A Beginner’s Guide to Yoga

Yoga Picture            A Beginner’s Guide to Yoga

Raising a family and having a fulfilling career has not come easy for me.  I’m sure I am not alone.  Trying to find balance in this fast paced world, juggling family, a career, housework, deadlines, baseball games and choir concerts, can leave one feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and completely stressed out.  This is exactly where I landed. I found myself just going through the motions – essentially showing up where needed.  As my children were growing right before my very eyes I began to realize how quickly time was passing by.  I became acutely aware of the fact that I had lost sight of the bigger picture. I was missing out on all the little things that I would soon come to realize were really the biggest things.  I no longer wanted to go through the motions I wanted to get back to living with intention and to actively participating in my own life!    If I was going to pour all of my energy into something, I wanted do things that mattered…this is where my yoga journey began.

I started by signing up for a beginner level class at the local YMCA.  The class  was 2 times per week and worked perfectly into my schedule.   The more I practiced, the more I wanted to learn. The more I learned, the more I wanted to practice.  The benefits were almost immediate.  I was able to breathe and sleep better.  I was more focused at work and overall I felt better!

The health benefits of yoga are well-established.  Practicing yoga on a regular basis cultivates cardio-vascular health, musculoskeletal strength and flexibility.  It reaches every organ system-respiratory, digestive, reproductive, endocrine, lymphatic and nervous.   Yoga cultivates the body’s natural capacity to relax and reduces the negative effects of stress.

There are many forms of yoga and an overwhelming amount of information on the internet, but, in general, yoga focuses on postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama) and meditation (dhyana).   Start with the basics and develop your practice.  Below are 7 quick tips to getting started:

What you will need:  A yoga mat and an open mind.

  1. Choose your location: The comfort of your own home, a local gym or a yoga studio.
  2. Choose a beginner level DVD, online video or yoga class.
  3. Familiarize yourself with the Beginner Poses and how to do them correctly.
  4. Familiarize yourself with Yoga Etiquette.
  5. Familiarize yourself with Basic Breathing Techniques.
  6. Work at your own level and always listen to your body.
  7. Just Breathe.

Yoga has taught me to once again, live with intention, to pour my energy into what truly matters, to be present…and be okay with it.  I still have to deal with everyday stresses, deadlines and problems.  However, they no longer get the best of me.  I can deal with them with confidence, clarity and ease.  In general, I have a more defined sense of purpose in my life. I’ve learned to honor my body and to let go of things that no longer serve my purpose so that I can do more than I once thought possible.  By taking time out for myself, on my mat, I am a better person for everyone in my life.   Carrying my practice with me in my daily routine, I am more mindful, focused and confident. I continue to grow in my life each day as well as in my practice.  This is my journey.

Namaste my friends,

Joy Vale
Client Care Coordinator

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 S. Starkey and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians

Visit us at www.balancingyourchemistry.com.

Cope, Stephen. Yoga and the Quest for the True Self. New York: Bantam, 2000. Print.
Kaminoff, Leslie, and Amy Matthews. Yoga Anatomy. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2012. Print.
“Three Ways Yoga Can Improve Your Career.” www.womensagenda.com.au/guilt-free-zone/health/three-ways-yoga-can-improve-your-career/201306172338#.VQ9CH47F98E>.

Quick Guide To Functional Neurology

Funct. Neur.

Quick Guide to Functional Neurology

Neurology is a branch of medicine dealing with disorders of the nervous system.  Lately, Functional Neurology is gaining momentum and acceptance as an authoritative treatment option for nervous system disorders and to improve brain performance.  Functional neurology is multi-disciplinary and includes chiropractic, optometry, audiology, psychology, conventional medicine, physical and occupational therapies.  It may also include diet and nutrition recommendations if there are metabolic deficiencies.

So, what is the difference between traditional neurology and functional neurology?  The answer lies in the difference in treatment approaches.  Conventional neurologists’ primary treatment protocols are pharmaceutical (drugs) and surgery.  Functional neurologists believe that nervous system function changes with environmental stimulation.  This concept is known as “neuroplasticity” and is the core of a functional neurologist’s clinical methodology.

Improving body functionality by finding the cause of dysfunction is the embodiment of what chiropractic physicians are trained to do.   Thus, chiropractic physicians are a perfect choice when looking for someone to lead your functional neurology treatment team. Chiropractic neurologists undergo doctoral and post-graduate training and a rigorous certification process. This intensive training ensures a very high level of clinical efficacy.

So, I’ve found physician to lead my treatment team, what happens next? Just like a world-class chef uses many tools and ingredients to create the perfect meal, the functional neurologist uses a variety of tools to stimulate the nervous system (sound, smell, vision, movement, balance, etc.).  The doctor chooses among these modalities based on a variety of cutting-edge clinical assessment tools.  When combined with specific diet and nutritional recommendations, when metabolic deficiencies are found, the results are powerful.

