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Posted on October 28, 2022 by
When I turned 30 years old I weighed in at 348lbs; clothes were getting harder to find and more expensive, and my life was getting difficult to manage. When going out to eat we had to have a table because I could not comfortably sit in a booth, my stomach hit the steering wheel when I drove, and at family gatherings, I often sat on the floor in the corner so no one had to navigate around me. My depression and anxiety were getting worse and, as a previous nationally competing athlete, I was disgusted with myself and how I was allowing my health, and weight, box in my life.
After attempting every fad diet plan, ‘cleanse’ and losing a few pounds only to gain them, and some of their friends, back, I was giving up. Then Dr. Angie had me watch a TedTalks video about a high fat, low carb diet and provided me with literature to go through. However, I knew after the video that this high fat, low carb (or Keto) diet change would be manageable. I still got to eat cheese and enjoy meat!
After 6 months, I have lost 60lbs and continue to lose weight even though I am not super strict all the time. When I want something, I have it, but in moderation. I do not beat myself up for slip-ups, or cheat meals. Not only am I am able to sit in booths again, I have started to enjoy shopping, my mental state is better than ever and my body is starting to feel like my own again. My weight no longer controls me.
I still have a long way to go, but I know I will get there.
This is the video I shared with Tara— There are many more that explain the theory of the ketogenic/ low carb/high fat diet.
I love seeing patients make changes that don’t involve pharmaceuticals!!
Share any of your own weight loss adventures in the comments below– and please call or message me if you want more info! You can contact me at the office (317) 217-2626, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me thru my Angelamd Facebook page.
Congrats Tara! You are such and inspiration and I am so excited to continue to watch all your health improvements!
Posted on April 8, 2017 by
Hey guys! Now is the second chance for all of you that didn’t get the opportunity to watch the full length documentary “Hungry for Change.” If you are one of my current patients, you probably being forced you to view the trailer to this film at your last physical. Then I inundated you with big stacks of healthy eating handouts and sent you on your way. Well, a some of you opted to not Deep Six the stuff and actually read it. Many have lost weight and gotten off of their chronic medicines! Hooray! This film exposes the hidden additives that are found in our food supply today. It also features Jamie Oliver, aka The Naked Chef from Food Network, exposing the amount of sugar found in kid’s school milk. It is definitely worth watching once and sharing with your family. Even your kids should watch it. It may subliminally implant the idea of being conscious of what is being put in and on your body. Lord knows they probably aren’t going to listen to their parents any more than my family listens to me when I evangelize to them ad nauseam. Think–this film may just save your life or someone’s close to you.
Click HERE to purchase your own copy of the DVD. Share with friends and family. It is a powerful way to get the word out. We all need to know this stuff. It’s life saving
Here is the trailer
Posted on March 24, 2014 by
What is a GMO?
A GMO (genetically modified organism) is the product of a lab process that takes genes from on species and inserts them into another species to attain a desired trait. Viruses or bacteria are used to infect animal or plant cells with the new DNA. The DNA is coated with tiny metal pellets and shot into the cells. Then, the new DNA is injected into fertilized eggs and electric shocks create holes in the membranes of sperm forcing the new DNA into the holes. Although, no research on humans has shown detrimental effects from eating GMO foods, numerous studies on animals have shown immune damage, pre-cancerous cell growth and many unexplained anomalies.
For more information on the history of GMO’s visit HERE
Here are the top 8 GMO foods to avoid
1. CORN– corn is the most prominent genetically modified crop here in the US. Please know your farmer if you want good fresh sweet corn–and ask what type of seeds he uses.
2. SOY–90% of soy is genetically engineered to be resistant to Monsanto’s Roundup.
3. SUGAR–since 2009, genetically modified beets have been used to make beet sugar.
4. ASPARTAME -not only is one of those toxic food additives, it is actually made from genetically modified bacteria.
5. PAPAYAS—yep, this wonderful fruit is exported here from Hawaii since 1999 and is genetically modified to be resistant to the Ringspot virus. They are banned in all European countries.
6. CANOLA– canola is made from rapeseed which is one of the most chemically modified and adapted oils.
7. DAIRY– 1/5 of all dairy cows are injected with rBGA growth hormone from Monsanto—Drink organic or plant-based. Remember that 93% of all soy is GMO— Silk Brand Soy milk is non-GMO.
