3 Ways To Make Meditation Part of Your Morning Routine

Meditation   Meditation Can Actually Create More Time in Your Day 

Wouldn’t it be great if you could have just a few more hours in your day?  Time to spend with your family and friends?   Time to get to the gym (like you’ve been wanting to do for months)?  Time to do that remodeling project that’s been hanging over your head.  Time to read that book that’s been on your nightstand long enough to collect dust?  Or, just time to catch a few more zzzzz’s or watch the latest episode of House of Cards?  Can you really create time?

Recently, I attended a seminar hosted by Dr. Joe Dispenza, the author of Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself, and several other books.  Friends who had read all of his books and been to his seminars recommended Dr. Dispenza.  Have you ever known someone who is so full of joy and positive energy that you want to just be in the same room with them in hopes of absorbing even a fraction of it?  My friends who recommended Dr. Dispenza are those kind of people. So, of course, I logged on to Amazon.com immediately, ordered Dr. Dispenza’s book and read it in 2 days.[1]   Dr. Dispenza’s story is remarkable but this is not an article about him or his book – just the power of what he (and others) teach.  Mindfulness and being present was not a foreign concept to me but the science behind meditation and quantum thinking as taught by Dr. Dispenza really appealed to my analytical mind.  It also fit well with what I know from a scientific standpoint from working in a doctor’s office.  I had meditated for about 2 months before attending the seminar and at the end of the seminar weekend, I knew I had found something that could change my life.

First, I’d like to clear up a few misconceptions about meditation – that it’s only done by artsy types whose wardrobe consists of lots of flowy clothing and who are flexible enough to sit Indian-style on the floor for hours.  People from every walk of life meditate.  From famous actors[2] to business executives like Oprah Winfrey, Rupert Murdoch (Chairman and CEO of Newscorp), and Bill Ford (Chairman of Ford Motor).[3]  Even “regular” people experience the benefits of meditation, like fireman, police officers and soccer moms.[4]  Recently, the benefits of and science behind meditation hit the news and social media when Dan Harris of ABC News made public how meditation changed his life. [5]  Moreover, you can meditate sitting upright in any type of clothing!  I admit though that my PJs are my favorite meditation “outfit.”  There are lots of other myths about meditation you can read about here.[6]

One of the biggest objections people have about starting a meditation routine is the same objection that pops up about lots of things that will improve our lives, like exercising, eating right, reading more, etc.  I don’t have time!  I get it and I’m guilty of making that exclamation about meditation and lots of other things.  But what I found out is that meditation creates more time than it takes.   How?

  • Meditation reduces pain, accelerates cognition, and sharpens your concentration.[7] (Click to Tweet) How much more time would you have if you had improved productivity because you had less pain, understood more and were super focused and able to concentrate? Meditation actually changes your brain structure!  In fact, every time you redirect your thoughts from where they may have strayed back to the where they should be (your breath or wherever a directed meditation might suggest), you are improving your brain’s plasticity.[8]
  • Meditation reduces stress. (Click to Tweet)  How much more time would you have with a sufficient reduction in stress levels to make every minute more efficient?[9]
  • Meditation enhances your creativity.[10]  Click to Tweet) How much more time would you have if you could quickly and creatively solve life’s little (or big) problems?Meditation increases energy. How much time would you have if you could buzz between tasks with limitless energy?

It makes sense, then, that if you meditate in the morning, you can draw on all of that “power” throughout the day!  So, how do you fit this into your routine?

  1. It’s been established that you now have more time because you are more efficient, productive and energetic. Voila!
  1. Buy yourself a good set of headphones, find a good guided meditation[11] and start with 15 minutes before anyone gets up. It’s your “you” time.  Believe me, your family will be more than happy to leave you alone when they meet the new focused, energetic and joyful you!  As Dr. Joe Dispenza says in his book, Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself, “if you want to make changes you need to change what you are doing.” (Click to Tweet)

3. Prepare your mediation site the night before. Put your headphones and media player by your favorite chair. Wear your pajamas, don’t brush your teeth or wash your face. Just get up, make your way to your chair, put in the headphones, press play and get ready for an awesome start to your day.

I hope this article will help you to understand the benefits of meditation and how to fit it into your morning schedule.  I will be attending Dr. Dispenza’s Advanced Seminar in the end of this month. I am so excited to see how I can take my meditation to the next level and create the life I want.   I’ll be back to share what I learned.

So, besides meditating, what are you going to do with all the time you have created?

