9 Tips For A Healthier Thyroid

1. Eggs and Raw Milk (eat)

Is it still taboo to talk about raw milk? I love it and both eggs and raw milk contain iodine.


2. Sea Vegetables (eat)

Kelp and dulse are both high in iodine and other nutrients. Your thyroid would like you to eat these on a regular basis.


3. Butter (eat)

Butter get’s a bad rap, but it’s high in vitamin A and iodine… and the thyroid loves both.


4. Coconut Oil (eat)

Polyunsaturated fats from many of our cooking oils can negatively affect the function of the thyroid gland by blocking thyroid hormone secretion, and affects how tissues react to the hormone. Coconut oil is a medium-chain triglyceride that may benefit the thyroid, but at the very least, it’s a healthy replacement for vegetable cooking oils.


5. Cruciferous Vegetables (limit or avoid)

Foods like kale, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts contain goitrogens.  Goitrogens = goitrogenic = goiters. A goiter is an enlargement of the thyroid and that can disrupt normal function. It’s not that...

Skin: Take Control of Premature Aging

aging skin
Let’s get right to the nitty gritty. There are several very well documented causes of premature aging and good science beyond what we all can do to stop, or even reverse those effects. You’ll notice that a lot of these overlap. I’m not going into detail, but tobacco use and excess alcohol can both be major contributors to premature aging of the skin.  

Too Much Sun

A little sun is great and allows our bodies to produce much needed Vitamin D. Over time, too much sun exposure can lead to premature aging in several ways. The primary way is by damaging collagen (firmness) and elastin (elasticity). It does this by increasing an enzyme responsible for degrading collagen called matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). If that’s not enough, it can increase inflammation, damage DNA, damage keratinocytes, and increase oxidative stress by decreasing antioxidant levels in the skin.


Too Much Sugar

Ok, so you already knew about the sun, but have you ever heard of glycation? Diets high in sugar can cause problems that...

Leaky Gut – filling in the holes


During digestion, our intestines are designed to allow certain nutrients to pass into the bloodstream, and send the rest downstream. When the intestinal lining becomes damaged or disrupted, it can allow unwanted elements to get through and block absorption of nutrients… this is known as Leaky Gut (increased intestinal permeability).


Leaky Gut is an extremely important issue for all of us due to the sum of the following reasons...

  • The gut is the gatekeeper of nutrients, toxins, chemicals, viruses, bacteria, fungus, and whatever else we ingest.

  • Our immune system is dependent on the health of our gut.

  • Leaky Gut can cause a large number of symptoms that seem unrelated.

  • It’s hard to pinpoint that Leaky Gut is making a pre-existing condition worse, like arthritis.

  • It can be caused by a number of factors or a combination of many.

  • There is no test to specifically say that you have Leaky Gut.

  • Our actions have a LOT to do with our chances of having Leaky...

Stress and Cancer

Other studies have shown a connection between stress and cancer, thereby making stress a risk factor for cancer. This new study first analyzed samples from 300 breast-cancer patients. They found a direct association between the activation of a stress gene called ATF3 in certain immune cells, with the spread of cancer cells.


Next, they tested mice that were either normal or could not express the ATF3 gene. The cancer in the normal mice metastasized to the lungs much faster and to a greater degree. The ATF3 gene creates an ATF3 protein used to signal other genes to turn on or off. Using the mice data, researchers were able to find an ATF3 gene “signature”, which may be used to help predict cancer mortality risks.


There are several ways to turn on the ATF3 gene in addition to chronic stress… some others are; high fat diets, UV damage, radiation, chemo, and even stress signals from the cancer cells themselves.


Vitamin D and Aging

This study looked at 2 age groups; 55 to 65 (725 people) and 65 to 88 (1237 people). The idea was that since vitamin D is directly connected to muscle health, would the resulting decrease in muscle affect people’s ability to do normal things like; dressing, walking up or down stairs, cutting their toenails, standing from a sitting position, driving their car, or walking for 5 minutes.


After factoring for things like age, physical activity, and chronic disease, they looked at two vitamin D subgroups… those with vitamin D blood serum levels <20 ng/ml (deficient) and >30 ng/ml. The vitamin D deficient folks from both age groups had significantly greater number of physical limitations after the follow-up period (3 years for the older group and 6 years for the younger group).


