Surviving or Thriving the Holidays?

“Surviving Holidays and Social Outings” is always a large concern for patients working to place symptoms of Autism and chronic conditions into remission. But is that all we want to do? Merely survive? With a little planning and some modified expectations, the holidays, and social outings can be enjoyable for every member of the family, including those with the diagnosis.

It’s important to discuss what is important to each family member, and make a plan. A plan will help replace traditional ingredients that later will cause symptoms to flare. A plan will help extended family members understand how much this mean to you, which will reduce their feelings of being hurt or offended.

The internet is flooded with recipes that provide satisfying substitutions for most traditional foods. Google Search words such as: Paleo Auto Immune Thanksgiving, Paleo Thanksgiving, SCD Thanksgiving, provide ample ideas. Starting the planning process now will not only provide food you can eat, but also reduce “holiday stress.”

Here are some suggestions to have the best Holiday Season yet:

Prepare in advance.
Talk with your extended family or friends and identify what is being served for the holiday. Feel confident to ask permission to bring your own version or something different to share with family and friends. When you are kind and Matter of Fact about living this lifestyle, more people will be intrigued than insulted. Chances are they or someone they know are struggling with digestion issues and poor health.

Sugar is a large villain, which compromises your efforts. Bring some dark chocolate to satiate your sweet tooth and help you feel satisfied in order to by-pass the dessert table. Another great way to reduce the carbohydrates is with crust-less pies or with pumpkin mouse. There are many dairy free versions of mousse, which use ingredients such as: avocado, cacao powder, maple syrup or honey, and coconut milk.

Helpful Supplements
In the event you do eat food which creates a flare, talk with Dr. Morris ahead of time about which supplements are best for you to help break down and digest the high allergen proteins more quickly such as Gluten/Dairy Digest Enzyme, L-Glutamine, or Inositol powder.

Talk with Dr. Morris about taking extra magnesium to make up for any that alcohol indulgence will deplete further from your body.

Abundance vs. Scarcity
A large piece to healing is to train the mind to look for abundance rather than scarcity. To look at what we can do rather than staring all the seemingly insurmountable obstacles. To look at what our condition is teaching us rather than what it is taking away. To look at all the foods we can eat rather than perseverating on the foods which will cause us to react/regress. Read more about Mindful Eating, and our Mind Concept Piece to include in your Care Plan.

Cook ahead of time
Try the recipes, found on the internet or in a cookbook, ahead of time. Print out the recipes and take notes. Make your own binder of recipes to use for future holidays. A little bit of planning goes a long way to feeling pleased with your food options. has a fantastic library of recipes.

Flour Alternatives
With so many patients becoming sensitive to Coconut and Almond there is the option of Cassava Flour. Cassava is gluten, grain and nut-free, as well as vegan, vegetarian and Paleo. Since cassava is a high in starch it could mean an insulin spike for you! This means use in moderation particularly if you’re following a low carbohydrate, low-sugar or Paleo-based diet. To reduce the amount of grains, a perfect place to skip the carbohydrates is the stuffing. Try a ground pork, mushrooms, green peppers, apples or pears or another version that does not require GF bread.

Translation: don’t eat cassava flour recipes at every meal! As always, moderation is key.

A Well-Stocked Baking Cabinet
Having a well-stocked baking cabinet helps to organize the ingredients, in one cabinet, to minimize the amount of time to bake your deserts/rolls for the holidays.

Use Ghee or Duck Fat or Avocado Oil to rub on the bird rather than butter. Melt Coconut Oil and Ghee together. Place in glass container and use on your GF rolls rather than butter. Use Ghee or Duck Fat for your gravy.

If your kids are the ones recovering from a chronic condition/developmental delay, it’s best if all family members adhere to the nutritional recommendations of his/her care plan. Parents are the role models and lead the family toward healing through their actions more than by their words. If you need to eat high allergen foods, then do so once the kids are in bed and there is no way for them to see you ‘sneaking’.

