Thursday, January 30, 2014

Is Your Blood Pressure Skewed?

by Glen Depke, Traditional Naturopath

So how many people show up at there doctors office and sit in the waiting room impatiently because the doctor is running late? Probably most of you if not all of you have experienced this at some point. Perhaps the doctor running behind is now creating stress for you because you notice that now you are going to be running late for a later engagement. Finally the nurse tells you to run in the back so she can take care of some of your vitals because the doctor will see you soon. So you hurry to the back of the office, plop down on a chair and here comes the blood pressure cuff. Surprise surprise, now your blood pressure come up as 140/90, which would be recognized as a stage I hypertension. Most doctors will recommend that you improve your diet (too bad these recommendations are typically off) and follow up in 6 months. All this while letting you know that if this does not improve in 6 months, you will be put on blood pressure meds. You're thinking...yikes!

So six months goes by and you have focused on the low fat, low protein, high vegetable and grain diet your doc has recommended, (not really the best diet) along with some cardiovascular exercise. As you sit in the waiting room for your follow up, you're starting to stress out again. This time, it is not because the doctor is late, it because your concerned about being put on blood pressure meds. Well sure enough, this time your blood pressure is 145/92. So sorry, but now you are lead down the path of meds for the rest of your life. These will potentially lead to further symptoms and of course, more meds.

You get it?

So what's wrong with this story?

How about first addressing what may have created the high reading in the first place? Sitting in the office, stressed out while you recognize you are going to be running late for something yourself. Then your rushed in the back and your reading was taken immediately. Lastly, your so stressed out at the potential of getting put one the meds that you create your own self fulfilled prophecy. The worry and concern leads to another high reading, which in turn lead to medications. Oh my....

So here's a couple of tips.

First off, I'll share that the directions on my blood pressure monitor say that once you have the patient in the cuff, let them relax for 2 minutes prior to taking the reading. So who has ever had a nurse or doctor do this? I never had but I do hope there are some out there that actually address this. I can share that last week our clinic was at a business health fair and one of the tools we provided was complimentary blood pressure screenings. Just for fun I did mine and I actually came back as prehypertensive at 133/80. Now this was no big deal to me because I knew I was running around and getting ready for the event and there was some stress of leaving something behind at our office, so you get it. Basically my reading was a response to stress and activity. Prior to writing this article I did by blood pressure reading and it came up as 112/73 and a pulse rate of 58. What's different? Did I take some meds to lower this? Of course not! I actually took this when my body was at rest to get an accurate reading.

How about other factors? Did you know that drinking a cup of coffee before going to your doctor can raise your blood pressure by 10 - 15 points? And the ever important stress factor. This can be huge and honestly, this stress factor can lead to a lifetime of medications. 

I'm really not even blaming the doctors here, their hands are tied. If they do not insist on the meds upon your follow up, they are liable for not following protocol. So even if they want to use natural methods to address this, they risk their practice and livelihood. Sad but true. On the flip side, by recommending the medications, there is zero liability.

Let's also look at fact that just going to the doctor can be nerve-racking for many. So much so that for some patients it causes a rise in blood pressure that gives the appearance of hypertension.

Look at some of the facts. Currently, there are approximately 68 million people in the U.S. who are diagnosed with either high blood pressure or mild - stage 1 hypertension. The latest review conducted by the Cochrane Collaboration, which provides independent analyses of medical data, suggests that many patients with stage 1 hypertension are over-treated and subjected to the possible harms of drug treatment without any benefit. Also, according to, “A very recent study is now turning 30 years of medical dogma along with the associated drugging on its head. The latest independent experts now report that blood pressure drugs used to treat mild cases of high blood pressure not only do not reduce heart attacks, strokes, or overall deaths, but that they come with a litany of nasty "side effects" from loss of libido to sudden pain, urinary infections, asthma symptoms, insomnia, depression, coughing, rashes, dizziness, drowsiness, constipation, diarrhea and on and on. One of the "side effects" of these unnecessary medications is death.  

So if you really want to know what your blood pressure is, pick up an electronic blood pressure monitor and take this at home when you know you are relaxed. Don't forget to follow the instructions of relaxing for 2 minutes between the time you put on the cuff and you actually complete your reading. This is a great time to do some deep belly breathing.