8. ZUCCHINI AND YELLOW SQUASH– most are genetically modified to resist viruses.
Luckily, Connecticut and Maine have recently passed laws requiring manufacturers to label all products with Genetically Engineered ingredients.
4 Tips to avoiding GMO
1. Buy organic–labels saying 100% organic or made with organic ingredients
2. Buy Non GMO–labels saying “artificial hormone free”
3. Avoid high risk ingredients–corn, soybean, canola, cottonseed, sugar beets, corn syrup
Posted on March 19, 2014 by
How many of us struggle with addiction? I will be bold and say the number must be 90% or above. I refer to addiction as anything that we can’t live without or obsess over–including tobacco, caffeine, sugar, drugs, alcohol, sex, bad relationships, negative thinking, impulsive behavior etc—I personally have kicked my diet mountain dew habit (it only took about a year) and like everyone else, I struggle daily with overcoming more unhealthy habits. It certainly isn’t easy! I am honored that my cohort addiction specialist, the infamous Mr. Jim Ryser, has privileged us with his own story to help us understand how diet, nutrition, thoughts, and mindset can heal addictive behaviors.
First-Here is a little background on Jim Ryser:
Jim Ryser began his music career at the tender age of 5 years old, learning to play violin to ease long hours spent in the hospital. Born with Spina Bifida Myelomeningocele and expected to live a poor quality and short life, Jim beat the odds due to a loving and caring family combined with an Irish tenacity that continues to this day.
Jim honed his musical skills during the recovery from over 50 surgeries he has had to correct problems associated with the original corrective procedure on his spinal cord when he was 9 days old.
He played Madison Square Garden as a solo violinist when he was 9, but it was picking up the guitar at 14 that took him down the music path of rock and roll dreams. “I played a lot of Rush and Pink Floyd, but I loved Fleetwood Mac and other more mellow rockers as well,” he says, “and I think that combined with my classical background made for some interesting stuff over the years!”
He signed his first record deal with Arista Records in 1990. Music legend Clive Davis was heading up the label at the time and told Jim – then known as Jimmy – that he had hit songs and wanted Jim on the roster. “Same Old Look,” the first single released in 1990, reached #6 on the Billboard chart and sent he and his band on a wild summer tour with The Moody Blues, Henry Lee Summer, REO Speedwagon, and John Mellencamp. He has played on some wonderful albums with John Mellencamp, Hall and Oates, and Tracy Chapman. He has guested with James McMurtry, Henry Lee Summer, and Bob and Tom over the years.
His health issues forced him to find another path; he had become addicted to his pain killers to combat the daily chronic pain associated with his spina bifida and related kidney, back, and orthopedic issues. Jim went through a pain program at the Cleveland Clinic and was able to learn new ways to deal with pain, such that he was inspired to acquire his college degree. His addiction, however, lay hidden and by the time he graduated Indiana University Summa Cum Laude, he was on some of the same drugs that led to Michael Jackson’s demise, using up to 500 mg of IV Demerol and taking 10-20 percocet pills a day. He hit bottom when he started drinking.
He went back to Cleveland and got sober in the summer of 1999, which led him to his graduate degree and an internship with addiction and pain. His specialty is rare in that he knows both chronic pain and addiction personally and professionally, and this combination led him to his current position as the program manager for pain services at Indiana University Health Methodist Hosptial in Indianapolis, Indiana. He runs a pain rehabilitation program there and he also helps people with acute pain issues while further helping others who have become iatrogenically addicted.
He got back into music quite by accident, and he says, “I got into hunting with my son-in-law Troy, getting a turkey on my very first day in the woods – an hour after he got his. I found that hunting did more for my pain management than anything else I ever did, so I spent time learning about deer hunting as well.” This journey led him to Bill Winke, one of the best known hunter-writers in the business. “I sent Bill a CD of my music in appreciation for the amazing work he does, and he asked if he could use some songs for his show, Midwest Whitetail. I told him I would go one better and write some songs…Now I am the principal writer for most of Bill’s projects!
This match created a great relationship with the entire staff and lots of new songs, which then led to Jim updating his recording studio and investing in some more gear to custom design songs for Bill’s shows exclusively. These songs hatched more ideas, and a new CD was born. The new disc highlighted on this website is a culmination of Jim’s musical life, and he says, “Having many years of sobriety now, a deep love for both work and my hunting/music passion, gave me something that very few folks get – and I wasn’t even supposed to live. I have remained on an incredible journey that makes me grateful for my pain and addiction, because they made me who I am today.”
