Doctor James on Health and Wellness

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Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

Degenerative Disease, “IT IS YOUR CHOICE!”

Posted by doctorjames on September 24, 2008

Everyday I have patients coming into my office suffering from this or that. Symptoms that just don’t let them live the life they have dreamed of. They need this medication for that, and this medication to treat the side effect of the other one! They live a life full of pollution simply because they are not willing to make a change.

Don’t get me wrong, I do know the value of medicine especially in acute bacterial and viral infections and life saving cases. What we absolutely need to get rid of is medicating the nation for life. We have done this to ourselves folks! By following our very rich western diet, we have brought degenerative changes on! This should come as no surprise. If you don’t take control of your own health, who will?

It should not take a rocket scientist to understand that all the degenerative disorders we suffer from today are because of our dietary decisions we have made for the past 20, 30, 40, 50 years! All degenerative conditions such as cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, syndrome X, fibromyalgia, obesity, hypothyroid, high blood pressure, and arthritis all respond to the very same dietary change! In fact, cancer has been shown to also respond to this diet by preventing the genes from “turning on.” Here is the problem all of us are NUTRIENT DEFICIENT!

In fact, this diet has been shown time and time again to reverse the horrible affects that these degenerative changes can have on your body. For example, Dr. Dean Ornish is one of the pioneers in reversing cardiovascular disease with a very simple dietary change. Dr Neal Barnard is another doctor who comes to mind who has done the same with type II diabetes. Dr. McDougall, yet another pioneer in lifestyle medicine who works with many patients to reverse these degenerative diseases.

You may be asking yourself, well what is it that can change the health of our nation so greatly. Staying out of the aisles at the grocery store! Basically, you need to be on what is called a whole food plant based diet that is well published in the new book that has just come out called The China Study. Now, I tend to agree almost completely with the China Study, but I do believe that clean, lean protein is also good for us if it is organic free range and grass fed.

It should be no secret that the more organic fruits and vegetables, lean, clean, organic grass fed protein, and gluten free containing grains you take in, the more your health flourishes. Also, the more you get rid of GMO foods (genetically modified), pasteurized dairy in any form, non-organic foods, and plastic filled bisphenol A, the more your health flourishes everyday in everyway! The more grain fed beef, chicken, and pork a person takes in is directly related to diminishing health. Did you know that the animals on our planet consume 70% of the antibiotics in the world? This is because they are in feed lots and are so sick they have to be in order to live! And, guess what…we turn around and eat it at almost every restaurant and grocery store we go to!

You see, all of these degenerative diseases that have been mentioned all are one in the same with a different name! It is a label applied to a subset of symptoms or clinical values. Guess what…WHO CARES! Personally, I think labels are the absolute worse thing you can have. Labels allow enabling! Then, what is the next step, a medication designed just for you for the rest of your life, or until you body gets used to it and you have to take something stronger. I don’t think this is HEALTH CARE, this is SICK CARE! It does absolutely nothing to make you healthier. Sure, it may lower your blood pressure, decrease your pain, change your cholesterol level, and on and on, but really what has it done for you if you have not changed your diet, started exercising, and found a way to reduce your stress?

I believe most medicine, except in the case of cancer and lifesaving medical emergencies, is here to be a crutch…not a pill you take for life! The pharmaceutical companies will love it if you do take it for life, but that should not be the intent of your doctor and you should be very worried if this is your plan. I can promise you without a change in your lifestyle one med will lead to two, and two to four, and four to eight and so on.

This is my medicine…FOOD and increased nutrients through vitamins and supplements! Just think, on a whole food plant based diet you can eat as much as you want. It is not a diet, but a lifestyle. The more you follow an organic diet with clean water and good lean organic grass fed protein the more your labels will go away. Food is your medicine and your jump start is medical foods, supplements, and vitamins. Everyone on the planet must be taking a multi, something to clean your toxins out everyday, an omega 3 that is guaranteed to be pure and potent, and plant based nutrients in the form of fruits and vegetables. If you simply do this and get rid of the “crap” in your diet, your weight reduces and your immunity and your health gets better one bite at a time!

I believe some day they will find out that type II diabetes and fibromyalgia are directly related. They are a condition where the cell is insulin insensitive and where the mitochondria are deficient and are not working as well as they could be because the cell is full of lipids. The lack of mitochondria causes us to use less sugar, and also produces more pain due to lack of energy production and corresponding ischemia. Ischemia creates pain folks! WOW! I hope some of you take this information and run with it.

