Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Anal Retentive Chef - My Idol

So for those of you who know me best you'll have no problems seeing the resemblance to the anal retentive chef and myself.  So without further ado I present to you my idol...

Monday, October 4, 2010

My New Website!!

I just launched my new website that aims to educate others on health and wellness.  I hope everyone enjoys it!  Check it out at:

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Trials and Tribulations of Two Years of Hard Work

As many of you may already know I've embarked on a new journey about two years ago thanks to my podiatrist and now friend who got me started on a road to a healthier me.  I wasn't in bad health to begin with but then again I'm considered young and a lot of chronic diseases are just starting to develop silently when you're my age.  So off I go changing what I eat, how much I exercise, and how I manage other lifestyle choices all in the quest to be the best that I can be.  Little did I know that doing something so positive would bring such negativity from others.  Not that it's all been negative because I have gotten some great compliments and wonderful support from many who care about me and love me but sometimes the pot shots add up over time and get the best of you.

You're probably wondering what I'm talking about.  Well, since transitioning to where I am today I will admit that I've lost weight (a small amount of fat around the waistline) and gained muscle mass (not much but I'm much more toned now).  I wasn't born with a big frame in the first place so for a guy living in America it's not really "cool" and readily "accepted" to be small and lean.  My major changes have come in the means of the foods I eat.  I have enthusiastically delved into the scientific literature to cut through all of the confusion and advice given out there from everyone from your doctor to those tv commercials.  What I've discovered is really eye opening!  What I found was that the more humans transition from eating animal based foods to plant based foods and stay away from refined sugars/carbohydrates and eat a low fat diet the better their state of overall health.  So this is what I've done and have never felt better and have never had better blood work because of it.

I've experienced such great improvements and benefits from all this that I wanted to share the information with others.  And so started a 6 week online course to get certified in plant-based nutrition.  And in the meantime I put every spare moment and ounce of energy I've had into creating and developing a website to help share this good news with others in hopes of making a positive impact on their life.  Everything I've aimed to do in this journey has been to become a better person and help others be the best they can be.  And yet despite all of my efforts I've run into numerous trials and tribulations along the way.  I'll list them below.

-  I've been told I'll never be able to produce change and that people are set in their ways and unwilling to listen.
-  I've been told I look anorexic because I've lost about 10 lbs.
-  I've been told that I almost resemble a cancer patient because I've lost weight.
-  I've been told that I need to put some meat on my bones and bulk up because apparently that's the popular way to look in America if your a man.  Big and heavy regardless if health problems go along with this.
-  I've been told I need to drink some protein shakes because I'm not getting enough despite the fact that my protein level came back normal in my blood test - this was told to me by a dietitian by the way.
-  I've been told I exercise too much even though I'm exercising the recommended 5-10 hours a week which certainly isn't excessive by any means.  If that's too much then I would hate to hear what would be said about professional athletes.  This again was told to me by a dietitian.
-  I've been told that I'm going to waste away if I keep doing what I'm doing.
-  I've been told that I won't have enough in reserves if I get sick despite the fact that living the new life that I live has been proven by science to reduce and almost eliminate the chances of becoming sick.
-  I've been told that my food choices are "extreme" and "drastic".  Apparently failing to conform to America's thirst for fast food, fatty steaks, and over piled plates is a sign of radicalism despite the fact that science proves those choices cause endless years of suffering with chronic diseases.
-  I've been told I'm not qualified enough nor do I have the credentials to dispense any advice on these life saving diet and lifestyle choices because I'm not a dietitian and don't have the letters "RD" behind my name.  Apparently spending 2 years with my face in numerous books and articles written by well respected physicians, continuing my education in the field of nutrition, reviewing between 400-500 scientific studies on health and wellness, and spending in excess of 300 hours doing the research and leg work to build a website on how to achieve optimal health is not good enough and makes me an idiot who doesn't know what I'm talking about.  I actually lost a close friend because of this one.  This one definitely hurt the worst.

So there you have it a small glimpse of what I've went through over the past 2 years.  I've been beaten up and kicked when I was down as well as ridiculed along the way but I refuse to give up.  I've been brought to tears especially by losing a friend over all this but again I refuse to give up.  I've dedicated my life outside of my full time job to this entire process sacrificing much of my free time that I could have spent with family and friends but again I refuse to give up.

