.

Michael teaches individuals how to adjust their mindset to be mindful and grateful for everything their life! He is the founder and creator of, a digital mindfulness manager, and wellness platform.

Everyone has problems, and Michael’s approach helps people apply gratitude, spirituality, and mindfulness to their daily lives. A grateful heart is a happy heart!

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The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Self

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Empowering Women To Achieve Optimal Health

Empowering women is a significant advocacy in this modern day and age. Whether it be career women, female students or homemakers, women play a major role in society. However, because of our busy lives, we tend to neglect our health. Hence, I brought in today Dr. Tasneem “Taz” Bhatia who will explain why empowering women became the focus of her practice.

Fortunate Accident

Dr. Tasneem Bhatia developed her mission of empowering women by accident. She initially went to medical school, gradually took her residency, and eventually worked in pediatrics and at the emergency room. Dr. Tasneem Bhatia loved her job, but as time wore on, she was frequently getting sick from consuming too many sodas and junk food.

Her family, later on, noticed that her hair loss was getting worse. Dr. Tasneem Bhatia developed acne problems as well. Consequently, she knew it was an internal thing and suffered a lot from aching joints as well.

“I didn’t know that essentially, I needed to be gluten-free because the gluten was affecting my thyroid. And my thyroid was affecting my other hormones,” shares Dr. Tasneem Bhatia. “Hair loss comes in different forms, so it’s hard to generalize it. Usually, it is caused by nutritional issues and sometimes hormonal or stress-induced.”

However, despite countless consultations with various doctors, nobody was able to figure out what was the root cause of those symptoms. Hence, Dr. Tasneem Bhatia decided to take matters into her own hands and took prescription drugs. It proved to be a wrong decision since there were numerous side effects like low blood pressure. In fact, the side effects got so bad that Dr. Tasneem Bhatia almost passed out.

Not one to give up, Dr. Tasneem Bhatia looked for other options to healing her body. After intensive study and research, she then discovered Holistic Medicine and the benefits of proper nutrition. She likewise got interested in the principles of Chinese Medicine.

Career Shift

Dr. Tasneem Bhatia eventually realized she needed a formal education in a world opposite from Western medicine. Hence, she did a Fellowship in Integrative Medicine with Dr. Andrew Weil, a famous doctor known as the “guru” of Alternative Medicine.

Fortunately for her, Dr. Tasneem Bhatia’s husband was supportive of her career shift. Dr. Tasneem Bhatia recalls that it was practically a leap of faith. Her husband was just starting his dental practice at that time, and she got pregnant. They had a lot on their plate, but the couple persevered to build their respective practices.

“Every single thing leads to the next. It is critical for us to own the responsibility to take care of ourselves and be able to have the empowered life that we’re all meant to have,” said Dr. Tasneem Bhatia.

Super Woman RX

The story behind how Dr. Tasneem Bhatia’s book, ‘Super Woman RX’ came to be is so endearing! Dr. Tasneem Bhatia relates that there were so many reasons for writing this book about empowering women.

“I felt very passionate about empowering women to achieve what they want to achieve and be who they want to be. My daughter suggested naming the book Super Woman RX because she says everyone calls me Superwoman. That’s how the title was born,” Dr. Tasneem Bhatia said.

Another reason for writing the book was after Dr. Tasneem Bhatia realized there were patterns that her patients were falling into—nutritional, hormonal, emotional, ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. Hence, Dr. Tasneem Bhatia felt she was empowering women by helping them identify what their type is, use that information to learn how to eat, live, what best supplements are there for them, and how they should be exercising.

“Trying to relate this concept of power types and the importance of finding your power type, as well as understanding what your power plan should be, is not simple,” said Dr. Tasneem Bhatia. “It was hard for me because I was initially educated in Western medicine but pulling it out of my head was way harder.”

Power Types

According to Dr. Tasneem Bhatia, there are five main power types—boss lady, savvy chick, gypsy girl, earth mama, nightingale. Consequently, empowering women is all about having an essence of individuality. Each woman is indeed created in a very distinct way.

“We have a shift as women when we can start to identify patterns and trends. Only then can we collectively change ourselves,” Dr. Tasneem Bhatia said.