If you have any neurological condition, memory loss, a cognitive decline, loss of the ability to focus or concentrate, or simply want to improve your brain performance to elevate yourself to the next level in your chosen profession, functional neurology is a wonderful tool to help you meet or exceed your goals and improve your quality of life.

Dr. Keith S. Ungar
March 9, 2015

For more information, visit us at www.balancingyourchemistry.com

Functional 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
Dr. Ungar is board-eligible in chiropractic neurology

11 Things Your Doctor and His or Her Staff Must Do To Keep You Healthy

Untitled design (31) Quick Guide to What Your Doctor and His or Her Staff Should Be Doing To Help You Achieve Your Health Goals

A visit to most doctor’s offices is not a pleasant experience.  You either don’t feel well or believe something is wrong.  While there is no way to stop how you might feel before you come into the doctor’s office, it is completely within the doctor’s control to make your visit as pleasant and fulfilling (yes, I said fulfilling) as it can possibly be.
We have all been to one or many doctors in our lives.   I know I have.  Click here to read my article about what brought me to Functional Endocrinology of Ohio.  While some of my doctors’ office experiences and treatments were not awful (not really a rousing endorsement), it took a lot of time, effort and frustration for me to find the right doctor and doctor’s office.  What I discovered is that both (the doctor and his office staff) are important to your health.  The right doctor and staff can make almost as much difference as the right diagnosis and treatment.   Here is what you should expect from your doctor and his staff.   I have listed these items in chronological order (from your first exposure to the office through your lifelong experience with the office).
  1. A great website or social media presence. In this day and age, we all go to the internet to find information about everything.  A good medical office needs to bring the information to where their patients will see it. [Click to Tweet] They are able to answer almost any (non-medical) question a potential patient may have on their website.  The information should preferably be in video form as well as written for those people who learn best by video.  The website is easy to navigate and should give the contact information for the office on almost every page.  The website should include doctor biographies, directions and patient testimonials.  Beware of reviews you read on-line.  The best and most accurate reviews are from real patients.  Look for the testimonials on the company’s website.
  2. A great telephone staff. The staff that answer the phone will be your first live exposure to the practice. The staff is friendly, empathetic, professional, patient, and knowledgeable and be able to answer almost every question.  You should not hold for longer than a couple of minutes.  The staff member may have been already assisting another patient in the office when you called.  When they return to the call, the staff member will listen to you and not be distracted or doing other things.
  3. Scheduling and re-scheduling should be easy. You can call the office, have your questions answered, give the relevant information (name, address, etc.) and schedule an appointment at a time convenient to you within 5 minutes.  We all know that the schedules of good doctors are often booked far in advance.  That cannot be helped.  However, an option should be offered to you to be put on a waiting list if there is a cancellation.  You should be given all the information you need to prepare for your appointment during this phone call so that you do not need to call back.  This information should include directions, parking instructions, instructions about any paperwork that needs to be completed, what to expect during your visit, and other office-specific information.
  4. Informative confirmation calls. You should always receive a confirmation call before your visit per whatever policy the office has set.  Some office calls 2 days in advance, some 1 day, and some even on the weekends.  The person who confirms your appointment should be able to answer all (non-doctor) related questions and reschedule your appointment if needed.
  5. A prompt, friendly and informative greeting. You should be greeted immediately upon arrival into the office by the front desk staff.  They should look you in the eye, smile and if it is not your first visit, greet you by name.  The staff should instruct you where to sign in, where sit, and let you know about how long the wait will be, and instruct you on what the first part of your visit will entail. For example, if staff will take your vitals before you see the doctor, the front desk staff should tell you this.  If there is paperwork to complete, the staff should give you the proper instructions and be ready to answer any questions.  One thing to remember about paperwork is that the doctor has instructed the staff about how he or she wants the paperwork completed.  So, if the staff seems overly critical about paperwork completion, don’t judge them too harshly.  Sometimes patients do not realize how important thoroughly completed paperwork is to their overall healthcare treatment.
  6. Qualified nursing staff. You should be completely comfortable with any services provided by the staff.  The staff should tell you of what they are doing each step of the way and you should feel comfortable that they know what they are doing.  If you don’t, it is important that you tell your doctor.
  7. A doctor who greets you and really listens. Just like the description of a good staff above, your doctor should greet you by name and a handshake (in most cases) while looking you in the eye.  The doctor should sit down, look you in the eye, and after giving a sentence or two about why he thinks you are there (the reason you gave to the front desk when you scheduled), he should ask you to tell him what is going on.   Then, he should listen to you! [Click to Tweet]  He should take notes as necessary but be listening.  He is not distracted or in too much of a hurry and you should always feel that he is really hearing you.
  8. A doctor who is prepared. Your doctor should be prepared in advance of your visit.  We have all been to doctors who, despite having seen you before, open the chart for the first time as they are walking into the room and then clearly do not know who you are, or why you are there to see them.  This should not happen.  It should be clear to you that your doctor has reviewed your chart before your visit and is ready to ask the right questions to get you on the road to good health.  The doctor’s explanation is clear and easily understood and the doctor should answer every question you have until you understand.
  9. A clearly explained treatment plan. Your treatment plan should be very clearly explained and outlined in writing, including all costs.  You should know what to expect at each step of the way and the doctor and staff should be ready to answer any questions you might have about the treatment plan at any point.   If your treatment plan changes for any reason, this should also be communicated to you timely.
  10. Open line of communication. You should feel comfortable enough with your doctor and his staff to discuss any issues you may have about your health or your treatment. This includes any customer service issues you might have with the office itself.   A good practice will always want to improve and should be open to any feedback you give them and thank you for it!  [Click to Tweet] The office should also be ready to resolve any problem you might have promptly.
  11. Follow up. Finally, a good medical provider is your lifelong health partner.  This means they will be ready to help you through any health issue you might have.   You should expect follow-up calls, follow-up visits, and follow-up communications with the office at regular intervals.
So, how does your doctor and his/her staff measure up?  I would love to hear about some really great experiences that you have had visiting your doctor.  Were there things that they did or did not do that you really appreciated?
Caroline Boardman
July 1, 2015
To make an appointment, 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