Why you ask?  Because sometimes in life doing what you were called to do does not include failure regardless of how much suffering or sacrifice has to take place.  I'm not here on this earth to see how big of an ego I can develop or see how much money I can throw around in the face of others.  That's never been my goal.  I don't give up as much time as I do or purposely go around with the intent of bragging about myself and what I've accomplished to get attention from others.  I do what I'm doing because I care about others and how they're experiencing life.  I want nothing but the very best for them and I would never and don't feel that I've ever come across as forcing anybody to do anything they don't want to.  I've only tried to share information that could benefit them now and in the long run.

We are only given one life to live.  And all I hope you can do is when you see someone else pouring their heart and soul into something that means so much to them and their efforts only succeed in producing a positive impact on other's lives then don't ridicule them and tell them they're not good enough even if it is in a joking manner.  Those type of actions only accomplish something negative and do nothing to help.  Instead take some time to understand why they're so dedicated and you too may end up being filled with the joy and fulfillment that they are experiencing as you embark down a path you probably never thought was possible.

My new website -

Monday, August 23, 2010

What is Your Word Worth to You?

Russell Bishop (Educational Psychologist, author, executive coach and management consultant) just wrote a great article depicting the importance of what it means to actually be a person of your word.  This concept seems to be lost in today's world leading to a lot of disappointment.  Could this be why so much of government and business and people in general are hard to trust nowadays?  I'll leave that for you to decide.

The best part about this is that we can all do something about this.  If we all make good on our promises and commitments then it can only serve to make this world a better place even if it is only done as baby steps at first.  Not that I'm a perfect human being or expect others to be 100% perfect but I think you'd agree with me that when a friend or family member or even an acquaintance makes good on their word it brings comfort and security for you and a sense of integrity to them.  Everybody wins!  So next time you give your word to someone follow through on it and pay close attention on how uplifting this can be for both you and the other person.  Now go out there and make somebody's day.

If you get a chance read Russell Bishop's article below.

How Much Does Your Word 
Mean These Days?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Why Do You Do What You Do?

Did you ever wonder why you go about life living the way you do?  Like why you chose to work in the career or job that you're in?  Or why you chose to get behind a cause that you support?  Or maybe even why you chose to buy that fancy new smartphone or GPS device?

GPS systems didn't just appear overnight and consume the general public to the point where just about everyone has one in their vehicle nowadays.  I mean heaven forbid if we actually had to stop and ask for directions in today's world.  How embarrassing would that be?!  Gone are the days that someone would actually have maps from Triple A shoved in their glove box so tight that you can hardly get the damn thing shut.  And I bet you anything that if you were to ask someone back in 1980 if they would shell out $200-$500 for a device that would take their Triple A map and put it in a little computer with the screen size that's hardly bigger than a credit card they would probably think you're nuts!  Not to mention adding in the fact that they would have to spend another $50-$125 to update the maps every year or two so they didn't get lost.  But we don't laugh now and instead probably roll our eyes when we find out that one of our closest friends doesn't have one of these things.  So how did we get here?

Well chances are that the only reason that you find yourself where you are in life today is because someone somewhere decided to take a risk and be different.  They decided to brush off the nay sayers and do something that was neither popular nor thought to be possible at the time.  They did it because they believed in whatever it is they were doing.  And they knew that someday we would believe in it too.  These are the people that lead and inspire.  They are the reason that we take part in a 3 day walk to find a cure for breast cancer or spend our weekend scouring the kiosks in the mall for the newest 3G phone.  Now the question you have to ask yourself is are you one of these people?  Or do you want to become one of these people?  Well here's their secret to success:

Monday, July 19, 2010

Uniquely Hardwired

I got to thinking (which is always a scary thought I've been told many times by my closest friends) that maybe there's something wrong with me. Or maybe it's not wrong but maybe it's just me being unique? Anyway, what I'm getting at is that I was thinking about life today and what it is that fills this life that I live. What it is that I feel that I'm really good at. And the thing that kept entering my cerebrum is the thought that "I'm good at working. Yes, I'm really good at working!" I'm not a big fan of sitting still and often go crazy after about 5-10 minutes of doing just that. Yes I know this may seem very draining to many of you but it's exhilarating to me in many ways.