Caroline Boardman
February 22, 2016

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 and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians

[1] The book also has some exercises that take about 4 weeks to do.  I highly recommend doing them exactly as suggested.
[2] http://www.ranker.com/list/celebrities-who-meditate/celebrity-lists?format=SLIDESHOW&page=3
[3] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/05/business-meditation-executives-meditate_n_3528731.html
[4] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sharon-salzberg/meditation-practice-paradigm-shift_b_820138.html
[5] http://abcnews.go.com/WNN/video/dan-harris-meditation-path-happiness-22871879
[6] http://www.chopra.com/ccl/7-myths-of-meditation
[7] http://www.spring.org.uk/2013/11/10-remarkable-ways-meditation-helps-your-mind.php
[8] http://meditation-research.org.uk/2014/03/meditation-and-neuroplasticity-five-key-articles/
[9] http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/jobcenter/workplace/bruzzese/story/2012-07-08/meditation-helps-your-work/56071024/1
[10] http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/how-meditation-can-help-improve-your-productivity.html
[11] http://www.the-guided-meditation-site.com or http://www.topguidedmeditations.com or www.drjoedispenza.com

Me Caroline, You Reader – 6 Everyday Paleo Principles

Untitled design (21)Untitled design (20)

How To Eat Like a Caveperson.

You probably are not fluent in cave-speak, but you may have lived in a cave if you haven’t heard or read about the Paleo diet.  It seems that everyone is jumping on the paleo bandwagon these days.  Are you wondering if there is anything to eating paleo or if it’s just another fad?
I should probably disclose that I have followed a paleo eating principal for almost 2 years.  So, yes, I might be biased.  But, when I first heard about it, I was skeptical.  I thought it was some Hollywood diet and that it had no basis in science.  Additionally, I thought it would be incredibly impossible to do.  No grains or dairy?  No cheese?  Even more importantly, if I was able to give these things up, would it be worth it?  What changes could I expect to see?
So what is the paleo diet?  For reasons I hope you will understand by the time you read this article, eating paleo is a way of life.  It is not a diet.  A diet is a temporary weight loss program but eating paleo is based on the principle [Click to Tweet] that “for optimal health, modern humans should go back to eating real, whole unprocessed foods that are more healthful than harmful to our bodies.”[1]  Click here for a great infographic about how to explain the paleo principle (an elevator speech).
As Rob Wolff explains it, “research in biology, biochemistry, ophthalmology, dermatology and many other disciplines indicate it is our modern diet, full of refined foods, trans fats and sugar, that is at the root of degenerative diseases such as obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, depression and infertility.”[2]  Because “agriculture came on the scene a mere 10,000 years ago,” humans have been unable to “completely adapt to eating modern foods like wheat, sugar, chemically processed vegetable and seed oils and other ‘Neolithic’ foods.”[3]  So, it’s no wonder that various disease states and autoimmune disorders “have accompanied the global spread of industrialized food.  This is “why the Paleo approach emphasizes returning to a more ancestral approach to eating.”[4]
For those of you would want a detailed explanation of why the Paleo approach is scientifically sound, read this.   For most people, though, the basic explanation and the health benefits attributed to eating this way are enough.  These benefits include:

Paleo benefits


Image courtesy of Primal Palate – http://www.primalpalate.com/about/the-paleo-diet/

If I have I convinced you that eating according to paleo principles is both scientifically sound and can offer a myriad of benefits, then here are:

The 6 Basic Principles.[5]

