Secrets to Rocking Your Next Social Event Without Blowing Your Health Routine!

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How to Stay Healthy at the 3 Big Summer Activities: Dinner Party/Cookouts, Weddings and Festivals

Summer has finally arrived! Along with the beautiful weather comes wedding, dinner party/cookout and festival season. Although tons of fun, eating at unknown venues can cause a lot of stress on people trying to lead a health lifestyle.   With a little training and preparation, you can avoid this negative stress.

I found out 3 years ago that I am sensitive to both soy and gluten and it’s been a long journey since. One of the hardest situations for me was going to a social event where I would not have control over the food options. I wanted to share some of the tricks and tips I have used over the years to help take food out of the equation so I could focus on the special occasion.

Cookouts, weddings, and festivals are a time to celebrate or enjoy the company of family, friends, and loved ones.  There is no reason to spoil the fun just because you have special dietary needs due to food sensitivities, being on a detox program, or trying to lead a healthier lifestyle! All it takes is a positive mind-frame and a little preparation.

Cookouts/Dinner Parties

If the party is at a restaurant, always start with going to their website to view their menu. Most restaurants offer a separate Gluten Free menu online that the restaurant itself may not offer.

Call the restaurant ahead of time.  This gives you a chance to ask all the questions you need to know without feeling like you are taking up too much of a server’s time while they are busy with other guests. Talking to the cooks or managers over the phone will increase your confidence that the food prepared will be exactly what you need. It also helps avoid feeling awkward in front of other people who may perceive you as being “such a picky eater.”

If you eat bread before your meal at restaurants, you have options. I know patients who will bring a small container of their favorite gluten-free bread and put it on the table. [Click to TweetYou can still dip it in the oil and pepper or butter (if you eat dairy). Or you can do what I do, which is to ask them please not to tempt me with bread and save it for someone else.

If you decide to order a salad, most restaurants will include an option for just oil and vinegar as your salad dressing option. This is the best option for almost any healthy eating plan.  Another option (I do this on occasion) is to fill a small sandwich baggie with salad dressing you have at home that fits your dietary requirements.  [Click to Tweet] Tie the baggie in a knot, with a rubber band, or twisty tie so it won’t spill in your bag/pocket. When you are ready to use it on your salad just tear off the bottom corner just enough to pour out the amount you need.

If the meal is at someone’s house, ask the host about the menu in advance.  If it is a potluck, guest will usually ask for approval for side dishes they may want to bring so the host will likely know at least most of the foods being served.  If you have a better idea of what will be available you will know whether you can eat the party or if you should eat before going.

Another option is to bring a side dish that you can eat. One trick is to make an easy side dish that I love. This way, if it is the only dish I can eat at the dinner party, I won’t go hungry. I make sure the dish is enough to share with everyone if they decide they like it as well! This also helps the host feel more comfortable because it won’t look like you are rejecting their food and bringing your own personal dish.


Wedding menus usually offer a meat and vegetable option. If you are on a no meat detox/diet be sure to select the vegetarian option. If you know the bride or venue well, you should try to contact them and let them know your dietary needs. Make sure to express that these needs are not to inconvenience them but rather to prevent you from getting sick. Chances are, since they invited you to share the couple’s special day, they will want to do what is in their power to accommodate you.

If it is not possible to get a customized meal or select an option that is within your health routine, it’s ok.   Just prepare yourself to eat before the event. You can still eat the salad and vegetables they serve but you will be on your own for the main meal. If this is the case, be sure to let them know when you RSVP that you will not need a meal. This is important because venues usually charge per plate.

The cake is one of the biggest challenges. If you can resist it you should! We all get a sweet tooth but cake is not the answer. It is full of sugar, carbs, dairy, and flour.  For almost any healthy eating program, almost every ingredient in cake is on the avoid list.


Along with fairs come the junk food – fried veggies, funnel cakes, cotton candy, french fries, etc. I have two pieces of advice for encountering fair food: (1) do NOT eat it!  and (2) go ahead and cheat.  Ok, I know these are the exact opposite, but bear with me.