Here's some info from Mayo Clinic on blood pressure readings.

Top number (systolic) in mm Hg   Bottom number (diastolic) in mm Hg Your category* What to do**
Below 120 and Below 80 Normal blood pressure Maintain or adopt a healthy lifestyle.
120-139 or 80-89 Prehypertension Maintain or adopt a healthy lifestyle.
140-159 or 90-99 Stage 1 hypertension Maintain or adopt a healthy lifestyle. If blood pressure goal isn't reached in about six months, talk to your doctor about taking one or more medications.
160 or more or 100 or more Stage 2 hypertension Maintain or adopt a healthy lifestyle. Talk to your doctor about taking more than one medication.

If you do find yourself in a less than optimal blood pressure it is imperative to take care of your overall health and wellness. Visit the Depke Wellness homepage for a complimentary video on your fundamentals of health as well as free assessments for your Nutritional ID, gluten intolerance and adrenal insufficiency. These all play a role in blood pressure.

If you also want to monitor your pulse along with blood pressure, the electronic blood pressure monitors will generally do this for you but if not, follow these directions. A normal resting heart rate for adults ranges from 60 to 100 beats a minute. Generally, a lower heart rate at rest implies more efficient heart function and better cardiovascular fitness. For example, a well-trained athlete might have a normal resting heart rate closer to 40 beats a minute. To measure your heart rate, simply check your pulse. Place your index and third fingers on your neck to the side of your windpipe. To check your pulse at your wrist, place two fingers between the bone and the tendon over your radial artery — which is located on the thumb side of your wrist. When you feel your pulse, count the number of beats in 60 seconds and that is your heart rate. Here's some info on your pulse.

Resting heart rate
Age or fitness level Beats per minute (bpm)
Babies to age 1:
Children ages 1 to 10:
Children ages 11 to 17:
Well-conditioned athletes:

So in the end, make your your blood pressure readings are not skewed. You don't want to spend your life on meds because you were stressed out and had a cup of coffee, do you?

If hypertension is an issue for you and you would like to address these and other underlying factors naturally, feel free to set up a complimentary 20 minute visit with Depke Wellness by calling (949)954-6226.



Tuesday, January 28, 2014

2014 More Than Just Weight Loss - Week Two

Congrats on completing week one of "More Than Just Weight Loss."

Many are finding success already with weight loss among other positive shifts while some are finding themselves challenged with cravings, healing crisis and even discomfort. As your body is shifting and changing there is always the chance that you may go through some type of a healing crisis. This happens every year to some participants and I can assure you that continuing to move forward with the program will lead you through this. If this is occurring for you, please update me with your progress on this blog.

During week two you will obviously continue with the allowable/avoidance food list but we will add another benefit to you this week, which is introducing your Nutritional ID. This will allow you to use your allowable/avoidance food list in an improved way to increase your energy, improve your mood and potentially even need less food through your day.

Moving into week two, here is your updated supplement recommendations.
  • Tumero - 1 teaspoon twice per day
  • Resvero - 1 teaspoon twice per day
  • Ultra D - 2 teaspoon twice per day
  • GI Synergy - 1 packet twice per day
  • Strengthia - 2 capsules twice per day
  • Repairvite - 1 scoop twice per day
*If you have any Nitric Balance or Glutathione Recycler left, please continue with this as directed until empty.

Welcome to week two which is the gut healing segment of your program.

Wellness for the World,
Glen Depke, Traditional Naturopath

Thursday, January 23, 2014

What's the Best Diet?

by Glen Depke, Traditional Naturopath

Here is the most common nutritional question I get from clients.

What's the best diet for you?
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Zone
  • South Beach
  • Macrobiotics
  • Atkin's
  • Paleo
  • and the list goes on
The answer is, none or any of them.

Understand that there is no "one size fits all" meal plan. Hippocrates was spot on when he shared about 2600 years ago, "One man's food is another man's poison." This is just as true today as it was at that time.