Health is not about taking 10-30 supplements every day neither. It is about taking certain nutrients, but not about taking a pill for this condition or that just like you would take a medication. I can see some, but some patients that come into my office honestly have one for every ache and symptom. This folks is practicing medicine but using a supplement. Keep in mind, medicine and plants are not very far apart. Medicine in most cases is a plant derived molecule that has been made more potent. Aspirin is from white willow bark, and Tamoxifen is a cancer drug from the Yew tree. I am sure there are a ton more examples, but I do not want to belabor the point. To be honest with you, if you are having to treat yourself for a condition through massive amounts of supplements or vitamins, chances are your diet is deficient and is poor. The cause is the diet! We need to stop beating around the bush and treating effects.

A whole food plant based diet is more simple to follow than you would think. You constantly can eat and you constantly feel satisfied. Doesn’t that sound like enough to try it. Once you start feeling so good, you can’t go back to eating the “crap” and allow it like once a week. This would be like someone smoking and they quit for a year and now you allow them to have a cigarette once a week. I have to believe that one cigarette will turn into two, then four, and then eight. You go back to the old ways once again. That is why this is for life…just like exercise. On a whole food plant based diet you are expected to lose one pound per week! Add in a bit of exercise and now you lose a bit more. But, the really neat thing is that you don’t have to beat yourself up with exercise because the diet alone will bring you back to health. So, I recommend 20-30 minutes of exercise three times per week…again, for the rest of your life!

The studies have been done, and the literature has been cited about whole food plant based diets. In fact, in rural China, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity are rare because this is what they eat! The fact is your body is constantly in a state of change and repair to maintain homeostasis. But, if you constantly beat it up, poor health will result. For example, you take the cigarettes away from a 20 year smoker and in 1-5 years his lungs will become close to normal! Why, cause the stress is taken away and now the body has a chance to heal and reproduce brand new tissue!

I see diet the same way. It is a constant stress to the body producing poor health. In fact, I think a poor western diet is worse than someone smoking a few cigarettes every day! All the food companies making all these processed foods and marketing to us are no better than the pharmaceutical companies. They are all about the same thing…PROFIT! They are loading us up with toxins everyday that disrupt the function of our endocrine system. Not a good thing!

We have to start thinking more about how important our diet is and look at the studies to show people how poor health can be reversed by simply making a lifestyle change. This is how we save lives and let grandchildren grow up with their grandparents, or in some cases children grow up with their parents. We cannot continue to go down this same road. Start today by making a decision to change the way you eat.

At our clinic, when we make a dietary change, clean the toxins out, and nourish the body with clean, pure, and potent vitamins, minerals, and supplements, you won’t believe what goes away and stays away. I manage all my patients with literally the same diet. ADHD, autism, colitis, intestinal disorders such as IBS and Crohns, all can be helped greatly by following a whole food plant based diet too! That is why every patient with some crazy label that enters my office is put on this diet and we get tremendous results.

Please let me know if you have any questions I can answer for you.

Your Health and Wellness Advocate,

Dr. James R. Haakenson


Posted in Health Care vs. Sick Care, High Blood Pressure, Nutrition, Weight Loss | Leave a Comment »

Health Suppression Through Dietary Choices…Not a Good Thing!

Posted by doctorjames on July 26, 2008

There seems to be so much confusion in our world today relating to diet. One minute this is good for you, and the next minute it is bad for you! It is frustrating indeed. More often than not if you follow the reference to the study and can get to the bottom of it, the study was done more to promote some “product” or destroy it.

There are miracle books on the market right now promising everything from weight loss this way, to body transformation this way, to beat this disease, and conquer this malady or syndrome…can they all work? I am sure they all have their merit, but lets make this simple!

Everyone is looking for that easy diet to follow that allows you to eat pizza, cheesecake, muffins, sugar ladened foods, preservative filled foods, artificial sweeteners, soft drinks, fruit juices, fast food…basically anything you can find in the middle aisles of your grocery store…foods with a shelf life!