Empowerment Tips

First of all, Dr. Tasneem Bhatia recommends setting aside at least two to three hours each week for personal self-care. Women take on multiple roles. Hence, we need to make sure we have sufficient energy to keep us going. One way to do this is to take magnesium every night and use essential oils.

“Be alone by doing meditation, yoga or pray to connect with yourself for five to ten minutes a day. Analyze your behavior and understand where the motivation comes from,” said Dr. Tasneem Bhatia. “We have a responsibility to change our DNA. We have a lot of stuff that we’re carrying around internally, but that DNA can change.”

As far as nutrition is concerned, Dr. Tasneem Bhatia cautions on easing up on the sugar consumption and eat mushrooms like the turkey tail. She also advises taking supplements like vitamin D especially during wintertime.

“One way to prevent cancer is by safeguarding against inflammation. Watch your hormones and metabolism. Furthermore, cut down out on consuming wheat, dairy and high meat which is rotten meat,” enumerates Dr. Tasneem Bhatia.

She adds, “Cancer is ultimately not a genetic disease. It is an environmental disease, and until we understand that, we’re never going to solve the whole cancer equation because too many people are fixated on what their gene markers are,” said Dr. Tasneem Bhatia.

Secret of Good Health

Dr. Tasneem Bhatia attests that no matter how much you work on your health until you get the food component of your health right, everything counteracts. Consequently, food is everything and food matters.

“You have to treat food like medicine. Understand the foods you need, where it’s coming from and how it is sourced,” advises Dr. Tasneem Bhatia. “It is also important for women to understand their hormone levels. Lastly, eat right, detoxify, and learn to manage stress, hormones, as well as inflammation.”

Dr. Tasneem Bhatia, M.D. is a board-certified integrative medicine physician and wellness expert, specializing in women’s health, weight loss, nutrition and family wellness. She is the author of “What Doctors Eat,” “The 21 Day Belly Fix,” and the breakthrough “Super Woman RX.” She has been featured in numerous media outlets including The Today Show, Dr. Oz and Live with Kelly.

Personal health challenges in her twenties combined with a broken health care system motivated Dr. Tasneem Bhatia to pursue an alternative definition of health and healthy living. Early in her medical practice, as a young resident, Dr. Tasneem Bhatia began searching for answers to her health issues. Studying various systems of medicine, she found a wealth of information not yet taught in conventional medical schools.

A pioneer and trailblazer, Dr. Tasneem Bhatia opened her unique and innovative practice, CentreSpringMD (formerly the Atlanta Center of Holistic and Integrative Medicine) in 2009. The practices serve as integrative medical homes for the whole family – from pediatric care to adults, prevention, and advanced therapy for the disease. Expansion continues with multiple locations and providers and the launch of CentreSpringMD Spa and CentreSpringMD Pediatrics.

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Deep Nutrition: Going Back To Traditional Foods

Deep nutrition is all about understanding how a change in diet can heal our body. In this day and age, we have so many diets claiming to be the best one. Hence, it can be overwhelming. However, it doesn’t have to be complicated. My guest, Dr. Cate Shanahan will expound in this episode about how deep nutrition produces lasting results.

Finding The Root Cause

It took quite a while for Dr. Cate Shanahan to find her calling—specializing in deep nutrition. Initially acquiring her degree in Biochemistry and Genetics, she felt a strong urge to get into the underlying causes of disease and come up with a genetically engineered solution to the mounting problem of nutrition.

“Doctors do not learn a lot about nutrition. Since I was an athlete, I developed a knee problem that eventually resulted in having to get surgery. I had no choice but to opt to look into deep nutrition to speed up the healing process,” said Dr. Cate Shanahan.

Spontaneous Healing

During her recovery period, Dr. Cate Shanahan’s husband bought her the book, ‘Spontaneous Healing,’ by Dr. Andrew Weil. In the book, Dr. Andrew Weil explains in detail how the body heals itself, whether it be serious diseases, trauma or chronic pain.

