TDR 011 – Sean Coonce on Treating Epilepsy with a Paleo Diet

Sean has battled epilepsy since childhood, and making the right prescription cocktail only did so much in alleviating his symptoms. After only three months of following a Paleo diet including grass-fed meat Sean was able to cut his medication in half. And now, after four years of the diet, Sean had reduced that down to 75% of the initial doses, including cutting out one of the medications completely. Talk about food as medicine!

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Top Foods That Cause Inflammation


Inflammation is rapidly becoming one of the most studied topics in mainstream health care and with good reason.

Chronic inflammation has been linked to heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer. Alzheimer’s and fibromyalgia, to name a few. In fact, inflammation is rapidly becoming the most widespread illness of the 21st century.

Inflammation was even featured on the cover of the Feb 2004 edition of Time Magazine where it was dubbed “The Secret Killer.” Secret, because where once, chronic inflammation was seen as the effect of these conditions, many in healthcare are now looking to inflammation as potentially the primary cause of these chronic degenerative conditions.

Unlike acute inflammation from trauma, infections, allergies, burns, or cuts which can heal within a short period of time, chronic inflammation is more systemic in nature and can become a repeating cycle of flare ups over the years.

The problem with inflammation is that it is almost entirely due to lifestyle and environmental factors. A toxic environment, poor of sleep, stress, lack of movement will all contribute to inflammation. However, poor nutrition may be the biggest culprit.

Many of the foods we consume on a regular basis, promote the spread of inflammation throughout the body. For example:

Sugar – Diets high in refined sugars tend to produce a large rate of inflammation throughout the body due to their acidic load. Refined sugars are found in almost all packaged foods especially in concentrated forms like high fructose corn syrup.

Vegetable Oils – Industrial fats and vegetable oils produce trans fatty acids that can increase inflammation and damage blood vessels. Polyunsaturated fats such as corn, soy, safflower and cottonseed oils are also found primarily in packaged foods and restaurant applications.

Grains – Most grains eaten today, including their whole grain varieties, are refined, processed and treated with pesticides and other chemicals. More importantly, wheat, rice, corn, etc. contain gut-irritating proteins that cause inflammation along the digestive tract. Gluten intolerance is an example of this process.

Food additives – Often used as flavor enhancers and preservatives. There is some speculation that these additives, such as MSG and colorings found in processed meats and packaged foods, will trigger an inflammatory response in people already suffering from chronic inflammation.

Reducing inflammation form food sources is potentially a simple solution to a number of different illnesses and chronic degenerative conditions.

By eating a clean, nutritionally dense, whole food based diet consisting of vegetables, lean organic meats, low sugar fruits, nuts and seeds, we can begin to gain control over a condition that has limited the lives of so many.

TDR – 008 – Sean Morong on Life, Music and Spirituality

Sean MorongIf you ask Sean where he gets his positive beliefs and inspiration, he’ll likely tell you all about his good fortune in having a wise and spiritually connected grandmother, who was his teacher, mentor and biggest fan.

Sean grew up on the twin island republic of Trinidad and Tobago with big dreams of conquering the music industry. But he had a few things standing in his way. First, he wasn’t a good fit for the education system that favours those with good grades and second, he wanted to move to Canada but knew the odds of making that happen were low.

What Sean did have going for him though was BIG faith and a belief in God, thanks to his grandmother’s guiding hand.

Yes, he had some struggles along the way, like making sense of his divorce at an early age, and leaving his passion for music behind to chase money. Plus, he created a lucrative career, only to find he still felt empty.

But because Sean is reflective and sees life as an unfolding journey he has made it through those tough times to the life he has now full of purpose and meaning.

Sean now lives in Vancouver, B.C., having married the love of his life and has a beautiful family of 3 daughters.

He continues to learn from the experience of being a parent and had the privilege recently of taking 6 months parental leave with the birth of his 3rd child.

Sean’s struggles to find his purpose, his awakening and his new relationship with God are the essence of his collection of blogs called “Unique Perspectives on Life”. Whether Sean is speaking, creating music, writing or being with family and friends, it is this attitude of inspiration and joy he brings to his life that continue to open doors for him.

Sean speaks to parents’ groups on the importance of fathers being present for their children and families, and the value of parental leave.

He is frequently invited to be the Master of Ceremonies for corporate and community based events.