Let us think about this for just one moment. Do you really think we should be eating food that can sit on a shelf for years and still be edible? Don’t you see this as maybe a warning sign? When was the last time you took a vegetable and let it sit in your shelf for a year? That is impossible…well, you could ignore the smell and the bugs I guess…so it is possible, but any normal earthling would not allow this to occur. Fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats are designed to break down. They have all the enzymes, minerals, co-factors, nutrients, and organically based substances to naturally disintegrate!

Shelf life has absolutely nothing to do with your health, and has everything to do with making money from you…the CONSUMER! In fact, if those products were allowed to not go through a transformation process with preservatives, you would not be able to eat that food because it would taste so disgusting. The fact is that most foods contain a little bit of fat, a little bit of protein, and a little bit of carbohydrate. HERE IS THE KICKER, FATS SPOIL AND BECOME RANCID! Fats break down in the presence of air and light and tend to make things spoil. Fats become oxidized because the normal antioxidant, vitamin E becomes depleted. The fat oxidizes and becomes a different molecule. This is why they must remove certain fats and replace them with either sugar or that wonderful new fat…TRANS FAT! Trans fat is like plastic, it does not go bad! It also does tremendous damage to your arteries because the body can not physically process it.

The moral of the story is to stay away from anything that does not go bad in less than a week unless it is canned or frozen. Now lets get this straight, canned or frozen means canned or frozen fruits or vegetables…either blended, made into a paste, sauce, etc…without added sugar and preservatives. I am not giving you the go ahead eat anything that is frozen or canned! What I am talking about is fresh frozen fruits, or vegetables. Remember, freezing holds in the nutrients in a fruit or vegetable because it naturally slows the process of it breaking down. You can thaw your fruits and vegetables and use them however you like to save money and not go to the grocery store so often. Of course the best method is to buy organic, fresh fruits and vegetables that have been recently picked.

To avoid suppressing your health and to make sure you are creating health, you just have to make sure to eat what the caveman ate! If it wasn’t here a 1000 years ago…DON’T EAT IT!!! So, what was here a 1000 years ago…grass fed animals, vegetables, fruit, and herbs…basically anything that could roam the range and anything that could grow from seed. This is absolutely the key to health!

The caveman did not eat tons of grain. He did not make flour, and especially he did not make white flour! He subsisted on a diet based on grass fed animal protein, green leafy vegetables, and fruits. Our body is not designed to eat anything else…period…end of story! Sorry to burst your bubble folks, but this is as simple as it gets.

To create health you need to stay away from foods that cause poor health like sugars, grains, flours, and trans fats. The only way, and I repeat only way, a person should be getting sugar is through vegetables and fruit…end of story! Eating grass fed meat and fruits and vegetables will create health guaranteed! You don’t even need a money back option on this one folks…it is guaranteed by the Creator of the universe!

Any other food you take into your body besides the three I have mentioned…and eggs…will cause some type of inflammatory change in your body! If you have been following the latest trends and research, it points to inflammation being the number one cause of all disease! Now, omega 3’s are great, but if you are taking it because of inflammation and you continue to inflame your body with poor health choices, what good is it doing for you? It is acting like a drug! You are trying to mask a problem because of a chronic condition caused by lack of will power to change! This is my definition of medicine! Treat an effect caused by a poor dietary decision and a sedentary lifestyle. It does absolutely nothing to promote health in your body…in fact, the destruction is ongoing somewhere else! But, this is a subject for my next article…I will hold you in suspense!

Now, I am not saying all medicine is bad, some people absolutely need it to treat this or that…it works! What I am saying is that better dietary choices and better exercise creates health and diminishes the need for drugs and surgery! Now, that is powerful.

The bottom line is this, all things that can spoil in one week if left out on your kitchen counter should not be eaten…period! The only things you are allowed to eat to create health and decrease your chance at increased aging are fruits, vegetables…no grains, and grass fed animal products…meat or eggs. The animal meat or egg that you are eating must have not been in a feed lot and must not have had any chance to eat grain or soy. The animal should have only been allowed to roam the pasture and eat whatever it wants to.

Eating meat from this type of an animal has the perfect ratio of fats we need for our body to create health. Anything other than this creates and inflammatory change in our body and ages us much quicker…not a good thing.

