Impact of Nutrition and Healthy Living

Three months after Jackson was diagnosed with autism in October of 2001, I took him to a pediatric developmental specialist who recommended a biomedical treatment program that included dietary changes and nutritional supplementation.  It has been exactly 10 years since we started these treatments, and they have had a profound effect on his health and development.  I strongly recommend biomedical interventions for any and all health issues and have personally seen dramatic improvements in people of all ages.  Each member of my family has their own personalized dietary and nutritional programs based on our unique health needs and it has been transformational in all areas of our life. 

I have asked a longtime friend of mine to write this weeks blog on her personal experiences with the impact of these programs in her life.  As a disclaimer, I do not use any of the products she is discussing nor am I endorsing any particular program.  But I do love and admire her passion and ability to communicate her story!

Written by Shauna Sheets, mother of three and Ariix independent representative. Shauna works with Ray Strand, MD in Rapid City, SD promoting his Healthy for Life program and Health Concepts International website. 

The women in my family have always struggled with carb addictions. Of course I didn’t call it that, or even know that’s what it was, but recently I learned otherwise. Like so many people today, I have settled on the fact that I will always be the size of the average woman – better stated, the size of Marilyn Monroe. After having three kids, my best dieting efforts have ended with 10-15 pounds lost, pounds that slowly creep back over a year. So, when I had the chance to meet author and international speaker, Dr. Ray Strand, at a recent “Healthy For Life” seminar, I was the first to sign up!

I became a fan of Dr. Strands after reading his book, What Your Doctor doesn’t Know About Nutritional Medicine May Be Killing You. That book changed how my husband and I looked at health and nutrition, and I believe has set our family on a nutritionally strong path. However, I had not yet read his book, Healthy For Life, which focuses on the obesity epidemic and type-2 diabetes.

In the 1990s, Dr. Strand began to notice that his patients were struggling with unavoidable weight gain. He also noticed some patients who were not overweight, but had high triglycerides and low HDL (good) cholesterol. What he learned and ultimately published in his book deals with the Glycemic Index. The concept is simple really, but understanding the impact on our health and more importantly our children’s health is critical! This is what Dr. Strand taught at his recent Healthy For Life Seminar and what Allison Trotter has asked me to share with you.

My first “take-away” from the seminar was no more instant oatmeal for breakfast! The second, and probably more important point is: I can no longer blame the metabolism I "inherited” for my Marilyn Monroe figure!

Why no more oatmeal? I always thought I was choosing something better than cereal by choosing this in the morning; but the truth is that both foods are high glycemic! Maybe this isn’t new information for many of you, but to me it caused me to question every “healthy” food I eat and wonder where it lies on this infamous index. For me, my carb addiction just looked like hunger. I would eat oatmeal for breakfast and by 10 or 11am be starved! Stomach growling-low blood sugar-headache-starved. Therefore, I would eat a sandwich (with high glycemic bread) and once again, 4pm: starved! I learned that the glycemic index is far more inportant than simple and complex carbs or the FDA’s food pyramid.

The glycemic index and glycemic load measures how fast and how high a food spikes our blood sugar: the higher it goes, the lower it will crash a few minutes later. This occurs over and over until one becomes resistant to insulin (the hormone that regulates carbohydrates and fat in the body by pulling the glucose from the blood.) Once a person becomes resistant, and this is the key to Dr. Strand’s study, a calorie is no longer just a calorie. The simple math of working off more calories than you eat to lose weight doesn’t add up any more. And that is how “suddenly” we get a belly! AKA: a muffin top. What’s worse (and maybe of more interest to the mom’s reading this article) is that statistically 1/3 of all children born after 2000 will develop type-2 diabetes due to this insulin resistance epidemic.

Dr. Strand’s Healthy For Life Program is a triad approach, which includes a low glycemic diet, moderate exercise, and nutritional supplementation at optimal levels. I won’t go into great detail of his program, but here is an overview:

Low Glycemic Diet: This isn’t overwhelming, unrealistic or really all that difficult. He breaks it up into 2 phases and it includes the use of meal replacements, low glycemic meals and snacks, and journaling.

Moderate Exercise: Not a marathon. Simply walk briskly for 30 minutes, 3-5 days per week. What better time to start than in the Spring!

Nutritional Supplementation: The FDAs recommended values for vitamins and minerals were not meant for preventing or reversing major health issues. Rather, they were created to be the minimum necessary to avoid scurvy (and the like)! To see actual health benefits you must supplement at what Dr. Strand calls optimal levels. Dr. Strand has strong requirements from nutritional health companies to recommend their supplements to his patients. You can read his article on “Choosing High Quality Nutritional Supplements” here.

Combined, this triad approach to healthy living has been clinically proven to reverse diabetes, reduce triglycerides, increase good cholesterol (HDL), and as a side effect, release fat resulting in weight loss! But as I mentioned above, you don’t have to be overweight to have insulin resistance. Even thin people can have insulin resistance (also known as a silent killer.) To find out if you might have insulin resistance or for more information on nutritional and preventative medicine, email me, and I will send you additional information.

I want to thank @homeschoolingautism mom, Allison Trotter, for inviting me to write for her this week. To learn more about Dr. Strand, his Health Concepts, and Healthy for Life Program, go to For a free 30 day FREE trial of his program, use coupon code SS2012HCI.


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