Eating out this holiday season? Feel confident to phone ahead and review the menu with the staff. Restaurants are becoming more accommodating to whole food nutrition and substituting out high allergen ingredients such as gluten and dairy. Taking a few minutes to explore what you can eat off the menu will eliminate the awkward feeling of asking a million questions at the celebration.

Ultimately, the holidays are for celebrating our relationships with the loved ones in our lives. Being together, communicating and sharing our experiences in life, even the burdens such as having to watch what we eat, allows those people we don’t see often to know us better.

We should never have to be ashamed that we are doing the best we can to take care of ourselves. Being matter of fact and kind enough to offer to bring safe food allows us to partake in the fun without the worries of exposure and subsequent reactions.

Wishing you a Happy Holiday Season from the Staff at Good Medicine!!

Kara Ware is Good Medicine’s Clinical Coordinator and Functional Medicine Health Coach. She also provides online courses and coaching for families living with Autism.

All That I Have Lost

“How can you stand it?”

That’s what they say when the bread is delivered to the restaurant table. I don’t have the slightest bit of sadness at abstaining from the loaf or the butter that comes alongside it. It does remind me of all I’ve lost by giving up foods that irritate my body.

Here’s a short list:

  • Arthritis
  • Life-long fight with overwhelming depression
  • Fluctuations in body weight
  • Brain fog
  • The inability to breathe during exercise
  • Lack of circulation in my extremities
  • Headaches
  • Problems with my teeth and gums
  • Regular yeast and fungal infections

Yes, I think that is a pretty good list. These things affected my life everyday, not to mention my pocketbook. (Root canals are very expensive!)

You know how a good bed salesman gets you to spend your money by telling you that you spend one third of your life in bed? I wish I could sell a good lifestyle that way, since it affects 100% of your time here on Earth. Self-love, self- respect and self-value is a gift we can only give ourselves. So when the bread comes, I inhale deeply and give thanks that at least I can smell it without consequence, and I remember (and celebrate) all I’ve lost.

Annie Morris, LMT

Thyroid and Why TSH is Misleading

Thyroid and Why TSH is Misleading

Thyroid medication is often presented as the “magic hammer,” making everything a nail. The longer I have been in practice, the more suspicious I have become of the idea that one medical remedy fixes everything. I especially felt this way about the thyroid, as people are often coming into the office thinking that they have low thyroid with very “normal” labs. Now, many years later, and after much research, I think those previous people were probably right. Thyroid is a really important piece of the puzzle that is not being treated correctly, especially by the people who are supposed to understand it, doctors and the endocrine specialists. I would like to shine some light on this essential gland and the important role it plays and why we are misguided when it comes to monitoring its function through our current methods.

The thyroid gland rests at the base of our necks and is not really noticeable unless it is palpated or a person has a goiter (low iodine and thyroid antibodies are two reasons for a goiter). The thyroid gland takes iodine from the bloodstream, of which we need about 1 mg a week, and concentrates it. This iodine, along with Tyrosine (an amino acid), makes Thyroxine /T4 (which is 4 iodines and 2 tyrosines) or it makes triiodothyronine/T3 (3 iodines and 2 tyrosines). 93% of what is released by the thyroid gland is T4, and 7% is T3. Most T4 has to be converted to T3 which is 4x more bioactive and this is what the cell needs to function correctly. Once released from the thyroid the thyroid hormone (Free T3 or Free T4) is in the bloodstream, however, it has to be moved into the cell to accomplish its many tasks (see Fig 1) and this requires energy (in the form of ATP made by cell mitochondria) or active transport. Now what’s interesting is that the gland that tells our body whether we need more thyroid, does not require energy to move thyroid into its monitoring cells. This creates quite the conundrum as we shall see.

The thyroid hormone is released from the thyroid gland by signaling from the pituitary in the brain, which is accomplished by Thyroid Stimulating Hormone orTSH. This TSH will increase or decrease production of thyroid hormone depending on the amount of thyroid hormone in the blood. The transport of the T3 and T4 into the pituitary is not dependent on energy, or in other words it uses passive transport. So if we have a condition like Chronic Fatigue, Bipolar, Chronic Depression etc., that has known mitochondrial depletion/low cellular energy status, our brain will be getting a different message than what our cells are getting. The brain will think everything is going OK, because it has plenty of thyroid, while are cells are completely deficient. The processes shown in figure 1 cannot be completed, which ironically, includes improving mitochondrial function, and so, we feel like crap.