I can remember years ago when I first started in the natural health business, I used to teach and practice mainstream nutrition. You all know what that looks like. Eat a lot of vegetables, fruit, whole grains while cutting back on fat and red meat, all while juicing every day. I was always so confused with this because following that plan, I had to eat all day to maintain my energy. When I say all day, I actually ate about 6 meals per day and not little snacks.

How the heck could I be doing everything right, yet feeling so dissatisfied?

Thankfully the answers were provided for me. I was exposed to a system of Metabolic Typing and eventually became an Advanced Metabolic Typing adviser. Of course I was the first person that completed this assessment and low and behold, I was a classic protein type. Understand that a protein type would actually eat red meat, lager quantities of fat, lower amounts of fruit and only specific vegetables. My first day on my new meal plan, I went from 6 meals per day to only 3 and honestly, the amount of food that I eat these days for the whole day, often is similar to what most people would eat in just one meal. Yet I get to enjoy high amounts of energy, physically, mentally, emotionally and vibrationally.

So of course I suggest that everyone follow the protein type plan, right?

Absolutely not!

I only suggest the meal plan that is right for you, according to what I refer to as your Nutritional ID.

To check in on the evolution of my nutritional career, it started with mainstream nutrition. From there I was trained in Metabolic Typing and used this system for several years. At one point when I was working with Dr Mercola back in the Chicago area, I was honored with the task of creating the system of Nutritional Typing that is still used online and within Dr Mercola's clinic. Since moving to Southern California more than 5 years ago, I had developed my own system to assess individual nutritional needs called Nutritional ID.

So what is Nutritional ID all about?

Eating according to your Nutritional ID is about consuming the correct foods for yourself as an individual to maintain the highest energy physically, mentally, emotionally and vibrationally throughout your day with the smallest quantity of food. This enables your body to use high amounts of energy to generate the highest levels of health and happiness.

Sound like a plan, right?
  • Who doesn't want more energy? 
  • Who doesn't want to eat less and enjoy more?
  • Who doesn't want to lose weight and gain strength without cravings and caffeine?
  • Who doesn't want to move closer and closer to health and happiness?
Well, if you don't want this, no need to read further, but I know better.

If you would like to assess your personal Nutritional ID visit this link provided for you and scroll to down to receive your assessment. This is a complimentary assessment to understand your individual basic starting point as either a Veggie Type, Mixed Type or Protein Type.

This is just the beginning and not the end.

It is not enough to simply know your Nutritional ID
  • Being a Veggie Type does not mean eating as a vegetarian or vegan. 
  • Being a Protein Type does not mean eating all the protein and fat you would like. 
  • Being a Mixed Type does not mean simply eating a little bit of everything.
All Nutritional ID meal plans are directing you to consume protein, fat and carbohydrates but those that are recommended all pertain to using what is right for you. This along with eating them in the direction for optimal results is such a key.

You may think that eating a salad made from red and green leaf lettuce with tomato and cucumber, topped with a small chicken breast and a small amount of olive oil, is a very healthy meal. 

Not so fast!

That's a healthy meal for only one of the three Nutritional IDs.

So be sure that once you know your Nutritional ID, you actually take the next step and minimally get your basic Nutritional ID Meal Plan.

This will include:
  • Your personal meal chart
  • Meal plan usage instructions
  • Five days of recommended meals
  • Shopping list
  • Recipes
I understand that finances can be tight for so many, so the basic Nutritional ID meal plan is only $9.97. There are more advanced plans available but having at least the basic Nutritional ID Meal Plan is a key.

If you have any comments or questions, please leave them below for myself or my staff to address personally.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

2014 More Than Just Weight Loss - Week One

Get ready everyone! We are beginning a journey to experience improved health and happiness and perhaps shock you with results that may be unexpected. As you've heard me say before, this program has been running for four years now and I have have seen countless people lose weight, inches and most importantly, significantly reduce or eliminate their health symptoms. 

This is truly an amazing program and the reason why both myself and my wife participate every year.

Now to the nuts and bolts. This will be your blog through the program. This will allow you access to post questions and comments for me as well as interact with others in the program. There are many "More Than Just Weight Loss" veterans in the program as well as other health practitioners so the conversation on the blog will provide a high value. Also Lynda Buitrago, who is my partner in my office, will be sharing her expertise with you along this journey. She is also in the program with us and a veteran from last year.