  1. Eat organic, grass-fed, wild-caught lean proteins: chicken, turkey, fish, lamb, and beef.
  2. Eat organic fruits and vegetables.  You can eat potatoes occasionally and sweet potatoes are better than white.
  3. Eat “healthy fats from nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil, fish oil and grass-fed meat.”[6] Eat nuts and seeds in moderation.
  4. Avoid “pro-inflammatory foods like gluten-containing grains, legumes [beans], sugar and laboratory-concocted Frankenfoods [and artificial sweeteners] found in the middle aisles” of your grocery store.[7] This also includes rice and corn.  Yes, as well as being genetically modified, corn is a grain.
  5. Avoid dairy. This does not include eggs.  In fact, many paleo recipes are heavy on the eggs.  Click here to read my blog post of March 16, 2015, for some tips on how to live dairy-free.
  6. Avoid alcohol.
Here is a list from Rob Wolff that you can clip and carry with you in your wallet until you have the “rules” down:
If you are still reading, then here are a few other tips from some paleo “experts” that may convince you to try paleo or to stick with it:
  • Follow the rules as closely as possible. The Paleo Police will not place you under arrest if you satisfy your sweet tooth now and then (dark chocolate is best) or use a little bit of grass-fed organic butter.
  • Simplify. There are many paleo cookbooks and websites out there.  Take it from me, some of the recipes are ingredient intensive and complex.  While I have made a few and have really liked the product, cooking this way does not fit with my crazy busy life.  There are plenty of options that are simple and delicious and there are lots of cookbooks and websites out there that can show you how to plan to make things even easier.
  • Stick with it for at least 30 days. We all know the 21 day to a habit rule, but I suggest 30 days because you may suffer from the “paleo flu” in the first few weeks as you cut some foods from your diet.  [Click to Tweet]  By sticking with it for 30 days, you can come out the other side and start to realize the benefits.
  • Eat like a champ.  Don’t be afraid to try new recipes or experience new foods – including healthy dietary fats. The Paleo diet may feel restrictive at first, but if you have an open mind and adventurous palate, you’ll soon find that this way of eating offers infinite variety, flavors, and nourishment.”[8]
So, how has it worked out for me, you might ask?  I guess that since I have eaten this way for almost 2 years, you might guess that it’s going well.  Specifically, I can tell you that the biggest differences for me are increased energy levels, very few digestive problems and (drum roll please) – I sleep like a baby!  I also noticed faster results from my workouts.  [Click to Tweet] I now need to confess that although I was strict in my adherence to the rules for more than a year, I am now in the 90% club. I occasionally eat a gluten-free grain and very occasionally, cheese.  I also confess to enjoying a gluten-free adult beverage now and then.  So far, so good.
So give it a go – yumma paleo and feel zook![9]  That’s cavespeak for – eat paleo and feel good!
Do you have any simple and delicious paleo recipes you would like to share?
Caroline Boardman
June 24, 2015
To Schedule a Complimentary Consultation, click here.
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


[1] http://nomnompaleo.com/paleo101

[2] http://robbwolf.com/what-is-the-paleo-diet/

[3] http://nomnompaleo.com/paleo101

[4] Id.

[5] For most people, following the “rules” 90% of the time will give them the benefits they want.  None of us are perfect.  For some, who might be paleo based on their doctors’ recommendation and/or to help with chronic health conditions, strict adherence to the principles (at least for a while) is necessary.  It is always a good idea to find and consult with a doctor who is open to alternative health care solutions before just jumping in to any major lifestyle change.

[6] http://robbwolf.com/what-is-the-paleo-diet/

[7] http://nomnompaleo.com/paleo101

[8] Id.

[9] http://public.wsu.edu/~delahoyd/cavespeak.html



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

[1] http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/weight-loss/plans/diets/clean-eating
[2] http://www.cleaneatingmag.com
[3] http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/10_ways_to_eat_clean
[4] http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17Sugar-t.html, quoting Robert Lustig.
[5] http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/eating-too-much-added-sugar-increases-the-risk-of-dying-with-heart-disease-201402067021
[6] http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/eating-clean-for-dummies-cheat-sheet.html
[7] Id.
[8] http://authoritynutrition.com/9-ways-that-processed-foods-are-killing-people
[9] http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/eating-clean-for-dummies-cheat-sheet.html
[10] http://www.realsimple.com/health/nutrition-diet/weight-loss/busting-10-diet-myths/do-calories-count, quoting Elisa Zeid.
[11] http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/eating-clean-for-dummies-cheat-sheet.html

4 Reasons to Never Eat a Genetically Modified Food

Rat GMO’s Do This to Rats, What Could They Do to You?

We have all seen the pictures of what genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) do to rats.[1]  Yet, there remains real resistance to even the suggestion that GMO foods be labeled as such.  The reason for this is beyond the scope of this article but the question remains – why would you want to consume food that has the potential to cause similar harm in humans?

I admit that I am a bit of a food snob, not as in fine-dining, but as in good quality food.  Besides the obvious health reasons, I am surrounded everyday by our clients who are the most dedicated people I have ever seen in their efforts to get their health back.  I am surrounded every day by doctors who are not satisfied to settle for genetics as the sole cause of health problems.  I am surrounded every day by my staff who are constantly coming up with new ways to eat right for themselves and our clients.  It is no wonder that quality food is something I am passionate about. It is no wonder why I am so confused about why anyone would want to consume food that has the potential for such harm when there is so much good food out there.