Diagram of Thyroid TSH process

Thyroid hormone activation of target cells. Thyroxine (T 4 ) and triiodothyronine (T 3 ) enter the cell membrane by a carrier-mediated adenosine triphosphate–dependent transport process. Much of the T 4 is deiodinated to form T 3 , which interacts with the thyroid hormone receptor, bound as a heterodimer with a retinoid X receptor, of the thyroid hormone response element of the gene. This action causes either increases or decreases in transcription of genes that lead to the formation of proteins, thus producing the thyroid hormone response of the cell. The actions of thyroid hormone on cells of several different systems are shown. BMR, basal metabolic rate; CNS, central nervous system; mRNA, messenger ribonucleic acid; Na + -K + -ATPase, sodium–potassium–adenosine triphosphatase.-Guyton and Hall Textbook of Medical Physiology. 2016

So we basically get into a paradox. The cells need thyroid, but because of the cell’s low energy it cannot move into the cell. Now, the brain is getting the false message that everything is fine, because it does not require energy to get thyroid to the pituitary and hypothalamus. The cells themselves are thirsty for thyroid but the brain thinks since they are sitting in the ocean and they should be fine. As the saying goes, “water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink.” What is to be done?

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Unfortunately, there is no testing that allows us to see into the cell for thyroid levels, so once again, a conundrum. Basically, we treat by trial and error. This is an area that definitely needs more exploration, but in a recent study they found that patients with Bipolar and Major Depression responded to 4x the dose of T3 and T4 that the body requires. They did not develop symptoms of high thyroid and felt much better. Normal patients, when titrating up on thyroid meds, developed palpitations, anxiety and other symptoms of high thyroid when doing this dosing. Patients on high dose thyroid, and who needed it, did not develop these symptoms short term or osteoporosis and other long term side effects. This would make sense, because on a cellular level, they needed high doses to just to get to “normal” inside of the cell.

There are times to step out of the box when it comes to patient care. I think this is one of those cases, as the data and physiology definitely support, a trial of thyroid meds when everything looks fine in the blood tests. These are the things that need to be kept in mind when it comes to diagnosing and prescribing for patients with low energy levels and signs of mitochondrial dysfunction.

Dr. Nathan Morris, MD

Stages of Change

Happy New Year! January came and went quickly!
Does the New Year have you feeling inspired more than ever to make change? We all know we want to exercise more, eat more whole foods, and feel better! But HOW do we make the required lifestyle changes?
Let’s first review The Stages of Change. If you know where you currently are, it will help you move more easily toward where you want to go.


  1. Precontemplation: Everybody thinks you have a problem but you. The best example is the wife dragging her husband to the doctors because of her concerns for his health
  2. Contemplation: You are aware you have a problem, but feel it’s really hard to change. Depression is at an all-time high because you know you should change but feel like you can’t. It’s not the right time with Valentine’s Day & Birthday’s this month plus fear of change are common barriers. You feel stuck.
  3. Preparation: You haven’t made changes yet but have made some of the initial steps. You have been thinking more about what you want and why. You have been looking at different foods in the grocery store. You’ve been reading and preparing.
  4. Action: You have started making the change you have desired to make. You are no longer afraid to give up old patterns and you move right into the action.
  5. Maintenance: You have achieved your goal. Your feel stable with this change in your life and it is now a part of you. It’s time to circle back to precontemplation and start the process over to layer in the next piece of your care plan.



Stages of change


Change happens in community, not in isolation. If our friends and families are eating toxic food then we are 50% more likely to repeat those same patterns. Families work together to identify what do they want and what are some small changes they can make together. Our homes are the headquarters for our healing. Everyone in the home gets on board with the nutrition and lifestyle required to heal the one with the diagnosis. This creates a United Team; which makes social situations much easier to navigate. When we feel good and confident about our choices and when we practice being Matter of Fact that we are choosing rather than acting as though we are being deprived our friends interests may be peaked. Chances are they too are living with a chronic condition. Read HERE for some more social strategies.