The book also shows the correlation between the body and mind when it comes to healing. Consequently, vitamins, herbs, supplements and nutritious foods all contribute to our recovery but having a healthy mindset significantly speeds up the process. And it’s true! I have guested several experts in past episodes of my podcast who have attested to the power of the mind when it comes to healing.

Dr. Andrew Weil likewise threw in a plethora of tips on how to achieve optimal health.  However, Dr. Cate Shanahan says Dr. Andrew Weil’s book had a topic that changed her world—the concept of essential fatty acids.

The book ultimately made Dr. Cate Shanahan realize that a lot of the things we know about nutrition is wrong.

Weston Price’s Theories

Another person who made an impact on Dr. Cate Shanahan is Dr. Weston Price.  Dr. Weston Price is a well-known dentist in the 1930s who formulated theories linking nutrition with dental health as well as physical health.

Dr. Cate Shanahan isn’t the only guest of mine who agreed with Dr. Weston Price’s research.  A few episodes back, I had Dr. Steven Lin on the show who shared that in the Nutrition and Physical Degeneration book Dr. Weston Price published, flour, sugar and processed vegetable fats causes nutritional deficiencies. The book likewise explored the theories that Western methods of preparing and storing foods can lead to different diseases.

Benefits Of Traditional Foods

Ever hear the phrase, ‘Home-cooking is better and healthier?’ Well, it is. Eating meals cooked the traditional way at home is deep nutrition. Dr. Cate Shanahan explains that ultimately, the human diet should consist of four elements: fermented foods, meat cooked on the bone, sprouted foods and organ meats.

Dr. Cate Shanahan says she initially formulated her theories when she started talking to people about traditional foods or deep nutrition. It is all about understanding how a change in diet can heal our body.

According to Dr. Cate Shanahan, people in their 50s and 60s who had parents cooking traditional foods, mostly have their genetic wealth intact. Hence, that genetic wealth is eventually passed on to their children.

“However, that healthy genetic expression gets tarnished as you deviate from the traditions. That was where I felt like I saw something pretty profound,” said Dr. Cate Shanahan.

Dr. Cate Shanahan furthermore says that while she was practicing in Hawaii, she was able to compare 50 and 60-year-olds to younger people. Because older people made better meal choices, they were significantly healthier compared to younger people who suffered from a variety of illnesses like ADHD, food allergies and repetitive motion injuries.

And through her patients, Dr. Cate Shanahan was able to prove that embracing a deep nutrition diet could improve health within a month. She was also proud to share that not one single patient following her diet program has had a heart attack, stroke or blood clot. Most of her patients likewise reported an improvement in weight and cholesterol levels.

Eliminating Vegetable Oils

Dr. Cate Shanahan says sugar is bad for us.  However, she also says to look at it another way—sugar has been part of our diet for so many decades. And ultimately, our body has ways of dealing with sugar.

However, it’s not the same with vegetable oils. According to Dr. Cate Shanahan, this is because we have no methods for dealing with compounds that are in vegetable oils.  And these are toxic compounds as well.

“Some of the toxic compounds are listed in the carcinogen list. They are cytotoxic and genotoxic. They promote free radicals and inflammation,” said Dr. Cate Shanahan. “Vegetable oils are the most inflammatory things that we eat. We probably consume between 25 to 35% of our calories from these vegetable oils. These things are as toxic as mercury. “

Examples of Vegetable Oils  

  • Canola Oil
  • Corn Oil
  • Soybean Oil
  • Peanut Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Safflower Oil
  • Cottonseed Oil
  • Grapeseed Oil

Signs Of Toxins

Dr. Cate Shanahan says that it is tricky to detect toxicity in your diet since it can be symptoms of a lot of illnesses.  However, she says the most common signs of toxins in the diet include heartburn, acne, ADD, depression, bipolar and food allergies.

“Eating any food cooked with vegetable oil is like eating toxic stuff. Once you change your diet, you’ll start noticing fewer signs of inflammation, and you’ll sleep better,” Dr. Cate Shanahan said. “If you also reduce carbs, you will likewise feel better and more energetic within a week.”

Dysfunctional Immune System

Dr. Cate Shanahan clarifies that it’s not that food is inherently bad, but rather people with a dysfunctional immune system are developing more allergies because they are exposed to processed forms of dairy proteins. That is why more and more people develop dairy allergies.

