Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Human Digestive Process Dissected


Did you ever wonder what happens to your food once you swallow it? We’re all familiar with the fact that we need to eat food and drink water in order for our body to function properly, but what exactly happens after that tasty piece of blackberry-peach cobbler gets swallowed?

You’re about to find out, as I share with you a series of videos detailing the basic processes and biology of the human digestive system.

Some surprising pieces of information are detailed in these videos answering some common, yet, compelling questions we may not always think about when chowing down on that plate full of food. These bits of information include:

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Five Conditions Linked With Metabolic Syndrome

by guest blogger Jody Perrecone


Look at the checklist below and make note if you have any of the follow conditions:

  • High Triglycerides – 150 mg/dL or more.
  • Low HDL Cholesterol - below 40 mg/dL for men and below 50 mg/dL for women.
  • Abdominal Obesity – a waist circumference of 40” or more for men and 35” or more for women.
  • High Blood Pressure – 130/85 or higher (or if you are taking high blood pressure medication).
  • Elevated Fasting Blood Sugar – 100 mg/dL or more.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Fresh Mex Black Bean and Brown Rice Un-Burritos


Do you love Mexican food?

I do! I could eat Mexican cuisine everyday and die a happy man. I love my beans and rice. And salsa too. If this sounds good to you, then let me share with you one of my favorite "go-to" meals that I turn to at least once or twice a week.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

It’s Easy to Start Eating Vegan! Yummy Plants 101 Book Review


Food plays a profound role in our individual lives, especially in terms of our health. It also plays a role in the future security of our planet, and all the creatures inhabiting it. It has now becoming widely known that adopting a plant-based (vegan) diet can positively impact the health and lives of all the world’s living creatures.

So how do we do it? How do you go from the typical Western diet of burgers, fries, pizza, and backyard barbecue fare to a diet of delicious, colorful, health-promoting plant foods?

Maybe you find yourself in this position. Maybe you’re ready for change. You’ve mentally determined that you are ready to make this change, but now what? Where do you turn for answers?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Lean Meat “Health Advice” is a Big, Fat Lie and It’s Keeping America Sick


We’ve all heard it before, if you want to get healthy consume less red and processed meats and eat more lean meats (i.e. chicken, turkey, fish). Right?

Your neighbor, family members, friends, and even your doctor tell you to do this. It’s all over the media. You can’t go five minutes without hearing a commercial raving about the importance of getting enough lean protein for optimal health.

Is this true? Are chicken and fish the superfoods of proteins? How lean are these lean meats? What does this mean for you and your health?

You’ve probably pondered these questions in the past, and you’re about to find out the answers. But first, if you have questions about protein, in overall terms of the diet, then please read my article, 35 Ways to Counter the Vegan Protein Interrogation.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Boost Health With Booster Foods

Wakame Seaweed Salad
by guest blogger Jody Perrecone

Booster foods are foods containing a high amount of phytonutrients which are needed to protect us from environmental toxins (car fumes, cigarette smoke, water, household cleaners), heavy metal contamination (mercury, lead, aluminum, iron, cadmium) and free radicals which damage our body’s cells. 

Below are some of the lesser known booster foods. Our defenses can be optimized by including the following booster foods in our diet:

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

How to Adopt a Plant-Based Lifestyle Even in the Middle of Nowhere


Adopting a healthy lifestyle can seem nearly impossible for many, especially when it comes to eating habits: I don’t have time; It’s too hard to find anything healthy; It’s too expensive.

These are just some of the excuses we throw out at some point when trying to convince ourselves that this new lifestyle is just not doable. All of these reasons can have some validity too, but only if you let them.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Vitamin B12 - Why You Should Never Go Plant-Based Without It


There are two vitamins not found naturally in plant foodsvitamin D and vitamin B12. Vitamin D is obtained via the sun. Not all people need to supplement with vitamin D. You can learn more about that topic in my article - Vitamin D: To Supplement or Not To Supplement?

Vitamin B12 is also absent from plant foods, at least unprocessed plant foods. It is only found in animal products such as meat, seafood, dairy products, and eggs.1 There are many plant-based (vegan) food items which are fortified with B12cereals, non-dairy milks, meat substitutes, and so forth. However, these usually come in the form of a package with many other not-so-healthy ingredients in them so they’re not always the best choice.

So who cares about vitamin B12? Why make such a big deal out of it?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

9 Cancers That are Increased by Drinking Alcohol (Even in Moderation)


It’s been a long day at work, you’re tired, and nothing beats an ice-cold drink to wash away all of life’s stresses. Sound familiar? Many in today’s world love to unwind by having a drink or two at the end of their evening.

We commonly refer to this as casual or social drinking, being a light drinker, or drinking in moderation. Whatever you label it, there are some serious health risks that go along with this type of drinking. Namely, cancer.

Yes, I just said the ‘C’ word. While we’ve known for decades that heavy, chronic alcohol consumption leads to liver disease, including cirrhosis of the liver, our society is not as familiar with the fact that even light drinking* can lead to severe health consequences too.1

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

3 Myths of Consuming "Healthy" Oils



Olive oil is heart healthy. Coconut oil performs miracles. Flaxseed oil is a healthy source of omega-3s. These are the health claims purported in internet articles and scientific articles across the globe with these oils and others.

