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Examining The Science of Weight Loss [Part 1]

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Most Canadians, approximately 61%, are considered overweight or obese. Weight loss is a billion-dollar industry consisting of how-to books, fat-burning supplements and surgical procedures designed to curb appetite and shed pounds.

While there are many diets and programs that claim to help you lose weight, very few of them have stood up to scientific scrutiny and have withstood the test of time.

Early weight-loss diets focused mainly on caloric intake. Researchers thought that weight gain was exclusively due to eating too many calories.

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Simply put: We were consuming too much energy from food and not expending the same amount of energy through daily activity. Consequently, the leftover calories were then stored as fat.

While this model appeared to be correct at the extreme ends of the spectrum, restricting calories without paying attention to food quality proved to not be the healthiest approach.

By the 1970s, researchers believed that overconsumption of saturated fat was the reason people became overweight. Partially based on the work of Dr. Ansel Keys, saturated fat became Public Enemy No. 1 for the next 40 years.

Canadians were encouraged to do away with traditional cooking oils, such as lard and butter, and replace them with vegetable oils and margarine. Unfortunately, obesity and heart disease rates skyrocketed during this period of fat phobia, especially among children.

There has recently been renewed interest in low-carbohydrate diets. The first recorded use of a low-carbohydrate diet to treat obesity was in 1863 and was the standard of care up until the 1940s. Today, many people who have incorporated a low-carbohydrate diet have already experienced incredible results.

This is because the Standard Canadian Diet consists of a large refined carbohydrate intake from bread, rice, pasta, sugars, sodas and juices. The Canada Food Guide even recommends that the majority of our calories come from refined carbohydrates.

Unfortunately, excess carbohydrates (sugars) are quickly stored as fat. Also. many new studies have shown that excessive carbohydrate intake leads to obesity, heart disease, diabetes and even certain cancers.

It would seem that replacing refined carbohydrates with healthy proteins, vegetables, some fruits, nuts and good fats could dramatically improve overall health and keep the weight off.

However, this is only one piece of the obesity puzzle.

Newer studies point to certain packaged foods as a culprit in the obesity epidemic. They are cheap, readily available and these “foods” are now chemically engineered to stimulate pleasure sites in the brain.

Essentially, food companies are now creating addictions in adults and children and some people can’t help but eat foods that are unhealthy.

As time goes on, we find that obesity is a more complicated issue than simply what and how much we eat. Additional studies have shown individual differences in weight loss due to vitamin D levels, stress, quality of sleep may also play a role.

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to weight loss. However, there are some basic principles that hold true for (almost) everyone.

In my next column, we will review simple lifestyle changes you can make to for healthy weight loss.

Two Docs Radio – Episode 2 is Live!

In this episode we continue our discussion about sick infants and what you can do as a parent to help. We also talk about breakfast smoothies, alkaline water jugs and whether they are just placebo. Finally, a quick discussion about the delicious goodness that is Caveman Coffee loaded with MCT oil.

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The 4 Steps to Health and Wellness

Have you ever wondered why some people can eat what they want and never gain weight? Or why some heavy drinkers and smokers can still live to be 100? Why do seemingly healthy people still develop chronic illness? The answers may shock you…

While conventional health care has succeeded in extending lifespan, it has failed miserably when it comes to improving the QUALITY of life. We are living longer, yet still suffer from more chronic disease and illness that ever before. What are we missing and what do the longest live people in the world do right?

On April 26th, 2014 from 10am to 1pm, our next “Essential Health Makeover: Living to 100″ will cover just that. This 3 Hour event will change how you view health, for the better!

By focusing on 4 Essentials of Health and Wellness (Nutrition, Fitness, Function/Mobility and Mindset) you can begin to take steps to restore optimum health and wellbeing.

You will learn:

  • Who are the longest lived people in the world and what do they do right
  • Cutting edge nutrition and diet solutions that will help you burn fat, reduce toxicity, and boost energy levels, without fad or starvation diets.
  • Functional exercise that takes only 12 minutes to boost metabolism and rebalance hormones.
  • How to care for your body and help repair chronic, nagging injuries and reduce inflammation.
  • How to set goals and create a mindset for success.

You will receive:

  • Customized shopping lists
  • Discounts from our sponsors
  • A list of best places to buy organic foods
  • Door prizes and much more…

Click here for event details: VERY Limited Seating! Register today!

New Podcast: Two Docs Talking About Stuff!