It seems that I am always working at something in my life. I'm working at work. I'm working "volunteering" on my "weekends" or days off. I'm working during the evenings when I've got a few spare hours away from work trying to get some kind of chore or task done. Now it's not that I don't ever take time to just relax and have fun. But it seems like this is more of a rare occasion than anything else. I'm always trying to accomplish something by working towards making a positive impact on the world around me.

Currently I'm working extra shifts since we're short staffed at work. I'm also working during a majority of my time away from work at trying to build a company and a website from the bottom up that will help guide people to achieving a healthier life both physically, mentally, and emotionally. And then on the side I'm working by taking an online course to get certified in plant based nutrition to further my expertise in building my company and website. I'll be working even more after that by continuing my education and taking another online course to get certified in anticoagulation therapy this fall.

Even though I take some time off it's never really a lot. In fact, I've actually cashed out PTO (paid time off) because I've accumulated more than I can bank. And when you can bank 300 hours that's a lot of time off! I can't possibly think of what I would do if I would take all that time off?!

If you think of it, that's really a lot of work! I'm sure you're feeling exhausted just reading about it or maybe you can relate. It's funny because when I meet other people for the first time and they inquire about what I like to do for fun I actually have to pause and think about this for awhile. I often perceive a lot of odd assessments going through their head when they see me hesitate. They're probably thinking "Who doesn't automatically know what they like to do for fun?!!!" And it's not that I don't like to have fun but rather that a lot of the "work" that I do at least away from my real work (job) IS having fun to me. In a way, I can't imagine my life any other way. If I could single handedly save the world with my efforts I would. But that would take a lot more work that I'm capable of doing.

It's a good thing I'm single and have the time to accomplish so much. Then again maybe that's why I'm single :-) And it's most certainly a big reason why the whole having children thing is out of the question for me now and forever. Not that having and raising a family is bad it's just not for me. I love the way I live my life and look forward to what I can accomplish in the next 60-70 years.

In the mean time, I guess I'll just keep working because the feeling I get from reflecting on the difference that it all makes really touches home to me. It leaves me with a smile inside that no human can see. And that's worth every last second that I've ever spent "working". So if you see me and I'm actually taking a break in life cherish it because it won't last for long! I can't help but think of what my uncle was always saying when it comes to life.... "You can rest when you're dead." Well I'm not dead yet :-)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Just Be And They Will See

I saw a sign in front of a church today when I was taking my walk. On this sign was the following quote - "Coincidence is when God chooses to be anonymous".

When we live a life of example which portrays love, compassion, and kindness to others it resonates within them. When we preach at people it tends to offend them or be a major turn off. The best part about life is that we all have the freedom to choose how we live. It's not necessarily about being religious. It's about being an example of God's anonymous :-)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Jaime Oliver's Food Revolution

I watched the first episode of Jamie's new show and I have to admit that I'm hooked! This is inspiring. I'm seeing more and more healthy food and nutrition information making it out there in the mainstream media. With a little bit of fun thrown into the education part of a healthy diet we can all become better individuals :-) I hope you enjoy the show as much as I did.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Today's Actions, Tomorrow's Hope

I just watched the new remake of We Are The World (Haiti style) and I have to admit I love it! I loved the original version too. They both make me smile :-) If only we could all put into practice the message within the song as we go about our daily lives this really would be an even better place to live and learn from each other.

I ask of you this... do something that makes a positive impact on one person today and carry that forward to tomorrow. And don't forget to comment and share your story right here to inspire the next reader that comes along.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Today's Miracle Pill... Bet You Can't Guess What It Is.

If I had a dollar for every time someone ask me if there was ONE pill that could cure everything I'd be a very rich and happy retired pharmacist sipping my umbrella drink on a tropical island right now. Of course there is no such thing as a miracle pill but the latest evidence based medicine would suggest there is a pill that comes close. In fact this pill is really, really inexpensive and readily available to anyone who wants it. I bet you anything you'd never guess what it is. You want to take a stab at this one?

The answer is vitamin D and no I'm not kidding. I feel so strongly about the overwhelming evidence that vitamin D has on us that I couldn't keep it a secret any longer. So let's get down to business!