As each new week begins, we will start a new blog. We have many in the program that are not starting on the same day so this will create ease of navigation for all, regardless of when they begin.

Each week I will post the supplement requirements for the week and sharing other news and tidbits to help you along the way. Please check in regularly for new posts and share from other participants. I will share that while the blog is not essential to your success, I do find that those participants that use the blog regularly consistently enjoy high levels of success.

Also remember the keys to this program. Allowable/avoidance foods, anti-inflammatory, liver detox, gut/brain connection and immune support. These will be your keys to health and happiness.

One last note. It does add an ease of navigation if you become a member of this blog. You can take care of this is the right header.

So here we go...

Wellness for the World,

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Are You Having Fun Yet?

by Glen Depke, Traditional Naturopath

Are you having fun yet?
Image from Northern Sound

If you are like most of my new clients that answer would be no. Even when individuals share that they have a good focus on health and wellness, they are often forgetting to think of health and happiness.

Far too often I see those focusing on health and wellness creating life styles that are far too rigid. I am sure you have seen these people. They don't ever eat or drink anything considered bad for them. They spend more time at the gym than they do their family and friends. They spend much of their time going from one wellness consultation to another. And another huge point to make is their happiness is thought to be derived from something that can be measured rather than felt. 

Good luck with that...

It's funny that I have had people email, phone or simply mention to me in person that they cannot believe I make comments on my articles or social media about margaritas, putting up before and after photos with an inflamed belly before a program and a lean midsection after. Here's the deal. I am just like you. A human being, a person and someone that likes to have fun. I don't do everything perfect and I do not teach my clients to do this either. In fact, every person that I know that is doing everything "perfect" is so rigid and dysfunctional that they are anything but happy, thus anything but healthy.

Sure, I do not eat any of my cross reactive foods, and I've got a lot of them. I do go to a gym
Our Familly
a couple of times per week and I do seek assistance from other health professionals to maintain my health. Beyond this though, I focus on what is fun for me. I play tennis and golf once per week, ride my Harley, hang out with Dawn (my wife) and Ruben (our boxer), play cards with the guys, play board games with our friends, hang at the pool, hit the hot tub and so much more. Heck, I even make the best margarita ever with all fresh ingredients. I am over the top intolerant to corn so I cannot use any of those mixes. And even though I have multiple intolerances such as gluten, corn, rice, almost every grain, dairy, yeast, coffee and more but my wife has still figured out how to make an occasional chocolate cake and cheese cake that I can actually eat and I love them!

So to make it simple, I have fun!

When a client of mine is falling into regular mental/emotional or other health challenges, I often ask them what they do for fun. Do you know that about 90% of the time, they don't have an answer and you know why of course, they don't have any fun.

So let's make a pact here today. Let's make 2014 the year that you not only focus on health but health and happiness. And think about it, what good is health if you're not happy?!?!?

Here's an easy start. Make a list of at least 10 things that you like to do that are fun for you. Here's my sample list.
  1. Golfing
  2. Tennis
  3. Snuggling with my wife watching a movie
  4. Playing with Ruben
  5. Board games with friends
  6. Having my killer margarita with friends
  7. Riding my Harley
  8. Hanging at the pool
  9. Most anything with my wife
  10. Most anything with friends
So guess what was the hardest part of this list for me? If you guessed stopping at ten, you are right. I could have kept going and going...

So do I have fun because I am special? Are you kidding me, I am just like you, no better and no worse. I simply focus on having fun and you can too. So make your list and don't stop at 10. When you are feeling a little down and out, instead of feeling sorry for yourself and doing the whole "woe-is-me" thing, take out your list and do something fun.

How important is the list? Look at how much fun you are having right now in your life and this will tell you how bad you need a list. Remember, out of sight, out of mind. Make this list, have some fun and recognize that health without happiness is not health at all.


Friday, January 10, 2014

Love New Info!

by Glen Depke

Why do I do countless amounts of research and attend workshops/lectures even when I feel like I could be doing delivering the workshop/lecture rather than being an attendee? I do this for the hope of the golden nugget. You know, that little bit of new information that can change someone's life. 