“A lot of time, kids would eventually outgrow their allergies. However, living in a pro-inflammatory environment and increased consumption of vegetable oils and processed foods, make it harder for kids to get rid of their allergies.”

Dr. Cate Shanahan also explains that it is the proteins that we develop allergies to. Consequently, in our messed up food system, these innocent ingredients are being mistaken by an immune system that is not functioning. Hence, we instead should look into the root cause of the immune system malfunctioning, instead of questioning why dairy is bad for us.

Deep Nutrition Book

Dr. Cate Shanahan’s Deep Nutrition book is a must-read for everyone who wants to understand how traditional foods improve overall health. The book also details how saturated fat triggers dietary changes affecting our gene expression and replication.

In the book, Dr. Cate Shanahan likewise shows how modern diet affected our health through the years, the science behind the altered expression of our DNA, our predisposition to disease, and even our physical appearance. She also lays out what traditional diets share in common and some easy-to-follow recipes that can boost your health.

“Eating should be a pleasure. It is a pleasure if you understand how beneficial the good ingredients are,” said Dr. Cate Shanahan. “The reward is going to be measured by your taste buds. Because it is inherently so much better to bite a steak from a grass-fed cow that you cook properly.”

Dr. Cate Shanahan M.D is a board-certified family physician. She trained in biochemistry and genetics at Cornell University before attending Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. 

For ten years, Dr. Cate Shanahan practiced medicine in Hawaii, where she studied ethnobotany and the culinary habits of her healthiest patients. She is the author of two best-selling books and currently serves as the Director of the Los Angeles Lakers PRO Nutrition Program and practices in Newtown, CT.

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Diffusing Arguments Through Emotional Intelligence  

Diffusing arguments is something most of us struggle with. It’s not easy keeping our emotions in check especially when we feel hurt. I have had Michael Weinberger on the show several times in the past, and I believe he’s the perfect resource person to teach us the art of diffusing arguments.   

A Plan For Living  

I’m ecstatic to have Michael Weinberger once again on the show! He’s the creator of this excellent app called, ‘A Plan For Living.’ It aims to rekindle that spark in your life through gratitude so if you’re feeling down or dealing with emotional issues, do check out this app.   

Many of us take for granted that our emotions play a significant role in our overall health. Lack of love, happiness, vitality, and connection in our life significantly affects us on a physical and mental level. Diffusing arguments become a constant struggle, and consequently, our life falls apart. That’s why during times like these, we feel like a failure.  

The Power Of Reaction  

Michael Weinberger recalls this one instance he had with his employee. This particular person tended to become extremely defensive and frustrated with client behavior. Diffusing arguments between that employee and clients was both a struggle and a challenge.  

Nevertheless, Michael Weinberger helped his employee deal with his emotions.  Eventually, that employee realized that the most significant lesson he learned is that he can’t control what happens to him, but instead he can control how he reacts.  

“The quality of life is based on how you react, not what happens to you. Whenever I don’t know how to handle a client situation, I focus on what I can control,” said Michael Weinberger. “And that control has been learned through the practice of gratitude and spirituality.”

Realizing Your Self-Worth  

Michael Weinberger says that when we realize how many things we are grateful for, our self-worth increases.  He suggests that we must always remind ourselves to be aware of our self-worth, especially before having difficult conversations with others or diffusing arguments. Remind yourself that your self-worth is not going to be impacted by the discussion you are about to have.   

“I just have to worry about how I can control my reaction in response to situations. Because that will determine whether or not I am going to be happy for that given day,” Michael Weinberger said.

In hindsight, Michael Weinberger recalls that he used to take things personally.  He felt that his value as a human being was based on what everyone thought of him. It is a typical human reaction because people do tend to get defensive when they feel they are being attacked.  However, that response could be avoided if you keep your emotions in check.

Finding Happiness   

“Happiness, well-being or your spiritual connection is a choice. It is not something to be taken away from you,” Michael Weinberger said.