It is not worth it. As Dr. Ungar reminds us regularly, inflammation caused by food can last up to 6 months in our bodies!  [Click to Tweet] I love fairs and festivals, but the thought of eating something this weekend that is going to cause my body harm and discomfort for the next 6 months is enough to detour me.  I want to feel great the next 6 months to enjoy the company of my family and friends for Thanksgiving and Christmas!

For those who simply cannot resist the urge, go ahead and eat it. That’s right I said it.  Go ahead and cheat.  I promise that after you do it, you will learn your lesson and never do it again. Most likely you will get a sick feeling in your stomach from all the grease and sugar.  The next morning, or few days, you will start to relive all the symptoms you worked so hard to eliminate.  The brain fog, fatigue, swollen hands/feet, irregular bowel movements, and irritability will come back. On the other hand, you may have built up your immune system so much with your healthy lifestyle that cheating one time may not affect you. This is great but do not take it for granted. You should cheat sparingly and be mindful of the consequences.

The most important rule to remember is be happy and healthy; they pair well together!  Enjoy these social occasions. Please do not seclude yourself just because you need to eat a little differently than your company. The best way to encourage others to lead a healthy lifestyle is to lead by example! Soon you will not feel like an outcast. Instead you will surround yourself with like-minded people who support and embrace a healthy lifestyle just like you!

Did this blog help you feel more ready for a social event you will be attending? Tell us about it. We would love to hear your comments or stories below.

Missty Klinger
May 31, 2015


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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 and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians


Improve Your Attitude and Improve Your Health


4 Attitude and Health Improvement Steps You Can Take Now!

Science shows that there is a connection between a healthy body and mind. Strengthening each in isolation is beneficial but together??? The sky is the limit. Truly!

My health has been my top priority for several years now. To be honest, I was forced into thinking about it when I hit a wall of pretty serious health problems. Over the last several years I have grown and seen healing physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I have found that there are many ways to improve in each of these aspects of health:

Physical Health
• Exercise
• Healthy Eating
• Outdoor activities

Mental Health
• Brain exercises
• Reading
• Meditation

Emotional Health
• Properly expressing our emotions
• Properly processing our emotions
• Seeking wise counsel when necessary

Spiritual Health
• Feeding your soul
• Studying/meditating on the literature of the religion that you practice
• Finding spiritual peace

What if there was one thing you could do that would positively affect all aspects of your health? There is and it is having a positive attitude!

Attitude creates reality. For example, Mayo Clinic researchers have clearly documented that having a more positive, optimistic view of the situation provides health benefits for individuals with some forms of lung cancer. So how you view a situation can have enormous impact on how you live.
Some people see setbacks as absolute devastation whereas others view them as opportunities. At the end of the day, the choice is really up to you.

How is your attitude toward the challenges life throws your way? We all have areas in our lives that we are hoping for improvement and healing.

Affect your healing by setting up positive conditions for change. Believe that you will feel better and send this message to your body. Picture yourself doing things you love pain-free. Spend time in meditation, letting go of negative thoughts about your body. Your positive attitude will send healing to the affected areas.

What you think, makes a difference. While a positive attitude cannot guarantee perfect health, it can make a noticeable difference.

Try these 4 small ways to affect your attitude:

1. Positive self affirmationscome up with at least five positive “I am“ statements and say them to yourself at least three times a day. [Click to Tweet] Here are some examples:

o I am strong
o I am healthy
o I am beautiful/handsome

2. Think “I am getting better and stronger every day,” NOT “I am never going to get well.”

3. Find balance in your life. Do one small thing for yourself everyday. Here are some examples:

o Light your favorite candle
o Watch your kids play
o Listen to uplifting music

4. Talk to yourself like you would talk to someone else. Here is an example:

o Would you call your friend stupid for making a minor mistake? No. So don’t do that to yourself!  [Click to Tweet]

Many of us have the habit of thinking negatively. Habits can be broken, but it takes time and practice. Give these things time to become new habits. I have heard it said that it takes 21 days to create a new habit and longer for some that are really engrained. You have to exercise and retrain your brain just like you do a weak muscle. Start by catching yourself when you have a negative thought and then gently steer yourself to think something positive instead. Be patient with yourself!

