Category: Health & Wellness

I believe that there is a continuum between optimal health and disease. And what I see in my practice everyday is how different grades of sub-optimal functioning can appear at any point along it. For example, before your car’s brake pads give in and your brakes fail, years of wear and tear have been slowly eroding the pads. The same thing happens with our health. Before we develop a disease, or even symptoms, there have usually been months or years of progressive “wearing down” of optimal functioning. Our body has a large reserve, which it uses to maintain health, but it can be depleted or worn down over time. Only then do we experience disease, it doesn’t just happen out of the blue.

To use a natural metaphor, when a plant is sick or not doing well, it is crucial to look at the environment within which the plant is growing – what is the quality of the soil, is it getting enough nutrients, does it have enough sun or water, are roots or bugs from other plants impinging on its growth. This is exactly how I see our health and my role as a physician is to improve, promote and boost the bodies natural healing ability. This fosters immunity and resilience to illness, allowing us to truly blossom and experience good health.

My method is simple but effective: I remove what may be harming the body or preventing healing while at the same time replenishing it with what is needed. Unfortunately, most doctors do not see the health this way as we are trained to treat symptoms of disease as opposed to learning what keeps people healthy. We are taught crisis care medicine in hospitals and how to take care of acutely ill patients. But most of us are not sick enough to be in hospital and we have chronic conditions that are not dealt with well by this medical model. So we need to use Western Medicine wisely and appropriately, which often means looking beyond it, for solutions to our chronic and ongoing health problems.

Healing Hormonal Imbalances and PCOS

I’ve been a hormonal mess since I was 21 years old and never realized that hormones were causing so many unwanted symptoms in my body until I was diagnosed by a functional medicine doctor with PCOS. I had started gaining weight, while eating the healthy foods I had always eaten. I was having insomnia and headaches and irregular periods. Getting diagnosed with PCOS has made me realize how important it is to support your hormones every day because they drive so many of your body’s daily abilities that we often don’t realize until we start to feel awful side effects. I honestly thought PMS was the only side effect from imbalanced hormones, but once I started to heal my headaches and insomnia and exhaustion, I realized that hormones were contributing and causing many of these symptoms I was experiencing every day.

Metabolism Boosting Smoothie Recipe

One of Frank’s core beliefs is that food is information. So feeding your body with the right foods can significantly impact both how you feel and your overall health in general.

One of the easiest starting points is a healthy breakfast, one that is loaded with good fats, protein and phytonutrients that will keep you feeling satisfied and energized all morning.

My favorite metabolism boosting smoothie recipe contains a couple of key ingredients known for their energy enhancing qualities.

How the Side Effects of Medications Can Make You Feel Old

Leo came to see me because he felt that his current array of doctors—an internist, a cardiologist, a rheumatologist, and a psychiatrist—just weren’t making him well. A lawyer in his mid-50s, Leo had gone for a routine physical and was found to have high cholesterol and mildly elevated blood pressure, two conditions that had led to a veritable cascade of medications.

3 Clean Recipes from Amie Valpone’s New Book
Eating Clean

It’s time to think not just outside the box, but out of the bag and the can as well. With my EATING CLEAN: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight inflammation and Reset Your Body (on sale March 8th, 2016) you will learn how to get on a path to better health and wellness by eating whole natural foods and eliminating toxins from your diet. I’m not into labels. This isn’t about being a vegan, vegetarian, or flexitarian. If you want to come up with a name for what this is, knock yourself out, but the most important thing is to eat foods that make your body feel good.

Why Sleep Deficit is Real and Serious

Sleep is often the first casualty of our busy lives. We cut out an hour here and there in our quest to fit more into the day, working on the assumption that sleep is unproductive.

“I might be wiped out tomorrow,” we think, “but if I stay up a little later, I can accomplish more.”

To pass sleep off as an extended stretch of downtime is to dangerously mischaracterize it. Far from being at total rest during sleep, our bodies are intensely busy: While our waking minds go on autopilot, some of our bodies’ most sophisticated mechanisms rev up to do the hard work of repairing and maintaining nearly every aspect of our physiology and psychology.

Hey Man…You Need Yoga!

In the female dominated world of yoga, I’m actually seeing more men attending my yoga classes. Although the classes I teach are more of a power yoga style, they’re still coming week after week and I love it. It shows me that the old association of yoga being touchy feely, only for women and for hippies is finally making its breakthrough. Men are understanding the importance of adding yoga and stretch to their fitness routine and those who are consistent are seeing results.

10 Ways To Beat The Winter Blues

There are those who embrace winter and those who have to brace themselves for it. Not only does the profusion of cold and snow tend to drag spirits down, but the lack of daylight really does a number on mood, often sending it to a dark place. Be it a slight case of the blues or full-on SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), the symptoms tend to leave people feeling fairly lousy, with some combination of exhaustion (despite oversleeping), carb cravings, feeling withdrawn, moody or blue.

2016 Resolution #6: Meditate More

When I work with clients, they often think that the most important things to focus on when cultivating greater health are diet and exercise. While these are incredibly important for optimal health, stress reduction is just as important and often falls to the wayside. Meditation is one of the best tools out there to promote a relaxation response in the body and soothe your parasympathetic nervous system. Here are my top tips for developing a regular meditation practice.