To see Sean in action watch “The Vancouver Dad’s Documentary” by Fairchild TV where he explains why parental leave for fathers is an important corporate benefit, and talks about the rising number of dads who are making the choice to stay at home, or work from home in order to be more connected to their families.

Sean can be reached at


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Is Sugar Toxic?

Sugar toxicRecently, a popular Canadian news program investigated the dangers of consuming too much sugar. What they found was disturbing: Sugar, in all its forms, can be toxic to human health.

While it is well-established that over-consumption of refined sugar has been linked to chronic health problems such as obesity and diabetes, some researchers are now suggesting that sugar may also be the toxic trigger for cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.

While, Canadians have often been warned against the dangers of consuming too much saturated fat, calories and salt, there have been few recommendations made for sugar. In fact, our consumption of refined carbohydrates in the form of sugar may be the biggest nutritional detriment to Canadians’ health.

The average person will consume 26 tablespoons teaspoons of sugar each day. Most will be in the form of non-sweet substances and package foods. This works out to approximately 40 kg of sugar per person, per year.

“The fat’s going down, the sugar’s going up and we’re all getting sick,” says Dr. Lustig, a pediatrician, medical professor and one of the leaders of the anti-sugar campaign. “This is not a hyperbole, this is the real deal. Everyone thinks that the bad effects of sugar are because sugar has empty calories. What I’m saying is no, actually there are lots of things that do have empty calories that are not necessarily poisonous.”

According to Dr. Lustig, the toxic effects of dietary sugar now put it on par with MSG, food additives and other chemical preservatives.

In fact, upon further investigation, the food industry (particularly the sugar industry) may have purposely withheld information about the dangerous effects of sugar over the years. This has lead some to accuse the sugar industry of utilizing the same unethical tactics in the past as the tobacco industry.

So why is sugar so dangerous? Whether it is table sugar, brown sugar, molasses organic cane sugar, or other sugar derivatives, sugar has a toxic effect on the cells of the body.

Insulin resistance, the method by which sugar causes an individual to gain weight and eventually become diabetic, has been observed to damage every organ in the body, including the brain.

It is believed that insulin resistance may be the initiating factor behind many diseases such as cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s. The over consumption of sugar and subsequent changes in the way sugar is absorbed and utilized by the body, can cause hormonal changes over time, making it difficult to bounce back.

Unfortunately, because of the food industry’s reluctance to provide clear labeling information about the hidden sugar content of packaged foods, it is up to the consumer to educate themselves on how to identify the different sugars and sugar-derivatives found in packaged foods.

The words: Syrup, ingredients ending in “ose,” such as maltose and dextrose, and corn derivatives are the most common hidden sources of sugar. Also, don’t be fooled by “organic” sugars such as cane, agave and molasses: They are still considered a refined sugar.

It will be a long time before the true impact of sugar’s toxicity is fully understood. In the meantime, it is easy for Canadians to begin reducing their sugar intake by carefully choosing the right products to buy.

TDR 007 – Top 15 Superfoods

15 Healthiest Foods to Stock in Your Kitchen Year-Round from

1. Sprouted sunflower seeds
2. Pastured Meat and Eggs
3. Butter
4. Fermented vegetables
5. Avocado
6. Macadamia nuts and pecans
7. Organic coconut oil
8. Fresh Herbs
9. Raw Garlic
10. Bone Broth
11. Himalayan Salt
12. Atlantic Salmon
13. Raw Milk
14. Whey Protein
15. Cultured Dairy

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Eat Smart During Pregnancy

pregnancyGood nutrition before and during pregnancy, provide essential building blocks for mom and baby alike. While most moms-to-be are reminded not to drink alcohol or eat canned fish while pregnant, additional nutritional advice is still lacking.

A mother’s nutritional requirements during pregnancy are not much different than normal. Other than an increased need for calories, the same basic nutritional principles of high nutrient density, whole foods, still apply.

It is generally recommend that during pregnancy, women eat a diet high in green leafy vegetables, good starches, organic proteins, fruit, nuts and seeds. Chemically processed junk foods should reduce to a minimum or be eliminated completely.

A mother needs the right building blocks to ensure a healthy pregnancy as well as a healthy baby later on. The foods mom eats will go on to create baby’s skin, hair, muscles, organs and other tissues.

One of the problems many expecting mothers encounter is morning sickness. Morning sickness usually occurs in the first trimester, as the baby feeds throughout the night and borrows vital nutrients from mom.