Jim Ryser is a nationally recognized performer and speaker for both his musical and personal journey, and his expertise in managing pain for those who desire education about it. He has spoken all over the country and has consulted with several health care systems on various ways to manage pain without the use of mood altering drugs.
Here is Jim’s personal story that he chose to share with our followers that are empowering themselves to overcome disease–
“I wish I could say I “beat” addiction, but I can no more do that than stand on my toes unaided today. I have myelomeningocele. Long story short, I have damage to my spinal cord that resulted in neural connections being cut due to the original birth defect. There ARE no connections so it is physiologically impossible for me to stand on my toes unaided!
As to my addiction, we have assumed in society that we can change unaided too; telling a drug addict not to use is the same thing as saying “Just don’t breathe!” The addict has a compulsion to use and a craving once started that makes it impossible to stop on the basis of self-will. There is no connection just like with the nerves!
I have been fortunate to have stopped using drugs aberrantly. The thought process of the disease never goes away, but it can be managed. I found that out after I got sober and gained 50 pounds. My addiction switched seats on the titanic in many ways. So – for me, addiction is less about substance and more about the thoughts and the spiritual malady that goes with it. Moderation is not part of the addict’s vocabulary. With help, however, I have been able to stay sober for the past 14 years. I have also lost the weight and am continuing, a day at a time, to manage the unmanageable. Having a proper diet helps keep me on task with my pain pill addiction and chronic pain because I learned in proper eating habits I might sacrifice a “feel good” with food (sugar) that results in a crash that makes me feel bad in the long run. Today I have learned to slow down, do the RIGHT thing, and be rewarded over the long haul (and more consistent haul) with good health and overall good feeling.”
Please visit Jim’s website http://www.jimrysersongs.com
You may want to purchase a copy of his latest release “Lubricate my MoJo”
His next performance will be:
June 29, 2013
I can’t thank Jim enough for his honesty and committment to helping others in similar situations. I have come across a few other different resources for anyone who would like to learn more on the topic.
This video by Paul Chek is helpful in learning why we become addicted to things—
It’s a bit long but helpful to anyone wanting to learn more about the etiology of addiction.
Also, a great resource is well-known psychiatrist’s Dr Hyla Cass’s book—
Dr Hyla Cass—Overcome Addiction, Fatigue, Anxiety, and Depression Naturally
Posted on January 30, 2014 by
10 Ways We Sabotage our own Health and Weight Loss
1. Skipping breakfast
2. Eating too little
3. Lack of sleep
5. Lack of protein
7. Toxins in processed foods
8. Eating inconsistantly
9. Pestacides on foods
10. Not believing in ourselves
10 Ways we can break the cycle
1. Eat something when we wake up
2. Add 1 fresh veggie a day (free calories essentially)
3. Go to bed 10 minutes earlier than usual
4. Drink 1 glass of water (or extra glass) daily
5. Add protein between meals (i.e./ a handful of nuts or seeds)
6. Eliminate any drug that is unessential
7. Eat 1 less processed food daily
8. Eat 3 times a day for 3 days straight
9. Wash all veggies and eat fresh or frozen and not canned
10. Affirmations–start each day by saying in the mirror “I love you ______!”
BABY STEPS!!!! They still count and will get you walking strong eventually!
Posted on September 3, 2013 by
I frequently ponder inequality in the world. It bothers me that I’m not working harder to change it. Somebody’s baby’s going hungry while we are still eating out. I understand consequence for negative choices but I can’t rationalize being born into despair. Recently, a patient of mine traveled to Haiti on a mission trip. She shared some interesting stories…
“The Haitian village that we worked in was a very close-knit community. Women are the primary caretakers of the children and most of what they know is passed down from the older women of the village. Unfortunately, this includes a ton of what we would call “old wives’ tales”. Because of the lack of financial resources, women must breastfeed. They simply cannot afford to buy formula. However, young mothers will often be influenced by older women that their milk is “bad”. They believe if a mother cries a lot (due to postpartum depression) while she is nursing her baby, that the tears will create a vacuum that literally sucks her milk up into her head where her brain will then poison the milk when it travels back to her breasts. Young mothers, not wanting to poison their babies with breast milk, will sometimes feed them a watered-down inadequate supply of formula leading to malnutrition. Or they will try to feed them baby food instead of milk when they are much too young to digest it well which leads to diarrhea
The Haitians are in dire need of basic nutrition and health classes. But I think it will take patience and consistent teaching over years — maybe decades — before it overcomes the old wives’ tales and superstitions they have been taught.”—–Denise
This year at Christmas, our office decided to forgo the annual secret Santa gift exchange and donate to Gleaner’s Food bank. I was then stricken with the decision of what to give the office staff that would follow this “give back” theme. I found a great local chapter of Amani Organization that solved my dilemma.
