Archive for February, 2017

10 advantages of bare feet and leaving our shoes at the door

Advantages of bare feet

As far back as I can remember, I always liked going barefoot. As a kid, I would do that all summer in spite of the bee stings I often got due to the clover in our yard. Science now tells us that there are advantages of bare feet.

I could write this whole article about the problems that shoes can create—corns, bunions, plantar fasciitis, sprains and falls, hammer toe, ingrown nails, athlete’s foot, spinal misalignment and diabetic problems just to name a few. However, I think I’ll take a positive approach and look at the benefits of not wearing shoes…especially in the house.

Unless there is ice on the ground, I go out to get the newspaper barefoot in any weather. There are two reasons. One, I like the feeling of being connected to the earth. (See grounding below.) Also, our sidewalk is concrete with sharp exposed gravel. That makes me feel that I get a bit of a reflexology treatment which wakes me up. Husband Bill thinks I’m nuts. (Quite possibly true, but I don’t think this is the best evidence.)

A great many cultures around the world take their shoes off when they enter their home and they ask their guests to do the same. It is long-held tradition, but a fair amount of modern science is confirming the advantages of bare feet.

  1. Fewer germs. Shoes track in bacteria…even dangerous ones. A University of Houston study showed that more than 1/3 of randomly tested homes were contaminated with C. difficile, that nasty antibiotic-resistant bug that can cause potentially lethal diarrhea. Those bacteria were also found on 40% of doorsteps and shoes.
  2. Fever toxins. Shoes track in chemicals such as pesticides and weed killers. Once in the house, as we walk, they are kicked up into the air we breathe. These are also an obvious risk for babies crawling around on the floor.
  3. Gets the lead out. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends NOT wearing outside shoes in the house because of the increased contamination with the heavy metal, lead. Link to their position paper.
  4. Less pollen and fewer allergens. Open windows are not the only way the Mountain Cedar pollen and other outdoor allergy triggers come in.
  5. Ditches dirt. 85% of the soil in our homes comes on our shoes or the paws of pets. (Maybe we should start making our dogs wear shoes outside. It is very funny to watch.) More dirt leads to more house cleaning.
  6. Less wear and tear on rugs and floor finishes. Grit sticks to the soles of shoes and becomes like sand paper.
  7. Relieves osteoarthritis. According to more than one study, walking barefoot (or in flat shoes) lessens the load on knees and possibly hips.
  8. Allows feet to breathe. Besides reducing the risk of fungus, we detox a bit through our feet.
  9. Grounding / earthing. On our radio show a few years ago, Stephen Sinatra, MD discussed the advantages of bare feet and staying connected to the earth’s energy. The public areas of our home are stone which allows some of that energy through to my bare feet.
  10. Kicking off your shoes reminds your brain and body to let go of the stresses of the outside world.

Do be careful. On hard surfaced floors, socks can be slippery. (Remember that Tom Cruise scene in the movie Risky Business?) If not going barefoot, wear something with a non-skid sole. The wrong shoes can cause plantar fasciitis, but if you already have that problem, barefoot may aggravate bone spur soreness. According to the folks at Emily Post Etiquette, it is nicest to tell guests that “We are a no-shoes house” rather than just instructing them to lose their shoes. (For those guests worried that they haven’t had a pedicure, maybe snag a couple of pairs of those foot covers from TSA the next time you go through security at the airport?)

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Two successful stories of taking charge and using natural approaches

natural approach

There are two ways to approach health issues. One, the most common, is to wait for symptoms and swallow whatever the doctor prescribes. The other approach is to assume control; do some research into a natural approach; and think about doing what makes the most sense. I heard from two folks who did just that.

Keith, had this to say: “Your book ‘Natural Alternatives to Nexium, Maalox, Tagamet, Prilosec and Other Acid Blockers: What to Use to Relieve Acid Reflux, Heartburn, and Gastric Ailments’ [LINK] has helped me immensely.  I was taking Nexium daily for the past few years and I always wanted to get off of the meds, but couldn’t figure it out.  After starting a routine with some of the supplements you recommended in your book (Dr. Ohhira’s probiotics, Nordic Naturals fish oil, Kyolic garlic drops, apple cider vinegar, Doctor’s Best multi-vitamin, and papaya enzyme tablets), I successfully phased out my usage of Nexium. I have now avoided taking Nexium altogether for over a month and my symptoms are certainly no worse than when I was taking Nexium and are possibly getting better as I’m experimenting what works for me.  I truly appreciate the insight your book provides, the dangers of staying on the meds and how to address my GERD.  Thank you again!”

Dave is the fellow I told you about at the very beginning of the radio show last week. He had reversed the hardening of his arteries and thereby avoided cardiovascular surgery. He also had the courage to share his approach with his physician! Although vitamin K2 was the star of his story, he wanted to share with me the rest of what he is taking and how it helped and his natural approach. I am not saying that this recipe is for anyone else. It is just that it he gave it a lot of thought and it has worked for him. [Comments in these brackets are mine.] He said: “These are the OTC nutrients I’ve been taking which have caused the suddenly reduced plaques and the attendant findings of no stenosis in my carotid arteries.

Vit. A 8000 IU, one capsule by mouth daily.

Vit. D3 5000 IU, one capsule by mouth, BID. [BID means twice a day]

Vit. E 400 IU, one capsule by mouth, BID. [I recommend FamilE complex.]

Vit. C 500 mg, one tablet by mouth, BID.

Zinc 50 mg, one tablet . [Zinc oxide is poorly absorbed and it takes other co-factor minerals and nutrients as found in Molecular Multi. Zinc is very important for the elderly wanting to normalize thymus function.]