Samantha Weber
May 24, 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

Graphic:”A Positive Attitude Life Quotes Quotes Positive Quotes Quote Inspirational Quotes.” LoveThisPic. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2015.
“Stress Management.” Your Attitude Affects Your Reality. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2015
Your Attitude Affects Your Health.” Your Attitude Affects Your Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2015.

Clean Fuel Keeps the Body Machine Running

Untitled design (9)   6 Ways to Eat Clean

Eating clean is not just the latest phrase for eating healthy and it’s not a diet.  It’s a movement intended to enable your body to function at its greatest potential.  It’s a movement intended to maintain the body with same diligence as we maintain our cars, homes, and possessions.

When I was a kid, I loved Schoolhouse Rock and the songs are still relevant to this day.  We learned about language listening to Conjunction Junction and the legislative process singing along to I’m Just a Bill.  Do you remember The Body Machine?

I’m a machine, you’re a machine,
Everybody that you know
You know, they are machines
To keep your engine running you need energy
For your high-powered, revved-up body machine
Your high-powered, revved-up body machine.

To keep your high-powered, revved-up body machine running, you need to eat clean.  Gwyneth Paltrow and Katy Perry are fans.  So what does it mean to eat clean?  According to Fitness Magazine,

Clean eating is a deceptively simple concept. Rather than revolving around the idea of ingesting  more or less of specific things (for instance, fewer calories or more protein), the idea is more about being mindful of the food’s pathway between its origin and your plate. At its simplest, clean eating is about eating whole foods, or “real” foods — those that are un- or minimally processed, refined, and handled, making them as close to their natural form as possible. [1]

“Clean Eating is not a diet, it’s a happy and healthy lifestyle.”[2]   “Eating clean is a good way to refresh your eating habits: it’s about eating more of the best and healthiest options in each of the food groups—and eating less of the not-so-healthy ones.”[3]


  1. Eat Whole Foods.   It’s sort of ironic that when you are eating clean, many of your food choices started out dirty. {Click to Tweet}  From the farm to the table: organic vegetable, fruits, grains (if you do not have a gluten sensitivity), salt-free nuts and seeds.  Be sure to choose grass-fed, organic and free-range meats.

2. No Refined Sugar.   “Sugar is not just an empty calorie; *** its effect on us is insidious.  ‘It’s a poison by itself.’”[4]  In fact, one study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that, “a sugar-laden diet may raise your risk of dying of heart disease even if you aren’t overweight.”[5]    Click here for a great article about what sugar does to your body.  Click here to watch a lecture by Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric hormone specialist from the University of California, San Francisco medical school, called Sugar: The Bitter Truth.

3. Avoid Processed Foods.    “Processed foods are any food that has a label”  because a label is required if “more than one ingredient was used to make that food.”[6]  In an ideal world, one would avoid these foods entirely, but realistically, just follow this rule – “if you can’t pronounce an ingredient on a label, don’t put that food in your shopping basket.”[7]  In general processed foods are: (1) higher in sugar and high fructose corn syrup; (2) are so “rewarding” to the brain that eating them leads to overconsumption; (3) contain artificial ingredients; (4) are literally addicting when your “brain biochemistry [is] hijacked by the intense dopamine release that occurs in the brain when ***[you] eat these foods;[8] (5) are higher in refined carbohydrates; and (6) are lower in nutritional value.

4. Eat Multiple Small Meals Throughout the Day.  This will rev up your metabolism and regulate your blood sugar.  This will also make sure that you are never so hungry that you resort to grabbing a bag of Dorito’s or a Snicker’s Bar at the gas station to hold you until the next meal.