Change: to cause to be different. Doing something different can be uncomfortable, even frightening. Fear of change is a big issue. This makes us stay with what we know even if we are unhappy. But note: staying the same and not making any decision to change are still decisions. A good tool is to use the Change Assessment Tool. What are the pros to remaining the same; what are the cons? What are the pros to changing, what are the cons?


Your brain actually wires itself and forms neuronal connections based on what you do over and over in your life. Vegging out in front of the TV. Having a sugar fix. Sipping soda. Fixing a cocktail to unwind after work. Smoking cigarettes. Biting your fingernails. These activities literally become wired into your brain.  Your brain is a self-reinforcing feedback loop. We are creatures of habit. Over time, patterns evolve which determine your brain’s form and function. What you do, experience, think, hope, and imagine physically changes your brain.You may have the desire to change but you first have to dissolve the old tracking so the pattern is no longer automatic and unconscious. How? Read more here.


When we start this road to heal the root cause of our symptom sets; it’s something we will start and only getter better at living the solution. It’s not something we try for a few months and then give up because we don’t see the results we are seeking. You must identify small steps, which are reasonable, and which interest you. Overtime, these small steps will accumulate into big change. Overhauling our lives and then growing exhausted and more stressed from the drastic change is counter intuitive to healing. Look for our next post on care plans.


There is no one thing that you can do to improve any one symptom. These foundation pieces to a Functional Medicine Care Plan must be priority. This foundation is how we make the medical interventions provide results. There is no silver bullet. Results come from establishing a strong foundation. Next you continue layering pieces to work in combination to maximize the medical piece. Once you place something into your plan you maintain it just like pouring the footers of a home’s foundation. What small things can you do to improve the following foundation pieces?

  • Sleep and Relaxation
  • Exercise & Movement
  • Nutrition & Hydration
  • Stress and Resilience (identify stressors and areas where they have been successful in the past so to tap into strengths)
  • Relationships and Networks

Kara Ware is Good Medicine’s Clinical Coordinator and Functional Medicine Health Coach. She also provides online courses and coaching for families living with Autism. You can read more here.

The Mind Piece

These 4 Key Concepts along with other gratitude practices will be a leading force in restoring your health and freedom. These Key Concepts, or perhaps ones you create, will help you no longer rely on will-power alone. By practicing these key concepts, and other positive psychology tools,  you will heal self-sabotaging, destructive thought patterns. This is how we create successful and sustainable behavior change.


We believe Autism and Chronic Conditions are a tap on the shoulder to learn how to live a life to best support our bodies to function more optimally. Once we begin to accept we are exactly where we are meant to be, doing exactly what we have been called to do, the anger can begin to subside. Choosing gratefulness in place of anger helps to embrace what is being gifted to us by our healing journey, rather than focusing on all that may be taken away. This concept can help to heal past traumas, grief, and anger, all of which contribute to the development of chronic conditions and can sabotage our efforts to heal. In order to heal, our thoughts must be aligned with our end goal of improving wellness to reclaim our freedom. “Our thoughts create our words, our words create our actions, our actions create our habits, our habits create our reality.” Ghandi  When we think about what we are thankful for and talk about what we are doing to improve our wellness and reclaim our freedom, more opportunities seem to present themselves. This is how we maximize our healing experience. It is common for patients’ lives to become more fulfilling and happy because of life lessons learned and past traumas healed from living the solution to place symptoms of Autism and Chronic Conditions into Remission.