Don’t Worry Be Happy – 9 Tools To Help You Kick Your Anxiety to the Curb!

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9 Ways To Keep Anxiety From

Dominating Your Life

Anxiety comes in many forms. Some people get nervous about social events or large crowds of people. Others get overly excited. Some people with anxiety suffer from constant worrying and negative or pessimistic thinking. A lot of people with anxiety feel like their brain is stuck on repeat – the same thought replayed in their head over and over, again and again.  You may say something to these people once but in their mind, you’ve said it more than a hundred times!
I have suffered with anxiety most of my life. I remember suffering with it as a teenager and all throughout my young adulthood. In a way, I am glad that I have gone through this struggle because it helps me relate to my neurofeedback patients. Anxiety is one of those things, kind of like sinus problems, if you do not have it you don’t really understand what it is like to suffer with it. Having this first-hand experience allows me to put myself in my patient shoes and help them through their progression. Aside from encouraging others’ happiness, I work hard at encouraging myself. One of the best exercises I have ever done through the years was creating and updating my “Makes Me Happy List.”  [Click to Tweet] This may sound a little childish but it works! One day I sat down and wrote out a long list of things, people, events, activities, etc. that make me feel happy. Some of the items on my list are simple like eating sushi, painting, listening to music, or having a girl’s night. Some of them are a little harder to do like playing in the snow, especially if it’s not winter. However, since I have over 100 items to choose from I can always find one or two things that I can do right away. I recommend doing this activity when you are in a positive mood and to write down as many things that you can.  You can also add new stuff as time goes by. To all of you reading this blog who suffer from anxiety, or those who love someone who suffers with it, remember it is controllable.   We can control our own lives. I also would like to give you a virtual hug and urge you to keep making positive steps in the right direction.
One of the biggest misconceptions is that everyone with anxiety suffers from anxiety attacks. That is false.  Not all people with anxiety actually suffer from anxiety or “panic” attacks. Panic attacks are a sudden episode of intense fear that triggers severe physical reactions when there is no real danger or apparent cause.  When a panic attack occurs, you might think you’re losing control, having a heart attack or even dying.[1]  It is important to understand the difference between the two. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) affects 6.8 million adults or 3.1% of the U.S. population while Panic Disorder affects 6 million, or 2.7% of the U.S. population. Unfortunately women are twice as often affected by anxiety or panic disorders as men.[2]
Since this topic is relevant to my life, I wanted to take some time to tell you a few of my tricks and tips I have learned over the years to help control or reduce my anxious moments.

