What are raw nuts and where can I find them?

Raw nuts are not salted or roasted.  You can look at the ingredients on the container, in the ingredients you should just see ‘almonds’ or whichever nut variety you choose.  You will not see any other additives.  You can usually find raw nuts in the baking section of the grocery store…not by the other nuts/seeds.  You can also find them at Fleet Farm, however, be sure to look at the ingredients, they are placed next to the salted and roasted nuts.  Meadow Farm Foods is also a great resource for raw nuts.

What is Mineral Water?

Mineral water is sparkling or carbonated water that is naturally flavored.  This is not to be confused with the flavored water that is available.  Some brands that are acceptable are: Canada Dry, Mendota Springs, Perrier, Pellagrino, La Croix…to name a few.  If you are unsure if it is a mineral water, look at the nutrition facts, you should not see any sugar, calories, or much of anything.

Why do I need to detox?  How often should I detox?

Just like you cleanse the outside of your body you need to cleanse the inside.  Because we don’t always take in the right foods our body becomes toxic.  In addition, our food supply is contaminated by many chemicals and therefore we do not have access to a clean food supply.  For these reasons it is important to cleanse out body every now and then.  How often?  This depends on your unique situation, it depends on how compliant you have been with your FirstLine Therapy program, and your unique health situation.  Dr. Ala will recommend one when necessary.

How are pharmaceutical grade vitamins and supplements different from those sold at discount stores?

First, it is important to consider the science behind the product.  The research and testing behind pharmaceutical grade supplements is similar to the work done for Pharmaceutical drugs.  Many of the supplements we sell have been tested and proven in clinical trials.

Next, it is important to consider the tableting process.  If the supplement doesn’t break down appropriately you will miss the benefits of the supplement.

Third, the same nutrient is available in many forms, some of which the body is better able to utilize.

Finally, you must consider the knowledge you have about the product you’ll be taking.  It is important to have a professional health care provider instruct you in taking vitamins and nutritional supplements.

When should a child take vitamins?

First, children should strive to eat a healthy diet.

A supplement can be taken to improve the overall value of the diet.

They should not use vitamins to replace healthy dietary choices.

But, because our diet isn’t perfect due to hectic lifestyles, a supplement is a good nutritional insurance policy.

Where do vitamins come from?

Vitamins are found in food and used by the body to convert food into energy.

We cannot create them, we must obtain them from our diet.

As many as thirty to forty vitamins and minerals are taken out of food through processing.

The worst sources are candy, chips, or highly-processed white flour bread or bakery items.

The best sources are fruits, vegetables, and grains.

If your diet includes a high quantity of highly processed food, your body is nutritionally deprived.

Why is it necessary to take vitamin supplements to be healthy?

Because most people eat a POOR DIET.

Our diets include too much fat and sugar, and not enough fruits and vegetables.

Since the majority of meals are eaten in a restaurant or on the run, we are likely missing out on many nutrients.

A vitamin supplement can fill in the gaps in our poor diets.

How can I tell if a vitamin or mineral supplement is of high quality?

Look for quality science behind the product.

The human body is an extremely complex machine.  If the product is poorly designed, it may not facilitate this machine very well.

Look for quality ingredients.

The same nutrient may be available in different forms.  For example, Vitamin E is available in 2 forms, the natural food vitamin called d-alpha tocopherol and the synthetic form called dl-alpha tocopherol.  The synthetic form is less expensive, but is significantly harder for the body to process.

Look for a high quality manufacturing process.

Even with quality ingredients, the supplement must break down properly.  A high quality manufacturer will perform numerous tests during tableting.

What do vitamins do in the body?

Vitamins are required for the body to convert food into energy and raw material—such as muscles, bones, ligaments, etc.

To do this, vitamins perform three main tasks.

They are catalysts for enzymes.  They are required for enzymes to do their jobs.

They are antioxidants, which prevent highly reactive free radicals from damaging delicate cell membranes.

They act as “pre-hormones.” For example, vitamin D functions as a hormone to facilitate calcium uptake and utilization.

Why do some supplements cost more than others that look like they contain the same ingredients?

Looking at the ingredients does not offer enough information to assess value.

Different supplements have different absorption dynamics.

For example, Calcium in the same amount can be found as Citrate or Carbonate.  Carbonates are much cheaper but are not easily absorbed.  Citrates are better absorbed.

So higher quality does come at a higher price—but isn’t it worth it if it provides the desired outcome?

A product that doesn’t work, even at a low price, is still too expensive.

What is autointoxication?

Autointoxication is a process where you are poisoned by substances produced by your own body as a result of incomplete digestion and elimination.