If we change the genetic code of food, the food becomes genetically modified.  In most cases GM foods are “developed – and marketed – because there is some perceived advantage either to the producer or consumer of these foods. This is meant to translate into a product with a lower price, greater benefit (in terms of durability or nutritional value) or both.”[2]  Good intentions might have been the reason GM foods developed.  But, as the old saying goes, the road is paved …..[3]  The most common genetically modified foods are corn, soy, yellow crookneck squash and zucchini, alfalfa, canola, milk, and sugar beets.[4] (Click to Tweet)

You should not eat genetically modified foods because:
  1. Uncertainty

Would you take a medication, vitamin or seek a medical treatment without knowing the side effects?  There is a reason that certain manufacturers and health care providers must, by law, disclose the potential side effects or complications to their customers before asking them to consume such product or service.  What is that reason?  Because people should know of potential risks associated with anything they put in their body so that they can make an educated choice.  Each time you consume a genetically modified food, you may be playing roulette with your health.

From a scientific standpoint, when we introduce a foreign genetic material into another organism, it causes the organism to “behave erratically.”[5] “Genes can be suppressed or overexpressed causing a wide variety of results.”[6] While some mainstream media downplays the potential problems from GMOs, scientists have been outspoken that such foods have been “linked to health problems such as reproductive damage, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes.”[7]

What you need to consider is whether you want to develop a health issue resulting from an unintended effect of the genetic modification of food?  Who knows what that effect might be?

2.  Pesticide Exposure

We modify foods to make them more resistant to pesticides, making them “Round-Up Ready.”  That way, when farmers spray the field to kill weeds, the crop is not damaged.[8]  But are human beings “Round-Up Ready? (Click to Tweet)  “One common condition that has been clearly linked to pesticide exposure is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).”[9]  Long-term studies correlating other conditions with pesticide exposure have not been done, but do we really want to expose ourselves to more chemicals?

3.  Possible Food Allergy

As before mentioned, we create GM foods when we insert a protein into the food to change it for some specific purpose. The problem is that often the protein is known to cause allergies in humans and/or is a protein that has never been consumed by humans.   Thus, there is a concern that this new protein “could elicit an immune response in humans.”[10]  It is very difficult to find the allergic potential of a particular protein.  “The only certain answer is when an allergic reaction in a human actually occurs.”[11]  Do you have any allergies that appeared out of nowhere? (Click to Tweet)

4.  Antibiotic Resistance

When engineers develop genetically modified foods, they experiment to see if the host cell will accept a foreign gene.   They do this by attaching a trait for antibiotic resistance to the gene before they introduce into the cell.  They then douse the new organism with antibiotics.  The surviving cells are antibiotic resistant proving to the engineers that the cells have accepted the foreign gene.[12]   This means that when you eat a GM food, you are potentially introducing an antibiotic-resistant agent into your body.[13]  “Overuse of antibiotics can potentially cause the development of antibiotic-resistant pathogens.”[14]  In fact, the World Health Organization and the American Medical Association have both stated that, “the use of these antibiotics [should] be phased out of the process of making GM foods.”[15]  Have you ever read Sam Spitz’s story about how antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” affected his health?   Read it here.

I know that you might be envisioning corn-on-the-cob as we head into the summer, but have no fear.  There are corn products certified as non-GMO, including fresh corn.  This is because the corn is grown from non-GMO seed.   Just keep your eyes open and read labels.  The Non-GMO Project has a website on which you can search many foods to find whether they are GM foods or contain a GM ingredient.  It is a great resource. You can find it here.  Check out the Non-GMO shopping guide website too by clicking here.

In the meantime, until the labeling of genetically modified food  occurs, doesn’t it just make sense to reduce your exposure by reducing or eliminating your intake of the seven foods listed above?

What should school systems do to address the issue of GM foods?

Caroline Boardman
April 21, 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.naturalnews.com/037249_gmo_study_cancer_tumors_organ_damage.html
[2] http://www.who.int/foodsafety/areas_work/food-technology/faq-genetically-modified-food/en
[3] http://bibleornot.org/the-road-to-hell-is-paved-with-good-intentions
[4] http://www.builtlean.com/2013/11/25/gmo-foods
[5] http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-998680
[6] Id, noting that in “one example, cows that ate Roundup Ready soybeans produced milk with more fat in it. In another example, milk from cows injected with a genetically engineered growth hormone was found by a number of researchers, including those published in the journal Lancet, to have substantially higher levels of a compound known as insulin-like growth factor-1, which is linked to human breast, colon and prostate cancers. The milk also has higher levels of bovine growth hormones in it, along with pus and sometimes antibiotics.”
[7] Id.
[8] http://www.bewellbuzz.com/general/truth-pesticides-gmo
[9] http://www.allnaturalhealthylife.com/gmo/pesticides-in-our-food
[10] http://enhs.umn.edu/current/5103/gm/harmful.html
[11] http://www.gmo-compass.org/eng/safety/human_health/192.gmos_mean_more_allergies.html
[12] http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-998680
[13] http://enhs.umn.edu/current/5103/gm/harmful.html
[14] http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-998680
[15] Id.

