On Target Living offers step by step solutions and all natural products to help solve many of life's most debilitating conditions and illnesses.
What if I told you that 60-70% of all heart attacks occur with normal cholesterol levels? How can this be? Cholesterol may play a role in your risk of having a heart attack or stroke, but there are many other factors besides having unbalanced cholesterol that affects your risk.
What does cholesterol do? I believe when most people discuss cholesterol they think of it as something bad, or are proud that their cholesterol is so low, believing the lower the cholesterol the better.
Cholesterol is necessary for the production CoQ10, a powerful anti-oxidant coenzyme involved in energy production of every single cell in our body. CoQ10 is most famous for keeping the heart healthy. Taking a statin medication lowers the body's level of CoQ10. So in the end something that is supposed to help lower your bad cholesterol levels is also hurting you by reducing your CoQ10 levels. This is problematic and leads to several health issues, or as they are popularly described as "side-effects."
How do I improve my cholesterol profile?
Step 1: Take one tablespoon of cod liver oil each morning for the first two to three weeks, letting your body acclimate. Then move to two tablespoons per day. We recommend the Nordic Naturals Orange Flavor Cod Liver Oil right off the spoon; this will give you approximately 1500-3000 mg of EPA/DHA per day.
Step 2: Take two tablespoons of ground flaxseed or chia seeds per day.
Step 3: Vitamin C is a natural cholesterol reducer. Berries, oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes, watermelon, pineapple, broccoli, kale, asparagus and sweet potatoes. Also a supplement of 500 mg of vitamin C per day.
Step 4: Start eating higher quality foods leafy greens, spirulina/chlorella, wheatgrass, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, squash, broccoli, oatmeal and beans.
Step 5: Drink more water, 6-8 ounces of water per hour!
Step 6: Move your body on a daily basis!
Step 7: Get a good night's sleep!
Should I take a statin medication to improve my cholesterol balance?
What is a statin medication? Statin medications have been on the market for more than twenty years and are the most prescribed medication in America and now around the world to help lower cholesterol. Statins are "Big Business," a multi-billion dollar business and continue to grow! The statin class of drugs is very effective at reducing cholesterol. They do their work in the liver by suppressing an enzyme called HMG-CoA. When you block the enzyme HMG-CoA, you also block the production of CoQ10 as I mentioned earlier, a powerful anti-oxidant coenzyme. A deficiency in CoQ10 can lead to multiple problems such as leg pain or cramps, impotence, depression and memory loss, type 2 diabetes, shortness of breath or fatigue, cardiac palpitations and liver enzyme abnormalities. Statin Medications can also lead to Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Multiple Sclerosis.
How do I get off or lower the dose of my cholesterol medications?
Do not change one thing with your medications for the first month or two. Get your new habits described above in place. Then set up an appointment and get your doctor on board with your new plan. Discuss with your doctor your intentions to slowly get off your cholesterol lowering medication. In three months get another blood test to monitor your cholesterol profile. For example if you are currently taking 40 mg of your statin medication cut the dosage to 20 mg and get another blood test in three months. As your cholesterol profile improves cut your dosage again to 10 mg and follow the same protocol until you are off your statin medication. I am very passionate about helping people get off of their statin medications because I know it is possible and what I am sharing with you works! By slowly working with your doctor and improving your lifestyle habits your need for cholesterol medications can disappear!
Type 2 Diabetes
Lets get busy making your cells healthy!
Step 1: Omega 3 fats such as cod liver oil, flaxseeds and chia seeds help make the cell membrane soft and permeable. One of the keys for Type 2 Diabetes is to improve cellular sensitivity. Take one-two tablespoons of the cod liver oil and two tablespoons of the ground flaxseeds or chia seeds each day.
Step 2: Avoid transfats, fast food and processed foods and beverages. Processed foods and beverages gum up the cell membrane and also make the cell membrane lose sensitivity
Step 3: Hydration! Drink more water, ideally half your body weight in ounces per day. Replace other beverages with water; a slice of lemon or lime will also help make your water more alkaline.
Step 4: Superfoods such as wheatgrass and spirulina/chlorella are one of the most powerful ways to help Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
Step 5: Magnesium also increases cellular sensitivity. Avacodos, asparagus, beans, beets, Brazil nuts, brown rice, cacao, coconut, sea vegetables, figs, fish, ginger, oatmeal, prunes, spinach and walnuts are all good sources of magnesium.