If you experience the following, you may be autointoxicated:

Food allergies

Bad breath

Constipation or irregular bowel movements

Frequent congestion, colds, or viruses

Intolerance to fatty foods

Low energy; loss of vitality for no apparent reason

Low back pain

Needing to sleep a long time

Skin problems, rashes, boils, pimples, acne

How can you become unintoxicated?

Consider a detoxification or cleansing program.

What can a detoxification program do for you?

Prevent Illness

Improve Physical Appearance

Boost Emotional Well-Being

Sharpen Mental Capabilities

Enhance Digestion

Minimize Effects of Aging

Provide Spiritual Renewal

Weight Loss

Gives you the ability and motivation to make healthier lifestyle choices.

Why can’t I get everything I need from my diet?

First, our dietary habits have changed.  Our diets should include fresh fruits and vegetables.

Second, we are eating more convenience foods which are highly processed.  The more processed a food is, the more likely it is to have a low nutritional value.

Third, people today are under a high level of stress due to our fast-paced, busy lifestyles.  The greater the stress, the more nutrients the body requires.

Finally, people don’t know how to get away from convenience foods.  They are fast and people like the taste.

I am struggling to get all the category 1 veggies in…any suggestions?

First it is important to make sure you have the cut and prepared.  Choose one day per week to go to the store, get the veggies and bring them home and cut them up.  It they are there and prepared you are more likely to consume them.  This way it becomes just as easy to open a container and eat veggies as it is to open a bag of chips and eat those.  If you don’t have time to cut them up you can always spend a bit more and buy the pre-chopped bags of veggies.

Next, remember you can consume canned or frozen veggies.  So incorporate them in your cooking…add them to soups and stews.

Finally, it is a good practice to add a lettuce salad to your menu daily.  This could be added as a side salad to your lunch or dinner, use consumed as a snack.  This is a great way to get in a good portion of category 1 veggies and oils (if that’s the type of dressing you use).

I am struggling to get all the oils in…any suggestions?

If you are still taking a Medical Food (Ultra Clear, Ultra Meal, etc) you can add your oil servings to your medical food and mix in.  It will not separate out and you will not be able to taste the oil.

Also, it will be helpful to find an oil-based dressing and get in some oil servings that way.

Make sure you are doing all your cooking with oil.  Toss veggies in oil and roast them or grill them.

Remember you can use Mayo from Canola Oil.  This is great to make a tuna salad or a chicken salad.

How can I stick within my grain servings…I would like to eat more?

Use a lettuce wrap for a sandwich instead of bread.  Eat an open faced sandwich (only one piece of bread).  Eat Ezekiel bread or tortillas if on your menu.  The serving size for these products is 2 slices instead of one.

Are frozen and canned veggies ok?

Yes you may consume frozen or canned veggies.  Keep in mind fresh and raw are better, so it is wise to get a few fresh raw servings in as well as cooked veggies.

Category 1 veggies after the detox phase…now it gets fun!

If a repair or detox phase was prescribed for you, you were likely told to choose one green veggie each day and eat it raw.  After this phase you may consume the category 1 veggies in any combination, prepared however you choose.  So you can mix the veggies together and grill, sauté, roast, or which ever you choose.

Why are raw veggies better?

Raw veggies are better than cooked.  The more crunch that is left in the vegetable the more nutrients there are left in the vegetable.  These nutrients from raw veggies are also more readily available for the body to use.

What sweeteners are acceptable?

First, you must follow the plan Dr. Ala has set up for you.  Generally the first set of days she will recommend using no sweeteners.  If she okays sweeteners some that you may use include: stevia, honey, blackstrap molasses, brown rice syrup, and fruit sweetener.

I don’t see bananas or pineapple on the fruit section…why?

The food plan was set up as a low glycemic index diet.  This means the foods included on the plan have a lower glycemic index.  This means they do not raise blood sugars as fast as other food items.  In addition, lower glycemic index foods sustain blood sugar levels longer.  Fruits not included such as bananas or pineapple are higher on the glycemic index, therefore they are not included.

I am going out to eat…how can I stay compliant?

Good news…eating out is one of the easiest ways to stay compliant.  Granted you don’t exactly what ingredients they are using in the kitchen to prepare your food.  Most restaurants have several salad or soup options, or you can find a fish fillet or chicken breast with vegetables.  You will find you look at the menu with a different point of view.  You may actually find items on the menu that you never knew were on there before.  Just be sure you know what you can have an order accordingly

I was invited to a friend’s house…what do I eat?

This is a bit harder than eating out as you don’t have many options.  When you are eating at someone else’s place, bring an item to share if appropriate.  For example, bring a veggie platter with hummus or dip (made with Mayo from canola oil, garlic, fresh herbs, etc).