Well, I have some new info to share.

I remember learning functional healing while I was working with Dr Mercola in his office in the Chicago are. Joe (Dr Mercola) had connected with one of the leaders in functional medicine, Dr Daniel Kalish, to teach us his protocols to provide a higher level of success for the patients in Dr Mercola's clinic. I remember one time Dan sharing that he can look at similar labs, as far as dysfunctional, yet witness two completely different expressions of symptoms. He mentioned that one of those factors is exercise. In Dan's years of experience in functional medicine, he shares that those who exercise can ward off symptoms much easier than those that do not exercise.

To understand though, when you are looking at adrenal results overall, it is important for everyone to include movement (exercise) into their daily routine. I was taught that those with a stage II or deeper adrenal issue should limit their exercise to anaerobic activity. You know, weight training, gentle flow yoga, stretching and a casual walk or bike. This was due to the fact that a elevated heart rate for and extended length of time could actually worsen adrenal function.

Your hearing it here first. Based on new information and research I am changing this recommendation, so hear you go.

I am still in agreement that an extended length of a raised heart rate would be a challenge for the adrenals but high intensity training for short periods could actually assist your circadian rhythm and overall hormone balance while also raising growth hormone and assisting in developing new neural pathways. How about that?

So what do I mean high intensity training for short durations?

This is doing a particular movement for with extremely high intensity for at least 1 minute but up to 5 minutes. As an example, I jump on the treadmill for 5 minutes to warm up prior to lifting weights. Now that I understand the full benefits of the high intensity training, I did a slow jog at 3.5 miles per hour for the first minute, then I kicked it up to 7 miles per hour for 1 minute, knocked it back down to 3.5 for a 2 minute recovery and the last minute back up to 7 miles per hour. For me personally, 7 miles per hour is really pushing it and that is what's needed. Others may push it at less and many others will look at 7 miles per hour as slow, but it is important to know your limits and push just beyond for that 1 to 5 minutes.

The exercise does not need to be running though, you could do this on a bike, rebounder or other exercises. The key it to do short high intensity for 1 to 5 minutes. Here is a recommendation that is in my Fundamentals of Health that I provide for new clients.

High Intensity Training (3 times weekly)
  • Do as many pushups as possible for 60 seconds and rest for 2 minutes
  • Do as many crunches as possible for 60 seconds and rest for 2 minutes
  • Do as many squats with a ball against the wall for 60 seconds and rest for 2 minutes
  • If you are able repeat this for one more set
Often the question will come up in regard to what heart rate is targeted for high intensity training.  To get your maximum heart rate you can use this formula.

220 - (your age) and 70% of more is high intensity. So as an example, I am 49 so 2220-49=171 and 70% of this is about 120, so this is my target heart rate for this training. Remember though, this is only for 1-5 minutes maximum.

I also want to be very firm on saying, more is not better. If you do this to excess you can drop into an over training syndrome and end up creating poor health rather than improved health. I also want to be clear that while there are definite benefits to high intensity training, this is still creating oxidative stress in your body. With this said, it is then essential to take antioxidants to counter this stress.

Let's go one step further for some. If you find it very difficult to wake up in the morning and get your day going, do 2 minutes of high intensity exercise within 10 minutes of waking up. This can assist with neural connectivity and help reset your circadian rhythms and increase morning corsitol production. This can be a huge boost for so many.

If you have any comments or questions on this subject feel free to leave a post below.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Is Your Liver Screaming Too?

by Glen Depke, Traditional Naturopath

Well, the holidays are behind us and if you are like me you may have enjoyed a bit more alcohol than would be normal for you. On top of the alcohol there may have been some other issues for you. Potentially some food choices with "who knows what" as ingredients? Or maybe you either live in or visited a cold weather region where you were stuck inside breathing stale contaminated air all day. So what does all this mean to you?

It means it's time to be nice your liver.