9 Ways To Reduce Anxiety.

1) Sleep. Get a good night sleep! Sleep is so important for our health. On average, you should get a solid seven to nine hours of sleep. Lack of sleep throws your body off rhythm and contributes to overall anxiety and stress.
2) Breath. “Deep breathing counters the effects of stress by slowing the heart rate and lowering blood pressure,” says psychologist Judith Tutin, PhD.[3]  Deep diaphragmatic breathing is a powerful anxiety-reducing technique because it activates the body’s relaxation response. It helps the body go from the fight-or-flight response of the sympathetic nervous system to the relaxed response of the parasympathetic nervous system.[4]  She suggested this practice: “Try slowly inhaling to a count of 4, filling your belly first and then your chest, gently holding your breath to a count of 4, and slowly exhaling to a count of 4 and repeat several times.” If you are having an anxiety attack the best way to control your breathing is to use a paper bag (never plastic!) to slow down and regulate your breathing pattern.
Please read the great blog Dr. David Starkey D.C. wrote titled “The Top 10 Reasons to Breathe Yourself to Better Health” for more information on how breathing can help your body.[5]
3) Laugh. We are all familiar with the old saying that laughter is the best medicine. This has been scientifically proven. According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter has a lot of positive short-term and long-term effects. Some of the short-term effects are that it increases oxygen that stimulates your organs and increases the endorphins released to your brain. It also raises your heart rate and blood pressure while reducing your body’s stress response. Laughter also helps relax muscles by stimulating blood circulation. Some of the long-term effects include helping your immune system. It does this by reducing the negative chemicals that your body releases from stress and increasing neuropeptides that help fight serious illnesses. Laughter can also act as a natural painkiller. Overall, allowing yourself to laugh is going to reduce stress and anxiety.[6]
Untitled design (26) 4) Find a positive outlet. For me one of the best ways to deal with anxiety is to either exercise or listen to some music. All forms of exercise, including yoga and walking, can ease depression and anxiety by helping the brain release feel-good chemicals and by giving your body a chance to practice dealing with stress. Please read these great blogs about yoga or about walking.   Also, research shows that listening to soothing music can lower blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety. This could include classical music, nature sounds, beach sounds, or rain simulators.
5) Meditate or use guided imagery. A few minutes of practice per day can help ease anxiety. “Research suggests that daily meditation may alter the brain’s neural pathways, making you more resilient to stress,” says psychologist Robbie Maller Hartman, PhD, a Chicago health and wellness coach. 2. Please read “Meditation Can Actually Create More Time in Your Day”.  If meditating isn’t appealing to you, guided imagery is also effective. You can download or buy hundreds of different guided imagery tracks. They will walk you through relaxing your entire body one part at a time while focusing your mind of pleasant visualizations. Guided imagery can last from 10- 60 minutes.
6) Talk to someone. One of the easiest ways to stop the repeat button or broken track in your head is to say what you are thinking about out loud.  [Click to Tweet] Find someone who you trust and use them as a sounding board. Let it out! Even if the thought seems way too far-fetched or ridiculous once you say it out loud it will help you process that thought. This also gives you the opportunity to decide whether your thoughts are rational or irrational. Let go of the irrational thought! Focus on the positive or rational thoughts.
7) Journal. If you do not have someone or are not yet comfortable talking to someone when you are anxious, then start a journal. Journals are a safe place to pour out your thought, feeling, and emotions. I always recommend keeping the notes in your journal positive since we are trying to ease your anxiety. Or, at the very least, wrap up your entry with a positive note.
8) Focus on now. Always remember to take things one day at a time. Yes, life does happen all at once but if you sit down and prioritize your day, week, month, and year it will help relieve the stress and anxiety of taking care of everything all at once. Focus most of your energy on the events or tasks that matter the most,  [Click to Tweet] like taking care of your family, your career, finishing school, volunteering, traveling, or maybe a hobby. Whatever matters the most to you should take the highest priority and therefore receive the most focus and energy from you. This is not possible if you are constantly focusing on worrying and stress.
9) Keep Busy. One of the best ways to reduce anxiety is to distract you or keep yourself busy. As I mentioned earlier, I have a “Makes me happy list” and I recommend this for anyone with anxiety. When anxiety or depression consumes you, it is hard to remember what exactly makes you happy. This list acts like a cheat sheet – just pick out a few things off your list to distract yourself. If you are at work and you feel anxious take on more tasks or projects, or help a co-worker. When you help someone else out or do something that makes someone else happy, it is a natural response to feel satisfied and happy yourself.  Smiles are contagious!  [Click to Tweet]
Anxiety is embarrassing, annoying, and inconvenient, but it doesn’t have to consume your life. Every day is a new chance to live a better, more positive life. I hope some of these tips prove helpful, please share any positive experiences you have or have had!
What are some things you practice to control or reduce your anxiety?
Missty Klinger
June 28, 2015
To schedule a free neurofeedback 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] . Mayo Clinic. (2015). Stress relief from laughter? It’s no joke. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-relief/art-20044456
[2] Adaa. (2015). Facts & Statistics. Retrieved from http://www.adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics
[3] Moninger, J. (2015). 10 Relaxation Techniques That Zap Stress Fast. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/blissing-out-10-relaxation-techniques-reduce-stress-spot
[4] Tartakovsky, M. (2013). 9 Ways to Reduce Anxiety Right Here, Right Now. Retrieved from http://psychcentral.com/lib/9-ways-to-reduce-anxiety-right-here-right-now/
[5] 3. Starkey, D. (2015). The Top 10 Reasons to Breathe Yourself to Better Health. Retrieved from https://realwellnessdoc.com/2015/05/06/stop-breathing-and-start-singing/
[6] Mayo Clinic at fn. 1

Are You Seasonally Sad? 10 Ways to Know!

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Seasonal Affective Disorder is Not Just a Winter Sport!