In addition, be mindful of your food plan as you fill your plate.  Load up heavy on the veggies where available, reduce grain servings and eat a sandwich or whatever it may be with only one piece of bread or no bread, skip dessert, or eat fruit for dessert.

If the event is not a meal, but just a get together with food available, eat before you go so you are not hungry to eat all the items there.

All things considered, be reasonable.  You know what your food plan is, do your best to stick to it and get back on track if you deviate from it for an evening.

I am traveling…how can I make this work?

Traveling is easy if you are prepared.  If you are traveling by car, pack a cooler with veggies, yogurt, hard-boiled eggs, string cheese, cottage cheese, chicken salad, etc.  Stop at grocery stores instead of drive-thrus.  Ultra Meal shakes and Ultra Meal bars are also a great, convenient alternative when traveling.

If traveling by air, bring what you can in your purse or carry-on.  Then do you best to make appropriate choices in the airport.  When you arrive at your destination, stop at the grocery store.  Again the Medical Foods and Ultra meal bars are quite convenient for traveling.

How much water should I drink?

LOTS!  You should consume half your body weight in ounces daily.  So if you weigh 150lbs., divide that number by 2…75.  So a 150 lb. person should consume 75 ounces of water daily.

I have a summer full of graduation parties, wedding, and vacations…how can I keep on track?

Be sure you know your food plan ahead of time.  Be reasonable and fill your plate accordingly.  Go to some of these events on a full stomach.  Save yourself the trouble and just stay away from the dessert table.  And if you do indulge, remember to be disciplined and get RIGHT back on track.  As far as vacations go, refer to the question on travel.

I stepped on the scale…

Get off the scale.  In fact, dispose of your household scale.  The scale will do one of two things.  First, it will discourage you if you do not see the numbers you want to see.  This may make you feel you’re wasting you time and encourage you to go back to your old habits.  Or, the scale may give you too much confidence.  You may see great results and decide you can treat yourself based on your progress.

An you must remember, the scale is a very poor measure of health.  It does not tell you what your weight is made of, it simply tells you how much it all weighs added together.

How can I find or make time for exercise?

First you must put it into perspective.  20 minutes per day, 7 days per week is only  140 minutes per week.  That’s equivalent to 4 ½ sit coms, watching American Idol a little more than 2 times, or watching one movie.  If you make time to do those things you can make time for exercise as well.  You don’t necessarily have to give up watching these shows either.  Get a bike or treadmill and watch while you exercise.

If it works for you, exercise in the morning before work or school or before the kids wake up.  That way nothing can come up to foil your plans; you have nothing else to do at that time besides sleep.  Often if you wait until the end of the day, several things have come up that take over and require your attention.

Finally, find something you enjoy.  Get outside and walk or bike or rollerblade.  Find an exercise video that is challenging and keeps your attention.  Join a class with classmates that will keep you accountable.  Go to a gym and workout with a friend.  Remember to switch up your exercise routine to avoid boredom.  For example, in the winter work out at a gym, in the spring use an exercise video, in the summer swim, walk, bike, rollerblade.  Just don’t get bored.  The best type of exercise is the one you will do consistently.

Why is fish oil so important?

Our bodies need Omega 3 and Omega 6.  And, we need these nutrients in a 1:1 ratio.  So for every tablespoon of Omega 6 you take in you need 1 tablespoon on Omega 3 to achieve the 1:1 ratio.  Corn is an excellent source of Omega 6.  The trouble is everything in our American diets is corn-based and we don’t consume much fish, so we end up with lots of Omega 6 and hardly any Omega 3.  In fact most Americans have a 25:1 ratio, 25 units of Omega 6 to one unit of Omega 3.  Therefore, it is necessary to supplement with Omega 3. Fish oil is the best source of Omega 3 as it is readily available for the body to use.  Other sources of Omega 3, such as flax, require the supplement to go through several processes before the nutrient is available to the body as Omega 3.  The process requires other nutrients that are often missing, which prohibits the process from occurring.  Even when the process does occur it often results in much lower levels of Omega 6.

It has also been proven that fish oil is extremely important for cardiovascular health, mental health, and optimal brain function.

Why do I have to mix my medical food with water…why can’t I use juice?

Dr. Ala will recommend mixing your medical food with water ONLY.  Juice is often very sugar laden and remember, we are trying to reduce sugar intake.  Juice that has no added sugar has the sugar from the fruit.  This is the good sugar, but this amount of sugar was already factored into your plan through you sugar servings.  Fruit juice that says it has NO sugar, but tastes sweet, has the fake sugar…aspartame.  This is even worse than regular sugar…so stay away!  Water is best.