Citing an example, Michael Weinberger says he could show up to a meeting and allow someone not to agree with him.  The outcome could go both ways.  Either Michael Weinberger would end up giving others his happiness by reacting disproportionately, or he could stay in his space, and truly listen, be present and hear the words that are being said.  

Diffusing Arguments  

Diffusing arguments is never easy, but Michael Weinberger says it can be achieved. First of all, he suggests removing the noise in an argument. Be present in what the conversation is really about. Ask yourself why are you hurt by the discussion and dig deep into analyzing how the situation makes you feel. 

During an argument, merely state to the other person how you feel about the situation instead of immediately defending your position. Picking on the other person’s feelings won’t help resolve things either.  

“You can only control how you react to a situation. So if you react to a situation on fire, you should expect fire back. Own your side,” said Michael Weinberger. “Open an opportunity for the other person to say how he feels.”

Essentially, Michael Weinberger says that first of all, you have to become aware of the conversation you are having with yourself. Once you have achieved that, only then can you start correcting the conversation you’re having with others.   

Discovering The Root Cause  

In any given situation or problem, Michael Weinberger stresses the importance of knowing the cause of your emotions. Chances are, you realize you have things that were short-circuiting your temper and they were manifesting themselves in arguments about an entirely different topic.  

Consequently, when you can take time and be grateful for what you have, it takes the edge off from arguments. Furthermore, Michael Weinberger says that with gratitude, you preserve happiness and energy that would have otherwise been wasted in the past.  

“I have learned over time that nothing happens by accident. I don’t want to spend any more energy or worry in changing the past because it never served me productively,” said Michael Weinberger.

Michael Weinberger is a dynamic and inspiring speaker frequently asked to speak on topics including Mindfulness, Coping with Mental Illness and Addiction.   

He was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder in 1994 and has learned how to not only cope but to thrive while living with his illness.   

Michael teaches individuals how to adjust their mindset to be mindful and grateful for everything their life! He is the founder and creator of, a digital mindfulness manager, and wellness platform.  

Everyone has problems, and Michael’s approach helps people apply gratitude, spirituality, and mindfulness to their daily lives. A grateful heart is a happy heart!  

Get Connected with Michael Weinberger!

Official Website



A Plan For Living App – On Google Play

A Plan For Living App – On App Store

Recommended Reading by Michael Weinberger

The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Self

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Autoimmune Diseases: Thriving In The Workplace

Autoimmune diseases are hard to detect, and some of them are incurable. Dealing with this health condition is a challenge in itself. Having to worry about how to survive in society such as the workplace is an even more significant obstacle to hurdle. My guest, Holly Bertone is no stranger to this situation. In fact, it empowered her to use her experience to help other people cope with autoimmune diseases.

Transitioning Stage

Holly Bertone has always been active during her teenage years and in her 20s. However, like many young people, she was a junkaholic who enjoyed sweets too much.

Resolving to have a better lifestyle, Holly Bertone transitioned in her 30s and got into fitness. She was active in mountain bike races, swimming and running. Consequently, Holly Bertone’s diet improved. She still enjoyed sweets but consumed it in moderation.

Diagnosed With Breast Cancer

Thinking that her healthier lifestyle drove her further away from illnesses and diseases, Holly Bertone couldn’t be more wrong. On her 39th birthday, she got a gift she didn’t expect — breast cancer.

Before the doctor breaking the news to her, Holly Bertone recalled that she initially felt a lump as she rolled in bed one morning. It took two months of tests before Holly Bertone’s doctor dropped the bomb.

Life In Remission

It’s hard when you find out you have cancer, but as the saying goes, ‘Life goes on.’ And that’s precisely what Holly Bertone did. Ten days after her cancer treatment ended, she got married.

However, the ordeal wasn’t over. Even after cancer treatment, Holly Bertone wasn’t getting better. Some of Holly Bertone’s friends survived breast cancer and were running marathons, while Holly Bertone could barely get out of bed.

“I picked an aggressive treatment. But in hindsight, I wish I looked for other treatments first, especially nutrition.”

Diagnosed With Hashimoto’s

Six years ago, Holly Bertone complained that she was still feeling sick all the time. Doctors initially did not take Holly Bertone seriously because this was a year after her successful cancer treatment ended. Hence, the testing dragged on and on until doctors found out Holly Bertone has Hashimoto’s disease.

Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune thyroid condition. According to the Mayo Clinic, Hashimoto’s disease primarily affects middle-aged women. However, it can also occur in men and women of any age, and in children as well. Furthermore, it is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States.

Coping with Hashimoto’s

Autoimmune diseases can’t be cured immediately, and it indeed can’t be cured overnight by taking a lot of drugs. Holly Bertone’s case was no exception. Everyday was a constant struggle.

“I was still going to allopathic doctors at that time who told me I have a hypothyroid disease. Hence, I took a lot of medicines,” recalls Holly Bertone. “My health got worse. I had migraines, brain fog, cognition issues, joint pains and chronic fatigues for five years.”

The Myers Way

Discovering The Autoimmune Solution book by Dr. Amy Myers was Holly Bertone’s saving grace. The book expounds on the causes of autoimmune diseases and how to reverse it naturally through diet and lifestyle changes.

A New York Times bestseller, Dr. Myers has helped thousands of people suffering from autoimmune diseases. The book provides a step-by-step process towards helping your body improve in a month.

“I followed her ‘Myers Way’ autoimmune protocol. I cut gluten entirely, as well as processed foods and sugar. A week later, I got rid of dairy,” said Holly Bertone. “The more foods I started to eliminate and the cleaner I ate, my health improved.”

Natural Living

Holly Bertone’s battle with Hashimoto’s wasn’t limited to food. Bent on making her living environment as healthy as possible, she eventually got rid of all cleaning products that had harmful ingredients.

Eventually developing her line of natural organic products for the home, Holly Bertone proudly only uses the best natural ingredients for her products. Her line has also expanded to making all-natural beauty products as well.

“I first got rid of harmful cleaning products. Then I learned how to make my own non-toxic cleaning products and natural beauty products,” Holly Bertone said. “It was a month before I noticed significant changes.”

My Mommy Has Cancer Book

If cancer is hard for the person it was diagnosed with, it is hard for family members, too. Children are affected the most. Hence, this book was written to help both the parents and children process their feelings about the dreaded Big C.

The book encourages parent and child to open the lines of communication about everything concerning cancer like chemotherapy, hair loss, surgery and much more. Each little topic has a break-out box that parents go over with their child to help them open up about how they feel.

“My book is for elementary kids. My stepson helped me write it. He was seven years old when I was diagnosed with cancer,” said Holly Bertone. “He and another son of a survivor helped do the illustrations. It goes through the changes that a child sees when his parent has cancer.”

Thriving In The Workplace

If things in the homefront are challenging enough, Holly Bertone hurdled another situation at her workplace. Nowadays, it is hard to find companies who genuinely empathize with employees suffering from autoimmune diseases and other illnesses.

You see, Holly Bertone worked for a federal government agency. For the past two years, Holly Bertone’s management has been very understanding, knowing she has Hashimoto’s disease and chronic fatigue.

However, when the management changed, the new team was not accommodating at all. Consequently, Holly Bertone had to get a lot of paperwork to justify her disability.

“Some laws covered my condition, but there was a lot of retributions against me. The new management was not happy that I was asking for minor accommodations regarding my health,” said Holly Bertone.

One night, Holly Bertone was so sick, that she barely held it together. Her health was failing, and Holly Bertone’s doctor wanted her to get treatment.

“I went to the doctor once, and the manager was not happy that I went to the appointment even if I had 480 hours of approved leaves legally covered. The top management rescinded it,” Holly Bertone recalls.

After four to five months of declining health and stress, Holly Bertone made the difficult decision of resigning from her job that paid a hefty salary. However, treating her experience as a blessing in disguise, Holly Bertone decided to write a book to educate individuals with autoimmune diseases on their legal and disability rights in the workplace.

“The Job Accommodation Network is a non-profit organization under the Department of Labor,” said Holly Bertone. “They can’t endorse my book, but they helped me gather info for accuracy. Their website also has a lot of good resources for people with disabilities.”