If you have been following Depke Wellness for some time, you already know that I am not a fan of moving into detoxification too quickly. I have listed some bullet points to refresh your memory to why detoxification too quickly is an issue:

  • Most individuals with chronic health issues are simply too weak to go through an aggressive detoxification program
  • Many that are in a detox program are doing so with a less than optimally functioning blood/brain barrier
  • This poor blood/brain barrier function will lead to detoxification symptoms such as headaches, body aches, fatigues and so much more
  • Due to the fact that our world is so toxic, most push detoxification too quickly
  • Some people are actually too lean to detoxify in a healthy way
This is the reason why I incorporate a liver detox along with a whole health building program in "More Than Just Weight Loss."

Before we move on, first understand that your systems of detoxification and elimination include the:

  • Liver
  • Kidneys
  • Colon
  • Lymphatic system
  • Skin
  • Lungs
We'll first discuss the liver, understanding that your liver is going to actually address approximately 80% of detoxification in your body through a phase I and phase II detoxification.

Phase I liver detoxification is often referred to as bio-transformation. Within this bio-transformation, enzymes change the biochemical structure of toxins, drugs, etc., which are fat soluble into water-soluble metabolites. This process  is governed by at least 50 different enzymes and this primary enzyme system is known as the cytochrome P450 (CP450) system. Simply put, toxins are converted to water soluble metabolites. These metabolites are usually less active, but they can be even more toxic than the original toxin. It is important that these metabolites are processed and excreted. If not, they will accumulate in the tissues of the body rather than in the bloodstream. These can be deposited in the fatty tissue, connective tissue and/or nervous system tissue. As a side note, storing toxins in connective tissue and/or nervous system tissue can be a very painful experience but generally only and issue for those that are very lean.

I remember years ago when I was working along side Dr Mercola, we had a young woman (maybe late 20's or early 30's) come into the clinic that moved as if she was in her 80's, and I mean an unhealthy 80's. You could actually see that pain on her face with every step and when she hit the chair in my office, she burst into tears. What you do not know is that she was very health conscious, very lean and fit. Just prior to coming into the clinic, she had all her silver amalgams removed improperly and this released a significant amount of toxins (mercury) into her body. Because she was so lean, there was not much fat tissue as a storage for these toxins, therefor connective tissue and nervous system tissue were the point of storage. I cannot begin to tell you how upset and distraught this woman was.

During phase II liver detoxification or also known as the conjugation pathways. Through different metabolic pathways, amino acids, sulfur, vitamins, minerals, and other natural substances bind or conjugate to the metabolites from the Phase I enzyme process so that they can be eliminated. If the nutrients needed to conjugate the toxins are in low supply, the toxins re-circulate as new toxins that are sometimes more toxic than the original toxin. You can tell that your phase II conjugation is sluggish if perfumes or scents start to create symptoms for you. 

Also understand that hormones, natural waste products, medications, and fat-soluble vitamins are also broken down through the liver detoxification process.

Now as far as your kidneys are concerned they receive 20% of the blood pumped to the heart. As the blood flows to the kidneys they remove wastes and then return the processed, purified blood back to the body. Waste material and water leave the blood and enter the urinary system. Toxins then end up in the urine.

Within your lymphatic system, the lymph fluid picks up nutrients, hormones, waste products, bacteria, and cellular debris. Then your lymph nodes act as a toxin filter and the lymph fluid is circulated by physical activity (especially rebounding), deep breathing, massage and dry skin brushing.

Here's some more tidbits on detoxification:
  • Respiration: breathing (gas exchange), coughing, sneezing, clearing mucous
  • Skin: sweating, sebaceous gland secretion, tears, Epsom salt or sea salt baths, dry skin brushing
  • GI System: liver function, gallbladder, bowel and intestinal tract function
  • Kidneys: acid/alkaline balancing, urination, hydration with filtered water
  • Circulatory and lymph systems: blood flow, lymph circulation, and immune function
With all this in mind, you will likely understand why I include 3 weeks of liver detoxification in the "More Than Just Weight Loss" program. It is so interesting every year to watch the participants in the program. Some, like myself, dump quite a bit right away due to the fact of most of the weight being inflammatory. Others may lose more weight in the second to third weeks due to challenges in their digestive system. But the last couple of years I've seen the percentages grow for those losing the bulk of their weight toward the end of the program due to the increased liver function. As mentioned, this is so interesting.

If you want to learn more about the "More Than Just Weight Loss" program, click here. This has the potential to change your life forever!