Vitamin D comes in a few different forms. The most common forms are Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Cholecalciferol is the natural form of vitamin D found in the human body and is the preferred product when taking supplemental vitamin D. You can read more about the different vitamin D forms here - Vitamin D pharmacology. Many people get vitamin D naturally from the sunlight which their skin converts to cholecalciferol in the body. But vitamin D can also be obtained in the diet although in small quantities that fall short of your daily needs.

So will taking vitamin D cure everything and prevent 100% of any human ailment? Of course not and it would be inappropriate and irresponsible for me or anybody else to tell you this. But will vitamin D drastically improve your long term health? Absolutely without question! Adequate vitamin D levels have been proven through evidenced based medicine to improve your chances against heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, dementia, autoimmune diseases, arthritis, gout, and the list goes on and on. Dr. Frank Lipman wrote an excellent article detailing many of the important aspects of vitamin D titled Vitamin D:What You Need to Know.

Dr. Soram Khalsa recently wrote an article about how studies have shown that adequate vitamin D supplementation reduced breast cancer risk by as much as 50-60%. Now find me a prescription medication that can do this. You can read the full article titled Breast Cancer, Integrative Medicine, and Vitamin D for more information.

Life Extension recently published a comprehensive article on vitamin D in which they studied the results of over 13,000 patients who supplemented with vitamin D and routinely checked their vitamin D levels. They found that inadequate vitamin D levels were found in approximately 85% of these patients. They also noted that vitamin A, often found in many multivitamins in the retinol form (not the beta-carotene form), actually works against vitamin D and it's positive health benefits. They recommend that your multivitamin has no more than 1,000 units of vitamin A in it for this reason. I would encourage you to read their article titled Startling Findings About Vitamin D Levels in Life Extension Members.

What is considered a "good" vitamin D level? First off, the most accurate vitamin D test to have done is the 25-hydroxyvitamin D level which is also known as 25(OH)D level. Your doctor can order this test if you ask. After reviewing multiple articles on vitamin D supplementation I've found that the experts deem a 25(OH)D level of 50 ng/ml the minimum level to adequately prevent the many chronic illnesses that can affect us. NOTE: You need to know your number!! Many labs and even physicians might tell you that you are fine and that you have a "normal" vitamin D level but many of them are also considering a level of 30 ng/ml or above a "normal" level even though the latest scientific literature convincingly proves otherwise.

Can you have too high of a vitamin D level? Vitamin D toxicity is almost non-existent in the documented literature but there seems to be a lot of misinformation and fear among patients and health care practitioners that this is not the case. Please read the Vitamin D Council's page on toxicity here - The Truth About Vitamin D Toxicity.

You're probably asking how much vitamin D should I take? That's a great question and varies depending on each individual. The elderly and individuals with darker skin tones do not readily convert as much sunlight to vitamin D as most others. You may also need more vitamin D if you don't spend much time outside in the sun or are in a northern climate which keeps you inside more than your southern neighbors. As a general rule most people need at least 4,000 units of cholecalciferol per day and some may need up to 10,000 units per day. Before you go and start taking a vitamin D supplement I recommend that you talk to your physician about it and get a vitamin D level done. That way you can individualize your dose with your physician's help to best meet your health needs. Another note for those who have the following conditions you need to talk to your doctor before starting Vitamin D therapy - sarcoidosis, severe kidney disease, primary hyperparathyroidism, and any condition that has resulted in an elevated calcium blood level.

Vitamin D has really come into the spot light over the past few years and more research is being done as we speak to try and determine how and why it works like it does in the human body. But there is just too much proven scientific evidence on the health benefits of vitamin D to ignore in my opinion. As a pharmacist I'm always searching for the safest and most effective way to produce positive health outcomes and to prevent disease in people. And even though prescription drugs have their place in treating patients I would much rather see all of you out there take proactive steps to delay the day that you have to start on the powerful drugs that I work with every day. My goal is to see all of us take steps to prevent the chronic diseases that plague most Americans by eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and taking a minimum amount of necessary supplements. And if you choose only one supplement to take I highly recommend that it be vitamin D (cholecalciferol). It's your life and your health and I think you deserve to be the best that you can be. With your physician's help you can make great strides in achieving optimal health. Now go out there and educate yourself and take control of your own destiny!