11 Ways to Make Environmentally-Friendly Home Improvements

Environmentally Friendly Building Outside of my favorite hobby, chiropractic, I enjoy building things.  I have been interested in construction since I was a young boy building cabins with my Lincoln Log set to see how high I could build it without it falling over.  I am passionate about conservation of this earthly world which, draws me towards the topic of how construction has evolved to become more sustainable and eco-friendly.

I remember when I was in grade school that the idea of eco-friendly construction was just emerging.  The science may have always been there but the conscious effort of society to implement such practices really began to materialize.  Use of solar panels, LED lights, and green materials all became a reality in modern construction. Renewable resources are considered in many different avenues from turning saltwater into drinking water or even turning water into combustible energy.  It is exciting to see that we are progressing towards becoming more sustainable from a personal level to a global level.  It makes me proud of the human race when we spend our hard-earned money on trying to conserve the one and only earth that we have.

I recently did a small remodel in my house and some of the possibilities for products on the market these days is amazing!  Here are some great ideas for your next home improvement project:

  1. Schedule a consultation with a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) consultant. It is now a standard in evaluating whether your building is up to speed in creating a carbon footprint.  A certified person will check your whole house and help you make more eco-friendly decisions about your homestead.  It is crucial to look for sustainable ideas to help conserve energy and resources for the future of humanity but also for the greater good of the person.
  2. Install solar panels.
  3. Use LED light bulbs.
  4. Install or replace roofing with light-colored tile roofing. It outperforms the shingle ones when it comes to decreasing temperatures.
  5. Make sure new faucets, sinks, tubs, shower, toilets, hot water heaters are free from leaks.
  6. Consider bamboo flooring. The newest bamboo flooring that has come such a long way since it found its way into popular American culture.  The bamboo hardwood floors are very sustainable because bamboo grows very fast and is harvested and regenerated without leaving much of a carbon footprint.  Not to mention that some bamboo can now actually looks like common hardwood floors such as oak or pine.
  7. Replace your outdoor lighting with motion detector lights.
  8. Use bio plastics and other bio materials. The advancements in materials science are allowing us to take renewable resources such soybeans, sugar cane, hemp, and soybeans and turn them into construction products.
  9. User alternative insulation made from recycled newspaper, blue jeans, plastic, or wool.
  10. Use these types of paint: low VOC (volatile organic compound) paint, no VOC paint, natural paint, non-toxic stain.
  11. Use caulks and adhesives made from soy or low VOC.

Some of these products are a bit more expensive or harder to find but it’s worth it.  I believe that, as we continue to invest time and energy into advancing these ideas, one day we will see buildings as high as the empire state building made from eco-friendly materials.

Next time you decide to upgrade your home, think about the choices you make and how it can impact our beautify and amazing earth.

Dr. Andrew Kender
April 1, 2015

Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. David Starkey, Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians
Visit us at: www.balancingyourchemistry.com


10 Tips To Help You “Cut the Cheese.”

dairy-free-diet10 Ways To Help You “Cut the Cheese.”

Living dairy free, or should I say without cheese, sounds like a sentence worse than death to most people.  I know I thought so when I decided to cut all dairy from my diet about 18 months ago.  Was it hard?  Yes.  Is it still challenging at times?  Yes.  Was it worth it?  Absolutely!  Whether or not to try a dairy free life is a decision that is beyond the scope of this article because symptoms and the reasons for those symptoms vary.  Find a good functional medicine doctor that is very well-educated on how to treat metabolic issues naturally to help you with this decision and be your lifetime wellness partner.  The purpose of this article is simply to share some of my tips on how to live dairy free.

    1. Adopt All Things Coconut! Coconut oil, coconut butter, coconut flakes, coconut water are all your friends.  By now, I’m sure you are aware of the amazing health benefits of coconut. Its great on veggies, baked potatoes and as a substitute for every cooking oil for stove top cooking.  The difference between coconut butter and coconut oil is that the former has all parts of the coconut (including the meat) while the oil does not contain the meat.  Both are great but I find the oil easier to use.2. Replace cow milk with almond, cashew, rice, or other non-dairy milks. Try them all to find your favorite. You can use them all in recipes that call for milk.