5 Clean Anti-Aging Beauty Products Good Enough For Even the Pickiest Skin Care Enthusiast

Clean Beauty ProductsCan a Non-Toxic Anti-Aging Beauty Product Really Satisfy a Beauty Product Addict?

We live in a toxic world.  Virtually everything we eat, drink, breath or touch is toxic and, although awareness of various forms of toxicity is at an all-time high, the world is not really cleaning up its act.  We still need to eat, drink, breath and live.  We can do what we can to fight the effect of these toxins on our body though by using products that reduce toxin exposure and, sometimes, actually battle toxicity (in the form of free-radicals) head-on.

I am a beauty-product addict.  I am such a lover of beauty products that I have developed a system for analyzing, buying and using them.  I eagerly wait for and then devour Allure magazine’s Best of Beauty edition or other magazine editions with a similar focus.  I enter each product that sounds promising into a “maybe” shopping list in Evernote.  I then research each product reading all the reviews and the ingredient list and if the product meets my discriminating standards (and my budget), I move the item to my real shopping list.  I even have a line item in my monthly budget for “new beauty products.”  My criteria for a good beauty product are: (1) results (2) price and (3) as toxin-free as possible.  Here are my five favorites – at least until the next best thing comes along.

“According to Environmental Working Group, the average woman uses 12 ‘beauty’ products per day, containing 168 ingredients.”[1]  According to Sayer Ji, founder of GreenMedInfo.com, “consumers need to be at least five times more aware of a skin care products toxicity than that of food.”[2] (Click to Tweet) The “dirty dozen” toxins that are in many beauty products are: artificial dyes and coal-tar, Benzoates, BHA and BHT, DEA, MEA and TEA, Dibutyl Phthalate, Fragrance, Lead, Parabens, Petrolatum, Sodium lauryl sulphate, Stearalkonium chloride, Toluene, Triclosan.[3]   It is a challenge to find products that are completely free of any trace of any of these products but they do exist.  To help you in your research, visit the Environmental Working Group’s cosmetic data base that rates products on a scale of 0-9 (with 0 being the least toxic).  www.ewg.org/skindeep.

Here is my list:

1. Organic Non-GMO Coconut Oil. Coconut oil is the best natural health and beauty product on the planet! (Click to Tweet) That’s a big claim I know.  I started cooking with coconut oil when I made the move to a paleo diet. I love the flavor and the health benefits it provides such as relief from stress, cholesterol maintenance, weight control, boosted immune system, digestion and regulated metabolism.[4]   What I found out though is that coconut oil is also great for the skin because of its moisturizing, anti-aging and anti-viral properties.  It also fights wrinkles because it has an antioxidant Vitamin E.

“Commercial moisturizers contain lots of water, which makes you feel like your skin is being moisturized. But as soon as the water dries, your skin becomes dry again.”[5]  To use, simply put on as you would your normal moisturizer.  It is greasy at first (so I use it at night) but it will quickly absorb into your skin and then you will glow!  You can store it at room temperature. I keep a bottle in my kitchen cabinet and another on my vanity.  FYI:  it’s also great for adding shine or taming fly-away’s in the hair.

2.  Burt’s Bees Naturally Ageless Intensive Repairing Serum. This product, from the maker of the popular lip balm, is fantastic.  While it does contain trace amounts of 3 of the “dirty dozen,” its overall ranking is a 1 by the Environmental Working Group.  The product has pomegranate oil (an antioxidant) and evening primrose and borage seed oils for moisture.  Put just a little bit of this serum on your bothersome wrinkles.  Making this product even better is its price – less than $15.00!