It’s very common for people, especially the further north you live, to be under 20 ng/ml. Even if you are taking a vitamin D supplement, you should be tested.


Kids Bedtimes and Brainpower

This study from the University College London looked at the sleep habits of 11,000 kids between the ages of 3 to 7. It found that 3 year olds with irregular bedtimes tested lower on reading (3 year olds read?), math, and spatial awareness. By age 7, just the girls tested lower. Other research from Australia has shown that poor sleep is associated with lower math and literacy skills, as well as behavioral issues.

From ages 3 to 5, kids need about 11 to 12 hours of sleep… and 10 to 11 hours during elementary school. Sleep needs vary from kid to kid, but that’s the general rule.


A Simple Guide To Understanding Your Fiber Needs

Bran Muffin

Fiber is a very mysterious component of our diet.  Generally, people seem to know that it’s good for them, good for their heart, will help keep them regular, and they should eat “more” of it.  Maybe the delicate nature of the topics relating to fiber have caused advertisers to confuse the public even more than usual.  Do you remember the SNL skit with Phil Hartman about Colon Blow cereal?

Rather than a wordy article reviewing the studies behind fiber, I decided to write this in a way that I hope you can actually use.


How much fiber: 25-40 grams per day


Types of fiber:  Soluble and Insoluble (we need both)


Soluble fiber:  Dissolves in water and forms a gel.

  • Binds to cholesterol - Bile acids are used in digestion and also as a way to remove cholesterol from our bodies.  Soluble fiber binds to the cholesterol and carries it out of the body.  In absence of soluble fiber, much of...

If you’re still not paying attention to your Vitamin D levels…

sunJD Hancock

With the overwhelming amount of information and misinformation being thrown at us on a daily basis, especially in regards to our health, how do we figure out what we really need to pay attention to?  One expert will sound the alarm and then the next will cry BS.  We’re left confused and frustrated... plus if everything is so important, then nothing is, right?  

My goal is to wade thru the clutter and highlight topics and research that matter to your optimal health.  With that said, science is showing that VITAMIN D is one thing we all need to pay attention to for 2 reasons... it’s critical to our health and about half of us are deficient.


Below are 5 critical points on vitamin D and 1 outstanding non-profit project we can all participate in to battle the problem.

  1. Our bodies are designed to produce vitamin D from sun exposure.  Most of us are spending more and more time indoors and when we are outside, we’re either covered...

The Quest for Optimal Health…



The goal of this article is to explain the purpose behind what I write for you.


Nearly all of the topics I write about are aligned with the goal of Optimal Health.  I define Optimal Health simply as the best state of body and mind possible, with respect to factors that are truly within our control.


Optimal Health is a personal quest that has nothing do with how much you can bench press or how fast you can run a 5K.  The Optimal Health for the 18 year old athlete is different than the Optimal Health of a 76 year old person diagnosed with cancer.  It changes as we change, but there’s always an Optimal Health level at each stage of our lives.


We live, we die, and our level of health effects every aspect of our lives in between. If it’s so obviously important, why are so many people living in health poverty?  That’s an extremely complicated question, but here are some big factors:


1. Information -...

Coconut Oil is a Must Have: 6 Possible Benefits

 Coconut OilJoe Shlabotnik

Coconut oil was given a bad rap for years because 90% of its oil is saturated. Most of the saturated fats in our diets are long chain triglycerides (LCT) and have 14 to 18 carbon atoms. Coconut oil is a Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCT) containing just 5 to 12 carbon atoms.  While LCTs are hard for the body to metabolize, MCTs are easily converted to ketone bodies by the liver, and used as alternative energy source to glucose.  Here is just a handful of the possible benefits of consuming coconut oil:


1. Brain Health - A famous 2004 study looked at the effects of coconut oil on a small group of people with either Alzheimer’s or mild cognitive impairment.  They found a measurable difference using cognitive tests with just ONE dose.


Our brain cells use glucose as their primary fuel, but as we age it seems that our brain’s ability to use glucose is reduced, especially for those with insulin resistance.  Ketone bodies...