Supplement Facts

Supplement Quality…Does it Matter?

We often hear the question, “how is the fish oil you sell different than the fish oil at wal-mart?”  The answer is, LOTS!  And it’s a quality issue you do not want to overlook.

The nutritional supplement and vitamin industry in the US is a $25 billion a year industry.  So, no doubt there are endless options.  This also means there are several companies selling, sub par or contaminated products. That is, products without much, if any scientific study or research, and distribution strategies that are not in the best interest of the consumer.

The FDA does not regulate the vitamin and supplement industry like they do the pharmaceutical industry.  Which is a good thing…it keeps prices from being out of control.  However, this also means it is easy to put something in a bottle, put a label on it, and sell it.  This can lead to ineffective, inferior products being produced.  So, you need to do your homework, or find a professional source to do your homework for you!

At Smith Family Chiropractic, our doctors carefully examine every product before we decide to carry it in our store.  So, you can be sure it has had a thorough, professional check before we decide to put it on our shelves.  The brand we carry almost exclusively is Metagenics due to their incredible quality and scientific research that is unmatched in the industry.  You might be wondering what we look for in a product…check out this list below:

1. Distribution strategy 

Metagenics distributes their products through licensed healthcare practitioners only, which enables them to have knowledgeable professionals administering their products.  This allows the correct product, to be given in the correct dose to more effectively treat the condition.  In addition, they offer cutting edge research and seminars for all healthcare providers so they can stay on top of new research and patient protocols/case studies.

Conversely, many nutraceutical companies are now using multi-level marketing as their distribution strategy.  This strategy, when used with healthcare products, allows individuals who are not professionally trained to market a product.  Often the product is sub-par because the product itself has to be inexpensive enough to allow for the additional ‘levels’ of profit to be add (so everyone gets their piece of the pie) and still have the end price be within the industry norm.

2. Third party certification.  

Metagenics has been certified by three different third parties, including the NPA, NSF, and TGA.  Achieving this status of certification is almost unheard of and very few, if any, other nutraceutical companies have achieved this status.

Most nutraceutical companies are not third party certified.  Instead, the claim to follow good manufacturing practices. This means they did not pay to have anyone come in and scrutinize their procedures to confirm they meet FDA guidelines, instead they are just telling us to take their word for it.  This difference is like telling the officer the speed you were going when he pulls you over, versus him having an actual reading of your speed with his technology.

3. Clinical research. 

Metagenics Inc. stands above the crowd by allocating substantial resources for an in-house scientific staff (over 40 MD, PhD and ND clinicians) and over 80 published scientific articles.  They also have technologically advanced facilities necessary to conduct adequate research and evaluation on site.

Before you purchase your next nutraceutical, check to see if the company has any published scientific articles.  If not, you may want to reconsider.

4. Raw materials and clinical trials

Metagenics makes sure their formulas deliver on their potential by careful examination at every stage-formulation, ingredient selection, quality assays, manufacture, dissolution, taste, and tolerance. Followed by careful examination in their onsite clinic-the Functional Medicine Research Center®-to refine protocols, measure compliance, and confirm effectiveness before any proprietary nutraceutical or medical food is introduced to market.

Raw materials are of utmost importance.  If you are buying fish oil for example, do you know where the fish is from, cold water or warm water? Do you know if the fish was corn fed?  Do you know what processes were completed to be sure there are no harmful metals or toxins?  Do you know if the product was tested on humans before it was brought to the market?

If all of these checks and balances are overwhelming to you, let us help!  Everything we carry meets all these standards, and offers professional advice and support!  Before you buy your next nutraceutical, make sure you do some research to be sure you are not wasting your money or causing more harm than good!

Study completed regarding Men and MultiVitamins
The study was done with Centrum Silver, a sub par multiple vitamin… Think of how much better the results could have been with a good quality, research documented, multivitamin / mineral / phyto-nutrient complex such as our PhytoMulti !
Anyway, here is the data:
The data in the current study was drawn from the Physicians’ Health Study II, a large-scale, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial that included 14, 641 male US physicians who were 50 years or older when the study began. The cohort included 1312 men with a history of cancer. The multivitamin study began in 1997, with treatment and follow-up that continued through June 1, 2011.
After about 11 years, multivitamin use resulted in a modest but statistically significant reduction — specifically, an 8% reduction in total cancer incidence.
“Given that more than 1.6 million new cancer cases are diagnosed in the U.S. each year, this translates into about 130,000 cancers prevented every year, and with it all the health care costs and human suffering,”
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