Step 6: Vitamin D is a powerful healer! If you get 30-minutes of sunshine daily, you receive about 10,000 IU vitamin D. Sunshine makes vitamin D in your body, and vitamin D protects the body from a host of diseases such as cancer, bone, heart and Type 2 diabetes. You can also get vitamin D from the foods we eat such as wild cold-water fish and cod liver oil. Another reason to take one to two tablespoons of cod liver oil daily! Make sure you are taking Vitamin D-3.
Step 7: Cinnamon. Using cinnamon on a regular basis is a powerful way to improve diabetes. Cinnamon is high in antioxidants, activates essential enzymes in the body helping the cells to become more sensitive to insulin. Try to get 1-2 teaspoons of organic cinnamon in your daily food plan
Step 8: Regular exercise and strength training improve cellular sensitivity
Step 9: Get a good night's sleep! Nothing better to boost your immune system than having healthy sleep practices
In 1970 there were less than 500,000 type 2 diabetics in the United States and today there are over 26 million with over 40 million pre-diabetics waiting in the wings! Genetics play a role in our health—but this is not genetics! One of the fastest growing groups of medications in the world today is for type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is a disease that begins at cellular level. As the outer rim of the cell becomes stiff and rigid, like an "M & M Candy Shell" insulin has a difficult time opening up the cell. Most type 2 diabetics are told not to eat foods high in sugar and this is true, sugar may have contributed to the problem, but the real problem is the cell membrane, the outer rim of the cell. The first stage of getting a type 2 diabetic on their road to recovery is to educate them about the cell membrane. What is causing the cell to be too stiff and rigid and what makes it soft and permeable?
Processed foods, fast foods, soda pop, energy drinks, alcohol, high fructose corn syrup, transfats, nutritional deficiencies, and lack of sleep all attribute to our skyrocketing increase in type 2 diabetes around the world!How do I improve my defense against Type-2 Diabetes?
Sustainable Weight Loss
Step 1: I believe one reason we are having an epidemic increase in thyroid gland problems is due to stress and not getting enough rest and rejuvenation. Adrenal exhaustion has become widespread by millions of persons suffering "stress diseases" and by the number of physicians prescribing medications for many of these illnesses. If you want to improve your thyroid start with getting enough sleep, deep breathing, foam roller, massage, and soft music, creating more "white space", simple strategies that can truly make a difference.
Step 2: One of the first steps in bringing balance back to your thyroid gland is to consume foods that are high in iodine. Foods high in iodine include asparagus, Brussels sprouts, carrots, coconut, fish, kale, oats, green onions, sweet potatoes, squash, strawberries, tomatoes and watermelon. The highest food source of iodine is seaweed or sea vegetables such as kelp, dulse.
Step 3: Zinc is involved in the creation of thyroid hormone. With low levels of zinc you may develop hypothyroidism that may lead to hair loss, weight gain, fatigue, a feeling of being cold, depression, low sex drive, insomnia, dry skin and brittle nails. Foods high in zinc include chicken, lamb, spinach, beef, squash, broccoli, asparagus, greens, millet, amaranth, pumpkin seeds and beans.
Step 4: A clean liver equals a healthy thyroid gland. If the liver is stagnant and sluggish due to eating too much food, alcohol, processed foods and dehydration the thyroid may also become sluggish. Foods high in chlorophyll such as wheatgrass, spirulina/chlorella, greens and broccoli along with drinking enough water keep the liver clean. Also, manyof these superfoods are extremely high in minerals that support the thyroid gland.
Step 5: Sleep! Focus on getting a good night's sleep. Sleep is critical for thyroid gland health.
So what causes high blood pressure and what can be done about it? There can multiple reasons for high blood pressure such as, obesity, poor nutritional habits, stress, lack of sleep, poor fitness and lack of exercise, pH imbalance, mineral deficiencies, dehydration, medication side effects to name a few. One of the fastest ways to improve blood pressure is through diaphragmatic breathing. Diaphragmatic breathing or belly breathing stimulates the vagus nerve, which in turn stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, the nervous system that slows everything down including your heart rate, brain waves and your blood pressure.
High quality nutrition, consuming healthy fats, such as extra virgin olive oil, avocadoes, macadamia nuts, cod liver oil, flaxseeds or chia seeds, along with foods high in the mineral magnesium—the relaxer all can make a difference in improving your blood pressure. Regular exercise, especially cardiovascular exercise, getting enough rest and rejuvenation all make a difference in having a healthy blood pressure. Get your blood pressure checked every three months; there are many home blood pressure kits that are easy to use and effective. Do you know what your blood pressure reading is?