So, now you have it, how to create health the easy and no nonsense way. The only thing preventing you from doing this is lack of knowledge and willpower. I promise you that manipulating your dietary habits back to this way will cost you less money in the end because you will not suffer the degenerative diseases that all the other people do when they eat all the junk! On top of this, fruits and vegetables are readily inexpensive and a garden is even less expensive. If you don’t want to grow your own, their are community sustained gardens you could get involved in to get fresh fruits and vegetables.

I would really encourage you to read two books to back up my claims. The first would be Dr. Mercola’s book called Take Control of Your Health, ( and Dr. Rosedale’s book, The Rosedale diet (

Create your health starting today after reading my article. If you have any questions, please place a comment on the comments section. Otherwise, email me at I wish nothing more but continued health to the choir I speak to, and to others new to this and looking for a change, I hope you will come to understand what this amazing transformation can do for your health, vitality, and your mind!

Posted in Nutrition | 2 Comments »

The Proof…We Have Been Fooled!

Posted by doctorjames on July 22, 2008

I love when the truth comes out! It does not happen often, but I do think this woman does a very good job at destroying our health myths that marketing tries to cover up. Highly processed and sugar laden foods are the cause of all obesity! The truth is dietary fat has absolutely nothing to do with it! Eat the fat, but stay away from the sugar. Fat does not even stimulate insulin. Sugar is so problematic because the body stores what it cannot use at the time as stored energy in the form of fat. It is no wonder why one out of every 3 persons in our nation is overweight, and one out of every four are pre-diabetic or diabetic.

Remember, whole foods will always be what produces health. You are not going to find health in processed foods or beverages. To make something for the everyday consumer that will appeal to their taste buds, sugar has to be added! Check out the link below to view the video from ABC News.

The key to health is avoiding refined white sugar, white flour, and trans fats. By avoiding what I call the big 3, your choices are limited! Also, drink plenty of water, practice stress reduction techniques, drink alcohol in moderation, and set yourself on a path for a healthier life. Love more, laugh more, and enjoy the fresh air. Exercise 3-5 times per week and you will start to see yourself change right before your very eyes!

If you are not sure how to get started, I suggest that you follow this link and take what is called the nutritional typing test by Dr. Joseph Mercola. It is an invaluable tool to produce profound changes in your health. Take it today and start feeling better tomorrow!

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Genes are not your fate!

Posted by doctorjames on July 13, 2008

Here is a really cool link from Dr. Dean Ornish on how genes are not our fate! There seems to be a growing body of evidence linking gene expression to environmental inputs. It is possible even with a predisposition to a certain type of cancer (family inherited gene) that you can turn the gene on and off with nutrition and exercise! WOW!!!! Now, if that does not give you hope…nothing will!

So, check out this link to a 3 minute video by Dr. Ornish.

Another distinguished scientist named Bruce Lipton Ph.D. has been talking about this for a number of years. Genes are not static…they are dynamic and we can change them by making changes in what we choose to do with our body and what we choose to put in it.

One has to remember that genes are only in our bodies to code for a certain protein. If that protein is no longer needed, then the gene turns off! Remove the offending substance and the gene becomes inactive! What a concept! There is so much more to healing then we will ever know, but taking some steps every day towards a long path to better health will definitely be a good start.

And, always remember…chronic stress ruins our health and can turn on the genes responsible for making some of these proteins. Please try to limit what “controls” you! When you let go, you will be amazed at the transformations your body makes…try it for one day…don’t let anything bother you…don’t get “worked” up. See how you feel at the end of the day. I promise you will feel great! Remember, chronic stress inhibits neuronal cell growth…not a good thing…

Till next time…

Dr. James

P.S. Sorry I have not written for quite some time…we just had a newborn baby boy who is now 3 months old and sleeping much better…so, it frees me up a bit to get back to sending out quality info!

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Light Your Money on Fire, Or Eat Grass Fed Meat!

Posted by doctorjames on February 28, 2008

It is in the news again! The horrible treatment of animals for human consumption is downright disgusting. There is no dignity in living or in death for these animals. They are treated unfairly and live a miserable life caged up, beat up, filled with sickness and disease, and housed in unsanitary conditions.

Whatever happened to treating animals with respect. Well, there is such a case of respect for animals when a farmer decides to let his animals go cage free and live off of the pasture. Yes, it is still cruel to kill another animal for our palate, but at least if we are going to continue this practice we need to let these animals live a healthy life. In fact, if they are being abused and are eating poorly, you are taking in what they were. You are eating a very unhealthy piece of meat even though it looks great. The statement could not be more true…you are what you eat!