3.  The Honest Company’s Sunscreen Stick (SPF 30). Trying to find a clean sunscreen that actually works and that you don’t have to re-apply every 30 minutes has, until now, been a challenge.  The Honest Company (founded by the actor Jessica Alba) has finally given us exactly this.  EWG give the product an overall 0 rating.  It is a broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB), mineral-based product.  It is water-resistant, does not go on white or greasy and is fragrance-free.  Most importantly, it works!  Recently, my daughter and I rented a convertible and went on an all-day driving road trip in sunny southern California.  I fell into bed that night without even the slightest pink on my face.

4.  The Honest Company’s Honest Face and Body Lotion. No, Jessica Alba is not my best friend.  I just love this product and The Honest Company.  With an overall EWG rating of 1, this moisturizer really is gentle enough for the face and body.  I use coconut oil at night and this product during the day.  It has organic olive, shea, jojoba and safflower oils (for hydration) and chamomile, calendula and aloe (for protection and to soothe).  It is also pH balanced and only $10.00!

5.  Cellex-C Eye Contour Gel. This “gel” is more like a liquid.  It feels great going on the results are incredible.  With an overall EWG rating of 1, the product which claims to have a patented vitamin C formulation really does help diminish the appearance of fine lines and crow’s-feet around the eye area although it takes at least a few months to see results.  Even more exciting is that Vitamin C is known to help reduce the visible signs of aging caused by the destructive forces of oxyradicals.[6]

There you have it – my top-secret list.  It is possible to look great, fight the signs of aging and still reduce your exposure to unnecessary toxins.  I would love to hear what you think of these products.

Do you have any clean products you love?  I would love to hear about those so I can put them on my list.

Caroline Boardman
April 19, 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
[1] http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/know-thyself-skin-care-products-can-be-more-toxic-food
[2] Id.
[3] http://www.care2.com/greenliving/the-dirty-dozen-toxins-in-your-skincare-products.html
[4] https://www.organicfacts.net/health-enefits/oils/health-benefits-of-coconut-oil.html
[5] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/27/coconut-oil-benefits_n_1625631, citing nutritionist Kimberly Snyder at http://kimberlysnyder.com.
[6] http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional

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


How Changing Careers Changed My Life

2c606e031c49e55dde4fb038d085d33dI am the President of Functional Endocrinology of Ohio (FEO) and I thought I’d write our first blog post. Because the goal of this blog is to be informative, entertaining and inspirational, I want to write about my personal story in hopes that it will inspire you.  It is never too late to make a change in your life and there are NO boundaries.

I am an attorney, or at least that was how I identified myself, until 2010.  So many of us identify ourselves by our careers, education, or training.    That’s not a bad thing if you are passionate about your career.  I was not.  I went through the motions doing what a lawyer should do (good law school, federal judicial clerkship, good law firm, etc.).  I had an amazing daughter, nice house, nice car and nice clothes.  My family and friends were proud of me and respected me for all that I had accomplished.  But I was not fulfilled.    I went to work every day without a purpose – except to maintain the persona that I had created.  I was also dealing with some health issues, which in this case was a blessing because of the evolution my life would take as I attempted to resolve them.

In 2009, I met Dr. Keith Ungar.  He is one of the fortunate few who knew what he wanted to do with his life from the age of 8 and has been passionately pursuing his goals ever since.  Dr. Ungar is a functional medicine practitioner (more on functional medicine in another blog post).  As he helped me address my health issues in a way no other doctor ever had, I watched him, his staff, and his patients doggedly pursue their personal, professional and health goals with a determination that I had only seen from my Bernese Mountain Dog, Monty, when he was trying to find the “perfect” snow pile on which to take his nap.  And they were achieving their goals!  They were healthy, joyful people who happily came to work or their doctor’s office  knowing that they were in the right place for the right reason for them.  I wanted that.

As I went through the process of getting well (which I did), I realized that just “moving through the process” was what I was already doing.  I needed to be engaged in the process.  But how?  I started reading books, going to seminars, and talking to those that had achieved similar goals.   I went full throttle into figuring out how to live my life with passion, purpose and joy.   I set my mind on these goals and knew that opportunities would present themselves, which would allow me to live the life I should live.

And, that is how FEO was born.  Dr. Ungar, a passionate and brilliant health practitioner, needed an equally passionate person to help him introduce his brand of functional medicine to the world, starting in Northern Ohio. I quit practicing law and jumped right in!  I knew in my heart that this was what I should do.  Did my family and friends question it?  Of course.  Did I sometimes question it myself?  Rarely.   Now I am one of those people who come to work everyday with joy and purpose.  What a blessing.

We all have our own journeys to take.  This is mine (so far).


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