♫ ♬ ♪ If your happy and you know it clap your hands…Clap Clap…..If your happy and you know it clap your hands….Clap Clap……If your happy and you know it then your face will surely show it.   If your happy and you know it clap your hands…Clap Clap! ♪ ♫ ♬[1]   What is the opposite of happy?  That’s right!!  SAD.  But, I’m not here to talk about your feelings.  I am here to discuss a far more concerning topic when it comes to the word S.A.D..
What is S.A.D?  The acronym S.A.D. stands for seasonal affective disorder.  “Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also know as winter depression, winter blues, summer depression, summertime sadness, or seasonal depression, is a mood disorder subset where people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year experience depressive symptoms in the summer or winter.”[2]  The acronym SAD was coined in a brilliant decade, the 80’s, by an MD named Normal Rosenthal.  His early publication on the DIS-EASE gave the acronym SAD quick notoriety in the allopathic world.  He was able to treat the DIS-EASE simply with light therapy!!  In that study, it was concluded that light helped brain wave frequencies to shift gears into delta brain waves, or deep sleep waves. This proved to reduce SAD symptoms!  [Click to Tweet]
Fortunately, I do not suffer from SAD.    I have caught cabin fever a time or two, but have come through it pretty quickly.   Unfortunately though, I do have many patients who suffer from seasonal effects on their neurological systems and their biochemistry.  In fact, SAD affects around 14 million Americans, according to author and SAD specialist Norman Rosenthal, M.D., in his book Winter Blues.[3] People can experience a variety of symptoms associated with SAD.   According to Emily Lockhart,[4] signs may include the following:
  1. Disabling Fatigue
  2. Withdrawal from life
  3. Lack of focus
  4. Sleep Difficulties
  5. Disheartened and Deflated
  6. Muscles and Joint Pain
  7. Irritability
  8. Weight and Appetite
  9. Anxiety
  10. Recklessness
One of the main treatments used is light therapy to help balance the seasonal effects of the disorder.  Many theories exist on why light therapy may help.  What we do know is that light works on the pineal gland of the central nervous system.  Sun-gazing is one way to getting the light needed to help combat the winter or summer blues.   This is an unfamiliar ancient technique according to EarthClinic.[5] Sun gazing, a practice also know as sun eating, is a strict regiment of gradually allowing sunlight into your eyes at specific periods of the day.  [Click to Tweet]  Now don’t take this as an excuse to stare at the sun.  This can actually be harmful to the retina of the eye and cause permanent damage.  This practice must be taught by a competent practitioner to assure you do not damage these sensitive organs.
Proper nutrition and supplementation can also help boost the mood in the winter and hot summer months.   I have found with my patients that Vitamin D is also an excellent vitamin of choice when staving off the seasonal blues.  Consult you primary care doctor for any further recommendations.
Everyone has good and bad days and most are not caused by seasonal affective disorder.  So next time you get to feeling down in the summer or winter months, remember that, “You can’t enjoy a sunny day without a rainy day”[6]
What do you do for the rainy day blues?
Dr. Andrew Kender, D.C.
June 24, 2015
To Schedule a Free Consultation on What You Can Do for Your S.A.D., 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] Credited to Dr. Alfred B. Smith
[2] Ivry, Sara (August 13, 2002). Seasonal Depression can Accompany Summer Sun. The New York Times. Retrieved September 6, 2008
[3] http://www.psychcentral.com/…/are you sad this winter
[4] http://www.activebeat.com/your-health/do-i-suffer-from-seasonal-affective-disorder/6/
[5] www.earthclinic.com
[6] -Anonymous

Me Caroline, You Reader – 6 Everyday Paleo Principles

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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



Can You Really Sleep Like a Baby?

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8 Ways to Make Every Horizontal Hour Count!

We spend about one-third of our lives sleeping.  In other words, if you live for ninety years, you will sleep for 30 years of your life!  Given this, figuring out how to get the most from your sleep is pretty important!
There is a lot of controversy over how much sleep we need.   If you were to research this question, you would probably conclude that the right amount of sleep depends on the person. Some people need eight to nine hours, while others do just fine on five to six hours. Personally, five to six hours of sleep is perfect for me!  I feel tired the next day if I sleep more than that. My wife, however, needs more sleep than I do.  She is also one of those people who is asleep 5 minutes after her head hits the pillow.  I admit; I’m jealous.  For me, it takes a little longer.  What are the benefits of a restful sleep and how do we sleep better?
The Benefits of A Good Quality Sleep:
  • Sleep helps to repairs one’s body. When you go to sleep you should reach stage 4 of sleep or “REM sleep.” This stands for Rapid Eye Movement. It is in this phase of sleep that your muscles totally relax. “Your body produces extra protein molecules while you’re sleeping that help strengthen your ability to fight infection and stay healthy.” (1)
  • Sleep helps to keep your heart healthy by reducing stress and inflammation.
  • Sleep helps to improve memory. When people wake up not rested in the morning, some may experience a type of “brain fog.”  [Click to Tweet] This affects memory. Look at this as a type of inflammation in the brain.
  • Sleep helps to control body weight. “Sleep helps regulate the hormones that affect and control your appetite. Studies have shown that when your body is deprived of sleep, the normal hormone balances are interrupted and your appetite increases.” (1)
  • Good quality sleep decreases your chance of diabetes.
  • Good quality sleep decreases mood disorders. Lack of sleep can lead to depression and or anxiety.