2. Replace cow milk with almond, cashew, rice, or other non-dairy milks.  Try them all to find your favorite. You can use them all in recipes that call for milk

3. Try ghee instead of butter.  Ghee is claified butter with the milk proteins, sugars and water removed and is remarkably good.  You can make your own or just buy it in your favorite health food store or on Amazon.  To make your own, try this recipe: http://paleoleap.com/making-clarified-butter-ghee.  Or, try this brand: http://www.amazon.com/100%25-Organic-Ghee-Grass-fed-Cows/dp/B00E0WB292/ref=sr_1_4?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1426546142&sr=1-4&keywords=ghee

4. Try pizza without cheese. You would be surprised how good it is without it.  Also, some pizzerias offer a “white sauce” made from a garlic oil.  Some white sauces contain cheese.  Be sure to double-check.

5. Try a sour cream substitute or recipe. There are lots of dairy-free sour cream recipes out there – just google it.  J   One recipe I love is for avocado cream. Check out this recipe-http://www.worthcooking.net/avocado-cream-dairy-free-sour-cream-substitute

6. Stick to very dark chocolate or some of these substitutes: http://www.godairyfree.org/ask-alisa/ask-alisa-what-brands-of-chocolate-do-you-recommend-for-dairy-free-consumers

7. Talk to your waiter or the chef. When eating out, talk to your waiter.  Ask them if  the chef can make the item you want dairy free.  You’ll be surprised at how often the answer will be, yes!

8. Try some of these dairy-free cheese options – cashew (or other nut cheeses), nutritional yeast, Daiya (it melts), tofu-based cream cheese. Admittedly, some of them are not so great and/or contain soy (which I do not eat), but everyone’s taste is different and if you are really craving cheese, one of these might do the trick!

9. Bring a dairy free dish to a party. Until I learned this trick, the hardest situation to be dairy free was when I went to a party with lots of dairy appetizers.  Now, I make one of my favorite dairy free recipes and bring it along.  This way, I know I’ll always have something I love to eat.  Hint: never tell people its dairy free; most of the time, no one will ever know.

10. Try Coconut Milk ice cream. I’ve saved the best for last.  Coconut milk ice cream is remarkably good – rich, creamy and dairy free!  I’m an ice cream love so I’ve tried them all.  My favorite brand is Larry & Luna’s Coconut Bliss.  Check them out: http://coconutbliss.com

Hopefully, these ideas create some excitement (instead of dread) at the prospect of being dairy free.  I promise that if your health journey includes being dairy free, it will be worth it!

March 16, 2015

Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. David Starkey, Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians


2015 Moderation Guide


Moderation2015 Moderation Guide

As we further our journey in the 2015 calendar year, I feel it is important to remind those who don’t already do so, to “Stop and smell the roses!!”

The word moderation itself can mean so much to so many.  I personally believe that the word moderation can apply to all aspects of life.  Whether it is the food we choose to eat or the activities in which we choose to engage on a daily basis, moderation must play a role.

Remember the song by Harry Chapin, “The Cats in the Cradle?”  If you don’t, you need to check it out.  The song speaks of a man who is always too busy in life to enjoy the beauty and grace of his family, especially his son.  The man progresses through life without ever paying attention to the most precious things in life and in the end wants to make peace with the things that are lost, but it is too late.  The son has moved on without his father.  You are left pondering the grim reminder that we are all only here for such a short time and that it is not worth missing the day-to-day gifts that we have.  This song is a powerful reminder to myself each time I hear it to moderate the time I spend stressing  about getting every little thing done, thinking that once I’m done with everything, then I will be happy. When, in a true sense, it makes me happier to sometimes blow off that chore the “needs to be done” and play with my son or go on a hike with my wife.  Next time you choose something that didn’t really need done over your precious friends, family or other important people in your life, STOP!!  Smell the Roses!!

“If you have found honey, eat only enough for you, lest you have your fill and vomit it.” Proverbs 25:16 ESV.  The Bible speaks of moderation in many passages throughout.  This reference to the way we eat is a powerful message passed on through the age of time.  I often must remind myself that moderation is not only healthy for the food lifestyle I choose, but also for the greater good of humanity.  If I choose to be gluttonous in the ways that I eat, does this not take from the mouths that are hungry?? Does it make me less of a humanitarian??  I am not here to answer those questions for you, but to provoke thought into the choices you make each day.

