Eating unhealthy food and trying to improve your health is like mopping up the floor while the sink is still overflowing—it just doesn’t work! But it can be hard to decide what we really should be eating for optimal health, considering the diet wars (Paleo or vegan?), the non-stop exposure to sugary foods in every market isle, and clever marketing by Big Food to make us think things are good for us when they really aren’t. Instead of getting overwhelmed and defeated, I like to take a lighter look at food and focus on solutions. That’s what this week’s episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy is all about, where I’m actually the guest. My talented and funny wife Mia Lux interviews me on her show, The Conscious-ish Show, and we focus on taking the many confusing ideas about food with a grain of salt and approaching wellness with humor and action. Mia merges the playful and the profound, drawing on her experience as a stand-up comedian, personal growth junkie, and recovering lawyer. For over 5 years, Mia has been an international host, comedian, and facilitator, specializing in top wellness/personal development events around the world. Last year, I was thrilled to have her help host my Feel Good Summit. It is her mission to make the world’s most powerful ideas more accessible by making them truly enjoyable. I personally love seeing how she inspires others to take a positive spin on life.
Success comes from support. We are actually more strongly impacted by our peers and social networks than by our genetics—this is huge when it comes to changing our health. That’s why I’m such an advocate for community-based healthcare. Putting people in groups, where they can be heard by others in similar situations, supported, and held accountable is an incredible tool for creating long-lasting change. I’ve seen this thousands of times at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, where we provide a Functioning for Life program using this model, and it’s revolutionizing healthcare. I’m really excited to talk more about this on my latest episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy, with James Maskell and Tawny Jones. James Maskell has spent the past decade innovating at the cross-section of Functional Medicine and community and created the Functional Forum, the world’s largest Functional Medicine conference with record-setting participation. His organization and first book of the same name, Evolution of Medicine, prepares health professionals for this new era of preventive medicine. Tawny has been an accomplished Administrator at the Cleveland Clinic for 19 years. She leads clinical operations at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, sharing the efficacy of Functional Medicine and demonstrating its cost-effectiveness and ability to improve health. The Functioning for Life shared medical program for chronic disease management is her brainchild.
There’s a certain stigma around mental illness, one that can, unfortunately, keep people from feeling empowered that they can change their brain health and get the care they truly need. But think about it—would we ever shame someone with cancer, autoimmunity, or dementia for needing help? Of course not. Unfortunately, the past methods of treating mental health disorders didn’t actually look at what was happening inside the brain. It was a guessing game based on symptoms without knowing the real cause, location, or severity of the imbalance. The good news is that now, with technology like brain scans, we can get a clear picture of what is happening in the brain to get real solutions. My guest on this week’s episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy, Dr. Daniel Amen, has been paving the way for a new type of psychiatry, looking at the actual brain and using an integrative approach to prevent disease and successfully treat it. The Washington Post called Dr. Daniel Amen the most popular psychiatrist in America and Discover Magazine listed his brain imaging research as the top neuroscience story for 2015. He is a double board-certified psychiatrist and ten-time New York Times bestselling author, with such blockbuster books as Change Your Brain, Change Your Life, Healing ADD, Memory Rescue, Change Your Brain, Change Your Grades, and The Daniel Plan, co-authored by Pastor Rick Warren and myself. In March 2020, his book The End of Mental Illness will be published (and I highly recommend it).
So many Functional Medicine practitioners like myself have gone through their own healing crisis. For me, it was a total brain and body breakdown 30 years ago due to mercury poisoning from when I lived in China. For my good friend and fellow Functional Medicine doctor Elizabeth Boham, it was triple-negative breast cancer diagnosed at the young age of 30, despite already embracing many principles of a healthy life. Going through these experiences has led us to want to help others heal on the deepest level, which is what brought us both to the power using Functional Medicine and food and lifestyle choices to truly heal. This week on The Doctor’s Farmacy, Dr. Boham joins me to discuss what it means to get to the root cause of disease and how the principles we practice do exactly that. Dr. Boham is a physician and nutritionist who practices Functional Medicine as part of my team at The UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Through her practice and lecturing, she has helped thousands of people achieve their wellness goals. She is part of the faculty of the Institute for Functional Medicine and has been featured on the Dr. Oz show and in a variety of publications and media including Huffington Post, The Chalkboard Magazine, and Experience Life. Her DVD Breast Wellness: Tools to Prevent and Heal from Breast Cancer explores the Functional Medicine approach to keeping your breasts and whole body well, a topic she is passionate about as a breast cancer survivor.
It might sound too good to be true, but there are tools waiting within all of us, that can improve everything from depression to addiction, anxiety, discontent, or numerous other unbeneficial feelings or states of dis-ease. We just have to open ourselves up to them and be willing to dig deeper. Tapping into creativity and passion is one key component; another is slowing down and taking the time to meditate, reflect, and practice self-care. So many of these tools are at our disposal, any time of day, any day of the week—but we have to realize their potential and prioritize their practice before the magic can happen. This week on The Doctor’s Farmacy, I’m joined by Dr. Andrea Pennington to talk about how we can begin this process, and so much more. Dr. Pennington is an integrative physician, acupuncturist, meditation teacher, and #1 international bestselling author. She received her Doctor of Medicine from Washington University School of Medicine, trained at Georgetown University Hospital, and received certification in Age Management Medicine with the Cenegenics Medical Institute. Her extensive study of medical nutrition, positive psychology, and neuroscience-inspired biohacking led her to create a holistic media platform, In8Vitality, to teach people how to blend ancient wisdom and modern science for enhanced vitality and life mastery.
Imagine getting the freshest basil, lettuce, and tomatoes for your favorite salad, right in your own neighborhood, no matter where you live or what time of year it is. With urban farming, this is the future we can all look forward to. It’s changing our food system for the better by reducing transportation (a leading cause of climate change) and allowing us to access fresher, more nutritious food. It’s also disrupting social issues by making fresh produce available in areas called food deserts, where convenience stores were previously the only place within many miles to shop. This week on The Doctor’s Farmacy, I’m joined by Tobias Peggs to talk about the amazing impacts urban farming is already having and what we can expect to see as this practice grows. Tobias is co-founder and CEO of Square Roots, the Brooklyn-based urban farming company known for changing the way people think about growing local food and training the country’s future generations of farmers. Previously, he led Aviary, a mobile photo editing company as its CEO until its acquisition by Adobe, and was also CEO at OneRiot, a social media analytics company, acquired by Walmart. Tobias grew up in England and has a PhD in Artificial Intelligence from Cardiff University.