When we become aware of our thoughts and our words, we choose actions which create an Atmosphere of Healing.  Rather than talking about the stress and despair associated with Autism, and Chronic Conditions, we actively practice talking with our children and spouse about what we want, what we are presently working to layer into our care plan, and what we are thinking to layer next. This will include everyone in co-creating this atmosphere, in and outside of the home. Everyone in the family is living the solution. Many family members will have similar symptoms as the one with the diagnosis, perhaps to a less severe degree however, everyone will benefit from this lifestyle. When everyone is included in the atmosphere of healing, the family can focus on the solution rather than constantly staring at the problem. The home becomes the headquarters for healing. The home is our safe haven where we protect our air and water quality and the foods we have available. When we constantly stare at the problem, we only get more evidence of that problem. What we focus on grows. Recognizing when we have depressing thoughts and replacing those thoughts by answering the question “What Can I Do right now?” and by practicing other positive psychology tools, we can steer ourselves in the direction of creating an atmosphere of healing.


A great idea for families is to have weekly Family Meetings to determine what everyone CAN DO to adopt this lifestyle and to contribute to the Atmosphere of Healing. When we include our kids in our decision-making process it empowers them as part of the solution. This can even be done around the dinner table. Everyone needs to be involved, even if your child seems like they can not understand the conversation, I can bet they understand more than we give them credit.  The entire family is affected by the diagnosis, therefore, everyone must be a part of the solution. What Can I DO helps to train our minds to shift from the depressed chain of thoughts commonly associated with Autism, and  chronic conditions to identifying what is reasonable to do so we can build upon our success. Some days, we will be able to do more than others. However, the more we identify what we can do and act upon it, and become consistent, the more confidence, motivation determination, and conviction we will feel.  This is when the behaviors and symptoms stop being the focus and stop ruling our world. This is how we own our own healing.


Friends, Co-Workers and Extended Family can challenge a health care plan which is different than the “standard of care.” When you are in social settings, it’s important to be Matter of Fact that you are CHOOSING to eat foods which are not high allergen foods. You CHOOSE to remove as much burden from your body as you can to help it to heal. There is no reason to argue with others who feel Gluten Free is a fad or a waste of time. Being Matter of Fact about your conscious choices will help you to build confidence and to stay on board even in social settings. Chances are you could be helping save someone else’s life leading by example.
Care Plan Appointments are fantastic ways to learn more about positive psychology tools. These tools help us to better understand the philosophy of healing. We can be eating all the right foods, and taking all the supplements but may never experience improved wellness or regain our freedom. Healing is much more than nutrition and supplements.

Call today to learn if Care Plan Appointments are a good fit for you and your family. 513-273-9944.

Kara Ware is Good Medicine’s Clinical Coordinator and Functional Medicine Health Coach. She also provides online courses and coaching for families living with Autism. You can read more here.

Here is to “Silly Acting” Disease!

Here is to “Silly Acting” Disease!

There is a local doctor who often rides my patients for being Gluten Free, which they are with my encouragement, so they can effectively treat diseases from Autism to Arthritis. He is making fun of the fact that the majority of the medical establishment really only recognizes Celiac Disease as a reason to stop gluten in one’s diet and so being gluten-free without this diagnosis was to have “Silly Acting” Disease. Pretty witty right? I thought so and laughed, after my ego driven indignation got out of the way.

Well in honor of the saying “Just cause you don’t believe it, don’t make it so,” here is the link to the British Medical Journal article on the separate disease process of Gluten Sensitivity and how it is a wholly different inflammation process and affects many more people than Celiac Disease.…/e…/2016/07/21/gutjnl-2016-311964.full

There, my indignant ego is much better, thank you!

Dr. Nathan Morris, MD

Pimple Be Gone

So often with disease, as I am often apt to point out, we can prevent it. Once again here is a disease process that has its connection to your diet, even though a lot of doctors claim there is no connection to food, the data does not bear this out. It’s interesting something so commonplace and insufferable as acne is treatable without meds and is so readily responsive to changes in lifestyle. Puberty does not have to be the “Time of the Pimple.”

Testosterone increases the size of sebaceous (sweat) glands and this is why puberty brings about increased incidence of acne. We cannot get rid of the testosterone, although most parents of teenagers would love to, but we can defuse the powder keg this hormone presents to the sebaceous glands by addressing the “fuses.”

Acne is a response to inflammation. This inflammation and hormonal changes affect how your sweat glands react. With increased swelling your sebaceous glands get clogged, infected and viola’ you have acne. No amount of face washing will rid you of this problem. You have to get to the bottom of it and it starts with your fork-let me explain why.