You might be surprised to know that for some mothers, morning sickness may just be a sign of nutritional deficiency.

One of the best solutions for morning sickness is simply ensuring you have consumed a good amount of healthy carbohydrates the night before. For example: A dinner consisting of lean proteins and starchy carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes will absorb slowly and can give your baby sustenance throughout the long night.

Another common mistake made during pregnancy, is to begin a low-fat diet. Good fats during this time are critical for baby’s brain and nervous system development. A woman’s body is composed of 60% fat when you remove all the water, so eating healthy saturated fats such as cold-pressed oils, organic, lean meats, and nuts are always a great idea.

In addition to eating whole, natural foods, expecting mothers may want to consider the following supplements as well:

  • Folate – This is the active form of folic acid, which has been shown to prevent birth defects.
  • Fish oil – A good quality source of omega 3 essential fatty acid is critical for brain development, especially during the third trimester.
  • Vitamin C – Is a powerful antioxidant and helps build collagen. It can also help fight off illness during pregnancy.
  • Vitamin D – The “sunshine vitamin” is essential for brain and immune system development, especially during the winter months.
  • Multivitamin – In some cases, where whole foods may be hard to come by, a good quality multi can be used.

Finally, pregnancy is never the time to diet or calorie restrict. Focus on the quality of your food and eat until you are full. Supplement wisely and stop consuming processed foods and sugary drinks, which are of limited nutritional value. Proper nutrition before, during and after pregnancy while breastfeeding, will give your baby a healthy, head start.

How To Get 8 Hours Of Sleep Without Drugs

sleepGetting 8 hours of restful sleep can be quite difficult for some people.

Early on in my career, I remember meeting a patient who came to my clinic with a variety of health concerns: digestive troubles, migraines, pain and other inflammatory symptoms.

Having recently moved to Winnipeg for work, she could not figure out what had gone wrong since, according to her, she was doing everything right when it came to her health.

Her nutritional profile looked good – a strict, no refined sugar, no refined carbohydrates, no toxin diet. She exercised daily (sometimes twice a day) and would proudly state how important it was for her to take care of her body with regular chiropractic care.

Stumped, I was preparing myself for a “tough case.” As we began our case history, the topic of sleep came up. Me: “How many hours of sleep do you get a night?” Her: “Sleep? Who has time for that?”

Sleep deprivation is a common problem and most people do not achieve eight hours of quality sleep each night. Without proper sleep, all systems of the body are thrown out of balance: The immune system is depressed, hormones are disrupted, digestion is compromised and the effects of sleep deprivation can mimic many elements of the aging process itself.

In her book: “Lights Out! Sleep, Sugar and Survival”, T.S. Wiley points out that sleep deprivation is also on the CDCs list of known carcinogens. Sleep deprivation has also been known to contribute to weight gain, depression and anxiety.

The primary purpose of sleep is repair and recovery. Unfortunately my high stress, very active patient was driving her body hard during the day with very little recovery at night. This is a recipe for disaster.

Contrary to popular belief, the brain is extremely active at night. The Central Nervous System actually speeds up at night to facilitate healing and repair. The brain will cycle through three phases of sleep (REM, light and deep sleep). It’s during deep sleep that the body will restore itself.

As a result, the quality of sleep is equally important as the amount. Here are three tips for achieving a deep, restful sleep:

  1. Sleep in a cave – A dark, quiet, cool room is essential for a good night’s sleep. Make sure all light is blacked out (including TVs and alarm clocks) and its not too hot in the bedroom.

  1. Minimum 8 hours – Get at least 8 hours of sleep, 9 would be better. Early riser? Try going to bed sooner.

  1. Stimulants – Alcohol, caffeine computer screens and TVs are all stimulants and should not be used at least 2 hours before bed.

Finally, after 3 weeks, my patient who claimed to be “too busy to sleep” was symptom free and on her way back to optimal health. After an honest reassessment of her time, she realized that her 3 hours of late-night TV watching before bed was stealing her sleep time.

While there are many factors involved in getting a good night’s sleep, often it is the simple changes that have the greatest benefit.

TDR 006 – Vegans, Facebook, Fish and Teleportation

In this episode we review several studies about life expectancy, eating meat, mercury in fish and attempt to dispel some diet myths. We also discuss biohacking to increase growth hormone and look forward to future teleportation of humans.

Listener Poll: Samsung or Apple (iPhone)?

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