Believe it or not, cows are designed to only eat grass! This is why a cow has four chambers. They ferment the food they eat. Their chambers of the “stomach” are designed to make every protein they need to sustain a healthy life! Pretty simple isn’t it?

The problem is that the farmer learned that a cow could gain more weight by having them pasture less and eat more grain, soy, and corn. When a cow eats these items, they gain weight very fast in the form of unhealthy fats because of their inability to process all the sugar. They are just like us! We may love to eat our cereal everymorning, but our pancreas hates us! The more sugar we take in, the heavier we get. We are proving it right now with our kids. They take in sugar ladened substances full of high fructose corn syrup and their weight increases dramatically. This very same thing happens to the cow.

To save the day we do have cows, chickens, pigs and other animals that are allowed to live a great life roaming the farm. Cows allowed to roam and graze, chickens allowed to roam and peck, and pigs allowed to run around and use their nose to find food do exist.

In this article, my focus is on grass feed beef and the health advantages of including them in our diet. The most important reason to eat grass fed beef is because of its ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 fats. In a grass fed cow that is free to roam the pasture…(gets exercise)…the balance of omega 3’s to 6’s are on a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio. On the other hand, a cow that does not get exercise and eats grain, corn, soy, and sileage has

Why is this important? In the most basic understanding of these fats, omega 6’s are pro-inflammatory (creates inflammation) and omega 3’s are anti-inflammatory. In America today, we consume and abundance of omega 6 fatty acids. In fact, our ratio of omega 6 fats to omega 3 fats stands at about 20:1 to 50:1. Folks, this ratio is supposed to be 1:1 to live a healthy life!

In fact, DHA which comes from omega 3 fats, makes up 60% of the fat in our brains. When we disturb this omega 3 to 6 ratio, the omega 6’s become the cell membranes in our brain which greatly affects cell to cell communication! Do you think that improving this ratio can help with things like depression, ADD/ADHD, Parkinsons, M.S., and other various brain lesions? Studies are underway right now on many of these subjects, and some have already been done with very positive results. The simple fact is that our brain is affected by a heavy intake of omega 6 fats without an appropriate balance of omega 3 fats.

Since our ratios are so imbalanced between omega 6’s and 3’s, we live in a pro-inflammatory state. This pro-inflammatory state can lead to further degeneration and diseases like cardiovascular disease, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, kidney disease, diabetes, eye problems, intestinal diseases, etc. Science has linked most of our degenerative diseases to inflammation as the start. This means that virtually any disease you name can be affected by improving your ratio of omega 3 fats to omega 6 fats!

By improving your ratio of omega 3 fats to omega 6 fats, you are reducing your rate of degenerative diseases! Omega 6 fats are very prevelant in most of our processed foods, not to mention the beef that is full of these fatty acids due to the overwhelming amount of feed they consume.

For those of us who do choose to eat meat because we are the top of the food chain (trust me, if we weren’t, we would be running from tigers, lions, etc…they would eat us just like we eat them…it is the balance of the world), we can improve our health by looking for grass fed meats, or we can continue to lead our bodies down the path of inflammatory changes and resultant disease.

If you are spending your money on typical grocery store beef, you might as well go back home to your house and put a $100 bill in the fire! Really, a $100 bill for that $15 steak, because you are inflaming your body with every bite! Inflammation is the path we take towards destroying our health, so that “great” $15 steak will produce health care costs at some point in time. All those “great” rib eyes and sirloins will bring about thousands of dollars of medical costs. Do you want to spend your money on quality meat now, or medical care later…it is your choice! Of course you have to fix other things in your diet too, not just the meat, but this is one step closer to living a healthy life. Pay now for abundance in health, or pay later for our incredible sick care system we live in today!

A quality purveyor of grass fed beef is On their website you can order online and have it shipped to your door. What a perfect way to enjoy meat the way nature intended us to eat it. There are various other internet sites for grass fed beef, but make sure there cows truly only roam the pasture and eat grass. A cows diet does not need to be supplemented in any other way! Enjoy eating your grass fed beef and your amazing health.

Your health and wellness advocate,

Dr. James R. Haakenson

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