The Myth of Moderation

A common cause of confusion for patients is the degree to which one should change a diet to get healthy.  Often a patient has been doing ‘everything right’ and yet their health problems persist. A common misconception concerns the appropriate application of the idea of ‘moderation’. “Everything in moderation” and you will do well – a little bit of white sugar every day will not hurt you, junk food is OK once in a while, etc. etc.

The principle is correct –

moderation is the best way to go,


the rule works best once you have achieved general good health. 

A healthy body can handle occasional junk food. A healthy body can process a bit of white sugar here and there. However, if one has unresolved health problems that persist, then one needs to buckle down for a while until the problem is resolved before reverting back to the rule of moderation. It may take a bit of time to get the discipline down that is required to correct a longstanding problem, but how wonderful it then is to not have to worry about ‘doing everything right’ to be vibrantly healthy! A weak system generally requires little insult before it breaks down with symptoms. A robust healthy system can take a lot of insult before any symptoms show.

If you have a leaky roof resulting in your household goods getting wet do you really want a few leaks and cracks to persist? No. Fix the roof. Fix it well. No more worries. The same applies to your body. Fix it. Fix it well. No more worries.

For the average person I see clinically, (and depending on the person’s constitution and illness), once one has been truly strong and healthy for 8-12 weeks, the rule of moderation comes into play with no untoward effects from the occasional intake of junk food or other bad habits. (Strong and healthy means no symptoms of any kind for 8-12 weeks.

All good medicine,



Misconsceptions of Moderation

Sunshine and your Heart

Researchers have discovered that optimizing vitamin D status in the body actually helps congestive heart failure patients. A recent study* published this April in the  Journal of the American College of Cardiology showed improved heart function in CHF patients following one year of vitamin D3 supplementation.

Vitamin D is made by our bodies when our skin is exposed to sunlight. The average human loves sunshine and yet many of us spend most of our time indoors. Even when we do venture out we often cover all exposed skin with sun block.  This has resulted in a dramatic increase in vitamin D3 deficiency associated illnesses.

Exposure to natural outdoor light is crucial for good health. We evolved in a sunlit world. Out bodies do best when regularly dosed with sunshine. People who spend the most time outdoors have the lowest rates of skin cancer. Skin cancer rates are highest among those who spend most of their time indoors with a history of sunburn when they do venture out.

Increase your outdoor time gradually. Start with five minutes of bright sun per day for a week. Increase to ten minutes per day. Then ten minutes twice a day. Eat a good organic whole foods diet. If you are an ‘easy burner’, see your health care provider and have your B vitamin status checked. Improving nutrition can eliminate the tendency to burn instead of tan. Wear hats and clothing to block excess sun exposure.

Sunshine is good for our hearts in more ways than one.


All good medicine,




Pancreatic Cancer and Oral Health

One of the curious characteristics of the healthiest people I have seen in practice over the years is the absence of toothbrushing. These people had good strong teeth and bodies right up until death, and had essentially rarely, if ever, been ill.

Science is just now exploring the relationship between the bacteria in our bodies and health. For decades the assumption was that all bacteria were bad and needed to be eradicated. Consequently, we now have a plethora of products designed to kill bacteria in as many places in our environment as possible. Our homes are sterilized with chemicals (most of which are carcinogens), our food is sterilized (killing beneficial as well as bad bacteria), our soil has lost the bacterial richness so necessary to growing nutritious food (due to the use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers), our hands and bodies are washed with antibacterial soaps (the residue of which ends up in our waterways), and we brush our teeth and rinse our mouths with the express purpose of killing as much bacteria as possible. Somewhere along the line, the powers that be ignored the wise  quiet voices that suggested that some bacteria are crucial to good health. Farmers, mothers, and those who lived close to the land knew this. Many long lived healthy people have clean teeth and mouths, and pleasant breath due to a good balance of good bacteria in their mouths. These good bacteria in our mouths protect us from all sorts of disease. Washing the bacteria out three times a day is not conducive to good health.

How did they keep their teeth and mouth clean and healthy without brushing?

  1. Good organic, whole foods diet, including fermented vegetables.
  2. Plenty of antiseptic spices and herbs (raw onions, garlic, curry, etc.)
  3. Pure water.
  4. Use of toothpicks as picks and brushes.
  5. Little to no snacking.

In our modern world of refined foods and drinks it is difficult, but not impossible, to return to a healthier mode of oral health care. If you are living in a manner that fits your body, then your teeth will be squeaky clean and  without plaque. Your breath will be fresh, without brushing with toothpaste. Do see your health care provider for guidance.

Pancreatic cancer is still one of our deadliest cancers and it appears to be closely associated with a lack of good bacteria in the mouth.*

All good medicine,


*Gut. 2013 Dec;62(12):1764-70. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2012-303006. Epub 2012 Sep 18.Plasma antibodies to oral bacteria and risk of pancreatic cancer in a large European prospective cohort study. Michaud DS1,

Germs and “I” Cloud


In a scene from the current film Embrace of the Serpent an Amazonian shaman blows smoke across the body of a sick woman to heal her. Incense, smoke, and simply the air blown from our lungs have been used in healing for a very long time. Generally ignored by science, these methods  now bear re-examination.

Recent studies* have demonstrated what the ancients knew all along – that

each of us is surrounded by a cloud.

 A cloud that can affect our health. It is, in fact, a cloud of your own unique bacteria, viruses, and fungi. It is so unique that your presence in a room can be positively identified even though you may be long gone. Call it your “I” Cloud.

That cloud of microbial essence is determined by how you live – what you think, eat, drink and breathe. It is also affected by others around you – and their clouds of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. It is certainly possible therefore, that if you change your ‘cloud’ you may be able to change your health. The use of incense, for example frankincense,  is not only  pleasant to smell it is also a powerful antiseptic – a powerful healer. Suddenly the notion of traditional methods of healing that can affect a person’s bacterial cloud no longer appear quite so mysterious.

All good medicine,


*Meadow JF, Altrichter AE, Bateman AC, Stenson J, Brown G, Green JL, Bohannan BJM. (2015) Humans differ in their personal microbial cloud. PeerJ 3:e1258