8 Ways to Fall Asleep Quicker and Make Every Minute Count!

1.  Make sure you have a mattress that’s right for you. There is no set rule on whether firm or soft is better.  You really need to try a mattress out.  Just laying on it in the store for a minute or two really does not give you the information you need.  To solve this problem, make sure the store has a 30-day return policy. After sleeping on whatever mattress you pick, you will know if it is “right” for you and if it’s not – you can return it!  If the store does not have a return policy, find another store. Don’t sway on this! A quality mattress is an investment into your health and well-being.
2.  Have a pillow that is good for you.   Sleeping with two or three pillows under your head is wrong. You want a comfortable pillow that keeps your neck in the anatomically-correct c-shape.  [Click to Tweet]  Too many pillows under your head can keep your neck in an odd shape and can affect how you breathe when you sleep.
3.  Keep the temperature in your room between 65 to 60 degrees. A cooler room will help you sleep better and deeper.
 4.  Keep the room darker. A glowing cell phone, clock radio, or TV will affect the quality of your sleep.
5.  Establish and follow a normal sleep routine. This means going to bed around the same time each night and waking up around the same time each morning.
 6.  Don’t stare at a clock in your room. Too many people get frustrated watching a clock.  “Staring at a clock in your bedroom, either when you are trying to fall asleep or when you wake in the middle of the night, can actually increase stress, making it harder to fall asleep.” (2)
 7.  Run a fan in your room. White noise is soothing, helping one to get to sleep and stay sleep throughout the night. My wife and I have a fan running constantly. We even take a small fan with us when we are staying at a hotel.
 8.  Try this breathing technique:  breathe in through your nose to the count of 4, hold your breath to the count of 7 and breathe out through your mouth to the count of 8.  Doing this 4 o 5 times helps many people fall asleep faster. [Click to Tweet]
Don’t freak out on some nights you can’t get to sleep. Everyone has those evenings that they can’t sleep.  While having these nights too often is not good for your health, everyone has them now and then.  Instead of getting frustrated about not being able to sleep, get out of bed and do something else.
If you have constant trouble getting to sleep, or if you wake up and can’t get back to sleep, consult a doctor. Proper testing can determine the reason for this.  Remember though that sleep aids are not the answer.  Find a doctor that will help you solve the problem instead of simply inducing sleep chemically.  Look for a future post about the connection between drugs, sleeping aids and Dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Do you struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep?  Do you have any tips you would like to share?
Sleep well my friends,
Dr. David Starkey D.C.
June 17, 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
To Schedule a Complimentary Consultation, Click Here.
  1. better-sleep-better-life.com/benefits-of-sleep.html
  2. healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/getting/overcoming/tips



Its Not Too Late To Start Your Organic Vegetable Garden

Untitled design (14)  8 Quick Tips to Start Your Garden Today!

It is June, but it’s not too late to start your own homegrown vegetable garden.  It may seem that Mother Nature is playing tricks on us with the weather here in Ohio but starting a garden now is easier than you think and also very rewarding!  With a little planning, preparation and few quick tips, you are on your way to growing fresh, organic, home-grown produce.  Not only will you save money on groceries, you will know exactly what you are eating and may have a little fun doing it!
My daughter Ashleigh has been the true inspiration for this topic.  After nearly three years of eating strictly vegetarian, spending valuable time in the produce section, she has sparked our interest to invest our time, money and energy into growing our own organic vegetable garden. One thing I have learned in motherhood is to embrace these moments. Embrace the moments spent together, learning together and having fun together.   Together, I know it will be time well spent (not just running to the grocery store), an incredible sense of accomplishment, and valuable life lessons to carry with her into adulthood.  And, we’ll have a little fun together!
Below are a few quick tips I used to get started.  I recommend keeping a log of your gardening to help you to improve from year to year.  Keep information about the soil that you used, the amount of rainfall/watering and the dates that you planted and harvested.
Quick Tips to Getting Started:
Tools you will need: gardening gloves, a garden fork, spade, hoe, garden hose and a wheelbarrow.
1.  Research what crops do best in your area and go with the vegetables you love to eat!
2.  If you haven’t started your seedlings it’s not too late.  You can buy hearty sprouts ready to plant.  When shopping for organic vegetables, look for heirloom varieties that are non-GMO.  Plan to grow enough to cover your daily requirements.
3.  I recommend starting with a raised garden box, starting small.  Raised garden beds require less bending, less weeding, protect the plants, stop erosion and will help keep the little nibblers, such a rabbits, out.
4.  Choose a high quality soil.
5.  Determine the best destination for your garden.  The best place will have at least 6 hours of direct sun and be within reach of a garden hose. [Click to Tweet]
6.  Start a compost pile and use it to give the proper nutrients to your garden soil and cut the use of chemical fertilizers.
7.  Don’t forget to water! Water your plants in the morning, watering the soil and not the greenery. A common rule is to water your garden an inch of water a week.  I recommend setting out a rain gauge to accurately assess the right amount of water needed after a rainfall.
8.  Wondering how you are going to keep those pesky bugs and critters away?  Instead of applying chemicals I suggest an age-old remedy recommended by my Grandmother:  an organic pest control consisting of 1 gallon of warm water, 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 2 tablespoons of Dawn dishwashing soap.  [Click to Tweet]   She recommends spraying the greenery weekly to ensure a good harvest.   My Grandmother also advised adding crushed eggshells once a week to deter slugs. [Click to Tweet]
With all this in mind I encourage you to start a garden of your own!  Don’t forget to water daily, fertilize weekly and most of all – reap the rewards of time well spent. I wish you a bountiful harvest!
What suggestions do you have for all natural alternatives to pesticides?
Joy Vale
June 14, 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
To Schedule a Complimentary Consultation, click here.