Magnesium 400 mg, one tablet. [In a highly absorbable form, a person can often need and take twice that. A cheaper form at high doses will give some folks a loose stool.]

Selenium 200 mcg, one tablet. [I recommend the form in Selenium Synergy. One capsule would be the normal dose.]

Turmeric / Curcumin 500 mg, one capsule by mouth, BID.

Vit. K2 (MK7) w/nattokinase containing 275 amino acids, 100 mcg, one capsule by mouth, BID” [He did use Jarrow, now Vitacost.]

Dave went on to say: “It is very important to watch the trans fats.  I got a little lax and it showed up as plaque.  Not enough to cause stenosis, but you wouldn’t want to let it go because trans fats cause system wide inflammation and it can get out of hand very quickly.  K2 and it’s amino acids are only part of the answer.  You must have a constant serum level of anti-inflammatories to help the cholesterol fight the inflammation.  My circulation has improved in both upper and lower extremities; you can really tell in the winter.  If you get a chance to talk to, or email Dr. Kate [author of Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox] please tell her thanks for saving my life.”

I am beyond thrilled when I receive news like these two gentlemen regarding ways to leverage a natural approach and were kind enough to send. It gives me a good reason to get up in the morning.

Red for heart disease should be a month rather than a day

heart disease

The whole month of October is pink for breast cancer. Why is there just one day dedicated in February to wearing red as a reminder of heart disease in women? Good grief, heart disease kills something like 10 times more women. Yep, annually, 1 in 31 American women dies from breast cancer each year, while cardiovascular disease claims 1 in 3! I’m not proposing that we create a marketing / fundraising monster in February where everything including football uniforms are trimmed in red. I just think the issue needs a little more attention.

The early warning signs of heart trouble in women are often ignored because, for some perverted reason, it is still assumed that cardiovascular disease is a male problem. Clearly it is an equal opportunity killer. It adds to risk that the first signs of attack can be different than in men. Extreme fatigue, nausea, jaw pain, shortness of breath, a cold sweat or lightheadedness might easily be written off as nothing serious.

By now, we all know the basics of what both genders should do for prevention—stop smoking; exercise; eat a Mediterranean-style diet (more fruits, vegetables, fiber and fish along with fewer carbohydrates); lose weight; and reduce stress. Less often reviewed are supplements for cardio health. Here is a sampling of ones that I like because each is also useful for prevention of most other chronic diseases.

General: Reg’Activ Cardio Wellness. The key factor in this product is a probiotic strain, ME3 that produces the master antioxidant glutathione. It also contains other cardio-support nutrients, including Co-Q10. Among other benefits, it supports energy production in the heart.

Cholesterol: Kyolic Aged Garlic Formula 107. Aged garlic extract has been shown to reverse (not just slow the process) the accumulation of deadly unstable plaque in arteries. Study.

Blood pressure: Kyolic Aged Garlic Formula 109. Among the over 750 studies on Kyolic are a number showing help with blood pressure. This formula also contains Nattokinase and Suntheanine® supplements with known blood pressure benefits.

Magnesium: This humble mineral is under-appreciated in spite of being needed in 300 ways by the body. It is known to be important for proper heart rhythm and is even helpful for atrial fibrillation. I believe there would be more studies showing other benefits for preventing heart disease, but study results often seem mixed of the measure they use. They typically test serum magnesium. Unfortunately, what is circulating in the blood at any given moment is not a good measure of the magnesium contained in cells.

Longevinex: Among its dozens of other impressive functions, resveratrol is known to precondition the heart which improves survival in case of heart attack. In my article I explain why I think the Longevinex combination is head and shoulders above any other resveratrol on the market. It is also a miracle for macular degeneration. (More about that soon.)

These are by definition, supplements. They fill in nutritional blanks and add extra protection, but they are obviously not substitutes for the basics: stop smoking; exercise, eat a Mediterranean-style diet (more fruits, vegetables, fiber and fish along with fewer carbohydrates) lose weight and reduce stress.

By the way, you may have noticed that some of the above supplements are from our radio show sponsors. Not surprising, because I picked these companies as sponsors because I am proud to talk about them.


How Worrying About Money Affects Your Health


The following article “How Worrying About Money Affects Your Health”, is by David Mielach, a staff writer for It tells the story so well that I decided to just print it as is.

“Worrying about money can affect you in more ways than you may realize. New research has found that the risks of several significant health problems increase when people worry about their financial situation.

While it is not surprising that the main source of stress for most people is money, this new research has found just what people can expect from their worries.  In a comparison of people who had a high level of stress over debt and those who did not, it was found that people with high stress levels were twice as likely to have a heart attack compared with those who did not worry about their financial situation. The poll, conducted by the Associated Press and AOL, also found that:

  • Ulcers or digestive tract problems — 27 percent of people with high stress over finances reported digestive problems versus 8 percent of people who did not worry about finances.
  • Headaches or migraines —44 percent of people financially stressed reported having migraines versus 4 percent of people with low financial stress.
  • Depression– 23 percent of people with financial stress were depressed, compared with 4 percent of people who were not stressed.
  • Muscle tension or lower back pain — Highly stressed people were 65 percent more likely to suffer from back pain and muscle tensions than those with low stress.

There is, however, an easy way to avoid health problems associated with worrying about finances. Additional research has shown that people who take an active role in planning and learning about their finances were less stressed and more confident in their financial situations. According to a TIAA-CREF Institute study, people who are educated about their finances are more likely to save for retirement. Additionally, attending a financial-training program increased people’s feeling that they were in control of their finances by 25 percent, according to a recent according to a recent Metlife survey.”

On the radio show last week, we discussed potential solutions to one big source of financial stress—finding funding for college. Please see the archive description for details about how to pay for all of it without debt. 

(The graphic was also thanks to

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