5. Cook Your Own Meals.  I like to eat out as much as the next person, but eating clean requires that you cook meals from scratch as often as possible.  “That’s not as hard as it sounds! Clean, whole foods need little preparation beyond chopping and sautéing to make satisfying, delicious meals your family will love.”[9]

6. Eat Some Protein or a Fat When You Eat A Carb.  When you eat a fat or a protein every time you eat a carb, the body is more satisfied so you are less tempted to eat junk food.  Moreover, “it’s healthier to combine protein and fiber-filled carbs than to separate them. ‘The pairing of protein and fiber is what fills you up the most and gives you the most energy[.]’”[10]

Eating clean makes it (1) easier to maintain your weight, (2) ensures you are eating proper amounts of essential nutrients, (3) ensures that you get a “good combination of micronutrients,”[11] (4) keeps you satisfied longer and away from junk food, (5) regulates blood sugar and reduced cholesterol levels; (6) regulates your digestive system, (7) makes you stronger and more active, (8) causes your body to work more efficiently, and (9) has a trickle-down effect: when you feel good in one way you take care of yourself in others.

So what do you say, are you ready to give your high-powered revved up body machine the fuel it needs to rock!

If you are eating clean, what are your tips for eating in a restaurant?

Caroline Boardman
May 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 S. Ungar, Dr. David Starkey, Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians

[4], quoting Robert Lustig.
[7] Id.
[10], quoting Elisa Zeid.

Stop Breathing and Start Singing!


The Top 10 Reasons to Breathe Yourself to Better Health.

If you have watched American Idol, The Voice or any other singing competition show, you’ve noticed that the contestants never seem to run out of breath.  Why?  Because they are breathing the right way.

Breathing the right way:  Seems pretty simple, right? But most people have forgotten how to breathe correctly. You think that since you are alive, you are breathing.  You are correct, of course,…  but are you getting the most benefit out of each breath you take? (Click to Tweet)  With today’s busy lifestyle, and the need for speed, people have forgotten how to take a step back and smell the roses. Also, with the amount of pollution that is in the air we seem to get less oxygen with each breath.

There are many benefits to correctly breathing that most people take for granted. So what are some of the benefits for breathing correctly?  Below are the main benefits:

  1. Deep breathing helps to make one calmer. Many people who meditate use breathing exercises to get into a deeper thought process, and are more relaxed.
  2. Deep breathing will help to detoxify your body (Click to Tweet) in general. “Our bodies are designed to release 70 percent of its toxins through breathing.”[1] Breathing gets rid of carbon dioxide; it expels this natural toxic waste.
  3. Deep breathing can help relieve pain… just ask any mother about giving birth.
  4. Deep breathing can and does make one feel better or happier.
  5. Deep breathing can help stimulate your lymphatic system. Our lymphatic system is responsible for getting rid of dead cells and other waste products.
  6. Deep breathing is definitely good for our cardiovascular system and helps to give us more energy.
  7. Deep breathing helps our digestive system to work better.
  8. Deep breathing helps to improve circulation of blood. This can improve ones concentration ability by supplying more oxygen to the brain.
  9. Deep breathing can help to burn fat more efficiently(Click to Tweet)
  10. Deep breathing can help one to sleep much better.

So, what can you do to improve your deep breathing?   Follow the example of your favorite singing show contestants or remember the words of your choir instructor – use your diaphragm!    When you deep breathe, you should not feel your chest or rib cage expand much at all.  Instead, you should feel your diaphragm, located at the bottom of your rib cage, rise and fall.[2]

Here are some tips on learning to breathe right:

  1. Put your right hand on your chest and left hand down on your abdomen.
  2. Inhale slowly through your nose. Take about 3 to 5 seconds to do this. When you do this, you should feel your hand on your abdomen rise up.
  3. Exhale through your mouth for about 5 to 8 seconds. As you do this, you should feel your left hand on your abdomen slowly go down.
  4. You shouldn’t feel much movement of your right hand, which is on your chest.

Practice these exercises 3 to 5 minutes per day or better yet – 2-3 times per day.  Although I can’t promise you that you will be the next American Idol, I can promise you that after some practice, you will become more aware of how you are breathing and see some real health benefits.

Breathe healthy my friends!

Dr. David Starkey D.C.
May 6, 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 and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians

[2] -deep-breathing


When Milk Does Not Do the Body Good

Untitled design (5)Have You Tried Any of These 8 Great Milk Alternatives?