Are they true? Do these oils actually come through as the end-all, cure-all for all our aches and pains? Can heart disease really be cured by simply consuming large amounts of olive oil in the diet? Does coconut oil reverse Alzheimer's disease?

The health claims associated with oils are tempting, but don't believe the hype. Today you are going to learn the answers to these questions and more as I break down three common myths purported as truths when it comes to "healthy" oils. You will also learn about fat in the human diet and how much is actually needed in order to maintain a finely-tuned human machine.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Overcome Overweight

by guest blogger Jody Perrecone

According to Business Week Magazine, dieting in America is a $40 billion a year industry. For a majority of Americans, these diets don’t work and are a waste of money. People are looking for a quick fix, and when it comes to permanent weight loss, a quick fix won’t fix the problem of overweight. 

In fact, the quick fix diet can do more harm than good. When too few calories are eaten, muscle mass is reduced and much of the weight loss is water. Once off the diet, the body can go into a starvation response, leading to a weight gain of only fat. The American Psychological Association reviewed 31 diet studies and after two years, found up to a third of the dieters weighed more than when they began the diet.1 Repeated failure at weight loss gives us a sense of failure and little hope of successful weight loss.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Dear Drug Company: Thanks, but I'll Pass on the Free Food

During pharmacy school, my classmates and I were promised a future with seemingly endless streams of cash - $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

In fact, I remember on several occasions when one of my pharmacy professors would bring this up in a joking, yet lighthearted manner each time we'd face a grueling assignment or exhaustive exam in his class. "Just remember, you make lots o' money one day as pharmacist," he'd say in his fun-loving, Southeast Asian accent, as he rubbed his index finger and thumb together towards us. He meant well and was a very nice man, one of our class favorites actually. He always seemed to make things more bearable while going through academic torture during those tough years in pharmacy school.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Calcium Myth - More Is Not Better


Adopting a healthier lifestyle leads to a lot of questions. Adopting a whole foods, plant-based diet as part of a healthy lifestyle leads to even more questions. Aside from the question of, How do you get enough protein?, the question of How do you get enough calcium? is usually next on the minds of others.

Getting enough calcium without consuming dairy products can seem like an impossible feat for those unfamiliar with the science behind calcium and human nutritional needs. It's not as complex or difficult as it may seem though. Unfortunately, the dairy industry has marketed immense fear into the minds of both healthcare professionals and lay people that a severe calcium deficiency will unfold if you don't consume their products. This is not true. Allow me to explain.

The Role of Calcium in the Human Body

Calcium plays several roles in the human body besides its responsibilities in maintaining strong, healthy bones. Calcium helps regulate muscles contractions, blood clotting, cell to cell signaling, and proper functioning of the nervous system (nerve impulse transmissions) [1,2]. While less than one percent of calcium is used for non-skeletal functions, greater than ninety-nine percent of calcium can be found hard at work in the bones. Calcium provides our skeletal system with the strength it needs to support the human frame. Without it, we'd be limp noodles unable to stand up and walk around upright. Calcium is definitely a vital mineral.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Sugar Wars

by guest blogger Jody Perrecone



A war going on in the courtroom between competitors you may not be aware of. Both parties are trying to convince you they are right and are fiercely competing for your dollars.

This is not just a sweet disagreement between two competitors. The Western Sugar Cooperative, which represents sugar growers and processors and the Corn Refiners Association, representing high fructose corn syrup manufacturers including Archer-Daniels Midland and Cargill, are in an all-out high stakes battle. In addition, each have spent millions of dollars on lobbying lawmakers in Washington, each attempting to discredit the other.

It’s a battle between the sugar industry and the corn refiners. And the stakes are high. We unknowingly eat a lot of sugar -150 pounds of sugar per year per person according to the USDA. (Picture thirty 5# bags of sugar in your cupboard!) Impossible you say? A form of sugar is present in nearly all packaged foods as well as in foods you may not think have added sugar including ketchup, yogurt, peanut butter, salad dressing, canned vegetables, and frozen foods.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Plant-Based Pharmacist on Hawk Health Hour Radio Show

Recently, I had the pleasure of being Joel Chudnow's special guest on his weekly radio show, Hawk Health Hour. Joel has done over 800 health radio show segments to date and is very passionate about wholistic health.

Joel and I had a lot of fun during the show and hope it is entertaining and informative. Topics discussed were my upbringing in rural Montana, my pharmacy background, and a look into some of the most common chronic diseases that affect a wide spectrum of the population such as heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and more.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

**Note** - Joel asked me about supplements at the end of the show. We had only a few minutes left. I did not get a chance to mention that I encourage and recommend that those on a plant-based diet take a Vitamin B12 daily. Other than that, supplements have not been shown to make a meaningful or significant difference in improving chronic diseases and overall health. What's more, some supplements increase your risk of cancer. To learn more check out my webpage - Supplement Wisely.