Pimples are a symptom of disease just like water on the floor is a sign of a broken sink. We need to fix the sink if we are going to get rid of the problem and not just mop up the floor. There are several underlying factors in acne and I will explain how by addressing these we are going to fix the “sink.”

Acne is one of the signs of the body having insulin overload. That is why eating lots of sugar and processed food predispose you to this problem. Insulin is responsible for building up tissues and growth. It makes sense that sebaceous glands (sweat glands) also would grow from its stimulation and we get acne. To solve this aspect of acne it becomes simple-stop eating or drinking crap with high sugar content and foods that are highly processed. This is simple in theory but becomes hard when we think about all the things we eat that fit this description, but it is a place to start. With the demise of Hostess this all becomes a little easier.

Milk is another hidden acne contributor. Although the marketing for milk suggests it does a body “good,” I have to disagree. This food has insulin growth factor 1 in it, and increases insulin resistance in the long run. Research Link With this molecule the sweat glands are more primed for overgrowth and a “bad” diet, greatly increases our predisposition to acne and eventually, when one looks at its mechanism of action, diabetes. No society that lives without milk as a staple suffers from bad health or weak bones. We will be just fine without it and our skin will thank us.

“Warning: Broken record to commence….” Inflammation is caused by diet. Gluten is a very inflammatory molecule in our diet. Keeping gluten out of our diet, or at least to a minimum, will decrease inflammation. Inflammation causes acne so gluten elimination is another factor to consider as treatment.

Supplements are helpful in acne and zinc is a must. This simple element in one study reduced acne from 100% to 15%. This has to do with anti-inflammatory processes and improvement in insulin receptors. This needs to be elemental zinc and 30 mg a day is very helpful (Zinc Piconilate is my favorite because of increased absorption). Other supplements that should be considered include Chromium at 200 mg a day (improves insulin resistance) as well as Selenium (400 mcg) and a very good omega 3 fatty acid (fish oil-decreases inflammation along with good diet).

Acne is not inevitable for teenagers or adults. We have to change our lifestyle and make better choices in our diets and make sure our deficiencies are addressed. Testosterone increase for young adults is inevitable, but with lifestyle changes this plague on teenage dating is easily treatable and can help those adults who are suffering as well from diseases of increased testosterone such as Polycystic Ovary Disease.

Mindful Eating

Eating is an art, a practice, and should be a pleasure in all cases.

The mindfulness movement is a big one and I wanted to dedicate this article to all the teachers who have been trying to teach mindful eating. Because of them, I woke up this morning with a great memory.

My Daddy, rest his soul, was a tolerant man. In a house where no one questioned much, as was traditional, I dared to ask a question about what I thought was being religious. I asked why we pray before we eat. Daddy looked at me with a little shrug and simply said, “Makes it taste better.”

He probably said that to hush me, and it worked. What he may not have known was that he was absolutely correct.

Pausing before one eats, whether there is spoken word or not, allows the body to get ready to experience food and the nutrients therein.

The body’s parasympathetic nervous system is activated by breathing, anticipation and bringing our full attention to what is in front of us. Our “rest and digest” systems do not kick in if our mind is thinking about 5 different subjects, especially those that have nothing to do with the present moment.

Here are a few tips that bring Mind to Food, and aid in digestion:

  1. “Never eat on your feet.” A brilliant suggestion by a mindfulness teacher I heard talk last month. This is a huge battle for me personally. I grew up in a big family and we never ate standing up. I grew up and decided it was more efficient to do so, and worst of all, I have not had a place to sit and eat for the last 10 years. I would cook (nibble as I cooked) and serve and stand to eat in the same place. It was not a pleasure to eat. I ate to get it over with. Now, I have a family table, plenty of kids old enough to help me so that we can all get to the table and eat….and yet, I find myself eating upright sometimes. Just a terrible habit. The trick is to recognize it, recover from it, and sit down to eat.
  2. Before you start to eat, pause. Taking 5 mindful breaths gives one time to contemplate, give thanks, and appreciate where the food came from. Whether done in complete silence, or in the form of a traditional Southern Baptist prayer (no offense Mama. You know I love you more ‘n my luggage.), this type of breathing lowers blood pressure, heart rate and puts the body in a restful state, calling the blood to the internal organs and allowing digestion to be efficient and effective for nutrient absorption.
  3. Activate your sense perceptions. Look at your food, smell it. When food is colorful, the eyes will activate the digestive glands as well as the nose will. The odor of food influences the tongue’s taste buds. The more we experience our food, the more satisfying it will be, and consequently, the less we will eat. I should say, we will be satiated sooner. This feeling often has no bearing on the amount we end up eating….especially if there is an abundance of something we love. It takes a lot of mindfulness to realize when we are satisfied, but not stuffed.
  4. Chew food until it is watery, then swallow. This mindful action not only allows for proper digestion by activating the salivary glands and those in the stomach getting ready to receive the food and break them down, but also enhances the food experience by allowing the food to touch all of the taste buds in the mouth, which in turn tells the stomach what kinds of enzymes it will take to process the food and how much of those it needs to make. I believe fast eating and improper chewing is the main reason people end up with reflux disease.

I know when I am conscious of these things, I have a really different food experience, my body reacts to that by feeling more energized when I need it to be, and that I sleep better because my body isn’t as stressed as it is when I wolf my food down.

Life is all about pleasure, and nourishing our bodies has a true purpose.

Let your purpose be a pleasure.

Sit down, slow down and enjoy all that is there for you.

Annie Morris, LMT

Alzheimer’s, One Or Two Lumps of Sugar With That?

Alzheimer’s, One Or Two Lumps of Sugar With That?

I am often amazed at the number of patients who feel that due to family history they are doomed to a particular disease. One of the most frightening of these “inevitable” diseases is Alzheimer’s disease.

I have some skepticism with “cures” as they suggest we are powerless until the medical industrial complex saves us. I do sincerely hope that we find a “cure” for Alzheimer’s, but in the meantime let’s go with what we have, and boy do we have a lot to go on, especially in the area of prevention. That this disease is preventable and even treatable, yes it is treatable, is welcome news and I’m glad to give it.

As so often occurs in life, you don’t get something for nothing, so let’s explore what you should be doing now to not only prevent Alzheimer’s but other diseases such as diabetes and what kind of changes it will require.

They are now calling Alzheimer’s, Type 3 Diabetes, because of its intimate connection with the brain cells inability to move sugar into the brain cells secondary to insulin resistance. Studies are now showing the Alzheimer’s and insulin resistance go hand in hand. This is relatively new science as it was long thought that the brain did not need insulin for uptake of sugar but that is not true, especially in the area of the brain needed for memory. With insulin resistance your brain basically starves, as it can no longer move sugar into the brain to create energy to stay alive.

So the solution seems easy right? Pass you another Ho-Ho you say? Yeah, if only that were the case…but that just makes it worse, unfortunately for you and your Ho-Ho addiction, despite what Marie Antoinette would have to say about your brain and what it should eat. It’s like dying of thirst in the middle of the ocean. To understand this we need to understand that sugar is a two edged sword.

Sugar is our preferred energy source but too much of a good thing, is well, too much. Our cells start protecting us from it because it causes damage to cells when there is too much of it. In this way sugar actually prevents energy production, and stunts the body’s ability to clean up toxins as it should.

Much like Lucy and Ethel in the famous candy factory episode, there is so much excess sugar and nowhere else to store it, that it ends up back in the blood stream (stays on the conveyor belt) continuing to circulate, raising blood sugar and ultimately causing insulin resistance in the cells.

Insulin resistance causes cells to “starve,” brain cells need sugar, so insulin resistance/diabetes causes brain cells to “starve” to death. As studies have shown it’s hard to have Alzheimer’s without insulin resistance.