Teegen, Marta. Homegrown: A Growing Guide for Creating a Cook’s Garden. New York, NY: Rodale, 2010. Print.
“How and When to Water Your Garden.” – Vegetable Gardener. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 June 2015

6 Ways To Rock a Road Trip When You Have Dietary Restrictions

You Don’t Need to Eat Fast Food, Doritos and Drink Red Bull To Survive Your Next Road Trip!

Road Trip

A wise man once told me, “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail”.  This saying relates to so many aspects of our lives.  It definitely holds true when you have to travel AND stick to a healthy way of eating.  When traveling this summer you may find it hard to stick to healthy eating because of all the horrible fast food options when on the road.  There is no easy way to avoid junk foods when traveling other than being ready.  My #1 suggestion is to pack a cooler.  [Click To Tweet]
I was fortunate enough growing up as a child, that my mother always had ready a cooler for us when on a road trip so we didn’t have to eat out at fast food restaurants.   No doubt this took time and effort on her part, but it was her way of making sure she knew what our next meal would be and that it was not processed and unhealthy.  I recently welcomed my first child into our family and I have made sure we have a cooler ready when we are out on the weekends.   This way, I can make sure our entire family eats foods that are healthy.
Now don’t get me wrong, you can’t always pack a cooler when taking a trip.   If you are flying, the airline might not allow you to take certain items on the plane.  Be ready with dry snacks to tide you over until you get to where you are going.  Men’s Health Magazine offers some advice when it comes to eating healthy while on the road. (1)
  1. Be prepared
  2. Know where you are going
  3. Eat every 2-3 hours
  4. Carry your greens
  5. Pop an important supplement
  6. Drink more water
If you are having trouble thinking of things to take on the road with you while traveling, I would like to offer a few options to consider.  Beef or turkey jerky is a protein packed snack that can tide you over and give you what you need to meet your daily intake of protein.  Biltong is dried, cured meat that originated in South Africa. (2)  [Click To Tweet] I had the privilege of playing Rugby with a good group of South Africans and Australians and these guys always would bring their homemade biltong on road trips.  It was a great pregame snack that was healthy and nutritious.  Food.com is a great place to start by learning a recipe on how you can it make your own! (3)  Fresh fruit is always a go to when traveling.  I prefer apples because they are low glycemic foods that are high in fiber.  Apples are very portable and you know that, “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away”.
No matter whether you are day-tripping or cruising the highways across the states, you need to develop a strategy on what YOU can do to stick to a healthy lifestyle.  So if it means digging out the old cooler packed away in the garage or learning a new recipe to make your trip a success, don’t miss your ticket on the road to health!!

Dr. Andrew Kender, D.C.
June 10, 2015

Click Here to To Schedule a Free Consultation!

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.menshealth.com/nutrition/travel-healthy-eating
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biltong
  3. http://www.food.com/recipe/south-african-biltong-309886
Picture: http://www.mytinyphone.com/uploads/users/hschippers/224603.jpg

15 Gluten Free Flours You Need to Try!

Quick Guide to Gluten Free Flours

The health benefits of a gluten-free diet (for people sensitive to gluten) are well-established.  Baking and cooking gluten-free remains a challenge though because you can’t just substitute a gluten-free flour for wheat flour in every recipe.  Even more importantly, the difference in taste, texture, nutritional value and cooking properties are vast.  This article will give you basic information about all the GF flours out there so you can try them in your favorite recipe.
When my test results established that I am gluten sensitive, I was overwhelmed – at first!  One of the things that I found most overwhelming was baking.  The number of gluten-free flours alone is very daunting.  Here is a quick look at 15 gluten-free flours, their nutrition facts, and possible uses.