“The quality of being moderate, restraint, avoidance of extremes or excess, temperance” is how www.dictionary.com defines the word moderation.  The website also classifies the word as a noun but I think we need to treat the word like a verb in 2015.  Let’s put moderation into action in how we think and act throughout this wonderful year.

Remember…”Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is the present and that’s why it is a gift.”  Enjoy the day! Try to find the good hiding in the bad and moderate your attitude into a positive force!!

Dr. Andrew Kender III
March 13, 2015

Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith Ungar and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians
For more information, visit us at www.balancingyourchemistry.com



The 14 Best Ways to Avoid BPAs

Baby-Bottle-BPA-Free       The 14 Best Ways to Avoid BPAs.

By now, we all know that BPAs (Bisephenol A) are bad.  Unfortunately, because it is a chemical used in the production of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins, avoiding it can be difficult.  According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, a division of the NIH:

The primary source of exposure to BPA for most people is through the diet. While air, dust, and water are other possible sources of exposure, BPA in food and beverages accounts for the majority of daily human exposure.

Bisphenol A can leach into food from the protective internal epoxy resin coatings of canned foods and from consumer products such as polycarbonate tableware, food storage containers, water bottles, and baby bottles. The degree to which BPA leaches from polycarbonate bottles into liquid may depend more on the temperature of the liquid or bottle, than the age of the container. BPA can also be found in breast milk.

How widespread is the problem?  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found detectable levels of BPA in 93% of 2517 urine samples from people six years and older.[1]

So what can you do about it?  How can you limit your exposure to BPAs in our disposable, convenience-oriented world?

  1. Don’t microwave polycarbonate plastic food containers. Polycarbonate is strong and durable, but over time it may break down from over use at high temperatures.
  2. Choose the safer plastic container by the recycle codes on the bottom.  Some, but not all, plastics that are marked with recycle codes 3 or 7 may be made with BPA.  #2, #4, and #5 are better.
  3. Swap plastic wrap for parchment paper, glass jars, or beeswax cotton wraps.
  4. Reduce your use of canned foods.  Even so-called BPA free cans may contain BPS (another estrogen mimic) or PET film (which may contain DEHA).[2]
  5. Swap kitchen plastic for glass, porcelain or stainless steel containers, particularly for hot food or liquids.
  6. Use baby bottles that are BPA freeIn July 2012, the FDA issued a regulation stating that there is to be no BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups. 
  7. Keep plastic out of the freezer, microwave and dishwasher. “BPA and Phthalates leach from plastics at a higher rate in hot or cold temperatures.”[3]
  8. Choose BPA free coffee by using glass or stainless steel kettles, pots or percolators.
  9. Bring your own mug to the coffee shop. Paper cups are often lined with plastic.
  10. Choose glass soft drink bottles (if you have to drink soft drinks). Aluminum cans are lined with BPA.
  11. Breastfeed (or use powdered baby formula).“BPA transfers through breast milk, so protecting you also protects baby.  More BPA leaches into liquid than powdered formula.”
  12. Choose electronic receipts and tickets.[4] Thermal paper, including receipts and movie/airline tickets contain BPAs. The BPAs then transfer to your finger and can leach into new paper products including your toilet paper.  It’s a better choice for the environment too!
  13. Choose wood and cloth toys. They are an excellent toxin-free alternative to plastics and the cloth ones can be thrown in the laundry!
  14. Talk to your dentist. Some dental products contain BPA.

 The bottom line is that we probably cannot avoid BPAs altogether but the risks associated with BPA ingestion are serious enough that it’s not a bad idea to try to at least limit our exposure.[5]

Caroline Boardman
March 8, 2015

Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. David Starkey, Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians

[1] http://www.cdc.gov/biomonitoring/BisphenolA_FactSheet
[2] http://www.medicinenet.com/plastic/page2.htm
[3] http://www.davidsuzuki.org/blogs/queen-of-green/2013/05/12-ways-to-avoid-hidden-bpa/
[4] http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2014/03/the-health-risk-of-bpa-in-receipts/index.htm
[5] Childhood asthma – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22353195;  endocrine system disruption (World Health Organization), effects on the brain, behavior and prostate gland in fetuses and children (FDA and National Toxicology Program), possible alteration to human development (NTP) – http://www.toxtown.nlm.nih.gov/text_version/chemicals.php?id=69; effects the immune, cardiovascular system, nervous and reproductive systems – http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2010/01/expert-q-a-toxicologist-linda-birnbaum-on-bpa/index.htm

14 Things You Didn’t Know About the Dangers of Soft Drinks

Say No to Soft Drinks14 Things You Didn’t Know About the Dangers of Soft Drinks

Did you know that the percentage of people who drink soft drinks has decreased by 20% since 2008?[1]  There is a reason for that – people today are educating themselves and taking an active role in their health.   We all know that the sugar, the artificial sweetener, the acidity and the caffeine are harmful.  If these facts alone did not convince you to join the 20% that have already dropped soft drinks from their daily diet, I’m guessing the following facts will.