The Amani Children’s Foundation partners with New Life Home Trust to care for abandoned and HIV+ infants and nurses them back to health. Since 1993, New Life Homes has rescued over 1200 infants. OurIndianapolischapter sells beads and Kenyan market items to raise money to support these foundations. The beads are made by Kenyan women at the Kazuri Bead Factory. These beads are then brought to theUSand crafted into jewelry, key chains and novelty items. 100% of the proceeds go back to these hard-working Kenyan women to nourish and clothe their families. Thanks Indy Amani for opening the local chapter in 2009. More importantly, thank you for easing my mind when buying a gift for someone that isn’t starving. At least it gives me a morsel of integrity. This is my baby step to alter inequality, contributing to help feed infants hatched into desperation.
|What a difference it makes!|
Visit Amani’s site today and online ordering is now available!
Posted on August 10, 2013 by
Retrain Your Brain
When I chose the title for my first blog, “Getting the Best of Food”, I envisioned a mental warfare. In a struggle, the person who overcomes their enemy is said to have “gotten the best of them.” Of course the double meaning is also to get the best qualities food has to offer.
Back to warfare. I work five days a week from morning until 5:00 pm. My breakfast, lunch and daytime snacks are perfectly healthy and I stick to the plan but dinner and post-dinner decisions often take a turn for the worse and I think I know why.
At the end of the workday, we’re run down, worn out and hungry. One of my strategies is always to have healthy food on hand and to eat something before you are famished. But there is also a little bit of brainwashing necessary to keep yourself from caving into cravings for junk food and comfort classics.
Here’s a normal weeknight example (after I’ve eaten fruits and veggies all day): 5:05 pm driving home, thinking about dinner options and my brain starts to recite all of the foods that make me joyful – chicken wings, pizza, potato skins, tacos… As I continue to drive home, the list is on a mental merry-go-round and it just keeps repeating incessantly in my head.
So what happens when you tell your brain “I can’t have that brownie, I can’t have that brownie, I can’t have that brownie?” There is only one thing on your mind for food and guess what it is – the brownie!
In the same way that you set up a plan to have easily accessible healthy food around, we all need to also retrain our brains to consider better choices before the disaster hits. Before the drive home and before hunger pains set in, start to recall how amazing fresh strawberries taste, or how flavorful grilled asparagus is with a touch of Parmesan cheese. Whenever possible, have your dinner prepared or at least planned the night before. One trick I have learned is start dinner for the next night as I’m clearing the table and washing dishes. This way I come home and finish cooking dinner that was started the previous night, eat and then start the first half of tomorrow’s dinner. It works really well.
To keep things simple, you can also come up with a short list of standard dinners that you know how to make simply, that fit your daily caloric goals. For me, this is usually fish every other night, alternated with chicken. One night is vegetarian and one night is lean beef or pork. Skip the starches unless it’s whole grain and double up on the vegetables. Salads compliment dinner very well too. Save calories with homemade dressing from blended berries, pears or apples, vinegar, mustard and a small bit of olive oil. Shake it with your lettuce so that a little goes a long way.
Don’t forget that this is a battle, truly. And that you can and will win it, and you’ll feel amazing for overcoming the challenge.
Posted on July 19, 2013 by
Just a quick update—you can now check out more posts on http://www.weightlossmavens.com
I will be guest authoring on this site which provides great tips on nutrition and the prevention of disease. What is the best side effect of great nutrition —DING, DING, DING—–Weightloss! Check out their site by clicking the link on the right side of your AngelaMD page.