Heart Disease: Steps to reduce your risk
Step 1: Adopt an anti-inflammatory diet! Start by cutting out some of the processed, acidic, highly inflammatory foods and beverages. Foods in the red area of the "Food Target" are highly processed, acidic and extremely inflammatory!
Step 2: Omega 3 fats such as cod liver oil, ground flaxseeds, chia seeds and extremely anti-inflammatory. Also, healthy fats such as extra virgin coconut oil, olive oil, avocadoes and hemp seeds, most raw nuts and seeds are also anti-inflammatory. Cut out all the processed oils such as corn, soy and canola.
Step 3: Move to the green area of the "Food Target!" Foods in the green area of the "Food Target are more alkaline, are more nutrient dense and decrease inflammation.
Step 4: Super greens are extremely alkaline and decrease inflammation. Spirulina/chlorella, kale, spinach, broccoli and wheatgrass are high in chlorophyll and decrease inflammation.
Step 5: Hydration! Being well hydrated is the first step for almost anything related to having a healthy body and is extremely important in decreasing inflammation.
Step 6: Rest and rejuvenation. I have had clients that eat very healthy, but their stress levels are out of control! Getting enough rest and rejuvenation is key for improving inflammation.
Step 1: Too much stress can produce too much of the stress hormone cortisol and cortisol can steal from your healing hormones and that includes testosterone!
Step 2: Getting a good night's sleep is imperative for having hormonal harmony and a healthy testosterone production. When you are sleeping you are making testosterone.
Step 3: Omega 3 fats are the raw material to make healthy hormones including testosterone. Cod liver oil, flaxseeds and chia seeds are a must for hormonal harmony!
Step 4: Zinc! Zinc is another raw material for building testosterone. Foods high in zinc include chicken, lamb, beef, spinach, pumpkin seeds, broccoli, asparagus, greens, beans, oats, amaranth and millet.
Step 5: Strength Training! I am a huge fan of strength training for both men and women, as I like to call it the "Fountain of Youth" exercises! Strength training stimulates testosterone and growth hormone production. If you are currently not strength training start slowly with a few easy exercises like a body weight squat and a pushup.
Step 6: Statin medications! Statin medications block the production of cholesterol and cholesterol is the backbone for building steroidal hormones, including testosterone. When you block the production of cholesterol you compromise hormonal balance, including testosterone
Acid reflux is caused by a pH imbalance. Unfortunately, one of the most serious problems we are seeing as a result of this is the prevalence of esophageal cancers. Why we are seeing an all-time high of these cancers is because when you are having acid reflux the body is telling you something is wrong, and the medication you are taking is only helping reduce the symptom and masks the issue.
When you go after the symptom and not the cause, that is when you run the risk of a problem taking hold. What ends up happening is the esophagus and the cancer cells that form build up and before you know it you have some major issue simply because you weren't going after the cause, you were just masking the symptom.
Here are some natural steps to help reduce acid reflux by balancing your pH levels
Step 1: Aim for the center of the Food Target
Step 2: Add a half of lemon or lime to a glass of water each morning
Step 3: Use extra virgin coconut oil from time to time
Step 4: Start to introduce the Superfoods to your diet
On Target Living believes having adequate rest and rejuvenation practices is one of the most powerful keys for optimal health and performance. Without adequate rest, the human body breaks down very quickly; it shows up in your daily performance and also in your health.
Improving your lifestyle and following many of these sleep recommendations can improve the quality of your sleep. Getting a good night's sleep does not have to be a thing of the past!
Steps to Getting a Better Night's Sleep:
Step 1: Recognize the Importance of Sleep: 7 – 8 Hours
Step 2: Keep a Regular Sleep Schedule
Step 3: Sunlight: Getting outside sunlight a few times each day helps the pineal gland located in the brain, to regulate the production of your sleep hormone, melatonin.
Step 4: Sleep Environment: Focus on keeping your room dark. Exposure to too much light before attempting to sleep can compromise your melatonin level.
Step 5: Diaphragmatic Breathing and Breath Awareness: Diaphragmatic breathing coupled with breath awareness relaxes the mind and body allowing tremendous benefits in getting to sleep and staying asleep. Learn more about this below.
Step 6: Hydration: Lack of hydration can lead to inflammation and constricting blood vessels. Avoid too much caffeine and processed foods. All can hinder the quality of sleep.