GF Flours

Name of flour
Nutrition Information
Common Uses
Sorghum Flour 1 cup = 15.4 gm protein,
102 gm carbs, 8.6 gm fiber
Has a sweet flavor, so use it primarily in spicy things (like gingerbread cookies, or spice brownies)
Buckwheat Flour 1 cup = 15.1 gm protein,
85 gm carbs, 12 gm fiber
Apple or pear muffins, banana bread, buckwheat pancakes
Amaranth flour 1 cup = 19.5 gm protein,89 gm carbs, 12.6 gm fiber Can add it in handfuls to crepes and quiche crusts. Amaranth has a grassy, earthy taste, so it works best in savory dishes, like pizza dough.
Quinoa flour 1 cup = 14.7 gm protein,77 gm carbs, 6.6 gm fiber Can use a little quinoa flour, in combination with other gluten-free flours, in something savory:cheddar-cheese biscuits; zucchini bread; or herb muffins. [Click To Tweet]
Teff flour 1 cup = 15.7 gm protein,94 gm carbs, 8.7 gm fiber Use as a substitute for sorghum or bean flours in gluten-free flour mixes.Use as a substitute for a portion of brown rice or white rice flours in recipes.Teff is a dark tan color and works well in recipes that call for chocolate.
Ground flax-seed 1 cup = 23.8 gm protein,38 gm carbs, 35.5 gm fiber Dinner rolls, pizza crust, granola
Almond flour/almond meal 1 cup = 23.6 gm protein,21 gm carbs, 14.7 gm fiber This and other nut flours, such as chestnut and hazelnut, macadamia and pistachio, add protein and vibrant taste to gluten-free baking.
Coconut flour 2 tbsp = 2 gm protein,8 gm carbs, 5 gm fiber. A suitable wheat flour substitute – Coconut flour requires about twice as much hydration as wheat.For wheat flour, you can substitute anywhere from 10 – 30% of regular flour for coconut flour. Best to use when a recipe calls for it.
Tapioca flour 1 cup = 0 protein,94 gm carbs, 0 fiber It gives baked goods a nice chewy texture. Try it in white bread or French bread recipes. It is also easily combined with cornstarch and soy flour.
Potato starch 1 tbsp = 0 protein,10 gm carbs, 0 fiber This is a gluten-free thickening agent that is perfect for cream-based soups and sauces.
Brown rice flour 1 cup = 11.4 gm protein,121 gm carbs, 7.3 gm fiber Use it in breads, muffins, and cookies.
White rice flour 1 cup = 9.4 gm protein,
127 gm carbs, 3.8 gm fiber
This is an excellent basic flour for gluten-free baking. [Click To Tweet] Because it has such a bland flavor, it is perfect for baking, as it doesn’t impart any flavors. It works well with other flours.
Bean flour 1 cup = 6gm – 32gm protein,18gm – 88gm carbs, 5 gm – 20gm fiber (depending on the type of bean Baking, thickening, dips, filling, crackers, pancakes, muffins, cookies, onion ring batter
Millet flour 1 cup = 12gm protein,
78gm carbs, 9gm fiber
Use as a substitute for sorghum or bean flours in gluten-free flour mixes.Use as a substitute for a portion of brown rice or white rice flours in recipes.Millet is a light golden-yellow color and makes creamy-colored baked goods.
Corn flour 1 cup = 10.6 gm protein,
86.9 gm carbs, 10.9 gm fiber
Buy some authentic masa harina (as Mexican cooks call it) and make your own corn tortillas. You can also try it in gluten-free cornbread.
Here is a simple all-purpose flour recipe [Click to Tweet] (mix together and keep in an air tight container):
  • 3 cups brown rice flour
  • 1 cup millet flour(if you can’t find or don’t want to use millet flour, substitute with brown or white rice flour instead)
  • 1 cup tapioca flour or starch
  • 1 cup potato starch (not flour)
I learned so much myself while writing this blog and I hope you will too!!
What is your favorite gluten-free flour combination?  How about your favorite gluten-free baking recipe?
Samantha Weber
June 7, 2015


Email: Info@feohio.com

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

Click here to schedule a free consultation.


“Amy’s Gluten-Free Flour Blend – Amy the Family Chef.” Amy the Family Chef. N.p., 15 Nov. 2013. Web. 31 May 2015. http://amythefamilychef.com/the-warm-kitchen/amys-gluten-free-flour-blend-2/

“Tapioca Flour Nutrition.” LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 08 May 2015. Web. 31 May 2015.

“Calories in Bob’s Red Mill Black Bean Flour | Nutrition, Carbohydrate and Calorie Counter.” Calories in Bob’s Red Mill Black Bean Flour | Nutrition, Carbohydrate and Calorie Counter. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 May 2015. http://www.calorieking.com/foods/calories-in-flours-black-bean-flour_f-ZmlkPTEzODY5Mw.html

“How to Use Gluten-Free Flour.” Allrecipes.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 May 2015. http://allrecipes.com/howto/using-alternative-flours/

Durand, Faith. “What Can I Make With Sorghum Flour? – Ingredient Questions.” N.p., n.d. Web. 31 May 2015. http://www.thekitchn.com/ingredient-questions-sorghum-flour-165583

“A Guide to Working with Gluten-free Flours – Gluten Free Girl and the Chef.” Gluten Free Girl and the Chef RSS. N.p., 26 Oct. 2007. Web. 31 May 2015. http://glutenfreegirl.com/2007/10/a-guide-to-working-with-gluten-free-flours/




“How To Use Coconut Flour.” Free Coconut Recipes. N.p., 23 Oct. 2013. Web. 31 May 2015. http://freecoconutrecipes.com/how-to-use-coconut-flour/#sthash.6lWrN07J.dpuf