Pink Fortitude Website

Holly Bertone believes that the essence of everything that she writes about is taking whatever life hands her and making the world a better place because of it. Her yearning to help people is why she also put up her website called Pink Fortitude.

Pink Fortitude aims to help people suffering from cancer and autoimmune diseases. The website promotes a healthy and natural lifestyle through food, cleaning products and much more.

“I have faced death so many times. I don’t know when my last day is going to be. So I encourage people to strive to live life everyday with fortitude, regardless of what life hands you,” said Holly Bertone.

Holly Bertone, CNHP, PMP, is a health entrepreneur, author, and advocate. She is the President and CEO of Pink Fortitude, LLC and runs the healthy living website

Holly Bertone is a breast cancer and Hashimoto’s survivor and turned these two significant health challenges into a passion for helping others. She inspires others with her quick wit, brutal honesty, and simple ways to be healthy in real life.

Holly Bertone is a Certified Natural Health Professional, a Certified Essential Oils Coach, and is enrolled in a Naturopathic Doctorate program. She holds a Master’s Degree from Johns Hopkins University, a Bachelor’s Degree from Elizabethtown College, and is a Project Management Professional (PMP).

Her accolades include:

2016 Speaker at the Healing Hashimoto’s Summit
2015 Inspire Award from the Tigerlily Foundation
2015 Rookie of the Year Health Activist Finalist for WEGO Health
2014 Woman of the Year from the National Association for Professional Women
Accepted into the National Cancer Survivor’s Day Speakers Bureau
Ambassador for the Tigerlily Foundation and the National Breast Center Foundation

Holly Bertone is passionate about reaching out to cancer and autoimmune survivors, and also volunteers for organizations supporting our military veterans. In her free time, she loves to garden and hit flea markets and yard sales. She is married to a retired Green Beret, is a stepmother, and lives in Alexandria, VA.

Get Connected With Holly Bertone:

Official Website






Recommended Readings by Holly Bertone

Urban Monk by Pedram Shoji

Books by Holly Bertone

Thriving In The Workplace

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Paleo Thyroid Solution And Its Benefits  

Paleo Thyroid Solution is practiced by more and more people with thyroid problems, even if it takes some time getting used to the diet plan. However, my guest, Elle Russ attests to the effectiveness of the Paleo Thyroid Solution because it addresses thyroid problems naturally.  

Discovering Paleo Thyroid Solution  

Elle Russ discovered the Paleo Thyroid Solution by accident. Before that, she followed the classic paradigm for a very long time.   

Being a carbohydrates-dependent, sugar burner who over-exercised, Elle Russ admitted that she gave essentially gave herself Hypothyroidism. In fact, she battled two bouts of Hypothyroidism in 10 years.  

In addition to her thyroid problems, Elle Russ got misdiagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. She suffered for two years undiagnosed and had to cope with medication which made it worse.  

What Is A Thyroid Gland  

Why can’t we live without a thyroid gland? Well, Elle Russ explains that the thyroid gland is in charge of the production and regulation of all of your hormones, metabolic rate, temperature, heart rate and much more. Using iodine from the food we eat, the thyroid gland makes Triiodothyronine (T3) and Thyroxine (T4).  

Apparently, when one is stressed, thyroid issues arise. Over-exercising is one kind of stress, that’s why Elle Russ eventually developed thyroid problems. The thyroid can also get shut down if you eat every two to three hours everyday.   

It is essential to keep your T3 and T4 levels balanced. Otherwise, hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can develop.  


When you have Hyperthyroidism, it means that your thyroid gland is overactive and producing too much thyroid hormones. Some symptoms include a fast heart rate, anxiety, nervousness, sweating, weight loss, sleep problems and many others.  

“People with Hyperthyroidism poo all the time, so they can’t gain weight. They have bulging eyes or an eye disease that is sometimes immune-caused,” explains Elle Russ. “And because they are in a hypermetabolic state, at the end of the day, it becomes inflammatory, and they can have a heart attack.”   


On the other hand, Hypothyroidism is when your body’s thyroid hormone isn’t sufficient. Hypothyroidism is why some people have a slow metabolism. The most common cause of thyroid gland failure is Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, which is a form of thyroid inflammation.  