Step 7: Minerals
Step 8: Eating Healthy Fats
Step 9: Watch Your Stress
Step 10: Exercise
Inflammation is the body's rapid, general response to any kind of insult or injury, such as physical wounds and foreign objects, including infecting organisms, toxins, heat or radiation. Like you can see inflammation is an amazing feature the body has, but the problem arises when people have chronic inflammation that causes the body to attack healthy cells and which can lead to major health issues like: cancer, heart disease, auto-immune disease, tender joints, decreased range of motion, skin problems, obesity, asthma, Crohn's and arthritis. What causes chronic inflammation? How do you measure it and what steps can you take to decrease the inflammation?
Poor diet plays a major role in causing chronic inflammation
The food you eat plays a major role in not only decreasing inflammation, but also the cause of inflammation. A diet that consists of acid foods, processed junk, soda, lack of healthy fats, lack of colorful fruits and vegetables and not enough water are the perfect environment for inflammation to live.
How do I improve my High-Sensitive C-Reactive Protein level?
Step 1: Get your High Sensitive C-Reactive measured with your doctor. The amount of inflammation you have in your body attributes to your risk for heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, poor bone health, pain, and a decrease in your immune system.
Step 2: Adopt an anti-inflammatory diet. Start by cutting out some of the processed, acidic, highly inflammatory foods and beverages. Foods in the red area of the Food Target are highly processed, acidic, and extremely inflammatory.
Step 3: Bring on the healthy fats! Omega-3 fats such as cod liver oil, ground flaxseeds, chia seeds are extremely anti-inflammatory. Also, healthy fats such as extra virgin coconut oil, olive oil, avocadoes, and hemp seeds, most raw nuts and seeds are also anti-inflammatory. Cut out all processed oils such as corn, soy, and canola.
Step 4: Move to the green area of the Food Target. Foods in the green area of the Food Target are more alkaline, more nutrient-dense, and decrease inflammation.
Step 5: Super greens are extremely alkaline and decrease inflammation. Spirulina/chlorella, kale, spinach, broccoli, and wheatgrass are high in chlorophyll and decrease inflammation.
Step 6: Hydration! Being well hydrated is the first step for almost anything related to having a healthy body and is extremely important in decreasing inflammation. Ideally try to drink half your body weight in ounces per day or drink six to eight ounces per hour to improve absorption.
Step 7: Rest and rejuvenation. I have had clients that eat very healthy, but their stress levels are out of control. When their high-sensitive C-reactive protein level comes back and is high, they are confused. Lack of rest and too much stress can contribute to an imbalanced pH and create too much inflammation throughout the body. Some people have a hard time believing how they think can make them sick, but I am here to tell you most of our diseases in the United States are attributed to too much stress and not enough rest and rejuvenation. Getting enough rest and rejuvenation is key for improving inflammation.
Is stress good or bad?
That isn't the right question! The question should be do you have enough recovery from the natural stress in your life? If the answer is no, inflammation will be dominate throughout the body.
Lastly, we know exercise is good for us, but when it comes to decreasing inflammation you might wonder how and why this would help. First, decreasing fat cells in the body is going to improve all bodily functions greatly, but when you increase your heart rate you are eliminating the inflammation from the body.
Measuring your inflammation level
High-sensitive C-reactive protein (CRP) measures inflammation throughout the body. It was not until 2000 that the role of inflammation gained momentum. Paul Ridker, MD, of Harvard Medical School, developed a blood test known as high-sensitive C-reactive protein (CRP). He reported in the New England Journal of Medicine that women with elevated levels of CRP were four times more likely to suffer a heart attack, compared with women who had normal CRP levels.
CRP is an indicator of inflammation, and high levels of inflammation for long periods of time can cause havoc in the body!
Why haven't you heard of this test and what do you want to look for?
First, there isn't a prescription for this! Your doctor may know about the test, but doesn't have a solution to it like cholesterol or type 2 so it isn't as commonly tested. Below you will learn the steps to get your inflammation under control, but if you want to know your number ask your doctor for the High-sensitive C-reactive protein blood test-see our know your numbers document for all recommended tests.
- Low risk: less than 1.0mg/L
- Average risk: 1.0 to 3.0 mg/L
- High risk: above 3.0 mg/L
There are many factors that contribute to high levels of inflammation throughout the body. First and foremost is a high level of acid or an imbalanced pH. Processed foods, fast food, alcohol, soda pop, energy drinks, too much animal protein, too many processed omega-6 fats such as corn and soybean oils, trans fats, stress, lack of essential nutrients, dehydration, lack of sleep, and lack of movement all add up to high levels of inflammation.