We consumed 4 lbs of sugar a year 100 years ago and since then some estimates have us consuming over 140 lbs per year! “Holy Crap” is what you should be thinking right now and rightly so, that is a lot! Where does all this sugar come from? Most patients I talk to invariably tell me that they don’t eat much sugar, but as I pull apart their diet I start pointing out the numerous sources we don’t think of as being loaded with sugar and without realizing it, their diet is loaded with sugar.
Every thing that comes in a package should be considered refined (broken down from a whole food and made into a processed food) which in and of itself is creating simple sugars that enter the bloodstream very quickly and cause sugar overload. Then there is the hidden sugar in such “great” nutritious foods like yogurt. Most of it is full of sugar. Soda, diet or not, is too blame for a great deal of our sugar pounds (diet soda increases appetite and in some studies causes more weight gain than regular soda).

Avoiding this is simple. Eat food without modification, i.e. whole foods. Here is a great place to start… . I find it to be quite helpful in understanding healthy foods.

Every time we smoke, eat char-grilled foods, get exposed to mercury, eat chemically modified foods, or get exposed to pesticides, to name a few examples, the body cleaning system has to be diverted to clear these toxins and cellular clean up is slowed and insulin resistance is brought on as cells shut down energy production until “wastes” can be removed. We are on are way to Alzheimer’s, cancer, or diabetes by choosing increased toxic exposure through non- organic foods or inflammatory foods such as “fast food” and other environmental pollutants such as BPAs from plastic bottles etc.

What are we to do? Even if we have already started on the path of Alzheimer’s we can help delay these processes with changing lifestyle , and with well chosen foods and supplements we can even reverse the damage or least stop the decline.

Coconut Oil
One of the most fascinating food substances that helps with Alzheimer’s is coconut oil. This food remedy is starting to show up more and more in mainstream media and Alzheimer’s groups due to in large part from the efforts of Dr. Mary Newport, who wrote a fascinating book, “Alzheimer’s Disease: What if There Was a Cure” about how her husband was brought back from the brink of dementia with the use of medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil.

This is an unfairly disparaged food source, which is very healthy and bypasses the brain’s dependence on sugar. Our brain loves the energy provided by coconut oil and will use this instead of sugar when it can no longer utilize sugar effectively. Not everyone responds to this but a majority of Alzheimer’s patients have noticeable improvement with 1-2 tablespoons twice a day in shakes, used like butter, or used for cooking. It does not cause heart disease and may actually help, so give it a try and read up on it in books such as the “The Coconut Oil Miracle.” What a wonderful energy source it is for the brain that bypasses the brain’s need for sugar.


  • The use of Co Enzyme Q10 is a great place to start at 100-200 mg a day and is very potent anti-inflammatory.
  • Magnesium is another essential element at 600-900 mg a day and would use Magnesium Taurate for the calming effect of Taurine on excitable neurons. Magnesium is also important for insulin resistance.
  • Green Tea Extract, from high quality supplement manufacturer such as Thorne, is extremely potent anti-inflammatory and helps with insulin resistance.
  • Vitamin D3 at 2000-4000 IU per day with a high quality Curcumin supplement at 1000 mg a day has actually in studies been shown to remove plaques of Alzheimer’s from the brain and is also a very good combination for diabetics (noticing a pattern yet?).
  • Omega 3 is a potent anti-inflammatory as well, and in studies has been shown to be beneficial in diabetes and Alzheimer’s. Invest in high quality products to avoid an increase of inflammation. Poor quality fish oils are oxidized (exposed to oxygen) during processing, and therefore cause more damage to cells.
  • A good multivitamin oriented toward diabetics such as Pure Lean Nutrients from Pure Encapsulation (one of my favorite multivitamins) that contains some of the previously mentioned nutrients plus diabetic nutrients such as chromium, zinc, and cinnamon all in one bottle.

So are we cursed to follow our family history? Not at all, and most importantly we are in charge of our destiny as we combat so called inevitable diseases such as Alzheimer’s/Type 3 Diabetes. As Mark Hyman MD** puts it so succinctly- the greatest tool for treating these diseases is our fork.

** Great book by Dr. Hyman which explores the sugar problem in America is Blood Sugar Solution- a must read if you want to understand this better