Despite that the United States Department of Agriculture recommends 3 glasses of milk per day, “more and more evidence is surfacing . . . that milk consumption may not only be helpful, it might also be detrimental.”[1]  In fact, in a study published in the peer-reviewed British Medical Journal, “researchers at the Uppsala University in Sweden found that drinking milk led to an increased mortality rate and actually made bones more prone to fracturing, not less.”[2]  Information about the down-side of milk consumption is everywhere.  Check out  This article, though, will give information about milk alternatives for those who choose to take cow milk out of their diet as I did.

After years of suffering from a very frustrating and often times embarrassing chronic skin condition known as Seborrheic eczema[3]…I’ve given up cow’s milk for good!  Seborrheic eczema is a common condition affecting the scalp causing dandruff, itching and soreness.  After a recent detoxification program, which eliminated dairy from my diet for 21 days, I was eczema free! (Click to Tweet). At first, I could not attribute it to anything specific about the detox. However, I decided to find out if there was any merit to eliminating dairy in my diet.  Living with this condition my entire life, I had little hope, anticipating suffering from those annoying itchy patches once again.  After adding milk back into my diet the eczema resurfaced.  After a few months of giveth and taketh away and becoming more in tune with my body I realized that as long as I eliminated cow’s milk from my diet I was keeping my eczema at bay.  I have been eczema free for a little over a year now for the first time in my life! For me, milk did not do the body good.

Milk had been a main staple in my diet my entire life.  So giving up milk did not come easy for me. However, I refused to cry over spilt milk.[4]  I have learned, that the key to being successful, when having to give up the things you love that are bad for your body, is to find a healthy alternative. (Click to Tweet)

Here are a few of my favorite healthy alternatives to cow’s milk:

  1. Coconut milk: has 50% more calcium than dairy milk.  Whether straight up or in your morning coffee or muffins, coconut milk can add a flavorful nutty twist.
  2. Almond milk: is an excellent source of protein and vitamin E.  It is also packed full of iron, fiber and calcium. Almond milk comes in several different flavors and is a great alternative with your morning cereal.  I recommend the unsweetened versions.
  3. Rice milk[5]: is a good source of vitamin E and of all the milk products, rice milk is the most hypoallergenic. Try this one in your chai tea.  Note: some people could have a sensitivity to rice.
  4. Cashew milk: has the same nutrients as other nut milks although it does have less protein[6] than almond milk.  The beauty of cashew milk though is that because cashews are very soft; you can just buy raw cashews and grind them up into milk in minutes!  (Click to Tweet)
  5. Hemp milk: has 140 calories, 5 grams of fat and 3 grams of protein per cup.[7]  However, it only has ½ the recommended allowance of calcium.  Hemp milk is vegan, creamy, easy to digest and tastes great![8]
  6. Oat milk: is perfect if you don’t like a “nutty” tasting milk alternative.  However, it is not gluten-free.  It is low in fat and high in fiber, folic acid, Vitamin E and phytochemicals.[9]
  7. Almond/Coconut Blend:  The best of both worlds. “At only 45 calories per serving, Almond coconut milk is a nutrient-dense ‘fuel efficient’ beverage packed full of good-for-you nutrition.”[10] And, it tastes great.
  8. Water: Nature’s perfect beverage! Water is essential to our bodies. It helps maintain balanced body fluids, hydrates, energizes muscles and also helps keep the skin looking youthful.[11]  Infuse your water with a slice of fruit or a slice of cucumber to make it more interesting.  Squeeze 1/2 of a lemon in your water to help your body gently detoxify.

Whether you have a milk allergy, are lactose intolerant or are just looking for a healthy alternative to cow’s milk, I urge you to try these delicious alternatives.  They may just add an exciting twist to your daily routine and attribute to a healthier lifestyle.

Which milk alternatives have you tried and what did you think?

Joy Vale
May 3, 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

[2], citing
[3] Medical News Today. MediLexicon International. Web. 24 Apr. 2015.
[4] “Harold Edgerton’s Spilt Milk.” Vimeo. Web. 24 Apr. 2015. <
[5] Pros and Cons of Rice Milk.” / Nutrition / Healthy Eating. Web. 24 Apr. 2015.
[11] “Why Drink More Water? See 6 Health Benefits of Water.” WebMD. WebMD. Web. 24 Apr. 25, 2012,