Another alarming cause of Hypothyroidism is surgical removal of the thyroid gland.  Because of this, Elle Russ cautions against depending too much on the conventional treatments. Sometimes, surgery and medication can make thyroid problems worse.   

Elle Russ says that Hashimoto’s is caused by eating grains and sugar.  If you can shift your diet like staying away from gluten, it is possible to eliminate taking thyroid replacement drugs.  

“Someone with Hypothyroidism will often feel cold.  The condition is also associated with accelerated aging and falling hair, so you always have to take hormones,” said Elle Russ. “Unfortunately in Western Medicine, most doctors are uninformed on the best solution for thyroid problems.”

Primal Blueprint  

The Primal Blueprint, authored by Mark Sisson, primarily teaches you how to control your genes by understanding how your body works. It involves healthy food choices and lifestyle changes to reach your optimal health naturally.  

Sisson’s research for the book showed that the modern diet laden with carbohydrates and sugars is different from our primal ancestors. Our food choices consequently are the reason behind our numerous health problems.   

“I started working for Mark Sisson about five years ago. The Primal Blueprint re-educates you about food and how to stop food addiction. I noticed so many changes when I shifted my food choices,” Elle Russ said.

Keto Reset Diet  

According to Elle Russ, Mark Sisson is also slated to come out with a new book this October called, ‘The Keto Reset Diet.’ It guides the individual through the 21-day process. However, shifting to a Keto diet is not a walk in the park, and Elle Russ advises anyone doing this diet to do it properly.   

Apparently, if you go into ketosis right away and your body starts making ketones, there are side effects like leg cramps, bad breath and body odor among others. This is because your body is not ready to process those ketones efficiently. However, if the diet is done right, it is known to reverse Type 2 Diabetes.  

Paleo Thyroid Solution  

The Paleo Thyroid Solution is a lifestyle and weight loss plan. Its primary aim is to optimize thyroid function through a Paleo or Primal diet.   

Furthermore, Elle Russ also did her fair share of research about the Paleo Thyroid Solution. Among the things she discovered is that taking Selenium helps address thyroid problems.  

Consequently, Paleo Thyroid Solution is the ultimate in adrenal management and blood glucose management. Hence, people also go on this diet plan for emotional stability purposes and mental health reasons.   

Furthermore, Elle Russ says that it takes 21 days for the brain to stop depending on glucose. Hence, Paleo Thyroid Solution is about becoming metabolic-efficient and metabolic-flexible.   

“Paleo Thyroid Solution diet is low carb, moderate protein, and high fat. It is in line with our DNA as humans and what is expected of us,” explains Elle Russ. “Part of that is not just certain foods, but rather part of that is the lifestyle. It’s about getting the preferred fuel of the human body, getting off the carb dependency train and get more fat-adapted.”

Primal Blueprint Podcast

Elle Russ is a writer, health/life coach, and host of the Primal Blueprint Podcast. She is becoming the leading voice of thyroid health in the burgeoning Paleo, Primal, Ancestral Health Movements.   

Elle Russ has a degree in Philosophy and is a certified Primal Health Coach, and she serves on the advisory board of The Primal Health Coach Program created by Mark Sisson, bestselling author of The Primal Blueprint. Originally from downtown Chicago, Elle Russ lives and plays in Malibu, CA.   

Elle Russ wrote The Paleo Thyroid Solution after consulting with over two dozen endocrinologists, internal medicine specialists, and general practice MDs, but her thyroid condition was only getting worse. Nothing from doctors resembled a solution or even hope.   

Exasperated and desperate, Elle Russ took control of her health and resolved two severe bouts of hypothyroidism on her own  including an acute Reverse T3 problem. Through a devoted paleo/primal lifestyle, intensive personal experimentation, and a radically modified approach to thyroid hormone replacement therapy, Elle Russ went from fat, foggy, and fatigued  to fit, focused, and full of life!  

Get Connected with Elle Russ:  

Official Website




Primal Blueprint

Book by Elle Russ

The Paleo Thyroid Solution

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▶ Paleo Thyroid Solution – Elle Russ & Ashley James – #189 ◀

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