  • High fructose corn syrup or “corn sugar.” Read Dr. Mark Hyman’s blog[2] to find out more about the dangers of HFCS.
  • Soft drinks derive most of its calories from cane sugar or high fructose corn syrup. The USDA recommended daily allotment of added sugars is 10 teaspoons for a 2,000 calorie diet. One soft drink can exceed this allotment.
  • Soft drinks may contain food additives such as food coloring, artificial flavoring, and preservatives. Some contain bromide, which is toxic and carcinogenic in some cases.
  • A large number of soft drinks are highly acidic, some having a pH of 3 or even lower. Drinking acidic soft drinks over a period can erode the tooth enamel.
  • Soda with caffeine can disrupt children’s sleep and leave them tired during the day.
  • Phosphoric acid. Soft drinks have phosphoric acid, which can displace calcium from the bones dramatically lowering bone density.
  • Type 2 diabetes. People who consume soft drinks regularly, 1 to 2 cans a day or more, have a 26% greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes than people who rarely have such drinks.
  • Heart Attack. A study that followed 40,000 men for two decades found that those who averaged one can of a sugary beverage per day had a 20% higher risk of having a heart attack or dying from a heart attack than men who rarely consumed these drinks.
  • The Nurses’ Health Study,[3] which tracked the health of nearly 90,000 women over two decades, found that women who drank more than two servings of soft drinks each day had a 40% higher risk of heart attacks or death from heart disease than women who rarely drank the soft drinks.
  • Less Water. Soft drinks do not replace the amount of water you should drink every day (about ½ your body weight in ounces).  Unless you want to spend the day in the bathroom, you can’t really drink both.

Some of us convince ourselves that diet soft drinks are safe.  No such luck!

  • Artificial sweeteners do not help people lose weight or prevent sugar-related diseases like metabolic syndrome, and diabetes.
  • There is an association between diet soda and depression. In a study[4] of 263,925 adults aged 51-70, people who drank the diet soda were 30% more likely to be diagnosed with depression over a period of 10 years. The link to depression was stronger for diet soft drinks than regular soft drinks.
  • Pre-term Delivery. Diet soft drinks are also associated with pre-term delivery. In a study[5] of 59,334 pregnant women in Denmark, 1 serving per day of a diet soft drink relates to a 38% increased risk of pre-term delivery. 4 servings per day increased the risk by 78%.
  • Type 2 Diabetes. Diet soft drinks have also been shown to increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. A study[6] of 6,814 people aged 45-85 years demonstrated that daily consumption of diet soft drinks relates to a 67% increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

O.k., o.k., I get it – soft drinks are bad (even diet ones) but what should I drink instead?   First, an occasional soft drink is fine, but you might want to limit yours or your child’s daily consumption and replace it with these alternatives:

  • Pure filtered water (add lemon for extra taste)
  • Juiced produce.
  • Fresh squeezed juice – watch for the amount of added sugar or high fructose corn syrup.
  • Almond milk, coconut milk, or rice milk (unsweetened).

Eliminating soft drinks from your diet is a simple step you can take today to take back control of your health, or your child’s health.

Be Healthy,

Dr. David Starkey D.C.

Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. David Starkey, Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians

[1] http://abcnews.go.com/Business/soda-losing-grip-america/story?id=23151625
[2]  http://drhyman.com/blog/2011/05/13/5-reasons-high-fructose-corn-syrup-will-kill-you/#close
[3] http://www.channing.harvard.edu/nhs/
[4] http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/01/09/nih-study-links-soda-with-depression
[5] http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/07/23/us-diet-soda-idUSTRE66M4AF20100723
[6] http://english.inserm.fr/press-area/diet-drinks-associated-with-increased-risk-of-type-ii-diabetes