Dr. Dan Perez started this site with the following mission—
Weight Loss Mavens is a multimedia site dedicated to eradicating obesity and the chronic degenerative diseases it spawns by channeling the collective knowledge of health experts, or mavens. The word maven comes from the Yiddish meyvn, meaning “one who understands.” But to be a maven you have to more than just understand a topic, you have to know its ins and outs. In other words, mavens know their stuff! Our goal is to help people all over the planet achieve a healthy weight and experience a life of optimal health. We believe that a world with healthier citizens leads to a more prosperous world for all.The site features content written by experts and thought leaders in the fields of peak performance coaching, behavioral psychology, weight loss, nutrition, fitness, alternative medicine, and functional medicine. New content is added daily.
Thanks to Dan for inviting me to write for them!
Here is my first post:
I am privileged to share my experience and health insights with the readers of Weight Loss Mavens. I am a board certified internist in private practice in Indiana for the last 12 years. Like most medical school graduates, I left medical school eager to treat and cure-all diseases. After completing my residency, I was absolutely sure that I had found my mission in life by becoming a physician.
To my surprise, I was WRONG!
My wake up call came about a year ago when I realized that I was repeating the same, ineffectual mantra by encouraging my patients to “eat healthier and exercise.” But nobody was getting better! Every year I wrote more prescription medications to treat symptoms. I never truly identified the root cause of their disease, and certainly didn’t give them specific information about how to eat better and exercise. I’m embarrassed to admit that I didn’t even know anything about good nutrition and prevention at the time.
Enter Susan–my “Ah Ha” patient that changed my life for the better. Susan was in her 40′s with four young sons, a successful veterinary practice, and the awful disease LUPUS. Lupus is a debilitating, chronic autoimmune disease in which the body’s own immune system attacks its own cells all over the body. We had her on immune suppressing drugs that were packing on the pounds, causing severe symptoms, and frankly not controlling her symptoms. She was unable to spend any time in the sun and couldn’t attend her son’s ball games. She frequently missed work due to pain and was relying on narcotics to get her through her days. She was nearly suicidal. This intelligent, beautiful woman had everything going in life until she was struck by disease. I wasn’t helping her at all.
We decided to go on a mission to determine the root cause of her disease. We began educating ourselves on toxins in our food supply and environment that could turn on auto-immunity. I spent sleepless nights feeling like I was a complete failure and contemplated quitting medicine. I felt that I wasn’t doing patients any good.
CUE THE DRUM ROLL!
We figured it out! After tedious symptom/ food diaries, spreadsheets, research/prayers—We discovered that Susan was intolerant to RED DYE # 40!
We immediately removed it from her diet. Today, Susan is a drug free, vital, beautiful, thin, happy woman who no longer has Lupus. It may seem too simple and hard to believe, but it is a true story!
Today, I continually educate myself on the power of food as medicine and integrate this knowledge into my practice. Susan was my wake up call. Thanks to her, I’ve helped many patients re-examine how they eat, move, and think. The results are remarkable.
My challenge to you is to start today—Start being conscious of each and everything that you put in your body, and ask yourself “Is this something from the Earth that is going to nourish my body?” If the answer is NO–reconsider consuming it! It just may save your life and give you many years of vitality versus disease.
When Rosie O’Donnell had her heart attack last year, she stated that was the first time she actually became conscious of what she was putting into her body. So that is the first step we can take. Let’s begin this journey by reading labels, focus on eating real food, and being mindful of what we are putting into our bodies.
About the author:
Angela DeBord Henriksen, MD received her undergraduate degree in Biology from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana and her MD degree from Indiana University School of Medicine. She completed her residency training in Internal Medicine through St. Vincent’s Hospital in Indianapolis. Dr. Henriksen currently has a private practice at IU Health after serving as a hospitalist there.
Posted on June 17, 2013 by
These last two weeks have been crazy busy!
I haven’t eaten right and I fed my family take-out every single night for dinner!
I even gave my kids sugar to shut them up! (Fruit Roll Ups- no doubt)
Crazy busy is always going to get us down. Crazy is what crazy does! (Yes- that’s a tweetable Forrest Gump like euphemism )
However, I got back to the gym for some yoga (ouch) and Zumba (#uncoordinated white girl) and will hit the Farmer’s Market in the morning to get back on track.
Posted on May 31, 2013 by