Two_Docs_Icon_300x300Hey guess what? I have a PODCAST on iTunes with Dr. Sukhi Muker. It’s good and funny. Check it out and leave us a review:

“Two docs talking about the latest and greatest in health, wellness, happiness, life and everything else in between. Sometimes deep, sometimes weird, but mostly funny.”

Subscribe in iTunes.
Also available on Soundcloud.com

9 Top Superfoods

imagesYou may have heard the saying: “you are what you eat.” While this may be technically true, when it comes to building real health you are not just what you eat, you are actually what you absorb.

This is because, not all foods are created equal. Anyone who’s ever experienced a junk food craving, understands the difference between what you should eat, versus what you want to eat.

Humans are classified as omnivores. This means we could technically eat anything we wanted, including non-food items, and our bodies will do their best to process and absorb these through our digestive tract.

Absorbing the right vitamins, fats, minerals, carbohydrates and proteins are one of the keys to abundant health and longevity. Few people could argue about the benefits of a diet rich in live, whole foods being better for your health and longevity than pre-packaged, refined junk foods.

While fruits and vegetables traditionally have been the undisputed kings and queens of nutrient density, there is a subcategory of foods that have been labeled “superfoods”.

Superfoods pack quite a nutritional punch relative to their serving size and have healing and restorative properties that go far beyond regular fruits and veggies.

Here’s a short list of some of the most potent superfoods on the planet:

Kale – The undisputed champion when it comes to Vitamin K and calcium. Kale has more calcium than dairy and fortified cereals combined. Best eaten lightly steamed, baked or raw in small amounts.

Dark chocolate – Anything over 80% is high in minerals like magnesium and copper and low in sugar content. Also, dark chocolate is full of heart healthy flavinoids. A great treat.

Cherries – Are rich in anti-oxidants and known for their anti-inflammatory properties used by those with gout and other arthritic conditions. Cherries are great for repair and recovery after intense workouts too.

Wild salmon – Wild caught is best and highest in heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids. Also high in selenium which tends to offset some of the mercury toxicity found in all fish. 2-3 servings a week are generally recommended.

Sea vegetables – Woefully lacking in modern diets, kelp, seaweed, arame and sea asparagus are high in iodine and good salts which can promote thyroid health and have powerful anti-cancer properties.

Wild Blueberries – Immune boosters that attack dangerous free radicals, these potent little antioxidants are low in sugar content and ideal for those wishing to limit their fructose intake.

Coconut oil – A good medium-chain fat that is a versatile cooking agent and a potent energy source. Heart healthy, powerful immune booster and it is a great supplement for those wishing to burn fat.

Free-range eggs – A great source of protein and good fats, free-range eggs are also high in Vitamin D, choline and omega 3s. The best eggs are from chickens allowed to run free and forage in pastures.

Grass fed liver – Often overlooked, liver, especially grass fed beef liver, has more vitamins and minerals than any fruits or vegetables on the planet. Best consumed from grass fed and humanely raised sources.

Adding these delicious and nutritious superfoods to your diet, along with eating a diet low in refined carbohydrates and toxic foods can help you promote longevity, health and wellness.

How To Make New Years Resolutions That Last

resolutionsNew Year’s celebrations are an ideal time to reflect on our past success and challenges, as well as make new plans for the future.

Whether you resolve to make better health choices this year, change careers or begin that weekend project you’ve been putting off, New Years resolutions are essentially promises we make to ourselves to be better than we were last year.

However, many people will start the year out right with a new routine, motivation and a gym pass in hand only to fall back into same old routines and bad habits once the holidays are over.

In fact, the average New Years resolution will fail within a few short days of the start of the calendar year.

The reason for this is the difference between simply being motivated to change and being truly inspired to improve your health and subsequently, your life. In other words, if there is no purpose behind the change, other than a new calendar year, then chances of success are low.

How many diet/exercise/nutrition books did you read this year? Great information is exciting and can motivate you to make some changes in your life, but these changes are only temporary when there is no inspiration to continue.

How can someone get truly inspired to improve his or her health? Consider these statistics:

● Canada is the seventh most obese country in the world according to World Health Organization statistics.

● Diabetes rates have increased 70% since 1995. Type II diabetes is no longer called “adult-onset” because it now occurs in children as young as five.

● Heart disease and cancer are the top two disease killers, most of which can be attributed to lifestyle.

This year, instead of making the same old New Years resolutions, decide to make permanent, lasting, transformational changes for your family’s health.

Remember, change doesn’t happen overnight. It will take planning, research and commitment to make it happen, so stick with it!

Thankfully, there are plenty of resources out there to help you. Also, if you need some extra help, send me an email and I’ll be happy to point you in the right direction. Make it a great year!